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Daily Bullets (June 12): Hovland Prepping for the US Open, Oregon State’s Terrible Defense

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With Wolff and Hovland’s big promotion this week (at the US Open) the jump to the pros seems like one of the most difficult in sports… there’s no team to lean on, to help carry you like it could in college.


Bullets Rundown

• Oregon State’s pitiful defense
• Hovland’s last days as an am
• Colin Simpson’s best quality


OSU Bullets

• When OSU kicks off the season in late August, they’ll meet an Oregon State team that’s recovering from a historically terrible defense. 

Oregon State’s 2018 D wasn’t only the worst of this group; it was the worst by a lot.

The offense has promise, returning its starting quarterback (Jake Luton), a 1,300-yard rusher (Jermar Jefferson), and all but one member of its receiving corps. And it doesn’t matter unless the defense can go from historically awful to merely bad.

The combination of experienced returnees, veterans who were injured in 2018, and transfers should allow for improvement, and not only because things almost literally can’t get worse. But we’ll see how much improvement is possible in a single offseason when you’re this truly putrid. [SB Nation]

Viktor Hovland will play his last rounds as an amateur this week at the U.S. Open in California, and OSU hasn’t been far away.

For now, however, Hovland still has the Oklahoma State feel. On his bag will be his coach, Alan Bratton, who was his caddie in the U.S. Amateur last year and carried the bag in this year’s Masters, where Hovland earned low amateur honors with a tie for 32nd. Hovland, the first Norwegian to win the U.S. Amateur, also will be sporting Oklahoma State logos on his bag, hat, shirt and belt.

And in a Monday practice round, Hovland played with Rickie Fowler, a former OSU standout. [Golfweek]

• I think leaders like this are a crucial element to any winning sports team. Colin Simpson plays that perfect figurehead for this team.

Catcher Colin Simpson embodied the team’s culture, with his competitive drive, fun personality and monster home runs. On more than one occasion, Holliday describe this team as “Colin’s team,” because he was the bonding force that held them together.

Even though he was the player who struck out to end the season on Sunday, he’d be at the top of the list of hitters Holliday would want in the box with the season on the line. [NewsOK]

One of the better takes I’ve heard about the last game was how much more satisfying it was for Simpson to get one last at-bat and not end his career on deck.

• It’s hard to overstate Rickie’s “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” status with majors.

• Curtis Jones has landed back in the Big Ten


Non-OSU Bullets

• The NBA’s money whisperer

• Here’s a pretty cool world map showing the original meaning of every country’s name

• This faith-based reflection on a dad’s first Father’s Day was touching

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