National Sports

Saints can take firm control of NFC South vs. Falcons

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer One of the NFL's better rivalries has plenty riding on its latest installment. Saints-Falcons on Thursday night also is one of the better midweek matchups on this year's schedule. New Orleans leads the NFC South at 9-3, one game in front of Carolina, ...

Taggart will make $30 million over 6 years at Florida State

By JOE REEDY, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Willie Taggart's contract as Florida State's new head football coach will pay him $30 million over six years. The university released the letter of understanding signed by Taggart after he was announced as the Seminoles' new coach on ...

Rice hires Stanford assistant Bloomgren as head coach

HOUSTON (AP) — Mike Bloomgren has been hired as the coach at Rice. Rice announced Wednesday that Bloomgren agreed to a five-year contract with the Owls after spending last season as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Stanford. He takes over for David Bailiff, who was fired ...

Longtime horse racing figure Charles J. Cella dies at 81

By BETH HARRIS, AP Racing Writer Charles J. Cella, who helped turn Oaklawn Park into a major racing destination in the South as a third-generation president of the Arkansas track and a thoroughbred owner himself, died Wednesday. He was 81. He died of complications from Parkinson's disease at ...

Kerr: Stephen Curry injury ‘a good thing for our team’

By STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Warriors coach Steve Kerr says that while Stephen Curry's sprained ankle is not ideal, it may actually help his team in the long run. Curry is expected to miss about two weeks with a sprained right ankle, including Wednesday night's ...

Taggart leaving Oregon to be next Florida St. football coach

By JOE REEDY, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Willie Taggart is returning to the Sunshine State, this time as head football coach at Florida State. Taggart has agreed to become Florida State's next coach, replacing Jimbo Fisher. Taggart told his Oregon players during a team ...

UCF tabs Josh Heupel to be Knights’ next football coach

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — UCF didn't take long to hire someone to lead its rejuvenated football program. The university announced Tuesday that Josh Heupel will be the Knights' next football coach. The move comes about 72 hours after Scott Frost announced Saturday he was leaving UCF to become the ...

Vitali Klitschko and Erik Morales win election to Boxing HOF

By JOHN KEKIS, AP Sports Writer CANASTOTA, N.Y. (AP) — Three years after he threw his hat back into the political ring for good, former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko achieved the ultimate honor for his time in that other ring — selection to the International Boxing Hall of ...

Hoffmann says he’s playing PGA Tour with muscular dystrophy

NEW YORK (AP) — PGA Tour player Morgan Hoffmann says he has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and that his right pectoral muscle is nearly gone. In a story Hoffmann wrote for The Players' Tribune website, he says he started to notice his right pectoral deteriorating about five years ...

Man charged with 2010 slaying of NBA player Lorenzen Wright

By ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities charged a man Tuesday in connection with the slaying of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, more than seven years after Wright's bullet-riddled body was found decomposing in a Tennessee suburb. Billy Turner, 46, was indicted ...

Brown, Boswell lead Steelers to 23-20 win over Bengals

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer CINCINNATI (AP) — Chris Boswell kicked a field goal on the final play shortly after Antonio Brown caught a 6-yard touchdown pass — taking a hit to the head while landing in the end zone — and the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off another improbable comeback ...

Watt and Altuve share SI’s Sportsperson of the Year award

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and Jose Altuve led the Houston Astros to their first World Series title, both giving hope to the city as it picked up the pieces from the devastating storm. On ...

Seattle moves ahead with arena remodel to attract NBA, NHL

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle is moving forward with efforts to renovate the aging city-owned KeyArena into a premier venue that could be ready for an NBA or NHL team within three years. The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding with Los Angeles-based Oak View Group ...

Olympic star Moses remarkably recovers from head injuries

By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Edwin Moses turned the corner, saw the blue police lights in the distance and, immediately, started spinning. His senses overwhelmed by the strength of the strobing lights, Moses fell to the ground and crawled to the ...

Garoppolo off to promising start as 49ers beat Bears

By ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers believe better days are coming now that they have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. His first start for them was a promising one. Garoppolo threw for 293 yards, and Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal in the ...

Ravens hit stride on offense; slam Lions’ playoff hopes

By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer BALTIMORE (AP) — In the days leading up to their pivotal game against the Detroit Lions, Ravens safety Eric Weddle predicted there would come a time when Baltimore would have to rely on its offense to win. Sure enough, that's what happened Sunday. Though ...

Win over Giants has Raiders back in tie for first place

By JOSH DUBOW, AP Pro Football Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The four-game losing streak, change in defensive coordinators and all those early-season struggles are in the past now for the Oakland Raiders. They head into the stretch run of the season exactly where they hoped to be, even if ...

Rams special teams shine in win over Cardinals

By BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Much has been made of the offensive eruption of second-year quarterback Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams under first-year coach Sean McVay. And people already knew the Rams' defense was good. Add special teams to Los Angeles' ...

Hey 8-4: Titans stay atop AFC South by beating Texans 24-13

By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Pro Football Writer NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan remembers only too well how the Titans always seemed to find a way to lose through his first two seasons in the NFL. Now they're finding ways to win, and that's all that matters. The ...

Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, Wisconsin are playoff top 4

By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin will enter championship weekend positioned to earn a playoff spot with just one more victory. But a potential Alabama-Ohio State controversy looms. Clemson moved up to No. 1 in the final College Football ...