Everett Golson's performance Saturday, summed up in one play


Everett Golson's performance Saturday, summed up in one play

A microcosm of Everett Golson's performance Saturday wasn't his successful scramble for a game-tying two-point conversion, or his game-winning plunge into the end zone. If you're looking for a representative play of the quarterback's up-and-down day, look no further than his 45-yard heave to DaVaris Daniels with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter.

After throwing what looked to be a debilitating interception in the end zone late in the fourth, Notre Dame had one final chance to march downfield to tie the game. With 3:03 left and the ball at midfield, Golson fired a 45-yard completion to DaVaris Daniels, setting up a five-yard toss to Theo Riddick to find the end zone in only two plays covering 52 seconds.

That pass to Daniels, though, stands out as a one-play showing of both the good and bad Golson displayed on Saturday.

Golson took the snap and drifted to his right, but didn't have an opening to hit either receiver on that side of the field. He danced back to his left and spotted Daniels in man-to-man coverage downfield and, from Notre Dame's own 38, chucked a pass toward No. 10 that was caught at Pitt's eight -- well over 50 yards in the air.

But had Golson not drifted right, he would've spied Daniels open much earlier in the play, making things a lot easier for Notre Dame.

"We would have liked to have thrown it a long time earlier than that when he was wide open," coach Brian Kelly explained after the game. "He didn't. He stayed alive, and he got the ball down the field. I mean, we're coming to understand that we're not perfect. But the kid competes, and he's got a strong arm. (He) put the ball in a good position, DD made a nice play on the ball and got us an opportunity to put some points on the board."

That kind of ad-libbing ability is a point in Golson's favor, even if it sometimes comes at the expense of finding Daniels when he was open earlier in the play. Golson's mobility allows him to make something out of nothing -- even if that's a self-inflicted situation.

"The whole week I've been kind of been on DaVaris about when a play breaks down improvise and just getting open, and he did it one time before," Golson explained. "But I was so fortunate that he did that. That's what I was trying to do was just improvise."

The Golson-Daniels connection was played up in spring and fall camp, with an expectation being set the two would transfer their good rapport from last year's scout team to Notre Dame's No. 1 offense in 2012. It's taken a little while, but the pair have been on the same page more in recent weeks, with Daniels' seven catches for 86 yards pacing Notre Dame receivers against Pittsburgh.

"In that instance I was just trying to make a play, a big play because we needed it," Daniels said. "And my first instinct was to go deep -- I looked to the left, I looked to the right and saw me and the other receivers were on the same plane, so I figured I would just go deep and see what happens."

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season


It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.