• Ohio whips ULM 45-14 to win Independence Bow: SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Tyler Tettleton threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, Beau Blankenship ran for four scores, and Ohio cruised to a 45-14 victory over Louisiana-Monroe at the Independence Bowl on Friday.
Chase Cochran caught three passes for 162 yards and a touchdown as the Bobcats (9-4) won their second straight bowl game. Blankenship’s four rushing touchdowns set an Independence Bowl record. He added 104 yards rushing.
Tettleton was especially sharp in the first half, completing 9 of 14 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio built a 24-7 lead.
Louisiana-Monroe (8-5) struggled in its first bowl game after 19 seasons in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Kolton Browning completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three first-half interceptions.
Ohio broke several Independence Bowl records, including the 31-point margin of victory and 556 total yards.
• Nevada coach Chris Ault retires: RENO, Nevada (AP) — Chris Ault raised Nevada football. After 28 years as coach, he felt he had taken the Wolf Pack as far as he could.
Ault announced Friday he was stepping down, leaving as the winningest coach in school history, already a Hall of Famer, and having changed the way teams play offense nationwide.
Under Ault, the Wolf Pack went from Division II to I-AA to I-A, winning at every level with some of the most prolific and innovative offenses in the country.
The 66-year-old won 10 conference championships and took the Wolf Pack to the postseason 16 times, including 10 bowl games in 12 FBS seasons. He finished with a record of 233-109-1.
Perhaps his most famous contribution came late in his career, when he invented the Pistol offense in 2005, a scheme now employed by hundreds of teams at every level of football.
His best season was in 2010 when he led his team to a 13-1 record and a win against Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The Wolf Pack, with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, was ranked No. 13 after upsetting Boise State to win a Western Athletic Conference championship.
• 1 vs 2: Stanford, UConn women renew rivalry: Stanford and Connecticut have developed one of the best rivalries in women’s basketball over the past five years.
Whether facing off in the national championship game, playing in the Final Four, or just meeting in the regular season, the two programs on opposite sides of the country have created compelling matchups.
The undefeated teams will renew their annual contest Saturday when the second-ranked Huskies (10-0) visit the No. 1 Cardinal (11-0). Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike will battle under the boards with UConn’s Stephanie Dolson.
The last time the teams met in the Bay Area in 2010, the Cardinal ended the Huskies’ NCAA record 90-game winning streak. UConn will try and return the favor by snapping Stanford’s streak of 82 straight home victories.
• NHL makes new offer to players: NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL says it has made a new contract offer to the players in an attempt to end the lockout and save the season.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly says in a statement Friday that a “comprehensive” proposal was made a day earlier, although he would not discuss details.
He adds that the league is “hopeful” that once the union and its negotiating committee review the proposal “they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”
The lockout is in its 104th day. The NHL says it doesn’t want a season of less than 48 games. To make that possible, a deal likely must be reached by mid-January. The sides haven’t met face to face since talks with a federal mediator broke down Dec. 13.
• Stomach bug knocks Nadal from Australian Open: MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal says he will not play the Australian Open because of a stomach virus, further delaying his comeback after being sidelined since June.
The Spaniard also will skip the preceding Qatar Open. The Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, begins Jan. 14. The same virus kept Nadal from making his return at Abu Dhabi this week.
Nadal has been out because of tendinitis in his left knee since a second-round loss to then-100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon. He was forced to miss the London Olympics.
Nadal says in a statement that his knee is “much better” but the virus prevented him from practicing this past week, and “therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open.”
• Djokovic into final of Abu Dhabi event: ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic routed David Ferrer 6-0, 6-3 on Friday to reach the final of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament.
Djokovic will face Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the final. A last-minute replacement for Rafael Nadal, Almagro rallied from a set down to beat Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second semifinal.
Nadal announced Friday that a stomach virus will keep him out of the Australian Open
• Dos Santos, Velasquez ready for UFC title rematch: Their first fight was a seminal moment in UFC history, even if it only lasted 64 seconds.
Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez figure their rematch Saturday night will be longer, more taxing and more decisive in determining mixed martial arts’ best heavyweight.
Dos Santos defends the championship belt he took from Velasquez 13 months ago when they meet in the main event of UFC 155 in Las Vegas.
Last year, Dos Santos abruptly dropped Velasquez with one equilibrium-destroying punch to the head, putting an early end on the UFC’s landmark debut fight on network television.
Velasquez has been stewing on his first MMA defeat ever since, determined to regain his title. He also refuses to blame the loss on a knee injury in training last year.