FB Tolbert's versatility paying off for Panthers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert says he's used to defenders underestimating him when he has the ball in his hands.
He's hoping they continue to do so.
The squatty 5-foot-9, 245-pound Tolbert doesn't look like he'd be tough to tackle or particularly fast. But Tolbert's low center of gravity and surprising speed has made him a valuable and versatile commodity for the Panthers (9-3), who beat Tampa Bay on Sunday for their eighth straight victory.
He says with a laugh that defenders "see a guy that is short and fat and they think, 'Oh yeah, we got him no problem.'" But Tolbert adds that, "Then they are like 'Whoa, where did he get those feet from? I didn't know he was that fast.'"
The Panthers play at New Orleans on Sunday night.
MWR hires Jeff Burton as test driver for 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Michael Waltrip Racing has hired Jeff Burton as a test driver, with the possibility of running a partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2014.
The team will field the No. 66 Toyota for Burton at Las Vegas in March. Additional races for Burton could be scheduled at a later date.
Co-owner Michael Waltrip is scheduled to drive the car in the season-opening Daytona 500.
MWR said Monday Burton will drive the No. 55 during testing the next two months as Brian Vickers continues treatment for blood clots.
MWR scaled down to two cars for 2014 when sponsor NAPA Auto Parts said it was leaving in the wake of a race manipulation scandal at Richmond in September. Martin Truex Jr. has left the team for Furniture Row Racing.
T25-NC CENTRAL-SOUTH CAROLINA
Mitchell, No. 12 S. Carolina whip NC Central 79-27
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Tiffany Mitchell scored 19 points to lead red-hot No. 12 South Carolina to a 79-27 win over North Carolina Central on Monday, giving coach Dawn Staley her 100th win early in her sixth season.
The Gamecocks (8-0) shot 58.5 percent. Mitchell was 7-9, backup Alaina Coates was 7 of 8 for 15 points and Aleighsa Welch was 6-6 for 13 points.
Raquel Davis had 14 points for the Bulldogs (4-3). NC Central shot just 16 percent (8-50), including 1-14 from 3-point range.
Staley is only the seventh head coach in South Carolina's 40 years of playing women's basketball and the fourth to win at least 100 games.
South Carolina made short work of the Bulldogs, shooting 69.2 percent while rolling to a 46-15 halftime lead. The Gamecocks scored the first five points and then went on a 15-0 run for a 26-4 lead at the 8:18 mark.
No. 1 Seminoles headline all-ACC football teams
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Quarterback Jameis Winston is among 17 players from top-ranked Florida State to make one of the all-Atlantic Coast Conference football teams.
Seven Seminoles made the first team in voting results released Monday by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. They were: Winston, running back Devonta Freeman, receiver Rashad Greene, offensive tackle Cameron Erving, offensive guard Tre' Jackson, center Bryan Stork and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner.
FSU (12-0) will play in this week's ACC championship game against No. 20 Duke, which was second with 11 all-conference picks. No. 13 Clemson had 10 selections, including last year's ACC player of the year Tajh Boyd being selected as second-team quarterback.
Boston College's Andre Williams, the nation's leading rusher with an ACC single-season record 2,102 yards, was the only unanimous selection on all 65 ballots.
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