Bengals' Dalton happy with his third pre-season start
Andy Dalton got it right on his third try. The Bengals rookie quarterback had his first good moments during a 24-13 pre-season win over Carolina on Thursday night. He threw his first touchdown pass and looked like he was up to the challenge of moving Cincinnati's offense. It's exactly what the rookie wanted after two tough outings.
"We needed this for our confidence," Dalton said. "We always knew what we were capable of. It's great to go out and perform well. ... The way we were able to move the ball up and down the field in the first half was great. It shows what this offense is capable of."
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Dalton struggled in the first two pre-season games, throwing three interceptions while compiling a minuscule passer rating of 30.9. Against the Lions and the Jets, he looked like a jittery rookie.
Facing the lowly Panthers, he completed 11 of 17 for 130 yards and a touchdown, putting up an impressive passer rating of 107.5.
"He really just settled down and played at ease," Coach Marvin Lewis said. "On the drive before halftime (for) the field goal, I thought he was excellent. He handled that situation very, very well."
■ The Giants and Jets postponed their pre-season game from 7 p.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Monday due to the threat of Hurricane Irene.
■ Former Kentucky tailback Derrick Locke was one of four players cut by the Philadelphia Eagles. Rosters must be trimmed from 90 players to 80 by Tuesday.
Kuchar in front at rain-shortened Barclays
What once looked to be a long week at The Barclays suddenly has turned into a sprint. Matt Kuchar heard the news from his walking scorer when he reached the eighth green Friday that the PGA Tour's opening playoff event would be reduced to 54 holes on Saturday because of Hurricane Irene. By then, the defending champion had already left his mark and closed with a pair of pars for a 6-under 65 on Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. That gave Kuchar a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson and Vijay Singh.
The plan is to start the third and final round Saturday morning and hope to finish before the storm arrives. If the rain shows up early and they can't finish, it will revert to a 36-hole tournament.
"The best players generally come out winners after 72, so for me, I feel like the more golf we play, the better my chances," Kuchar said. "But given the situation, I love being on top of the leader board with 18 holes to go. Hard to find something to complain about with the situation I'm in. Yeah, I'm quite happy that I've got this opportunity. I just feel like we've got one last round to go."
Kentuckian Josh Teater shot a 66 to rally and make the cut at 4-under par. Fellow Kentuckian Steve Flesch withdrew after nine holes Friday because of a sinus headache. He was 4 over on the day and well below the projected cut line.
Cochran leads Champions Tour event
Paducah native Russ Cochran shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Jeff Sluman after the first round of the Champions Tour's Boeing Classic. Cochran, the Senior British Open winner last month, had an eagle, five birdies and a bogey at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in Snoqualmie, Wash. Defending champion Bernhard Langer was two strokes back at 68 along with Hale Irwin and Ted Schulz of Louisville. Kenny Perry of Franklin was three shots back.
■ UCLA star Patrick Cantlay won two matches Friday at Erin Hills in Wisconsin to advance to the U.S. Amateur semifinals, while defending champion Peter Uihlein dropped out in the quarterfinals. Cantlay beat England's Tom Lewis 3 and 1 in the round of 16, then edged Max Buckley in 19 holes in the afternoon quarterfinals. Jordan Russell beat Uihlein 2 and 1 to set up a semifinal match with Cantlay. Kelly Kraft and Jack Senior reached the other semifinal.
■ Angela Stanford and Ai Miyazato took advantage of soft greens and a lack of wind to be co-leaders after two rounds of the Canadian Women's Open in Mirabel, Quebec. Stanford shot a 6-under 66 and Miyazato had a 68 at the tree-lined Hillsdale Golf Club and they were at 11-under 133.
Newman wins pole for Bristol Cup race
Ryan Newman turned a lap at 122.811 mph in Friday's qualifying session to put his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in the top starting spot for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. His lap marked a frantic final few minutes of qualifying. Jeff Gordon bumped Jamie McMurray for the pole, then Newman bumped Gordon. Newman then had to watch late efforts come up short from Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, who were second and third, respectively.
■ At age 26, Kyle Busch made history in Friday's Food City 250 Nationwide race at Bristol. In beating Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano in a near dead heat (.019 seconds), Busch won his 50th race in NASCAR's Nationwide Series, breaking a tie with 52-year-old Mark Martin for the top spot on the career victory list.
Mississippi State freshman dismissed
Mississippi State freshman D.J. Gardner was dismissed by Coach Rick Stansbury for "repeated actions deemed detrimental to the team." Gardner, a 6-foot-7 guard from Okolona, Miss., was expected to be redshirted this season. The freshman apparently wasn't happy with that decision, posting profanity-laced remarks on his Twitter account.
■ Alabama 7-footer Moussa Gueye tore a knee ligament during a pickup basketball game. The sophomore from Senegal signed with the Crimson Tide after one season at Lake Land College in Illinois.
Ex-NBA player charged with murder
Police said former NBA player Javaris Crittenton was charged with murder. Atlanta police said 22-year-old Jullian Jones was walking with a group of people on the city's southwest side when she was shot. Investigators said they don't think the woman was the intended target, and that the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim. Crittenton most recently played in the NBA with the Washington Wizards and was involved in a gun altercation with Gilbert Arenas. Crittenton was given a 38-game suspension after he and Arenas acknowledged bringing guns into the locker room following a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight.
Volleyball opens season with victory
Kentucky's volleyball team opened the season with a victory for the sixth time in seven seasons under the direction of Coach Craig Skinner. The Wildcats defeated Albany 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16) in the Florida State Invitational on Friday morning. However, Florida State rolled to a 3-0 victory (25-13, 25-8, 25-14) in the Cats' second match of the day.
■ Kentucky senior C.J. Tappel had a goal and an assist and sophomore Tyler Riggs also scored in the men's soccer team's season-opening 2-0 win against Dayton at the UK Soccer Complex. It was the 200th career win for UK Coach Ian Collins.
■ The UK women's soccer team (3-0-0) defeated Ohio (1-2-0) 2-1 at the UK Soccer Complex. Senior captain Kelsey Hunyadi got the scoring started with her third goal of the season. Freshman Stuart Pope scored the eventual game-winner.
The last word
IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay wished Danica Patrick well after the announcement that she's switching to NASCAR next season. But he said the series will still be fine without her:
"I don't think IndyCar's growth and health rises and falls with Danica. Certainly Danica has a massive following, and rightfully so. She's respected by all of the drivers here. But if we're relying on Danica for the health of the series, we've got bigger problems on our hands, which is not the case."