NCAA

Former Cal Bears punter signs long-term extension with Buccaneers

Former Cal Bears punter signs long-term extension with Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Saturday that the team has signed punter Bryan Anger to a multi-year contract extension.

“We brought Bryan here this past offseason believing he had the ability to be one of the best punters in the NFL and he performed as such in 2016,” said General Manager Jason Licht. “We are always happy to reward our own players and thrilled to be able to keep Bryan with the Buccaneers for years to come.”

Anger (6-3, 205) joined Tampa Bay in 2016 and is in the midst of the top punting seasons in team history, setting franchise records for punts inside the 20 (32) and net punting average (42.4) – both career bests – while also establishing a new team record for gross punting average (45.9). This season he ranks fifth in the NFL in punts inside the 20 and fourth in net average.

Anger’s punting has helped the Buccaneers have one of the top punt return coverage units in the NFL, with the team allowing only 5.6 yards per punt return, the fourth-lowest mark in the league this season and the fourth-best in team history. At New Orleans in Week 16, Anger had a net average of 51.0 on three punts, the best mark by a Buccaneers punter dating back to at least 1991 (min. three punts). Facing Seattle in Week 12, Anger had four punts downed inside the 20, the most by a Buccaneers punter since 2005 (Josh Bidwell, 10/16/05 vs. Miami).

The Camarillo, California native originally entered the league as a third-round pick (70th overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 NFL Draft. Anger, who played collegiately at California, spent his first four seasons (2012-15) with Jacksonville, before coming to Tampa Bay. Through the past five seasons, Anger has played in 79 games, punting 425 times for 19,841 yards (46.7 avg.), with 145 punts inside the 20 and a net average of 40.5. His 145 punts inside the 20 during that span are tied for the fourth-most in the NFL.

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Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report