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Bradford sacked 6 times, Rams lose 31-7 at Cowboys

Sunday, 22 September 2013 22:26 Published in Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams faltered under pressure.

And they still can't stop Bradford's college teammate DeMarco Murray.

Bradford was sacked six times, after none the previous four games going back to last season, and Murray ran for 175 yards with a touchdown on 26 carries and the Dallas Cowboys beat the Rams 31-7 on Sunday.

"We didn't do really, do anything well today," coach Jeff Fisher said. "I did not see this coming. This is a defining moment for us right now. We've got to get past this and get ready for the 49ers."

With a home game Thursday night against the defending NFC champions, St. Louis (1-2) has to correct things in a hurry.

The good part for the Rams is they don't have much time to worry about another lopsided loss against the Cowboys or another breakout performance by Murray against them.

The running back had a Cowboys-franchise record 253 yards rushing as a rookie two years ago in a 34-7 win over the Rams.

"It's a little frustrating. I'm not really sure why he has to do it against us," Bradford said of Murray, his teammate at Oklahoma.

The Rams had only 232 total yards. They were 0 for 12 on third-down conversions until a 9-yard run on the game's last play.

They had a punt return for a touchdown nullified by a penalty and they trailed 24-0 before finally scoring in the third quarter on a fourth-and-goal play from the 4.

It was the second week in a row the Rams trailed by at least three touchdowns before scoring. They lost 31-24 at Atlanta after being down 21-0 in the first half.

"Pretty much, we had a flat start," said receiver Tavon Austin, whose 84-yard punt return in the second quarter was wiped out by a holding penalty.

"We've got to find ourselves right now. Our back is against the wall. We've got to come out and play harder and harder and hopefully get some wins."

Players and coaches held a closed-door meeting in the locker room immediately after the game.

"We have to stick together," defensive end Chris Long said. "Nobody is going to come in here and save the day. It is on us to change things."

Tony Romo threw for 210 yards and three scores for Dallas, and Murray had his first 100-yard game in more than a year.

It started with a 14-yard run on Dallas' first offensive play, and he had plenty of open space on a 36-yarder to start Dallas' second drive to a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Bradford finished 29 of 48 for 240 yards. But he was sacked four times by halftime when the Rams, trying for their first 2-1 start since 2006, had just 18 yards total offense. Murray had 96 by himself and the Cowboys 202 with a 17-0 lead by then.

The Rams then had a turnover on their first play of the second half when Chris Givens fumbled after a 26-yard catch.

Romo threw 2 yards to Dez Bryant for the first Dallas score. He had a pair of 24-yarders in the second half to rookie tight end Gavin Escobar and Dwayne Harris, who bounced back from a fumble on the game's first punt.

When the Rams finally started getting defenders around Murray at the line of scrimmage, Romo found him on the outside for a pair of catches on a drive that ended with a 2-yard run by Murray for a 17-0 lead.

Murray went around the left end before extending the ball over the goal line right on the pylon, and there was no review.

St. Louis avoided the shutout on Bradford's 4-yard pass to Austin Pettis on fourth down late in third quarter after an interception by rookie safety J.J. Wilcox was wiped out by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Jason Hatcher.

The Rams had a chance to stay in the game on their next drive, but Bradford threw behind Givens while Givens on fourth down. Dallas scored three plays later for a 31-7 lead when Romo hit Harris in stride in the back of the end zone.

"You name at it as far as execution errors and we did it today," Bradford said. "In the first half, we just never got anything going, played behind the chains all day. First play (of the second half), turn the ball over. Just things you can't do. Just a very poor performance on our part today."

Missouri offense beats up Hoosiers 45-28

Saturday, 21 September 2013 23:13 Published in Sports

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — James Franklin threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, and defensive end Kony Ealy returned an interception 49 yards for a score to lead Missouri past Indiana 45-28 on Saturday night.

The Tigers (3-0) won in Bloomington for the first time since 1953 and ended an eight-game winless streak in this series, though the teams hadn't played since 1992.

Indiana (2-2) was led by Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 229 yards and one TD, but he was picked off three times. The Hoosiers are now off have a bye week before hosting Penn State on Oct. 5.

It was the only regular-season meeting between schools from the Big Ten and SEC, but the highly-anticipated shootout became a one-sided affair after the Hoosiers tied the score at 14 midway through the second quarter.

Franklin broke the tie with his 1-yard TD run. Then 275-pound Ealy leapt up, picked off Sudfeld and scored to make it 28-14.

Indiana never recovered.

On a night the Hoosiers wore their chrome-striped helmets and celebrated the 20-year anniversary of their Independence Bowl team, fans got to see a little bit of everything in the first 30 minutes.

While Franklin and Sudfeld were busy trading scores, each team had a receiver top the 100-yard mark. And during two quarters in which the teams combined for 627 yards, 93 plays, six touchdowns and five turnovers, the two biggest turned out to be a successful fake field goal that eventually led to a Missouri touchdown and Ealy's incredible interception and touchdown trot.

The second half, however, was a different story.

While the Hoosiers struggled to move, Missouri took its time, extended the lead and prevented Indiana from taking advantage of its quick-strike offense.

Missouri, which led 28-14 at the half thanks to Ealy, made it 31-14 on Andrew Baggett's 31-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Franklin then hooked up with L'Damian Washington on a 14-yard TD pass early in the fourth to seal it.

Coach Gary Pinkel won his 93rd game at Missouri, tying Dan Devine for second on the school's all-time victory list.

Indiana did manage to get a 68-yard scoring pass from Tre Roberson to Shane Wynn with 11:24 left in the fourth and Roberson scored on a short run with 10 seconds to go, but the Hoosiers never got a chance to get close.

Franklin finished 32 of 47. Marcus Lucas caught 10 passes for 101 yards, Dorial Green-Beckham had eight catches for 105 yards and a score, and Russell Hansbrough ran 13 times for 104 yards and scored a TD.

Sudfeld was 21 of 39. Cody Latimer had eight catches for 139 yards and a score, while Wynn caught five passes for 90 yards and another TD.

Cardianls beat Brewers 7-2, maintain 2-game lead

Saturday, 21 September 2013 23:11 Published in Sports

 

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Matt Carpenter broke Stan Musial's team record for doubles by a left-handed batter in a season, Lance Lynn won for the first time since early August and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Saturday night to maintain a two-game lead in the NL Central.

Seeking their first division title since 2009, the Cardinals (91-64) have surged ahead of Pittsburgh (89-66) and Cincinnati (88-67), which dropped three games back with a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

St. Louis lowered its magic number to one for clinching a postseason berth, won for the 12th time in 17 games and improved to 14-4 against the Brewers this year, including 8-1 in Milwaukee.

Carpenter's fifth-inning double was his 54th of the season, one more than Musial's total in 1953.

Lynn (14-10) allowed one run, four hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts. He had been 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts since winning at Cincinnati on Aug. 4.

Yovani Gallardo (11-10) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings and dropped to 1-11 with a 6.46 ERA in 17 career starts against St. Louis.

Matt Adams hit a two-run homer for the second straight night, putting the Cardinals ahead in the first. Davis hit an RBI grounder in the bottom half, but the Cardinals blew open the game in a five-run eighth.

Rob Wooten walked Yadier Molina on a nine-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded, David Freese hit a two-run single and Daniel Descalso added a two-run double against Alfredo Figaro for a 7-1 lead.

Davis doubled in a run in the bottom half against Seth Maness.

NOTES: Brewers players drove through the parking lots and tossed bobbleheads and T-shirts to surprised tailgaters after batting practice, part of an effort to thank fans at the end of a disappointing season. ... Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that INF-OF Allen Craig's left foot will be re-evaluated at the end of next week. He's missed 16 games since spraining his left foot Sept. 4 at Cincinnati. ... Mozeliak said that team will remain flexible in how it closes games. Edward Mujica's 37 saves leads the club, but his recent struggles force the Cardinals into a closer-by-committee approach. "So, just having somebody labeled our closer right now, we can't do that," the GM said. He added that there still was enough time yet this season to correct the problem.

 

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