Capitals

College Football Today

College Football Today

STARS

-Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona, ran for a Pac-12 record 366 yards and tied the conference record with five TDs in the Wildcats' 56-31 rout of Colorado. The previous record was 357 yards by Washington State's Rueben Mayes at Oregon in 1984.

-Montee Ball, Wisconsin, ran for 198 yards and scored three times in the Badgers' 62-14 win over Indiana. Ball passed 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams for second on the FBS list with 77 career TDs, leaving him one behind all-time leader Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio).

-Seth Doege, Texas Tech, threw for 476 yards and three TDs in the Red Raiders' 41-34 double-overtime win over Kansas.

-Marqise Lee, Southern California, caught 10 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown to help the No. 21 Trojans bounce back from consecutive losses with a 38-17 victory over skidding Arizona State.

-Kevin Hogan, Stanford, threw for 254 yards and three TDs in his first collegiate start, and the No. 16 Cardinal overcame four turnovers to rally past No. 13 Oregon State 27-23 and stay in control of their Pac-12 title hopes.

-Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State, threw for 292 yards and four TDs in his first career start as the Cowboys handed West Virginia its fourth straight loss, 55-44.

-Brett Smith, Wyoming, threw for 374 yards and four TDs to lead the Cowboys past New Mexico 28-23.

-Tyler Bray, Tennessee, threw for 404 yards and four TDs in the Vols' 51-48 overtime loss to Missouri.

-Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, threw for 426 yards and three TDs in the No. 11 Cardinals' 45-26 loss to Syracuse.

-Mike Piatkowski, Drake, threw for 366 yards and a career-high five TDs in a 45-20 victory over Butler.

-Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern, ran for three TDs and threw for two more in a 69-26 nonconference win over Howard.

-Matt Denham, Eastern Kentucky, rushed for 214 yards and three TDs and also caught a scoring pass in a 55-24 win over Murray State.

-Keith Dawson, Jacksonville, rushed for 217 yards and two TDs in a 40-14 victory over Campbell.

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TIDE CRASHES

Johnny Manziel and No. 15 Texas A&M shook up the national championship race by beating No. 1 Alabama 29-24.

The Aggies, playing in the Southeastern Conference for the first season, also might have ended the league's run of BCS titles at six years.

The Crimson Tide didn't go quietly.

AJ McCarron nearly pulled off a second straight scintillating comeback. He threw one touchdown pass and motored the ball downfield before Deshazor Everett stepped in front of his fourth-down pass at the goal line with 1:36 left.

Manziel passed for 253 yards and rushed for 92 and led the Aggies to a 20-0 first quarter lead.

Alabama kept coming back, but never caught up with Manziel and Texas A&M.

Alabama, the nation's top scoring defense, forced a punt with less than a minute left, but A&M never had to kick it waway. The Tide was penalized for offisides, giving Texas A&M a first down and a chance to kneel out the clock.

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NUMBERS

1-Win by Massachusetts on the Football Bowl Subdivision level after defeating Akron 22-14.

12-Straight home wins by No. 10 Clemson, a school record.

146-Wins by Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, moving him past Bud Wilkinson for second in school history and 11 shy of Barry Switzer's school record.

738-Career completions by Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, a Big East record.

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ACC SHOOTOUT

They score 118 points all the time in the Atlantic Coast Conference - on the basketball courts, not on the football fields.

Georgia Tech and North Carolina blew up the scoreboard in the highest scoring game in ACC history. Even after the Yellow Jackets' wild 68-50 victory, Paul Johnson wanted more - and he was the winning coach.

The teams combined for 1,085 yards and 118 points in surpassing the previous ACC mark of 110 points set in Virginia's 63-47 victory over Tulane in 1968. Eleven players scored touchdowns in this one.

Georgia Tech's Robert Godhigh rushed for two touchdowns and caught a third. Jamal Golden returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score, and backup quarterback Vad Lee rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns and threw for a third.

Georgia Tech outgained the Tar Heels 588-497 and set a school record for points in an ACC game, eclipsing its 63 against Wake Forest in 1998.

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ROYAL TRIBUTE

The Texas Longhorns paid tribute to former football coach Darrell Royal during their game against Iowa State, honoring the man who won 11 conference titles and two national championships in his 20 years leading the program.

Royal, who died Wednesday at age 88, won 167 games at Texas from 1957 to 1976, a mark that still stands as a school record.

Texas ran its first offensive play from the wishbone formation Royal introduced to major college football in 1968. Instead of a run, Texas pitched the ball to Jaxon Shipley, who tossed it back to quarterback David Ash, who passed to tight end Greg Daniels for 47 yards, adding some razzle-dazzle to an old-school formation.

Flags flew at half-staff at the stadium that bears Royal's name and white ``DKR'' initials were painted inside the burnt-orange Longhorn logo at midfield. Texas players also wore a similar helmet logo, which will remain part of the uniform the rest of the season.

A wreath was placed at the feet of a Royal statue inside the stadium where dozens of fans lined up to take photographs and flashed the ``Hook'em Horns'' hand signal. Royal's widow Edith attended the game.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

It doesn't take an expert to tell you players like Alex Ovechkin or Marc-Andre Fleury will play a big role in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights will need their best players to be at their best to take home the Cup. But who will be the unexpected heroes? Who are the players no one is talking about who will have a big hand in their team's success or defeat in this series?

Here are five players you should be watching in the Stanley Cup:

1. Devante Smith-Pelly: Smith-Pelly had seven goals in 79 games in the regular season. Now he has four goals in just 19 playoff games.

Smith-Pelly has been one of those unlikely playoff heroes for the Caps this postseason with very timely performances such as scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Columbus Blue and scoring the goal that put the game away in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The physical play has really stood out as well for him, which fits well on the fourth line role he has settled back into now that the team is healthy again. Barry Trotz tried moving him to the top line in the absence of Tom Wilson and the results weren't great. He is best suited for the role he currently has and that will allow him to thrive.

2. James Neal: Neal came up just short of the Stanley Cup last season as a member of the Nashville Predators. He totaled nine points in 22 games during that run, a number he has already matched in just 15 games this postseason.

There are very few players on either team that boast the kind of postseason experience Neal has. He will be leaned upon this series for his leadership.

Vegas is a young team and their unprecedented success in the playoffs may make this feel like the first run of many for the Golden Knights, but not for Neal who is on the last year of his contract and came tantalizingly close to the Cup last season. He will play like there is no tomorrow because, for him, there may not be in Vegas.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky was one of the heroes of Game 7 with two goals to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning. That marked just the latest peak in a career full of peaks and valleys for the young winger. Just two games before, Burakovsky was a healthy scratch and spoke to the media about his plans to speak with a sports psychologist in the offseason.

The talent is there and it certainly appears that the injury that kept him out earlier in the playoffs is largely behind him. Burakovsky’s issues have always been mainly between the ears. In a series against a fast team with strong depth, he can be an absolutely critical piece for the Caps. Hopefully, his Game 7 performance gave him the confidence he needs to continue to be effective.

4. Ryan Reaves: Vegas acquired both Reaves and Tomas Tatar around the trade deadline. If I were to tell you that through three rounds of the playoffs, both players were healthy, had played the same number of games (6) and had the same number of points (1), you’d think I was crazy. Yet, here we are.

Reaves was largely an afterthought in a complicated trade between Vegas, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, but he has carved a nice role for himself on the Golden Knights’ fourth line and even scored the goal that sent Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final against the Winnipeg Jets.

Reaves is also an agitator on the ice, but what do the Caps do against a player like that when their normal fighter plays on the top line? We may see Reaves and Wilson come to blows this series, but it won't be very often because that is a bad tradeoff for the Caps.

5. Brooks Orpik: The elder statesman of the blue line, Orpik is the only player on the Caps with a Stanley Cup to his name and is the only one who has any idea what this experience is going to be like for the team.

Orpik is very diligent about keeping in shape which has allowed him to play in 81 games this season and all 19 playoff games despite being 37 years old, but you do have to wonder how much is left in the tank. Despite being the favorite whipping boy for the proponents of analytics, his physical play has been effective this postseason. The focus he placed on the skating in the offseason has paid dividends so far in matchups against the speedy Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Golden Knights will be the fastest team they have played yet. There is no denying Orpik is much more suited towards a physical style of game. Wil he continue to be effective or will Vegas exploit the Caps' third defensive pairing?

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

The wait is finally over. 

After two decades, the Capitals are back in the Stanley Cup Final. 

After a convincing 4-0 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Capitals are in Vegas to take on the Golden Knights. They'll be facing off against a handful of familiar names, with former Caps GM George McPhee, fan favorite Nate Schmidt, and ex-Penguins goalie Marc Andre-Fluery are just a few of the names that'll be suiting up for Vegas. 

What will the X-factors in the series be? Who will be the unexpected heroes of Game 1? The action is almost underway, and here are all the details you need to know.

Game 1 Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
TV Channel: NBCSN 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 FM)

WHEN IS GAME 1 OF THE CAPITALS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SERIES?

Game 1 of the Capitals-Golden Knights 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

WHAT TV CHANNEL IS GAME 1 OF THE CAPITALS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SERIES ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 1 between the Capitals and Golden Knights is on NBC. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

5:00 p.m. — Caps Cup Preview
6:00 p.m. — Caps GameDay Live
6:30 p.m. — Caps Face Off
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Game 1 Capitals vs. Golden Knights
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS vs. GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAME 1?

Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights is available for online stream on the NBC Sports App. Click here for the NBC Sports live stream page.

CAPITALS vs. GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAME 1 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.