Monday, December 11, 2017

No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

GAINESVILLE ó Aundre Jackson scored 23, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola-Chicago stunned No. 5 Florida 63-59 Wednesday, handing the Gators a third consecutive loss.

Less than 48 hours after Florida coach Mike White said his teamís performance against rival Florida State was "the epitome of soft," the Gators delivered another dud.

This one could knock them out of the Associated Press Top 25 next week, especially if they lose to No. 17 Cincinnati on Saturday.

UF (5-3) shot 36.9 percent from the field, missed 17 of 19 3-pointers and had just seven assists.

The Ramblers (9-1) were much more efficient, shooting 52 percent from the field and making half their 12 3-pointers.

White tweaked several aspects of Floridaís approach: Deaundrae Ballard and Keith Stone replaced KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson in the starting lineup, and UF pressed more than usual. Allen had started 68 consecutive games.

In its first six games, Florida shot 46 percent from 3. In its past two, losses to FSU and Loyola, the Gators are 8-for-44 (18.2 percent).

FSU 96, Loyola (MD.) 71: Braian Angola scored 18 to lead host Florida State, 8-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 season when it won its first 10.

WOMEN: Arike Ogunbowale scored 23 and No. 3 Notre Dame (8-1) beat visiting Michigan State 90-59.

Football: Vols search

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is the new leading candidate for the Tennessee coaching job, according to Yahoo Sports. ESPN reported that new Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer is bringing in three SEC defensive coordinators for second interviews concerning the head coaching job: Pruitt, Auburnís Kevin Steele (a Tennessee alumnus) and Georgiaís Mel Tucker.

GATORS MOVE TO MJ: Florida is switching from Nike to Jordan Brand, becoming the fourth college football program to represent the Jumpman and the first in the SEC. The partnership also will include the menís and womenís basketball. Jordan Brand now has a presence in five Division I conferences ó SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Big East.

FROST HONORED: Scott Frost has been named the Home Depot Coach of the Year for leading UCF to a 12-0 record two years after it finished 0-12 under the previous administration. Frost, who has taken the head coaching job at Nebraska, will accept his award tonight during the College Football Awards Show (7, ESPN).

HOGS MAKE A HIRE: Arkansas hired SMUís Chad Morris as its new coach. Morris, 49, agreed to a six-year contract worth $3.5 million annually.

Meyer, ĎPony Expressí coach, dies at 76

AUSTIN, Texas ó Ron Meyer, the football coach behind SMUís powerhouse "Pony Express" teams who later called for a snowplow to clear a spot so the New England Patriots could kick the winning field goal against Miami in one of the NFLís most memorable moments, died. He was 76.

Mr. Meyer died Tuesday after collapsing with an aortic aneurism while playing golf, his family said in a statement.

"Devastated to hear the passing of my coach and great friend Ron Meyer. My mom and I loved Coach Meyer. He was a great man," tweeted former NFL star Eric Dickerson, who played for Mr. Meyer at SMU (1979-81).

That was SMUís heyday, when the Mustangs, led by running backs Dickerson and Craig James, turned a middling program into a Southwest Conference champ before it got the NCAAís "death penalty" ruling for jaw-dropping rules violations.

Mr. Meyer left SMU before the harshest sanctions hit, taking over the Patriots in 1982. He spent parts of nine seasons in the NFL and his first one produced perhaps his most memorable moment. He was AFC coach of the year in the strike-shortened 1982 season when he led the 5-4 Pats to the playoffs with a key win over the Dolphins in a December snowstorm in New England. The game was 0-0 when Mr. Meyer called timeout late in the fourth and sent a stadium worker out on a tractor to clear the Miami 23-yard line of snow for John Smithís 33-yard attempt.

With clear turf, Smith made the kick as Dolphins coach Don Shula furiously looked on. The final: 3-0. "I wanted to go out there and punch him out," Shula said years later. "In retrospect, I should have laid down in front of the snowplow."

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFLís worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFLís worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
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Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Tuesdayís sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMississippi State vs. Cincinnati7 p.m.ESPN2Fordham at Rutgers7 p.m.ESPNUSt. Peterís at Seton Hall7 p.m.FS1Michigan at Texas9 p.m.ESPN2Albany at Memphis9 p.m.ESPNUNBALakers at Knicks7 p.m.ESPN76ers at Timberwolves9:30 p.m.ESPNNH...
Updated: 14 minutes ago

Updated: 15 minutes ago
Isles back up confidence of coach with win over Caps

Isles back up confidence of coach with win over Caps

NEW YORK ó Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves after getting a vote of confidence from his coach, and the Islanders beat the Capitals 3-1 on Monday night to snap a three-game winless streak. Brock Nelson, Andrew Ladd and John Tavares scored goals for the Is...
Updated: 16 minutes ago


AROUND THE LEAGUE: Magic forward Aaron Gordon said heís free of concussion symptoms and hopes to complete the NBAís concussion protocol in time to play Wednesday night against the Clippers. Ö Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is expected to make his season...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

LAKE BUENA VISTA ó The Rays made a small deal Monday in acquiring INF Joey Wendle from Oakland while continuing to discuss bigger ones that seem likely to eventually lead to the trade of closer Alex Colome and then others.The Rockies and Mets joined ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

MAKING NEWSGRUDEN VS. DUNGY: THE CHOICE IS YOURSFifteen years later, Tampa Bayís Great Sports Debate continues: Who deserves more credit for the Bucsí Super Bowl victory, Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? With the Bucs set to induct Gruden into the Ring of H...
Updated: 1 hour ago