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(1) Florida State Survives Scare From Oklahoma State

(1) Florida State Survives Scare From Oklahoma State

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — The defending national champions got their first scare of the year in their season opener, holding off Oklahoma State 37-31 on Saturday. The Florida State Seminoles (1-0) had led 17-0 in the second half but the Cowboys (0-1) closed the gap to 27-24 late and had a chance to take the lead.

“We all preached it, but I do think they felt the pressure of being No. 1. I do,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Now I think we can relax and go play football.”

Sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for one as well. The reigning Heisman trophy winner also threw a pair of interceptions that helped keep Oklahoma State hanging around. 

The Cowboys J.W. Walsh scampered 24 yards for a touchdown, making it a three-point game, before ultimately leading a drive back into Seminoles territory. However, Walsh fumbled when he was flipped into the air by Florida State’s P.J. Williams. Winston then connected with Rashad Green for a 50-yard scoring pass, sealing the deal.

 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/30/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/30/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NCAAF: (1) Florida State 37 (1-0) – Oklahoma State 31 (0-1)
(2) Alabama 33 (1-0) – West Virginia 23 (0-1)
(4) Oklahoma 48 (1-0) – Louisiana Tech 16 (0-1)
(5) Ohio State 34 (1-0) – Navy 17 (0-1)
(6) Auburn 45 (1-0) – Ark…

ESPN: Michael Sam Released by Rams

ESPN: Michael Sam Released by Rams

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) –  Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.  He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

“You know what, it’s not going to be like the draft,” Sam said earlier this week. “I’m very confident that I’m going to sleep really well tonight and I’m very confident I’m going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL.”

Sam made headlines before the NFL scouting combine when he announced that he’s gay. He’d be the first openly gay player in NFL history.

Even with a chip on his shoulder, Sam was unable to prove to Rams coaches that as a seventh round pick, he should make the team.

Despite being let go, Sam had a very productive preseason. In four preseason games, he’s recorded 11 tackles while also registering three sacks.

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Bengals Release BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Bengals Release BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) –  Veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been cut by the Cincinnati Bengals, the team announced Friday.

The move was expected, as Green-Ellis did not dress for the Bengals’ last two preseason games.  Giovani Bernard will be the team’s starting running back, with rookie Jeremy Hill serving as the primary backup.  Cincinnati selected Hill in the second-round of this year’s NFL draft.

“It’s very difficult to release such a fine player and person as BenJarvus,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “He has been an exceptional player and teammate, as well as mentor to our younger players. He has also been a standout person in the community. We thank Bennie for all he has done and wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Green-Ellis was entering the final year of his three-year contract and was scheduled to make $2.3 million this season.  In his two seasons in Cincinnati, Green-Ellis rushed for more than 1,700 yards.  He averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry last season and had just four catches.

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Jim Irsay Reportedly Has Plea Deal in Place

Jim Irsay Reportedly Has Plea Deal in Place

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has reportedly reached a plea deal as part of his impaired driving case. That according the Indianapolis Star, citing court officials.

Irsay was arrested in March on a pair of misdemeanor charges. The Colts owner was arrested near his home after failing a field sobriety test. Officers on the scene said he had trouble reciting the alphabet. Police reports showed that Irsay had various prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash in his position at the time of the arrest.

“I cannot provide any details of — or even verify the existence of — an agreement unless and until one would be tendered to the Court at such a hearing,” said Andre Miksha, a spokesman for the Hamilton County prosecutor.

The trial, originally scheduled for Oct. 30, was reportedly rescheduled for Tuesday. While details of the plea agreement were not released, the announcement of the plea will allow NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to deliver his punishment of Irsay.

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Yankees Tanaka Returns to New York with Soreness

Yankees Tanaka Returns to New York with Soreness

Rob Carr/Getty Images(TORONTO) — New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returned to New York on Friday with what is being called “general soreness”. The right-hander was attempting to return from a torn ligament in his elbow suffered in July.

“I want to be a little bit cautious. I haven’t been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches that I’ve been throwing,” said Tanaka via his interpreter, Shingo Horie. “I think that’s the reason why there’s a little bit of extra soreness in the arm itself.”

Tanaka, almost a lock for American League Rookie of the Year before the injury, threw 49 pitches in a simulated game prior to the Yankees taking on the Detroit Tigers on August 28. Following his performance, Tanaka said he was experiencing a feeling of soreness which then raised questions about his return this season.

“I don’t have percentages,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’d like him to pitch for us, too. But as I’ve said all along, this is something we’re either going to know or not know when he gets into competition.

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Michigan State Cruises to Season Opening Win

Michigan State Cruises to Season Opening Win

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) — A 64-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Tony Lippett opened the scoring for Michigan State football in 2014. It also started a brief injury scare as Cook needed to be helped off the field following a hit to his leg.

That scare did not last long as Cook returned to throw three touchdowns in helping the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans to a 45-7 win over Jacksonville State. The junior completed his first nine passes of the game and finished the day going 12-for-13 for 285 yards before sitting out the second half.

The defending Big Ten Champions led 38-0 at halftime before resting the majority of their starters. The Gamecocks, considered a top team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), didn’t get on the board until the Max Shortell found Markis Merrill for a nine-yard strike.

“I was proud of our kids on how we finished the game,” said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. “We dug a hole early, and you can’t do that against a team like Michigan State. They’ve got a team that’s going to make a run at a national championship. I really believe that.”

The Spartans will have a much tougher task next week when they take on the No. 3 Oregon Ducks. 

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Federer Advances in Straight Sets

Federer Advances in Straight Sets

ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) — The No. 2 seed in the U.S. Open rolled to a straight set win over Sam Groth on Friday. Roger Federer defeated the Australian 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, despite consistently facing serves in excess of 130 m.p.h.

“I’m aware of every serve, how hard it is after the point when he goes big, because I think it’s interesting and I want to see,” Federer said. “Sometimes I feel it, as well. I’m like, ‘That felt like 138,’ and it might be just a couple off.”

Facing the big-hitting Groth, Federer limited him to just eight aces while breaking the Aussie’s serve five different times. The Swiss superstar has won five U.S. Open Championships as part of his 17 Major titles.

Federer’s win improved him to 54-1 all-time in Grand Slam second round matches and sets him up for a date with Spaniard Marcell Granollers.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/29/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/29/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (70-64) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (65-70)

New York Mets 4 (63-72) – Philadelphia Phillies 1 (61-73)

Baltimore Orioles 9 (77-56) – Minnesota Twins 1 (59-75)

New York Yankees 6 (70-63) – Toronto Blue Jays 3 (67-67)

Atlanta Braves 5 (71-64) – Miami Marlins 2 (65-68)

Boston Red Sox 8 (59-75) – Tampa Bay Rays 4 (65-70)

Chicago Cubs 7 (60-74) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (71-62)

Texas Rangers 13 (53-81) – Houston Astros 6 (57-79)

Detroit Tigers 7 (73-60) – Chicago White Sox 1 (60-74)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (56-78) – Colorado Rockies 2 (53-81)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4 (81-53) – Oakland Athletics 0 (78-56)

Washington Nationals 8 (76-57) – Seattle Mariners 3 (72-61)

San Francisco Giants 13 (72-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 2 (73-61)

San Diego Padres 3 (63-70) – Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (76-59) 12 Innings

Top 25 College Football: Michigan State 45 (1-0) – Jacksonville State 7 (0-1)

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49ers’ LB Aldon Smith Suspended 9 Games

49ers’ LB Aldon Smith Suspended 9 Games

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for the first nine games of the season after violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.

Smith was sentenced in July to 11 days of work release in a Santa Clara County (Calif.) court after his September 2013 arrest for drunken driving.

On April 13, Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International airport for making a false bomb threat after an altercation at the security checkpoint, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office declined to press charges.

“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”

Smith is eligible to return to the 49ers roster on Nov. 10.

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Finney Rushes for 133 yards in loss to Utah

Finney Rushes for 133 yards in loss to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- The Idaho State football team opened the 2014 season showing great improvement in the offensive line and running game against the University of Utah from the Pac-12. The Bengals rushed for 179 yards, the second most in a game since 2008 and Xavier Finney rushed for 133 yards on 23 carries. The Bengals lost […]

Big Hit Escapes Chukars In 4-3 Crushing Loss

Big Hit Escapes Chukars In 4-3 Crushing Loss

IDAHO FALLS, ID — Wednesday the Chukars went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, but still came away with a win. The Greybirds weren’t as fortunate Thursday. Idaho Falls went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in a 4-3 loss to Orem. Idaho Falls (34-35, 15-17) is now facing an elimination number […]

Mets Place Second Baseman Daniel Murphy on the Disabled List

Mets Place Second Baseman Daniel Murphy on the Disabled List

Photos.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One of the few offensive bright spots for the New York Mets is now on the shelf as the team has placed second baseman Daniel Murphy on the disabled list with a strained right calf.

Murphy’s calf had been bothering him all week, which kept him out of action. The team decided it was best to put him on the shelf so he can get healthy.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It ended up being a little worse than I thought.”

According to Murphy, doctors told him they would take a closer look at this MRI on Friday to help determine just how much time he will miss.

In 126 games this season, the 29-year-old is hitting .301 with nine home runs and 53 RBIs. He was the Mets lone All-Star this season.

Replacing Murphy on the Mets roster will be Dilson Herrera. Herrera was hitting .340 with 10 home runs for Double-A Binghamton this season.

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Braves Reliever Jonny Venters Facing Third Tommy John Surgery

Braves Reliever Jonny Venters Facing Third Tommy John Surgery

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Already recovering from Tommy John surgery he had back in 2013, Atlanta Braves reliever Jonny Venters has been shut down after tearing an elbow ligament.

Venters had been doing light throwing as part of his recovery when it was discovered that he injured his elbow.

The latest injury could have Venters facing the third Tommy John surgery of his career, with the first one coming back in 2005.

“They did an MRI, and he retore it,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “One of the options is for him to have the third Tommy John.”

Venters, 29, led Major League Baseball in appearances in 2011 after pitching in 85 games and posting a 1.84 ERA.  He hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2012, just one season after he made the NL All-Star team. In 2013, he went 5-4 with a 3.22 ERA.

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Who Needs Johnny? A&M Destroys SC in First Game Without Manziel

Who Needs Johnny? A&M Destroys SC in First Game Without Manziel

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Texas A&M’s life without quarterback Johnny Manziel started off well: the 21st-ranked Aggies destroyed 9th-ranked South Carolina 52-28 Thursday.

Not only did A&M thrive without Manziel, his replacement at quarterback, Kenny Hill, broke Manziel’s single-game passing record by throwing for 511 yards, completing 44-of-60 passes and three touchdowns.

Texas A&M (1-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) was never in trouble as it mounted a 31-14 lead by halftime and scored touchdowns on seven of its first 11 offensive possessions.

Dylan Thompson completed 20-of-40 passes for 366 yards, four touchdowns and an interception for South Carolina (0-1, 0-1 SEC), which had its 18-game home win streak snapped.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/28/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/28/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Detroit Tigers 3 (72-60) – New York Yankees 2 (69-63) 

Cincinnati Reds 7 (65-69) – Chicago Cubs 2 (59-74)

San Francisco Giants 4 (71-62) – Colorado Rockies 1 (53-80)

Baltimore Orioles 5 (76-56) – Tampa Bay Rays 4 (65-69)

Atlanta Braves 6 (70-64) – New York Mets 1 (62-72)

Cleveland Indians 3 (68-64) – Chicago White Sox 2 (60-73)

Minnesota Twins 11 (59-74) – Kansas City Royals 5 (74-59) – 10 Innings

Los Angeles Angels 4 (80-53) – Oakland Athletics 3 (78-55) – 10 Innings

Top 25 College Football: (21) Texas A&M 52 (1-0) – (9) South Carolina 28 (0-1)

(18) Ole Miss 35 (1-0) – Boise State 13 (0-1)

(19) Arizona State 45 (1-0) – Weber State 14 (0-1) *

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USC RB Anthony Brown Quits, Calls Sarkisian a Racist

USC RB Anthony Brown Quits, Calls Sarkisian a Racist

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — USC running back Anthony Brown announced on Thursday that he is qutting the team after calling head coach Steve Sarkisian a racist.

 “Sark treated me like a slave in his Office…Can’t play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton,” Brown posted on Instagram. He posted a similar message on Facebook.

Brown took down the posts shortly thereafter.

The senior running back had been sidelined most of training camp with an elbow injury. He had six starts and 43 tackles during his USC career.

“As far as what [Brown] said on Twitter, I think it’s ridiculous,” Sarkisian said. “Any of you guys that know me and if you ask anybody in our building, any of our players — feel free to — that’s about the furthest thing from the truth. Quite honestly, I’m shocked.”

Sarkisian has no history of being a racist and called Brown’s announcement surprising.

“Anthony decided not to play football anymore,” Sarkisian said. “We obviously tried to encourage him not to quit. We thought he could be an asset to our team, especially when healthy. We really tried to make it a point to accommodate the position change he wanted. He wanted to move to running back and we did so.

“He unfortunately got injured in training camp and was working his way back and decided he didn’t want to play anymore. It’s a bit unfortunate because we could have used him. We think he could have helped us.”

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NFL: Six-Game Suspension for Any Domestic Violence Charge

NFL: Six-Game Suspension for Any Domestic Violence Charge

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Any player that commits a domestic violence crime will be handed a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense, the NFL announced on Thursday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that he did not get the suspension to Ravens running back Ray Rice correct, which led to the news.

“At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals,” Goodell wrote in a letter. “We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence….My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values.”

Rice was suspended for the first two games of the regular season after being arrested on a charge of aggravated assault after allegedly knocking out his fiancee in an elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Goodell and the NFL received much criticism for not coming down harder on a domestic violence case.

“Our personal conduct policy has long made clear that domestic violence and sexual assault are unacceptable. We clearly must do a better job of addressing these incidents in the NFL. And we will,” Goodell continued.

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Titans Reward Jurrell Casey with Contract Extension

Titans Reward Jurrell Casey with Contract Extension

National Football League(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — After a breakout season in 2013, the Tennessee Titans have rewarded defensive lineman Jurrell Casey with a four-year extension.

ESPN reports Casey’s deal will pay him $36 million over those four years, with $20.5 million guaranteed.

“We are excited to come to an agreement on an extension with Jurrell,” Titans general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. “This is something Jurrell has earned not only with his play on the field but his work ethic as well. We appreciate Jurrell’s professionalism through this process and look forward to many good years to come.”

Even though the team has moved from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, the team has assured Casey he will still be able to play like he’s used to at the pro level.

Casey is entering his fourth season with the Titans after the team selected him in the third round back in 2011. After accumulating 5.5 sacks his first two seasons, Casey exploded for 10.5 sacks in 2013 to go along with 55 total tackles.

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ESPN: Warriors Agree to Deal with Guard Leandro Barbosa

ESPN: Warriors Agree to Deal with Guard Leandro Barbosa

Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(BILBAO, SPAIN) — In an effort to load up on depth at the guard position, ESPN reports that the Golden State Warriors have agreed to terms on a contract with Leandro Barbosa.

Barbosa’s deal with the Warriors will be for the league minimum.

Even though he’ll start out as the third guard on the depth chart behind Steph Curry and Shaun Livingston, he still provides good value for his salary and place on the roster.

At this point in his career, the Warriors will likely use Barbosa as a 15-20 minute per game player, who can help take the pressure off of Curry at the point guard position.

Now 31 years old, Barbosa will enter his 12th season in the NBA. In 20 games last season for the Phoenix Suns, he averaged 7.5 points in 18.4 minutes per game.

The Warriors are entering their first season under head coach Steve Kerr after they fired Mark Jackson after three seasons.

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