Category Archives: Uncategorized

Giants lose series opener vs hot start Rays

In what was the Giants home opener welcoming in the new era of the park now named Oracle Park the giants ran into similar issue that has plauged them early on to start the season, giving up runs early to begin the game and not being able to find base hits until their second time through the lineup. Derek Rodriguez (1-1) who was tasked with opening up the Oracle Park era and Bruce Bochy’s final home opener got through the first two Rays batters with relative ease , but what followed was four straight extra base hits Ji-Man Choi started it with a two strike double , Brandon Lowe ripped a line drive to fight field to bring home Choi , Yandy Diaz then hit a broken bat homer just over the left field fence and it was topped off by Kevin Kiermaier driving one near the Bonds 756 home run area in triples alley to go back to back to start the first inning and just like that the crowd was drained and the Giants were down 4-0. Rodriguez would settle in after that brutal inning and go 5.1 innings giving up seven hits, no walks and striking out five. His counterpart was Tyler Glasnow who was a big piece in the Chris Archer deal from last season and he was nasty, giving up zero runs and only allowing three hits, walking just one, all while striking out six , and going six very strong innings. The Rays would tack on another run in the 7th inning as another person involved from the Chris Archer trade Austin Meadows split the gap in left center field to push the lead to 5-0. In the bottom half of the inning the Giants would begin the attempt to claw their way back into the game. Newly acquired Kevin Pillar would notch his first base hit as a Giant sending one right back up then middle and then advancing over to second on a wild pitch, this led to Pablo shooting a double just in side the third base line to give the Giants their first runs scored at Oracle Park of the year , Steven Duggar followed that with a double of his own splitting the gap in left center and sailing just away from the gold glover in center field Kevin Keirmaier inching the Giants closer and bringing the score to 5-2. After an impressive inning from Trevor Gott striking out two in the top half the Giants would bat with momentum on their side in the bottom of the 8th. Evan LOngoria going againast the club he played with for many years he would reach on an error by second baseman Brandon Lowe . Buster Posey would connect on a pitch and hit it off the bottom of the right field wall for a double and then Brandon Crawford would get hit by the first pitch and the Giants were set up with the bases loaded and nobody out down by three. Giants newcomer Gerardo Parra was called out looking and Kevin PIllar would roll into a inning ending double play in what seemed like a kcockout punch. Mark Melancon would tight rope through the ninth leaving the bases loaded and the Giants would come up for their last chance. Joe Panik started it off with a single and pinch hitter Yangervis Solarte walked and the tying run was at the plate with nobody out. Duggar would roll into a fielders choice just beating out the throw and Brandon Belt would strike out chasing a breaking ball in the dirt. This set up former longtime Ray Evan Longoria as the last hope to send the Giants faithful home happy, but it was not to be as he would fly out to right and the Giants would drop the first of three to the Rays 5-2. It was a tough one for the Giants to lose as they had chances late in the game to make the Rays pay as they allowed the Giants to hang around by kicking the ball around and commiting errors to help get rallies going. What seems like a common theme this season so far the Giants have not been able to get their bats going early and late rally in the games fall just short especially thanks to untimely double plays. While they are showing fight in these early games it seems as if it will be a constant issue of coming up just short, may we all be able to take the gut punches that it seems the Giant will give us this season.

clemson secures place in history

(AP) — Dabo Swinney kissed the championship trophy and proclaimed this Clemson team the greatest of all time.

He’s got a case.

With stunning ease — and a freshman quarterback — Clemson toppled college football’s greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion.

Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and the second-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.

In the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Tigers and Tide, Clemson evened the series and beat ‘Bama for the national championship for the second time in three years. Clemson is the first college football team to finish 15-0 since the 1800s, and the first team since the playoff started five seasons ago to get through a season unscathed.

“I mean, our guys had the eye of the tiger, but I’m so proud, and then for our seniors to be able to go out 15-0 and truly be the best ever — there was a lot of talk about best ever all year long,” Swinney said, talking about Alabama. “We were never in that conversation. But tonight, there’s no doubt. First 15-0 team, to beat Notre Dame and to beat Alabama to do it, this team won 13 games by 20 points or more and led by an unbelievable group of seniors, amazing group. I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. Instead, Clemson crushed Alabama, becoming the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007.

Swinney’s Tigers sealed their status as a superpower, no longer just 1A to Alabama’s 1.

“We’re 15-0, we beat the best team ever, nobody’s taking that away from us,” Clemson All-American defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

Two seasons ago it was Deshaun Watson dethroning the Tide with a last-second touchdown pass. Clemson’s new star quarterback didn’t need the late-game heroics. The long-haired Lawrence cut though Alabama’s defense with the help of another fabulous freshman. Justyn Ross made a juggling grab, a one-handed snare and broke a 74-yard touchdown about midway through the third quarter that made it 37-16 and had Swinney high-stepping down the sidelines.

Ross, who scored two touchdowns in the semifinal rout of Notre Dame, had six catches for 153 yards against his home-state team.

Swinney takes a different approach than Saban, running a more fun-loving program than Alabama’s all-business organization. But the results have been every bit as good. And on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, in a championship game played more than 2,000 miles away from Clemson’s South Carolina campus, the Tigers were way too much for an Alabama team that had spent the season mauling its opposition. The Tide won their first 14 games by an average of 31 points.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa threw two crucial interceptions in the first half, the first returned 44 yards for a touchdown by A.J. Terrell to put Clemson up 7-0. The Tide came in scoring 48 points per game, but was shut out over the final 44 minutes by an opportunistic Clemson defense.

Saban lamented numerous mistakes: blown coverages on third down (Clemson was 10 for 15), stall outs in the red zone and special teams mishaps, including a fake field goal that flopped on the first possession of the second half.

He laid the blame on himself. The Alabama program has set a championship-or-bust standard under Saban, but he didn’t want this season looked at as a failure.

“One game doesn’t define who you are,” Saban said. “But I also told the players that sometimes we learn more when things don’t go well, when we lose.”

Tagovailoa, the sophomore who came off the bench to win the championship game last year for the Tide, went 22 for 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

“We had a great season, but five words: Good is not good enough,” Tagovailoa said. “We didn’t finish the way we wanted to finish. We didn’t do the things we needed to do to execute and be successful in this game, and that’s all it is.”

The Heisman runner-up was also the second-best quarterback on the field in the championship game. Lawrence finished 20 for 32, and went 18 for 25 for 277 yards over the final three quarters.

The teenager who took over as the starter four games into the season raised the Tigers’ play, giving them an explosive offense to match a suffocating defense, led by All-American linemen Clelin Ferrell and Wilkins.

“Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and they just — they’re awesome people as well as players,” said Lawrence, the first freshman starting quarterback to lead his team to a national title since Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985.

Clemson hit Alabama with a 31-point first half, capitalizing on the Tide’s mistakes and unleashing Lawrence’s rocket arm.

Tagovailoa threw a second interception in the second quarter, this time into triple coverage, and Trayvon Mullen’s 46-yard return put Clemson in Alabama territory. That led to Travis Etienne’s third touchdown of the half, a 5-yard shovel pass from Lawrence.

With a chance to stamp itself as the best team in Saban’s remarkable 12 seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide played maybe the worst half of the coach’s tenure. The 15-point halftime deficit was the largest the Tide has ever faced under Saban.

Alabama seemed panicked in the third quarter, running a fake field goal into a waiting Clemson defense instead of kicking from 40. Three plays later, Lawrence faced down a pass rush and slung a pass to Ross, who was alone after Alabama defensive back Saivion Smith went down with an apparent leg injury.

Ross sprinted away and the shocking rout was on.

Almost as shocking as Clemson, a program that promoted an obscure receivers coach to lead the program 10 years ago, climbing over the traditional powers to the top of college football. Clemson finished No. 1 in the AP poll for the third time.

“Our goal is not to win a national championship. People don’t believe that. Our goal is to win the closer right there. The national championship is just a byproduct of that. It’s never been my goal,” said Swinney, who now has as many titles as Hall of Famers Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. “I don’t measure teams by that, and I know we’ve got some rabid people that that drives them crazy, but I measure our team based on did we get better, did we reach our potential

Browns eye the Present and Future

By Ryan Mouser

The Cleveland Browns announced today that they have fired Head Coach Hue Jackson following their 33-18 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While this had been a long time coming as this loss dropped Hue Jackson’s record to a horrific 3-36-1 record, they also choose to do away with Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley who had conflicts with the head coach. Parting with these two makes a lot of sense for new

GM John Dorsey as Hue Jackson was not his hiring and Todd Haley was someone that Jackson bought in. This will allow Dorsey to find a coach he can pair with franchise quarterback and number 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. With doing away with the coaches this allows Dorsey to get a jump on the coaching search immediately instead of waiting another 8 weeks. Although the first place he should begin to look is the exact place where he found the guy he deemed to be his quarterback and that’s out in Norman, Oklahoma and his name is Lincoln Riley.

Riley took over the Sooners head coaching spot just 2 seasons ago after Bob Stoops retired and he and Baker together led the Sooners all the way to the Playoffs Semifinals in a close overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. That year with Riley, Baker went on the win the Heisman  trophy and throwing for 4627 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and a 70.5 completion percentage. With the Browns looking to match Baker with a head coach that will help him to develop into the franchise cornerstone they drafted him to be, why  not rekindle the relationship that led Baker to have his best season ever and a season which gained him the status of being taken number 1 overall.

BitOBaca Show is back as new voice of High School Football is introduced

 

The BITOBACA Show is back on the KpaySports APP and KpaySports.com. Join me every Wednesday at 9am PT as I take you on a journey of local and national sports.

LISTEN TO BITOBACA PODCASTS HERE:
http://kpay.com/podcasts/bitobaca-is-back!

This Wednesday we talk with the new voice of high school football on KpaySports Mike Vislofsky. Mike moves from the studio to the sidelines calling games.

Mike is a sports enthusiast who is now realizing his dream all while dealing with Tourette’s Syndrome. Mike will tell us what its like calling a game with Tourette’s and really opens up about Tourette’s and how he has embraced it as part of his journey. Wednesday morning at 9am on the KpaySports APP and KpaySports.com

(Pictured Mike Vislofsky, Voice of High School Football on KpaySports)

LISTEN TO BITOBACA PODCASTS HERE:
http://kpay.com/podcasts/bitobaca-is-back!

2018 HR Derby: Round-By-Round

By Chandler Guadagnin          Updated: 7:33 PT

Round 1:

Round 2:

Harper has a total of 26 home runs through two rounds; while, Schwarber has smashed 37 home runs through two.

Finals:

It was close but in the end, the hometown hero, Harper, pulled it out. The final number of bombs that Bryce hit was 45; while, Schwarber smashed 55. Harper becomes only the third player to win the Derby in his own park. Your 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby Champion: Bryce Harper!

Statistics courtesy of ESPN

Redemptive Weekend has Wildcats primed for rivals….

After a disastrous eight day stretch which saw the Chico State Wildcat men’s basketball team lose games by 18 (Dominguez Hills) 18 (San Marcos) and 23 (UC San Diego) the Cats got their groove back this past weekend at Acker Gym with solid wins versus Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona.

With the wins the Cats are now 11-5 overall and 8-4 in the CCAA. The Cats now ready themselves for their arch-rivals Humboldt State who come to town Saturday night. Humboldt started the season 0-6 in CCAA play but have  gone 3-3 in their last six conference contests with wins over Cal State LA and Dominguez Hills and a road win against San Marcos. They also had a near misses against conference co-leaders San Diego and Pomona.

The Chico State women look to stay undefeated at home and look to sweep the season series from Humboldt State when they host the Jacks at 5:30 on Saturday. Chico is 7-0 on their home floor and are coming off of home wins against San Bernardino and Pomona. Chico extended some payback versus the Coyotes and Broncos after losing to both teams in early December.

Chico is led by the conference’s leading scorer in senior Whitney Branham who is averaging 18.8 points per game. In mid-November the Wildcats beat Humboldt 77-67. The Lumberjacks struggled early but won seven straight games from November 25th thru January 5th. Chico and Humboldt come into the Saturday match-up tied for the 3td in the CCAA with records of 8-4.

The women play at 5:30 with the men taking the floor at 7:30. You can listen on AM-1290 KPAY also on the KpaySports app and also right here on KpaySports.com

Merry Christmas Chico State Baseball Fans !!!

21 years of Chico State Wildcat baseball dominance will be celebrated on Christmas Day. We will look back and replay some of the great games in the history of the Wildcat baseball program.

Starting at midnight on Christmas we relive some of the best regular season and post-season games in the history of this illustrious program.

Chico State has won two National Championships, 9 West Region Titles and 9 CCAA Championships since 1996.

Here is our broadcast schedule…..

12am-3:20am:  Dalton Erb shuts down Sonoma throwing a complete game 3-hitter and striking out 11 Seawolves

3:20am: Chico State beats Sonoma in a pivotal 2000 match-up on game-winning walk single by Ryan Webb

4:00am-7:00am:  Chico State beats East Bay to win the 2016 CCAA Conference Tournament Championship

7:00am-11:00am: Chico State knocks off Cal Poly Pomona in the 2017 CCAA Championship Tournament to advance to the title game.

11:00am-3:00pm: Chico State takes on Ashland at the 2006 Division II College World Series. This classic game would go 13 innings and would feature several big moments.

3:00pm-6:00pm: Chico State wins their 1st West Region Championship outlasting Fort Hays State at Nettleton Stadium in May of 1997.

6:00pm-9:00pm: Chico State punches their ticket to the 2006 National Championship game by knocking off Montevallo University in Montgomery, Alabama.

9:00pm-11:00pm: Chico State beats Sonoma State in Pueblo, Colorado to capture the 2004 West Region Title. It would be Chico’s 5th trip to the Division II World Series in eight years

11:00pm-11:29pm: Chico State vs Mesa State 2005 West Region winners bracket game (Ryan Martin WALK-OFF winner)

11:30pm-12:00am: Chico State beats UCSD in La Jolla to win the 2014 West Region Baseball Title and punch their ticket to Cary, North Carolina

 

49ers Rally but come up short; Wildcat soccer hosts Gators

PV LOOKS TO GET BACK ON TRACK 

Tonight the Pleasant Valley Vikings look to get back on track as they host Napa at Asgard Yard. The Vikings held a 21-6 lead over River Valley last Friday night but were out-scored 42-7 over the final 26 minutes of the contest. Kick-off is set for 7:30 and Mike Vislosky will have the call on the KpaySports app and

http://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/KPAY

 

CHICO STATE SOCCER LOOKS TO KEEP IT GOING

The Chico State men’s and women’s soccer teams host San Francisco State tonight at the Chico State Soccer Stadium. Both teams are coming off of wins on Wednesday versus Stanislaus State.

The women broke a 2-match conference losing streak to move to 4-3 overall and (1-2) in the CCAA. The men extended their defensive scoreless streak to 291 minutes with a 2-0 win over the Warriors. Chico moves to 5-2 overall and (3-0) in the CCAA.

The men’s match begins at 4:30 with the women playing at 7.

SULLIVAN HONORED FOR FANTASTIC WEEK

Kelley Sullivan was named the CCAA Golfer of the Week with his splendid performance at the Sonoma State Invite this week. Sullivan and the Wildcats outdistanced all-comers this week, beating Sonoma by 17 strokes, Monterey by 20 strokes and 8th-ranked Cal Baptist by a whopping 43 strokes. Sullivan took medalist honors for the 20th ranked Cats.

ROADRUNNERS HIT THE ROAD

The Butte College Roadrunner football team looks to stay perfect on Saturday as they travel to San Mateo. The Roadrunners knocked off Chabot last Saturday holding Chabot scoreless in the 2nd half. Butte is 3-0 on the season and will look to get a big road win. Game time is 1:00pm on Saturday with the pre-game at 12:35pm. Mike Wessels has the call on the KpaySports app and

http://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/KPAY

49ERS RALLY BUT COME UP SHORT

(AP) — Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The NFL’s lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick.

The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That’s the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by “The Greatest Show on Turf” squad in 2000.

This win didn’t come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

All three of Goff’s touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

(AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers were one pitch away from slashing the Chicago Cubs’ lead in the National League Central. Instead, the Cubs rallied to pull 4 ½ games in front of the second-place Brewers.

Kris Bryant launched a two-run homer in the 10th inning to complete Chicago’s comeback in a 5-3 triumph at Milwaukee. The Brewers were one strike from a 3-2 victory until Javier Baez hit an RBI single. Ian Happ scored the tying run after leading off the ninth with an infield single.

Wade Davis worked in and out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to get the win.

The Brewers came back from a 2-0 deficit and took the lead on an RBI single by Eric Thames (thaymz) in the bottom of the eighth.

Domingo Santana homered for Milwaukee, which began the night one game behind Colorado for the second NL wild card.

The outcome also kept St. Louis five games off the division lead. Dexter Fowler was 3-for-5 with a two-run double and two runs scored as the Cardinals earned an 8-5 victory over the Reds to bolster their NL playoff hopes. Yadier Molina (YAH’-dee-ehr moh-LEE’-nuh) also had two RBIs to back a shaky Carlos Martinez, who was reached for four runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Checking out other major league finals:

— Colorado’s 3-0 loss to the Padres leaves the Rockies one game ahead of Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card slot, with the Cardinals just 1 ½ games off the pace. Clayton Richard silenced the Rockies over 7 1/3 innings, scattering seven hits while fanning eight. Christian Villanueva opened the scoring with a solo homer in the fifth and added an RBI single during the Padres’ two-run sixth.

— The Dodgers ended a four-game skid by scoring twice in the seventh inning of a 5-4 victory over the Phillies. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier (EE’-thee-ur) tied the game with a solo homer just before Chris Taylor tripled and scored the eventual winning run on a grounder. Curtis Granderson also went deep for the Dodgers, who clinched a tie for the division crown by winning for only the sixth time in their last 26 games.

— Joe Mauer, Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and Jason Castro drove in two runs apiece as the Twins clobbered the Tigers, 12-1 to strengthen their playoff position. Mauer and Jorge Polanco each had three of Minnesota’s 14 hits, while Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-5 with three runs scored. Adalberto Mejia didn’t pitch long enough to get the win, giving up a run and four hits over 4 2/3s.

— The Angels are 2 ½ games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild-card berth following the Halos’ 4-1 loss to the sizzling Indians. Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR’) snapped a 1-1 deadlock with a three-run blast in the fifth inning to lead the Indians to their 27th victory in 28 games. Cleveland received 6 1/3 scoreless innings from its bullpen after Danny Salazar made his first start since Sept. 5.

— Solo homers by Adrian Beltre (BEHL’-tray) and Shin-Soo Choo sparked the Rangers’ offense in a 4-2 win at Seattle. Carlos Gomez put Texas ahead to stay with a two-run double in the first inning. Cole Hamels surrendered just one run and three hits over eight frames as the Rangers stayed 2 ½ games behind Minnesota in the wild-card race.

— The White Sox were 3-1 winners over the Astros behind Chris Volstad, who worked 4 1/3 innings of one-run relief to pick up his first victory since 2012. Volstad entered the game after Carson Fulmer had to leave with a blister just three batters into his start. Tim Anderson stretched his hitting streak to 12 games with a homer as Chicago dropped Houston 2 ½ games behind the Indians in the battle for home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.

— The Braves were 3-2 winners over the Nationals as R.A. Dickey held the NL East champs to a pair of runs and four hits over eight innings. Ozzie Albies was 3-for-4 with an RBI single to help Atlanta end a four-game losing streak and avoid a three-game sweep. Ryan Zimmerman homered for the Nationals, who are 5 ½ games behind the Dodgers in the race for home-field advantage in the National League playoffs.

— Jason Vargas combined with four relievers on a two-hitter in the Royals’ 1-0 shutout of the Blue Jays. Vargas gave up the two hits over 6 1/3 innings and improved to 17-10, tying Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Boston’s Chris Sale for the AL lead in victories. Melky Cabrera singled home the lone run in the third inning.

Gabriel Ynoa (ee-NOH’-uh) scattered five hits over a career-high eight innings as the Orioles topped the Rays, 3-1. Baltimore did its scoring in the first inning on Manny Machado’s two-run blast and Trey Mancini’s RBI single.

MLB-NEWS

Turner injures thumb

UNDATED (AP) — The Dodgers say Justin Turner bruised his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch during Thursday’s game at Philadelphia.

Turner was plunked by a 91-mph fastball from Mark Leiter. He stayed in the game and played the bottom of the first before coming out of the game.

Turner is batting .321 with 21 homers and 70 RBIs.

In other major league news:

— Former All-Star outfielder Raul Mondesi (MAHN’-deh-see) has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of embezzlement. The Attorney General’s office charged Mondesi of embezzling $6.3 million while he was mayor of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic from 2010-16, according to the court. Mondesi was also ordered to pay a $1.3 million fine.

NFL SCHEDULE-RAMS/49ERS

 

NFL-NEWS

Report: NFL players ask league to support campaign

UNDATED (AP) —A group of current and former NFL players has asked Commissioner Roger Goodell for the league’s support for their campaign for racial equality and criminal justice reform.

Yahoo Sports is reporting the players sent a 10-page memo to Goodell and NFL executive Troy Vincent in August asking for money, political involvement and other commitments from the league. It also asked the NFL to recognize the month of November as activism awareness month.

The website reports Wednesday night that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and receiver Torrey Smith, and former NFL receiver Anquan Boldin co-authored the letter.

The NFL declined comment when asked about the memo by Yahoo Sports. The players behind the letter didn’t return requests for comment or declined to speak about it, according to the website.

More NFL news:

— The Packers have lost another key player to injury with outside linebacker Nick Perry scheduled to have hand surgery. Coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn’t know how much time Perry will miss. Perry was off to a good start as the bookend to fellow edge rusher Clay Matthews with 1½ sacks.

— Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles has returned to practice, four days after hurting his left leg in their blowout win over the Cowboys. He initially feared it was a season-ending Achilles tendon tear.

— Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is expected to start Sunday against the Saints despite being limited to mostly light throwing during Thursday’s practice. Head coach Ron Rivera called Newton’s limited practice schedule during the week the “new normal” until the quarterback completely recovers from offseason rotator cuff surgery.

— A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez says the brain of the former Patriots tight end showed severe signs of the degenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma and leads to symptoms like violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties. Hernandez killed himself in April in the jail cell where he was serving a life-without-parole sentence for a 2013 murder.

T25 FOOTBALL-SOUTH FLORIDA/TEMPLE

Bulls hammer Owls

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The 21st-ranked South Florida Bulls have run their winning streak to a school-record nine by dominating last season’s American Athletic Conference champions.

Darius Tice rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns while the Bulls dominated both ends of the ball in a 43-7 rout of Temple. Quinton Flowers also ran for a pair of TDs for South Florida, which forced six turnovers and held the Owls to minus-4 yards net rushing.

The Owls’ offense managed just 85 yards and never reached the end zone. Jacob Martin scored Temple’s only touchdown, sacking Flowers and forcing a fumble that the defensive end returned 44 yards in the second quarter.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MICHIGAN ST-ASSAULT

Former Michigan St players waive key hearing in assault case

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Three former Michigan State football players charged with sexual assault have waived a key hearing and will advance to trial.

Michigan judges typically decide whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial. But Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr. and Demetric Vance waived that hearing Thursday in East Lansing.

A woman says she was assaulted in an apartment bathroom in January.

In other college football news:

— Nebraska has fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst, citing his failure to improve “on-field performance” by the Cornhuskers. Eichorst joined Nebraska in October 2012, and has about $1.7 million remaining on a contract that runs through June 2019. Eichorst and football coach Mike Riley have been under increased scrutiny with the continued mediocrity of the program. Eichorst hired Riley in 2014, replacing Bo Pelini.

— Second-ranked Clemson says kicker Greg Huegel will miss the rest of the season after he was injured on the last play of Wednesday’s practice. Coach Dabo Swinney explained that a defensive lineman rolled into Huegel’s leg after he kicked during a two-minute drill. Swinney says junior Alex Spence will be the kicker Saturday against Boston College.

NBA-DANGEROUS FOULS

NBA refs can rule reckless closeouts as flagrants or techs

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has announced that it is clamping down on defenders who give jump shooters no space to land, allowing referees to call flagrant or technical fouls.

Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia (ZAH’-zah pah-CHOOL’-yuh) made a similar play that injured Spurs star Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard in last season’s playoffs. Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard’s in Game 1 of Golden State’s victory in the Western Conference finals.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws.

NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia says the league has made the play a point of emphasis for referees in the spirit of player safety.

In other NBA news;

— The Miami Heat have signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Ultimate Software, which will have its logo on the team’s jerseys starting this season. The Heat are the 15th NBA team to strike a jersey sponsorship deal.

PGA-TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Stanley opens strong at East Lake, and so does Spieth

ATLANTA (AP) — Kyle Stanley is the leader after the opening round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Stanley ran off four straight birdies on the front nine and finished with a 6-under 64 that leaves him two strokes in front of Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh), Paul Casey, Webb Simpson and Daniel Berger.

Jordan Spieth (speeth) is three shots back as he tries to wrap up the FedEx Cup. No one among the top five seeds had a lower score, keeping Spieth on track in his bid to join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winner of the $10 million bonus.