BC-AP Sports Digest
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ESPN’s Desmond Howard insists he did not know his comments about No. 4 Clemson would offend an assistant coach and upset its fans. The Heisman Trophy winner and “College GameDay” analyst speaks on the AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now” with guest host Larry Lage. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
The USFL helped change pro football in its three, often weird and wild, years. The league is the subject of a new book by Jeff Pearlman, who speaks with the AP’s Ralph Russo on the Top 25 College Football Podcast. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
BOSTON — Justin Verlander and the World Series champion Astros face Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale in an excellent pitching matchup to start the ALCS. Boston manager Alex Cora was Houston’s bench coach last year during the team’s run to its first title. By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:09 p.m.
— Postgame sidebar by Kyle Hightower.
MILWAUKEE — The surging Brewers go for their 13th straight win when they play the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS. Wade Miley, who spent a lot of time in the minors this year, starts for Milwaukee. Hyun-Jin Ryu goes for Los Angeles, which dropped the opener 6-5. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 4:09 p.m.
— Postgame sidebar by Genaro C. Armas.
Jim Taylor, the ferocious Hall of Fame fullback who played on the great Packers teams under Vince Lombardi, has died. He was 83 and died unexpectedly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Taylor helped lead Green Bay to four NFL titles and victory in the first Super Bowl. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 140 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m.
BATON ROUGE, La. — No. 2 Georgia plays its highest-ranked opponent yet, facing a No. 13 LSU team coming off a defeat at Florida for its first loss. The Bulldogs need to win to remain in command of the SEC East and build their case for a College Football Playoff berth. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:30 p.m.
Wearable technology has been around the NBA the past few seasons. But when it comes to coaches deciding what play to call in the final seconds, all this biometric information doesn’t seem to have an impact quite yet. But teams are desperate for any edge and many want to turn data into wins. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 850 words, photos.
EUGENE, Ore. — No. 7 Washington plays No. 17 Oregon, with control of the Pac-12 North at stake. The Huskies are playing at Autzen Stadium for the first time since crushing the Ducks 70-21 two years ago. Washington is one of two Pac-12 unbeatens but last week had a shaky victory over winless UCLA. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:30 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No. 12 Michigan takes on No. 15 Wisconsin, with both needing a win to bolster their chances of reaching the Big Ten title game and possibly the playoff. The Wolverines have not beaten a ranked team in two years and will be trying to end the Badgers’ 17-game Big Ten winning streak. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 TAKEAWAYS
Three games matching ranked teams in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC could eliminate the losers from the playoff race. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 10 p.m.
— FBC--COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY— Highlights, top performances, stats. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 10 p.m.
— Other Top 10 Games:
— No. 1 Alabama-Missouri (7 p.m.); No. 3 Ohio State-Minnesota (noon); No. 5 Notre Dame-Pittsburgh (2:30 p.m.); No. 6 West Virginia-Iowa State (7 p.m.); No. 8 Penn State-Michigan State (3:30 p.m.); No. 9 Texas-Baylor (3:30 p.m.); No. 10 UCF-Memphis (3:30 p.m.)
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
There can be no better measuring stick for the Chiefs and young quarterback Patrick Mahomes than what they face Sunday night. Beat the Patriots in Foxborough and all that excitement in Kansas City might be validated. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,800 words, photos. First sent for weekend use.
TALLADEGA, Ala. — Jimmie Johnson won seven titles and all but two of his 81 victories with crew chief Chad Knaus. The duo, the longest pairing in NASCAR, will split after 17 seasons at the end of the year. That leaves them six races, starting Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— CAR--NASCAR-TALLADEGA-QUALIFYING — By Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Qualifying starts 4:35 p.m.
— CAR--NASCAR-TALLADEGA-TRUCKS — By Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 300 words. Race started 1 p.m.
— CAR--MICK SCHUMACHER — Son of Formula One great Michael Schumacher wins Formula 3 European title in Germany. SENT: 140 words.
SHANGHAI — Borna Coric upsets defending champion Roger Federer and will face Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai Masters final Sunday. Djokovic, soon to be ranked No. 2, crushed Alexander Zverev in the other semifinal. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— Other tournaments in Tainjin, China; Hong Kong; Linz, Austria.
GYM--USA GYMNASTICS-INTERIM PRESIDENT
INDIANAPOLIS — Mary Bono, a former California congresswoman, is hired as interim president and CEO of USA Gymnastics as is tries to emerge from the fallout of the sexual abuse scandal. Bono, whose husband was the late pop star and lawmaker Sonny Bono, has a background in gymnastics. By Will Graves. SENT: 500 words, photos.
OMAHA, Neb. — Jose Benavidez Jr. challenges WBO 147-pound champion Terence Crawford in a bout between unbeaten boxers. This is Crawford’s first title defense. Benavidez is fighting for the third time since he was shot multiple times in 2016. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Bout starts after 10:30 p.m.
FRISCO, Texas — The U.S. and Canada can earn spots in next year’s Women’s World Cup in France when they play in separate semifinals Sunday of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. The U.S. takes on Jamaica, and Canada faces Panama. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. News conference 6:45 p.m.
— SOC--EUROPEAN ROUNDUP — Germany plays the Netherlands to highlight play in UEFA Nations League. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— SOC--MONACO-HENRY — French star Thierry Henry lands first coaching job, hired by Monaco. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— BKN--KNICKS-NOAH WAIVED — Knicks waive Joakim Noah, ending disappointing two-season stint. SENT: 140 words.
— GLF--CIMB CLASSIC — Gary Woodland, Marc Leishman, Shubhankar Sharma tied for lead after three rounds of PGA Tour tournament in Malaysia. SENT: 350 words, photos.
— GLF--BRITISH MASTERS — Eddie Pepperell ahead after third round of European Tour event in England. SENT: 300 words.
— GLF--KEB HANA BANK — Danielle Kang, Charley Hull in front after three rounds of LPGA play in South Korea. SENT: 250 words, photos.
— GLF--TOUR CHAMPIONS — Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Gene Sauers share entering second round of seniors tournament in Cary, N.C. UPCOMING: 350 words by 7 p.m.
— FBC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— SOC--MLS CAPSULES
Saturday Time Schedule (EDT)
NLCS Game 2: Los Angeles at Milwaukee, 4:09 p.m.
ALCS Game 1: Houston at Boston, 8:09 p.m.
College Football (Top 25)
No. 1 Alabama vs. Missouri, 7 p.m.
No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU, 3:30 p.m.
No. 3 Ohio State vs. Minnesota, noon
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh, 2:30 p.m.
No. 6 West Virginia at Iowa State, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon, 3:30 p.m.
No. 8 Penn State vs. Michigan State, 3:30 p.m.
No. 9 Texas vs. Baylor, 3:30 p.m.
No. 10 UCF at Memphis, 3:30 p.m.
No. 12 Michigan vs. 15 Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m.
No. 14 Florida at Vanderbilt, noon
No. 16 Miami at Virginia, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Colorado at Southern California, 10:30 p.m.
No. 21 Auburn vs. Tennessee, noon
No. 22 Texas A&M at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m.
Edmonton at N.Y. Rangers, 1 p.m.
Vegas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Los Angeles at Ottawa, 2 p.m.
Carolina at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Detroit at Boston, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Florida, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Anaheim at Dallas, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Calgary at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Colorado at Minnesota United, 2 p.m.
FC Dallas at D.C. United, 4:55 p.m.
Orlando City at New England, 7:30 p.m.