ASU tops No. 25 Kent St. in GoDaddy.com Bowl
MOBILE, Ala. — Ryan Aplin threw for 213 yards and a touchdown, J.D. McKissic caught 11 passes for 113 yards, and Arkansas State edged No. 25 Kent State 17-13 to win the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Sunday night.
Arkansas State’s usually prolific offense struggled against Kent State, but the consistent Aplin-to-McKissic connection and a stingy defense was enough to help the Red Wolves to their first bowl win since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1992.
Kent State was driving late in the game when quarterback Spencer Keith tried to scramble on fourth down and was stopped a few yards short of the marker with 52 seconds left. Neither team scored a touchdown in the second half.
The Golden Flashes were playing in their first bowl game since 1972.
Sources: Chip Kelly staying at Oregon
Chip Kelly is staying at Oregon.
Two people with knowledge of the decision confirmed Sunday night that Kelly is passing up a chance to coach in the NFL to remain with the Ducks. One person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Oregon and Kelly haven’t formally announced the decision, while the other person wasn’t authorized to reveal Kelly’s plans. The decision was first reported by ESPN.
Kelly had lengthy interviews this weekend with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, and also talked to the Buffalo Bills. Last year, he had talks with Tampa Bay.
The 49-year-old coach earned a base salary of $2.8 million this past season at Oregon and has five years left on his contract.
The No. 5 Ducks, known for the innovative offense that Kelly devised, beat Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night to finish the season 12-1.
Kelly is 46-7 in four years at Oregon, and the Ducks have been to four straight BCS bowl games — including a bid for the national championship against Auburn two seasons ago — and won three Pac-12 championships. He originally came to the Ducks in 2007 as offensive coordinator under Mike Bellotti. Before that, he was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire.
AP Sources: Syracuse’s Marrone to take over Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Doug Marrone is set to try to turn around an NFL team after improving a college program down the road.
Marrone reached an agreement to become the Buffalo Bills’ new coach Sunday, three people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. One person said the sides were still putting the finishing touches on the contract for Marrone to sign.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because there has not been an official announcement.
Marrone will replace Chan Gailey, who was fired Dec. 31, a day after the Bills closed their second consecutive season with a 6-10 record and extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 13 seasons. The 48-year-old Marrone, who is from the Bronx, went 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse.
Tipsarevic beats Bautista-Agut to win Chennai Open
CHENNAI, India — Second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia won the Chennai Open title Sunday by beating Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
The ninth-ranked Tipsarevic won his fourth ATP title against an opponent who was playing in his first tour final. It was the Spaniard, though, who had the better start, winning the first three games.
Tipsarevic, who lost to Milos Raonic in last year’s final, dominated the second set and then broke early in the third.
Bautista-Agut, who beat top-seeded Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, seemed to struggle with a leg injury and needed on-court treatment during the second set.
Murray beats Dimitrov to defend Brisbane title
BRISBANE, Australia — Andy Murray kicked off 2013 with a successful defense of his Brisbane International title, holding off the up-and-coming Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (0), 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
The 21-year-old Dimitrov raced to a 4-1 lead in his first ATP World Tour final, stunning Murray with some impressive single-handed backhands. But he lost his nerve and was broken when serving for the set at 5-3. After getting back on serve, No. 3-ranked Murray saved a set-point with an ace and forced a tiebreaker, which he dominated.
Murray began his breakthrough season in 2012 by winning in Brisbane and followed that up later with career-changing titles at the London Olympics and U.S. Open.
He heads into the Australian Open, starting Jan. 14, as the reigning major champion.
Wozniacki easy winner to open Sydney International
SYDNEY — Caroline Wozniacki beat Poland’s Urszula Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in hot conditions Sunday in the first round of the Sydney International.
After starting the season with an upset first-round loss to qualifier Ksenia Pervak at the Brisbane International, the seventh-seeded Wozniacki needed just 26 minutes to win the first set with boyfriend and top-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy watching at Sydney Olympic Park.
“It was quite hot out there, especially towards the end of the second set you could really feel it was starting to heat up,” said Wozniacki, from Denmark. “I’m just happy to get the first win of the season under my belt and just move on.”
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat 2011 Wimbledon champion and fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.
Maria Kirilenko, playing her first match since becoming engaged to Washington Capitals hockey star and fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin, beat Australian wild-card entry Olivia Rogowska 7-5, 6-2.
The men’s tournament starts today.
Stephens beats Robson at Hobart International
HOBART, Australia — American Sloane Stephens broke Laura Robson’s service in the opening game and went on to beat the British player 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round of the Hobart International on Sunday.
Stephens, seeded eighth, was coming off a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Serena Williams in the Brisbane International.
In the only other first-round match Sunday at the Domain Tennis Centre, Olga Govortsova of Belarus beat fifth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-1.
Top-seeded Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan will play China’s Peng Shuai in a first-round match Monday.
Coach who died had suffered previous health woes
PHOENIX — Police say a 39-year-old assistant football coach at Northern Arizona University who died Saturday had suffered from pre-existing health conditions.
But Phoenix police spokesman Trent Crump said Sunday that police department policy prohibits him from releasing details of Jeff Lewis’ medical history.
By wire sources