SAINTS EDGE EAGLES IN NFC WILD-CARD GAME: Shayne Graham, signed by the Saints just over two weeks ago, kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play Saturday to give New Orleans its first road playoff victory, 26-24 over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Graham's third field goal sent the Saints (12-5) to Seattle for next Saturday's divisional playoff game against the NFC's top seed. The Seahawks routed the Saints 34-7 during the season.
Drew Brees threw for a touchdown, Mark Ingram rushed for 97 yards and another score, and the Saints' defense slowed Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense just enough. New Orleans had been 0-5 in postseason games outside of the Big Easy since entering the league in 1967.
Philadelphia wound up 10-7 in Kelly's first year as coach. He guided them from worst to first in the NFC East, but they were only 4-5 at home.
PUC CLOBBERS CLARKE: Purdue Calumet got back on the winning track Saturday with a 77-48 blowout of Clarke University (6-10).
All five starters scored in double figures for the Peregrines (11-4), who were led by Kami Graber's 17 points. Cassidy Deno added 16, Tierra Turner 15, Madison Gervais 12 and Brooklyn Short 11.
Gervais and Turner grabbed eight rebounds apiece.
ARREDONDO LEADS CAL COLLEGE: A game-high 24 points by center Rebecca Arredondo led Calumet College (7-8) to a 70-65 win over Martin Methodist College (10-3), which shot 34 percent and missed 10 free throws.
Crystal Daniels added 19 points as the Crimson Wave shot 36 percent and was 11-of-24 from the line.
SSC SLIPS PAST TRITON: Johnnie Stevens pumped in 24 points; Antonio Levy had 21, and Jalen Brown chipped in 11 Saturday as South Suburban College (14-2) outlasted Triton College (10-4), which shot a costly 21-of-33 from the foul line.
BALL STATE MEETS ARKANSAS ST. IN GODADDY BOWL: Arkansas State keeps winning football games no matter who is on the sideline.
The Red Wolves (7-5) have become a regular at the GoDaddy Bowl, returning to Mobile for a third straight season. They will face Ball State (10-2) tonight at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Arkansas State has enjoyed its run of success despite constant change on the coaching staff. The Red Wolves have had four head coaches over the past four seasons and a fifth — former North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson — is set to take over after today's game. Previous coach Bryan Harsin left the program for Boise State in December.
Fifth-year senior Ryan Carrethers has seen all of the coaches come and go. He concedes the turnover isn't ideal, but it's also taught the Red Wolves resiliency.
"We've learned over the past few years that we can always count on each other," Carrethers said. "That's a big reason we've been able to get so many victories."
Compared to the Red Wolves, Ball State is a model of consistency. Third-year coach Pete Lembo has led the Cardinals to just their third 10-win season in program history.
Ball State is especially potent in the passing game. Arkansas State will counter with a strong defensive line, including the 6-foot-2, 330-pound Carrethers, who has four sacks this season.
Ball State hopes its defense can provide a few big plays, too. The Cardinals rank seventh in the country with 30 takeaways.
"That's one of the big statistical factors going into this game," Lembo said. "Arkansas State does a great job taking care of the ball and we've been good at causing turnovers. Something's got to give on Sunday."
VANDY REGROUPS, TOPS HOUSTON: Patton Robinette threw two 50-yard touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews, and Vanderbilt (9-4) recovered after blowing a 24-point lead to beat Houston (8-4) 41-24 on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Vanderbilt closed the season with five straight wins, adding to third-year coach James Franklin's status as a possible candidate for coaching vacancies, including at Penn State and with the NFL Browns and Redskins. The Commodores played in three straight bowl games under Franklin — a first for the program — and completed their first back-to-back nine-win seasons.
Around the horn
Former Blackhawks great Dennis Hull will speak Wednesday at the Gary Old Timers Banquet. Tickets for the banquet are $35. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. at Avalon Manor in Hobart. Anyone interested in buying tickets should call Dave Pishkur at (219) 887-5281, ext. 241.