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No. 20 Miami 33, No. 14 Georgia Tech 17
Miami’s LaRon Byrd caught five passes, including this 40-yard TD, as the Canes ripped the Yellow Jackets to end a four-game losing streak to Tech. Page 6
HANS DERYK / AP

L.A. Angels 4, Boston 3

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 SEE A DIFFERENT GAME VOLUME 2 ISSUE 58

CHARLES KRUPA / AP

A frustrated David Ortiz struck out in the ninth as the Red Sox fell to their likely ALDS opponent. Page 35

Trojan force
If Matt Barkley can’t go, Aaron Corp will give USC something it hasn’t had in the Carroll era: A QB who can hurt you with his legs. Matt Hayes, Page 8

Mythbusters
BY ALBERT BREER abreer@sportingnews.com

What’s real and what’s fiction about Week 2’s best matchups
New Orleans at Philadelphia
Sunday, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Postseason power poll
How MLB’s playoff probables rank with two-plus weeks remaining in the regular season: Yankees. Powerful lineup, Mariano Rivera and homefield advantage make them the favorites. Red Sox. Three reasons they are ranked this high: lineup, rotation, bullpen. Phillies. Late-inning relief is a big concern, but with their offense, they might not have many close games. Cardinals. They have Albert Pujols and arguably the best 1-2 pitching punch (Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright). But they are 6-10 vs. Philly, Colorado and L.A. Angels. They hit, run, pitch and play defense as well as anyone. But they can’t beat Boston. Dodgers. Lack of an ace is their only flaw, but that’s a significant October flaw. Rockies. The N.L.’s hottest team since June (63-35) might be running out of steam. Tigers. Their best—Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera—aren’t as good as other contenders’ best.

1.

Scoreboard
College Football
Top 25 No. 20 Miami 33, No. 14 Georgia Tech 17

Baseball
American League Kansas City 9, Detroit 2
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 3, 14 innings

Tampa Bay 3, Baltimore 0 L.A. Angels 4, Boston 3 Oakland 5, Cleveland 2 National League Milwaukee 7, Chicago Cubs 4 Philadelphia 4, Washington 2 Cincinnati 3, Florida 2 Atlanta 7, N.Y. Mets 3

NHL
Preseason Results, schedule, Page 39

WNBA
Playoffs Results, schedule, Page 42

Five sets of 1-0 teams go head-to-head this weekend. Four of those matchups hit the marquee (sorry, 49ers, Seahawks ... but we’ll wait and see). Too early to float the term “Showdown”? “This is the ‘New England Factor’ for us,” Jets safety Kerry Rhodes said. “Whenever they come in here, it’s going to be turned up naturally.” Real or imagined, even in Week 2, these four games are getting plenty of hype. Here’s a quick guide to cut through some of it (all times ET):

Myth: The Saints’ defense is no match for the Eagles’ offense. Reality: The Saints’ D played better last week than the scoreboard showed, and coordinator Gregg Williams is sure to attack QB Kevin Kolb, if he makes his first NFL start.

2. 3. 4.

Baltimore at San Diego
Sunday, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)

Myth: The Ravens’ offense can’t keep up with San Diego. Reality: San Diego got pushed around by the Raiders last week, and then there’s Baltimore’s suddenly balanced, prolific offense that went for 501 yards in Week 1.

New England at N.Y. Jets
Sunday, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Tony Romo
AP

Myth: The Patriots have a big edge in personnel. Reality: At QB and receiver, yes. Things are even elsewhere offensively, and the Jets’ defensive personnel is far superior. But don’t overlook Bill Belichick’s matchup ability. Myth: Tony Romo struggles against the Giants. Reality: Romo didn’t play well in the January ’08 playoff game, but is 4-0 in the regular season vs. New York, the last three double-digit wins. The Giants are relentless. “Hopefully, we can account for guys and make them pay,” Romo said.

14 PAGES
NFL WEEK 2 COVERAGE
PAGES 18-31

5. 6. 7. 8.

— Stan McNeal
ALDS debate: Red Sox or Angels? , Page 33

N.Y. Giants at Dallas
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

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See a Different Game
GUIDE

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

2

Tune In Today
A quick look at the best sports on TV
— all times Eastern COLLEGE FOOTBALL

OFF THE FIELD

AUTO RACING

No. 10 Boise State at Fresno State
9 p.m., ESPN
Two wins down, 11 to go for the Broncos in their quest for an unbeaten season and a possible BCS bowl berth. Boise State has allowed just eight points all season, and its offense seemed to click last weekend in a drubbing of Miami (Ohio). Fresno State plays tough at home and, after its performance in a double overtime loss at Wisconsin, might rank as Boise’s toughest remaining game. The Broncos have lost only two WAC games since 2002; one came in 2005 at Fresno.

Noon SPEED—NASCAR, Sprint Cup, practice for Sylvania 300, at Loudon, N.H. 3 p.m. ESPN2—NASCAR, Sprint Cup, pole qualifying for Sylvania 300, at Loudon, N.H. 10:30 p.m. VERSUS—IRL, Indy Japan 300, at Motegi, Japan
BOXING

LeBron leaping to big screen
LeBron James is leaving Cleveland—for Hollywood. The Cavaliers superstar and reigning NBA MVP will make his feature film debut by playing himself in an upcoming comedy. James will appear in Fantasy Basketball Camp by Universal Pictures. The movie is about five guys from different backgrounds who come to Las Vegas to live out their fantasy by attending James’ basketball camp. Production will begin next summer, when James can become a free agent. James is experienced in front of the camera. Along with appearing in numerous TV commercials, he has hosted Saturday Night Live.

9 p.m. ESPN2—Junior featherweights, Giovanni Andrade (52-11-0) vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux (2-0-0), at Miami
COLLEGE FOOTBALL

— Dave Curtis GENERAL

9 p.m. ESPN—Boise St. at Fresno St.
GOLF

New claim from QB
Lawyers for Ben Roethlisberger claim in new court documents that the woman accusing the Steelers QB of raping her at a Lake Tahoe hotelcasino concocted the story in part to try to shield herself from possible layoffs at the resort.

Today Show
7 a.m., NBC
Before we get our first official look at the Cowboys’ new $1.2 billion stadium on Sunday Night Football, Matt Lauer and Al Roker will be broadcasting live from the venue this morning. Lauer and Roker are getting a guided tour of the facility by former Cowboys great Emmitt Smith, while Lauer will be interviewing team owner Jerry Jones. But Roker has perhaps the best assignment of all—interviewing the Cowboys cheerleaders.

— Roger Kuznia BASEBALL

The Faces of RBI 2009
8 p.m., ESPN2
With this year’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) World Series in the books, it’s time to take a deeper look at the kids who play in RBI, the coaches that teach them, and the volunteers and MLB executives that help make the program go. The show, hosted by former RBI alumnus and current Arizona Diamondback Justin Upton, will feature a number of kids, most notably two from L.A. and one from Houston.

9 a.m. TGC—European PGA Tour, Austrian Open, second round, at Vienna, Austria 3:30 p.m. TGC—Champions Tour, Greater Hickory Classic, first round, at Conover, N.C. 6:30 p.m. TGC—Nationwide Tour, Boise Open, second round, at Boise, Idaho (same-day tape) 8:30 p.m. TGC—LPGA, Samsung World Championship, second round, at La Jolla, Calif. (same-day tape)
RUGBY

ANDY KROPA / AP

Producer Brian Grazer says LeBron James, above, can easily make the transition from NBA star to movie star. case of sophomore lineman Max Gilpin’s death from heat stroke. Prosecutors contended that Stinson, 37, withheld water from players and ran them excessively in a series of sprints known as “gassers.” Defense attorneys, however, presented former Kentucky chief medical examiner George Nichols and Daniel Danzl, chairman of the University of Louisville department of emergency medicine, who testified Gilpin was not dehydrated and that excessive running did not contribute to his heat stroke.

Crimes and courts
A judge in California ruled that Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s former housekeeper can continue her wrongful discharge case but can’t sue for emotional distress. Maria Jimenez says she was denied health insurance and was forced to quit because the Bryants demeaned and humiliated her. Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers was arrested on a drunken-driving charge after he refused a Breathalyzer test. Rogers was arraigned Thursday on charges of operating while intoxicated and operating without a valid license. He was ordered held on $50,000 bond. A pretrial conference is set for Monday. A Jefferson County (Kentucky) jury acquitted former Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach Jason Stinson on charges of reckless homicide and wanton endangerment in the death of a player in 2008, according to The Courier-Journal. The jury reached the verdict approximately 90 minutes after beginning deliberations in the

Quick hit
The Suns and Phoenix’s Metro light rail system have partnered on a new program—the first of its kind, according to the team—in which customers who buy tickets to a Suns game or any other event at US Airways Center will receive free transportation on the Metro on the day of the event, SportsBusiness Journal’s John Lombardo reported.

11 p.m. SPIKE—NRL, playoffs, semifinals, Gold Coast vs. Parramatta, at Sydney, Australia (same-day tape)
SOCCER

11 p.m. ESPN2—MLS, Colorado at San Jose

MORE COVERAGE from sportingnews.com
Sporting Blog: sportingnews.com/blog/the_sporting_blog/

— Roger Kuznia

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

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My Profile

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

3

YOUR TURN
Want to sound off on a sports topic in the news? Sporting News Today welcomes reader-submitted stories of 150 words or less. E-mail them to yourturn@sportingnews.com and be sure to include your name and hometown. We’ll pick the best ones and run them regularly in the world’s most comprehensive daily sports section.

Bo Pelini
Nebraska football coach
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)
Born: Dec. 13, 1967, in Youngstown, Ohio Status: Married Alma mater: Ohio State What’s on TV: Sports, Seinfeld, 24 What’s in my iPod: Springsteen What I drive: Nissan Armada Favorite flick: Braveheart What I’m reading: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, by Marcus Luttrell Magazine subscriptions: Sports Illustrated, Sporting News Bookmark: ESPN.com Worst habit: Staying up too late On my office walls: Pictures of my family and Nebraska photos Love to trade places for a day with … A Navy Seal or Tiger Woods First job: Coach/scout for San Francisco 49ers in 1993. Provided me with a great base in coaching—working with George Seifert, Ray Rhodes, etc. Talent I’d most like to have: Love to be a great golfer Favorite meal: Spaghetti and meatballs Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Michael Jordan Favorite city to visit: Destin, Fla. Favorite teams as a kid: Indians, Browns, Celtics Favorite value in others: Honesty Dream date: My wife, Mary Pat My greatest love: My family My heroes: My parents My bucket list: Watch my kids succeed in whatever they choose to do!! My mottos: “Stay focused on the process” and “Compete every day” — Jeff D’Alessio

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Football factories
The 10 college programs that produced the most players on 2009 NFL opening day rosters: 1 (tie). 1 (tie). 3. 4 (tie). 4 (tie). 6. 7. 8. 9 (tie). 10 (tie). LSU 41 Miami 41 Texas 37 USC 36 Ohio State 36 Georgia 35 Tennessee 30 Michigan 29 Notre Dame 28 Florida State 28

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On the defensive
Average points allowed per game by BCS teams with all-time most wins:
Michigan (874 wins) Texas (834 wins) Notre Dame (832 wins) Nebraska (829 wins) Ohio St. (809 wins) Penn St. (803 wins)
*Through Sept. 13 Source: World Features Syndicate allowed avg. 10.9 ppg allowed avg. 12.6 ppg allowed avg. 12.2 ppg allowed avg. 12.8 ppg allowed avg. 11.9 ppg allowed avg. 12.3 ppg

ON NEWSSTANDS NOW

NATI HARNIK / AP

CORRECTION
The photo published with the Sept. 17 Michael Jenkins “My Profile” was of former Falcons WR Joe Horn, not Jenkins.

You know who’s in college football’s top 20. But what about college football’s top 20 jobs? The latest issue of SN Magazine takes you to work.

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Next Gen: Recruiting
CLASS OF 2010

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

4

RECRUITING DISH

Four-star California RB chooses Washington
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian might have landed his best recruit for 2010 this week, quite an accomplishment considering he has added some big prospects of late. Consensus four-star RB Deontae Cooper out of Citrus Hill (Perris, Calif.) committed to the Huskies—a big pickup only a couple of weeks after Sporting News Top 100 offensive lineman Erik Kohler chose Washington. Cooper (6-0, 205) also was being heavily recruited by Nebraska, Arizona State and Fresno State. Others who were pursuing him included Arizona, Colorado, Stanford and Utah. “I see great things happening at Washington,” Cooper told Sporting News Today. “The coaches have got me believing in them and what they’re doing. I think this is the way it is with all of us recruits. The coaches there do a good job of bonding with all of us. They’re younger and they relate to you.” Cooper put up numbers as a junior that led the state of California—he finished with 2,953 yards and 47 touchdowns. “I’m a team player, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to win,” Cooper said. “I have a positive attitude in the huddle and I’m not selfish.” Lely (Naples, Fla.) CB Jhony Faustin (5-10, 170) has committed to Purdue, Rivals.com reported. He also reported scholarship offers from Maryland, Middle Tennessee, Iowa State, Pitt and Florida International. “They told me they’d like me to

TOP 25 RECRUITS
6-0/207, Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)
Considering: North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Penn State, Auburn

1.

Marcus Lattimore, RB

8. 9.

Jackson Jeffcoat, DL

6-4/233, Plano West Senior (Plano, Texas)
Considering: USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Houston

6-5/245, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Committed to: USC

14. 15.

Xavier Grimble, TE

Jake Heaps, QB
COURTESY OF LACHE SEASTRUNK

5-10/183, Temple (Texas)
Considering: Auburn, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, USC

2. 3.

Lache Seastrunk, RB

Demarco Cobbs, WR

6-2/195, Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
Committed to: BYU

6-2/200 Tulsa Central (Tulsa, Okla.)
Committed to: Tennessee

Lache Seastrunk 5-11/185, Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Considering: Miami, Georgia, Michigan

Seantrel Henderson, OL

10. 11.

Trey Hopkins, OL

6-4/215, Lake Howell (Winter Park, Fla.)
Considering: Florida State, Alabama, Florida, USC

16. 17.

Christian Jones, LB

21.

Eduardo Clements, RB

6-8/301, Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.)
JOHN FROSCHAUER / AP

6-4/260, North Shore (Galena Park, Texas)
Committed to: Texas

Chris Martin, DL

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, left, is building quite a recruiting class for 2010. come in as a true freshman and try to compete for a starting spot,” Faustin told Rivals.com. “They like the way I play physically and they think I have good feet. “... I think I can cover well and support the run well. But I think things I need to work on are my technique and my ball skills.” Encinal (Alameda, Calif.) DB Tyrone Duckett has committed to Washington State, Scout.com reported. Fresno State and San Diego State also recruited him, but the Cougars were the only program to offer a scholarship. “That family vibe—that really captured me,” Duckett told Scout. com. “Everyone there was just one. That was big for me because (Encinal) is all about being a family.” Duckett (6-0, 205) rushed for 595 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior but is playing quarterback as a senior. He is expected to make the switch to defense in college. Two junior college safeties have committed to Kentucky. Mychal Bailey is no stranger to the Wildcats, having signed with them out of high school in 2007. Josh Gibbs is from the College of the Canyons in California. Bailey (6-5, 205), from LaGrange, Ga., has played for Southwest Mississippi Community College. Gibbs (6-0, 200) also had received interest from New Mexico State, Nevada, Louisville and Syracuse. Kentucky has eight commitments for 2010. — Brian McLaughlin

Considering: Florida, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Minnesota

Malcolm Jones, RB/LB

6-4/222, The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.)
Committed to: Notre Dame

22.

Lamarcus Joyner, DB

5-9/162, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Considering: Florida State, Ohio State, Florida

6-1/205, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
Committed to: Florida

4. 5.

Matt Elam, DB

6-0/210, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.)

Considering: Stanford, UCLA

18. 19.

Brennan Clay, RB

6-0/190, Scripps Ranch (San Diego)
Committed to: Oklahoma

23.

Devin Gardner, QB

Justin McCay, WR

6-4/200, Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)
Committed to: Oklahoma

5-10/195, Little Rock Christian Academy (Little Rock, Ark.)
Considering: Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, Notre Dame

12. 13.

Michael Dyer, RB

6-4/196, Inkster (Mich.)
Committed to: Michigan

Phillip Sims, QB

6-2/215, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.)
Committed to: Alabama

24. 25.

Jamel Turner, DE

6-2/205, Ursuline (Youngstown, Ohio)
Committed to: Ohio State

6-1/200, Skyline (Dallas)
Committed to: Texas A&M

6. 7.

Corey Nelson, LB

Zack McCray, DL

6-4/235, Brookville (Lynchburg, Va.)
Committed to: Virginia Tech

20.

Erik Kohler, OL

Blake Bell, QB

6-5/265, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.)

6-6/215, Bishop Carroll (Wichita, Kan.)
Committed to: Oklahoma

Gabe King, DL/LB

Committed to: Washington

— Brian McLaughlin

6-5/260, Northern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.)
Considering: Alabama, California, Oregon, Tennessee

MORE COVERAGE from sportingnews.com
Top 100 recruits: sportingnews.com/blog/TheRecruitnik/tag/160168/sn100

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Overnight Report
NHL PRESEASON Calgary 5, N.Y. Islanders 4, SO
Dallas Colorado 1 0 0 2

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

5
0 — 4 0 — 5

BASEBALL / AMERICAN LEAGUE Oakland 5, Cleveland 2

0 —1 1 —3

N.Y. Islanders Calgary

1 1

2 2

1 1

Suzuki cleans up in key spot
OAKLAND—Kurt Suzuki thinks defense first. When the catcher makes a rare appearance as Oakland’s cleanup hitter, though, he slides into the role of run producer. Suzuki hit a three-run homer to help the Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 on Thursday. “When you’re not trying to do too much it seems the ball goes farther,” Suzuki said. “We’re having fun and it’s showing on the field.” Suzuki batted fourth for the fifth time this season, and improved his slugging percentage in the spot to .667. He’s hitting .286 there with a pair of home runs and eight RBIs. “He doesn’t strike out much and puts the ball in play,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “That’s how you pick up runs when you have a man at third.” Suzuki has driven in 21 runs over his last 17 games despite hitting .219 over that span. He leads the A’s with 78 RBIs and is trying to become the first catcher to lead the team in the category since 1944. “I just want to be productive,” he said. “Last year I hit .279 and had half as many RBIs (42). I want to put the ball in play and make the defense work.” Adam Kennedy doubled twice and drove in a run for the A’s, who have won four straight and nine of 11. Clayton Mortensen (2-2) pitched five innings to win his second consecutive start. — The Associated Press
Athletics 5, Indians 2 Cleveland AB R Brantley cf 5 0 J.Carroll 2b 4 0 Choo rf 2 0 Jh.Peralta 3b 3 0 Hafner dh 3 0 LaPorta 1b 3 0 Valbuena ss 4 0 Marson c 4 1 Crowe lf 4 1 Totals 32 2 H 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 1 6 BI 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 BB 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 SO 2 0 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 9 Avg. .317 .289 .302 .270 .272 .255 .235 .294 .227 Avg. .288 .313 .287 .267 .236 .235 .236 .270 .239 .289 2 6 0 5 7 0

Fleury gets winner in return
CALGARY, ALBERTA—Theo Fleury, returning to hockey after being away for 6 years, scored the only goal of the shootout to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-4 preseason victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Olli Jokinen had two goals and an assist for the Flames, but it was the 41-year-old Fleury who had the crowd chanting his name. He was first off the bench to hug goaltender David Shantz after he turned aside Greg Moore’s final attempt to clinch the victory. “I don’t miss those chances ever,” the 5-foot-6 Fleury declared. “Not in the big moments. Never have, never will.” Islanders forward Kyle Okposo was removed from the ice immobilized on a stretcher after a hit from Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf early in the second period. Okposo, the seventh pick in the 2006 draft, remained motionless on the ice for more than 6 minutes as he was attended to by trainers from both teams and other medical personnel. A CT scan showed Okposo had a mild concussion, Islanders spokesman Seth Sylvan said in a text message to The Associated Press. Sylvan said Okposo accompanied the team on the flight to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where the Islanders are conducting training camp and where these teams play again Saturday

Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Kennedy 3b 5 2 2 1 0 1 R.Davis cf 4 0 1 0 0 2 R.Sweeney lf-rf 2 1 0 1 2 0 K.Suzuki c 3 1 1 3 1 2 Powell dh 4 0 0 0 0 2 Cust rf 2 0 1 0 1 1 Hairston lf 1 0 0 0 0 0 M.Ellis 2b 4 0 1 0 0 1 D.Barton 1b 3 0 0 0 1 1 Pennington ss 2 1 1 0 2 0 Totals 30 5 7 5 7 10 Cleveland Oakland 000 020 000 — 104 000 00x —

First Period: 1, Dallas, Morrow 1 (Robidas, Ribeiro), 11:45 (pp). Penalties: Barch, Dal, major (fighting), 3:29; Koci, Col, major (fighting), 3:29; Tucker, Col (hooking), 10:38. Second Period: 2, Colorado, Svatos 1 (Hejduk, Peltier), 2:13 (pp). 3, Colorado, Stoa 1, 8:38. Penalties: Morrow, Dal (slashing), 1:11; Robidas, Dal (hooking), 5:58; Galiardi, Col (goaltender interference), 13:25; Peltier, Col (holding stick), 17:47. Third Period: 4, Colorado, Wolski 1 (Stastny, Hejduk), 6:39. Penalties: Petersen, Dal (hooking), 1:57; Hannan, Col (holding), 11:46; O’Neill, Col (tripping), 14:37; Barch, Dal, misconduct, 16:26; McLeod, Col, misconduct, 16:26. Shots on Goal: Dallas 3-8-8: 19. Colorado 9-8-11: 28. Power-play opportunities: Dallas 1 of 5; Colorado 1 of 3. Goalies: Dallas, Auld 0-1-0 (14 shots-12 saves), Climie (10:14 second, 14-13). Colorado, Anderson 1-0-0 (19-18). A: 0 (18,007). T: 2:16. Referees: Tim Peel, Dan O’Rourke. Linesmen: Lyle Seitz, Vaughan Rody. San Jose Los Angeles 1 0 0 0 0 0— 2 1 0— 1

LOB: Cleveland 8, Oakland 8. 2B: Marson (2), Kennedy 2 (25). 3B: Crowe (2), Pennington (2). HR: K.Suzuki (13), off Masterson. RBIs: Brantley (7), Crowe (13), Kennedy (56), R.Sweeney (49), K.Suzuki 3 (78). SB: R.Davis (39). CS: Brantley (3), D.Barton (2). Runners left in scoring position: Cleveland 4 (Crowe 2, LaPorta, Brantley); Oakland 4 (D.Barton, K.Suzuki, R.Davis, Hairston). Cleveland Masterson L, 4-8 J.Lewis Gosling Veras Oakland Mortensen W, 2-2 Kilby H, 1 Breslow H, 13 Wuertz H, 22 A.Bailey S, 25-29 IP 4 2 2⁄3 1 1⁄3 IP 5 1 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 H 6 1 0 0 H 4 0 1 0 1 R ER BB SO 5 5 4 6 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 R ER BB SO 2 2 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3 NP ERA 93 4.49 22 4.34 8 4.82 24 5.72 NP ERA 91 6.14 10 0.00 23 3.59 15 2.85 19 1.95

JACK DEMPSEY / AP

Dallas D Ivan Vishnevskiy (59) and Colorado RW Darren Haydar tangle for the puck. San Jose 2, Los Angeles 1 SO ONTARIO, CALIF.—Jason Demers scored the shootout winner and the San Jose Sharks won in their preseason opener. Thomas Greiss had 24 saves for San Jose and stopped all four Los Angeles skaters in the shootout. He came close to starting the preseason with a shutout but Dustin Brown tied the game at 1 with 9.5 seconds left in regulation. Colorado 3, Dallas 1 DENVER—Marek Svatos and Ryan Stoa scored goals in the second period, and Wojtek Wolski added another in the third as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars. Brendan Morrow scored for the Stars, who were playing their second preseason game in as many nights. Vancouver 3, Anaheim 0 ANAHEIM—Defenseman Kevin Bieksa scored on a power play, Aaron Rome and Steve Bernier added goals and Kyle Wellwood had two assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks. Roberto Luongo played the first two periods and stopped all 19 shots he faced. Cory Schneider took over with a 3-0 lead and made nine saves. — The Associated Press

Inherited runners-scored: Veras 1-0, Wuertz 1-0. HBP: by Breslow (Choo). WP: Wuertz. Umpires: Home, Gerry Davis; First, C.B. Bucknor; Second, Mike Everitt; Third, Angel Campos. T: 2:50. A: 10,873 (35,067).

San Jose won shootout First Period: 1, San Jose, Ferriero 1 (Dandenault), 12:52. Penalties: Murray, SJ (boarding), 1:56; Helminen, SJ (hooking), 5:53; Dandenault, SJ (interference), 8:44; Nichol, SJ (roughing), 15:37; Cliche, LA (roughing), 15:37. Second Period: None. Penalties: Frolov, LA (hooking), :49; San Jose bench, served by Mashinter (too many men), 1:59; Staubitz, SJ, major (fighting), 10:37; Ivanans, LA, minor-major-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 10:37; Drewiske, LA (cross-checking), 10:50; Demers, SJ (tripping), 12:15; Mashinter, SJ, major (fighting), 14:29; Clifford, LA, major (fighting), 14:29; Johnson, LA (closing hand on puck), 15:47; Doughty, LA (interference), 16:21; Joslin, SJ, major (fighting), 20:00; Johnson, LA, minor-major (slashing, fighting), 20:00. Third Period: 2, Los Angeles, Brown 1 (Loktionov), 19:50 (pp). Penalties: Henderson, SJ (tripping), 4:22; Joslin, SJ (interference), 10:32; Loktionov, LA (cross-checking), 16:56; Hinote, SJ (cross-checking), 19:40. Overtime: None. Penalties: Drewiske, LA (tripping), :20; Clifford, LA (hooking), 3:43. Shots on Goal: San Jose 5-9-4-8: 26. Los Angeles 10-5-9-1: 25. Power-play opportunities: San Jose 0 of 8; Los Angeles 1 of 8. Goalies: San Jose, Greiss 1-0-0 (25 shots-24 saves). Los Angeles, Quick 0-0-1 (26-25). A: 6,245 (9,736). T: 2:37. Referees: Justin St. Pierre, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen: Shane Heyer, Jay Sharrers.

Calgary won shootout 1-0 First Period: 1, Calgary, Dawes 1 (Langkow), 4:53. 2, N.Y. Islanders, Smith 1 (Bailey), 11:51. Penalties: MacDonald, NYI (hooking), 9:13; Haley, NYI, minormajor-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 13:49; Jokinen, Cal, major (fighting), 13:49. Second Period: 3, N.Y. Islanders, Comeau 1 (Martinek, Okposo), :59. 4, N.Y. Islanders, Moulson 1 (MacDonald, Hillen), 4:24 (pp). 5, Calgary, Jokinen 1 (Dawes, Sarich), 6:53 (pp). 6, Calgary, Jokinen 2 (Dawes, Moss), 14:35 (pp). Penalties: Giordano, Cal (hooking), 2:52; Morency, NYI, minor-game misconduct (roughing), 5:35; Kiprusoff, Cal, served by Van der Gulik (leaving the crease), 5:35; Phaneuf, Cal (roughing), 5:35; Martin, NYI (roughing), 9:06; Jaffray, Cal (roughing), 9:06; Haley, NYI, major (fighting), 11:54; Jaffray, Cal, major (fighting), 11:54; Martin, NYI, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 13:54; Giordano, Cal, major (fighting), 13:54; Aulie, Cal (hooking), 15:01; Regehr, Cal (high-sticking), 16:50. Third Period: 7, N.Y. Islanders, Moulson 2 (Hillen, Streit), 3:10 (pp). 8, Calgary, Moss 1 (Jokinen, Phaneuf), 7:09 (pp). Penalties: Fleury, Cal (hooking), 1:43; Klementyev, NYI (slashing), 5:40; Haley, NYI (tripping), 8:58; Iginla, Cal (elbowing), 12:40; Haley, NYI, misconduct, 15:14; Jaffray, Cal, misconduct, 15:14. Overtime: None. Penalties: Witt, NYI (roughing), 3:34. Shootout: N.Y. Islanders 0 (Moulson NG, Smith NG, Moore NG), Calgary 1 (Dawes NG, Fleury G). Shots on Goal: N.Y. Islanders 4-13-4-1: 22. Calgary 11-8-17-7: 43. Power-play opportunities: N.Y. Islanders 2 of 5; Calgary 3 of 7. Goalies: N.Y. Islanders, Biron (17 shots-15 saves), Poulin 0-0-1 (10:49 second, 26-24). Calgary, Kiprusoff (14-11), Shantz 1-0-0 (13:40 second, 8-7). A: 19,289 (19,289). T: 2:46. Referees: Tom Kowal, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen: Ryan Galloway, Brian Mach. Vancouver Anaheim 1 0 2 0 0 — 0 — 3 0

Angels avoid sweep, rally for victory, Page 35

Thursday’s other preseason games, Page 39

First Period: 1, Vancouver, Bernier 1 (Wellwood, Oberg), 7:09. Penalties: McIver, Van (interference), 1:20; Ramsey, Van (tripping), 2:51; Kesler, Van, major (fighting), 8:08; Perry, Ana, major (fighting), 8:08; McIver, Van (interference), 8:23; Bolduc, Van, major (fighting), 11:54; McCue, Ana, major (fighting), 11:54; Calder, Ana (high-sticking), 15:57. Second Period: 2, Vancouver, Bieksa 1 (Wellwood), 9:44 (pp). 3, Vancouver, Rome 1 (Raymond, Samuelsson), 17:47. Penalties: Glass, Van, minor-majormisconduct (instigator, fighting), 2:47; Wisniewski, Ana, major (fighting), 2:47; Niedermayer, Ana (holding), 8:45; Parros, Ana (slashing), 11:37; McIver, Van, major (fighting), 15:15; McCue, Ana, major (fighting), 15:15. Third Period: None. Penalties: Perry, Ana, minormisconduct (cross-checking), 20:00. Missed Penalty Shot: Marchant, Ana, 11:02 third. Shots on Goal: Vancouver 12-12-12: 36. Anaheim 8-11-9: 28. Power-play opportunities: Vancouver 1 of 3; Anaheim 0 of 4. Goalies: Vancouver, Luongo 1-0-0 (19 shots-19 saves), C.Schneider (0:00 third, 9-9). Anaheim, Giguere 0-1-0 (16-14), Pogge (9:44 second, 20-19). A: 14,258 (17,174). T: 2:30. Referees: Dennis LaRue, Brad Watson. Linesmen: Don Henderson, Thor Nelson.

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winning.” Since taking a 24-0 lead against Clemson last Thursday night, Georgia Tech has been outscored 60-23. “We just killed ourselves,” Dwyer said. “We didn’t play Georgia Tech football. I think we finally learned our lesson. We realized that if we don’t go out here and work hard, we’re going to get our butts kicked.” Georgia Tech ran the ball on its first 12 plays, quickly forcing Miami into a series of frantic substitutions. Eric Moncur—Miami’s sixthyear defensive end who was injured most of last season and was held out of this year’s opener—got a big stop on thirdand-6, forcing Tech to settle for a field goal. — The Associated Press
Georgia Tech Miami 3 7 0 10 7 16 7 0 — — 17 33

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

6

No. 20 Miami 33, No. 14 Georgia Tech 17

Tech’s hex broken by poised Harris
MIAMI—Jacory Harris watched Georgia Tech run over, past and around Miami’s defense on the opening series of the game, barely showing any emotion on the sideline. He saved it all for the field. And Georgia Tech’s hex over Miami? It’s over. Cool and in control throughout, Harris completed 20-of-25 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and the 20th-ranked Hurricanes snapped a four-game losing streak against No. 14 Georgia Tech with a 33-17 victory Thursday night. Miami scored on its first three possessions, built a 24-3 lead shortly after halftime and outgained the Yellow Jackets by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. “One thing I congratulate this team on is how we stay focused,” Harris said. “You know, there’s a lot of people around campus and in the community, they praise us now and they’ve got our back and all this. But the thing I know about this team, we’re not (letting) anything go to our head.” Miami (2-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) matched its best league start since 2004, outgained Georgia Tech 454-228 and set up a Coastal Division showdown at Virginia Tech on Sept. 26. Graig Cooper ran for 93 yards, Javarris James rushed for 72 more and a touchdown, and LaRon Byrd caught five passes for 83 yards and another score. It’s the first time Miami has won consecutive games against ranked opponents since the end of the 2003 season.

No. 10 Boise State (2-0) at Fresno State (1-1)
Tonight, 9, ESPN

The line: Boise State by 7½. Series record: Boise State leads 7-4. Last meeting: 2008, Boise State 61-10. Announcers: Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore

What’s at stake
The Broncos must win to keep their hopes alive for another BCS berth. The Bulldogs know if they want to win a share of their first WAC title since 1999, they likely must start with a win tonight.

Key matchup
Boise State CB Kyle Wilson vs. Fresno State WR Seyi Ajirotutu. Ajirotutu has yet to make it into the end zone in two meetings with the Broncos and will have one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in his way this week in Wilson.

Players to watch
Boise State: WR Titus Young. Young had six catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns last week against Miami (Ohio). He was suspended for 10 games last season for undisclosed reasons. His speed gives Boise the ability to stretch opposing defenses. Fresno State: QB Ryan Colburn. Colburn makes his third career start against one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. He completed 22 of 36 passes for 289 yards last week against Wisconsin but also threw three interceptions.

HANS DERYK / AP

QB Jacory Harris, right, helped Miami win consecutive games against ranked opponents for the first time since 2003. “Big win for us tonight,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said. “Big, huge win. Big for this football team and this program.” Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1) blew Miami out a year ago, dooming the Hurricanes’ conference title hopes by rushing for 472 yards. This time, Miami handled the triple option with relative ease, holding the Yellow Jackets to 95 yards rushing—60 of those coming on the game’s first drive. Tech’s reigning ACC player of the year, fullback Jonathan Dwyer, was slowed by a shoulder injury—only a stinger, he said afterward—and finished with 7 yards on five carries. Josh Nesbitt completed 6-of-15 passes, all to Demaryius Thomas, for 133 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. “We could never get them off the field,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “In a game like that, you better maximize and we didn’t. We played very poorly on offense.” Miami didn’t. Other than two late missed field goals by Matt Bosher, there wasn’t much for Miami to complain about, and the Hurricanes sauntered off celebrating their most significant win in years. Even tight end Jimmy Graham— who spent four years on Miami’s basketball team—got into the act, catching a 14-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Graham was the only Miami player ever to beat Georgia Tech before: He was 4-1 against the Yellow Jackets in basketball. “This offense is not selfish,” Byrd said. “As long as we’re

First Quarter GaT: FG Blair 32, 8:09. Mia: Byrd 40 pass from J.Harris (Bosher kick), 6:30. Second Quarter Mia: Epps 13 pass from J.Harris (Bosher kick), 13:33. Mia: FG Bosher 34, 5:45. Third Quarter Mia: J.James 3 run (Bosher kick), 11:50. GaT: Allen 3 run (Blair kick), 8:07. Mia: Graham 14 pass from J.Harris (Bosher kick), 3:08. Mia: Safety, :32. Fourth Quarter GaT: D.Thomas 56 pass from Nesbitt (Blair kick), 8:37. A: 45,329. GaT Mia First downs .......................................................12....................21 Rushes-yards .............................................. 39-95............39-184 Passing ............................................................133..................270 Comp-Att-Int .............................................6-15-0...........20-25-0 Return Yards........................................................ 0....................14 Punts-Avg. ................................................. 3-45.7............. 1-41.0 Fumbles-Lost ...................................................3-0...................0-0 Penalties-Yards ..............................................8-44.................9-74 Time of Possession.......................................26:25...............33:35 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Georgia Tech, Allen 6-42, Nesbitt 14-29, Jones 6-18, Wright 3-7, Dwyer 5-7, Lyons 1-6, Cox 2-6, Peeples 1-3, Team 1-(minus 23). Miami, Cooper 17-93, J.James 14-72, Benjamin 1-13, Chambers 2-12, J.Harris 1-0, Team 4-(minus 6). PASSING: Georgia Tech, Nesbitt 6-15-0-133. Miami, J.Harris 20-25-0-270. RECEIVING: Georgia Tech, D.Thomas 6-133. Miami, Byrd 5-83, Epps 3-37, Cooper 3-32, Benjamin 3-29, J.James 2-12, Hankerson 1-35, Graham 1-14, P.Hill 1-14, T.Johnson 1-14.

Facts & figures
Boise State outscored Fresno State 48-0 in the second half last year on its way to a third straight win in the series. ... The Bulldogs have beaten the Broncos only once in eight tries since Boise State joined the WAC, a 27-7 home win in 2005. ... Boise State has allowed fewer than 200 total yards in each of their first two games. — The Associated Press

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

7

GAME OF THE WEEK: Florida State at No. 7 BYU, 7 p.m. Saturday, Versus

WHAT WE LEARNED
Arm in arm

Sporting News Today’s Matt Hayes analyzes what Thursday’s buzz means to college football

Mendenhall seeking changes to BCS system that hurts BYU
A home win for No. 7 BYU on Saturday against Florida State would keep the Cougars in the conversation for (gasp!) a spot in the BCS national championship game. Coach Bronco Mendenhall discussed that quest and the BYU-related history behind it on this week’s Mountain West Conference teleconference:

It’s clearly time to look at it again and update it.

This is the 25th anniversary of the lone national championship team at BYU. How special is it, considering BYU is the only team to do that from outside Notre Dame or the BCS automatic qualifier conferences? It’s very special. And in fact, no one has ever said this, nor do I think the correlation has ever been drawn, but the current system might be in place because of what you just alluded to. So, it’s interesting because it’s 25 years later. BYU was part of the motive to create this system, and now we’re now trying to break the system down. So we find ourselves in a unique situation.

Q:

If this system was in place back then, would BYU have won that championship? Not under the current circumstances. We just learned last year the University of Utah went undefeated and wasn’t allowed to play for the national championship. I think the answer to that is no.

Q: A:

A:

PATRICK SEMANSKY / AP

Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall said the BCS system is unfair to schools like BYU. in that way and demand attention. But then, there becomes a level of maybe injustice or being unfair from the standpoint that the times are quite different now. When you look at the number of teams playing, and just because of conference affiliation, it’s supposed to mean that league is better or that team is better. We’ve proven as a league and as a football team that that is no longer the case. And the system needs to be revised. Twenty-five years is a long time.

Q: A:

How do you feel about that knowing the wheels were basically set in motion after that championship to have what we have today? You have to take it as a compliment to start with, that the program had to be viewed

With the win over Oklahoma, is there a carrot out there besides winning the conference? If you’re talking about a carrot beyond what a conference championship is, and a chance to be considered for (a national championship), that’s our ultimate goal. It is for every program in the country. Timetable is the only thing they wouldn’t acknowledge. If teams are saying their goal is not to do that, I would have an issue with that. Any time programs in our league claim center stage against a quality opponent and have success, we come one step closer. But I won’t allow us to consider or think about anything else right now other than Florida State, and certainly not anything beyond our conference. — Dave Curtis

Q: A:

upset loss to Houston. John Marinatto has been on the job Gundy told reporters Bryant as Big East commissioner for all of “needs to become a better team three or four deep breaths, yet already player,” and not be so concerned with he’s falling in line with the rest of his celebrating before and during the BCS brethren. Or more specifically, game. It was Gundy who became a the party line. YouTube sensation with his “I’m a In an interview with The Birmingman” speech while defending ham News, Marinatto says there may benched quarterback Bobby Reid, not be a BCS in five years, and if there but this one—without the emotion isn’t, it likely means college football and passion of a postgame press conhas gone old school: reverting to the ference—carries even more weight. previous backroom bowl deals and “Yes, he is a terrific player for us, conference tie-ins. You know, the very and Dez will play this game for a long mess the BCS was supposed to clean time, but we’ve got to get him to conup with its No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. trol himself some. He needs to “You see what’s going on with ConDAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP become a better team player and play gress in regards to the playoffs, and Dez Bryant was called out by coach Mike as well without the ball as he does you know how the schools and con- Gundy following OSU’s loss to Houston. with the ball.” ferences across the country feel relaThink of the impact of this statetive to that issue,” Marinatto said. “At some point or ment, this early in the season. Gundy is calling out his another, I think people are going to be going back to the team’s best player after the biggest upset of the early seaold system.” son. It’s a Cardinal sin to blame players in public, and What Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman began Gundy doesn’t have a reputation of doing so. this summer by telling Congress the very same thing, In other words, this is Motivation 101. Marinatto continued in a seemingly innocuous inter“Dez is the biggest cheerleader we’ve got,” Gundy view: It’s either the BCS, or old school. There’s no said. “If you really watch the tape of when we have in-between. somebody score a touchdown and he’s away from the “The BCS was really instituted as an attempt to get ball, instead of finishing the block, he’s signaling touchaway from all that and create a 1-2 championship game,” down and celebrating.” Marinatto told the newspaper. “It may not be perfect. I think we all acknowledge it’s not perfect. But we all felt Banking 101 Look, every coach does it. It’s just that, you know, no it was better than what was before.” Meanwhile, the folks in Pasadena already have made coach does it as well as Mike Leach. Only Leach, Texas Tech’s dry-witted, deep-thinking it clear to new Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott that coach, could pull this one off. Apparently, Leach prothere will be no national playoff. So any hope of new blood infusing different ideas— motes a bank in Lubbock, Texas, and the Vista Bank Plus One?—into the game is gone. The power brokers of commercials are entitled “Banking 101.” One of the classics: Leach, on the practice field in his college football enjoy their perfectly imperfect world black Texas Tech T-shirt, looking into the camera with that produces more revenue than they could dream. sage advice for those with credit cards. Shoot, Dave Why change now? Ramsey would be proud. “Today,” Leach says, “We’re going to talk about credit Making a statement—again card smarts. You don’t just swipe it, sign it and take it. It has been a couple of years since we’ve heard something like this from Mike Gundy. But understand this: You have to pay credit cards back. That’s just the way For Gundy to publicly call out All-American wideout the deal is. Pay your credit cards off monthly.” And then, we fade to black. Dez Bryant, it has to be an issue that has been festering Priceless. longer than the past few days since Oklahoma State’s

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Corp getting a chance wouldn’t be bad thing
Sporting News Today’s Matt Hayes previews the five biggest story lines of the weekend in college football:

1. The dreaded quarterback controversy
I’m not exactly sure what was more perplexing last week: that, on third and long and the game on the line, Ohio State had linebacker Ross Homan covering speedy tailback Joe McKnight, or that ABC’s Brent Musburger acted like a queasy schoolgirl with his man crush on freshman Matt Barkley. Despite what Musburger and many others have proclaimed about The Next John Elway, Joe McKnight won that game last week. Ask Homan. Or Matt Hayes Jim Tressel. COLLEGE FOOTBALL Why is this significant? Because the last thing USC needs right now is a quarterback controversy. And if Barkley can’t go against Washington this weekend because of a bruised shoulder, backup Aaron Corp will take over and the offense suddenly will have an added dimension it hasn’t had since Pete Carroll arrived at Troy in 2001. Yes, everyone, the Trojans will have a quarterback who can hurt you with his legs, too. Remember, Corp won the job in spring practice—clearly won it—and was the leader going into fall camp and Com-Pete was gushing about Corp’s potential. Then Corp broke a bone in his leg and got Wally Pipp’d.

as, if not more, a legitimate pick for that big game? We can all agree that the Mountain West is at least as good or better than the Big East. And BYU would have wins over Oklahoma and Florida State and a MWC schedule that includes ranked TCU and Utah. Cincinnati’s resume couldn’t match that.

4. Letdown from the showdown
I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched Toledo twice now, and even though the Rockets’ defense couldn’t stop my local high school team, the offense behind senior quarterback Aaron Opelt (nine total TDs) is flatout ridiculous. The reality is, Ohio State’s defense is much better than the Purdue and Colorado units, which Toledo torched for 85 points and 1,117 total yards. So let’s say Ohio State still is in the jar about the loss to USC, a game it should’ve won and let slip away in the last two minutes. Let’s say Tressel’s dressing down of lunatic Buckeye fans earlier this week has created a distraction, and suddenly his still-maturing, still-uneasy quarterback Terrelle Pryor presses too much, commits a couple of turnovers and the next thing you know Ohio State is trailing by a couple of scores and has to actually, you know, score points with its offense.

5. Payback time
Two plays, two hard-to-imagine plays kept Texas from the BCS national championship game last season. That and the weird other story line (see: 45-35) I’m sure Texas already has forgotten. The Longhorns get their first crack at redemption this weekend when they play host to Texas Tech. You remember last year’s game, right? Tech used a dropped interception by one Texas freshman safety (Blake Gideon) and a missed tackle by another Texas freshman safety (Earl Thomas) a play later to upset the Longhorns in Lubbock. But this is a Tech team with Joaquin Phoenix, I mean Taylor Potts, as its starting quarterback and a whole lot of newness on defense. In other words, this game in Austin will look a whole lot like the previous five under coach Mack Brown vs. Texas Tech in Austin. In those five games, Texas has scored 58, 42, 43, 52 and 59 points. This one may hit 60. Not because Texas is trying to prove a point or anything.
mhayes@sportingnews.com

2. Bluster and blowouts
Let’s go back six months—not all the way back to Lane Kiffin’s gigging of Florida that started this fabricated nonsense of Florida getting paybacks … ooooooh … for the way mean Lane talked about the Gators. But back to the spring, when I was sitting in Monte Kiffin’s corner office in the Tennessee football complex and he already was breaking down tape of the Gators. His greaseboard was full of Florida’s personnel and plays and specific sets and looks. Monte Kiffin had back surgery this spring, and was supposed recuperate for a week before returning to work. He left the hospital the day after surgery, went to his office and started breaking down Florida. “Have you seen this team?” Kiffin asked this spring. “I’m not wasting any time.” All this talk about a Florida blowout, and all I can think about is Florida hasn’t found a go-to receiver yet, hasn’t played a meaningful snap against a legitimate team yet, and hasn’t faced a Monte Kiffin defense. The Vols aren’t going to beat Florida, but it certainly won’t be the beatdown everyone expects.

JAY LAPRETE / AP

Even if Matt Barkley, right, is unable to play Saturday because of a bruised shoulder, Aaron Corp’s mobility could give Washington fits. way now. Does BYU deserve to be in the BCS national championship game if it wins out? The fact that we’re even addressing this so early is absurd, but because the Cougars could get another boost this weekend with a victory over BCS big boy Florida State (which, at this point, is no better than a win over any other middling BCS team; but that’s a story for another time), we must at least all come face-to-face with our BCS snobbery. Let’s say every BCS team had one loss with the exception of Cincinnati. There’s no doubt the Bearcats would be in the BCS national championship game. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t unbeaten BYU be just

3. The BYU question
Frankly, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. But since this is the 25th anniversary of BYU’s national championship season, and since Utah and Boise State have been banging on the BCS door the previous five seasons, we may as well go ahead and get it out of the

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ACC
INSIDE DISH

Florida State needs to find running game against BYU
Florida State figures it is headed for trouble Saturday at BYU if its running game doesn’t show big improvement. The Seminoles, with their offensive line returning intact from last season, has managed just 188 yards rushing through two games. “If we want to get up to the next level, we’re going to have to improve our line blocking and our running game,” coach Bobby Bowden told reporters earlier this week. Jermaine Thomas, the starting tailback in the opener against Miami, has just 18 yards on 9 carries. The Seminoles’ leading rusher is RB Ty Jones, with 99 yards, and next is QB Christian Ponder, with 35. “We would love to have the running game where it needs to be to keep defenses honest,” running backs coach Dexter Carter said in a report by The Associated Press. “The running game is imperative to our success.” Virginia Tech’s defense finds itself in an unusual position entering Saturday’s game against Nebraska— 80th in the country in yards allowed. Coordinator Bud Foster’s group has ranked in the top 10 nationally each of the past five seasons. Tech’s biggest problem in its first two games? Giving up big plays. The Hokies were gashed for 310 yards on seven plays over the Alabama and Marshall games, according to a report by The Virginian-Pilot. On the other 133 plays, Tech allowed an average of 3.3 yards. Foster said he saw improvement in Week 2’s 52-10 win over Marshall but reminded his unit there still were too many mistakes. He pointed to a 61-yard touchdown run by Marshall’s Darius Marshall, who bounced outside after a missed tackle up front and took advantage of a linebacker being out of position. “They can’t feel good about themselves,” Foster said. “We’ve got to always have an edge. We’ve got to let them know what our expectations are around here.” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said during a radio interview Thursday morning that junior WR Xavier Dye

PHIL COALE / AP

Jermaine Thomas, left, started FSU’s opener against Miami, but now likely will play behind Ty Jones. had asked for his release so he could transfer. But the school later said Dye is staying with the program. Swinney and Dye met Thursday afternoon. Dye began the season as a starter but dropped a pass in the opener against Middle Tennessee. He was moved to second team at practice last week and did not play in a 30-27 loss to Georgia Tech. Brandon Clear has replaced Dye in the starting lineup. Swinney said Dye would not play Saturday against Boston College. Maryland, implementing a more aggressive scheme on defense under first-year coordinator Don Brown, is the only ACC team that hasn’t forced a turnover through two games. The Terps’ defense ranks 108th or worse nationally in four statistical categories. “After being in a defensive system for nine years, we have been in it for two weeks,” Brown said in a report by The Washington Post. “I think that is showing up a little bit. Everywhere I have been there has always been that little period of growing pains.”

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PLAYER DIARY

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

10

PLAYER DIARY

‘We’ve had three straight quarterbacks who can play’
BY DEKODA WATSON For SN Today

Coach Bible is ‘like my brother and my dad’
BY RUSSELL WILSON For SN Today

I think BYU is going to be a great challenge. They just beat Oklahoma recently, and that was big time. It’s going to be a tough situation, playing in that atmosphere. The altitude will be tough. When we played at Colorado a few years back, I had extra oxygen whenever I could because I have asthma. It was extremely tough for me to breathe at that high altitude. With Utah being just like Colorado, high up, I know it’s going to be a big challenge for me. I’m sure my breathing will be all right, but at the same time it’s going to be different from what I go through week to week, something I’m not used to. I’m just going to try to control my breathing and go hard. BYU’s offensive line is great, and the running back—Bryan Kariya— is a hard runner. The quarterback, Max Hall, is mobile, too. For us, it’s like we’ve had three straight quarterbacks who can play and move— Jacory Harris from Miami, Ryan Perrilloux from Jacksonville State and now BYU’s quarterback. As far as quarterbacks are concerned, it’s been a challenge the first three weeks. With no disrespect to Perrilloux, I feel like BYU’s quarterback is a lot more accurate than what we faced last week. They pass a lot more than Jacksonville State, and I think that’s what they’re going to do in this game. I think it’ll be more of a passing game, but at the same time, they have running backs who can run the ball and do some damage. Overall, I think they’re a sound

PATRICK SEMANSKY / AP

Dekoda Watson says BYU QB Max Hall, above, is an accurate thrower and mobile, as well. team—period. They’re very disciplined, not just on offense but on special teams and defense, too. They go hard, they have good technique and they’re very fundamentally sound. That’s one of the reasons they’re undefeated right now. Our Jacksonville State game was close. You would like to have a week or so to prepare for any team, and obviously we didn’t have a week to prepare for Jacksonville State— since we’d played Miami that Monday night. I didn’t think I was very well prepared, and it was something new for the freshmen and sophomores. Two years back when we played Miami on that Monday, we had to fight for four quarters that next weekend to beat Troy. But then again, a win is a win in my eyes. It doesn’t matter how you do it. One thing we haven’t been this year is consistent. I know that was my goal this year, consistency. I didn’t want to just make one big play and then that’s it. I want to be consistent in all games. — As told to Brian McLaughlin

About the author
Dekoda Watson, Florida State LB A 6-2, 226pound senior from Aiken, S.C., Watson had nine tackles and 3.5 sacks in Saturday’s win over Jacksonville State. He currently ranks fifth nationally with 4.5 sacks in two games.

There aren’t many more important relationships for a quarterback that the ones he has with his quarterback and his offensive coordinator. For me, it’s the same guy—coach Dana Bible. And he’s one of the big parts of any success I’ve had at N.C. State. Basically, he’s like my brother and my dad. He’s with me every day, out at practice, in the film room. The only way that I can get better is to listen to him and let him teach me. I’ve known coach Bible for a few years now. I had made a verbal commitment here when the coaching change happened and the new staff came on board. Coach Bible came out to my school before I signed and told me how much they wanted me to come to N.C. State. That was big for me, that he came out and recruited me as well. Plus, I knew the other quarterbacks he had coached, especially Matt Ryan and those guys at Boston College. I was hoping he could have the same effect on me. Since I’ve been here, we’ve really grown to trust each other. He has a lot of knowledge that can help me, and it really comes through with all the time we spend together. We’ll play Saturday, and the day after, Sunday, he’ll help me start preparing for the next opponent right way. Then, it’s lots of time in the film room, and, of course, the time we’re on the practice field. The other good thing is that coach Bible works with the

PEYTON WILLIAMS / N.C. STATE

N.C. State offensive coordinator Dana Bible also coached in the NFL with the Eagles and Bengals. receivers, too, so all of us are in the same meeting room together. That really helps us get on the same page for the next game. Out at practice, Coach is a real hands-on guy, and he’s very focused on what we have to do. We definitely laugh and joke a little bit, but it’s usually all business. He’s helped me in so many areas, but the biggest thing probably has been learning to make reads and move through a play. He’s also made me more accurate and helped me with my mechanics and fundamentals. He’s also a very humbling guy. He’s never satisfied. He’ll say, “You were good, but you’ve got to be better.” Sometimes, in a game, I’ll make what I think was a great play, and then I’ll come to the sidelines and get on the phone with him. And he’ll say something like, “That was a decent play.” Or, “That was an OK throw.” That’s one of the things I like about him, actually. He’s always pushing me, and I’m sure he always will be. — As told to Dave Curtis

About the author
Russell Wilson, N.C. State QB A sophomore from Richmond, Va., Wilson threw for 228 yards and four touchdowns last week as the Wolfpack thumped Murray State 65-7. Next up Saturday at home is GardnerWebb, the Pack’s second-straight I-AA opponent.

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PLAYER DIARY

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

11

BIG 12
INSIDE DISH

Seats are ‘soft and wide in first class’
BY NDAMUKONG SUH For SN Today

Tannehill’s role a work in progress for Aggies
Ryan Tannehill lost the quarterback competition with Jerrod Johnson in the preseason, then caught three passes for 40 yards against New Mexico in A&M’s season opener. So what happened when Johnson was replaced late in the Sept. 5 game with the Aggies leading, 41-6? Redshirt freshman Tommy Dorman got the call, even though Tannehill is listed as No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. Coach Mike Sherman said he went with Dorman because he considers Tannehill a first-stringer— whether or not he’s playing quarterback. “I just didn’t see any need,” Sherman said. “He had been playing in the game and we had exposed him to some risk. I didn’t want to do that any further in the ballgame, to put a starter—and I consider Ryan a starter—in that late in the ballgame. That was the reason to go with Tommy.” Sherman wouldn’t say how much Tannehill will play at wide receiver against Utah State Saturday, reiterating that he’s walking “a very fine line” in the way he uses him.
The Texas Longhorns will be bracing for an air raid Saturday when they play host to Texas Tech. But so will the Red Raiders. Tech CB Taylor Charbonnet has a hunch the Red Raiders’ secondary will be equal to the task of stopping Texas QB Colt McCoy and his stable of wide receivers— they have certainly had plenty of practice. “I think we’ve been challenged enough all camp, because we’ve played against our offense—and who’s better at passing the ball than our offense?” Charbonnet told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “We’ve played against the best passing offense in the nation, so I think our secondary is ready to play.” Just in case anyone was wondering—and many were—Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made it official Thursday when he told the Tulsa World that injured QB Sam Bradford will not be playing Saturday against Tulsa

MATT SLOCUM / AP

It’s unclear how much time Ryan Tannehill will see at WR on Saturday. Two days after Bradford hurt his shoulder in OU’s 14-13 season-opening loss to the BYU, Stoops speculated that “two to four weeks” was the prognosis. But when Stoops refused to provide a progress report Tuesday on Bradford, some wondered if the Sooners were playing coy with their quarterback’s condition. Not so, Stoops said. Landry Jones, who threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns in his first start last week against Idaho State, will get the call again Saturday. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini announced that RB Collins Okafor has left the football program. Okafor, a redshirt freshman, is the second back to leave the team this fall. Quentin Castille was dismissed for violating team rules. A spokesman said Okafor’s decision to leave was a personal one and did not involve disciplinary issues. Okafor had been expected to compete for playing time this fall, but was locked behind junior Roy Helu and freshman Rex Burkhead on the depth chart.

I’ve heard a lot about the gameday atmosphere at Virginia Tech, and how it’s so tough to play there. But I love away games; I love everything about it from the travel to the game to being put in the position where it’s you against the world, you can take the home crowd out of the game, mess with their day and make them mad. We love going on the road because we have a group of fans that travel with us and stay at the same hotel and it makes it exciting. This trip is an alumni trip, so we’ll take a big jumbo jet to the game because alumni will also be on board. It’s one of those doubledeck planes. I love to fly, especially now that we get to sit in first class and don’t have to sit in coach and take those long plane rides in those small seats. We charter a plane, and have it to ourselves. Seniors and starters get first-class seats, and the luxury of being up front is tremendous. That’s just another cool thing about (Nebraska) Coach Bo (Pelini): He wants the best for us, and wants to give us the best. This time, with the double-deck plane, the entire upper deck is first-class seating. There are firstclass seats in the lower deck, too, but up top it’s nothing but first class. When you’re up there, you’re kind of secluded and can do your own thing. You could have your own party up there; it’s great. I usually bring my iPod and watch movies and just try to

DAVE WEAVER / AP

Ndamukong Suh has 12 tackles in two games, including four for loss and 1 ½ sacks. relax. Right now, I’ve got Casino Royale and American Gangster on there, and another random movie. When you’re an underclassman and not a starter, and you see the upperclassmen riding in first class, you definitely get a little jealous. In coach, it’s really not that bad because there are so many seats that you get a seat between you and the next guy. But the seats aren’t the same, no way. They’re soft and wide in first class. It’s definitely one of the perks of working hard and doing the right thing. We’ll fly into Roanoke and bus to Virginia Tech. I’m excited to see the stadium and hear the fans and just get pumped for the game. On the ride over, I usually listen to some R&B on my iPod to kind of slow it down a little bit and conserve energy. But once we get into the locker room at the stadium, that’s when I turn it to rap and get ready. I’m excited now just thinking about it. We’re ready to go play in a rowdy environment and show everyone what we’ve got. — As told to Matt Hayes

About the author
Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska DT Suh, who is projected by some as the top overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, helped the Huskers rout Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State the first two weeks. A much more difficult task awaits Saturday: Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

12

BIG TEN
INSIDE DISH

BIG EAST
INSIDE DISH

Tressel: I should have kept my mouth shut
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who sarcastically referred to a segment of hard-core Buckeyes fans as “miserable” on Wednesday, said Thursday he regrets his comments. He told reporters he gets critical e-mails, then added, “They’ve got to be some of the most unhappy people in the world, and I feel bad because we just made them less happy, and I hate to be a part of making someone less happy. I mean, they’re already miserable.” A day later, Tressel was the one feeling miserable. “My dad taught me a long time ago, you’ll have a thousand chances to keep your mouth shut, use every one of them,” Tressel said. He said he wasn’t aware of any fallout to his earlier comments. “But no one could have better fans than we do,” he said. “And if anyone was half as miserable as we were on Sunday (and) Monday, I could understand them being miserable.” Almost always in control of the situation in his public appearances, Tressel added, “You live and learn.” In other Buckeyes news, starting RT Jim Cordle, the most experienced lineman for Ohio State, will miss the next 3-4 weeks with an ankle injury. Tressel disclosed the injury on Thursday, saying Cordle had complained of pain in his ankle and it got steadily worse. Tests showed the severity of the injury, though nobody was sure whether it occurred in Saturday’s game against USC or in practice. J.B. Shugarts and Mike Adams are the top candidates to replace Cordle, a fifth-year senior. The Buckeyes play Toledo on Saturday. It took a while—and required a little prodding from ESPN broadcasters on Pardon the Interruption— but Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez finally admitted that he’s sleeping a little better these days and feeling a little more relaxed after last year’s unsightly season. It was that last-minute win over Notre Dame—plus the Wolverines’ 2-0 start—that relieved the pressure. “Well, I’m sleeping better now than I did two weeks

Anderson no longer bothered by cruel billboard
It’s not the way Louisville RB Victor Anderson envisioned getting his face on a billboard. But there the sophomore is, plastered on a sign not far from Cardinal Stadium, his No. 20 getting crushed by a handful of Kentucky defenders as part of the Wildcats’ aggressive advertising campaign in the state’s largest city. It serves as a painful reminder of Anderson’s first college game last fall as Kentucky whipped the Cardinals 27-2. “When I first saw it, I was kind of shocked, I ride past it every day to come to the stadium,” Anderson told The Associated Press. “But, you know? I ride past it. It goes right over my head. When I’m riding, it just keeps going. When I first saw it, it kind of bothered me.” Not anymore. Besides, he knows if the Cardinals can upset the Wildcats on Saturday, he could make a case that the billboards are false advertising. “Hey, it’s an honor to have another team have you on their billboard, but we’ve got a great team and for them to just have me on the billboard and not a team photo of our team, that’s what bothers me the most because they should respect our whole team,” he said. Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said the two-game series with Oregon State has worked out well of the series. The Bearcats’ ranking this time around, as well as Oregon State’s growing profile, make this half of the series especially important, said Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard. “We know we’re going to get a lot of national attention toward this game,” he said. “They’re a good team at home. They beat USC last year. ... It’s not going to be a walkover.” West Virginia is looking for answers to its special teams follies and other simple mistakes entering the toughest stretch of its nonconference schedule. Jock Sanders and Brandon Hogan mishandled first-half punts that led to East Carolina scores. The Mountaineers managed to overcome those gaffes and a 10-point deficit Saturday to beat the Pirates 35-20. West Virginia (2-0) at least has temporarily fixed its long-standing problem of consistently allowing long kickoff returns. But the punt return problems and 11 penalties for 104 yards stood out with tough tests looming at Auburn next Saturday, followed by an Oct. 1 home game with Colorado. “We’ve got a long way to go,” West Virginia coach Bill Stewart told reporters. “We’re not close enough to being a good football team, but I’m happier to be where we are today than where we were a year ago (after a 1-1 start).”

TONY DING / AP

A 2-0 start has Rich Rodriguez, left, feeling better about his program. ago,” Rodriguez said. “And certainly better than I did a year ago. ... It’s kind of neat for my family, for my wife. She loves to DVR the games but she only watches the ones we win, of course. She’s probably watched the last couple games 30, 40 times already.” Illinois coach Ron Zook said Thursday that starting LB Martez Wilson will have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and miss the remainder of the season. Zook said he feels especially bad for Wilson because he worked hard in the offseason to move from outside to inside linebacker. He didn’t play in Saturday’s win over Illinois State. The Illini have this weekend off before heading to Columbus to face Ohio State. The Muncie Star Press reported that Ball State wants to drop its 2010 football game against Iowa. Ball State athletic director Tom Collins said coach Stan Parrish is not wild about playing Purdue and Iowa on back-to-back weeks, even though the school would stand to make about $800,000 by playing in Iowa City.

ED REINKE / AP

Victor Anderson and the Cardinals will try to avenge a 27-2 loss to Kentucky last year. for both teams. “We’re both trying to break through. Both of us want to move up the echelon, and these are the kind of games you want to play,” he told reporters. Kelly said he tries to set up BCS opponents for the Bearcats. The Big Ten has been difficult for him to land, but Oregon State was amenable. Cincinnati defeated Oregon State 34-3 in 2007, the first game

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

13

PAC-10
INSIDE DISH

USC win was good for Pac-10
BY ALTERRAUN VERNER For SN Today

Back to reality of being one of many stars for McKnight
Joe McKnight finally appeared ready to take his place in USC’s star-studded lineage of tailbacks last week, rushing and receiving and relentlessly driving the Trojans to their victory at Ohio State. Then the junior calmly got back in line this week, vying with five talented teammates for a few carries at practice. There’s nothing singular about Tailback U any longer: The No. 3 Trojans (2-0) are overflowing with talented running backs again this season under Pete Carroll. After emerging as the starter in camp, McKnight again is threatening to embrace his enormous potential. Yet he claims he’s content to be one part in the USC machine. “The competition is one of the great things about ’SC,” McKnight told The Associated Press. “It’s never frustrating, because it saves your body. We’re all healthy and happy here. It’s the perfect situation for me.” Even after seven straight Pac-10 titles and BCS bowl games, one of Carroll’s most underrated achievements might be his ability to keep almost every ball-carrier in his program happy, even at the expense of individual stardom. “We’re all friends,” junior C.J. Gable said. “We all joke around every day still. It’s not a personal thing. The best man wins the job, basically. Coach Carroll wants one of us to do that. He told us he wants
Anderson is a two-time NCAA champion in the 400-meter hurdles and finished ninth at the U.S. Olympic trials last year. He caught 33 passes and had two touchdowns while starting 11 games in 2008. He had four catches in two starts this season. Cougars coach Paul Wulff said Anderson is a “once-in-a-lifetime athlete” and that he respects his dedication to try to be best in the world in the hurdles. Stanford becomes the final Pac-10 team to play a home game when the Cardinal play host to San Jose State in the Bill Walsh Legacy Game at Stanford Stadium. The matchup between the Cardinal and Spartans has been named in honor of the late Hall of Fame coach and his association with both schools. Walsh received his bachelor’s degree from San Jose State in 1955 and his master’s in 1959. He then served as an assistant at Stanford in 1963 and 1964, before two head coaching stints with the Cardinal—1977-78 and 1992-94. Walsh went 34-24-1 as head coach at Stanford. “His stamp is all over the game,” Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh told The AP. “He had a special influence on Stanford, the tradition of players that have played in this program through the years. Part of the fabric and tradition of Stanford football is his legacy.”

MARK J. TERRILL / AP

Joe McKnight rushed for 60 yards and caught two passes for 45 yards against Ohio State. somebody to get in front of somebody and step it up every week, but I guess we’re pretty equal every week, too.” Meanwhile, freshman CB Brian Baucham will miss Saturday’s game after getting into a car accident. Carroll says Baucham was cut in the freeway accident Thursday morning on the way to school. T.J. Bryant and Marshall Jones will compete to be the Trojans’ No. 3 cornerback. Washington State WR Jeshua Anderson is quitting football to focus on track, another blow to the struggling Cougars (0-2).

I thought Tennessee was just an amazing arena for college football. I would have to say if you’re a college football player, it’s so essential to go to that place and play in front of that crowd. They bleed football in Tennessee, and the crowd was so great. That place has so much tradition: Peyton Manning, Reggie White, and so many great SEC players have played there. I didn’t know it was close to the river, so seeing that was pretty cool. All the boats—I’ve never seen that before, people coming in by boat in all orange. We get to the game more than two hours before kickoff, so we saw plenty of that. The fans were really respectful. I was catching punts before the game, and the fans were entertaining us. They were cheering for us when we caught them, booing us when we didn’t. But once the game started, it was just a regular ol’ football game. It was a great win. We take a lot of pride in our defense. We try to win things on defense. We know every game this season is gonna ride on how we play. No matter what, how we shut teams down, that will determine if we win no matter what the offense does. We haven’t mentioned what happened after the Tennessee win last year (a 59-0 loss to BYU) too much as a team. People that were here, they know about it. You can’t rest on a big win. We know that. We were all very in tune with the USC game on Saturday night. It was exciting. It was very similar to our game, but just flipped—their offense had it last. That last drive Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson took over. It’s the resiliency of that program, how they just won’t let themselves lose. It was a good win for our conference. I tip my hat to them. A lot of people give respect to USC already. But all the other teams in this league are competing well. Washington played LSU pretty tough. We beat Tennessee, Oregon beat Purdue. We’re competing with the other conferences, but we have a little further to go. — As told to Derek Samson

WADE PAYNE / AP

Alterraun Verner, right, found playing in Tennessee to be a great experience.

About the author
Alterraun Verner, UCLA CB Verner, a senior from Carson, Calif., chipped into the Bruins’ 19-15 win at Tennessee last week with six tackles and an interception, which he returned 26 yards. The Bruins face Kansas State on Saturday.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

14

SEC
INSIDE DISH

‘We want to be sure we’re hitting on all cylinders’
BY MIKE JOHNSON For SN Today

Bulldogs comfortable with 2-QB system
You can count at least two people who don’t have a problem with the two-quarterback system Dan Mullen is running in his first season at Mississippi State: the Bulldogs’ two quarterbacks. Tyson Lee and Chris Relf are both on board as Mississippi State prepares for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt in Nashville. “I wouldn’t say it’s really hard to master,” Lee told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss. Lee is 15 of 24 passing for 150 yards and a TD. He’s added 12 yards on the ground. Relf is the Bulldogs’ leading rusher, gaining 134 yards on 19 carries with a score. He’s 12 of 21 for 152 yards passing with three scores and two interceptions. “It’s not a big deal for me,” Relf told the newspaper. “I guess it’s not a big deal for Tyson, either.” Florida WR Andre Debose had surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon in his left thigh and is expected to fully recover in 4-6 months, making it possible for him to return for spring practice. Debose was coach Urban Meyer’s prized recruit in February. Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson told The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas he’s interested to see how his unit reacts if Georgia strikes big Saturday. “We got punched in the mouth early last year and we didn’t not really prepared to play in the game like he needs to be,” Saban told The Tuscaloosa News in regards to a player being able to play after an injury. Also, freshman WR Kenny Bell was non-contact and has missed time with shin splints. LB Jerrell Harris, who is ineligible, wore No. 42 on the scout team, mimicking North Texas LB Craig Robertson, the paper reported. Georgia sophomore DE Justin Houston, who had to sit out the first two games as his punishment from coach Mark Richt for an undisclosed violation of team rules, returns this week. He returns as the replacement for starter Rod Battle, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week vs. South Carolina. Vanderbilt RB Jared Hawkins told The Tennessean that he still hasn’t recovered from a foot injury and is unsure when he can play. He practiced Tuesday and Wednesday. Heisman Trophy winner and former QB for Steve Spurrier at Florida, Danny Wuerffel, visited South Carolina’s practice Wednesday and talked to the team. Wuerffel told the Gamecocks he had watched them the past two games and thought they had the makings of a good team if they put it all together and play more mistake-free.

ROGELIO V. SOLIS / AP

Chris Relf, above, has no problem sharing snaps with fellow Bulldog QB Tyson Lee. respond very well,” Robinson told The Morning News. Tennessee offensive lineman Vladimir Richard will play against Florida, despite wearing a brace on his left foot to brace his sore Achilles’ tendon, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Also, center Josh McNeil, who’s battled various knee injuries, will be available if needed. At one point, it was thought McNeil might miss the entire season. The status of Alabama receiver Julio Jones and RB Roy Upchurch still is uncertain, Nick Saban said. “Even if he is physically ready to play in the game because he’s not practiced all week, he’s probably

Any time you can pick up a win in college football, it’s a big thing for you. You try to focus on one game at a time. We’re playing North Texas this week, and they have a really good, quality defense. In fact, they should be undefeated coming in here; they lost a tough game last week in overtime. We know that the SEC schedule is right around the corner. But the biggest thing we’ve got to do is make sure we play well and bring some momentum into that, and the best way to do that is to win this week. We just want to be sure we’re hitting on all cylinders heading into the Arkansas week. A lot of what we’re focused as offensive linemen is actually just working together. I’ve got new guys on each side of me, and it’s a lot of talking to them. Just making sure we’re on the same page is a BIG thing for us. And I think our communication has paid off in the last couple of weeks in terms of yardage and success. Especially with the new guys on the line, as an older guy, I like to make sure they’re talking to the guys next to them. It’s a lot of ‘you’ve got to know what I’m doing, and I’ve got to know what you’re doing,’ and it starts with the center and fans out from there. As soon as we identify our guys, I’m talking to James Carpenter next to me and making sure he’s got the right call for the tight end next to him. People don’t get to hear that on TV, but it’s a huge part of what we do.

BOB LEVERONE / SN

Mike Johnson, left, said communication is paramount along the offensive line. Sometimes defenses will try and confuse us so we’re not on the same page. You see that sometimes on TV, but we try to make as few mistakes as possible. A lot of people say we started out slow against Florida International. What people might not understand is that was their first game and they came out doing a lot of stuff that we weren’t expecting. It was one of those times you had to make adjustments, and you had to do it on the run on the sideline. It all worked out in the end; we started running the ball a lot better in the second half. We can’t panic in situations like that when they do something we haven’t seen. We communicate, and if everyone is communicating, then usually we can come out with a positive play. — As told to Bob Hille

About the author
Mike Johnson, Alabama OG Johnson, a senior three-year letterman from Pensacola, Fla., has 29 career starts for the Crimson Tide. A preseason All-American, he is part of an offensive line that has helped No. 4 ’Bama roll up more than 1,000 yards of offense—543 on the ground—in just two games. He is on the watch lists for the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

15

INSIDE DISH

Tulsa’s Graham to coach from press box vs. Sooners
Look for Tulsa coach Todd Graham on the sideline Saturday afternoon against Oklahoma and you won’t see him. Graham decided to coach from the press box last week and liked the view in the Golden Hurricane’s win at New Mexico. “From a strategical standpoint, there’s probably a lot of advantages to being up there,” Graham said in a report by The Associated Press. “You sit there. It’s a quiet room, you’ve got a headset on, you’re watching, you can see the scoreboard, you can see everything that’s happening on the field. You can manage the clock and do all those things.” Graham said he was on the sideline for the opener at Tulane in case new starting quarterback G.J. Kinne needed hands-on instruction. Another reason for Graham’s move upstairs—he has a degenerative disk condition that causes him chronic pain in his neck and back, and he eventually will need surgery. But he said he was prepared to spend the season on the sideline. “I did not go upstairs because I physically can’t be on the sideline,” Graham said. “… My deal is that I’m going to do whatever’s best for my team to win, and right now I think that’s what it is.” Notre Dame is looking forward to facing a more conventional offense Saturday against Michigan State after opening against the spread attacks of Nevada and Michigan. The Spartans’ base offense is a pro-style formation that the Irish are more used to defending. “It ain’t as much razzle-dazzle

‘The atmosphere we’ll see at Oregon is what it’s all about’
BY ZANE BEADLES For SN Today

BILL HABER / AP

Tulsa coach Todd Graham said sitting in the press box affords many advantages. and tricky,” LB Toryan Smith told The AP. “Michigan State, what you see is what you get.” Notre Dame is ranked 88th in the nation against the run, giving up 171.5 yards a game. Coach Charlie Weis said the Irish plan some “tweaks” on “some of those inside rush lanes that exist.” Kent State freshman QB Spencer Keith will start Saturday’s game against Iowa State in place of Giorgio Morgan, who has a sprained left ankle. Keith came off the bench last week against Boston College and threw for 71 yards and a touchdown. Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said LB Paipai Falemalu injured an ankle in practice Wednesday in Las Vegas and play in Saturday’s game at UNLV, according to a report by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. McMackin said defensive lineman John Fonoti (bruised kneecap) is unlikely to play. Charlotte is moving ahead with plans to start a football program in 2013 despite lagging sales for permanent seat licenses and the shaky economy. Chancellor Philip Dubois unveiled a new $23.5 million stadium proposal Thursday that was greeted with enthusiasm by the board of trustees. It calls for building a temporary field on the site for the proposed permanent, on-campus stadium, instead of converting the soccer and track and field facility. Athletic director Judy Rose said the school had sold 2,573 PSLs worth $3.27 million, far short of the $5 million it originally hoped to have committed by Thursday.

Oregon has great athletes and is a great team. Both of our teams are in the same situation where we feel we haven’t played our best game yet. Our teams are very similar, and both of us could use this game to spring into the rest of the season and show the nation what this year’s team is all about. I’ve never played at Autzen Stadium, and I’ve never seen it, but I’ve heard a lot about it. I’ve heard they’re right on top of you, and the noise goes straight to the field. It’s not the biggest stadium in the country, but they get into it and make it a very hostile place to play. The kind of atmosphere we’ll see at Oregon is what it’s all about. Game day is your reward for practicing all week. Running out of the tunnel on to the field— whether it’s your crowd cheering for you or you’re being booed when you’re on the road—just creates a rush that you can’t explain. It’s something everybody who plays football lives for—when you’re out on the field in the thick of battle and you can’t hear each other. This will be the best team we’ve played—and it’s going to be one of the best teams we play all season. We expect them to be ready to play, and we’re going to give them our best shot. Our team is going to be focused on cleaning up the

JAY DROWNS / SN

Zane Beadles is looking forward to playing at Autzen Stadium for the first time. little things we’ve been doing to ourselves. We don’t feel we’ve played our best game, and we’re still making mistakes. It’s not necessarily our opponents beating us but us beating ourselves. We’ve had five turnovers in two games now, so we’ve been trying to cut down on those and mental mistakes here and there—that’s what will make a team a champion. If you can perfect those small things, that’s what makes you one of the best teams in the nation. I know lots of people talk about the little things but don’t explain what they’re talking about. But here’s an example of what I mean: Let’s say you’re 3rd-and-1 and you’re at a pivotal point in the game and you don’t have a lot of momentum going your way. You have a pretty good drive going and there’s one small missed assignment on the play—let’s say somebody has bad technique on a block and allows the quarterback to be pressured, and he has to get rid of the ball too early. A championship team will learn to take care of that kind of thing. It’s easy to do the big things on the football field. Focusing on the little things is what makes a player great and a team championship-caliber. — As told to Brian McLaughlin

About the author
Zane Beadles, Utah OT A 6-4, 312-pound senior from Sandy, Utah, Beadles is mechanical engineering major. He has started all four seasons and is on the watch list for the Lombardi Award.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

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College Football
POLLS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

16
UNDERDOG

Scores and schedule
52, Northern Arizona 45, Gardner-Webb 42, Brown 36, Prairie View A&M 33, Stephen F. Austin 28, Western Illinois 26, Valparaiso 23, Sam Houston St. 19, Southern 18, Georgia Southern 15, Tennessee St. 15, Tennessee-Martin 13, Butler 12, Lafayette 8, Southeastern Louisiana 8, North Carolina A&T 7, North Dakota State 7, Alabama State 6, Jackson State 6, North Dakota 6,The Citadel 5, Albany 4, Drake 4, Rhode Island 4, Northern Colorado 3, Tennessee Tech 3, Missouri St. 2, Saint Francis 2, Murray St. 1, San Diego 1,Yale 1.

Betting lines
FAVORITE TODAY

USA Today / Coaches

Record Pts Pvs 1. Florida (56) 2-0 1,472 1 2. Texas 2-0 1,399 2 3. USC (3) 2-0 1,368 3 4. Alabama 2-0 1,277 4 5. Penn State 2-0 1,216 5 6. Mississippi 1-0 1,060 8 7. LSU 2-0 1,051 9 7. California 2-0 1,051 10 9. BYU 2-0 941 12 10. Boise State 2-0 913 11 11. Ohio State 1-1 855 7 12. Oklahoma 1-1 794 14 13. Georgia Tech 2-0 771 13 14. Virginia Tech 1-1 709 15 15. TCU 1-0 648 16 16. Utah 2-0 533 17 17. Oklahoma State 1-1 485 6 18. Nebraska 2-0 471 18 19. North Carolina 2-0 341 19 20. Georgia 1-1 333 21 21. Cincinnati 2-0 328 23 22. Miami 1-0 291 22 23. Kansas 2-0 195 25 24. Oregon State 2-0 118 24 25. Missouri 2-0 104 — Dropped out: Notre Dame (20) Others receiving votes: Michigan 84, Houston 69, Texas Tech 68, Pitt 40, Notre Dame 32, Auburn 30, Iowa 27, Florida State 19, Oregon 16, West Virginia 16, South Florida 13, UCLA 13, Kentucky 9, Arizona 4, Central Michigan 2, Colorado State 2, Minnesota 2, Northwestern 2, Arkansas 1, South Carolina 1, Tulsa 1.

Boston College 19, Baylor 15, Clemson 10, Oregon 5, Arizona 4, Arkansas 3, Colorado State 2, Florida State 1, Minnesota 1, South Florida 1.

Thursday

SOUTH Florida A&M 48, Howard 10 Miami 33, Georgia Tech 17

Top 25
Today No. 10 Boise State at Fresno State, 9 p.m. Saturday No. 1 Florida vs. Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. No. 2 Texas vs. Texas Tech, 8:05 p.m. No. 3 Southern Cal at Washington, 3:30 p.m. No. 4 Alabama vs. North Texas, 12:20 p.m. No. 5 Mississippi vs. SE Louisiana, 7:30 p.m. No. 5 Penn State vs. Temple, Noon p.m. No. 7 BYU vs. Florida State, 7 p.m. No. 8 California at Minnesota, Noon p.m. No. 9 LSU vs. La.-Lafayette, 7 p.m. No. 11 Ohio State vs. Toledo at Cleveland, Noon No. 12 Oklahoma vs. Tulsa, 3:30 p.m. No. 13 Virginia Tech vs. No. 19 Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. No. 15 TCU vs. Texas State, 7 p.m. No. 16 Oklahoma State vs. Rice, 7 p.m. No. 17 Cincinnati at Oregon State, 6:45 p.m. No. 18 Utah at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. No. 22 Kansas vs. Duke, Noon No. 23 Georgia at Arkansas, 7:45 p.m. No. 24 North Carolina vs. East Carolina, Noon No. 25 Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan, Noon

Today Boise St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Fresno St. Saturday at Army. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ball St. at Purdue. . . . . . . . . . . . .  13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N. Illinois at Michigan. . . . . . . . . . .  24. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E. Michigan at Pittsburgh. . . . . . . . . .7½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Navy Northwestern. . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Syracuse at Clemson. . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Boston College at Penn St. . . . . . . . . . . .29½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Temple at North Carolina . . . . . .7½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .East Carolina at W. Michigan . . . . . . .16½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miami (Ohio) at Vanderbilt . . . . . . . . . . . .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mississippi St. at Colorado  . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Wyoming at Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Arizona at Akron . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Indiana at Kansas . . . . . . . . . . . .22½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Duke at Southern Miss.. . . . .15½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Virginia at Oregon. . . . . . . . . . . . .4½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Utah Southern Cal . . . . . . . . .18½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .at Washington at UCLA. . . . . . . . . . . . . .12½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kansas St. at Virginia Tech . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nebraska at Notre Dame  . . . . . . . .  10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Michigan St. Ohio St.-x. . . . . . . . . . . .20½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Toledo at Auburn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West Virginia at Florida  . . . . . . . . . . . .29½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tennessee SMU. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Washington St. San Diego St.. . . . . . . . . .3½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .at Idaho Nevada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Colorado St. Bowling Green . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Marshall California . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Minnesota at UCF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Buffalo at Oklahoma St. . . . . . .32½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rice at Oklahoma . . . . . . . . .17½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tulsa at Baylor. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Connecticut at Texas A&M. . . . . . . . . .  19. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Utah St. at Kentucky . . . . . . . . . .13½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louisville Iowa St.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at Kent St. at BYU. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Florida St. at Arkansas  . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Georgia Air Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  at New Mexico UTEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14. . . . . . . . . . . . . .at New Mexico St. at Texas. . . . . . . . . . . . . .17½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Texas Tech at UNLV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hawaii at Stanford. . . . . . . . . . . .  17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  San Jose St. at Oregon St.. . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cincinnati at Rutgers  . . . . . . . . . . .15½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fla. Int’l at Alabama  . . . . . . . . . . .  38. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .North Texas at Maryland. . . . . . . . . . .6½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Middle Tenn. at South Carolina . . . . . .  21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Fla. Atlantic at Troy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  UAB at LSU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . La.-Lafayette at Arizona St.. . . . . . . . .19½. . . . . . . . . . . . .  Louisiana-Monroe x-at Cleveland

Sporting News
Record Pvs 1. Florida 2-0 1 2. USC 2-0 4 3. Texas 2-0 2 4. Alabama 2-0 3 5. California 2-0 13 6. Mississippi 1-0 5 7. LSU 2-0 9 8. Georgia Tech 2-0 7 9. BYU 2-0 11 10. Penn State 2-0 8 11. Virginia Tech 1-1 10 12. Ohio State 1-1 14 13. Boise State 2-0 15 14. Oklahoma 1-1 12 15. Cincinnati 2-0 21 16. Georgia 1-1 19 17. Miami 1-0 17 18. Houston 2-0 — 19. Oklahoma State 1-1 6 20. TCU 1-0 — 21. North Carolina 2-0 22 22. Kansas 2-0 — 23. Utah 2-0 23 24. Michigan 2-0 — 25. Oregon State 2-0 24 Dropped out: Notre Dame (16), Michigan State (18), Oregon (20), Missouri (24).

Today

FAR WEST Boise St. at Fresno St., 9 p.m.

AFCA Division II Coaches
1. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) (25) 2. Abilene Christian (Texas) 3. North Alabama 4. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 5. Central Washington 6. Northwest Missouri St. 7. Minnesota St.-Mankato 8. Minnesota-Duluth 9. Delta St. (Miss.) 10. Texas A&M-Kingsville 11. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 12. Central Missouri 13. Albany St. (Ga.) 14. Catawba (N.C.) 15. Chadron St. (Neb.) 16. Valdosta St. (Ga.) 17. Tuskegee (Ala.) 18. Ashland (Ohio) 19. Tarleton St. (Texas) 20. Wayne St. (Neb.) 21. Indiana (Pa.) 22. Washburn (Kan.) 23. Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.) 24. Midwestern St. (Texas) 25. Augustana (S.D.) Record 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-0 2-1 3-0 2-1 1-1 3-0 2-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 2-1 1-1 2-1 2-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-0 2-1 3-0 3-0 Pts 625 592 577 541 526 510 432 418 392 388 355 320 301 262 258 230 211 183 178 157 136 113 88 69 66

Saturday

The Associated Press

Record Pts Pvs 1. Florida (56) 2-0 1,491 1 2. Texas (1) 2-0 1,404 2 3. USC (1) 2-0 1,396 3 4. Alabama (2) 2-0 1,328 4 5. Mississippi 1-0 1,145 6 5. Penn State 2-0 1,145 7 7. BYU 2-0 1,122 9 8. California 2-0 1,058 10 9. LSU 2-0 951 11 10. Boise State 2-0 945 12 11. Ohio State 1-1 840 8 12. Oklahoma 1-1 835 13 13. Virginia Tech 1-1 749 14 14. Georgia Tech 2-0 683 15 15. TCU 1-0 609 16 16. Oklahoma State 1-1 445 5 17. Cincinnati 2-0 407 23 18. Utah 2-0 405 17 19. Nebraska 2-0 365 22 20. Miami 1-0 364 20 21. Houston 2-0 341 — 22. Kansas 2-0 271 24 23. Georgia 1-1 260 21 24. North Carolina 2-0 250 19 25. Michigan 2-0 169 — Dropped out: Notre Dame (18), Missouri (25) Others receiving votes: Missouri 93, Pitt 87, Oregon State 64, Texas Tech 54, UCLA 44, Notre Dame 40, West Virginia 30, Auburn 26, Iowa 23,

Division I-AA

Pvs 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 4 13 12 17 15 18 14 19 22 23 t24 NR 16 NR NR

EAST Ball St. at Army, Noon Delaware St. at Delaware, Noon Duquesne at Monmouth, N.J., Noon Temple at Penn St., Noon Dayton at Robert Morris, Noon Bucknell at Cornell, 12:30 p.m. Yale at Georgetown, D.C., 1 p.m. Harvard at Holy Cross, 1 p.m. Youngstown St. at Northeastern, 1 p.m. Colgate at Dartmouth, 1:30 p.m. Winston-Salem vs Morgan St. at East Rutherford, N.J., 2 p.m. The Citadel at Princeton, 3 p.m. Rhode Island at Massachusetts, 3:30 p.m. Maine at Albany, N.Y., 4 p.m. Fla. International at Rutgers, 5 p.m. Columbia at Fordham, 6 p.m. Liberty at Lafayette, 6 p.m. Navy at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m. Brown at Stony Brook, 6 p.m. Villanova at Penn, 7 p.m. Northwestern at Syracuse, 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Towson, 7 p.m. SOUTH Boston College at Clemson, Noon Louisville at Kentucky, Noon East Carolina at North Carolina, Noon North Texas at Alabama, 12:20 p.m. Old Dominion at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. Morehead St. at N.C. Central, 1:30 p.m. Chattanooga at Presbyterian, 1:30 p.m. Miles at Samford, 3 p.m. Tennessee at Florida, 3:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. Hofstra at Richmond, 3:30 p.m. Virginia at Southern Miss., 3:30 p.m. UAB at Troy, 3:30 p.m. Nebraska at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. Grambling St. at Jackson St., 4:30 p.m. Campbell at Davidson, 6 p.m. VMI at James Madison, 6 p.m. Ark.-Pine Bluff at MVSU, 6 p.m. Hampton at N. Carolina A&T, 6 p.m. Gardner-Webb at N.C. State, 6 p.m. William & Mary at Norfolk St., 6 p.m. Elon at Wake Forest, 6:30 p.m. Jacksonville St. at Alabama A&M, 7 p.m. Tennessee Tech at E. Kentucky, 7 p.m. W. Carolina at Georgia Southern, 7 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU, 7 p.m. Nicholls St. at Louisiana Tech, 7 p.m. Bowling Green at Marshall, 7 p.m. North Dakota at Northwestern St., 7 p.m. Florida Atlantic at South Carolina, 7 p.m. Charleston Southern at South Florida, 7 p.m. Tennessee St. at Southern U., 7 p.m. Mississippi St. at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. Cent. Arkansas at W. Kentucky, 7 p.m. SE Louisiana at Mississippi, 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at UCF, 7:30 p.m. West Virginia at Auburn, 7:45 p.m. Edward Waters at Alabama St., 8 p.m.

Record Pts Pvs 1. Richmond (122) 2-0 3,607 1 2. Villanova (13) 2-0 3,369 3 3. Northern Iowa (6) 1-1 3,271 4 4. Montana 2-0 3,075 5 5. William & Mary (2) 2-0 2,865 7 6. New Hampshire (1) 2-0 2,701 9 7. James Madison 0-1 2,618 6 8. McNeese State (1) 2-0 2,358 16 9. Southern Illinois 0-1 2,296 8 10. Appalachian State 0-2 2,241 2 11. Elon 2-0 2,219 10 12. Cal Poly 1-0 1,885 12 13. Weber State 0-2 1,719 11 14. Wofford 1-1 1,612 14 15. South Carolina St. (1) 2-0 1,515 15 16. Central Arkansas 0-1 1,503 13 17. Massachusetts 1-1 1,346 17 18. South Dakota State 1-0 1,089 21 19. Texas State 1-0 977 19 20. Maine 2-0 973 20 21. Eastern Washington 1-1 572 18 22. Eastern Kentucky 0-1 505 22 23. Holy Cross 2-0 476 25 24. Jacksonville State 0-2 471 23 25. Harvard 0-0 267 24 Others receiving votes: Eastern Illinois 241, Liberty 205, Florida A&M 182, Delaware 177, Furman 124, Colgate 100, Grambling St. 89, Hofstra 82, AlabamaA&M77,Samford71,MontanaSt.64,YoungstownSt.53,Pennsylvania

TV schedule
Today 9 p.m. No. 10 Boise State at Fresno State, ESPN Saturday Noon *Temple at No. 5 Penn State, Big Ten Network No. 8 California at Minnesota, ESPN Duke at No. 22 Kansas, Versus East Carolina at No. 24 North Carolina, ESPN2 *Eastern Michigan at No. 25 Michigan, Big Ten Network Louisville at Kentucky, ESPNU *Northern Illinois at Purdue, Big Ten Network *Wofford at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network 3:30 p.m. Tennessee at No. 1 Florida, CBS *No. 3 USC at Washington, ABC Tulsa at No. 12 Oklahoma, FSN *No. 19 Nebraska at No. 13 Virginia Tech, ABC No. 18 Utah at Oregon, ESPN *Arizona at Iowa, ABC Michigan State at Notre Dame, NBC Indiana at Akron, ESPNU 6:45 p.m. No. 17 Cincinnati at Oregon State, FSN 7 p.m. Florida State at No. 7 BYU, Versus Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 9 LSU, ESPNU 7:45 p.m. No. 23 Georgia at Arkansas, ESPN West Virginia at Auburn, ESPN2 8 p.m. Texas Tech at No. 2 Texas, ABC Kansas State at UCLA, FSN *—Regional telecast

Savannah St. at McNeese St., 8 p.m. Tenn.-Martin at Memphis, 8 p.m. MIDWEST Duke at Kansas, Noon E. Michigan at Michigan, Noon California at Minnesota, Noon N. Illinois at Purdue, Noon Ohio St. vs. Toledo at Cleveland, Noon Wofford at Wisconsin, Noon Hanover at Butler, 1 p.m. Furman at Missouri, 2 p.m. Indiana at Akron, 3:30 p.m. Alcorn St. at Cent. Michigan, 3:30 p.m. Michigan St. at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. Arizona at Iowa, 3:35 p.m. Murray St. at Missouri St., 4 p.m. St. Francis, Pa. at N. Iowa, 5:05 p.m. Drake at South Dakota, 5:05 p.m. Iowa St. at Kent St., 7 p.m. Wagner at N. Dakota St., 7 p.m. Cal Poly at Ohio, 7 p.m. Indiana St. at S. Dakota St., 7 p.m. SW Baptist at S. Illinois, 7 p.m. E. Illinois at SE Missouri, 7 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at W. Michigan, 7 p.m. Stephen F.Austin at W. Illinois, 7:05 p.m. Austin Peay at Illinois St., 7:30 p.m.

SOUTHWEST Tulsa at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m. Connecticut at Baylor, 5 p.m. Rice at Oklahoma St., 7 p.m. Texas St. at TCU, 7 p.m. Utah St. at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. Texas College at Texas Southern, 7 p.m. Georgia at Arkansas, 7:45 p.m. Texas Tech at Texas, 8 p.m. FAR WEST Portland St. at Montana, 3:05 p.m. Wyoming at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. Utah at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. Southern Cal at Washington, 3:30 p.m. Marist at San Diego, 4 p.m. N. Colorado at E. Washington, 4:05 p.m. Nevada at Colorado St., 5 p.m. San Diego St. at Idaho, 5 p.m. SMU at Washington St., 5 p.m. S. Utah at N. Arizona, 5:05 p.m. Cincinnati at Oregon St., 6:45 p.m. Florida St. at BYU, 7 p.m. Air Force at New Mexico, 7:30 p.m. UTEP at New Mexico St., 8 p.m. Idaho St. at Weber St., 8:05 p.m. San Jose St. at Stanford, 9 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Arizona St., 10 p.m. Kansas St. at UCLA, 10:15 p.m. Hawaii at UNLV, 11 p.m.

Conference standings, Page 17

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College Football
BIG EAST BIG TEN
All Games W L PF 2 0 117 2 0 92 2 0 68 1 0 30 1 0 40 1 1 33 0 2 27 0 1 15 PA 18 30 40 10 7 28 51 47 Indiana Iowa Michigan Minnesota Northwestern Penn St. Wisconsin Ohio St. Purdue Illinois Michigan St. Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 42 2 0 52 2 0 69 2 0 43 2 0 74 2 0 59 2 0 62 1 0 31 1 0 52 1 1 54 1 1 71 North PA 32 19 41 33 38 14 51 27 31 54 32 Kansas Missouri Nebraska Iowa St. Kansas St. Colorado South Texas Tech Texas Baylor Texas A&M Oklahoma St. Oklahoma Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 93 2 0 100 1 0 24 1 0 41 1 1 59 1 1 77 PA 23 30 21 6 55 14 Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 83 2 0 64 2 0 87 1 1 37 1 1 36 0 2 55 PA 10 29 12 52 34 77

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

17

Conference standings
ACC
Atlantic Conference W L PF Boston College 0 0 0 N.C. State 0 0 0 Wake Forest 0 0 0 Maryland 0 0 0 Clemson 0 1 27 Florida St. 0 1 34 Coastal Conference W L PF Georgia Tech 1 1 47 Miami 2 0 38 North Carolina 0 0 0 Duke 0 0 0 Virginia Tech 0 0 0 Virginia 0 0 0 Thursday’s game Miami 33, Georgia Tech 17 Saturday’s games Duke at Kansas, Noon Boston College at Clemson, Noon East Carolina at North Carolina, Noon Middle Tennessee at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. PA 60 34 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 1 84 2 0 71 2 0 52 1 1 51 1 1 76 0 2 28 PA 77 51 16 43 44 56 Saturday’s games Louisville at Kentucky, Noon Connecticut at Baylor, 5 p.m. Fla. International at Rutgers, 5 p.m. Navy at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m. Cincinnati at Oregon St., 6:45 p.m. Northwestern at Syracuse, 7 p.m. Charleston Southern at South Florida, 7 p.m. West Virginia at Auburn, 7:45 p.m. PA 0 0 0 0 30 38 All Games W L PF 2 0 88 1 1 68 1 1 45 0 1 13 1 1 64 0 1 34 PA 7 14 41 52 44 38 Cincinnati Pittsburgh West Virginia Louisville South Florida Connecticut Syracuse Rutgers

BIG 12
East

CONFERENCE USA
East All Games W L PF 2 0 78 1 1 77 1 1 49 1 1 41 0 2 28 1 1 47 All Games W L PF 2 0 66 2 0 81 2 0 100 0 2 24 0 2 34 0 2 16 PA 19 59 59 80 76 50 Conference W L PF PA Southern Miss. 1 0 26 19 UAB 1 1 77 59 East Carolina 0 0 0 0 Marshall 0 0 0 0 Memphis 0 0 0 0 UCF 0 1 19 26 West SMU Tulsa Houston UTEP Rice Tulane Conference W L PF PA 1 0 35 33 1 0 37 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 24 44 0 1 13 37 West PA 56 23 42 57 99 91

MAC
Conference W L PF Akron 0 0 0 Bowling Green 0 0 0 Buffalo 0 0 0 Kent St. 0 0 0 Ohio 0 0 0 Temple 0 0 0 Miami (Ohio) 0 0 0 Conference W L PF Cent. Michigan 0 0 0 N. Illinois 0 0 0 Toledo 0 0 0 Ball St. 0 0 0 E. Michigan 0 0 0 W. Michigan 0 0 0 Saturday’s games Temple at Penn St., Noon Ball St. at Army, Noon Ohio St. vs. Toledo at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Noon N. Illinois at Purdue, Noon E. Michigan at Michigan, Noon Indiana at Akron, 3:30 p.m. Alcorn St. at Cent. Michigan, 3:30 p.m. PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 1 1 48 1 1 51 1 1 50 1 1 25 1 1 47 0 1 24 0 2 0 All Games W L PF 1 1 35 1 1 61 1 1 85 0 2 26 0 2 38 0 2 26 PA 31 41 71 34 53 27 90

Conference W L PF PA 1 0 47 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 15 47

Nebraska at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. Virginia at Southern Miss., 3:30 p.m. Gardner-Webb at N.C. State, 6 p.m. Elon at Wake Forest, 6:30 p.m. Florida St. at BYU, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games Wofford at Wisconsin, Noon Temple at Penn St., Noon Ohio St. vs. Toledo at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Noon N. Illinois at Purdue, Noon E. Michigan at Michigan, Noon California at Minnesota, Noon Indiana at Akron, 3:30 p.m. Michigan St. at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. Arizona at Iowa, 3:35 p.m. Northwestern at Syracuse, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games Duke at Kansas, Noon Furman at Missouri, 2 p.m. Wyoming at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. Tulsa at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m. Nebraska at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. Connecticut at Baylor, 5 p.m. Utah St. at Texas A&M, 7 p.m.

Iowa St. at Kent St., 7 p.m. Rice at Oklahoma St., 7 p.m. Texas Tech at Texas, 8 p.m. Kansas St. at UCLA, 10:15 p.m.

Saturday’s games East Carolina at North Carolina, Noon UAB at Troy, 3:30 p.m. Tulsa at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m. Virginia at Southern Miss., 3:30 p.m. SMU at Washington St., 5 p.m. Rice at Oklahoma St., 7 p.m.

Bowling Green at Marshall, 7 p.m. Buffalo at UCF, 7:30 p.m. Tenn.-Martin at Memphis, 8 p.m. UTEP at New Mexico St., 8 p.m.

PA 0 0 0 0 0 0

PA 46 35 90 43 54 54

Cal Poly at Ohio, 7 p.m. Iowa St. at Kent St., 7 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at W. Michigan, 7 p.m. Bowling Green at Marshall, 7 p.m. Buffalo at UCF, 7:30 p.m.

MOUNTAIN WEST
BYU Colorado St. Utah TCU Air Force San Diego St. UNLV Wyoming New Mexico Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 68 2 0 47 2 0 59 1 0 30 1 1 85 1 1 49 1 1 59 1 1 39 0 2 16 PA 16 40 31 14 20 52 26 63 85

PAC-10
Conference W L PF PA Stanford 1 0 39 13 Arizona 0 0 0 0 California 0 0 0 0 Oregon St. 0 0 0 0 Southern Cal 0 0 0 0 UCLA 0 0 0 0 Ariz. St. 0 0 0 0 Oregon 0 0 0 0 Washington 0 0 0 0 Washington St. 0 1 13 39 Saturday’s games California at Minnesota, Noon Utah at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. Southern Cal at Washington, 3:30 p.m. Arizona at Iowa, 3:35 p.m. SMU at Washington St., 5 p.m. Cincinnati at Oregon St., 6:45 p.m. San Jose St. at Stanford, 9 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Arizona St., 10 p.m. Kansas St. at UCLA, 10:15 p.m. All Games W L PF 1 1 56 2 0 53 2 0 111 2 0 57 2 0 74 2 0 52 1 0 50 1 1 46 1 1 65 0 2 33 East PA 37 23 20 28 18 29 3 55 54 77

SEC
Conference W L PF PA Georgia 1 0 41 37 Florida 0 0 0 0 Kentucky 0 0 0 0 Tennessee 0 0 0 0 South Carolina 0 1 37 41 Vanderbilt 0 1 9 23 West Auburn LSU Alabama Arkansas Mississippi Mississippi St Conference W L PF PA 1 0 49 24 1 0 23 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 24 49 All Games W L PF 2 0 86 2 0 54 2 0 74 1 0 48 1 0 45 1 1 69 PA 37 32 38 10 14 56 All Games W L PF 1 1 51 2 0 118 1 0 42 1 1 78 1 1 44 1 1 54 PA 61 9 0 26 44 23

SUN BELT
Conference W L PF PA La.-Lafayette 0 0 0 0 Arkansas St. 0 0 0 0 La.-Monroe 0 0 0 0 Middle Tenn. 0 0 0 0 North Texas 0 0 0 0 Fla. International 0 0 0 0 Fla. Atlantic 0 0 0 0 Troy 0 0 0 0 W. Kentucky 0 0 0 0 Saturday’s games North Texas at Alabama, 12:20 p.m. UAB at Troy, 3:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. Fla. International at Rutgers, 5 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU, 7 p.m. Cent. Arkansas at W. Kentucky, 7 p.m. Florida Atlantic at South Carolina, 7 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Arizona St., 10 p.m. All Games W L PF 2 0 59 1 1 70 1 1 78 1 1 45 1 1 50 0 1 14 0 1 3 0 2 20 0 2 20 PA 34 38 59 51 41 40 49 87 98

WAC
Conference W L PF PA Idaho 1 0 21 6 Hawaii 0 0 0 0 Boise St. 0 0 0 0 Fresno St. 0 0 0 0 Nevada 0 0 0 0 San Jose St. 0 0 0 0 Utah St. 0 0 0 0 Louisiana Tech 0 0 0 0 New Mexico St. 0 1 6 21 Today’s game Boise St. at Fresno St., 9 p.m. Saturday’s games San Diego St. at Idaho, 5 p.m. Nevada at Colorado St., 5 p.m. Utah St. at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. Nicholls St. at Louisiana Tech, 7 p.m. UTEP at New Mexico St., 8 p.m. San Jose St. at Stanford, 9 p.m. Hawaii at UNLV, 11 p.m. All Games W L PF 1 0 21 2 0 63 1 0 19 1 1 82 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 1 17 0 2 27 0 1 6 PA 6 40 8 34 35 56 35 69 21 Army Navy Notre Dame

INDEPENDENTS
W 1 1 1 L PF PA 1 46 49 1 59 45 1 69 38

Saturday’s games Ball St. at Army, Noon Michigan St. at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. Navy at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s games Utah at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. Wyoming at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. San Diego St. at Idaho, 5 p.m. Nevada at Colorado St., 5 p.m. Texas St. at TCU, 7 p.m. Florida St. at BYU, 7 p.m. Air Force at New Mexico, 7:30 p.m. Hawaii at UNLV, 11 p.m.

Saturday’s games Louisville at Kentucky, Noon North Texas at Alabama, 12:20 p.m. Tennessee at Florida, 3:30 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU, 7 p.m. Florida Atlantic at South Caro-

lina, 7 p.m. Mississippi St. at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. SE Louisiana at Mississippi, 7:30 p.m. Georgia at Arkansas, 7:45 p.m. West Virginia at Auburn, 7:45 p.m.

WEEKDAYS 10AM–1PM ET
Listen on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 127, online at SportingNews.com or check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.

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NFL
INSIDE DISH

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

18

Colts’ Gonzalez could miss half the season with knee injury
2009 SCOREBOARD
AFC EAST
NE NYJ MIA BUF BAL

WIN LOSS

* MONDAY † THURSDAY ‡ SATURDAY § THANKSGIVING DAY ^ IN LONDON ° CHRISTMAS DAY ◊ IN TORONTO

AFC NORTH
PIT CLE CIN IND

AFC SOUTH
TEN HOU JAC SD

AFC WEST
DEN KC OAK

W-L Pct. PF PA Div. AFC

1-0 1.000 25 24 1-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 24 7 0-0 1-0

0-1 .000 7 19 0-0 0-0

0-1 .000 24 25 0-1 0-1

1-0 1.000 38 24 0-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 13 10 0-0 1-0

0-1 .000 20 34 0-0 0-0

0-1 .000 7 12 0-0 0-1

1-0 1.000 14 12 1-0 1-0

0-1 .000 10 13 0-0 0-1

0-1 .000 7 24 0-0 0-1

0-1 .000 12 14 0-1 0-1

1-0 1.000 24 20 1-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 12 7 0-0 1-0

0-1 .000 24 38 0-0 1-0

0-1 .000 20 24 0-1 0-1

AJ MAST / AP

With Anthony Gonzalez, above, hurt, the Colts are expected to sign ex-Eagle Hank Baskett. WR Anthony Gonzalez may be out longer than the Colts first feared, and the team appears to have a replacement for him. Coach Jim Caldwell said the third-year receiver could miss up to two months after spraining ligaments in his right knee during the 14-12 victory over Jacksonville Sunday. Indianapolis will sign former Eagles WR Hank Baskett to take Gonzalez’s place, ESPN reported. “Since Anthony’s going to be out a while, hopefully we can catch him up as soon as possible,” QB Peyton Manning said about Baskett. “It’s a lot of offense to learn in a couple of days, but he’s a veteran, so he could help us.” The Colts play Miami on Monday night. Losing Gonzalez for an extended period is a big blow to the Colts, who expected their 2007 first-round pick to replace Marvin Harrison in the lineup. Harrison was released in February. Baskett gives the Colts some intriguing possibilities. At 6-4, 220 pounds, he’s bigger than any other Indy receiver. In three years with the Eagles, he has 72 career receptions for 1,052 yards and six TDs. After Jets coach Rex Ryan said he’s not kissing Bill Belichick’s rings, S Kerry Rhodes went a step farther in heating up Sunday’s matchup at the Meadowlands. Rhodes said he not only wants to beat the Patriots, he wants to “embarrass” them. Since 2003, the Patriots are 11-2 against the Jets, including a playoff win in 2006. “You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them,” Rhodes told the New York Daily News. “Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We want to send a message to them: ‘We’re not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it’s not going to be luck, it’s not going to be a mistake.’ ” Broncos WR Brandon Marshall spoke to the media for the first time since his wellpublicized fit at practice Aug. 26 that was

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

BUF* @NYJ ATL BAL @DEN TEN TB ^ — MIA @IND NYJ @NO* @MIA CAR @BUF JAC @HOU

@HOU NE TEN @NO @MIA* BUF @OAK MIA — JAC @NE CAR ◊ BUF † @TB ATL @IND CIN

@ATL IND* @SD BUF NYJ* — NO @NYJ @NE TB @CAR † @BUF NE @JAC @ TEN HOU PIT

@NE* TB NO @MIA CLE @NYJ @CAR HOU — @TEN @JAC MIA ◊ NYJ † @KC NE @ATL IND

KC @SD CLE @NE CIN @MIN — DEN @CIN @CLE* IND PIT @GB* DET CHI @PIT @OAK

TEN † @CHI @CIN SD @DET CLE MIN — @DEN* CIN @KC @BAL OAK @CLE † GB BAL @MIA

MIN @DEN @BAL CIN @BUF @PIT GB @CHI — BAL* @DET @CIN SD PIT † @KC OAK JAC

DEN @GB PIT @CLE @BAL HOU CHI — BAL @PIT @OAK CLE DET @MIN @SD KC @NYJ

JAC @MIA* @ARI SEA @TEN — @STL SF HOU NE @BAL @HOU TEN DEN @JAC † NYJ @BUF

@PIT † HOU @NYJ @JAC IND @NE — JAC @SF BUF @HOU* ARI @IND STL MIA SD° @SEA

NYJ @TEN JAC OAK @ARI @CIN SF @BUF @IND — TEN* IND @JAC SEA @STL @MIA NE

@IND ARI @HOU TEN @SEA STL — @TEN KC @NYJ BUF @SF HOU MIA IND † @NE @CLE

@OAK* BAL MIA @PIT — DEN † @KC OAK @NYG PHI @DEN KC @CLE @DAL CIN @TEN° WAS

@CIN CLE @OAK DAL NE @SD* — @BAL PIT* @WAS SD NYG § @KC @IND OAK @PHI KC

@BAL OAK @PHI NYG DAL @WAS SD — @JAC @OAK PIT @SD DEN BUF CLE @CIN @DEN

SD* @KC DEN @HOU @NYG PHI NYJ @SD — KC CIN @DAL § @PIT WAS @DEN @CLE BAL

followed by a two-week team suspension. Other than stating he has been completely healthy “a long time,” Marshall talked in circles, deflecting every question about his personal situation and relationship with the franchise and teammates. In the opener in Cincinnati, he had two drops, including a deep ball down the seam that went through his hands. Marshall needs to prove he still has the downfield speed to gain separation from cornerbacks and be classified as a top-tier receiver. — Lee Rasizer

Patriots ILB Jerod Mayo is wearing a brace on his injured right knee and walking with crutches. Last year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year walked through New England’s locker room and into the training room on Thursday. He did not talk with reporters. Mayo sprained the MCL in the first quarter of Monday night’s 25-24 win over the Bills and could miss up to eight weeks, The Boston Globe reported. The Patriots said only that he had a knee injury and did not practice Wednesday.

The Kansas City Star reported that Chiefs QB Matt Cassel (knee) was limited in practice Thursday and that his status for Week 2 is uncertain. Cassell said he is making good progress and his mobility is improved greatly over last week. Texans CB Dunta Robinson has been fined $25,000 by the team for the “pay me Rick” shoes he wore during Sunday’s game. It was first reported by the Houston Chronicle. The shoes targeted G.M. Rick Smith.

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NFL
INSIDE DISH

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

19

Eagles aren’t ruling out McNabb for Sunday
2009 SCOREBOARD
NFC EAST
NYG PHI DAL WAS GB

WIN LOSS

* MONDAY † THURSDAY ‡ SATURDAY § THANKSGIVING DAY ^ IN LONDON ° CHRISTMAS DAY ◊ IN TORONTO

NFC NORTH
MIN DET CHI NO

NFC SOUTH
ATL TB CAR SEA

NFC WEST
SF ARI STL

W-L Pct. PF PA Div. NFC

1-0 1.000 23 17 1-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 38 10 0-0 1-0

1-0 1000 34 21 0-0 1-0

0-1 0.000 17 23 0-1 0-1

1-0 1.000 21 15 1-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 34 20 0-0 0-0

0-1 0.000 27 45 0-1 0-1

0-1 0.000 15 21 0-1 0-1

1-0 1.000 45 27 0-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 19 7 0-0 0-0

0-1 0.000 21 34 0-0 0-1

0-1 0.000 10 38 0-0 0-1

1-0 1.000 28 0 1-0 1-0

1-0 1.000 20 16 1-0 1-0

0-1 0.000 16 20 0-1 0-1

0-1 0.000 0 28 0-1 0-1

BARBARA JOHNSTON / AP

If Donovan McNabb, right, is out this week, Jeff Garcia, left, will back up QB Kevin Kolb. The Eagles aren’t giving up hope of having Donovan McNabb on the field when they play their home opener Sunday against the Saints. McNabb, who fractured a rib in Philadelphia’s 38-10 win at Carolina Sunday, made a brief appearance on the practice field Thursday afternoon but did not take part in any drills. “You know Donovan, he’s doing everything in his power to get back out there, make it to this game,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “He’s played with a broken ankle, a broken sternum and all these things. Donovan is a very tough man.” If McNabb isn’t available, the Eagles will go with Kevin Kolb, the team’s second-round draft pick in 2007. Kolb would make his first start and would be backed up by veteran Jeff Garcia, who as signed Tuesday. Kolb took nearly all the reps with the first team on Thursday. Garcia and Michael Vick, who is on the active roster but still must serve one more week of his league-mandated suspension, split the remaining snaps and worked with the scout team.

Chris Canty’s return to Dallas is in doubt. The Giants’ defensive tackle missed practice on Thursday with a calf injury and his status for Sunday night’s game at the Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington is uncertain. Canty, who left Dallas to sign with the Giants as a free agent, was hurt in practice on Wednesday. He received treatment on Thursday while the team practiced. LB Michael Boley (hip) showed improvement and has a shot to play.
Buccaneers WR Antonio Bryant has regressed in his recovery from preseason knee surgery, and he isn’t sure to play Sunday at Buffalo, The Tampa Tribune reported. Bryant didn’t participate in the team’s prac-

1 WAS 2 @DAL 3 @TB 4 @KC 5 OAK 6 @NO 7 ARI 8 @PHI 9 SD 10 — 11 ATL 12 @DEN § 13 DAL 14 PHI 15 @WAS* 16 CAR 17 @MIN

@CAR NO KC — TB @OAK @WAS* NYG DAL @SD @CHI WAS @ATL @NYG SF DEN @DAL

@TB NYG CAR* @DEN @KC — ATL SEA @PHI @GB WAS OAK § @NYG SD @NO ‡ @WAS PHI

@NYG STL @DET TB @CAR @KC PHI* — @ATL DEN @DAL @PHI NO @OAK NYG* DAL @SD

CHI CIN @STL @MIN* — DET @CLE MIN @TB DAL SF @DET § BAL* @CHI @PIT SEA @ARI

@CLE @DET SF GB* @STL BAL @PIT @GB — DET SEA CHI @ARI CIN @CAR @CHI* NYG

@NO MIN WAS @CHI PIT @GB — STL @SEA @MIN CLE GB § @CIN @BAL ARI @SF CHI

@GB PIT @SEA DET — @ATL @CIN CLE ARI @SF † PHI @MIN STL GB @BAL MIN* @DET

DET @PHI @BUF NYJ — NYG @MIA ATL* CAR @STL @TB NE* @WAS @ATL DAL ‡ TB @CAR

MIA CAR @NE — @SF CHI @DAL @NO* WAS @CAR @NYG TB PHI NO @NYJ BUF @TB

DAL @BUF NYG @WAS @PHI CAR NE ^ — GB @MIA NO @ATL @CAR NYJ @SEA @NO ATL

PHI @ATL @DAL — WAS @TB BUF @ARI @NO ATL MIA † @NYJ TB @NE MIN @NYG NO

STL @SF CHI @IND JAC ARI — @DAL DET @ARI @MIN @STL SF @HOU TB @GB TEN

@ARI SEA @MIN STL ATL — @HOU @IND TEN CHI † @GB JAC @SEA ARI* @PHI DET @STL

SF @ JAC IND — HOU @SEA @NYG CAR @CHI SEA @STL TEN MIN @SF* @DET STL GB

@SEA @WAS GB @SF MIN @JAC IND @DET — NO ARI SEA @CHI @TEN HOU @ARI SF

tice Thursday. Bryant had arthroscopic surgery in early August to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and left the season-opening game against Dallas early because of knee fatigue. Coming off his four-interception debut with the Bears, Jay Cutler says he is “confident” he’ll play better Sunday against Pittsburgh, NFL.com reported. “I’m disappointed in my performance. I let the guys down (with) four picks,” Cutler

said. “But we can’t dwell on it. I can’t dwell on it. The city is obviously a little bit disappointed as well. We’re going to bounce back. I’m going to bounce back. We’re going to get better, that I can promise you.” The Lions have acquired DE Turk McBride on waivers from the Chiefs. McBride had been playing outside linebacker in Kansas City’s new 3-4 scheme after being a starter most of last year at end. He was a secondround choice by the Chiefs in 2007.

The Bears have placed CB Trumaine McBride on the waived/injured list and claimed CB DeAngelo Smith off waivers from the Browns. Smith was drafted by Dallas in the fifth round in the spring but did not make the final cut. He spent 10 days with Cleveland before getting waived on Wednesday. The Bears will won’t have two starters—TE Desmond Clark (rib) and OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) available on Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Greg Olsen will fill in at tight end, and Nick Roach will start at outside linebacker.

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NFL
Injury report
NEW YORK—The National Football League injury report, as provided by the league (OUT Definitely will not play; DNP - Did not practice; LIMITED - Limited participation in practice; FULL - Full participation in practice): NOTE: An injury report for Monday’s game was not included. SUNDAY ARIZONA CARDINALS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — CARDINALS: DNP: WR Steve Breaston (knee), DE Kenny Iwebema (ankle), LB Chike Okeafor (shoulder), S Matt Ware (shoulder). LIMITED: WR Anquan Boldin (hamstring), WR Early Doucet (ribs), WR Sean Morey (ribs), QB Brian St. Pierre (back). FULL: G Reggie Wells (thumb). JAGUARS: DNP: TE Zach Miller (knee), CB Brian Witherspoon (hamstring). BALTIMORE RAVENS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS — RAVENS: DNP: LB Terrell Suggs (concussion, chest), S Tom Zbikowski (concussion). LIMITED: S Ed Reed (concussion), TE L.J. Smith (hamstring). FULL: LB Tavares Gooden (knee). CHARGERS: Practice Not Complete. CAROLINA PANTHERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — PANTHERS: DNP: S Chris Harris (knee), DT Nick Hayden (toe), CB Sherrod Martin (knee), RB Jonathan Stewart (heel). LIMITED: DE Everette Brown (ankle), DE Charles Johnson (knee), T Jeff Otah (shoulder). FALCONS: LIMITED: K Jason Elam (left hamstring), S William Moore (hamstring). FULL: DT Peria Jerry (chest). CINCINNATI BENGALS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS — BENGALS: OUT: CB David Jones (foot), T Andre Smith (foot). DNP: DE Jonathan Fanene (not injury related), G Nate Livings (knee). LIMITED: RB Brian Leonard (chest). FULL: T Scott Kooistra (knee). PACKERS: OUT: S Atari Bigby (knee). DNP: RB Brandon Jackson (ankle). LIMITED: K Mason Crosby (abdomen), WR Greg Jennings (wrist). FULL: CB Will Blackmon (quadricep), DT B.J. Raji (ankle). CLEVELAND BROWNS AT DENVER BRONCOS — BROWNS: OUT: G Rex Hadnot (knee). DNP: RB James Davis (shoulder). LIMITED: LB David Bowens (knee), RB Jamal Lewis (neck), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (shoulder), RB Cedric Peerman (thigh), DT Shaun Rogers (foot). FULL: RB Jerome Harrison (knee), TE Steve Heiden (knee), P Dave Zastudil (right knee). BRONCOS: Practice Not Complete. HOUSTON TEXANS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — TEXANS: DNP: DT Shaun Cody (knee), WR Andre Davis (concussion), RB Vonta Leach (knee), CB Antwaun Molden (quadricep). LIMITED: DE Antonio Smith (illness). FULL: CB Jacques Reeves (fibula), WR Kevin Walter (hamstring), CB Eugene Wilson (knee). TITANS: DNP: TE Jared Cook (ankle), TE Bo Scaife (knee), LB David Thornton (knee). FULL: P Craig Hentrich (back). MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT DETROIT LIONS — VIKINGS: DNP: LB Erin Henderson (calf). LIMITED: LB Heath Farwell (hamstring), G Anthony Herrera (back). FULL: TE Jim Kleinsasser (hand). LIONS: DNP: DE Cliff Avril (hamstring), QB Drew Stanton (knee). LIMITED: DT Andre Fluellen (knee), DT Grady Jackson (knee), CB William James (foot), CB Eric King (shoulder). FULL: K Jason Hanson (right knee). NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT NEW YORK JETS — PATRIOTS: DNP: LB Jerod Mayo (knee). LIMITED: C Dan Connolly (back), WR Julian Edelman (ankle), LB Rob Ninkovich (calf), DT Myron Pryor (calf), WR Matt Slater (elbow), LB Adalius Thomas (foot), WR Wes Welker (knee), CB Terrence Wheatley (knee). FULL: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder). JETS: LIMITED: DT Kris Jenkins (back), DT Sione Pouha (ankle), T Damien Woody (illness), WR Wallace Wright (hamstring). FULL: QB Kellen Clemens (right elbow), DE Mike Devito (hamstring), RB Shonn Greene (rib), LB Bryan Thomas (ankle), LB Jamaal Westerman (quadricep). NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — SAINTS: DNP: T Jammal Brown (hip), T Jermon Bushrod (ankle), DT Kendrick Clancy (knee), TE Darnell Dinkins (foot), CB Tracy Porter (knee), TE Jeremy Shockey (ankle). LIMITED: S Roman Harper (thigh, hamstring). FULL: RB Pierre Thomas (knee), S Usama Young (shoulder). EAGLES: OUT: G Todd Herremans (foot). DNP: S Quintin Demps (hamstring), LB Joe Mays (shoulder), QB Donovan McNabb (rib). LIMITED: WR DeSean Jackson (groin). FULL: WR Kevin Curtis (knee), T King Dunlap (elbow), G Max Jean-Gilles (knee), T Winston Justice (shoulder). OAKLAND RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — RAIDERS: Practice Not Complete. CHIEFS: LIMITED: QB Matt Cassel (knee), CB Brandon Flowers (shoulder). PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CHICAGO BEARS — STEELERS: DNP: S Tyrone Carter (not injury related), S Troy Polamalu (knee), DE Aaron Smith (not injury related), WR Hines Ward (not injury related). LIMITED: WR Limas Sweed (foot), LB Lawrence Timmons (ankle). BEARS: DNP: DE Mark Anderson (toe), TE Desmond Clark (rib), S Danieal Manning (back), CB Trumaine McBride (knee), LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee). LIMITED: S Al Afalava (shoulder), DT Tommie Harris (knee), G Frank Omiyale (ankle). SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — SEAHAWKS: OUT: LB LeRoy Hill (groin). DNP: WR Deion Branch (hamstring), CB Travis Fisher (hamstring), WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back spasms), T Walter Jones (knee), C Chris Spencer (quadricep), LB Lofa Tatupu (hamstring). FULL: S C.J. Wallace (rib). 49ERS: Practice Not Complete. ST. LOUIS RAMS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS RAMS— DNP: S Craig Dahl (hamstring), T John Greco (wrist). REDSKINS: LIMITED: LB Robert Henson (illness). TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT BUFFALO BILLS — BUCCANEERS: DNP: CB E.J. Biggers (shoulder), C Jeff Faine (triceps), DE Kyle Moore (groin). LIMITED: WR Antonio Bryant (knee), TE John Gilmore (ankle). BILLS: DNP: DE Chris Kelsay (knee), LB Paul Posluszny (forearm). LIMITED: TE Derek Fine (hamstring), CB Drayton Florence (knee). FULL: DE Aaron Schobel (back). NEW YORK GIANTS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — GIANTS: DNP: S Michael Johnson (shoulder), T Adam Koets (ankle), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), S Kenny Phillips (knee), CB Aaron Ross (hamstring), RB Danny Ware (elbow). LIMITED: LB Michael Boley (hip), DE Chris Canty (calf), CB Kevin Dockery (hamstring), LB Clint Sintim (groin). COWBOYS: DNP: S Michael Hamlin (wrist), LB Jason Williams (ankle). FULL: LB Curtis Johnson (hamstring), QB Stephen McGee (knee), QB Tony Romo (ankle), S Gerald Sensabaugh (chest).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

20

Former Lions coach Clark dies at 72
DETROIT—Monte Clark, who coached the Detroit Lions for seven years and led them to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983, has died. He was 72. He died Wednesday night at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the team said Thursday. He had a bone marrow malignancy associated with lung and liver disease. Clark was the offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins team that went 17-0 in 1972. He became the Lions’ coach in 1978. “Monte will always be remembered as a consummate football man,” Lions president Tom Lewand said. “He knew football inside and out, and had a passion for it. He played the game at a high level and had success wherever he coached.” Under Clark, the Lions went 43-63-1 and made back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since their three straight playoff runs from 1952-54. The Lions lost both games. Seven players were named to 14 Pro Bowls during Clark’s stay in Detroit, including lineman Al “Bubba” Baker, running back Billy Sims and kicker Eddie Murray. Clark was born in Kingsburg, Calif., and starred as an offensive lineman at Southern California before San Francisco drafted him in 1959. He spent three seasons with the 49ers and one with the Dallas Cowboys before playing for the Cleveland Browns from 1963-69. Clark served as an assistant in Miami from 1970-75 before becoming head coach in San Francisco in 1976, leading the 49ers to an 8-6 record. Don Shula, whose 26 years as coach in Miami included the perfect 1972 season, called Clark an “outstanding coach.” “Monte was an outstanding teacher and knew how to present information to his players in a way that made it interesting and exciting for them,” he said in a statement released by the Dolphins.

Standings
AFC
East New England N.Y. Jets Buffalo Miami South Indianapolis Houston Jacksonville Tennessee North Baltimore Pittsburgh Cincinnati Cleveland West San Diego Denver Kansas City Oakland W 1 1 0 0 W 1 0 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 1 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 .000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 PF 25 24 24 7 PF 14 7 12 10 PF 38 13 7 20 PF 24 12 24 20 PA Home Away 24 7 25 19 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 AFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 AFC 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 AFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 AFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 Div 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

PA Home Away 12 24 14 13 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

PA Home Away 24 10 12 34 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

PA Home Away 20 7 38 24 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0

RICHARD SCHEINWALD / AP

NFC
East N.Y. Giants Dallas Philadelphia Washington South New Orleans Atlanta Carolina Tampa Bay North Green Bay Minnesota Chicago Detroit West San Francisco Seattle Arizona St. Louis W 1 1 1 0 W 1 1 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 L 0 0 0 1 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 Pct 1.000 1.000 1.000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 PF 23 34 38 17 PF 45 19 10 21 PF 21 34 15 27 PF 20 28 16 0 PA Home Away 17 21 10 23 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 AFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 Div 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

Monte Clark was an assistant coach for the unbeaten ‘72 Dolphins and led the Lions to the playoffs twice. Clark also was on Shula’s staff when Miami again won the Super Bowl in 1973. After his coaching stints in San Francisco and Detroit, Clark returned to Miami as director of pro personnel in 1990. Clark served as offensive line coach at Stanford in 1993-94 and was Miami’s offensive line coach in 1995, Shula’s final season as coach of the Dolphins. He spent the 1998 season as offensive line coach at Cal-Berkeley and joined the Lions that year for the first of 11 seasons as a consultant. After his coaching career, Clark was a football broadcaster in Detroit and color analyst for the University of Michigan. He was a sideline reporter for the Michigan State radio network in 1992. Survivors include Clark’s wife of 52 years, Charlotte, three sons and eight grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. — The Associated Press

PA Home Away 27 7 38 34 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

PA Home Away 15 20 21 45 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

PA Home Away 16 0 20 28 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

Schedule
Sunday

Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m. St. Louis at Washington, 1 p.m. New England at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m. Oakland at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati at Green Bay, 1 p.m. New Orleans at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. Arizona at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 4:05 p.m. Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. Pittsburgh at Chicago, 4:15 p.m. Baltimore at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.

Cleveland at Denver, 4:15 p.m. N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.
Monday

Indianapolis at Miami, 8:30 p.m.

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NFL The confidence pool
For those in weekly “confidence pools,” where you get more points based on which picks you’re most confident about, here’s how our prognostication panel feels about this week’s games:

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

21

Tips for the office pool
Everything you need to know to talk trash at the water cooler:

AFC game of the week
Patriots (-3 1/2) at Jets. New York hopes that the rookie combination of coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez finally will change their fortunes against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The home team should hang in there with their running game and improved defense, but count on Brady to make one more clutch play.

Packers (-9) over Bengals. For the second consecutive week, Cincinnati draws a 3-4 team with a ballhawking secondary that can silence Chad Ochocinco. The Packers will swarm Carson Palmer, and Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers will provide the offensive spark with more big plays downfield.

deliver more often away from the face of the pass rush.

Upset special
(straight up and vs. the spread)

Vinnie Iyer
14-2

Dennis Dillon
14-2

Steve Greenberg
15-1

Russ Lande
12-4

Clifton Brown
13-3

Albert Breer
13-3

Real Scouts
12-4

Shootout of the week
(over the over/under)

NFC game of the week
Giants at Cowboys (-3). Dallas will be inspired to break in its new stadium with a win, and Tony Romo will deliver against New York’s banged-up secondary. Eli Manning also will play well, but his lack of a go-to receiver will keep him from a successful late comeback.

Lock of the Week
(survival pool pick and vs. the spread)

Steelers at Bears (37 1/2 o/u). The running games likely will be slowed by two physical front sevens. But with Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu and Chicago middle linebacker Brian Urlacher both out, it will be on quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler to exploit the middle of the field. Roethlisberger has the better downfield options and also will get to

Ravens over Chargers (-3). Baltimore proved it can win by throwing often last week, and with its prolific ground game and playmaking defense still intact, it is a better overall team than San Diego at the moment. Look for Joe Flacco to outduel Philip Rivers late to steal a big road victory.

1. Packers over Bengals 2. Vikings over Lions 3. Redskins over Rams 4. Falcons over Panthers 5. Titans over Texans 6. Bills over Buccaneers 7. Steelers over Bears 8. Broncos over Browns 9. Patriots over Jets 10. Colts over Dolphins 11. Raiders over Chiefs 12. Giants over Cowboys 13. Cardinals over Jaguars 14. Eagles over Saints 15. 49ers over Seahawks 16. Ravens over Chargers

Trap of the week
Cardinals at Jaguars (-3). Arizona is trying to shake off the Super Bowl hangover, which showed up in Week 1 with a shaky performance by Kurt Warner. Jacksonville will get physical to try to keep the Cards folding. Still, the visitors’ firepower and the Jags’ lack thereof makes the outcome iffy. — Vinnie Iyer

The spread
OVER/UNDER CLOSING LINES at Kansas City (-3 1/2) ........................38 1/2 ...............Oakland ...............................Raiders have covered in 5 of past 6 at Kansas City. at Tennessee (-6 1/2)..........................40 1/2 ...............Houston...............................Texans have won only 2 of past 11 road games. New England (-3 1/2) ........................46 ......................at New York Jets..................Patriots have covered in 7 of past 10 games vs. Jets. at Green Bay (-9).................................42 ......................Cincinnati.............................Bengals haven’t covered in past 5 games vs. Packers. Minnesota (-10)..................................46 1/2 ...............at Detroit..............................Lions have covered only once in past 9 home games. at Philadelphia (Pick‘em)...................46 1/2 ...............New Orleans........................Eagles QB Donovan McNabb (ribs) questionable for game. at Atlanta (-6 1/2)...............................43 ......................Carolina................................Falcons have won 9 of past 10 home games. at Washington (-10) ...........................37 ......................St. Louis................................Redskins have covered only once in past 6 home games. at Jacksonville (-3) ..............................42 1/2 ...............Arizona.................................Jaguars have covered only once in past 8 home games. at San Francisco (-1 1/2) ....................39 1/2 ...............Seattle..................................Seahawks have covered in 4 of past 5 games. at Buffalo (5)........................................42 ......................Tampa Bay...........................Bills have failed to cover in past 5 home games. at Denver (-3) ......................................37 1/2 ...............Cleveland.............................Browns have failed to cover in past 5 games. at San Diego (-3).................................40 1/2 ...............Baltimore.............................Ravens have covered in 5 of past 6 games. Pittsburgh (-3).....................................37 1/2 ...............Chicago................................Bears have won 6 of past 7 home games. atDallas(-3).................................................441/2...................NewYorkGiants ......................Cowboyshavecoveredin4ofpast5homegames. Indianapolis (-3)..................................42 ......................at Miami ..............................Colts have won 10 of past 11 games.

Week 2 schedule
Sunday Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m. St. Louis at Washington, 1 p.m. New England at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m. Oakland at Kansas City, 1 p.m. Cincinnati at Green Bay, 1 p.m. New Orleans at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. Arizona at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 4:05 p.m. Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. Pittsburgh at Chicago, 4:15 p.m. Baltimore at San Diego, 4:15 p.m. Cleveland at Denver, 4:15 p.m. N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. Monday Indianapolis at Miami, 8:30 p.m.

— Vinnie Iyer

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WEEK 2: FANTASY FOCUS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

22

Start ’em or sit ’em
For more Start ‘em, Sit ‘em advice, check out Vinnie Iyer’s ‘The Decider’ column at fantasy.sportingnews.com/football QB Trent Edwards vs. TB RB Willie Parker at CHI RB Leon Washington vs. NE WR Lance Moore at PHI
PAUL CONNORS / AP

GEORGE WINKLER
Senior Editor, Fantasy

BILL BENDER
Assoc. Editor, Fantasy

BRAD PINKERTON
Assoc. Editor, Fantasy

MATT LUTOVSKY
Assoc. Editor, Fantasy

KYLE WHITFIELD
Fantasy Intern

VERDICT
Bucs’ defense gave up three long passing TDs to Dallas in Week 1 Big Ben is taking over as the focal point of the Steelers’ offense. Pats’ LB injury leaves short passing game open for Washington. Moore seems to be losing action in fight for Drew Brees’ attention. If Jay Cutler’s smart, (that’s debatable) he’ll go with safer passes to the TE.

Start Sit Start Sit Start

Start Start Start Sit Sit

Start Sit Sit Sit Start

Sit Sit Start Sit Start

Start Sit Start Sit Start

TE Greg Olsen vs. PIT

Reggie Wayne torched the Jags last week, and that bodes well for Larry Fitzgerald, above.

Top 10 wide receivers
1. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, at JAC 2. Andre Johnson, HOU, at TEN Johnson had four catches for 35 yards in Week 1 and faces Tennessee’s physical cornerbacks. He’s still not worth benching. Johnson had 207 yards and a TD in the last meeting with the Titans. 3. Calvin Johnson, DET, vs. MIN 4. Randy Moss, NE, at NYJ 5. Reggie Wayne, IND, at MIA 6. Greg Jennings, GB, vs. CIN 7. Marques Colston, NO, at PHI 8. Roy Williams, DAL, vs. NYG 9. Steve Smith, CAR, at ATL 10. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA, at SF

Five stats to exploit

Insurance policies
Jason Campbell, QB, Redskins. If Donovan McNabb owners are in a bind, they should consider Campbell’s matchup against the Rams. But if McNabb owners have a solid backup and are just looking for a No. 3, Mark Sanchez has better long-term value than Campbell. Jerheme Urban, WR, Cardinals. Anquan Boldin or Steve Breaston owners should consider Urban as a bench piece. He had five receptions for 74 yards playing for the injured Breaston and while Boldin wasn’t 100 percent. This week’s matchup versus Jacksonville should be favorable. Hank Baskett, WR, Colts. If you’re looking for a potential sleeper in deep leagues, Baskett certainly is an option now that Anthony Gonzalez will miss significant time with his knee injury. — George Winkler
TIM LARSEN / AP

1. 2.

— Bill Bender
For a full look at the rankings, go to sportingnews.com/fantasy/football

Buffalo’s Lee Evans is a big-play specialist, and the Bucs allowed four 20-plus yard completions to the Cowboys last week. The Lions allowed 46 yards and two TDs to tight ends in Week 1. Expect Visanthe Shiancoe to be Brett Favre’s No. 1 receiver on Sunday. The Panthers committed seven turnovers in Week 1; the Falcons caused four turnovers. Simple math says Atlanta’s D/ST is a good play against Carolina this week. The 49ers tied for second in most fantasy points allowed to kickers last year (10.1), and they’re tied for No. 1 after one week this year (12.0). Have Seattle kicker Olindo Mare in your lineups. The Patriots were burned by Fred Jackson’s 83 receiving yards in Week 1. This week, they face Leon Washington, who’s an even better receiver out of the backfield than Jackson. — Matt Lutovsky

3.

4. 5.

Jason Campbell’s matchup against the Rams may be one fantasy owners want to exploit.

For all game-time decisions, check out sportingnews.com/ blog/FantasySourceBlitz.

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NFL
Q&A with ... Bears OLB Lance Briggs

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

23

Pittsburgh (1-0) at Chicago (0-1)
When: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 715 Weather: 75, mostly cloudy Line: Steelers favored by 3 Last meeting: Steelers, 21-9 (2005)

‘As far as we’re concerned, we’re fine’
The loss of Brian Urlacher, who’s out for the season after dislocating his wrist in the season-opening loss at Green Bay, means Pro Bowl outside linebacker Lance Briggs and the rest of the Chicago defense will have to ratchet up their games to compensate. Sporting News Radio’s 2 Live Stews talked to Briggs about losing Urlacher, Jay Cutler’s rough start and Briggs’ passion for comic books.

Steelers’ keys to success
sive line did not play as poorly as it might have appeared against the Titans, even though Ben Roethlisberger was sacked four times. He also attempted 43 passes and, by his own admission, probably was responsible for at least two of the sacks by holding the ball too long. The Bears had four sacks against the Packers in Week 1, including a safety, and applied lots of pressure. If Cutler had a tough time finding receivers and figuring out the Packers’ new 3-4 defense, he might have an even more difficult time against the team that plays the 3-4 better than anyone. Cutler threw four interceptions in his Bears debut, mostly because he and his receivers were out of sync. Steelers coordinator Dick LeBeau is the master at disguising coverages.

1.

Corral the pass rush. The offen-

Q: A:

2.

Confuse Bears QB Jay Cutler.

Did you want to go over and yell at Jay Cutler when he was throwing all of those interceptions? No, it’s not like that. We all have our bad games. The thing I’m not worried about is our offense, and I’m definitely not worried about Jay Cutler. This is a guy I played against in the Pro Bowl. To me, we have games like that. Whatever is going on with the offense, they’ll get their stuff fixed and we’ll jell and continue on. No matter what happens, defensively we had a chance to win the game and didn’t do it.

Q: A:
GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Ben Roethlisberger makes his share of plays, but he can hang on to the ball too long, too. best when buying time by moving in the pocket, especially stepping up into the pocket and finding receivers over the middle. DTs Tommie Harris, Anthony Adams and Marcus Harrison must get a better push up the middle to force Roethlisberger to the outside and toward Adewale Ogunleye, Alex Brown and Mark Anderson. The offense looked its best last week when Forte was the focal point, taking pressure off Jay Cutler. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner must do a better job early in the game with plays that feature Forte—especially as a receiver—because it’s difficult to run on the Steelers, who have been in the top three against the run for five consecutive years.

the first time the Steelers will face the Bears’ Pro Bowl returner, which should make for the ultimate test for their improved coverage units. The return of punter Daniel Sepulveda has been a plus because he is able to kick directionally and hang punts toward the sideline, a necessity against Hester.

3.

Contain Devin Hester in the return game. This will be

When you see Cutler going through struggles, as a team leader, do you go over and encourage him? We’re all grown men out there. For one, I talk to the guys who are on the defensive side of the ball. For two, I talk to younger guys who aren’t as experienced out there. Us older guys, the guys I’ve been playing with for a while, they know. I don’t need to go up to Tommie Harris or Adewale (Ogunleye) or Alex Brown and tell them, ‘Hey, you’re screwing up, pick it up.’ They know that. Lovie Smith preaches us to be accountable, and that’s what we are. Has Lovie said anything to you about being more of a team leader now that Brian Urlacher is out for the season? As far as we’re concerned, we’re fine. Obviously, we lost a crucial part of our defense, but Hunter (Hillenmeyer) has been in this defense almost as long as I have and Brian has been. We came into this season with depth at linebacker. We don’t have a lot of depth now, but we have guys that can fill in and play well.

JAY DROWNS / SN

Lance Briggs says the Bears’ D will be OK without Brian Urlacher. You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to do exactly what we did when Brian went down. We’re going to play great defense. We’re going to continue to do that week in and week out. Talk to us about your social networking site for comic books. I’m a comic-book head. I got into it when I was a younger kid. My mom and I were always into trading baseball and football cards. To be honest with you, we’ve got boxes of old baseball and football cards in mint condition. As soon as this (economy) comes back, we’re going to look to make some money off of these cards.

2.

Get Matt Forte more involved.

Bears’ keys to success

1.

Get a stronger push. Ben
Roethlisberger is at his

is going to be flushed out of the pocket by the Steelers’ blitz on Sunday afternoon. When Green Bay did this to him using the same 3-4 scheme, Cutler thought his receivers were going one way while they actually went the other. It led to two of his interceptions. — Gene Chamberlain & Gerry Dulac

3.

Get Cutler, receivers on the same page. Cutler certainly

Q: A: Q:

A:

Q: A:

How are you going to cope without Urlacher?

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NFL

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

24

N.Y. Giants (1-0) at Dallas (1-0)
When: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET TV: NBC Weather: Retractable dome, 77, partly cloudy Line: Cowboys favored by 3 Last meeting: Cowboys, 20-8 (2008)

Carolina (0-1) at Atlanta (1-0)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 709 Weather: Dome Line: Falcons favored by 6 1/2 Last meeting: Falcons, 45-28 (2008)

Giants’ keys to success
ary—again likely to be without cornerback Aaron Ross and perhaps both safeties—kept the Redskins in check, limiting Santana Moss to two catches for six yards and the other starting receiver, Malcolm Kelly, to one catch for six yards. The next test will be much tougher, as Dallas QB Tony Romo is coming off a career-best 353-yards passing game and fired three long touchdown passes, one apiece for wide receivers Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. This was a major headache last season and was so again in the opener. The Giants had seven plays against the Redskins where they needed 2 or fewer yards and picked up two first downs. Running back Brandon Jacobs was held without a first down on four of those plays. Moving the pile against the Cowboys is essential, as the Dallas defense allowed 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns to the Buccaneers’ Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward.

Panthers’ keys to success
quarterback has turned the ball over a ridiculous 11 times in his past 22 possessions (not counting a kneel down). The key—to not only this game but the season—is to get his head right. Mostly, that means running well and protecting him against the blitz, which the protection scheme failed to do against the Eagles. were moments last week when the Panthers were effective pass-rushing Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan is not nearly as mobile as McNabb, so making him move out of the pocket will have a bigger impact. The Panthers also owe Ryan one for the 45 he dropped on them in the teams’ second meeting last season. Panthers have traditionally struggled with tight ends in the passing game. And now that the Falcons have added Tony Gonzalez, they’re looking at a potential matchup nightmare. With strong safety Chris Harris struggling with a balky knee (he dressed but didn’t play last week), the Panthers have to make sure their linebackers are sharp in their assignments or Gonzalez could light them up.

1.

Contain the Cowboys’ receivers. The depleted second-

1.

Rebuild Jake Delhomme’s confidence. The Panthers’

BILL KOSTROUN / AP

2.

Return the favor. There
Carolina QB Jake Delhomme (17) has 11 turnovers in his past 22 possessions.

BOB LEVERONE / SN

Mario Manningham, right, had four catches all of last season, and had three in the ‘09 opener. try to put Manningham in positions where he gets the ball in his hands on the move with room to maneuver. marked the fourth time since Romo became the starter he’s had as few as 27 pass attempts. The Cowboys, who ran the ball 60 percent of the time last season, vowed to run the ball more to take the pressure off Romo and limit his opportunity to make poor decisions. If they run the ball 24 times against the Giants, even if they don’t rush for 100 yards, it’ll be a positive because they’re controlling the tempo and keeping their defense off the field and fresh. Romo had five completions of 20-plus yards to four receivers last week. The Cowboys must hit big plays to beat the Giants because it’s unlikely they’re going to be able to consistently drive 80 yards against the Giants’ defense. — Jean-Jacques Taylor & Paul Schwartz

2.

Convert on short yardage.

Falcons’ keys to success
has been having big-time turnover issues, and the Falcons’ defense had four takeaways in the opener. They had only 16 takeaways all of last season, and they’d like to keep the turnovers coming against Carolina. Newly acquired linebacker Mike Peterson had his hand in two of the turnovers last week, and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton forced one. In Delhomme’s past seven quarters, he has 11 turnovers, including nine interceptions in his last 51 passing attempts. The goal is to get a pick early and keep him reeling. thers’ excellent running back duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 109 yards on 30 carries in the team’s

1.

Create turnovers. Carolina

Cowboys’ keys to success
Control Jacobs. The Cowboys allowed 174 yards rushing and a 5.6 average per carry last week. They played poor gap control and had limited success run blitzing. Now, they must deal with Jacobs, who has a 5.0 average and more than 1,000 yards rushing each of the past two seasons. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff is the key. If he can’t play strong at the point of attack—even against doubleteams—the defense has no chance to slow Jacobs.
The Cowboys had 24 runs and 27 passes in the opener, which

24-9 victory over the Falcons last season. They were able to control the clock and keep Atlanta’s offense off the field. With Delhomme struggling in the passing attack, the Panthers will have no choice but to lean on Williams and Stewart.

1.

3.

Defend the middle. The

were able to exploit the Cowboys’ smallish cornerbacks with tall receivers but that’s not the physical attribute of this year’s receivers. The best run-after-catch player on the roster is Manningham, and Eli Manning will

3.

Throw more to Mario Manningham. In the past, the Giants

3.

Get big plays on offense.

2.

2.

Defend the duo. The Pan-

Maintain good run-pass ratio.

mad put on a clinic in the first meeting last season, catching eight passes for 147 yards and a touchdown while Brent Grimes tried to defend him. We’ll likely see that matchup a lot on Sunday. Though newcomer Brian Williams starts at left cornerback for Atlanta, he slides to the slot in nickel situations and Grimes comes in to man the outside. The Falcons mixed in a heavy dose of zone coverages to help out their corners last week against Miami. — D. Orlando Ledbetter & Darin Gantt

3.

Keep Muhsin Muhammad under control. Muham-

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

25

Baltimore (1-0) at San Diego (1-0)
When: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 717 Weather: 87, sunny Line: Chargers favored by 3 Last meeting: Chargers, 31-14 (2007)

New Orleans (1-0) at Philadelphia (1-0)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 710 Weather: 73, mostly sunny Line: Pick’em Last meeting: Eagles, 38-23 (2007)

Ravens’ keys to success
The Ravens’ offensive line is young and still getting comfortable with each other after adding center Matt Birk and right tackle Michael Oher in the offseason. This group won’t overpower opponents, but it’s an extremely athletic unit. The Chargers are big on the defensive front, so the Ravens won’t be able to muscle these guys and thus must keep them off-balance. The plan: Run when expected to throw, and throw when expected to run. Diego certainly will go after Ravens punts, especially since the Chiefs did it with ease last week. The Ravens must tighten up protection on the right side of the line. Baltimore also must be better at returning punts. Returner Chris Carr seems timid and needs to run straight instead of sideline to sideline. Field position will be an important part of this game. LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle) could miss the game, so that just means more pressure on the perimeter defense because of backup Darren Sproles’ burst and pure speed. Few opponents can run inside against the Ravens because of the outstanding play from tackles Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg and Justin Bannan. The Ravens also have outstanding speed, but they do have small linebackers. Outside linebackers Jarret Johnson and Tavares Gooden

Saints’ keys to success
Create pressure on offense. The Saints’ strategy every Sunday is to put a ton of points on the board—ideally early in the game, forcing an opponent to play catch-up. QB Drew Brees doesn’t need to throw for six touchdown passes every week—but he’s capable of it, whether he’s in the lead or coming from behind. He has more weapons than ever before with receiver Marques Colston, tight end Jeremy Shockey and running back Reggie Bush healthy, in addition to dangerous receiving threats Lance Moore, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. The Saints have shown the potential to run efficiently with Mike Bell emerging as a workhorse. But the Eagles’ defense—with good pass rushers, a good secondary and an aggressive, versatile scheme—will present a stiff test.
The Saints will face another inexperienced quarterback if Kevin Kolb starts for Philadelphia in place of injured starter Donovan McNabb (broken rib). The Saints will blitz from different angles and mix up fronts. New Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves to switch from 4-3 to 3-4 alignments, moving players around on the line and in the secondary. The Saints only sacked Lions rookie Matthew Stafford once last week but kept him off-balance all day, forcing three interceptions and several errant throws.

1.

Be

unpredictable.

1.

BILL FEIG / AP

TE Jeremy Shockey grabbed his first two TDs with the Saints last week. Saints should have beaten Detroit by 30 points in Week 1, if not 50, but kept giving charity points to the Lions with turnovers and sloppy special teams play. The Lions returned a Bell fumble for a touchdown, and they took over possession in scoring position three times thanks to Bush’s muffed punt return, an 87-yard kickoff return and a 43-yard punt return. Brees also threw an interception when he tried to force a ball deep after a flea-flicker. Those kinds of miscues will be unacceptable on the road.

3.

Clean up the mistakes. The

for DeSean Jackson on the outside.

2.

Improve on special teams. San
BOB LEVERONE / SN

Despite being the underdog, Ravens QB Joe Flacco could help his team have a big day. must hold their ground and turn Sproles back inside. Rivera needs to find them help. The Chargers gave up six passes to the tight end last week, including five for first downs. Uh-oh: Baltimore’s Todd Heap caught a 10-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds remaining to give the Ravens a 16-13 victory when these teams met in ’06. Be it misdirection or better blocking or more help, the Chargers must do better. Sproles and Michael Bennett likely will carry the load Sunday. The Chargers could also have two backups (Scott Mruczkowski and Brandyn Dombrowski) starting on the interior in place of center Nick Hardwick (ankle) and right guard Louis Vasquez (knee). — Kevin Acee & Mike Preston

Chargers’ keys to success
The Chargers didn’t show much of the promised pass rush in Week 1. Maybe they didn’t want to give much away against an inferior quarterback. Maybe, as it appeared, they were simply beat in many situations they shouldn’t have been. Flacco will have an easier time completing passes than the Raiders’ JaMarcus Russell—if he has all day to throw. linebacker Kevin Burnett and strong safety Clinton Hart must play better, and/or coordinator Ron

3.

Stop the run. Chargers starter

1.

Pressure Ravens QB Joe Flacco.

2.

Create pressure on defense.

3.

Run with more consistency.

Eagles’ keys to success
been coach Andy Reid’s style to lean heavily on the running game, but in the absence of McNabb it’s important that he simplifies the offense in Kolb’s first career start. Heavy doses of Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy and fullback Leonard Weaver will set up play-action passes for Kolb, who can warm up with some man-to-man matchups

Add another wrinkle. The beauty of having a firstyear defensive coordinator is that opponents have little film with which to study his schemes. Sean McDermott is a Jim Johnson disciple and has carried over a blitzheavy philosophy, but McDermott added his own twist last week against Carolina when he blitzed Trent Cole from the middle linebacker spot, resulting in a sack, a forced fumble and a touchdown return. McDermott will add new trinkets each week, and he’ll need to be creative against Brees. Attack the backup. The Saints will protect Brees with an inexperienced left tackle in Jermon Bushrod. This should sound an alarm for every pass rusher on the Eagles’ defense, especially Cole. The Eagles should overload some blitzes toward Bushrod’s side and make the Saints add tight end and running backs protection, limiting their offensive weapons. — Geoff Mosher and Mike Triplett

2.

1.

Ground control. It never has

3.

2.

Stop the tight end. Inside

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

26

New England (1-0) at N.Y. Jets (1-0)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 706 Weather: 74, sunny Line: Patriots favored by 3 1/2 Last meeting: Jets, 34-31 (2008)

Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 707 Weather: 78, scattered thunderstorms (40%) Line: Titans favored by 6 1/2 Last meeting: Texans, 13-12 (2009)

Patriots’ keys to success
linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee) will be out for at least a month, which means other players must adjust. Gary Guyton, who moved from the outside to the inside in Mayo’s absence, has to be tougher against the run. Perhaps playing Adalius Thomas in the middle would help.

1.

Go on without Mayo. Star inside

Texans’ keys to success
only one running back rushed for at least 100 yards against the Titans. And it wasn’t Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson; it was the Texans’ Steve Slaton—and he did it twice. Slaton had only nine carries for 17 yards against the Jets. Unless the Texans fall behind, coordinator Kyle Shanahan has to stay committed to him. Slaton is capable of breaking long ones. The coaches need to give Chris Brown more carries, as well, in his first game against his former teammates

1.

Stay committed to the running game. Last season,

Control the Jets’ blitzes. New York’s linebackers will line up anywhere and come from all angles. On Monday, the Pats’ offensive line gave up a sack and Brady threw an interception into the arms of Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel. One way to maximize protection and security is to move Brady from the pocket, if he’s mobile enough. Using a running back to help in pass blocking may be another big factor.

2.

GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

The Titans need RB Chris Johnson to play like he did last season against the Texans. double-edged sword in Chris Johnson and LenDale White, who combined for 214 yards rushing in two games against the Texans last season. The Texans have to be disciplined on the outside to keep Johnson from cutting and getting around the corner. They have to get a helmet on White early to tie him up in traffic. of opportunities against Pittsburgh, and the duo struggled in the preseason. The Titans need to change that and will try to force the issue against the Texans. Tackles David Stewart and Michael Roos will play a big role on outside runs, but center Kevin Mawae will need to get a body on Texans middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, a tackling machine. Andre Johnson has had big days against many NFL teams, but he had a monster performance against the Titans last year. In Houston’s 13-12 win in December, Johnson had 11 catches for a career-high 207 yards. The Titans will likely match up Finnegan on the physical Johnson. Although Johnson rolled up big numbers last December, Finnegan has been able to hold his own in one-on-one matchups in the past. — Jim Wyatt & John McClain

Mark Sanchez was impressive in his first game as a pro. He shook off a pick-six and earned the win. But the big-ticket rookie was allowed to get comfortable at Houston. Bill Belichick must ratchet up the pressure, even if it means leaving other areas vulnerable. With Richard Seymour gone, the defensive line may not get enough pressure by itself.

3.

Make the rookie feel like a rookie. Jets quarterback
times last week instead of just once. He will face many more confusing looks than he saw against the Texans. With Mayo out, however, Sanchez should be able to exploit New England underneath.

DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP

The Patriots must make Jets QB Mark Sanchez feel more like a rookie than he did last Sunday. something is taken away from him, and the Jets’ defense will have to counter.

Jets’ keys to success
needs to keep improving. He could have been picked off three

1.

Be on the Mark. Sanchez

Make adjustments. Several Jets defenders noted after Sunday’s win that finesse-oriented Houston didn’t make many adjustments against the Jets. They also said they know that won’t be the case against Brady and New England. Brady usually adapts well if

2.

Give Sanchez help. The Jets’ running game didn’t get cranked up until the second half against Houston; New York must get it in gear earlier this week. Leon Washington had 15 carries in the opener and needs to get plenty of action again this week. He can loosen things up for downhill runner Thomas Jones. — J.P. Pelzman & Ian R. Rapoport

3.

31-12 victory over the Texans at LP Field last season, they limited Andre Johnson to two catches for 29 yards. In the Texans’ 13-12 victory at Reliant Stadium, Johnson had 11 receptions for 207 yards and a TD. He faces a tough competitor in cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who will also get a lot of help. Johnson (6-3, 220) has a big size advantage over Finnegan (5-10, 188), but Finnegan is quick, smart and feisty. Johnson needs to come up big if the Texans hope to win. preseason games, the Texans allowed 148 yards per game rushing. In the opening loss to the Jets, they surrendered 190 yards. Now they go against the Titans’

2.

Get production from Andre Johnson. In the Titans’

Titans’ keys to success
together back-to-back 100yard games against the Titans in 2008. The Titans plan to stop him in his tracks on Sunday, and all signs point to them accomplishing their mission. The Titans stuffed the run against the Steelers in Week 1 while the Texans couldn’t run the ball vs. the Jets. Titans middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who had a team-high 12 tackles in Week 1, will be a key factor.

1.

Stop Slaton. Slaton put

3.

Slow down Andre Johnson.

3.

Contain the combo. In three

2.

Run the ball. Chris Johnson
and White didn’t get a lot

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

27

Minnesota (1-0) at Detroit (0-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 711 Weather: Dome Line: Vikings favored by 10 Last meeting: Vikings, 20-16 (2008)

Cincinnati (0-1) at Green Bay (1-0)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 704 Weather: 74, partly cloudy Line: Packers favored by 9 Last meeting: Bengals, 21-14 (2005)

Vikings’ keys to success
The Vikings should be able to crank up the passing attack against the Lions, who gave up six touchdown throws to the Saints’ Drew Brees in the opener. This would be the perfect time for Brett Favre to establish rhythm with his receivers after a sluggish start against Cleveland. The Lions were 27th against the pass in 2008 and didn’t fare any better against Brees. gets going, the Vikings need to give the ball Adrian Peterson, who’s coming off a 180-yard, three-touchdown performance against Cleveland. Most of that production came in the second half after the Vikings started using more two-tight end sets to counter Cleveland’s run blitzes. Peterson should be in for another big day against a defense that finished last against the run in 2008. Vikings special teams players got out of their lanes during a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown by Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs. It was a nightmarish flashback to 2008 for Minnesota, which allowed four punt returns for TDs last season. Detroit’s Dennis Northcutt (43-yard punt return) and Aaron Brown (87-yard kickoff return) were dangerous in the opener.

Bengals’ keys to success
going to keep their safeties deep to stop the long ball, so QB Carson Palmer must take what Green Bay gives him. He needs to chip away until strong safety Aaron Rouse inches closer to the line of scrimmage as the eighth man in the box. Then Palmer can take his chances deep with wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Chris Henry running post and corner routes.

1.

Unleash the passing game.

1.

Be patient in the passing game. The Packers are

2.

Feed the beast. Until Favre

MARK DUNCAN / AP

Until he’s stopped, the Vikings should go to RB Adrian Peterson, right, over and over and over. quickly if the Lions have any chance running against the Vikings’ stout front seven. They can’t burn a lot of early possessions by getting a feel for the game. If the Lions really think they’ve got a shot at controlling the ball, they have to go for it. If they don’t, they have to come out very aggressively and use the passing game to control the tempo of the game. didn’t blitz nearly as much as expected in the first game, and the results were predictably bad. Yes, Favre has seen every blitz on the planet, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. The Lions have to get creative and force the ball out of the pocket in a hurry because if they allow Favre to scan the field, they’ll give up 50 points. The Lions must at least try to force some bad passes because what they’re doing now isn’t working.

3.

Stay in your lanes. Several

Be strong up front. With the Packers’ safeties deep, the middle of the field should be open for the Bengals’ running game. The line’s challenge will be to crease the Packers’ front three at the point of attack, then scrape off and reach the linebackers to create running room. Running back Cedric Benson could have a big game if the line can do that.
snatches defeat from the jaws of victory like the snakebit Bengals. It’ll be difficult for them to rebound from last week’s crushing loss to the Broncos. This young team must maintain its poise in the hostile environment of Lambeau Field. The team’s margin for error is extremely small, and it can’t repeat mistakes from last week and expect to win. Taking an 0-2 record into a Week 3 home game against the Steelers would be potentially disastrous.

2.

MORRY GASH / AP

Green Bay has to do a better job of protecting QB Aaron Rodgers, right, than it did last week.

Packers’ keys to success
Palmer plays twice a year against the Steelers-type 3-4 defense the Packers run, so he won’t be fooled by much. He’ll run the play clock down as far as he can to make the Packers show their blitzes before the snap. It will be important to get heat on Palmer and make him uncomfortable in the pocket so he pick out holes in the coverage. This won’t be the turkey hunt the Packers had with Jay Cutler. Ochocinco, Henry and Laveranues Coles give the Bengals a lot of options in the passing game. If the Packers can keep their safeties back and make Palmer settle for shorter passes, they’ll have a

1.

Be patient with their blitzes.

much better chance of winning. They can’t count on every blitz working, so their safety play has to be better than it was in the opener. Rouse will replace Atari Bigby (knee) and will be tested. The Bengals will want to take advantage of Rouse’s lack of speed. The Bengals, who have been working on improving their pass rush, sacked Kyle Orton three times last week. Rodgers was bruised and battered as his line allowed four sacks and five quarterback hits against the Bears. That can’t happen again. No changes will be made in the line, but if the pressure comes again, coach Mike McCarthy will have to use his tight ends to help protect Rodgers. — Tom Silverstein & Chick Ludwig

2.

Keep blitzing. The Lions

Lions’ keys to success

1.

Run if it’s there. The coaching staff will have to decide very

blitz, the ends must do a better job of using countermoves and bull rushes to get to the quarterback. Dewayne White and Cliff Avril are decent outside speed rushers, but quarterbacks are stepping up to avoid trouble. White and Avril have to take a more direct line to the QB, and the tackles must get some push so QB can’t step up so easily. The linemen also have to start winning one-on-one matchups. — Tom Kowalski & Rick Alonzo

3.

Use countermoves and bull rushes. When Detroit doesn’t

3.

Win the mind games. No team

3.

Keep Aaron Rodgers upright.

2.

Take away the deep ball.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

28

Tampa Bay (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1)
When: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 713 Weather: 72, mostly sunny Line: Bills favored by 5 Last meeting: Bucs, 19-3 (2005)

Arizona (0-1) at Jacksonville (0-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 708 Weather: 87, scattered thunderstorms (40%) Line: Jaguars favored by 3 Last meeting: Jaguars, 24-17 (2005)

Bucs’ keys to success
The Bucs lost their opener primarily because every defensive back except cornerback Ronde Barber played miserably. These guys missed tackles, missed assignments and bit on pump fakes. In doing so, they gave up four big plays, including three for touchdowns. The Bills don’t have the weapons that Dallas has, but Terrell Owens will beat them up if they aren’t on their keys and don’t stick to their assignments. The secondary must bounce back and play sound. If it doesn’t, the Bucs will lose another game against another beatable team. Coaches showed a tendency in Week 1 to abandon the run after falling behind early. The Bucs have some big-play weapons in the passing game, but that’s not their strength. Their line is good enough and their backs are good enough to gain big yardage and wear down defenses. They always should be looking first and foremost to suck an extra defender into the box and then throw deep off play-action fakes. The Bucs missed one fieldgoal try and had another blocked last week. That can’t happen. They have a pretty good offense, but their defense is suspect. Thus, they can’t afford to leave points on the field. The offense was 3-for-3 getting touchdowns in the red zone last week, but that type of efficiency won’t last.

1.

Clean up play in the secondary.

Cardinals’ keys to success
Arizona struggled to move the ball through the air in the final two preseason games, and it carried over to last week against the 49ers. Kurt Warner has been off, and his protection wasn’t great against San Francisco. The Cardinals need to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald earlier in the game. He didn’t catch a pass until late in the second quarter last week.

1.

Get the passing game going.

WINSLOW TOWNSON / AP

Terrell Owens could exploit a Buccaneers secondary that gave up several big plays in Week 1. Sooner or later, they’ll run into someone that stops them down near the goal line, and that’s when field goals made on drives that stall out around the 30 become important. If the Bucs can do a better job capitalizing on scoring chances, they stand a better chance of winning. were effective in creating pressure before wearing down late in the game. Defensive end Aaron Schobel showed he’s back from last season’s foot injury. Rookie end Aaron Maybin should get more time with starter Chris Kelsay (knee) out. But the coaches should be more aggressive and blitz more against QB Byron Leftwich, who is vulnerable to sacks because of a lack of mobility and his slow, wind-up delivery.

2.

Stick to the running game.

Bills’ keys to success
Owens had a quiet debut as he was thrown to four times in 25 pass attempts and finished with two catches for 46 yards. Owens is known to sulk when he doesn’t get enough opportunities. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt must dial up more plays for Owens, and QB Trent Edwards also must look in Owens’ direction more often. The Buccaneers gave up three touchdowns of 40-plus yards, so there could be opportunities for Owens—not to mention Lee Evans—to stretch the field.

1.

Get T.O. involved. Terrell

great job against the 49ers’ Frank Gore last week and need a repeat against the Jaguars’ Maurice JonesDrew. Inside linebacker Gerald Hayes excels against this kind of team. He’s a physical player, and he and Karlos Dansby do a nice job with run blitzes. Coach Ken Whisenhunt can live with the occasional passinterference call or hold. What he can’t tolerate, however, are the offside and false-start penalties. The Cardinals had 12 penalties last week, and half were of the false start and offside variety. The tight ends, Stephen Spach and Anthony Becht, had two false starts and didn’t do that greart in blocking.

2.

Control the Jaguars’ running game. The Cardinals did a

MATT YORK / AP

Kurt Warner needs better protection from his offensive line against Jacksonville. Monroe struggled against the Colts’ Dwight Freeney last week, and Garrard rushed throws on at least 11 occasions. Under constant pressure, Garrard tends to lock on receivers, which leads to incompletions and increases the chance for interceptions. The Jags must identify weak spots in pass protection early Sunday and make adjustments, using a running back to chip or keep more receivers in on passing downs. Garrard must capitalize on the deep speed he has on the outside with Troy Williamson. Because of Jacksonville’s rushing attack, opponents tend to crowd the box to stop the run. That often puts Williamson and Torry Holt in man-to-man coverage. So Garrard needs to get his eyes downfield— even if scrambling—and take advantage of opportunities. sonville’s experimentation with the 3-4 scheme hasn’t yielded enough pressure on the QB, but the club might not have any choice in using the front now because left end Reggie Hayward (broken leg) is out for the season. No matter the scheme, the club must disrupt Warner’s rhythm because Arizona’s receivers are explosive and the Jags will have rookie cornerback Derek Cox starting opposite Rashean Mathis. Jacksonville might be best served moving around outside linebacker Quentin Groves so he can blitz from a variety of locations. — Michael C. Wright & Kent Somers

3.

Pressure Kurt Warner. Jack-

3.

Capitalize on scoring chances.

2.

Bring more pressure. The Bills
had one sack Monday but

Win on special teams. All eyes will be on return ace Leodis McKelvin to see how he bounces back after his fumble of a kickoff return set up the Patriots’ winning touchdown Monday. McKelvin is confident but needs a big return or two to get him going. He and punt returner Roscoe Parrish can change a game with their big-play ability. Punter Brian Moorman excels at creating field position. If he can do that Sunday, the Buccaneers will be challenged to sustain long drives. — Allen Wilson & Roy Cummings

3.

3.

Reduce the stupid penalties.

2.

Take chances downfield.

Jaguars’ keys to success

1.

Protect QB David Garrard.
Rookie left tackle Eugene

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

29

St. Louis (0-1) at Washington (0-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 712 Weather: 73, partly cloudy Line: Redskins favored by 10 Last meeting: Rams, 19-17 (2008)

Seattle (1-0) at San Francisco (1-0)
When: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET TV: FOX/DirecTV 714 Weather: 82, sunny, windy (11 mph) Line: 49ers favored by 1 1/2 Last meeting: Seahawks, 34-13 (2008)

Rams’ keys to success
buildup about the Rams’ featuring Jackson and the running game, he had only 16 carries in the 28-0 loss at Seattle. No matter the score or the game circumstances, the Rams need to get him more involved— even if it’s against a Washington team that is built to stop the run.

Seahawks’ keys to success
Seattle had five or more sacks in only two games last season, and those were the two games against San Francisco. The Seahawks didn’t blitz on more than half a dozen plays last week against St. Louis because they got consistent pressure from four linemen. Seattle must dial up the pressure against San Francisco, which will load up on its protection.

1.

Run Steven Jackson early and often. Despite all the

1.

Pressure 49ers QB Shaun Hill.

Avoid penalties. Eight offensive penalties doomed the Rams last week. Many of them scuttled early-game drives in which the Rams had a chance to take the lead. The team’s lack of receiving punch makes long-yardage situations a considerable challenge. Coach Steve Spagnuolo was hired in part because of his ability to run a tight ship at Rams Park, which made the undisciplined play all the more surprising.
Julius Jones is capable of putting up 117 yards against St. Louis, Clinton Portis might double that total. The only way the Rams have a chance against the Redskins is to keep Portis bottled up as much as possible and force quarterback Jason Campbell to throw a lot.

2.

FRANK FRANKLIN II / AP

The Redskins need to run and run often with Clinton Portis, left, against the Rams. Portis is a good back. Against the Giants, they tried a receiver pass on the second play of the game. It lost 11 yards and the offense sputtered. If the Redskins intend to be in the playoff picture, they must be able to outmuscle an inferior opponent. Another reason for the emphasis on running the ball is how it sets up the team’s play-action game for Campbell. That’s one thing the Redskins could not do against New York—and it’s one thing they have to do against a young St. Louis linebacking unit. Ramsmiddle linebacker James Laurinaitis and strongside ’backer David Vobora have combined for three NFL starts. Laurinaitis bit on a play-action pass last week that resulted in a touchdown. did not get enough pressure in the opener, and that must change this week. Of course, it should be easier considering the Rams’ offensive line is nowhere near the level of the Giants’. If the Redskins’ D-line is as good as they think, they should be able to get pressure with four-man fronts. Because Rams rookie right tackle Jason Smith plays upright at times, he is vulnerable against speed rushers. Look for the Redskins to target him. — John Keim & Jim Thomas

can be a quarterback’s security blanket, but Carlson is a playmaker. He’s big enough to outmuscle a cornerback, too fast for most linebackers and the Seahawks consistently put him in the slot to create mismatches. He lined up as a wide receiver for his 33-yard touchdown last week. will need half the season to get fully acclimated to the new zoneblocking scheme, and they showed steady improvement over the course of the first game. Seattle averaged 3 yards per carry in the first half, 6.4 in the second. Specifically, backup center Steve Vallos showed more mobility and was impressive in the final two quarters.

2.

Throw more to tight end John Carlson. Tight ends

ELAINE THOMPSON / AP

For the 49ers to beat Seattle, they must hassle QB Matt Hasselbeck. blitzes on nearly every play in Week 1, and yet the 49ers stubbornly continued to try to pound the ball inside. There needs to be a better mix of runs and passes this week. If the Seahawks commit a safety to stopping the run like Arizona did, it means a receiver should be open. 49ers mix coverages well, and linebackers Patrick Willis and Manny Lawson are particularly adept at dropping into coverage and breaking on the ball. 49ers’ offensive line struggled in Arizona because the Cardinals’ defensive linemen were getting off the snap quickly and initiating contact. Part of that was because of the crowd noise in Glendale, which won’t be a factor at Candlestick Park. Still, the offensive line must show more urgency. — Matt Barrows & Danny O’Neil

3.

Contain Clinton Portis. If

3.

Bring the heat. The defense

3.

Keep running. The Seahawks

2.

Attack the young linebackers.

3.

Be aggressive up front. The

Redskins’ keys to success
offensive identity should be tied to its running game. The line is better suited for run blocking and

1.

Don’t get cute. The Redskins’

49ers’ keys to success

1.

Neutralize the blitz. The
Cardinals called run

49ers did in Week 1 was disrupt the timing of Kurt Warner and the Cardinals’ receivers. They’ll need to do the same against another savvy veteran in Hasselbeck. The

2.

Hurry Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck. The best thing the

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30

Oakland (0-1) at Kansas City (0-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 705 Weather: 76, showers (30%) Line: Chiefs favored by 3 Last meeting: Chiefs, 20-13 (2008)

Cleveland (0-1) at Denver (1-0)
When: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET TV: CBS/DirecTV 716 Weather: 75, partly cloudy Line: Broncos favored by 3 Last meeting: Broncos, 34-30 (2008)

Raiders’ keys to success
offense is built around the run, and for several reasons, it’s imperative the running game succeeds. For one, it would take the pressure off quarterback JaMarcus Russell to make a ton of plays. Russell’s inaccuracy and penchant for making poor decisions make it difficult for the Raiders to succeed if they are forced to rely heavily on the pass. Secondly, the Raiders’ defense wouldn’t be on the field as much, which figures to be important in humid conditions. Finally, the Raiders can wear down the Chiefs’ defense the way they did at Arrowhead Stadium last year. ers can’t afford to let the Chiefs get ahead by too much or else they will be faced with having to deal with deafening crowd noise at one of the league’s loudest venues. The Raiders also have a history of committing a lot of penalties when it gets loud, and they aren’t talented enough offensively to overcome a slew of mistakes. They need the down and distance in their favor so they can run the ball more than they pass. need to commit eight or nine men to stopping the run because that’s what the Chiefs do best. That could persuade the Chiefs to throw downfield against one-on-one coverage. That wouldn’t bother the Raiders because cornerbacks Nnamdi

Browns’ keys to success
last week bordered on awful. He seemed to grope his way through the game. He must recapture the spark of his first NFL start, Nov. 6 last season—against Denver. Quinn was poised and assertive, going toe-to-toe against Jay Cutler in a shootout. Quinn’s finest moment was steering the Browns to a late, go-ahead TD. Cutler answered with a long drive of his own to win the game. Avoiding penalties that ruptured any chance of continuity is a must.
MARCIO SANCHEZ / AP

1.

Pound the ball. The Raiders’

1.

Don’t let Brady Quinn’s confidence crash. Quinn’s start

ED REINKE / AP

Correll Buckhalter proved to be the more effective RB last Sunday against the Bengals. intensity fell off after halftime, when Peterson ran with more purpose. Denver’s tandem of veteran Correll Buckhalter and rookie Knowshon Moreno hardly equals the impact of Peterson, but Moreno is talented enough to worry the Browns, whose tackling at the second level is suspect.

2.

Keep the game close. The Raid-

Oakland’s ground game has to produce and help take pressure off QB JaMarcus Russell. Asomugha and Chris Johnson are two of their most talented defenders. 40 minutes and ran 85 plays last week because in large part the Chiefs had too many three-and-out possessions. Sometimes, it was a matter of the receivers running their routes just short of the first-down marker. Those types of issues have to be fixed because the Raiders can control the game with the running game if given too many opportunities.

Chiefs’ keys to success
Heap was a major problem for the Chiefs last week, and Miller presents a similar challenge. Strong safety Mike Brown isn’t as fast as he once was and outside linebacker Tamba Hali is a liability in coverage, so Miller could do some damage. Whether it’s with free safety Jarrad Page or one of the other linebackers, the Chiefs need to clamp down on the tight end.

1.

Find a way to cover TE Zach Miller. The Ravens’ Todd

3.

Stop the run. The Raiders

2.

Convert on third down. Baltimore controlled the ball for

chances of forcing Russell into making mistakes goes up dramatically if he has to face long-yardage situations on second and third down. That means stopping Oakland’s running game on first down, something that won’t come easily. — Adam Teicher & Steve Corkran

3.

Win the early downs on defense. Kansas City’s

Brian Daboll’s first game as offensive coordinator was disjointed, but he gets somewhat of a pass since he was sending a young QB against an elite defense. He did earn points for being unpredictable. He’ll be in quite a chess match against Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. They coached together in New England, where Bill Belichick chose McDaniels over Daboll as offensive coordinator after Charlie Weis left for Notre Dame.

2.

Get a better play-calling.

Buckhalter and Moreno about equally last week and didn’t adjust even though Buckhalter was the more effective early. Moreno should benefit from the experience, however, and he should add a spark to the running game as he gets healthier and more comfortable.

2.

Get more out of the running game. The coaches rotated

Broncos’ keys to success
was perhaps a little too safe at times against Cincinnati. But that’s what the team wants out of him. Coaches do not want turnovers, and they stress that to QB Kyle Orton repeatedly. Even though their season opener was decided on a fluky touchdown, they said Orton’s turnover-free game was a big reason they were in it at the end.

1.

No turnovers. Yes, Orton

Browns got battered early and often in yielding 180 rushing yards to Adrian Peterson last week. They used frequent run blitzes and a fly-to-the ball mentality in holding Peterson to 25 yards in the first half. The

3.

Play two halves of run defense. It’s not as if the

Disrupt Quinn. Last week against the Bengals, Denver wanted to stop big plays. The Broncos shouldn’t have the same concern against the Browns, who don’t have a great downfield passing game. What they must do is make sure Quinn doesn’t complete a high percentage of passes, perhaps by flooding his passing lanes, and allow Cleveland to sustain drives. — Steve Doerschuk & Frank Schwab

3.

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Indianapolis (1-0) at Miami (1-0)
When: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET TV: ESPN Weather: 82, isolated thunderstorms (30%), windy (12 mph) Line: Colts favored by 3 Last meeting: Colts, 27-22 (2006)

Colts’ keys to success
Tame the Wildcat. Whether it’s running back Ronnie Brown or QB Pat White at the controls, the defense must limit the effectiveness of Miami’s Wildcat offense. The Colts haven’t faced a true Wildcat threat since the wrinkle hit the league last season, but the defense was exposed to a similar scheme when it faced Titans QB Vince Young. Frequently, he was more of a threat with his legs than arms.
phins’ 11-win season of ’08 was in large part a result of tying an NFL record for fewest turnovers with 13. But in their last two games, including the playoff loss to Baltimore, they’ve turned the ball over nine times. Colts defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis can create havoc and force turnovers with pass-rush prowess. running game remains in neutral after averaging just 2.3 yards per carry last week. Part of the problem is neither Joseph Addai nor Donald Brown was effective on the team’s patented stretch play. Too often, the offensive line was unable to provide the back with a crease. The running game is more effective when it allows Joseph Addai or Donald Brown to attack between the tackles.

1.

something to say?
CHRIS CARLSON / AP

Are you a fan with

Colts DE Robert Mathis, right, will try to cause havoc in the Dolphins’ backfield.

Dolphins’ keys to success
When the Dolphins succeeded running the Wildcat last year, it was mainly because the base offense already had some success at earlier parts of the game. So if Miami wants to still use innovations like the Wildcat (via Brown) and the spread (via White), the team must first find some rhythm in a more traditional sense. The coaches should lean more on Brown in the running game and feed him the ball. That didn’t happen last week, and the result was obvious. last year’s first-overall pick, left tackle Jake Long, gives up two tough sacks, it’s never a good thing. When the rest of the line doesn’t look all that much better, the problem is compounded. No doubt, the Dolphins must get their highly paid line into a groove. Coach Tony Sparano said he wants to see Long and right tackle

2.

Force the action. The Dol-

1.

Get the base offense going.

Vernon Carey shorten the edges by engaging pass-rushers sooner than both did last week. That way, the battle between the tackles and their defenders won’t be taking place only 1 or 2 yards away from QB Chad Pennington. But it’s a fixable situation. it’s probably an obvious point that Miami needs to get some serious pressure on Manning. But this week, there’s another reason: In the wake of wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez’s knee injury that will sideline him this week, Manning will be even more unfamiliar with his pass catchers. The level of unfamiliarity should provide an extra second or two for the Dolphins’ pass rush to get after the quarterback. So watch out for some serious edge rushing from Jason Taylor and Joey Porter, who will be more comfortable with each other after a week playing opposite one another. — Jeff Darlington & Mike Chappell

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INSIDE DISH

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

32

THE LAUNCHING PAD
What to expect in the major leagues today

Cubs’ Zambrano not expected to waive his no-trade clause
Amid speculation that the Cubs will try to trade P Carlos Zambrano this offseason, sources told the Chicago Tribune that the righthander is unlikely to waive his full no-trade clause. Zambrano was upset about the rumors following his poor outing Tuesday (five earned runs in five innings pitched), though the newspaper noted he was joking about the situation a day later. Manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Tribune that Zambrano is capable of pitching better and must conquer his inconsistency himself. In other rotation news, the newspaper reported the Cubs have decided to shut down struggling P Rich Harden for the season. Harden, a pending free agent, is 9-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 starts this season but 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 15 walks in his past four starts. The Los Angeles Times reported Major League Baseball is reviewing some of the statements from Angels manager Mike Scioscia and some of the Angels players following Wednesday’s loss to the Red Sox. Those comments were critical of the umpiring crew that night, hinting that the umpires were showing favoritism toward Boston. Angels P Brian Fuentes told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s frustrating, especially here and in other places where they seem a little timid to make a call. It just seems like that’s the way it is here, time and time again.” The Denver Post reported Rockies P Huston Street (biceps) will throw a simulated game today. Barring a setback, Street will return to action Sunday, though he will be eased back into the closer role. Before being sidelined on Sept. 2, Street converted 33 of 34 save chances and posted a 2.96 ERA. In place of Street, P Franklin Morales has converted all six of his save chances. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies P J.A. Happ (ribcage) will start today. Happ, who is 10-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 31 games (19 starts) this season, hasn’t started since Sept. 2. In other Phillies news, P Brad Lidge told the newspaper that he doesn’t believe his season-long struggles can be attributed to him tipping his pitches. After Lidge posted a 5.28 ERA with Houston in 2006, an opposing player informed Lidge that he had tipped his pitches. The Phillies also said reliever Chan Ho Park will miss 2-3 weeks with a strained right hamstring. With P Jarrod Washburn (knee) scratched from his Sunday start against the second-place Twins, the Tigers’ website reported P Nate Robertson is the top candidate to replace him. According to The Boston Globe, Red Sox P Tim Wakefield (back/legs) could start Monday. Wakefield has pitched only twice since July 9 and admitted the strength in his legs—a side effect of the bulging disk in his back—actually is getting worse. He likely will have surgery this offseason. The San Jose Mercury News noted Giants 1B Ryan Garko hasn’t started since Sept. 6 and has only two at-bats since then. Acquired from Cleveland in late July, Garko has hit just .232 with two homers and 12 RBIs with San Francisco.
GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Minnesota magic?
Thanks to a four-game winning streak, the Twins are within four games of the A.L. Central-leading Tigers. The two teams will begin a critical three-game series tonight at the Metrodome (with four games remaining at Comerica Park in late September/early October). Minnesota leads the season series 7-4 and has won five of the six games at the Metrodome. The Twins will be without first baseman Justin Morneau, who hit .340 with three homers and 10 RBIs against Detroit this season, but will have catcher Joe Mauer (.349-3-11) and outfielder/first baseman Michael Cuddyer (.333-3-9) in the lineup.

One more chance
Like the Twins, the second-place Rangers have a huge home series against the team leading their division this weekend. Unlike the Twins, the Rangers are ice-cold. Texas has lost five of its past six games (all at home) and has scored only one run in its past four games. The reason for hope: The Rangers are 9-3 this season against the A.L. West-leading Angels. In those 12 games against Los Angeles this season, Texas has hit 28 homers and scored 78 runs. New Angels lefthander Scott Kazmir will try to stop the onslaught and put the Rangers’ playoff hopes to rest.

Giant problem
Facing an 8 1/2-game deficit in the N.L. West, not even a sweep of the Dodgers this weekend will make a division title a realistic possibility for the Giants. However, a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers could kill San Francisco’s wild-card hopes. Los Angeles has won nine of the 15 games between the teams this season, including four of six since Aug. 10. The Giants will need a strong effort from lefthander Jonathan Sanchez in tonight’s opener at Dodger Stadium, but Sanchez is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts vs. L.A. this season.

Carlos Zambrano has three years and $54 million remaining on his contract. With the red-hot Juan Uribe taking over at third base recently, Pablo Sandoval has shifted from the hot corner to first base, leaving Garko as the odd man out. Braves manager Bobby Cox told the team’s website that P Derek Lowe (blister) should make his next scheduled start. Lowe left Wednesday’s game after only two innings. If Lowe isn’t ready Monday, the site speculated the team could move P Kenshin Kawakami back to the rotation. Kawakami was shifted to the bullpen when P Tim Hudson joined the rotation recently. Former Cubs SS Shawon Dunston has filed an objection in Delaware bankruptcy court to the Tribune Co.’s sale of the team, saying he’s still owed college scholarship money. The family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, has agreed to buy a 95 percent stake in the team and its Wrigley Field home for $845 million, but the deal must be approved by the bankruptcy court and Major League Baseball. Put away the coin: MLB.com reported teams’ head-to-head records will determine home-field advantage in any necessary onegame playoff scenarios. Prior to this year, coin flips determined homefield advantage in such cases.

— Chris Bahr

ANN HEISENFELT / AP

Justin Morneau is out, but Joe Mauer, above, has hit .349 against Detroit.

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33

In this year’s probable ALDS matchup, the Angels will ...
McNeal says Bahr says

Lose to Boston again
BY STAN MCNEAL smcneal@sportingnews.com

Finally solve the Red Sox
BY CHRIS BAHR cbahr@sportingnews.com

As we saw in their three-game series at Fenway Park this week, Red Sox vs. Angels promises to be this year’s can’t-miss divisional series. Both teams have dynamic lineups, pressure-tested pitchers and excellent managers. You can count on (long) edge-ofyour-seat games with thrilling finishes. You also can count on the Red Sox to prevail. Again. Stan McNeal This week’s BASEBALL series provided three more reasons to believe these teams’ upcoming October series will end the same way as the previous three this decade: with the Red Sox advancing to the ALCS.

MICHAEL DWYER / AP

A healthy Daisuke Matsuzaka would give Boston a formidable trio of pitchers for the playoffs. throw his curveball for strikes, he has to hope that hitters will chase. The Red Sox don’t chase. Read what Torii Hunter told the Los Angeles Times after the Angels lost a heartbreaker Wednesday night: “You have to play to win, play the game, have fun, do what you do against every other team. Don’t change anything because it’s the Red Sox or the Yankees. If you play nervous, you’re going to make mistakes. Show some (guts)!” Hunter understandably was speaking in frustration after the Red Sox walked in with the tying run on what should have been a game-ending third strike to pinch hitter Nick Green. But Hunter’s comments prove the Red Sox have firmly entrenched themselves in the Angels’ heads. The Angels won’t beat the Red Sox when it matters until they can get rid of that mindset. And the Angels have given us no reason to think they will shake it anytime soon.

The Angels have a closer problem. As misleading a stat as a pitcher’s wins can be, a closer’s saves total can be just as deceiving. Brian Fuentes has 42 saves, as many as anyone in the majors. He also has seven blown saves and a 4.35 ERA, and he has allowed 72 baserunners in 49 2/3 innings. He has been shaky from the start and his 7.11 ERA this month is his highest of the season. Because the lefthander lacks an overpowering fastball, he works without much margin for error. When he doesn’t

The Red Sox’s rotation is getting right at just the right time. A leaner, perhaps meaner Daisuke Matsuzaka returned from a 13-week absence Tuesday and pitched as well as ever. His approach was as impressive as his six shutout innings against the Angels. Dice-K worked with confidence, he worked fast and he showed great stuff. Put him with Josh Beckett, the best postseason pitcher of this decade, and Jon Lester, who leads the majors with a 1.81 ERA since August, and the Red Sox have three power starters wellequipped for the first round. Three starters are all they will need in the best-of-5 first round. The Red Sox have the mental edge.

It has to feel like Groundhog Day. Once again, the Angels put together an outstanding regular season— this time in the midst of a horrible tragedy—yet once again their reward actually is a penalty. Boston has owned the Angels in the postseason this decade, winning nine of the 10 games between the teams and eliminating Los Angeles in three ALDS matchups. As a result, Chris Bahr BASEBALL the Angels of the 2000s quickly are becoming the Braves of the 1990s: postseason regulars with one World Series win to show for it. After the Angels beat the Red Sox in eight of the nine games they played in the 2008 regular season, it appeared they were set to break Boston’s postseason stranglehold. Although L.A. managed to win one game in last season’s ALDS, it suffered the same fate as in 2004 and 2007. Why this season will be different:

CHARLIE RIEDEL / AP

Ervin Santana has gone 4-2 in his past nine starts, showing he’s ready for the postseason. rounding into form, and Jered Weaver has been solid all season. In addition, new acquisition Scott Kazmir has been outstanding. Meanwhile, the Red Sox aren’t sure what to expect from ace Josh Beckett. Jon Lester has been great, but there are real questions about who will serve as the No. 3 starter (the injured Tim Wakefield? The enigmatic Daisuke Matsuzaka? Clay Buchholz, who never has pitched in the postseason?). highest homer total since 2000. And it still ranks second in the majors in stolen bases.

Starting pitching. A weakness for the Angels earlier this season, the rotation is peaking at the perfect time. John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders are

Offense. Unlike in past seasons, the Angels won’t be concerned about whether they can hit and drive in runs. Los Angeles has the majors’ best batting average and has scored more runs than every team except the Yankees. At one point this season, everyone in the Angels’ lineup was hitting .300. With Kendry Morales putting up Mark Teixeira-like numbers, L.A. will finish with its

Lessons learned. The Angels, aggressive to a fault in last season’s ALDS, were one botched suicide squeeze away from rallying in Game 4 and potentially forcing a Game 5 back on the West Coast. Manager Mike Scioscia won’t make that kind of mistake again, and with the improved offense, Los Angeles won’t need to get creative to drive in runs. Last season’s loss left such a bad taste in the Angels’ mouth that they will be hungrier than ever to clear the Boston hurdle. Lackey and center fielder Torii Hunter were quite vocal about their disappointment in 2008, and both will be in prime position to do something about it in ’09. Los Angeles’ bullpen remains a concern, but not enough of one to cost them the ALDS.

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Batting Average Home Runs
A.L. N.L.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

34
Away 42-30 34-37 31-47 28-44 24-47 Away 30-42 31-40 32-43 30-44 29-43 Away 43-32 35-35 35-40 33-42

Fantasy Focus
Start ’em, Sit ’em

LEAGUE LEADERS
A.L. N.L.

American League standings
Team St. Louis Arizona Milwaukee San Diego Philadelphia Washington Philadelphia East New York Boston Tampa Bay Toronto Baltimore Central Detroit Minnesota Chicago Cleveland Kansas City West Los Angeles Texas Seattle Oakland 57 42 33 29 27 27 25 W 94 86 74 66 60 W 78 74 72 61 59 W 87 80 76 68 L 53 59 73 80 86 L 68 72 75 85 87 L 59 65 71 78 Pct GB WCGB .639 — — .593 7 — .503 20 13 .452 27½ 20½ .411 33½ 26½ Pct .534 .507 .490 .418 .404 L10 7-3 8-2 2-8 5-5 5-5 Str W-1 L-1 W-1 L-1 L-1 Str L-1 W-4 L-2 L-5 W-1 Str W-1 L-4 W-2 W-4 Home 52-23 52-22 43-26 38-36 36-39 Home 48-26 43-32 40-32 31-41 30-44 Home 44-27 45-30 41-31 35-36

Player Mauer ISuzuki MiCabrera Jeter Bartlett MYoung Cano
BEN MARGOT / AP

Team Minnesota Seattle Detroit New York Tampa Bay Texas New York

.374 .353 .332 .330 .326 .322 .320

Player HaRamirez Pujols Sandoval Helton DWright Braun Coghlan

Team Florida St. Louis San Francisco Colorado New York Milwaukee Florida

.356 .333 .322 .318 .315 .310 .309

Player CPena Teixeira Bay NCruz AHill Branyan Five tied

Team Tampa Bay New York Boston Texas Toronto Seattle

39 35 33 32 32 31 30

Player Pujols Reynolds Fielder AdGonzalez Howard ADunn Werth

47 42 39 38 38 37 34

GB WCGB L10 — — 3-7 4 12½ 6-4 6½ 15 4-6 17 25½ 1-9 19 27½ 8-2 L10 6-4 4-6 4-6 8-2

Runs
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Stolen Bases
N.L.

Start ’em Edgar Renteria SS Giants. Renteria, above, returned from a sprained shoulder Wednesday. He is 8-for-19 (.421) with a pair of homers against Dodgers righthander Vicente Padilla. Tim Stauffer SP Padres. Stauffer has allowed one run in each of his past three starts and is 3-1 in his past four road outings. Start him at Pittsburgh. Mark Teahen OF/3B Royals. Teahen is an ideal desperation play. He is 24-for-53 (.453) with nine extrabase hits against White Sox lefthander Mark Buehrle. Sit ’em Rafael Furcal SS Dodgers. Furcal who is hitting .250 in September is 0-for-12 with three strikeouts against San Francisco’s Jonathan Sanchez. Jeremy Guthrie SP Orioles. Boston has abused Guthrie this season. He is 0-2 with an 8.00 in three starts against the Red Sox. Skip Schumaker OF Cardinals. Schumaker is hitting .211 against lefties and is 1-for-12 (.083) against Cubs southpaw Ted Lilly. — Bill Bender

Player Figgins Damon Jeter BRoberts Pedroia Scutaro Cano

Team Los Angeles New York New York Baltimore Boston Toronto New York

107 102 102 102 101 100 95

Player Pujols Braun Utley Zimmerman HaRamirez Victorino Three tied

Team St. Louis Milwaukee Philadelphia Washington Florida Philadelphia

119 103 103 99 94 94 91

Player Ellsbury Crawford Figgins RDavis BUpton BAbreu BRoberts

Team Boston Tampa Bay Los Angeles Oakland Tampa Bay Los Angeles Baltimore

61 58 42 39 37 29 29

Player Bourn Morgan Kemp Rollins Fowler Pierre Three tied

Team Houston Washington Los Angeles Philadelphia Colorado Los Angeles

Pct GB WCGB .596 — — .552 6½ 6 .517 11½ 11 .466 19 18½

National League standings
East Philadelphia Atlanta Florida New York Washington Central St. Louis Chicago Milwaukee Houston Cincinnati Pittsburgh W 85 78 78 63 50 W 85 75 71 70 68 55 L 60 68 69 84 96 L 62 70 75 76 79 89 L 59 64 67 81 83 Pct GB WCGB L10 .586 — — 8-2 .534 7½ 4½ 8-2 .531 8 5 6-4 .429 23 20 1-9 .342 35½ 32½ 4-6 Pct GB WCGB .578 — — .517 9 7 .486 13½ 11½ .479 14½ 12½ .463 17 15 .382 28½ 26½ Pct .599 .565 .541 .449 .435 L10 4-6 7-3 5-5 4-6 5-5 2-8 Str W-5 W-7 L-1 L-5 L-3 Str L-2 L-2 W-2 L-4 W-4 L-3 Str W-3 W-1 L-1 W-1 L-1 Home 42-32 38-33 40-35 36-36 29-43 Home 44-31 44-30 34-37 42-33 35-37 36-34 Home 46-29 45-27 48-26 39-37 32-40 Away 43-28 40-35 38-34 27-48 21-53 Away 41-31 31-40 37-38 28-43 33-42 19-55 Away 42-30 38-37 31-41 27-44 32-43

RBIs
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Pitching
N.L.

Player Teixeira Bay Longoria Lind Morneau Two tied

Team New York Boston Tampa Bay Toronto Minnesota

112 106 104 103 100 98

Player Pujols Fielder Howard DLee Braun HaRamirez ADunn

Team St. Louis Milwaukee Philadelphia Chicago Milwaukee Florida Washington

127 126 118 102 101 100 99

Player Sabathia Feldman Verlander FHernandez Beckett JerWeaver Halladay

Team New York Texas Detroit Seattle Boston Los Angeles Toronto

17-7 16-5 16-8 15-5 15-6 15-6 15-9

Player Wainwright CCarpenter JoJohnson De La Rosa Marquis Lincecum Haren

Team St. Louis St. Louis Florida Colorado Colorado San Francisco Arizona

18-8 16-4 15-4 15-9 15-11 14-5 14-8

West W Los Angeles 88 Colorado 83 San Francisco 79 San Diego 66 Arizona 64 z-first game was a win

GB WCGB L10 — — 7-3 5 — 6-4 8½ 3½ 4-6 22 17 6-4 24 19 3-7

Hits
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Strikeouts
N.L.

Pitching matchups Today’s games (All times Eastern)
Team San Francisco Atlanta Arizona Milwaukee St. Louis Colorado Houston 244 216 201 197 183 179 176 American League Boston (Buchholz 5-3) at Baltimore (Guthrie 10-14) 7:05 p.m. Toronto (Richmond 6-9) at Tampa Bay (J.Shields 9-11) 7:38 p.m. L.A. Angels (Kazmir 8-8) at Texas (Tom.Hunter 8-3) 8:05 p.m. Detroit (Porcello 13-8) at Minnesota (Duensing 3-1) 8:10 p.m. Kansas City (Hochevar 6-10) at Chicago White Sox (Buehrle 12-8) 8:11 p.m. Cleveland (D.Huff 10-7) at Oakland (Bre.Anderson 9-10) 10:05 p.m. N.Y. Yankees (A.Burnett 11-9) at Seattle (F.Hernandez 15-5) 10:10 p.m. National League San Diego (Stauffer 4-6) at Pittsburgh (Morton 3-8) 7:05 p.m. Florida (VandenHurk 2-2) at Cincinnati (H.Bailey 5-5) 7:10 p.m. Washington (J.Martin 4-4) at N.Y. Mets (Pelfrey 10-10) 7:10 p.m. Philadelphia (Happ 10-4) at Atlanta (T.Hudson 1-0) 7:35 p.m. Houston (Norris 5-3) at Milwaukee (Narveson 1-0) 8:05 p.m. Chicago Cubs (Lilly 12-8) at St. Louis (Smoltz 1-1) 8:15 p.m. Colorado (Marquis 15-11) at Arizona (Mulvey 0-1) 9:40 p.m. San Francisco (J.Sanchez 6-12) at L.A. Dodgers (V.Padilla 3-0) 10:10 p.m. The Line Bos -145 at Bal +135 at Tam -165 Tor +155 LA -115 at Tex +105 at Min -135 Det +125 at Chi -230 KC +210 at Oak -145 Cle +135 at Sea -115 NY +105 The Line at Pit -120 SD +110 at Cin-115 Flo +105 at NY -140 Wa +130 at Atl -115 Phi +105 at Mil -115 Hou +105 at STL -120 Chi +110 Col -145 at Ari+135 at LA -160 SF +150

Player ISuzuki Jeter Cano MiCabrera AHill Markakis Mauer

Team Seattle New York New York Detroit Toronto Baltimore Minnesota

205 194 188 180 176 175 173

Player HaRamirez Braun Tejada FLopez Pujols Two tied

Team Florida Milwaukee Houston Milwaukee St. Louis

188 175 172 170 170 168

Player Verlander Greinke Lester FHernandez Halladay Beckett Sabathia

Team Detroit Kansas City Boston Seattle Toronto Boston New York

239 224 211 193 189 187 178

Player Lincecum JVazquez Haren Gallardo Wainwright De La Rosa WRodriguez

Doubles
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Saves
N.L.

MORE COVERAGE
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Player BRoberts Butler Lind Longoria Pedroia Cano Markakis

Team Baltimore Kansas City Toronto Tampa Bay Boston New York Baltimore

52 46 46 44 44 42 42

Player Sandoval Ethier Tejada Hawpe Pujols HaRamirez Rollins

Team San Francisco Los Angeles Houston Colorado St. Louis Florida Philadelphia

41 40 40 39 39 39 38

Player Fuentes Nathan MaRivera Papelbon Aardsma Rodney Jenks

Team Los Angeles Minnesota New York Boston Seattle Detroit Chicago

42 41 40 36 35 33 29.

Player Cordero Franklin HBell Broxton BrWilson Street Hoffman

Team Cincinnati St. Louis San Diego Los Angeles San Francisco Colorado Milwaukee

38 37 37 35 34 33 33

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Baseball
AMERICAN LEAGUE

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

35

L.A. Angels 4, Boston 3

Tampa Bay 3, Baltimore 0

‘Winning cures everything’ now for Angels
BOSTON—The Los Angeles Angels couldn’t afford to give the Boston Red Sox yet another psychological advantage in their budding postseason rivalry. One night after a ninth-inning collapse, the Angels rallied behind Howie Kendrick’s tie-breaking blooper in the ninth to beat Boston 4-3 on Thursday night and avert a three-game sweep. Brian Fuentes, who blew the previous game, earned the save and snapped Boston’s seven-game winning streak. “Winning cures everything,” outfielder Torii Hunter said. “I have already forgotten about the Red Sox and am thinking about our series with Texas.” Los Angeles improved to 6½ games ahead of Texas in the A.L. West, and the Red Sox hold a six-game lead over the idle Rangers in the wild-card race. If the standings hold, Boston will open the playoffs in Anaheim; the Red Sox have beaten the Angels in 12 of their last 13 postseason games dating to 1986 and are 4-0 all-time in postseason series against them. “Let’s get there first,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “No messages to send tonight or feelings to get. Our first goal is to make the playoffs.” Kendrick also homered in the third and score the tying run in the seventh, and Fuentes rebounded from Wednesday night’s collapse to hand the Red Sox their first loss at Fenway in 11 games. Kevin Jepsen (6-3) got four outs, then Fuentes got the last two batters to earn his major league-leading 42nd save and end Los Angeles’ three-game losing streak. — The Associated Press
CHARLES KRUPA / AP

Rays party after Davis’ win
BALTIMORE—Wade Davis had just thrown a four-hit shutout to earn his first major league win, and getting the game ball wasn’t nearly enough to mark the occasion. During the postgame television interview, the rookie got a shaving-cream pie to the face from Tampa Bay teammates Matt Garza and Evan Longoria. That was followed by a beer shower in the clubhouse. With Davis leading the way, the Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Thursday night to salvage a split of the four-game series. Making his third big league start, Davis (1-1) struck out 10 and walked two in his first complete game. The righthander worked out of a basesloaded jam in the first, then permitted only one runner past first base over the final eight innings. Davis capped his outstanding performance by striking out the side in the ninth. He threw 124 pitches. Then came the antics. It was only the second win in 15 games for the Rays, who desperately needed a reason to smile. “The shaving cream didn’t taste very good,” Davis said. “But it’s fun. It’s supposed to be.” The 24-year-old was coming off a horrid outing in Boston in which he yielded eight runs in 2 2/3 innings. — The Associated Press
Rays 3, Orioles 0 Tampa Bay AB Bartlett ss 4 Crawford lf 4 Longoria 3b 4 Zobrist 2b 3 Burrell dh 4 W.Aybar 1b 3 Ch.Richard 1b 2 Kapler rf 1 a-Gross ph-rf 2 Navarro c 4 F.Perez cf 2 b-B.Upton ph-cf 2 Totals 35 R 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 H 1 2 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 10 BI 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 BB 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 SO 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 1 5 Avg. .326 .303 .280 .283 .228 .248 .154 .231 .240 .226 .130 .232 Avg. .287 .259 .279 .297 .264 .256 .270 .324 .228 .286 .253 3 10 0 0 4 0

Angels 4, Red Sox 3 Los Angeles AB R Figgins 3b 5 0 E.Aybar ss 4 0 B.Abreu dh 4 0 Tor.Hunter cf 4 0 K.Morales 1b 4 0 J.Rivera lf 3 0 2-T.Evans pr-rf 0 1 Matthews Jr. rf 3 0 b-Willits ph-lf 0 0 H.Kendrick 2b 4 2 J.Mathis c 2 1 a-M.Izturis ph 1 0 1-Pettit pr 0 0 Bo.Wilson c 0 0 Totals 34 4

H 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 8

BI 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3

BB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

SO 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7

Avg. .301 .308 .300 .310 .301 .289 --.238 .206 .298 .210 .297 ----Avg. .301 .295 .297 .265 .232 .292 .333 .267 .255 .212 .290

Boston AB R H BI BB SO Ellsbury cf 4 1 1 1 0 0 Pedroia 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 V.Martinez 1b 3 1 1 0 0 1 Bay lf 4 1 2 2 0 2 D.Ortiz dh 4 0 0 0 0 3 Lowell 3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 3-Gathright pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 J.Drew rf 2 0 0 0 1 0 c-Baldelli ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Varitek c 3 0 0 0 0 1 Ale.Gonzalez ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 Totals 32 3 6 3 1 9

Baltimore AB R H BI BB SO B.Roberts 2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 Pie cf 4 0 1 0 0 2 Reimold lf 3 0 1 0 1 1 Markakis rf 4 0 0 0 0 1 Mora 3b 3 0 0 0 0 2 Scott dh 3 0 0 0 0 1 Wieters c 3 0 0 0 0 1 Aubrey 1b 3 0 2 0 0 0 Andino ss 2 0 0 0 0 0 c-Fiorentino ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 C.Izturis ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 29 0 4 0 2 10 Tampa Bay 001 100 001 — Baltimore 000 000 000 —

Los Angeles 001 010 101 — 4 8 0 Boston 000 300 000 — 3 6 0 a-doubled for J.Mathis in the 7th. b-sacrificed for Matthews Jr. in the 9th. c-popped out for J.Drew in the 9th. 1-ran for M.Izturis in the 7th. 2-ran for J.Rivera in the 9th. 3-ran for Lowell in the 9th. LOB: Los Angeles 6, Boston 4. 2B: Figgins (28), J.Mathis (8), M.Izturis (20). HR: H.Kendrick (9), off Beckett; Ellsbury (7), off E.Santana; Bay (33), off E.Santana. RBIs: Figgins (49), H.Kendrick 2 (55), Ellsbury (51), Bay 2 (106). SB: Figgins (42). CS: Bay (3). S: Willits, Bo.Wilson. Runners left in scoring position: Los Angeles 4 (E.Aybar 3, Figgins). DP: Los Angeles 1 (J.Mathis, J.Mathis, E.Aybar). Los Angeles IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA E.Santana 7 4 3 3 1 6 111 5.43 Jepsen W, 6-3 1 1⁄3 1 0 0 0 2 14 4.44 Fuentes S, 42-49 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 1 11 4.35 Boston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Beckett 8 7 3 3 0 7 114 3.80 Wagner L, 1-1 1 1 1 1 1 0 13 2.45 HBP: by E.Santana (V.Martinez). WP: Beckett. Umpires: Home, Jeff Kellogg; First, Tim Timmons; Second, Mark Wegner; Third, Rick Reed. T: 2:38. A: 38,157 (37,373).

a-grounded out for Kapler in the 6th. b-grounded out for F.Perez in the 7th. c-struck out for Andino in the 8th. LOB: Tampa Bay 12, Baltimore 4. 2B: Longoria (44), Zobrist (22), Pie (8), Aubrey (3). 3B: Bartlett (7). RBIs: Crawford (63), Longoria (104), Kapler (28). SB: Bartlett (25), Crawford (58). S: Kapler. Runners left in scoring position: Tampa Bay 7 (Zobrist, Navarro, Burrell 4, Ch.Richard); Baltimore 3 (Scott 2, B.Roberts). DP: Tampa Bay 1 (Bartlett, Zobrist, W.Aybar); Baltimore 1 (Andino, B.Roberts, Aubrey). Tampa Bay W.Davis W, 1-1 Baltimore Hendrickson L, 5-5 Sarfate Meredith Bass Henn C.Ray A.Castillo IP 9 IP 3 1⁄3 1 1⁄3 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 2⁄3 2⁄3 H 4 H 5 0 0 2 1 1 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 10 124 4.34 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 0 0 56 4.47 0 0 3 1 32 6.48 0 0 0 0 12 4.37 0 0 0 0 18 4.97 0 0 1 2 31 6.23 1 1 1 1 16 6.53 0 0 0 1 12 2.25

American League wild-card standings
Howie Kendrick’s RBI single in the ninth gave the Angels the lead for good.
Boston Texas W 86 80 L Pct. 59 .593 65 .552 GB — 6

Inherited runners-scored: Sarfate 2-1, Meredith 3-0, Henn 2-0, C.Ray 1-0, A.Castillo 1-0. HBP: by Hendrickson (Burrell). Umpires: Home, Ron Kulpa; First, Dale Scott; Second, Rob Drake; Third, Mike DiMuro. T: 2:47. A: 12,436 (48,290).

MLB looks into Angels’ incident, Page 32

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AMERICAN LEAGUE Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 3, 14 innings Milwaukee 7, Chicago Cubs 4

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

36

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Brewers 7, Cubs 4 Milwaukee AB R H BI BB SO Avg. F.Lopez 2b 3 2 1 0 2 1 .308 Gerut rf 2 1 1 4 1 0 .217 c-C.Hart ph-rf 2 0 0 0 0 1 .257 Braun lf 4 1 2 0 1 1 .310 Fielder 1b 4 0 1 0 1 2 .298 M.Cameron cf 4 1 1 1 0 1 .255 Gamel 3b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .229 d-McGehee ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 .304 Counsell 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .283 Mi.Rivera c 4 0 1 2 0 2 .232 A.Escobar ss 3 1 0 0 1 0 .300 Bush p 3 1 1 0 0 2 .121 Coffey p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Villanueva p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .111 e-Bourgeois ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .161 C.Vargas p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Hoffman p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Totals 33 7 8 7 6 11 Chicago AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Theriot ss 4 1 1 0 0 0 .289 Fukudome cf 4 0 1 0 0 2 .256 D.Lee 1b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .304 J.Fox lf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .283 Bradley rf 2 0 1 0 0 0 .257 1-Scales pr-rf 1 0 0 0 0 1 .247 Je.Baker 3b 4 1 2 1 0 0 .296 Fontenot 2b 3 1 1 0 1 2 .237 K.Hill c 4 0 0 0 0 2 .237 R.Wells p 1 0 0 0 0 0 .167 a-M.Hoffpauir ph 1 0 1 2 0 0 .236 S.Marshall p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .231 Heilman p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-Ar.Ramirez ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .321 Gorzelanny p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .222 Caridad p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Grabow p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Berg p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --f-Miles ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .181 Totals 34 4 8 3 1 7 Milwaukee 100 400 200 — 7 8 0 Chicago 200 200 000 — 4 8 0 a-doubled for R.Wells in the 4th. b-flied out for Heilman in the 6th. c-grounded out for Gerut in the 7th. d-was hit by a pitch for Gamel in the 7th. e-popped out for Villanueva in the 8th. f-flied out for Berg in the 9th. 1-ran for Bradley in the 6th. LOB: Milwaukee 7, Chicago 5. 2B: Braun (34), Mi.Rivera (7), M.Hoffpauir (10). 3B: Fielder (3). HR: Gerut (7), off R.Wells. RBIs: Gerut 4 (29), M.Cameron (62), Mi.Rivera 2 (14), Je.Baker (18), M.Hoffpauir 2 (31). SB: Theriot (20). SF: M.Cameron. Runners left in scoring position: Milwaukee 5 (Gamel, M.Cameron, Mi.Rivera, A.Escobar 2); Chicago 3 (Fontenot, Theriot, Ar.Ramirez). DP: Milwaukee 1 (Gamel, F.Lopez, Fielder). Milwaukee IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Bush W, 5-7 5 2⁄3 8 4 4 1 4 90 5.88 Coffey H, 24 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 8 3.09 Villanueva H, 9 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 5.46 C.Vargas H, 9 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 2.06 Hoffman S, 33-36 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 1.91 Chicago IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA R.Wells L, 10-9 4 5 5 5 5 4 80 3.18 S.Marshall 1 1 0 0 0 2 11 4.46 Heilman 1 0 0 0 0 2 12 4.09 Gorzelanny 2⁄3 1 2 2 1 1 14 5.29 Caridad 1⁄3 1 0 0 0 0 15 2.31 Grabow 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 3.09 Berg 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 0.00 Inherited runners-scored: Coffey 2-0, Caridad 2-2. IBB: off R.Wells (Fielder). HBP: by Bush (Bradley), by Caridad (McGehee). Umpires: Home, Brian Knight; First, Hunter Wendelstedt; Second, Dana DeMuth; Third, Doug Eddings. T: 2:49. A: 39,158 (41,210).

Kansas City 9, Detroit 2

Loss tightens Central race
DETROIT—Jim Leyland was unhappy. Leaning back in his chair with his feet propped up on top of his desk, the Detroit manager didn’t relish discussing his team’s latest loss to last-place Kansas City. “There’s no excuses,” he said. Zack Greinke lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.14 with five scoreless innings in a 9-2 victory Thursday over the Tigers. Kansas City, an A.L.-worst 59-87, has won six of its last seven games against the Tigers (78-68), whose A.L. Central lead over Minnesota (74-72) was cut to four games. Detroit starts a three-game series at the Metrodome today. “It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere,” Detroit’s Brandon Inge said. Greinke (14-8) gave up three hits, struck out eight and walked two. He has allowed only one earned run in his past four starts, lowering his ERA from 2.43. Greinke struck out two in the first and three in the second. The only real trouble he faced was in the fourth, when the righthander was struck on the upper part of his throwing arm by a liner off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. Greinke gathered himself and threw out Cabrera at first, then needed several warmup pitches and a visit from a trainer before he continued. — The Associated Press
Royals 9, Tigers 2 Kansas City AB Bloomquist rf 5 Maier lf 4 Butler 1b 5 Jacobs dh 3 Callaspo 2b 4 Olivo c 5 B.Pena c 0 A.Gordon 3b 4 Lu.Hernandez 3b 0 Y.Betancourt ss 5 J.Anderson cf 5 Totals 40 Detroit Granderson cf Thomas cf Polanco 2b W.Ramirez rf C.Guillen lf Mi.Cabrera 1b Thames 1b A.Huff dh Avila c Kelly rf-2b Inge 3b Dlugach 3b Santiago ss Totals AB 4 1 3 0 4 4 0 4 3 4 3 1 2 33 R 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 9 R 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 H 4 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 2 1 12 H 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 1 0 1 7 BI 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 3 9 BI 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 BB 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 SO 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 2 10 SO 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 2 1 1 13 Avg. .273 .250 .298 .234 .299 .248 .270 .205 .186 .241 .241 Avg. .248 .241 .278 .364 .239 .332 .250 .246 .286 .241 .234 .000 .259

Sox miss out on opportunity
Mariners 4, White Sox 3, 14 innings Chicago AB R H BI BB SO Podsednik lf 5 1 1 0 2 1 Beckham 3b 6 1 1 0 1 2 Pierzynski c 6 0 0 1 0 0 Konerko dh 6 1 3 0 0 1 2-Lillibridge pr-dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 Kotsay 1b 6 0 4 2 0 0 Dye rf 6 0 0 0 0 3 Al.Ramirez ss 6 0 1 0 0 0 Getz 2b 2 0 0 0 4 1 Rios cf 6 0 0 0 0 2 Totals 49 3 10 3 7 10 Seattle AB I.Suzuki rf 6 F.Gutierrez cf 6 Jo.Lopez 1b 6 M.Sweeney dh 5 1-M.Saunders pr-dh 1 Beltre 3b 5 Hall lf-2b 6 Jo.Wilson ss 6 Tuiasosopo 2b 4 a-Griffey Jr. ph 1 Langerhans lf 1 Moore c 5 b-Johjima ph 0 Totals 52
TED S. WARREN / AP

Avg. .302 .272 .310 .285 .145 .281 .248 .279 .268 .242 Avg. .353 .275 .270 .274 .208 .263 .238 .250 .250 .217 .220 .000 .255

Gerut does his part in rare start
CHICAGO—Jody Gerut welcomed the chance to start and responded with one of his biggest hits since joining the Milwaukee Brewers. Gerut’s second career grand slam lifted the Brewers to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. It also helped Milwaukee earn a split in the fourgame series between two teams finishing disappointing seasons. “I’m happy for whatever I can do,” Gerut said. Out of baseball for two years, Gerut put together a decent season for the Padres a year ago and then was traded to the Brewers in May for Tony Gwynn. His start Thursday at Wrigley Field was just his 18th in 71 appearances for the Brewers. “If you look at his history, he’s done fine. So, a couple things he can do: He plays center field. He plays all three positions, keeps himself ready. He’s a pro and he’s got some pop in his bat,” Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said. Mike Rivera also had a key bases-loaded hit for the Brewers, a two-run double in the seventh to push the lead to three. Gerut’s grand slam capped a two-out rally that started when Randy Wells (10-9) walked No. 8 hitter Alcides Escobar, gave up a single to Brewers starter Dave Bush and another walk to Felipe Lopez. — The Associated Press

R 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 4

H 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 13

BI 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

BB 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

SO 1 1 1 0 0 1 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 11

Kansas City 203 003 010 — Detroit 000 002 000 —

9 12 0 2 7 0

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki delivers on his game-winning single in the 14th. SEATTLE—Manager Ozzie Guillen was at a loss for words after the Chicago White Sox’s latest loss. And he rarely is ever at a loss for words. With an opportunity to improve their slim shot of catching the Tigers in the A.L. Central on Thursday night, the White Sox blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning then lost 4-3 in 14 innings to the Seattle Mariners on Ichiro Suzuki’s game-ending single. “Go on and ask (the players),” Guillen said. “I don’t have any more quotes. Seriously, what am I going to say?” Jose Lopez and Bill Hall each homered off Sox closer Bobby Jenks in the ninth to tie it. Chicago, third in the division, trails Detroit by 6½ games and Minnesota by 4 with 15 games to play. With one out in the 14th, Ryan Langerhans singled to center off Scott Linebrink (3-7). Pinch-hitter Kenji Johjima was hit by a pitch then Suzuki hit his 205th hit of the season, scoring Langerhans. As he rounded first base, the Mariners spilled out of the dugout and chased the star right fielder all the way into the outfield. — The Associated Press

LOB: Kansas City 11, Detroit 8. 2B: Callaspo (36). HR: Olivo (21), off E.Jackson; J.Anderson (1), off Galarraga; Mi.Cabrera (30), off Chen. RBIs: Callaspo 3 (65), Olivo 3 (58), J.Anderson 3 (23), Mi.Cabrera 2 (91). CS: Inge (5). Runners left in scoring position: Kansas City 6 (Olivo, Maier, Callaspo 2, A.Gordon 2); Detroit 3 (C.Guillen, Thomas 2). Kansas City IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Greinke W, 14-8 5 3 0 0 2 8 77 2.14 Chen 1 2⁄3 2 2 2 1 1 33 5.78 Farnsworth 1 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 15 4.63 Soria 1 2 0 0 1 3 23 2.49 Detroit IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA E.Jackson L, 12-7 5 6 5 5 1 6 96 3.37 Galarraga 1⁄3 3 3 3 1 1 21 5.64 Figaro 2 1 1 1 4 1 45 6.92 Bonderman 1 2⁄3 2 0 0 0 2 24 9.31 Inherited runners-scored: Farnsworth 1-0, Figaro 2-0, Bonderman 3-1. HBP: by Galarraga (Bloomquist). WP: Soria. Umpires: Home, Paul Emmel; First, Scott Barry; Second, Gary Darling; Third, Bruce Dreckman. T: 3:05. A: 26,457 (41,255).

Chicago 101 010 000 000 00 —3 10 0 Seattle 000 000 102 000 01 —4 13 1 One out when winning run scored. a-struck out for Tuiasosopo in the 12th. b-was hit by a pitch for Moore in the 14th. 1-ran for M.Sweeney in the 11th. 2-ran for Konerko in the 12th. E: Hall (1). LOB: Chicago 12, Seattle 11. 2B: Konerko (29), I.Suzuki (31), Tuiasosopo (1). HR: Beltre (7), off Danks; Jo.Lopez (24), off Jenks; Hall (2), off Jenks. RBIs: Pierzynski (46), Kotsay 2 (20), I.Suzuki (41), Jo.Lopez (89), Beltre (39), Hall (9). SB: Getz (25), Beltre (11). SF: Pierzynski. Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 7 (Kotsay, Beckham 3, Podsednik, Al.Ramirez, Dye); Seattle 4 (Tuiasosopo, F.Gutierrez 2, Hall). DP: Chicago 1 (Al.Ramirez, Getz, Kotsay); Seattle 1 (Jo.Wilson, Tuiasosopo, Jo.Lopez). Chicago IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Danks 8 4 1 1 2 3 97 3.59 Jenks BS, 6-35 1 2 2 2 0 1 13 3.71 Thornton 1 1 0 0 0 0 10 2.73 T.Pena 1 2⁄3 2 0 0 0 2 20 4.05 Williams 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 4 6.08 Dotel 1 2 0 0 0 3 26 3.32 Linebrink L, 3-7 1⁄3 2 1 1 0 1 10 4.30 Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Morrow 5 2⁄3 6 3 2 6 5 97 5.08 J.Vargas 2⁄3 2 0 0 0 1 15 4.97 Messenger 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 10 5.19 Olson 1 0 0 0 0 0 13 5.78 Batista 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 4.41 Aardsma 1 0 0 0 0 0 12 2.06 M.Lowe 2 2 0 0 1 2 33 2.89 Kelley W, 5-3 2 0 0 0 0 2 26 4.75 Inherited runners-scored: Williams 1-0, J.Vargas 2-0, Messenger 2-0. HBP: by Linebrink (Johjima). Umpires: Home, Randy Marsh; First, Lance Barksdale; Second, Marvin Hudson; Third, Angel Hernandez. T: 3:59. A: 16,336 (47,878).

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Baseball
NATIONAL LEAGUE Atlanta 7, N.Y. Mets 3

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

37

Cincinnati 3, Florida 2

Rookie ruins opportunity for Marlins
CINCINNATI—A rookie pitcher with a bum finger and no career wins kept the Florida Marlins running in place. Emergency starter Matt Maloney gritted it out for five innings to get his first big league victory Thursday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 victory that cost the Marlins a chance to gain ground in the N.L. wild-card chase. The Marlins remained 5 games behind Colorado and 1 1/2 behind San Francisco, both of whom were off. They couldn’t break their extended slump at Great American Ball Park, where they’ve dropped nine in a row. Whenever they come to Cincinnati, things never quite add up. They fell behind 3-0 in the first inning and never made up the ground in the N.L.’s most hitter-friendly ballpark. “It held up,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You figure with the way we’re swinging the bats and the ballpark, it wouldn’t.” The Marlins have lingered in the wild-card race by winning 10 of their last 15. They’ve struggled against the Reds, losing 11 of their last 14 since 2007. The Reds sold only 9,685 tickets for the game, the secondsmallest gate in Great American Ball Park’s seven-year history. — The Associated Press

Reds 3, Marlins 2 Florida AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Coghlan lf 4 1 4 0 0 0 .309 N.Johnson 1b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .300 Ha.Ramirez ss 4 1 1 1 0 0 .356 Cantu 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .278 Uggla 2b 4 0 1 1 0 2 .246 C.Ross cf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .274 R.Paulino c 2 0 1 0 1 0 .270 c-Gload ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .265 B.Carroll rf 3 0 1 0 0 1 .267 d-Jo.Baker ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .270 A.Sanchez p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000 a-G.Sanchez ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .200 Badenhop p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Pinto p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 T.Wood p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 e-Helms ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .277 Totals 34 2 8 2 1 9 Cincinnati AB R H BI BB SO Avg. D.McDonald cf-lf 3 1 2 1 1 1 .256 Janish ss 4 1 1 0 0 1 .218 Votto 1b 2 1 0 0 2 0 .303 B.Phillips 2b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .279 Rolen 3b 2 0 0 0 2 1 .257 Gomes lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .271 Cordero p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Bruce rf 4 0 1 2 0 2 .210 Hanigan c 3 0 0 0 0 1 .267 Maloney p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .222 R.Ramirez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Rhodes p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-Sutton ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .189 Masset p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Stubbs cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .252 Totals 29 3 6 3 5 8 Florida 000 020 000 — 2 8 0 Cincinnati 300 000 00x — 3 6 0 a-grounded out for A.Sanchez in the 6th. b-flied out for Rhodes in the 7th. c-grounded out for R.Paulino in the 9th. d-struck out for B.Carroll in the 9th. e-struck out for T.Wood in the 9th. LOB: Florida 7, Cincinnati 7. 2B: Coghlan 2 (23), Uggla (24), Janish (18), B.Phillips (27), Gomes (13). HR: D.McDonald (2), off A.Sanchez. RBIs: Ha.Ramirez (100), Uggla (80), D.McDonald (9), Bruce 2 (45). SB: D.McDonald (1). Runners left in scoring position: Florida 4 (Cantu, A.Sanchez, Uggla, C.Ross); Cincinnati 5 (Hanigan, Votto, Bruce, Rolen, B.Phillips). DP: Florida 1 (Ha.Ramirez, N.Johnson); Cincinnati 1 (B.Phillips, Votto). Florida IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA A.Sanchez L, 2-7 5 5 3 3 3 7 98 4.50 Badenhop 1 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 1 28 3.58 Pinto 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 3.21 T.Wood 1 1⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 18 1.89 Cincinnati IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Maloney W, 1-4 5 7 2 2 1 3 96 5.35 R.Ramirez H, 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 6.00 Rhodes H, 25 1 1 0 0 0 1 9 2.58 Masset H, 17 1 0 0 0 0 2 19 2.60 Cordero S, 38-41 1 0 0 0 0 2 10 2.25 Pinto pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: Pinto 1-0, T.Wood 2-0. HBP: by Maloney (N.Johnson). Umpires: Home, Bill Miller; First, Adrian Johnson; Second, Derryl Cousins; Third, Jim Joyce. T: 2:51. A: 9,685 (42,319).

Philadelphia 4, Washington 2

Braves closer after 7th straight
Braves 7, Mets 3 New York AB Pagan cf 5 L.Castillo 2b 5 D.Wright 3b 3 Dan.Murphy 1b 4 Francoeur rf 4 Thole c 4 Tatis lf 4 W.Valdez ss 3 Figueroa p 1 a-Reed ph 1 Stoner p 0 c-Sullivan ph 1 Totals 35 Atlanta McLouth cf Prado 3b G.Anderson lf McCann c Y.Escobar ss Ad.LaRoche 1b M.Diaz rf Infante 2b Jurrjens p O’Flaherty p b-Conrad ph R.Soriano p Totals New York Atlanta AB 4 4 4 2 4 3 3 4 3 0 1 0 32 R 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 R 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7 H 1 0 1 3 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 9 H 2 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 13 BI 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 BI 0 2 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 BB 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 SO 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 6 SO 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 Avg. .304 .305 .315 .262 .276 .367 .272 .254 .214 .253 --.256 Avg. .274 .296 .275 .282 .303 .278 .320 .305 .133 .000 .262 --3 9 0 7 13 1

Hamels looks solid again
PHILADELPHIA—Cole Hamels is again pitching like Philadelphia’s October ace. Hamels has turned his season around down the stretch for the N.L. East-leading Phillies, putting himself in position for another postseason run. Hamels took a perfect game into the sixth inning, masterfully using his changeup while matching a season high with 10 strikeouts and leading the Phillies to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. “I think you have to enjoy it,” Hamels said. “Sometimes, the games get a little bit more meaningful. The fans know it, we know it. It’s just going out there and doing what we know best.” Hamels (10-9), the MVP of last season’s N.L. championship series and World Series, allowed one run and five hits in eight strong innings. He even chipped in with an opposite-field RBI single to help the Phillies win their fifth straight game. “There’s nothing better than pitching at home in September,” he said. “The fans are great and it kind of gives you that extra motivation.” Hamels finally ran into trouble in the seventh when he gave up a run and loaded the bases. The 25-year-old lefthander got Mike Morse to fly out and struck out Josh Bard to escape the jam. — The Associated Press

Phillies 4, Nationals 2 Washington AB R Maxwell cf 4 0 C.Guzman ss 4 0 Zimmerman 3b 4 1 Willingham lf 4 0 Dukes rf 4 1 Desmond 2b 3 0 Morse 1b 3 0 d-W.Harris ph 1 0 Nieves c 1 0 J.Bard c 2 0 Detwiler p 1 0 a-J.Padilla ph 1 0 Clippard p 0 0 S.Rivera p 0 0 Villone p 0 0 Kensing p 0 0 c-Alb.Gonzalez ph 1 0 Estrada p 0 0 Totals 33 2

H 1 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

BI 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

BB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

SO 1 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 10

Avg. .233 .289 .289 .274 .259 .500 .286 .230 .258 .232 .071 .100 .000 .333 --.000 .254 --Avg. .247 .296 .280 .296 .269 .272 .246 .264 .256 .127 --2 6 0 4 6 0

JOHN BAZEMORE / AP

Brian McCann’s three-run homer in the fifth gave Atlanta a 6-2 lead. ATLANTA—The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets are streaking in opposite directions. Brian McCann hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning and the Braves beat the reeling Mets 7-3 on Thursday night for their first sevengame winning streak since 2006. “Everything’s going good right now,” manager Bobby Cox said. McCann also had a sacrifice fly in his fifth game of the season with at least four RBIs, helping the Braves move 10 games over .500 for the first time since May 16, 2007. Atlanta (78-68) is 4½ games behind N.L. wild card-leading Colorado. “This is the best we’ve played since I’ve been here,” McCann said. “It feels great because we could have folded. That could have been it. I think we’re playing with a carefree attitude. There’s nothing to lose. At the end (of the regular season), we hope it will be enough. We’ll see.” The Braves, who moved past Florida for second in the N.L. East, host division-leading Philadelphia for a weekend series beginning tonight. — The Associated Press

Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Rollins ss 4 0 2 1 0 0 Victorino cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 b-Ibanez ph-lf 1 0 0 0 0 1 Utley 2b 3 1 1 0 1 1 Howard 1b 2 1 0 0 1 1 Werth rf-cf 3 1 1 0 1 0 B.Francisco lf-rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 P.Feliz 3b 3 1 0 0 1 0 C.Ruiz c 3 0 0 1 1 0 Hamels p 3 0 1 1 0 2 Lidge p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 29 4 6 3 5 7 Washington 000 000 101 — Philadelphia 000 012 10x —

000 200 010 — 002 041 00x —

a-grounded out for Figueroa in the 6th. b-grounded into a double play for O’Flaherty in the 8th. c-lined out for Stoner in the 9th. E: M.Diaz (3). LOB: New York 8, Atlanta 6. 2B: Dan.Murphy (34), Prado (28), Jurrjens (2). 3B: Pagan (10). HR: Dan.Murphy (10), off O’Flaherty; McCann (19), off Figueroa. RBIs: Dan.Murphy (56), Tatis 2 (42), Prado 2 (44), McCann 4 (84), M.Diaz (49). SB: D.Wright (25), M.Diaz (10). S: Figueroa, McLouth. SF: McCann. Runners left in scoring position: New York 5 (Francoeur 2, Pagan 2, L.Castillo); Atlanta 3 (Y.Escobar, Jurrjens, Infante). DP: New York 2 (W.Valdez, Dan.Murphy), (Dan.Murphy, W.Valdez, Dan.Murphy); Atlanta 1 (Y.Escobar, Ad.LaRoche). New York Figueroa L, 2-6 Stoner Atlanta Jurrjens W, 12-10 O’Flaherty R.Soriano IP 5 3 IP 7 1 1 H 9 4 H 6 2 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 1 4 81 5.21 1 1 1 0 24 5.14 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 1 2 5 100 2.75 1 1 0 1 13 3.20 0 0 0 0 19 2.67

a-struck out for Detwiler in the 6th. b-struck out for Victorino in the 7th. c-flied out for Kensing in the 8th. d-popped out for Morse in the 9th. LOB: Washington 5, Philadelphia 7. 2B: Maxwell (3), Rollins (38). 3B: Dukes (4). RBIs: Dukes (55), Desmond (5), Rollins (67), C.Ruiz (42), Hamels (4). SB: Rollins (29). Runners left in scoring position: Washington 3 (J.Bard 2, Zimmerman); Philadelphia 4 (Werth, Victorino, Rollins 2). DP: Washington 1 (Zimmerman, Morse). Washington Detwiler L, 0-6 Clippard S.Rivera Villone Kensing Estrada Philadelphia Hamels W, 10-9 Lidge S, 30-40 IP 5 2⁄3 1⁄3 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 IP 8 1 H 4 1 1 0 0 0 H 5 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 1 6 87 5.80 2 2 3 0 31 3.38 0 0 0 0 6 5.40 1 1 1 1 16 4.29 0 0 0 0 710.55 0 0 0 0 1113.50 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 1 10 109 4.07 1 1 0 0 16 7.21

National League wild card standings
Colorado San Francisco Atlanta Florida Chicago W 83 79 78 78 75 L 64 67 68 69 70 Pct. .565 .541 .534 .534 .517 GB — 3½ 4½ 5 7

HBP: by Figueroa (M.Diaz). Umpires: Home, Dan Iassogna; First, Larry Vanover; Second, Sam Holbrook; Third, Mike Estabrook. T: 2:22. A: 20,192 (49,743).

Inherited runners-scored: S.Rivera 3-1, Kensing 1-1. HBP: by Detwiler (Howard). WP: Villone, Kensing. Umpires: Home, Paul Schrieber; First, Paul Nauert; Second, Joe West; Third, Ed Rapuano. T: 2:43. A: 45,210 (43,647).

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

38

Report: Kessel trade will happen within a week
With the Bruins facing the looming threat of an offer sheet being extended to restricted free agent Phil Kessel, the Boston Herald is reporting that the team is close to pulling off a blockbuster trade for the 21-yearold sniper. Citing two “well-placed sources in Toronto,” the newspaper said that four teams still are in the running and that a deal should be finalized within the next week. Toronto and Nashville are known to have made offers and are the leading contenders. But Minnesota and the New York Rangers reportedly are in the mix, too. The Bruins had hoped to keep Kessel, who scored 36 goals last season. But he rejected what they considered a lucrative offer and his $5 million-plus asking price would put them well over the salary cap. If a team extends an offer sheet just before the start of the season, Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli would be forced to clear a lot of salary quickly to keep him on the Oct. 1 roster. A deal timed in that way, the newspaper surmises, would make it virtually impossible for Chiarelli to match. Kessel appears to be in the driver’s seat because he can hold out for a big offer sheet while rehabbing his shoulder after offseason surgery. He has started skating and reportedly is ahead of schedule, but he won’t be ready to play for at least several weeks. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the Sharks are close to signing free-agent C Manny Malhotra, who has played the last five seasons for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Malhotra, the newspaper says, immediately becomes the top candidate for a spot on the Sharks’ third line—an opening created with last week’s trade for Dany Heatley. Malhotra scored 11 goals and 35 points in 77 games last season for the Blue Jackets. Welcome to the NHL, kid! Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet didn’t waste any time exposing No. 2 overall draft pick Victor Hedman to the rigors of the NHL Wednesday night when the Lightning played their first preseason game—a 4-3 shootout loss at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. The Lightning’s prized Swedish defenseman was on the ice for a game-high 27 minutes, 15 seconds, 4:39 more than anyone else. Did he pass the test? “If I had to say who tried and played hard, Victor would be in my top, absolutely,” Tocchet told the St. Petersburg Times. “Victor is an excellent player. He makes mistakes like everybody, and we’ll work with him. But the poise of his is something you don’t teach.” Hedman also showed some skill in the interview room. “It was great,” he told the newspaper. “It was great to play those minutes.” After 10 years as captain of the most celebrated franchise in hockey, C Saku Koivu told The Orange County Register that he’s ready for a quieter existence as just another player for the Anaheim Ducks. While acknowledging that his long run as captain of the Montreal Canadiens was an honor and a privilege, he also said that position of responsibility in a city where hockey is religion can be wearing and frustrating. “Montreal is a great place, but it can be a tough place as well,” Koivu told the newspaper. “Right now I can focus on my own stuff and try to help the team and the guys without having to worry about the extra stuff as a captain. I’m still going to do things the same way that I did when I was captain, but not having that responsibility, it kind of feels good.” Koivu, who signed as a free agent after 13 years in Montreal, says he looks forward to skating alongside longtime Finnish friend Teemu Selanne and deferring to Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer on all team matters. Veteran G Manny Legace said he knows it will be tough to win a roster spot with the Atlanta Thrashers, but there’s no doubt his game is NHL-ready and he can provide valuable insurance in some team’s net. Legace, a former All-Star and Stanley Cup winner, lost his starting job in St. Louis last season and spent most of the second half in the AHL. He is with the Thrashers on a pro tryout, one of four goalies competing for a roster spot.

HANS DERYK / AP

The Predators reportedly have offered a first-round pick, the rights to forward Alexander Radulov and another prospect for Phil Kessel, center. “I talked to a lot of teams,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “but (couldn’t find) what I was looking for. Atlanta said, ‘Why don’t you come to camp?’ They were the first ones to ask ... and I jumped at it. There is no question (that I can play at the NHL level). There is no question in my mind.” It didn’t take long for the Minnesota Wild to decide they want to keep RW Petr Sykora. After two practices on a tryout basis in training camp, the team signed the veteran Thursday to a one-year contract. Sykora, 32, was the fourth-leading scorer last season for the Stanley Cup champion Penguins. His 25 goals, giving him 300 over his 13-year career, marked his 10th straight season of 20 or more. Sykora also has played in the Stanley Cup finals five times.

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SUMMARIES
Washington 1 Buffalo 0 0 0 2 3 1 — 0 — 4 3 Atlanta Nashville 0 2 0 1 0 — 2 — 0 5

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

39

PRESEASON
SPOTLIGHT

Washington 4, Buffalo 3, OT

Pothier benefits from two-man advantage
BUFFALO—Brian Pothier scored during a two-man advantage in overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night in the preseason opener for both. Buffalo, which had not been assessed a penalty until 39 seconds remained in regulation, incurred two in a span of 25 seconds to set up the overtime power play. Pothier fired a slap shot from the center point past Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth. “Eventually you get an opportunity and you win,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. Alexandre Giroux, Mike Knuble and Jay Beagle scored for Washington. Semyon Varlamov played the entire game in goal for the Capitals and made 20 saves. “Varly was pretty outstanding in the first two periods,” Boudreau said. “There were a lot of good efforts. The defensive veterans had a good game.” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff agreed about the Capitals’ goaltending. “Varlamov was the story in the first period,” Ruff said. “We could have ran away with the game, but he made four or five really good saves when we had 2-on-1s and outnumbered situations.” Jason Pominville, Clarke MacArthur, and Tim Kennedy scored third-period goals for Buffalo. Patrick Lalime started in goal for the Sabres and stopped six of seven shots in just over 33 minutes. Enroth made 21 saves. Montreal 3, Florida 2 MONTREAL—Scott Gomez and Mike Cammalleri scored goals to lead the overhauled Montreal Canadiens. Carey Price stopped all nine shots he faced in the first half of the game and Matt D’Agostini also scored for Montreal, which won its preseason opener before a sellout Bell Centre crowd of 21,273. Cammalleri got a kick out of being announced as the game’s first star in French. “I’ve got to admit since I was a kid I remember hearing, ‘La premiere etoile!’” Cammalleri said. “That’s something that me and my dad would always tease about, we’d say those words. He’s here tonight so I’m sure it was special for him as well.” Toronto 4, Philadelphia 0 LONDON, ONTARIO—Lee Stempniak and rookie Nazem Kadri scored in the first period to lead Toronto. Mikhail Grabovski made it 3-0 in the final minute of the second period with an offspeed shot that beat Johan Backlund, who played the second half of

First Period: 1, Washington, Giroux 1 (Morrison, Clark), 8:30. Penalties: Giroux, Was (slashing), 11:35. Second Period: None. Penalties: Schultz, Was (cross-checking), 3:33; Laich, Was (interference), 7:05. Third Period: 2, Buffalo, Pominville 1 (Vanek, Kostka), 2:16. 3, Buffalo, MacArthur 1 (Butler, Stafford), 6:12. 4, Washington, Knuble 1 (Backstrom, Pothier), 13:29. 5, Buffalo, Kennedy 1 (Gogulla, Gerbe), 17:28. 6, Washington, Beagle 1 (A.Gordon), 17:51. Penalties: Clark, Was (tripping), 13:50; Enroth, Buf, served by McCormick (delay of game), 19:24; Weber, Buf (boarding), 19:46. Overtime: 7, Washington, Pothier 1 (Backstrom, Bourque), :49 (pp). Penalties: None. Shots on Goal: Washington 7-12-13-1: 33. Buffalo 8-9-6-0: 23. Power-play opportunities: Washington 1 of 2; Buffalo 0 of 4. Goalies: Washington, Varlamov 1-0-0 (23 shots20 saves). Buffalo, Lalime (7-6), Enroth 0-0-1 (13:13 second, 26-23). A: 17,597 (18,690). T: 2:16. Referees: Greg Kimmerly, Dan Marouelli. Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Brian Murphy. Philadelphia Toronto 0 2 0 1 0 — 1 — 0 4

First Period: 1, Nashville, Laakso 1 (Eaves, Wilson), 14:14. 2, Nashville, Arnott 1 (Sullivan, Suter), 17:43. Penalties: O’Reilly, Nas (hooking), 2:03; Kulda, Atl (cross-checking), 6:31; Oystrick, Atl (tripping), 7:25; Kulda, Atl (hooking), 17:34; Wilson, Nas (diving), 17:34. Second Period: 3, Nashville, Dumont 1 (Arnott, Sullivan), 8:02. Penalties: Olvecky, Nas (hooking), 3:00; Sterling, Atl (goaltender interference), 13:38; Franson, Nas (hooking), 19:29; Suter, Nas (cross-checking), 19:59. Third Period: 4, Nashville, Weber 1 (Hornqvist, Wilson), 2:17. 5, Nashville, Wilson 1 (Jones, Hornqvist), 4:40. Penalties: Valabik, Atl, misconduct, 7:34; Boulton, Atl (cross-checking), 9:23; Kulda, Atl, major (fighting), 10:45; Franson, Nas, served by Dumont, minor-major (interference, fighting), 10:45. Shots on Goal: Atlanta 7-8-7: 22. Nashville 17-10-9: 36. Power-play opportunities: Atlanta 0 of 5; Nashville 0 of 4. Goalies: Atlanta, MacIntyre 0-1-0 (36 shots-31 saves). Nashville, D.Ellis 1-0-0 (13-13), Dekanich (10:39 second, 9-9). A: 14,103 (17,113). T: 2:19. Referees: Stephane Auger, Chris Lee. Linesmen: Mark Pare, Pierre Racicot. Florida Montreal 0 1 0 2 2 — 0 — 2 3

PETER MCCABE / AP

Montreal’s Max Pacioretty, left, hits Florida’s Nathan Horton during an exchange in the second period Thursday. the game in place of Brian Boucher. Christian Hanson made it 4-0 with 5:34 left in the third. Kadri, a former member of the London Knights, completed a nifty behind-the-back pass from Niklas Hagman for his first professional goal on the same ice he played most of his junior career. Nashville 5, Atlanta 0 NASHVILLE—Rookie Colin Wilson had a goal and two assists, and Nashville captain Jason Arnott had a goal and an assis. Wilson signed with the Predators in the offseason after capping his sophomore season at Boston University with a national championship. Arnott gave Nashville a 2-0 lead at 17:43 of the first. On Nashville’s third goal, Steve Sullivan slid a pass to Arnott, who sent a cross-ice pass to J.P. Dumont, who scored on a wrist shot. Nashville defensemen Teemu Laakso and Shea Weber also scored. Dan Ellis started in goal for Nashville, stopping 13 shots. Mark Dekanich replaced him midway through the second period. — The Associated Press

First Period: 1, Toronto, Stempniak 1 (Hagman, Kaberle), 4:12. 2, Toronto, Kadri 1 (Hagman, Kaberle), 13:54. Penalties: Ondrus, Tor (hooking), 1:41; Tollefsen, Phi, major (fighting), 5:50; Ondrus, Tor, major (fighting), 5:50; Carcillo, Phi, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 9:26; Schenn, Tor, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 9:26. Second Period: 3,Toronto, Grabovski 1 (Kulemin), 19:26. Penalties: Richards, Phi (elbowing), :32; Kalinski, Phi (hooking), 6:37; Kadri, Tor (highsticking), 8:20; Wallin, Tor (hooking), 11:16; Powe, Phi, double minor (high-sticking), 14:04; Timonen, Phi (high-sticking), 15:24. Third Period: 4, Toronto, Hanson 1 (Rosehill, Bozak), 14:26. Penalties: Cote, Phi, major (fighting), 2:02; Rosehill, Tor, major (fighting), 2:02; Kulemin, Tor (tripping), 5:16; Richards, Phi (hooking), 9:35; Stephenson, Phi, minor-major (boarding, fighting), 11:57; Ondrus, Tor, major (fighting), 11:57; Carcillo, Phi, double minormisconduct (roughing), 17:15; A.Rogers, Tor, minor-misconduct (roughing), 17:15; Kaberle, Tor (hooking), 17:35; Asham, Phi, major-game misconduct (charging), 19:20. Shots on Goal: Philadelphia 9-8-11: 28. Toronto 3-9-8: 20. Power-play opportunities: Philadelphia 0 of 0; Toronto 0 of 0. Goalies: Philadelphia, Boucher 0-1-0 (6 shots-4 saves), Backlund (10:33 second, 14-12). Toronto, MacDonald 1-1-0 (13-13), Reimer (10:33 second, 15-15). A: 9,090 (0). T: 2:29. Referees: Don Van Massenhoven, Frederick L’Ecuyer. Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Steve Miller.

First Period: 1, Montreal, Gomez 1 (Spacek, Cammalleri), 18:24. Penalties: Seidenberg, Fla (cross-checking), :42; Markov, Mon (hooking), 8:10; McArdle, Fla (elbowing), 11:13; Trotter, Mon (tripping), 17:20; Booth, Fla, double minor (highsticking), 17:56. Second Period: 2, Montreal, Cammalleri 1 (A.Kostitsyn), 8:21. 3, Montreal, D’Agostini 1, 12:51. Penalties: Mink, Fla (holding stick), 3:37; Cammalleri, Mon (hooking), 3:37; Gomez, Mon (high-sticking), 12:07; Weiss, Fla (slashing), 12:29; Subban, Mon (slashing), 13:08; Allen, Fla (roughing), 16:01; Lapierre, Mon (roughing), 16:01; Booth, Fla (high-sticking), 18:27. Third Period: 4, Florida, Booth 2 (Horton), 5:27. 5, Florida, Dadonov 1 (Campbell, Mink), 10:38. Penalties: Allen, Fla (roughing), 1:51; Campbell, Fla, major (fighting), 1:51; Duco, Fla, minor-misconduct (cross-checking), 1:51; Lapierre, Mon (cross-checking), 1:51; O’Byrne, Mon, major (fighting), 1:51; Weiss, Fla, major (spearing, match--deliberate injury), 11:31; McArdle, Fla (delay of game), 15:17. Shots on Goal: Florida 7-6-17: 30. Montreal 17-9-5: 31. Power-play opportunities: Florida 0 of 4; Montreal 0 of 9. Goalies: Florida, Clemmensen 1-1-0 (26 shots-23 saves), Salak (0:00 third, 5-5). Montreal, Price 1-0-0 (9-9), Sanford (10:26 second, 21-19). A: 21,273 (21,273). T: 2:25. Referees: Eric Furlatt, Stephane Auger. Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Michel Cormier.

All Times ET EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division W L OT Pts GF GA New Jersey 1 0 0 2 3 2 Pittsburgh 1 0 0 2 5 4 N.Y. Rangers 0 1 1 1 3 5 N.Y. Islanders 0 2 1 1 8 10 Philadelphia 0 2 0 0 1 7 Northeast Division W L OT Pts GF GA Boston 2 0 0 4 5 3 Montreal 1 0 0 2 3 2 Toronto 1 1 0 2 6 3 Buffalo 0 0 1 1 3 4 Ottawa 0 2 0 0 2 5 Southeast Division W L OT Pts GF GA Florida 2 1 0 4 7 5 Washington 1 0 0 2 4 3 Tampa Bay 0 0 1 1 3 4 Carolina 0 0 0 0 0 0 Atlanta 0 1 0 0 0 5 WESTERN CONFERENCE Central Division W L OT Pts GF GA Detroit 1 0 0 2 3 1 Nashville 1 0 0 2 5 0 St. Louis 1 0 0 2 3 1 Columbus 0 0 1 1 4 5 Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 Northwest Division W L OT Pts GF GA Edmonton 2 0 0 4 7 3 Vancouver 2 0 0 4 5 1 Colorado 1 0 0 2 3 1 Minnesota 0 1 0 0 1 3 Calgary 1 1 0 2 6 8 Pacific Division W L OT Pts GF GA Los Angeles 1 1 1 3 7 9 Phoenix 1 1 1 3 9 9 Anaheim 1 1 0 2 3 5 Dallas 1 1 0 2 5 6 San Jose 1 0 0 2 2 1 Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss or shootout loss. Thursday’s Games Washington 4, Buffalo 3, OT Toronto 4, Philadelphia 0 Montreal 3, Florida 2 Nashville 5, Atlanta 0 Colorado 3, Dallas 1 Calgary 5, N.Y. Islanders 4, SO Vancouver 3, Anaheim 0 San Jose 2, Los Angeles 1 Today’s Games Nashville at Carolina, 7 p.m. Toronto at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. Ottawa at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. N.Y. Rangers at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. Colorado at St. Louis, 8 p.m. Columbus at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Florida at Edmonton, 9 p.m. Anaheim at Phoenix, 10 p.m. Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

Preseason Glance

Fleury marks return by helping Flames win in SO, Page 5

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40

NHL countdown

13

Every day in September leading into the Oct. 1 season openers, Sporting News Today will preview each of the NHL teams, counting backward from its July 24 Power Poll.
defense that failed to slow Pittsburgh’s forwards in the playoffs; and a veteran group of forwards led by budding superstar Eric Staal. The biggest variable in standing pat is whether the Hurricanes were a legitimately good team that got off to a bad start last season, or a middle-of-the-pack squad that got hot at the right time. In both word and action, Rutherford is certain they are the former. “We’re going to start the season with a pretty darn good team,” Rutherford said. For the Hurricanes, everything starts in net, where Ward had his best season since taking over the No. 1 job in the 2006 playoffs. His fundamentals have never been in question, but Ward made giant strides in his mental approach under the guidance of goalie coach Tom Barrasso. And it showed down the stretch of the regular season, when he started 28 straight games, and in the playoffs, where he added two more Game 7 wins to his resume. Expect Ward to play in 65 to 70 games, with Michael Leighton as a competent backup. Ward was Carolina’s first-round pick in 2002. The Hurricanes’ No. 1 pick in 2003 has had a similar impact. Staal stepped straight into the lineup that fall and hasn’t left since, missing only one game in his career. Staal started slowly last season but picked up his game when Cole came over from the Oilers at the trade deadline. He is Carolina’s most dangerous offensive player—by far— and is capable of carrying the team, as he did during the first round of the playoffs. The biggest issue is finding wingers to complement Staal’s game. Cole’s speed has proven effective when he’s paired with

Numbers

CAROLINA HURRICANES
2008-09 record: 45-30-7, 97 points Last Playoff: 2009 (lost in conference championship) Coach: Paul Maurice

BY LUKE DECOCK Sporting News Yearbooks

After a season that went longer than expected, the Hurricanes did less than expected over the summer. Their big free-agent signings? Forwards Erik Cole and Chad LaRose. Both were free agents for about 48 hours before returning to the Hurricanes. By re-signing those two players, the Hurricanes go into this year with essentially the same team that made it to the Eastern Conference finals last season before being swept by the eventual champion Penguins. Of course, the big changes for the Hurricanes happened in the middle of last season, when they replaced Stanley Cup-winning coach Peter Laviolette with his predecessor, Paul Maurice, and picked Jussi Jokinen off Tampa Bay’s scrap heap. Given how well Carolina played at the end of the season, general manager Jim Rutherford decided the best move was to stand pat. Maurice, who replaced Laviolette on an interim basis, was awarded a longterm deal, and Cole and LaRose were resigned, even after they became unrestricted free agents. Other than a few minor departures— Dennis Seidenberg and Ryan Bayda were allowed to leave—and the addition of gritty forward Tom Kostopoulos and defenseman Andrew Alberts, the Hurricanes stuck with the status quo, partially by choice and partly because of financial necessity. Even though they made money for the first time in three years, their payroll budget is still well below the league salary cap. What’s left is a team built around goalie Cam Ward, who showed his 2006 playoff run was no fluke; an offensive-minded

CATEGORY TEAM STATS RANKS Goals per game 2.88 16 Penalty kill percentage 80.40 19 Power play goals 70 10t Power play percentage 18.72 18 Saves 2198 16 Save percentage .909 11 Shorthanded goals for 8 12t Shots against per game 29.50 14 Shots per game 32.62 6 Shutouts 6 11t Total points 645 15 Faceoff percentage .513 8 Goals against per game 2.70 8 Power play 374 1t opportunities Shorthanded goals 9 9t against Times shut out 1 30

Offseason moves
Additions
Andrew Alberts, D (Flyers); Zach Fitzgerald, D (Canucks); Steven Goertzen, RW (Coyotes); Jay Harrison, D (Maple Leafs); Tom Kostopoulos, RW (Canadiens), Aaron Ward, D (trade, Bruins).

Subtractions
Patrick Eaves, RW (Red Wings); Mark Flood, D (Islanders); Dwight Helminen, C (Sharks); Frantisek Kaberle, D (buyout).
appears to have resurrected his career. On defense, the Canes have a wealth of puck-movers and power-play guys, but they could use a few more defensemen who excel at playing defense. Joni Pitkanen (33 points) and Joe Corvo (14 goals, 38 points) lead the way offensively, with Tim Gleason being the only defensive stalwart. With Niclas Wallin and Tim Conboy the only other blue liners with NHL contracts, the Canes signed Alberts and traded for Aaron Ward. Prospects such as Bryan Rodney and Brett Carson could compete for spots. — For much more on the Hurricanes, purchase a copy of Sporting News Hockey ’09-10 yearbook by calling 1-800-380-7404. Or order it online at sportingnews.com or streetandsmiths.com

BILL KOSTROUN / AP

Eric Staal has the ability to carry the Hurricanes, as evidenced by his play in the first round of the playoffs last season. Staal, but he hasn’t had a playmaking winger since Cory Stillman was traded. Beyond Staal, there’s depth at center and on the wings. Matt Cullen has been an effective No. 2 center, while Rod Brind’Amour is due to bounce back after injuries ruined the former Selke winner’s 2008-09 campaign. Jokinen is a useful utility winger or fourth-line center, and 2007 first-round pick Brandon Sutter—who started last season in the NHL but was derailed by a concussion—could get a look as well. On the wings, Ray Whitney led the team in scoring despite playing most of the season with a broken finger. Cole and LaRose were welcomed back after briefly testing the market. Tuomo Ruutu provides a physical edge to go with his skill, Kostopoulos adds toughness and Sergei Samsonov

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NBA
INSIDE DISH

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

41

Refs’ spokesman: Lockout appears ‘imminent’
NEW YORK—The lead negotiator and spokesman for the NBA’s referees union said Thursday a lockout appears “imminent and unavoidable” following the latest breakdown in talks. Lamell McMorris said the officials made another $1 million in concessions in their proposal, but believes it’s evident the league is not interested in further discussions. The officials then headed home after spending the last 24 hours meeting in Chicago. “It’s become evident that the league would not be interested in continuing conversation at this time,” McMorris said. The NBA had a similarly pessimistic view. “I’m not going to handicap it, other than to say there’s always time to make an agreement if the parties want to do that,” NBA general counsel and lead negotiator Rick Buchanan said. “I’m not optimistic based on what happened today. We’ll just have to see what happens.” The contract between the NBA and its officials expired Sept. 1 and the sides have been trying to reach a new two-year deal. McMorris said they largely agree on salaries, but the union has balked at the league’s attempt to change retirement benefits. Besides the severance and pension disagreements, the officials are resisting a league development plan for young officials. Without a new deal, replacement officials will be used when preseason play opens Oct. 1. The NBA last began a season without its regular referees in 1995-96, when the caliber of officiating was roundly criticized. “We’re prepared to be locked out by the NBA but also remain open to ongoing dialogue,” McMorris said, adding that negotiations have been difficult because the league “has made pretty clear they have a goal they are trying to achieve as it relates to these long-term benefits.” All 57 active referees arrived in Chicago on Wednesday, meeting for more than seven hours and unanimously rejecting a proposal the league made earlier that day. McMorris said the officials
DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP

Arenas: Wizards ‘should have held me back’
Those who have seen G Gilbert Arenas play this offseason say he looks in great shape. Arenas, coming back from three knee surgeries over the past two years, doesn’t debate this point. “Nobody could guard me before, and can’t nobody guard me now,” Arenas recently told The Washington Times. But Arenas credits renowned trainer Tim Grover of Attack Athletics, rather than the Wizards, for his comeback. In fact, Arenas told The Times the Wizards should have held him back rather than let him try to return from his previous rehabs too quickly. “If you have a kid that loves basketball, that eats, sleeps, drinks and thinks basketball and all he knows is basketball and he gets hurt and he’s your franchise player, you need to hold him back from himself,” Arenas said. “If I’m saying I feel good and you know it’s supposed to take six months, instead of letting me at four months run ... they should have held me back. Rather than saying, ‘Let’s let this guy do what he wants and use him to sell tickets’— sometimes you have to protect players from themselves. I don’t feel like I got that type of protection. But, I don’t judge them for that. Some things just happen. I told them I felt OK because I wanted to play, and they did what they did.” Developer Bruce C. Ratner, who received final state approval Thursday to build an $800 million arena in Brooklyn for the Nets, is close to selling a majority stake to a Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, The New York Times reported on its website Thursday night. The deal, if completed, would not affect the team’s planned move, The Times reported.

Joe DeRosa, center, has been an NBA referee for 20 seasons. reconvened early Thursday morning to finalize the counterproposal they made to the league. Talks previously broke down after NBA commissioner David Stern ended a meeting in New York, saying the officials had reneged on previously agreed to items. McMorris sounded hopeful of a deal Wednesday night, but little progress was made in Thursday’s talks. “I would say that the parties had discussions today. They made some new proposals, we made some additional proposals. We didn’t make a deal,” Buchanan said. McMorris previously said the officials, sensitive to the financial difficulties the league is facing, agreed to $2.5 million in concessions, but the league sought further cuts in areas such as the travel budget and per diems. Stern said the goal was to bring the referees’ budget in line with other departments. But McMorris said the officials are unwilling to accept any further changes to their retirement benefits. “We’ve given so many concessions in other areas, a line has to be drawn,” he said. “It has to be fair and equitable for everyone in our group.” McMorris said the referees won’t be in New Jersey for their annual training camp, scheduled to begin Sunday. He praised them for the efforts they made in Chicago at their own expense, even while struggling to remain optimistic they could eventually pay off. “I’m extremely proud of the 57 individuals that we represent. Their unity, the good-faith nature that they have sought to negotiate with their employee,” McMorris said. “We’re quite proud and confident that we’ve given it our best shot, that we’ve put forth a good-faith effort.” — The Associated Press

STEVE HELBER / AP

Gilbert Arenas, above, credits trainer Tim Grover for helping save his career. Hawks F Josh Smith will sit out the next 10 days after cutting his left hand while playing a pickup game with teammates and other NBA players, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Smith needed seven stitches to close the cut. The Blazers signed F Juwan Howard to a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Howard, 36, has spent 15 seasons in the NBA. The Heat will retire former guard Tim Hardaway’s No. 10 jersey in a ceremony Oct. 28, immediately prior to the season-opener against the Knicks. It will be the second Heat jersey retired in team history: Alonzo Mourning’s No. 33 went to the rafters last season. Free-agent G/F Desmond Mason signed a one-year contract with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. His deal is not guaranteed and will pay him the league minimum of $1.18 million. Mason played only 39 games last season for Oklahoma City, missing the second half of the season with a hyperextended right knee. Spain easily moved past France and into the semifinals of the European basketball championship, winning 86-66 Thursday. Lakers PF/C Pau Gasol had 28 points and nine rebounds for Spain, while Spurs PG Tony Parker was kept in check for France, with only six points and three assists. In Thursday’s other quarterfinal, Serbia used tough defense to upset defending champ Russia 79-68.

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College Basketball / WNBA
Indiana 88, Washington 79

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

42

INSIDE DISH

Suspensions result from rape investigation
Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said Thursday he will suspend at least one player 2-3 games following a rape investigation that did not result in charges. The school released a statement from Pelphrey outlining punishment in the aftermath of the allegations. The release did not name any players and Pelphrey said he could not disclose specific punishments because of federal privacy laws. Authorities decided against charges after investigating a woman’s claim that she had been raped Aug. 27 at a fraternity house. The allegations were made against three Arkansas basketball players. “Although the student-athletes involved have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, we expect Razorback student-athletes to adhere to a higher standard and code of conduct,” Pelphrey said. The school did not say how many players would be suspended, though athletic department spokesman Kevin Trainor said it could be more than one. The school also said it would include educational programming, community service, additional conditioning and “individualized meetings with an appropriate professional regarding decision-making choices” as part of its corrective actions. The school said the educational programs would be provided to all players. An 18-year-old freshman named three basketball players in the rape complaint, saying one forced her to commit a sex act and another began a sex act with her a short time later in a locked bedroom. Prosecutor John Threet said last week he wouldn’t file charges in the case, saying the investigation didn’t show that the woman was unaware a sex act occurred or that she was unable to say no. UCLA coach Ben Howland has undergone an appendectomy. Howland was resting comfortably Thursday, a day after he had what the school referred to as a “standard appendectomy” performed at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by Dr. Joe Hines. Howland said he expects to return to work Monday. Pittsburg State coach Gene Iba will retire after the upcoming season to spend more time with his family. Iba, the nephew of legendary Oklahoma State coach

Fever take ownership of fourth quarter
COLLEGE PARK, MD.—Tamika Catchings said the Indiana Fever had a simple mantra as they walked off the court trailing after three quarters in their playoff opener: “Pick It Up.” From their offensive pace to their defensive intensity, the top-seeded Fever did exactly that as they opened the fourth quarter with a 17-3 run on the way to an 88-79 victory over the Washington Mystics on Thursday night in their Eastern Conference firstround series. “We have 10 more minutes, its all or nothing,” Catchings, who had 26 points and 12 rebounds, said in recapping the talk before the fourth quarter. “Everybody came out and right off the bat we got like four layups in a row. Our tempo went up and we have to keep feeding off of that.” Katie Douglas added 19 points and Briann January was a spark off the bench with 16—all in the second half—for the Fever, who entered the fourth quarter down 58-56. Indiana came into the playoffs having lost seven of its last 10 games, but the Fever turned up their noted defensive pressure late and improved to 5-0 against the Mystics this season and 17-4 in their last 21 meetings. “I think everybody came out real focused tonight,” Catchings said. “As a team, one of the things we talked about coming into the locker room right before the game was coming out having fun, playing together, sticking together no matter what.” San Antonio 92, Phoenix 91 SAN ANTONIO—Sophia Young scored 24 points to lead the Silver Stars to a victory over the Mercury in the opener of the Western Conference first-round series. The previous two Western Conference champions will play Game 2 in Phoenix on Saturday night. Edwige Lawson-Wade added 16 points for the Silver Stars, while Becky Hammon had 13, including the clinching free throws with 2 seconds left, and Shanna Crossley 11. Down by 12 points in the third quarter, Phoenix cut the lead to 87-86 on a 12-foot jumper by Cappie Pondexter with 1:12 left, but that’s as close as the Mercury would get. Penny Taylor led the Mercury with 18 points and

ERIC GAY / AP

Ann Wauters, left, and the Silver Stars fought for a Game 1 win. Diana Taurasi, DeWanna Bonner and Pondexter all added 15. — The Associated Press

ORLIN WAGNER / AP

Retiree-in-waiting Gene Iba is 22 wins away from 500 for his career.

Henry Iba, has a 252-154 record in 14 years at Pittsburg State and a 478-357 record in 29 years of college coaching. Before Pittsburg State, Iba coached for 7 seasons at Baylor, 8 years at Houston Baptist and was Hall of Famer Don Haskins’ assistant at Texas-El Paso.
Former Kentucky player Derrick Miller has pleaded not guilty to theft by deception charges in connection with an alleged ticket scam, The Lexington HeraldLeader reported. Judge Earl-Ray Neal said another felony count has been filed in Bell County against the 42-year-old ex-Wildcat, according to the newspaper. Miller also faces another felony theft by deception charge in Fayette County. Lexington police say Miller accepted payment in advance for tickets when they weren’t available to him to sell. Former Kentucky star Ed Davender was arrested Sept. 1 in a similar case. Miller can be released from the Clark County jail on 10 percent of $5,000 bond, but Neal said Miller still will have to post bond in Fayette and Bell counties.

WNBA glance (Best-of-3)
EASTERN CONFERENCE Indiana vs. Washington Thursday: Indiana 88, Washington 79 (Indiana leads series 1-0) Saturday: Washington at Indiana, 7 p.m. x-Monday: Washington at Indiana, 8 p.m. Detroit vs. Indiana Wednesday: Detroit 94, Atlanta 89 (Detroit leads series 1-0) Today: Detroit at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. x-Sunday: Detroit at Atlanta, 3 p.m. WESTERN CONFERENCE San Antonio vs. Phoenix Thursday: San Antonio 92, Phoenix 91 (S.A. leads series 1-0) Saturday: San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m. x-Monday: San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m. Los Angeles vs. Seattle Wednesday: Los Angeles 70, Seattle 63 (L.A. leads series 1-0) Today: Los Angeles at Seattle, 10 p.m. x-Sunday: Los Angeles at Seattle, 5 p.m.

(x-if necessary)

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NASCAR

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

43

INSIDE DISH

Martin to get Go Daddy sponsorship
An announcement was planned for this morning that Sprint Cup points leader Mark Martin will have a new sponsor at the Sprint Cup level in 2010—Go Daddy.com, Sporting News Today has learned. The new deal will be a major step for the website hosting company. It has been involved in NASCAR with Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series and IndyCar as a secondary sponsor for Danica Patrick for the last few years. Neither of those deals would come close to the exposure—or expenditure—of a high-profile car like Martin’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. The deal marks the rare emergence of a new Cup sponsor in recent months in NASCAR. The poor economy has hurt many companies marketing programs, and several companies have scaled back or left the sport completely. — Matt Crossman NASCAR is using its Chase format, which starts this weekend at New Hampshire, only for its Sprint Cup Series. However, some Nationwide drivers think their series is ready for a similar system instead of deciding a championship over the course of the full 35-race schedule. “It’s been ready for one the last couple of years,” Jason Leffler says. “I know (NASCAR is) trying to put the Sprint Cup up on its own pedestal and do its own deal. But you have the (NHRA) and some other racing series doing the same format. I think we need to do it.” But NASCAR is happy with the current system in the Nationwide Series, spokesman Ramsey Poston says. “We are not considering a format change for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at this time,” Poston says. “One of those reasons is that points system now is working well for that series. It’s also something that keeps a distinction between that series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.” — Lee Montgomery, SceneDaily.com Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said he feels like himself again after a bout with cancer is now in “complete remission,” The Associated Press reported. Gossage made his first public appearance Thursday since revealing in July that he had cancer, though at the request of his family
NAM Y. HUH / AP

Gordon sees positives in being overlooked
NEW YORK—Jeff Gordon may have already won four championships, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver may be one of the most overlooked competitors in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Most of the attention seems to be going to Hendrick drivers Jimmie Johnson, who has won the last three titles, and Mark Martin, who at age 50 tops the rankings heading into the final 10 races. Meanwhile, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is a hot story, having won the most recent race, and Red Bull Racing’s Brian Vickers is a hot story, too. So is Gordon being overlooked? “I hope that’s the case,” Gordon said at the Hard Rock Cafe, where NASCAR assembled the Chase drivers for media sessions. “We’re going to try to make it work to our advantage. Being under the radar here helps us a little bit going into New Hampshire, (or) at least the first few races. If we can go and have strong runs there, it allows us to get off to a good start. “I want to be in one position or the other. I’d either want to be in the position I’m in with a strong team and what I feel is a legitimate shot at it—and a little bit under the radar, or I’d like to be in Mark’s position where you’ve got the most wins, you’re leading the points going into it, you’ve got a lot of positive things behind the storyline.” Gordon won once this season, meaning he had only 10 bonus points when the Chase contenders’ points were reset. That puts Gordon sixth in the standings, 30 points behind leader Martin. But he starts the Chase with some

Count Jason Leffler among those who think the Nationwide Series should adopt a Chase format like Sprint Cup. hasn’t disclosed the type diagnosed last fall. “I feel great, better than I have in years,” Gossage said.

GLENN SMITH / AP

Jeff Gordon has 10 top-10 finishes in the last 13 races entering this weekend’s Chase. confidence and momentum, having finished in the top 10 in 10 of the last 13 races. “If we can put together a good Chase, the crucial race for us is Phoenix,” Gordon said. “That has been a very inconsistent track for us, and we need to step it up there.” Gordon was 25th at Phoenix in April and hasn’t finished better than 10th since his win there in ’07. “The best team is going to win this Chase,” Gordon said. “It happens every year. I’ve not seen one guy that lucked his way into this championship in this format. Ten races is still a lot of races. The best team, in my opinion, wins the championship.” — SceneDaily.com

3
1.

for the road

Sunday’s race at New Hampshire marks the opening of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Three Chasers talk about what’s on their mind heading into the first of those 10 races.

definitely made it more challenging. There is a greater potential for bumping, crashes and cautions, but you can gain or lose a lot of positions during the restarts as well. And a lot of that can be out of your hands if you’re not leading.”

2. 3.

Kasey Kahne: “Loudon is a great track for us. I had a top-four car there last spring and the rain came and we ran 10th because of track position. If it hadn’t rained, we’d have run top four; maybe even a chance to win the race. We were pretty strong there. It’s a great track for us.”

FRANK FRANKLIN II / AP

Mark Martin goes for his fifth win of the season Sunday.
guy is running good and they’ve been points racing. They may go after it now. I know the last few weeks we’ve raced to win, but we’ve been real careful, too. Now we can go do our thing.”

Jeff Gordon: “I think double-file restarts will play a big role in this year’s Chase, and this weekend’s race may be the most crucial. Double-file restarts have changed the sport for the good, but it’s

Mark Martin: “Anybody that’s in the Chase can win this thing. All they have to do is get on a 10-race roll. I’m telling you anybody in this Chase can win. Watch out for Juan Montoya. I’m telling you the

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IN BRIEF

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TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL American League BALTIMORE ORIOLES: Placed RHP Kam Mickolio on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sept. 7. TEXAS RANGERS: Agreed to terms with RHP Tanner Scheppers. American Association WICHITA WINGNUTS: Traded RHP Derek Blacksher to Newark (Atlantic) for future considerations. BASKETBALL National Basketball Association HOUSTON ROCKETS: Promoted director of player personnel Gersson Rosas to vice president of player personnel. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Signed G Sasha Pavlovic to a one-year contract. NEW YORK KNICKS: Signed G Sun Yue. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: Signed F Juwan Howard to a one-year contract. FOOTBALL National Football League BUFFALO BILLS: Signed TE Jonathan Stupar to the practice squad. CHICAGO BEARS: Placed CB Trumaine McBride on the waived/injured list. Claimed CB DeAngelo Smith off waivers from Cleveland. DETROIT LIONS: Claimed DE Turk McBride off waivers from Kansas City. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Released DE James Wyche. Signed DE Jeremy Navarre from the practice squad. Signed DE Zach Potter to the practice squad. HOCKEY National Hockey League BUFFALO SABRES: Returned F Zack Kassian to Peterborough (OHL), F Luke Adam to Cape Breton (QMJHL), F Marcus Foligno to Sudbury (OHL), F Jacob Lagace to Chicoutimi (QMJHL), D Nick Crawford to Saginaw (OHL) and D Brayden McNabb to Kootenay (WHL). COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Released F Tim Miller and G Andrew Loverock. EDMONTON OILERS: Assigned RW Jamie Bates, D Jordan Bendfeld, RW Kelly Czuy, D Jesse Dudas, LW Riley Emmerson, LW Colton Fretter, LW Bryan Lerg, RW Ryan MacMurchy, D Matt Dickerson, G Andrew Perugini and D Cody Wild to Springfield (AHL). MINNESOTA WILD: Signed RW Petr Sykora to a one-year contract. NEW YORK RANGERS: Assigned G Miika Wiikman, D Trevor Glass, D Brent Henley, D Sam Klassen, D Mike Sauer, D David Urquhart, D Nigel Williams, F Andres Ambuhl, F Daniel Bartek, F Devin DiDiomete, F Brodie Dupont, F Dan LaCouture, F Matt Maccarone, F Justin Soryal and F Dale Weise to Hartford (AHL). Returned G Scott Stajcer to Owen Sound (OHL), D Tomas Kundratek to Medicine Hat (WHL), F Ryan Bourque to Quebec (QMJHL), F Roman Horak to Chilliwack (WHL) and F Ethan Werek to Kingston (OHL). OTTAWA SENATORS: Assigned D Drew Bannister, D Tomas Kudekla, F Erik Condra, F Denis Hamel, F Jim O’Brien and G Chris Holt to Binghamton (AHL). PHOENIX COYOTES: Assigned D Mathieu Brodeur to Cape Breton (QMJHL), RW Jared Staal to Sudbury (OHL) and D Michael Stone to Calgary (WHL). SAN JOSE SHARKS: Re-assigned RW Dan DaSilva, C Dean Strong and LW T.J. Trevelyan to Worcester (AHL). ST. LOUIS BLUES: Assigned F Adam Cracknell, F Mitch Love, F Chris Morehouse, F Anthony Peluso, F Adrian Veideman, D T.J. Fast, D Justin Fletcher, D Alex Hellstrom, D Ryan Turek and G Sebastian Dahm to Peoria (AHL). Returned F James Livingston to Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), F Tyler Shattock to Kamloops (WHL), D Mark Cundari to Windsor (OHL) and D Brett Ponich to Portland (WHL). TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Assigned C Mitch Fadden, D Scott Jackson, C Chris Lawrence and D Kevin Quick to Norfolk (AHL). ECHL VICTORIA SALMON KINGS: Signed RW Jason Deleurme. International Hockey League BLOOMINGTON PRAIRIE THUNDER: Signed D Brian Boulay. TENNIS U.S. OPEN: Fined Roger Federer $1,500 for using a profanity while arguing with the chair umpire during the Monday’s men’s singles final. COLLEGE PITTSBURG STATE: Announced the retirement of men’s basketball coach Gene Iba, effective after the 2009-10 season. POTSDAM: Named Tim Crowley men’s assistant hockey coach. PROVIDENCE: Named Mike Mennenga coordinator of men’s basketball coordinator of player development and video operations. RIDER: Named Patrick Horvath and Ray Scipione assistant baseball coaches.

Kim, Shin tied for Samsung lead at Torrey Pines
SAN DIEGO—Song-Hee Kim and Jiyai Shin each shot a 6-under 66 to share the lead atop the elite 20-player field in the opening round of the Samsung World Championship at Torrey Pines on Thursday. Kim was the runner-up in this tournament last year, losing by one stroke to Paula Creamer at Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa of Mexico and Sophie Gustafson of Sweden were one stroke behind the leaders. OBERWALTERSDORF, AUSTRIA—Benn Barham of England shot an 8-under 63 to lead the Austrian Open by one stroke after the opening round. Ryder Cup player Soren Hansen of Denmark, the highest ranked player at No. 42, shot a 67. Jose Maria Olazabal, a winner of 23 European Tour titles, finished with a 70.

Major League Soccer
EASTERN CONFERENCE W Columbus 11 Chicago 10 D.C. 8 Toronto FC 9 New England 9 Kansas City 7 New York 4 WESTERN CONFERENCE W Houston 11 Los Angeles 9 Seattle 9 Colorado 10 Chivas USA 11 Real Salt Lake 9 FC Dallas 7 San Jose 5 L 4 6 6 9 8 11 17 L 8 5 6 8 9 9 11 12 T 9 9 12 7 6 6 4 T 7 11 10 6 3 7 6 5 Pts 42 39 36 34 33 27 16 Pts 40 38 37 36 36 34 27 20 GF 36 34 39 33 28 25 20 GF 32 31 31 38 25 36 39 27 GA 26 29 38 36 32 32 42 GA 24 29 24 30 24 28 40 40

DENIS POROY / AP

NOTE: Three points for victory, one point for tie. Sept. 13 Chivas USA 2, New England 0 Columbus 2, Houston 1 Today’s games New England at New York, 7:30 p.m. Colorado at San Jose, 11 p.m. Saturday’s games Chivas USA at Seattle FC, 3 p.m. Real Salt Lake at Houston, 8:30 p.m. FC Dallas at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Toronto FC at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. Sunday’s game Columbus at Chicago, 3 p.m.

Olympics
LONDON—IOC president Jacques Rogge said disputes with the U.S. Olympic Committee will have “no negative effects whatsoever” on Chicago’s chances of landing the 2016 Summer Games. Rogge also reiterated that he believes the Oct. 2 decision will come down to a handful of votes. He said President Obama told him that first lady Michelle Obama is the best “stand-in” to push Chicago’s case at the meeting in Copenhagen. Rogge spoke in a conference call with reporters two weeks days ahead of the International Olympic Committee vote in the tight race between Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo.

Jiyai Shin is coming off her tour-leading third victory of the year at the NW Arkansas Championship. loss in the U.S. Open final, Roger Federer will play every day when Switzerland faces Italy in the Davis Cup playoffs. The top-ranked Federer, who reached all four Grand Slam finals this year, believes his form can hold up after losing to Juan Martin del Potro in New York on Monday. In the draw, Federer was picked to play Simone Bolelli in today’s singles. Stanislas Wawrinka will open the best-of-five series for Switzerland against Andreas Seppi. GUANGZHOU, CHINA—Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia rallied to defeat topseeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the Guangzhou Open.

Soccer
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND—Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was banned for three matches on a charge of violent conduct against former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie and will miss the showdown with Manchester United. The Football Association announced the punishment after a disciplinary committee had heard the case. The charge arose out of an incident during Man City’s 4-2 victory over Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday after Van Persie had tackled the striker. As Van Persie slipped to the turf, Adebayor appeared to kick out and caught him on the side of the head. Van Persie, who needed treatment for a cut,

later accused Adebayor of a “malicious stamp.” The Europa League became the first European competition to use five match officials, with two extra assistant helping the referee on an experimental basis by watching out for incidents from behind the goals for the 24 first-round games. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard got a shutout as Everton opened European soccer’s second-tier cup competition with a 4-0 victory over AEK Athens in Group I on goals by Joseph Yobo, Sylvain Distin, Steven Pienaar and Jo. In Group E, American midfielder Clint Dempsey and most of Fulham’s other regular starters didn’t play in a 1-1 tie at CSKA Sofia. — The Associated Press

Tennis
GENOA, ITALY—Coming off a five-set