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King accounts for 3 TDs, leads Houston past Navy, 24-14

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King accounts for 3 TDs, leads Houston past Navy, 24-14

HOUSTON  -- Houston's defense slowed Navy in the second half, and the offense carried the momentum from there.

D'Eriq King threw for 277 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead Houston to a 24-14 win over Navy on Friday.

King completed 21 of 27 passes and found Steven Dunbar for a 61-yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars (7-4, 5-3 American) a 21-14 lead with 14 minutes left in the game. King hit Dunbar in stride along the right sideline, and Dunbar broke one tackle at the Navy 40 and went untouched from there for the score.

"The defense played great all day," King said. "We got momentum off the defense. We saw those guys make plays, and we wanted to help them by making plays ourselves."

Houston's defense shut Navy out in the second half and held the Midshipmen to 79 yards and six first downs.

"It was tackle or dive there to get what you can get," Ed Oliver, who finished with a career-high 14 tackles and 3 tackles for a loss, said. "We stopped the dive. We were really locked in on our assignments, and we shut it down."

The 14 points was a season low for Navy.

"Consistent four quarters, consistent play," Houston coach Major Applewhite said. "For us to be able to create that many stops and punt opportunities is tremendous."

Dunbar finished with 142 yards receiving on eight catches.

King, who started his third straight game, rushed for 57 yards and scored on runs of 9 and 2 yards, with the second tying it at 14 with 3:27 left in the third and capping a 14-play, 90-yard drive. Caden Novikoff tacked on a 35-yard field goal with 7:57 remaining to up the lead to 24-14.

"We made plays in the passing game," Applewhite said. "Quarterback made some runs. Duke (Catalon) ran the ball well. We played like we could play."

Malcolm Perry rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Anthony Gargiulo added 71 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries to lead Navy (6-5, 4-4), which lost its fifth in the last six games. The Midshipmen outrushed Houston 217-103, but had 167 yards rushing at the half.

"Obviously, a disappointing loss," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We left some points out there in the first half that came back to bite us."

Perry tied it 7-7 with a 12-yard touchdown run with 13:42 left in the second, and Gargiulo gave the Midshipmen a 14-7 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.

"Houston played well defensively," Niumatalolo said. "We just can't sustain ourselves. It's kind of the story of our season. We can't put stuff together consistently. Obviously, Houston knew that. They kept their safeties back to see if we could grind it out and we couldn't. We couldn't execute the whole way downfield."

Linell Bonner finished with eight catches for 98 yards for Houston, which won its third out of the last four games. Houston outgained Navy 380-291.

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John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

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USA Today Sports Images

John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

Point guard John Wall was a notable absence at Friday afternoon's Wizards practice, as he sat out after having an MRI done on his left knee earlier in the day. 

Despite playing well against the Hornets in the team's last game, Wall is still feeling discomfort and now the Wizards wait to hear the test results. Wall may not play against the Blazers on Saturday night.

"John is definitely going to be questionable tomorrow," head coach Scott Brooks said. "We'll see how he feels [Saturday morning] and then make a decision from there."

Wall's knee issue dates back to two weeks ago. He first complained about swelling in his knee after a game against the Sacramento Kings.

[RELATED: MORRIS HAS GROWN VERY CLOSE TO WALL AND BEAL]

Wall has since had his knee drained, but the problems have persisted. Wall says his mobility is affected most.

Wall, 27, has missed two games for the Wizards this season, one due to a sprained left shoulder and another because of his knee. He is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Wall had one of his best games against the season in Charlotte on Wednesday. Despite playing through pain, he managed 31 points and 11 assists. He played 41 minutes because the game went to overtime.

If Wall can't go against the Blazers, the Wizards will rely heavily on backup point guard Tim Frazier. Either way, they have a tough assignment at that position with Damian Lillard of Portland.

[RELATED: MORRIS IS A BIG FAN OF MIKE SCOTT]

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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