SULLIVAN: FB Neal is one-man block party
        Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher was in backpedal mode Wednesday, dropping back into a prevent defense, determined to play damage control.
Mid-season grades: Linebackers earn highest mark

PULFER: Xavier's lesson in real game
        It's 8 a.m. on a school day. Students are moving lazily around the cafeteria in the handsome new Cintas Center at Xavier University. Sara Bachus makes her loose-limbed way to the table. No juice, thanks. She had breakfast a long time ago. She has been lifting free weights since 6:30.

Ball park under budget
        The new Reds ballpark and other riverfront improvements are $17 million under budget.
Big seasons by M's, Phillies earn managers awards

Sports events this week
Elder RB: 16 TDs, age 15
        Bradley Glatthaar was a shy, unknown sophomore when he reported for Elder's first football practice Aug.6. He remains shy but is now a hero to Panthers fans.

Mooney makes rite of passage
        Marty Mooney is bright and engaging and has grown into a consummate leader on the football field. But when you ask folks at St. Xavier High School about Mooney, the first thing they talk about is his powerful right arm.
Oklahoma State battling injuries
        Eddie Sutton, in his 12th year as coach at Oklahoma State, has never had a team so experienced and deep to start a season. But he sure figured his 18th-ranked Cowboys would be further along when the regular season was about to tip off. That's Friday night against the University of Cincinnati on ESPN.

UC recruits
        Two high school players signed national letters of intent Wednesday to attend the University of Cincinnati: Eric Hicks, a 6-foot-6 forward from Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley High School, and Armein Kirkland, a 6-8 guard from Lee High School in Tyler, Texas.

Xavier recruits
        The Musketeers completed their recruiting in September, filling a five-man class in Thad Matta's first recruiting campaign.
Kentucky recruits
        A leading candidate for Kentucky's Mr. Basketball honor, one of Canada's finest and the MVP of the 2001 National Junior College Championship team have signed national letters of intent to play college basketball at Kentucky.

Miami recruits
        Miami is awaiting signed letters from two verbal commitments: Josh Hausfeld, a 6-3 guard from Roger Bacon and John Morningstar, a 6-10 forward from Elkhart (Ind.) Concord High.

Area college volleyball

        The NKU Norse (27-4) meet Northern Michigan (22-9) at 7:30 p.m. today in the first round of the Division II Great Lakes Region tournament at Allendale, Mich. NKU, the fourth seed, has won 23 straight matches — its last loss was to Northern Michigan on Sept.8.
Bengals notebook
        Chad Johnson practiced Wednesday and could be cleared to play Sunday against Tennessee.

Browns' offense in reverse
        BEREA, Ohio — They're 4-4. Competitive. And, for the first time in three years, the Cleveland Browns aren't counting down the days until the season ends.

NFL notebook
        INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning's teammates couldn't tell the difference Wednesday at practice.
Louisville seeking first 10-win season
        GREENVILLE, N.C. — Dave Ragone's gamble on Louisville has paid off. The junior turned down Pittsburgh and Purdue to come to a program in 1998 that had posted a 1-10 record and knowing he would likely have to play behind record-setting quarterback Chris Redman.

Cooper interested in coaching Kansas
        LAWRENCE, Kan. — Former Ohio State football coach John Cooper says he would be interested in the vacant coaching job at Kansas but has not been contacted by the school, where he was an assistant coach for five years.

Indiana QB's jersey sent to Hall of Fame
        SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The jersey worn by Indiana's Antwaan Randle El, who last week set a Division I-A record for career yards rushing by a quarterback, has been put on display at the College Football Hall of Fame.

WKU asked to face Cats
        LEXINGTON — Western Kentucky coach Dennis Felton had only one request before agreeing to play in the season-opening NABC Classic at Rupp Arena: He wanted to take on the tournament's host team.

College basketball roundup
        SYRACUSE, N.Y. — DeShaun Williams had 25 points and Kueth Duany had career highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Orangemen in the quarterfinals of the Preseason NIT. Syracuse (2-0) will play Michigan State in the semifinals Nov.21.

NBA roundup
        CLEVELAND — Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points, Michael Finley added 22 and the Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 107-94 win Wednesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were blown out for the fourth straight time at home.

NHL roundup
        NEW YORK — Eric Lindros made up for some early jitters in his first game against his former Philadelphia Flyers teammates, scoring the New York Rangers' first goal in a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.

47,743 see Elder, St. Xavier win
        The two Catholic League rivals won Saturday's playoff doubleheader before a state record crowd at Paul Brown Stadium.

Locals win 3 state titles
        Turpin, St. Ursula, Roger Bacon had a chance to win state championships Saturday — and all did.

East Carolina 28, UC 26
With scouts from the Motor City and GMAC bowls in attendance, UC saw its hopes for its first C-USA championship vanish.
Miami loses first-place showdown
Ohio State 35, Purdue 9
UK's Lorenzen throws six TD passes
Thomas More finishes 10-0

College Basketball Special Preview Section
        Our in-depth look at the upcoming season for UC, Xavier, Kentucky, Dayton, Ohio State and Miami. Complete with schedules, rosters, position breakdowns, and other analysis. Don't miss it!

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