In Sports from United Press International
Georgia Tech wins inaugural Seattle Bowl
SEATTLE, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- George Godsey engineered scoring drives of 97 and 81 yards in the first half Thursday as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets upset No. 11 Stanford, 24-14, in the inuagural Seattle Bowl.
Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey reportedly will be named Georgia Tech coach on Friday or Saturday, although the school has not confirmed it. If Gailey is hired, he would be the third Yellow Jackets' coach in less than a month.
Georgia Tech (8-5) likely played its first and only game under Mac McWhorter, the Yellow Jackets' offensive coordinator who was named coach on an interim basis when George O'Leary took the Notre Dame job on December 9. O'Leary resigned the Notre Dame post only days later due to biographical innaccuracies in his resume.
Godsey completed 23-of-37 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown, while Sean Gregory rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries replacement for suspended leading season rusher Joe Burns.
Looking for a spark, Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham benched Randy Fasani and went with Chris Lewis in the fourth quarter. Lewis, who has come off the bench to rally Stanford to three wins in his career, tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Teyo Johnson, then hit Ryan Wells with the conversion pass to bring the Cardinal within 17-14 with 11:39 remaining.
Stanford (9-3) failed to cash in earlier opportunities, managing just two field goals on three trips inside Georgia Tech's 10. Fasani completed 11-of-21 passes, but threw for only 115 yards. Lewis was 6-of-13 for 110 yards.
Georgia Tech put away the contest on wide receiver Kelly Campbell's two-yard TD run around left end with 1:29 remaining.
Stone off Kentucky cage team
LEXINGTON, Ky., Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Kentucky junior forward Marvin Stone was dismissed from the team on Thursday, the first player let go in coach Tubby Smith's five seasons.
Stone, a McDonald's All-American, has not returned from the holiday break and there have been rumors that the Huntsville, Ala., native is considering a transfer.
"Marvin has been dealing with some issues outside of basketball and we just want to wish him the best in whatever he decides to do," Smith said. "We're going to be releasing him and he'll be moving on. With that comes opportunities for other players. We'll have to step up on our front line to make up for his departure."
Stone is averaging 5.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this season but has received just 19.3 minutes of playing time. Stone and Smith have had a contentious relationship during the 6-10 forward's tenure and Stone has often been chided for failing to live up to expectations.
Kentucky is already shorthanded after Wednesday's announcement that senior guard J.P. Blevins would be out four to six weeks due to a broken wrist. Blevins underwent successful surgery Thursday.
NFL fines Hines Ward
NEW YORK, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The NFL on Thursday fined Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward $10,000 for his second taunting offense of the season.
Ward was fined this time for taunting safety Rod Woodson in a December 11 game against the Baltimore Ravens which resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against Ward.
Ward, who is Pittsburgh's leading receiver with 87 receptions for 929 yards, was earlier fined $5,000 for taunting during a November 11 game against Cleveland.
Veteran Tulsa qb jumps ship
CHENEY, Wash, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Quarterback Josh Blankenship,who played in 31 games for Tulsa and passed for more than 5,000 yards, has transferred to Eastern Washington.
By moving from a NCAA Division I-A school to a I-AA program, Blankenship will not have to sit out a year, making him eligible for the 2002 season.
Blankenship was a three-year starter at Tulsa and passed for 5,273 yards and 21 touchdowns with 31 interceptions.
Eastern Washington lost two senior quarterbacks--Fred Salanoa and Chris Samms--who combined to start all 33 of the team's games the past three seasons.
Blankenship played 10 games as a true freshman in 1999, finishing with 1,416 yards, seven touchdowns and 15 interceptions. As a sophomore, he led Tulsa to its best finish in nine years -- 5-7 -- by passing for 2,507 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In nine games last season, he threw for 1,350 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions.
Wings center out 1-2 weeks
DETROIT, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Detroit Red Wings center Steve Yzerman will miss one to two weeks with a left ankle injury, the team announced Thursday.
Yzerman suffered the injury when he blocked a shot in the second period of the Red Wings' 3-3 tie against Minnesota on Wednesday. Prior to getting hurt, Yzerman scored a pair of power-play goals against the Wild. An MRI on Thursday revealed the Red Wings' captain suffered no broken bones and that he would be sidelined as a precautionary measure.
Last season, Yzerman missed the final three games of Detroit's Western Conference quarterfinals series against the Los Angeles Kings with a left ankle injury. The Red Wings lost that series in six games.
Yzerman, 36, is second on the team in scoring this season, collecting 11 goals and 25 assists in 36 games.
Sierra signs 1-year contract with Seattle
SEATTLE, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Ruben Sierra's comeback caught the attention of Lou Piniella and the Seattle Mariners after he spent 1999 with an independent minor league team.
Sierra, who has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Texas Rangers, agreed Thursday to a one-year contract with the Mariners.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting Sierra will make $1.8 million.
The 36-year-old Sierra was a four-time All-Star and one of the top hitters in the major leagues during his tenure with the Oakland Athletics and Texas from 1986-95. He bounced between five teams from 1996-98 and spent the 1999 season with an independent minor league team in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Sierra started 2000 in the Mexican League before signing a minor league deal with Texas and hitting .326 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI in 112 games with Class AAA Oklahoma. He was recalled late in the season and hit .233 with one homer and seven RBI in 20 games.
Bowl parade continues
The parade of bowl games continues Friday with three contests up for grabs.
The 9th ranked Texas Longhorns (10-2), who briefly had a shot at the national championship before losing to Colorado In The Big 12 title game, will play instead in the Holiday Bowl for the second straight year. Their opponent is No. 20 Washington (8-3).
First-year Georgia Coach Mark Richt hopes to continue the bowl success enjoyed by his predecessor when the 19th-ranked Bulldogs (8-3) face Boston College (7-4) in the Music City Bowl Frida in Nashville. Georgia has won four straight bowlgames.
Two former Southwest Conference rivals clash for the first time in six years when Texas A&M (7-4) takes on Texas Christian (6-5) in the second annual Galleryfurniture.com Bowl at the Houston Astrodome.
Two bowl games were on tap Thursday. Georgia Tech beat Stanford, 24-14, to inaugurate the Seattle Bowl in the afternoon and Alabama (6-5) and Iowa State (7-4) squared off Thursday night in the Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La.
Mets, Vaughn may hit contract snag
NEW YORK, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The Newark Star-Ledger reported Thursday that Mo Vaughn and the new York Mets agreed on how to restructure his contract, but the deal may not be approved by the Players Association and the commissioner's office. That could jeopardize a proposed trade with the Anaheim Angels.
According to numerous reports, the Angels agreed to send the slugging first baseman and cash to the Mets for pitcher Kevin Appier. But the Mets also wanted Vaughn to agree to defer a portion of the $50 million left on his contract before announcing the proposed trade.
However, the Players Association may step in and veto the restructuring if it feels Vaughn has yielded too much to the Mets, according to the Star-Ledger.
The union was worried that by willing to defer money, Vaughn may be decreasing the value of his original $80 million contract.
Dilfer gets call against Chargers
KIRKLAND, Wash., Dec. 27 (UPI) -- With starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck nursing a separated left shoulder, Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren will turn to a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. The call goes to Trent Dilfer, who has won his last 13 starts, to lead the Seahawks Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
Hasselbeck aggravated the shoulder injury when he was sacked in the first half of last Sunday's 27-24 loss to the New York Giants, but never came out of the game. He originally hurt the shoulder in a Sept. 23 game against Philadelphia and suffered a groin injury the following week in a loss at Oakland.
Dilfer, who won 11 straight starts and helped the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV last January, stepped in and won both of his starts with the Seahawks--home victories over Jacksonville on Oct. 7 and Denver on Oct. 14 -- before going back to the bench.
By the start of Sunday's game at 4:15 pm EST, the Seahawks (7-7) may be eliminated from the playoff race. Seattle is two games behind Baltimore (9-5), the New York Jets (9-5) and Miami (9-5) for the AFC wild card berths.
Embree now a Padre
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Much-traveled lefthander Alan Embree will be with his third team in as many years as he agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the San Diego Padres. Embree, who turns 32 on Jan. 23, split 2001 between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox. He was acquired in a June 29 trade and went 1-2 with a 5.03 ERA in 36 games for Chicago.
The 6-2 Embree has made at least 55 appearances in each of the last five seasons and has limited left-handed hitters to a .233 batting average in his career. He is 18-19 with a 4.86 ERA in 364 games.
US junior hockey team has tie
PARDUBICE, Czech Republic, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The United States junior hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie Thursday in its second game of the 2002 World Championship tournament.
After a scoreless first period, Team USA got on the board with its first power play goal of the tournament when Chris Higgins scored his second goal of the tournament.
Just over a minute later Chad LaRose made it a two-goal lead when he intercepted the puck at the red line and scored on an unassisted, shorthanded goal.
Sweden staged its comeback in the third period, notching its first goal at 2:27 into period when Johan Ejdepalm beat U.S. goaltender Jason Bacashihua with a shot from above the face-off circle.
The game-tying goal came with less than two minutes remaining in the game when Sweden forward Daniel Widing slipped the puck past Bacashihua for a power-play goal.
On Saturday, Team USA will take on Belarus, who is 0-2 at the 2002 tournament.
In other action Thursday, Canada was unflappable in a 6-1 victory over Switzerland. Canada improved to 2-0 in the round robin tournament and faces rival Russia on Saturday. Switzerland drops to 1-1. Also the Czech Republic, which has won back-to-back tournaments, fell to 0-2 after a 1-0 loss to Slovakia.