NCAA

Munchak keeps Loggains at OC, hires 3 assistants

Munchak keeps Loggains at OC, hires 3 assistants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Dowell Loggains will remain the offensive coordinator for Tennessee, and coach Mike Munchak has hired three new assistants - Sylvester Croom, Shawn Jefferson and George Henshaw.

Munchak announced a handful of coaching moves Thursday.

``The goal in every decision I have made has been to do whatever I believe puts us in the best position to win this year,'' Munchak said in a statement. ``I believe with the new coaches that we have added and some shuffling of the current coaches, we have made our staff better. We were able to add proven coaches and by moving others around, it will change the dynamic in the meeting rooms and on the field.''

Titans owner Bud Adams decided to keep Munchak for a third season after a 6-10 season. Munchak responded by studying his coaching staff over the past two weeks, and he decided not to keep linebackers coach Frank Bush, running backs coach Jim Skipper and tight ends coach John Zernhelt. His biggest move was not renewing a contract for the designer of the Music City Miracle play, and letting Alan Lowry leave after 17 seasons, the last 14 coaching special teams.

Croom, head coach at Mississippi State between 2004 and 2008, brings 21 years of experience coaching in the NFL. Croom coached running backs last season at Jacksonville and also was offensive coordinator for Detroit between 1997 and 2000. Croom coached Steven Jackson in St. Louis between 2009 and 2011, a stretch that included two Pro Bowls.

He'll be working with Chris Johnson, who made a pitch earlier Thursday on Twitter for Munchak to bring back Earnest Byner, his first position coach with the Titans.

Loggains worked as offensive coordinator the final five games of the season after Munchak fired Chris Palmer on Nov. 26. With Loggains moving to offensive coordinator, Dave Ragone moves from coaching receivers to Loggains' old spot as quarterbacks coach. Henshaw will be Tennessee's new tight ends coach, rejoining a franchise in the same job he held for nine seasons from 1997 to 2005. His tight ends caught 845 passes, most in the NFL in that stretch.

Jefferson originally was a ninth-round pick by the then-Houston Oilers in 1991, and he played 13 NFL seasons with San Diego, New England, Atlanta and Detroit. He will coach receivers, the same job he had with the Detroit Lions. He worked the past five seasons with Calvin Johnson, who led the NFL with 7,080 yards and 50 touchdown catches in that time.

Nate Kaczor is moving from assistant offensive line coach with Bruce Matthews to special teams in replacing Lowry. Chet Parlavecchio will move from special teams assistant to coaching linebackers.

Munchak now has to fill those two spots, though the biggest question remains Jerry Gray's future as defensive coordinator after the Titans gave up a franchise-worst 471 points. The Titans coach defended Gray the day after the season ended and said only that he is always looking to improve his staff in his statement.

``So it is still a work in progress,'' Munchak said.

Notes: The Titans also signed QB Nathan Enderle to a futures contract. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Enderle was the fifth-round draft pick by Chicago out of Idaho in 2011 and spent that season on the Bears' roster. Chicago waived him last June, and he spent training camp with Jacksonville before being cut before the season. Enderle threw for 10,084 yards and 81 touchdowns in 45 games as a four-year starter at Idaho.

Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

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Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

PITTSBURGH -- No. 1 Virginia allowed just seven points in the first half and secured the regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title outright with a 66-37 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Freshman guard De'Andre Hunter came off the bench to lead the Cavaliers (26-2, 14-1 ACC) with 14 points in a game that didn't take big offensive efforts from Virginia's regulars. Of the five starters, only guard Ty Jerome exceeded his season average with 13 points.

The game was never competitive, as Virginia started on an 8-0 run and Pitt didn't make a field goal until Jared Wilson-Frame hit a 3-pointer at the midway point of the first half.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett rested most of his regulars in the second half. Reserve Nigel Johnson added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Parker Stewart led Pitt (8-22, 0-17) with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Pitt had next to no presence inside. The Panthers were outscored 28-8 in the paint and out-rebounded 36-24. Seven of Pitt's 11 made field goals were from beyond the arc.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

The Caps could not shake Buffalo for two periods, but a dominant finish on Saturday helped them pull away for a 5-1 win. Here's how they finally put away the Sabres.

A quick start

Strong starts go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a group in desperate need of one and the Caps got that boost on Saturday from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov used his wheels to zip in behind the defense and score just 50 seconds into the game. Washington led 1-0 at the end of the first, just the second time in 19 games they have held a lead after the opening 20 minutes.

RELATED: SEE THE 3 STARS FROM CAPS-SABRES HERE

Andre Burakovsky snapping a second period slump

It looked in the second period like the Caps were caught trying to protect the lead again, but Andre Burakovsky woke the team back up with his incredible highlight end-to-end goal. It really looked like Buffalo was going to tie the game at one, but instead, Burakovsky extended the lead to two. Going end to end the way he did shows a player who is starting to play with some confidence, something Burakovsky has lacked for much of the season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo would not go away. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 14 seconds into the third period and suddenly the Caps found themselves in a one-goal game again. But Ovechkin ended any hopes for the comeback as he struck in the top corner of the net on the power play from the office. He would later add a deflection goal to extend the lead to 5-1, giving a scuffling Washington team the dominant win they so sorely needed.