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BC-AP Sports Digest

September 17, 2018

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by Vin Cherwoo at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org . For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.

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TOP STORIES

FBN--SEAHAWKS-BEARS

CHICAGO — Khalil Mack makes his first appearance at Soldier Field for Chicago as the Bears face Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams are looking to bounce back from season-opening losses, with the Bears blowing a 20-point lead at Green Bay and the Seahawks unable to protect a slim edge in the fourth quarter at Denver. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:15 p.m.

FBN--EAGLES-WENTZ

PHILADELPHIA — Carson Wentz has been cleared to return and is expected to start for the Philadelphia Eagles against Indianapolis in Week 3. Philadelphia is 1-1 with Nick Foles starting at quarterback. Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, finished third in NFL MVP voting in his second year even after tearing two knee ligaments in Week 14 and missing the rest of the season. SENT: 390 words, photos.

FBC--T25-OHIO STATE-MEYERS RETURNS

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he has sent letters and had conversations with families of players as a key step toward containing and repairing the scandal that led to his three-game suspension for his mismanagement of an assistant coach accused of domestic abuse. Meyer acknowledges that the program’s reputation has suffered and says he hopes more clarity about what happened will help mitigate the damage. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BBN--ROCKIES-DODGERS

LOS ANGELES — With the Rockies a half-game ahead of the Dodgers for the NL West lead, the teams begin their final series of the regular season. Jon Gray (11-7) pitches the opener of a three-game set at Dodger Stadium against Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-3). UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 10:10 p.m.

SHOWCASE

US--SPORTS GAMBLING-FIGHTING THE FIX

It’s early in a college basketball game and Team A methodically falls behind 10-6. Scattered around the bleachers, several fans staring at their smartphones celebrate silently: They have bet on Team B to be the first to reach 10 points and even promised two Team A starters a cut of the winnings. With dozens of states rushing to capitalize on the U.S. Supreme Court lifting a federal ban on sports gambling, will fixed scenarios like the one above be far behind? By David Porter and Regina Garcia-Cano. SENT: 1,500 words, photos. With abridged version of 900 words and glance of sports betting scandals in the United States.

COMMENTARY

FBN--ON FOOTBALL-KICKING GAME

NEW YORK — Who needs a kicker? Apparently not the Los Angeles Rams. As for the Browns and Vikings, who are going with untested youngsters, well, maybe a new guy to handle field goals and extra points will be employed soon. Sure, it’s kind of early to panic about placekicking. Still, when it’s early in the schedule and kickers are struggling — there were seven missed PAT kicks Sunday afternoon — despite generally decent conditions, that’s troubling. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FBC--PAUL NEWBERRY-TAGGART

Willie Taggart is on the hot seat at Florida State. After three whole games. While it’s true he looks hopelessly overmatched in his new job, blame for the Seminoles’ sorry state surely extends to his predecessor. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

NFL

FBN--CHIEFS-ST PATTY’S DAY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes II has every reason to celebrate his 23rd birthday. He threw six TD passes without an interception in a win over the Steelers on Sunday, setting a slew of records in the process, and has the Kansas City Chiefs off to a 2-0 start. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 830 words, photos.

FBN--RAIDERS-GRUDEN

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Jon Gruden’s second tenure as Oakland Raiders coach is off to a rough start following a second straight loss to open the season. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.

FBN--VIKINGS-KICKER

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings mull the future of rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, who missed all three of his field goal tries at rival Green Bay on Sunday, including two in overtime to force a tie with the Packers. By Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

Also:

— FBN--49ERS-SHANAHAN. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 9 p.m.

— FBN--BENGALS-MIXON. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.

— FBN--BILLS IN TURMOIL. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m.

— FBN--BROWNS-KICKED AGAIN. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— FBN--BUCCANEERS-JACKSON. By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— FBN--CARDINALS-NO OFFENSE. By Bob Baum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m.

— FBN--CHARGERS-LYNN. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 p.m.

— FBN--COWBOYS-RUNNING DAK. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— FBN--UNDEFEATED DOLPHINS. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— FBN--WINLESS GIANTS. By Tom Canavan. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.

— FBN--JAGUARS-COLE. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— FBN--LIONS-ON THE ROPES? By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--PANTHERS-DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— FBN--PATRIOTS-DEFENSIVE ISSUES. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— FBN--STUMBLING STEELERS. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.

— FBN--TEXANS-MISTAKES. By Kristen Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— FBN--TITANS REBOUND. By Pro Football Writer Teresa Walker. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— FBN--RAVENS-BACK TO WORK. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--T25-UNTESTED TIDE

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 1 Alabama has cruised through the first three games with dominating wins but could face its first test when No. 22 Texas A&M visits. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBC--T25-GEORGIA-HOLYFIELD’S CHANCE

ATHENS, Ga. — Elijah Holyfield was No. 2 Georgia’s first running back to run for 100 yards this season. After enjoying his big game in a backup role last week, he’s looking to build on that momentum against Missouri on Saturday. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 550 words, photo by 6 p.m.

FBC--T25-SLUGGISH CLEMSON

CLEMSON, S.C. — No. 3 Clemson is 3-0 for the fourth straight season. Yet the Tigers have not looked as crisp as you might expect from a team that’s a runaway favorite to make its fourth consecutive College Football Playoffs. By Pete Iacobello. SENT: 670 words, photos.

FBC--T25-OKLAHOMA-DYNAMIC TANDEM

NORMAN, Okla. — Fifth-ranked Oklahoma’s receiver tandem of Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb has emerged as one of the nation’s best. They’ll try to keep up their hot start to the season Saturday against Army. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBC--T25-ROLLING LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. — Two victories over top-10 opponents have shot LSU up the polls from 25th to sixth in three weeks. The next three weeks will show how LSU handles playing as a favorite before title contender Georgia invades Tiger Stadium on Oct. 13. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

Also:

— FBC--T25-OKLAHOMA ST-SPECIAL TEAMS. UPCOMING: 500 words by 6 p.m.

— FBC--T25-WASHINGTON-DOMINANT DEFENSE. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 600 words by 9 p.m.

— FBC--T25-MICHIGAN-BIG TEN. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBN--CARDINALS-BRAVES

ATLANTA — It’s a potential playoff preview and a matchup of All-Star pitchers when Miles Mikolas (15-4) and the Cardinals visit first-place Atlanta. Mike Foltynewicz (11-9) starts for the Braves, who lead second-place Philadelphia by 6½ games in the NL East. Atlanta’s magic number is eight to win its first NL East title in five years. By George Henry. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:35 p.m.

BBA--ATHLETICS-ASTROS

HOUSTON — The Houston Astros enter the day 4½ games ahead of Oakland for the AL West lead and look for their third straight win as they meet the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series. Houston’s Framber Valdez opposes Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8:10 p.m.

HOCKEY

HKN--PANTHERS CAPTAIN

SUNRISE, Fla. — Aleksander Barkov is the new captain of the Florida Panthers. Barkov is taking over for forward Derek MacKenzie, who held the role for the last two seasons. The 23-year-old from Finland becomes the 10th player to be designated as Florida’s captain. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 360 words, photos.

Also:

— HKN--RANGERS-LUNDQVIST. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT: 830 words, photos.

TENNIS

TEN--OSAKA-SUMO

TOKYO — Naomi Osaka showed how deep her Japanese roots run: She went to watch Japan’s national sport of sumo and said she liked it. Osaka is in Tokyo this week to play in the Pan Pacific Open, just a week after she won the U.S. Open to become the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. SENT: 350 words, photos.

TEN--DAVIS CUP-NOSTALGIA

ZADAR, Croatia — Fans banging drums and blowing trumpets for hours on end. Colorful costumes. Chants more reminiscent of soccer games than tennis matches. Plus, a series of marathon matches featuring constant momentum changes and drama. The atmosphere at the best-of-five semifinal series between Croatia and the United States over the weekend was a reminder of what makes the old Davis Cup format so attractive. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 800 words, photos.

SOCCER

PSG-NEYMAR

LIVERPOOL, England — Facing fresh vilification for his diving, Neymar should find a more sympathetic audience in the Champions League this week, even admiration. By Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 440 words, photos.

AUTO RACING

CAR--F1-HAMILTON’S TITLE SURGE

SINGAPORE — Lewis Hamilton sounds unsure of one thing, whether Ferrari can bounce back after he dealt another blow to Sebastian Vettel’s title hopes. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 740 words, photos.

OTHER

BKO--WORLD CUP-US-PANAMA

PANAMA CITY — The U.S. can move within a game of earning a spot in next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup on Monday night, should the Americans top Panama in a second-round qualifying matchup. UPCOMING: 500 words by 11:30 p.m. Game starts 9 p.m.

CYC--GRANDS TOURS-BRITISH DOMINANCE

PARIS — When Lance Armstrong won the last of his seven Tours de France back in 2005, there was not a single British rider on the starting line. The face of cycling has dramatically changed since, with Armstrong erased from the records books and British cycling now making history. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 740 words, photos.

CAPSULES

— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES

— SOC--MLS CAPSULES

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Monday’s Time Schedule (EDT)

Baseball

Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Toronto at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.

Washington at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.

Cincinnati at Milwaukee, 7:40 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

Seattle at Houston, 8:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.

Colorado at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

San Francisco at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

NFL

Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 p.m.

NHL PRESEASON

Nashville(ss) at Florida(ss), 3:30 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Nashville(ss) at Florida(ss), 7 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at New Jersey(ss), 7 p.m.

New Jersey(ss) at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

Edmonton at Calgary, 9 p.m.

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