- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Rob Bironas, who worked his way through odd jobs and the Arena Football League before becoming one of the NFL’s most accurate kickers, died in a car crash. He was 36.

The former Tennessee Titans player died Saturday night when he lost control on a curve in his 2009 GMC Yukon Denali and crashed after 11 p.m. less than a mile from home, Metro Nashville Police said. In a statement on the department website, police said his SUV was speeding when it went off the road and hit a line of trees before coming to a stop upside down in a culvert.

Bironas was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Police said there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs at the scene.

The Titans released Bironas in March after nine seasons. The Tennessean reported that Bironas worked out for the Detroit Lions and for Tampa Bay during the offseason.

Bironas married Rachel Bradshaw, daughter of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, in June. Police spokesman Don Aaron said a police chaplain was with her after the crash. Bradshaw did not appear on the “Fox NFL Sunday” pregame show and was going to Nashville to be with his daughter.


NEW YORK (AP) - East Carolina is ranked in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since 2008 and Mississippi State moved into the Top 25 for the first time in two seasons after breaking a long losing streak against LSU.

The top seven teams are the same as last week, starting with No. 1 Florida State, which escaped 23-17 in overtime against Clemson on Saturday night.

The Pirates are No. 23 after a record-setting 70-41 victory against North Carolina. ECU has beaten Atlantic Coast Conference teams the past two weeks after winning at Virginia Tech.

Mississippi State is No. 14 after beating LSU 34-29 to end a 14-game skid to the Tigers. The Bulldogs were last ranked in 2012.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is back.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher announced his quarterback was once again the starter shortly after the top-ranked Seminoles survived their biggest regular-season scare since Winston earned the job at the start of 2013.

Winston cheered his teammates from the sideline Saturday night as Florida State squeaked by Clemson 23-17 in overtime at home. He was serving a one-game suspension for making “offensive and vulgar” comments about female anatomy on campus Tuesday. The schedule now favors the Seminoles (3-0, 1-0) with the face of the program under center and no ranked opponents for the next 26 days.

Backup quarterback Sean Maguire was pressed into action and threw for more than 300 yards. But his two interceptions and inconsistent play almost gave FSU its first loss since 2012.


LOUDON, N.H. (AP) - Joey Logano pulled away on the restart to win a green-white-checkered finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and advance to the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Logano and Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski have both advanced to the next round. Four drivers will be eliminated after every third race, and a win guarantees a driver an automatic berth into the next round. The first cutoff race is next week at Dover International Speedway.

Logano raced to his fourth victory of the season, leading 73 laps and surviving a NASCAR season-high 15 cautions that wrecked results for several Chase drivers. He took the lead from Kevin Harvick with 27 laps left and went on to his seventh career Cup victory. Logano won at New Hampshire, his home track, for the second time.


PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Mi Jung Hur held off top-ranked Stacy Lewis on to win the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, finishing with a 6-under 66 for a tournament-record 21-under 267 total.

The 24-year-old South Korean player birdied four of the final eight holes to beat Lewis by four strokes for her second LPGA Tour victory.

Hur opened with rounds of 64, 70 and 67 on Capitol Hill’s links-style Senator layout. She broke the tournament mark of 19 under set by Katherine Hull-Kirk in 2010. It was the best 72-hole score of Hur’s career.

Rookie Paula Reto was third at 14 under after a 73. She shared the third-round lead with Hur at 15 under. Kris Tamulis was fourth at 13 under after a 70.

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) - Paul Goydos won the Hawaii Championship for his first Champions Tour title, breaking out of a tight pack with four straight birdies.

Making his fifth start of the 50-and-over tour since turning 50 in June, Goydos closed with a 4-under 68 at Kapolei Golf Club for a tournament-record 19-under 197 total. He opened with rounds of 66 and 63 for a share of the second-round lead with Fred Funk.

Funk finished with a 69 to tie for second with Scott Dunlap. Funk had a hole-in-one on No. 16, using a 4-hybrid on the 200-yard hole. Dunlap shot a 65.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Will Take Charge, last year’s 3-year-old male champion whose career included wins in the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby, has been retired because of a mild strain in his leg.

He will stand at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky. The chestnut colt with the white blaze had seven wins in 21 career starts and earnings of $3,924,648.

Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge lost by a nose to Mucho Macho Man in last year’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Lukas said Sunday that Will Take Charge’s retirement is particularly disappointing because he was being pointed toward this year’s Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

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