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Nevada rallies for 35-28 win over Wyoming in OT

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Nevada rallies for 35-28 win over Wyoming in OT

RENO, Nev. (AP) Backup quarterback Devin Combs hit Aaron Bradley with a 24-yard touchdown pass in overtime and Nevada came from behind to beat Wyoming 35-28 on Saturday.

In a strange game that saw both teams lose their starting quarterbacks, the Wolf Pack tied the game in the final seconds of regulation as Combs connected with Richie Turner from 44 yards out to tie the score at 28.

Nevada (5-1, 2-0 Mountain West) led 21-7 in the second quarter when starting quarterback Cody Fajardo went down with back spasms with 5:04 left to play. He did not return.

Nevada coach Chris Ault praised Combs, a sophomore who finished 11 of 19 for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

``It took Devin some time to find himself, but he did and I'm proud of him,'' Ault said. ``To bring this team back in the fourth quarter and then win this thing, that was pretty special.''

Fajardo was 19 of 26 for 221 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. His 20-yard scoring pass to Kendall Brock put Nevada ahead 21-7 with 9:50 left in the first half.

Wyoming (1-4, 0-1) came back behind quarterback Brett Smith, who was ejected with 8:16 left in the fourth quarter after receiving a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Smith's 8-yard touchdown run with 13:07 left in the game had given the Cowboys a 28-21 lead. He received his first unsportsmanlike penalty after the touchdown for taunting.

The second came on the Cowboys' next drive when Smith protested a Nevada defensive holding penalty that was waved off by the officials.

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was critical of the call.

``Guy's running off the field, 3 yards from the sidelines running off the field, takes his helmet off and you're going to throw a flag on him,'' Christensen said. ``Kick him out of the game? That's unbelievable.''

Smith was 21 of 34 for 197 yards and three touchdowns. His replacement, Jason Thompson, was 1 of 6 for 10 yards.

Nevada had the ball first in overtime, starting at the 25. After rushing for 1 yard on the first play, Combs hit Bradley cutting across the middle from 24 yards out.

Wyoming then took over at the 25 and after Thompson rushed for 1 yard on the first play, he threw three consecutive incomplete passes to end the game.

The Cowboys held Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson, the nation's leading rusher entering the game, to 78 yards on 23 carries, nearly 100 yards fewer than his season average of 174.

``I think our guys did a nice job stepping up against the run, but gave up far too many passing yards,'' Christensen said.''

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler