NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Circulating the Sports Sphere: Fall 2023


Vol. C | Fall | Issue IX

CJ Stroud Is Miraculous  

The weekend of Nov. 4 had one of the greatest performances by a rookie in National Football League (NFL) history. The second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud already looks like a future superstar in the league. On Sunday, he threw for 470 passing yards and five touchdowns, completing over 70% of his passes in a 39-37 victory for the Texans over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

Stroud, as just a rookie, broke both former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s passing yards record and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota’s passing touchdowns record of four touchdowns. Texans wide receiver Noah Brown really stepped up this week, with six catches for 153 yards and a single touchdown. On the other hand, wide receiver Tank Dell keeps proving why he was a steal in the draft as a third-round pick, with another game of six catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.  

Wide receiver Nico Collins also took a step up, catching 36 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns, including 51 yards and a touchdown last week. Wide receivers John Metchie III and Robert Woods, who were supposed to be the top pass catchers on the offense coming into the season, have fallen to places five and six respectively, as tight end Dalton Schultz continues to look like one of the best tight ends in the game.  

Stroud helped Schultz catch 10 passes for 130 yards and score a touchdown that week, which supported this offense. If Stroud keeps up this performance, the Texans could potentially make the playoffs this season and contend for Super Bowls in the following years.   

The Greatest Performances in the 2023 ICC World Cup   

The 2023 International Cricket Council World Cup has had many great moments, but here are the best players as of Nov. 8. 

Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell had a performance for the ages, scoring 201 runs while hitting 21 fours and 12 sixes. These were the most important innings so far for any team playing in the World Cup, as the Australian team was originally going to lose to Afghanistan by over 150 runs. Being down seven wickets with only 98 runs to show, Australia only had three wickets to work with as they required 170 runs in 120 balls to win.  

The chance of winning was less than 1%, but as Maxwell stepped up to strike, he scored 158 runs and finished the match with a World Cup record for 14 fours and 201 runs scored. This was massive, as he not only almost locked in Australia’s chances at a spot in the semi-final, but also kept a six-game winning streak going, which helped the team move Afghanistan back into sixth place. 

This World Cup has also featured a great performance by Indian bowlers, including the stars Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Kuldeep Yadav. They helped hold Sri Lanka to 55 runs while getting all the batsmen out and the South African team to 83 runs. Shami had 16 wickets in four matches, taking five wickets twice and completely dominating opposing batsmen with a bowling economy of 4.30. If they continue this, India has a chance at winning the World Cup for the third time. 

Vol. C | Fall | Issue VIII

Victor Wembanyama Dominates the NBA   

The San Antonio Spurs’ rookie prodigy, number one overall pick, and power forward Victor Wembanyama is taking the National Basketball Association (NBA) by storm. The seven-foot-three star has shown his ability to check off all the boxes by shooting three-pointers, playing great defense, running down the court for dunks, and making successful passes. A performance like this is very uncommon; the taller an NBA player, the less they can maneuver on the court, aside from a few exceptions such as Los Angeles Lakers’ Lebron James.  

Throughout the first five games of this season, Wembanyama has averaged 20.6 points per game, 8.6 rebounds, two blocks, a steal, and two assists each night. The Spurs, which had 22 wins last season, already has three wins in their first five games, and it looks like Wembanyama is a huge contributing factor to their success. Other team players have also picked up a lot of the slack.  

Notably, point guard Keldon Johnson has averaged 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists a night. By far, however, their second-best player has been shooting guard Devin Vassell, who has averaged 19.4 points per game. Center Zach Collins has also taken a huge step up, having averaged 13 points and six rebounds every game. 

Collins has also become a significant enough threat to the opposition to save Wembanyama more than a few trips down the floor. As this team continues to develop, it will be interesting to see how they grow and whether head coach Gregg Popovich can bring the Spurs back to the playoffs. 

NFL Leaders During Week 8   

Here were the leaders at each specific category during their games in the eighth week: 


Best Quarterback: Washington Commanders’ Sam Howell  

Stats: 397 passing yards, four touchdowns, one interception 

Result: 38-31 loss to Philadelphia Eagles 


Best Running Back: Detroit Lions’ Jahmyr Gibbs  

Stats: 26 carries, 152 rushing yards, one touchdown, five receptions for 37 receiving yards  

Result: 26-14 win over Las Vegas Raiders 

Best Wide Receiver: Dallas Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb 

Stats: 12 receptions, 158 receiving yards, two touchdowns  

Result: 43-20 win over Los Angeles Rams 


Best Tight End: San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle 

Stats: nine receptions, 149 receiving yards 

Result: 31-17 loss to Cincinnati Bengals 


Best Defensive Player: New York Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux 

Stats: six tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble 

Result: 13-10 Loss to New York Jets 

Vol. C | Fall | Issue VII

The Eagles Are Still the Best Team in the NFL: 

After last week’s embarrassing performance against the New York Jets, everyone had given up on the Philadelphia Eagles and its quarterback Jalen Hurts, but the team is back after taking down the extremely hyped Miami Dolphins, who has had a win-loss rate of 5-2. The defense of the Eagles was able to contain the high-flying Dolphins offense that was averaging almost 39 points per game coming into the week.  

Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick had four tackles for loss, cornerback Darius Slay had four tackles and one big interception, pass rusher Josh Sweat had two sacks, linebacker Nolan Smith had a sack, and both defensive linemen Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis created eight quarterback hits throughout the game.  

The primary goal in this game was to have the Eagles eliminate all the Dolphins’ big plays, which is exactly what happened as Miami’s running back Raheem Mostert had nine carries for 45 yards. A back who averages about 100 yards per game completely fell short of the mark, which caused more passing plays for the Dolphins but was held to about six yards per catch.  

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, also a Most Valuable Player Award candidate, only had eight yards per catch and had his second-lowest total of the season. Quarterback Tua Tagoviloa couldn’t find his second-best receiver Jaylen Waddle much either as Waddle finished with a season-low in receiving yards for a game this season.  

Meanwhile, as mentioned before, Hurts continued cooking up defenses as he limited the turnover this week by only throwing one interception while having two passing touchdowns and 279 passing yards. Wide receiver A.J. Brown finished with more than 120 receiving yards for the fifth straight game after catching 10 balls for 137 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dallas Goedert finally looked like himself again after catching five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.  

Finally, out of the backfield running back D’Andre Swift had 75 all-purpose yards while helping a lot with the blitz-blocking schemes. The Eagles really is that team that can win the Super Bowl, and with the amazing addition of former Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard, they will keep dominating as they have been for the previous decade and so on.  

MLB World Series Shocker: 

As the Major League Baseball season is about to end, many fans are super excited about the upcoming World Series to crown the best team in a seven-game series. Going into the American League Conference Series and the National League Conference Series, many people thought the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros were going to come out of there against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers.  

To everyone’s surprise, however, the team that had made four World Series appearances in the last eight years, the Houston Astros, didn’t actually make it and lost a seven-game series to everyone’s free agency winners, the Texas Rangers.  

Adding pitcher Max Scherzer in the middle of the season really helped this team as it already had all-star shortstop Corey Seager, 33 home runs and 96 runs batted in, closing pitcher Aroldis Chapman who rejuvenated his career, shortstop Marcus Semien who had 30+ home runs for the third straight year, and outfielder Adolis Garcia was already playing great for them before this season.  

The Arizona Diamondbacks, a team for which nobody had voted to make the World Series this season, actually made it. Everyone thought the Phillies’ star right fielder Bryce Harper would get a chance to win his first World Series with many other stars on this side, but the Diamondbacks’ pitching led by Zac Gallen, Brandon Pfaadt, and Paul Sewald were able to shut down this series.  

Many great batters like infielder Ketel Marte, outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and outfielder Alec Thomas got their bats rolling as well. It will be a very interesting series to watch as one team, the Rangers, is fighting for its first World Series, while the Diamondbacks, is looking for its second.  

The NBA Season Begins Grades: 

The NBA Season tipped off on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and here are my grades for all the teams that played that day: 

Los Angeles Lakers: I give the team a C because power forward Anthony Davis had 0 points in the second half and couldn’t beat the Denver Nuggets. 

Golden State Warriors: I think it deserves a B because defense still looked good without forward Draymond Green, but it could have improved its shots.  

Denver Nuggets: This team gets an A+ because this team looks destined to win again as center Nikola Jokic and point guard Jamal Murray are in top form.  

Phoenix Suns: I give this team an A+ because point guard Josh Okogie, center Drew Eubanks, and shooting guards Devin Booker and Eric Gordon looked great without shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Kevin Durant, both stars in the game. 

Vol. C | Fall | Issue VI

The Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles can’t be stopped; the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially back

Everyone has wondered about the whereabouts of the last two Super Bowl-winning National Football Conference teams. They have officially returned, well to form, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting a 3-1 record of wins to losses, led by star quarterback Baker Mayfield. Meanwhile, although the Los Angeles Rams are 2-3, they have played the most challenging schedule in the league, playing teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Cincinnati Bengals.  

Now that former Rams star wide receiver Van Jefferson has left for the Atlanta Falcons, there is room for young wide receiver Tutu Atwell to thrive in the creative offense constructed by coach Sean McVay. Atwell, who had 24 catches in 279 yards and two touchdowns, will get more opportunities with the first-team team while showcasing his trademark speed, which he showed in his first National Football League season.  

This passing game, however, is not the only strong point of this offense, which is led by star quarterback Matthew Stafford; the running back, Kyren Williams, is also a rising star. The former Notre Dame Fighting Irish player took 77 carries for 300 yards and five touchdowns, as well as caught 13 passes. He single-handedly elevated the backfield for the Rams as soon as running back Cam Akers was traded to Minnesota Vikings.  

On the defensive side, some Rams names to look out for are linebacker Byron Young, safety John Johnson III, cornerback Jordan Fuller, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, cornerback Derion Kendrick, and cornerback Akhello Witherspoon, who is the team’s best defensive player by far.  

Buccaneers wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans have both assisted him, as they have for every quarterback of the team, but two players in the spotlight are wide receivers Trey Palmer and Cade Otton. Not only has Otton been a tremendous blocking tight end, but he gets a good three to four crucial catches a game, while Palmer has had two game-winning touchdowns against formidable defenses.  

Hands down the best defender on the Buccaneers has been safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. who improves every year and currently leads the team with 31 tackles with two forced fumbles and four passes defended. Linebackers Joe Tryon, Lavonte David, and Devin White are also vital players in this dominating and game-changing defense.  

In other football news, the Miami Dolphins have an undefeatable quick-strike offense this season, with wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle still balling out. One big question was who would lead the Dolphins’ offense; with running back Devon Achane ruled out, commentators debated who their key player would be for several weeks. Well, that problem was solved with another speedster, running back Raheem Mostert, who ran for 115 yards against the Panthers, with two touchdowns and three catches out of the backfield. 

Backup players Salvon Ahmed and Chris Brooks, both running backs, had 51 combined yards and a touchdown to stabilize the run game. Through the air, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa dominated again with 262 yards and three touchdowns, while his lead wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, caught one of those touchdowns and ran 163 yards on seven catches. 

Meanwhile, their second star wide receiver, Jaylen Waddle, returned from injury and had seven catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. The defense sacked Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young four times, with defensive lineman Christian Wilkins responsible for two. This offensive line has continued to dominate week in and week out, averaging 40 points a game, and it will be interesting to see if they can sustain these moves, especially when the playoff chase begins in December.  

On the other hand, after Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was embarrassed by the Jets’ coordinated defense, there was a look on his face that showed that the Eagles would not lose another game this season. In general, history has proven that when Hurts fails, he has a Michael Jordan-type mentality of never quitting on anything, no matter the situation.  

Jalen Hurts was once benched behind Tagovailoa in a 2018 national championship game. Ever since that moment, Jalen Hurts has only lost 13 football games, including in the NFL, where most great college quarterbacks struggle for at least three years. Hurts, who threw over 3,900 yards last season and had over 30 touchdowns while leading the Eagles to a 15-2 win-loss record, is not someone to bet against. 

Hurts and his star wide receivers have combined forces for over 3,500 receiving yards in the last two full seasons, with a stacked running game featuring players D’Andre Swift, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell. Now, signing former star wide receiver Julio Jones will further increase this team’s confidence, as Jones is also trying to rejuvenate his career after having three bad seasons with the Tennessee Titans and Buccaneers.  

Their defense has studs all over the field, including pass rusher Jalen Carter, cornerbacks Darius Slay and Josh Jobe, safety Reed Blankenship, defensive ends Brandon Graham, Jordan Davis, and Fletcher Cox, and star linebackers Nakobe Dean and Hassan Reddick. This was a top-10-ranked defensive line last season, and they have become even better this year. Alongside a powerful offense on the other side, no one can stop the Eagles.

NBA Preseason Predictions 

As the NBA Season will begin this upcoming Tuesday, here are my top 10 teams for the 2023-24 season:

  1. Denver Nuggets
  2. Milwaukee Bucks
  3. Golden State Warriors
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Boston Celtics
  6. Philadelphia 76ers
  7. Los Angeles Clippers
  8. New Orleans Pelicans
  9. Phoenix Suns
  10. Memphis Grizzlies

Vol. C | Fall | Issue V

The Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins Offensive Explosions 

Besides the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills, the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins are next on the list as the most enticing teams to watch. Not only did the teams come into the season with huge expectations on their shoulders, but both have lived up to reality. 

The Dolphins did have a poorly played game recently, even though they still amassed 24 points, but in the third week of the season, they scored 70 points against the Denver Broncos. Many thought the only important parts of the offense were Dolphins wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, but making the team even more mind-blowing are their running backs Devon Achane and Raheem Mostert. Even though Hill made 150 yards against the Broncos, Achane, and Mostert combined for nearly 300 yards and seven touchdowns together. 

Tua Tagovailoa, the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, had four touchdown passes and over 300 yards in the Broncos game, while totaling over 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns in four other games. Even while Waddle has missed a couple of games, the team has been able to find other wide receivers like Braxton Berrios, Alec Ingold, and Drew Sample.  

While they have gotten a lot of yards, so have the Houston Texans, led by rookie quarterback CJ Stroud who has thrown no interceptions for over 1,000 yards. But the bigger story is the team’s first- and second-year receivers, Tank Dell and Nico Collins, who have absolutely been shredding secondaries. Collins has 436 yards in four games with two 150-yard games, while on the other side, Dell had a 150-yard game as well as 267 yards on the season.  

These two were expected to have fewer catches than wide receiver Robert Woods, who also has 18 catches for 191 yards, but Woods has turned into the fifth-best offensive threat on the team. Running back Dameon Pierce has 181 yards in three starts this season, and tight end Dalton Shultz got into his normal form last week after catching three passes for 42 and a touchdown. 

2023 ICC World Cup Predictions  

As the International Cricket Council World Cup is starting, there is a lot of excitement for the 10 best teams in the world to go head-to-head to hold up the greatest cricket trophy of all time. Here are my predictions for the World Cup for each team and the finals prediction as well by win-loss. 

  1. Australia: 8-0 
  2. India: 7-1
  3. England: 6-2
  4. South Africa: 6-2  
  5. New Zealand: 5-3 
  6. Sri Lanka: 4-4
  7. Bangladesh: 3-5
  8. Pakistan: 2-6
  9. Afghanistan: 1-7
  10. Netherlands: 1-7

Finals: Australia vs. South Africa 

Win by Prediction: South Africa wins by 5 wickets 

Leading Runs Scorer: Quinton de Kock scores 530 runs 

MVP: Quinton De Kock (South Africa) 

Leading Wicket Taker: Kagiso Rabada with 14 (South Africa) 

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Neev Chopra, Senior Staff Writer
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