BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

NCC

Delta 60, Central 55

Harrison 58, Lebanon 35

Cathedral 97, Tech 73

Logansport 64, Maconaquah 53

Marion 69, Bishop Dwenger 66

Mississinewa 65, Kokomo 63

Richmond 49, Connersville 39

TEC

Eastern Hancock 72, Lincoln 64

Monroe Central 58, Hagerstown 25

Union County 51, Knightstown 39

Centerville at Rushville, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Tri at Union City , 6 pm, ppd.

MEC

Connersville Christian 58, Union (Modoc) 52

Daleville 57, Wes-Del 53

Eastern Hancock 72, Lincoln 64

Leo 59, Shenandoah 43

Monroe Central 58, Hagerstown 25

Wapahani 59, Wabash 48

Alexandria at Wapahani, 7:30 pm, ppd.

EASTERN INDIANA

East Central 41, Batesville 36

Richmond 49, Connersville 39

Centerville at Rushville, 7:30 pm, ppd.

HOOSIER HERITAGE

Delta 60, Central 55

Franklin Central 73, New Palestine 57

Guerin Catholic 80, Pendleton Heights 44

New Castle 69, Burris 41

Mount Vernon at Southport, 7:30 pm, ppd.

COMPLETE BOYS SCOREBOARD

SATURDAY’ S GAMES
Argos46Pioneer39 
Bloomington South55Floyd Central40 
Brownsburg61Ben Davis45 
Carmel50New Albany42 
Central Christian75Providence Cristo Rey37 
Central Noble68DeKalb56 
Chesterton87Gary 21st Century47 
Clinton Central42Attica34 
Connersville Christian58Union (Modoc)52 
Covenant Christian (DeMotte)58Tri-County37 
Daleville57Wes-Del53 
Delta60Muncie Central55 
East Central41Batesville36 
Eastern Greene52Scottsburg38 
Eastern Hancock72Cambridge City Lincoln64 
Elkhart78Valparaiso69 
Evansville Central72Indianapolis Metropolitan53 
Evansville Memorial67Evansville Christian50 
Fort Wayne Concordia49Oak Hill41 
Fort Wayne Wayne48Columbia City45 
Fountain Central48Western Boone46 
Frankfort48Western42 
Franklin Central73New Palestine57 
Frontier52South Newton49 
Gary West56Castle55 
Greencastle56Cloverdale33 
Greenwood Christian64Bethesda Christian41 
Guerin Catholic80Pendleton Heights44 
Hammond67Evansville North54 
Hanover Central67Wheeler27 
Harrison (West Lafayette)58Lebanon35 
Hauser43Switzerland County22 
Homestead71South Bend St. Joseph46 
Indianapolis Attucks65North Central (Indianapolis)61 
Indianapolis Cathedral97Indianapolis Tech73 
Indianapolis Herron66Cascade64 
Indianapolis International57Indianapolis Shortridge38 
Indianapolis Ritter71Indianapolis Lutheran60 
Indianapolis Roncalli43Indianapolis Scecina36 
Jac-Cen-Del84Trinity Lutheran66 
Jennings County57Seymour38 
Jimtown57Fairfield33 
John Glenn50LaVille47 
Kankakee Valley75North Newton60 
LaPorte66Knox47 
Lake Central64Hammond Morton49 
Lawrence North89Fort Wayne Northrop42 
Leo59Shenandoah43 
Lighthouse CPA68Indianapolis HomeSchool59 
Linton-Stockton51Loogootee44 
Logansport64Maconaquah53 
Loogootee71Springs Valley40 
Madison-Grant65Tri-Central53 
Madison91Austin47 
Marion69Fort Wayne Dwenger66 
Mississinewa65Kokomo63 
Monroe Central58Hagerstown25 
Monrovia63Edinburgh53 
Mooresville67Terre Haute North45 
Morgan Twp.59South Bend Clay46 
New Castle69Muncie Burris41 
New Washington46Oldenburg Academy44OT
North Putnam73Indian Creek69 
Norwell48Heritage47 
Orleans47Henryville44 
Parke Heritage74South Putnam36 
Peru68Southwood57 
Purdue Poly Englewood96Indianapolis Riverside67 
Richmond49Connersville39 
River Forest77Whiting52 
Rock Creek Academy58Northeast Dubois46 
Rossville69Seeger39 
South Bend Riley79Fort Wayne Snider75OT
South Knox56North Knox44 
South Ripley85South Decatur78 
Southwestern (Shelbyville)54Waldron39 
Tell City54Washington49OT
Tippecanoe Valley56Caston53OT
Tri-West73Benton Central49 
Triton Central64North Decatur31 
Triton60Plymouth40 
Twin Lakes48Covington46 
Union County51Knightstown39 
University56Traders Point Christian28 
Wapahani59Wabash48 
Warsaw48Portage32 
Washington Catholic68Columbus Christian20 
West Noble40Bethany Christian28 
Westfield66Tipton32 
Zionsville60Bloomington North55 
Gibson County Classic
North Daviess56Gibson Southern30 
North Posey56Wood Memorial33 
Owen Valley63Princeton61 
Washington County Invitational
Eastern (Pekin)56West Washington38 

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

NCC

Central 51, Randolph Southern 30

Kokomo at Eastbrook, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Logansport at Winamac, 1:30 pm, ppd.

TEC

Northeastern 55, Hagerstown 38

Waldron 70, Knightstown 15

Centerville at Blue River, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Morristown at Tri, 7:30 pm, ppd.

MEC

Daleville 31, Wes-Del 21

Central 51, Randolph Southern 30

Centerville at Blue River, 7:30 pm, ppd.

EASTERN INDIANA

Batesville 66, South Decatur 32

Greensburg 51, South Ripley 46

Lawrenceburg 50, Rushville 38

North Decatur 53, South Dearborn 31

HOOSIER HERITAGE

Franklin 69, Shelbyville 42

Greenfield 54, Delta 19

Mt. Vernon 43, New Palestine 29

COMPLETE GIRLS SCOREBOARD

SATURDAY’ S GAMES
Adams Central39Bluffton32 
Alexandria72Southern Wells41 
Andrean72Hobart38 
Argos53Elkhart Christian27 
Batesville66South Decatur32 
Bedford North Lawrence62Madison53 
Ben Davis76Martinsville66 
Bethany Christian57Jimtown23 
Brown County64West Vigo33 
Carmel52Portage38 
Carroll (Flora)93Frankfort21 
Cascade69University58 
Castle68Bloomington South36 
Center Grove51Pike48 
Central Christian53Providence Cristo Rey36 
Clay City50Shakamak46 
Columbia City47East Noble34 
Corydon Central62Scottsburg57 
Daleville31Wes-Del21 
Eastbrook59Fort Wayne Dwenger50 
Eminence79Indianapolis Washington22 
Evansville Central53Evansville Reitz33 
Fort Wayne South57Jay County41 
Franklin69Shelbyville42 
Frankton52Oak Hill38 
Greenfield-Central54Delta19 
Greensburg51South Ripley46 
Greenwood Christian65Bethesda Christian52 
Hamilton Heights39Northwestern27 
Heritage Christian69Indianapolis Cathedral61 
Heritage45Woodlan43 
Huntington North38Leo26 
Indianapolis Chatard77Indianapolis Scecina32 
Indianapolis Ritter51Guerin Catholic43 
John Glenn50Bremen42 
Lafayette Central Catholic57Rochester33 
Lakeland59Eastside42 
Lawrence North52Brownsburg50 
Lawrenceburg50Rushville38 
Linton-Stockton74Mitchell30 
Loogootee71Springs Valley40 
Mishawaka54Concord37 
Mississinewa47Madison-Grant40 
Mooresville50Edgewood32 
Morgan Twp.42North White37 
Mount Vernon (Fortville)43New Palestine29 
Muncie Central51Randolph Southern30 
North Central (Farmersburg)75Bloomington Lighthouse19 
North Central (Indianapolis)72Columbus East60 
North Daviess51Evansville Harrison30 
North Decatur53South Dearborn31 
North Knox54Pike Central39 
Northeastern55Hagerstown38 
Northfield58Wabash45 
Norwell75DeKalb32 
Park Tudor55Beech Grove25 
Pioneer46Triton34 
Plainfield68Greenwood26 
Rensselaer Central81South Newton24 
Salem65Floyd Central32 
Silver Creek67Brownstown Central38 
South Knox47Sullivan42 
South Putnam61Parke Heritage32 
Southport59Terre Haute South29 
Southwestern (Hanover)45Crothersville28 
Southwood52Peru36 
Terre Haute North66Evansville North53 
Tippecanoe Valley60Whitko31 
Tri-Central52Clinton Central49 
Triton Central68Edinburgh43 
Valparaiso77Hammond Clark8 
Waldron70Knightstown15 
Warsaw67Wawasee16 
Washington Twp.37West Central22 
Washington63Tecumseh51 
Western58Maconaquah44 
Westfield53Noblesville45 
Zionsville68Franklin Central31 
Gibson County Classic
Gibson Southern61Vincennes Rivet37 
Princeton54Owen Valley45 
Perry-Spencer Tournament
Heritage Hills92Tell City13 
Perry Central48South Spencer36 
South Spencer41Tell City24 
Heritage Hills63Perry Central38 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Gonzaga 99 #3 Iowa 88

#2 Baylor 100 Kansas State 69

#7 Villanova 88 St. Joseph’s 68

#12 Wisconsin 85 #23 Louisville 48

Central Florida 86 #15 Florida State 74

#20 Ohio State 77 UCLA 70

#22 North Carolina 75 Kentucky 63

Indiana 68 Butler 60

Purdue 88 Notre Dame 78

Auburn 77 Troy 41

Citadel 91 Longwood 89

East Carolina 73 James Madison 64

North Carolina Greensboro 71 Elon 64

Indiana State 67 Ball State 57

Akron 93 Malone 83

Western Kentucky 73 Alabama 71

Texas State 70 Denver 68

Wright State 93 Detroit 70

Drexel 85 Fairleigh Dickinson 68

Hartford 63 Maine 60

Marist 61 Manhattan 39

Louisiana Tech 86 Lamar 57

West Virginia Tech 73 Morgan State 67

Toledo 71 Valparaiso 57

St. Bonaventure 77 Hofstra 69

Tulane 77 Grambling 65

High Point 71 William and Mary 49

Milwaukee 68 Green Bay 65

Stony Brook 73 Binghamton 59

Northern Kentucky 79 Youngstown State 64

Dayton 65 Ole Miss 62

Oregon 80 Portland 41

Chattanooga 69 Alabama Birmingham 66

Sam Houston 82 Rice 69

Southern Mississippi 60 Louisiana Monroe 47

Alabama A&M 93 S. Alabama 90 2OT

Miami Florida 73 Jacksonville 64

Eastern Tennessee 62 Lee University 53

Charlotte 76 North Carolina A&T 72

Niagara 81 Fairfield 61

North Carolina State 69 Campbell 50

Maryland Baltimore County 65 Albany 64

Winthrop 87 Furman 71

LaSalle 71 Delaware 61

Samford 65 Kennesaw State 63

Temple 72 New Jersey Tech 60

California 87 Northridge 56

Flagler 73 N. Florida 66

St. Peters 78 Monmouth 76

Oklahoma 84 Houston Baptist 65

Virginia Tech 97 Coppin State 57

Kansas City 95 Kansas City Christian 36

Cal Santa Barbara 75 Pepperdine 63

Eastern Washington 80 Northern Arizona 64

Stetson 95 Carver College 51

UC Irvine 85 San Diego 53

Syracuse 107 Buffalo 96 OT

Fresno State 78 Fresno Pacific 65

Georgia Southern 103 Florida International 99 2OT

Illinois Chicago 74 Oakland 71

Iona 72 Rider 64

Cleveland State 63 Fort Wayne 61

Stanford 78 Arizona 75

Georgia 83 Cincinnati 68

Bradley 69 Miami Ohio 68

St. Mary’s 53 Colorado State 33

Louisiana 75 McNeese State 65

Missouri State 94 Northwestern State 67

Vanderbilt 59 Radford 50

Loyola Marymount 76 Cal Poly 52

Dixie State 90 Bethesda 69

Hawaii 89 Hawaii Hilo 60

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Stanford 80 USC 60

#3 Connecticut 106 Xavier 59

#7 Baylor 117 McNeese State 24

#7 Oregon 73 Washington 49

#9 Kentucky 98 Wofford 37

#11 UCLA 71 California 37

#12 Arkansas 80 Little Rock 70

#14 Maryland 101 James Madison 59

South Dakota State 60 #20 Missouri State 52

Washington State 61 #21 Oregon State 55

#24 DePaul 72 Georgetown 54

Evansville 66 Miami Ohio 60

Buffalo 71 St. Bonaventure 52

Bowling Green 76 Morehead State 61

IUPUI 78 Cleveland State 44

Oakland 75 Wright State 69

Northern Kentucky 83 Fort Wayne 48

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

#10 Oklahoma 27 #6 Iowa state 21

#4 Ohio State 22 #14 Northwestern 10

#5 Texas A&M 34 Tennessee 13

#3 Clemson 34 #2 Notre Dame 10

#9 Cincinnati 27 #23 Tulsa 24

#1 Alabama 52 #7 Florida 46

Utah 45 Washington State 28

Army 10 Air Force 7

LSU 53 Ole Miss 48

Mississippi State 51 Missouri 32

Wisconsin 20 Minnesota 17 OT

Penn State 56 Illinois 21

Stanford 48 UCLA 47 2OT

Arizona State 46 Oregon State 33

NFL

Buffalo 48 Denver 19

Green Bay 24 Carolina 16

NBA PRE-SEASON

Orlando 120 Charlotte 117

Washington 99 Detroit 96

Atlanta 117 Memphis 116…Desmond Bane 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals

SPORTS HEADLINES

SERMON SETS RUSHING RECORD, BUCKEYES WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT B1G TITLE

Seeking to remain unbeaten and hoist its forth Big Ten trophy in as many seasons, Ohio State overcame missing several key players and a halftime to deficit and rode a record setting performance from running back Trey Sermon for a hard-fought 22-10 victory against a game Northwestern team Saturday in Indianapolis.

Sermon rolled up 331 yards on 29 carries, topping the Ohio State all-time single-game record set by Eddie George in 1995 (314 vs. Illinois). Sermon added a pair of touchdowns on the day. Sermon’s 331 yards is the most all-time in any conference championship game.

Senior linebacker Justin Hilliard had several key plays in the game as he intercepted a pass in the NW endzone and recovered a fumble for the Buckeye defense.

Ohio State, now 6-0, claimed its 39th overall Big Ten championship and will await its postseason fate announced Sunday.

Northwestern (6-2) heads into the bowl season with two losses in its last three games and a second runner-up finish to the Buckeyes in three years.

It was a struggle for Ohio State.

After the Buckeyes settled for a field goal on the game’s first possession, Northwestern running back Cam Porter answered with a 9-yard TD run late in the first quarter. The Buckeyes trailed from that moment until Sermon’s 9-yard run with 2:41 left in the third priod.

The Buckeyes had trailed for all of 5 minutes, 5 seconds this season – until they fell behind for nearly 32 minutes Saturday.

Ohio State added a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, and Sermon, who had 29 carries, sealed the win with a 3-yard scoring run with 4:03 to go.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was 12 of 27 with 114 yards and ran 12 times for 35 yards.

Porter finished with 16 carries and 61 yards. Northwestern quarterback Peyton Ramsey was 24 of 37 with 224 yards but was picked off twice and lost a fumble – all in the second half.

THE TAKEAWAY

Northwestern: For the second time in three years, the Wildcats proved they were worthy West Division champions. But like just about every other Big Ten team over the last decade, there’s still a gap between the Buckeyes and everyone else. Northwestern might be closing the gap – the Wildcats just haven’t overcome it yet.

Ohio State: When the Big Ten waived the six-game eligibility requirement, the Buckeyes took full advantage. They didn’t earn any style points, but they got the job done despite being short-handed.

MISSING OUT

The Buckeyes certainly weren’t at full strength Saturday. They released an inactive list of nearly two dozen players less than two hours before kickoff, nearly the same total that missed the Michigan State game.

Among those sitting out were star receiver Chris Olave, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Tyler Friday and punter Drue Chrisman. Safety Marcus Hooker, listed as a game-time decision, also sat out.

The Buckeyes didn’t say whether any of those on the inactive list tested positive for COVID-19. If so, Big Ten rules would require them to sit out 21 days and potentially keeping them out of the semifinal game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Northwestern: The Wildcats may slip in the polls but this loss shouldn’t hurt their bowl resume much.

Ohio State: Whatever happens in the polls this week, the Buckeyes really only care about one thing – making the playoff.

UP NEXT

Northwestern: Will find out Sunday where it will head for bowl season.

Ohio State: Will wait to see if it has earned one of the precious four playoff spots.

ALABAMA GETS BY FLORIDA FOR SEC TITLE

In a season of blowouts, Alabama finally got tested. Against a team that just wouldn’t quit, the Crimson Tide required every last point.

Nick Saban needed his offensive stars to shine as bright as they have all season.

Boy, did they ever.

Najee Harris rushed for 178 yards and scored five touchdowns. Mac Jones threw for 418 yards and five TDs. DeVonta Smith hauled in 15 receptions for 184 yards and two scores.

It was just enough to send No. 1 Alabama to the College Football Playoff with a perfect record, holding off No. 11 Florida in a 52-46 shootout for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday night.

“Those guys are pretty phenomenal. They have been all year,” Saban said. “They certainly delivered tonight when we needed them to.”

The Crimson Tide (11-0, No. 1 CFP) got its toughest challenge in a season of blowouts, but the result was the same. Another win. Now, with one of his best teams yet, the 69-year-old coach heads to the playoff in search of his seventh national title.

“This has been a year with a lot of disruptions,” said Saban, who had his own bout with COVID-19. “The resiliency this team has shown this season to win 11 games is pretty phenomenal.”

After trailing 35-17 at halftime, Florida (8-3, No. 7 CFP) made a game of it with a pair of third-quarter scores. And the Gators fought to the bitter end, adding two more TDs in the fourth period before the clock hit zero.

“We were rolling pretty good,” said quarterback Kyle Trask, who threw for 408 yards and three TDs. “We just ran out of time.”

Harris, the game’s MVP, essentially established residency in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium end zones.

The senior running back had 31 bruising carries, scoring on plays of 8 and 1 yards and leaping like a hurdler over a defender who tried to go low on a 19-yard run.

Amazingly, Harris was even more dynamic in the passing game. He hauled in five throws for 67 yards, including touchdown plays of 23, 17 and 7 yards in Alabama’s first-half blitz. The shortest of those scoring catches may have been his best, as Harris sent a would-be tackler tumbling to the turf with a dazzling spin move.

“I’ve been catching the ball since birth,” he quipped. “People don’t expect it because of the running back name, but I can catch.”

Harris set an SEC championship game record with his five touchdowns, breaking the mark of four scored by Auburn’s Tre Mason in 2013. The Alabama senior also knocked off a couple of school records, setting new standards for career rushing TDs (44) and overall TDs (54).

The two quarterbacks did nothing to hurt their standing as two of the leading Heisman Trophy contenders. Neither did Smith, the Crimson Tide’s other top candidate.

After Saturday night’s performance, Harris should probably be in the mix as well.

“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “The two guys we’ve got up there now is good enough.”

In addition to catching all those passes, Smith came up with a key fumble recovery after Florida’s Trey Dean picked off a throw from Jones, snatching the ball away from the intended receiver, only to cough it up on a brutal, blind-side hit by Alabama receiver John Metchie.

Jones threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Smith on the very next play.

Trask was 26 of 40 with a 51-yard scoring pass early on to Kadarius Toney, who finished with eight receptions for 153 yards. The Gators quarterback also hooked up with Trevon Grimes on a 50-yard touchdown throw, in addition to scoring one of his own with a 1-yard run.

Give Florida credit: Coming off a shocking home loss to LSU, the Gators fought to the very end.

“I thought we showed a lot of character,” coach Dan Mullen said. “That was an excellent team we played … give them credit. That’s why they’re ranked No. 1 in the country.”

The final quarter was thriller for the socially distanced crowd of 16,520 scattered throughout the 75,000-seat stadium.

After Harris’ lunged over from the 1 for final TD to extend Alabama’s lead to 45-31, the Gators responded with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated with Damien Pierce’s own 1-yard touchdown plunge.

Alabama’s high-powered offense struck right back. Harris ripped off a 29-yard run deep into Florida territory, and Smith finished it off by hauling in a 15-yard scoring pass from Jones after a play-action fake to Harris froze the Gators defense.

Florida had one more big drive in its arsenal, zipping down the field on another 75-yard possession that ended with Trask lofting a 22-yard TD pass to his star tight end, Kyle Pitts. Trask then ran for a two-point conversion.

That would be the last gasp.

Alabama recovered an onside kick and ran out all but the final 16 seconds. Trask was sacked on the final play of the game.

After missing the College Football Playoff a year ago for the first time since the four-team format was adopted in 2014, the Crimson Tide is back in familiar territory with an offense that averages nearly 50 points a game and seemingly has too many weapons for just 11 men to stop.

“I really love this team,” Saban said.

OKLAHOMA WINS ANOTHER BIG 12 TITLE

Spencer Rattler threw a 45-yard touchdown to Marvin Mims and also ran for a score as No. 12 Oklahoma won its sixth consecutive Big 12 title, holding on to beat No. 8 Iowa State 27-21 in the conference championship game Saturday.

Big 12 rushing leader Breece Hall ran for two touchdowns for the Cyclones (8-3, No. 6 CFP) in the second half, when Oklahoma punted on its first five drives before Gabe Brkic’s 32-yard field goal with 2:01 left. The Sooners finally clinched the game when Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was under pressure and threw his third interception, a fluttering pass picked off by Tre Brown inside the 10.

The Sooners will play in a New Year’s Six game, probably back at AT&T Stadium, after winning their fourth Big 12 championship in a row since the title game was reinstated – with four different starting quarterbacks. Rattler, who finished 22-of-34 passing for 272 yards and his 25th TD, is the first of those QBs who went to Oklahoma as a freshman instead of transferring into the program.

Iowa State played in a conference championship game for the first time in school history, though fifth-year coach Matt Campbell was incensed at times. Standout defensive back Isheem Young was ejected after a questionable targeting call in the opening minute, and the Cyclones later didn’t get a fourth-down call when trying to draw Oklahoma offside even when two Sooners appeared to jump over the line.

Rattler hit Mims in stride behind two defenders on the opening play of the second quarter to put Oklahoma up 14-0. That came after a 16-yard catch by Mims to end the first quarter on a pass that first deflected off two defenders. Campbell lost it on the sideline, pointing and screaming, but like his team calmed down and got back in the game.

After Iowa State finally scored with 1:34 left in the first half on Purdy’s 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charlie Kolar, the Sooners got a 43-yard kickoff return from Brown. That set up a quick four-play drive capped by Rattler’s 9-yard keeper for a 24-7 halftime lead.

Oklahoma led throughout, scoring on the game’s opening drive when third-string freshman quarterback Chandler Morris came in for a 2-yard TD keeper. Brkic, who was just wide right on a 43-yard field goal attempt, was later good on a 54-yarder that was the longest for the Sooners since 1990.

The Sooners won their 14th Big 12 championship and their 50th conference title in school history. Their streak of six consecutive outright league titles is the longest for a Power Five program since they won 12 consecutive titles in the old Big Eight from 1948-59. (Clemson went into Saturday’s ACC title game with five consecutive outright titles).

The Sooners are bowl-bound for the 22nd year in a row.

CINCINNATI WINS AAC

Cole Smith made a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 6 Cincinnati a 27-24 victory over No. 20 Tulsa on Saturday night in the rainy American Conference Championship game.

Alec Pierce had a career-high 146 yards receiving on five catches, Desmond Ridder passed for 269 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score, and Jerome Ford added a 42-yard scoring run for the Bearcats (9-0, No. 9 CFP).

Tulsa (6-2, No. 23 CFP) reached the conference championship game following three straight losing seasons. It was the Golden Hurricane’s first appearance in the AAC title game.

Tulsa tied it with 3:41 remaining on Zach Smith’s 13-yard touchdown pass to JuanCarlos Santana. But the Golden Hurricane defense jumped offside on a hard count on fourth-and-2, giving the Bearcats a first down at the 19 to set up Smith’s kick.

After Jarrell White’s interception ended a promising drive for Tulsa, the Bearcats went ahead 7-0 on Ford’s 42-yard touchdown run. Pierce had a pair of acrobatic catches in the first quarter. He had a one-armed catch to help set up the first touchdown. His 45-yard grab led to a field goal.

Jaxon Player’s recovery of Ridder’s fumble at the Bearcats 28 set up Corey Taylor’s 10-yard TD run that tied it at 10.

Tulsa struggled to cover Pierce. He had 126 yards receiving yards in the first half, including a 36-yard TD catch to help Cincinnati take a 17-10 lead into halftime.

Deneric Prince’s 8-yard TD run capped a 55-yard drive on Tulsa’s opening possession of the third quarter, tying it at 17. Ridder scored on a 10-yard run to put the Bearcats back ahead.

In last year’s AAC championship game, Cincinnati led Memphis by one point with four minutes remaining, but lost 29-24.

The Golden Hurricane have had 16 come-from-behind wins since Philip Montgomery took over as head coach in 2015. They nearly pulled off another.

Cincinnati hadn’t played since Nov. 21 due to COVID-19 issues, and the rust showed with 12 penalties and two lost fumbles.

CFP MOVED FROM CALIFORNIA TO TEXAS

The College Football Playoff semifinal scheduled to be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Jan. 1 is relocating to the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Texas, a move prompted by California’s ban on spectators at sporting events during the pandemic.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Saturday night that conference commissioners who make up the CFP management committee and the Tournament of Roses mutually agreed to relocate the game because of the “growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California.”

“The game in Dallas will still be played in the mid-afternoon window on New Year’s Day,” Hancock said in a statement. “We are pleased that parents and loved ones will now be able to see their students play in the game.”

The decision, announced about 13 1/2 hours before the playoff field was scheduled to be set Sunday, is just the latest twist during a college football season played through myriad disruptions caused of COVID-19.

The Rose Bowl, known as the Granddaddy of all college football’s postseason games, has been played every year since 1916.

Coaches and school officials with playoff contenders have complained in recent days about the Rose Bowl being unable to accommodate players’ family members because of California’s COVID-19 restrictions, put in a place as the state tries to fight a public health crisis that is straining its hospitals.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly even went to so far as to suggest that if the Fighting Irish were selected to play in the Rose Bowl the school would boycott if players’ families were not allowed to attend.

The Rose Bowl asked the state for an exception to the restriction, but was denied twice, including earlier this week. The restrictions have been in place since March and UCLA has played its home football games at the Rose Bowl since November, including its regular-season finale Saturday night.

None of the teams in contention to be selected for the playoff are from the western United States.

“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make,” said David Eads, Tournament of Roses CEO and Executive Director. “While we remain confident that a game could have been played at the Rose Bowl Stadium, as evident in the other collegiate and professional games taking place in the region, the projection of COVID-19 cases in the region has continued on an upward trend.”

Hancock said it had not yet been determined if the semifinal at AT&T Stadium in Arlington would still be called the Rose Bowl. The name is part of licensing agreement and is co-owned by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena.

If not, it would be the first time in more than 100 years no Rose Bowl game was played after a college football season. The first Rose Bowl was played Jan. 1, 1902.

The last time the Rose Bowl game was played outside Pasadena, California, was 1942. The game between Oregon State and Duke was played in Durham, North Carolina, because the West Coast was deemed unsafe after the attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

BILLS WIN DIVISION FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1995

Donning gray caps that declared them AFC East champions for the first time since 1995, the Buffalo Bills acted like this was old hat.

“We’re going to enjoy it on the flight back home, but we know the job ain’t done yet,” defensive end Jerry Hughes said after the Bills’ 48-19 dismantling of the Denver Broncos officially ended New England’s 11-year reign atop the division.

“We still have a lot more to accomplish,” added Hughes, who contributed to the Bills’ biggest blowout of 2020 with a 21-yard fumble return for a touchdown just 17 seconds after Josh Allen’s second TD run.

Sporting blue T-shirts that read “Won but not done,” the Bills (11-3) acted like the Patriots did all those years when they dominated the division and AFC East titles were mere stepping stones.

“It’s great that we’re able to do it the first time in 25 years,” Allen said. “To be the team and to be the quarterback on the team that does it, obviously feels really good. At the same time, that’s not our end goal. We set out to do this in order to get the chance to do what we really want to do, and that’s to win a Super Bowl championship.”

No disrespect to those celebrating, of course.

“I know our fans and Bills Mafia is probably going crazy right now,” Allen added. “But there’s still a lot on the table.”

Buffalo coach Sean McDermott said he received a congratulatory email from Marv Levy, the last Bills coach to win the AFC East.

But he, too, was looking beyond winning a division title.

“We have more work to do,” McDermott said.

Allen, who wasn’t even born the last time the Bills won the division in 1995, ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more against the team that bypassed him in the 2018 NFL draft despite his starring at windy Wyoming, just 2 1/2 hours north of Denver.

Asked if the snub by Broncos general manager John Elway, who chose linebacker Bradley Chubb instead, made this milestone moment any more meaningful, Allen responded, “I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

While the Bills have turned things around in Allen’s three seasons, the Broncos (5-9) continue to founder. This loss secured their fourth consecutive losing season, something that hadn’t happened in Denver since the franchise’s futile early days in the 1960s and early ’70s.

They also became the first team ever to go five years without making the playoffs following a Super Bowl title.

Allen threw for 359 yards, hitting Stefon Diggs 11 times for 147 yards before he suffered a foot injury in the fourth quarter, and Cole Beasley eight times for 112 yards.

Allen also tied Jack Kemp’s record of 25 career touchdown runs with his second TD scamper, a 1-yard keeper to the right that was set up by Andre Roberts’ 55-yard return of Taylor Russilino’s short second-half kickoff.

After Allen’s 1-yard TD run to start the second half, cornerback Tre’Davious White strip-sacked Drew Lock on Denver’s first offensive play. Defensive end Jerry Hughes scooped up the ball at the 21 and weaved his way through several Broncos to make it 35-13.

Allen dismantled Denver’s makeshift secondary that had lost five cornerbacks in two weeks, picking on De’Vante Bausby all afternoon while completing 28 of 40 passes. Rookie cornerback Michael Ojemudia held his own but was ejected in the third quarter for slapping Bills rookie receiver Gabriel Davis.

Allen threw touchdown passes to Dawson Knox and Jake Kumerow, who became the 13th Bills player to catch a TD pass, tying an NFL record held by seven other teams.

Lock hit tight end Noah Fant with a 6-yard touchdown toss with 5 seconds left in the first half, but Russolino missed the extra point. He also missed the 51-yard field goal attempt way to the right on Denver’s opening drive.

“I thought offensively we had a pretty good first half there,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “If we make the field goal and extra point for 17 points, you’re looking at a tight game.”

PACKERS HOLD OFF PANTHERS

A fast start helped the Green Bay Packers overcome a shaky second-half performance and remain on pace to earn the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

Aaron Jones rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown as the NFC North champions reached the end zone on their first three series before hanging on to beat the Carolina Panthers 24-16 on Saturday night.

Aaron Rodgers threw for a season-low 143 yards but produced a touchdown pass – his 40th of the season – and a touchdown run for the Packers. Rodgers is the first player in NFL history to throw at least 40 touchdown passes in three separate seasons; he had 45 during his 2011 MVP campaign and 40 in 2016.

Green Bay (11-3) won its fourth straight despite getting outscored 13-3 and outgained 214-49 in the second half. Rodgers called the second half “definitely a stinker for the offense.”

“We just know that type of football in the second half is not going to get it done in the playoffs, where we’re going,” Rodgers said.

Green Bay took a half-game lead over New Orleans (10-3) in the race for the NFC’s best record. The Packers own a tiebreaker over the Saints after winning 37-30 at New Orleans on Sept. 27.

Under the NFL’s new 14-team playoff format this year, only the No. 1 seed in each conference earns a first-round bye.

“It’s very critical,” Jones said. “We want everything to run through Lambeau. We know we control what happens.”

The Packers built a 21-3 halftime lead before withstanding a comeback attempt from a gritty Carolina team playing without injured 2019 All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey and left tackle Russell Okung.

Carolina had a chance to force overtime when it got the ball at its 20-yard line with 55 seconds and no timeouts remaining. But the Panthers only got to the 26 before losing the ball on downs.

The Panthers (4-10) have lost eight of their last nine games.

Carolina’s Teddy Bridgewater was 21 of 35 for 258 yards with a touchdown run, but he also had a critical fumble. D.J. Moore caught six passes for 131 yards, and Joey Slye kicked three field goals.

Rodgers capped Green Bay’s first series with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Robert Tonyan, who has scored in five consecutive games. After Carolina cut the lead to 7-3 on Slye’s 36-yard field goal, Green Bay reached the end zone again as Rodgers ran it in on third-and-goal from the 6.

Trailing 14-3 in the second quarter, Carolina had first-and-goal at the 1 when Bridgewater tried leaping over the line and Green Bay’s Krys Barnes knocked the ball loose. Kevin King recovered the fumble and raced 48 yards before Moore brought him down.

“That was the play of the game, no doubt about it,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.

Jones capped the Packers’ ensuing drive by high-stepping untouched for an 8-yard touchdown around the left end.

“I think the biggest thing we said to our guys is we weren’t playing football at first,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “Like they were throwing the ball out on the perimeter and catching screens, and they’re running the ball downhill and running the ball through us, we’re not tackling. And then I think our pride kind of kicked in. We played better after that.”

Carolina scored the first 10 points of the second half on Bridgewater’s 13-yard scramble and Slye’s 22-yard field goal. That made it 21-13 with 8:39 left. The Panthers settled for the field goal after John Miller’s holding penalty nullified a touchdown.

Mason Crosby gave the Packers some breathing room with a 51-yard field goal with 3:39 left, but the Panthers wouldn’t go away. After Bridgewater threw a 40-yard completion to Moore, the Panthers sent their field-goal unit on for Slye’s 33-yarder, which cut the lead to 24-16 with 2:04 left.

NFL PREVIEWS WEEK 15

NFL PREVIEW: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (8-5) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (4-9)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Falcons lead all-time series, 28-25

STREAKS: Falcons have won 6 of past 7

LAST GAME: 12/29/19: Falcons 28 at Buccaneers 22 (OT)

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/24/19: Buccaneers 35, Falcons 22

TAMPA BAY NOTES:

QB TOM BRADY had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.9 rating last week. Has 8 seasons with 30+ TD passes, 4th-most in NFL history. Has 1,908 pass yards (318.4 per game) & 13 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 110.7 rating in 6 career starts vs. Atl, incl. postseason. Passed for 466 yards vs. Atl. in SB LI (with NE), 2nd-most pass yards in single Super Bowl. • RB RONALD JONES rushed for 80 yards & TD last week. Rushed for 106 yards in last meeting. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. Ranks 4th in NFL with 900 rush yards & can become 1st TB RB with 1,000 rush yards since DOUG MARTIN (2015). • WR MIKE EVANS ranks 4th in NFL with 11 rec. TDs. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD catch. Has 60 receptions for 906 yards (82.4 per game) & 8 rec. TDs in 11 career games vs. Atl. WR CHRIS GODWIN has 19 receptions for 354 yards (118 per game) & 5 TDs in his past 3 vs. Atl. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with 100+ rec. yards & 2+ TD catches. WR ANTONIO BROWN led team with 5 receptions last week. Had 101 rec. yards & 2 TDs in his last game vs. Atl. (10/7/18 w/ Pit.). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with 100+ rec. yards. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI had 5th rec. TD of season last week. Aims for his 4th in row on road with TD catch. • LB LAVONTE DAVID had 9 tackles & PD last week. Has 12 TFL in 8 career games at Atl. & aims for his 9th in row at Atl. with TFL. LB DEVIN WHITE has 2 sacks & FR-TD in 2 career games vs. Atl. Is only player with 115+ tackles (118) & 5+ sacks (5) this season. LB JASON PIERRE-PAUL aims for his 3rd in row on road & 3rd in row overall with sack. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with FF & 5th in row vs. Atl. with sack.

ATLANTA NOTES:

QB MATT RYAN has 54,846 passing yards in his 13-year career & surpassed PEYTON MANNING (54,828) for most yards by player in his 1st 13 seasons in NFL history. Has 18 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 106.2 rating in 12 career home starts vs. TB. Needs 340 pass yards to become 2nd QB in NFL history (DREW BREES) with 10 straight seasons with 4,000+ pass yards. • RB TODD GURLEY has 5 rush TDs in 3 career games vs. TB. Aims for his 4th in row vs. TB with rush TD. Has 6 rush TDs in 6 home games this season. Since 2015, leads NFL in scrimmage TDs (79) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (8,237). RB ITO SMITH had rush TD in only career game vs. TB (10/14/18). • WR JULIO JONES has 114 receptions for 1,841 yards (115.1 per game) & 11 TDs in 16 career games vs. TB. Has 90+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Aims for his 10th in row at home with 5+ receptions. WR CALVIN RIDLEY had 8 receptions for 124 yards & TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with TD catch. Has career-high 1,029 rec. yards in 2020, his 1st-career 1,000-yard season. WR RUSSELL GAGE had 5 receptions for 82 yards & threw 39-yard TD pass last week, his 1st-career pass TD. Has career highs in receptions (54) & rec. yards (604) this season. • LB DEION JONES had 3rd-career FF last week. Had INT-TD in OT in last meeting. Since 2016, leads LBs in defensive TDs (5) & ranks 2nd in PD (38). LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN is 1 of 2 LBs (JASON PIERRE-PAUL) with 4+ FFs (4) & 3+ sacks (3) in 2020. Rookie CB A.J. TERRELL led team with career-high 13 tackles & had FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with FF.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 82 (TB), 137 (Atl) | XM: 380 (TB), 227 (Atl)

NFL PREVIEW: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-12) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-5)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // M&T BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: CARL CHEFFERS

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Jaguars lead all-time series, 12-9

STREAKS: Jaguars have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 9/24/17: Ravens 7 at Jaguars 44

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/15/15: Jaguars 22, Ravens 20

JACKSONVILLE NOTES:

QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 18 of 31 passes (58.1 pct.) for 178 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs last week. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 3 of his past 4 starts. Has passed for 606 yards (303 per game) & 3 TDs vs. INT for 93.9 rating in 2 career starts vs. AFC North. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating. • RB JAMES ROBINSON (rookie) had 83 scrimmage yards (67 rush, 16 rec.) last week. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 2 of past 3. Has 360 scrimmage yards (120 per game) in 3 career games vs. AFC North. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of 6 road games this season. Leads rookies with 1,361 scrimmage yards & 1,035 rush yards, most scrimmage yards by undrafted rookie in common-draft era. • WR KEELAN COLE had 67 rec. yards on season-high 7 catches with rec. TD last week. Has 40+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. WR DJ CHARK has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC North. Rookie WR LAVISKA SHENAULT had 6 catches for 49 yards last week. Ranks 4th among AFC rookies with 42 catches & tied4th with 441 rec. yards. TE TYLER EIFERT had TD catch in his last game vs. Bal. (11/10/19 with Cin.). • LB MYLES JACK led team with 10 tackles & had TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. Aims for 3rd in row on road with FR. LB JOE SCHOBERT had 8 tackles & TFL in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. Had 2 TFL & sack in his last game at Bal. (9/29/19 with Cle.). LB JOE GILES-HARRIS had 1stcareer sack last week. DE DAWUANE SMOOT had 1st-career FF in Week 14. Has sack in 2 of past 3.

BALTIMORE NOTES:

QB LAMAR JACKSON completed 11 of 17 passes (64.7 pct.) for 163 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 115.6 rating & rushed for season-high 124 yards & 2 TDs, his 5th-career game with 100+ rush yards & rush TD, surpassing MICHAEL VICK (4) for most all-time by QB. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ rating. Aims for 8th in row with 50+ rush yards. Has 7 TDs (6 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT for 109.7 rating in 4 career starts vs. AFC South. • RB J.K. DOBBINS (rookie) aims for 4th in row with 50+ rush yards & rush TD & 4th in row at home with 70+ rush yards. Is 1 of 4 rookies with 500+ rush yards (504) & 5+ rush TDs (5). RB GUS EDWARDS rushed for 49 yards & 2 TDs last week. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Has 85+ rush yards in 2 of past 3 at home. RB MARK INGRAM has TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC South. • TE MARK ANDREWS aims for his 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 75+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 at home. Has 16 rec. TDs since 2019, most among TEs. WR MARQUISE BROWN had 50 rec. yards & TD catch last week. Aims for 4th in row with rec. TD. WR WILLIE SNEAD had 75 rec. yards in only career game vs. Jax. (12/27/15 with NO). • CB MARCUS PETERS had 4th FF of season last week, tied 2ndmost in NFL. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 7 tackles & FR in only career game vs. Jax. (11/6/16 with KC). Has INT in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC South. CB MARLON HUMPHREY had 2 FFs & PD last week. Leads NFL with 8 FFs, most by DB since CHARLES TILLMAN (10 in 2012). Had 2 PD in last meeting. LB TYUS BOWSER had INT in Week 14 & has INT in 3 of past 4. DE CALAIS CAMPBELL had 31.5 sacks in 3 seasons with Jax. (2017-19).

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Sherree Burruss (field reporter) SIRIUS: 106 (Jax), 135 (Bal) | XM: 385 (Jax), 229 (Bal)

NFL PREVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-8) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (4-9)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // AT&T STADIUM // REFEREE: LAND CLARK

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 15-13-1

STREAKS: Cowboys have won 5 of past 6

LAST GAME: 10/22/17: 49ers 10 at Cowboys 40

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/7/14: 49ers 28, Cowboys 17

SAN FRANCISCO NOTES:

QB NICK MULLENS passed for 260 yards & TD vs. INT last week. Has 4,186 pass yards in 15 career starts, 3rd-most by QB in 1st 15 starts in NFL history. Has 250+ pass yards in 4 of his past 5 starts on road. • RB RAHEEM MOSTERT rushed for 65 yards last week. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Has 7 TDs (6 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 5 on road & aims for his 6th in row on road with TD. RB JEFF WILSON had 5th rush TD of season last week. Has 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 3 on road. FB KYLE JUSZCZYK had 10th-career rec. TD in Week 14 & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • WR BRANDON AIYUK (rookie) led team with career-high 10 receptions & career-high 119 yards last week, his 2nd-career 100+ rec. yard game. Aims for his 6th in row with 5+ receptions & 75+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD catch. TE JORDAN REED aims for his 3rd in row at Dal. with 6+ receptions & 75+ rec. yards. • LB FRED WARNER aims for his 6th in row with 5+ tackles. Needs 4 tackles for 3rd-consecutive 100+ tackle season. DL KERRY HYDER has 4 sacks in his past 3 on road & aims for his 4th in row on road with sack. DL DION JORDAN had sack in Week 14 & aims for his 3rd in row with sack. DB JIMMIE WARD aims for his 4th in row with 5+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with PD. CB RICHARD SHERMAN had 4 PD in his last game vs. Dal. (11/1/15 w/ Sea.). Has PD in 2 of his past 3 on road. CB JASON VERRETT had 2nd INT of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

DALLAS NOTES:

QB ANDY DALTON passed for 185 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 122.6 rating last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his past 4 starts. Passed for 311 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 90.5 rating in his last game vs. SF (9/15/19 w/ Cin.). • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 219 scrimmage yards (147 rush, 72 rec.) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. SF with 150+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Has 1,290 scrimmage yards (129 per game) & 12 TDs (9 rush, 3 rec.) in 10 career games vs. NFC West. Is 1st player with 1,100+ scrimmage yards & 7+ scrimmage TDs in each of 1st 5 seasons since ADRIAN PETERSON (2007-11). • WR AMARI COOPER had 4 catches for 51 yards & rec. TD last week. Is only player with 5+ TD catches in each of past 6 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row with rec. TD. Needs 58 rec. yards for 5th-career season with 1,000+ rec. yards. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 5+ receptions. Rookie WR CEEDEE LAMB had 46 rec. yards last week. Has 8 games with 5+ receptions, tiedmost (TEE HIGGINS) among rookies in 2020. Ranks 2nd among rookies in receptions (61) & 3rd in rec. yards (742). TE DALTON SCHULTZ is 1 of 3 NFC TEs (EVAN ENGRAM & T.J. HOCKENSON) with 50+ receptions (career-high 51) this season. • LB JAYLON SMITH led team with 11 tackles & had 4th-career FR last week. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 123 tackles in 2020. DE ALDON SMITH had 78-yard FR-TD last week, his 1st-career TD. Had 44 sacks & 46 TFL in 50 games (2011-14) with SF. DE TYRONE CRAWFORD had 2nd-career 2-sack game last week. CB JOURDAN LEWIS had 4th-career FR in Week 13.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Harlan, Trent Green.

NFL PREVIEW: HOUSTON TEXANS (4-9) AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-4)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // LUCAS OIL STADIUM // REFEREE: BILL VINOVICH

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Colts lead all-time series, 28-9

STREAKS: Colts have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 12/6/20: Colts 26 at Texans 20

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/20/19: Colts 30, Texans 23

HOUSTON NOTES:

QB DESHAUN WATSON completed 21 of 30 passes (70 pct.) for 219 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 101.9 rating last week. Has 100+ rating & 0 INTs in 3 of past 4. Passed for 341 yards & rushed for TD in Week 13 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row at Ind. with 300+ pass yards. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 6 of past 7 vs. division. Has 12 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.5 rating in past 5 on road. • RB DAVID JOHNSON rushed for 44 yards & TD in Week 13 meeting. Has TD in 3 of his past 4. RB DUKE JOHNSON had 79 scrimmage yards (53 rec., 26 rush) last week. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB BUDDY HOWELL rushed for career-high 42 yards last week. • WR BRANDIN COOKS had 5 catches for 65 yards in Week 13 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 5 of his past 6 vs. AFC South. Has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 on road. WR KEKE COUTEE had TD catch last week. Had 8 catches for career-high 141 yards in Week 13 meeting. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ind. WR CHAD HANSEN had career-high 7 catches last week. Had 5 catches for career-high 101 rec. yards in Week 13 meeting. • DE J.J. WATT had sack in Week 13 meeting. Has sack in 3 of his past 4 vs. Ind. Aims for his 4th in row vs. division with sack. LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM had 8 tackles, TFL & PD last week. Aims for 6th in row with 8+ tackles. Had 9 tackles in Week 13 meeting. Leads NFL with 126 tackles. LB TYRELL ADAMS had sack in Week 14. Had 12 tackles in Week 13 meeting. Has 12+ tackles in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. S ERIC MURRAY set career highs in tackles (11) & sacks (2) last week.

INDIANAPOLIS NOTES:

QB PHILIP RIVERS completed 19 of 28 passes (67.9 pct.) for 244 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 118.8 rating last week. Aims for 5th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 105+ rating in 4 of past 5. Completed 27 of 35 passes (77.1 pct.) for 285 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 119.3 rating in Week 13 meeting. Has 18 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 121 rating in 6 career games vs. Hou. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR (rookie) rushed for career-high 150 yards & 2 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with TD. Had 135 scrimmage yards (91 rush, 44 rec.) & TD catch in Week 13 meeting. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 759 rush yards & 3rd with 6 rush TDs. RB NYHEIM HINES had 75 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 17 rec.) last week. Has 95+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 vs division. Rushed for TD in Week 13 meeting. • WR T.Y. HILTON had 5 catches for 86 yards & season-high 2 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 80+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Set season highs in catches (8) & rec. yards (110) & had TD catch in Week 13 meeting. WR ZACH PASCAL had 6 catches for 106 yards & TD in last home meeting. • LB DARIUS LEONARD led team with 11 tackles & had TFL last week. Has PD in 3 of past 4. Has FR in 2 of his past 3 at home. DE JUSTIN HOUSTON had season-high 3 sacks & FF in Week 13 meeting. Has sack in 4 of his past 5 vs. Hou. DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had season-high 2 sacks in Week 13 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with sack. CB KENNY MOORE had INT & FF last week. Aims for 3rd in row overall & 3rd in row vs. Hou. with INT. S KHARI WILLIS had 50-yard INT-TD in Week 14.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, Jay Feely (field reporter) SIRIUS: 108 (Hou), 134 (Ind) | XM: 384 (Hou), 228 (Ind)

NFL PREVIEW: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-7) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-5)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // HARD ROCK STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Dolphins lead all-time series, 55-52

STREAKS: Patriots have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 9/13/20: Dolphins 11 at Patriots 21

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/15/19: Patriots 43, Dolphins 0

NEW ENGLAND NOTES:

QB CAM NEWTON passed for 119 yards last week. Has 45+ rush yards in 2 of past 3. Completed 15 of 19 passes (78.9 pct.) for 155 yards & 100.7 rating & rushed for season-high 75 yards & 2 TDs in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Mia. with 50+ rush yards. Has 6 TDs (4 pass, 2 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 113.9 rating in his past 2 vs. Mia. Leads QBs with 11 rush TDs this season. • RB DAMIEN HARRIS aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rush yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with 70+ rush yards. RB SONY MICHEL had rush TD in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Mia. with rush TD. RB JAMES WHITE had 52 scrimmage yards (30 rec., 22 rush) in Week 1 meeting. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. Mia. Since 2015, leads RBs in catches (353), rec. yards (3,055) & rec. TDs (24). • WR DAMIERE BYRD had 5 catches for 48 yards in Week 14. Has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 on road. WR JAKOBI MEYERS had 4 catches for 47 yards last week. Has 45+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. WR N’KEAL HARRY led team with 49 rec. yards in Week 14. Had 5 catches in Week 1 meeting. • DB J.C. JACKSON had 2 PD & INT in Week 1 meeting. Has PD in 2 of past 3 vs. Mia. Aims for his 4th in row vs. division with INT. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 7 INTs. CB STEPHON GILMORE had INT in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Mia. with PD. Rookie DB MYLES BRYANT had 1st-career INT last week. DB ADRIAN PHILLIPS led team with 10 tackles & had TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. Had 9 tackles & INT in Week 1 meeting. Has PD in 2 of past 3 on road. DL ADAM BUTLER has sack & PD in 2 of past 3. Has TFL in 5 of past 6 vs. Mia.

MIAMI NOTES:

QB TUA TAGOVAILOA (rookie) completed 28 of 48 passes (58.3 pct.) for career-high 316 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT & rushed for 1st-career TD last week. Has 0 INTs in 5 of 6 career starts. Has 95+ rating in 2 of his past 3 starts at home. Leads rookies with 95.2 rating (min. 100 attempts). • RB MYLES GASKIN has 125+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3. Had 66 scrimmage yards (40 rush, 26 rec.) in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with 65+ scrimmage yards. RB DEANDRE WASHINGTON aims for his 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR DEVANTE PARKER had 4 catches for 47 yards in Week 1 meeting. Has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Rookie WR LYNN BOWDEN set career highs in catches (7) & rec. yards (82) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. WR MACK HOLLINS had season-high 5 catches for career-high 66 yards last week. TE ADAM SHAHEEN aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with TD catch. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD has INT in 5 straight games & is 5th player since 2015 with INT in 5 straight. Has 9 PD in his past 5. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with 2+ PD. Leads NFL with career-high 9 INTs. CB BYRON JONES had 1st INT & FF of season last week. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 at home. S ERIC ROWE had 7 tackles, 2 PD & INT in Week 14. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. NE. LB JEROME BAKER had 8 tackles & career-high 2.5 sacks last week. Had career-high 16 tackles, sack & FF in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NE with FF. DE EMMANUEL OGBAH had FR last week. DT CHRISTIAN WILKINS had .5 sacks last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (field reporter) SIRIUS: 119 (NE), 136 (Mia) | XM: 386 (NE), 230 (Mia)

NFL PREVIEW: CHICAGO BEARS (6-7) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-7)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // U.S. BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Vikings lead all-time series, 61-55-2

STREAKS: Bears have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 11/16/20: Vikings 19 at Bears 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/29/19: Bears 21, Vikings 19

CHICAGO NOTES:

QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY completed 24 of 33 attempts (72.7 pct.) for 267 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 126.7 rating last week, his 10th-career game with 3+ TD passes. Has 3+ TD passes in 2 of his 3 road starts this season. Is 4-0 in his past 4 vs. Min. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had career-high 155 scrimmage yards (113 rush, 42 rec.), incl. 80-yard TD run, in Week 14. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5. Aims for his 4th in row with 110+ scrimmage yards & TD. Rushed for 113 yards & TD in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 NFC RBs (DALVIN COOK & ALVIN KAMARA) with 700+ rush yards (760) & 300+ rec. yards (333) this season. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON led team with 9 receptions for 123 yards & TD catch last week, his 15th-career 100-yard game. Has 86 receptions & 1,027 rec. yards this season, his 3rd-career season with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards. Has 9 games with 6+ receptions in 2020, tied-4th most in NFL. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Min. & 7th in row overall with 6+ receptions. TE JIMMY GRAHAM had rec. TD last week. Is 1 of 4 TEs (ANTONIO GATES, HOFer TONY GONZALEZ & ROB GRONKOWSKI) with 80+ rec. TDs (80) in NFL history. Rookie WR DARNELL MOONEY had 3rd TD catch of season in Week 14. • LB KHALIL MACK had sack, FF & FR in Week 14. Had INT in last meeting. Is 1 of 2 (AARON DONALD) with 7+ sacks in each of past 6 seasons. Since 2014, is 1 of 2 (CHANDLER JONES) with 65+ sacks (69) & 20+ FFs (23). LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 12 tackles & had 2 sacks last week. Had sack in Week 10 meeting. Has career highs in tackles (122) & TFL (17) this season. DT AKIEM HICKS has 6.5 sacks & 12 TFL in his past 7 vs. Min.

MINNESOTA NOTES:

QB KIRK COUSINS had TD vs. 0 INTs & career-high 41 rush yards last week. Has 1,999 pass yards (285.6 per game) & 20 TDs vs. 7 INTs for 113.1 rating in 7 home games this season. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 300+ pass yards & 7th in row at home with 3+ TD passes. Passed for 292 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 100.7 rating in Week 10 meeting. Is only QB with 3,000+ pass yards & 25+ TD passes in each of past 6 seasons. • RB DALVIN COOK had 110 scrimmage yards (102 rush, 8 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has 8 games with 100+ scrimmage yards, tied with DERRICK HENRY for most in NFL in 2020. Leads NFL in scrimmage yards (career-high 1,674) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage TDs (career-high 15). • WR ADAM THIELEN has career-high 12 rec. TDs in 2020, 3rdmost in NFL. Had 2 rec. TDs in Week 10 meeting. Has 11 TDs (10 rec., 1 rush) in his past 10 at home & aims for his 3rd in row at home with TD catch. Rookie WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON had 8 receptions for 135 yards in last meeting. Is 1 of 5 WRs in 2020 with 1,000+ rec. yards (1,078) & 7+ rec. TDs (7). Can become 1st rookie WR since MICHAEL THOMAS (2016) with 70+ receptions & 1,000+ rec. yards. Aims for his 4th in row at home with TD catch. TE IRV SMITH had team-high 63 rec. yards & career-high 3rd rec. TD of season last week. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS has 10+ tackles in 2 of his past 3 vs. Chi. Aims for his 4th in row at home with INT. LB ERIC WILSON is only player with 3+ sacks (3) & 3+ INTs (3) this season. S HARRISON SMITH had INT & 2 PD in Week 10 meeting. Rookie DE D.J. WONNUM had sack in last meeting.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 132 (Chi), 83 (Min) | XM: 382 (Chi), 225 (Min)

NFL PREVIEW: DETROIT LIONS (5-8) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (9-4)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // NISSAN STADIUM // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Titans lead all-time series, 9-3

STREAKS: Titans have won past 5

LAST GAME: 9/18/16: Titans 16 at Lions 15

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/23/12: Titans 44, Lions 41 (OT)

DETROIT NOTES:

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 244 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 100.6 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 100+ rating. Passed for 278 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 102.2 rating in last road meeting. Ranks 4th in NFC with 3,522 pass yards in 2020 & has 9 seasons with 3,500+ pass yards since 2011, tied3rd most in NFL. • RB ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 119 yards in his last game vs. Ten. (12/22/18 w/ Was.). Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his 4 career games vs. Ten. Ranks 4th in NFL history with 117 rush TDs & 5th with 14,724 rush yards. Rookie RB D’ANDRE SWIFT had 5th rush TD of season last week. Is 1 of 2 rookie RBs (JAMES ROBINSON) with 5+ rush TDs (5) & 2+ rec. TDs (2) this season. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 on road. • WR MARVIN JONES had 8 receptions for 118 yards in last meeting. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. WR KENNY GOLLADAY aims for his 3rd in row on road with 100+ rec. yards. WR DANNY AMENDOLA had 6 catches for team-high 66 yards last week. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6. TE T.J. HOCKENSON had 6 receptions for 43 yards & rec. TD last week. Ranks 3rd among TEs with 58 receptions & 657 rec. yards. Has 5+ receptions in 3 of his past 4 on road. • LB JAMIE COLLINS had 6 tackles & PD last week. Has PD in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 8+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ten. with sack & PD. Needs 3 tackles for 4th-career 100+ tackle season. DE ROMEO OKWARA has 3 sacks & 2 FFs in his past 4 on road. CB DARRYL ROBERTS led team with 7 tackles & had PD last week.

TENNESSEE NOTES:

QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 19 of 24 passes (season-high 79.2 pct.) for 212 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 131.3 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. Passed for 207 yards & TD vs. INT in only career game vs. Det. (11/9/14 with Mia.). Has 20 TDs (19 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 115 rating in 7 home games in 2020. Has career-high 28 TD passes. • RB DERRICK HENRY rushed for season-high 215 yards with 2 TDs last week, becoming 1st player in NFL history with 4 career games with 200+ rush yards & 2+ rush TDs. Is 5th player in NFL history with 175+ rush yards & 2+ rush TDs in 3 games within single season. Has 100+ rush yards in 4 of past 5. Has 2+ rush TDs in 2 of past 3. Leads NFL with 1,532 rush yards & ties for lead with 14 rush TDs. • WR A.J. BROWN led team with 7 catches for 112 yards & had rec. TD last week, his 8th-career game with 100+ rec. yards. Aims for 4th in row with 85+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 3 of past 4. WR COREY DAVIS has 70+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 5+ catches. TE GEOFF SWAIM had 1st TD catch of season in Week 14. Had rec. TD in only career game vs. Det. (9/30/18 with Dal.). • S KEVIN BYARD led team with season-high 11 tackles last week. Aims for his 10th in row with 6+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC North. S KENNY VACCARO had 3 PD, INT, FR & TFL in his last game vs. Det. (10/15/17 with NO). Aims for his 4th in row vs. Det. with TFL. CB MALCOLM BUTLER had 2 PD & INT in Week 14. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NFC North with 2+ PD. LB RASHAAN EVANS had 8 tackles & 2 PD last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta SIRIUS: 138 (Det), 81 (Ten) | XM: 381 (Det), 226 (Ten)

NFL PREVIEW: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-4) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-7)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // FEDEXFIELD // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Washington leads all-time series, 12-5

STREAKS: Washington has won 7 of past 8

LAST GAME: 11/5/19: Washington 17 at Seattle 14

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/6/14: Seattle 27, Washington 17

SEATTLE NOTES:

QB RUSSELL WILSON passed for 4 TDs vs. INT for 122.6 rating last week. Has 5 games with 4+ TD passes in 2020, tied-most (AARON RODGERS) in NFL. Has 15 games with 4+ TD passes, tied with PEYTON MANNING (15) for 2nd-most by QB in 1st 9 seasons in NFL history. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 2+ TD passes. • RB CHRIS CARSON had 98 scrimmage yards (76 rush, 22 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has 9 TDs (5 rush, 4 rec.) in 9 games this season & is 1 of 4 RBs (TODD GURLEY, DERRICK HENRY & AARON JONES) with 9+ TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row with TD. RB CARLOS HYDE has 3 rush TDs in 2 career games vs. Was. & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with rush TD. • WR DK METCALF led team with 6 receptions for 61 yards & had rec. TD last week. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. Ranks 2nd in rec. yards (1,180) & 5th in rec. TDs (10) this season & is 1st Sea. WR with 1,000+ rec. yards & 10+ rec. TDs in single season since DOUG BALDWIN (2015). WR TYLER LOCKETT is 1 of 2 WRs (MIKE EVANS) with 8+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Has 5+ receptions in 4 of his past 5. WR DAVID MOORE has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3. • S JAMAL ADAMS has career-high 8.5 sacks in 2020, most by DB in single season since 1982. Aims for his 4th in row overall & 5th in row on road with sack. Had career-high 3 sacks in only career game vs. Was. (11/17/19 w/ NYJ). LB BOBBY WAGNER had 9th-career FR last week. Has 20 tackles (10 per game), 2 sacks, 6 TFL & 3 PD in 2 career games vs. Was. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with sack & 3+ TFL. Has 113 tackles in 2020, his 9thconsecutive 100+ tackle season.

WASHINGTON NOTES:

QB ALEX SMITH has 12 TDs (9 pass, 3 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 81 rating in 12 career starts vs. Sea. QB DWAYNE HASKINS has 8 TDs (7 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 89.9 rating in 6 career home starts. Has 90+ rating in 3 of his past 4 at home. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON leads all rookies & ranks tied-3rd in NFL with 11 rush TDs this season. Aims for his 4th in row at home with rush TD & 6th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB J.D. MCKISSIC had season-high 86 scrimmage yards (68 rush, 18 rec.) last week. Ranks 2nd among RBs with 58 receptions this season. Aims for his 3rd in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN leads team with 73 receptions & 1,001 rec. yards, his 1st-career 1,000-yard season & is 1st Was. WR with 70+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in single season since PIERRE GARCON (2016). Has 90+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 5+ receptions. TE LOGAN THOMAS led team with 6 receptions last week. Is 1 of 3 NFC TEs (T.J. HOCKENSON & ROBERT TONYAN) with 45+ receptions (49) & 5+ rec. TDs (5) in 2020. • DE CHASE YOUNG (rookie) had sack, FF & 47-yard FR-TD last week, his 1st-career TD. Leads all rookies with 5.5 sacks. Rookie S KAMREN CURL had 76-yard INT-TD in Week 14 & aims for his 7th in row with 7+ tackles. Was. became 5th team since 1970 & 1st since Week 8, 2006 (BALTIMORE RAVENS) with 2 different rookies recording a defensive TD in the same game. DE MONTEZ SWEAT had sack last week. Has 4 sacks in his past 4 at home. Leads NFC DL with 5 PD in 2020. DT DARON PAYNE had sack, FF & FR last week, his 1st-career game with both FF & FR.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 113 (Sea), 146 (Was) | XM: 387 (Sea), 231 (Was)

NFL PREVIEW: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-8-1) AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-6)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 4:05 PM ET // STATE FARM STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Cardinals lead all-time series, 57-55-5

STREAKS: Cardinals have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 10/8/17: Cardinals 7 at Eagles 34

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/26/14: Cardinals 24, Eagles 20

PHILADELPHIA NOTES:

QB JALEN HURTS (rookie) passed for 167 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 83.6 rating & had 106 rush yards in 1st career start last week. Joined LAMAR JACKSON (2018) as only QBs with 100+ rush yards in 1st career start in NFL history. • RB MILES SANDERS had season-high 136 scrimmage yards (115 rush, 21 rec.) & 2 rush TDs, incl. 82-yard TD run, in Week 13. Is only player in NFL with 3 rushes of 60+ yards this season. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Is 1 of 3 RBs (NICK CHUBB & DERRICK HENRY) with 5+ yards per carry (5.0) since 2019 (min. 300 attempts). RB BOSTON SCOTT has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • TE ZACH ERTZ ranks 2nd among TEs in receptions (553) & rec. yards (5,960) since 2013. Has 4 rec. TDs in 4 career games vs. Az. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Az. with TD catch & 5th in row vs. Az. with 5+ receptions. TE DALLAS GOEDERT has 5+ receptions & 60+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. WR ALSHON JEFFERY had 1st rec. TD of season last week. • DT FLETCHER COX had sack last week. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 on road & sack in 5 of his past 6 overall. Had sack in last meeting. Has 6.5 sacks in 2020, his 6th-career season with 5+ sacks. DE BRANDON GRAHAM leads team with 7 sacks, his 3rd-career season with 7+ sacks. Has 3.5 sacks & 9 TFL in his past 5 vs. Az. DE JOSH SWEAT had 2 sacks & FF last week, his 1st-career 2 sack game. DT JAVON HARGRAVE had 2 sacks & 2nd-career FR last week. LB ALEX SINGLETON led team with 11 tackles last week. Has 10+ tackles in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row on road with 10+ tackles.

ARIZONA NOTES:

QB KYLER MURRAY passed for 244 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 97.8 rating & had 47 rush yards last week. Has 20 TDs (13 pass, 7 rush) & 7 INTs for 95.7 rating in 6 home starts this season. Has 3,231 pass yards & career-high 712 rush yards in 2020 & is 2nd QB (CAM NEWTON) with 3,000+ pass yards & 500+ rush yards in each of 1st 2 seasons in NFL history. • RB KENYAN DRAKE had 90 scrimmage yards (80 rush, 10 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has rush TD in 4 consecutive games, tiedactive longest streak in NFL. Has 17 rush TDs in 20 games with Az. Needs 49 scrimmage yards for 3rd-consecutive season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards. RB CHASE EDMONDS has 75+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 9 receptions for 136 yards last week. Has 6 games with 100+ rec. yards in 2020, tied-most in NFL. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with 100+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row at home with TD catch. Ranks 3rd in receptions (94) & 5th in rec. yards (1,155) this season. Is 7th player in NFL history with 4 consecutive seasons with 90+ catches & 1,100+ rec. yards. WR LARRY FITZGERALD has 45 receptions in 2020 & can tie HOFer JERRY RICE (17) for most seasons with 50+ catches in NFL history. Has 8 rec. TDs in 8 career games vs. Phi. TE DAN ARNOLD has 4 rec. TDs in his past 4 & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • LB HAASON REDDICK had career highs in sacks (5) & FFs (3) last week, 1st player since 2002 (VONNIE HOLLIDAY) with 5+ sacks & 3+ FFs in single game. S BUDDA BAKER ranks 2nd among DBs with 100 tackles, his 3rd-consecutive 100+ tackle season.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (4:05 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 138 (Phi), 81 (AZ) | XM: 381 (Phi), 226 (AZ)

NFL PREVIEW: NEW YORK JETS (0-13) AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 4:05 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: TONY CORRENTE

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Rams lead all-time series, 10-4

STREAKS: Jets have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 11/13/16: Rams 9 at Jets 6

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/27/92: Rams 18, Jets 10

NEW YORK NOTES:

QB SAM DARNOLD passed for 132 yards with 0 INTs last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC West with 0 INTs. Has 90+ rating in 5 of his past 6 vs. NFC. Has 12 TDs (11 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 105.5 rating in his past 6 vs. NFC. • RB FRANK GORE aims for his 3rd in row vs. Rams with 50+ scrimmage yards. In 18 career games vs. Rams, has 15 rush TDs, most vs. any opponent. Has 546 rush yards this season, his 16th season with 500+ rush yards, most in NFL history. Ranks 3rd in NFL history with 15,893 rush yards & 4th with 19,867 scrimmage yards. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 4 catches for 47 yards in his last game vs. LAR (9/17/17 with Was.). Has 5+ catches, 75+ rec. yards & TD catch in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC. Has 510 rec. yards, his 5th season with 500+ rec. yards. WR BRESHAD PERRIMAN has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. WR BRAXTON BERRIOS led team with 49 rec. yards last week. Has 45+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. NFC West. Rookie WR DENZEL MIMS has 40+ rec. yards in each of 1st 6 career games. • S MARCUS MAYE had 2nd INT of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with PD. CB ARTHUR MAULET has PD in 2 of his past 3. LB NEVILLE HEWITT had 9 tackles & season-high 2 TFL last week. Aims for 5th in row with TFL & 3rd in row with 9+ tackles. Is 1 of 4 in NFL with 5+ tackles in 13 games this season. LB HARVEY LANGI had 9 tackles last week & aims for his 6th in row with 8+ tackles. DL QUINNEN WILLIAMS has sack in 2 of past 3. DL FOLORUNSO FATUKASI had 2 TFL & sack in Week 14. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Aims for 3rd in row on road with TFL.

LOS ANGELES NOTES:

QB JARED GOFF had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 3,509 pass yards in 2020 & is 1 of 3 QBs (PHILIP RIVERS & MATT RYAN) with 3,500+ pass yards in each of past 4 seasons. • RB CAM AKERS (rookie) had career-high 194 scrimmage yards (career-high 171 rush, 23 rec.) last week, most scrimmage yards by rookie in 2020 & most rush yards by Rams rookie since HOFer JEROME BETTIS (212 rush yards on 12/12/93). Has TD in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row with 80+ scrimmage yards. • WR COOPER KUPP had 5 receptions & TD catch last week, his 24th-career rec. TD. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5 at home. WR ROBERT WOODS had 5 catches last week. Aims for his 4th in row at home & 7th in row overall with 5+ receptions. Kupp (79) & Woods (76) are only pair of WR teammates each with 75+ receptions this season. • DL AARON DONALD had 1.5 sacks in Week 14 & leads NFL with 12.5 sacks in 2020. Has 22 games with 1.5+ sacks since 2014, most in NFL. Has 84.5 career sacks & can surpass HOFer DERRICK THOMAS (85) for 3rd-most sacks by player in 1st 7 seasons since 1982. Aims for his 4th in row with sack. DL MICHAEL BROCKERS had 3rd-career game with 2 sacks last week. LB KENNY YOUNG lead team with 8 tackles, had 1st sack of season & 79-yard INTTD last week, his 1st-career INT & TD. Aims for his 4th in row with TFL. LB LEONARD FLOYD has 6.5 sacks in 6 home games this season. LB TROY REEDER aims for his 4th in row with 7+ tackles. CB JALEN RAMSEY aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYJ with PD. CB TROY HILL aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (4:05 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 108 (NYJ), 134 (LAR) | XM: 384 (NYJ), 228 (LAR)

NFL PREVIEW: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-1) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-3)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 4:25 PM ET // MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME // REFEREE: SCOTT NOVAK

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Chiefs lead all-time series, 6-5

STREAKS: Chiefs have won past 2

LAST GAME: 10/23/16: Saints 21 at Chiefs 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/23/12: Chiefs 27, Saints 24 (OT)

KANSAS CITY NOTES:

CHIEFS clinched AFC West division title for 5th-consecutive season, longest streak in franchise history. • QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 24 of 34 passes (70.6 pct.) for 393 yards & 2 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 91.9 rating last week. Has 315+ pass yards in 6 straight, tied-longest streak in NFL history. Aims for 9th in row with 90+ rating. Has 7 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 123.3 rating in 2 career games vs. NFC South. Leads NFL with 4,208 pass yards & is 3rd QB in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards in 3 of 1st 4 seasons. • RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE (rookie) had 91 scrimmage yards (59 rec., 32 rush) last week. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB LE’VEON BELL had 254 scrimmage yards (careerhigh 159 rec., 95 rush) & rush TD in only career game vs. NO (11/30/14 with Pit.). • WR TYREEK HILL had 79 rec. yards & TD catch & rushed for 32-yard TD last week, his 14th-career game with 2+ TDs, tied for 2nd-most by WR in 1st 5 seasons in NFL history. Had TD catch in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NFC South with 100+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs. Ties for NFL lead with 14 rec. TDs. TE TRAVIS KELCE aims for 3rd in row with 8+ catches, 125+ rec. yards & TD catch. Has 100+ rec. yards in 5 of past 6. Leads TEs with 90 catches, 1,250 rec. yards & ties for lead with 9 rec. TDs. • S TYRANN MATHIEU had 2 PD & INT last week & aims for 4th in row with INT. Has 4 PD in 3 career games vs. NO. CB BASHAUD BREELAND had 3 PD last week. DE FRANK CLARK had sack last week. Had sack in only career game vs. NO (10/30/16 with Sea.). DT CHRIS JONES had sack, PD & 1st-career safety in Week 14.

NEW ORLEANS NOTES:

QB DREW BREES passed for 367 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 110.3 rating in last meeting. Has 11 TDs (9 pass, 2 rush) vs. INT for 107.4 rating in 5 home starts this season. QB TAYSOM HILL passed for career-high 291 yards & had 2 TDs vs. INT for 102 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 7 receptions & 94 scrimmage yards (50 rush, 44 rec.) with rush TD last week. Has 7 TDs (6 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 6 & aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Ranks 3rd in NFL in scrimmage yards (1,422) & tied-3rd in scrimmage TDs (14). Leads all RBs with 77 receptions & can become 3rd RB in NFL history with 4 seasons of 80+ catches. • WR MICHAEL THOMAS led team with 8 receptions & 84 yards last week. Had 10 receptions for 130 yards in last meeting. Has 9+ catches & 100+ rec. yards in 7 of his past 9 at home. Since 2016, leads NFL with 510 receptions, most by player in 1st 5 seasons in NFL history. WR EMMANUEL SANDERS had 4th TD catch of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. KC with 50+ rec. yards. TE JARED COOK had 6th rec. TD of season last week & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. KC. • DE CAMERON JORDAN aims for his 3rd in row vs. KC with TFL. Is only player with 6+ sacks in each of past 9 seasons. LB DEMARIO DAVIS needs 9 tackles for 4th-consecutive 100+ tackle season. Since 2017, is 1 of 2 (LAVONTE DAVID) with 400+ tackles (447) & 40+ TFL (45). DE TREY HENDRICKSON ranks tied-3rd in NFL with career-high 10.5 sacks this season. S MALCOLM JENKINS had 11th-career FR last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (4:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter) SIRIUS: 82 (KC), 137 (NO) | XM: 380 (KC), 227 (NO)

NFL PREVIEW: CLEVELAND BROWNS (9-4) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (5-8)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 8:20 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN HOCHULI

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Browns lead all-time series, 26-21-2

STREAKS: Giants have won 6 of past 7

LAST GAME: 11/27/16: Giants 27 at Browns 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/7/12: Giants 41, Browns 27

CLEVELAND NOTES:

QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for season-high 343 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT & rushed for TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 115+ rating in 2 of past 3. Has 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 101.2 rating in 3 career games vs. NFC East. Has 11 TDs vs. INT for 139.3 rating in his past 3 on road. • RB NICK CHUBB had 103 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 21 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week, his 6th game with 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD this season, tied-most in NFL. Aims for 6th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards & 4th in row with rush TD. Has 100+ rush yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. NFC East. RB KAREEM HUNT had 110 scrimmage yards (season-high 77 rec., 33 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week. Rushed for 73 yards in only career game vs. NYG (11/19/17 with KC). Aims for his 4th in row vs. NFC East with TD. Has 442 scrimmage yards (147.3 per game) & 4 TDs (3 rec. 1 rush) in 3 career games on SNF. • WR JARVIS LANDRY aims for 4th in row with 6+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row on road with TD catch. Had 11 catches for 99 yards in only career game vs. NYG (12/14/15 with Mia.). WR RASHARD HIGGINS aims for 3rd in row with 6+ catches, 65+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Rookie WR DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES aims for 3rd in row with 70+ rec. yards. • DE MYLES GARRETT aims for 4th in row with TFL. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC East with 2+ sacks & FF. Has 6 sacks & 2 FFs in his past 4 on road. DE OLIVIER VERNON had 2 sacks & PD last week. Has 1.5+ sacks in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC East. Had 131 tackles, 22 sacks & 4 FFs in 3 seasons with NYG (2016-18). DT SHELDON RICHARDSON had sack in Week 14.

NEW YORK NOTES:

QB DANIEL JONES has 270+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC. Leads all QBs with 7.3 yards per carry in 2020 (min. 50 attempts). • RB WAYNE GALLMAN had 73 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 16 rec.) in Week 14. Has career highs in rush yards (561) & rush TDs (6) this season. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 at home & 6 rush TDs in his past 7 overall. Aims for his 8th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB DION LEWIS had 2nd rush TD of season last week. • WR STERLING SHEPARD needs 5 receptions for 5th-consecutive 50-catch season. WR GOLDEN TATE had 6 receptions for 97 yards & rec. TD in his last game vs. Cle. (11/12/17 w/ Det.). WR DARIUS SLAYTON has 5+ receptions & 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. TE EVAN ENGRAM is 1 of 3 NFC TEs (T.J. HOCKENSON & DALTON SCHULTZ) with 50+ receptions (50) this season. Ranks 3rd among NFC TEs with 526 rec. yards. • LB BLAKE MARTINEZ has 7+ tackles in 5 of his 6 home games this season. Ranks tied-4th in NFL with 118 tackles, his 4thconsecutive 100-tackle season. DL LEONARD WILLIAMS has 4 sacks & 6 TFL in 6 home games in 2020. S JABRILL PEPPERS had career-high 13 tackles, 2 TFL & 4th-career FF last week. Had 134 tackles, 8 PD & 2 FR in 29 games (2017-18) with Cle. CB JAMES BRADBERRY has career-high 17 PD in 2020, tied most in NFL. Is only DB with 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons. Aims for 7th in row at home in 2020 with PD. DB LOGAN RYAN had 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks & INT in his last game vs. Cle. (9/8/19 w/ Ten.). Has 4 PD, 2 FFs, INT & FR in his past 5. DL DALVIN TOMLINSON had 7th-career sack in Week 14.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: NBC (8:20 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker SIRIUS: 81 (Cle), 83 (NYG) | XM: 226 (Cle), 225 (NYG), 88 (National)

NFL PREVIEW: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-10-1)

WEEK 15 // MONDAY, DEC. 21, 2020 // 8:15 PM ET // PAUL BROWN STADIUM // REFEREE: CLAY MARTIN

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 65-35

STREAKS: Steelers have won past 10

LAST GAME: 11/15/20: Bengals 10 at Steelers 36

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/24/19: Steelers 16, Bengals 10

PITTSBURGH NOTES:

STEELERS clinched postseason berth for 1st time since 2017. • QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 187 yards & 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes. Set season highs in pass yards (333) & TD passes (4) with 0 INTs & 110.1 rating in Week 10 meeting. • RB JAMES CONNER has 90+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. Cin. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. RB BENNY SNELL rushed for 98 yards in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row on road vs. division with 90+ rush yards. • WR JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER had 6 catches for 55 yards & TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 6+ catches. Had 9 catches for 77 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. Cin. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with rec. TD. WR DIONTAE JOHNSON has 8+ catches in 3 of past 4. Had 6 catches for career-high 116 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Has 75+ rec. yards & TD catch in 2 of 3 career games vs. Cin. Rookie WR CHASE CLAYPOOL had 2 rec. TDs in Week 10 meeting. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3 vs. division. Leads rookies with 8 rec. TDs. WR JAMES WASHINGTON aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. Had 98 rec. yards & TD catch in last road meeting. • LB T.J. WATT had PD last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Had 2 sacks in Week 10 meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Cin. with sack & 3rd in row vs. division with 2+ sacks. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 12 sacks. CB MIKE HILTON had 5 tackles, INT & 1st FF of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD & TFL. S MINKAH FITZPATRICK has PD in 3 of past 4. Has INT in 2 of past 3 on road. DE TYSON ALUALU had sack & FF in Week 14.

CINCINNATI NOTES:

QB BRANDON ALLEN completed 27 of 36 passes (career-high 75 pct.) for season-high 217 yards with TD vs. 0 INTs for season high 99 rating last week. Aims for 4th in row with TD pass. QB RYAN FINLEY passed for 192 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs in last home meeting. Aims for his 3rd start in row vs. division with TD pass. • RB GIOVANI BERNARD has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home vs. Pit. Has 536 scrimmage yards this season (275 rec., 261 rush) & is 1 of 2 RBs (FRANK GORE) with 400+ scrimmage yards in each of past 8 seasons. RB TRAYVEON WILLIAMS had career-high 63 scrimmage yards (49 rush, 14 rec.) last week. RB SAMAJE PERINE had season-high 55 scrimmage yards (48 rush, 7 rec.) in Week 10 meeting. • WR TYLER BOYD had 5 catches for 43 yards last week. Had 6 catches for 41 yards in Week 10 meeting. Had 5 catches for 101 yards & TD in last home meeting. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5 at home. WR A.J. GREEN had 6 catches for 62 yards & TD in Week 14. Has 7+ catches & 75+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. Pit. Rookie WR TEE HIGGINS aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches. Had 7 catches for 115 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with 70+ rec. yards & TD catch. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 778 rec. yards. • S JESSIE BATES had PD last week. Had 7 tackles, 2 PD & TFL in Week 10 meeting. Has 2 PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. S VONN BELL aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Has FR in 2 of past 3. Had 2 PD in Week 10 meeting. LB JOSH BYNES led team with 7 tackles & had TFL last week. DT MARGUS HUNT had season-high 2 TFL & 1st sack of season in Week 14.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: ESPN (8:15 PM ET): Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner SIRIUS: 81 (Pit), 83 (Cin) | XM: 226 (Pit), 225 (Cin), 88 (National)

INDIANA DOWNS BUTLER

(INDIANA SI RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This was how to end a non-conference season.

Dominant defense?

Check.

Tough-minded second-half response to first-half inconsistency?

Check

Another Armaan Franklin career high?

Check.

Coach Archie Miller now 4-0 in the Crossroads Classic?

Check again.

Indiana’s 68-60 slugfest win over Butler Saturday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse boosted it to 5-2 with Big Ten action set to start Wednesday against Northwestern at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“We have a coachable group that is in it for the right reasons,” Miller said. “Guys have stepped up.

“We will need all our guys. We play in the fiercest league in the country. There will be a real mental challenge to get through it. We have to be ready for it.”

The Hoosiers were against Butler (1-2).

This was defense to disrupt even the most efficient of offenses. It was physical, swarming and relentless. Nothing came easy for the Bulldogs except frustration.

“We were getting in the passing lanes, getting deflections,” forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “The first half we were lackadaisical with the ball. We were letting their bigs do whatever they wanted.

“We got engaged more, locked in more. You wear teams down doing that.”

The Bulldogs scored 37 points in the first half. They scored six in the first 10 minutes of the second.

One big reason, Miller said, was the physical play of forward Race Thompson, whose contributions went way beyond his 10 points and seven rebounds.

“Race gave us an unbelievable boost in the second half,” Miller said.

As IU’s block total rose (it finished with eight) and the Bulldogs’ missed layups increased, this much was clear – the Hoosiers had fully bought into their coach’s tough-minded emphasis.

Butler shot 39 percent for the game, just 26.7 percent (plus eight turnovers) in the second half.

“They manhandled us inside in the first half,” Miller said. “They controlled the game. They did what they wanted. They rebounded. We couldn’t post or get it inside.

“We changed that in the second half. We did a much better job of being tougher inside. We made a lot of hard plays. We got our confidence going because we were able to get some stops.”

A game that began with 12 lead changes and two ties ended with Indiana control. It led the final 16 minutes to improve to a Crossroads Classic-best 7-3.

“This group was disappointed at halftime,” Miller said. “We answered the bell. We were getting out-worked. We cut the lead fast and grabbed the lead. Momentum went our way.”

Franklin had 20 points (one more than his previous career high against North Alabama six days earlier) after a second straight game of 5-for-7 three-point shooting.

Beyond that, he continued his Bankers Life Fieldhouse mastery. He had 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting (4-for-5 on three-pointers) in last year’s Crossroads Classic win over Notre Dame. He’s averaged 16.7 points on 12-of-17 three-point shooting in three career Bankers Life Fieldhouse games.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said about his sharp-shooting. “I was getting open looks. The first one goes down, it gives you a lot of confidence. My teammates kept finding me.”

Added Jackson-Davis: “Armaan had always been a great player. He wanted to prove what kind of player he is. All the work is starting to show. He’s one of our best defenders.”

Jackson-Davis finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Guard Al Durham had 11 points and eight rebounds.

“Being able to play inside-out has been a key for us,” Jackson-Davis said. “The guards are playing with a lot of confidence in the last two games. Hopefully they keep that up.”

Butler hit IU with a 13-3 first-half run. The Hoosiers hit back with a 19-3 surge to end the first half and start the second. That included a 13-0 run in which Butler was 0-for-8 from the field with three turnovers.

Limited first-half offensive balance (only four Hoosiers scored, led by Franklin’s 13 points) was a problem. So were seven turnovers (leading to nine Bulldog points) and a 17-11 rebounding hole.

All of that received halftime attention.

“We weren’t ready for the physicality to start the game,” Miller said. “Butler was a much tougher team in the first half. We had to come together at half time. There were not a lot of Xs and Os. We had to find a way to fight out of it.”

An early back-and-forth first half saw Franklin red-hot from three-point range and Jackson-Davis draw fouls at a machine-gun pace.

Butler kept pace with freshman efficiency — standout senior guard Aaron Thompson was out with a knee injury — then had a 7-0 run for a 31-25 lead as the clock approached three minutes left in the half.

Franklin’s fourth three-pointer stopped that streak. Butler responded with a 6-0 run for a 37-28 lead.

IU ended the half with a pair of Jackson-Davis free throws and a Durham jumper to make it 37-32.

The Hoosiers’ 9-3 second-half-opening surge — highlighted by Franklin’s fifth three-pointer — gave them a 41-40 lead five minutes after the break.

They pushed it to 47-40 via a 13-0 run before the Bulldogs ended it with a three-pointer.

IU kept pushing, especially with Thompson scoring six straight points and the Hoosiers blocking shots all over the court. A double-digit lead followed.

Butler was finished.

The Hoosiers, in so many ways, are just beginning.

“We are as battle tested as any team in our league,” Miller said.

PURDUE UPENDS NOTRE DAME AT CROSSROADS CLASSIC

(PURDUE RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr. each scored 18 points and Purdue beat Notre Dame 88-78 on Saturday in a Crossroads Classic Challenge game.

Stefanovic started the game with a 3-pointer, and with 7:12 left to play, buried a 3 for a 72-61 lead and Purdue (6-2) led by double figures the rest of the way. Stefanovic was 6-for-8 shooting including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

 Hunter finished 4-of-7 from 3-point range and distributed eight assists. Trevion Williams scored 14 points and Mason Gillis scored 12 for the Boilermakers. Purdue made half their 28 3-point attempts.

Trey Wertz led the Irish (2-4) with 27 points and made half of his 10 3-point attempts. Cormac Ryan scored 14 points, Nate Laszewski 13 and Nikola Djogo 11.

Purdue led 47-42 at halftime, and a 6-2 spurt to start the second half extended its lead to nine. Notre Dame countered with a 3 from Dane Goodwin and two more from Djogo to tie the game at 53-53, but Purdue answered with a 9-0 run and led by at least six points the remainder of the game.

With the win, the Boilermakers moved their record to 33-7 in the month of December since the 2015-16 season.

(Postgame Notes)

  • Purdue improved to 6-2 overall with an 88-78 win over Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic. The win was Purdue’s third straight victory.
  • Purdue improved to 16-2 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2016-17 season.
  • The Boilermakers improved to 3-7 overall in the Crossroads Classic, but is 3-2 in the last five events, the second-best record over the last five years behind Indiana (4-1); Butler is 2-3 in the event and Notre Dame is 1-4 over the last five years.
  • Purdue’s 88 points were the most for the Boilermakers in the 10-year history of the event, and tied for the second-most ever by any team.
  • Purdue’s 14 3-pointers are the second most in the history of the event, behind only the 16 that Notre Dame made today.
  • Purdue’s junior class scored 52 points today and over the last three games, is averaging 54.3 points per game during that span, all Purdue victories.
  • Purdue is now 130-13 under Painter when having fewer turnovers and outrebounding its opponent, having won 11 straight games.
  • Purdue improved to 33-7 in the month of December since the start of the 2015-16 season.
  • Purdue improved to 45-1 since the start of the 2017-18 season when shooting better than 48.0 percent from the field.
  • When Eric Hunter Jr., leads the team in assists during his career, Purdue is 12-3.
  • Purdue’s six turnovers were a season low and its fewest since having six against Illinois on Jan. 5, 2020 (last season) – a span of 24 games.
  • Purdue has had at least 20 assists in four of eight games this year, after having 20 against the Irish.
  • Purdue’s power forwards of Mason Gillis and Aaron Wheeler combined for 14 points, 16 rebounds and three assists.
  • Eric Hunter set a new career high with eight assists to go along with 18 points and five rebounds, while having no turnovers. He is just the third player nationally to reach those marks in a single game with no turnovers (Ohio’s Jason Preston; Bowling Green’s Justin Turner).
  • Sasha Stefanovic scored 18 points with five 3-pointers. The five 3-pointers are tied for the second most in Crossroads Classic history.
  • Mason Gillis recorded career highs in points (12) and rebounds (9) while going 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. He has made 10 consecutive field goal attempts, spanning four games.

OHIO STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

Buckeyes Pull Away to Top UCLA in Cleveland, 77-70

Freshmen Eugene Brown III, Zed Key provide key second-half lift 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball team pulled away late in the second half and earned a 77-70 victory over UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. The Buckeyes improved to 6-1 overall while UCLA is now 5-2. 

The win for Ohio State was keyed by the play of a pair of veterans – Duane Washington Jr., who had a team-high 14 points, and CJ Walker, who had 10 points and four assists – combined with timely contributions from a pair of freshmen – Zed Key and Eugene Brown III. Key scored 11 points in his 22 minutes and added six rebounds while playing a key stretch in the second half after forward E.J. Liddel fouled out. Brown, meanwhile, scored nine points and his all three of his three-point attempts. With the game tied at 63-all, he put Ohio State ahead for good at the 5:34 mark of the second half. On the next possession, after UCLA cut the lead to one at 66-65, he hit another one to give the Buckeyes a 69-65 lead. 

The Buckeyes’ defense held UCLA to just 33 percent shooting in the second half and made just one of its last seven from the floor. Ohio State was able to salt the game away from the free throw line – the Buckeyes are 15 of 21 from the stripe in the second half and 19 of 26 for the game. 

The teams went back and forth in the first half with five ties and four lead changes. Late in the first half, the Buckeyes held UCLA to no field goals over the final 2:34 and was able to take a 39-38 lead at the break thanks to a jumper by Musa Jallow with 34 seconds remaining. 

Jallow and E.J. Liddel led Ohio State with seven points apiece in the first half. Liddel, making his return after a two-game absence due to non-COVID illness, made three of his seven field goal attempts while Jallow was 3 of 4 from the floor and added two rebounds and two assists. The Buckeyes shot 56 percent from the floor and made five three-point field goals. 

Forward Seth Towns, a Columbus native who graduated from Harvard last spring, made his Ohio State debut when he checked into the game at the with 2:47 remaining in the first half. Towns was the 2018 Ivy League Player of the Year at Harvard when he averaged nearly 16.0 points per game, 5.7 rebounds and shot 42 percent from the field.  

The Buckeyes return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 23 when they host No. 19 Rutgers at the Value City Arena. Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on BTN.

MIAMI CLIPPED BY BRADLEY

(MIAMI RELEASE)

A strong road effort by the Miami University men’s basketball team came up just short as the RedHawks (3-3) were edged by Bradley University (6-2) on Saturday night, 69-68. The Braves staged a late flurry to push ahead of the RedHawks with 18 seconds to go.

Miami shot a solid 50.0 percent from the floor and 54.2 percent from 3-point range for the game.

Senior forward Dalonte Brown and sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant each poured in 17 points to lead all players, while redshirt junior guard Isaiah Coleman-Lands recorded 14 points. Brown led all players with 11 rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Miami used an 8-0 run late in the second half during a back-and-forth battle to push ahead 68-60 by the 4:00 mark.

Sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant had five points and senior guard Milos Jovic added a three-point play to comprise the 8-0 spurt for the RedHawks. Bradley came back with a 9-0 run over the final 3:18 of the game to take a 69-68 lead for good with 18 seconds to go.

Miami shot 50.0 percent from the floor (13-of-26) and 61.5 percent from 3-point range (8-of-13) in the first half.

The RedHawks used a 14-3 flurry, with eight points coming from junior guard Mekhi Lairy, to take a 27-18 lead by the 6:57 mark of the first half. Miami extended its lead to 10 points, 33-23, at the 4:42 mark off a sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant triple.

Bradley came back to shrink their deficit to two at the half, 37-35.

NOTES:

Senior forward Dalonte Brown notched his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Brown amassed 15 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

Junior guard Mekhi Lairy handed out seven assists, one off his career-high.

Junior forward Josh Brewer made his third career start and first this season.

DAYTON HOLDS OFF OLE MISS

(DAYTON RELEASE)

DAYTON – University of Dayton men’s basketball team held on for the 65-62 win over visiting Ole Miss Saturday evening at UD Arena. The Flyers were led by senior Jalen Crutcher with a game-high 23 points on the strength of 4-for-6 shooting from long range.

Senior Rodney Chatman added a Dayton-career-high 21 points to go with five steals and four assists. Dayton improves to 4-1 on the season while Ole Miss moves to 4-1 overall.

GAME BREAKDOWN
First Half
Ole Miss 31, Dayton 24
• Dayton scored the first two points of the game but Ole Miss used a 12-0 run while forcing four Flyer turnovers to jump out to the 12-2 lead.
• Back-to-back three-point baskets from senior Ibi Watson cut the Rebels’ lead to one, 14-13, near the midpoint of the half.
• Rodney Chatman’s jumper with just over six minutes remaining in the period knotted the teams at 19 points apiece.
• An 8-2 Ole Miss run to close the period gave the Rebels the 31-24 lead at halftime.
• Dayton’s Chatman and Ole Miss’s Devontae Shuler each had 10 points during the first 10 minutes.
• The Flyers’ 24 and the Rebels’ 31 are the least points scored by both teams in the first half this season.

Second Half
Dayton 65, Ole Miss 62
• After trailing by as many as nine, Dayton rattled off nine straight points to take the 44-41 lead at the 10:56 mark.
• The Rebels’ Luis Rodriguez ended a 4:30 drought for Ole Miss with a three-pointer from the corner, setting the score at 45-44 with just over nine minutes left to play.
• With just over six minutes left to play, the teams were all square at 49.
• Dayton led by as many as five three times down the stretch, its largest lead of the game.
• Ole Miss pulled to within one, 63-62, with 27 second showing on the clock but Dayton held on for the 65-62 win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• 55  – The Flyer “big three of Jalen Crutcher (23 points), Rodney Chatman (21) and Ibi Watson (11) combined to score 55 of UD’s 65 points.
• 51.1 – As a team, Dayton shot 51.1% from the field, including 60.9% during the second half.
• 41-24 – Ole Miss out-rebounded Dayton by a margin of 41-24.
• 23 – Crutcher’s 23 points is one off his career high of 24 set Jan. 25, 2020 at Richmond. It was Crutcher’s second consecutive game of 23 points.
• 17 – Both teams committed a total of 17 turnovers apiece
• 8 – Dayton made eight three-point baskets, tying its season high set against Mississippi State on Dec. 12.
• 1 – Chase Johnson was held to one field goal in the game, but it was one of the biggest of the day.  It was UD’s last basket in the game, coming at the 2:56 mark, and gave the Flyers their largest lead of the game (five points).
• +/- – The top two Flyer +/- efficiency scores were by two players coming off the bench, even though neither scored.  Freshman R.J. Blakney was +9 in 15 minutes of action, while Elijah Weaver was +8 in eight minutes.  It was Weaver’s first game action for UD.  The transfer from USC was told earlier in the day that he would be available to play.

UP NEXT
Dayton is set to open Atlantic 10 Conference play on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at home against La Salle. Tip-off between the Flyers and Explorers is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Spectrum News 1.

RAIDERS BEAT DETROIT

(WRIGHT STATE RELEASE)

The Wright State men’s basketball team opened Horizon League play with a 23-point win at Detroit Mercy on Saturday afternoon as five players finished in double-digits scoring in the 93-70 victory.
 
The Raiders (3-1, 1-0 Horizon) and Titans (1-4, 0-1 Horizon) now turn around and play again Sunday afternoon, another 2 p.m. tipoff, as the Horizon League schedule has teams playing one League opponent twice each week with games taking place on consecutive days at the same location.
 
Sunday’s game will be available on ESPN3, and fans can also tune into Chris Collins and Jim Brown calling the play-by-play on WRZX 106.5 FM.
 
Tanner Holden and Trey Calvin each finished with a game-high 19 points to lead the Raiders, who also saw Grant Basile turn in 18 points. Calvin’s 19 points were a new career best, and his fourth consecutive double-digit scoring effort in four games this season, while Holden and Basile both tied season highs with their point totals.
 
Loudon Love added 14 points and finished just shy of a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds, while Alex Huibregtse finished with 11 points off the bench, a new career-best for the freshman in his fourth contest.
 
After going back-and-forth and trading baskets for much of the first half, the Raiders closed the first 20 minutes on an 18-5 run, with four of their five made shots coming from three-point range, while forcing Detroit Mercy into three turnovers, to take a 44-35 lead into the locker room.
 
Following an Antoine Davis jumper to begin the second half, Wright State scored nine of the next 12 points to get some breathing room. The Raiders put the game out of reach with an 18-0 run over a four-minute stretch midway through the period, going 8-of-8 from the floor during that stretch and seeing Holden pour in eight of his 19 as part of the run.
 
Wright State finished the afternoon shooting 59 percent from the floor (38-of-65) and hit 10 of its 20 three-point shots while holding Detroit Mercy to 41 percent shooting (13-of-38) and just 8-of-28 from deep. The Raiders outrebounded the hosts, 40-32, including pulling down 34 boards on the defensive side of the floor, and had a 46-34 scoring advantage in the paint. Wright State finished with 36 points off the bench.

NORTH CAROLINA SENDS KENTUCKY TO 5TH STRAIGHT LOSS

Kentucky coach John Calipari is used to early season learning curves for young players. Never in his 12 seasons have the Wildcats fallen behind like this.

Armando Bacot scored 11 of his team-high 14 points in the second half Saturday, rallying No. 22 North Carolina from a double-digit deficit to beat Kentucky 75-63 at the CBS Sports Classic.

Kentucky (1-5) has lost five in a row for the first time since John Calipari became coach in 2009 and is off to its worst start since the 1926-1927 season.

“I’m just so disappointed, especially the last 10 minutes of the game,” Calipari said. “I know they’re better than this. Is it just trying to make tough plays? I’ve got to watch this tape and figure it out.”

Kerwin Walton scored 13 points and fellow freshman guard Caleb Love had 11 points and six assists for North Carolina (5-2), which outscored the Wildcats 33-15 to end the game.

Davion Mintz scored 17 points – making all three of Kentucky’s 3-pointers – and grabbed eight rebounds. No Wildcats who appeared in the game were made available to the media.

Walton made two 3-pointers and scored eight points in a 9-1 game-changing run by the Tar Heels, including the go-ahead free throw at 50-49 with 11:42 remaining. North Carolina had trailed by 11 in the first half.

“I knew my time was coming, once I adjusted to the speed of the college game,” said Walton, who had six points in the first six games. “Every shot I took felt great today.”

Walton made a pair of 3-pointers immediately after Kentucky big men Olivier Sarr and Lance Ware went to the bench with their fourth fouls. Sarr, Ware and teammates Isaiah Jackson and Terrence Clarke later fouled out.

“The first half, I was very disappointed because we didn’t play tough,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. “But I’m as pleased as I could possibly be with the fight we showed when we came back out.”

Wildcats forward Brandon Boston Jr. scored 15 points and guard Devin Askew had 12. A third freshman, forward Cam’Ron Fletcher, walked off the bench and openly complained after only playing three minutes.

Calipari said Fletcher apologized in the locker room, adding, “You’ve got to accept your position on this team.”

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GAME PREVIEW

Big Ten Play Opens On Sunday For Indiana Women’s Basketball Against Nebraska 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The 20-game Big Ten Conference slate begins on Sunday afternoon when No. 15 Indiana hosts Nebraska. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network. 

#15/15 INDIANA (2-2, 0-0 B1G) VS. NEBRASKA (3-1, 1-0 B1G)

Sunday, December 20, 2020 • 4 p.m. ET
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

ABOUT THE CORNHUSKERS

Nebraska is off to a 3-1 start to the season and fell to Creighton in its last outing on Monday.  They opened their conference slate on December 10 in a win over Illinois. Four players average double figures including Sam Haiby enters the game as Nebraska’s season leader in scoring (17.8 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg.) and assists (4.3 apg). Sophomore Isabelle Bourne is averaging 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. 

SERIES HISTORY

Indiana leads 8-5

LAST MEETING

2/27/20 – W, 81-53 (Bloomington, Ind.)

NOTES

  • IU will open up its conference slate on Sunday, looking to win three-straight Big Ten openers for the first time since 1991-94. IU is 17-21 all-time in Big Ten openers and 11-7 all-time in conference openers at home.
  • Indiana has won four-straight games and six of the last seven in the series with Nebraska, including both matchups in the 2019-20 regular season.
  • On Sunday, the Hoosiers are looking to end a two-game skid as it wrapped up non-conference play in losses to then No. 11 Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • Senior guard Jaelynn Penn led the way against the Lady Vols on Thursday night. She notched her third career double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high five steals.
  • The Hoosiers are led by a trio of double figure scorers including sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes (15.3 ppg.), junior guard Grace Berger (15.0 ppg.) and senior guard Ali Patberg (13.5 ppg.). Four players average 6.5 rebounds per game or more this season led by junior forward Aleksa Gulbe’s 7.8 boards per game.
  • Holmes is also one of the nation’s leaders in blocks, averaging 3.5 per game with a total of 14 swats in four games. She is currently leads the Big Ten and 14th in the nation in total blocks and 6th in blocks per game.

BIELEMA NAMED COACH AT ILLINOIS

CHAMPAIGN, IL – The University of Illinois and UI Director of Athletics Josh Whitman reached out to a native son today when naming Bret Bielema as the 26th Fighting Illini Head Football Coach in the 132-year history of the program.

“Illinois and the Big Ten is home for me, and I can’t be any more excited about the opportunity in front of me with the Fighting Illini,” Bielema said. “We want to build a program that makes Illini Nation proud and regain the passion that I’ve seen when Illinois wins. We want the young men playing football in the state of Illinois from Freeport to Cairo and from Quincy to Danville dreaming of wearing the Orange and Blue and playing at Memorial Stadium. I look forward to re-connecting with the high school coaches around the state making it clear we intend to keep our players home.

“We will build an outstanding staff for both player development and recruiting. The University of Illinois has incredible facilities and is known as one of the world’s outstanding academic institutions. We will hold the young men on our team responsible both on and off the field while coaching them to be champions in life. Jen and I, along with our girls, are excited to get to Champaign-Urbana and get started on the journey. Go Illini!”

A native of Prophetstown, Illinois, Bielema (pronounced BEEL-ma) has 24 years of collegiate coaching experience and compiled a 12-year record of 97-58 (.626) as head coach at Wisconsin and Arkansas.

Bret Bielema is a proven winner. With three Big Ten championships to his credit, few coaches can match his familiarity with, and success within, the Big Ten Conference,” said Whitman. “In our conversations, it became clear to me that he is a life-long learner who is continually looking to grow and improve, and he has enjoyed unrivaled mentorship from some of the game’s most distinguished coaches, including Hayden Fry, Kirk Ferentz, Bill Snyder, Barry Alvarez, and Bill Belichick – all of them current or future Hall of Famers.

“Importantly to me, Bret, a native of our great state, grew up an Illini fan and is committed to seeing the football program at our state’s flagship grow and prosper,” continued Whitman. “Bret’s blue collar work ethic and genuine, authentic manner will allow him to form strong connections to his players and staff and positive relationships in our community and our state. These qualities, combined with his commitment to education and his track record of success, give me great confidence in his leadership of our football program.”

MIAMI BATTLES COLORADO COLLEGE TO 1-1 TIE

(MIAMI RELEASE)

OMAHA, Neb. — Freshman goaltender Ludvig Persson made a career-high 38 saves as the Miami University hockey team continued the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Pod with a 1-1 tie and a shootout loss to Colorado College on Saturday evening.

The RedHawks were able to open up the scoring in the second period, with their second power-play goal on the season, after a tripping call against the Tigers. Both teams had a defense that couldn’t be beaten, as both the first and third periods resulted in no goals, forcing the game into overtime. A shootout was necessary to determine the extra point, and the Colorado College goaltender didn’t let in any of the RedHawk attempts to deny Miami the extra point in the conference standings.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

4:59 2nd (Miami 1-0) | Just 12 seconds into a power play, the RedHawks found themselves able to capitalize first. Casey Gilling gave Phil Knies the puck from the circle, and Knies attempted a wraparound goal but was unsuccessful. Matt Barry got his stick on the rebound and was able to find the back of the net to put Miami ahead first.

19:57 2nd (CC 1-1) | At the last minute, the second frame looked like it would end with Miami ahead, but the Tigers had other plans. Connor Mayer threw the puck on net from the blue line, and Grant Cruikshank stayed right in front for the rebound and buried it in past Persson.

Neither team took advantage of the three-on-three overtime, with the game progressing to a shootout. Hunter McKown scored the deciding goal in the third round after each team had been stopped twice.

GAME NOTES:

The Tigers outshot Miami on the night by a 39-21 tally. For the RedHawks, Andrew Sinard and Ryan Savage led in individual shots on goal, three each.

The RedHawks had the advantage in blocked shots, as they blocked 19 as a team.

Miami went 31-for-58 on face-offs on the night.

WHAT’S NEXT:

The RedHawks continue the adventures in the NCHC Pod with the final game in Omaha on Sunday, December 20. Puck drop for the game against the top-ranked North Dakota Fighting Hawks is scheduled for a 9:05 p.m. (ET) start at Baxter Arena.

CANELO DOMINATES SMITH, WINS MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLES

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez overmatched Callum Smith at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday to add more world titles to his collection.

The arguably best pound-for-pound fighter defeated his British counterpart by unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 117-111) to capture the WBC and WBA super middleweight titles.

Alvarez now holds championship belts in four weight classes.

Canelo landed 43% of his punches compared to Smith’s 18% while battering his opponent in the late rounds with power shots.

The loss was Smith’s first as a professional, with his record falling to 27-1.

Alvarez, meanwhile, pushed his professional record to 54-1-2.

The 30-year-old hasn’t lost since 2013 when he was beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr., although Gennady Golovkin fought him to a draw in 2017.

THOMPSON DEFEATS NEAL IN UFC FIGHT

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson dominated in the final UFC main event of the year, beating Geoff Neal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

The former title challenger – who turns 38 years old in February – proved he’s still a top welterweight contender with his second straight victory.

“Wonderboy’s still here, baby,” Thompson said in his postfight interview. “That title – 2021, I’m telling you, it’s going to be mine, brother. You watch and see. But I’m just glad to be back.”

This was Thompson’s first bout since November 2019 when he bested up-and-comer Vicente Luque at UFC 244. He broke both hands in that fight and suffered a collarbone injury in training this past summer, which delayed his return.

Thompson, who’s ranked No. 5 at 170 pounds, outclassed Neal for five rounds in Saturday’s headliner. He used his unorthodox striking and karate stance to pick apart the rising contender.

Neal came forward and looked to land powerful punches, but he seemed puzzled by Thompson’s movement and footwork. Thompson maintained distance with straight punches and a variety of kicks. He also boasted a speed advantage, which helped him avoid Neal’s biggest shots.

Afterward, Thompson called for a rematch with Jorge Masvidal, whom he beat via unanimous decision in 2017.

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Buffalo Bills1030.7690.03593216-1-04-2-07-2-04-0-03 W
Miami Dolphins850.6152.03302454-3-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 L
New England Patriots670.4624.02772794-2-02-5-05-4-02-1-01 L
New York Jets0130.00010.01833930-7-00-6-00-10-00-5-013 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Kansas City Chiefs1210.9230.04032815-1-07-0-010-1-04-1-08 W
Las Vegas Raiders760.5385.03503912-4-05-2-05-4-03-1-01 L
Denver Broncos580.3857.02573472-4-03-4-04-5-01-3-01 W
Los Angeles Chargers490.3088.02973623-4-01-5-03-6-00-3-01 W
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
x-Pittsburgh Steelers1120.8460.03492376-1-05-1-08-1-04-0-02 L
Cleveland Browns940.6922.03483685-2-04-2-06-4-02-3-01 L
Baltimore Ravens850.6153.03632733-3-05-2-05-5-03-2-02 W
Cincinnati Bengals2101.1928.52443382-4-00-6-12-7-00-4-05 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tennessee Titans940.6920.03903364-3-05-1-07-4-04-1-01 W
Indianapolis Colts940.6920.03723004-2-05-2-05-4-02-2-02 W
Houston Texans490.3085.02953592-4-02-5-03-6-02-2-02 L
Jacksonville Jaguars1120.0778.02613831-6-00-6-01-9-01-4-012 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Washington Football Team670.4620.02872753-3-03-4-04-5-03-2-04 W
New York Giants580.3851.02382912-4-03-4-04-7-03-2-01 L
Philadelphia Eagles481.3461.52773283-3-11-5-04-5-02-2-01 W
Dallas Cowboys490.3082.02984002-4-02-5-03-6-01-3-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Los Angeles Rams940.6920.03252465-1-04-3-08-2-02-2-02 W
Seattle Seahawks940.6920.03933246-1-03-3-06-3-02-2-01 W
Arizona Cardinals760.5382.03583033-3-04-3-05-4-02-2-01 W
San Francisco 49ers580.3854.03003111-6-04-2-03-6-02-2-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Green Bay Packers1030.7690.04103235-1-05-2-08-2-04-1-03 W
Minnesota Vikings670.4624.03333553-4-03-3-04-5-03-1-01 L
Chicago Bears670.4624.02822913-4-03-3-05-5-01-3-01 W
Detroit Lions580.3855.03103891-5-04-3-04-6-01-4-01 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
x-New Orleans Saints1030.7690.03682655-1-05-2-08-2-05-0-01 L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers850.6152.03702944-3-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 W
Atlanta Falcons490.3086.03283222-5-02-4-02-8-01-3-02 L
Carolina Panthers490.3086.03073322-5-02-4-03-6-01-4-02 L
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage