National Sports

Eagles, Vikings have lived on their ‘D’ all year long

By Rob Maaddi The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — One team has a suffocating defense. The other has the NFL’s No. 1 unit. Defense should win at least the NFC championship. Two of the league’s elite defenses go at it tonight when the Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) host the Minnesota ...

Texas Tech QB helps West win game

The Associated Press ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Texas Tech’s Nic Shimonek threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Houston’s Steven Dunbar with 1:23 remaining Saturday to give the West a 14-10 victory in the 93rd East-West Shrine game at Tropicana Field. Wisconsin safety Natrell Jamerson ...

Jags, Pats game has lots of drama

The Associated Press FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The week started with a little trash talk from the underdog . The rest of it was dominated by speculation about a certain 40-year-old quarterback’s injured throwing hand . Plenty of intrigue for when the Jaguars and Patriots meet in today’s AFC ...

Big Ten move made at Illinois

The Associated Press CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has hired Arizona assistant Rod Smith as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Smith spent six years with the Wildcats and has been a coach for 22 years, focusing on the offensive side of the ball. He replaces Garrick ...

Sports at a glance

Titans hire Mike Vrabel NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans hired Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel Sunday as their new coach in a fast search that wrapped up after three interviews and just five days after firing Mike Mularkey. Vrabel was the first person Tennessee ...

King’s big game lifts Flash to victory

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Jamaal King scored 21 points and Saint Francis pulled away down the stretch for a 73-60 win over Sacred Heart on Saturday. The Red Flash (11-8, 5-3 Northeast Conference), who outscored the Pioneers (7-14, 2-6) by 12 from the foul line, made 15 of 16 free throws in the ...

Kerber ousts Sharapova

MELBOURNE, Australia — Angelique Kerber is on her own in an elite club at the Australian Open. The 2016 champion routed Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in a third-round win that showcased her credentials as a title contender and ensured she’ll be the only Grand Slam champion still playing in the ...

Yates highlights new Hall of Fame class

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Robert Yates lived long enough to hear his name announced as a NASCAR Hall of Famer. Although he lost his battle with liver cancer five months after he was voted into the Hall, Yates was able to write his own acceptance speech for Friday night’s ceremony. It was read by ...

Sports at a glance

Late birdies big for McIlroy ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy’s patience was tested Thursday on his comeback and he needed three late birdies to register a 3-under 69 that left him three strokes behind first-round leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara at the Abu Dhabi ...

Both Koreas agree to form unified team

The Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea — The rival Koreas agreed Wednesday to form their first unified Olympic team and have their athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the opening ceremony of next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, officials said. The ...

Hoops du Jour

Two Jags miss practice JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson and guard Patrick Omameh missed practice Wednesday. Gipson sat out because of a foot injury suffered in last weekend’s victory at Pittsburgh. Omameh was held out of because of an undisclosed ...

NBA hands out two suspensions for Rockets

The Associated Press Trevor Ariza said nothing happened. The NBA strongly disagreed. Ariza and Gerald Green are suspended for Houston’s next two games, with the NBA coming down hard on both players Wednesday for what the league said was their “hostile, verbal altercation” in the Los ...

Marrone changes Jags’ culture

The Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville’s locker room was abuzz late last season. Four guys played table tennis while others crowded around a small table for dominoes. Two 80-inch televisions were tuned to a sports highlight show, and music blared from one corner of the ...

Saints’ Brees says he’s not looking at going anywhere else but New Orleans

The Associated Press METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees dispensed with technicalities regarding his contract and spoke as if his return to New Orleans next season was virtually assured. “It’s the same way I felt two days ago. It’s the same way I felt 12 years ago. I’ll be here as long as ...

Famed announcer Jackson dies at 89

Keith Jackson, whose signature phrases like “Whoa, Nelly!” made him the down-home voice of college football during more than five decades as a sportscaster, has died. He was 89. Jackson died Friday, according to a statement Saturday by ESPN, which consolidated with ABC Sports, Jackson’s ...

Patriots dispose of Titans

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards, and the New England Patriots cruised past the Tennessee Titans 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh consecutive AFC championship game. New England (14-3) will host the winner of Sunday’s divisional ...

SFU falls at buzzer

MOON — Robert Morris’ Megan Smith hit a wild 3-pointer off a scramble at the buzzer and the Colonials spoiled a 42-point effort from Saint Francis’ Jessica Kovatch in a 63-62 classic finish on Saturday afternoon. The Red Flash forced 33 turnovers but managed just 15 points off the ...

Sitdown with Bowden worth listen

OMAHA, Neb. — Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is 88 and still keeps a busy schedule of speaking engagements. On Wednesday he was in Omaha — his fourth city in a week — to receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award for his contributions to college football and leadership in the ...

Cavaliers blow 22-point lead

The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — When Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan went small Friday night, Lance Stephenson came up big. He baited LeBron James into a late technical foul. He made play after play down the stretch and when the game was over the Pacers’ showman was ...

Titans’ RB getting his big chance

By Teresa M. Walker The Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Derrick Henry isn’t a big or brash talker. That’s what made the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner calling his performance “kind of soft” in Tennessee’s regular-season finale stand out. The massive running back sure made up ...