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AP-TX--Texas Sports Digest 12 am, TX

September 21, 2018

Good morning! Here’s a look at AP’s Texas sports coverage. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Dallas bureau at 972-991-2100, or at 1-800-442-7189. Email aptexas@ap.org. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.





FRISCO, Texas — Sean Lee wants more time to decide if this is the best chance the Dallas Cowboys have to be defined by their defense in the linebacker’s eight years with the club. There’s no question about the answer through two weeks. The Cowboys (1-1) are fourth in the NFL in total defense, with a loss to Carolina that could have been a blowout and a win over the New York Giants that wasn’t nearly as close as the seven-point margin. In both cases, it was thanks to a defense that is delivering on preseason hopes of being a difference-making unit. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 710 words, photos.


RENTON, Wash. — Stuck at home while out with a groin injury, Bobby Wagner met up with former Seattle teammates Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril to watch the Seahawks’ game in Chicago. Sitting there as his team lost wasn’t very enjoyable for Wagner. “I’m definitely a guy who yells at the TV. I’m calling out plays and think they’re going to hear you,” Wagner said. Seattle’s All-Pro middle linebacker is expected back in the lineup Sunday when the Seahawks host Dallas looking to avoid falling to 0-3 for the first time under Pete Carroll. For the most part, the defense wasn’t the problem on Monday night against the Bears. The Seahawks held them to 271 total yards and only 10 offensive points after Chicago scored on its opening drive. But having Wagner back will certainly be a boost in what’s essentially become a must-win game just three weeks into the regular season. By Tim Booth. SENT: 560 words.


SEATTLE — Whether it was his first two stops in the NFL, his time in college at Southern California or his first eight seasons in charge in Seattle, Pete Carroll has never started a season with three consecutive losses. That’s 12 seasons in the pros and nine in college during which Carroll has been able to avoid a disastrous start to a new campaign. And it’s what the Seahawks will be trying to avoid Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys. “There’s only a couple of undefeated teams in the NFC right now and let’s hang with that. Let’s hang with them,” Carroll said. “I don’t want to get behind that number right now, so we’ve got to get a win.” By Tim Booth. SENT: 870 words, photos for weekend use.


HOUSTON — It will be a showcase of two of the NFL’s best receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. when the Houston Texans and New York Giants meet on Sunday with both teams looking for their first win. Hopkins likes Beckham’s determination and grit, and sees similarities between himself and the New York star. “Of course. He makes plays no matter where the ball is,” Hopkins said. “He’s not the tallest, I’m not the tallest, but he (goes) up and gets it. He just makes plays.” By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 820 words, photos for weekend use.





CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sure, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is gushing about quarterback Alan Bowman’s fast start. What surprises him most is the freshman’s ability so far to limit his mistakes. Bowman threw for 605 yards and five touchdowns last week in a 63-49 win over Houston, giving the pass-happy Big 12 a peek at its future following the departures of stars such as Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and Mason Rudolph at Oklahoma State. Bowman is among a crop of young stars emerging in the league. He has eight TD tosses and has yet to throw an interception. By John Raby. SENT: 760 words, with photos.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — This is not usually a needed reminder, but Alabama’s defense is still quite good. The top-ranked Crimson Tide has flipped its usual persona this season with a Tua Tagovailoa-led offense putting up video game-like numbers and the defense going fairly low-key. The attention deficit is a combination of having a hotshot young quarterback and a defense that had to replace eight NFL draft picks, including first-rounders Minkah Fitzpatrick , Da’Ron Payne and Rashaan Evans. Not to mention added offseason attrition among the linebackers. The defenders are hardly complaining about having the nation’s top scoring offense going into Saturday’s game with No. 22 Texas A&M. By John Zenor. SENT: 710 words, photos.

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