Update on the latest sports



No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Michigan meet with high stakes

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Second-ranked Ohio State is playing at No. 6 Michigan with high stakes. The victors claim the Big Ten East Division title, a spot in the conference championship game and a shot at being in the College Football Playoff. The loser falls out of Big Ten and national title contention and is left to wait for a second-tier bowl game invitation.

The Buckeyes, who are 23-0 in conference games under coach Ryan Day, are aiming for a fifth straight Big Ten title and sixth appearance in the conference championship. Michigan, meanwhile, hasn’t ever won a Big Ten division title and it is mired in the program’s longest conference championship drought that dates to 2004.

Ohio State has won a school-record eight straight and 15 of the last 16 matchups. The Buckeyes beat the Wolverines by a combined score of 118-66 the last two times they met.

Ohio State’s pass-rushing, run-stuffing defensive line against Michigan’s steady offensive line is the key matchup to watch.

In other notable Top 25 games Saturday:

— No. 10 Oklahoma visits No. 7 Oklahoma State. Both still have an outside shot at a berth in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma State has already clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game, but a loss would end the Cowboys’ national title hopes. Oklahoma has won six straight Big 12 titles but would be out of the conference title game with a loss to Oklahoma State and a Baylor win over Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon.

— Ninth-ranked Baylor will still have a shot at the Big 12 title with a win over Texas Tech in the regular-season finale. The 9-2 Bears have to win and then would be pulling for seventh-ranked Oklahoma State to beat 10th-ranked Oklahoma later in the day. Baylor is a two-touchdown favorite over the Red Raiders, who are coming off their first shutout loss since 1997. The 6-5 Red Raiders are already bowl eligible, but are trying for their first winning season since 2015.

— No. 3 Alabama hopes to keep its playoff hopes on track with a visit to rival Auburn in the regular season-ending Iron Bowl. The two in-state rivals meet at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Quarterback Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide are nearly three-touchdown favorites. They’re already set up a date with top-ranked Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game. It’s the first Iron Bowl for Auburn coach Bryan Harsin, whose team can secure a winning record with an upset.

— Top-ranked Georgia is a heavy favorite against Georgia Tech as the Bulldogs try to stay undefeated while claiming state bragging rights. Georgia is 11-0 and is playing for more than a state championship this season. The Bulldogs will play Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Dec. 4, when each team also will be trying to position itself for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

— No. 5 Notre Dame travels to Stanford to finish the regular season. The Fighting Irish will be in position for a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl with a win and can keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive. The Cardinal are looking to snap a six-game skid and avoid their first nine-loss season since 2006. Stanford has won five of the past six home games in the series.


Bills lose a key piece of their defense

UNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have lost their most important defensive player for the rest of the season. The team announced Friday that Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White suffered a torn ACL during Thursday night’s 31-6 victory over the Saints in New Orleans.

White has started 72 games in his Bills career and has become one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro in 2019.

White’s injury comes just as the Bills enter the toughest part of their schedule. They play the Patriots twice in four weeks, and they go to Tampa in two weeks to take on Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs.

In other NFL news:

— The Cleveland Browns have activated running back Kareem Hunt and Pro Bowl right tackle Jack Conklin from injured reserve, and they will be in the lineup for Sunday night’s critical game against AFC North-leading Baltimore. Hunt missed the past five games with a calf injury. Conklin was out for the past three with a dislocated elbow. The Browns also elevated defensive end Porter Gustin and return specialist JoJo Natson from the practice squad.


Red Sox sign RHP Wacha to $7 million, 1-year deal

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have signed Michael Wacha (WAH’-kuh) to a $7 million, one-year deal, adding the right-hander to an already thin rotation that lost Eduardo Rodriguez in free agency.

The team announced the contract on Saturday.

Wacha, 30, was 3-5 with a 5.05 ERA last season for Tampa Bay. He was 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in seven appearances from Aug. 28 on, ending the season with back-to-back, scoreless five-inning starts in which he allowed a total of one hit.

Wacha is 63-48 with a 4.14 ERA in nine major league seasons, also playing for the Cardinals and Mets.


Rangers’ Panarin fined $5,000 for throwing glove

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) has been fined $5,000 for throwing one of his gloves at Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand.

The NHL announced the punishment on Saturday. The fine is the maximum allowed under the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union.

Panarin and Marchand were standing in front of their respective benches when the glove-throwing episode occurred during the third period of New York’s 5-2 victory at Boston on Friday. Panarin was assessed a misconduct penalty.

Panarin had a goal and an assist in the win against the Bruins. He has five goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season.

Categories: National Sports