Broncos breeze to their eighth in a row
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Peyton Manning threw for 310 yards and had his 30th touchdown pass of the season on the game's opening drive to help the Denver Broncos roll to their eighth straight victory, 26-13 over the Oakland Raiders.
Manning completed 26 of 36 passes for the Broncos. This is Manning's seventh NFL season throwing at least 30 TD passes. He became the fastest quarterback to reach 5,000 career completions and earned his record 12th 10-win season as a starter.
Knowshon Moreno ran for 119 yards and a score on a career-high 32 carries. Matt Prater kicked four field goals to help the 10-3 Broncos move a half-game ahead of New England and Baltimore for the second-best record in the AFC. Denver visits Baltimore next week in a game that will help decide who gets a first-round playoff bye.
The 3-10 Raiders are going in the other direction. Their six-game losing streak is Oakland's longest since 2007.
Big Ben coming back Sunday
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lihs-bur-gur) will start Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Roethlisberger missed the last three weeks with a sprained right shoulder and dislocated rib but practiced for the second straight day Thursday without incident.
- In other NFL news:
- Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Chris Hairston has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season with a bruised right ankle.
- The Cincinnati Bengals have signed kicker Josh Brown to fill in for the injured Mike Nugent, who hurt his right calf and didn't practice Wednesday.
- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says the reason Percy Harvin was placed on season-ending injured reserve was based "purely" on his slow-healing sprained left ankle. Frazier said it was not because Harvin had any previous clashes with the team.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-COACHING NEWS
CINCINNATI (AP) — A whirlwind week has ended with the University of Cincinnati looking for Butch Jones' replacement as football coach.
Jones resigned today to take the job at Tennessee. It comes one day before the 9-3 Bearcats were scheduled to begin practice to play Duke in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27. Cincinnati shared the Big East title for the fourth time in the past five years.
The last three Bearcats coaches used the job as a stepping stone to bigger things, leaving after three seasons. Mark Dantonio went to Michigan State, Brian Kelly led Cincinnati to back-to-back titles before heading to Notre Dame and Jones went 23-14 before heading to Tennessee.
He had a $1.4 million buyout in his contract. Jones interviewed with Purdue and Colorado before going to the Vols.
— Charlie Strong is staying at Louisville. The football coach says he has turned down an offer from Tennessee and will stay with the Cardinals. Strong is 24-14 in three seasons at Louisville. The Cardinals play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
— Mike Gundy says he intends remain at Oklahoma State amid a report that he was offered the Tennessee job. The Cowboys finished 7-5 and are playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year's Day.
__ Barry Alvarez is headed back to the Wisconsin sidelines. For one game, at least. He says he'll coach the Badgers in next month's Rose Bowl, where they'll play No. 8 Stanford. Alvarez coached Wisconsin for 16 seasons. The move comes a day after former coach Bret Bielema (BEE'-leh-mah) took the job at Arkansas.
— Arkansas State says defensive coordinator John Thompson will serve as interim coach for the Red Wolves as they prepare to play No. 25 Kent State in the GoDaddy.com bowl next month. Thompson takes over for Gus Malzahn, who's leaving Arkansas State for Auburn after one season.
Te'o adds to postseason haul
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Manti Te'o (MAN'-ty TAY'-ow) rides into Saturday's Heisman Trophy ceremony on a wave of postseason recognition. Notre Dame's star linebacker has been named the Walter Camp national player of the year and the winner of the Maxwell Award presented to the nation's most outstanding player. He also won the Chuck Bednarik Award for outstanding defensive player.
Te'o is one of three finalists for the Heisman, along with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (man-ZEHL') and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.
Manziel, a redshirt freshman, won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best QB.
Klein won the Johnny Unitas Award, given to the best senior QB.
In other college football news:
Heat stumble again
UNDATED (AP) — It hasn't been the greatest week for the Miami Heat. On Tuesday, they lost to the lowly Washington Wizards. Two nights later the Heat were torched by the New York Knicks -- playing without their star, Carmelo Anthony.
Raymond Felton scored a season-high 27 points, and the Knicks hit 18 3-pointers to more than offset the absence of Anthony while topping Miami for the second time this season, 112-92. Anthony sat out, one night after needing five stitches to close a cut on the middle finger of his left hand.
Steve Novak scored 18 points, J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler each added 13 for the Knicks, who won their fifth straight and moved 1½ games clear of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
LeBron James nearly picked up his second straight triple-double — 31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists — in Miami's second straight loss.
In the only other NBA game last night, Dallas recovered from a lopsided loss to the L.A. Clippers Wednesday night by holding off Phoenix 97-94. O.J. Mayo led the Mavs with 23. The Suns have lost five in a row.
A Fair night for unbeaten Orange
UNDATED (AP) — C.J. Fair had 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, Michael Carter-Williams added 15 points and 10 assists and fourth-ranked Syracuse routed Long Beach State 84-53 to stay unbeaten.
Syracuse is 7-0. The 'Cuse ran its home winning streak to 27 games, tops in the nation. Syracuse has won 49 consecutive regular-season nonconference games. Long Beach State is 3-5 after its two-game winning streak ended.
In other AP Top-25 hoops:
__ Sean Kilpatrick scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half and No. 11 Cincinnati set a school record with 23 steals in an 87-53 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock. The Bearcats are 8-0 for the second time in three seasons.
__ Doug McDermott scored 27 points, Gregory Echenique (eh-CHEH'-neek) had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 16 Creighton (KRAY'-tin) pulled away in the second half for a 64-42 victory over Nebraska.
__ No. 17 San Diego State improved to 7-1 by beating UC Santa Barbara 84-70. Chase Tapley scored 23 points, going 6 of 8 from behind the 3-point line, to lead five players in double figures.
Optimism gets iced
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has rejected the players' latest offer for a labor deal, and negotiations have broken off at least until the weekend. The talks broke off after just one hour Thursday night.
After several hours of waiting for discussions to resume for a third straight day, the conversations didn't go well and had none of the momentum that existed Tuesday and Wednesday. Instead of closing in on a deal, the two sides seem further apart than ever.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says he is "disappointed beyond belief."
Union chief Donald Fehr (feer) says it doesn't look like this will be resolved "in the immediate future."
Today is the 83rd day of the NHL lockout.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies have acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May. Revere fills Philadelphia's need for a center fielder. The 24-year-old left-handed hitter hit .294 with 40 stolen bases in 124 games last season.
Worley was 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA last year after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a rookie in 2011. He had elbow surgery in September, but is expected to be ready for spring training. May was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA at Double-A Reading.
In other baseball news:
— Third baseman Ian Stewart says he is re-signing with the Chicago Cubs. He batted .201 with five homers in 55 games before having season-ending wrist surgery. A person familiar with the deal says it's one year at $2 million.
— Free agent first baseman James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays have completed their $2 million, one year contract. Loney hit a combined .249 with six homers and 41 RBIs for the Dodgers and Red Sox. He had 90 RBIs in 2008 and 2009 and 88 RBIs in 2010 for Los Angeles, but his production has dropped since then.
— Reed Johnson, the top pinch hitter in the National League last season, rejoined the Atlanta Braves with a one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014. Atlanta acquired Johnson and pitcher Paul Maholm (mah-HAH'-luhm) from the Chicago Cubs on July 30. Johnson hit a combined .290 with three home runs and 20 RBIs last season. He batted .419 as a pinch hitter.
— Catcher Wil Nieves (nee-EH'-vehs) and the Arizona Diamondbacks have completed their $800,000, one-year contract. The 35-year-old Nieves batted .306 in 12 games with the D-Backs this year, but was non-tendered. He came back at a new salary level. The D-Backs also signed 35-year-old infielder-outfielder Eric Hinske.
Hunter-Reay picks up $1 million bonus
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Hunter-Reay finally picked up his IndyCar championship and $1 million bonus Thursday night during the season-ending banquet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Simon Pagenaud was honored as rookie of the year. Charlie Kimball won the Tony Renna Rising Star Award.