Nationals

Driskel hopes he got turnovers 'out of system'

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Driskel hopes he got turnovers 'out of system'

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) The best thing Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel did through the first seven games this season was hold onto the football, even if it was too long at times.

Driskel had just two turnovers before Saturday's debacle against Georgia.

He had four against the Bulldogs, mistakes that were critical in the 17-9 loss that likely cost the eighth-ranked Gators the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division.

Driskel watched the game twice since and said Monday what everyone already knew.

``I can't turn it over four times myself,'' said Driskel, who hopes to bounce back Saturday against Missouri. ``Hopefully I got it out of my system. You've got to learn from mistakes. Got the mistakes out of the way, learn from them and try not to make the same mistakes again.''

The worst game of Driskel's career came at the worst time for Florida, which could have wrapped up a spot in the SEC title game.

But it also exposed several offensive weaknesses that had been somewhat masked during the team's undefeated start: protection issues that start with the offensive line and include the inability of running backs and tight ends to pick up blitzes; and more dropped passes and inexact routes by receivers.

All those issues have Florida ranked 100th in the nation in total offense and last in the SEC in passing.

``It's not falling on one person's or one position's shoulders, I can assure you of that,'' coach Will Muschamp said. ``It's a combination of things and it's something that we, as a staff, have been working through the entire season and knowing that we need to continue to work on it and improve with it. I do think we've made some strides, but it certainly wasn't good enough Saturday.''

It was good enough in the first seven games.

But six turnovers proved to be too much to overcome against Georgia, proving Muschamp's point that Florida has a slim margin for error.

Driskel, who completed 14 of 26 passes for 185 yards, threw two interceptions and lost two of his three fumbles. Wildcat quarterback Trey Burton botched a handoff, and tight end Jordan Reed fumbled near the goal line in the closing minutes. Reed lost the ball while trying to leap two defenders, ending Florida's chance at tying the game.

Reed, who caught five passes for 74 yards, was in tears on the sideline afterward.

``The guy was trying to make a play,'' Muschamp said. ``Does he need to have better battle security? Sure. ... No one player or one play lost the game. The guy was trying to make a play, a guy who plays with great effort and passion. He made a couple of really nice plays on the drive.

``We would not be in that position if it weren't for him. The guy is trying to make a play. So, easy to sit and criticize when you're sitting in the stands. Get in the arena and play.''

Muschamp defended Driskel, too.

``Could he have made (better) decisions? Certainly. He recognizes that,'' Muschamp said. ``We also need to play better around him. We need to protect better. We need to be more precise with our route running. We need to do a better job of running the football. There are a lot of things that revolve around that position that we can do a better job of.''

Florida averaged 233 yards rushing in the first six games of the season. But the Gators have managed just 170 yards on the ground the last two weeks combined.

Mike Gillislee ran 19 times for 37 yards against South Carolina, and finished with 77 yards on 22 carries Saturday.

Opponents are stacking the line of scrimmage in hopes of taking away Gillislee and forcing the Gators to try to move the ball with Driskel.

``I think people have done a better job of adjusting to some of the things we're doing,'' Muschamp said. ``You know in our league they catch up pretty quick with you as far as the things you're doing. ... We got whipped at the point of attack, quite frankly. We need to win some of those. You've got to win some one-on-ones in this league.''

And the Gators need to limit turnovers, something they had done so well until Saturday.

``You got to learn from your mistakes and move on,'' Driskel said. ``You watch the film, you get your coaching points and you move on and try not to make the same mistake twice.''

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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

When the Washington Nationals visited San Diego on May 7-9, they won the first two games of a three-game series to move within 1 1/2 games of the National League West lead.

At the time, the Nationals were on a bit of a run and the Padres were reeling with a 13-24 record.

Two weeks after that series, the Padres and Nationals meet again in Washington, D.C (7:05 p.m. ET, Monday). And the fortunes of the two teams have changed a bit.

Since winning that series finale at Petco Park to avoid being swept by the Nationals, the Padres have gone 7-4 and are riding a three-game winning streak.

The Nationals have gone 4-4 and just lost a third straight game to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in Washington to slip four games off the lead in their division.

The Nationals are the home team this time for a three-game series that opens Monday night with a matchup of left-handers -- Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.36 ERA) going for Washington with Robbie Erlin (1-2, 3.46) making a spot start for San Diego.

On paper, the pairing clearly favors the hosts.

Erlin, 27, has met the Nationals twice in his career. Both games were at Nationals Park. Erlin is 0-2 in the matchups with a 16.39 ERA.

In Erlin's two previous outings in the nation's capital, Erlin has given up 17 runs, 19 hits and six walks with six strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. The Nationals have hit .413 against Erlin, who has a 2.68 WHIP against Washington.

This will be only the second start of the season for Erlin, who returned this year after having Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery midway through 2016.

Thirteen of Erlin's 14 appearances this season have been out of the bullpen. His one previous start was April 16 against the Dodgers. He gave up six runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings.

Erlin is filling the vacancy created when rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi went on the disabled list with a slightly strained glute. The Padres are hoping Lucchesi will miss only one start, although it looks like it could now be two or three.

Gonzalez is no stranger to the Padres. He started the May 9 game that the Nationals lost 2-1. Gonzalez allowed one run, five hits and three walks in six innings. Afterward, he said he struggled with his command.

Gonzalez was not involved in that decision. During his career, he has made seven starts against the Padres and has a 3-2 record with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.357 WHIP and a .253 opponents' batting average. Against the Padres, Gonzalez has given up 19 runs (15 earned), 41 hits and 16 walks with 41 strikeouts in 42 innings.

When the Nationals were in San Diego, first baseman-left fielder Matt Adams went 3-for-8 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored -- although he got the third game off.

Since leaving San Diego, Adams has hit only .143. Washington's Bryce Harper is hitting .125 in the last eight games with a homer and three RBIs.

Another key player in the first Padres-Nationals series was Howie Kendrick, who was 5-for-12 with a double and two runs scored. But Kendrick has been lost with a ruptured Achilles tendon and on Saturday the Nationals promoted a 19-year-old prospect from Double-A.

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Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

When the Capitals take the ice in Game 6, they will be playing for their playoff lives. After losing Game 5 on Saturday to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps must win on Monday or their season will be over.

In order to do that, the Caps will have to change some things. First, they have to figure out how to win at home, something they have yet to do in this series. Second, they will have to find a way to get to Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who has been dominant the past three games. Alex Ovechkin also needs to win the matchup against the fourth line since he has only two five-on-five points through five games. Finally, the defense will have to be better. Matt Niskanen took the blame for Game 5, but really it was a tough night all around.

Also, a few penalty calls against Tampa Bay would be nice too.

Where: Capital One Arena

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning, Game 6 will be broadcast on NBCSN

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Lightning Game 6 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS GAME 6 OF THE CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING PLAYOFF SERIES?

Game 6 of the Capitals vs. Lightning 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Monday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Capital One Arnea.

WHAT CHANNEL IS GAME 6 OF CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is on NBCSN. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 on NBCSN
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM GAME 6 OF THE CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING SERIES?

Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is available to stream online on Monday, May 21 live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR GAME 6 OF CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING?

Capitals projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Devante Smith-Pelly -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Lightning projected lines:

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Yanni Gourde
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller
Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts with Louis Domingue as backup.

CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING GAME 6 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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