LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mike Edwards' early takeaways helped stake Kentucky to its initial lead. Linebacker Josh Allen then made sure the 20th-ranked Wildcats held on with clutch sacks late.
Seniors are expected to stand out in their home finales, and veterans certainly factored in a tenser-than-expected victory against Middle Tennessee.
Edwards' two turnovers led to Kentucky's first two touchdowns, and the Wildcats overcame a second-half lull to make several fourth-quarter defensive stops and escape with a 34-23 win on Saturday.
Kentucky (8-3) ended a two-game slide but had to survive the Blue Raiders' rally within 31-23 early in the fourth. Allen, the Southeastern Conference's sacks leader, dropped Brent Stockstill for a 7-yard loss on fourth down and set up Miles Butler's 32-yard field goal with 4:01 remaining for an 11-point edge.
A defensive facemask penalty helped the Blue Raiders (7-4) reach the Kentucky 5-yard line in the final minute before consecutive sacks of Stockstill by Allen and Jamar Watson totaling 16 yards ended their final chance. Allen had a career-high 15 tackles and two of Kentucky's seven sacks to become the Wildcats' single-season (13) and career sacks leader (27.5).
Edwards provided the initial defensive boost by returning an interception 66 yards for a TD 1:27 into the game. Then he stripped Zack Dobson of the ball on MTSU's next drive to set up Benny Snell Jr. for the first of his two TDs and a 31-10 cushion that Kentucky eventually needed to earn its eighth victory, its most in the regular season since 1984. The 2007 squad earned its eighth win in the Music City Bowl.
Redskins’ Smith suffers gruesome leg injury
Washington quarterback Alex Smith's season is over.
Coach Jay Gruden says Smith is done for the year because of a broken tibia and fibia in his right leg. Smith was hurt in the third quarter of Washington's 23-21 loss to Houston.
Players from both teams walked off the sidelines to offer good wishes to Smith, who waved his right hand to fans as he was driven away.
Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, whose career ended with a broken leg during a game in 1985, tweeted: "I feel so bad for him."
Racers record biggest win since 1946 (Fort Campbell)
Ja Morant scored all 18 of his points in the first half to help Murray State run all over Division III Spalding 106-36 on Friday night.
It was the largest scoring margin of victory for Murray State (2-0) since it won by 68 against then-Camp Campbell in 1946. The Racers held Union to 13 points in 1926.
Each player for the Racers scored, including five in double figures. They made 43 of 65 field goals (66 percent), hit eight 3-pointers and were 12-of-17 shooting at the line. Anthony Smith and Devin Gilmore scored 14 points, and Jaiveon Eaves and KJ Williams chipped in 12 apiece.
Dominique Ellis had 11 points and eight rebounds to lead Spalding.
Smith scored six straight points, highlighted with a dunk, to cap a 23-3 opening run as the Racers built a 62-13 halftime lead. The 62 first-half points matched a program record achieved against Illinois College in 1970 and Berry College in 1995.
Batkid is healthy and thriving now cancer-free
San Francisco's beloved Batkid is cancer-free and thriving.
On the five-year anniversary of the day that then-5-year-old Miles Scott captured the hearts of millions by saving the day in San Francisco as "Batkid" — his Make-A-Wish Foundation dream accomplished at last — the fifth-grader is healthy and active. The Greater Bay Area chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation provided the encouraging and heartwarming update Thursday.
"He's doing great!" the local chapter posted of the boy, who's from the tiny Northern California town of Tulelake.
Miles had battled leukemia for years when he took over as his favorite superhero, receiving a police escort as he traveled around San Francisco to save Gotham. He even rescued Giants mascot Lou Seal from the Penguin at AT&T Park.
Boston's Betts, Milwaukee's Yelich win MVP Awards
Mookie Betts is ready to become an ambassador for baseball, now that he's won a batting title, World Series and Most Valuable Player award with Boston.
"I enjoy being kind of a face around the game. I've kind of used this pedestal or whatever you want to say to spread knowledge that the game is fun," he said Thursday after his runaway victory for the AL MVP award.
Milwaukee's Christian Yelich was close to a unanimous pick for the NL honor. A 26-year-old outfielder just like Betts, Yelich also won a batting championship and led his team to a division title. Betts received 28 first-place votes and 410 points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, a two-time MVP, followed with one first-place vote and 265 points. Trout tied the record of four second-place finishes shared by Stan Musial, Williams and Albert Pujols. Trout won in 2014 and 2016, finished second in '12, '13 and '15, and was fourth in 2017.
Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez was third with 208 points, and Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez was next with one first and 198 points.
Yelich got 29 first-place votes and 415 points, and the other first-place vote went to New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, the NL Cy Young Award winner, who finished fifth. Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez was second with 250 points, followed by Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado with 203.
Owners extend Manfred's contract, TV deal with Fox
Baseball owners have locked down their commissioner and their main broadcast partner, too.
Any decisions on speeding up the game and perhaps making it more enjoyable to watch will have to wait.
After wrapping up two days of meetings at a hotel next to the Atlanta Braves' SunTrust Park, the owners announced a new contract for Commissioner Rob Manfred, keeping him on the job at least through the 2024 regular season. The 60-year-old started a five-year term in January 2015.
The owners also signed off on a new television deal with Fox, which still has three seasons to go on its current eight-year contract that pays baseball an average of $525 million per season.
The seven-year extension, which runs through 2028, will be worth just over $5 billion to MLB.
In addition to the extension with Fox, MLB also approved a $300 million, three-year with DAZN, a subscription video streaming service run by former ESPN president John Skipper. Manfred called it a key part of baseball's strategy to reach a new generation of fans.