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Dec 9, 2012 9:03pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

SAN FRANCISCO —Jim Harbaugh wanted tight end Delanie Walker to play a bit more
than the rest of San Franciscos starters in the final preseason game considering
a bum knee limited him during training camp. Aaron Rodgers official Jersey . Walker caught
a 32-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith
handed off five times before calling it a night and the 49ers wrapped up the
preseason with a 35-3 win over the San Diego Chargers on Thursday. Walker
returned to action for the first time since the exhibition opener after he
injured his right knee during practice on Aug. 12. He missed time late last
season with a broken left jaw before returning for the NFC championship, so the
TD catch will only serve as a boost heading into the regular season next
weekend. “I missed two preseason games, so just the opportunity to go out there
and play, I took advantage of it, and I had a great time,” Walker said. “I
wanted to get my feet back under me, make sure the knee was good. I felt like
everything was perfect and had a great game.” Philip Rivers went 8 for 10 for 89
yards and an interception in one quarter for San Diego (3-1), which will be back
in the Bay Area to open the season on Monday Night Football Sept. 10 at Oakland.
Harbaugh hollered at the replacement officials when they didnt initially call
intentional grounding on Rivers left-handed throw under pressure with 3:10
remaining in the first quarter. Neither considered it a big deal afterward.
Kaepernick connected with rookie first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins on a
12-yard score midway through the second quarter that put the defending NFC West
champion ahead 21-0. Kaepernick finished 12 for 18 for 158 yards and two
touchdowns for the 49ers (3-1). “Tonight was the first time I really felt like I
just went out there and let it loose and just played ball,” Kaepernick said. “It
felt good to finally get in a rhythm.” Smith didnt throw a pass in his short
outing, handing the ball to Kendall Hunter on the first four plays of the game
and one more to Jenkins. Anthony Dixon ran for a 1-yard TD. “Just wanted him to
go out and break a sweat,” Harbaugh said. San Francisco defensive co-ordinator
Vic Fangio called out his units struggles—particularly the backups—in a
29-24 win at Denver on Sunday night in which the Niners fell behind 17-0 in the
first quarter before rallying in the second half to win. This time, the 49ers
starters got the night off completely on a windy, chilly summer evening along
the bay at Candlestick Park. Not that San Diego did enough right on offence to
give the No. 2 D much of a test. San Franciscos Josh Johnson, fighting for the
No. 3 quarterback job with 2011 holdover Scott Tolzien, threw a 51-yard
touchdown pass to Nathan Palmer in the third quarter and another late in the
period to Garrett Celek for 3 yards. Walkers first-quarter touchdown catch—
and Kaepernicks first career TD completion as he begins his second season with
San Francisco—was set up by safety Trenton Robinsons 22-yard fumble return.
Antonio Gates caught a 13-yard pass from Rivers, was stripped by C.J. Spillman
and Robinson recovered and ran. “I didnt realize how close he was to me,” Gates
said. “So when I caught the ball, he was right there. It was kind of a challenge
for the ball at that point because I kind of carelessly, loosely, brought the
catch in. I know better than that.” Two plays after the fumble, Walker caught
the ball on a crossing route to the left sideline and beat safety Atari Bigby at
the 5 before spinning into the end zone for the Niners, who went 13-3 last year
in a resurgent season under Harbaugh, the NFL Coach of the Year. “He was fired
up about that play and made a tremendous athletic play,” Harbaugh said.
Darcel McBath intercepted a pass by Rivers on San Diegos next possession. The
Chargers are counting on Rivers to carry the franchise back to its old winning
ways as a contender in the AFC West after two years out of the playoffs. It gets
much harder for Harbaughs crew now. San Francisco opens the season at Green Bay
on Sept. 9 in a big test for two teams that consider themselves Super Bowl
contenders. They would rather not rely quite so heavily on All-Pro kicker
David Akers and his NFL-record 44 field goals from 2011. Akers missed a
47-yarder wide right on the last play of the first half and went 8 for 9 in the
preseason. Nate Kaeding kicked a 27-yard field goal in the opening minute of the
fourth quarter for San Diegos lone points. “What was displayed today was not
what we are about, not what we worked this hard for,” Gates said. Notes:
Harbaugh said LB Parys Haralson “is working through something,” but declined to
elaborate. ... San Francisco rookie RB LaMichael James muffed two punts and
bobbled a third. ... 49ers LB Aldon Smith didnt play after all as Harbaugh had
said he probably would. Smith, who had a 49ers rookie record 14 sacks in 2011,
injured his right hip in the exhibition opener against Minnesota on Aug. 10. ...
The teams must cut their rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 by Friday
night. ... San Diego and San Francisco played in the preseason for the 26th
straight year and 11 consecutive exhibition finales. San Francisco has won the
last three. ... Tolzien threw an interception early in the fourth. Jordy Nelson Jersey . Faced with an initial
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middle of the crease where, you know, usually a goalie is to make a save but
couldnt be due to Neil being there! Thanks! Jon – Westfield, MA Jon:  Lets first
ask Henrik Lundqvist what he thought of the scoring of the Sens second goal with
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. Russia now also avoids the United States — if the Americans win Group A as
expected — until the gold-medal game if both teams advance in the medal round.
Fridzon, the hero of Russias victory over Brazil on Thursday, made the clinching
free throws with 4. Aaron Rodgers Youth Jersey . Herrera missed
11 games with an infection in his left wrist. He played three games for Triple-A
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is slow to pull the trigger, and quick to make fun of himself. NEW YORK —On
one side, a blossoming dynasty from the college football capital of the Deep
South. On the other, the sports most famous team, trying to reclaim its place
among the elite. Notre Dame and Alabama bring star power and power football to
the BCS championship. The matchup became official Sunday night when the final
standings were released and, to no ones surprise, the Fighting Irish were first
and the Crimson Tide was second. The one bit of drama on college footballs
selection Sunday was whether Northern Illinois could be this years BCS buster.
The Huskies got in, getting a spot in the Orange Bowl against Florida State,
taking a bid away from Oklahoma and sparking heated debate about a system that
never fails to tick off fans in some way. The other BCS matchups:—Oregon and
Kansas State will play in the Fiesta Bowl. —Wisconsin and Stanford will meet
in the Rose Bowl. —Florida and Louisville are set for the Sugar Bowl. As for
the main event in the penultimate Bowl Championship Series, there was little
controversy about No. 1 Notre Dame against No. 2 Alabama in Miami. “The
tradition of Alabama and Notre Dame brings special attention to it, but were
just trying to the best team on Monday, Jan. 7,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly
said Sunday night. “All of that tradition, whats happened in the past, is not
going to help us Jan. 7, but we do respect the traditions.” The Irish clinched
their spot a week ago in Los Angeles by completing a perfect season against
rival Southern California. Alabama earned its spot Saturday, beating Georgia
32-28 in a thrilling Southeastern Conference title game. The program that coach
Paul Bryant turned into an SEC behemoth in the 1960s and 70s, winning five
national championships and sharing another during his tenure, is again
dominating college football with a modern-day version of the Bear leading the
way in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are on the verge
of one of the great runs in history. Alabama would become the first team to
repeat as champs since the BCS was implemented in 1998, and it would be the 11th
time a team has won consecutive AP titles since the poll started in 1936.
Alabama is already one of seven programs to repeat. The Tide has done it twice.
Notre Dame is another. Alabama also won the 2009 BCS championship under Saban.
The last team to win three major national titles in four seasons was Nebraska,
which went back-to-back in 1994 and 95 and finished No. 1 in the final coaches
poll in 1997. In a world full of spread-the-field, hurry-up offences, Alabama is
a bastion of traditional football. The Tide put its no-frills muscle on display
Saturday, mashing Georgia with 350 yards rushing. Eddie Lacy, listed at a
conservative 220 pounds, went for 181 against the Bulldogs to up his season
total to 1,182 with 17 touchdowns. Freshman T.J. Yeldon has run for 1,000 yards
and scored 12 touchdowns. But this is no 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Both backs
average over 6 yards per carry, behind an offensive line anchored by
All-American centre Barrett Jones, who is nursing a foot injury. And quarterback
AJ McCarron has thrown for 26 touchdowns with only three interceptions. The Tide
has been more potent offensively this season than last to make up for a defence
that has slipped, but only a bit. Alaabama leads the nation in total defence
(246 yards per game) and is second in points allowed (10. Clay Matthews
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. .7 per game). Linebackers Adrian Hubbard, Nico
Johnson, CJ Mosley and Trey Depriest average 242 pounds. When Brian Kelly was
hired at Notre Dame three years ago, he looked at Alabama and the SEC, which has
won six straight BCS titles, and decided the Irish needed to play like that.
Kelly built his reputation and winning teams at previous stops on fast-paced
spread offences. In South Bend, Ind., he has put the fight back in the Irish,
who have won eight AP national titles—only Alabama has as many—but none
since 1988. Notre Dame has allowed the fewest touchdowns in the country (10) and
is sixth overall in total defence (286 yards per game). “Its clear that the
formation of any great program is going to be on its defence,” Kelly said. “If
you play great defence youve got a chance. For us to move Notre Dame back into
national prominence we had to develop a defence.” The face of the Irish isnt a
strong-armed quarterback or speedy ball carrier. Its middle linebacker Manti
Teo, a 255-pound offence wrecker with a nose for the ball. The senior has seven
interceptions and is a likely Heisman finalist. Teo, along with 300-pound
linemen Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix, have formed a red-zone wall for the Irish.
Late goal-line stands highlighted victories against Stanford and USC. “Theres
some pretty physical guys that have some great toughness and some great licks,”
Saban said in assessing Notre Dame. While nurturing redshirt freshman Everett
Golson, Kelly has leaned on Notre Dames running game, which averages 202 yards.
“This is just a good all-around football team with tremendous balance on offence
and a very physical defence,” Saban said. If Notre Dame, making its first
appearance in a BCS championship, is going to break the SECs strangle hold on
the crystal ball trophy, the Irish will try to beat Bama at its own game. And
Kelly will try to uphold a Notre Dame tradition, by winning a national title in
his third season as coach. Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz
all won it all in Year 3 playing in the shadow of the Golden Dome. Notre Dame
will try to become the first team since BYU in 1984 to start the season unranked
and win a national title. Expect plenty of fans to be watching. With the
popularity of both programs, the second-to-last BCS title game is expected to be
the highest rated ever. Though it might be hard for many fans to choose. While
there are plenty of fans tired of watching the SEC win championships, Notre Dame
has always been the program people love to hate. “I dont know if we picked up
any more fans along the way,” Kelly said. In two years, college football
switches to a four-team playoff to determine its champion. No doubt fans of
Florida (11-1), Oregon (11-1), Stanford (11-2) and Kansas State (11-1) wish they
could push the start date up on that, but for the most part there isnt much
griping about this championship matchup. Notre Dame is the only undefeated team
that is eligible—thanks to Ohio States NCAA sanctions—and Alabama is the
champion of the league that has produced the last half-dozen national champs.
Roll Tide or return to glory? To be determined in South Florida. ’ ’ ’ 

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