NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans benched Marcus Mariota in mid-October. That doesn't mean the Titans aren't making sure to tap the quarterback for help during their playoff run. Mariota has been busy in practice mimicking the upcoming quarterback from Tom Brady to Lamar Jackson and now Patrick Mahomes as the Titans prepare to play the Chiefs in the AFC championship game. Mariota also has gotten into each of the past three games, completing a pass in two and going out as a receiver in last week's win in Baltimore. Mariota says he'll do whatever he can to help the Titans.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee defensive lineman Jurrell Casey has survived nine long seasons and four different head coaches in the NFL to get to this moment. The four-time Pro Bowl lineman finally will play in his first AFC championship game. Casey says it's definitely an amazing feeling. Casey had to be very patient. But the lineman who refused to go to the Pro Bowl after the 2014 season as an alternate, preferring to be voted into that game, never thought of leaving Tennessee. Casey now has his chance to help lead the Titans to their first Super Bowl since 2000.
UNDATED (AP) — Derrick Henry has the Tennessee Titans one step away from an unlikely trip to the Super Bowl. They got this far because their running back has been unstoppable. Henry has led the Titans to a pair of upset wins on the road, becoming the first player with two games of 175 yards rushing or more in the same postseason. He rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown in a win at New England in the wild-card game and followed up with a franchise-record 195 yards rushing in Tennessee's win over No. 1 seed Baltimore in the divisional round.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Bobby Petrino has been hired as the new football coach at Missouri State. The school says Petrino will be introduced at a news conference Thursday. He will replace Dave Steckel, who was fired last week after winning just 13 games in five seasons. Petrino has a 119-56 record in 14 seasons at Arkansas, Western Kentucky and Louisville. He left the Arkansas job after a motorcycle accident exposed an extra-marital affair. Petrino was 36-26 in his second stint with Louisville when he was fired in 2018 in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Jimmy Whitt Jr. scored a career-high 30 points to lead Arkansas to a 75-55 win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday night. Whitt, a graduate transfer from SMU, scored 17 points in the first half to help the Razorbacks to a 34-28 lead at halftime. Saben Lee led Vanderbilt with 17 points, all in the second half, and Maxwell Evans added 16, all in the first half. The Commodores have lost 23 straight SEC games.