Sunday, November 29, 2015         

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Michelle Wie's final stroke of the season was a long putt from just off the green, and when it dropped she couldn't wait to retrieve the ball from the cup.

Interim Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey paused for a moment and took a deep breath while he regained his composure. The clutch play of rookie Marcus Mariota and the relentless effort of his beat-up defense meant that much to him.

Management has two primary goals for the Tennessee Titans: win games and protect franchise rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. Ken Whisenhunt didn’t do a good enough job in either category, so he was let go.

The Tennessee Titans had no chance to blow a lead for a third game in a row. This time, they struggled to protect Marcus Mariota, and the rookie quarterback was limping before being pulled for the final drive for his own protection.

Questions about whether Marcus Mariota could take a snap under center or run a huddle seem almost silly now. So too the idea that the Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback would be a runner needing time to learn how to throw in the NFL.

A federal appeals court struck down a plan to pay college football and basketball players in a ruling that NCAA leaders believe supports their contention that the athletes are students and not professionals.

There are many Oregon opponents over the years who have probably felt the same way the Ducks do now. Accustomed to being a team that routs its opponents, Oregon got payback of sorts from Utah.

Marcus Mariota showed he can take a beating, holding up under pressure. While the Tennessee Titans are not surprised by the quarterback’s toughness, their immediate goal is protecting him better.

Marcus Mariota’s NFL debut had a college feel to it. After a flawless performance, his team blowing out its opponent, Mariota — as he often did at Oregon — watched from the sidelines as his Tennessee Titans teammates wrapped up a rout.

One would have thought Ohio State traveled 4,500 miles — and spent the pregame on the beach — after the top-ranked Buckeyes' sloppy performance Saturday.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota can think of only one thing that really ticks him off. He really, really doesn't like to lose.

Over 300 CrossFit athletes from across the state and some from California came to the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena to compete in the 2015 Hawaii VA Games Saturday.

Marcus Mariota is ready to execute whatever the Tennessee Titans’ game plan is in their preseason finale Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Whether that means the rookie quarterback is just an engaged spectator, or he’s the starter.

Tony Sanchez carved out a corner of celebrity in a town full of high rollers and high-wire acts as a high school football coach.

Being able to run the ball will be the best way for the Titans to help Marcus Mariota thrive during his rookie season, and Tennessee finally might have a combination of offensive line and backs that helps them do just that.

Juli Inkster completed her Solheim Cup team by adding Brittany Lang and Paula Creamer as captain's picks Monday night.

Marcus Mariota had every reason to struggle on the first drive of his second preseason game when the communicator device in the Tennessee quarterback's helmet quit working. Not a problem for the rookie.

Tennessee rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota quickly learned NFL games are different from practice. Mariota’s first two series ended with an interception and a fumble before he recovered to lead a touchdown drive in the Titans’ 31-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in a preseason opener Friday night.

Eddie Yarbrough stopped midsentence. “I expect to see,” he began, pausing to correct himself. “Actually, I’ve already been seeing it,” Yarbrough said of Wyoming teammate Siaosi Hala‘api‘api’s impact through four practices.

The Philadelphia Phillies are on such a roll even Jerome Williams won on the road. The Waipahu grad stifled San Diego over seven innings and the Phillies beat the Padres 5-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

The humbled men in gold jackets entering football immortality were unmistakable. So was the endless sea of twirling yellow Terrible Towels there to greet them and the outpouring of compassion for the legend who wasn't there.

Marcus Mariota had what counts as a poor practice, yet the Tennessee Titans went another session in training camp without intercepting the rookie quarterback even once.

Marcus Mariota gave the Tennessee Titans a momentary scare Monday night when he scrambled and ran to the sideline, where he crashed into a scout.

The Tennessee Titans and coach Ken Whisenhunt start training camp with the promise to be better than last season’s ugly 2-14 record. Seems everyone is in agreement that the miserable experience was simply unacceptable.

Michelle Wie has quite the entourage these days. The doctor at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who has worked on her hip. The doctor in Los Angeles who has been there for her ankle injuries. She also has a doctor in Florida where she lives. The way her season has gone, Wie can’t live without them.

The Los Angeles Angels acquired veteran outfielder Shane Victorino and more than $3.8 million from the Boston Red Sox on Monday for infielder Josh Rutledge. The 34-year-old Victorino is a two-time World Series champion, a two-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner.

Kolten Wong came through with the bases loaded. When faced with the same predicament, Lance Lynn minimized the damage. Wong hit a grand slam that backed Lynn’s seven resourceful innings and led the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 Monday night.

A kick sending T.J. Dillashaw to the mat changed his perception of Renan Barao. Dillashaw rallied quickly and successfully defended the UFC bantamweight title, stopping Barao by technical knockout in the fourth round at UFC Chicago on Saturday night.

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota signed with the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday, becoming the last of the NFL’s first-round draft picks to finalize his deal.

Sarah Thomas expects NFL fans to boo her, just like they do the other 121 game officials. It would mean a measure of acceptance for the league’s first full-time female official.

The grand pursuit of Jordan Spieth, redemption for Dustin Johnson, the mystery that has become Tiger Woods. It all came to a momentary halt Friday in the gloaming of St. Andrews when Tom Watson said goodbye to the British Open.

The great thaw is nearly complete. The big weekend in Green Bay is finally here for Brett Favre. The former quarterback renowned for his durability and gunslinger mentality will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and have his No. 4 jersey retired on Saturday

After spending much of the past month maintaining that he is not dwelling on his brutal final-hole collapse at the U.S. Open, Dustin Johnson began this week's British Open by shredding the venerable Old Course with a 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

The Cardinals are really good, the Phillies are really bad, and then there's everyone else. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jacob deGrom and a bevy of stars bunched near the top. Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Cabrera and more big names coming back from injuries.

In Gee Chun’s modest goal for her first U.S. Women’s Open was to enjoy every new experience. Boy, did she enjoy herself. The 20-year-old South Korean stormed from behind, posting birdies on four of the last seven holes to rally for an unlikely one-stroke victory Sunday.

Conor McGregor backed up every single word. The Irish mixed martial arts sensation won the UFC interim featherweight title at UFC 189 on Saturday night, stopping Chad Mendes with three seconds left in the third round with a vicious series of strikes.

Amy Yang is back in the final pairing at the U.S. Women's Open, and this time she's prepared for the daunting challenge ahead.

With each gorgeous passing shot and fist pump from Andy Murray, the noise and energy at Centre Court surged. Murray was engaged in a critical fight to stay alive in the second set of his match with Roger Federer, and he was producing the daring, line-kissing shots to do it.

Amy Yang has experienced success at the U.S. Women's Open. Now, she wants the ultimate prize.

Now, it's up to the fans. Carlos Martinez made his case for inclusion on the National League All-Star team by pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday night, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 in a matchup between the teams with the best records in the major leagues.

Atop the leaderboard, veteran Karrie Webb and second-year LPGA Tour player Marina Alex did their best to temper expectations at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Serena Williams served two aces in a row at 118 mph, straight up the middle in the first set. In her next service game, she served up two more aces, also up the middle, but one of them was on a second serve.

Joe Maddon wants the Chicago Cubs to prove they can beat the best. Well, how’s this for evidence? Addison Russell hit a tying single and scored during a three-run rally in the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Tuesday to complete a day-night doubleheader sweep.

Twice, Serena Williams stood merely two points from a loss at Wimbledon against a British opponent buoyed by a roaring, flag-waving Centre Court crowd.

England defender Laura Bassett was inconsolable as she lay face down on the field, sobbing. Japanese players gathered at the other end of the field in celebration — and relief — in realizing how close they came to squandering a chance to defend their Women’s World Cup title.

Carli Lloyd sprinted toward the right sideline, her face contorted in joy, before she aimed a flying kick at the corner flag. Her teammates, giving chase close behind, mobbed her in celebration, forming a jubilant tornado of white jerseys and neon green socks.

The St. Louis Cardinals used power to tie the game, and took advantage of a mistake by the Chicago Cubs to win it.

The last time the United States played China in the Women's World Cup was in the 1999 final at the Rose Bowl, when the Americans won on penalty kicks for their second title and Brandi Chastain famously ripped off her jersey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves got their man in the middle. The Lakers got a playmaking partner for Kobe Bryant. Knicks fans just got mad — though not for long.

To prepare rookies for life as professionals, the NFL is again providing a crash course filled with seminars, testimonials and advice on how to navigate the pitfalls of fame and fortune.

After all the negative attention they’ve received this week, it certainly felt good for the Cardinals to bust out of their slump.

Masters champion Jordan Spieth is halfway home from the second leg of the Grand Slam. It sure feels a lot farther away in this U.S. Open.

Sei Young Kim of South Korea has already won twice in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour. Now the 22-year-old is taking aim at a major title, making an eagle on the 15th hole for a 5-under 68 Friday and a one-shot lead after the second round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Carlos Martinez overcame an early bout of wildness before straightening himself out. After that, the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't straighten out any of the pitches he threw over the plate.

It seemed like old times for Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers on Friday night. Hamilton homered in his first two at-bats, his first homers since he belatedly began his major league season this week back with Texas, helping the Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4.

John Lackey is pitching like an ace for a team that lost its top starter a month ago. Lackey worked seven scoreless innings and the Cardinals got just enough against Mike Bolsinger to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 for their fifth straight victory on Friday night.

James Harden had Game 2 on his fingertips — and then he didn’t. Now the Golden State Warriors have the Western Conference finals in their grasp.

Marcus Mariota said he did some homework studying schemes the Tennessee Titans sent him before the draft, and he also talked with Philip Rivers a little bit about his new coach.

Hau‘oli Kikaha, who set records for sacks with the Washington Huskies, jokes that he “almost forgot” which knee he blew out twice in college.

Five years in the making, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao meet Saturday night in the richest -- and arguably most overhyped -- fight in the history of the sport.

BYU has agreed to play in either the Hawaii Bowl or the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at the end of the 2015 season.

Ryan Howard took a mighty cut, paused to admire his blast and watched the ball sail over the fence for the first time this season. Those home runs sure don't come easy anymore for the big slugger.

In the latest classic matchup of their long and illustrious rivalry, the Boston Red Sox finally outlasted the New York Yankees 6-5 in 19 innings early Saturday when the game-ending double play was turned at 2:13 a.m.

Kindergarten nap time. A rite of passage. One of those quaint shared experiences people talk about every now and then even as adults, a happy memory of childhood innocence.

Parker Coss' two-run single capped a five-run sixth inning and UC Irvine made it eight wins in a row over Hawaii in Big West play with a 6-4 victory on Saturday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark in Irvine, Calif.

Mirim Lee birdied all four par-5 holes and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Kia Classic.

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota highlighted Oregon’s pro day Thursday, looking to show he has the skill set to succeed in the NFL.

South Korea’s Inbee Park and Taiwan’s Yani Tseng each shot 6-under 66 to top the leaderboard after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s HSBC Women’s Champions.

For the past four days, deep within Lucas Oil Stadium, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have had their heights, weights, arm lengths and hand sizes carefully inspected.

From a statistical standpoint, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota produced one of the most dominant seasons in NCAA history. Mariota led the nation in passing efficiency (181.7 rating). He threw 42 touchdown passes against four interceptions. Mariota is confident his skills will translate to the next level.

Despite using all 12 of their draft picks last year, the Jets still have a host of roster needs to fill heading into the 2015 season. Following a 4-12 finish and four straight years without a playoff appearance, the organization has no choice but to hit on the No. 6 pick in the first round April 30.

He couldn’t stop fighting the NCAA any more than he could give up chewing towels courtside. Jerry Tarkanian built a basketball dynasty in the desert, but it was his decades-long battle with the NCAA that defined him far more than the wins and losses.

Lydia Ko is one round from potentially making golf history. The 17-year-old New Zealander birdied five consecutive holes and shot a 7-under 65 in the third round of the Coates Golf Championship on Friday to take the outright lead in the LPGA Tour's season opener.

Ha Na Jang went from qualifier to leader in just a few days at the LPGA season opener. And it surprised no one. The 22-year-old South Korean, ranked 21st in the world, shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the Coates Golf Championship on Thursday and opened up a four-shot lead over Stacy Lewis heading into the third round.

Jessica Korda, Stacy Lewis and Azahara Munoz each shot 6-under 66 in the opening round of the LPGA Tour season opener.

Plagued by turnovers and outplayed much of Sunday by Green Bay, the Seattle Seahawks staged an improbable comeback and beat the Packers 28-22 in overtime.

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota is leaving Oregon early for the NFL. Mariota announced his long-awaited decision to forgo his senior season on Oregon’s website. The team said he filed paperwork on Wednesday, a day before the NFL deadline.

Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington is suspended for the national championship game after testing positive for marijuana during an NCAA drug test, a person with direct knowledge of test results said Friday.

Face-down on the turf, Tony Romo pounded his hands into the ground like a petulant child. Frustrated by yet another season-ending failure? Far from it. The Dallas quarterback was celebrating after giving the Cowboys the lead in a stirring playoff comeback.

When Andrew Luck was under pressure Sunday, he stood tall and maintained his poise. Andy Dalton and the Bengals simply collapsed. Again.

Chris Jones kept No. 5 Louisville's first Atlantic Coast Conference game from turning into its first ACC loss. Jones scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and the Cardinals won in their ACC debut, pulling away to beat Wake Forest 85-76 on Sunday night.

The Big Ten is starting the new year with a new sense of pride. The first week of January typically is when the conference absorbs insults and jeers following a run of disappointing bowl performances.

J.J. Watt found a unique way to make the 2014 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team announced Friday. Houston's Watt was listed on all 50 ballots by a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league, with 45 of the votes for defensive end and the other five for defensive tackle.

Cardale Jones came through again at the Sugar Bowl. Ezekiel Elliott ran all over mighty Alabama. And Urban Meyer's quest to turn Ohio State into SEC North is one victory away from a national championship.

Marcus Mariota and the Ducks are built for speed and in a flash they turned the first College Football Playoff semifinal game into a Rose Bowl rout. The Ducks dusted Florida State 59-20 on Thursday and now it's on to Texas to try to win their first national championship.

With their big comeback finish in the Cotton Bowl, the No. 7 Spartans could be set up as a viable championship contender next season, after their only losses this season were to playoff teams.

Another award and another landslide for University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota who was named the Associated Press college football player of the year Tuesday.

Wisconsin football's assistant coaches will be working on New Year's Day not knowing if they have a job next season under new coach Paul Chryst. Chryst said that he was going to meet this week with staff members who wished to remain with the school.

The College Football Playoff participants are well represented on the Associated Press All-America team. Florida State leads the way with three first-team All-Americans: tight end Nick O’Leary, guard Tre’ Jackson and kicker Roberto Aguayo, who is an All-American for the second straight season.

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will likely take his game to the NFL next season. Runner-up Melvin Gordon has already said he will skip his last year of eligibility at Wisconsin to enter the NFL Draft.

After the Midshipmen stood respectfully for Army's alma mater, defensive ends Paul Quessenberry and Will Anthony hoisted Ken Niumatalolo on their shoulders to give the winningest football coach in Navy history a free ride in the wake of a 17-10 triumph Saturday.

The Heisman Trophy is said to weigh 45 pounds but can be worth its weight in gold to its newest owner, Marcus Mariota, analysts say.

Faced with the possibility of two big postseason trips under the new college football playoff system, some players' parents are doing all they can to see their kids under the spotlight.

Marcus Mariota put up nearly flawless numbers this season in leading Oregon to a spot in the first College Football Playoff. At the College Football Awards Show on Thursday night, he went a perfect 3-for-3.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper and record-breaking Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon will make the trip to New York for the Heisman presentation after the finalists were announced Monday.

Marcus Mariota made a strong final impression in his bid for the Heisman Trophy, and No. 3 Oregon left no doubt about whether the Pac-12 champions will get a chance to play for the national title.

The New York Jets have placed wide receiver Greg Salas on season-ending injured reserve and signed wide receiver Chris Owusu from the practice squad. Salas, a former University of Hawaii star, suffered "a major hamstring injury."

University of Hawaii alumnus Greg Salas scored his first NFL touchdown Monday, but the play may cost him the rest of his season.

"Scratch, claw, bite, kick, whatever you have to do make a play and win," Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake explained after Monday night's dull but effective slugfest with the New York Jets ended in a 16-13 Miami victory.

Hamilton star Brandon Banks' punt return for an apparent go-ahead touchdown in the final minute was wiped out by an illegal block, and the Calgary Stampeders held off the Tiger-Cats 20-16 on Sunday night in the Grey Cup.

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