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Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Choosing to look toward the future rather than honor the past, Maryland joined the Big Ten on Monday, bolting from the Atlantic Coast Conference in a move driven by the school's budget woes.

Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953. Tradition and history, however, were not as important to school President Wallace D. Loh as the opportunity to be linked with the prosperous Big Ten.

``By being a member of the Big Ten Conference, we are able to ensure financially stability for Maryland athletics for decades to come,'' Loh said, speaking at a news conference with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Athletic Director Kevin Anderson.

Loh and other school officials involved in the decision decided that the potential money to be made in the Big Ten was more significant than the $50 million exit fee and the tradition associated with belonging to the same conference for 59 years.

Maryland will become the southernmost member of the Big Ten member starting, in July 2014. Rutgers is expected follow suit by Tuesday, splitting from the Big East and making it an even 14 schools in the Big Ten.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Miami officials said that the university is making what it called an ``unprecedented decision'' to self-impose a postseason ban for the second straight year, ending any chance of the Hurricanes playing in either the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game or a bowl.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - John Gagliardi, the winningest coach in college football history, announced his retirement from Division III St. John's University in Minnesota.

The 86-year-old Gagliardi started coaching college players in 1949 and spent the past six decades at the private school in central Minnesota. He retires with a record of 489-138-11 (77.5 winning percentage) and surpassed Eddie Robinson for the career coaching victories record in 2003, piling up four national titles at St. John's along the way.

Gagliardi's decision comes after the Johnnies finished a rough season with a 5-5 record and went 3-5 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

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Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o are the finalists for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the nation's top college football player.

Te'o is also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the top defensive player in the country. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones are the other finalists.

Klein, Manziel and Ohio State's Braxton Miller are the finalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

The awards will be presented Dec. 6 in Orlando on ESPN.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - UTEP coach Mike Price is retiring after a 31-year career notable for two Rose Bowl bids at Washington State and a drinking binge that cost him the Alabama job before he ever coached a game for the Crimson Tide.

PRO FOOTBALL

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Rob Gronkowski is recovering from surgery for a broken forearm that will sideline the New England Patriots tight end for the first time in his three NFL seasons.

A person familiar with the operation said the surgery was done but did not say which arm was injured or how much time Gronkowski was expected to miss. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. The team could not confirm that Gronkowski had an operation, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.

NEW YORK (AP) - Baltimore Ravens star safety Ed Reed was suspended for one game by the NFL for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.

The 11-year veteran will miss Sunday's game against San Diego, which will cost him one game check of more than $400,000.

Reed was suspended for three violations of the player safety rules in the past three seasons. The latest came in Sunday night's 13-10 victory over Pittsburgh when he was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter for a hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

SOCCER

LOS ANGELES (AP) - David Beckham will play his final game for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup next month.

Beckham and the Galaxy announced the English midfielder's decision, a day after the defending MLS champions advanced to their second straight league final. Los Angeles faces Houston for the MLS title on Dec. 1.

The 37-year-old Beckham isn't retiring, but the superstar he gave no hint of his next move.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The trial of a former star goalkeeper charged with orchestrating the kidnapping and gruesome murder of an ex-girlfriend started Monday, with two lawyers abandoning the case and the victim's mother making a tearful plea for justice.

The case of Bruno Fernandes, known in Brazil as Bruno, has riveted the country and shocked the soccer world. Fernandes' accomplices allegedly held his former girlfriend, model Eliza Samudio, before killing her, quartering her and feeding her remains to dogs.

OLYMPICS

LONDON (AP) - Drug cheats will be kept out at least one Olympics under the World Anti-Doping Agency's proposal to increase the suspension for serious violations from two years to four years.

WADA plans to double the standard penalty in the next edition of its global anti-doping code, which will come up for approval next year and go into effect in 2015.

BASEBALL

MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Marlins finalized their big salary dumping trade that sends All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays with pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio for seven relatively low-priced players.

Miami received infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino, catcher Jeff Mathis and outfielder Jake Marisnick under the deal, which was agreed to last week and completed Monday. The Marlins also are sending Toronto cash.

The trade was finalized after baseball Commissioner Bud Selig decided not to block it.

PRO BASKETBALL

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving will miss at least one month with a broken finger.

The NBA's reigning rookie of the year fractured his left index finger on Saturday against Dallas.

NEW YORK (AP) - Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph was fined $25,000 by the NBA for confronting Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins following their ejections in a game last week.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - If the first bargaining session in eight days between the NHL and the players' association made any headway, neither side tipped its hand.

A large contingent of players got together with league leadership on Monday night and met for under two hours.

Not a whole lot was accomplished on the road to a new agreement that could get the hockey season going, but at least there was optimism that the sides would get together again - likely as soon as Tuesday.

The lockout entered its 65th day Monday and has already wiped out 327 games. More cancellations could be coming soon, but the NHL hasn't said when another such announcement might be coming.

TENNIS

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Former top-ranked doubles player Gisela Dulko of Argentina retired from tennis, finishing her career with four singles titles and 17 in doubles.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - Sprint specialist Mark Cavendish has become the latest member of Britain's cycling team to be involved in a bike crash after hitting the back of a car during a training run in Italy.

The 2011 world road race champion says on Twitter he sustained a bruised arm after a car in front slammed on the brakes, but he is ``relatively ok.''

Cavendish's accident came two weeks after Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton were hospitalized after being knocked off their bikes.

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Peter King awards two Ravens with weekly honors for defensive performance vs.Titans

Peter King awards two Ravens with weekly honors for defensive performance vs.Titans

The Baltimore Ravens' Week 6 dominate performance over the Tennessee Titans is gaining national attention. 

A historic game that displayed the offense and defense firing on all cylinders, it's hard to pinpoint who had the biggest impact. 

So in his latest edition of Football Morning in America, NBC Sports' Peter King awarded not one, but two Ravens with weekly honors.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Za'Darius Smith

Against the Titans, Smith led the Ravens defense with three sacks and five tackles in their historic 11-sack game. On of three Defensive Players of the Week, King explained why Smith's performance stood out.

In the most dominant defensive performance of this ultra-offensive season, the Ravens shut out Tennessee 21-0 and had 11 sacks. Another one of GM Ozzie Newsome’s draft gifts that keeps on giving, Smith (2015, round four, Kentucky) contributed three sacks of Marcus Mariota and five tackles in a virtuoso game. Net passing yards for Mariota: 51.

Smith, who's entering the final year of his rookie NFL contract, has shown over six games he deserves to get paid in the offseason. So far this season the 26-year-old has 20 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble. 

COACH OF THE WEEK: Don "Wink" Martindale

In his first season as defensive coordinator, Don "Wink" Martindale has seamlessly made the transition from linebackers coach to leading the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense (12.8). But what impressed King the most from the 21-0 shutout was how Martindale's squad got to Mariota from every direction. 

When a unit records more sacks (11) than completions allowed (10), the leader gets an award. Those are the rules. Martindale’s pass rushers got to Marcus Mariota every possible way—up the middle, around the edges, in the pocket, on bootlegs, you name it. The total set a new franchise record and was one short of the single-game NFL mark of 12. And it came with a familiar face watching: Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees used to hold the same position in Baltimore. Shout out to the Ravens social media team for renaming the account RavenSSSSSSSSSSS, one ‘S’ for each sack.

This Ravens defense, who has always been known for its dominance, is ranked first in points allowed (12.8), first in yards allowed (270.8), second in passing yards allowed (188.0) and third in rushing yards allowed (82.8) heading into Week 7. In addition, they have yet to surrender a second half touchdown all season. Trusting of the talent this roster holds, the respect "Wink" has for his players is equally reciprocated. 

"It was really emotional when they told us we had 11 sacks," linebacker Patrick Onwuasor said postgame. "We just went out there and we were like, ‘We have to get Coach Wink . We have to put the Gatorade on him.’ So, we tried to turn him around so he couldn’t see it coming, and we had to get him real good."

Martindale will now face the No. 1 scoring offense in the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. 

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Baltimore Ravens Week 6 awards after shutout win over Titans

Baltimore Ravens Week 6 awards after shutout win over Titans

The Baltimore Ravens went into the Tennessee Titans' home and completely robbed them in a 21-0 shutout win.

Here are the players and plays that stood out from the afternoon.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME: Ravens Defense

The Ravens defense had a historic afternoon recording a franchise-record 11 sacks. Yup, you read that right. 11 sacks.

Za'Darius Smith led the way with three, followed by Patrick Onwuasor with two and Matthew Judon, Terrell Suggs, Tony Jefferson, Kenny Young, Anthony Levine Sr. and Chris Wormley with one apiece. The 11 sacks tied for the second most by a team in league history and the most in a game since 2012.  It was so historic, the Ravens changed their Twitter name to included 11 S's. 

But that wasn't the only impressive part of the Ravens' afternoon. Marcus Mariota was limited to 10 completions and the defense allowed just 51 passing yards  —  the fewest in franchise history  — and 55 rushing yards. The Titans finished the afternoon 1-for-10 on third down as well.

With the shutout, the Ravens defense cemented its place as one of the NFL's most elite units in 2018. A win that must have been extra sweet after a 12-9 overtime loss to the Browns the week prior and with former defensive coordinator Dean Pees staring back from the opposite sideline. The Ravens remain the only NFL team to not allow a second-half touchdown this season. 

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE GAME: Michael Crabtree

After dropping what would have been the game-winning touchdown Week 5 against the Browns, Michael Crabtree said his priority this week was to get back into the lab and correct his mistakes. Out the gate, the veteran receiver stayed true to his word finishing the Ravens' first drive catching three passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. Earlier in the week, Joe Flacco had faith his receiver would get over the hump of six drops in five games and was willing to stand by him until it happened.

"Besides just trying to give him the confidence that, you know, I'm still going his way when he calls for it and I still believe that it's going to be the difference...it's something that he'll definitely get over," Flacco said.

The patience worked as Crabtree finished the day with six receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown leading all Ravens receivers.

But more importantly, the relationship between Crabtree and Flacco continues to grow.

"That’s trust. That’s what you need in football, you know," Crabtree said postgame. "Quarterback, receiver relationship. It’s only going to get better. It’s all about how much time you put in, how much work you put in. I’m new; this is my first year here so I got to do what I got to do."

STAT OF THE GAME: Flacco makes his way into the history books

With 25 completions Sunday against the Titans, Flacco became the third different quarterback in NFL history to complete 25 or more passes in nine consecutive games, per the NFL's communication department. Drew Brees sits atop the list with 11 and 10 consecutive games followed by Peyton Manning with nine. Flacco finished the 21-0 win 25-for-37 with 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception. 

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