Review Category : National Sports

Ohio State Gears Up for Michigan

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Sixth-ranked Ohio State will need to win and have some luck this weekend if they are going to get into the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Buckeyes (10-1) are preparing for Michigan (5-6) and have won nine out of the last ten meetings.

“We just make a huge deal out of rivalry games. I want the players to take ownership in the program, part ownership in the game,” Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyere said this week. “This is not another game. This is the game.”

“I want to have some fun with it,” Meyer continued. “But I also want the players to, when you say have fun, I’m not sure how to have fun. It’s how to have fun is sing the fight song in the locker room after a win against your rival. That’s how you have fun. Everything leads up to that fun.”

Michigan will have to pull off an upset to become bowl eligible.

“This is one of those weeks where there is a lot of excitement and obviously when this rivalry, which I believe is the greatest one is sport, that obviously would make it the greatest rivalry in college football, so it is fun. It is fun to prepare; it is a game that the intensity level by both teams is always at its highest,” Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said.

“We all want to play our best, and that is our goal, to play your best game on that last Saturday in November. Very balanced team we are going to play, when you look at what they do from an offense, defense, special teams standpoint,” Hoke continued. “There is a great deal of pride when you play in this game, coach in this game. That is special. You talk to the guys who have played in it, and they can tell you how special it is. We have got to improve, we have got to improve every week, and that is one of the goals we have always had. At times we are making strides, and at times we are not as good executing as we would like to be, but this is a game that is like no other, and we are excited about it.”

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett has thrown 33 touchdowns and has the offense averaging 44.3 points per game this season.

“You look at the progression from the first start to going through the season, and I think he has done a great job in how they manage and what he wants and has to do offensively. He is athletic, obviously, and I think the way he has thrown the ball, the precision on that,” Brady said of Barrett. “I know last week was one of those games, the way it started, that was not as good. I think he has overcome a lot when those things have happened, and I think he has been a guy that has done a great job for them.”

Michigan is 3-4 in their Big Ten matchups this season.

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Civil War Preview

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(EUGENE, Ore.) — Second-ranked Oregon (10-1) will travel to Oregon State (5-6) in the 118th edition of the Civil War on Saturday.

The Ducks hold a 61-46-10 advantage in the all-time series and have a 29-9-1 (.756) mark vs. the Beavers since 1975, including wins in six straight.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is coming off a three touchdown pass game in their 44-10 win over Colorado last weekend and has thrown a touchdown in all 37 games of his career.

“Somebody was talking to me the other day about how easy he makes it look sometimes,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. “What he’s doing is really difficult. His decision making, competitiveness, his command of the team is so outstanding. It’s great to be around him because he makes you want to work harder as a coach. The other guys feed off of him.”

Oregon is averaging 45.8 points per game and are allowing just 23.6 points on the defensive front.

“The Civil War’s always a big game. We always talk about taking one game at a time. But we understand it’s a huge part of this community and a huge part of this state,” Mariota said. “To play in it, it’s truly special.”

The Beavers are averaging 26.3 points per game and fell to Oregon 36-35 last year.

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Civil War Preview

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(EUGENE, Ore.) — Second-ranked Oregon (10-1) will travel to Oregon State (5-6) in the 118th edition of the Civil War on Saturday.

The Ducks hold a 61-46-10 advantage in the all-time series and have a 29-9-1 (.756) mark vs. the Beavers since 1975, including wins in six straight.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is coming off a three touchdown pass game in their 44-10 win over Colorado last weekend and has thrown a touchdown in all 37 games of his career.

“Somebody was talking to me the other day about how easy he makes it look sometimes,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. “What he’s doing is really difficult. His decision making, competitiveness, his command of the team is so outstanding. It’s great to be around him because he makes you want to work harder as a coach. The other guys feed off of him.”

Oregon is averaging 45.8 points per game and are allowing just 23.6 points on the defensive front.

“The Civil War’s always a big game. We always talk about taking one game at a time. But we understand it’s a huge part of this community and a huge part of this state,” Mariota said. “To play in it, it’s truly special.”

The Beavers are averaging 26.3 points per game and fell to Oregon 36-35 last year.

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Scoreboard Roundup 11/27/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NFL: Philadelphia Eagles 33 (9-3) – Dallas Cowboys 10 (8-4)

Detroit Lions 34 (8-4) – Bears 17 (5-7)

College Basketball Top-25: (2) Wisconsin 68 (6-0) – Georgetown 65 (4-1)

(5) North Carolina 78 (4-1) – (22) UCLA 56 (4-2)

(11) Kansas 76 (3-1) – Rhode Island 60 (3-1)

(20) Michigan State 77 (4-1) – Rider 45 (2-3)

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Eagles Route the Cowboys, 33-10

Rob Carr via Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — In a game between two of the top teams in the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles proved to be better on Thanksgiving as they easily defeated the Dallas Cowboys 33-10.

The Eagles struck first in the game as quarterback Mark Sanchez commanded the team to a 7-0 lead in their first possession in furious fashion, and never looked back.

Sanchez completed 20 of 29 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown through the air while adding another on the ground. It was his first game of the season without a turnover.

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy had arguably his best game of the season on Thursday, as he carried the ball 25 times for 159 yards and a touchdown.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and running back DeMarco Murray each failed to get into a rhythm during the game. Romo completed 18 of 29 yards for 199 yards and two interceptions. He snapped his streak of 38-straight games with at least one TD pass.

Murray was held to a season-low 73 yards.

With the win, the Eagles now sit at 9-3 on the season and hold sole possession of first place in the NFC East over the Cowboys who fell to 8-4 with the loss.

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Lions Defeat the Bears, 34-17

Leon Halip.Getty Images(DETROIT) — Megatron simply could not be stopped on Thursday as the Detroit Lions improved to 8-4 on the season after taking down the Chicago Bears 34-17.

Johnson dominated the game as he caught 11 passes for 146 yards two touchdowns. He also crossed the 10,000 receiving yards mark for his career, and became the fastest player in NFL history to do so.

“Guys still believe in what we got going here,” Johnson said. “We had a good week of practice — it was a very short week, but we were very detailed in what we did on the field, coaches taking care of us. It’s our part to come out here and do our job on the field.”

Lions running back Joique Bell also had a great day, as he carried the ball 23 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He was the only Lion with a rushing attempt.

The Lions defense also handled the Bears run game. The team carried the ball eight times for a grand total of 13 yards, good for just 1.6 yards per attempt.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completed 31 of 48 passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions.

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Mark Cuban Suggests Realignment in the NBA

MichaEL Buckner/Getty Images for Reality Rocks(NEW YORK) — The Western Conference has eight of the top-10 teams in the NBA record-wise, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the league would benefit from realignment.

If Cuban had his way, the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and New Orleans Pelicans would move over to the Eastern Conference while the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks would shift over to the Western Conference.

“It’s not like you’re reducing competition,” said Cuban. “You keep Cleveland, Washington and other good teams in the East. It kind of shakes things up in terms of not just interest but also in terms of how people rebuild.

“It just changes things up and it changes the thought process of a lot of teams. It makes both conferences very competitive, at least for the short term and I think, based on the history of the teams, for the long term as well.”

Cuban has not discussed his idea with commissioner Adam Silver.

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Hornets’ Coach Steve Clifford Frustrated with Guard Lance Stephenson

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte Hornets guard Lance Stephenson has yet to live up to expectations after the team made him their big free agent acquisition over the summer, and his head coach Steve Clifford has admitted as much.

The Hornets signed Stephenson away from the Indiana Pacers after agreeing on a three-year deal worth $27 million. They thought they’d be getting a dynamic guard coming into his prime.

“To be fair, one of the things that’s made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar,” Clifford said Wednesday. “He’s not a star. He’s a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years.”

So far this season, Stephenson is averaging 9.7 points on .368% shooting, 8.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game.

Clifford decided to sit Stephenson the entire fourth quarter during the team’s loss to Portland Trail Blazers for the second consecutive game.

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Diamondbacks Sign Yasmany Tomas

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Major League Baseball (MLB) hot stove continues to heat up as a report from MLB.com indicates that the Arizona Diamondbacks have reached a deal with Yasmany Tomas.

The Cuban slugger will reportedly sign a six-year contract worth $68.5 million dollars. According to the report, Tomas will have an opt-out clause after the fourth year of the deal.

The 24-year-old outfielder joins a team that had the worst record in baseball last season, 64-98, and struggled with injuries at the position. Both Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock missed almost half the season with different injuries in 2014.

Tomas has spent the last seven years playing for the Havana Industriales and hit .375 with two home runs and five RBIs in the World Baseball Classic.

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(3) Arizona Wins Maui Invitational

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(MAUI, Hawai’i) — The Arizona Wildcats used 18 points and nine rebounds from freshman Stanley Johnson to defeat San Diego State 61-59 and win the Maui Invitational on Wednesday. It was the 33rd straight non-conference win for the third-ranked Wildcats (6-0), and third win over the Aztecs (5-1) in the last two seasons.

“We have a lot of guys who don’t like losing here and I’m the same way,” said Johnson. His five offensive rebounds helped Arizona net 13 points off second chances.

Both teams came out shooting very strong, with 15th-rated San Diego State making 10 of 19 shots in the first half. The Wildcats were able to keep pace, going 10-for-33, and holding a 32-31 lead at halftime.

In the second half, both squads continued the high-octane pace but neither could gain a strong advantage. That changed as Arizona’s defense began to clamp down, and the offense kept exploding. With less than eight minutes remaining, Kaleb Tarczewski forced a steal that resulted in T.J. McConnell’s three-point shot, giving the Wildcats a 50-48 lead.

The Aztecs would not be able to recover as Arizona hit their free throws down the stretch and prevented a comeback. San Diego State was led by 14 points each from Trey Kell and Winston Shepard. It is the second Maui Invitational title for Arizona after also winning the in-season tournament in 2000.

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