Sports, November 23rd

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP/VONN BACK

APSEN (AP) – Lindsey Vonn will take a practice run on the race hill in Aspen on Friday before making any decisions about competing this weekend. The four-time overall World Cup champion just recently returned to training after missing time with an intestinal issue that landed her in the hospital. The main concern with Vonn is whether she’s completely back to full strength. The Olympic downhill gold medalist spent two nights in the hospital with what she described on Facebook as “some infection in my tummy.” Health permitting, Vonn will step into the starting gate for the giant slalom Saturday and slalom on Sunday. She spent most of last week training in Vail and also squeezed in a downhill practice session at the U.S. Ski Team’s speed center at Copper Mountain.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL/CU TRIES TO FINISH WITH A “W”

BOULDER (AP) – The Colorado Buffaloes are counting on the past repeating itself so they can avoid ending up on the wrong side of history. To avoid the worst record since the program’s inception in 1890, the Buffs will have to upset Utah, which was installed as a three-touchdown favorite Friday at Folsom Field. The Utes were also a 21-point favorite a year ago when the Buffaloes ended their division title hopes with a 17-14 win at Salt Lake City to end a school-record 23-game road losing streak. If the Utes (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) win, the Buffaloes (1-10, 1-7) will go winless at home for the first time since 1920. The Buffaloes have been outscored by an average of 46-16, and they’ve lost seven straight since their lone win, 35-34 at Washington State. During that streak, they’ve allowed an average of more than 50 points.

DENVER BRONCOS/MATT PRATER

ENGLEWOOD (AP) – The men who share the NFL record for longest field goal at 63 yards say Bronco Matt Prater has the best chance to break the mark, especially in Denver’s thin air. The Denver Broncos had crossed midfield and Prater was all set to try a 67-yard field goal right before halftime in their 30-23 win over San Diego, but the clock ran out before the umpire could spot the ball for Peyton Manning to spike. David Akers, Jason Elam, Tom Dempsey and Sebastian Janikowski all suspect given another such chance, Prater could top their record kicks. Prater makes 93 percent of his attempts from 39 yards and in but just 61 percent from 40-49 yards (22 of 36), then 75 percent from 50-plus.
Broncos special teams coach Jeff Rodgers suggested a big part of Prater’s success from long distance is his mindset. He says Prater “loves it and he embraces that challenge.”

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The New England Patriots exploded with 35 points in the second quarter — including three touchdowns in 52 seconds — and routed the New York Jets 49-19 for their fifth straight victory. That’s the 200th victory for Bill Belichick, who is the eighth NFL coach with at least 200 wins.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – It’s back-to-back four touchdown passing games for sensational Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The rookie out of Baylor returned to his native Texas and led the underdog Redskins to a 38-31 win over Dallas, their first win in seven Thanksgiving Day games against the Cowboys.

DETROIT (AP) – Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz is taking the blame for breaking an NFL rule on a scoring play that was costly to his team in the Houston Texans’ 34-31 overtime victory yesterday. Schwartz threw a challenge flag that negated the automatic review and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) – Duke starters scored all but two of the fifth-ranked Blue Devils points in their 89-71 first-round victory over Minnesota in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas. Seth Curry scored 25 points and Mason Plumlee added 20 points and a career-high-matching 17 rebounds.

UNDATED (AP) – After taking Thanksgiving night off, the NBA swings back into action tonight with a dozen games. The 8-2 New York Knicks, who lost in Dallas on Thanksgiving eve, try to get back in the win column when they visit Houston tonight as they continue their Texas swing.

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