Nationals

Bears-Bruins expected to be high-scoring

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Bears-Bruins expected to be high-scoring

SAN DIEGO (AP) Now, this could be a Holiday Bowl.

The Baylor Bears (7-5), whose offense ranks first nationally after piling up an average of 578.8 yards, face the UCLA Bruins (9-4) on Thursday night in the game that calls itself ``America's Most Exciting Bowl Game.''

This game should more than ooze offense.

``When people predict a shootout and the head coach is standing up here talking about a shootout, if you're a defensive guy, you bow up a little bit,'' UCLA coach Jim Mora said Wednesday. ``It'll be a great night to be at Qualcomm watching football, because you're going to see some quality football and some exciting football.''

Suffice it to say that the defensive coordinators have been busy.

Baylor senior quarterback Nick Florence, who replaced Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, leads the nation in total offense with 387.7 yards per game. Senior Terrance Williams is first in yards receiving at 147 per game.

The Bruins, who won the Pac-12 South, are hardly slouches.

Senior running back Johnathan Franklin is UCLA's career leading rusher, with his 1,700 yards this season propelling him to a four-year total of 4,369 yards. He ran for 13 touchdowns and caught two scoring passes.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley is a dual threat, having thrown for 3,411 yards and 26 touchdowns, plus he was the team's second-leading rusher with 365 yards and nine touchdowns.

The over-under for combined points is 81 1/2.

Baylor rebounded from a four-game losing streak in the middle of the season to win four of its last five, including its final three games. Among them was a 52-24 upset of then-No. 2 Kansas State, derailing the Wildcats' hopes for a national championship.

The Bears rank fifth nationally in scoring, averaging 44.1 points per game.

Baylor proved last year that it can be potent in the postseason. It piled up 777 yards in a 67-56 victory against Washington in the Alamo Bowl, which got Huskies defensive coordinator Nick Holt fired two days later.

While Washington did a decent job on Griffin, the Huskies had no answers to stopping a Bears running game that finished with 482 yards rushing - including three backs topping 100 yards - and eight touchdowns rushing.

The Bruins are coming off consecutive losses to Stanford, a 35-17 defeat in the regular-season finale, and then a 27-24 defeat in the Pac-12 championship game.

Including victories against Washington State and USC, the Bruins allowed at least 27 points in each of their last four games.

``I don't think I'm concerned about what happened in the last couple games, but I'm concerned about Baylor, certainly,'' Mora said. ``They put up points at a very fast pace. We'll have our hands full on defense. Offensively, it will be exciting going up against this team to see if we can stay up with them a little bit.''

This will be the first meeting between the teams.

``The funny thing is that we really don't cross paths with them video-wise or even TV, because I go to bed pretty early on Saturday nights and by the time we get the games out that way, it's pretty late our time,'' Baylor coach Art Briles. ``But I've kept up with them. I know they had a real good run and beat some really good people, soundly. That always concerns you as a coach.''

Mora, a two-time NFL head coach and a former assistant with the Chargers, was asked about his possible interest in returning to pro football since San Diego is expected to fire Norv Turner at the end of the season.

``I have an interest right now in beating the Baylor Bears,'' Mora said.

``I'm not going to talk about the Chargers,'' he added. ``The Chargers have a head coach who is a very good friend of mine. I'm not going to disrespect him by saying anything about that job.''

Mora called Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano ``one of my best friends and I've known Norv forever. I wish them the best.''

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Nationals-Phillies postponed on Monday night

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Nationals-Phillies postponed on Monday night

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper came back to the District on Monday. No baseball was played.

Rain storms cycled through the DMV starting around 6 p.m. at first delaying the series-opening game between the Nationals and Phillies, before it was finally postponed at 10 p.m. The game will be made up as part of a split-doubleheader on Wednesday. The first game is at 1:05 p.m., the second at 7:05 p.m.

The Tuesday starters for both teams remain the same: Patrick Corbin for the Nationals and Jake Arrieta for the Phillies.

Washington will need an extra starter during the week because it is playing seven games in six days. For instance, the Nationals could call someone up to pitch the first game Wednesday, and have Max Scherzer pitch on regular rest Wednesday night. The doubleheader being played Wednesday instead of Tuesday allows the Nationals plenty of time to import a starter for the day, if they choose to do it then.

However, Tuesday’s forecast is also rain-filled. Stay tuned.

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The Capitals were mentioned on Jeopardy! and of course we're proud of it

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The Capitals were mentioned on Jeopardy! and of course we're proud of it

The Stanley Cup no longer resides in Washington, and all eyes have shifted toward the offseason as the Capitals look to retool for next season. But, that doesn't mean we can't stop and appreciate the magical 2018 season now and again.

A week after reminiscing about the championship run and ensuing parade, the famous game show "Jeopardy!" gave us one more moment of glory on Monday night.

One of the clues featured in the latest episode had the Capitals as the answer and even featured Alexander Ovechkin.

It appears that one of the contestants did answer it correctly. More importantly, according to the replies, it was also cleared up that no one brought up the Pittsburgh Penguins during that round. 

While it may be somewhat hard to cope with the fact that the Capitals will not be enjoying another offseason of championship partying in 2019 we can take pride in the fact that the question was about the Caps winning the Stanley Cup, and not centered around a dreaded title drought.

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