Jones' progression keys 'unbelievable' game-winning TD

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Jones' progression keys 'unbelievable' game-winning TD

There are plenty of aspects to this year's Notre Dame team that one could look at and say "well, that wouldn't have happened last year." T.J. Jones' game-winning touchdown catch against Stanford, though, stands out as one of them from Saturday's game.

With the ball on Stanford's 7-yard line in overtime, Jones ran a slant route toward the end zone. Tommy Rees' pass was soft and behind the junior wide receiver, who managed to adjust and make a difficult catch to net the Irish what turned out to be a game-winning touchdown.

"Unbelievable," Rees said of Jones' catch. "It was a bad throw, to be honest, and he did a great job outside in making a play for us and he's done a good job all year coming in."

While Jones' numbers may not be to the eye-popping level of former Irish wideout Michael Floyd -- 19 receptions, 235 yards, two touchdowns -- his growth as a receiver has made him Notre Dame's most dependable target not named Tyler Eifert.

"We don't have another Michael Floyd here anymore," Jones said last week. "Last year, it was him. When we were in a tough situation, and we needed someone to be an example, we looked to Michael Floyd. So I chose for myself to be that example."

Coach Brian Kelly credited Jones' grab to the recevier's route-running ability, and dropped the "G" word when referring to him Saturday.

"He came out of his break, came back six yards for the ball. Great receivers do that," Kelly said. "They come back and get the football. They don't stand waiting for it. And that's  been his progression."

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

On his 24th birthday, Tim Anderson’s present from home plate umpire Jim Wolf was his first major-league ejection.

In the fifth inning of the White Sox 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, Anderson fouled off a pitch that landed in the opposing batter’s box. But A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell picked it up in what was ruled to be fair territory and threw the ball to first for the out.

Anderson pleaded his case saying the ball went foul. Wolf agreed, according to Anderson, which only further confused the White Sox shortstop.

“I told him that was BS,” Anderson said. “And he tossed me.”

Anderson said that he was surprised to be ejected so fast. So was manager Rick Renteria, who was thrown out moments after Anderson.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Renteria said. “The players having emotion, they are battling. I just think we need to grow a little thicker skin.”

Anderson said that he was appreciative of his manager coming to his defense.

“He kinda had a point and let me know he had my back,” Anderson said of Renteria. “Speaks a lot of him.”

A day after scoring nine runs on 18 hits, the White Sox failed to generate any offense on Friday. The team’s best chance came in the ninth inning.

But with runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson put a good rip on the ball to center field, only to fly out at the warning track.

Anderson and Renteria were watching the game together in the clubhouse, and both believed the White Sox had tied the ballgame.

“We all jumped up and were excited but it kind of fell short,” Anderson said.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Exclusive interview with Mark Buehrle

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Exclusive interview with Mark Buehrle

On the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien goes 1-on-1 with the star of the weekend, Mark Buehrle.

Buehrle tells an absolutely amazing bachelor party story and discloses why he wore No. 56.

Take a trip down memory lane and listen to the White Sox Talk Podcast here