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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Gophers rout UNLV in season opener

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Minnesota sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson of Mankato threw for a touchdown and ran for two more to lead the Minnesota Golden Gophers to a 51-23 rout of UNLV in the season opener for both teams at TCF Bank Stadium last night. Nelson threw for 99 yards and ran for a team-high 83 for the Gophers. Minnesota broke open a close game with three touchdown returns in the second half. The Golden Gophers returned a kick, a block field, and an interception for scores. This was the first season opener at home for Minnesota since 2008. The 1-and-0 Gophers travel to New Mexico State next Saturday.

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Vikings kicker Blair Walsh nailed a go-ahead 25-yard field goal with 1:38 to go as the Vikings edged the Titans 24-23 in the preseason finale for both teams at the Metrodome. Marcus Sherels of Rochester had a 109-yard kickoff return for a TD for Minnesota, which finished 1-and-3 in exhibition play. The Vikings open the regular season a week from Sunday in Detroit.

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Former Minnesota Vikings running back Caleb King has been sentenced to 80 hours of community service for punching a man in the face at a birthday party in Oak Grove. The "Minneapolis Star Tribune" reports 25-year-old King admitted to fifth-degree assault and interfering with a 9-1-1 call. The victim needed 19 stitches. King was released from the Vikings three days after he was arrested. 

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Kansas City lefty Bruce Chen and three relievers combined on a five-hitter as the Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Twins with a 3-1 win at Target Field yesterday. Chen allowed five hits and one run over five-and-two-thirds innings to improve to 6-and-2. Greg Holland got the final three outs for his 36th save as Kansas City won its fifth straight. Alcides Escobar, Chris Getz and Alex Gordon all singled in runs in the second inning for the Royals, who took 15-of-19 meetings with Minnesota this season. Brian Dozier homered for the Twins. Samuel Deduno fell to 8-and-8 with the loss. 

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The Minnesota Lynx are back in action tomorrow night as they host the Seattle Storm at Target Center. Minnesota has won four in-a-row following Tuesday's 73-47 rout of the Liberty in New York. The Lynx remain atop the WNBA standings at 21-and-7. The Storm are fourth in the Western Conference at 14-and-14. 

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