As Luck would have it, Colts rookie shines
NFL: Andrew Luck started his NFL career just like Peyton Manning – with a long touchdown pass on his first throw.
Then he one-upped his predecessor by winning his first NFL preseason game, 38-3 over St. Louis.
It was a perfect opening day for Luck and the Colts (No. 32 in the AP Pro32 poll).
Indianapolis’ coaches wanted this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick to take 20 to 25 snaps. He got 24. They wanted to keep him upright, and though Luck hit the ground twice, he was not sacked. They wanted him to show his command of the offense, and in less than a half of play, Luck seemed to take a page right out of Manning’s playbook.
Luck wound up of 10 of 16 for 188 yards with two TD passes. Three of the incompletions were drops, two were throwaways, and only one pass, a deep out to rookie T.Y. Hilton, came close to being picked off. But Hilton hauled it in, barely getting both feet inbounds, and in typical Manning fashion, Luck rushed the Colts to the line of scrimmage and snapped the ball before the Rams could challenge.
But it was Luck’s quick start that dazzled Colts fans.
With the rookie quarterback under pressure on his first NFL play, Luck calmly dumped the ball off to Brown, who darted up the field with blockers in front, then cut from right to left and outran the defense to the end zone. Luck pumped his fist in the air and jogged to the sideline with a broad smile across his face.
While the Colts looked good in Chuck Pagano’s head coaching debut, the Rams (No. 28) struggled in Jeff Fisher’s debut as St. Louis coach.
Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and the Offensive Rookie of the Year, was 7 of 9 for 57 yards and recovered his own fumble.
• Dolphins cut Johnson: The Miami Dolphins terminated six-time Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson’s contract about 24 hours after he was arrested in a domestic battery case involving his wife.
Johnson had been released from jail on $2,500 bond earlier after his wife accused him of head-butting her during an argument in front of their home. Johnson was charged with simple domestic battery, a misdemeanor.
If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He could also receive community service, probation or anger management classes.
• Vikings activate Peterson: The Minnesota Vikings have activated running back Adrian Peterson from the physically unable to perform list with coach Leslie Frazier saying Peterson had done everything in his rehab that could be done working by himself.
Peterson had major knee surgery on Dec. 31, and Frazier credited Peterson’s hard work for the quick return.
Frazier said the next step in the rehab process will be for Peterson to participate in contact drills and then get some game action in the preseason. He added that Peterson will be evaluated daily to check his progress.
• Packers sign veteran RB Benson: In need of another running back, the Green Bay Packers have signed veteran Cedric Benson.
Benson left Cincinnati after spending four seasons with the Bengals. The 29-year-old rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of the last three seasons. He was Chicago’s top draft pick in 2005.
• Jags drop Evans, add Williams: The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran wide receiver Lee Evans and signed sixth-year receiver Demetrius Williams
Na, Kvitova reach Rogers Cup finals
Tennis: Tenth-seeded Li Na rallied to beat 16th-seeded Lucie Safarova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to today’s final in the rain-delayed Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Na will face fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova, a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner over seventh-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.
String of birdies lifts Ryu to LPGA victory
Golf: A birdie binge drove So Yeon Ryu to victory in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
Ryu rode a string of six straight birdies in the middle of her round to a 9-under 62 and a seven-stroke victory at Highland Meadows.
The 22-year-old began the day in the midst of a four-player logjam – all South Koreans – for first place. She took the lead by herself for the first time with an 8-foot birdie putt at the third hole and gradually stretched her advantage until pulling away with birdies on Nos. 9-14.
Angela Stanford made a long birdie putt on the final hole for 66 to finish second.
South Koreans Inbee Park and Chella Choi each shot 69 and shared third at 12 under.
• Ko edges Green at U.S. Women’s Amateur: Lydia Ko won the U.S. Women’s Amateur, beating Jaye Marie Green 3 and 1 in the 36-hole final at The Country Club in Cleveland.
Ko, the South Korean-born New Zealander who tops the world amateur rankings, won at 15 years, 3 months, 18 days to become the second-youngest winner in tournament history. Kimberly Kim was 14 years, 11 months, 21 days when she won the 2006 tournament. Ko won the New South Wales Open in January in Australia at 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event.
Swiss Tschopp wins Tour of Utah
Miscellany: Switzerland’s Johann Tschopp won cycling’s Tour of Utah, finishing fourth in the final stage.
Levi Leipheimer won the stage, surviving a rugged climb through the Wasatch Mountains in Park City, Utah, to finish the 76.8-mile ride in 3 hours, 6 minutes, 53 seconds.
Steven Kruijswijk was second, and Leopold Koenig finished third – both 49 seconds behind Leipheimer.
Tschopp finished with an overall time of 21:26:32. Six American riders placed in the top 10, led by second-place finisher Matthew Busche, 43 seconds behind Tschopp.
• Penn St. trustees won’t vote on penalties: Penn State’s board of trustees will not be voting yet on a consent decree with the NCAA that imposed tough penalties for how the university handled its child molestation scandal.
Board chairwoman Karen Peetz told fellow trustees in an opening statement during a conference call that the panel was required to give 10 days’ notice of any meeting at which such action was taken. An objection had been raised by two members at the outset of the call. Officials announced the meeting Thursday.