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    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessees defense has one last chance to redeem itself this year after staggering through the end of the regular season.The Volunteers dealt with multiple injuries and never quite recovered, giving up 39.3 points per game in their last six regular-season matchups with Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. In its last three games, Tennessee allowed 400-plus yards rushing to Kentucky and Missouri as well as 416 yards passing to Vanderbilt.Tennessee (8-4) hopes the end of the regular season helps the defense recharge heading into the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl with No. 24 Nebraska (9-3) at Nashville, Tennessee.You hit the reset button, Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said. Its a fresh start. Bowls mean different things to different people. The first step to playing well in a bowl game is a desire to be there, and I sense that in our unit and our team.Shoop has endured a difficult season in his first year at Tennessee after successful stints as a coordinator at Vanderbilt (2011-13) and Penn State (2014-15). Each of his last five teams had ranked in the top 25 in total defense, but Tennessee ranks 109th out of 128 FBS programs in that category.Injuries decimated a Tennessee defense that entered the season with high hopes, though Nebraska is taking nothing for granted. Nebraskas offense has its own issues, as quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.s hamstring injury leaves his status uncertain for the bowl game.I think their struggles came from injuries, Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said. Theyre getting guys back. They look good to me. Theyve got some really talented players.Tennessee lost linebackers Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Quarte Sapp as well as tackles Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle plus safety Evan Berry to season-ending injuries. Reeves-Maybin, the Volunteers leading tackler in 2015, played just four games this year.Cornerback Cam Sutton missed six regular-season games and linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. has appeared in only seven games. Injuries forced Tennessee to use 10 different starting combinations in the secondary.To watch our style of play from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, it almost looks like two different teams, Shoop said.Tennessees vulnerability on defense became particularly evident the last three games of the regular season.Kentucky fell 49-36 to Tennessee despite rushing for 443 yards, three shy of the Wildcats 65-year-old school single-game record. In a 63-37 loss to the Vols , Missouri gained 740 total yards, the highest single-game total ever allowed by Tennessee. Vanderbilt beat Tennessee 45-34 by posting its highest single-game point total against an SEC opponent since 1971.As he discussed the defenses struggles over the last three games, Shoop said that I own those. Those are on me.Confidence and momentum are powerful things, and I think at some point maybe in the Kentucky or Missouri game we lost a little bit of confidence, Shoop said. I think we were a little worn down.Shoop noted that Tennessee still won two of those games but acknowledged the Vanderbilt performance leaves a sour taste in your mouth, theres no question about that.Tennessee has responded by adjusting its bowl practice approach to address the tackling problems that have hurt this defense.Were going to do more tackling than we ever have in terms of bowl preparation, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said. Its a balancing act because you want to be fresh for the bowl game too, but when you look at bowl games as bowl season starts, its usually dictated by special teams, by turnovers and by tackling. The last couple of bowl games weve won, weve excelled in those areas.Tennessees players see the bowl game as an opportunity to make up for the mistakes they made during the regular season.Every day we come out there, were trying to be better at run defense, pass defense and just be a complete defense, which we kind of failed to do the past few games, defensive end Corey Vereen said.NOTE: Tennessee freshman defensive end Mykelle McDaniel isnt practicing with the team leading up to the bowl game as a disciplinary measure. Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said McDaniel is expected to rejoin the team at the start of the spring semester. McDaniel is redshirting this season.---AP sports writer Eric Olson in Lincoln, Nebraska, contributed to this report.---More AP college football: and Steve Megargee at Authentic Jack Cichy Jersey. Blackwood, 28, has played the last three seasons in the San Diego Padres system, including the past two summers with Class AA San Antonio of the Texas League. Authentic Alex Cappa Jersey. The scientists believe the small earthquake during a Marshawn Lynch touchdown was likely greater than Lynchs famous "beast quake" touchdown run three years ago, which also came against New Orleans during a playoff game. "I wrote 36 on my sheet at the beginning of the game," the Cincinnati coach said, referring the yard line the ball would need to be snapped from. Buccaneers Jerseys China. Its the second straight game Bell has scored in extra time for Kelowna, which beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 6-5 on Friday, and he now has four game-winning goals on the season. Authentic Ronald Jones Jersey. At a Manhattan federal court hearing, attorney Jordan Siev said his law office has gotten more evidence nearly every day to support its lawsuit accusing MLB and Selig of going on a "witch hunt" to ruin Rodriguezs reputation and career. He said the defendants went "way over the line. PHILADELPHIA -- The number is 3,746.Thats how many minutes Kyle Lowry logged en route to becoming an Eastern Conference finalist and Olympic gold medalist in 2015-16.The 30-year-old point guard appeared in 105 out of a possible 110 games between the regular season, playoffs and international competition, validating all the hard work he had put in during the offseason to get himself in the best shape possible.And yet here he was a week after becoming a champion for the first time in his career, hosting a basketball clinic for kids and receiving the key to the city for his significant contributions to the community on a sweltering summer day 15 minutes from where he grew up.Its a blur, but its been a blessing, said Lowry, a North Philly native. I wish I had a ring and a gold medal like Kyrie Irving, but Ill take the gold medal for now. This is the biggest basketball accomplishment that Ive ever had.Lowry went 0-3 in title games (one public league, two catholic league) as a high schooler. In college, his Villanova Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to eventual champion Florida. And as a pro, hed reached the postseason four times but never advanced past the conference finals.So after Team USA routed Serbia to capture the gold, Lowry was sure to take home a second souvenir: the game ball.Its alive. Its around. Its simmering somewhere, he said, laughing.If he has another big season, Lowry could potentially become the NBAs highest paid player in 2017-18. An 11-year veteran, hed be eligible for a starting salary of $33.5 million and a five-year total of $196 million, according to ESPNs Larry Coon.Lowrys agent, Andy Miller, says the expectation is that Lowry will opt out at the end of the 2016-17 campaign to maximize his earning potential, which makes perfect financial sense. Lowry is entering the third year of a four-year, $48 million deal he signed in 2014, which contains a fourth-year player option.Miller says Lowry is extremely confident both mentally and physically with Toronto Raptors training camp underway. And despite the shortened offseason, Miller said Lowry brought his trainer with him to Rio during the Olympics to ensure he was doing his best to remain healthy and fit. Miller also commended Lowry for accepting the backup point guard role for USA coach Mike Krzyzewskis team, a sign of his maturation.Of course, it all goes back to his roots, when he was living on 20th and Lehigh.Lowrys feisty, hard-nosed game was fostered in the tough neighborhood where he grew up.Philadelphia made me who I am, Lowry said. Nothing was given to me, I had to earn it.He saw his father for the last time when he was 7 but was able to overcome his circumstances.All odds are against you: the crime, the drug abuse, the violence, Lowry said. My mom and my grandma did the best job they could and made as much money as they could to support me with a great life, and I had good people around me -- a lot of good friends who just wanted to play basketball. The odds are against you, but you find a way to get out.Lowrys older brother, Lonnie, introduced him to basketball at an early age. Hed often participate in streetball games with Lonnie and his friends, who were five years older.It was the start of a foundation that eventually saw him star at Cardinal Dougherty and Villanova before going No. 24 overall in the first round of the 20066 NBA draft.dddddddddddd His career sputtered early in Memphis and Houston before he finally found his comfort zone in Toronto.Its special, said Lonnie, who was always hard on Kyle and helped fill the void of a male role model for his younger brother. His attitude -- having to be tough, not backing down -- was built back then. He is this city. He is Philadelphia.Lowrys mother, Marie Holloway, worked 10 years at the IRS and 15 years with the U.S. Postal Service to support her family as a single parent. And when she wasnt working, she was chauffeuring her youngest son to AAU practices and games.Hes just driven, Holloway said. Everything that he wants to do and sets his mind to do, he does it. And thats where that edge comes in. Because even now hes still small compared to everybody else, so he knew he had to be special.People ask me that all the time what did you do? I didnt do anything. I just followed directions. Wherever he needed to be, wherever his brother told me he needed to be, I just made sure that he was there. Ive driven halfway across the country -- to Memphis for nationals -- because we couldnt afford to fly out there.Holloway, who lives comfortably in South Jersey now, is extremely proud of how far Lowry has grown as a person.He really had a thing about trusting men and making sure they were really in his corner, Holloway said. But the thing about him is, if he loves you, he loves you. Theres really no gray area with him. Hes matured so much. He was 19 going into the NBA and I think he had to figure things out, realizing you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But like I said, once he realizes that you really are about him and he trusts you, theres nothing he wont do for you.Over the last few years since hes gotten married and had children, Ive always loved him, but I really love him because now hes starting to let people see his personality. Hes a good kid. Eventually hell hit a wall, but hes still on high. Hes on a mission.Over the last three seasons, Lowry has averaged 19.0 points, 6.9 assists and shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range. He and teammate/best friend DeMar DeRozan put the Raptors on their backs during the playoffs in 2015-16, overcoming shooting struggles and nagging minor injuries to take Toronto where it had never been before as a franchise.I think I gave a lot, but I think I can find a way to give more. Thats my mentality, said Lowry, who had 35 or more points four different times during the postseason. At the end of the day, nobody cares about anything but winning and losing, and I dont care about anything but winning and losing. People can say that me and DeMar we didnt do this and we didnt do that, and yeah we didnt play well or we didnt shoot well, but we made the Eastern Conference finals, so we definitely did something right.With DeRozan back, a healthier DeMarre Carroll and the addition of Jared Sullinger to the frontcourt, Lowry promises things will be different next time around.That wont happen again, trust me. I promise you that, he said. Going through all that made me stronger. I learned from it and Im a better player for it. Last season is still raw, but now we have to take the next step and continue to get better and not be satisfied. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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