Update on the latest sports



No. 11 Michigan State and No. 13 Pittsburgh meet in Peach Bowl

UNDATED (AP) — No. 11 Michigan State and No. 13 Pittsburgh will be without their most prominent players when they meet Thursday night in the Peach Bowl. Spartans running back Kenneth Walker and Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett finished among the top six in the Heisman Trophy voting before opting out of the bowl game.

Coming off its first ACC championship, Pitt aims to become the second 12-win team in school history. The Panthers finished 12-0 in 1976 and won the national championship. Michigan State is looking to cap a dramatic turnaround under second-year coach Mel Tucker after a 2-5 finish last season.

In Thursday’s other bowl games:

— The Las Vegas Bowl moves into Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, with a showdown featuring the Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers and Arizona State Sun Devils of the Pac-12. Both teams entered the season with conference title aspirations but fell short. And both teams will be turning to inexperienced players because of opt-outs and injuries. The Sun Devils are missing their top two running backs, top two cornerbacks and top linebacker, while the Badgers could have to shake up their offensive line.

— First-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel has the Volunteers in the Music City Bowl for the third time overall. The Volunteers will take on Purdue in the SEC-Big Ten matchup. It’s an indication of how much has changed in a year for the Tennessee football program. The Volunteers withdrew from the 2020 Liberty Bowl because of a batch of positive COVID-19 test results including then-coach Jeremy Pruitt. He was fired weeks later along with nine others for “serious” NCAA issues. Now finishing off this season with a win over the Boilermakers is the primary focus for Tennessee. Purdue is looking for its first bowl victory since 2017.

— There’s more than just border state bragging rights at stake when North Carolina meets South Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Both Tar Heels coach Mack Brown and Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer have agreed to be doused by mayonnaise instead of the traditional Gatorade if their team wins at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The winning coach will get $10,000 donated to their favorite charity by virtue of volunteering for the mayo bath.


Harbaugh: Michigan DB Hill questionable for Orange Bowl

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says defensive back Dax Hill is not yet in Miami with the team and is questionable to play in the Orange Bowl against No. 3 Georgia Friday night.

Harbaugh did not provide details of what kept Hill from traveling with the team nor what could keep him out of the College Football Playoff semifinal, saying only that the junior is “working through something.” Harbaugh added that Hill could be joining the team in Florida later Thursday.

Hill is second on the team in tackles with 65 and has two interceptions for the second-ranked Wolverines.


Slater, David 4th-time nominees for NFL sportsmanship award

NEW YORK (AP) — Matthew Slater and Lavonte David are nominees for the fourth time for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

The league Thursday announced the eight finalists for the honor that recognizes players who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

Joining Slater, a wide receiver and special teams standout for New England, and Tampa Bay linebacker David are Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, Houston receiver Brandin Cooks, Miami defensive back Jason McCourty, New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan, San Francisco fullback Kyle Juszczyk (YOOS’-chehk) and Minnesota wideout Adam Thielen. Juszczyk is a finalist for the second consecutive season. Allen, Cooks, McCourty, Jordan and Thielen are first-time nominees.

A panel of former players selected the eight finalists from the 32 team nominees. The winner will be determined by a vote of current NFL players.


Wild sign coach Dean Evason, staff to multiyear extensions

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild have signed coach Dean Evason and his staff to multiyear contract extensions.

Evason is in his second full season as Minnesota’s coach. The Wild have won 19 of their 30 games so far this season and are on their way to a third consecutive playoff appearance with Evason in charge. He replaced Bruce Boudreau in February 2020.

Assistant coaches Darby Hendrickson, Brett McLean and Bob Woods, goaltending coach Frederic Chabot and video coaches T.J. Jindra and Jonas Plumb were also extended.

Categories: National Sports