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BC-FL--Florida Sports Digest, FL

September 20, 2018

The supervisor is David Fischer. All times are in Eastern Time unless otherwise noted. If there are questions about stories, photos or photo contributions please call the Miami bureau at 1-800-824-5498 or 305-594-5825. Ian Mader is the News Editor and can be reached directly at imader@ap.org. If you have other statewide stories or breaking news of interest to AP members in Florida, send them via email to Miami@ap.org (ASCII text only, no attachments); or fax to (305) 594-9265. The AP’s general website is http://www.ap.org. The Florida AP’s website is http://www.ap.org/Florida/. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616) or from the Miami bureau.



MIAMI — Derek Jeter signaled Thursday that Don Mattingly is expected to return next year as manager of the Miami Marlins, providing some dugout continuity for a last-place team in transition. Mattingly has one season to go on a four-year contract he signed when he joined the Marlins for the 2016 season. By Steven Wine.


MIAMI — The Marlins begin their final home series of the season Thursday when they host the Cincinnati Reds to start a four-game set. By Santos Perez. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


— BBA--BLUE JAYS-RAYS. Upcoming: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7:05 p.m.



MIAMI — With this week’s game preparations completed for the Oakland Raiders, coach Jon Gruden is confident he knows the Miami Dolphins’ playbook, personnel and pronunciations. It’s TAN-uh-hill. By Steven Wine.


JACKSONVILLE — One of the NFL’s most formidable fronts is off to a slow start. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who ranked second in the NFL with 55 sacks in 2017, have four in two games — on pace for 32 this season. Players insist the issue is all about the schedule and not any “Sacksonville” shortcomings. By Mark Long.


JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette practiced in a limited capacity for the second straight day Thursday and feels “a lot better, like way better” than he did a week ago. Fournette strained his right hamstring in the season opener at the New York Giants and sat out last week’s victory against New England.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans aren’t close to panicking over sloppy run defense, and the Jacksonville Jaguars gives them a chance to show just how much better they can be. Leonard Fournette left the Jaguars’ season opener with a tight hamstring and sat out Jacksonville’s win over New England last weekend. Fournette has been limited in practice this week. By Teresa M. Walker.



ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Atlantic entered the season with aspirations of playing its way into the debate about who is worthy of berths in the College Football Playoff. While that is unlikely — the Owls have already suffered one set back, they still have plenty of motivation heading into a Friday night’s nationally televised visit to No. 16 UCF.


MIAMI — Among those who will attend the Miami-FIU game this weekend will be the coach who built the last Hurricanes team that won a national championship, the recruiting director for that team, the quarterback from that season and the person in charge of their strength and conditioning program at that time. They’ll all be in FIU colors. By Tim Reynolds.


LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska will play Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 27 to make up for the game against Akron that was canceled because of inclement weather. Bethune-Cookman is a Football Championship Subdivision team that’s 1-2 after losing to Florida Atlantic last Saturday. FCS teams are allowed 11 regular-season games, but the NCAA granted the Wildcats a waiver that lets them play a 12th game to accommodate the Cornhuskers. By Eric Olson.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt knows what the statistics say about his defense. He just doesn’t agree with them. The stats suggest Tennessee’s defense has improved quite a bit the last couple of weeks and heads into Southeastern Conference competition with momentum. By Steve Megargee.


Here are some things to watch during the fourth week of the Southeastern Conference football season: GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama. Top-ranked Alabama is a 27-point favorite in Tuscaloosa, but there’s legitimate reason to believe this game could be competitive. Texas A&M played a very good game against then-No. 2 Clemson on Sept. 8 before losing 28-26 in College Station. That game served notice that new coach Jimbo Fisher could have the Aggies among the top SEC teams sooner rather than later. By The Associated Press.



Get ready for the Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos and Atlanta Legends. Those are four of the eight franchise names for the Alliance of American Football, which begins play the weekend after the Super Bowl with a 10-game spring schedule. By The Associated Press.



MIAMI — Jimmy Butler knows that NBA players can force their way into trades. Forcing their way into a trade that suits the player, that’s an entirely different story. By Tim Reynolds.



DAYTONA BEACH — NASCAR promoted Steve Phelps to president on Thursday in the latest leadership change for the slumping motorsports series. Phelps will replace Brent Dewar on Oct. 1. Dewar is stepping down and transitioning to an advisory role next year.



HALLANDALE BEACH — Gulfstream Park’s upcoming championship meet will have a record 105 stakes, combining to offer another record of $29 million in purses. The meet is from Dec. 1 through March 31.


The AP, Miami

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