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W Kentucky to play C Michigan in Pizza Bowl

W Kentucky to play C Michigan in Pizza Bowl

DETROIT (AP) Before the Bobby Petrino era begins at Western Kentucky, there's a bowl game to play - the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan.

The game at Ford Field on Wednesday night is in Detroit, not far from the campus of the Chippewas (6-6). The Hilltoppers (7-5) will be run by interim coach Lance Guidry.

Petrino's hiring has almost overshadowed the play of the Hilltoppers. They are in their first bowl since becoming a top-tier college football school in 2009.

Petrino is returning to coaching less than a year after he was dismissed at Arkansas. He had hired his former mistress to work in the Razorbacks' football department.

Guidry, who was the team's defensive coordinator, says his players are ready.

``These kids are really hungry,'' Guidry said. ``Really been having some great practices, although they've been going through a lot of different things with the head coaches.''

Guidry was appointed interim coach Dec. 8, a day after Willie Taggart left to coach South Florida. Two days later, Western Kentucky hired Petrino to be Taggart's full-time replacement in a stunning move that didn't seem to shake up the players much because familiar faces were still around.

``Even though Coach Taggert is gone, the coaches are still here with us,'' Western Kentucky junior running back Antonio Andrews said. ``They've been here since Day One.''

Dan Enos has been leading the Chippewas since 2010. Enos was hired soon after Central Michigan played in and won its last postseason game, beating Troy in the GMAC Bowl with a team put together by former coach Butch Jones, who is now coaching at Tennessee.

Central Michigan won its last three games this year to be eligible for a bowl. After going 3-9 in each of Enos' first two seasons, his players are excited to still be playing.

``That's why I coach,'' Enos said. ``That's why our coaches coach, to have an impact on those young people.''

The running backs may have much to say in deciding how this game plays out.

Andrews has run for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. He's also a receiving threat and returns kickoffs and punts. He has 2,977 all-purpose yards on the season, just 273 behind the record set by Barry Sanders.

Central Michigan's Zurlon Tipton has 1,391 yards rushing and 19 TDs, 258 yards receiving and another score.

``I like that whole battle-of-the-backs thing,'' Tipton said. ``It's going to be a good battle, and I'm looking forward to it.''

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.