NFL

Urban Meyer committed to building Jaguars despite USC speculation

By Sports Desk September 15, 2021

Urban Meyer has no intention of quitting his NFL coaching career after just one game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Meyer has been a hugely successful long-time college coach, winning national championships with Florida in 2006 and 2008 and Ohio State in 2014. 

But the 57-year-old is taking his first steps in the NFL with the Jaguars, who finished 2020 with a miserable 1-15 record. 

Meyer's Jacksonville bow did not go according to plan, though, as his new team went down 37-21 to a poor Houston Texans side on Sunday. 

When USC fired coach Clay Helton the following day, meaning an attractive college opening became available, there was some talk Meyer could already be tempted back to the FBS. 

The coach was not entertaining such speculation on Wednesday, however, as he told the media: "No chance. I'm here, committed to try to build an organisation." 

That build represents a significant challenge. The Texans appeared to be one of the Jags' few winnable match-ups in 2021, but they have now lost a franchise record 16 consecutive games – there have only been 11 previous streaks of 17 defeats or more in the NFL. 

Meyer will hope to make first overall pick Trevor Lawrence a cornerstone of his team, but the rookie quarterback contributed to that difficult opener. 

Trusted to throw the ball, with only the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushing less often than the Jags (23.5 per cent), Lawrence tossed a league-high three interceptions. 

Although there were also three touchdown passes, only Aaron Rodgers (36.8) had a worse passer rating than Lawrence (70.1), whose pass completion of 54.9 per cent the third worst. 

Meyer has already lost Travis Etienne, who starred alongside Lawrence at Clemson, to a season-ending injury. 

Related items

  • PSG's late win over Lyon pleases goalscorer Neymar PSG's late win over Lyon pleases goalscorer Neymar

    Neymar revelled in Paris Saint-Germain's late victory against Lyon as the Ligue 1 giants preserved their perfect start to the season.

    Lionel Messi made his home debut in PSG's 2-1 win over Lyon, who succumbed to Mauro Icardi's 93rd-minute goal on Sunday.

    Neymar had restored parity with his 66th-minute penalty, cancelling out Lucas Paqueta's second-half opener, before Icardi came off the bench to secure PSG's sixth league win from six matches.

    PSG star Neymar has scored 71 per cent of his Ligue 1 goals in 2021 from the penalty spot – the highest ratio among all players with five-plus goals in the top-flight over the period.

    Since his first season with PSG in 2017-18, this is the sixth time the Brazilian won and scored a penalty in the same Ligue 1 game, more than any other player over the period.

    "It was a difficult game! We knew we were facing a great team," Neymar said post-game.

    "It’s always hard to chase after the score when you're behind, have to run twice as much but everyone deserves congratulations for the sacrifices they made.

    "Really happy to come back with a win at a packed Parc des Princes in front of our supporters. I'm really pleased."

    PSG have won their first six Ligue 1 games of a season for the third time after 2017-18 and 2018-19. In the 21st century, only Marseille did that (in 2012-13) among all other top-flight sides.

    Mauricio Pochettino's PSG have won each of their last six home games in Ligue 1, their longest streak in the top-flight under the same head coach since Thomas Tuchel's first 15 games at Parc des Princes in the league between August 2018 and March 2019.

  • Jackson leads Ravens past Chiefs with late rally in first career win over Mahomes Jackson leads Ravens past Chiefs with late rally in first career win over Mahomes

    Lamar Jackson put his all-around game on display once again, making NFL history as he led the Baltimore Ravens to a 36-35 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. 

    Jackson passed for 239 yards and ran for 107, becoming the first player ever to record four games with at least 200 passing and 100 rushing yards as the Ravens rebounded from a tough season-opening loss at the Las Vegas Raiders to defeat Patrick Mahomes and the reigning AFC champions. 

    It was Jackson's first career win over fellow quarterback Mahomes, having lost the three previous head-to-head meetings in the NFL.

    Sunday's game got off to a wild start as Tyrann Mathieu picked off Jackson on the third play of the game and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown, only to have the Ravens answer on their next possession with a bizarre sequence that saw Ty'Son Williams fumble at the one-yard line but team-mate Devin Duvernay picked it up and took it in for a score. 

    That set the tone for a high-scoring affair in which Mahomes completed touchdown passes of 33, 40 and 46 yards, the last of which saw his favourite target Travis Kelce elude much of the vaunted Baltimore defence on the way to the end zone. 

    That score put the Chiefs up 35-24 but Baltimore star Jackson led the Ravens right back with a boost from the defence. 

    With just over two minutes to play in the third period, Tavon Young picked off Mahomes' pass to Kelce – the first interception the Chiefs quarterback has thrown in September in his NFL career. 

    Jackson would cap the ensuing drive by running for a two-yard touchdown, and run it in again from one yard out the next time Baltimore had the ball to give the Ravens the lead. 

    Mahomes got the Chiefs moving immediately, looking for the game-winning field goal, but Ravens rookie Odafe Oweh stripped Clyde Edwards-Helaire and recovered the fumble with 1:20 remaining. 

    Kansas City used up all three of their remaining timeouts on the next possession, but Jackson sealed the win with a two-yard run on fourth-and-one. 

  • Haaland's a 'goalscoring machine' – Hummels showers Dortmund star in praise Haaland's a 'goalscoring machine' – Hummels showers Dortmund star in praise

    Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels heaped praise on "goalscoring machine" Erling Haaland, who inspired a 4-2 Bundesliga win over Union Berlin.

    Haaland maintained his red-hot form with a brace as Dortmund defeated visiting Union Berlin on Sunday – the 21-year-old becoming the youngest player in history to reach 47 Bundesliga goals in just his 48th appearance.

    After Dortmund full-back Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring in stunning fashion, Haaland doubled Dortmund's lead in the 24th minute via a header.

    A Marvin Friedrich own goal seven minutes into the second half virtually put the result beyond doubt, though Max Kruse's penalty gave Union Berlin some hope.

    After Andreas Voglsmanner netted a second for Union Berlin, Haaland then produced a stunning lob over Andreas Luthe with seven minutes remaining.

    "Did he really score a header today?" German star Hummels told DAZN. "He's been practising a lot.

    "He's got so many strengths, now he's also working on his weaknesses.

    "When he came to Dortmund from Salzburg [in 2020], his aerial game was pretty bad. [Former head coach] Edin [Terzic], Erling and I spent a lot of time practising crosses, over and over again, and now you can see where that gets you.

    "He's definitely going to get 10 more goals a season because of the fact he's improved his aerial game. He's just a goalscoring machine."

    Haaland has 68 goals in 67 competitive games overall for Dortmund, including 11 in eight this season.

    Hummels added: "Whenever he sees a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, his eyes light up. He's going to be one of the best forwards in the world for the next 15 years."

    Haaland has already scored two headers in the Bundesliga this season, as many as he managed in all of 2020-21.

    "If Erling scores those headers permanently now, then 'Wow!' and 'Congratulations!' to our upcoming opponents," said Dortmund head coach Marco Rose.

    Rose's Dortmund scored for a 37th consecutive Bundesliga game, a club record and the third longest such run in the league's history.

    Dortmund are third in the standings – a point adrift of champions and leaders Bayern Munich after five rounds.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.