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  • 26 Jul
    导出博客文章The four premiership points won by Essendon on Sunday could be meaingless but
    the Bombers are hoping the signal it sent will be worth a whole lot more.John
    Worsfolds side arrived at Etihad Stadium against Gold Coast up for the fight,
    earning just their second win of the season.And boy did they celebrate.Cheer
    squad members shed tears at the Lloyd end, with Worsfold high-fiving fans on the
    boundary line.For three-goal hero Orazio Fantasia, singing the club song was a
    highlight of his career.It was unbelievable, he told AAP.Especially for the guys
    like Jake Long singing for the first time ... there was about five of them, it
    was amazing.Fantasia said he hoped the win would lift the playing group - both
    this season and for next.It boosts our confidence and instills more confidence
    in our game plan and our structures, he said.If we can keep believing in that we
    can go really far.Fantasia believes that spirit could help bring back the five
    uncommitted Bombers - including captain-in-exile Jobe Watson, Michael Hurley and
    Michael Hibberd - in 2017.If we put in performances like that, they can see what
    were doing. It has to make a difference, he said.Surely theyre excited about
    what were doing on and off the field.Worsfold said he hoped the five players yet
    to commit wouldnt need swaying.Lets make the assumption theyre all over the line
    anyway so we dont need that help, he said.Im very confident they know the way
    were positioning this footy club to go forward.Theyre not sitting back guessing.
    Theyre asking questions and Im sure theyre getting pretty strong feedback in a
    positive way.
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    at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Purdue interim coach
    Gerad Parker sees a different bounce in his players steps.The staff has picked
    up the pace at practice, gotten creative and urged players to enjoy the rest of
    this season. On Saturday, against Northwestern, everyone will find out if it
    makes a difference for a team that has lost three straight since a rare
    midseason coaching change.Theyve been through some tough stuff, and we have as
    coaches, too, especially the guys that have been here throughout, Parker said,
    referring to the past several years. So what is the sense in feeling sorry for
    ourselves and not having fun with this staff and these players for the last
    three weeks?Since the firing of Darrell Hazell last month, Purdue has shown some
    spark by building halftime leads three times only to blow those leads in the
    second half. The Boilermakers (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) are one loss away from knowing
    they will finish another season without a bowl bid.Northwestern (4-5, 3-3) ,
    meanwhile, is trying to play itself into postseason position after losing two in
    a row. But coach Pat Fitzgerald isnt writing off the Boilermakers.Very impressed
    with how theyre playing since the change, which could have turned the team into
    a negative, Fitzgerald said. I think although their record isnt positive I think
    theyre playing very hard, winning all three games at halftime, playing with a
    lot of passion and emotion.But can an attitude adjustment help turn things
    around in West Lafayette?Parker, who is still seeking his first win, believes it
    will.Weve still got three games left, plenty to play for, going down the stretch
    and finish with something to be proud of, Parker said. There are a lot of teams
    fighting to be bowl eligible and have something to finish on.Here are some other
    things to watch Saturday:CARRS CATCHESNorthwestern receiver Austin Carr has
    wreaked havoc on opposing secondaries all seasson.dddddddddddd Hes already
    become the schools first 1,000-yard receiver in five years. And after shredding
    Wisconsins defense for 12 catches and 132 yards last week, the Big Ten leader in
    receptions (70), yards receiving (1,010) and TD catches (10) has a better
    matchup.DEFENSIVE DILEMMAPurdues defense hasnt just been bad the past two weeks.
    Its been battered. The Boilermakers gave up a Ross-Ade Stadium record 62 points
    to Penn State two weeks ago and 43 more points at Minnesota last week. Those two
    games have put Purdue in the Big Tens basement of scoring defenses (37.8
    points).HISTORIC RUNRB Justin Jackson is chasing history this weekend as he
    tries to become the first Northwestern player to rush for 1,000 yards three
    times. Jackson needs 90 yards to achieve the feat, and it certainly looks doable
    against a defense allowing 248.3 yards per game. Jackson has rushed for 147
    yards and 116 yards in his first two games against Purdue.OH-FOR-THREEThe
    Boilermakers have lost the last three by a combined total of 63 points. Even
    worse, all three losses were by double digits. But this might be Parkers best
    chance so far. Purdues previous opponents -- Nebraska, Penn State and Minnesota
    -- have a combined record for 21-6. Northwestern is the first team with a
    sub-.500 record Parker will face.LOOK OUTPurdue faces a daunting challenge
    against Northwestern DE Ifeadi Odenigbo. He leads the Big Ten with eight sacks
    and earlier this season became the first Northwestern payer to record multiple
    sacks in consecutive games. If Purdue really wants to check out Odenigbo, it can
    plug in the tape from the Iowa game. Odenigbo set a single-game school record
    with four sacks that day.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org
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