Texans vs. Panthers 2017 live updates: Scores, highlights, and more

Deshaun Watson will get his first taste of NFL action in Wednesday’s preseason opener.

Updates

Fourth quarter

Panthers 27, Texans 17 (5:16)

Rookie kicker Harrison Butker — competing with Graham Gano — got a chance to shine here, nailing a 51-yard field goal to give Carolina another double-digit lead.

Panthers 24, Texans 17 (12:33)

The Texans nearly tied things up when the defense recovered a fumble and ran it back for a score, but replay determined that it was an incomplete pass instead. The Panthers punted.

Third quarter

Panthers 24, Texans 17

Joe Webb checks out and fourth-string QB Garrett Gilbert checks in for the Panthers. We’re really getting into preseason garbage time here.

Panthers 24, Texans 17 (1:05)

Despite Houston being down two possessions, Watson was calm and poised on his next drive. He didn’t challenge the Panthers defense deep, but was steady hitting his receivers underneath and moving the chains.

In by far his best drive of the game, Watson methodically carved up the Panthers’ defense before finishing business himself, running for a 15-yard touchdown. You’d hardly tell he was a rookie based on this performance.

Panthers 24, Texans 10 (8:53)

The Panthers are down to their third and fourth string with Cameron Artis-Payne in the backfield, as McCaffery ends his night with 33 yards on seven carries. Artis-Payne jumpstarted Carolina’s first drive of the second half with a 20-yard run. Soon after, Webb used his feet to keep the drive alive, getting a couple of first downs with well-timed scrambles.

Damiere Byrd continued a strong night with his second touchdown of the game, putting the Panthers up by 14.

Second quarter

Panthers 17, Texans 10

The Panthers went into their two-minute drill and Webb got them into field goal range. However, he committed an ugly turnover when he badly overthrew a ball in the end zone, leading to an easy interception by Texans safety Corey Moore.

Watson tried a couple of long throws to set up more points, but the Texans’ last first-half drive didn’t amount to anything.

Panthers 17, Texans 10 (1:42)

Watson started getting into a groove, driving the Texans down into the red zone. Unfortunately, the Texans couldn’t find the end zone and the offensive line routinely gave up pressure, forcing Watson into constant scrambles and throwing the ball away. A 25-yard field goal cut the Panthers’ lead to seven.

Panthers 17, Texans 7 (6:00)

Things went from bad to worse for the Texans when tight end Evan Baylis coughed up the ball deep in Panthers territory. Graham Gano hit the 45-yard field goal to put his team up 10 points.

Panthers 14, Texans 7 (8:22)

The Texans continue racking up bone-headed penalties, with the latest one being a blatant kick-catch interference.

Carolina immediately took advantage of the penalty and got the lead back when Webb hit Damiere Byrd on a 50-yard bomb.

Byrd also had the first “fun” celebration of the preseason since the NFL relaxed its rules. He’s a bird, you see.

Panthers 7, Texans 7 (8:45)

Rookie running back D’onta Foreman saw his first reps in the second quarter, playing third on the Texans’ depth chart behind Miller and Blue. He gets three straight carries but fails to pick up a first down.

Panthers 7, Texans 7 (9:40)

Panthers receiver Brenton Bersin had a scary collision with a pair of Texans defenders. He spent a few minutes down on the field before being helped to the sideline.

McCaffery is now handling the majority of carries with Jonathan Stewart joining the starters on the bench, but Webb can’t do much through the air and Carolina is forced to punt again.

Panthers 7, Texans 7 (14:10)

Deshaun Watson enters the game with a warm ovation from the Carolina crowd. The Texans go three-and-out on his first drive, however.

Joe Webb replaced Derek Anderson, who finished his night with 4-of-5 completions, 76 yards, and the one touchdown.

First quarter

Panthers 7, Texans 7

Now the Texans have found a groove on offense. Alfred Blue got things rolling, and he didn’t quit all drive. He put up 31 yards on four carries and barreled into the end zone for the 16-yard touchdown.

Braxton Miller and DeAndre Hopkins also got in on the action, and Savage looked sharp, going 8-for-8.

Unfortunately, defensive tackle Vernon Butler, Carolina’s 2016 first-round pick, had to be helped off the field. This is a good sign, however:

Panthers 7, Texans 0 (7:12)

Watt was already out by the second series, and the Panthers’ offense seemed to notice. Anderson hit Greg Olsen for a 32-yard gain in the middle of the field. Then McCaffrey showed why he was a top-10 pick with a shifty first-down run.

Benjamin beat Johnathan Joseph to haul in the first touchdown of the game.

Texans 0, Panthers 0 (10:13)

It was another three-and-out for Savage (and the Carolina defense). Right now, we’re all just waiting for Deshaun Watson to make his pro debut:

Texans 0, Panthers 0 (11:26)

Doink! The Panthers had a chance to get on the board first, but Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright.

Kelvin Benjamin looked smooth (and not heavy) on a 17-yard catch from Derek Anderson. We also got our first Christian McCaffrey sighting, but it was just a 2-yard gain.

Texans 0, Panthers 0 (13:31)

The Panthers’ defense was on fire during the first series. Tom Savage was under pressure immediately, and Lamar Miller couldn’t find any room to run. Kawann Short sacked Savage for a big loss and Houston went three-and-out.

J.J. Watt is back, and so is his game of catch with fans:

Before the game

The Houston Texans kick off their 2017 preseason in search of yet another franchise quarterback. They’ll hope Deshaun Watson is the answer, and he will get some NFL competition for the first time when he and the Texans take on the Carolina Panthers Wednesday night.

Tom Savage is starting for the Texans, but Watson will get some reps while working with the second unit. If he plays up to his draft pedigree, he could have little trouble overtaking Savage for the job.

The Texans won the AFC South and advanced to the divisional round despite some abysmal play from quarterback Brock Osweiler. Houston shipped him to Cleveland in a salary-dump trade and moved up in the draft to select Watson, fresh off leading Clemson to the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Watson faces some questions about his accuracy and throwing skills, but he’s a natural leader with solid physical traits. But for now, he’ll have to earn his chance behind Savage.

Houston will be without second-year receiver Will Fuller, who broke his collarbone in camp last week. That leaves the No. 2 receiver wide open between Braxton Miller and Jaelen Strong. Miller battled injuries in his rookie year but showed flashes of promise while he converted from quarterback to receiver.

The Panthers are coming off a bitterly disappointing Super Bowl hangover, going 6-10 just one year after finishing 15-1 and winning the NFC behind Cam Newton’s MVP performance. Newton took a sharp step backward, completing a career-worst 52.9 percent of his passes and throwing just 19 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. He’s will sit out the first preseason game while still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, with Derek Anderson getting the start.

Despite Newton’s injury worries, he should be ready for Week 1 and has a new shiny weapon. Carolina went out of its way to add more speed and versatility, drafting Christian McCaffery in the first round and Curtis Samuel in the second. Both men should play a heavy role in their rookie years, with McCaffery in particular adding a new dimension to the offense. Those two should be the big names to watch in the Panthers’ preseason opener.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m. ET and will air nationally on NFL Network. A live stream is available at Watch NFL Network.

Pregame reading

The Panthers are having a super important beard competition.

Which wide receivers could make an impact for Carolina in the preseason opener?

The Panthers aim to show off new-look offense in preseason opener.

J.J. Watt will play in the Texans’ preseason opener.

Who will step up with Will Fuller out?

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Steve Spurrier summed up all of LSU’s frustrations in one short sentence

WAYLP.

Retired head coach Steve Spurrier may not be on the sidelines anymore, but that doesn’t mean he’s done throwing jabs at former rivals. On Wednesday, the Head Ball Coach was a guest speaker at the Independence Bowl Kickoff Luncheon in Shreveport, La.

Right on cue, at one point during his speech, he delivered a jab towards LSU, which was fitting, given the state he was speaking in.

“You can have a bunch of good ballplayers and not win, also. All you LSU fans know about that, I’m sure,” Spurrier told a laughing crowd.

“Just kidding.”

LSU did, of course, just fire Les Miles after winning roughly 10 games per season, due to blue-chip recruiting classes that often fell short of Alabama’s on the field.

Another portion of it was also about talent, but was a little bit more sentimental.

He’s had similar comments about LSU’s talent level before. In a profile by ESPN’s Chris Low from last fall, he mentioned it with the Tigers’ low-scoring 16-14 loss to Wisconsin during Week 1.

“Why can LSU not get it right on offense? Every year, they have as much talent as anybody in the SEC, and that’s including Alabama,” Spurrier said via ESPN.

Spurrier went 11-1 against LSU during his career at Florida, and he lost three times to the Tigers when he was the head coach at South Carolina. Throwing shade at rivals is obviously nothing new for the HBC. In the past, he had some fun with both Clemson and LSU sharing the same stadium nickname.

On the Death Valley nickname: “Most of our guys have never been to Death Valley. (LSU’s stadium) is the Death Valley, isn’t it? Or is there another one? There’s two of them. That’s right. There’s two Death Valleys.”

And when recalling the 2007 season, he touched on Alabama and LSU landing in the BCS Championship.

Hey, 2007. Was that the year Alabama went 6-6 also?

Yessir.

That’s right. Alabama was 6-6. We were 6-6. They got to go to a bowl game, and we didn’t. That’s when I started saying, “Hey, this thing isn’t always fair.” Saban’s first year, 6-6, lose to Louisiana-Monroe; two years later, win a national championship. How’s that. Anyway, that was the only year we didn’t have a winning season until the last one I was there.

I didn’t have any thought whatsoever about LSU [winning the national title with two losses]. We were trying to win more than we lost and go to a bowl game.

Never change, HBC.

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Call Of Duty: WW2 Has A Stealth Mission Where You Put On A Nazi Disguise

The September issue of the Game Informer magazine is out now, and its cover story is about this November’s hugely anticipated Call of Duty: WWII. The in-depth pieces touches on many aspects of the game, and reveals some of the missions players will take part in.

One of these, called “The Wolf’s Den,” will see players infiltrating a German base by wearing Nazi disguises. You need to interact with German soldiers and say and do the right things so as not to arouse suspicion. It sounds pretty cool and unique.

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“This covert operation is a different play experience than the rest of the game and features unique tools and techniques to make it through an engaging, deadly game of cat and mouse,” Game Informer reported.

The game’s campaign overall takes players across Europe. The first mission is a recreation of the D-Day invasion in Normandy on Omaha Beach. According to Game Informer, it has a Saving Private Ryan vibe (that movie opened with an intense and dramatic beach scene), and it will include a “brutal, intimate” melee encounter with an enemy soldier.

Some of the other missions include Operation Cobra (the Allied campaign into France), Train (where you work alongside British forces to stop a German train), and Hurgten Forest (moving into the Rhine on your way to Berlin), among others.

Also in the interview, Sledgehammer Games boss Michael Condrey spoke about the inclusion of Nazi iconography in the game. He said the studio “wrestled with” this topic throughout the development of the game. Ultimately, it was decided to include swastikas in the campaign but not multiplayer or Zombies.

“It was important for us to balance the authenticity of the game and era, and the dark notes that come with the genocide that the Nazis brought to bear. We need to balance and respect that but also recognize this is a piece of entertainment and not dishonor the loss of life that happened there. So in the campaign where it’s about this rich narrative and this authentic depiction and the darkness that happened there, we included the swastika, but in multiplayer, zombies, and social space it didn’t feel appropriate; it didn’t feel like it added honor to the cause.”

Game Informer‘s September issue is available right now.

Call of Duty: WWII launches on November 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A beta will be held ahead of launch, starting on August 25 for PS4.

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Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo of denying loans to DACA recipients

While Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) doesn’t give legal status to undocumented youth, it allows them to do things that, frankly, many of us who are U.S. citizens take for granted.

Under DACA, immigrant youth are able to work legally. They’re able to apply for driver’s licenses. They don’t have to live in constant fear of being deported. Most importantly, it allows them to strive for their dreams, and that can include higher education and entrepreneurship, which in turn can mean applying for a loan. While denying a loan based on citizenship status violates federal law, a class action lawsuit from a group of DACA recipients accuses Wells Fargo, already in a shitload of recent controversy, of doing just that.

Wells Fargo attempted to have the lawsuit thrown out on a technicality. A judge said nope:

A federal judge in San Francisco has refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo bank of denying loans to immigrants who came to the U.S. as youngsters and have been allowed to remain here.

Denial of loans based on citizenship status violates a federal law, passed in 1870, and a California civil rights law, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney said Thursday in rejecting the bank’s attempt to dismiss the proposed nationwide class-action suit.

Wells Fargo, according to the suit, has a policy of granting loans only to U.S. citizens or to noncitizens who have become permanent legal residents and have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen.

“Every day I consider not completing my education because I don’t have the means,” said Mitzie Perez, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. According to the Los Angeles Times, Perez “applied for a student loan from Wells Fargo last year to help cover the costs of her education but was not able to proceed with the online loan application after she disclosed she was not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, according to the lawsuit. She said she works and has used credit cards to cover her tuition.”

“This is a very significant ruling,” said the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Victor Viramontes. “Wells Fargo argued that they could discriminate against DACA recipients, and the judge rejected that.”

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