Busy Philips livid after being mistaken for Sarah Sanders

A chairman of a democratic coalition tweeted a picture of actress Busy Philips and mistook her for White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Busy Philips was not happy to see the leader of a coalition fighting against President Trump mistaking her for White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a tweet.

Jon Cooper, chairman of The Democratic Coalition, tweeted an image of Philips on Thursday and wrote “Sarah Huckabee Sanders even looked habitually pissed when she was a teenager! I guess having Mike Huckabee as your dad does that to you.”


I deleted this tweet after I found out the pic wasn’t Sanders but rather an actress w/ a huge fan base (who now all HATE me, lol). My bad! 😢 pic.twitter.com/AdET9yaEUE

— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) September 15, 2017

The photo was of Philips from the 1999 television show “Freaks and Geeks.”

Philips, 38, attempted to set the record straight with a sequence of tweets Thursday.


A social media user tweeted at Philips saying Cooper was a fan of hers. The actress shot back “APPARENTLY NOT SINCE HE THINKS IM SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS.”


“Pick on a woman for the insane lies she tells. Not cause she looks pissed off while telling them. I love women who look pissed off,” Philips concluded.

Cooper deleted the tweet after learning his mistake and wrote an apology.

“I deleted this tweet after I found out the pic wasn’t Sanders but rather an actress w/ a huge fan base (who now all HATE me, lol),” Cooper said. “My bad!”

“My advice: Just because a Google search identifies an image as being a certain person, take that with a grain of salt! It could be wrong.”

Philips later retweeted an Entertainment Weekly article written about the photo mix-up.

Andrea Bocelli hospitalized after falling from horse in Italy

Andrea Bocelli was hospitalized Thursday after he suffered a fall from a horse, Fox News confirmed.

Andrea Bocelli was hospitalized Thursday after he suffered a fall from a horse, Fox News confirmed.

“He was released the same day, is home and doing just fine,” wrote a rep for the blind tenor.

TMZ initially revealed Bocelli was horseback riding near Pisa, Italy when he fell and hit his head. The singer was soon airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Bocelli told fans on Twitter he “feels great” and “it was just a trivial fall from a horse.”

The artist, who has sold over 80 million albums worldwide, told Fox News in 2016 he leads an active lifestyle when he’s not on stage or rehearsing.

“I love riding, boating, I love swimming,” he explained. “I am a football fan and a fan of boxing, too. I am also an avid reader. I love chatting, listening to others, [and having] opportunities to laugh and joke. I am a wine connoisseur and admirer… My father loved his land and for his own pleasure produced wine, a tradition that my brother and I still bring forward for passion.”

Bocelli is still scheduled to perform Sept. 18 in Jordan as part of his ongoing tour.

Jalen Ramsey questionable for Jaguars home opener vs. Titans

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey missed a third consecutive day of practice Friday and was listed as questionable for the team’s home opener.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey missed a third consecutive day of practice Friday and was listed as questionable for the team’s home opener against Tennessee.

Ramsey is dealing with an ankle injury sustained in the season opener at Houston. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Ramsey has started the first 17 games of his pro career.

If Ramsey can’t play, fourth-year pro Aaron Colvin would start in his place and Tyler Patmon will play in nickel situations.

Fellow starting cornerback A.J. Bouye returned to practice Friday after missing two days with an illness. He’s expected to play against the Titans as Jacksonville tries to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2006.


‘Duck Dynasty’ star Sadie Robertson: Pray for Trump

Sadie Robertson asked her fans to pray for Trump.

Sadie Robertson asked her fans to pray for the president.

The “Duck Dynasty” star posted a video on YouTube titled “Prayer for Our Country.”

The 20-year-old star explained, “I’m going to pray over our nation. I’m going to pray over our president… Let’s send Trump some love. It’s not about what he deserves. It’s not about that. It’s about what we believe and Mr. Trump, if you’re watching this, I am routing you on, and I wanted to let you know I believe the best in you.”

The former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant added, “I think you have a lot on your plate and I know that must be very, very, very hard but as an American citizen I’m cheering you on.”

Her YouTube subscribers chimed in with their feedback.

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(Graham Meyers)

One user wrote, “I think it’s awesome that you pray for our President. Whether or not you agree with him we should all be praying for him and this country.”

Another penned, “Yes! Let’s stand by our president! Let’s quit hating on him and stand by him and lift him up!”

One user wrote, “As an immigrant, sure, I don’t necessarily agree with some of the decisions [Trump] and his administration make. Please don’t start an argument with me or debate. I am, however, also a Christian. I love the Lord. And God says to pray for those that persecute you.”

Robertson’s family members have been supporters of Trump since the early days of his presidential campaign.

Will and Phil Robertson have all been vocal advocates for Trump.

In 2016, Sadie endorsed Trump in Augus, telling ET, “I guess I’m on the Trump train too now. I just feel like I align most with his beliefs and views and I trust him.”

Sports slowly returning to the fields around Florida

Sports teams around the Sunshine State hope to take people’s minds off their problems as they return to playing fields around Florida.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — There are many lingering problems all around Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, including thousands still without power and the evacuation of nursing homes. Sports teams around the Sunshine State hope to take people’s minds off their problems , if only for a few hours, when they return to playing fields around the state.

There will be Major League Baseball, NFL and Top 25 college football games played in Tampa, Gainesville and Jacksonville this weekend.

The Buccaneers, Rays, Jaguars, No. 22 South Florida Bulls and 24th-ranked Florida Gators all host games after their seasons were disrupted by the massive storm.

“Playing this weekend is a chance for us to give something back, give all these people hurting a chance to smile and maybe get their mind off all the trouble around them,” said Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler, who is from St. Petersburg and played collegiately at Florida.

USF gets things rolling Friday night with a nationally televised matchup against Illinois. Raymond James Stadium also hosts Florida A&M vs. Tennessee State on Saturday, and the Bucs wrap up a three games-in-three days lineup on their homefield when the Chicago Bears visit on Sunday.

“It’s good to be back,” Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston said. “A lot of people in this city are having some troubling times right now and it’s exciting that hopefully this team can be the giddy-up for people who were affected by the storm.”

Bradenton resident Greg Dalglish owns and operates a store in a mall that was shut down from Friday afternoon to Wednesday morning because of the storm.

“I think we’re fortunate that (the hurricane) wasn’t worse,” Dalglish said. “I think it will be a good thing to get the whole weather issue off people’s minds and get out and watch some football.”

It’s not just football, baseball is back in Florida as well.

The Rays return home in St. Petersburg, facing the Boston Red Sox after a three-game series against the Yankees was switched from Tropicana Field to Citi Field in New York because of Irma. The Rays left town Sept. 7 for what initially was supposed to be a quick three-game trip to Boston, however they knew there was a good chance they might be gone longer.

The Miami Marlins had a scheduled home series against the Brewers moved to Milwaukee. They’ll return to Marlins Park on Monday to host the Mets.

There will also be almost wall-to-wall football in Florida this weekend.

The threat posed by Irma forced the postponement of the Bucs season opener at Miami, as well as USF’s American Athletic Conference opener at Connecticut.

“Can a city rally around football? Yeah, we’re not us without our city,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “I think everybody is just excited to see football in Tampa again. We’re excited, fans are excited and it’s a getaway.”

No one escaped Irma’s wrath and the storm forced teams around the state to adjust.

Florida State’s home game against Miami was postponed from Saturday to Oct. 7, and Florida’s scheduled game against Northern Colorado was canceled. The Jaguars remained in Houston after last Sunday’s season-opening victory over the Texans last week, a move that disrupted the normal game-week routine they would have followed for this week’s home opener against Tennessee.

While the Jags were in Houston, they also saw the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, a Florida native, said it was overwhelming.

“It’s crazy, devastating to see what has happened, what people lost, some of the things that they have to go through,” Bortles said. “I know us, as a team, are thinking and praying for everyone involved.”

Fowler, whose football career includes playing high school, college and professionally in Florida, knows firsthand how bad things were — and how bad they could have been.

“I spent the entire day (Monday) checking on people around the state. Some of my family had severe damage and some of my family was all right,” the 23-year-old said. “Luckily, my house in Jacksonville didn’t get hit or have damage, but my next-door neighbor had a tree fall through his house.

“So you just feel sorry for people and feel lucky for yourself. There are people everywhere who have to start over and people everywhere who have to rebuild.”

Rivalry grows between Packers and Falcons as Sunday showdown awaits

The Green Bay Packers travel to Atlanta with a 1-0 record and will play the Falcons Sunday night in the national spotlight

ATLANTA — This is becoming a bit of a rivalry.

When the Atlanta Falcons host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, it will be both an early indicator of the NFC’s balance of power as well as the third meeting between the teams in less than 11 months.

All three of those games have been in Atlanta, though this one will be at a new venue.

Packers Coverage

The Falcons (1-0) are making the regular-season debut at $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which replaced the Georgia Dome.

Green Bay (1-0) is coming off a season-opening victory over Seattle at Lambeau Field.

“We’ve seen a lot of them,” Falcons defensive end Brooks Reed said, breaking into a smile. “I’m sure they’re sick of coming down here. But we like it.”

Last season, the teams first met in Week 8 with the Falcons coming off two straight excruciating losses. Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, the last of which put Green Bay ahead with just under 4 minutes remaining.

But Atlanta avoided a third straight loss when Matt Ryan tossed an 11-yard scoring pass to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds remaining, pulling out a 33-32 victory.

Both teams went on to make the playoffs, and Green Bay knocked off top-seeded Dallas to set up a rematch with the Falcons in the NFC championship game. That one was a blowout for Atlanta, which raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 44-21 triumph.

Rodgers said he’s not thinking about last season.

“It’s past,” he said. “You can’t rewrite history. It’s just two 1-0 teams who both think we can be there at the end of the season. These are the type of games, like last week, that you win these games and you feel better in December and January when you’re coming down to filling out that 12-team bracket.”

While downplaying talk of a budding rivalry, Falcons safety Ricardo Allen acknowledged that any game against the Packers carries a little extra juice.

“We do play each other a lot, and we’re two really good teams,” he said. “Even though we’ve won the last two games, man, we go into these weeks with a lot of respect for then. We know what kind of team this is. We know have come with our `A’ game every time. This is a team you have to play championship football against.”

Here are some things to watch for when the Falcons host the Packers in prime time:

JULIO’S IMPACT: Coming off offseason foot surgery, Falcons star receiver Julio Jones didn’t have much of an impact in a season-opening victory at Chicago. He was targeted five times and caught four passes for 66 yards. This is not unusual in Atlanta’s multifaceted offense, especially when opposing defenses focus their attention on Jones.

The Packers allowed him to run wild in the NFC title game, giving up nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns, but that was with the cornerback position ravaged by injuries. Green Bay is healthy again and added two key players, Davon House and rookie Kevin King. The strengthened unit shut down Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ passing game in Week 1.

ON THE RUN: Ty Montgomery pounded out some tough yards in the second half to help wear down the Seahawks, a promising debut in his first full season exclusively as a running back.

The one-time receiver also presents a matchup problem for defenses because of his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Montgomery showed he can handle a full workload after taking 90 percent of the offensive snaps. The Packers will always be a passing team first behind Rodgers, but Montgomery helps keep defenses honest.

FALCONS TAKEAWAYS: Atlanta spends a lot of time focusing on takeaways with its young, speedy defense, so coach Dan Quinn was a bit surprised when the Falcons failed to recover a fumble or intercept a pass against the Bears.

That was a priority in practice going into Week 2, along with improved tackling. The Falcons had 11 missed tackles at Chicago, two of them on a 46-yard run by rookie Tarik Cohen.

FAMILY AFFAIR: First cousins Clay and Jake Matthews figure to see plenty of each other in this one. Clay is moving around again from the outside linebacker position and playing a key role in Green Bay’s pass rush, while Jake is responsible for protecting Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan’s blind side at the crucial left tackle spot.

“Clay is back to his traditional role as pass rusher, so there will be some family-on-family crime there,” Quinn joked.

LOOK TO THE SKIES: The Falcons are set to play their first open-air home game since 1991, their final season at Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium.

Assuming the weather is good — and the forecast called for evening temperatures in the 60s and only a slight chance of rain — the retractable roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be open for the first time during a game.

While working out bugs in the complex system, which resembles a camera lens, the roof remained closed for seven games over its first three weeks, including a couple of Falcons preseason contests. Now, it’s finally ready for the much-anticipated debut.

OPENING LINE — Falcons by 2

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Green Bay 1-0, Atlanta 0-1

SERIES RECORD — Packers lead 17-15

LAST MEETING — Falcons beat Packers 44-21, Jan. 22 in NFC championship game

LAST WEEK — Packers beat Seahawks 17-9; Falcons beat Bears 23-17

AP PRO32 RANKING — Packers No. 1, Falcons No. 5





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Weather permitting, new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium to have retractable roof open for first event. … Falcons’ last home open-air game was Dec. 15, 1991 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. … Falcons beat Packers in 2016 regular season and NFC championship game, final game at Georgia Dome. … QB Aaron Rodgers averages 325.6 yards passing, with 19 TDs, seven interceptions, in seven career games against Falcons, including playoffs. … Rodgers needs two TD passes to become 11th in NFL with 300. … DT Mike Daniels, LB Nick Perry each had 1 sacks last week. … WR Jordy Nelson has four TDs in last three games against Falcons. … Packers moved to top spot in AP Pro32 with Patriots loss. … Packers held Seahawks to 50 yards rushing last week. SS Morgan Burnett played ILB to boost run defense with six defensive backs on field. … Falcons second-year TE Austin Hooper coming off career-high 128 yards receiving, including 88-yard TD. … WR Julio Jones had nine catches, 180 yards, two TDs in NFC championship game. … LB Brooks Reed had two sacks last week. … QB Matt Ryan has averaged 351.6 yards passing last three games against Packers, with 11 TDs, one interception. … After leading NFL with 15 sacks in 2016, LB Vic Beasley had one sack last week. … Falcons had four sacks against Bears. … After leading NFL with 158 points in 2016, PK Matt Bryant scored 11 points, making each of three field goals and two extra points last week. … Fantasy Tip: Falcons WR Taylor Gabriel may be ready for bigger role after having only three catches for 36 yards against Bears. Gabriel believes he’s fully recovered from lower leg injury. Gabriel had 47-yard TD catch in regular-season win over Packers last season. He could benefit from extra attention paid to Jones.

Vikings to prove dominant Week 1 performance wasn’t a mirage

The Minnesota Vikings try to build off a win over the Saints in Week 1 when they travel to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The memories of last season’s scorching start and inglorious fade remain fresh for the Minnesota Vikings.

There’s nothing they can do about it. Even their impressive opening victory over New Orleans in Week 1 only led to more questions about whether their dominant performance was real or a mirage.

More Vikings coverage

Repeating it on the road Sunday in Pittsburgh against a team that figures to play into January and beyond would go a long way toward quieting the doubters.

“I think we’re an improved version of that team that started 5-0, as a whole,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “But especially on offense.”

The Vikings certainly looked it while lighting up the Saints . Dalvin Cook set a club rookie record by running for 127 yards in his debut. Sam Bradford completed 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three scores. The group that sputtered through a forgettable second half last fall appears considerably more dynamic.

It was the kind of performance the Steelers (1-0) were looking for but didn’t get in Week 1.

Sure, they beat the Browns because they always beat the Browns , but penalties, an ineffective running game and lack of rhythm outside of wide receiver Antonio Brown left the “Killer Bs” decidedly less potent.

The Steelers managed just two offensive touchdowns against Cleveland, though Heinz Field has a way of curing whatever seems to be bothering quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and company.

Pittsburgh is 9-1 in home openers under coach Mike Tomlin and averaged 30 points a game at Heinz Field in 2016 when Roethlisberger played.

An upgraded scoreboard in the south end zone will greet the 68,000-plus expected to turn out. The Steelers would like to make sure they put it to use.

Not an easy task against a defense that kept Drew Brees in check until things were well in hand.

“We need to bring back that home field, Heinz Field kind of mystique,” Roethlisberger said. “It was always that way when I first got here. Teams need to fear coming into Heinz Field one because of the fans and the craziness and two because of our play.”

Some things to look for as the Steelers try to keep Minnesota winless in Pittsburgh since 1995.

CENTER OF ATTENTION: With running back Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein, the Vikings started two rookies on offense in the season opener for the first time since 1963.

Elflein has drawn rave reviews for his ability to grasp a demanding position, and his performance against the Saints was a significant part of the group’s success. Nobody on the team sounded surprised, either.

“He’s smart and tough. He played in a lot of big games in college,” coach Mike Zimmer said of the third-round draft pick from Ohio State. “He’s done a great job since he’s been here.”

Bradford is extra appreciative of the progress Elflein has made in just a few months in the NFL.

“During training camp, if he made a mistake, rarely would he ever make that mistake again,” Bradford said, adding: “I think that’s one of the reasons, obviously, he was able to start Week 1 and play the way he did.”

ENCORE, ENCORE: T.J. Watt spent his first Sunday in the NFL putting on the kind of performance typically reserved for older brother J.J. The youngest of the three Watt brothers in the league became the third player in NFL history to have two sacks and an interception in his first professional game.

Watt downplayed his splashy start, pointing to mistakes such as a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a late hit as evidence he still has a ways to go. Maybe, but Watt’s immediate impact offered tangible proof Pittsburgh’s long search to find an heir apparent for James Harrison may finally be over.

GOAL-LINE GRIT: The Vikings allowed the Saints five trips inside their 20-yard line, including four inside the 10 and two that reached the 2, but the net result was four field goals and one late add-on touchdown by the NFL’s second-highest scoring team last season.

Zimmer designed the offseason practice plan to include a heavy dose of work in specific situations such as the red zone, and that paid off in the opener.

“We were just so confident,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “We’ve been in that situation thousands of times in practice. It’s about doing your job and making the play when it comes to you.”

OUTLAW: When the Steelers acquired tight end Vance McDonald from San Francisco late in camp, it seemed to signal a change was imminent.

Maybe not.

Jesse James caught both of Ben Roethlisberger’s touchdown passes against the Browns, the first time a Pittsburgh tight end has done that since Heath Miller in 2013. James remains a work in progress as a blocker, but his size (6-foot-7) makes him an enviable red zone target and a matchup problem for defenses.

“The game that he played last week was awesome,” Roethlisberger said. “All the players knew what we had in Jesse James. Coach sometimes wants to get guys fired up and maybe it worked.”

OPENING LINE — Steelers by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Minnesota 1-0, Pittsburgh 0-1

SERIES RECORD — Vikings lead 9-8

LAST MEETING — Vikings beat Steelers 34-27, Sept. 29, 2013

LAST WEEK — Vikings beat Saints 29-19; Steelers beat Browns 21-18

AP PRO32 RANKING — Vikings No. 9, Steelers No. 6 (tie)





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Minnesota’s victory in 2013 was played at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Vikings’ last win in Pittsburgh came on Sept. 24, 1995. … Minnesota WR Stefon Diggs caught two touchdown passes in opener. Randy Moss in 2004 was last Vikings player to catch multiple touchdowns in Week 1. … Vikings QB Sam Bradford is 11-8 vs. AFC teams. … Minnesota is 2-1 in road openers under coach Mike Zimmer. … Vikings RB Dalvin Cook’s 127 yards vs. Saints set club record by Viking in NFL debut. … Minnesota DE Danielle Hunter has 8 1-2 sacks in last nine games. … Pittsburgh is 9-1 in home openers under coach Mike Tomlin. … Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger passed Fran Tarkenton for ninth all-time in passing yards last week (47,077). … Roethlisberger’s next 300-yard passing game will be 50th in career. … Pittsburgh RB Le’Veon Bell’s 32 yards rushing in opener tied career low. … Steelers rookie LB T.J. Watt third player in NFL history to have two sacks and interception in first game. … Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown has NFL-high 492 receptions since start of 2013 season. … Steelers are 15-5 at home vs. NFC under Tomlin. … Pittsburgh CB Joe Haden second in passes defensed since entering NFL in 2010 (102). … Steelers LB James Harrison played just four snaps in Week 1, fewest in a decade. … Pittsburgh LB Bud Dupree (shoulder) could return after missing Week 1. … Jesse James’ two-touchdown game vs. Browns first by Pittsburgh tight end since 2013 (Heath Miller). … Fantasy Tip: Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has way of finding end zone at Heinz Field. Bryant has scored 11 times in 12 home games during career. Steelers are 10-2 at home when Bryant plays.

Snyder hopes Wildcats offense will be more balanced against Vandy

Kansas State Wildcats-Vanderbilt Commodores preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Coach Bill Snyder has seen Kansas State throw the ball for 333 yards in one game and run for 315 more in another, so he’s hoping for a little more balance from his 18th-ranked Wildcats in their next one.

“Now it gets really serious, and the significant thing is can we put it all together?” Snyder said. “That is what we are striving for, to be able to package all of that game after game after game and then to try to improve upon it. We will find out, I don’t know. But the competition steps up.”

His Wildcats (2-0) face their biggest challenge yet in a Big 12/Southeastern Conference showdown against Vanderbilt (2-0) on Saturday night. Kansas State beat the last SEC team it faced, Texas A&M, 33-28 in the Texas Bowl last December but hasn’t beaten an SEC team on the road since Kentucky in 1982.

“We know the bowl game definitely was not a fluke,” Kansas State safety Brogan Barry said. “If people want to say it is, then we’ll have to go prove it, but I think there is no need to prove it. I think everyone knows that we played a great team (Texas A&M) but had a better day than them. At the end of the day, I think this team will be a great team as well, and it will be a great challenge for us.”

These programs are meeting for only the second time, and Vanderbilt won the first 26-14 back in 1984. The Commodores are off to an impressive start in coach Derek Mason’s fourth season, and the Wildcats give Vanderbilt a chance at a second straight upset of a Top 25 opponent after they knocked off in-state rival Tennessee to earn a bowl berth last November.

This is the first of four straight games against ranked opponents, and Mason refuses to look ahead at what a win might mean for his program.

“K-State is in the house … a great program, top 18 football team in the country, and the Commodores will be ready to play,” Mason said.

Some things to watch Saturday night:



Sideline view: College football cheerleaders 2017

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports | Troy Babbitt

QB WATCH: Wildcats senior Jesse Ertz and Vanderbilt junior Kyle Shurmur have been very efficient through the first two games. Ertz threw for a career-high 333 yards in an opening win over Central Arkansas, and he ranks fourth nationally in both passing efficiency and yards per completion. He’s also averaging 311 yards of total offense per game. Shurmur is right behind Ertz at fifth in passing efficiency at 217.2, and he is completing 76.1 percent of his passes to open the season after setting a school record completing 83.3 percent of his passes in a 42-0 rout of Alabama A&M.

PROTECT THE BALL: The Commodores have not had a turnover yet, and neither has Kansas State. The Wildcats have a streak of six straight games without being intercepted, the program’s longest since 2012. Each defense has three interceptions. Defensive back Kendall Adams already has two TDs for the Wildcats off an interception and a fumble recovery in a win over Charlotte, making him only the third Big 12 player to do that in the same game.

ANCHOR DOWN: With Mason calling the defense, the Commodores are off to a strong start on that side of the ball, allowing an average of 3 points per game — third-best in the nation and tops in the SEC. They also have yet to allow a touchdown inside their own 20, putting them first nationally. They also rank first in third-down conversion defense (7.8 percent).

SPECIAL TEAMS:Scoring from special teams and defense are a specialty of Kansas State’s, the nation’s best in that category since 1999. The Wildcats already have three such TDs with D.J. Reed returning a punt 62 yards in the opener.

PAGING RALPH WEBB: Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher has been almost more effective catching the ball this season rather than simply running. This will be the 40th start of Webb’s career, and he ranks sixth among the SEC’s active rushing leaders with 3,445 yards. The Wildcats are allowing 165.5 yards rushing this season.

Rockies make brief stop home to face Padres

The Colorado Rockies make a pit stop at Coors Field, beginning a three-game series Friday with the San Diego Padres.

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies make a pit stop at Coors Field, beginning a three-game series Friday with the San Diego Padres before leaving to complete a stretch of 14 of 17 games on the road.

The Rockies are coming off a 6-2 road trip that began with a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers but ended with a thud. After winning the first two games at Arizona, the Rockies dropped the final two games of the series when their starters combined to pitch four innings as Colorado was outscored 15-2 by the Diamondbacks.

“We are frustrated because we won six in a row on this trip, so you would like to finish it off with a bang,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “As you know, we talk a lot about starting pitching, and the last two (games) it hasn’t been there for us.”

The Rockies (80-67) trail the Diamondbacks (85-62) by five games in the race for the top National League wild-card spot. Colorado leads the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers (both 77-69) by 2 1/2 games for the second wild card.

Colorado is 41-31 at home but has lost 10 of its past 15 games at Coors Field. The Rockies are 8-4 against the Padres this season and 4-2 at Coors Field, where Colorado swept three games from July 17-19 when the teams last played.

Right-hander Tyler Chatwood (7-12, 4.70 ERA) will start Friday for the Rockies against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard (7-13, 4.78).

Chatwood is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts since going back in the rotation in the No. 5 spot.

He worked three scoreless innings Sept. 5 against the San Francisco Giants in his first start since Aug. 2, throwing only 28 of 61 pitches for strikes while giving up four hits and four walks with three strikeouts.

On Sunday at Los Angeles, Chatwood held the Dodgers scoreless for five innings on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts, raising both his pitch count and efficiency — 75 pitches, 48 strikes.

Chatwood is 5-2 with a 4.41 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) against the Padres and 1-2, 4.82 in three starts against them this season.

He is 2-6 with a 6.25 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) at Coors Field this year.

Richard, who will be pitching on seven days’ rest, is 4-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) against the Rockies and 1-4, 9.21 in eight starts at Coors Field.

This season, Richard is 1-1, 12.54 in two starts against the Rockies, including an ugly outing at Coors Field on July 19 when he gave up 11 runs (10 earned) and 14 hits in 3 2/3 innings and lost 18-4.

Richard pitched six scoreless innings in his last start Sept. 7 against the St. Louis Cardinals, and he was the winning pitcher in the Padres’ 3-0 victory. In his past seven starts, Richard is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA.

The Padres (65-81) were off Thursday after being swept in a two-game series at the Minnesota Twins, dropping their road record to 26-46. They have lost three straight and are in an odd pattern, winning three straight from Sept. 2-4, losing three straight from Sept. 4-6, winning three straight from Sept. 7-9 and now losing three straight.

The Padres are 11-15 to begin a 42-game stretch from Aug. 17 through the end of the season when the Giants are the only team they will play that owns a losing record.

“That basically says you are going to get to test yourself and see if you’ve made strides during the year,” Padres manager Andy Green told MLB.com. “I think there are a lot of positive signs. We also have work to do. This team is not talented enough to show up and say we’re starting to arrive. We have a long way to go. Staying hungry, continuing to work and being tested by top teams … it’s a tough stretch, and it is fun that way.”

Purdue’s high-powered offense could be a lot for Missouri to handle

Purdue Boilermakers-Missouri Tigers preview

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Since Barry Odom took over as coach before the 2016 season, Missouri’s defense has shed its swarming reputation of recent history.

The Tigers (1-1) ranked 118th nationally in total defense last season and opened 2017 by allowing 43 points to Missouri State before playing a little better in a 31-13 loss to South Carolina last week. Last Sunday, a day after the loss to the Gamecocks, Odom fired defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross, citing “philosophical differences.”

On Saturday, Missouri’s defense faces an improved Purdue team led by offensive-minded coach Jeff Brohm.

“I’ve followed his career for a while, and I know they’ve always been very explosive and really well-coached,” Odom said. “Quarterback play is obviously really, really important to how they execute on offense, and it’s no difference this year.”

Purdue (1-1) opened the season running a two-quarterback system with junior David Blough and sophomore Elijah Sindelar. Blough led the nation with 21 interceptions in 2016, but he’s led a substantially more effective offense in Brohm’s first two games at the helm.

Last week, Blough threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns on 11-of-13 passing against Ohio. Running back Tario Fuller ran for 142 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

“We have to make sure we’re efficient at what we’re doing,” Brohm said. “I was more consistent at calling running plays. Then we were efficient in the passing game.”

Cross’ departure isn’t likely to have a major impact on the Tigers, as Odom stripped him of play-calling duties midway through last season and the head coach continues to call the defense. Regardless, Purdue’s balanced attack will likely provide challenges for Missouri’s defense.

“They’re a good offense. They come out with different personnel,” MU linebacker Terez Hall said. “Whatever they come out with, we’ll prepare for, that’s the main thing. The expectation is a shutout.”

Some things to watch as the Tigers and Boilermakers clash in Columbia:



Sideline view: College football cheerleaders 2017

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports | Troy Babbitt

DROPPING THE BALL: Missouri receivers dropped five passes against South Carolina last week, contributing to quarterback Drew Lock completing just 14 of 32 passes. “It was very surprising to me because that’s just not normal for us,” Lock said. “You could tell that when that started happening, we weren’t on our game.”

BEND, DON’T BREAK:Purdue’s defense has stifled opponents on its side of the field this season. The Boilermakers posted two goal-line stands against Louisville and held Ohio scoreless on three trips into Purdue territory last week. Meanwhile, Missouri capitalized on just one of three red-zone opportunities against South Carolina.

SAFETY VALVES:Missouri and Purdue have relied on their tight ends. Purdue’s Cole Herdman and Brycen Hopkins have combined for 13 catches, 265 yards and three touchdowns. Missouri’s trio of Jason Reese, Albert Okwuegbunam and Kendall Blanton has accumulated seven catches, 191 yards and three scores.

TUCK IT UP: Purdue has recovered an FBS-leading five fumbles and scored 17 points from those takeaways through two games. Missouri lost fumbles against Missouri State and South Carolina.

SOMETHING NEW: The last time Purdue played a current SEC team in the regular season was in 1967, when the Boilermakers faced Texas A&M at the Cotton Bowl. Purdue hasn’t beaten a non-conference opponent on the road since 2007, when it defeated Toledo.