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Chiefs try to regroup after 3 straight losses


December 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Everything has changed in the last three weeks for the Kansas City Chiefs. In the nine weeks prior their bye week, the Chiefs had rolled to a 9-0 record, an unimaginable turnaround from a 2-14 finish a year ago. The defense was holding opponents to just 13.3 points per game, and the offense was playing nearly mistake-free football.

After a pair of losses to the Broncos sandwiched around a heartbreaking defeat to the Chargers, the Chiefs not only have watched the AFC West lead slip away, they’ve also become the first team in NFL to win its first nine games and then lose three in a row.

It is gut-check time for the Chiefs, who play at Washington this Sunday.

Iowa’s Kirksey, Morris, Kornbrath Draw Honors


December 2nd, 2013 by Jim Field

Iowa senior linebacker Christian Kirksey was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week.   In gaining the honor for the first time in his career, Kirksey had a team-leading 11 tackles in the Hawkeyes’ 38-17 victory over Nebraska, including three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one pass deflection.

Kirksey and James Morris earned several honors for their performance at Nebraska.  Among them…..

The Walter Camp Football Foundation named Kirksey the national defensive player of the week.  Morris was selected by the College Football Performance Awards as national defensive performer of the week and national linebacker of the week.

The College Football Performance Awards also named Kirksey honorable mention linebacker of the week.  Connor Kornbrath was named honorable mention as its punter of the week.

Morris was also named Big Ten defensive player of the week by College Sports Madness and Athlon Sports.

Morris finished with 10 tackles and his fourth interception of the season.

Rohach Named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week


December 2nd, 2013 by Jim Field

AMES, Iowa- Freshman QB Grant Rohach led Iowa State to its biggest come-from-behind win (24 points) in school history on Saturday at West Virginia. The Big 12 Conference awarded Rohach for his outstanding performance, naming him Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week.

A native of Moorpark, Calif., Rohach threw for a career-high 331 yards and four touchdowns on 25-of-39 passing, as the Cyclones defeated West Virginia, 52-44 in triple overtime. Down 38-21 in the fourth quarter, Rohach led the Cyclones to scores on their final seven possessions, connecting on a pair of touchdown passes to senior Justin Coleman.

His 25-yard pass to Coleman on the first play of the third overtime proved to be the game-winner.

Rohach, who also had a 54-yard touchdown run in the first half, the longest rush of the season for the Cyclones, recorded his second-straight 300-yard passing game. He is the only Cyclone freshman QB in school history to record a pair of 300-yard passing games in a season. His four TD passes ties for third on ISU’s single-game list and equals the freshman mark.

Manning, Decker lead Broncos past Chiefs 35-28


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Peyton Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns, four of them to Eric Decker, and the Denver Broncos held off a furious rally to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-28 Sunday and seize control of the AFC West.  Decker had eight catches for a career-high 174 yards for the Broncos (10-2), who moved a game clear of the Chiefs (9-3) in the division. With four games left, Denver also holds the tiebreaker by virtue of two wins over Kansas City in the last three weeks.

Jamaal Charles had 93 yards rushing for the Chiefs, and capped a 17-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:32 left in the game to close within a touchdown. After forcing a punt with 3:32 remaining, Kansas City used three long pass plays to move deep into Broncos territory. But Alex Smith’s pass to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone on fourth-and-4 with 1:45 left fell incomplete, allowing the Broncos to run out the clock.

Broncos’ Thomas leaves with shoulder injury


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas left after the first series of Denver’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday with a shoulder injury. His return was questionable.  The Broncos were already missing several starters due to injuries.

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson went on injured reserve this week after dislocating his right hip, defensive end Derek Wolfe was left behind in Denver after he was hospitalized Friday with some seizure-like symptoms, cornerback Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie was out with a shoulder injury and tight end Julius Thomas was inactive with a lingering knee injury.

Demaryius Thomas came into the game needing 45 yards receiving for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He had one catch for 14 yards on the Broncos’ first possession.

Iowa beats Iowa State 23-9 in wrestling


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa won seven of 10 matches and beat host Iowa State 23-9 Sunday in their annual wrestling dual meet.  The fourth-ranked Hawkeyes (4-0) beat the rival Cyclones for the 10th straight time and claimed the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for the fourth time in as many tries.

Top-ranked Derek St. John beat Iowa State’s John Nicholson 5-1 to clinch the meet for Iowa, which scored a pair of major decisions.  Kyven Gadson, Quean Smith and Luke Goettl posted wins for the Cyclones (5-1).

Iowa State fires OC Messingham after 3-9 season


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State has fired offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope. Coach Paul Rhoads announced Sunday that Messingham and Pope were “relieved” of their duties less than 24 hours after Iowa State closed out a 3-9 season with a 52-44 triple-overtime win at West Virginia.

Messingham had been with Rhoads for five seasons, the last two as offensive coordinator. But the Cyclones averaged just 24.8 points a game this season and rank 89th nationally with 143.8 yards rushing per game.

The Cyclones say that Rhoads won’t have additional comment on the moves for at least two weeks.

Drake pushes past Cal St Bakersfield 65-57


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Richard Carter scored 18 points and Drake beat Cal State Bakersfield 65-57 in the final round of the Fresno State Classic on Sunday. Drake (6-1) led at the half 30-22 with the Bulldogs controlling the boards and outscoring CSUB at the free throw line

Drake increased its second half lead to 11 on a Karl Madison 3-pointer with five minutes remaining, but the Roadrunners (5-3) erased that deficit to only 3 points (58-55) over the next two minutes. Carter took over for Drake in the final minutes scoring a clutch layup and sinking three foul shots to spread the gap to eight at the buzzer. Drake shot 14 of 17 from the foul line and CSUB was only 6 for 9 accounting for the difference in the game.

Issiah Grayson led Roadrunner scorers with 11 points with Corey Hall and Zach Lamb netting 10 apiece.

Drake cruises past Northern Arizona 76-56


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Chris Caird scored 16 points and Richard Carter added 12 with seven assists and four steals as Drake defeated Northern Arizona 76-56 in a Fresno State Classic matchup Saturday night. The Bulldogs (5-1) shot 52.6 percent from the field and jumped out to an early 14-2 lead as Caird, Gary Ricks and Aaron Hawley each sank 3-pointers.

Northern Arizona (2-5) cut the lead to seven on a Max Jacobsen layup, but a 17-9 surge sparked by two more 3-pointers from Caird gave Drake a 15-point lead at halftime. The Lumberjacks could only pull within 12 in the second half as Drake continued the onslaught with Carter hitting a trey to grab a 62-39 lead.

Four Bulldogs finished in double figures and combined to hit 10 3-pointers with Hawley scoring 13 points and Gary Ricks Jr. adding 10. Quinton Upshur paced Northern Arizona with 20 points and Kris Yanku had 12.

Villanova wins Atlantis, tops No. 23 Iowa 88-83


December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — James Bell scored 20 points and sparked a huge Villanova rally, Josh Hart added 16 and the Wildcats beat No. 23 Iowa 88-83 in overtime to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis championship on Saturday night. JayVaughn Pinkston scored 14 points and Ryan Arcidiacono added 13 for the Wildcats (7-0), who got two big offensive rebounds in the final seconds of overtime.

Kris Jenkins scored five of his 10 points in overtime for Villanova, which was down by 15 in the first half, then held Iowa (7-1) to one field goal for nearly a 10-minute stretch of the second half. Devyn Marble led all scorers with 24 points for Iowa. Zach McCabe scored 14 and Mike Gesell added 10 for the Hawkeyes, who scored the first three points of overtime but never led again.