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No. 4 Kansas State grows better with each game

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No. 4 Kansas State grows better with each game

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) A battle for Big 12 supremacy left Kansas State and West Virginia heading in opposite directions.

No. 4 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) is rolling through a tough conference schedule and turning away all challenges. The latest victim: the Mountaineers.

``I'm very proud of our guys and how we've been able to hang together in adversity and prosperity,'' quarterback Collin Klein said. ``And we just have to keep moving forward.''

That means returning home for games against No. 15 Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1) on Saturday and Oklahoma State on Nov. 3.

Kansas State went 3-0 over a four-week stretch of road games that included wins at No. 8 Oklahoma and Iowa State. The Wildcats seem to be improving with each game.

West Virginia? Things are going downhill fast. The offense is broken down, the defense is nonexistent and the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) have plummeted from No. 5 to No. 25 in The Associated Press poll in two weeks.

Against West Virginia, the Wildcats made it look easiest of all, scoring on their first eight possessions and winning 55-14 Saturday night.

``I think we all felt comfortable,'' Klein said. ``The coaches did a great job of building a game plan and putting us in positions to succeed.''

That Kansas State succeeded on offense wasn't big news. The Mountaineers had surrendered an average of 53 points over its past four games, and they let Klein throw for a career-high 323 yards and three touchdowns and run for four scores.

What was surprising was how West Virginia's offense - so explosive in its first five games behind Geno Smith - came up with a dud for the second straight week.

Kansas State has not allowed an opponent to score more than 21 points all season. And the Wildcats forced Smith to throw his first two interceptions of the year.

Smith now has been limited to a touchdown pass apiece against two straight solid defenses after picking apart teams such as Marshall, Baylor and Texas, all among the worst defenses in the country.

``I'm not going to sit here and point fingers at anyone else,'' Smith said. ``I'm the leader of this team, the leader of the offense, and as an offense we didn't do enough. Those guys score points, so what? We've got to go out there and match it, and that's our job. And as an offense you can't be worry about what's going on with the defense.''

That will be up to West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen and defensive coordinator Joe DeForest. They will use a bye week to see what repairs can be made to a defense that has yet to improve in any phase.

Holgorsen and DeForest insist there's nothing wrong with the way the 3-4 defense is drawn up. They just want execution and overall effort. In the least, they would like a leader to emerge from an inexperienced group.

``It's hard, because you want someone to step up, grab the team and say `Come on, follow me,''' DeForest said. ``But we don't have that on defense. And until we do, we'll struggle. It's up to us as coaches to try to find leaders, but it's up to the kids to be leaders. You can't always lead as a coach; you've got to have someone from within to pull them with you. It's part of it.''

West Virginia will need to win the rest of its games, starting with TCU at home on Nov. 3, to keep alive any hope of a BCS bowl bid.

And after one of West Virginia's worst home losses in school history, attention about the Heisman Trophy shifted from Smith and toward Klein. That race still has a lot of playing out to do, but Klein's leadership is turning more heads.

``He played a great game,'' Smith said. ``Hats off to that guy and their team.''

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

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Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

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

 

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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