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No. 11 Florida thumps Georgia 77-44 in SEC opener

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No. 11 Florida thumps Georgia 77-44 in SEC opener

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Mike Rosario scored 19 points, Erik Murphy added 11 despite playing with a broken rib and No. 11 Florida opened Southeastern Conference play with a 77-44 victory over Georgia on Wednesday night.

The Gators improved to 12-5 in league openers under Donovan, including 7-0 at home. They also extended their recent dominance against the Bulldogs, winning for 16th time in the last 19 meetings.

The latest one was no big surprise since the Gators (11-2) have played well most of the season while Georgia (6-8) has struggled against just about everyone on its schedule.

The Bulldogs, though, had won four in a row after losing six of seven. Georgia turned the ball over 19 times and fell to 0-3 against ranked teams this season.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the team's lone bright spot, led the Bulldogs with 11 points.

Rosario made 6 of 10 shots from the field and all four from the free-throw line.

Murphy's night was even more impressive.

Coach Billy Donovan called Murphy ``doubtful'' Monday because a broken rib under his right arm. Murphy went through shoot-around Wednesday and felt good enough to play with a protective pad around his rib cage. He made 3 of 6 shots from 3-point range.

Patric Young chipped in 11 points for the Gators, who shot 52.7 percent from the field and made 12 of 26 shots from 3-point range.

Casey Prather, who started in place of Murphy, scored the first three baskets of the game. He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Will Yeguete had been expected to start over Prather, but the power forward injured his right knee in practice and was scratched from the starting lineup. He played sparingly, was scoreless and kept ice on his knee while on the bench.

The injuries were the latest setback for Donovan's team.

Point guard Scottie Wilbekin was suspended to start the season and has played lately with a broken finger on his shooting hand. Reserve forward Cody Prather left the team a few days before the season opener. Prather missed several games because of multiple concussions. Murphy missed practice time because of migraine headaches. Young was benched for a lack of effort in practice.

Donovan probably could have rested several of them against Georgia.

The Gators opened up a double-digit lead in the first 6 minutes, extended it to 24-9 on Rosario's floater in the lane and really pulled away after halftime.

Florida hit five consecutive 3s to turn a big lead into a laugher. Wilbekin got the run started, hitting one from just outside the top of the key. Michael Frazier II, Rosario and Murphy followed his lead, with Frazier hitting two. The flurry of outside shots made it 53-26 with 12:05 remaining.

It was 70-36 after Rosario's third trey - the 11th of the night for Florida.

The Gators coasted from there, getting bench players in for the final few minutes.

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.