BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA
Northeastern 82 Lincoln 53
Winchester 56 Monroe Central 36
Union City 84 Union Modoc 49
Frankton 65 Anderson 53
Shenandoah 90 Tri 29
Blue River 67 Knightstown 55
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA
Benton Central 51 McCutcheon 45
Hagerstown 36 Centerville 19
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#2 Michigan 68 Penn State 55
#18 North Carolina State 87 Miami Florida 82
#21 Indiana 73 Illinois 65
Minnesota 59 #22 Wisconsin 52
Purdue 86 #25 Iowa 70
Detroit 79 Wright State 58
Fort Wayne 104 South Dakota State 88
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#8 Baylor 68 #1 Connecticut 57
#2 Notre Dame 100 Pittsburgh 44
#3 Louisville 73 North Carolina 66
#7 Mississippi State 93 Arkansas 69
#9 North Carolina State 63 Duke 51
#10 Tennessee 78 Auburn 69
#14 Syracuse 84 Clemson 75
Northwestern 70 #15 Michigan State 62
#16 Kentucky 77 Vanderbilt 55
#17 Gonzaga 74 St. Mary’s 62
#19 Iowa 77 Nebraska 71
#23 South Carolina 60 #21 Texas A&M 57
Penn State 71 Wisconsin 64
IUPUI 75 Cleveland State 50
Wright State 85 Green Bay 67
San Antonio 125 Toronto 107
Denver 117 Sacramento 113
Houston 135 Golden State 134 OT
Minnesota 4 Toronto 3
Boston 6 Calgary 4
Buffalo 4 Florida 3
Carolina 5 Philadelphia 3
NY Islanders 3 Chicago 2
Montréal 2 Vancouver 0
St. Louis 5 Washington 2
Tampa Bay 6 Los Angeles 2
Indiana opens new year with 73 – 65 win over Illinois
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Led by freshman Romeo Langord’s career-high 28 points, Indiana basketball (12-2, 3-0) defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini by a score of 73-65 on Thursday night in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers trailed by as many as 10 points with 10:20 to go in the first half, but rallied to tie the game at 32 at the midway point.
Along with the 25 points, Langford added added six rebounds and an assist on 8-of-13 shooting. Senior Juwan Morgan added a double-double, chipping in 15 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
Purdue clicks on both ends in 86 – 70 win over Iowa
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three-point bombs, half-court sets, fast-breaks, pick-and-rolls, the points came fast and furious for Purdue on this night in a way-too-easy 86-70 win vs. No. 25 Iowa. It was a great way to pay tribute to Boilermaker super fan Tyler Trent, who passed away on January 1.
The Boilermakers have won three in a row and move to 2-1 in the Big Ten on a night when there were plenty of smiles and fist pumps to go around as 10 different Purdue players scored at least three points. The Boilers raced to a 52-35 halftime lead and never looked back vs. a Hawkeye squad that had no defensive answers in falling to 0-3 in the Big Ten and 11-3 overall.
Carsen Edwards led the way again, hitting 8-of-17 shots en route to tallying a team-high 21 points as the Boilermakers improved to 7-0 at home. But the real story of the game was the offensive balance the Boilers received. Too often this season, Purdue has lacked a steady and consistent scoring sidekick for Edwards. But not on this night with the bench chipping in a season-high 39 points as the Boilers shot 53 percent.
Matt Haarms continues to excel in his new reserve role in a game Purdue led by as many as 26. The sophomore tallied 12 points with eight rebounds in the previous game vs. Belmont. He kept rolling tonight, notching 14 points with five boards as Purdue (9-5) dominated in the paint.
Redshirt freshman Aaron Wheeler looks like a revelation, showing 3-point shooting touch as well as scoring aplomb inside in tallying 10 points off the bench. The kid only will get better.
Wrap all of that balanced scoring with strong defense—an ingredient that has been spotty most of this season—and you can see why the Boilers cruised to victory.
Things get appreciably more difficult the next time out, when Purdue plays at Michigan State on Tuesday. That is followed by a trip to Wisconsin on January 11. Good thing the Boilers will enter those games coming off their two best games of the season in downing Belmont and now Iowa.
Purdue needs to bottle this effort … and repeat it.
No. 2 Michigan still unbeaten after beating Penn State 68-55
Jordan Poole is noticing some extra attention from opposing defenses now.
“I think today was the first time that I was actually being denied the ball on the perimeter, so it was something that I had to adjust to,” the Michigan sophomore said. “But we know that we were able to read the coverages. I think that’s something that really started to get us going later in the second half.”
Poole scored 17 points and Iggy Brazdeikis had 16 points and 11 rebounds as No. 2 Michigan returned to Big Ten play with a 68-55 victory over Penn State on Thursday night. It was the ninth straight game in double figures for Poole, who appeared comfortable on a night when his team struggled to get untracked.
The unbeaten Wolverines (14-0, 3-0) weren’t always that dominant while playing lesser competition in December, and the first half against Penn State (7-7, 0-3) wasn’t all that great either from an aesthetic standpoint. The teams combined for 18 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, and Michigan led 25-20.
The Nittany Lions scored the first two points of the second, but the Wolverines responded with a 13-3 run.
Charles Matthews scored 14 points for Michigan.
Mike Watkins scored 19 points for Penn State, and Lamar Stevens added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Penn State shot 1 of 14 from 3-point range and couldn’t keep up after holding Michigan to 36-percent shooting in the first half.
“I really enjoyed this game, competing. I thought our team showed some real grit and some incredible passion,” Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers said. “This is a game we can build on.”
Chambers apologized following the game for an incident in the first half in which he appeared to shove freshman guard Myles Dread during a timeout.
Taylor leads Wright State to win over Green Bay
On Thursday night, the Raiders won their game against the Green Bay Phoenix by a score of 85-67. The Phoenix came into Thursday’s game having beaten #16 Missouri and regional powerhouse Dayton in their challenging non-conference schedule. With a strong game under the basket and support by the shooting performance from behind the arc, the Raiders won their first game against the Phoenix in nearly five years. Mackenzie Taylor led all Raiders with 18 points, Michal Miller came away with 16, and Imani Partlow added another 10 points. With the win Wright State moves to 11-4 overall and 3-0 in the Horizon League.
IU EAST WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WILMORE, Ky. – Indiana University East women’s basketball team had 10 players score
as the Red Wolves posted a 77-63 victory over Asbury University on Jan. 3.
The Red Wolves had three players reach double figures in the River States Conference
affair led by Amanda Worland with 18 points.
Bailey Dreiman also became the all-time assist leader for the Red Wolves as she
handed out six against the Eagles.
IU East is 5-11 overall and 3-1 in the conference, while Asbury is 3-12, 0-5.
Elizabeth Philpot finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds, while Libby Springmier
added 10 points.
Except for a few moments when Asbury was on top 12-10 in the first period, the Red
Wolves led the entire game.
Worland scored to tie it at 12-12 and then added another basket at the 1:33 mark to
put IU East in front for good.
IU East’s largest lead was 75-55 late in the contest.
Kelsey Johnson led Asbury with a season-high 21 points.
Dreiman now has 405 assists in her career as she passed Kristen Miller (2014-2018),
who finished with 404.
Philpot recorded her second double-double with season-high totals in points and
Springmier scored in double digits for the second straight contest.
The Red Wolves have won two RSC games in a row and they are 5-3 overall against the
The Red Wolves are back in action at Alice Lloyd College on Jan. 5. Part of a
women’s and men’s doubleheader, the game gets underway at 1 p.m.
Foot injury ends Bol Bol’s Oregon career after 9 games
Bol Bol’s lone season at Oregon is over after nine games due to a left foot injury.
Bol announced on Twitter on Thursday that his college career was over.
The son of late former NBA player Manute Bol, Bol was considered one of college basketball’s top incoming freshman prior to the 2018-19 season and is projected as an NBA lottery pick.
Bol led the Ducks with 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game. He shot 56 percent from the floor and 52 percent from the 3-point arc, also leading the Ducks.
Bol missed Oregon’s last four games due to the injury.
No. 1 UConn’s 126-game win streak ends 68-57 at No. 8 Baylor
Geno Auriemma knew that top-ranked UConn couldn’t keep winning every regular-season game it played, even though the Huskies had won 126 in a row.
That winning streak of more than four years ended with a 68-57 loss Thursday night at No. 8 Baylor, which won against a No. 1 team for the first time.
“What is disappointing for me, not that we lost. How long did you think you were going to win every game in the regular season, 10 years?,” Auriemma said. “So I’m not surprised that we lost, but it was disappointing that we struggled so much on the offensive end.”
The Huskies (11-1) hadn’t lost a regular-season game in regulation since a 76-70 home loss to Baylor in a Nos. 1 vs. 2 matchup on Feb. 18, 2013 – a span of 163 games. Their only regular-season loss since then was 88-86 in overtime at Stanford on Nov. 14, 2014.
“Stanford in 2014. Think about that,” Auriemma said.
The 11-time national champion Huskies shot only 29 percent (20 of 68) with their lowest point total this season. Their only lead came at 2-0 when Crystal Dangerfield scored in the opening minute of the game.
Kalani Brown had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Lady Bears (10-1).
UConn is the only No. 1 team Baylor has ever faced in 19 seasons under coach Kim Mulkey, who has two national championships coaching the Lady Bears. They had lost each of the previous three such meetings, including UConn’s last visit to Waco nearly five years ago.
“Connecticut gets everybody’s best shot. They don’t lose much, we don’t lose much,” Mulkey said. “When you can do it year after year after year, taking people’s best shots and you have a shot to play each other, it’s good for women’s basketball.”
DeRozan has triple-double, Spurs win in Leonard’s return
The Spurs’ suffocating defense, scoring runs and fans’ unrelenting contempt for the opposing team’s star player have often overwhelmed the opposition.
Kawhi Leonard has seen it many times in San Antonio, but the Toronto star never experienced it from the opposing bench until Thursday night. It was worse than he expected.
DeMar DeRozan 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for first career triple-double and San Antonio welcomed back Leonard with thunderous jeers in the Spurs’ 125-107 victory over the Raptors.
“You’ve got to thrive in moments like that,” DeRozan said. “You’ve got to love to play in that type of atmosphere, whether it’s at home or on the road. It kind of fuels you, kind of gets you going. That’s what made it so fun.”
It wasn’t much fun for Leonard and the Raptors, who saw a three-game winning streak snapped in inglorious fashion.
Leonard scored 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, but the anger the Spurs’ fans showered on him seemed to impact the MVP candidate. Leonard had to take a step back at the free throw line and compose himself amid chants of “Traitor! Traitor!” and “Quitter! Quitter!” from the capacity crowd that adored him during his seven seasons in San Antonio.
The reception didn’t surprise Leonard.
“No,” Leonard said. “Media does a great mind to stir people’s minds and to influence them to think a certain way. So, I already knew how that was going to be the way the media was.”
Fans were angry that Leonard forced his way out of San Antonio this offseason in a trade that yielded DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl from Toronto for him and Danny Green.
Redskins’ Reuben Foster has domestic violence charge dropped
Prosecutors have decided not to pursue a domestic violence charge against Washington Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster, though the NFL continues to review the matter.
Prosecutors in Tampa, Florida, filed a notice of termination of prosecution on Wednesday. The notice states that the first-degree misdemeanor battery charge is dismissed and there is no need for Foster to appear at any future court hearings.
Prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence to file charges against Foster after “a meticulous review of the facts of the case,” said Estella Gray, director of communications for the State Attorney’s Office.
She didn’t elaborate further.
“We take allegations of domestic violence very seriously and thoroughly investigated this case,” Gray said in an email to The Associated Press.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday the league is monitoring all developments in the situation, which continues to be under review. Foster is currently on the Commissioner Exempt list, which prevented him from playing in games or practicing.
The league could still decide to punish Foster even though he has been cleared by the court system.
Foster was arrested at the San Francisco 49ers’ hotel in Tampa in November and jailed overnight following an incident involving the second-year linebacker and a companion police identified as the same woman who said Foster hit her in February. The woman later recanted the earlier allegations.
The woman, Elissa Ennis, said on “Good Morning America” last month that Foster slapped her and pushed her at the Tampa hotel. She told “Good Morning America” she recanted about the previous situation because she loved him and that can make someone do something that’s not in their best interests.
Washington claimed Foster after the 49ers released him, saying they spoke to former University of Alabama teammates about the 24-year-old before making the decision to sign him. The Redskins declined comment when asked about the charge against Foster being dropped.
Foster has two years remaining on his rookie contract after San Francisco selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft.
AP Source: Browns denying requests to interview OC Kitchens
A person familiar with the decision says the Browns have denied requests from other teams to interview offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
There has been outside interest in Kitchens, who took over Cleveland’s offense in October, said the person, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Browns are not commenting during their coaching search other than to confirm completed interviews.
The 44-year-old Kitchens has emerged as candidate for the Browns’ job. He took over game-planning and play-calling duties on Oct. 29, when coach Hue Jackson and offensive Todd Haley were fired. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield thrived under Kitchens, who previously coached running backs.
General manager John Dorsey said he will interview Kitchens for the vacancy at some point as the Browns look make an important hire following a surprising 7-8-1 season.
Dorsey interviewed his third candidate on Thursday, meeting with Minnesota interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Broncos interview Rams QB coach Zac Taylor
Broncos general manager John Elway continued his latest coaching search Thursday by interviewing Zac Taylor, the Rams’ 35-year-old quarterbacks coach who’s long on football pedigree but short on experience.
Elway and player personnel director Matt Russell flew to Los Angeles to interview Taylor near the Rams’ headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California, a day after meeting with former Colts coach Chuck Pagano in Denver.
Elway also plans to speak with Bears assistant Vic Fangio, Patriots assistant Brian Flores and Steelers assistant Mike Munchak.
With the Rams off this weekend, Taylor also is expected to meet with the Arizona Cardinals about their head coaching vacancy.
Elway is searching for his fourth head coach in six seasons after firing Vance Joseph on Monday with two-year record of 11-21.
“This is no fun going through this. It’s not something I want to do, but then again, I understand what my job is,” Elway said. “My job is to give us, the Denver Broncos, the best chance to win.”
That could be by hiring Taylor, a high-risk/high-reward outlier on Elway’s short list of candidates .
Taylor has never been a coordinator much less a head coach. But the son-in-law of former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman has a strong track record working with quarterbacks and has earned praise in his two years on Sean McVay’s staff.
He also has football in his blood: Taylor was the 2006 Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year at Nebraska; his father, Sherwood, was a defensive back and captain at the University of Oklahoma; and his younger brother, Press, 30, is the QBs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
NFL parlays with Caesars as sponsor minus sports betting
The NFL entered a partnership with Caesars Entertainment on Thursday, the league’s first official casino sponsor. The multiyear deal, however, does not include sports betting or fantasy football.
The arrangement begins with this weekend’s playoffs and is worth $30 million annually for three years, a person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not announced specific terms.
This latest development is part of a dizzying turnabout for the league. For years, the league insisted gambling was one of the biggest threats to its existence.
Caesars will draw on its properties, celebrity chefs, music artists and other entertainment platforms to provide NFL fans with “unique experiences.”
Caesars will have exclusive rights to NFL trademarks in the U.S. and United Kingdom, including the Super Bowl and draft. Caesars will host parts of the 2020 draft.
The Cowboys, Ravens, Saints, Falcons, Eagles, Bears, Raiders, Jets, Lions and Seahawks already have advertising agreements with casinos. Caesars Entertainment is heavily into sports books operations and has locations in New Jersey and Mississippi, along with Nevada. It has planned one in Pennsylvania.
With the expansion of sports betting to other states made possible by last year’s Supreme Court ruling, other gambling companies have reached partnerships with leagues. Last year, MGM Resorts became the official gambling partner of the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball.
Attempts by Las Vegas to advertise on the Super Bowl were rebuffed repeatedly in the past because the city has casino gambling and sports betting. Three years ago, the NFL canceled a fantasy sports convention that then-Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was helping organize because it was going to be held in a convention area adjacent to a Las Vegas casino.
Gonzalez, Reed, Bailey 1st-time eligible finalists for hall
First-time eligibles Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2019.
They will be joined in balloting on Feb. 2 by Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Alan Faneca, Tom Flores, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae, and Richard Seymour. Although previously eligible, Flores – who coached two Raiders teams to Super Bowl titles – and longtime defensive lineman Seymour are finalists for the first time.
Also being considered for induction are senior committee nominee Johnny Robinson, a star safety for Dallas/Kansas City from 1960-71, and contributors finalists Gil Brandt, former personnel director for the Cowboys and now the NFL’s top draft consultant, and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
A maximum of eight new members can be elected, five from the modern-era group. Inductions are Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.
Gonzalez played 17 seasons with the Chiefs and Falcons, but never made a Super Bowl. No matter: he holds the career record for tight ends with 1,325, second only overall to Jerry Rice, and gained more 15,127 yards while scoring 111 touchdowns. His string of 211 straight games with a catch lasted from 2000-13.
Reed spent 12 seasons with the Ravens, Texans and Jets, winning an NFL title in 2012. He’s one of two players to lead the NFL in interceptions three times (2-4, 2008, 2010) and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.
Bailey played 15 seasons with Washington and Denver and was a three-time All-Pro. Considered one of the game’s best cover cornerbacks, he had a career-high 10 interceptions in 2006.
Lynch, a standout safety for Tampa Bay and Denver, becomes a finalist for the sixth straight year. Coryell, who coached the high-powered offenses of the Cardinals and Chargers in the 1970s and `80s, is a five-time finalist.
Robertson, Phillies agree to $23 million, 2-year contract
David Robertson got himself a new deal in a new pair of pinstripes.
The 33-year-old right-handed reliever and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a $23 million, two-year contact on Thursday. Robertson gets $10 million this year and $11 million in 2020, and the Phillies have a $12 million option for 2021 with a $2 million buyout.
“The Phillies are a great organization, and they have that hunger to get back in the postseason and they’re going in the right direction,” Robertson said. “It’s a place where I’ll get a lot of opportunities to pitch in the back end of the bullpen and I don’t see any reason why we can’t get in the postseason.”
Robertson went 8-3 with a 3.23 ERA and five saves in 69 games last season for the New York Yankees. He left the Yankees after the 2014 season to sign a $46 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, who traded him to New York in July 2017.
An 11-year veteran and a 2011 All-Star, Robertson has appeared in at least 60 games in nine straight seasons. He could get opportunities to close in Philadelphia, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011. Seranthony Dominguez led the Phillies with 16 saves last season, and manager Gabe Kapler likes versatility in his bullpen.
“He’s going to pitch high-leverage innings for us,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said of Robertson. “That’s what he’s done very effectively and consistently for a long time. The fact he has experience pitching the ninth inning is very appealing for us.”
Hector Neris led the Phillies with 26 saves in 2017 and had 11 last year. He’s also in the mix to pitch the ninth. It’ll likely be determined by matchups.
Robertson has even better numbers against lefties than righties during his career. He has held lefties to a .188 batting average and .268 on-base percentage vs. .222 and .302 for righties.
Devils coach John Hynes gets multiyear contract extension
New Jersey coach John Hynes received a multiyear contract extension, a reward for making the playoffs last season for the first time since the Devils reached the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.
The team announced the deal Thursday, saying Hynes’ leadership was instrumental in building a culture and system for the development of the players. Contract terms were not immediately available.
“He has cultivated a group of veteran leaders, while helping our young players develop and gain experience,” general manager and executive vice president Ray Shero said. “John is to be commended for the progress the team has made under his direction and this commitment shows that we are confident in the role he will play in our future success.”
Hynes is in his fourth season with the Devils. The team is currently 15-17-5 and out of the playoff picture with half the season to play.
“John has been an important part of the progress we have made toward our ultimate objective of competing at the highest level in the league year in and year out,” Josh Harris, the Devils’ managing partner said. “We have been impressed with John’s leadership ever since he became a first-time NHL head coach with the New Jersey Devils three years ago.
“He is a fantastic teacher and mentor, qualities which have served the organization well in developing our young talent. His ability to communicate and connect with players has helped define our culture and inspire those around him to be their best.”
Hynes is the second-winningest head coach in Devils’ history. The team finished 44-29-7 last season when Taylor Hall had an MVP season.
During his time in New Jersey, Hynes also worked for Team USA as head coach at the 2016 World Championships and assistant coach at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Indianapolis Colts (AFC South – 10-6) at Houston Texans (AFC South – 11-5) Saturday, January 5, 2019 | 4:35 PM ET | NRG Stadium | Referee: Bill Vinovich
SERIES HISTORY IN POST SEASON: 1st meeting
COLTS earned 1st playoff berth since 2014. Have 13 playoff berths since 2002, 2nd-most among playoff teams (New England – 15). • INDIANAPOLIS ranked 5th in points per game (27.1) and allowed fewest sacks in NFL (18). • COLTS led league with 21 TD catches by TEs, most since 2011 (New England – 24). • FRANK REICH makes postseason debut. • INDIANAPOLIS had 2 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: TE ERIC EBRON & rookie G QUENTON NELSON. • QB ANDREW LUCK ranked 2nd in NFL with 39 TD passes & 5th in passing yards (4,593). Has 2,776 pass yards (277.6 per game) & 23 TDs vs. 7 INTs for 91.9 rating in 10 career games vs. Hou. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of his past 3 road postseason games. • RB MARLON MACK led team with career-high 908 rush yards & 9 rush TDs. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with rush TD. Has 5 rush TDs in his past 4. • TE ERIC EBRON led NFL TEs & tied for 2nd in NFL with 13 TD receptions. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with TD catch. WR T.Y. HILTON led team with 76 receptions for 1,270 yards & had 6 TD catches. Is 1 of 4 players with 50+ catches in each of past 7 seasons. Has 115+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. Hou. • LB DARIUS LEONARD (rookie) led NFL with 163 tackles, most by rookie since LUKE KUECHLY (164 in 2012). Was only player in NFL with 7+ sacks (7), 4+ FFs (4) & 2+ INTs (2). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with 10+ tackles & sack. DL DENICO AUTRY led team with career-high 9 sacks. Has 4 sacks in his past 2 vs. Hou. & aims for 3rd in row vs. Texans with 2+ sacks. • K ADAM VINATIERI is all-time postseason leading scorer (234) & ranks 2nd in playoff games played (30).
TEXANS won AFC South for 3rd time in past 4 seasons. • HOUSTON won 9 consecutive games (Weeks 4-13) & became 1st team since 1970 to win at least 7 consecutive games immediately following an 0-3 start to a season. Led AFC with +13 turnover differential. • BILL O’BRIEN has led Texans to division title in 3 of his 5 seasons as head coach. • HOUSTON had 4 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: LB JADEVEON CLOWNEY, WR DE ANDRE HOPKINS, LB BENARDRICK MC KINNEY & DE J.J. WATT. • QB DESHAUN WATSON became 1st QB in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards (4,165), 25+ TD passes (26), 500+ rush yards (551) and 5+ rush TDs (5) in a single season. Has 4 TDs (3 pass, 1 rush) vs. 1 INT & 101.1 rating in 2 career starts vs. Ind. Ranked 3rd in AFC with 103.1 rating & was 1 of 5 QBs with 25+ TD passes & 10 or fewer INTs (9) in 2018. • RB LAMAR MILLER led team with 973 rush yards & had 5 rush TDs. Is only RB with 800+ rush yards in each of past 5 seasons. Has 6 TDs (5 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 8 vs. Ind. Has 162 scrimmage yards (81 per game) & rush TD in 2 career postseason games. • WR DE ANDRE HOPKINS ranked 2nd in NFL in receiving yards (1,572) and 3rd in catches (115) in 2018. His 115 receptions are tied-most in franchise history (ANDRE JOHNSON, 2008). Since 2015, is 1 of 2 WRs (ANTONIO BROWN) with 400+ catches (400) & 35+ rec. TDs (39). Aims for his 4th in row vs. Ind. with TD catch. • DE J.J. WATT ranked 2nd in NFL with 16 sacks in 2018 & joined HOFer REGGIE WHITE (5 seasons) as the only players since 1982 with 4 seasons of 15+ sacks. Has 5 sacks & INT-TD in 5 career playoff games. LB JADEVEON CLOWNEY is 1 of 4 players with 50+ TFL (53) since 2016. Has 4.5 sacks, 5 TFL, FF & FR in his past 5 vs. Ind.
Seattle Seahawks (NFC West – 10-6) at Dallas Cowboys (NFC East – 10-6) Saturday, January 5, 2019 | 8:15 PM ET | AT&T Stadium | Referee: Walt Anderson
PLAYOFF SERIES HISTORY: LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 10-9
STREAKS: Seahawks have won past 3
LAST GAME: 9/23/18: Cowboys 13 at Seahawks 24
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/24/17: Seahawks 21, Cowboys 12
SEAHAWKS earned playoff berth in 6 of past 7 seasons. • SEATTLE led NFL averaging 160 rush yards per game & had league-best +15 turnover differential in 2018. • SEAHAWKS are only NFC team with multiple players with 10+ sacks each (DE FRANK CLARK, 14 & DT JARRAN REED, 10.5) • PETE CARROLL has winning record in each of past 7 seasons. • SEATTLE had 2 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: rookie P MICHAEL DICKSON & LB BOBBY WAGNER. • QB RUSSELL WILSON tied for 3rd in NFL with 35 TD passes & ranked 3rd with 110.9 rating in 2018. Had 7 games with 3+ TD passes this season, most in single season in franchise history. Has 196 career TD passes & surpassed DAVE KRIEG (195) for most in franchise history. Became 1st quarterback in NFL history with winning record in each of his 1st 7 seasons. Has 4 TD passes vs. 0 INTs for 108.9 rating in past 2 vs. Dal. In 3 career Wild Card games, is 3-0 with 4 TD passes vs. 1 INT for 93.2 rating. • RB CHRIS CARSON led team with 1,151 rush yards in 2018 & became Seattle’s 1st 1,000-yard rusher since 2014. In his past 4, has 447 rush yards (111.8 per game) & 5 TDs. Has rush TD in 6 of his past 7. Rushed for 102 yards & TD in Week 3 meeting. • WR TYLER LOCKETT led team & set career-highs in receptions (57), rec. yards (965) & TD catches (10) in 2018. Had 77 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 3 meeting. Had 75 rec. yards & TD in his last playoff game (1/17/16). WR DOUG BALDWIN has 24 receptions for 266 yards (88.7 per game) & 2 TDs in his past 3 playoff games. • LB BOBBY WAGNER ranked 4th in NFL with 136 tackles in 2018 & has 100+ tackles in each of his 1st 7 seasons. In 12 career playoff games, has 120 tackles (10 per game) & 2 INTs. DE FRANK CLARK had career high 14 sacks. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 playoff games. DT JARRAN REED had 2 sacks in Week 3 meeting.
COWBOYS won NFC East, 2nd division title since 2016. • DALLAS is 1 of 2 teams in NFL (NEW ORLEANS) with multiple player with 6+ rush TDs (QB DAK PRESCOTT & RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, 6 each). • JASON GARRETT has led team to playoffs in 3 of past 5 seasons. • COWBOYS had 5 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, CB BYRON JONES, DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE, G ZACK MARTIN & T TYRON SMITH. • QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for career-high 3,885 yards in 2018. Was 1 of 2 NFL QBs with 3,500+ pass yards (3,885) & 5+ rush TDs (6). Has 13 career games with 1+ pass TD & 1+ rush TD, 2nd-most in player’s 1st 3 seasons in NFL history (CAM NEWTON, 20). Passed for 302 yards with 3 TDs vs. 1 INT for 103.2 rating in only career playoff game (1/15/17). • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT led NFL with 1,434 rush yards & ranked 2nd with 2,001 scrimmage yards this season. Is 1 of 4 in franchise history with 2,000+ scrimmage yards in single season. Rushed for 125 yards in only career playoff game (1/15/17). In 2 career meetings, has 224 rush yards (112 per game). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Sea. with 100+ scrimmage yards. • WR AMARI COOPER had 1,005 rec. yards in 2018 & has 1,000+ yards in 3 of 4 career seasons. In 5 home games with Dal., has 35 catches for 551 yards (110.2 per game) & 6 TDs. Since joining Dal. in Week 9, is 1 of 3 in NFL (JULIO JONES & ANTONIO BROWN) with 700+ rec. yards (725) & 6+ TD catches (6). • DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE led team with 10.5 sacks in 2018, his 2nd consecutive season with 10+ sacks. Has 2 sacks & FF in 3 career playoff games. LB LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH ranked 3rd in NFL with 138 tackles, most by rookie in franchise history. Had 10 tackles in last meeting. LB JAYLON SMITH had 8 tackles & sack in Week 3 meeting.
Los Angeles Chargers (AFC West – 12-4) at Baltimore Ravens (AFC North – 10-6) Sunday, January 6, 2019 | 1:05 PM ET | M&T Bank Stadium | Referee: Clete Blakeman
PLAYOFF SERIES HISTORY: LEADER: Ravens lead all-time series, 7-5
STREAKS: Ravens have won past 2
LAST GAME: 12/22/18: Ravens 22 at Chargers 10
LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/1/15: Ravens 29, Chargers 26
CHARGERS earned 1st playoff berth since 2013 & had 12 wins, most since 2009 season (13). • LOS ANGELES ranked 3rd in yards per play (6.3) & tied for 6th in points per game (26.8). • ANTHONY LYNN makes postseason debut. • LOS ANGELES had 7 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: WR KEENAN ALLEN, RB MELVIN GORDON, DE MELVIN INGRAM, rookie S DERWIN JAMES, ST ADRIAN PHILLIPS, C MIKE POUNCEY & QB PHILIP RIVERS. QB PHILIP RIVERS passed for 4,308 yards & is 1 of 4 QBs (TOM BRADY, DREW BREES & PEYTON MANNING) with 10 season of 4,000+ pass yards. Ranks 6th in NFL history in TD passes (374) & 8th in passing yards (54,656). Ranked 2nd in AFC with 105.5 passer rating in 2018. Aims for his 3rd postseason start in row with 115+ rating. • RB MELVIN GORDON ranked 6th in AFC with 1,375 scrimmage yards & joined HOFer LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON (2001-08) as only Chargers with 3 straight 1,300+ scrimmage yard seasons in franchise history. Had 9 TDs (6 rush, 3 rec.) in 6 road games in 2018. Since 2016, is 1 of 2 RBs (TODD GURLEY) with 4,000+ scrimmage yards (4,372) & 35+ TDs (38) • WR KEENAN ALLEN led team with 97 catches for 1,196 yards. Has 199 catches since 2017, most in 2-year span in franchise history. Had 142 rec. yards & 2 TDs in last postseason game (1/12/14 at Den.). Has 3 TD catches in 3 career games vs. Bal. WR MIKE WILLIAMS led team with 10 rec. TDs. Has 5 TD catches in his past 6. TE ANTONIO GATES has 116 career TD catches, tied most among active players. • DE MELVIN INGRAM led team with 7 sacks. Had 2 FRs in Week 16 meeting. DE JOEY BOSA has 5.5 sacks in his past 6. Rookie S DERWIN JAMES led team with 105 tackles & is 1st rookie in franchise history with 100+ tackles. Was 1 of 2 in NFL with 100+ tackles, 3+ sacks (3.5) & 3+ INTs (3).
RAVENS NOTES: RAVENS won AFC North, 1st division title since 2012 & 1st playoff appearance since 2014. • BALTIMORE led NFL in total defense (292.9) & ranked 2nd in points per game allowed (17.9). Led AFC & ranked 2nd in NFL with 152.6 rush yards per game. • JOHN HARBAUGH led Baltimore to SB XLVII championship in 2012. • BALTIMORE had 3 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: LB C.J. MOSLEY, S ERIC WEDDLE & G MARSHAL YANDA. QB LAMAR JACKSON (rookie) had 6-1 record as starter in 2018, incl. 4-0 at home. Led all QBs in rush yards (695) & is 1 of 4 QBs (CAM NEWTON, ROBERT GRIFFIN III & JOSH ALLEN) with 600+ rush yards in rookie season. Tied for 2nd among QBs with 5 rush TDs. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 at home & aims for his 3rd in row at home with 90+ rush yards. Passed for 204 yards & 1 TD vs. 0 INTs & 101.3 rating in Week 16 meeting. • RB GUS EDWARDS (rookie) ranked 5th among rookies with 718 rush yards. Is 1 of 5 rookies with 3 games of 100+ rush yards in 2018. Since Week 11, led all rookies & tied for 3rd in NFL with 654 rush yards. Had 105 scrimmage yards (92 rush, 13 rec.) in Week 16 meeting. • TE MARK ANDREWS (rookie) had 83 rec. yards, incl. 68- yard TD catch in last meeting. Led all rookie TEs in rec. yards (552) & ranked 3rd in catches (34). WR WILLIE SNEAD IV led team with 62 receptions & had 651 rec. yards. WR JOHN BROWN led team with 5 TD catches in 2018. • LB TERRELL SUGGS has 132.5 career sacks with Bal., tied with HOFer LAWRENCE TAYLOR for 3rd-most sacks with single team since 1982. Has 12.5 postseason sacks, most among active players. LB ZA’DARIUS SMITH led team with 8.5 sacks this season. Had 1.5 sacks in last meeting. S ERIC WEDDLE had 71 PD, 19 INTs, incl. 3 INT-TDs, 6.5 sacks, 5 FFs & 4 FRs in 9 seasons with Chargers (2007-15).
Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East – 9-7) at Chicago Bears (NFC North – 12-4) Sunday, January 6, 2019 | 4:40 PM ET | Soldier Field | Referee: Tony Corrente
LEADER: Bears lead all-time series, 29-14-1
STREAKS: Eagles have won past 3
LAST GAME: 11/26/17: Bears 3 at Eagles 31
LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/19/16: Eagles 29, Bears 14
EAGLES earned playoff berth for 2nd consecutive season. • PHILADELPHIA is seeking to become 1st back-toback SB champions since 2003-04 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (Super Bowls XXXVIII-XXXIX). • DOUG PEDERSON is 3-0 in playoff coaching career, including Super Bowl LII victory. • EAGLES had 3 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: G BRANDON BROOKS, DT FLETCHER COX & TE ZACH ERTZ. QB NICK FOLES is 4-1 with 1,413 pass yards (282.6 per game) & 7 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 96 rating in 5 games as starter this season. Aims for his 3rd in row with 100+ rating. In 3 playoff games in 2017 (including SB LII), had 971 pass yards (323.7 per game) with 6 TDs vs. 1 INT for 115.7 rating. Aims for his 3rd playoff game in row with 350+ pass yards, 3+ TDs & 100+ rating. Is 9-2 as starter since 2017 (including postseason). • RB JOSH ADAMS (rookie) led team with 511 rush yards this season, 1 of 8 rookie RBs with 500+ rush yards in 2018. RB DARREN SPROLES has 3 TDs (2 rec., 1 rush) in his past 5. In 10 career playoff games, has 715 scrimmage yards (71.5 per game) & 7 TDs (4 rush, 3 rec.). • TE ZACH ERTZ had franchise-record 116 catches in 2018 & surpassed JASON WITTEN (110 in 2012) for most singleseason receptions by TE in NFL history. Had 1,163 rec. yards in 2018, his 1st-career 1,000-yard season. WR ALSHON JEFFERY spent 5 seasons with Chi. (2012-16) & had 26 TD catches. Has 3 rec. TDs in his past 2 playoff games. WR NELSON AGHOLOR had 2 TD catches in Week 17. • DT FLETCHER COX had 3 sacks & FF in Week 17. Had sack in last game vs. Chi. Led team with 10.5 sacks, his 1stcareer season with 10+ sacks. LB NIGEL BRADHAM has 15 tackles & sack in 3 career playoff games. Led team with 97 tackles in 2018. CB RASUL DOUGLAS has INT in 2 of his past 4.
BEARS won NFC North, 1st division title since 2010. • CHICAGO led NFL in scoring defense (17.7 points allowed per game), takeaways (36) & INTs (27) & ranked 3rd in turnover differential (+12) in 2018. • BEARS have won 9 of their past 10 games & were 7-1 at home this season. • MATT NAGY makes postseason debut as head coach. • BEARS had 5 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: RB TARIK COHEN, CB KYLE FULLER, DT AKIEM HICKS, S EDDIE JACKSON & LB KHALIL MACK. QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY had 4 games with 120+ rating in 2018, most such games in single season in franchise history. Since entering league in 2017, is 1 of 7 QBs with 5,000+ pass yards (5,416) & 650+ rush yards (669). Since 2017, leads NFL averaging 6.1 yards per rush (min. 100 atts.). In 8 home games this season, has 19 pass TDs vs. 9 INTs for 97.2 rating & had 2 rush TDs. • RB JORDAN HOWARD rushed for 935 yards & tied career-high with 9 rush TDs in 2018. Has 4 rush TDs in his past 3. Aims for 4th in row with TD. In his past 2 at home, has 178 scrimmage yards (89 per game) with rush TD. RB TARIK COHEN had 1,169 scrimmage yards (725 rec., 444 rush), his 1st-career season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 2 NFL players (CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY) this season with 3+ rush TDs (3), 5+ rec. TDs (5) & TD pass (1). • WR ALLEN ROBINSON led team with 754 rec. yards. WR ANTHONY MILLER ranked 2nd among NFL rookies with 7 TD catches this season. • LB KHALIL MACK had team-high 12.5 sacks in 2018, tied for 3rd-most by Bear in single season since 1982. Had 11 tackles in only career playoff game (1/7/17 with Oak.). In 7 home games with Chi., has 8.5 sacks, 4 FFs & FR. CB KYLE FULLER tied for NFL lead with career-high 7 INTs and ranked 1st with 21 PD this season. Aims for his 7th in row at home with PD.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
ALABAMA SPORTS INFORMATION
INSIDE THE SERIES Overall: 19th Meeting (Alabama leads, 14-4) In Postseason Play: Alabama leads, 2-1 Current Streak: Alabama, Won 1 Last Meeting: Jan. 1, 2018 (W, 24-6) Series Notes: Alabama and Clemson will meet for the 19th time in series history and the fourth consecutive season in the College Football Playoff. Monday’s matchup will also be the third pairing between the two schools in the CFP National Championship Game with a 1-1 split in the previous two matchups. The Crimson Tide holds the all-time series advantage at 14-4, including a 2-1 mark in the Playoff. The two teams last met in the 2018 CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans, La., with Alabama posting a dominant 24-6 win over the Tigers. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is 3-1 all-time against Clemson, including a 2-1 mark in Playoff matchups, while Dabo Swinney is 1-2 against his alma mater.
NEUTRAL SITES: Alabama is 89-49-4 (.641) all-time in 142 neutral site contests. The list includes all Alabama-Auburn games not played on campus, including Legion Field from 1948-88. The Tide is 3-0 in neutral site games this season, opening the 2018 campaign with a 51-14 win over Louisville at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 1. UA then defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Dec. 1 and followed with a 45-34 win over fourth-ranked Clemson in the CFP Semifinal matchup on Dec. 29 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Crimson Tide was 3-0 in neutral site games in 2017 and has won six straight neutral site contests, dating back to the Tide’s 35-31 loss to Clemson in the 2016 CFP National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide is 21-5 (.808) in neutral site games.
SEC RECORD: Alabama extended its record for most consecutive 10-win seasons in SEC history to 11 when it defeated Mississippi State, 24-0, on Nov. 10, to improve to 10-0 on the year. UA had records of 12-2 in 2008, 14-0 in 2009, 10-3 in 2010, 12-1 in 2011, 13-1 in 2012, 11-2 in 2013, 12-2 in 2014, 14-1 marks in 2015 and 2016 and a 13-1 mark in 2017 before this season’s 13-0 stretch.
20-POINT VICTORY STREAK: Alabama opened the season with 12 consecutive victories by 20 points or more, which equals the most to start a season in NCAA history (Yale, 1888). The streak also surpassed the previous Football Bowl Subdivision record of 10 consecutive 20-point victories at any point in a season, set by Boise State from Sept. 14-Nov. 23, 2002.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS: Alabama’s scoring differential stands at 31.5 points per game (47.7-16.2) in 2018. A big reason for the margin is the Crimson Tide’s performance following a turnover. UA has scored 111 points off 21 opponent giveaways this season, scoring on 18 of the turnovers. The Tide defense has directly accounted for 35 points on four interception returns and a fumble return, while the offense has posted 77 points on its 15 post-turnover possessions.
NO MORE THAN ONE: Alabama entered November with no more than one loss for the 11th straight season (since 2008). Only one other FBS program has done that since 1950, the Nebraska Cornhuskers under Tom Osborne. In those 11 seasons, the Crimson Tide has entered November undefeated eight times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018).
DECADE OF DOMINANCE: In the 168 rankings since the Crimson Tide was first voted No. 1 in the AP poll under Nick Saban in 2008 (Nov. 2, 2008 – week 11), Alabama has been on top of the poll 87 times over the last 10 seasons – or 51.7 percent. In the history of the AP poll, the next highest percent of weeks at No. 1 over a 10-year span is Norte Dame at 35.6 percent (1940-1950) and Florida State at 34.1 percent (1991-2001).
#1 RANKING: Alabama has been ranked first in the AP poll in 45 of the last 48 polls. Prior to Alabama’s current run at No. 1, the most appearances at No. 1 in a 50-week span was USC with 33 from 2003-05. The Crimson Tide has broken that mark by 12 with just the postseason poll left this season.
SABAN LEADS IN WINS VS. TOP-5 TEAMS: Alabama’s 45-34 win over No. 4 Oklahoma in the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 was Nick Saban’s 24th career victory against a team ranked in the top 5 of the Associated Press Top 25, the most in college football history. Saban’s 24-12 career record in those contests gives him a .667 winning percentage, which is also college football’s best. Following Saban on the all-time victory list are Bobby Bowden (18/.378 winning percentage), Barry Switzer (15/.516), Woody Hayes (15/.516), Steve Spurrier (15/.429) and Lou Holtz (15/.419). Saban’s record includes six wins in the College Football Playoff: No. 3 Michigan State (38-0) and No. 1 Clemson (45-40) in 2015; No. 4 Washington (24-7) in 2016; No. 1 Clemson (24-6) and No. 3 Georgia (26-23) in 2017; and a 45-34 victory over fourth-ranked Oklahoma a week ago. Alabama also went 3-0 in BCS National Championship Games (vs. Texas, 37-21, 2009; vs. LSU, 21-0, 2011; vs. Notre Dame, 42-14, 2012).
AGAINST THE TOP 10: Since the start of the 2008 season, the Crimson Tide has posted a 30-9 (.769) overall record against top-10 teams, including a 15-3 (.833) mark versus the top 10 since the inception of the College Football Playoff. In Saban’s five national championship seasons at Alabama, his teams have gone 17-2 against top-10 opponents.
SABAN VS. AP TOP 25: Alabama’s 45-34 win over No. 4 Oklahoma in the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 was Nick Saban’s 82nd career win vs. the Associated Press Top 25, tying him with Florida State legend Bobby Bowden for second all-time. Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno leads the list with 86, four ahead of Bowden and Saban’s 82. Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant is fourth at 66 while former Duke, Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is fifth at 64. Saban’s winning percentage against AP ranked teams (82-39, .678) tops Bryant (.592), Bowden (.557), Spurrier (.529) and Paterno (.512).
SABAN’S 77th GAME AS AP NO. 1: The matchup with Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be Nick Saban’s 77th career game coaching Alabama as the Associated Press No. 1 team, the most games coached as No. 1 at one school. At 69-7 (.908), Saban has won more games coaching as the No. 1 team at one school than any other coach in college football history. Woody Hayes (Ohio State) and Bobby Bowden (Florida State) are tied for second with 40 wins apiece. Bowden was 40-5 (.889) at Florida State as No. 1 and Hayes went 40-6 (.870) with Ohio State. This postseason is also Alabama’s 87th week as the No. 1 team in the AP rankings during the Saban era. In addition to the 76 game weeks at No. 1, Alabama was ranked No. 1 during its bye weeks in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and topped the postseason poll following its five national championship victories under Saban.
CLEMSON SPORTS INFORMATION
CLEMSON TO FACE ALABAMA IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP The top two seeds in the College Football Playoff will battle for college football supremacy for the 2018 season when No. 2 Clemson faces No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Kickoff from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local). The meeting of the Tigers and Crimson Tide is becoming an annual rite of winter. This year’s matchup marks the fourth consecutive season that the two teams have met in a bowl game, a first in college football history. Like Clemson and Alabama in the last three years, Ohio State and USC had met previously in three consecutive bowl games across the 1972-74 seasons. Last week, Clemson and Notre Dame played the first game between undefeated teams in College Football Playoff history. This week, even more history will be on the line when the 14-0 Tigers and 14-0 Crimson Tide square off, as each team will attempt to become the first major college football team in the modern era to go 15-0. No major team has recorded a 15-0 record since the 19th century, when Penn compiled a 15-0 mark in 1897. In addition to featuring the two winningest programs of the College Football Playoff era, Monday’s contest will also highlight the two winningest senior classes in college football history. The current seniors at Alabama and Clemson have won 55 and 54 games since 2015, respectively, the top two totals in Division I history. A Clemson win on Monday would tie the two senior classes with 55 wins and two national championships each. In addition to four consecutive ACC titles and College Football Playoff berths, Clemson’s senior class has also all but assured itself of a fourth consecutive AP Top 5 finish. Prior to 2015, Clemson’s only AP Top 5 finish in school history came in 1981 during the program’s first national championship season. Clemson will look to complete its 2018 journey by going coast to coast, as the Atlantic Coast Conference champions will be playing their first game in the state of California since facing USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1966. Clemson’s only other appearance in the state came in 1951 at Pacific.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – Clemson attempting to win its third football national championship in school history, joining the 1981 and 2016 squads. – Clemson attempting to join Florida State (three) as the only schools to win three national titles as members of the ACC. Pitt (nine), Miami (five), Georgia Tech (four) have also won at least three national championships, but all of Pitt and Miami’s titles predated the schools joining the ACC, as did three of Georgia Tech’s four titles. – Clemson attempting to become the second team to win multiple national championships in the College Football Playoff era since 2014 (Alabama). – Clemson attempting to become the first major college football team in the modern era to go 15-0. No major college football team has won 15 games since the 19th century, when Penn posted a 15-0 mark in 1897. – The 2018 Tigers attempting to break the school record of 14 wins, a mark currently shared with the 2015 and 2016 Tigers. – Clemson attempting to finish its sixth undefeated season (1900, 1906, 1948, 1950, 1981) and fourth perfect season (1900, 1948, 1981) in school history. It would be Clemson’s first undefeated season and/or perfect season since going 12-0 in in 1981 en route to its first national championship. – Clemson attempting to become the first team since its own 2016 squad to finish the season as the AP No. 1 despite never appearing at No. 1 at any point of the season. The 2018 Tigers would be the 20th team in AP Poll history to do so (2016 Clemson, 2015 Alabama, 2014 Ohio State, 2011 Alabama, 2006 Florida, 2005 Texas, 2002 Ohio State, 1992 Alabama, 1989 Miami, 1987 Miami, 1986 Penn State, 1983 Miami, 1982 Penn State, 1977 Notre Dame, 1973 Notre Dame, 1970 Nebraska, 1965 Alabama, 1964 Alabama and 1946 Notre Dame). – Clemson and Alabama meeting in a bowl game/ national championship for the fourth consecutive year, the first such tetralogy in college football history. – Clemson and Alabama entering the game with a combined 109-7 record since 2015. Excluding the three games the teams have contested against one another in that time frame, the Tigers and Tide are a combined 106- 4 (96.4 percent) against all other competition over the last four seasons. – Clemson entering the game as the No. 2 seed behind top-seeded Alabama. Lower-ranked seeds are 4-0 all-time in the College Football Playoff National Championship, including victories by No. 4 Ohio State (vs. No. 2 Oregon) in 2014, No. 2 Alabama (vs. No. 1 Clemson) in 2015, No. 2 Clemson (vs. No. 1 Alabama) in 2016 and No. 4 Alabama (vs. No. 3 Georgia) in 2017. – Clemson attempting to improve to 5-2 all-time in College Football Playoff contests and push its record in CFP National Championships to 2-1. Clemson’s four alltime playoff wins already rank second behind Alabama’s six. – The two winningest senior classes in major college football history squaring off against one another. The career win totals of current seniors at Alabama (55) and Clemson (54) are the most in any four-year span. A win by Clemson would extend its ACC record for a senior class to 55 and tie the current Alabama seniors for the most in history. – Clemson’s seniors attempting to improve to 55-4 since 2015 to give the senior class a .932 career winning percentage. Clemson’s seniors can finish their careers with a winning percentage no worse than .915, which would still far outpace the school record set by the 2017 seniors (.877, 50-7). Regardless of the outcome of the National Championship, the 2018 senior class will become the first in school history to field a winning percentage of .900 or better. – Clemson attempting to win its 15th straight game, which would tie a 15-game streak from 1947-49 for the second-longest winning streak in program history. – Clemson attempting to earn its 103rd win of the decade. Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State are the only FBS schools to win 100 games in the 2000s. – Clemson attempting to improve its all-time bowl record to 24-20 and its all-time postseason record, including conference championship games, to 29-21. – Clemson winning another bowl game to give the Tigers victories in eight of its last 10 bowl games since the 2012 season. One of the two losses came during the 2015 season in a National Championship that was preceded by an Orange Bowl win, so Clemson has won a bowl game in eight of the last nine years. – Clemson playing only its third game in the state of California all-time, joining a game at USC in 1966 and a road contest at Pacific in 1951. – Clemson attempting to even its all-time record in the month of January at 11-11. – Clemson attempting to win its 30th consecutive outdoor game. Clemson enters the contest 54-1 in their last 55 outdoor games dating back to the middle of the 2014 campaign. – Head Coach Dabo Swinney attempting to become only the second active FBS coach to win multiple national championships, joining Alabama’s Nick Saban (six, including one at LSU). – Swinney attempting to improve to 14-6 in postseason play, including both conference championships and bowl games. – Swinney attempting to earn his ninth bowl victory all-time, extending his existing school record over Danny Ford (six). A ninth bowl victory would pull him within two of Bobby Bowden’s conference record (11). – Swinney’s attempting to earn an eighth bowl victory since 2012 against coaches with national championships to their credit at various NCAA levels (two each against Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops, one each against Brian Kelly, Les Miles and Nick Saban). – Swinney attempting to earn his 116th career victory to push his career record to 116-30. His 116th career win would tie him with College Football Hall of Fame coaches Fritz Crisler and Mike Bellotti in coaching wins at the Division I level. – Clemson entering the game with a school-record nine consecutive wins by 20 or more points. Clemson and Alabama have both won 12 total games by 20 or more points this season, tied with 2013 Florida State for the most in a season since the turn of the century. – Clemson attempting to score 50 points in a fifth game this season to tie the 2013 Tigers for the most 50-point games in a season in school history. – Clemson attempting to score 40 points in a ninth game this season to break a tie with the 2012 and 2013 Tigers (eight each) for the most 40-point games in a season in school history. – Clemson attempting to add to its existing school record by scoring at least 27 points in a 15th straight game. – Clemson (620) needing 30 points to become the second team in ACC history to score 650 points in a single season (Florida State, 723 in 2013). – Clemson entering the game with 84 total touchdowns scored by 21 different players. The 21 different players to score a touchdown this season are tied with the 2013 Tigers for the most in a single season in school history. – Clemson (84 touchdowns through 14 games) entering the game 10 touchdowns shy of Florida State’s single season ACC record (94 in 2013). Clemson (7,426) requiring 293 yards of offense to break the school and ACC record of 7,718, set in 2015. – Clemson’s balanced attack attempting to record 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards in a single game for an eighth time this season. The Tigers are 41-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Swinney. – Clemson (47) needing one rushing touchdown to tie or two rushing touchdowns to break the ACC record for rushing touchdowns in a single season, held by the 2012 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (48). – Clemson attempting to outrush Alabama to record more rushing yards than an opponent for the 14th time this season. The Tigers have outrushed opponents in 24 of their 28 games since 2017 and are 24-0 when outrushing opponents in that time frame. – Clemson attempting to produce multiple 100-yard rushers in a game for the third time this season. It would mark the fourth season in school history in which Clemson has produced multiple 100-yard rushers in at least three games (three in 1951, three in 1985, four in 2015). – Clemson attempting to record four or more sacks in a ninth game this season to pass the mark set by the 2015 Tigers (eight games) for the most in Swinney’s tenure. – Clemson (52) attempting to add to its school record for sacks in a single season. Stanford currently holds the mark for most sacks in a single season since 2000 (57 in 2012). – Clemson throwing for 162 yards to reach the 4,000- yard passing mark on the season, which would represent the program’s fifth 4,000-yard passing season in school history. The 2018 season would mark only Clemson’s second season in school history with 4,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards (2015). – Clemson attempting to return a punt for a touchdown to record multiple punt returns for touchdowns in a single season for the first time since 2009 (Jacoby Ford vs. Middle Tennessee State and C.J. Spiller vs. Boston College). – Running back Travis Etienne adding to his existing single-season school records for rushing yards (1,572), rushing touchdowns (22) and total touchdowns (23). – Etienne (2,338) rushing for 162 yards to reach the 2,500-yard career rushing mark during the contest, which would make him only the 11th player in Clemson history to accomplish the feat. Etienne attempting to record his ninth 100-yard rushing game of the season, which would tie Wayne Gallman’s team record of nine from 2015. It would be his career-best-tying fourth consecutive 100-yard game, matching his four-game streak from earlier this season. – Etienne (22) chasing Pittsburgh’s James Conner ACC record of 26 rushing touchdowns, set in 2014. Conner also holds the ACC record for total touchdowns in a single season (26); Etienne enters the game with 23 total touchdowns in 2018. – Defensive end Clelin Ferrell making his 44th career start to break Levon Kirkland’s school record for starts by a defensive end/outside linebacker (43 from 1988-91). – Ferrell (27.0) needing one sack to tie or 1.5 sacks to pass Michael Dean Perry (28.0 from 1984-87) and Gaines Adams (28.0 from 2003-06) for second on the school’s all-time leaderboard in career sacks. – Ferrell (11.5) entering the game eighth in school history in sacks in a single season. He is half a sack shy of tying Vic Beasley (12.0 in 2014) and Kevin Dodd (12.0 in 2015) for sixth-most in a season in school history, one sack away from tying Gaines Adams (12.5 in 2006) and Shaq Lawson (12.5 in 2015) for fourth, and 1.5 sacks away from tying Beasley (13.0 in 2013) for third. – Wide receiver Tee Higgins (11) entering the game one touchdown shy of tying Sammy Watkins (12 in 2011 and 2013) for second on the school’s leaderboard for receiving touchdowns in a single season. – Higgins attempting to match his career best by catching a touchdown in a fourth consecutive game, matching a streak he set earlier this season. – Kicker Greg Huegel making his 48th career start at kicker to pass Aaron Welch for second-most career starts by a Clemson kicker all-time (52, Chandler Catanzaro). – Huegel (71) breaking his own single-season team record of 71 PATs from 2016. Huegel has accounted for three of the top five seasons in PATs in school history. – Huegel (53) kicking two field goals to tie or three field goals to pass Aaron Hunt (55 from 2000-03) for fifth most career field goals in school history. – Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (2,933) throwing for 67 yards to reach 3,000 passing yards on the season and record only the seventh individual 3,000-yard passing season in school history. – Lawrence (27) pushing past Cullen Harper for sixth most touchdown passes in a season in school history (27 in 2007) with his next touchdown pass. – Lawrence (27) throwing two passing touchdowns to pass Mike Eppley (28 from 1980-84) for eighth in career passing touchdowns in school history. – Lawrence (27) throwing three passing touchdowns to post only the sixth season of 30 or more passing touchdowns in school history, accomplished previously by Tajh Boyd (three times) and Deshaun Watson (twice). – Lawrence entering the game having thrown a career-long 137 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. His most recent interception came on his final pass attempt at Boston College on Nov. 10. He is seven attempts shy of Cullen Harper’s single-season school record of 143 consecutive interception-free attempts in 2007. – Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow adding to his school records for career starts by a wide receiver (46) and consecutive games with a reception (42). – Renfrow (2,123) gaining 101 receiving yards to pass Jerry Butler (2,223 from 1975-78) and enter the Top 10 in career receiving yards in school history. – Renfrow (15) attempting to record his 16th career touchdown reception to tie Terrance Roulhac, Derrick Hamilton and Jacoby Ford (16 each) for 10th-most career touchdown receptions in Clemson history. – Amari Rodgers (299) needing 64 punt return yards to break Darnell Stephens’ freshman school record for punt return yards (362 in 1991). – Rodgers attempting to return a second punt for a touchdown this season to join Shad Bryant (two in 1938), Don Kelley (two in 1970) and Donnell Woolford (two in 1987) as the only players in school history to record multiple punt return touchdowns in a single season. – Wide receiver Justyn Ross attempting to become the first Clemson player with consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Mike Williams against Syracuse and Pitt in 2016. – Ross attempting to become the first Clemson freshman with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Artavis Scott vs. South Carolina and Oklahoma in 2014. – Ross attempting to become the first Clemson receiver to catch multiple touchdown passes in back-to-back games since Deon Cain vs. Louisville and Boston College in 2016. – Ross (eight) catching two touchdown passes to reach 10 touchdown receptions this season. Including Tee Higgins (11), it would give Clemson multiple players with double-digit touchdown receptions in a single season for the first time in program history. – Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and tight end Cannon Smith extending their existing school records by playing in their 59th career games.
CLEMSON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY Clemson has won five national championships, including two in football, in its athletic history. In addition to the two football titles, Clemson has won two in men’s soccer (1984 and 1987) and one in men’s golf (2003). The first football title came at the Orange Bowl against Nebraska at the end of the 1981 season, a 22-15 victory under Head Coach Danny Ford. That was the first title in any sport in school history. Clemson then won a second title at the end of the 2016 season against Alabama in a game played in Tampa. The 1984 soccer title was a 2-1 win over Indiana in the Kingdome in Seattle. Three years later, Clemson won the title with a 3-1 win over San Diego State. That year, the soccer Final Four was awarded to one of the participants and Clemson won the bid, so Clemson had the rare opportunity to win an NCAA title in its home facility. Clemson’s won its first spring sport title in 2003 when Clemson won the NCAA Men’s Golf championship at Oklahoma’s State’s home course in Stillwater, Okla., beating the home-standing Cowboys by two shots.
SERIES HISTORY VS. ALABAMA Two of the most storied programs in the South and across the college football landscape, Clemson and Alabama have combined to win each of the last three National Championships. Both programs have the most league titles in their respective conference histories. Clemson has won 18 ACC titles, the most in ACC history, while Alabama has 27 to lead SEC institutions. The two schools have met just four times on the gridiron since 1975, including the regular season opener for the 2008 and the last three College Football Playoffs, when the programs met in National Championship games to conclude the 2015 and 2016 seasons and in a playoff semifinal in the Sugar Bowl last year. Alabama has a 14-4 lead in a series that dates back to a 35-0 Clemson victory in 1900. College Football Hall of Fame Coach John Heisman was Clemson’s coach that day. Clemson won the first three games of the series, as the Tigers followed with shutout wins in 1904 and 1905. Alabama won the next 13 until Clemson won in the National Championship game at the end of the 2016 season, 35-31. Alabama won in the Sugar Bowl last year, 24-6. Alabama did not score on Clemson in the first three meetings, then Clemson did not score on Alabama in four consecutive games played between 1934-66. Alabama won a battle of strong teams in 1935, as Clemson entered the game with a 5-1 record and the Crimson Tide stood with a 5-1-1 mark. Alabama won the game played at Tuscaloosa, 33-0. The two schools met four consecutive years from 1966-69 in a series arranged by good friends Frank Howard of Clemson and Bear Bryant of Alabama. Howard was a 1931 Alabama graduate who went to Clemson the fall after he graduated and never left until his death in 1996. Howard is buried in the cemetery behind the South Stands at Memorial Stadium, and his grave site is just 50 yards from the entrance to the press box. Howard was a senior when Bryant was a freshman at Alabama. They decided late in Howard’s career to have a four game home-and-home series. Clemson went to Alabama in 1966 and 1968 and Alabama came to Clemson in 1967 and 1969. The 1969 season was Howard’s final year as head coach. The 1966 game was a contest between eventual conference champions. Alabama finished that season with an 11-0 record and won the SEC with a 6-0 conference mark. Clemson finished with a 6-4 record, but had a 6-1 record in the ACC. That year, Clemson’s non-conference record consisted of ninth-ranked Georgia Tech, fourth-ranked Alabama and fifth-ranked Southern California, all on the road. Bryant came to Clemson for the first time in 1967 and the two teams did not disappoint the sellout crowd of 49,500 at Memorial Stadium. The contest ended with a 13-10 Alabama victory. Ken Stabler hit on 9-15 passes for 135 yards, including four connections for 110 yards to All-American Denis Homan. Clemson was led by Buddy Gore, the ACC Player of the Year that season, who had 23-73 rushing. Total offense was as close as the score, 276 for Alabama and 275 for Clemson. Clemson had the ball in Alabama territory twice in the last eight minutes, but could not get on the scoreboard. Clemson came close again in 1968, but an Alabama team that finished with an 8-3 record and top 15 national ranking, beat Clemson at Tuscaloosa, 21-14. The following year, Clemson ran up and down the field, but lost, 38-13. Clemson had a 200-yard passer (Tommy Kendrick), a 100-yard rusher (Ray Yauger) and a 100- yard receiver (Charlie Waters), yet lost the game by 25 points. After the game, then Alabama captain and future Clemson head coach Danny Ford presented Bryant with a game ball that included a sticker with the number 100 on it. (It was the 100th year of college football and teams wore a 100 logo, so all he had to do was take if off of his helmet.). The victory was Bryant’s 100th win at Alabama. Bryant won his 100th game in his 126th game at Alabama. Last year, Dabo Swinney won his 100th game in his 129th game at Clemson. Alabama defeated Clemson in the Georgia Dome in the 2008 season opener, 34-10. Clemson was ranked eighth and Alabama was 24th entering the game, but Nick Saban’s second Alabama squad went on to finish that year 12-2 and ranked sixth in the nation. The highlight of the game for Clemson was a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by C.J. Spiller. A month and a half after this game, Alabama graduate Dabo Swinney, who was Clemson’s wide receiver coach for that game, was named Clemson interim head coach. On Dec. 1, Swinney got the job full time. The 2015 season meeting between the two teams was a classic National Championship matchup in Phoenix. Alabama won, 45-40, but Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was outstanding as he threw for 405 yards and ran for 73 as the Tigers gained 554 yards of total offense. An onside kick in the fourth period led to an Alabama touchdown and the Crimson Tide also had a kickoff return for a score. Clemson had the lead going into the fourth period and had won 51 in a row in that situation until Saban and the Tide pulled out the win. In the rematch in the National Championship game at the end of the 2016 season, Clemson was victorious in thrilling fashion, 35-31. Watson connected with Hunter Renfrow on a two-yard touchdown pass with just one second left to give Clemson its first National Championship since 1981.
LAST MEETING VS. ALABAMA
Alabama 24, Clemson 6 (Jan. 1, 2018 at New Orleans, La.) The No. 1 Clemson football team suffered its second and final defeat of the 2017 season, falling 24-6 to the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and College Football Playoff Semifinal. With the loss, Clemson ended the year with a 12-2 overall record, while Alabama improved to 12-1 overall. After Clemson forced a three-and-out on Alabama’s first drive, the Tide capitalized on their second drive by hitting a 24-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Alabama upped its lead to 10-0 as time was expiring in the first quarter when Jalen Hurts connected with Calvin Ridley for a 12-yard score. Clemson got on the board five minutes into the second quarter on an Alex Spence 44-yard field goal. Deon Cain, who finished the game as the Tigers’ leading receiver, had two catches for 27 yards to power the scoring drive that brought the Tide lead to 10-3. Both defenses proved stout for the rest of the half, with either team’s best scoring chance coming on a failed 38-yard field goal by Alabama with 17 seconds left. The Tigers opened the second half by cutting Alabama’s lead to 10-6 on a Spence 42-yard field goal. The score was set up by Kendall Joseph causing and recovering a fumble on the Alabama 20-yard line on the Tide’s first play of the half. A few drives later, Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne intercepted a Bryant pass and returned it 21 yards, paving the way for Hurts to find Payne for a one-yard touchdown. Alabama found the end zone again immediately, as Mack Wilson intercepted Bryant’s first pass on the next Clemson drive and returned it 18 yards for a score with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter. After the pick-six, the Tide took a 24-6 lead into the final 15 minutes, and that proved to be the final score after both defenses kept both offenses at bay. The two teams combined for just 449 yards of total offense, the fewest in a Sugar Bowl since 1969.
THIS DAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-JANUARY 4, 1986
ANAHEIM, Calif. – If you ever wondered why they pay talented running backs all that money, you only needed to watch Eric Dickerson today in the Los Angeles Rams’ 20-0 playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
He not only ran 34 times for 248 yards, a National Football League playoff record, he scored two touchdowns and brightened up an otherwise dismal game. Thanks to his rushing, five sacks by the Rams’ defense and excellent play by their special teams, the Rams advanced to the National Conference championship game Jan. 12, when they will play the winner of the game Sunday between the Chicago Bears and the Giants.
Dickerson, who missed the first game of the season because of a contract dispute, later signed an extension that will bring him more than $2.5 million after the 1986 season. From the looks of things today, the Rams got the better of the deal. Dickerson ran 55 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the second half to give the Rams a 10-0 lead and he scooted 40 yards for another touchdown on the third play of the fourth quarter for a 20-0 lead. On each, he got picture-perfect blocks from his teammates, and once he cleared the Dallas secondary, no one was able to get a hand on him.
“That was as good a game as I have ever seen a man play,” said John Robinson, the Rams’ coach. “Eric ran very, very hard. From the first play, I sensed that we would be able to be successful running the ball. We got great blocking, particularly on the right side. I don’t think anybody could have had a better day.”
Dickerson’s yardage surpassed a playoff record that has stood for 22 years and was the most ever given up by the Cowboys. It was also the most yards ever gained by a Ram running back. The playoff record had been held by Keith Lincoln of the San Diego Chargers, who ran for 206 yards in a game against the Boston Patriots. Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns ran for 232 yards against the Cowboys in 1963. Willie Ellison held the Rams’ rushing record, 247 yards in 1971. “Dallas didn’t think we could run on them,” said Dickerson, mindful of the Cowboys’ No. 4 ranking against the rush in the regular season. “But our strength is our running game, and we knew we could run on them.”
That was most evident on his touchdown runs. On the first, he followed blocks by the center, Tony Slaton, and the right guard, Dennis Harrah, as Barry Redden, the fullback, knocked Mike Hegman, the left linebacker, out of the play. “It was a quick hit up the middle,” Dickerson said. “For some reason, they were playing their safeties and cornerbacks up, maybe in a blitz. We knew if we could catch them in a blitz, we could burn them.”
On the second scoring run, he took a pitch from Dieter Brock and raced round the right side. “Michael Downs tried to tackle me high,” Dickerson said, referring to the Cowboys’ free safety. “There was no way I was going to let him tackle me.”
The Chicago Bears dominated the Rams, 24-0, in the National Football Conference championship game the following week at Soldier Field in Chicago, holding Eric Dickerson to 46 yards on the ground. The Bears then won the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots.
1863 – Four-wheeled roller skates patented by James Plimpton of New York, USA.
1883 – Ontario Rugby Football Union (forerunner of Canadian Football League) forms in Canada.
1902 – Hugh Trumble takes a hat-trick versus England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
1904 – Ottawa Silver Seven beat Winnipeg Rowing Club two games to one (Stanley Cup).
1906 – South Africa beats England in cricket by one wicket, their first Test win.
1932 – Donald Bradman scores 167 for Australia versus South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
1936 – Clarrie Grimmett becomes world record wicket taker with no 190 versus South Africa.
1942 – NFL Pro Bowl: Chicago Bears beats NFL All-Stars 35-24.
1942 – Rogers Hornsby is 14th player selected to the Hall of Fame.
1957 – Brooklyn Dodgers buy 44-passenger twin-engine airplane for US$775,000.
1966 – Doug Walters scores second Test century in his second Test.
1970 – Kansas City Chiefs beat Oakland Raiders 17-7 in AFC championship game.
1970 – Minnesota Vikings beat Cleveland Browns 27-7 in NFC championship game.
1971 – Philadelphia’s Veteran Stadium dedicated.
1975 – Montreal Canadiens shutout Washington Capitals 10-0.
1977 – Mary Shane is hired by Chicago White Sox as TV play-by-play.
1981 – 69th Australian Mens Tennis: B Teacher beats Kim Warwick (7-5, 7-6, 6-3).
1983 – US Football League holds its first player draft.
1984 – Edmonton Oilers beats Minnesota North Stars 12-8 – highest-scoring modern NHL game to date.
1986 – David Boon’s second Test century, 131 versus India at Adelaide.
1986 – NCAA basketball’s David Robinson blocks a record 14 shots.
1991 – Fu Mingxia, 12, of China wins World Swimming Championships gold medal.
2002 – The Saint Louis Cardinals agrees to a three-year, $27 million deal with Matt Morris.
2004 – The LSU Tigers defeat the Oklahoma Sooners 21-14 for the national Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title.
2004 – Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.