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Arizona St. beats Navy 62-28 in Fight Hunger Bowl

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Arizona St. beats Navy 62-28 in Fight Hunger Bowl

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Taylor Kelly threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score to lead Arizona State to its first bowl win in seven years, a 62-28 victory over Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday.

Offensive MVP Marion Grice ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (8-5), who used their fast-paced spread offense to score touchdowns on their first nine possessions.

That helped provided a bright end to a successful first season at Arizona State for coach Todd Graham, who helped the Sun Devils win their most games since 2007 and win a bowl for the first time since the 2005 Insight Bowl against Rutgers. The Sun Devils also capped their season by beating rival Arizona and winning a bowl, a feat they had accomplished just once in the past 33 seasons.

The Midshipmen (8-5) have lost five of their last six bowl games. Among the few highlights for Navy were Keenan Reynolds' 3-yard TD pass to Matt Aiken in the first half and a 95-yard kickoff return for a score by Gee Gee Greene in the third quarter.

Rashad Ross, who grew up in nearby Vallejo, started and ended the first-half outburst with touchdown receptions. His 16-yard catch from Kelly capped a 75-yard game-opening drive and he got behind the Navy defense for a 52-yard score in the final minute of the half to make it 34-7. Ross then caught a 50-yard TD pass on Arizona State's first drive of the second half to make it 41-7.

Grice, playing with a heavy heart after his brother was murdered last week in Houston, scored on a 10-yard run in the first quarter and a 39-yarder in the third. He had 19 touchdowns this season, with 11 coming on the ground.

Much of the talk leading up to the game was how Arizona State would handle Navy's unique triple-option offense. It turned out that the Midshipmen had much more trouble with the Sun Devils' spread, giving up 648 yards.

Arizona State had seven touchdown drives of at least 60 yards in the first three quarters and had just three third-down plays in that span as Kelly easily picked apart the defense. The longest drive took just 2:43 and one of the quickest came at the end of the half when the Sun Devils went 80 yards in two plays covering 19 seconds after Nick Sloan missed a 33-yard field goal for Navy.

Kelly finished 17 for 19 for 268 yards, ending the season completing a school-record 67.1 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 81 yards, scoring on a 1-yard run that made it 21-0.

The Midshipmen had a few opportunities to keep the game close on offense in the first half but Greene was unable to hold onto a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-7 from the 31 in the first quarter and Reynolds lost 3 yards on a third-and-1 keeper from the 8 before Sloan's missed field goal.

Sen. John McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot who represents Arizona in Congress, handled the pregame toss. Instead of using a coin, the game sponsored by Kraft uses an Oreo, with one side being a chocolate cookie and the other vanilla.

Before that, Pat Tillman Sr. presented Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton the Pac-12 defensive player of the year award named after his son, the former ASU star who died as an Army ranger in Afghanistan.

Five items for the Washington sports fan on Amazon Prime Day

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Amazon.com

Five items for the Washington sports fan on Amazon Prime Day

It's Amazon Prime day! Everyone who doesn't have a Prime account will be asking for your log in (especially if you have a student account), but shopping this sale is worth your time. We've selected some awesome DMV sports gear you must grab before training camp, tailgates, and the second half of baseball season.

1. Custom Stitched Sean Taylor Jersey

Yeah, this should be your tailgate uniform. A fraction of the price of an authentic jersey, your gameday closet needs this hand-stitched jersey. Phanatic Sports Memorabilia sells jerseys in burgundy and white, including everyone from Taylor and Theismann to Collins and Guice. Have you seriously not clicked that link yet?

2. NFL Cooler Quad Chair

 

Once you're dressed, it's time to sit back and enjoy the party. What better chair to bring to a tailgate than one with multiple pouches, a cupholder and your team's logo on the back? You're ready to rock gameday.

3. Nationals Desk Caddy

 

Bring your spirit to the office and stay hype for the second half of the season post All-Star break. This might make you some friends in the office, and it might make you some enemies. Choose your lunch dates wisely.

4. Washington Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup Champions DVD

What makes a D.C. sports fan feel warm and fuzzy like rewatching the first Stanley Cup championship? If you still own a DVD player, this purchase is great for the whole family (according to reviews, it's kid friendly). 

5. 2018 Stanley Cup National Hockey League Championship Ring 

No joke, at $16.79 these babies are 20% off today and come in myriad sizes through the Gloral HIF shop. Definitely worth a look and affordable for every Caps fan to represent their favorites at their leisure. Warning: may be blinding.

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Eight months later, Alex Smith has external fixator removed from injured leg

Eight months later, Alex Smith has external fixator removed from injured leg

It's been a long road to recovery for Redskins quarterback Alex Smith after suffering a gruesome leg injury against the Houston Texans last November.

Following the original break, Smith's injury became infected, requiring more surgery and for him to wear an external fixator on his injured leg, a large metal, circular device that ran from his knee down to his foot with metal screws to hold bones in place.

Smith had been wearing the fixator for the past eight months, but on Monday, the brace was finally removed. Smith's wife, Elizabeth, posted on her Instagram account a picture of Smith holding the recently removed metal device.

"The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy," Elizabeth Smith wrote on her Instagram. "Although it’s not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It’s one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched."

This is a major step in Smith's recovery process, as he still hopes to play football again.

"That's the plan," Smith said to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay of returning to the field. "I got to conquer some more steps before I get there."

But first, he must learn how to run and change direction again.

Earlier this summer, Smith was seen throwing passes at Redskins OTAs. He most certainly won't play in 2020, and his future on Washington has a lot to do with the success of rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Washington's first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

While Smith won't help the Redskins on the field, don't be surprised if Smith has a positive role in the development of Haskins. A team captain in 2018, many of his teammates have praised Smith of the leadership he displayed a season ago.

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