NCAA

Peterson runs for 212 as Vikings top Rams 36-22

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Peterson runs for 212 as Vikings top Rams 36-22

ST. LOUIS (AP) After holding Adrian Peterson to 8 yards rushing on eight carries in the first quarter, and then getting the tying touchdown early in the second quarter, the St. Louis Rams were feeling pretty good about themselves.

The next play, everything changed.

Peterson's 82-yard scoring jaunt after the kickoff fueled a 23-point second quarter in the Minnesota Vikings' 36-22 victory Sunday that wasn't as close as the score indicated. Despite that slow start, Peterson piled up a season-best 212 yards rushing on 24 carries, keeping a running back less than a year removed from serious knee surgery very much alive in a quest for Eric Dickerson's single-season record.

``The thing that people don't see is how hard I work during the offseason,'' Peterson said. ``I grind, hard. When you want to be great, and in my mind I want to be the greatest that ever played, you can't talk about it, you've got to go out and work.''

Peterson has a career-best 1,812 yards rushing, topping his previous best of 1,760 on a 52-yard carry in the fourth quarter. He has eight straight 100-yard games, leaving him 294 yards shy of Dickerson's mark set in 1984 when the Rams (6-7-1) were in Los Angeles.

The latest haul helped keep the surprising Vikings (8-6), a year removed from a 3-13 season, in the playoff picture, too. They finish at Houston and then host Green Bay.

``Guys are having fun, we're excited, we're treating it like our playoff season,'' cornerback Antoine Winfield said. ``If we lose, there's a chance we might not get in.''

The defense chipped in, too, producing 10 points off a pair of turnovers in the second quarter. Backup defensive end Everson Griffen, who replaced injured Brian Robison, returned his first career interception 29 yards for a touchdown and Chad Greenway made the recovery when Sam Bradford couldn't handle a snap that coach Jeff Fisher said was hard to handle after center Scott Wells lost his grip on the ball.

The Vikings were up 26 points before Bradford threw consolation touchdown passes to Danny Amendola and Lance Kendricks in the fourth quarter.

The loss all but squashes playoff hopes for the Rams, who had won three in a row.

``It's pretty disheartening,'' Bradford said. ``Obviously, we knew that we had a shot and if we wanted to do that we were going to probably have to win the remainder of our games.''

Steven Jackson became the 15th player to have 10,000 yards rushing for one franchise, and the 27th overall to reach the milestone. He had 73 yards on just eight carries and has 909 yards on the year, keeping him in range of an eighth straight 1,000-yard season.

This could have been the final home game for Jackson, who has an option to void the final year of his contract that would pay him $7 million. Coach Jeff Fisher has said he wants Jackson back and the running back has said he wants to stay, too.

``We have a decision to make in the offseason, but I will seek the counsel of some people that I have great respect for and I don't think about that,'' Jackson said. ``I still have two games to do my job, and to do it the way that I play, I need to be completely focused on that.''

A moment of silence was observed for victims of the Connecticut elementary school shooting before the national anthem, with dozens of children wearing uniform jerseys holding hands with players in a circle extending from the 30-yard lines and centered on the Rams' logo at midfield.

In a tribute to the 26 victims, players wearing No. 26 - Rams running back Daryl Richardson and Vikings cornerback Winfield - held hands with coaches Jeff Fisher and Frazier to form a smaller interior circle.

``You know, as we sit here and feel sorry for ourselves after losing a football game, it really helps put things in perspective,'' Rams defensive end Chris Long said.

Christian Ponder had a turnover-free game and ran for the game's first score for the Vikings, who had been just 1-5 on the road with the other victory at Detroit in September. Rookie kicker Blair Walsh was perfect on five field-goal attempts, three of them from 50 yards and beyond.

Peterson had minus-3 yards on five carries on the Vikings' opening drive that benefited from a short field at the St. Louis 45. Ponder stepped up, going 3 for 3 for 38 yards, and scrambled for a 5-yard touchdown that put them up 7-0.

Rookie Brian Quick won a jump ball with A.J. Jefferson in the end zone on a 4-yard reception, landing just inbounds to tie it early in the second quarter. The rest of the way, the Rams were playing catch-up.

Peterson entered the day with more yards rushing than 23 teams, including the Rams, and accounted for more than two thirds of the Vikings' 322 yards. Ponder was a facilitator, going 17 for 24 for 131 yards.

Throw out the costly mistakes and it looks as if Bradford was on his game, going 35 for 55 for 377 yards. Jackson caught eight passes for 73 yards, and Brandon Gibson and Amendola had six receptions each.

NOTES: Frazier said Robison had an AC sprain to the right shoulder and will undergo an MRI exam on Monday. ... Rams OG Harvey Dahl will likely require surgery for torn right biceps sustained late in the game. Dahl had made 30 consecutive starts for St. Louis. ... The Vikings' 27-point first half was a season-best by 10 points.

Mercer @ North Carolina: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

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Mercer @ North Carolina: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Mercer (4-7) heads to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels (4-6) for an afternoon matchup live on NBC Sports Washington.

How to watch Mercer vs. North Carolina

Who: Mercer vs. North Carolina

When: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC.

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington

Live Stream: NBC Sports Washington

Weather: 59 degrees, rain.

UNC full 2019 football schedule

Week 1: Sat Aug. 31 vs South Carolina: W 24-20

Week 2: Fri, Sep 13 @ Wake Forest: L 24-18

Week 3: Sat, Sep 21 vs Appalachian State: L 34-31 

Week 4: Sat, Sep 28 vs Clemson: L 21-20 

Week 5: Sat, Oct 5 @ Georgia Tech: W 38-22 

Week 6: Sat, Oct 19 @ Virginia Tech: L 43-41 

Week 7: Sat, Oct 26 vs Duke: W 20-17 

Week 8: Sat, Nov 2 vs Virginia: L 38-31

Week 9: Thu, Nov 14 @ Pittsburgh: L 34-27 OT 

Week 11: Sat, Nov 23 vs Mercer 3:30 PM 

Week 12: Sat, Nov 30 @ NC State 7:00 PM

Hokies sink record 21 3-pointers in win over Delaware State

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Hokies sink record 21 3-pointers in win over Delaware State

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young offered a simple explanation for his team’s record-setting performance Wednesday.

“All coaching,” he said, jokingly. “All coaching."

Nahiem Alleyne scored 20 points and the Hokies hit a school-record 21 3-pointers en route to an easy 100-64 victory over Delaware State on Wednesday.

Alleyne hit 7 of 11 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, and Jalen Cone added 17 points to help the Hokies (5-0) extend their home nonconference winning streak to 28 consecutive games. The freshmen guards led a balanced Virginia Tech attack in which nine players scored – and seven of them hit at least one 3-pointer.

“This offense is built on making 3s, but also they want us to drive more and get to the paint and get to the foul line more,” Alleyne said. ???But if we’re open, we’re going to take it.”

John Crosby led Delaware State (0-5) with 19 points.

The Hornets jumped out to a 7-0 lead, hitting three of their first five shots from the floor. But the Hokies found their shooting stroke and scored the next 11 points, never trailing again. The Hokies hit eight 3-pointers in the first half in grabbing a 45-27 halftime lead, and then they blew the game wide open in the second half, hitting 13 3s and scoring 55 points.

“We have a number of kids that can shoot the ball,” Young said. “I empower them. When the leather hits your hands, let ’er rip. If you’re open and in rhythm, and it’s a practice shot … we have a number of kids that shoot the ball well. I didn’t think we took a bad shot. I thought they were rhythm shots and good shots.”

Virginia Tech also set an ACC record with its 21 3-pointers. The Hokies hit 21 of their 37 3-point attempts, with Alleyne, Cone and Isaiah Wilkins hitting five each. Virginia Tech shot a season-best 56.5% (35 of 62) from the floor.

“They shot the cover off the ball,” Delaware State head coach Eric Skeeters said. “You think you did a good job of guard and rotate and switch and getting out to them, and then ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ … They played like an ACC team to their credit.”

TIP-INS

Delaware State: The Hornets could have one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's better players in Crosby, who transferred from Dayton and sat out last season. The senior, who has scored in double figures in every game, wasn't intimidated at playing against an ACC opponent and showed an ability to create his own shot. If he continues to play well, he could lead the Hornets to a better finish than many expect. They were picked to finish 10th in the 11-team MEAC.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies finally were able to get Wilkins going after a slow start to the season. Wilkins, one of their more experienced players, was shooting just 34.8% (24 of 69) and had made just two 3-pointers coming into the game, but he scored 15 points in what marked his best outing of the season by far.

HOKIES READY FOR STEP UP

Virginia Tech hasn’t played a Power 5 school since its season-opening win over Clemson, and two of its past four games have been against teams picked in the bottom half of the MEAC (Delaware State and Coppin State). But the young Hokies – with just one senior on the roster – take a serious step up on the competition ladder when they face No. 3 Michigan State on Monday in the first round of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii.

“We go out there with a good basketball team,” Young said. “We’re going to improve. It’ll be a far different scout, a far different prep than what we’re accustomed to. They’re unlike anything that we’ve played to this point, but the time has come. The time has come to play somebody really, really good. It will test everything we have done with them through this point in the season, and I look forward to seeing them compete again.”

UP NEXT

Delaware State: The Hornets play at East Tennessee State on Saturday.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies play No. 3 Michigan State in Hawaii as part of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

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