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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

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Kansas State rallies for stunning upset of Oklahoma

The Kansas State Wildcats overcame hefty odds to stun the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.

Kansas State was down seven players on its two-deep depth chart Saturday due to COVID-19 issues. After falling behind 35-14, the Wildcats looked finished, but a stunning rally ensued.

After a touchdown made it 35-21, Oklahoma’s Seth McGowan fumbled on the second play from scrimmage of the ensuing drive. That game the Wildcats a fairly short field, and they put together a 38-yard drive to score again and get within a touchdown. The Kansas State defense then buckled down, stopping the Sooners at midfield and then blocking the punt. Kansas State needed just two plays to go 38 yards once again and tie the game at 35. Another punt allowed Kansas State to set up for the go-ahead field goal, and the defense proceeded to intercept Spencer Rattler to seal the road win.

The Sooners were considered a national title contender coming into the game. They were favored by 28 points. Kansas State, meanwhile, came in off a loss to lowly Arkansas State. This one was unpredictable to say the least, even though the Wildcats also pulled the upset in 2019.

Rattler received Heisman hype before the season, and while he threw four touchdowns, he was intercepted three times as well. This will be a reality check for the Sooners.

Video: Nate Snyder makes unreal 53-yard field goal to win game for Louisiana

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns continued a storybook start to the 2020 season in remarkable manner on Sunday.

With two seconds left and Louisiana down a point, the team had no choice but to give kicker Nate Snyder the chance to win the game from 53 yards out. Snyder missed three of his four field goal tries last week, and had failed to convert a 35-yard try earlier in the game.

None of that mattered here. Snyder hit from 53, and the team went nuts.

Snyder made the most of his big moment as well.

It’s been an emotional couple months for the football team. Assistant coach D.J. Looney died suddenly at the beginning of August. Head coach Billy Napier paid tribute to him after an upset win over Iowa State two weeks ago. That was followed by a dramatic overtime win against Georgia State. Now 3-0, the Ragin’ Cajuns seem to have a penchant for drama.

Ole Miss debuts incredible new turnover prop

Forget the turnover chain. The Ole Miss Rebels have something even better.

Lane Kiffin’s debut as coach also brought about a new turnover prop. Following an interception, Rebels players broke out a big bag of money to commemorate the pick.

To be clear, we are nearly certain that’s not real money. The NCAA would be all over Kiffin and the school immediately if it was. They may place a phone call anyway.

That said, Kiffin has to have approved this, and he’s probably loving it. The guy is one of the biggest trolls in all of sports. If it gets a reaction, he’ll probably approve of it. If it tweaks some people in the process, that’s even better. It’s especially bold considering some of the things that supposedly took place at Ole Miss several years ago.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Buccaneers will allow limited fan attendance at home games starting in Week 4

Tom Brady

Some Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans will get the chance to see Tom Brady play in person after all this season.

The Buccaneers announced Saturday that a limited number of fans will be allowed at Raymond James Stadium starting in Week 4. The aim is to eventually fill the stadium at 25 percent capacity.

Ticket sales rose significantly in the offseason after the Brady signing. Longtime season ticket holders will get the first shot at attending games, however.

There have been some people in attendance at Buccaneers games this season. That was to the frustration of at least one player. That situation will soon be rectified, which will make everyone happy.

Dirk Nowitzki offers high praise for Nikola Jokic

Dirk Nowitzki

Count Dirk Nowitzki as a big fan of Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic.

Jokic has been compared to Nowitzki in some circles as a skilled big man who can score from anywhere and break down opposing defenses. Nowitzki is flattered by the comparison, but suggested Jokic might be even better than he was in some aspects.

“Damn. That’s a compliment,” Nowitzki said of comparisons to Jokic via text to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “I wish I had his skill set. His passing is so good it’s a joke. I unfortunately always wanted to score and not pass.”

It’s funny, and Nowitzki is being his usual understated self. Still, there’s obviously a healthy degree of admiration here. Jokic has had a breakout postseason, and people like Nowitzki are taking notice — if they hadn’t already.

Nowitzki will keep shying away from the comparisons. He’s a pretty humble guy, after all.

Jesse Palmer says Spencer Rattler hype is deserved

Spencer Rattler

Do the Oklahoma Sooners have another star quarterback on their hands? Jesse Palmer certainly thinks so.

The ESPN analyst is backing Spencer Rattler to be a star, praising his arm and his mentality in an appearance on Thursday’s “College Football Countdown.”

“You can see why there was so much hype,” Palmer said, via Nick Kosko of 247Sports. “This was the number one dual threat quarterback coming out of high school…he’s already been proclaimed the next Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback. He’s a great fit for what Lincoln Riley wants to do. He’s very accurate throwing the football down the field, he has a lot of arm talent. This dude can sling the rock. He’s aggressive. He likes to take shots.”

Rattler has already been touted as a Heisman candidate as a freshman. His coach has not shied away from placing high expectations on him, either. Rattler has a lot of believers early on. Saturday’s game against Kansas State will be an excellent test for him.

Derek Jeter had neat reaction to Marlins clinching playoff berth

Derek Jeter

The Miami Marlins officially clinched a playoff berth on Friday night, solidifying themselves as one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 MLB season. Instead of a big celebration, CEO Derek Jeter had a different reaction to the news.

According to Peter Gammons of MLB Network, Jeter spent the night calling Marlins’ staff members and thanking them for their efforts in helping the team reach the playoffs.

This is part of why Jeter is such a respected figure in the game. It’s a pretty neat touch that he went out of his way to do this.

Jeter generated a lot of bad headlines after taking over the Marlins. Ultimately, he, along with ownership, have really turned things around.

Paul Pierce not calling Tyler Herro by ‘bucket’ name

Tyler Herro

Paul Pierce does not seem very impressed with Tyler Herro’s self-created nickname.

Herro has long described himself as a “bucket,” as in a walking bucket who can score at any time. There’s even video of him doing it in 2019 while still at Kentucky.

That nickname came to the forefront after Herro put up 37 points in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, pushing the Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination. Plenty of people delighted in using the nickname for the Miami Heat rookie.

Paul Pierce was not one of them. The former Celtic went out of his way to state that Herro needed to score more consistently to earn that nickname at the NBA level.

The first instinctive response would be that Pierce, a Celtics icon, is just bitter about what Herro did to his team. Add in that Pierce has a bit of an ego and you have some extra evidence behind that opinion. On the other hand, Pierce holds players to a high standard, and this may simply be that side of him coming out.

Whether Herro has earned the nickname or not, he joined some very elite company in Game 4. There’s no taking that away from him.

Video: Aaron Boone screams at umpire John Tumpane over strike calls

Aaron Boone John Tumpane

Aaron Boone had yet another heated run-in with an umpire over balls and strikes.

Boone ripped into umpire John Tumpane over some strike calls in the first inning of the New York Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday night. Boone was upset with a strike three call on Aaron Judge. Then he got upset with a strike call on Aaron Hicks and was ejected.

Boone raced out of the dugout and started yelling at Tumpane over the calls. He could be heard on the YES telecast dropping some F-bombs.

Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara has a wicked sinker with some late break, which likely causes trouble for umpires. But that strike three call on Judge did look low, making Boone’s argument seem legitimate.

Tumpane is known for having a generous zone at times, so the favorable calls probably should not be too surprising.

As for Boone, this wasn’t even his best performance, which actually came last year.

Stars upset with tripping penalty call on Jamie Benn in overtime

Jamie Benn tripping

The Dallas Stars are not happy with a tripping penalty called on Jamie Benn in overtime of the team’s Game 4 loss in the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night in Edmonton.

Benn was called for tripping about five minutes into overtime in Game 4. A minute and a half later, Kevin Shattenkirk buried a power play goal to give Tampa Bay a 5-4 win.

Here is the play that had Stars fans upset:

Though the two players seem to be doing a typical fight for the puck, Benn can be seen grabbing Tyler Johnson’s stick and then lifting his leg. That’s tripping all the way, and the correct call was made.

Joe Pavelski, who scored in the third period to tie the game at four, feels it was a bad call.

Stars head coach Rick Bowness agreed.

The Stars’ frustration is understandable. This is the Stanley Cup Final, and they don’t want to be a man down in overtime of a critical Game 4. The referees are an easy target when things go wrong.

The Lightning now lead the series 3-1. Game 5 will be on Saturday night.