The liver-destroying hepatitis B virus (HBV) kills nearly a million people each year. Now, a pair of new genetic studies suggests the pathogen has been with us at least since the dawn of civilization.Until now, the oldest evidence for HBV was a strain discovered in a 16th century Italian mummy. In the new work, a team led by geneticist Eske Willerslev of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom sequenced the whole genomes of 304 people found at archaeological sites throughout Eurasia, most dating to the Bronze and Iron ages (approximately 3500 B.C.E. through 500 B.C.E.). They quickly recognized the genetic signature of HBV in 12 individuals. The oldest sample, from a man, was about 4500 years old and found in an ancient grave in Osterhofen, Germany.The team then compared the DNA sequences of these ancient viruses with modern versions of HBV and used advanced mathematical modeling techniques to estimate how long it would take for these variations to arise given their prevalence in populations through time. The data revealed that the virus likely originated roughly between 13,600 B.C.E. and 9600 B.C.E., they report today in Nature.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Another study led by geneticist Johannes Krause at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, found traces of HBV in the dental pulp of three skeletons from Germany dating from 3200 B.C.E. to 5000 B.C.E. Considering the results of both studies, “[HBV] seems to have been pretty common in the past,” says Krause, whose team reported its work earlier this week in a paper published to the bioRxiv preprint server. That’s not necessarily a surprise, he says, but it points the way for future researchers to investigate other ancient diseases.One popular hypothesis, based on the fact that chimpanzees and gorillas have strains of HBV extremely similar to humans, has suggested the virus may have arisen in Africa, then jumped into humans through blood-to-blood contact during hunting or cutting their meat. From there, the virus could have proliferated into different strains as humans filtered out into Eurasia about 80,000 to 120,000 years ago.Willerslev’s team’s findings suggest an intriguing alternate possibility: that HBV may have arisen much more recently in humans living in Eurasia or even North America, then was transmitted to both humans and nonhuman primates in Africa, although the mechanism of such a transmission is murky. This timeline dovetails with the beginnings of human civilization, when larger populations and trade routes would have helped the disease spread and transform into novel strains.Krause, however, is skeptical about estimates of when the virus arose. HBV recombines genetic material from its host, so typical molecular dating techniques based on rates of genetic mutation don’t work, he says.Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who wasn’t involved in the research, agrees that these limitations make it difficult to speculate on the chronological origins of the virus given current data. “Saying anything about the timing of HBV’s origins is dicey at this point.”But regardless of HBV’s age, “These papers show really beautifully that you can find samples of pathogens in DNA that is thousands of years old,” he says. “This virus’s interaction with humans is a dynamic that has been playing out over millennia.” By Michael PriceMay. 9, 2018 , 1:00 PM Researchers found an individual infected with the hepatitis B virus in this 2000-year-old mass grave in Ömnögovi, Mongolia. Alexey A. Kovalev Liver-destroying virus may have been with us since the dawn of civilization
Fabio Liverani believes Lecce must be “carefree” in their approach if they are to spring a surprise against Juventus tomorrow. Juve are heavy favourites to beat Lecce, given they are at home and remain the dominant force in Serie A, but Liverani – who must serve a touchline ban on Saturday – is upbeat about his side’s chances. “I won’t be on the field but I’m not bitter about it, even I certainly won’t like not being there,” the Coach said at a Press conference. “I accept the ban that I received after the match against Milan, even if I don’t agree with it. “As for whether Juve will rotate, everyone looks at their own first. The Bianconeri have a squad that can manage any game because they have valid options in every position. “Above all, those who have played less could give something more. Whether Ronaldo is there or not doesn’t change anything. “We’ll certainly enter the field with that bit of carefreeness, which you need in games like these. “We’re only thinking about our guarantees and the collective because we know we can’t match them individually. “We mustn’t think about who we’ll be facing, only that we’ll continue on our way. The group can push us beyond this obstacle. My players can stick together even more when they face difficulties.” The Salentini have yet to win at home this season, so is the ex-Lazio midfielder concerned? “Points count, not where we get them: I don’t look at these things. “I have plenty of forward options and I’ll make my considerations.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
GANGAAJAL: In Prakash Jha’s film, Ajay Devgan dons the uniform and plays an honest officer who takes on the baddiesViolence reverberates through the grimy, paan-stained corridors of Mumbai’s Directorate of Technical Education. Its majestic Indo-Saracenic central hall doubling as a post office after working hours is littered with broken furniture,GANGAAJAL: In Prakash Jha’s film, Ajay Devgan dons the uniform and plays an honest officer who takes on the baddiesViolence reverberates through the grimy, paan-stained corridors of Mumbai’s Directorate of Technical Education. Its majestic Indo-Saracenic central hall doubling as a post office after working hours is littered with broken furniture because Akshay Kumar in police uniform is trading filmi punches with Ajay Devgan.A biff and a bang later, director Rajkumar Santoshi yells “cut”, ending the pantomime on the sets of one of Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters, Khakee. The days Santoshi spent as chief assistant director to Govind Nihalani, tramping through the city’s police stations to recreate the filthy rooms and the rough police speak in the classic Ardh Satya, have stood him in good stead. The star-spangled Khakee, he promises, will be Bollywood’s closest look at the men in the force. Amitabh Bachchan is the honest IPS officer, Devgan the bad guy, Akshay is crooked and comic, and Tusshar Kapoor is the rookie. Trouble is there are a dozen films waiting in the wings, each promising to do just that. Not all of them have Khakee’s stellar line-up, but they collectively have more than Rs 100 crore riding on their back and a range of actors – from the Union shipping minister to a superbrat – in dust brown fabric packing a pistol. From Sunny Deol who grew a beard to play a rustic Sikh constable dispatched to New York in Jo Bole So Nihal to Nana Patekar playing a hardened encounter specialist in the Ram Gopal Varma factory’s Ab Tak Chappan. The call of duty has attracted even bad boy Salman Khan who, sample this for sheer irony, marched straight to the sets in starched uniform after being jailed for nearly a fortnight for mowing down a pavement dweller. Producer Sunil Mehta hasn’t decided what to call the Rs 25 crore film-Satyameva Jayate or Garv- but swears it is “Salman’s best performance till date”. Actors, evidently, are in short supply for such heavy duty acting. advertisementSATYAMEVA JAYATE Or may be Garv. The Khan brothers Salman Khan (right) and Arbaaz Khan team up as policemenShool’s steely officer Manoj Bajpai reprises the role in two films-Pankuj Parashar’s Inteqam and Mehul Kumar’s Jaago, based on the true story of a rape in a Mumbai local train. Three Khakee stars are doing double-shifts as law enforcers in other films-Devgan has just played Gangaajal’s upright officer while Bachchan hops sets to play policeman in Dev, Santoshi’s one-time mentor Govind Nihalani’s film. Akshay Kumar, who plays a conscientious officer in the Madhur Bhandarkar-directed Aan, sits in crisp uniform amid Khakee’s chaos and confesses with the frankness of a child in a candy store, “I read both scripts at around the same time, both were exciting.” The film’s other hero, Union Minister for Shipping Shatrughan Sinha, had to seek prime ministerial approval, no less, to don greasepaint and khaki. But producer Firoz A. Nadiadwala believes his Weapon of Mass Distraction will be Paresh Rawal who sparked off laugh riots in Hera Pheri. His barbs as the bribe-taking constable are specially penned by Neeraj Vora. Bollywood, used to herd-mentality, is dumb founded by the khaki deluge. “This hasn’t happened in the industry before, but it is no trend,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra. “Santoshi, Varma and Nihalani are serious film-makers, not proposal makers.” Varma wanted to make a film on the encounter specialists in the Mumbai Police. “They get a strange sense of achievement in numbers,” he says, explaining his film’s title, Ab Tak Chappan. “But each statistic represents a dead criminal. It is macabre.” After the superlative Ardh Satya and Drohkaal comes Dev where Nihalani realises his “ambition to work with Bachchan”. He won’t call it the last of his police trilogy but a “story of two friends who happen to be policemen”. DEV: In his third police film, Govind Nihalani (centre) fulfils his dream of working with Amitabh Bachchan (left) and casts him opposite the peerless Om PuriAs an after thought, he says it may be “the Ardh Satya for the new millennium”. Anurag Kashyap, scriptwriter of Shool and Satya, who is to direct Black Friday, a police procedural film on the 1993 Bombay blasts, and Allwyn Kalicharan on a corrupt policeman, Anil Kapoor, in a dystopic Delhi of 2015, explains the police obsession: “It is a fascination for the cop- and crime-genre and people who have the power to do the unthinkable and change lives.”Mumbai policemen are a richly mined vein- encounter specialist sub-inspector Daya Nayak inspires characters in Aan, Ab Tak Chappan and Kagaar while Kay Kay plays Additional Commissioner Rakesh Maria in Black Friday. In these all-male films, women are adornments-recruited for oomph, as Lara Dutta is in Aan, or to play a suffering wife like Gracy Singh in Gangaajal. Unless, of course, it is a policewoman played by Sushmita Sen in Samay, a serial-killer flick. “She is the woman in control,” says director Robby Grewal. The khaki wave even promises to do the unthinkable-be authentic. Former police commissioner M.N. Singh, who had a hitlist of films that showed his department in poor light, had to eat his words when he mistook Akshay Kumar-sporting a close crop and in a uniform stitched by the Mumbai Police’s official tailor-for one of his men at the mahurat of Aan. Designer Anna Singh saw her home deluged with bales of brown fabric when she agreed to design uniforms, over a 1,000 of them, for Santoshi’s film. “He is a perfectionist and wanted all the policemen dressed in the same shade of khaki,” says Singh. Bachchan’s IPS uniform had to be aged by 10 years by washing it every day for two months. Onscreen, however, khaki is the newest hue.advertisement
Cricket rates have been jacked up for the Indian Premier League matches at home but ardent T20 fans may not mind it.This is peak summer in India and as the temperature rises, it is time for the intensity of cricket to also go up. After the first fortnight in the UAE went off well, one almost did not notice how the cricket caravan slipped into home training grounds.Enough has been written about the woes of defending champions Mumbai Indians but on Saturday they would have heaved a sigh of relief as they snapped the winning streak of Kings XI Punjab.It is hard to fathom what went wrong with the Mumbai team in the desert, but I have not been able to understand the logic of getting on board so many “expert advisors.”John Wright is the head coach, Jonty Rhodes the fielding coach, and in addition they have Anil Kumble, Robin Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and now Ricky Ponting. It’s nice to have a star support cast for a team which has no dearth of funds but what value they bring to the team we will know in coming weeks.The famous saying of too many cooks spoiling the broth may sound cliched but for Mumbai all the collective thinking was needed when they left the UAE. To have finally won their first match in front of a sea of blue in the stands at the Wankhede on Saturday was very important. Given the long drawn format of the tournament, no team can be written off, though Chennai Super Kings as usual have done extremely well under the guidance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. We all know how shrewd a captain Dhoni is and this season he has been well served by Ravindra Jadeja and Brendon McCullum in particular.advertisementThe same, however, cannot be said about the other Indians who are leading their respective franchises. Watching Gautam Gambhir struggle with the bat, it is clear his poor run has a lot to do with trying too hard. Any professional sportsperson has to enjoy whatever he does on the field. In Gambhir’s case, it does appear he is trying too much and it shows on his face. To have scored just 52 runs in six matches with a highest of 45 at a strike rate of 76.47 is a cause for worry.When Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned IPL champions in 2012, Gambhir was the superstar. He talked of how Kolkata was his home away from home and the Bengali community lapped it up with glee.If Gambhir has to connect again with the Kolkatans and turn the fortunes of his team around, he needs to be more relaxed. Where does that leave Gambhir’s Delhi Ranji teammate Virat Kohli? The rockstar of Indian cricket, who has done so well in the ODIs and the recent ICC World T20, is looking subdued in the IPL.Nobody is expecting him to slam a 100 in this format often but given the fluctuating fortunes of Royal Challengers Bangalore, fans would love to see Kohli changes gears fast. For sheer star value, the Bangalore side is loaded with heavyweights. With Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle for company, Kohli would do well to show his current run is just an aberration.It is unfair to expect he will score each time he steps out to bat though 105 runs in five matches this season with a highest of 49 seems meagre. Let’s take a look at Sunrisers Hyderabad. For a side which has a good bowling line-up with Dale Steyn looking impressive, skipper Shikhar Dhawan has not been inspirational at all.This is Dhawan’s first season as captain and whether it is that pressure or a poor run with the bat we will know soon. Till now, in five matches, Dhawan has scored 85 runs with the highest being 38. Surely for a side which needs to win more matches, it is very important Dhawan bounces back to form.And what about Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma? Consistency has never been his forte. There are days when he looks outstanding and there are patches when he just does not score in international cricket. The IPL is a demanding tournament and each player has to be firing on all cylinders. Rohit has scored 123 runs in six matches with a 50 to boot. His 39 on Saturday was valuable and he would have realised how important it is for him to score runs and motivate the side.This is a great chance for Rohit to show leadership skills in addition to his own batting. He has a galaxy of past stars to seek advice from and that should be real [email protected]
Chaney also has offers from Baylor, TCU, Wichita State and OSU. If you’re thinking the schools, geographically, are a little weird, it’s because Chaney recently played for Frisco Liberty in Texas before transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada last July.Findlay Prep has been an NBA talent producing factory over the years, with Avery Bradley, Anthony Bennett, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson claiming Findlay as their alma mater since its origination in 2006.Three teammates offered over the weekendTrinity Christian School prospect Joey Baker of Fayetteville, North Carolina, reported a scholarship offer from OSU this week. Baker is a top-25 national prospect in the 2019 recruiting class with close to 20 offers who is considered a North Carolina Tar Heels lean — although his in-state school has yet to pull the trigger on him yet. Baker is an uber-athletic combo forward who can score it and play around the rim.He’s averaging 16 points per game on the Under Armour Circuit and has emerged as his teams go-to scorer for Team Felton. Two of his other Team Felton teammates were also offered over the weekend.Mike Boynton has offered 2020 wing Silas Mason, 2019 guard Joey Baker and 2018 big man Immanuel Bates. All three @TeamFeltonBBall products.— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) May 8, 2017Immanuel Bates is a 6-foot-9 power forward with 15 offers from the likes of UConn, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Cincy and others. Silas Mason, meanwhile, is an up-and-coming 2020 prospect whose first Power 5 offer is from the Cowboys. Watson is a 6-foot-6 small forward who has the frame and the talent to be a legit Division I player, and it seems OSU is looking to get ahead of that train.Here’s a little scouting of Watson from Phenom Hoop Report, who hosted him for an event last April.“Marcus Watson for CP3 was the true heart and soul of this team. He always came through when his number was called on offense, and was a top tier defender at multiple positions. Blessed with great length and size, Watson could play as a big guard, ideal wing, or even as a stretch big in the right circumstances. Range was excellent extending out past the three-point line; showed great intelligence at all times, really a do-it-all type of player.” [Phenom Hoop Report]2018 big man Reggie Chaney offered scholarshipFindlay Prep big man Reggie Chaney is another hoops target to emerge this week on the radar of Mike Boynton and his staff. Chaney is a 6-foot-7 prospect—typically the size you see in a small forward, especially in the Big 12—but he’s classified as both a power forward and center at recruiting service websites. The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap, catching you up to speed on the latest news and rumors regarding Oklahoma State recruiting.Grant Gunnell calls OSU ‘best visit’The premier quarterback in the 2019 class, Grant Gunnell, has already garnered 25 offers from the likes of OSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, LSU and others. And to this point in his recruitment, his unofficial visit to Stillwater is the one that stands out to him thanks to the efforts of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.“They’re the first guys to jump on with me to be the first offer,” Gunnell told Scout of Oklahoma State. “That’s really special to be their first offer. Coach (Mike) Yurich is really awesome. That’s probably the most special visit I took. He put together a video of me in their offense with the same exact plays of me throughout the years. It was probably the best visit.”Gunnell is ranked nationally as the 54th best overall prospect in the 2019 class and the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the country, closing in on 5-star status. He says he’ll likely release a list of his top schools later this spring. Oklahoma State will be on the list but, as he broke down in the Scout story, he’s weighing options between landing with an air raid system or a pro-style system.“They both have their pros and cons,” he said of both systems. “I think it’s just that. You have to look at how the coach fits well with me and how I want to be coached, the head coach stability and stuff like that.”2019 SF Marcus Watson offered scholarshipA quick description for Watson in one word: under-recruited. (or is that two words?) Watson is a small forward from Clemmons, North Carolina. He holds offers from OSU, Iowa, LSU, Georgia and Mercer, despite being ranked as a top 100 prospect in the 2019 class. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Oklahoma State looks primed for an exciting — possibly historic — season with all kinds of talent returning on both sides of the ball. To start off, they’ll face one of the more competitive non-conference schedules they have in recent history, starting with in-state foe Tulsa.ParticularsWhen: September 2 (or August 31) at TBAWhere: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OklahomaLast Meeting: In 2011, Oklahoma State took care of the Golden Hurricane 59-33 in a game that went well into the next morning thanks to some extended weather delays.Oklahoma State is 39-27-5 against the Golden Hurricane all time but has won five straight dating back to 1999 and 15 of the last 20 meetings between their other in-state rival.This year’s season opener is the first of four on the slate against Tulsa. They are not scheduled for 2018 but will have games in 2019, 2020 and 2021.The Golden Hurricane is coming off of its own 10-win season, which culminated with in their 55-10 shellacking of you know who. That certain team who was a awarded a certain victory in Stillwater last year that a certain coach would like to ignore.But the 10-win mark is about as far as the similarities go between these two teams. Oklahoma State returns their ace QB and possibly the most talented receiving corps in college football. Tulsa will be without their three-year starting signal caller and two 1,000-yard wide receivers from last year.OffenseWe know Philip Montgomery can coach offense. The question is whether or not he has a quarterback that can run his high-powered style. Dane Evans departed as the school’s all-time passing leader. In his wake there appears to be a two-man QB competition that has not been decided.Junior Chad President got most of the first-team reps in the spring but it was Luke Skipper that had the statement spring game. The redshirt freshman went 16 of 24 for 173 yards and two scores. Montgomery said he’ll hold off on naming his starter until this fall.DefenseOn defense, Tulsa lost three of its top five tacklers and some serious strength in run defense. They’ll have to replace Trent Martin who led the way with 100 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and a sack. The middle linebacker was a force in passing game too with five pass breakups and two interceptions last season.The cupboard isn’t quite bare on the back end, though. Strong safety Jeremy Brady has exhausted his eligibility but the Hurricane returns some depth in secondary headlined by Kerwin Thomas who contributed for nine pass breakups and an INT, as well as free safety Jordan Mitchell who had nine of his own breakups.ConclusionTulsa, though reloading, will be a good test for Oklahoma State to start the year. Will Mike Gundy and Co. try to play down to the competition and go run-heavy based on the projected strength of Tulsa, or will they try to run over the Golden Hurricane? The Cowboys have had issues with starting slow especially early in the season and against lesser competition.They have too much to lose heading into Rudolph’s last season than to repeat those type of mistakes. We’ll learn more about Oklahoma State than Tulsa in this one. Are the Cowboys ready to take the next step? Blowing the doors off of a rebuilding (reloading?) Tulsa team would be a huge step in the right direction.Key MatchupOklahoma State’s strength is undoubtedly their passing attack. Can the Cowboys get down the field early and often against the strength of Tulsa’s defense — its secondary. They don’t force a ton of turnovers but they’re experienced. And they’re Tulsa’s only shot at slowing down the Cowboys.Summer PredictionOklahoma State should win handily. I’d say in the 38-24 range. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Kyle Porter and Boone are in Stillwater asking coach Mike Gundy, his coordinators and assistants questions at the annual golf outing Thursday while I’m stuck in Dallas.There are plenty of problems, good and bad, the Cowboys are facing running into fall camp starting Sunday. Here are what I think the five most important ones are:1. How Long Until We Know the No. 2 Cornerback?When I asked Gundy about the corner situation at Big 12 Media Days, he threw out Adrian Baker’s name, which we already assumed, but that was it.Legitimately, eight players could start at any point this season. Like getting full on crackers, that’s hardly OK for a position like receiver, where potentially five guys are on the field at a time. It’s more like trying to get full on cotton candy when you’re talking about a two-man position like corner.AdChoices广告And on those lines, even if they get their No. 2 guy, who is No. 3 and No. 4?2. Which Receiver(s) Will be Left Behind?Among Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy, Dillon Stoner, Tylan Wallace and Tyron Johnson, at least one of those will not get 25 catches this season.Maybe the obvious answers are Stoner and Wallace, the youngest of the bunch, but maybe not. Both of them play inside, and someone has to back up Jalen McCleskey.Unless Mason Rudolph starts throwing two balls per play, I can’t see how everyone’s quotas are going to be reached.3. What is Going to Happen to the ‘Others’ on Offense?With so much talk and intrigue with going five-wide, the cowboy backs and backup running backs could get lost in the sauce.(Poor, poor) Jeff Carr could extremely easily be relegated to backup return man. We might also be at this time next year saying how we should have included Keenan Brown in all of this.But the fact is that with such a striking embarrassment of depth at receiver, it will be so easy to forget about them and leave them off the field.4. How Fluid Will this Defense Look?The way I see it, only half of the defensive personnel is locked into position.Ramon Richards could drop into the box almost like a nickel cornerback. Kenneth Edison-McGruder could fall back in coverage. Almost all of the defensive ends could slide a gap or two toward the center. And a handful of the linebackers could fare well in man coverage.With the 3-3-5 scheme that we suspect will be the base defense, flexibility will be key (and valuable) except for guys like Tre Flowers, Chad Whitener and the defensive tackles.5. Can They Stay Healthy?I asked Rudolph how the offense would change if Justice Hill got injured, like he did this offseason, and he wasn’t having it.“Well, we’ve got Justice,” he said.Yes, for now and hopefully for the whole season, but it seems like this offense (and therefore this entire team) is one injury away to either of the guys in the backfield from complete meltdown.They have been reliable and dependable to this point during the season, but it does make you wonder about a team that has the eighth best odds to make the College Football Playoff. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Oklahoma State hosted a number of top-flight talents on campus both for unofficial visits and for the final mini-camp of the summer over the weekend.We gave a general overview of the names to expect both on Saturday and Sunday, but let’s face it: You want to know who the big dogs on campus were.Here are the five biggest names who made their way to Stillwater this weekend.Isaiah Spiller — Running backKlein Collins tailback Isaiah Spiller visited OSU on Saturday before making his way to Norman for the Sooners’ blowout barbecue event, and he might have been the biggest name in the 2019 class on campus.Spiller has already been offered by OSU, so his visit was little more than a trip for him to view the facilities and meet with coaches. He’s the son of former Texas A&M tight end Fred Spiller, but it’s no less important that he made the haul to Stillwater.In addition to OSU, Texas A&M, Oregon, Oregon, TCU, Baylor, Houston and others have already extended offers.Dax Hill — SafetyDax, the younger brother of Justice Hill, has also been on OSU’s radar for quite some time. The Booker T. Washington product wowed with his Odell Beckham like talents and validated his evaluation as one of the elite players in the 2019 class.“I had a real good day and I wasn’t trying to do too much, but just show the coaches what I could do,” Hill told gopokes.com. “They really haven’t seen my play, so I wanted to show what I could do and I had a good day.” being back on campus made me realize how bad i really want it— ??CJ Moore?? (@daddydimes35) July 31, 2017At 6-foot-5, Moore — a four-star talent — figures to be a potential plug-and-play replacement for Marcell Ateman when he arrives on campus in 2018. Although Brown is considered a bluechipper, he’s already set a commitment date for Nov. 2 — potentially hinting that he’s already got a good idea of who he wants to play for. The Crimson Tide are the leaders in the clubhouse.Branson Bragg — Offensive linemanCenters are recruits too! And Bragg is what many believe to be the best center prospect in this region.The 2019 recruit was offered by OSU during the spring game visit in April, and he made a return trip that could be a good sign for the Pokes’ chances.Bragg also has offers from Texas and OU, and he too made a trip to the Sooners barbecue event on Saturday.CJ Moore — ReceiverTulsa Union standout receiver CJ Moore, an OSU pledge, made a trip on Sunday to Stillwater. And regardless of his commitment status, it’s always good bringing him in given his status as a national recruit.Moore is locked in with his OSU pledge after picking the Pokes over Ohio State, among others, and he seemed to come away motivated after his trip to campus. Although 247 favors OSU in his recruitment, I get the sense that he’s wide open at this juncture. But OSU certainly has a strong case, and both Dax and Justice are very tight.? pic.twitter.com/WgICMkz0dz— Daxton Hill (@daxhill5) July 30, 2017Bobby Brown — Defensive tackleArlington Lamar defensive tackle Bobby Brown is rated as a top-150 player in the 2018 class, and OSU jumped aboard with an offer during his visit.Brown is now up to 20 offers from the likes of OU, Alabama, Texas A&M and a slew of others. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Before we begin the 2017 football season with new uniform combinations, what better time than the present to take a stroll down memory lane and reflect on the best uniform combinations from 2016?Like Cox and Barber have done before me, I’ve got my list ready to roll. And thanks to some assists from our Chief Uniform Officer and social media savant Justin Southwell (who told me any list was good so long as the orange-white-gray Kansas game combo was left off), I’m feeling confident in my top five list from the 2016 season.Let’s do it!5. Texas: Black (Marshal Badge)/Black/BlackAdChoices广告The reverse stormtrooper look slayed me when the Pokes rolled this one out for Texas. The black-black-black is killer (and I imagine it’s killer to wear in 80-plus degree weather), and it’s good on so many levels. The badge, the facemask, all of it.The chrome facemask (and the fact that it didn’t include the giant Pete) gave this one a slight edge over the true all-white stormtrooper look from the Baylor game.USATSI4. West Virginia: Black (Old School Brand)/Orange/WhiteThis wasn’t the most flashy combo — the matte black doesn’t exactly jump off the screen — but this was a solid top-to-bottom pairing with the bright orange top and classic white pants.Like Cox noted, the fact that they wore matching throwback socks to go with this get-up makes it 10x better. The socks perfectly complement the orange uni and make it pop. A solid homecoming combination if there were one!USATSI3. Central Michigan: Black (Pete)/Black/GrayI tried to work this one out for … obvious reasons. But I just couldn’t.I apologize to the traditionals who remind me gray is not a school color, but the gray pants were a perfectly subtle complement to the black helmet and black top. Throw in the chrome facemask with it all and it’s why it lands at No. 3 on my list.USATSI While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 2. Pittsburgh: White (Marshal Badge)/Orange/WhiteGive me the badge!The white-orange-white is an OSU classic I can’t resist, and with the white lid and marshall badge it puts it near the top of the list for me for last season. Matching socks would have probably put this one at the top for me like my dude Hayden Barber ranked it. This is just such a clean look.USATSI1. Oklahoma: Black (Paisley Marshal Badge)/White/BlackThe paisley helmet with orange facemask for the Alamo Bowl didn’t do much for me, but the same helmet with black facemask crushed when OSU rocked it for Bedlam.The paisley badge-white-black combo didn’t produce the best on-field results, obviously, but this was hands-down the best top-to-bottom combo for 2016 in my opinion. It’s traditional with just enough flash to really jump off the field.Look at it!USATSI
By the looks of it, the line at 72 is a gift from above. But against elite level competition like Ohio State last season, TU managed just 3 points and barely escaped Columbus without a goose egg.If OSU is the elite level team I think most people expect them to be, I would guess their point total next Thursday will look closer to 3 than the 41.2 average they put up throughout their entire 2016 season. So from that, here’s my advice: Take the under on the line (72), and take OSU -17. It’s going to be a rout in favor of the Cowboys. 2016 PPG Avg.36.841.2 2016 PPG Avg. — Non-Con.44.338.5 When Tulsa comes to Stillwater next Thursday, the Golden Hurricane will be doing so as heavy underdogs against the 10th-ranked Cowboys. That much we all could’ve guessed. But Vegas has now acknowledged as much, setting the betting line for the game as OSU -17 at both Bovada and Vegas Insiders.The over/under line is set at 72 at Vegas Insiders.So should you take OSU as the favorite? If 2016 told us anything, it’s that OSU — outside of, well, a game we won’t speak of — did very well against the spread. In fact, the Pokes went 8-5 against the spread in the season, ranking among the top 25 teams in the country according to TeamRankings.com.AdChoices广告Here are the numbers from last season on how each team fared both in the regular season and in non-conference play. OSUTU While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.