NCAA

Miles likes No. 8 LSU's resolve, mindful of errors

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Miles likes No. 8 LSU's resolve, mindful of errors

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Les Miles understands rivalries as well as anyone, having played for Michigan against Ohio State back in the 1970s.

He has been around college football ever since - long enough to be comfortable with the idea that it's OK to celebrate a close comeback victory against a more than two-touchdown underdog when the matchup consists of conference foes meeting for the 101st time.

As far as Miles is concerned, the reason No. 8 LSU still has hope, however slim, of winning the Southeastern Conference - and perhaps even a national title - is because the Tigers demonstrated unshakable resolve in a ``wild and woolly'' 41-35 win against an inspired Mississippi squad that desperately needs one more victory to solidify its own postseason hopes.

``Man, that is special,'' an exuberant Miles said after LSU twice erased fourth-quarter deficits in the so-called Magnolia Bowl on Saturday. ``There isn't a question about it.''

LSU (9-2, 5-2) will end its season Friday at Arkansas (4-7, 2-5), a team that has not won much but can still move the ball. The Razorbacks have routinely given the Tigers fits over the years, particularly in games played in Arkansas.

If the Tigers win, they will at least have a shot at winding up in a BCS bowl game.

If next weekend also brings an Auburn upset over Alabama and a Texas A&M win over Missouri, then LSU will wind up in a three-way tie atop the SEC West and hold the tiebreakers to go to the conference title game against Georgia in Atlanta. That scenario also could open the possibility of LSU playing its way back into the BCS title game for a second straight season.

It sounds far-fetched, though perhaps no more so than the unanticipated combination of results in the last week of the 2007 season that helped a two-loss LSU squad get to - and win - the BCS title game against Ohio State.

Before the Tigers start dreaming about such scenarios, though, they'll have to address breakdowns against Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5) that nearly took them out of the SEC and BCS conversations entirely.

Rebels sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace had his way with LSU's normally stout defense most of the game. The Tigers entered the contest ranked first in the SEC in yards passing allowed at 165.7. Wallace threw for 310 yards, including touchdowns of 56 and 30 yards.

``We're going to spend six days in between now and the next game in pass coverage,'' Miles said. ``This is the kind of film that will be truly beneficial to our secondary.''

Ole Miss also gained 147 yards on the ground. Bo Wallace scored on a career-long 58-yard run and would have finished with nearly 80 yards rushing if not for three sacks that reduced his net to 54.

``Ole Miss came out, they were feeling a rivalry and the tradition,'' LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery said. ``They probably came out and probably played the best game of their life.''

For a third straight week, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger moved the ball effectively through the air, completing 22 of 37 passes for 282 yards, although his performance was marred somewhat by two interceptions, the first time he'd been picked off since the Tigers beat South Carolina on Oct. 13.

``He's functioning our offense. He's doing the things we ask him to do. We expect him to play big in games like this,'' Miles said. ``We threw the football pretty well and stayed with it.''

Mettenberger also found a new target in sophomore tight end Travis Dickson, who made his first five catches of the season for a team-high 69 yards.

``It was actually the plan to involve me all week in practice prior to this game. Some of the deeper routes we saw on film that I had we could take advantage of against those guys,'' Dickson said. ``The other ones were just opportunities that opened up during the game.''

Towson at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Towson at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Towson has lost six consecutive games and will be looking to get back to winning ways when it visits Delaware.

The Blue Hens, meanwhile, have won five of their first seven conference games and will be looking to keep pace in the competitive CAA when they host the Tigers at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

Towson at Delaware How to Watch

What: Towson Tigers at Delaware Blue Hens
Where: Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, Del. 
When: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Towson at Delaware Preview

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
Record: Towson (5-14, 1-5)  Delaware (13-7, 5-2)
Last Game: 72-66 loss at Drexel, 1/17 (Towson),  76-69 win vs. James Madison, 1/17 (Delaware)
Leading Scorers: Brian Fobbs, 16.1 ppg (Towson), Eric Carter, 17.7 ppg (Delaware)

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Bryce Harper's longtime friend Kris Bryant says Harper isn't headed for Cubs

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USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper's longtime friend Kris Bryant says Harper isn't headed for Cubs

After weeks of twists and turns and not enough information for any Nationals fan's satisfaction, the Chicago Cubs seem to be out of the race for free agent Bryce Harper.

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant seemingly confirmed the news on Friday night from the opening ceremonies of the 2019 Cubs Convention.

"He's not signing here," Bryant said as he sat down with NBC Sports Chicago. 

Though there have been no official reports of whether or not the Cubs are completely out in the race to sign Harper, a word from one of Harper's longtime friends shouldn't be brushed aside.

Bryant and Harper took the field together in the 2016 MLB All-Star game, and faced off in the 2017 NLDS Cubs-Nats matchup. 

The pair have known each other since grade schoool, and played for rival high schools in Las Vegas. But despite their history, Bryant says that they haven't chatted much about the situation otherwise, choosing to focus on preserving their friendship.

"I never bring it up to him," Bryant admitted. "I try to be a good friend to him, and not talk about baseball when he doesn't want to talk about baseball."

"Whatever happens, I wish [him] the best."

You can see more of Bryant's interview with NBCSC below.

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