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  • K-State beats Purdue 88-79 Nov 24, 2014 5:54 PM
    Marcus Foster scored 24 points and Kansas State held on to beat Purdue 88-79 after blowing most of a big early lead Monday in the opening game of the Maui Invitational.

     
  • Hoosiers eager to win the bucket vs. Purdue Nov 24, 2014 6:09 PM
    With rival Purdue coming to town Saturday for the Old Oaken Bucket game, an actual win is the only type Indiana’s players want to taste. “There’s no such thing as a morale victory in this game,” center Collin Rahrig said.

     
  • Could Saturday’s game be Gordon’s last with Badgers? Nov 24, 2014 6:15 PM
    Saturday is Senior Day for the 14th-ranked Badgers, who also might be sending junior running back Melvin Gordon off into the NFL sunset.

     
  • Wisconsin tries to get better grip on axe postgame Nov 24, 2014 6:17 PM
    If the ceremonial Paul Bunyan axe exchanges hands in the Wisconsin-Minnesota game, the winning team typically sprinted to the opposing side to take possession. Badgers coach Gary Andersen said the axe will no longer be on the sideline after the teams exchanged shoves last year at Minnesota.

     
  • Hoke’s job security underlying current in The Game Nov 24, 2014 6:05 PM
    Brady Hoke refuses to contribute to the speculation about his job security. Hoke batted aside questions about his future with the Wolverines on Monday and instead spoke mainly about his team’s preparation for its upcoming annual grudge match with Ohio State.

     
  • Huskers’ Pelini says he’s doing all he can to win Nov 24, 2014 5:49 PM
    Nebraska coach Bo Pelini had to know he would be peppered with questions about the state of his program following a second straight loss characterized by another embarrassing defensive performance.

     
  • Manziel’s entourage involved in hotel fight Nov 24, 2014 5:51 PM
    A Browns fan who says he wanted to give Johnny Manziel “a hug” was struck by the rookie quarterback’s entourage at a downtown hotel and was left with a swollen eye and lip, police said.

     
  • Bears’ Mariani exactly where he wants to be Nov 24, 2014 8:56 PM
    Marc Mariani's first game as a Bear was pretty uneventful for the kick returner, but it was still special for him since he was back doing what he loves after missing the previous two seasons with injuries.

     
  • Rose, Gasol return as Bulls win Nov 24, 2014 11:05 PM
    Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol returned from injuries Monday, and the Bulls needed all the help they could get to edge Utah 97-95. The Bulls led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, but ended up having to rally late to pull out the win.

     
  • Hawks Talk: Underachieving at the quarter point Nov 24, 2014 9:01 PM
    OK, we’ve reached the quarter point of the season, so what better time to chat about what we’ve just witnessed and what may lie ahead for the Blackhawks?

     
  • Rozner: Bears’ Forte takes pounding, keeps grinding Nov 24, 2014 8:52 PM
    The Bears’ offense has been dreadful in 2014, but they’ve managed to win five games because of the heavy load carried by Matt Forte. He somehow manages to stay on the field despite a beating every week.

     
  • Are Bears getting Lions at the right time? Nov 24, 2014 8:51 PM
    The Bears are still two games behind the second-place Lions in the division, but they could be catching their NFC North foes at the right time in the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. The 5-6 Bears have won two games in a row, while the 7-4 Lions have dropped two straight for the first time this season.

     
  • Big questions ahead of Illini-Northwestern game Nov 24, 2014 5:47 PM
    Big questions face Illinois as it gets ready for something it hasn’t faced since 2011: a big game to close the regular season with a potential bowl bid on the line. The first: Who starts at quarterback Saturday at Northwestern after backup Reilly O’Toole came off the bench and engineered a win against Penn State? The second: Does coach Tim Beckman have to win to keep his job?

     
  • Sandoval reaches multiyear deal with Red Sox Nov 24, 2014 5:43 PM
    Kung Fu Panda is moving to Boston. Free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a multiyear contract, and the switch-hitting slugger informed the San Francisco Giants he’s leaving. Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP, had pondered an offer from the Giants worth close to $100 million over five years, a person with knowledge of that proposal said.

     
  • Forsett leads Ravens past Saints Nov 24, 2014 11:11 PM
    Justin Forsett ripped off one long run after another, and the Baltimore Ravens battered Drew Brees into a very costly mistake. Forsett rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and Baltimore beat New Orleans 34-27 on Monday night to hand the Saints their third consecutive loss. Will Hill had a 44-yard interception return for a go-ahead score for Baltimore in the third quarter. Steve Smith caught four passes for 89 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown catch for the Ravens (7-4), who improved to 4-0 against the NFC South and remained within a half-game of AFC North leader Cincinnati (7-3-1). Brees passed for 420 yards and three touchdowns for New Orleans (4-7), which remained tied for first in its anemic division with Atlanta, which lost to Cleveland a day earlier. Now New Orleans and Atlanta have the dubious distinction of being the first teams in NFL history to occupy first place in a division while three games under .500. Jimmy Graham had two TD catches for the Saints, who had won 14 straight home night games. Brees was sacked four times, and his pivotal interception came as he threw under pressure from Terrell Suggs. The pass was behind Graham, allowing Hill to snag it with nothing but open field in front of him. The play broke a 17-all tie and New Orleans never recovered. By the end of the game, the chants of “Who-Dat,” for which Saints fans are known were replaced by the opening rift to the White Stripes song, “Seven Nation Army,” which Ravens fans also sang in the Superdome after their 2013 Super Bowl triumph over San Francisco. The Saints carried a 17-14 lead into halftime on Brees’ 26-yard scoring pass to Marques Colston, who brought it in while leaping between two defensive backs. The Ravens tied the game on Justin Tucker’s 31-yard field goal in the third quarter. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was 18 for 24 for 243 yards and one touchdown. Forsett’s scoring runs went for 13 yards in the second quarter and 20 yards late in the fourth quarter to seal it. Smith and Forsett gave the Saints fits throughout the game. Smith caught four passes for 89 yards, and his first-down catch in the third quarter also precipitated a scuffle for which Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro was assessed a personal foul. Forsett, whose 5.4 yards per carry coming into the game led all NFL running backs, averaged 8.3 yards per rush. Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil had two sacks. Brees’ first scoring pass went for 10 yards to Graham. Joe Morgan, who struggled to crack New Orleans’ lineup earlier this season and then was suspended two games for undisclosed team violations, broke loose for two plays longer than 60 yards the first two times he touched the ball. He gained 67 yards on a running play on New Orleans’ opening drive, and then caught a 62-yard pass on the Saints’ third series, setting up Graham’s TD. The Saints were in position to take an early lead after Morgan’s long gain on an end-around. It took defensive back Lardarius Webb’s horse-collar tackle at the 2 to prevent Morgan from scoring. The play gave New Orleans first-and-goal on the 1, but the Ravens stopped two runs by Mark Ingram and a scramble by Brees before stuffing Ingram again — this time for a loss of 2 yards — on fourth-and-goal. Taking over at its 3, Baltimore needed just one play to break out of the shadow of its own end zone. Forsett burst through the middle of the line and scampered 38 yards to the 41. Then it was time for Smith, a long-time Saints nemesis from his 13 seasons with Carolina, to torment Saints fans a little more. He had a clutch third-down catch to sustain the drive, which culminated with his touchdown catch as he crashed down backward at the left edge of the end zone. That gave Smith 11 career touchdown catches against New Orleans, more than he has against any other team.

     
  • Browns beat Falcons with last-minute drive Nov 23, 2014 3:52 PM
    Josh Gordon picked right up where he left off for Cleveland. Fortunately for the Browns, Brian Hoyer had a short memory. Gordon turned in a huge performance in his first game of the season, catching eight passes for 120 yards, and Hoyer shook off three interceptions to lead a drive in the final minute that set up Billy Cundiff’s 37-yard field goal as time expired Sunday, giving the Browns a 26-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Taking advantage of the last of Hoyer’s picks, the Falcons drove for Matt Bryant’s 53-yard field goal with 44 seconds remaining to seize the lead. Turns out, they left too much time on the clock. Hoyer completed four straight passes, including a 24-yarder to Gordon down the middle of the field. The last of the throws went to Miles Austin, who took it to the Falcons 19. The Browns (7-4) hustled to the line, spiked the ball with 5 seconds left, and sent on Cundiff for his fourth field goal of the game. The Falcons (4-7) came in on a two-game winning streak and improbably tied for first with New Orleans in the woeful NFC South. But, with another fourth-quarter meltdown, Atlanta dropped to 0-7 against teams outside its division. Georgia native Isaiah Crowell scored a pair of touchdowns for the Browns, but it was Gordon who had the biggest impact. After serving a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, he started for Cleveland and was targeted a game-high 16 times. The longest catch was his last one, taking the Browns to the Atlanta 45. Hoyer followed with a 15-yard completion to tight end Gary Barnidge, who bounced off a couple of tacklers to pick up some extra yards. Then Austin hauled in an 11-yarder that set up Cundiff for the winning kick. He also connected 33, 37, and 32 yards.

     
  • New dad Hilton leads Colts over Jaguars Nov 23, 2014 3:44 PM
    T.Y. Hilton delivered on the first promise to his first child, wrapping up his family’s big day with a rockin’ touchdown catch. Just hours after Hilton’s wife gave birth to a baby girl, the third-year receiver caught four passes for 122 yards and one touchdown to spur Indianapolis’ second-half turnaround in a 23-3 victory over Jacksonville. He celebrated by cradling the ball like a baby. Before leaving for Lucas Oil Stadium, Hilton promised to catch a touchdown pass for his new daughter. But it sure wasn’t easy on a day the Colts offense was mostly out of sync. Andrew Luck was sacked a season-high five times, fumbled three times and lost two of those — just in the first half. The Colts (7-4) wound up losing three of six fumbles in the game, still not enough to derail the AFC South leaders, who have won seven of nine and 11 straight against division foes. Luck finished 21 of 32 with 253 yards and the one score, though his streak of eight consecutive 300-yard games ended one game short Drew Brees’ NFL record (nine). All Jacksonville (1-10) could muster on an even worse day was a 28-yard field goal from Josh Scobee. That capped a 2-yard drive after Luck fumbled at his own 12-yard line. Bortles was 15 of 27 for 146 yards with one interception and Jacksonville managed just 194 total yards. But the Colts struggled mightily early with two key blockers out because of injuries, right tackle Gosder Cherilus (shoulder) and tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle). While Luck spent most of the first half dodging the Jaguars’ pass rushers, the Colts did just enough to take a 6-3 halftime lead. After Blake Bortles was picked off by Vontae Davis, Indy settled for a 46-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri to make it 3-0. Scobee’s field goal made it 3-3, and the Colts didn’t score again until Luck took them on a 52-yard march that ended with Vinatieri’s second field goal, a 20-yarder, with 12 seconds left in the half. Indy righted itself quickly in the second half. Trent Richardson scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter to make it 13-3. Less than two minutes later, Hilton beat Dwayne Gratz for the 73-yard catch-and-run to make it 20-3. Vinatieri added a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth to make it 23-3, breaking a tie with Matt Stover for fifth place on the NFL’s career field goal list (472).

     
  • Dalton leads Bengals over Texans Nov 23, 2014 3:44 PM
    Andy Dalton finally got a win in his hometown. Dalton lost his first three games against the Houston Texans, including twice here in the playoffs, but threw for 233 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a 22-13 win on Sunday. It was his second strong game and he again relied on A.J. Green, who is healthy after dealing with a toe injury. Green finished with a career-high 12 receptions for 121 yards against a secondary playing without cornerback Kareem Jackson (knee). The Bengals (7-3-1) led throughout, but Houston (5-6) cut the lead to 3 late in the third quarter before Cincinnati tacked on two field goals in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Rookie Jeremy Hill scored on a 2-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter after an interception by Ryan Mallett for Cincinnati’s only touchdown of the second half. Mallett struggled in his second career start, finishing with 189 yards passing and often overthrowing open receivers. Houston’s only touchdown came on a 60-yard interception return by Johnathan Joseph in the third quarter. Rookie Alfred Blue ran for 46 yards filling in for Arian Foster for the second straight game. Foster, who entered the day third in the NFL in yards rushing, has a groin injury. Giovani Bernard had 45 yards rushing after missing the past three games with an injured shoulder and hip. But Hill still got plenty of carries, running 18 times for 87 yards. Dalton threw two incompletions in a row to bring out Mike Nugent for a 31-yard field goal to push the lead to 19-13 with about nine minutes left. Nugent added a 49-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining. The Texans had a first down at the 8-yard line but their offense stalled after that and they settled for a 25-yard field goal by Randy Bullock to get within 16-13 late in the third. Joseph, who played his first five seasons with the Bengals, grabbed an interception and dashed 60 yards — high-stepping the last five — for a touchdown to cut the lead to 16-10 midway through the third quarter. Rey Maualuga intercepted Mallett on the first play of the second half to give the Bengals the ball at the Houston 22. Hill had five carries on the next drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 16-3 early in the third. Mohamed Sanu grabbed a short pass from Dalton and dragged A.J. Bouye into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown that gave the Bengals a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Dalton’s pass to Green on fourth down from the 1 was incomplete in the second quarter. It didn’t matter much though, as Geno Atkins tackle Blue in the end zone on the next play for a safety to make it 9-0. The Texans had trouble getting things going on offense and they had to punt on their first two possessions before the safety on the third one. Bengals right tackle Andre Smith injured his left arm in the first quarter and didn’t return.

     
  • Niners squeak by Washington Nov 23, 2014 8:31 PM
    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco’s first-team offense that had failed to convert a fourth-quarter touchdown all season finally did so when the 49ers’ playoff hopes depended on it. Carlos Hyde ran for a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown with 2:59 remaining, and San Francisco barely squeaked by lowly Washington with a 17-13 win Sunday that kept them in the thick of the playoff chase. A fourth-down conversion in their own territory away from losing, the Niners finally capitalized with a rare touchdown in the final period on the way to their third straight victory. San Francisco (7-4) overcame three turnovers. Washington coach Jay Gruden won a challenge with 5:36 left that Vernon Davis hadn’t made a first down. San Francisco went for it and Frank Gore converted the fourth-and-1. On the next play, Colin Kaepernick hit Anquan Boldin for a 29-yard gain and safety Ryan Clark was flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for his hit on Boldin. Boldin made a 10-yard reception two plays later, leading to Hyde’s score — the first TD by San Francisco’s first-team offense in the fourth quarter this season. Kaepernick threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Boldin on San Francisco’s initial series but did little else offensively to break open what was expected to be a lopsided game. San Francisco was a nine-point favorite in the opening betting line. Boldin, who caught a pair of touchdown passes in a win at Washington last November, finished with nine catches for 137 yards.

     
  • Cardinals can’t solve Seahawks Nov 23, 2014 8:31 PM
    After 10 games, the defending champions needed to ask the difficult questions of each other. Most of all, whether the Seattle Seahawks were willing to put aside egos and get back in the NFC West race. Led by a stingy Seattle defense reminiscent of a season ago and some more playmaking by Russell Wilson, the Seahawks handed the Arizona Cardinals their second loss of the season, 19-3 on Sunday. “There was something that was missing,” Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. “There was a subtle difference there and I feel like today we kind of found it. We talked about it throughout the week. Like I said, just trusting each other, respecting each other and going out there and playing for each other. “I definitely felt it today.” Seattle won for the fourth time in five games, putting aside the missed chances from last week’s loss in Kansas City and announcing the Seahawks aren’t done by knocking off the league-leading Cardinals. “Hard talks. Arguments. Like a family, and just like a family we came together,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. Wilson was sacked a season-high seven times by Arizona’s ultra-aggressive defense and the assortment of blitzes they called to confuse and fluster the Seahawks quarterback. But when Seattle (7-4) needed a scoring drive, after squandering advantageous field position throughout the game, Wilson delivered. Considering the circumstances, it was probably Seattle’s most important drive of the season, capped when Wilson found backup tight end Cooper Helfet on a 20-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the third quarter. It was a must-win for Seattle if it had any hopes of catching Arizona (9-2) in the NFC West. “It’s a special win because we did it together,” Thomas said. “For the first time this year, I think we played for pure reasons, for no motives attached. That’s what you love about this team: We can put our egos aside and we can admit when we’re wrong. Guys stayed true.” Wilson finished 17 of 22 for 211 yards and added 73 yards rushing. He was at his best on the lone touchdown drive going 6 of 6 for 70 yards as Seattle moved the pocket and made him less vulnerable to the Arizona rush. He escaped the arms of Lorenzo Alexander for a possible sack and found Marshawn Lynch open for 23 yards. Wilson also ran for 15 yards on third-and-11 to get Seattle inside the Arizona 20. “I think we let Russell Wilson be Russell Wilson on too many occasions,” Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu said. Helping out Wilson was Seattle’s defense that was finally healthy with the return of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Arizona was held to a season-low 204 total yards. A week after throwing for a career-high 306 yards, Drew Stanton was 14 of 26 for 149 and one interception. Stanton was minus a weapon with Larry Fitzgerald inactive due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and wasn’t helped when Jaron Brown dropped a touchdown late in the first half. Fitzgerald sat for the first time in 110 games and for just the fifth time in his career due to the knee injury suffered last week against Detroit. John Brown continued his stellar rookie season with three catches for 61 yards, but Michael Floyd was shut out, defended much of the game by Richard Sherman. Arizona saw its six-game win streak snapped. “The second half, we had it right where we wanted it and we messed it up ourselves,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “Everything was self-inflicted. Give them credit, that’s a good football team, but we self-inflicted a lot of things.” Seattle missed plenty of chances to make the victory even more of a blowout. Wilson had a possible 49-yard touchdown run in the first half brought back on a downfield holding call. Lynch was corralled by Arizona’s third-best rush defense and held to 39 yards on 15 carries, making it 21 straight games the Cardinals have not allowed a 100-yard rusher. Seattle started three first-half drives inside Arizona territory, but never found the end zone. Steven Hauschka hit on field goals of 27, 32, 52 in the first half and a 40-yarder in the third quarter after DeShawn Shead blocked Drew Butler’s punt. It wasn’t a designed punt block but Shead noticed the Cardinals had only 10 players on the field and rushed. “Any way you look at it, it’s a big opportunity for us in the division and a really nice performance,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “I loved the way the guys rallied to play together.”

     
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