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Cal ends disappointing season at No. 15 Beavers

Cal ends disappointing season at No. 15 Beavers

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) There could be a lot of finality for California at No. 15 Oregon State on Saturday night, and not just because it's the Golden Bears' last game in a disappointing season.

The game could close the chapter on the 11-season tenure of Cal head coach Jeff Tedford, who has come under increasing scrutiny this season. It could also be the culmination of the wide receiver Keenan Allen's college career.

For certain it's the finale for senior quarterback Zach Maynard. But what's sadder is that Maynard and his half-brother Allen won't even play - both have been ruled out because of injuries.

It's almost a fitting end for a team that went just 3-8 overall this season and just 2-6 in the Pac-12 conference.

``Things haven't gone as we wanted. But this is one more chance to put that helmet on and go play for our group of guys, our coaches and fans and everybody. It's a great opportunity for us to try to go out on the right note,'' senior offensive lineman Tyler Rigsbee said.

Allen, who is sitting out of his third game with a left knee injury, is projected by some to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. If so, he leaves Cal as the school's all-time leader in career receptions with 205. He's third on the career list with 2,570 receiving yards and he has 17 touchdowns. He's caught at least one pass in each of the 33 games he's played for the Bears.

Maynard, who is sitting out his second game with a left knee injury, will finish 10th on Cal's career list for passing yards (5,204 yards) and total offense (5,350 yards). One of the best games of his career came this season when he threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another against UCLA.

Tedford is Cal's winningest coach ever, with an 82-56 record in 138 games. But the Bears are having their worst season since they finished 1-10 in 2001 and fired Tom Holmoe.

The Bears' season ends Saturday without a bowl appearance for the second straight year.

Tedford said he expects to meet next week with California athletic director Sandy Barbour. If Tedford is let go, Cal would owe him $6.9 million for the final three years of his contract.

``He's one of the hardest-working guys you'll ever be around,'' Rigsbee said. ``He's kept a great attitude and kept this team together, which is not easy to do, especially this year with some really tough losses. Teams will disintegrate or guys will start bickering at each other. He's done a good job keeping us as a family. He's going to go back to the drawing board and work as hard as he can to get us in the position to win games.''

With Maynard out, Cal will start Allan Bridgford, who passed for 113 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions last week in Cal's 59-17 loss to No. 1 Oregon.

The Beavers (7-2, 5-2) are also coming into Saturday's game on a down note. Their hopes for a shot at the Pac-12 championship game for a trip to the Rose Bowl were dashed last weekend with a 27-23 loss at Stanford.

But Oregon State is still going to a bowl game - a dramatic turnaround for a team that finished just 3-9 last season and was picked to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12 North. After Cal, the Beavers host No. 1 Oregon in the annual Civil War rivalry game over Thanksgiving weekend.

Against the Golden Bears, Oregon State's biggest issue is at quarterback. Junior Cody Vaz, who started last week against the Cardinal, injured his left ankle on the final drive of the game. He did not practice this week.

That means the Beavers will go with sophomore Sean Mannion, who started the first four games of the season, throwing for an average of 339 yards a game with seven touchdowns. Vaz took over when Mannion hurt his left knee and required surgery.

``You always have to be confident in yourself,'' Mannion said. ``I don't try to be arrogant, but I like to think when I'm out there I can make some plays. It's really all about working hard and practicing. That's all I try to do. I let my play take care of itself.'

Last season, Cal hosted the Beavers at AT&T Park while Memorial Stadium underwent renovations. The Golden Bears won that one, 23-6, with Isi Sofele rushing for a career-high 190 yards and a score.

This season, Sofele needs 109 yards for 10th place on the school's career list. Last week, he rushed for a season-best 134 yards against the top-ranked Ducks.

Oregon State will pose a challenge for him. The Beavers are allowing opponents an average of just 99.7 yards on the ground a game, 10th in the nation and second in the conference to Stanford.

``We'll attack this thing and finish strong,'' Tedford said. ``The mood was upbeat at practice. We worked hard. Looking forward to going and competing against a great team.''

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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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Wizards' preseason showed how Jeff Green can help bench score from inside and out

Wizards' preseason showed how Jeff Green can help bench score from inside and out

When Mike Scott left to join the L.A. Clippers, the Wizards replaced him as the backup power forward with Jeff Green and in doing so found a guy who is similar in many ways, albeit for a cheaper price. He is experienced, versatile offensively and even a local guy who roots for the Redskins.

Where they differ on the offensive end is the ways they like to score. Scott is more of a three-point threat, while Green is more comfortable operating in the post. 

Last season with the Wizards, Scott attempted only a third of his shots from less than 10 feet, while Green took 54.2 of his attempts from that range. Nearly a third of Green's shots (30.3) came within five feet of the rim.

Green's ability to score inside and with his back to the basket may end up complementing others in the Wizards' second unit quite well. Three-point shooting is more important than ever in today's NBA and his ability to draw the defense inside can open up the floor for others like Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers.

The Wizards did not have anyone on their bench last season with Green's level of skill in the post and Green showed in the preseason a willingness to pass from the paint.

Against the Knicks in the Wizards' fourth preseason game, Green had the ball in the post when he noticed Satoransky's defender was moving closer inside, perhaps anticipating a rebound. He fired the ball to Satoransky, who pump-faked a three and dribbled to his right before knocking down a jumper at the top of the key.

"It's just smart basketball. There are a lot of unselfish guys," Green said of the Wizards' bench. "I think we just work well together. We feed off each other. I think we know how to play the right way."

Satoransky led the Wizards with a 46.5 three-point percentage last season. He knocked down 51.2 percent off catch-and-shoot plays. Rivers shot 37.8 percent from three last year for the Clippers and 37.1 percent on catch-and-shoot looks.

Oubre shot only 34.1 percent overall from three, but that number dropped significantly towards the end of the year. He can get hot from three and is dangerous when cutting to the basket off the ball. Ian Mahinmi, though not highly skilled in the post, can make defenders pay for leaving him on double teams.

It's not only about threes for Rivers and Satoransky, as Satoransky showed on that one play in New York. Both are solid at catch-and-gos. Rivers is decisive and quick and Satoranksy has made noticeable strides since he entered the league and taking off once he gets a pass. 

Green, 32, is still learning their strengths.

"I try to use their attributes to our advantage and creating what I can create," Green said. "If they can shoot and I'm being doubled, I'm going to make the right play and get it to the shooter."

The Wizards made upgrading their bench a big priority this offseason and the net result may be the most versatile group they have had in years. They can shoot threes, run the floor and, with Green in the mix, work inside and out.

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