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BC-AP Sports Digest

September 27, 2018

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Brian Mahoney 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.

AP golf writer Doug Ferguson speaks with PodcastOne Sports Now, giving some perspective on Tiger Woods’ first victory in five years. Co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke weigh in on other notable comebacks. Also, AP football writer Rob Maaddi discusses the first three weeks of the NFL season. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

Is the AP poll bad for college football? Joel Klatt, lead game analyst for Fox Sports, thinks so. Klatt joins AP’s Ralph Russo on the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast to discuss the Top 25. https://podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast



CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Eric Reid is back in the NFL, with the Carolina Panthers. The star safety had joined Colin Kaepernick in protests during the anthem and filed a grievance saying teams conspired to not sign him. The Panthers call his one-year contract a “football decision.” By Steve Reed. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— With:

— FBN--PANTHERS-REID-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.


SAINT-QUENTINE-EN-YVELINES, France — The Ryder Cup begins Friday after a week of practice. Tiger Woods is back for the Americans, who haven’t won in Europe since he was in high school. Europe is determined to extend the drought. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— With:

— GLF--RYDER CUP-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.


LOS ANGELES — Jared Goff and the Rams host Kirk Cousins and the Vikings (1-1-1) in a compelling short-week NFC matchup. Los Angeles (3-0) has outscored opponents by a combined 66 points. The offense, however, was held to seven points by Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer’s defense last season. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:20 p.m.


Closing out a victory when you have the ball and a narrow lead with time running out can require some math proficiency and a little creativity. Two Pac-12 games last week show just how challenging things can get. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 850 words, photos.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani is still slugging away instead of shutting down his remarkable rookie season to prepare for Tommy John surgery. Ohtani has 22 homers, and the Angels are impressed by their two-way star is intent on honing his swing deep into September. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.



NEW YORK — The major league batting average is on track to drop below .250 for the first time since 1972, the year before the designated hitter, and strikeouts could top hits for the first time. Says Commissioner Rob Manfred: “We need to thoughtfully review the trends.” By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.



The newest member of the old boys’ club fooled them all. Eric Reid will play this season for the Carolina Panthers and new owner David Tepper, ending the NFL’s blackballing of Colin Kaepernick’s former teammate. All that’s left now is for Kaepernick’s phone to ring. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.



DENVER — The Rockies, leading the NL West and winners of six in a row, go for a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Colorado, coming off a 14-0 romp Wednesday night, is a half-game ahead of the Dodgers and 1 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:10 p.m.


CHICAGO — A playoff spot clinched, the Cubs try to hang onto the NL Central lead when they wrap up a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ace Jon Lester starts for Chicago, a half-game ahead of Milwaukee in the division. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:05 p.m.



SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — The Ryder Cup course was built on land that once fed royalty before they lost their heads in the French Revolution. The advice from the architect of Le Golf National has less to do with the guillotine than golf: Keep your tee shots in the fairway. By John Leicester. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— With:

— GLF--RYDER CUP-FIRST TEE — First tee holds nearly 7,000 fans and is quite the spectacle. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 750 words, photos.


SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Tony Finau’s family had to scrimp on every dime so he’d have a chance to play golf. This most improbable journey is something he’s never forgotten as he gets eet to tee off at his first Ryder Cup. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 850 words, photos.


The only people happier than Tiger Woods about his Tour Championship victory were TV golf executives. NBC has momentum heading into the Ryder Cup while CBS gets a strong start to next season, with Woods likely to play Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— Also:

— GLF--RYDER CUP-EUROPE — Europe veteran Paul Casey feels like a rookie. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— GLF--RYDER CUP-BREXIT — Many in Britain put politics aside for Ryder Cup. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 750 words, photos.

— GLF--RYDER-BJORN — Europe captain says team “stands as one” amid Brexit tensions. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 350 words, photos.


— GLF--RYDER CUP-GLANCE — SENT: 350 words.



Who outside Tampa and Chicago would have predicted the Bucs and Bears would be first-place teams when they meet in Week 4? Sure, it’s still early. Yet there’s no denying both teams are ahead of schedule. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. For weekend use.


DAVIE, Fla. — For any Patriots players wanting to say hello Sunday to Danny Amendola, look for him running over the middle. That’s where he made his living for five years with New England and where he has made an impact with the Miami Dolphins. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.


ALAMEDA, Calif. — Jon Gruden returned to the Oakland Raiders for a second stint as coach as the savior. Three games into his tenure, he’s still searching for a win. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.


FRISCO, Texas — Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t think he needs more carries. Dak Prescott won’t let himself get discouraged. Together, they’re trying to fix a Dallas offense that threatens to derail the Cowboys’ season early. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— Also:

— FBN--QUARTERBACK HITS — By Barry Wilner. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— FBN--CHIEFS-EASING UP — By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.

— FBN--JAGUARS-ROOKIE QB — By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.

— FBN--STEELERS-BURNED BURNS — By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.

— FBN--SAINTS-SECONDARY CONCERNS — By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--SEAHAWKS-BALDWIN — UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.

— FBN--TITANS-MATTHEWS — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--INSIDE THE NUMBERS — By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 550 words, photos.



COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 4 Ohio State plays No. 9 Penn State in a Saturday night game for Big Ten East supremacy. Plenty of scoring seems certain. These are the nation’s top two scoring offenses — the Nittany Lions are averaging more than 55 points and the Buckeyes more than 54. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 600 words, photos.


The easiest way for a Power Five conference to produce a playoff team is to have one of its members go undefeated. Once again that might be asking an awful lot for the Big 12 — even in league play. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.


WEST POINT, N.Y. — Combining an old-school offensive system with advanced analytical game management, Army has become a model of efficiency in college football. Consider that the Cadets took Oklahoma to overtime. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Coastal Carolina team is living out of hotels and practicing on high school fields, displaced by Hurricane Florence. Yet, the Chanticleers have won both games disrupted by the storm. “What else can we do?” coach Joe Moglia says. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— Thursday Game (Top 25):

— FBC--T25-NORTH CAROLINA-MIAMI — By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game begins 8 p.m. With pregame story on College Football Playoff executive director.

— Also:

— FBC--T25-ALABAMA’S PASS RUSH — By John Zenor. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— FBC--T25-MISSISSIPPI-LSU-PASSING GAME — By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 4 p.m.

— Conference previews on ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12.



The Golden Knights tried to improve their chances of repeating as Western Conference champs by landing Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty. Vegas will have a lot of obstacles — Nashville, Winnipeg and San Jose are just a few of them in a loaded conference. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m.


John Tavares tipped the balance of power in the NHL by signing with the Maple Leafs, giving them a 1-2 punch with Auston Matthews. Toronto is the best bet to end Canada’s Stanley Cup drought that dates to 1993, but the Winnipeg Jets are poised to make another run. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m. Capsules sent Sept. 25.


While the Capitals raise their Stanley Cup banner, Barry Trotz will be fresh off a plane in North Carolina, preparing for his own season opener. He left Washington to join the New York Islanders, one of six teams with a new coach this season. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— Also:

— HKN--FLYERS-LEHTERA-INVESTIGATION — NHL investigating drug bust in Finland of Flyers’ Jori Lehtera. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 250 words, photos.

— HKN--BLUES-PERRON — David Perron begins third stint with Blues. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— HKN--NHL RDP — Roundup of six exhibition games. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 11 p.m. Updated with late games.



House Republicans say they strongly favor new federal regulations on sports gambling after the Supreme Court allowed states to open sports books. Republicans expressed concerns about ads and online gambling platforms targeting minors, as well as the potential for match-fixing. By Ben Nuckols. SENT: 650 words, photos.



CONCORD, N.C. — The new “roval” — part-road course, part-oval — at Charlotte Motor Speedway will give drivers a new challenge and could complicate some drivers’ hopes of advancing in the playoffs. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.


SOCHI, Russia — Have Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari blown their title chance? That’s the key question ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, with Vettel 40 points behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton even though his Ferrari has often seemed the faster car. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 700 words, photos.



SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain — Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi had one of their best WNBA seasons, both crediting changed lifestyles for their success. The USA Basketball mainstays also are limiting their play to the WNBA to ease the wear and tear on their bodies. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.

— With:

— BKL--JAPAN ON THE RISE — Despite losing in World Cup, Japanese basketball is moving up. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 650 words.

— BKL--WORLD CUP QUARTEERFINAL NOTEBOOK. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 850 words, photos.



NYON, Switzerland — Germany will host the 2024 European Championship. The longtime favorite won the vote over Turkey, whose campaign was undercut by concerns over human rights. Turkey is now a four-time losing candidate for the tournament. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— Also:

— SOC--VIDEO REVIEW-UEFA — Video review approved for Champions League next season. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 400 words, photos.

— SOC--UEFA-RONALDO BAN — Cristiano Ronaldo to serve one-game ban for first Champions League red card. SENT: 100 words, photos.

— SOC--AUSTRALIA-USAIN BOLT — Bolt has until January to prove himself to Australian club. SEBT: 250 words.



Clint Frank won the Heisman Trophy in 1937 as a running back and safety for Yale. He died in 1992 at 76. The trophy remained in the family all those years, but now the time has come to sell it. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT: 550 words, photos.


— TEN--DAVIS CUP-COURIER OUT — Jim Courier out as U.S. Davis Cup team captain after eight years. SENT: 110 words.

— TEN--DAVIS CUP-MADRID — Madrid to host 2019, 2020 finals of new-look Davis Cup. SENT: 100 words, photos.

— Tournaments in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Wuhan, China; Shenzhen, China.


— MEXICO-RED BULLS-FATAL SLASHING — Two police officers shot dead in Mexico while searching for suspected killer of youth soccer coach in New York City. SENT: 140 words.

— SUPER BOWL TICKETS-LAWSUIT — New Jersey’s top court to hear arguments in Super Bowl ticket lawsuit. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 5 p.m.


— ATH--RUSSIAN DOPING-CAS — Top sports court confirms Russian track and field federation’s doping ban appeal. SENT: 120 words.


FBC--OBIT-TEXAS-WHITTIER — Julius Whittier, first black football letterman at Texas, dies. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 5 p.m.




Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)


Minnesota at L.A. Rams, 8:20 p.m.


N.Y. Yankees at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at Colorado, 3:10 p.m.

Houston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Atlanta at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.

Detroit at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m.

Texas at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.

College Football (Top 25)

No. 16 Miami vs. North Carolina, 8 p.m.

NHL Exhibition

Florida vs. Tampa Bay at Orlando, Fla., 7 p.m.

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

New Jersey at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

Ottawa at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Arizona at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Calgary at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

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