Sunday, January 4, 2009

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Sproles' big night sparks San Diego past Colts in OT

SAN DIEGO â€" Peyton Manning has his MVP award and nothing more, outdone again in January by the San Diego Chargers. Speedy little Darren Sproles scooted 22 yards for the winning score 6:20 into overtime and the Chargers beat the Colts, 23-17, in an AFC wild-card game Saturday night, ending Indianapolis' nine-game winning streak a day after Manning won his third Associated Press NFL MVP award.

Tigers ease past Pirates

CLEMSON â€" Sophomore reserve Jerai Grant had a career-high 14 points and No. 20 Clemson improved to 14-0 for the second time in three years with a 79-66 victory over East Carolina on Saturday. Grant is the latest in his family to excel for the Tigers. His father is Harvey Grant, who played two seasons at Clemson before transferring to Oklahoma, and his uncle is Horace Grant, the former Chicago Bull who stuck around Littlejohn Coliseum and helped the Tigers to a 17-0 start in 1986-87.

No storybook finish, but Tigers optimistic

There's not a roller coaster in the world that could have matched the emotional ride that the Clemson football program and its legion of fans experienced during the 2008 season. At 7:59 p.m. on Aug. 30, anything and everything seemed possible for the 10th-ranked Tigers.

USC again stumbles across the finish line

COLUMBIA â€" As much as South Carolina wanted to distance itself from last season, prove that the .500, bowl-less finish was a fluke step in the wrong direction, the Gamecocks really didn't manage a whole lot more in 2008. They wound up in a New Year's Day bowl. They won one more game than they lost. But the fumes and smoke coughing out in the end had a similar look to last year's team that lost its final five games.

Cardinals get back on track behind Warner, defense

GLENDALE, Ariz. â€" The Arizona Cardinals have consecutive home playoff victories â€" 61 years apart. Kurt Warner opened with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald and connected with Anquan Boldin on a 71-yard scoring play as the Cardinals beat Atlanta, 30-24, on Saturday before a raucous, towel-waving crowd. It was the franchise's first home playoff game since the then-Chicago Cardinals beat Philadelphia to win the NFL championship in 1947.

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