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Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz rewrites Wisconsin football record book in debut as starter

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Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz broke the program record for finishing rate in a game on Friday, finishing 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five scores in the Badgers’ 45-7 win over visiting Illinois in Madison.

“It was definitely fun,” Mertz said afterward. “I owe it to Coach [Jon] Budmayr and Coach [Paul] Chryst, we took a ton of time, one-on-one meetings and really just sorted the game plan out and we knew what we were doing and I felt confident in my ability to go execute and I think there’s definitely some stuff we need to clean up. A lot more stuff we can clean up.”

Mertz, a redshirt green bean, was climbed to the beginning part after Jack Coan endured a non-contact injury to his foot by and by and went through medical procedure. This was the main vocation start for Mertz, and his five score passes tied the program record for most in a game alongside Jim Sorgi in 2003 and Darrell Bevell in 1993.

“I thought he had good poise, thought he saw the field well. You never know quite how someone’s going to react in their first start,” Chryst said. “I thought he was himself and that you appreciate. I thought there was a good plan by the offensive coaches and he was able to execute it.”

Wisconsin didn’t get its standard predominant presentation from its run game, with Garrett Groshek as the main rusher for the Badgers with 70 yards yet no score runs. However, Mertz got a move on, opening the game by finishing his initial 17 passes.

His one deficiency was a dropped pass by Groshek in the second from last quarter on third-and-19. Mertz said the bombed pass was his shortcoming, that he expected to get the show on the road to his running back quicker and the two kidded about it after the game.

Tight end Jake Ferguson was his number one objective on the night with seven gatherings for 72 yards and three of the five scores. Ferguson was second in getting yards last season with 407, behind Quintez Cephus, who is currently in the NFL.

Those three getting scores are likewise tied for the most in a game by a Wisconsin tight end, coordinating Owen Daniels in 2005 and Garrett Graham in 2009.

“The kid’s smooth, the kid’s definitely smooth,” Ferguson said. “He was smiling cheek to cheek after that first touchdown. He knew, and everyone in that huddle knew, that we were rolling. It’s just awesome to see that out of him.”

Ferguson said at one point in the game Wisconsin ran similar four plays with progress against Illinois and Mertz demonstrated a portion of that certainty on the sideline, making jokes and keeping his partners centered.

The exhibition from Mertz drew the consideration from many individuals, including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who tweeted “That man @GrahamMertz5 going crazy tonight!”

Regardless of that public consideration and a breakout game, Mertz isn’t celebrating right now, knowing it’s just one game there’s still a ton of football left.

“I haven’t checked my phone yet, but it’s great to hear from those guys and it means a ton,” Mertz said. “But I’m just happy the guys in the locker room are pumped right now and we gotta keep building on that.”

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LB Jerome Baker agree to three-year, $39 million contract extension with Miami Dolphins

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The Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with linebacker Jerome Baker on a three-year contract extension worth $39 million, including $28.4 million guaranteed, his representative, Drew Rosenhaus, revealed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Dolphins later reported the extension however didn’t disclose financial terms.

Baker is one of the Dolphins’ defensive leaders and welcomes energy on and off the field. He represents considerable authority in pass coverage, and assisted the Dolphins with developing the most noticeably awful scoring defense (30.9 points per game allowed) in 2019 to the fifth-ranked scoring defense (21.1) in 2020.

A 2018 third-round pick, Baker was moving toward the last year of his rookie deal. He was gotten some information about his pending free agency and where he saw Miami in the image. It was a foretelling of this deal.

“I want to play here for the rest of my career. I love it here. I love the fans. I love the organization. I love everybody here,” Baker said. “Yeah, I definitely see myself playing here for a long time.”

Bread cook, 24, gets his desire, as he’s presently scheduled to remain in Miami for the following four seasons.

Presently eyes go to another of the Dolphins’ 2018 draft picks and 2022 pending free agent tight end Mike Gesicki for an potential extension.

Baker had a career-high seven sacks and seven tackles for loss last season in a new hybrid linebacker role. He also eclipsed 100 tackles (112) for the second consecutive season and still can’t seem to miss a game in his NFL career.

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French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic tops Rafael Nadal to reach final match

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Sprinting, sliding and stretching, anticipating each other’s moves for four sets and over four hours, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal produced a masterpiece in the French Open semifinals.

Djokovic halted Nadal’s offered for a fourteenth French Open title and gave the King of Clay simply his third loss in 108 matches at the tournament by returning to win a thrill ride of an semifinal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 at Roland Garros on Friday night.

In one more display of tremendous tennis between the rivals, the match lasted on for 4 hours, 11 minutes. In the wake of trailing 0-2 in the fourth set, Djokovic rattled off six consecutive games to avenge his loss to Nadal in last year’s final.

“Just one of these nights and matches that you will remember forever,” said the top-cultivated Djokovic, who arrived at his 6th last at the clay-court major tournament to tie Bjorn Borg for No. 2 in the occasion behind Nadal (13).

“Definitely the best match that I was part of ever in Roland Garros, for me, and (one of the) top three matches that I ever played in my entire career — considering quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival on the court where he has had so much success and has been the dominant force in the last 15-plus years. And the atmosphere, which was completely electric.”

The 34-year-old Djokovic will look for his second prize at Roland Garros and a nineteenth significant title generally speaking when he plays in Sunday’s last against fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is only 22.

It will be the 29th career Grand Slam last for Djokovic, and the first for Tsitsipas, who beat Alexander Zverev in five sets in an semifinal match prior Friday.

Nadal had won the past four titles in Paris, part of his assortment of 20 Slams, attached with Roger Federer for the most by a man in tennis history.

Nadal, a 14-time winner of the French Open who turned 35 last week, fell to 105-3 in his profession at Roland Garros. His first loss came against Robin Soderling in 2009; the following against Djokovic in 2015.

“Each time you step on the court with him,” Djokovic said, “you know that you have to kind of climb Mount Everest to win against this guy here.”

Nadal and Djokovic truly riled up the group at Court Philippe Chatrier.

Halfway through the third set, Djokovic won a 23-stroke point with a forehand winner and windmilled his arms about half-dozen times, earning a standing ovation and chants of “No-vak! No-vak!” On the following point, Nadal produced a forehand winner and screamed, prompting chants of “Ra-fa! Ra-fa!” and a wave in the stands.

Nadal said the defining moment came when Djokovic saved a set point while down 6-5 in the third.

“Anything could happen in that moment,” Nadal said. “I make a double fault and then [miss on] an easy volley in the tiebreak. … These kinds of mistakes can happen. But if you want to win, you can’t make those mistakes. That is it. Well done for him. A good fight out there. I tried my best and today was not my day.”

The third set alone endured 60 minutes, 33 minutes, and a 11 p.m. nationwide curfew in time set up due to COVID-19 was drawing closer. Djokovic’s past match had been deferred over 20 minutes while the audience – limited to 5,000 individuals under Covid limitations – was gotten out of the arena, yet a declaration was made Friday to tell everybody the public authority consented to allow them to remain until the finish of the match.

Prior drones in French of “We won’t leave! We won’t leave!” were replaced by choruses of the national anthem and cheers of thanks for President Emmanuel Macron.

Nadal recovered from the dropped third-set tiebreaker to steal a break at the start of the fourth.

Neither would surrender or yield, yet Djokovic crushed spirit to 2-all and was on his way.

“Something clicked,” Djokovic said.

Nadal noted thereafter that playing in the cooler night air implied balls bounced lower, lessening the impact of his lefty forehand’s heavy topspin.

“That’s more favorable for him, the conditions,” Nadal said. “By the way, doesn’t matter. That’s tennis. The player who gets used to the conditions better is the player who deserves to win. So no doubt, he deserved to win.”

The intensity was palpable from the beginning of the evening, and Nadal zoomed to a 5-0 lead on the way to winning the main set. It was reminiscent of last year’s final, which he won 6-0, 6-2, 7-5. That was just the fourth shutout set lost by Djokovic in 341 vocation Grand Slam matches up to that point – and the first in a major final.

Nadal tumbled to 259-7 in majors in the wake of winning the first set; as per ESPN Stats and Information research. Two of those seven misfortunes presently have been to Djokovic.

There wouldn’t be another Friday, on the grounds that Djokovic made two key tactical adjustments – moving a lot further back than expected to return serve and choosing to zero in on serving toward Nadal’s strike – and quickly made clear this would be an exemplary between two of the best ever at what they do.

They defended in ways rarely seen. Tracked down the right blend of force and contact. Conjured up impossible-at-first-glance winners that nobody else would attempt, not to mention effectively utilize. Returned just as anybody, combining to generate 38 break points.

It was the 58th matchup between the opponents, more than some other two men in the game’s proficient time. Djokovic currently drives 30-28, however he trails 10-7 in Slam meetings and 7-2 at the French Open.

Djokovic won the French Open in 2016 and could join Rod Laver and Roy Emerson as the lone men to win every one of the four Grand Slam tournaments twice.

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QB Sam Noyer heads to Oregon State for final season

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Previous Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer will utilize his last year of qualification at Oregon State.

Noyer, who is from Beaverton, Oregon, declared his proceed onward Twitter on Friday.

Noyer tossed for 1,101 yards and six touchdowns in six beginnings last year for Colorado, which went 4-2 in the abbreviated Pac-12 season. He likewise scrambled for 208 yards and five TDs.

With the Beavers, Noyer is expected to compete with redshirt junior Tristan Gebbia and sophomore Chance Nolan.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound QB additionally expressed gratitude toward the Buffaloes.

“From an 18-year-old kid to a 23-year-old adult, I have learned so much from this city, this institution and most importantly, this football program. I have met lifelong friends and made memories that I will cherish forever,” he wrote. “It was truly an honor to wear ‘Colorado’ across my chest.”

Noyer played at safety for the Buffaloes in 2019 preceding returning to quarterback last season.

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