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Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Everything seems to be on Wilson as
Seahawks try to move forward
By TIM BOOTH
SEATTLE — When he was in
the early stages of his professional
career, the Seattle Seahawks asked
Russell Wilson just to do his part.
At that time, Seattle’s defense
was elite. Their roster was young
and ambitious and the depth they
amassed could overcome seem-
ingly any loss.
That’s not the case anymore,
putting the bulk of the responsibility
on Wilson now as the Seahawks
try to make something out of this
season and find their way into the
“He was a huge factor in the
game,” coach Pete Carroll said after
Monday’s 34-31 loss to Atlanta.
“He was all over the place.”
Numerous issues arose from
Seattle’s second straight home loss.
Most centered on a couple of ques-
tionable special teams decisions by
Carroll, including his call to go for
a fake field goal late in the first half
rather than attempt a 35-yard kick.
The fake was blown up by Atlanta’s
Grady Jarrett and Luke Willson was
thrown for a 4-yard loss.
Carroll defended the decision
after the game and again Tuesday
morning on his radio show.
“I like being aggressive when
we have our chances. That was an
opportunity to score a touchdown
and we thought we had a good
one,” Carroll said on KIRO-AM in
Aside from the special teams
issues is how dependent the
Seahawks have become on Wilson
offensively. It’s one thing to ask
the quarterback to be a leader, an
efficient passer and occasionally
run when the opportunity presents
itself. It’s another to do what Seattle
has asked of Wilson through the
Wilson (3) is
(45) as he
half of Mon-
AP Photo/Ted S.
first 10 games.
Seattle’s three currently healthy
running backs — Eddie Lacy,
Thomas Rawls and J.D. McKissic
— have combined for exactly
one more yard rushing (377) than
Wilson has run for this season
(376). And it doesn’t help that
Seattle’s stellar defense has been
devastated by injuries to starters
Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor
and Cliff Avril.
It’s all been on Wilson’s shoul-
ders, and likely will continue to be
going forward. Between passing
and rushing, Wilson has been
responsible for 81.9 percent of
Seattle’s total offensive yards this
season. Impressive? Yes. Too much
for Seattle’s desire to be balanced
and have an established run game?
“I don’t think that it’s a lack of
talent at running back. We have
some great running backs, we just
have to do a little bit better, that’s
all,” Wilson said after the loss.
Part of the problem has been the
inconsistency. Seattle started the
season sharing carries between its
running backs. When they decided
to have Lacy be the primary ball
carrier, he suffered a groin injury.
Seattle then went back to Rawls,
but he appeared to be missing open
holes and was a healthy scratch
from Monday’s loss.
Mike Davis brought a jolt to
Seattle’s run game on Monday
night, but he left early in the third
quarter with a groin injury.
Because of the constant changes
at running back, Wilson and his
scrambling have been Seattle’s
most consistent running threat.
Wilson is averaging 6.5 yards per
attempt, which would lead the
league if Wilson had enough carries
“We just need to see our guys
get out there, stay out there, let
them show what they can do,”
Carroll said on his radio show.
“Everybody keeps coming in and
out and we can’t get a good feel for
it. It’s been unfortunate. Nobody’s
really jumped out. Some of that is
the (offensive) line and how we’ve
played. But it’s just been unfortu-
nate it’s been so changing.”
NOTES: Seattle made a surprise
roster move Tuesday by waiving
veteran DE Dwight Freeney after
just four games. Freeney had
three sacks in his first two games
but didn’t record a sack or tackle
in the past two games. Freeney
is in his 16th season and Seattle
was his fifth team. ... Carroll said
on his radio show that G Oday
Aboushi will miss Sunday’s game
at San Francisco due to a dislocated
shoulder and that it’s unlikely Davis
will make it back after leaving with
a groin strain.
Braves lose 13 international players in MLB sanctions
By CHARLES ODUM
ATLANTA — The Braves lost
13 prospects and former general
manager John Coppolella was
banned for life by Major League
Baseball on Tuesday for circum-
venting international signing rules
Former Atlanta special assistant
Gordon Blakeley, who was the
team’s international scouting chief,
was suspended from baseball for
one year by Commissioner Rob
Sanctions imposed by Manfred
will leave the Braves unable to
bargain at full strength for a top
Latin American prospect until
Manfred said MLB’s investiga-
tion determined the Braves moved
international signing bonus pool
money from one player to boost
another player’s contract.
Most notable among the players
the Braves will lose is Kevin
Maitan, an infielder from Vene-
zuela who signed for $4.25 million
Other “high-value” players
the Braves will lose include Juan
Contreras, Yefri del Rosario,
Abrahan Gutierrez, Juan Carlos
Negret, Yenci Peña, Yunior Seve-
rino, Livan Soto and Guillermo
Three more international signees
— Brandol Mezquita, Angel
Rojas and Antonio Sucre — were
declared free agents. The team’s
contract with prospect Ji-Hwan
Bae, which was not yet final, was
disapproved. Finally, the Braves
were banned from signing prospect
Robert Puason in the 2019-20
The 13 players will be free to
negotiate as free agents with other
Also, the Braves will forfeit their
third-round selection in the 2018
draft as punishment for offering
“impermissible benefits” to an
unnamed draft pick in an effort to
convince him to sign for a lower
The investigation showed the
players signed by the Braves in
2016-17 would have been unavail-
able if the team had not circum-
vented the rules by moving bonus
Manfred said stripping the
Braves of the 13 players was not
sufficient punishment. He said
“additional sanctions are warranted
to penalize the club for the viola-
tions committed by its employees.”
Therefore, the Braves will
be prohibited from signing any
international player for more
than $10,000 during the 2019-20
signing period. Also, the team’s
international signing bonus pool for
the 2020-21 signing period will be
reduced by 50 percent.
The Braves already cannot give
an international signing bonus of
more than $300,000 for 2017-18
and 2018-19 as penalties for
exceeding their signing bonus pools
under baseball’s previous labor
And there is still more discipline
to be handed down.
Manfred said he intends “to
discipline other Braves international
baseball operations employees who
participated in the misconduct.”
Coppolella was forced to resign
after the season. Former team
president John Hart was moved to
a senior adviser role when a new
general manager, Alex Antho-
poulos, was hired on Nov. 13. Hart
left the team on Friday.
“The senior baseball operations
officials responsible for the miscon-
duct are no longer employed by the
Braves,” Manfred said. He also said
the Braves “cooperated throughout
The Braves braced fans for the
sanctions when team chairman
Terry McGuirk apologized to fans
“on behalf of the entire Braves
family” for the rules violations at
the news conference to introduce
The Braves said in a statement
released Tuesday they “understand
and accept the decision regarding
the penalties that have been handed
“As we expressed last week, our
organization has not lived up to the
standard our fans expect from us
and that we expect from ourselves.
For that, we apologize. We are
instituting the changes necessary to
prevent this from ever happening
again and remain excited about the
future of Braves baseball.”
Manfred said he is confident the
Braves management team led by
McGuirk, Anthopoulos and vice
chairman John Schuerholz “have
and will put in place procedures
to ensure that this type of conduct
never occurs again and which will
allow the club to emerge from
this difficult period as the strong
and respected franchise that it has
No. 3 Hermiston vs. No. 4 Churchill
(5A championship at Hillsboro Stadium),
COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
EOU vs. Lewis-Clark State (at Caldwell,
ID), 5 p.m.
EOU vs. Montana Western (at Caldwell,
ID), 3 p.m.
No. 1 Lake Oswego (11-1) vs. No. 5
South Medford (11-1), 5 p.m. (at Hillsboro
No. 2 Clackamas (12-0) vs. No. 6 Tigard
(10-2), Noon (at Hillsboro Stadium)
No. 3 Hermiston (10-2) vs. No. 4 Chur-
chill (12-0) (at Hillsboro Stadium), 6 p.m.
No. 1 Cottage Grove (11-0) vs. No. 3
Marshfield (11-0) (at Hillsboro Stadium),
No. 2 Santiam Christian (10-2) vs. No.
4 Cascade Christian (11-1) (at Cottage
Grove HS), 4 p.m.
No. 2 Monroe (10-1) vs. No. 5 Santiam
(11-1) (at Hillsboro Stadium), 11 a.m.
No. 2 Dufur (11-0) vs. No. 5 Hosanna
Christian (11-1) (at Cottage Grove HS),
T Pct PF
New England 8 2
0 .800 290
0 .500 208
0 .400 157
0 .400 201
T Pct PF
Jacksonville 7 3
0 .700 245
0 .600 222
0 .400 267
Indianapolis 3 7
0 .300 179
T Pct PF
0 .800 227
0 .500 213
0 .400 169 199
0 .000 150 259
T Pct PF PA
Kansas City 6 4
0 .600 262 220
L.A. Chargers 4 6
0 .400 221 196
0 .400 204 247
0 .300 183 259
T Pct PF PA
Philadelphia 9 1
0 .900 320 188
0 .500 242 242
Washington 4 6
0 .400 238 266
N.Y. Giants 2 8
0 .200 162 247
T Pct PF PA
New Orleans 8 2
0 .800 302 196
0 .700 213 180
0 .556 197 179
Tampa Bay 4 6
0 .400 203 228
T Pct PF PA
0 .800 241 172
0 .600 271 234
0 .500 204 230
0 .300 174 221
T Pct PF PA
0 .700 303 186
0 .667 211 165
0 .400 176 254
San Francisco 1 9
0 .100 174 260
Week 12 Schedule
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.
L.A. Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.
N.Y. Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 10 a.m.
Carolina at N.Y. Jets, 10 a.m.
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 10 a.m.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 10 a.m.
Miami at New England, 10 a.m.
Buffalo at Kansas City, 10 a.m.
Chicago at Philadelphia, 10 a.m.
Seattle at San Francisco, 1:05 p.m.
Jacksonville at Arizona, 1:25 p.m.
Denver at Oakland, 1:25 p.m.
New Orleans at L.A. Rams, 1:25 p.m.
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 5:30 p.m.
Houston at Baltimore, 5:30 p.m.
AP Top 25 Poll
1. Alabama (58)
2. Miami (3)
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
12. Penn State
Record Points Pv
9-2 906 11
10-2 891 12
9-2 888 13
10-0 833 14
14. Washington St.
9-2 697 15
9-2 613 16
16. Mississippi St.
8-3 573 17
9-1 496 18
18. Oklahoma St.
8-3 422 10
8-3 415 21
8-3 407 20
21. Michigan St.
8-3 366 22
22. South Florida
9-1 247 23
24. Virginia Tech
25. Boise State
Others receiving votes: Michigan 49,
Iowa St. 47, South Carolina 30, NC State
9, San Diego St. 8, Wake Forest 7, Texas
A&M 1, Fresno St. 1
Top 25 Schedule
Ole Miss at No. 14 Mississippi State,
4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 2 Miami at Pittsburgh, 9 a.m. (ABC)
Baylor at No. 12 TCU, 9 a.m. (FS1)
South Florida at No. 15 UCF, 12:30
No. 25 Virginia Tech at Virginia, 5 p.m.
No. 7 Georgia at Georgia Tech, 9 a.m.
No. 9 Ohio State at Michigan, 9 a.m.
Kansas at No. 19 Oklahoma State, 9
East Carolina at No. 20 Memphis, 9
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Auburn, 12:30
No. 5 Wisconsin at Minnesota, 12:30
No. 10 Penn State at Maryland, 12:30
No. 23 Boise State at Fresno State,
12:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma, 12:45
No. 16 Michigan State at Rutgers, 1
No. 22 Northwestern at Illinois, 1 p.m.
No. 3 Clemson at No. 24 South Caroli-
na, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Texas A&M at No. 18 LSU, 4:30 p.m.
No. 8 Notre Dame at No. 21 Stanford
No. 13 Washington State at No. 17
Washington, 5 p.m. (FOX)
Cal at UCLA, 7:30 p.m (FS1)
Oregon State at Oregon, 4 p.m.
Arizona at Arizona State, 1:30 p.m.
No. 8 Notre Dame at No. 21 Stanford,
5 p.m. (ABC)
No. 13 Washington State at No. 17
Washington, 5 p.m. (FOX)
Colorado at Utah, 7 p.m. (FS1)
Vancouver 5, Philadelphia 2
St. Louis 8, Edmonton 3
Dallas 3, Montreal 1
N.Y. Rangers at Carolina, 4 p.m.
Minnesota at Buffalo, 4 p.m.
Toronto at Florida, 4 p.m.
Vancouver at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m.
Calgary at Columbus, 4 p.m.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Islanders, 4 p.m.
Ottawa at Washington, 4 p.m.
Boston at New Jersey, 4 p.m.
Edmonton at Detroit, 4 p.m.
Chicago at Tampa Bay, 4:30 p.m.
Montreal at Nashville, 5 p.m.
Dallas at Colorado, 6 p.m.
San Jose at Arizona, 6 p.m.
Winnipeg at Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.
Vegas at Anaheim, 7:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers 103, Chicago 94
Brooklyn at Cleveland, 4 p.m.
Portland at Philadelphia, 4 p.m.
Washington at Charlotte, 4 p.m.
Boston at Miami, 4:30 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Atlanta,47:30 p.m.
Toronto at New York, 4:30 p.m.
Dallas at Memphis, 5 p.m.
Denver at Houston, 5 p.m.
Golden State at Oklahoma City, 5 p.m.
Orlando at Minnesowta, 5 p.m.
San Antonio at New Orleans, 5 p.m.
Chicago at Utah, 6 p.m.
Milwaukee at Phoenix, 6 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Sacramento, 7:30 p.m.
Top 25 Schedule
No. 19 Louisville 84, Southern Illinois 42
No. 16 Texas A&M 98, Penn State 87
No. 14 Minnesota 100, Alabama A&M
No. 25 Alabama 77, UT Arlington 76
No. 23 UCLA 72, Wisconsin 70
No. 12 Cincinnati 75, Richmond 48
No. 6 Wichita State 80, Marquette 66
No. 3 Kansas 114, Texas Southern 71
No. 13 Notre Dame 82, LSU 53
No. 22 Baylor 65, Creighton 59
Tennessee at No. 18 Purdue, 9 a.m.
Western Kentucky at No. 5 Villanova,
11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
La Salle at No. 11 Miami, 3 p.m.
No. 2 Arizona at NC State, 4 p.m.
Fort Wayne at No. 8 Kentucky, 5 p.m.
Lehigh at No. 10 USC, 7 p.m. (PAC12)
Portland at No. 9 North Carolina, 11:30
No. 21 Saint Mary’s at Harvard, 1 p.m.
Portland State at No. 1 Duke, 1:30 p.m.
No. 15 Xavier at George Washington, 2
Rhode Island at No. 20 Seton Hall, 3
No. 23 West Virginia at Marist, 5:30
No. 7 Florida at Stanford, 7 p.m.
No. 4 Michigan State at DePaul, 8:30
No. 17 Gonzaga at Ohio State, 8:59
Top 25 Schedule
No. 10 Oregon 81, Eastern Washington
No. 15 Maryland 111, Howard, 49
No. 1 Connecticut 78, No. 5 UCLA 60
No. 18 Oregon State at NC Central,
Morehead State at No. 22 Kentucky,
No. 16 Duke at Old Dominion, 4 p.m.
Little Rock at No. 19 Texas A&M, 4 p.m.
Oakland at No. 25 Michigan, 4 p.m.
Butler at No. 11 West Virginia, 9 a.m.
No. 24 Arizona State at No. 7 Mississip-
pi State, 10:30 a.m.
Missouri State at No. 8 Baylor, 12 p.m.
No. 9 Ohio State at Memphis, 3 p.m.
No. 20 Marquette at No. 12 Tennessee,
Kent State at No. 14 Stanford, 5:30
Tuesday: Toronto 0, Columbus 0
Nov. 29: Columbus at Toronto, 4:30
Tuesday: Seattle 2, Houston 0
Nov. 30: Houston at Seattle, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 9: at highest seed, 1 p.m.
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Washington State has been
turning heads with its offense for
years and this season the defense
has been doing the same.
The 14th-ranked Cougars are
hoping that improved stopping
flip the script
in the Apple
Wa s h i n g t o n
State is playing
for a spot in the
Pac-12 championship game while
No. 15 Washington is merely
hoping to play spoiler.
Archrival Washington has used
a superior defense to win the past
four Apple Cups. The Huskies
outscored Washington State by
an average of 39-14 in those four
This year might be different
with the Cougars (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12)
boasting a much better defense
than in years past, including a line
that coach Mike Leach said is the
most improved unit on the team.
“We’re older for one,” Leach
said. “Our pad level is lower. We
transition quicker. We are better
with our hands.”
The Cougars rank 11th in the
nation in total defense, allowing
303 yards per game, and lead the
nation with 94 tackles for loss.
They’re anchored by Hercules
Mata’afa, Daniel Ekuale and
“Daniel is a big, thick, tradi-
tional defensive tackle,” Leach
said. “He’s playing some of his
best football right now.”
The 6-foot-2, 252-pound
Mata’afa is a unique player, Leach
“He’s smaller and quicker than
most guys who play that posi-
tion,” Leach said. “But he’s strong
enough to hold up.”
The combination of the two
“gives you a fastball/change-up
quality,” Leach said.
Mata’afa has been a revelation
this season. He leads the Pac-12
with 21.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks.
The junior from Lahaina,
Hawaii, was named Pac-12
defensive player of the week for
his performance at Utah, where
he recorded five tackles for loss,
including three sacks, plus one
forced fumble and one fumble
“Hercules Mata’afa is probably
the best in the league,” Utah coach
Kyle Whittingham said after the
Other Washington State defen-
sive players are fans of Mata’afa’s
“He’s a beast, man,” linebacker
Justus Rogers said.
“He makes this whole defense
a lot better,” safety Robert Taylor
Of course, Washington (9-2,
6-2) remains pretty stout on
The Huskies rank No. 4 in total
defense (271.3 yards per game).
They give up just 168.4 passing
yards per game.
But Washington hasn’t faced
a passing offense quite like the
Cougars’ this season, Leach said.
“Schematically, the teams
they’ve played haven’t thrown it a
lot this year,” said Leach, whose
offense is No. 3 nationally and
averages 375.3 yards per game,
“They hadn’t played a lot of teams
that are real determined to throw
it a lot.”
Utah’s 293 passing yards were
the most Washington has given up
Washington is a nine-point
favorite to win the Apple Cup in
Seattle. If Washington State wins,
the Cougars advance to the confer-
ence title game against Pac-12
South winner Southern California.
A Washington win would send
Stanford to the title game.
POLL BUSTERS: The
Cougars have a chance to finish the
regular season unbeaten against
Top 25 opponents. Washington
State has beaten No. 11 Southern
California, No. 20 Stanford and
No. 25 Boise State this season.
TURKEY AND TEN-PINS:
Washington State will hold a
traditional Thanksgiving feast at
a bowling alley in Pullman. As is
their custom, the Cougars will go
bowling Thursday then board a
charter flight for Seattle the next
day. “If you want to see some of
the finest bowlers on earth, go to
Zeppoz on Thursday,” Leach said.
“You’ll see some big old people
thundering down the bowling
alley tossing balls.”