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A feed of articles for Sports

older | 1 | .... | 844 | 845 | (Page 846) | 847 | 848 | .... | 929 | newer

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    Times staff, wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    CORAL GABLES — Miami is down to a handful scholarship receivers now that Davon Johnson's leg injury ends his senior season, the school announced Thursday via the ACC injury report.

    The converted defensive back caught 21 passes for 348 yards in his final season.

    His absence leaves the Hurricanes with fewer options entering Saturday's home game against USF. Phillip Dorsett, Allen Hurns, Herb Waters and Kendal Thompkins are the only scholarship receivers who don't have a redshirt on the line.

    Dorsett is the team's leading receiver with 42 catches for 648 followed by Hurns (27 for 307 yards). No. 2 receiver Rashawn Scott remains suspended for an indefinite period.

    S Deon Bush (shoulder) will miss the USF game as well.

    FSU: RB Thompson surgery a success

    TALLAHASSEE — The road to recovery has begun for Florida State RB Chris Thompson.

    The senior who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Oct. 20 at Miami had successful surgery last week, coach Jimbo Fisher said.

    "Everything was clean, there was no other problems with the knee," Fisher said. "They expect a full recovery in normal time."

    Fisher reiterated that he would petition the NCAA to grant a medical exception for Thompson, who has had two season-ending injuries in two years. On the third play of FSU's fourth game of 2011, he broke vertebrae in his back.

    NCAA rules allow players to medically redshirt if they suffer season-ending injuries during the first three games of a season.

    Three plays separated him from that exemption last season. This year's injury came in Game 8.

    "If you take the accumulation of all those two years, he's missed 13 or 15 games over a full year," Fisher said. "All they can say is no."

    Orlando Sentinel

    UCF: Mirror image

    ORLANDO — When UCF travels to play Tulsa, the Knights will square off against a team similar to the one it practices against.

    UCF and Tulsa are similar on both sides of the ball, and on their arch this season. Both are undefeated in conference play and with losses to BCS teams.

    "They're going to give you some trickeration," Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said of UCF. "Different looks and some gimmick plays. … But they're not like other teams in this league that spread you out and (attack) with finesse. This is going to be a right-in-your-face kind of game."

    Needed Body: DL Jose Jose, who got his weight down to 326, was back on the field last week after sitting out six games. One factor may have been coaches' desire to have quicker linemen on the field against spread offenses. Texas-El Paso used a run-heavy approach last week, as will Tulsa on Saturday.

    Orlando Sentinel


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    Times wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    NAPLES — Suzann Pettersen wasn't worried that it took her eight months into the LPGA Tour season before she won, saying on the eve of the season-ending Titleholders that "it takes some time to get this machine going."

    The engine was purring Thursday at TwinEagles, where Pettersen birdied two of her last three holes for 6-under 66, giving her a share of the lead with So Yeon Ryu, who already has clinched rookie of the year, and Sun Young Yoo.

    Yoo had a five-shot lead until giving up three shots on the last two holes with two three-putts.

    Stacy Lewis, the LPGA player of the year, needs to win the event to have a shot at winning the money title. She was within two of the lead after eagle on the par-5 13th, but the 27-year-old American dropped two shots coming in and settled for 70.

    Pettersen went 20 tournaments to start the year without a win until she broke through with back-to-back victories in Asia. She's playing as if she doesn't want the season to end, even though she already has one eye toward next season: "I still feel like I have the best golf ahead of me. I'm not too worried if it's season 2012 or season 2013."

    She played in the same group with Cristie Kerr, who opened with 67 and was one shot back along with Na Yeon Choi.

    Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 68, Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse 69 and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson 71.

    The warm weather and only a gentle breeze allowed for good scores, with 48 players at par or better among the 73 in the field.

    Hong Kong Open: Spain's Javier Colomo shot 6-under 64 to take the first-round lead, leaving top-ranked defending champion Rory McIlroy nine strokes back. McIlroy said he felt lethargic after shooting 73. Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez was a stroke back at 65 along with Australia's Andrew Dodt in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

    AUSTRALIAN MASTERS: Matthew Guyatt upstaged the marquee players in the PGA Australasia event, shooting 7-under 65 for a two-shot lead after the first round in Melbourne. Fellow Australian Adam Scott had five birdies on his final nine holes to join defending champion Ian Poulter and Michael Hendry at 67.


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    Times wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Tonight

    Florida State vs. BYU

    When/where: 7; Barclays Center, New York

    TV/radio: TruTV; 1040-AM

    Records: FSU 1-1, BYU 2-0

    Notable: FSU heads to Brooklyn for the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Notre Dame and St. Joseph meet afterward. The consolation and title game are at 7 and 9:30 Saturday night, respectively. … The Seminoles last played in New York in 1997, losing 73-58 to Kansas in the final of the Preseason NIT. They last faced BYU on Dec. 29, 1972. The Cougars won the final of the All-College Tournament 80-77 in Oklahoma City. … F Brandon Davies and G Tyler Haws lead the Cougars at 22 points per game.

    Times wires


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    Times wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    LAWRENCE, Kan. — Bill Self dared Ben McLemore to be more aggressive Thursday night. If the freshman guard wasn't, No. 7 Kansas could have been upset.

    Instead, McLemore recorded 25 points and eight rebounds as the Jayhawks used a second-half charge to beat Chattanooga 69-55.

    "I just came in with the mind-set of being aggressive, like Coach wants me to be every night," said McLemore, who dislocated his finger twice during the second half.

    The Jayhawks (2-1), coming off a loss Tuesday to Michigan State, trailed 42-30 early in the second half. Jeff Withey began their comeback with a basket inside. Elijah Johnson made a 3-pointer and McLemore slammed down the first of consecutive highlight-reel dunks to trigger a 27-4 run.

    "Ben showed a glimpse of his athletic ability," Self said. "Defenses are going to be designed to stop Ben, and we don't know how to run an offense yet. We're still trying to figure it out. And to me, that was pretty impressive."

    No. 1 Indiana 99, Sam Houston St. 45: Christian Watford scored 23 for the host Hoosiers in the Legends Classic. Indiana, which led 16-2, also routed its previous two opponents, defeating Bryant 97-54 and North Dakota State 87-61. It is the first time it has won each of its first three games by 25 or more points since 1979-80. Indiana plays Georgia on Monday in New York.

    No. 2 L'ville 80, Samford 54: Chane Behanan had 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the host Cardinals in the opener of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, which continues next week in the Bahamas. Louisville (2-0) never trailed.

    No. 6 N.C. State 72, Penn St. 55: T.J. Warren had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Wolfpack in the quarterfinals of the Puerto Rico Tipoff. C.J. Leslie scored five of his 14 in a 10-0 run that put N.C. State (2-0) up 47-30 early in the second half. N.C. State faces Massachusetts in the next round.

    No. 16 Baylor 84, BC 74: Pierre Jackson scored 31, including two 3-pointers during a 10-0 second-half run that put the Bears ahead for good in the quarterfinals of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. Baylor (3-0), which faces Colorado today.

    Bulls sign historic class

    TAMPA — The signing of Orlando Evans forward Dre Clayton late Wednesday completed USF's recruiting class for 2013. The six players comprise the largest class of coach Stan Heath's career.

    And for the first time, the Bulls got two players ranked among the top 100 by ESPN.com: No. 72 John Egbunu, a center from Fort Walton Beach, and No. 96 Chris Perry, a forward from Bartow. Also signed: guard Bo Zeigler of Detroit, guard Drew Davis (Egbunu's teammate at Evans) and Heath's son Josh, a guard who led Tampa Prep to a state title last season.

    Heath said while the new Muma Center practice facility and renovated Sun Dome played a role in luring the recruits, last season's two wins in the NCAA Tournament played the biggest.

    "Winning," Heath said. "Going to the NCAA Tournament and having success really changed the perception of who we were nationally. And second, it opened the door when we had a kid on campus to see the facilities. It really blew a lot of kids away."

    Meanwhile, Kentucky announced a class that analysts said again tops the nation. It includes 6-foot-5 twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison, considered two of the nation's top guards, as well as forward Marcus Lee and guard James Young, each of whom is ranked among the top 10 at their positions by analysts.

    Women: 28-2 run gets Seminoles past Gators

    TALLAHASSEE — Leonor Rodriguez scored a career-high 21 to lead Florida State past Florida 98-67.

    The Gators (2-1) led 27-21 with 8:15 left when the Seminoles (2-0) called timeout. From there, FSU went on a 28-2 run to end the half to lead 49-29. Chelsea Davis scored 11 of her 16 during the run.

    "It was the defense," Rodriguez said. "It was also the bench and was also the fans. It was just having fun. It was running the floor. It was going hard to the basket. It was us doing our job."

    No. 8 L'ville 90, Austin Peay 52: Monique Reid, limited while recovering from knee surgery, scored 14 in 10 minutes for the visiting Cardinals (3-0).

    No. 13 Vandy 69, UAB 54: Christina Foggie scored 17 of her 19 in the second half as the host Commodores (3-0) pulled away after leading just 23-18 at halftime.

    No. 24 Tennessee 101, Rice 48: Meighan Simmons scored 22 for the Vols in their first home game of the post-Pat Summitt era. Summitt, who stepped down as coach because of early onset dementia, watched from a midcourt seat as Tennessee (2-1) took control with a 18-0 run in the first half.

    Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    MIAMI — The ACC officially agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN for the rights to televise the Orange Bowl, with the conference champion facing either Notre Dame or a team from the Big Ten or SEC.

    The deal, announced Thursday, begins with the 2014 season and runs through 2026. ESPN.com previously reported that the network will play about $55 million per year for the game. ESPN also has 12-year deals for the rights to the Sugar Bowl (Big 12 vs. SEC) and the Rose (Pac-12 vs. Big Ten). Under the new deal, the Orange Bowl will be played either Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.

    The ACC champion will face a team from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame during those 12 seasons when the game is not a semifinal in college football's new playoff format. The deal spells out guidelines for setting up the ACC champ's opponent, CBSSports.com reported.

    Over the course of the 12-year deal, Big Ten and SEC teams will be in the Orange a minimum of three times each. Notre Dame will have a maximum of two appearances and no minimum.

    The highest ranked team among the SEC and Big Ten that isn't in the BCS playoff, Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl (Champions Bowl) will face the ACC champ in the Orange Bowl. If Notre Dame is ranked higher than that team and not in the playoff, it will face the ACC in the Orange.

    ESPN also is working on a 12-year deal for the entire playoff package of 24 semifinals and 12 national title games, along with the other three host bowls, that has been reported to be worth around $500 million per year.

    UNC 37, Virginia 13: Bryn Renner threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, two in the fourth quarter after a goal-line stand preserved the lead, and the Tar Heels (7-4, 4-3 ACC) routed the host Cavaliers (4-7, 2-5). North Carolina had a 20-13 lead when it stopped Kevin Parks for a 2-yard loss on fourth and goal from the 1. UNC then drove 97 yards in 12 plays, Renner capping the march with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Giovani Bernard. Renner's favorite target was freshman Quinshad Davis, who caught an ACC record-tying 16 passes for 178 yards.

    Missing Aggie Found: Texas A&M freshman receiver Thomas Johnson, missing since Monday, was found safe in Dallas, the university police department and the player's mother confirmed. Police said Johnson, 18, was last seen leaving his College Station residence around 5 p.m. Monday. His mother, Linda Hanks, had left her home Dallas to aid in the search, but then Johnson turned up in Dallas. No other details were given.

    BYU: Defensive back Joe Sampson, 23, and linebacker Zachary Stout, 23, along with Matthew Santos, 20, and Alexander Jackman, 21, face misdemeanor assault charges filed by Provo, Utah prosecutors after a fight at a restaurant Nov. 1. Sampson and Stout were suspended for violating team rules, and both withdrew from school.

    Missouri: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, the team's leading tackler, has been suspended for Saturday's game against Syracuse, according to multiple reports. KOMU-TV in Columbia said the suspension is academic-related.


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  • 11/15/12--20:21: Sports in brief
  • Times staff, wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Tennis

    Abuse case leads to hall suspension

    NEWPORT, R.I. — Former doubles champion Bob Hewitt has been suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame after an investigation into allegations he sexually abused girls he coached, and his legacy has been stripped from the institution, officials said Thursday.

    The Hall's executive committee voted unanimously to suspend Hewitt indefinitely after an outside investigation deemed credible the allegations, Hall CEO Mark Stenning said.

    Hewitt, from Australia, won several Grand Slam events during the 1960s and 1970s, and was inducted into the Hall in 1992. The 72-year-old lives in South Africa; contact information could not be found by the Associated Press.

    Basketball

    Holdsclaw jailed in assault case

    Former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw was in jail in Atlanta, charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage and reckless conduct in a dispute with a woman, police said. Her bond was set at $10,000.

    Jennifer Lacy, who described herself as Holdsclaw's former girlfriend and who plays for the WNBA team in Tulsa, told police Holdsclaw followed her as she drove to a friend's house Tuesday, then got out of her car with a baseball bat and smashed the windows in her Range Rover. Holds­claw then produced a handgun, fired inside the SUV and fled, the police report said. Lacy, 29, was not injured.

    Holdsclaw, 35, of Smyrna, Ga., played 12 seasons in the WNBA. She was the No. 1 selection in the 1999 draft out of Tennessee, where she led the Vols to three straight national titles.

    Holdsclaw has talked about battling depression early in her pro career. She now is a spokeswoman for Active Minds, an organization that works with students on mental health issues.

    Soccer

    USF men win NCAA opener

    Host USF beat Florida Gulf Coast in penalty kicks in the first round of the NCAA men's tournament. The Bulls (8-5-5) host Tulsa at 6 p.m. Sunday in the second round. The score was 0-0 after regulation and overtime. Senior Leston Paul put a shot off the fingertips of diving goalkeeper Nathan Ingham to give the Bulls a 5-3 penalty kick win. "Score," Paul said, asked what was going through his mind.

    NCAA women: Tonight in second-round action, Florida hosts UCF and FSU hosts Texas Tech. Both games start at 7.

    et cetera

    nhl: Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested the league and players union take a two-week break from negotiating a labor deal. The union hadn't responded late Thursday but maintained it still was willing to meet at any time as the lockout hits its 62nd day today. "If indeed (the owners) do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue," union lawyer Steve Fehr said. "What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?" Said deputy commissioner Bill Daly, "We don't have a negotiating partner that has any genuine interest in reaching an agreement." The sides haven't met since Sunday.

    Greg Auman, Times staff writer; Times wires


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    Times wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Although Mike D'Antoni is on crutches after knee surgery, he's already at work with the Lakers.

    D'Antoni coached his first practice with his new team Thursday, four days after the Lakers hired him to replace fired Mike Brown.

    The former Knicks and Suns coach had knee-replacement surgery this month, delaying his arrival to take over the star-studded roster that got off to a 1-4 start. Los Angeles is 2-1 since Brown's firing a week ago today.

    D'Antoni's assistant coach and brother, Dan, ran drills during the portion of practice open to the media as Mike watched from the perimeter. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff also was in practice. The Lakers hadn't said who would coach tonight against the Suns.

    "(We're) starting to put stuff in now. Might take a little bit but … we're built to win this year. … We would love to be able to play Showtime-type basketball," D'Antoni said, referring to the Lakers of the Magic Johnson era. "We would like to get some place close to that."

    The Lakers praised their new coach's demeanor during their first few hours together.

    "He said we should be scoring 110 points a game, or something like that," said Kobe Bryant. "At some point, you just throw the ball out there and let us figure things out on our own, which is really what we do best, and that's what we're going to do."

    Meanwhile, after saying on Twitter he wouldn't comment on D'Antoni's hiring if he didn't "have anything nice to say," Johnson said what was on his mind. Johnson said on ESPN's NBA Countdown on Wednesday that he doesn't think D'Antoni is right for the job, can't understand how the Lakers passed on Jackson and doesn't believe in Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss.

    Game highlights: Raymond Felton scored 25 and the Knicks stayed undefeated (6-0) by rallying to beat the host Spurs 104-100. … Joe Johnson made the tiebreaking basket with 3:03 left, and the host Nets beat the Celtics 102-97 for their fourth straight win. Boston was without Rajon Rondo (sprained right ankle).

    Heat troubles: Blake Griffin and Chris Paul had double doubles as the host Clippers got a 107-100 victory over the Heat late Wednesday. Griffin had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Paul had 16 points and 10 assists in the Clippers' fourth straight win. LeBron James scored 30 for the Heat, which dropped to 2-2 on its six-game trip. "(This) was not a good game for us," said Dwyane Wade, who had six points. Wade was kept out of Thursday's game at Denver because of a sprained left foot. Coach Erik Spoelstra said the move was cautionary.

    Around the league: With only nine healthy players on the roster and six of their top seven out because of injuries, the Timberwolves agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent forward Josh Howard, pending a physical. … The Rockets intend to fine rookie Royce White for every day he remains away from the team or doesn't attend sessions with a therapist they arranged, the Houston Chronicle reported. White, the 16th overall pick in the draft out of Iowa State, is absent in a dispute over how the team is helping him with his anxiety disorder. … The league is investigating a reported confrontation between Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins after both were ejected in Memphis' 107-97 win Wednesday.

    KNICKS 104, SPURS 100

    NEW YORK (104): Brewer 4-8 0-2 9, Anthony 3-12 3-4 9, Chandler 4-8 5-7 13, Kidd 5-8 0-0 14, Felton 10-20 3-5 25, Smith 6-13 4-5 17, Novak 2-6 0-0 5, Wallace 4-8 0-0 10, Prigioni 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 39-85 15-23 104.

    SAN ANTONIO (100): Leonard 6-12 1-1 16, Duncan 6-10 2-4 14, Blair 1-4 0-0 2, Parker 7-20 5-7 19, Green 4-10 0-0 9, Ginobili 4-8 3-4 12, Splitter 4-6 5-5 13, Diaw 0-0 0-0 0, Mills 2-6 0-0 5, Jackson 4-11 0-0 10. Totals 38-87 16-21 100.

    New York 33 22 17 32— 104

    San Antonio 31 26 19 24— 100

    3-Point GoalsNew York 11-25 (Kidd 4-6, Wallace 2-3, Felton 2-4, Smith 1-1, Brewer 1-3, Novak 1-5, Prigioni 0-1, Anthony 0-2), San Antonio 8-29 (Leonard 3-7, Jackson 2-6, Mills 1-4, Ginobili 1-5, Green 1-5, Duncan 0-1, Parker 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew York 48 (Anthony 12), San Antonio 60 (Duncan 14). AssistsNew York 17 (Felton 7), San Antonio 21 (Parker 12). Total FoulsNew York 19, San Antonio 20.

    NETS 102, CELTICS 97

    BOSTON (97): Pierce 8-12 4-6 22, Bass 4-14 0-1 8, Garnett 6-12 2-2 14, Barbosa 5-11 6-6 17, Terry 3-7 2-4 10, Wilcox 2-2 2-2 6, Lee 4-8 4-4 13, Green 2-6 0-0 5, Collins 1-2 0-0 2, Sullinger 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-75 20-25 97.

    BROOKLYN (102): Bogans 2-3 0-0 5, Humphries 3-8 4-4 10, Lopez 11-14 2-5 24, Williams 6-17 9-9 24, Johnson 6-19 5-6 19, Watson 2-8 0-0 5, Stackhouse 1-3 0-0 3, Evans 1-2 1-2 3, Blatche 3-9 1-1 7, Childress 0-0 0-0 0, Brooks 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 36-85 22-28 102.

    Boston 26 24 29 18— 97

    Brooklyn 31 28 15 28— 102

    3-Point GoalsBoston 7-13 (Pierce 2-2, Terry 2-4, Green 1-1, Lee 1-2, Barbosa 1-4), Brooklyn 8-22 (Williams 3-6, Johnson 2-7, Bogans 1-2, Stackhouse 1-3, Watson 1-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 49 (Lee 9), Brooklyn 51 (Humphries 13). AssistsBoston 17 (Terry 6), Brooklyn 19 (Williams 8). Total FoulsBoston 24, Brooklyn 18.


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    Times wires
    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Mario Williams and the Bills' high-priced defense finally flexed their collective muscle, stuffing the Dolphins for a 19-14 victory Thursday.

    Safety Jairus Byrd forced a fumble and had an interception. Linebacker Bryan Scott sealed the victory with an interception. And Williams had one of three sacks for a defense that entered 31st of 32 teams in the league but limited Miami to 184 yards.

    That made up for an offense that got Rian Lindell field goals on each of its four trips inside the red zone. Buffalo's only touchdown came on Leodis McKelvin's 79-yard punt return 90 seconds into the game.

    The Bills ended a three-game overall skid and an 11-game skid on prime time dating to 2001.

    Williams was supposed to be the defense's centerpiece after signing a six-year, $100 million contract March. He is finally starting to play up to the deal. The end's sack gave him a team-high 51/2. The unit forced three turnovers after failing to produce one over its previous three games.

    Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled again for Miami. He went 14-of-28 for 141 yards, a touchdown and the two interceptions. He threw three interceptions in Sunday's 37-3 loss to Tennessee.

    The Dolphins had two first downs in the first half and didn't cross midfield until their eighth drive, which came late in the third quarter.

    Miami's only points of the first half came after Lindell's 32-yard field goal made it 10-0 in the first quarter. Marcus Thigpen took the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a score. It was his second return for a score this season, the other coming on a punt in the opener. Thigpen became the first Dolphin to return a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the same season.

    McKelvin made it 7-0 by going untouched down the sideline. He has two of the three longest punt returns in the NFL this season, also scoring on an 88-yarder in Week 2.

    The last time there was a punt return for a touchdown by one team and a kickoff return for a touchdown by the opposing team in the same quarter was Dec. 5, 1999, Stats LLC said. The Redskins' James Thrash returned a kickoff 95 yards, the Lions' Desmond Howard a punt 68 yards.

    49ers coach hospitalized

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to a hospital for a "minor procedure" after doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat, the team said.

    The team said it anticipated Harbaugh, 48, would be back at its facility today. No details about the procedure were disclosed, and Harbaugh was unavailable for comment.

    "It's one of those things that, like Coach Harbaugh always tells us, he's tougher than a $2 steak," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "We know he's going to be all right."

    Harbaugh visited doctors Wednesday night after feeling ill and they advised him to have the procedure done, the team said.

    More 49ers: QB Alex Smith, who sustained a concussion Sunday, practiced in a noncontact jersey for the second straight day. He hoped to play Monday against the Bears. He has not been medically cleared.

    Talib talks: Former Buc Aqib Talib wants to leave his troubles behind. The cornerback spoke publicly for the first time since the Patriots traded for him last month. He had to wait through New England's bye week, then a game to finish a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, which Talib said was for Adderall. "What happened in the past is the past," Talib said. "I'm just looking forward to making the best of this opportunity and win some ball games."

    Ex-Texan sues: Former Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the county agency that operates Houston's Reliant Stadium, blaming "unsafe turf" for a possible career-ending injury. Hartmann played 12 games last season before tearing his left ACL and fracturing a bone in the leg. He hasn't played since. For games, workers piece together about 1,200, 8-by-8-foot palettes of real grass with forklifts. Hartmann caught his foot in a seam between palettes.

    Bears: Quarterback Jay Cutler, who sustained a concussion Sunday, missed practice. Coach Lovie Smith said Cutler continued to improve.

    Broncos: Defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who hasn't practiced this week, plans to test his sprained left shoulder today in hopes he can play Sunday against the Chargers.

    Browns: Ex-Gators cornerback Joe Haden missed practice a day after being limited because of an oblique injury.

    Chiefs: Starting guard Jon Asamoah will sit out Sunday against the Bengals after having thumb surgery.

    Eagles: Quarterback Michael Vick, who sustained a concussion Sunday, again missed practice as rookie Nick Foles took all the snaps with the first team. The team held off announcing who will start Sunday against the Redskins.

    Falcons: Receiver Julio Jones missed his second straight practice with an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision Sunday against the Cardinals.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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  • 11/15/12--21:25: Sports on TV/radio
  • Times staff
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    TODAY

    Autos

    Formula One: U.S. Grand Prix practice, 10 a.m., Speed

    Sprint Cup: Ford EcoBoost 400 practice, 1:30 p.m., ESPN2

    Formula One: U.S. Grand Prix practice, 2 p.m., Speed

    Nationwide: Ford EcoBoost 300 practice, 3 p.m., ESPN2

    Trucks: Ford EcoBoost 200 qualifying, 4:30 p.m., Speed

    Sprint Cup: Ford EcoBoost 400 qualifying, 6 p.m., Speed

    Trucks: Ford EcoBoost 200, 8 p.m., Speed

    College basketball

    Oklahoma State vs. Tennessee, 10:30 a.m., ESPNU

    Colorado vs. Baylor, 12:30 p.m., ESPNU

    Dayton vs. Boston College, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU

    Illinois-Chicago vs. New Mexico, 4 p.m., CBSSN

    Oregon State vs. Villanova or Purdue, 5 p.m., ESPNU

    N.C. State vs. Massachusetts, 5 p.m., ESPN2

    Connecticut vs. Wake Forest, 6:30 p.m., CBSSN

    Jacksonville at Miami, 7 p.m., Sun Sports

    Florida State vs. BYU, 7 p.m., TruTV; 1040-AM

    Maryland-Eastern Shore at USF, 7:30 p.m., 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    Alabama vs. Villanova or Purdue, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

    Notre Dame vs. St. Joseph's, 9:30 p.m., TruTV

    North Carolina at Long Beach State, 11 p.m., ESPNU

    College football

    Florida International at Florida Atlantic, 8 p.m., ESPNU

    Hawaii at Air Force, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2

    College hockey

    Harvard at Cornell, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

    Golf

    LPGA: Titleholders, 1:30 p.m., Golf

    Australian Masters, 8:30 p.m., Golf

    PGA Europe: Hong Kong Open, 1:30 a.m., Golf

    High school football, region quarterfinal

    6A: Armwood at Largo, 7:30 p.m., BHSN

    High school volleyball, state final

    1A: Lafayette vs. Liberty County, 6 p.m., BHSN

    Hockey

    WHL: Regina at Vancouver, 10 p.m., NHL

    NBA

    Jazz at 76ers, 7 p.m., ESPN

    Magic at Pistons, 7:30 p.m., FSN

    Knicks at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPND

    ., Saturday HIGHLIGHTS

    Autos

    Nationwide: Ford EcoBoost 300, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

    College basketball

    Florida State or BYU vs. St. Joseph's or Notre Dame, 7 p.m., TruTV; 1040-AM (if FSU)

    Loyola-Chicago at USF, 7:30 p.m., 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    Florida State or BYU vs. St. Joseph's or Notre Dame, 9:30 p.m., TruTV; 1040-AM (if FSU)

    College football

    Iowa at Michigan, noon, ESPN

    Northwestern at Michigan State, noon, ESPN2

    Florida State at Maryland, noon, ESPNU; 1040-AM

    UCF at Tulsa, noon, FSN; 1350-AM

    Rutgers at Cincinnati, noon, Ch. 28

    Yale at Harvard, noon, NBCSN

    Temple at Army, noon, CBSSN

    Indiana at Penn State, noon, Big Ten

    Western Carolina at Alabama, 12:20, Ch. 38

    Virginia Tech at Boston College, 12:30, Ch. 44

    Jacksonville State at Florida, 1, PPV; 620-AM

    Washington at Colorado, 1:30, FX

    FAMU vs. Bethune-Cookman, 2, ESPNCL

    USC at UCLA, 3, Ch. 13

    USF at Miami, 3, Sun Sports; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM, 1470-AM

    Wake Forest at Notre Dame, 3:30, Ch. 8

    Mississippi at LSU, 3:30, Ch. 10

    N.C. State at Clemson, 3:30, Ch. 28

    Duke at Georgia Tech, 3:30, ESPNU

    Ohio State at Wisconsin, 3:30, ESPN2

    Colorado State at Boise State, 3:30, NBCSN

    Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 3:30, FSN

    Texas State at Navy, 3:30 , CBSSN

    Minnesota at Nebraska, 3:30 , Big Ten

    Oklahoma at West Virginia, 7, Ch. 13

    Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 7, ESPN2

    Iowa State at Kansas, 7, FSN

    Syracuse at Missouri, 7, ESPNU

    Old Dominion at James Madison, 7, NBCSN

    Samford at Kentucky, 7:30, BHSN

    Kansas State at Baylor, 8, ESPN

    Stanford at Oregon, 8, Ch. 28; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    UTEP at Southern Miss, 8, CBSSN

    Arizona at Utah, 10, ESPNU

    BYU at San Jose State, 10:30, ESPN2

    ., Sunday HIGHLIGHTS

    Autos

    Formula One: U.S. Grand Prix, 1:30 p.m., Speed

    Sprint Cup: Ford EcoBoost 400, 3 p.m., ESPN

    College basketball

    Western Michigan at USF, 3 p.m., BHSN: 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    Middle Tennessee St. vs. Florida, 4 p.m., Sun Sports; 1250-AM

    NBA

    Magic at Raptors, 1 p.m., FSN

    Cavaliers at 76ers, 6 p.m., NBA

    Bulls at Trail Blazers, 9 p.m., WGN

    NFL

    Bucs at Panthers, 1 p.m., Ch. 13; 103.5-FM, 620-AM

    Jaguars at Texans, 1 p.m., Ch. 10

    Saints at Raiders, 4 p.m., 1040-AM

    Colts at Patriots, 4:25 p.m., Ch. 10

    Colts at Patriots (in progress), 5:30 p.m., 98.7-FM

    Broncos at Chargers (in progress), 5:30 p.m., 1010-AM

    Ravens at Steelers, 8 p.m., Ch. 8; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    TV: BHSN: Bright House Sports Network; CBSSN: CBS Sports Network; ESPND: ESPN Deportes; FSN: Fox Sports Net


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    HOMESTEAD — The thing about what went on Thursday during a news conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway was how Jimmie Johnson did not even try to mask his intentions.

    Trailing NASCAR Sprint Cup leader Brad Keselowski by 20 points heading into Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400, Johnson got right to work messing with Keselowski's head.

    That Keselowski needs only a 15th-place finish to clinch his first Cup title?

    "This is racing. Things happen," Johnson said. "A 15th-place finish is not a lay-up for these guys."

    Johnson, unsolicited, brought up IndyCar's final race in which Will Power, Keselowski's Penske Racing teammate, lost the title because of a spin-out. He made sure to explain how the pressure to close a championship run is crushing and impossible to anticipate until you experience it.

    And so it went for 30 minutes as Johnson, 37, looking for any edge to win his sixth title in seven years, picked at Keselowski, 28, in just his third Sprint Cup season.

    "You definitely want to plant a seed," Johnson said later. "The aha moment comes for everyone that's in a championship battle ... and if I can plant a seed and help spur that moment, then cool."

    This is not a new strategy for Johnson, whose reputation is of a competitor as comfortable executing a psyche job as a race plan.

    Take 2010, when he spent much of the run-up to the final race reminding points leader Denny Hamlin about how he blew a lead the previous week in Phoenix. Hamlin qualified 37th at Homestead, finished 14th after spinning out and Johnson won his fifth straight championship.

    Give Keselowski credit, though. The outgoing Rochester Hills, Mich., native kept a smile on his face while Johnson chirped and, seemingly, his emotions in check.

    "Obviously, I can't say there's no pressure, but there's no more pressure to me at this moment then there was when we started the chase," he said. "When we started this chase there was pressure, too. All 10 races pay the same amount of points and if we keep up what we've done over the last 10 races, then we'll be in good shape."

    The parry did nothing to stop Johnson from probing for a chink in Keselowski's armor or at least try to make a dent.

    Johnson said several times how fast his car is going to be. He talked about the vagaries of luck and how "this isn't any other race, this is a championship race and there's a lot that comes with that."

    "And Brad," Johnson added, "if you'd like me to call you later and remind you of any other examples of guys that didn't pull off the season finale as they would hope, I certainly can."

    Good stuff, Rusty Wallace said.

    "Look, Johnson's got nothing to lose," the NASCAR Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst said of the psychological attacks. "He's already won five championships. He's bringing his best car; it's the car he won Indianapolis with which is probably the fastest car on the planet I've seen all year long. He told me he's going for the Hail Mary."

    Besides, Wallace added, "This particular race is going to be on Brad. He's got to bring that car home. Brad has to hold it together."

    In that context, how Keselowski worked a room full of reporters could only be taken as positive.

    "A lot of stressed out people in here," Keselowski joked as he walked through the media center, mock concern in his voice. "You guys okay with the pressure?"

    A voice in the crowd invited Keselowski to South Beach for drinks.

    "I'm not going to be there," he said. "I've got to focus."

    Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com.


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    Associated Press
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    No. 10 Florida State at Maryland (4-6, 2-4), noon, ESPNU, 1040-AM

    With a victory, the Seminoles (9-1, 6-1 ACC) will clinch the league's Atlantic Division title for the second time in three years under coach Jimbo Fisher and give FSU its sixth consecutive win heading into a clash next week with Florida. Maryland (4-6, 2-4) will try to end a four-game skid after honoring 17 upperclassmen on senior day.

    Watch out for …

    Florida State's top-ranked defense against Maryland QB Shawn Petty. The Seminoles will attempt to pressure the linebacker-turned-quarterback, who got the starting job after the top four QBs on the depth chart sustained season-ending injuries. Petty has fumbled four times and thrown an interception in his two starts, and FSU will do its best to try to increase those numbers. Operating against a defense that has held the opposition under 10 points in half its games, the 230-pound, left-handed Petty must avoid turnovers to keep the Terrapins in the game.

    Associated Press


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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    No. 7 Florida vs. Jacksonville State, 1 p.m. Saturday, 620-AM

    This is the first meeting between the two schools, and marks the final home game for the Gators (9-1) and the last time 18 seniors will play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida is trying to finish 7-0 at home. The Gamecocks' roster includes former Georgia RB Washaun Ealey, who enters the game coming off his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game, and has eight TDs in his last four games.

    Watch out for …

    Florida starting QB Jeff Driskel is out with a sprained ankle so backup Jacoby Brissett will take over. The two battled for the starting job right up through the season-opener, and coaches and teammates said Brisset has been exemplary with his work ethic and staying prepared. Although Brissett doesn't have the mobility Driskel possesses, offensive coordinator Brent Pease said he won't drastically alter the offense. And although Jacksonville State (6-4) isn't an SEC-caliber team, how Brissett performs will be critical because he may be called on again next week against Florida State if Driskel's ankle doesn't heal enough to allow him to play.

    Antonya English, Times staff writer


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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin has been reinstated to the Florida Gators basketball team, the school announced on its website.

    Wilbekin was suspended on Nov. 8, one day before the Gators were scheduled to play Georgetown on the USS Bataan, for an unspecified violation of team rules.

    Donovan said following Wednesday night's win over Wisconsin he expected to have gathered enough information by Thursday afternoon to decide Wilbekin's fate. When he was suspended, Donovan said it did not involve an arrest or NCAA violations.

    Wilbekin has not practiced with the team since his suspension. He is expected to play on Sunday when the Gators play Middle Tennessee at 4 p.m. at the Tampa Bay Times Forum but will not start.

    "He'll be at practice today and he'll play in the game this weekend, but I'm definitely not starting him," Donovan told GatorZone.com. "Obviously, he made some bad decisions that he's paid for, but as far as I'm concerned that's all over and done with.''


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    By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    USF at Miami, 3 p.m. Saturday, Sun Sports, 98.7-FM, 1010-AM, 1470-AM

    Who will the Bulls (3-6) turn to at QB after losing senior B.J. Daniels to a season-ending injury? It'll either be redshirt freshman Matt Floyd's first career start, or junior Bobby Eveld, who led the Bulls to a win at Miami (5-5) in 2010. Miami's defense is vulnerable, having lost 41-40 to Virginia last week. Can USF's defense play like it did in the Bulls' 13-6 in against UConn? Forcing turnovers, as the Bulls did on UConn's final three drives, will go a long way toward the Bulls spoiling the Hurricanes' final home game of the season. Miami freshman RB Duke Johnson has made big plays all season, and he'll test the Bulls defense, along with QB Stephen Morris.

    Watch out for …

    USF's offense is missing key players with injury, so look for young replacements such as TE Sean Price, WR D'Vario Montgomery, both freshmen, as well as junior RB Marcus Shaw. Also expect to see some use of WR Victor Marc in a direct-snap Wildcat look from the Bulls to help offset the loss of Daniels' threat as a running QB.

    Greg Auman, Times staff writer


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    By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    USF defensive tackle Todd Chandler grew up in Miami in a family of Hurricanes fans, and even in his third year with the Bulls, he's still working to convert family members away from the hometown allure of The U.

    "I went to Buffalo Wild Wings with my uncle last night, and he was saying, 'It'd be good if y'all win, but it'd be good if y'all lose,' " said Chandler, one of several key Bulls players returning home today as the Bulls play at Miami at 3 p.m. "It's big. This is my first year back, and my family can actually come and watch me play football. They're coming to support me, so it's all love. They have USF shirts. (The Miami gear) has to stay home. They can't do that to me."

    When Bulls senior linebacker Sam Barrington announced the night before national signing day in 2009 that he had chosen USF over an offer from Miami, it came as a surprise to a large gathering of friends and family, some of whom showed up wearing Hurricanes gear. Senior cornerback Kayvon Webster committed to his hometown Hurricanes in September of his senior year, only to switch the morning of signing day, choosing the Bulls with a pair of high school teammates.

    Those were recruiting upsets — USF is still seeking its first conference title, its first 10-win season, while Miami can woo recruits with national titles and dozens of former players in the NFL. The Bulls got a win at Miami in overtime two years ago and lost 6-3 to the Hurricanes last year in Tampa on a field goal as time expired. Each victory on the field helps the Bulls in the big recruiting battles that can hinge on such outcomes.

    "When you talk about the in-state rivalries, having the opportunity to win one of those games definitely starts to put you on par," coach Skip Holtz said. "Those three schools in the state (with Florida and Florida State), they've won conference championships and they've won national championships. We've talked about some of the goals here are to build this program to that level. If you have the opportunity to win on the field, it definitely can catapult the recruiting battle, which can speed the process up without a doubt. It's valuable."

    USF's other starting cornerback, George Baker, is from Miami, as are two of the Bulls' most productive defensive tackles in Chandler and fellow sophomore Elkino Watson. To pull recruits out of Miami, where the tradition of Hurricanes football is something players are immersed in from an early age, is something Bulls assistant Larry Scott has had consistent success with in recent years.

    "That's all they've grown up around, the University of Miami, the mystique. They were really young when they had all those really great teams," Scott said. "Playing high school football down there in the shadow of that stadium, you go 'God, one day I'd like to play for the University of Miami.' It's more of a challenge down there because it's a big deal to those kids. When one has the ability to say, 'As much as I loved them as a fan, that's not the right place and right fit for me,' that's an awesome thing."

    Watson grew up in Miami idolizing Warren Sapp as "the quickest, best d-tackle I've ever seen," but he found more of a personal connection to the family atmosphere he saw at USF, even if playing there didn't carry as much prestige as the hometown team might have.

    "I have a lot of family that are UM fans, but they're going to be cheering for me," Watson said. "Growing up, that was one of the best schools in college football. I've been a Miami kid my whole life. Being recruited by (Miami) was a big honor for my parents, to let them know I could go to the University of Miami. But I decided to come to USF, because this is where my real home is."

    Miami has fallen from its dominant days of national titles, with a 5-5 record this season and the threat of looming NCAA sanctions from prominent off-field scandals. The Bulls, too, have struggled to a 3-6 record, still clinging to hopes of a bowl game if they can win their final three games. The two programs have played each year since 2009, but that series is scheduled to end next season in Tampa, giving USF a limited window to make the big gains that can come with a head-to-head victory on the scoreboard.

    "It makes the kids see that the perception is that Miami is above the University of South Florida, but when you take the challenge and go head-to-head, it makes the kids say, 'Ooh, it's really not that big a difference as far as on the field,' " Scott said.


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    Times wires
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Bucs poll

    Which play was biggest in the Bucs' 34-24 victory over the Chargers?

    Leonard Johnson's 83-yard interception return TD: 76 percent

    Adam Hayward's 29-yard blocked punt return TD: 16 percent

    LeQuan Lewis' interception: 3 percent

    Dallas Clark's 3-yard TD catch: 2 percent

    Vincent Jackson's 31-yard catch: 1 percent

    Tiquan Underwood's 15-yard TD catch: 1 percent

    Other: 1 percent

    Total: 808 votes

    Inside the numbers

    10-14 Bucs' record against the Panthers

    354 Rushing yards by QB Cam Newton this season, most among the Panthers

    5 Interceptions thrown by Newton over the past four games

    69 Touchdown passes thrown by Josh Freeman, one behind Trent Dilfer for third in Bucs history

    151 Consecutive passes without an interception for Freeman

    138 Rushing yards needed by Doug Martin to become the 11th player in Bucs history to reach 1,000 in a season

    What they're saying

    The Panthers and General Petraeus have something in common. They're both wondering how they let themselves get into this mess. Tampa Bay's visit — plenty of good tickets are probably available from your neighbors — completes a small circle in this season. It was 10 weeks ago that the Panthers went to Tampa, and, perhaps, it was an omen that game day dawned with heavy rain and thunder. It only got worse for the Panthers.

    Roy Green Jr. Charlotte Observer

    The Bucs have scored 28 or more points in a team-record five straight games. It is no coincidence that QB Josh Freeman hasn't thrown a pick in the last four.

    Brian Billick Fox Sports

    The picks

    Interesting chat last week with Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik about the Bucs offense, which is Chargers-of-the-'80s right now. He said when Greg Schiano interviewed Giants aide Mike Sullivan to be offensive coordinator, he stressed that he didn't want the Tom Coughlin offense or the Kevin Gilbride offense or the Eli Manning offense — he wanted the Mike Sullivan offense. And here it is, in all its splendor. Sullivan, I believe, will do today what he's done in the last five weeks (since Oct. 1, the Bucs average 35.6 points a game, mighty New England 33.0), which is bang at the Carolina front with Doug Martin, troll the middle with Mike Williams and Dallas Clark and threaten deep with Vincent Jackson and Tiquan Underwood. Bucs, 30-27.

    Peter King Sports Illustrated

    This shapes up to be a fun offensive game. Both teams have issues on defense, and the offenses can score. This is a huge game for the Bucs, who are in the thick of the playoff chase. But something says Cam Newton bounces back from a bad game against the Broncos to beat the Bucs. Panthers, 33-31.

    Pete Prisco CBSSports.com

    The Panthers have played seven close games this year and only been blown out twice (to each of the Manning brothers). I foresee another close game Sunday — I am only 4-5 on Panther predictions this season after getting the Denver game right last week. Bucs, 26-22.

    Scott Fowler Charlotte Observer


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    By Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    The coaches say you're very fast, and I hear you once ran the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds. So when was the last time you lost a footrace?

    Probably in fourth grade. But he was taller than I was. I take little steps. I was like 4 feet tall. In the end, he caught me because he was taller. He was a teammate of mine in track.

    I understand you went to high school with (Rockets All-Star guard) James Harden. Did you know each other well?

    Yes. We came out in the same year. And we both went to Arizona State together, too.

    Would he have made a good football player?

    Well, some basketball players did come out to football practice one day, and a few of them messed around with us a little. He would have been a good receiver, of course. You could just throw the ball up to him. In fact, we thought about that, but Coach Perry wouldn't let him. He was the basketball coach. He was like, "Nope!"

    So what would you look like with a James Harden beard?

    I think I would look like a beast. I would scare receivers away with that beard.

    Do you still keep up with Harden's career?

    Yes. Whenever he's on TV playing, I always watch him and cheer him on.

    Last basketball question: You're from Los Angeles. Are you a Lakers fan?

    Well, I root for the home team. (Harden) and I grew up in the same neighborhood, so we've been basically knowing each other for a long while. We're both from Compton. So I got to root for him.

    These are our weekly questions: First, what's getting the most play on your iPod right now?

    (Rapper) Kendrick Lamar. He's actually from the same area as me and (Harden). In fact, he and James know each other personally.

    What's your favorite game day song?

    50 Cent, Straight to the Bank. When I hear that song, I get besides myself.

    I think you should play whatever you played last Sunday. (He had the game-clinching interception.)

    Yeah, last week I was listening to 2Pac on Pandora.

    Moving on, what website do you visit most?

    I would say Facebook and Twitter. But my Twitter is turned down right now. It's kind of quiet. I don't have anything to tweet. I know people tweet just about anything, but I want to make mine count.

    And what reality show do you regularly watch?

    I'd say, Jersey Shore. I watch that often. Also, Bad Girls Club.

    Who is the most over-the-top character on Jersey Shore?

    Well, they're all clowns. Probably Snooki. She's always doing something wretched.

    You've only been in Tampa for a few weeks. Does everybody here even know your name yet?

    I don't know. I think so. Maybe. But you know what the problem is? Everybody here has similar names. You got Tiquan, LeQuan, Da'Quan, Q (Quincy Black), (Myron) Lewis. People say someone's name, and I answer. I answer to 'Quan, Lewis, Q, whatever. One of our coaches one day was calling out, "Hey, Quan!" So I said, "What?" He said it again, and I said, "What!?" Turned out he was talking to Tiquan. I said, "Man, ya'll have to come up with some initials around here or something." That's three Quans, two Lewises, two Q's. That's too much.

    What's going on with Los Angeles? You guys haven't had an NFL team for so long. What's with that?

    Well, we have USC. And that's basically just like the NFL. And do you know how bad the traffic is? That would just make it worse. But USC is big time. You see their players on the sides of buses, on billboards. They're like the kings of L.A.

    Who are your biggest fans?

    I would have to go back to who was there from the beginning. That's the Roman family. They were basically my family. I grew up with them. Steven, Ryan, Carol and the parents. Back in (youth football), when I was 7 years old, Steven's uncle coached us. So the whole Roman family watched me play from then all the way through high school.

    So what did I miss? Anything?

    Actually, I can ski. No one knows that. I'm a black guy from L.A. who can ski. So I had a roommate in college, Dean Deleone. He's from Park City, Utah. His parents told me I should come up for the winter. I said, "I'll see." I had never seen snow. We get there, and they say, "So, you guys want to go ski?" I said, "Huh?" So at first, I went down the bunny slope. Like a speed demon, I just went straight down as fast as I could. Dean was yelling at me, "You can't do that! You have to learn how to stop!" So I finally learned how to jump and turn to stop. I had a hard time at first. But I figured it out, and eventually, I went to the big slopes. And, man, I looked like I'd been skiing all my life! So now I know how to ski.


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  • 11/16/12--15:20: tampabay.com

  • Friday, November 16, 2012

    Time to buy Under Armour tickets

    Tickets for the Under Armour All-America Game go on sale Monday morning.

    General admission tickets are $18, and four-ticket bundles cost $48.

    The high school all-star game starts at 5 p.m. Jan. 4 at Tropicana Field. Locals who have received invitations include Wharton DB Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida commit) Armwood S Leon McQuay III, St. Petersburg Catholic RB Ryan Green (Florida State), Armwood ATH Alvin Bailey (UF) and St. Petersburg K Sean Covington (UCLA).

    For ticket information, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit TicketMaster.com.

    Signings roundup

    Sunlake softball player Stephanie Frances signed with Jacksonville University on Thursday.

    Frances was one of Pasco County's top players last spring, earning second-team all-conference honors. She was also a first-team all-North Suncoast selection at third base, batting .563 with 34 RBIs, six home runs, 11 doubles and 13 walks.

    • Pasco senior softball players Lizzy Burchfield and Kelli Parker signed with Palm Beach Atlantic University on Friday.

    Burchfield batted .386 with two home runs drawing 10 walks last spring. She was 13-for-13 on stolen base attempts as a catcher/shortstop. She earned second-team all-North Suncoast honors.

    Parker carried a .385 batting average and .448 on-base percentage for her junior season. She scored 29 runs, stole eight bases and posted a 2-0 record and spotless ERA in three innings. Parker also played outfield and shortstop and was an honorable mention all-North Suncoast selection.

    • River Ridge senior softball player Jada Clemons signed with Jacksonville University this week.

    Clemons batted .387 last year and was among the North Suncoast's leaders with five home runs. She also batted in 22 runs and stole two bases during the Royal Knights' run to the Class 6A region final.

    She earned honorable mention all-North Suncoast honors as a junior and was a first-team selection as a sophomore.

    Basketball tourneys on tap

    Mitchell's boys basketball program will host a Thanksgiving Classic on Monday and Tuesday.

    Monday's schedule: Lakeland Kathleen vs. Sunlake, 3; Manatee vs. Orlando East River, 4:30; Berkeley Prep vs. Ridgewood, 6; Mitchell vs. Central, 7:30

    Tuesday's schedule: East River vs. Kathleen, 3; Sunlake vs. Berkeley Prep, 4:30; Central vs. Ridgewood, 6; Mitchell vs. Manatee, 7:30

    River Ridge hosts the Beef O'Brady's Shooutout for girls and boys teams.

    Monday's schedule: Lecanto vs. Palm Harbor U. girls, 3; Wharton vs. River Ridge girls, 4:30; Tampa Bay Tech vs. Newsome boys, 6; River Ridge vs. Citrus boys, 7:30

    Tuesday's schedule: Girls consolation game, 3; boys consolation, 4:30; girls final, 6; boys final, 7:30



    On the Web: Friday Night Rewind

    The Friday Night Rewind crew is back in playoff form. Check out Week 12 video highlights from the big Largo-Armwood showdown, Durant-Tampa Bay Tech and North Marion-Pasco at tampabay.com/hometeam.

    On the Web II: Football chat

    Join the snarky fun in our weekly Monday football chats. The HomeTeam gang gets things started at 6:30 p.m. each week at tampabay.com/hometeam.

    Nominate a Hot Shot

    Each week, the Times will crown one male and one female athlete from our four-county coverage area as our Hot Shots of the Week. If there's an athlete you think should be nominated, email us at hometeam@tampabay.com.

    Send us schedules, rosters

    The winter sports season has just kicked off. Please email (hometeam@tampabay.com) or fax (727-893-8782) schedules and rosters for girls and boys soccer, girls and boys basketball, and wrestling.


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    HOMESTEAD — The thing about what went on Thursday during a news conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway was how Jimmie Johnson did not even try to mask his intentions.

    Trailing NASCAR Sprint Cup leader Brad Keselowski by 20 points heading into Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400, Johnson got right to work messing with Keselow­ski's head.

    That Kese­lowski needs only a 15th-place finish to clinch his first Cup title?

    "This is racing. Things happen," Johnson said. "A 15th-place finish is not a layup for these guys."

    Johnson, unsolicited, brought up IndyCar's final race in which Will Power, Keselowski's Penske Racing teammate, lost the title because of a spinout. He made sure to explain how the pressure to close out a championship in NASCAR's top rung is crushing and impossible to anticipate until you experience it.

    And so it went for 30 minutes as Johnson, 37, looking for any edge to win his sixth title in seven years, picked at Keselowski, 28, in just his third full Sprint Cup season.

    "You definitely want to plant a seed," Johnson said later. "The 'aha' moment comes for everyone that's in a championship battle … and if I can plant a seed and help spur that moment, then cool."

    This is not a new strategy for Johnson, whose reputation is a competitor who is as comfortable executing a psyche job as a race plan.

    Take 2010, when he spent much of the run-up to the final race reminding points leader Denny Hamlin about how he blew a lead the previous week in Phoenix. Hamlin qualified 37th at Homestead, finished 14th after spinning out and Johnson won his fifth straight championship.

    Give Keselowski credit, though. The outgoing 2010 Nationwide series champion kept a smile on his face while Johnson chirped and, seemingly, his emotions in check.

    "Obviously, I can't say there's no pressure, but there's no more pressure to me at this moment than there was when we started the Chase (for the Championship)," he said. "When we started this chase there was pressure, too. All 10 races pay the same amount of points and if we keep up what we've done over the last 10 races, then we'll be in good shape."

    The parry did nothing to stop Johnson from probing for a chink in Keselowski's armor or at least trying to make a dent.

    Johnson said several times how fast his car is going to be. He talked about the vagaries of luck and how "this isn't any other race, this is a championship race and there's a lot that comes with that."

    "And Brad," Johnson added, "if you'd like me to call you later and remind you of any other examples of guys that didn't pull off the season finale as they would hope, I certainly can."

    Good stuff, Rusty Wallace said.

    "Look, Johnson's got nothing to lose," the NASCAR Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst said of the psychological attacks. "He's already won five championships. He's bringing his best car; it's the car he won Indianapolis with, which is probably the fastest car on the planet I've seen all year long. He told me he's going for the Hail Mary."

    Besides, Wallace added, "This particular race is going to be on Brad. He's got to bring that car home. Brad has to hold it together."

    In that context, how Kese­lowski worked a room full of reporters could only be taken as positive.

    "A lot of stressed out people in here," Keselowski joked as he walked through the media center, mock concern in his voice. "You guys okay with the pressure?"

    A voice in the crowd invited Keselowski to South Beach for drinks.

    "I'm not going to be there," he said. "I've got to focus."

    Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com.


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    Associated Press
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    With a victory, the Seminoles (9-1, 6-1 ACC) clinch the league's Atlantic Division title for the second time in three years under coach Jimbo Fisher, left. It would also give Florida State its sixth consecutive win heading into next week's clash with Florida. Maryland (4-6, 2-4) is trying to end a four-game skid while honoring 17 upperclassmen on senior day.

    Associated Press

    No. 10 Florida State at Maryland, noon, ESPNU, 1040-AM

    WATCH OUT FOR …

    FSU's top-ranked defense against Maryland QB Shawn Petty. The Seminoles will attempt to pressure the linebacker-turned-quarterback, who got the starting job after the top four on the depth chart sustained season-ending injuries. Petty has fumbled four times and thrown an interception in his two starts, and FSU will try to increase those numbers. Operating against a defense that has held the opposition to fewer than 10 points in half its games, the 230-pound, left-handed Petty must avoid turnovers to keep the Terrapins in the game.


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