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How to make your apartment a smart home

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 23:54

Despite an ever-growing selection of smart home products that make life easier, you might feel a little left out if you don’t own your own home. That’s because some of the most popular and effective products often require construction projects and repairs that, if you’re only renting, aren’t things you’re allowed to do within your lease agreement. Luckily, there are plenty of smart devices that don’t require permanently modifying your building.

Smart home vs. smart apartment

The biggest issue with building a smart home as a renter is that most leases and rental agreements don’t allow permanent changes to the building. Even if yours did, you might not be keen on investing money, time and effort in electronics that you won’t be able to take with you when you move out. While this does rule out some of the most in-depth smart home technology, there are still plenty of useful devices to choose from. There are also alternate no-drill mounting tools available for some devices that allow you to install something without drilling holes into your apartment. Before deciding which devices to install, make sure you contact your landlord to clarify what you can and cannot do in terms of building modifications to avoid trouble.

Don’t forget to program routines

Most of the novelty, convenience and fun in a smart home comes from automation. Whether that includes your front door unlocking itself as you walk up to it or your coffee maker firing up as soon as your alarm goes off in the morning is up to you; your imagination is the limit. Automating the more tedious parts of your home helps to take the frustration out of fun activities and lower stress overall.

Best smart home devices for apartments

The biggest step in automating a rented space is selecting versatile smart devices that are readily compatible and don’t cost a fortune. Luckily, there are plenty of those to choose from.

Smart plugs

If you want to automate the on/off switches of electronics you already have, smart plugs are an excellent alternative to smart switches and outlets that require permanent installation. If you’re setting up lights, fountains or other electrical devices outside, get an explicitly weather-resistant smart plug.

Most stand-alone smart plugs do have a drawback. While they allow for in-depth programming, the majority are only able to turn an electronic device on or off. If, for example, you want to automatically dim a set of outdoor lights, you’ll have to select a plug that specifically allows dimming, such as the Kasa Outdoor KP405.

Kasa Smart Plug HS103P4 ]

Available here in a four-pack, this popular option is easy to use and engineered to plug comfortably into the wall without blocking any adjacent outlets.

Kasa Outdoor EP40 ]

If you want an automated on-and-off switch for outdoor lighting or other decorative fixtures, this two-outlet adapter can help.

Kasa Outdoor KP405 ]

While there’s only a single outlet on this weather-resistant outdoor-focused adapter, it’s one of the few stand-alone plugs that can dim compatible bulbs.

Smart bulbs

Light bulbs with built-in smart technology and wireless connectivity work with nearly any lamp that shares their physical connector. Most renters will be satisfied with a low-cost smart bulb like this one from Kasa, which delivers a wide range of colors, up to 850 lumens and a huge range of programming and hub choices.

If you want something that looks nicer and is even more reliable, consider a Philips Hue smart bulb. Although they are expensive, they’re engineered to last decades and work with a large number of dedicated smart home hubs in addition to the Philips-specific model.

Kasa Smart Bulb KL130 ]

Not only is it simple, straightforward and reasonably priced, it also comes from a highly reliable manufacturer.

Philips Hue White and Color Bulb ]

The Philips Hue smart lighting lineup is widely regarded as the best premium choice on the market, and these bulbs back that reputation up well. There are even high-output versions that produce the equivalent of 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent bulbs.

Smart speakers

The smart speaker and its microphone are integral to streamlining the smart home experience. You’ll find it especially convenient to turn on lights, fire up the oven, play music and do quick web searches throughout the day.

There are some Bluetooth speakers that are reasonably compatible with the most popular voice assistants, but the best-performing options are usually the ones from the source. The Echo Dot, for example, is both relatively affordable and nearly as good as they get in terms of registering your commands consistently. On the other hand, more premium options like the Echo Studio and Google Nest Audio are considerably better at playing music.

Amazon Echo Studio ]

It’s one of Amazon’s best-sounding smart speakers yet. It sports powerful long-range microphones and sounds excellent when paired in stereo with another Echo Studio plus an Echo Sub.

Amazon Echo Dot ]

Don’t let its small size fool you; this is one of the most reliable and least intrusive smart speakers on the market.

Google Nest Audio ]

If you’re a fan of Google’s ecosystem or just want to easily control your network of devices from an Android tablet or smartphone, the high-end Google speaker is worth a look.

Smart security devices

A wireless video doorbell is a great first step to keeping any home safe. The Ring Video Doorbell is a highly refined model. The Blink Video Doorbell system is another effective choice that helps you save even more money.

For general-use security monitoring, the Wyze Cam v3 is one of the most compact and affordable. With a 32-gigabyte microSD card, it can even record video 24/7. Alternatively, the Blink Outdoor is a weather-resistant option with a long wireless range, a straightforward setup process and a somewhat higher price.

Finally, the vast majority of smart locks require heavy modifications to the door, but the August Smart Lock often does not. It’s still recommended that you confirm with your landlord that it’s OK to install, but it’s definitely one of the best semipermanent options for anyone on a lease.

There are also many no-drill mounting options available on the market for some smart doorbells and cameras. The Ring No-Drill Mount is made specifically for Ring cameras, but there are also off-brand versions available that work for a variety of different smart doorbells and cameras.

Ring Video Doorbell  ]

This is one of the most advanced wireless-ready doorbells on the market. If you want to save some cash, you can opt instead for the more affordable Blink Doorbell system.

Wyze Cam v3 ]

While it’s marketed as a pet cam, its 1080p resolution and ease of use make it perfect for a variety of indoor uses.

Blink Outdoor Camera ]

It’s waterproof, easy to install and should have no problem communicating with a wireless network on the other side of your apartment.

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock ]

This is one of the rare smart locks that fit on most preexisting deadbolts, so it requires just about the least amount of installation hassle possible.

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Chris Perkins and David Furones break down Dolphins’ win over Patriots | VIDEO

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 22:34

The Miami Dolphins had a balanced offensive attack between their runs and passes, some good defensive plays among sacks and turnovers — and, of course — some more center-to-quarterback snapping problems and issues on special teams. But they came away with a 24-17 victory at New England, and are 2-0 and still atop the AFC East.

In this video, the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Chris Perkins and David Furones discuss Sunday night’s victory over the Patriots.

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Things we learned in Miami Dolphins’ 24-17 win over the New England Patriots

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:56

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Miami Dolphins ran their record to 2-0 with Sunday’s 24-17 victory at New England, and they appear to have righted some of the concerns they had in their opening victory.

The run defense and pass rush were both notably better, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hot again.

Not only that, the Dolphins got a crucial AFC East road victory and are still atop the division.

Having said that, here are some other takeaways from Sunday night’s game: 

Winning an AFC East road game

The Dolphins won their first AFC East road game of the season, an important accomplishment in a division that’s expecting tough road games. It’s especially good the Dolphins are able to take advantage when they have warm weather in locales such as New England and Buffalo, who the Dolphins visit in two weeks.

The Dolphins were 0-3 on the road in the AFC East last season losing at the New York Jets, 40-17, at Buffalo, 32-29, and at New England, 23-21. — Chris Perkins

Run game, pass game work in tandem

The Dolphins rushed for 144 yards on 30 carries and Tagovailoa was 21-of-30 passing for 249 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 92.2 passer rating. This was a balanced offense and it worked well, keeping the Patriots off balance and showcasing run blocking as well as pass protection.

The run game was especially encouraging. The Dolphins, who averaged 22.9 carries per game last season, 31st in the league, rushed for 70 yards on 20 carries last week.

First sack allowed, pass protection been good

Pass protection has been good through the first two games, so good that Tagovailoa took his first sack early in the third quarter, meaning he went six quarters without being sacked.

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The pass protection unit of center Connor Williams, right guard Robert Hunt, right tackle Austin Jackson, left guard Isaiah Wynn, left tackle Kendall Lamm, tight end Durham Smythe and running backs Raheem Mostert and Salvon Ahmed and fullback Alec Ingold has been strong so far.

In an interesting statistical twist, Tagovailoa, the man who makes you concerned when he leaves the pocket because of his concussion issues last season, had two carries for 11 yards on the season before getting his first sacks because he had a four-yard scramble against the Patriots.

Replacing Armstead, Phillips

The Dolphins used a nice bit of trickery Sunday. Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead (back/ankle/knee) and edge rusher Jaelan Phillips (back) were inactive for the Patriots game. Lamm and Andrew Van Ginkel started in their places, respectively.

The Van Ginkel substitution was slick. During the practice sessions open to the media the Dolphins used Emmanuel Ogbah in Phillips’ place, and they did the same thing in pregame drills. Yet on the first snap it was Van Ginkel. Ogbah, in fact, didn’t play in the first quarter.

Related Articles Ezukanma in backfield again

Wide receiver Erik Ezukanma lined up in the backfield and took a handoff from the 3-yard line that resulted in a one-yard loss. It was at least the second time Ezukanma has lined up in the backfield in the red zone. He’s also had a handoff on an end around. Apparently Miami likes Ezukanma’s skill set and are exploring ways to use him.

By the way, the Dolphins are also quietly utilizing tight end Durham Smythe. He had three targets against the Patriots after having seven against the Chargers in the opener.

Achane debuts

Rookie running back De’Von Achane, who was inactive for the opener, made his debut in the third quarter. Achane, the third-round pick, most likely got his opportunity because Salvon Ahmed sustained a groin injury.

Achane battled a shoulder injury late in training camp but as soon as he got in the game he was fairly active with a carry and a reception. By the way, Achane’s first carry was between the tackles, a nice feat for the 5-foot-8, 188-pounder. 

Discipline showing improvement

The Dolphins, who were tied for fourth in penalties last season, had just six penalties for 46 yards against the Patriots, showing more improvement on an area of focus from the offseason.

The Dolphins had just six penalties for 38 yards last week.

By the way, the Dolphins also didn’t have any problems in the chain of command/getting plays to the huddle. That was an issue last season causing the threat of delay of game penalties and timeouts to prevent delay of game penalties.

Positive turnover margin change

The Dolphins were minus-7 in turnover margin last season, tied for 29th, are now minus-1 after going plus-1 against the Patriots. Turnover margin is one of the statistics McDaniel considers crucial to winning.

Edge rusher Bradley Chubb caused a fumble that safety DeShon Elliott recovered and cornerback Xavien Howard had a third-quarter interception. Tagovailoa had a fourth-quarter interception for the Dolphins’ giveaway.

The Dolphins were minus-2 in turnover margin against the Los Angeles Chargers in the opener.

More special teams concerns

Kicker Jason Sanders missed a 55-yard field goal attempt wide left in the fourth quarter, and New England blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter, raising special teams concerns for the second consecutive week. Last week Sanders missed an extra point by pushing it right.

The Dolphins prevented the Patriots from scoring after the blocked field goal thanks to Howard’s interception.

Another lost challenge

Coach Mike McDaniel is still bad at challenges. McDaniel was 1-4 last season. He challenged a second-quarter call in which linebacker Van Ginkel tackled Patriots quarterback Mac Jones on an incomplete pass. McDaniel thought it might be a fumble. The challenge was unsuccessful and he’s now 1-5.

When was the last time Dolphins started 2-0 on the road?

That would be a decade ago. In 2013, Miami won in Cleveland (23-10) and Indianapolis (24-20). Unfortunately, Miami was 6-8 the rest of the way. The other Miami 2-0 starts on the road were in 2010 (5-9 in the rest of the games), 1977 (8-4). So, amazingly, the Dolphins will be trying to make the playoffs for the first time in four such 2-0 starts. — Steve Svekis

Mac Jones must be sick of Xavien Howard

Sunday night was Mac Jones’ fourth career game against Xavien Howard. In that quartet, Howard has a pick-six, an interception deep in Miami territory and, in last year’s opener, a tipped ball in the Dolphins end zone that floated into the hands of Jevon Holland in his NFL debut.

A hearty applause for the offensive line

Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t sacked until his 66th dropback of the season, and, further, was barely pressured in that span. Considering Terron Armstead was out for both games, even with so much uber-quick passing by the offense, it is a wonderful accomplishment. There is no starting quarterback whose health is more required than Tagovailoa’s is for Miami. For context, Tagovailoa was sacked once every 20.05 dropbacks last year.

Chubb’s forced fumble and sack are the sort of plays Dolphins need more of from him

Bradley Chubb, under criticism by the NBC crew before Sunday night’s game, had his best game as a Dolphin. He did a nice job hustling downfield to chop the ball out of the hands of Patriots runner Pop Douglas, creating a huge early turnover, and then had a massive sack of Jones with less than two minutes left.

The pass rusher the Dolphins traded a first-round pick for had an excellent first 20 games of his career, where he registered 13 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 27 quarterback hits. Then, on Sept. 30, 2019 Chubb tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). In his 37 games since coming back, he has 15.5 sacks, 16 TFL and 43 QBH. His Miami stint, before Sunday, had been even less impactful, with 2.5 sacks, two TFL and 12 QBH in nine games, heading into the Patriots matchup. Of course, in the midst of a pretty tepid wild-card playoff game, he had a big strip sack of Josh Allen to force a punt and give Miami a final possession, down 34-31.

When was the last time Dolphins led the AFC East by themselves going into Week 3?

The last time the Dolphins were in first place in their division with their rivals at least a full game behind them at the end of Week 2 was in 2018 season, after Miami started 2-0 by beating the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets, while the Jets and Patriots were 1-1 and the Bills 0-2.

Mostert would break his personal record for touches in a season at this pace

Raheem Mostert, who has been beset by injuries through his career, put together a personal-best 212 touches (runs and receptions) for the Dolphins in 2022. Following his 19-touch domination in Foxborough, Mostert is at 31 touches, which would extrapolate to a personal-record-breaking 263.

Prime-time games have battled Tagovailoa a little bit

Sunday night was Tua Tagovailoa’s eighth night game in the NFL, with seven of them on the road. After an exceptionally sharp first half under the Foxborough lights, Tagovailoa trudged to the finish. So, as it stands with this current crew of 2022-23, Tagovailoa has an All-Pro 113.1 passer rating in day games, but a 85.4 in the five night games of the Mike McDaniel era.

On deck: Denver Broncos, 1 p.m., Sunday, Hard Rock Stadium

Sean Payton hasn’t coached many games at Hard Rock Stadium, but he has made them memorable. He has gone 2-0, with his Saints winning a 46-34 barnburner in 2009, and then winning the Super Bowl there against  the Colts to cap the 2009 season. His Broncos are off to a poor start, with an 0-2 record in home games against the Raiders and Commanders, teams not expected to make much noise in 2023.

Denver will bring a bunch of familiar faces to town, with an NFL-high six players who graduated from Broward County high schools, including American Heritage alum Brandon Johnson, who caught two touchdown passes, including a final-play 50-yard Hail Mary to make it 35-33 Commanders on Sunday. Denver then missed the tying two-point throw on what arguably was defensive pass interference.

Hyde10: McDaniel and Tua play smart, small ball; defense’s big stops — 10 thoughts on Dolphins’ win at Patriots

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:52

For much of the game, it looked like it would be a comfortable Miami Dolphins win in Foxborough. But even as uncomfortable as it became in the end, the Dolphins’ 24-17 win against New England puts them at 2-0 after opening road wins on opposite coasts.

Here are 10 thoughts on the game:

1. Play of the night:  New England tight end Mike Gesicki makes a catch on fourth-and-4 with under a minute to play. As he’s being stopped, he laterals to New England guard Cole Strange, who bulls forward and is ruled to have got the first down at the Miami 29. Replay says no. It’s inches short. And that’s how the game ends. NBC then spent five minutes dissecting the play.

2. Bill Belichick had a simple plan: Take away the big play, especially from Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (five catches, 40 yards). The Patriots played a three-man shell in the secondary to start to prevent the deep plays. No wonder: The Dolphins had a league-high 23 plays of 10 or more yards in the opening week and eight plays of 20 or more yards. But there seemed an underlying idea to Belichick’s scheme: Mike McDaniel and Tua Tagovailoa wouldn’t be patient in playing small ball.

So what kind of game did McDaniel call and Tua play? A balanced game. Six runs and six passes on the opening, 81-yard drive for a field goal. Six runs and five passes on the second, 73-yard TD drive. That’s how they played the game, too. Raheem Mostert ended up running 18 times for 121 yards and a 43-yard touchdown. The balanced bottom-line: Tagovailoa threw 30 times (completing 21 for 249 yards), the Dolphins ran 30 times. So maybe both things worked as each hoped: Belichick took away the big play but the Dolphins showed a patient mindset.

3. This is the week Vic Fangio’s defense stepped up to save everyone else. It isn’t a finished product. But it saved a lot of others. It saved the special teams after a blocked field goal gave the Patriots the ball at their 47. Xavien Howard’s interception ended that Patriots threat. It saved the offense after Tagovailoa’s interception could’ve been a turning point and the defense had a quick three-and-out performance.

It also saved some uncertain thinking when a missed 55-yard field goal attempt gave the Patriots the ball at their 45 to possibly go for the win with more than two minutes left. That ended with the failed lateral attempt. Conclusion: The Patriots offense doesn’t have anyone that scares you and this defense made sure no one did.

4. Stat of the game II: New England hadn’t started a season 0-2 since 2001. And Belichick remains 19 wins behind Don Shula’s all-time record of 347.

5. Second-guess of the day (even wins have to have one): After Tagovailoa bobbled a snap and the Dolphins had a fourth down at the Patriots 37, they either had a punt or 55-yard field goal attempt. They led 24-17 with 2:19 left. A field goal ends the game. A missed field goal, as happened, gave the Patriots the ball at their 45. Considering Sanders was 4-for-12 over the past two years on attempts over 50 yards, wouldn’t a punt be in order? Kudos for aggressiveness. But it put the defense in a spot with the game on the line.

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6. It’s always interesting to see which players benefit from a new scheme, and the early leader in Fangio’s defense is Andrew Van Ginkel. He was a role player/special teams player his first years. Now? On Sunday with Jaelan Phillips out (back), Van Ginkel expanded his new role from inside linebacker to include edge rusher.

He was a disruptor in the game with seven tackles, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits. He had a fourth-quarter sack and came so close to hitting Jones in a near-fumble that the Dolphins challenged the call that Jones’ arm was moving forward when he lost the ball. Old-time Dolphins fans and new-time listeners might see a little of Kim Bokamper in Van Ginkel. Big guy. Versatile. And he seems to be just what Fangio wants.

7. Terron Armstrong can take his time healing, right? Kendall Lamm is the good surprise of the season at left tackle and the offensive line is doing its good job through two games. In the opener, Tagovailoa was hit twice and not sacked. In the first half Sunday, he wasn’t touched before being sacked for the first time this season early in the third quarter.

Sure, some of that is the quick release of Tua and the play designs of McDaniel. But the line gets its due here. For all the questions right to the edge of this season, it’s been nothing but answers. When Mostert ran up the middle 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-10, center Connor Williams and guard Robert Hunt should’ve co-spiked the ball. They opened a hole so wide Mostert wasn’t even touched. McDaniel said before the season he had more linemen than any other year in his career. Maybe it wasn’t coach-talk. Maybe he was right?

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8. Has anyone sent a player sprinting so he’s at full speed coming off the edge to block a field goal like the Patriots did with Brenden Schooler in the third quarter? A tip of the cap to a new, schematic idea. Of course, it’s also time to wonder if the Dolphins’ special teams are going to be a problem again this year. In the opener, it was a missed extra point that set the win on a platter for the Chargers to take (they didn’t).

On Sunday, it was Schooler’s inventive sprint to block a third-quarter field goal that would’ve made it 20-3. Instead, the Patriots had the ball at the Dolphins 49. Special teams, again. But the Dolphins saved the day again as that Patriots possession ended with Howard’s interception.

9. Quick hits:

* Couldn’t NBC have given everyone a view of Patriots owner Robert Kraft & Son in their stadium suite in the fourth quarter just as the networks always showed when in their championship years?

* The Jets will challenge for the top pick in the draft, which would get them the franchise quarterback they thought they had.

* Josh Allen was the good Josh Allen on Sunday, the one he wasn’t against the Jets in the Bills opener and the one that makes Buffalo a contender. It wasn’t so much his stats (31-37, 274 yards, three TDs) as the fact he didn’t try to force the game. Yeah, and he only ran three times (for 7 yards).

* A little ha-ha by the Patriots in passing to former Gesicki (five yards ) and Devante Parker (four yards) on the game-opening plays.

10. Next week: Broncos at Dolphins. This is the home opener for the Dolphins and they’ll be favored as much as they might be all year. Denver is 0-2 after losses to Las Vegas (17-16) in the opener and to Washington (35-33) on Sunday. Considering neither of those opponents are contending for anything this year, it’s fair to say neither is Sean Payton in his first year in Denver.

Dolphins hold off Patriots in balanced road win to start 2-0

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:26

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It didn’t take every one of 466 yards passing, like the opener.

But it was quarterback Tua Tagovailoa taking what the defense gave him. It was the run game providing balance. And it was the Miami Dolphins defense rebounding from its unsettling Week 1 performance the unit wasn’t proud of and making the final stop.

The Dolphins went into Gillette Stadium Sunday night and took down the New England Patriots, 24-17, in a game where they mostly outplayed the Patriots but missed several opportunities to put them away.

“I told the guys in the locker room that they’re going to feel like it didn’t need to be a nail-biter,” coach Mike McDaniel said. “And that happens a ton. You’re fortunate to get the win in that learning process of how to make sure that that’s not the case.

“But overall, on the road, prime time, division opponent, those are very, very valuable games to be able to come up with a win.”

Miami starts the season 2-0, and it’s not just any 2-0. It’s against two teams that many expect to be in the playoff mix at the end of the season — and both of the victories came on the road. The Dolphins start a season with two road wins for the first time since 2013.

They have now won five of their past six in the AFC East rivalry with the Patriots. Tagovailoa is 5-0 in his career against New England and 4-0 versus his former backup at Alabama, Mac Jones.

Tagovailoa went 21 of 30 for 249 yards, a touchdown and an interception against a New England defense that was playing off coverage, often with three safeties, to limit the deep passing game.

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“They’re not going to give up too many explosives,” Tagovailoa said. “They really want you to work for yardage. And it’s definitely a take-what-they-give-you kind of defense. And they play sound football. So they’re trying to force you to make mistakes.”

Running back Raheem Mostert went for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his staple game plan to limit an opponents’ best playmaker, held Tyreek Hill to five receptions for 40 yards with a touchdown. That was without cornerback Jonathan Jones and with fellow corner Marcus Jones going down during the game. Jaylen Waddle had four receptions for 86 yards before he exited late after a helmet-to-helmet hit from New England linebacker Marte Mapu.

“It was a unique game plan that I think guys did a pretty solid job of adjusting to the weird spots the guys were in,” McDaniel said. “And then, I was happy with a lot of the stuff that Tua did.”

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Mac Jones finished 31 of 42 for 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Miami run defense, which was rolled over for 234 yards on the ground in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, held New England to 88 rushing yards. Rhamondre Stevenson was contained to 50 yards on 15 attempts.

And the Dolphins picked up four sacks from different players: Christian Wilkins, Bradley Chubb, David Long and Andrew Van Ginkel, who started in place of the injured Jaelan Phillips.

“We have dogs all across the board,” said Long, who bounced back from a lackluster Week 1, as did Chubb. “Once we start gelling together, and playing as one, it’s going to be scary out there. I think you got a glimpse of it.”

Former Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, now with the Patriots, made a catch on the final fourth down. In cornerback Justin Bethel’s grasp, he lateraled to lineman Cole Strange. Strange made an effort for the first down marker and was initially called to have reached the line to gain on the field before the play was overturned upon review.

“It kind of reminded me of the Rob(ert) Hunt play a couple years back,” said Van Ginkel, who was in on the stop with safety Jevon Holland. “It was a great play to get the stop and won the game off that.”

With the Dolphins ahead, 17-10, Mostert reeled off a 43-yard scamper through the middle on an inside-zone play for his second touchdown on the opening play of a possession to extend Miami’s advantage back to two scores, 24-10, with 8:45 remaining.

“One-hundred yards is hard to come by, especially in a passing league,” Mostert said. “When you’re able to get 100 yards and do your due diligence, that means that everything was going on all cylinders, you were running the ball very well.

The Patriots swiftly responded. Jones led them 75 yards in nine plays, and Stevenson punched in a 2-yard touchdown with 5:25 to play. New England was back within a score, 24-17.

Then, Miami missed out on points on the ensuing drive. A fumbled under-center snap between center Connor Williams and Tagovailoa led to a failed third-and-1. Jason Sanders’ 55-yard field goal, after having one blocked earlier, missed wide left.

Tagovailoa pulled off a two-minute drive before halftime where he was 7 of 7 for 69 yards and a 2-yard touchdown to Hill on a short out from the slot. It gave Miami a 17-3 lead at the half. A smooth touch throw to Braxton Berrios down the sideline got Miami to the 2-yard line before Hill’s score.

As the Patriots looked to respond, they picked up momentum from a blocked field goal in the third quarter. They were then driving deep into Miami territory, but cornerback Xavien Howard ended the threat with an interception of Jones in single coverage against former Dolphin DeVante Parker. Howard shielded Parker from the ball with inside positioning and still had to toe-tap the sideline.

“They’re going to keep coming,” Howard said, “but we made the special plays that needed to make and we got the job done.”

New England did score on its next drive, however, as Jones threw on the run to tight end Hunter Henry for a 6-yard touchdown. It brought the Patriots within a touchdown, 17-10, with 11:21 remaining.

Not taking many deep shots the way the Patriots were defending the Miami passing game, Tagovailoa decided to throw one to Hill, but rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez was there, leaping for an interception at its highest point.

“I think that forced throw to Tyreek in the second half is something that he was trying to win the game after a couple frustrating drives,” McDaniel said. “And that’s something you have to learn from.”

The Dolphins again got a stop, spearheaded by a Van Ginkel sack that backed up New England inside its 5-yard line.

The Dolphins opened up a 10-0 lead in the second quarter with Mostert’s 8-yard touchdown run to the pylon. A screen to Waddle on second-and-19 that went for 28 yards behind blocks by Hunt, right tackle Austin Jackson and Williams highlighted the drive.

The Dolphins, after forcing the Patriots to punt on the opening drive Sunday, scored first with a 13-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 23-yard field goal from Sanders. Tagovailoa started by completing his first five passes until he stumbled on a dropback and throw off a low snap from Williams.

Miami got another defensive stop on the following series, and that time with their first takeaway of the young season. Chubb forced a fumble, punching the ball out of receiver Demario Douglas’ grasp, and safety DeShon Elliott was present for the recovery.

After scoring on their first two drives, the Dolphins went three and out on their third series. The Patriots took advantage of the field position but were held to 3 points as Elliott broke up a pass to Parker while Eli Apple nearly came up with a diving interception off the ricochet. Rookie New England kicker Chad Ryland made his first NFL field goal attempt, a 49-yarder that cut the Dolphins lead to 10-3 with under 2 minutes in the first half.

In the second half, the Patriots made a patented special teams play when Brenden Schooler shot through off the edge to block a field goal. Wilkins, who had his sack later, didn’t pick him up as Schooler got a running lateral start from the outside. Wilkins then saved a touchdown with the tackle to follow.

“It was a really cool schematic adjustment by the Patriots,” McDaniel said. “Hats off to them.”

After Tagovailoa wasn’t sacked in last week’s opener, he was only sacked once Sunday. Miami played both games without Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead as Kenall Lamm replaced him.

Miami has its home opener next week, hosting the Denver Broncos.

Instant Analysis: Miami Dolphins 24, New England Patriots 17

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:25

Quick thoughts from South Florida Sun Sentinel staffers on the Miami Dolphins’ win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Sunday night in Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Dave Hyde, Sports Columnist

It started out like a walk in the park and turned into a walk through a minefield. But a second win on the road, going coast to coast, says the Dolphins have started their year in a big way. And that other AFC East team? All you need to know is New England hadn’t started 0-2 since 2001.

Chris Perkins, Dolphins Columnist

The Dolphins had to hang on in the end but they won an AFC East road game and ran their record to 2-0, staying in control in the division. Nice job running the ball, and nice job making plays in the fourth quarter.

David Furones, Dolphins Writer

Exciting finish. It’s always tough on the road in the division. Tua Tagovailoa took what the defense gave him. The run game was huge. And the defense showed up for most of the night — not just the final stand.

Keven Lerner, Assistant Sports Editor

It got a little bit ragged at the end before Raheem Mostert’s second touchdown, but who cares when you come back home 2-0 with a couple of road wins. The buzz is palpable.

Steve Svekis, Sports Senior Content Editor

Doesn’t matter what sort of talent the Patriots have, any win against Bill Belichick in Massachusetts is a great win. Now, Miami is 2-0 with only five more road games in the next 15 contests of this season (with nine at home and one against the Chiefs on a neutral field in Germany). If Tua plays at least 16 games, a playoff bye week is seriously in play.

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General Daily Insight for September 18, 2023

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 18:03
General Daily Insight for September 18, 2023

There is a methodical rhyme and reason to this day. The Moon enters Scorpio at 12:58 am EDT for the next two days, encouraging us to read between the lines and think carefully before coming to any conclusions. While here, Luna forms a harmonious trine to masterful Saturn in Pisces, ensuring we’re connected to our work. Plus, a supportive lunar sextile to Mercury should make it easy for us to articulate whatever is on our minds. Progress can be achieved without stress.


March 21 – April 19

This is no time for doing things halfway. The Moon is marching into your 8th House of Shared Resources, demanding that you take matters seriously and leave screwing around for another time. While this may not sound fun, it should be incredibly useful for tackling any big issues you’ve been avoiding. If anything is hissing for your attention, do your due diligence and work on wrapping it up. You’ve got all the resolve you need to knock it out of the park.


April 20 – May 20

You may feel the need to defend your current position. There is an emphasis on balance as the Moon enters your fair-minded 7th house, focusing its cosmic attention on the central partnerships in your life. While it’s important to treat others fairly, it’s also important that they treat you fairly! If someone has been getting away with doing less than their share, then it’s your turn to let them know where they’re dropping the ball. You have every right to be honest about your needs.


May 21 – June 20

You can run with the best of them on a day like this. The Moon is moving into your 6th House of Routine, organizing your approach to everything on your plate with an efficiency that is sure to impress. Avoid stressing about huge projects. Instead, remember that life is made up of lots of little parts, and that you will succeed best when all those small pieces are in sync with one another. Get yourself in sync and you’ll go far.


June 21 – July 22

Turn up the music, Cancer, and get ready to dance! You’ve got cosmic clearance to enjoy yourself as the Moon shimmies into your 5th House of Pleasure, giving you the day off from more serious projects if possible. When you have a chance, do something that brings a smile to your face or nurtures your inner child, because every once in a while you need to shake off all the heaviness of the world. Finding joy can be a radical act.


July 23 – August 22

It’s a good day to return to your roots. The Moon is entering your 4th House of Introversion, so you may not be terribly interested in the outer world at the moment. Plus, your interior life could probably use a little attention! Make it a point to check in with yourself and your emotional needs, because if those are out of sorts, the rest of your life can start to crack and quake. Nurture your nature, and you should see brilliant results everywhere.


August 23 – September 22

You’ll need to work a bit harder to keep your eye on the ball than typical. The skies are pulsating with frenetic energy as the Moon enters your 3rd House of Local Community, so you might find yourself all over the place, up and down and around like a bouncy ball. It’s fine to get caught up in something, but you’ll have to display some responsibility and accountability if you want to actually accomplish anything. Otherwise, today could pass you by in one big blur!


September 23 – October 22

The stars are crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s. As the Moon moves into your money-minded 2nd house, this is an ideal point to go over your financial situation and make sure that everything is on the up-and-up. You may find a few hidden charges you didn’t know were going through, and can potentially save yourself a pretty penny by canceling them or removing some other subscriptions you no longer need. A little efficiency now can pay dividends down the line.


October 23 – November 21

Everything is coming back to you today, Scorpio. The Moon is arriving in your sign for a monthly check-in, helping you clear out the clutter and block out any noise. You’re capable of honing in on whatever it is that YOU want. If you’ve let your passions lose steam, do whatever you need to get them cooking again! You shouldn’t deny yourself the things that make you happy. Don’t think of it as being selfish, because it isn’t. You deserve to be fulfilled.


November 22 – December 21

You can temporarily bow out from reality if you so choose. There is an emphasis on letting bygones be bygones as the Moon settles down in your sleepy 12th house, so you potentially won’t be interested in big issues or making waves. It’s okay if you’re more inclined to turn on Do Not Disturb and do your own thing on your own time. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself! You deserve a chance to refill your tank and refresh your soul.


December 22 – January 19

Your phone may start ringing off the hook at any moment, Capricorn! The Moon is sashaying into your 11th House of Social Networks, so it’s the perfect time to check in with people near and far. Whether you’re playing your part in an organized group or just circulating from one friend to the next, you’ll find the most satisfaction when you don’t take things on by yourself. Remember that we’re all connected, and there is so much to be gained from that connection.


January 20 – February 18

The higher you aim, the further you can go! Your ambitions are highlighted as the Moon enters your 10th House of Professional Goals, helping you narrow in on what you want to achieve and how you’re going to go about making it happen. If you’re a little unclear on what your goals are, then use this moment to get back in touch with what drives you and what you want to manifest in the future. Gaining clarity will boost your success in all your endeavors.


February 19 – March 20

It isn’t a good idea to limit yourself at this time, Pisces. The Moon is flying into your explorative 9th house, sending a breath of fresh air your way to inspire your journey into the unknown. Perhaps you sometimes see the world as more daunting than uplifting — try to view that fear as a simple manifestation of what you do not know. If you confront the unknown instead of cowering from it, you could find more excitement and satisfaction than you’d have ever imagined.

Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner removed from Rock Hall leadership after controversial comments

Sun, 09/17/2023 - 16:58

By MARK KENNEDY (AP Entertainment Writer)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jann Wenner, who co-founded Rolling Stone magazine and also was a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been removed from the hall’s board of directors after making disparaging comments toward Black and female musicians. He apologized within hours.

“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation,” the hall said Saturday, a day after Wenner’s comments were published in a New York Times interview.

Wenner created a firestorm doing publicity for his new book “The Masters,” which features interviews with musicians Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend and U2’s Bono — all white and male.

Asked why he didn’t interview women or Black musicians, Wenner responded: “It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest. You know, Joni (Mitchell) was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test,” he told the Times.

“Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level,” Wenner said.

Late Saturday, Wenner apologized through his publisher, Little, Brown and Company, saying: “In my interview with The New York Times I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius and impact of Black and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks.”

He added: “I totally understand the inflammatory nature and badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”

Wenner co-founded Rolling Stone in 1967 and served as its editor or editorial director until 2019. He also co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was launched in 1987.

In the interview, Wenner seemed to acknowledge he would face a backlash. “Just for public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism.”

Last year, Rolling Stone magazine published its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and ranked Gaye’s “What’s Going On” No. 1, “Blue” by Mitchell at No. 3, Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” at No. 4, “Purple Rain” by Prince and the Revolution at No. 8 and Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” at No. 10.

Rolling Stone’s niche in magazines was an outgrowth of Wenner’s outsized interests, a mixture of authoritative music and cultural coverage with tough investigative reporting.


Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Clemson breezes by visiting FAU as Klubnik has hand in four touchdowns

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 21:19

CLEMSON, S.C. — Cade Klubnik threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth as Clemson played its most complete game of the season in a 48-14 victory over Florida Atlantic on Saturday night.

Klubnik passed for 169 yards including touchdowns of 30 and 2 yards to freshman receiver Tyler Brown.

The defense for the Tigers (2-1) was just as strong, cornerback Nate Wiggins with a pick-6 TD return of 46 yards on the Owls’ opening series.

Clemson never let up after that and held the Owls scoreless until Michael Johnson Jr.’s 2-yard TD run with 12:07 left in the game.

Most welcome for Clemson was Klubnik’s steady, mistake-free performance. He had two turnovers in each of the first two games, and his fumble in an opening week, 28-7 loss at Duke, was among several miscues in the defeat.

The showing against Florida Atlantic (1-2) came at the right moment with Clemson seeking momentum to carry into its showdown here next week with No. 3 Florida State.

The Owls, in their first season in the American Athletic Conference, showed some fire before the game, gathering at midfield on Death Valley’s paw logo to the boos of the crowd.

The swagger ended at kickoff. Four plays in, Clemson’s Wiggins broke in front of quarterback Casey Thompson’s pass downfield and zig-zagged his way to the end zone.

Klubnik went 5 of 5 on the Tigers’ first possession, the last a commanding throw to Brown for a 30-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead.

Thompson’s second interception of the opening period led to Klubnik’s second scoring pass, 7 yards to tight end Jake Briningstool.

Klubnik, who ran for 35 yards, bulled into the end zone for a final first-half touchdown from a yard out and a 34-0 lead.

Thompson, the Nebraska transfer who’s started all three games for the Owls, took a hard, high hit in the second quarter and spent several minutes on the turf surrounded by trainers. He eventually got to his feet and walked, albeit unsteadily and with plenty of help, to the sidelines. Thompson, who came out in street clothes for the second half, did not return to play.

LaJohntay Wester had game highs of 12 catches and 108 yards receiving for Florida Atlantic.


Florida Atlantic: The Owls were out of this one quickly. They ran for just 83 yards, made just two of their first 14 third downs and had four turnovers. At least Florida Atlantic took away a $1.2 million guarantee for its first trip to Clemson since 2006.

Clemson: The Tigers opportunity, perhaps its last one, to get back in the ACC and national title discussion comes next week against the Seminoles. As crisp as Clemson looked against Florida Atlantic, it will have to up its game even more against dynamic Florida State.


Florida Atlantic continues its Power Five excursion, playing at Illinois of the Big Ten Conference on Saturday.

Clemson has an ACC showdown at home against No. 3 Florida State on Saturday.

After Gators beat Vols, can we please stop with the Napier nonsense? | Commentary

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 20:36

Can we please stop with the ridiculous rhetoric now?

Can we please stop all of this nonsensical talk about how Billy Napier is going to be fired after this season?

Will the lunatic fringe of Florida Gators fans now please quit ripping Napier on social media and saying he’s not up to the challenge of coaching in the SEC?

Will those in the national media — people who are supposed to be responsible and credible — quit speculating on Napier’s job security after only one season at UF?

All of you, go up to the blackboard and write it 100 times:

Billy Napier is not getting fired.

Billy Napier is not getting fired.

Billy Napier is not getting fired …

Napier and his Florida Gators not only beat the 11th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers 29-16 on Saturday night; the game was never really in doubt.  And now, hopefully, the nattering nabobs of Napier negativity will be muzzled for good.

First of all, Napier wasn’t going to get fired this season even if he’d lost the game Saturday night, but now maybe the clanging cymbals on social media will finally shut up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Gators and their administration are going to give Napier an adequate amount of time to rebuild the program. And by an adequate amount of time, I mean more than one season and three games.

But if you listened to some of those in the national media and the many more on social media, you would have thought Saturday was a make-or-break game for Napier’s future. No doubt, it was a big win for the Gators and Napier, who was 1-6 against ranked teams heading into Saturday night and 0-4 last year in UF’s rivalry games (Tennessee, Georgia, LSU and FSU.), but it wasn’t  a must win.

But in the days leading up to the game, all we kept hearing was how Napier needed to win this game to perhaps save his job. Is this where we’re at now in college football — a college football coach who takes over a program mostly bereft of talent is placed on some sort of make-believe hot seat after one 6-7 season?

Even ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, who I consider the most influential media voice in college football, began writing Napier’s coaching epitaph earlier this week when he floated the rumor that Deion Sanders of Colorado could end up at Florida after this season.

“You’ve got a brand new president [at UF] in former Sen. Ben Sasse who is a forward-thinking guy who would look at Deion and go, ‘I like this.’ I think he could consider this the ticket,” Finebaum said on a podcast hosted by prominent national college football writers Bruce Feldman and Stuart Mandel. “It is considered as one of the premier public universities in the country. They just finished No. 1 in a [Wall Street Journal] poll and I think Deion fits their makeup very well.

“The fact that he played at Florida State makes it even more intriguing and more enticing for Deion. How can you not be attracted by that fertile recruiting ground down there?”

Really, Paul?


Personally, I always thought this Napier’s-on-the-hotseat talk was absurd and he will  end up being a great coach at Florida if the fans and media just give him a chance to do his job.

And maybe now they will.

That’s why the victory wasn’t just a victory for Napier and the Gators; it was a victory for prudence and common sense.

“How sweet it is,” Napier said as he walked into his postgame news conference. “You want to see your people experience some success and see the fruits of their labor, and I’m not just talking about the players. I’m talking about the adults. It validates your plan. It validates what you’re selling.”

Napier no doubt heard all of the negative overreaction to Florida’s 24-11 road loss to 12th-ranked Utah in the season opener. Granted, the Gators didn’t play well and made a ton of mistakes, but they lost on the road to the two-time defending Pac-12 champions who haven’t lost a home game in more than two years.

After the Utah loss, the offensive line was called terrible, the running game was called terrible, quarterback Graham Mertz was called not ready for primetime and there were screams for Napier to give up play-calling duties, hire a special teams coach, show more emotion on the sideline, blah, blah, blah

Do all of those Napier critics out there still think he needs to hire an offensive coordinator? No, it wasn’t an offensive fireworks show Saturday night, but I consider Tennessee’s Josh Heupel to be the best offensive mind in college football and Napier’s offense outgained Heupel’s 281-182 in the first half before the Gators went conservative in the second half. If you’re scoring at home, Heupel’s teams never scored less than 17 points during his three seasons at UCF.

Does anybody still think the offensive line is terrible and the Gators can’t run the ball? Running back Trevor Etienne rushed for 172 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown.

Does anybody still think Mertz is just some rum-bum, run-of-the-mill transfer from Wisconsin. Mertz was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school and played like it Saturday when he efficiently completed 19 of 24 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. He also deked a defender on a key third-down play and ran for a touchdown as well.

Does anybody still think the Swamp has lost its magic and mystique? The 12th-largest crowd in school history (90,751) was at its rocking, roaring, loudest, proudest best on Saturday night, consistently disrupting and distracting Tennessee’s offense and sending the Vols home with yet another loss at a stadium they haven’t won at in 20 years.

It was a good night to be a Florida Gator.

It was a good night to be Billy Napier.

Can we please stop with the ridiculous rhetoric now?

Email me at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com. Hit me up on X (formerly Twitter) @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and HD 101.1-2

Florida earns significant SEC-opening win against Tennessee

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 19:30

GAINESVILLE — Quarterback Graham Mertz could not miss, Trevor Etienne could not be contained and Tennessee’s high-powered offense could not contend with an inspired, sold-out Swamp.

Together, it added up to an insurmountable lead, an eventual 29-16 Gators triumph over the No. 11 Vols and a long-awaited SEC signature win for embattled coach Billy Napier.

“It rewards the fruits of your labor,” Napier said. “It validates your plan.”

Coach Josh Heupel’s Vols rallied but could not overcome mistakes and missed opportunities. An offsides penalty by defensive tackle Kurott Garland with UF facing fourth-and-1 from its 34-yard line extended the Gators’ drive and allowed them to chew up valuable time, leaving the Vols just 3:49 when they got the ball back down 13 points.

Quarterback Joe Milton’s incompletion on fourth-and-10 from UF’s 25 with 2:31 remaining ended any comeback bid.

“The times we needed to execute, the guys executed,” Mertz said.

Florida tailback Trevor Etienne recorded his third 100-yard game as the Gators beat No. 11 Tennessee at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Florida (2-1, 1-0 SEC) entered the conference opener as 5.5-point underdogs and losers of four straight games to Power 5 foes. A missed field goal to cap a strong opening drive followed by a quick Vols touchdown sent a wave of uneasiness through Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

A 62-yard touchdown run by Etienne quickly supercharged an announced crowd of 90,751. Even a missed extra point did not slow the Gators’ momentum from there. The sophomore finished with a career-high 172 yards on 23 carries.

“Trevor was on fire tonight,” Napier said. “The instincts. The vision.” 

Etienne’s explosiveness, Mertz’s pinpoint accuracy and composure and a swarming defense riding the crowd’s energy overwhelmed the Vols (2-1, 0-1).

Florida ended the first half leading 26-7, with a 281-122 edge in yardage and having run 42 plays to 22 for a Tennessee offense known for a high snap count. 

“We played really good complementary football tonight,” Napier said. “The plan worked.”

Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall reaches out for a pass in the end zone behind Tennessee defender Gabe Jeudy-Lally. Pearsall could not reach the ball but the Gators would score later in the drive Saturday. (Chris Hays/Orlando Sentinel)

UF also converted 7 of 8 third-down tries after entering 6 of 19 for an SEC low 31.58% rate. On one, Mertz ran toward a defender, pump-faked to freeze him and picked up enough yards.

“Some of those third downs were epic,” Napier said. “We stayed on schedule.”

While Mertz and the Gators made all the right moves, a full-throated performance by the Swamp rattled Milton, 23 and in his sixth season, and knocked the Vols off schedule. 

“They were a factor,” Napier said of the crowd.

FLorida running back Montrell Johnson highsteps into the end zone to score a touchdown in the second quarter Saturday night. (Chris Hays/Orlando Sentinel)

Trailing 12-6 after a 4-yard touchdown run by Florida’s Montrell Johnson Jr., Tennessee opened its third drive with a false-start penalty, one of five on a night when the Vols committed 10 penalties for 79 yards. Milton followed a 3-yard completion with an ill-advised throw down field intercepted by sophomore Devin Moore and returned 39 yards to the Vols’ 9.

“Hats off to and give credit to Florida,” Heupel said. “They did a good job, but we got to be a lot better. We need to be cleaner.”

Three plays later, Mertz scored on a 1-yard keeper. Florida answered Tennessee’s three-and-out possession with their fourth touchdown, an 18-yard completion from Mertz to Johnson.

“We’re playing complete offensive football,” Mertz said.

But the Gators stalled in the second half to give the Vols chances to rally. Heupel’s squad, though, could not capitalize.

“This group can get better,” Napier said. “That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Edgar Thompson can be reached at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com

UCF readies for Big 12 play by rolling over Villanova in QB Timmy McClain’s debut

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 18:52

It’s been nearly two years since quarterback Timmy McClain last started a game, so forgive the 21-year-old if there was a bit of rust to his game.

His last start came against UCF when the Sanford Seminole High product played for rival USF and he nearly led the Bulls to an upset win.

McClain was back at FBC Mortgage Stadium on Saturday night, but this time with the Knights after transferring last year. He was thrust into the starting job after John Rhys Plumlee suffered a leg injury in the team’s win at Boise State last week.

This time, he was on the winning end as UCF jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead before cruising to a 48-14 win against Villanova.

“He hadn’t played in two years and in fairness to him, that’s hard to do,” said UCF coach Gus Malzahn. “He settled down after a short period of time and really handled the offense very well.”

UCF linebacker Walter Yates III sprints down field after intercepting a pass by Villanova on Saturday night. (Willie J. Allen Jr./Orlando Sentinel)

It was a slow start for McClain, who was 6 of 11 (55%) before completing four straight passes, including a 25-yard fade to Javon Baker for his first touchdown pass as a Knight with 5:10 left in the first half. But McClain would heat up, going 14 of 17 for the remainder of the game, finishing with 321 passing yards and a 191.3 passer rating.

“I did have a little bit of butterflies,” said McClain. “But the game started to slow down and I started to get more comfortable and started to get back to my rhythm, myself and who I am and what I do.”

Said Malzahn: “He just needs to get out there and he’ll get better and better. In each game, the moments were not too big for him. That’s the biggest thing with a quarterback. He wasn’t nervous and he was excited to play.”

True freshman Dylan Rizk entered the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Tailback Jordan McDonald scored on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, resulting from direct snaps in the Wildcat formation.

But it was far from being a clean performance for UCF, which committed seven penalties in the first half, including two blocks in the back that nullified a 92-yard punt return by Xavier Townsend and a 73-yard touchdown pass from McClain to Kobe Hudson.

The defense held Villanova to 38 yards in the first half, including 1-yard passing. The unit also had two sacks and an interception.

“We just didn’t let up,” said defensive end Josh Celiscar. “It was like we were having fun, doing what we normally do. We went out there are were relentless, ran to the football, were physical and upholding the standard.”

Celiscar, who was tied for the team lead with six tackles, switched to the tackle spot in the absence of Ricky Barber. The redshirt senior missed Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury as did defensive back DeJordan Mask.

Wildcats quarterback Connor Watkins scored on a 3-yard run at the start of the fourth quarter to deny UCF a shutout.

UCF (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) wrapped up its nonconference schedule, improving to 3-0 for the first time since 2019. The Knights enter Big 12 play next Saturday when they travel to Kansas State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12), which lost to Missouri on a walk-off 61-yard field goal as time expired Saturday.

Injured quarterback John Rhys Plumlee watches his teammates warm up before kickoff Saturday night vs. Villanova at FBC Mortgage Stadium. (Willie J. Allen Jr./Orlando Sentinel)

“What you do is you put the season in segments,” said Malzahn. “That was the nonconference and we took care of it by going 3-0 and I feel like we got better. There were some really good things that happened tonight. Now it’s on to the conference play and that’s when everything turns up. Our guys understand that we’re going to the defending [Big 12] champs on their home turf and it’s another really tough place to play.”

Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.

General Daily Insight for September 17, 2023

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 17:50
General Daily Insight for September 17, 2023

It’s an undeniably fabulous day. Luxurious Venus and expansive Jupiter are coming into a combustible square at 2:10 am EDT, so our desires to enjoy ourselves will be positively off the charts. Meanwhile, the Moon in fair-minded Libra will form a pair of back-to-back quincunxes to rebellious Uranus and mystical Neptune, so reality will be the last thing on our minds. It’s important to avoid going overboard, particularly once the Moon makes one last square to Pluto and turns up the intensity of nearly everything.


March 21 – April 19

It could be almost impossible to maintain a sense of responsibility right now. There is a potent square between pleasure-loving Venus in your exuberant 5th house and bountiful Jupiter in your luxurious 2nd house, which readies your bold soul to do as you please and leave reason behind for another time. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself, but there is a danger here of overdoing things — especially when it comes to spending. Don’t do something your future self will regret!


April 20 – May 20

Everything could seem larger than life at this time, but don’t worry — it’s to your advantage. Your sign’s ruler Venus is in your emotional 4th house, and is squaring excitable Jupiter, currently in your own sign. This may fill you with all the excitement of a kid in a candy store! This much opportunity is wonderful, but be wary of indulging yourself past sensibility. Suffering from a sugar high wouldn’t be fun, so pick your pleasures carefully and you should be just fine.


May 21 – June 20

Your immediate reality may look more like a fantasy world on a day like this. Venus is currently in your 3rd House of Local Community, stirring up lots of pleasurable activities in your immediate vicinity. Still, even the most energetic hobby may feel dreamier than usual when Venus squares Jupiter in your 12th House of the Subconscious. You can follow a yellow brick road wherever it might lead, but don’t do it blindly, or you risk losing sight of yourself in the process.


June 21 – July 22

You may have to be more decisive than usual when picking your pleasures today. There is a conflicting square between Venus in your income sector and Jupiter in your social sector, and while Venus wants you to treat yourself, Jupiter is driving you to treat other people. The main thing to remember is that your true friends shouldn’t expect you to pay for them or cover their share, but a little generosity doesn’t hurt anyone when you’re doing it for the right reasons.


July 23 – August 22

Try not to lay anything on too thick, Leo. You’ve got a special gloss as Venus tours your sign, but that might cause you to gild the lily when Venus squares enthusiastic Jupiter in your 10th House of Reputation. It’s fine to be indulgent here and there, as Venus can urge you to do, but that could rub other people the wrong way. If you want to treat yourself, don’t bother showing it off to others. Keep your pleasures private for the time being.


August 23 – September 22

Anything could seem possible on a day like this, but whether you actually do anything with that energy is another matter altogether. Venus in your subconscious sector is making a powerful square to Jupiter in your adventure sector, so you won’t be able to gauge reality as well as you normally do. You’re allowed to go off and do as you please, but watch out — that probably won’t produce the results you want. You can make an effort without expecting too much from yourself.


September 23 – October 22

The cosmos is in a giving mood, and is passing that generosity down to you. Venus in your social 11th house is encouraging you to nurture all the people in your life, so you may be feeling especially supportive. Still, as Venus fusses over Jupiter in your money-minded 8th house, you may offer more financial help than you should. Yes, it’s very nice to cover the bill for everyone, but don’t let your cash burn a hole in your pocket.


October 23 – November 21

Someone could have a positive impact on your ongoing ambitions. You’re primed to be at your best while Venus tours your reputation sector, adding an extra sheen to your public image. Venus also squares Jupiter in your partnership sector, possibly resulting in a specific figure being your number-one cheerleader. This could give you just the boost you need to cross the finish line, as long as they don’t dramatize things and leave you feeling a bit silly in the process.


November 22 – December 21

The world is full of possibilities, but you may have a few tasks to deal with before you can explore more exciting options. Luxurious Venus in your expansive 9th house is showing you all the opportunities available just beyond the horizon, but a square to Jupiter in your responsible 6th house might stir up some chores for you to check off first and foremost. Handle the work in front of you before spreading your wings and seeing what’s out there.


December 22 – January 19

Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t a matter of choice at the moment. You’re prone to keeping feelings to yourself while Venus tours your secretive 8th house, but that energy gets shaken up when Venus argues with enthusiastic Jupiter in your live-out-loud 5th house. It’ll be nigh impossible to keep your head on! Don’t be shocked if you feel a dissonance between these conflicting emotions — instead, look for a happy medium that works for you without leaving you feeling regret.


January 20 – February 18

Other people likely want the best for you. Venus in your relationship sector is bringing lots of support your way from important peers, and you may have a hard time not getting emotional over this support when Venus squares Jupiter in your 4th House of Feelings. Even if you don’t consider yourself a very sentimental person, you could release a flood of waterworks under this alignment — thankfully, it should be cathartic. Allow others to see what you often keep bottled up.


February 19 – March 20

Your day may be fun, but it probably won’t be very productive. You have the best intentions while Venus is in your efficient 6th house, but its square to enthusiastic Jupiter in your busy 3rd house could result in you bouncing all over the place without much progress to show for your efforts. You could certainly enjoy yourself, but when it comes to accomplishing anything, you’d be wise to avoid any grandiose expectations. Enjoy today, then get back to work tomorrow.

Atlanta United capitalizes on Messi’s absence to hand Inter Miami first loss since superstar’s signing

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 16:49

ATLANTA — Atlanta United took the lead with a three-goal spree late in the first half and beat Inter Miami, playing without star Lionel Messi, 5-2 on Saturday night.

Leo Campana scored two goals for Inter Miami, which also was without defender Jordi Alba. The story of the night, however, was the absence of Messi. Messi’s absence for the Major League Soccer match was a disappointment for a crowd of 71,635 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The five goals matched Atlanta’s second-highest total of the season. Atlanta beat Columbus 6-1 on March 25 and also scored five goals in a 5-1 win over Portland on March 18.

Brooks Lennon, who also had an assist, scored on the 41st minute to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead. Atlanta took a 4-2 advantage when Giorgos Giakoumakis scored on assists from Thiago Almada and Saba Lobzhanidze in the 76th minute. It was the Atlanta United-record 15th assist of the season for Almada.

Inter Miami fell to 11-1-1 since the July signing of the Argentine luminary.

Tyler Wolff’s late goal pushed the lead to three goals.

Atlanta United began the night in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Columbus.

Inter Miami on Messi missing games: ‘We will be careful with him’

Inter Miami star Lionel Messi did not dress for Saturday’s match at Atlanta United, the second match he missed this week.

Atlanta is among five MLS stadiums with artificial turf surfaces. Miami did not announce reasons that Messi and defender Jordi Alba did not dress, but Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank believes the FieldTurf was not the reason.

Blank referred to Messi’s statement after signing with Inter Miami that he wouldn’t avoid playing on FieldTurf.

“I think he made that decision. I don’t really have an opinion on that. I’d just repeat what he said in his press conference, that he has competed on artificial turf since he was a youngster and to some extent as a professional, Blank said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with his decision. I think he suffered some sort of injury, however minor it might be.”

Blank spoke at a news conference before the match to discuss details of Friday’s announcement that the U.S. Soccer Federation plans to build a national training center in Atlanta. The project is backed by a $50 million donation from Blank.

Blank said NFL research since 2021 showed injuries on FieldTurf and natural grass to be “about the same.” Falcons CEO Rich McKay, a member of the NFL competition committee who also attended the news conference, also said research showed injuries on FieldTurf and grass to be similarly common.

Messi’s absence for the Major League Soccer match was a disappointment for a crowd of 71,635 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Many fans wore pink Inter Miami shirts with Messi’s name on the back. Flozel Marriott, a native of Jamaica and Atlanta resident who previously lived in Miami, attended the game with his wife, daughters and nephew. All wore Messi jerseys, though he said he otherwise supports Atlanta United.

“I was an Argentina fan growing up and I’ve always been a fan of Messi,” Marriott said. “I’m an Atlanta fan as well, but today I’m here supporting Messi. I want my children to see a legend.”

Marriott was surprised to hear Messi would not attend the game.

“No, I did not know that,” Marriott said, looking at his family. “If he’s not, they’re going to be disappointed. That’s where we spent all the money, just to see him.”

Messi watched from the bench on Tuesday in Argentina’s World Cup qualifying win at Bolivia. Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni said Messi was not feeling well.

Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said Friday he will avoid overworking the 36-year-old Messi during a busy portion of the team’s schedule.

“We will be careful with him because we have a lot of important games in a short span,” said Martino, the former Atlanta coach.

Miami has matches at home against Toronto on Wednesday and at Orlando on Sept. 24.

“This is something that we knew would happen at some point,” Martino said, adding Messi needed time “to get used to our needs.”

Eighth-inning home run deluge for Marlins against Braves as Burger breaks tie and Chisholm blasts grand slam

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 16:39

MIAMI — Jake Burger hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Jazz Chisholm Jr. added a grand slam in the eighth inning as the Miami Marlins pulled away to beat the Atlanta Braves 11-5 on Saturday.

Luis Arraez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep for the Marlins, who became the first NL East team to win a series against the division champions. The Braves were 11-0-1 in their previous series against division opponents.

Matt Olson hit his major league-leading 52nd homer and overtook Andruw Jones as Atlanta’s single-season home run leader. Jones hit 51 in 2005.

Josh Bell drew a two-out walk against Braves reliever Kirby Yates (7-2) before Burger made it 7-5 with a drive over the wall in center for his 32nd homer and seventh since he joined Miami on Aug. 1.

Gurriel singled, and Jesús Sánchez and Garrett Hampson walked before Chisholm connected off Michael Tonkin for Miami’s first grand slam of the season.

Ozzie Albies hit his 30th homer and became the fifth Braves’ player to reach the total this season.

Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. didn’t play because of right calf tightness he experienced late in the series opener Friday. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Acuña felt better Saturday but with the club already having clinched the division, it wasn’t worth the risk playing him.

The Braves threatened in the eighth when they loaded the bases against reliever Andrew Nardi with two out. Tanner Scott (8-4) relieved and retired Orlando Arcia on a groundout to third.

Steven Okert followed Marlins starter Bryan Hoeing and allowed solo homers to Michael Harris II in the fifth and Olson in the sixth that tied it at 5. Hoeing completed 4 1/3 innings, retiring 13 of the final batters he faced. The right-hander allowed three runs, four hits and struck out two on 56 pitches.

Gurriel’s three-run blast and Arraez’s leadoff shot against Braves starter Jared Shuster in the first erased a 3-0 deficit.

Shuster gave up five runs and six hits over three innings.


With Acuña’s absence, Harris took over the leadoff spot in the lineup for the first time this season and second in his young career. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year has hit ninth in 86 games this season.


Marlins: OF Bryan De La Cruz (right ankle discomfort) did not play. He left after the third inning Friday. … RHP Huascar Brazoban (left hip impingement) threw a bullpen session Friday.


RHP Charlie Morton (14-11, 3.42) will start the series finale for the Braves Sunday against Marlins LHP Jesús Luzardo (9-9, 3.82).

Hurricanes pick up commitment from four-star forward Isaiah Johnson-Arigu

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 16:01

Jim Larrañaga added another blue-chip prospect to his 2024 recruiting class on Saturday.

Four-star small forward Isaiah Johnson-Arigu committed to Miami, announcing his decision on social media.

Johnson-Arigu is rated the No. 24 small forward and No. 100 player in the 2024 class by 247Sports’ composite rankings. He chose the Hurricanes over offers from Butler, Iowa and Nebraska, among others. He took an official visit to Miami earlier this month, according to 247Sports.

Johnson-Arigu, who is listed at 6-7 and 190 pounds, plays for Totino-Grace High in Fridley, Minnesota, outside of Minneapolis.

Johnson-Arigu is the second member of the Hurricanes’ 2024 class, joining guard Austin Swartz.

No. 3 Florida State survives late Boston College rally to win 31-29

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 15:18

BOSTON — After blowing most of a 21-point lead, No. 3 Florida State escaped with a 31-29 victory over Boston College on Saturday and left the field to derisive chants of “Overrated!”

The Seminoles won’t have a lofty ranking to mock if they keep this up.

“We dug our own hole,” running back Rodney Hill said after Florida State closed with three punts and a fumble, then managed to run out the clock only because BC committed its 18th penalty of the game — a face mask after a third-down stop that would have forced a punt.

“We got back out there and it was fine,” Hill said. “We sealed it.”

DJ Lundy intercepted a pass to set up his own 1-yard touchdown run as the Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored four unanswered touchdowns to make it 31-10 before surviving a late BC charge for their ninth straight victory.

Boston College (1-2, 0-1) set a school record for penalties, missed an extra point, went for 2 after another touchdown and failed, and opted not to kick a field goal from the Seminoles 5 when trailing by 15 points early in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles still trailed by only 2 points, with the ball, in the final three minutes before Kalen DeLoach sacked Thomas Castellanos on third down to stall BC’s last possession.

The Eagles stopped Lawrance Toafili on a third-and-7 and would have gotten the ball back with about a minute left, but they were called for face masking.

“Just self-inflicted wounds,” said BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos, who threw for 305 yards and one touchdown and ran for 95 and another score. “We’ve just got to clean it up. Can’t have it.”

Jordan Travis completed 16 of 24 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 38 yards for the Seminoles. FSU had its first close call of the season after winning its first two games by a combined 74 points.

Kye Robichaux scored from 1 yard out for BC to cut the deficit to 31-16 with a minute left in the third quarter, but Connor Lytton’s kick failed. BC recovered a squib kick and advanced to the FSU 5 before getting stopped on fourth down.

Khari Johnson recovered Toafili’s fumble and ran it in to pull the Eagles within nine points; BC went for 2 and failed, then stopped FSU for the third straight time — the Eagles did that only once in the entire first half. They drove to the 7 before Castellanos froze the defense with a stutter step and ran it in on a fourth-and-2 to make it 31-29.

But BC’s last possession stalled after Castellanos was sacked. The Seminoles needed a first down to kill the clock, and they got it on a face-mask penalty after Toafili was stopped three yards short of the markers.

“Our standard is for us to get better every time we take the field,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “That did not happen today.”


Firefighters battle mobile home fire after lightning strike in Davie

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 14:31

A mobile home caught on fire after a lightning strike in Davie Saturday afternoon, officials say, displacing four residents and a dog.

Crews responded to the fire in the 500 block of Southwest 131st Terrace around 4:30 p.m., Davie Fire Marshal Bob Taylor said, and had to attack the fire from the outside, extinguishing it after about 30 to 45 minutes.

The fire did significant damage to the trailer, and its four occupants, all adults, were displaced, he said, though no one was injured. The American Red Cross is providing shelter.

A lightning strike is believed to have started the fire, according to initial reports, Taylor said, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Jeremiah Smith scores twice as Chaminade-Madonna breezes by American Heritage 28-16

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 22:44

PLANTATION — Jeremiah Smith, an Ohio State commit, scored twice within a two-minute span as Chaminade-Madonna jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and held off host American Heritage in a battle of two nationally ranked teams at Heritage Stadium on Friday night.

The Lions, bidding for a third straight state state title, extended their regular-season win streak to 19 games, with their last loss in the regular season a 26-24 defeat to American Heritage on Sept. 3, 2021.

“This has been great,” said Smith, whose team has knocked off two nationally ranked out-of-state teams and two nationally ranked teams from South Florida to open the season. “We get to play good competition each and every week.”

The Lions travel to Traz Powell Stadium Thursday to take on No. 5 ranked Miami Central (2-1), winners of four straight state championships.

“We got so much to clean up after tonight,” said Chaminade-Madonna coach Dameon Jones. “(American Heritage) is a good football team. The thing is, and I tell them every week, that nobody stops us, but us….we didn’t take our foot off the gas, we shot ourselves in the foot.”

“We play a tough schedule, and it is good to play every week,” Jones added. “We got Miami Central next week, and we just have to show up like we did these last four games. We got to put it all together. They are a good, physical football team. We usually get cooking game six or seven every year. We are priming up right now.”

After being stymied on its first offensive series, Chaminade-Madonna capitalized on the game’s first turnover when Curtis Janvier returned an interception 49 yards for a score off a deflected pass from Patriots’ quarterback Dia Bell just two minutes into the contest.

The Lions, ranked No. 6 in the nation, extended their lead to 14-0 when quarterback Cedrick Bailey capped a six-play, 70-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring toss to Smith.

The Lions scored on their next possession when Bailey and Smith teamed up again, this time from 26 yards out to give Chaminade-Madonna a 21-0 lead with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter.

Smith, who had a 68-yard punt return earlier in the contest nullified by a penalty, padded his county-leading scoring total with his seventh touchdown of the year. He finished the night with four catches for 56 yards and two TDs.

American Heritage’s defense stiffened, and it led to their only score of the first half. The Patriots’ Xavier Thomas intercepted an underthrown pass by Bailey and returned it 23 yards to set up a 25-yard field goal by Gavin Harvey to trim the lead to 21-3 with 10:41 remaining in the first half.

American Heritage’s DeAndre Desinor returned the second half kickoff 50 yards to set up a 1-yard plunge by Byron Louis to slice the advantage to 21-10 with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter.

On the next series, Bailey escaped disaster when the Patriots defensive back dropped what could have been a pick-six.

Chaminade-Madonna muscled its way to a 17-play, 86-yard drive to get some breathing room at 28-10 as Davion Gause scored from 7 yards out with 8:44 left in the game.

The Patriots, ranked 15th in the country, answered quickly on their ensuing drive on a 1-yard run around left end by Desinor with 6:05 remaining to cut the lead the 28-16 as Bell’s 2-point conversion pass was incomplete. Lewis, who finished with a game-high 17 carries for 114 yards, had a 40-yard run to spark the drive.

American Heritage held the Lions on downs and got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining, however, Bell’s pass in the end zone with 1:42 to go in the game was intercepted by Gavin Shepard and the Lions ran out the clock.

Patriots coach Mike Smith said his young team is going through expected growing pains.

“This is a process that we are going to have to go through,” Smith said. “We have a group of young kids and kids starting for the first time. The first two (wins) were smooth, but there will be some ups and downs here and they have to learn from it. We kind of needed this tonight.”

“We gave them momentum early with the pick six, but we kept battling,” Smith said. “They are an explosive team, and you can’t get down 21-0 with them. We put ourselves in a hole and battled back, but it was too much. We got to learn from this and get better.”

Week 4 scores

Chaminade-Madonna 28, American Heritage 16

King’s Academy 39, John Carroll 13

Boca Raton Christian 27, Berean Christian 0

Westminster Academy 42, Somerset Key 14

Inlet Grove 41, Somerset Prep 6

Glades Day 61, Marco Island Academy 6

Cardinal Newman 35, Catholic Memorial (Massachusetts) 2

Camden County (Georgia) 51, Somerset Canyons 7

John Curtis Christian (Louisiana) 55, Santaluces 21

Valdosta (Georgia) 54, Deerfield Beach 0

Calvary Christian Academy 42, Clewiston 7


University School 14. St. Andrew’s 6

Palm Beach Central 33, Pahokee 27 (F/OT)

Cardinal Gibbons 38, Northeast (St. Petersburg) 16

Benjamin 49, Gulliver Prep 0

Spanish River 28, Park Vista 20

West Broward 23, Dwyer 3

North Broward Prep 45, Northeast 0

American Heritage-Delray 23, Pine Crest 14

West Boca Raton 42, Port S. Lucie 3

Hollywood Hills 22, Nova 6

Atlantic 44, Boca Raton 14

Palm Beach Gardens 35, Glades Central 0

Jensen Beach 28, Stoneman Douglas 0

St. Thomas Aquinas 48, Western 22

Jupiter 49, Suncoast 0

Coconut Creek 36, Plantation 6

Lake Worth 24, Olympic Heights 8

Wellington 16. Royal Palm Beach 15

Seminole Ridge 34, Palm Beach Lakes 0

Miramar 50, Flanagan 0


Monarch 32, Piper 6

Pembroke Pines Charter 21, Taravella 0

Dr. Joaquín García 28, John I. Leonard 6

South Broward def. Hallandale (forfeit)

Prosecutors seek narrow gag order on Trump in federal election case after ‘inflammatory’ comments

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 19:46

By ERIC TUCKER (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking an order that would prevent Donald Trump from making “inflammatory” and “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers and other people involved in the criminal case charging the former president with scheming to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team said in a motion filed Friday that such a “narrow, well-defined” order was necessary to preserve the integrity of the case and to avoid prejudicing potential jurors.

Prosecutors had foreshadowed for weeks their concerns about Trump’s verbal attacks, but Friday’s request marks the first time they have proposed formal action to rein in speech that they say risks tainting the case and causing court workers and witnesses to live in fear of being targeted. The motion lays out what prosecutors say is a pattern of “false and inflammatory” statements about the case as well as comments meant to intimidate or harass people he believes are potential witnesses against him.

“Since the grand jury returned an indictment in this case, the defendant has repeatedly and widely disseminated public statements attacking the citizens of the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses,” prosecutors wrote. “Through his statements, the defendant threatens to undermine the integrity of these proceedings and prejudice the jury pool.”

They said Trump’s rhetoric has already had an impact, noting how jurors in the trial of a man convicted of participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol recently sent a note conveying concern that he might have information about their identity.

If the order is granted, Trump would be forced to dramatically limit the type of comments he makes about the case even as he seeks to turn his criminal woes — the Washington prosecution is one of four that he currently faces — to his political advantage while running to reclaim the White House in 2024. Still, it was not immediately clear what sanctions Trump could face if he fails to curb his speech or how the judge, Tanya Chutkan, might enforce even a limited gag order.

Trump showed no signs of toning down his words, complaining about the motion on Truth Social shortly after it was filed and repeating his claim that the FBI and Justice Department had been “weaponized.” He repeated his familiar refrains that President Joe Biden was “crooked” and that Smith was “deranged.”

“They Leak, Lie, & Sue, & they won’t allow me to SPEAK,” Trump wrote.

Speaking to the Family Research Council in Washington later Friday night, said Smith “wants to take away my First Amendment rights.”

“They want to see if they can silence me. So the media, the fake news, will ask me a question. ‘I’m sorry, I won’t be able to answer that.’ How do you think we do in that election? So we’re gonna have a little bit of fun with that, I think,” Trump said.

Trump’s lawyers also oppose the request, prosecutors wrote in their motion, and a Trump spokesperson said in a statement: “This is nothing more than blatant election interference because President Trump is by far the leading candidate in this race. The American people — the voters — see right through this un-Constitutional charade and will send President Trump back to the White House.”

Beyond the narrow gag order, prosecutors also asked for an order that would prevent the Trump team from contacting District of Columbia residents to conduct polling, jury studies and focus groups without the judge’s permission.

The efforts to weaken faith in the court system, the prosecutors wrote, mirror his attacks on the 2020 election, which he falsely claimed that he had won.

“The defendant is now attempting to do the same thing in this criminal case — to undermine confidence in the criminal justice system and prejudice the jury pool through disparaging and inflammatory attacks on the citizens of this District, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses,” they wrote.

Among the statements cited by prosecutors in their motion is a post on his Truth Social platform days after the indictment in which Trump wrote, in all capital letters, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” He has also repeatedly alleged on social media that the case against him is “rigged” and that he cannot receive a fair trial.

And he has attacked in personal terms the prosecutors bringing the case — calling Smith “deranged” and his team “thugs” — as well as the Chutkan, the judge presiding over the case.

The issue surfaced last week with the disclosure by the Justice Department that it sought to file a motion related to “daily” public statements by Trump that it said it feared would taint the jury pool. Chutkan on Friday granted permission to prosecutors to file a redacted motion publicly, with names and identifying information of individuals who say they’ve been harassed as a result of Trump’s attacks blacked out.

Also Friday, Smith’s team pushed back against the Trump team request to have Chutkan recuse herself from the case. Defense lawyers had cited prior comments from Chutkan that they say cast doubt on her ability to be fair, but prosecutors responded that there was no valid basis for her to step aside.


Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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