USC blown out by Notre Dame as playoff chances take hit

first_imgWithin the first two minutes of play, the Trojans’ hopes of defeating rival Notre Dame, reclaiming a spot in the top 10 and vying for a chance to see the playoffs slipped away.It happened after a perfect three-and-out from the defense, with a near-sack from junior linebacker Cam Smith quieting the crowd. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold called the first snap of the game. His eyes were on the defense, swaying and hungry behind the line of scrimmage. They weren’t on the ball, which flew high, hit him in the hands and popped skywards. Eyes wide, Darnold scrabbled to retain possession as three defenders descended on him. Out of the dogpile, Notre Dame linebacker Te’von Coney leapt up with the ball in hand, greeted by roars from the Irish crowd. The defense jogged out, heads shaking in disbelief. Three plays later, Notre Dame scored a touchdown off a 26-yard pass and never looked back, handing USC a crushing 49-14 loss.The team played like this for the rest of the game  — inconsistent, beleaguered and lost. “It was embarrassing,” senior captain Chris Hawkins said. “I’m embarrassed.”Defensive lineman Jacob Lichtenstein reacts to a play – Katie Chin | Daily TrojanIf the Trojans knew anything upon entering South Bend, they knew that this game would be a test. The legacy of the rivalry and the cacophony of the sold-out crowd alone could sway any game on any given Saturday. Add in the brutal one-two punch of running back Josh Adams and quarterback Brandon Wimbush, and despite the discrepancy in rankings between No. 11 USC and No. 13 Notre Dame, the Irish didn’t look anything like an underdog.The game was a test of the grandest proportions. And in a stumbling season full of disappointing outings, the Trojans collapsed.“We’ve got a sad football team in there right now,” head coach Clay Helton said after the game. “We’ll live and learn from this. Credit [to] Notre Dame. They won the battle in the trenches tonight. I thought they played an excellent game. We helped them by mistakes.”The first half was, if anything, a well-rounded meltdown. The Trojans coughed up three turnovers for 28 points while the defense struggled to control the gashing rush offense. Even special teams struggled mightily, with sophomore punt returner Jack Jones dropping a punt at the five-yard line and freshman placekicker Chase McGrath missing a 27-yard field goal.After a shutout half, the score wasn’t all Darnold’s fault. The offensive line crumpled after almost every snap, giving him only a second or two to scan the field before he was forced to desperately scramble away from barrelling tacklers.But after Darnold fumbled the very first snap of the game, he tossed away yet another interception in the second quarter. The two turnovers put him at 15 on the season, which is more turnovers as an individual than any Pac-12 team has allowed as a whole.Steven Mitchell drops a pass after going deep – Katie Chin | Daily Trojan “We don’t try to make excuses. We just try to learn from our mistakes if we make them and try not to make them again,” Darnold said. “It’s just those little turnovers we have to fix. We have to get better at that. I’m not playing any differently. I just go out there and try to play ball to the best of my ability, and that’s really all I can do.”And for a second week, the defense couldn’t bail out the flailing offensive unit. The Irish racked up 262 offensive yards in the first half, with Wimbush tossing for 72 and rushing for 76 on his way to four touchdowns. Sloppy tackles allowed wide open runs, while receivers burned the USC secondary repeatedly.The halftime trudge to the locker room was a familiar sight for the Trojans — grimacing with frustration as they trailed a lower-ranking team. But in South Bend, the second half magic was nowhere to be found.“We’ve got to come out faster,” Smith said. “I’m not going to put it on anything else than the fact that they were just better than us.”The defense only turned out one stop in the third quarter and allowed 21 more points. Notre Dame carved up the USC defense on the ground, with Adams blasting through tackles for an 84-yard touchdown sprint. Unfazed by the Trojan attack, the Irish sent in their backup quarterback with nine minutes still remaining in the game. Wide receiver Tyler Vaughns during USC’s loss to Notre Dame on Saturday – Katie Chin | Daily TrojanThe offense found some success in the third quarter, with touchdown passes to junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett and redshirt senior wide receiver Steven Mitchell closing the scoring gap slightly to 35-14. Yet although Darnold’s offense showed signs of life over those two touchdown drives, any momentum the unit had discovered ground to a halt when the quarterback took a hard ankle tackle in the third quarter.Darnold had to be helped off the field, and although he forced himself back onto the field for one more snap, redshirt freshman Matt Fink took over in the final quarter to ride out the loss. After falling to 6-2, postseason options are limited for USC. Since Notre Dame is a non-conference opponent, the loss will not affect the team’s position at the top of the Pac-12 South. But after entering the season as favorites to play for the national championship, the Trojans’ hopes at the playoffs are likely dashed.“It’s going to be a tough plane ride home, but it’s just adversity,” Darnold said. “We’re going to look at it straight in the face and try to get better from it. That’s all we can do.”last_img read more

Former champion Pocari finds old spark, rallies past determined

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Doing what she does best, Myla Pablo hammered three successive spikes in the end game as Pocari Sweat pulled off a five-set reversal over PetroGazz Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.Pablo collected 22 points as the Lady Warriors recovered from a two-sets-to-none hole for a 17-25, 27-29, 25-16, 25-23, 15-13 triumph and remained in contention for the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Stars of Manila shine their way to 2nd placecenter_img PetroGazz was bent on finishing off the match in three sets until it suddenly went into tailspin in the third, allowing Pocari, the former champion which has fallen on hard times, to slowly regain its footing.Stephanie Mercado tried to match up with Pablo hit after hit, stringing up three straight hits as the Angels took an 8-6 lead in the fifth set.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBut Jeanette Panaga and Joy Cases banded together to keep Pocari in step. After a violation was called on the Angels, Pablo buckled down to work, igniting a fiery finishing kick that pushed the Lady Warriors at match point, 14-13.Jonah Sabete blocked Pablo for PetroGazz’s final stand but another error by the Angels sealed the win for the Lady Warriors. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

Travel catering in the Middle East on a high growth trajectory

first_imgTravel catering in the Middle East on a high growth trajectoryGlobal travel catering players will get an opportunity to tap into the tremendous business opportunities in the Middle East, which is witnessing a massive increase in the number of air travelers alongwith expansion of airports and airline fleets, at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo Middle East 2016 (WTCEME), to be held from May 9-11, 2016, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.Co-located with the 16th edition of Airport Show and the 4th Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF), WTCEME provides a dedicated platform for global travel catering industry players to network and showcase a wide range of products, services, solutions and technology.The newly branded WCTEME expects over 1,500 trade visitors this year from all the major airlines, airports and related aviation catering businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.The event is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and is supported by Emirates Flight Catering, Food Point, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Airports.The Middle East region commands a big chunk in the global travel catering market, estimated at $15 billion and expected to increase to $17.6 billion by 2020.With the Middle East’s airlines expected to carry more than 400 million passengers by 2020, in comparison to 144 million in 2012, the region’s travel catering requirements as well as the products, services and solutions are set to witness a major growth to cater to the rising number of passengers. The region has been witnessing new projects, massive expansion in the aviation sector and an increased focus on tourism, which will further drive the demand for travel catering.WTCEME will enable travel catering market players to tap this high-potential region whose share in the global travel catering market has been fast rising above the global average growth of five per cent due to massive expansion of airports and airline networks.Daniyal Qureshi, Event Director of Travel Catering Expo, said: “There is a massive growth in airline activity in the region triggered by rising passenger numbers and initiatives to boost tourism, which will create a significant growth in the region’s travel catering requirements. In line with the growth in this industry segment, WTCEME is designed to reflect the tremendous opportunities for global suppliers in the region as well as provide a dedicated platform for regional authorities to view and procure the best solutions from around the world under one roof.”Exhibitors at WCTEME will also benefit from access to over 7,500 trade visitors who attend the Airport Show and GALF. World Travel Catering & Onboard Services ExpoSource = World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expolast_img read more