Kentuckians in the NFL
Bridgewater's strong finish not enough against Packers
With the poise of a veteran, Teddy Bridgewater drove the Minnesota Vikings 79 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that put their game against Green Bay well within reach.
If only the rookie quarterback could have been that sharp in the first half. The former University of Louisville star got off to a jittery opening in his first game against the Vikings' biggest rivals, missing open receiver after open receiver, and it cost them dearly in a 24-21 loss to the Packers on Sunday.
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"I think I was just very excited being able to play the Green Bay Packers for the first time," he said. "I just have to settle down and remain poised and just let the game come to me."
On Minnesota's final drive of the game, Bridgewater completed eight of 10 passes for 69 yards with a touchdown and a two-point conversion throw that brought the Vikings (4-7) back to within a field goal with 3:23 to play. On his previous eight drives, he was 13-for-27 for 141 yards with one touchdown and one interception that led to a Packers TD.
Bridgewater's struggles started on the opening drive when receiver Charles Johnson was wide open down the field on third-and-7, but Bridgewater overshot him. His passes floated, fluttered and wobbled for most of the first half.
Johnson, who starred in high school at Lloyd Memorial, had three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. But he was targeted 11 times, with Bridgewater missing him on multiple occasions. One that Bridgewater wished he had back came on third-and-9 from the Packers 33, when the defensive back fell and Johnson was wide open on a corner route. Bridgewater's errant throw made Johnson make a difficult adjustment, and the pass slipped through his hands to force the Vikings to settle for a field goal.
"Charles ran a great route and all I had to do is lay it out there and give him a chance to make the catch," Bridgewater said. "It was one of those plays we hit throughout the week in practice and today we just didn't get it."
■ It was a quiet afternoon for Randall Cobb (UK), who came into the game leading NFL wide receivers with 10 touchdowns. He had four catches for 58 yards in the Packers' win.
■ Former Kentucky linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson made eight and six tackles, respectively, in the Tennessee Titans' 43-24 loss to Philadelphia Eagles. George Wilson (Paducah Tilghman) added three tackles.
Former Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews, the 2009 Mr. Football out of Fort Campbell, returned a kick 27 yards on his first play in the NFL. He also had a 20-yard kickoff return for the Titans.
■ Corey Peters (UK) had three tackles in the Atlanta Falcons' 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Harry Douglas (Louisville) had two catches for 14 yards. Cleveland got two catches for 23 yards from tight end Gary Barnidge (Louisville).
Women's soccer knocked out in Sweet 16
The best season in University of Kentucky women's soccer history ended with a 7-0 loss to No. 2-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Sweet 16 in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday.
The Wildcats, who finished 16-7-1 season, had never made that deep of a run in the NCAA Tournament. They were also the runner-up in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Virginia scored three goals in the first half, including two from MAC Hermann Award winner Morgan Brian.
"First off, congratulations to Steve (Swanson) and Virginia," UK Coach Jon Lipsitz said. "What they have built here is incredible, and they are a fantastic team. We lost 7-0, but I am still so proud of this team and what we have accomplished this season. To get to this point was something that we have never done before. ... We had a great season."
The class of 2014 will go out as the winningest one in UK women's soccer history. They were 59-27-4.
■ Anni Thomasson had 10 kills and 10 digs — her 13th double-double of the season in the Kentucky volleyball team's 3-0 sweep over Mississippi State in Starkville.
GolfKo gets record haul by winning LPGA finale
New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko ended her rookie year on the LPGA Tour with the biggest payoff in women's golf.
Ko won the $1 million bonus from the inaugural "Race to CME Globe" on Sunday by getting into a three-way playoff. Then, the 17-year-old added an extra $500,000 when she defeated Carlota Ciganda on the fourth extra hole at Tiburon Golf Club to win the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla.
Ko made par all five times she played the 18th hole on Sunday, and the last one paid handsomely.
"It's been an awesome week, and a week that I'll never forget," Ko said. "When I saw that $1 million in the box, I was like, 'Wow, I wonder who the winner of that will be?' It's amazing. I've never seen that much cash in one place before."
■ Henrik Stenson birdied the last two holes Sunday to successfully defend his DP World Tour Championship title at the European Tour's season-ending event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
WKU volleyball wins C-USA championship
Western Kentucky's volleyball team (30-5) earned its way into the NCAA Tournament by winning the Conference USA Tournament championship with a 3-2 win over Rice (23-10) on Sunday at Hattiesburg, Miss. It was close contest all the way to the end with the Hilltoppers winning 25-18, 13-25, 25-18, 22-25, 18-16. WKU's Heather Boyan was named Tournament MVP after posting 11 kills and seven blocks in the win over Rice. Freshmen Alyssa Cavanaugh (Assumption) and Jessica Lucas also made the all-tournament team.
■ Centre's women's soccer team saw its postseason run and nine-game unbeaten streak come to an end with a 2-1 overtime loss to Illinois Wesleyan in the NCAA Division III Elite Eight in Chicago. Thomas More lost its matchup against Johns Hopkins 1-0.
Top Decile pointed toward Kentucky Oaks
Top Decile, second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, has the 2015 Kentucky Oaks on her calendar.
Trained by Al Stall Jr., Top Decile is stabled at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans and is back training after taking a vacation since coming up short to 61-1 longshot Take Charge Brandi at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
"She's doing great right now," Stall said. "She got three weeks off by design. There was nothing for her and we just gave her a little break before bringing her here."
Federer leads Switzerland to Davis Cup title
Roger Federer defeated Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the first reverse singles match Sunday as Switzerland won the Davis Cup finals against host France by taking an unassailable 3-1 lead.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion gave Switzerland its first title in the team competition and added the only big trophy in tennis missing from his collection.
"It's not for me, I've won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes," Federer said. "I'm just happy for everybody else. I'm happy we could live a great tennis historic moment in our country."
The last word
San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Carlos Hyde, while talking to Bay Area News Group reporter Cam Inman about his game-winning TD run against the Washington Redskins, said:
"I saw a big hole. You could have ran through there."