Raiders tab rookie Derek Carr as starting QB (Yahoo Sports) - Oakland rookie Derek Carr will start the season opener against the New York Jets. Coach Dennis Allen announced Monday that Carr got the nod ahead of Matt Schaub, who struggled in the preseason and has been hampered by a sore elbow. Carr will be the first rookie to start the season opener at quarterback in Raiders history. Carr was a second-round pick out of Fresno State in May. He will become the 18th starting quarterback for the Raiders since the start of the 2003 season. Dizzy in heat, Bouchard out of upset-heavy US Open (Yahoo Sports) - Bothered by the heat and stifling humidity, Eugenie Bouchard felt dizzy and her vision was blurry. Bouchard tried to carry on, but it was hardly an ideal time to try to win a tennis match. The No. 7-seeded Bouchard became the latest top woman to bow out at this surprise-filled U.S. Open, beaten 7-6 (2), 6-4 Monday by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the fourth round. Phil McNulty’s transfer window verdict - Man Utd sign Falcao on loan for £6m - Manchester United sign Colombia international striker Radamel Falcao on loan from Ligue 1 side Monaco. Arsenal sign Welbeck for £16m - Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A's top Mariners (Yahoo Sports) - Adam Dunn is in a pennant race at last, and what an impression he made on his new team as the September stretch run began. Dunn provided instant pop for the struggling Athletics, hitting a towering, two-run homer in his debut at-bat for Oakland to highlight a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday in a matchup of playoff contenders. ''We're going to take full advantage.'' Acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Dunn immediately became an imposing presence in the middle of Oakland's order. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels and was shut out for 29 straight innings. Dunn homers in 1st at-bat for A's, tops White Sox (Yahoo Sports) - Adam Dunn provided instant pop for the struggling Athletics, hitting a towering, two-run homer in his first at-bat for Oakland to highlight a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday in a matchup of playoff contenders. Acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, Dunn became the 12th player in Oakland history to homer in his first at-bat with the team. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels and was shut out for 29 straight innings. He provided a nice lift for an Oakland offense that has struggled since dealing Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for Jon Lester on July 31. Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank (Yahoo Sports) - NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- Chris Kirk picked up the biggest victory of his career Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Negredo joins Valencia on loan - Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo joins Valencia on a season-long loan deal. Holliday, Wong lead Cardinals past Pirates, 5-4 (Yahoo Sports) - ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Holliday had the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning after Kolten Wong's pinch-hit homer tied the score, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

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South Carolina commit accused of stealing iPods and iPads from elementary school [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 11:43 pm]
Michael Bowman, a member of South Carolina’s 2015 recruiting class, was arrested Friday on 16 counts of misdemeanor larceny. According to the Havelock News, Bowman, a three-star wide receiver from Havelock, N.C., allegedly stole six iPads and two iPods that belonged to Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School. Additionally, Edwards allegedly stole “eight other iPods belonging to an employee from the school.” According to a release from the Havelock Police Department, the thefts occurred over a period of five weeks “from June 9 to July 16.” Bowman was working for a company hired to clean the school over the course of the summer, the release said.  Since Bowman was allowed to be in the school because of his employment, no breaking and entering charges were filed against him, said District Attorney Scott Thomas. Thomas said that since each item had a value of less than $1,000, the district attorney’s office opted to charge Bowman with “separate misdemeanors for each alleged theft.” In the state of North Carolina, stolen items that are valued at more than $1,000 “can carry felony charges.” Bowman, who committed to South Carolina in March, did not suit up for Havelock High School in its first two games this season. For more South Carolina news, visit GamecockCentral.com. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Rams leave Michael Sam off practice squad ... so what's next for him? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 11:08 pm]
The St. Louis Rams named the 10 players they signed to their practice squad. Michael Sam was not one of them. The team made Sam one of its final cuts on Saturday and met with him the following day, but it apparently doesn't have interest at this time in signing Sam. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said Sam's release Saturday was for "football reasons" and had cited the team's injuries on the offensive line and secondary as reasons why the team was concerned about its depth at other spots and couldn't keep more than 10 defensive linemen on the roster. But not on the practice squad either? Sam was unclaimed by the other 31 NFL teams and remains a free agent, with no teams offering a practice squad spot — despite those rosters increasing this season from eight to 10 players per team — with nearly every slot around the league believed to be filled. Does this mean Sam's NFL shot has passed him by? Not necessarily. He had three sacks in the preseason, none of them gifts, and didn't play poorly otherwise. Sam put some decent tape out there to be considered. But he is what he is: a left defensive end who likely can't hold up for three downs in the NFL and has little to no special teams value. Still, there are teams that value pass-rush specialists, and it's surprising that he hasn't been brought in, even for a look. The NFL can be a cold place, and it's not just about Sam's sexuality, as many have speculated. Wideout Stephen Hill, a 2012 second-round pick (43rd overall), just passed through waivers after being released and yet to find a team — although he worked out for the Carolina Panthers on Monday. Windows can close shockingly fast in this league. And there's little doubt that a team would have to have been fairly impressed with Sam's preseason performance to add him to their practice squad, knowing that a horde of media will follow with questions about a player who is not even on t

Maryland WR Taivon Jacobs out for season with knee injury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 10:47 pm]
It only took two plays for Taivon Jacobs’ season to end. Terps head coach Randy Edsall tweeted Monday that Jacobs, a redshirt freshman who earned a starting role, won’t play again this season due to a knee injury he sustained Saturday against James Madison. Taivon Jacobs will miss the remainder of the season due to knee injury on Saturday vs James Madison.— Randy Edsall (@RandyEdsall) September 1, 2014 According to the Baltimore Sun, the injury occurred when Jacobs “got tangled up with a James Madison defender while attempting to track down a long pass from quarterback C.J. Brown.” With Jacobs out, Marcus Leak is likely to assume a first-team role along with Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Sophomores Jacquille Veii and Amba Etta-Tawo could also see an increased role. A position group that was once jam-packed with depth is now a little thin for Maryland. The program announced Friday that Jacobs’ brother, fellow receiver Levern Jacobs, was suspended for the season because of a violation of the school’s student conduct code. The elder Jacobs, a junior, led the Terps in receiving in 2013 with 47 catches for 640 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, junior Nigel King (33 catches for 450 yards in 10 starts last season) transferred to Kansas in early August. Maryland, coming off a 52-7 win over James Madison, will hit the road to face South Florida on Saturday. For more Maryland news, visit TerrapinSportsReport.com. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Derek Carr, not Matt Schaub, to start Week 1 for Oakland Raiders [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 10:23 pm]
The Oakland Raiders reportedly have switched gears at quarterback for Week 1 against the New York Jets. Second-round pick Derek Carr will start, per Fox's Jay Glazer, confirming what many had suspected when Matt Schaub suffered by elbow tendonitis and Carr lit it up in the Raiders' preseason finale. Breaking: Raiders players have been informed that the team is making the switch at QB and starting Derek Carr over Matt Schaub— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 1, 2014 [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] Carr had been having a terrific training camp and start to the preseason but was set back in the second exhibition game when he suffered a rib injury and was tested for a concussion. The Raiders held Carr out of the third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, a game in which Schaub and the offense struggled mightily. Schaub came out of that game with elbow pain, and when Carr was cleared to play against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason finale, he made the most of it. Carr was exceptional in leading four touchdown drives in his four posssessions — including two with the Seahawks' starters in the game — with three touchdown passes. Head coach Dennis Allen pulled Carr in the first half of the game, as if he'd seen enough to know that Carr could start if needed. Schaub's elbow was tested Monday, and it's believed that he wasn't healthy enough to go Sunday against the Jets. Frankly, Schaub's health might not have mattered too much. Carr clearly was the better performer in the preseason, and the Raiders need not delay the future if Schaub or No. 3 QB Matt McGloin can't get it done. The Jets likely will be shorthanded in the secondary, with top corner Dee Milliner (high ankle sprain) in serioud doubt for the opener. It's likely that the Jets will have to have Antonio Allen, a converted safety, and Darrin Walls as their starting corners outside, with Kyle Wilson in the slot. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a wri

Adam Dunn homers in first A's at-bat [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 10:08 pm]
  Before he retires, slugger Adam Dunn says he wants to win a World Series ring, and the Oakland Athletics "probably" will be his last chance to make it happen — unless someone unexpectedly talks him out of retiring at the end of the 2014 season. Conversely the A's, who have mortgaged a lot to win now, need help in order to pull themselves out of a late-season tailspin and get right for the playoffs. Dunn and the A's started working together Monday afternoon and good first impressions were made. Dunn hit a two-run homer in his first plate appearance and Oakland took a 6-1 lead into the late innings against the Seattle Mariners. Batting cleanup and wearing No. 10, Dunn connected against right-hander Chris Young on a 1-1 count in the bottom of the first, hitting a towering fly just out of the reach of Seattle's Endy Chavez, who leaped at the fence. After he circled the bases, A's players greeted Dunn with a collective celebratory "knighting" in the dugout. The A's came in having been swept against the first-place Los Angeles Angels, posting a 19-22 record in the second half after owning the best record in the majors for much of the season. Dunn came in with a .220/.340/.433 batting line with 20 home runs — and 460 for his career, 36th all time. He's also the active leader in most games played without a postseason appearance, 1,977, covering 14 seasons. Alex Rios (1,582 games), Brian Roberts (1,418), Nick Markakis (1,345) and Jose Bautista (1,225) are next on the list. The A's traded minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn for Dunn, who turns 35 years old in November. More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:      - - - - - - - David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave 

St. Louis Rams claim former Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 9:59 pm]
The St. Louis Rams have added a quarterback to their mix, and he started eight more games last season than projected starter Shaun Hill has started in the past three seasons combined. Case Keenum, who was waived by the Houston Texans after they completed a trade with the New England Patriots for Ryan Mallett, was claimed by the Rams.  Keenum started half the season for the Texans in 2013, and though the team lost all eight contests (seven of them by a one-score margin), he played fairly well all things considered. Keenum got off to a solid start in his first three games last season, throwing for seven TD passes and zero interceptions with a very respectable 822 passing yards. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] But as the season wore on, Keenum's completion percentage hovered closer to 50 percent (54.2 for the season) and Keenum threw six picks in his final five games before missing the rest of the regular season with  a sprained right thumb. Keenum was thrown into the Texans' wide-open quarterback mix this offseason, but Ryan Fitzpatrick clearly established himself as the starter. Even after T.J. Yates was released, the Texans felt it was better to invest long term in fifth-round pick Tom Savage and trade for Mallett than it was to keep Yates. In St. Louis, Keenum is likely to be the backup to Hill, who replaced the injured Sam Bradford. Hill hasn't started a game since 2010. The Rams also have Austin Davis, who has yet to attempt a regular-season pass but has been on the team's roster each of the past three seasons. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

Report: Baylor QB Bryce Petty is day-to-day, has 'two cracks' in back [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 9:54 pm]
It was pretty clear that Bryce Petty’s back was bothering him early in Baylor’s game Sunday night against SMU. Petty aggravated it several times throughout the first half and had to be helped up by teammates after taking a hit when diving into the end zone. Petty was held out of the second half with what was called a bruised lower back. It turns out, according to CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd, that the injury is a bit more serious than that. Dodd is reporting that Petty, Baylor’s standout senior quarterback, actually suffered “two cracks in the transfer processes in his back.” His status is said to be “day-to-day.” From Dodd: The discovery was made after a Monday morning MRI showed that bones sticking out from the spine were cracked, according to a spokesman. Petty said he has pain but expects to play this week against Northwestern State. The injury is expected to heal on its own. Despite Petty showing visible signs of discomfort, head coach Art Briles kept him in the game because “he needed the reps.” Petty, the Big 12 offensive player of the year in 2013, said after the game that he couldn’t “walk right.” Petty said he expects to play Baylor’s next game against FCS Northwestern State, but playing that game doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Petty is obviously very important for the success of Baylor’s season. Why put him at risk for further injury against a weak opponent (that lost to Missouri State in week one) that the Bears can beat without Petty? Per Dodd, the injury “is expected to heal on its own,” so it would be wise for Briles to hold his quarterback out – even it’s just for precautionary reasons. Other Baylor players have had the same injury and were able to return relatively quickly. Petty should be able to do the same, but being cautious with this situation is probably the best course of action. After the Northwestern State game, the Bears will then visit Buffalo on Sept. 12. A bye week follows the Buffalo g

Report: Baylor QB Bryce Petty has two cracked bones in his back, listed day-to-day [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 9:23 pm]
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty has two cracks in his back stemming from an injury he suffered against SMU on Sunday, according to CBSSports.com. An MRI on Monday morning revealed that Petty had two bones sticking out from his spine that were cracked. Petty is listed as day-to-day, but expects to play in Saturday’s game against Northwestern State. Why? We have no idea. Petty was injured during the first half of the 45-0 win against SMU and the injury was made worse when he was hit while diving into the end zone. Cameras caught Petty wincing as teammates had to help their starting quarterback off the turf. Despite the obvious discomfort, Petty played the entire first half. He was held out of the second half with what Baylor called a lower back bruise. Everyone who was watching the game and even the commentators wondered why Petty was still playing when he was noticeably hobbled and the game was never in doubt. Coach Art Briles was asked why Petty stayed in the game despite the injury and Briles said: “He needed the reps.” What Petty needs to do now is sit out the gimme game against Northwestern State and get healed for games that Baylor actually needs him to win. Petty’s injury will heal on its own, but not if he continues to aggravate it and that’s exactly what will happen if he plays. Yes, Petty is a Heisman contender, but padding his stats against weak opponents isn’t going to win him the award; it’s the games against Big 12 Conference foes such as Oklahoma and Texas that will be the deciding factors. If Petty isn’t 100 percent in those games because machismo is forcing him to play games the Bears could win with 10 players then Baylor has no one but itself to blame. For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com. - - - - - - - Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty co

Real Madrid stole the idea for acquiring Chicharito from Goal II [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 9:23 pm]
Real Madrid already signed two breakout stars of the Brazil World Cup earlier in this transfer window, so to close it out, they had to look to other sources of inspiration. And with the addition of Chicharito on loan from Manchester United, it seems they took that inspiration from a fictional 2008 film set within the club. Yes, Javier Hernandez's move to Real Madrid is the story of Goal II come to life.  Let's look at the facts... Real life: Javier Hernandez, a Mexican goal scorer with a buzz cut, goes from a Premier League club (Man Utd) to Real Madrid. Goal II: Santi Munez, a Mexican goal scorer with a buzz cut goes from a Premier League club (Newcastle) to Real Madrid. Real life: Chicharito is brought to the club by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. Goal II: Munez is brought to the club by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (he played himself in the film). Real life: Chicharito says that joing Real Madrid is "a dream come true." Goal II: The full title of the film is "GOAL II: LIVING THE DREAM." And there you have it. This move is entirely based on Goal II: Living the Dream. The produces should probably sue Real Madrid for copyright infringement. @KUNOBP Un gustazo haberte conocido! Ojalá coincidamos en el futuro! Que Dios te bendiga!! 14 14 14 👍🙏 pic.twitter.com/UYAwuFkpG0— Chicharito Hernandez (@CH14_) July 10, 2014 - - - - - - - Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter! Follow @BrooksDT

Alabama DB Jarrick Williams played WVU game with broken bone in foot, will miss four weeks [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 9:05 pm]
Alabama senior Jarrick Williams knew his foot was bothering him, but he still managed to play the whole game and make three tackles in Alabama’s win over West Virginia on Saturday. What the senior safety did not know is that he actually broke a bone in his foot – an injury coach Nick Saban said Monday will keep him out for four weeks. According to Al.com, Saban referred to Williams’ injury as a “Jones fracture,” which is a “break of the fifth metatarsal at the base of his small toe.” To remedy the issue, a screw was put in Williams’ foot on Sunday. With Williams out for a while, Saban said that Geno Smith and Maurice Smith are candidates to fill in at the “star” position – a kind of hybrid safety/outside linebacker role. Eddie Jackson, who has been out with a knee injury since the spring, could also be an option after being cleared by team doctors. Williams wasn’t the only Alabama starter to suffer an injury Saturday. Saban said that wide receiver DeAndrew White will miss two weeks due to a shoulder injury. White, a senior, caught six passes for 73 yards Saturday before leaving the game with the injury. Redshirt sophomore Chris Black filled in for White against WVU. Who will be delivering the ball to those receivers this weekend against Florida Atlantic remains to be seen. Though Blake Sims was pretty solid against WVU, Saban said that Jacob Coker would get some reps, though he’s not sure how those reps will be divided between Sims and Coker. “I still don’t hesitate to say there’s a quarterback competition,” Saban said, per TideSports.com. “In some way we’ll probably try to play both quarterbacks in this game. I don’t know how. When I figure it out, I’m probably not going to tell you (reporters). Andi don’t know if that’s important to be honest with you.” Thanks, coach. For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him

Cole Hamels and three Phillies relievers combine to no-hit Braves [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 8:48 pm]
Your browser does not support iframes. At least the tough season for the Philadelphia Phillies now has a historic highlight — Cole Hamels and three Phillies relief pitchers combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves in a 7-0 win Monday, the first combined no hitter since the Seattle Mariners threw one in 2012. It's the first combined no-hitter in Phillies history, their 12th overall and their first no-hitter since 2010, when Roy Halladay threw two. This makes four no-hitters this season in MLB. Josh Beckett, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum tossed the others. Cole Hamels started things off for the Phillies on Labor Day, and his start was a bit laborsome despite not giving up any hits to the Braves' batters. He struck out seven, but walked five and threw 108 pitches. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg turned the game over to his bullpen when Hamels' spot in the batting order came up in the seventh inning. The Phillies had just a 2-0 lead at that point. Pinch hitter Grady Sizemore drew a walk, then Ben Revere followed with a three-run triple. That part of Sandberg's plan worked, but the no-hitter? That would take three more pitchers. Jake Diekman pitched a hitless seventh, striking out two. The rookie Ken Giles struck out the side of Braves in the eighth, including Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman. Phillies pitchers struck out 12 batters total. In the ninth, now holding a 7-0 lead, the Phillies gave the ball to closer Jonathan Papelbon, who isn't a stranger to meltdowns. Papelbon, however, made quick work of the Braves, getting three outs on nine pitches. Jimmy Rollins assisted with a nice place on a grounder up the middle for out No. 26, then first baseman Darin Ruf snared a liner off the bat of Phil Gosselin to end the game. The Philly Four. pic.twitter.com/HHwfygVTJE — MLB (@MLB) September 1, 2014 Controversy and disappointment have surrounded the Phillies this season, even with Hamels, their ace. He and Sandberg had tension last week. Hamels was upset after being p

Serena Williams advances to first Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 8:30 pm]
The DJ at Arthur Ashe Stadium seemed to hit play at the exact second Serena Williams closed out her fourth round match on Monday, defeating Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3.  “I am the champion, you’re gonna hear me roar,” streamed through the speakers as Williams raised her right arm in the air and pumped her fist. She’s a five-time champion here, and in the stifling heat of Monday afternoon, she came one step closer to a sixth title. After meeting Kanepi on the net, Williams turned to the crowd and pumped her fist more than a dozen times, looking as happy as 17-year-old qualifier Belinda Bencic did when she advanced to the quarterfinals last night. It was a first-time experience for Bencic, but is almost routine for Williams – she’s advanced to the quarterfinals in 11 of her 14 previous appearances here. But 2014 has been a strange season for the veteran. She fell in the 4th round at the Australian Open, the 2nd at Roland Garros and the 3rd at Wimbledon. She answered some of the critis by playing well in the lead-up to the Open, but clearly still had something to prove. And so, as she finishe the match and sealed her place in a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time this year, she looked downright jubilant.  “I did it!” she exclaimed during her on-court interview, smiling at the crowd and adding that she was so happy it happened in New York. She added that she never felt nervous during the match. “I figured no matter what, I was still in doubles,” she said, eliciting laughter from the remaining fans. Williams has played nearly every day this week, as she and sister Venus Williams continue to advance in the women’s doubles draw. They’ll play again tomorrow, facing Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals. That means Williams will not have much time to rest before her singles quarterfinal, but neither will her opponent, 11-seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy. After defeating Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 6-2 on Monday afternoon, Pennetta is pl

Hip injury kept Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon out in second half vs. LSU [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 8:11 pm]
It was perplexing to see Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon carry the ball only three times in the second half of Saturday night’s game against LSU. After he ran for 71 yards in the first half, Gordon took off for a 63-yard scamper on the Badgers’ first play of the second half. From that point on, we saw very little of Gordon as Wisconsin allowed LSU to come back from a 17-7 half time deficit and win 28-24. After the game, head coach Gary Andersen said the standout junior was fine, but Gordon told reporters Monday that, apparently unbeknownst to Andersen, he injured his hip on his last run of the first half. Melvin Gordon: My hip injury happened on my last run before halftime. I was ready to go, but they were looking out for what's best for me.— Badger Football (@BadgerFootball) September 1, 2014 Gordon when asked if the hip injury is why he was caught on long run, "Hahaha, yeah I'm gonna use that."— Badger Football (@BadgerFootball) September 1, 2014 Contradicting his postgame statement from Saturday, Andersen also said Monday that Gordon had a hip flexor injury, so he was held out for most of the second half. GA on Gordon: "Melvin had a bit of a hip flexor. We were trying to be smart with him as the rest of the game went on" #Badgers— Badger Football (@BadgerFootball) September 1, 2014 The Badgers face FCS opponent Western Illinois on Saturday. Gordon said he will be “ready to roll” on Saturday, though it doesn’t make much sense for the Badgers to jeopardize its top offensive threat in what will surely be a blowout. Gordon finished Saturday night’s game with 140 yards on just 16 carries. In 2013, he ran for 1,609 yards and 12 scores at a whopping 7.8 yards per carry. For more Wisconsin news, visit BadgerBlitz.com. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

NFL Preview Week: Which teams have the toughest first four games? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 7:25 pm]
The NFL regular season officially kicks off on Thursday when Green Bay travels to Seattle to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Shutdown Corner will be previewing everything to come all week, capped off by our awards and Super Bowl predictions on Thursday. You can’t earn or lose a playoff spot in the first month, but you don’t want to dig a deep hole you’ll spend the last three months trying to get out of. Ask the Steelers and Giants. Both teams were popular playoff picks last year, but Pittsburgh started 0-4 and the Giants started 0-6. It didn’t matter that Pittsburgh won six of its last eight or New York won seven of its last 10. Neither one made the playoffs because of the slow starts. Remember, all 16 games count the same, so the ones starting this week have the same weight in the standings as the ones in the final weeks. These teams have the toughest (and easiest) first four game stretches to start the season: Denver Broncos First four: Indianapolis, Kansas City, at Seattle, Arizona The Broncos were a good team last year, but they were a good team with a very favorable schedule. Not so this year. Denver starts the season with four games against teams that all had 10 or more wins last season. The good news is three of the four games are at home. The bad news is the road game is at Seattle, and we all know how that last meeting turned out. The Indianapolis game is huge for a Week 1 game, considering that each team is favored to win its division and the Colts have a far easier schedule. Baltimore Ravens First four: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, at Cleveland, Carolina Hope the Ravens are storing up on aspirin. They’ll face four of the toughest defenses in the NFL before the first month is over. The Browns might not be the best team, but it’s on the road and they’ll play strong D. If we could include the first six, Baltimore has road games at Indianapolis and at Tampa Bay to start October. Yikes. Cleveland Browns First four: at Pittsburgh,

UTEP RB Aaron Jones dominates in win over New Mexico, team he says never showed up for recruiting visit [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 7:24 pm]
UTEP running back Aaron Jones had some extra motivation going into the season opener against New Mexico. Jones told reporters that he had an in-home visit scheduled with New Mexico when he was a senior in high school, but the New Mexico coaches never showed up. This time around, revenge was sweet for Jones. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound sophomore from El Paso ran for a career-high 237 yards and three touchdowns in the Miners’ 31-24 road win. “They called me and told me my senior year that they were going to do an in-home visit and they never showed up,'' Jones said after the win. ''They called and told me when they were coming, my mom cooked and they never showed up. So I have to take it to them.” Jones’ 3-yard touchdown run with 2:18 to go ended up being the game-winner for the Miners, who are coming off a 2-10 season in 2013. Jones also scored on runs of 12 yards and 73 yards in the win. As a true freshman in 2013, Jones ran for 811 yards and four scores on 5.2 yards per carry in just nine games. The 811 yards is a UTEP record for a freshman. UTEP and Jones will look to build off the win Texas Tech makes the trip to El Paso next Saturday. For more UTEP news, visit MinerIllustrated.com. (H/T Deadspin) - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Check out awesome GoPro video of skydiver's flight into Croke Park for Penn State-UCF game (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 6:41 pm]
Saturday morning we told you about the little mishap with the skydivers delivering the game balls for the Croke Park Classic between UCF and Penn State in Dublin, Ireland. UCF’s skydiver somehow missed the stadium completely and ended up landing on a nearby railroad, while Penn State’s skydiver landed on the field without issue. Now, thanks to an awesome GoPro video from the dive, we get to see a phenomenal look at the Penn State skydiver’s perspective from when he jumps out of the plane to when he lands at the 50-yard line of the famous Croke Park pitch. Take a look. It’s really cool to hear the roar of the crowd as he approaches the playing surface. Penn State won the game, 26-24. (H/T Onward State) - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

The U.S. Open has a line problem [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 6:37 pm]
NEW YORK – The U.S. Open's Arthur Ashe Stadium, as majestic as it may be, has a serious issue. Until the last few days of the tournament, every other stadium and court is a better option than sitting in Ashe and watching two ants inch back and forth, a half-mile down on the court. And, there's the eternal women's vs. men's tennis debate, which is an entirely different issue. But it means there are plenty of good seats available in Arthur Ashe, and gridlock elsewhere on the grounds. The practical application of those two forces was in evidence Monday at the USTA National Tennis Center, when the schedule had world No. 1 Novak Djokovic playing on the second stadium, Louis Armstrong, for an afternoon match against Philipp Kohlschreiber. Serena Williams, the world No. 1 on the women's side and an American, was on Ashe Stadium, which was fairly full. But to those in the nosebleeds, those with grounds passes and those who simply prefer the men's game, there was only one option. And that option was close to bursting. The arrows show how long the line to get in was, and how it snaked around until it was on the other side of Arthur Ashe Stadium. And it wasn't moving. And this was after Djokovic had won the first set over Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, so it's not as though they were trying to jump into the fifth set of an epic, dramatic, U.S. Open marathon. At one point, the last group just before the actual entrance to Louis Armstrong moved – about 15 feet. There was loud applause from many of the people in line, who were in a pretty good mood considering how small their chances were of getting in, and how stifling hot it was outside while dealing with that reality.

Ryan Johansen and finding comparable talent (What We Learned) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 6:20 pm]
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) The Ryan Johansen saga stretches on and on in Columbus and neither side seems willing to budge especially far from their dug-in positions on the matter of the young center's new contract. Everyone agrees a two-year term seems wise, but when it comes to the money, not so much. Johansen wants $7 million per. The Jackets would prefer that number be $4 million per. You can see the issue. Anyone not directly involved with Johansen professionally or personally likely recognizes that $7 million is a big ask, but that the Jackets' number is probably not enough to be commensurate with a kid who just turned 22 a month ago and already has a 33-goal season under his belt. So it was a little surprising for Columbus to come out over the weekend and say, basically, that they're not unwilling to go into the season without Johansen signed, and would likely just bump every center on the depth chart up a spot. This would, of course, be detrimental to Columbus's chances of winning. That gets to the issue of what Johansen is really worth, and specifically, what would be a fair price to pay him for the next two years. It must be said that $7 million per is not a reasonable ask for Johansen's camp considering what we know of the NHL's newly rediscovered penchant for dishing out “bridge contracts” to guys whose entry-level deals are expiring; if elite players like P.K. Subban can take much shorter money than that, so too should Johansen. That's a semi-reasonable argument. But you gotta pay your talent, and Johansen's camp could contend that their client is very demonstrably the biggest talent on the team, as long as you ignore that troubled first-107-games-of-his-career stretch, in which he only scored 14 goals and 19 assists. So the question that need

Sky Sports News reporter uses vanishing spray to keep QPR fans away from him [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 6:05 pm]
One of the most inexplicable developments of the Sky Sports Newsification of transfer deadline day has been the hordes of easily excitable fans that gather around the network's reporters outside various stadiums and training grounds across England. They stand there for hours on end just for the chance to be seen on television celebrating rumors of footballers boarding airplanes or seeing a doctor. At times, these street dwellers can get a little too close and make the reporters feel like they'll be torn apart if they don't say what the mob surrounding them wants to hear. Poor SSN presenter looks like he's about to be taken in and eaten alive by these Spurs fans! pic.twitter.com/3DDAlCb1— Liam Tomkins (@liam_tomkins) January 31, 2013 But Sky reporter Gary Cotterill came up with a novel use for the vanishing spray made popular at the World Cup and now being used by the Premier League — putting a line on the asphalt and ordering the gathered QPR supporters to stay behind out. Of course, the thing about vanishing spray is that it disappears long before deadline day coverage ends. And when it does, Cotterill would be defenseless. After treating the heathens behind him this way, Cotterill went on to suffer an indignity of his own when QPR manager Harry Redknapp — a man who never met a deadline day interview through a car window he didn't like — refused to stop for a window-side chat. And that's when Gary Cotterill went full Partridge. - - - - - - - Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter! Follow @BrooksDT

New Mexico State's horse mascot knocks over girl during pregame ceremony (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 6:05 pm]
One of New Mexico State’s pregame traditions involves a horse named Keystone circling the playing field rode by mascot Pistol Pete before the opening kickoff. Before Thursday’s opener against Cal Poly, there was a bit of a mishap. Per the Las Cruces Sun-News, Zaina Atyani, a NMSU student who works in marketing for the school’s athletic department, got in Keystone’s way. The results were not pretty. The video doesn’t make things look so good, but Atyani had a lighthearted reaction to the incident. Just got knocked out by a horse. No big deal.— Zaina Atyani (@ZainaAtyani) August 29, 2014 Additionally, Eddie Morelos, NMSU’s assistant director of media relations, told the Sun-News that Atyani was “perfectly fine” after taking the hit. What a trooper. Even better for NMSU, the Aggies came out on top and beat Cal Poly 28-10. For more New Mexico State news, visit CrimsonIllustrated.com. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper





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