Welcome to another weekly roundup in the world of sports. This week, Major League Baseball’s playoffs are into the championship series. The Boston Red Sox are looking for revenge on the Houston Astros after the Astros knocked them out of the playoffs a season ago. In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to get back to the World Series for a second consecutive year, but the Milwaukee Brewers are the hottest team in baseball and are standing in their way. Week six of the NFL season featured plenty of interesting matchups, but two games went to the wire giving viewers exciting, edge of your seat type endings. In college football, four top 10 teams fell on Saturday including one at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans. And the Michigan Wolverines picked up their biggest win of the season so far in a Big 10 statement game.
Major League Baseball
The Playoffs are down to the final four teams. In the American League Championship Series, the No. 1 seeded Boston Red Sox and defending World Series champion Houston Astros are matched against each other. In the National League Championship Series, the Milwaukee Brewers will have home field advantage against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Game one of the ALCS was Saturday night in Boston. Aces Chris Sale and Justin Verlander took the mound for their respective teams and hits were at a minimum. Houston managed to score two runs in the second inning on only one hit. Boston came back to tie it in the fifth with two runs of their own. After adding a run in the top of the sixth, the Astros rattled off four runs in the top of the ninth silencing the Fenway Park crowd. The Astros won 7-2 as the two teams combined for nine runs on only eight combined hits.
In game two, the Red Sox looked to bring some life back to the home crowd. Boston got on the board early with two runs in the first inning. Houston answered though with two runs in the top of the second, then again in the top of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Boston answered quickly and regained their lead in the bottom of the inning by scoring three runs to take a 5-4 lead. The Red Sox added another run in the seventh and one in the eighth for some insurance runs to go up 7-4. With Craig Kimbrel on for Boston to get the save, Jose Altuve picked up an RBI single to pick up a run. The Astros failed to plate anymore after that however and lost the game 7-5.
The series is now tied at 1-1 and will move to Houston for game three on Tuesday. Dallas Keuchel will be on the rubber for the Astros and the Red Sox have yet to announce who their starter will be. The game begins at 5:09 p.m. on TBS.
The Brewers came into the series winners of 11 straight games. In game one on Friday, the winning streak would continue. The Dodgers scored early and then late. The Brewers scored in the middle innings giving them a lead most of the game. Going into the top of the eighth, the Dodgers trailed 6-1 and were facing an uphill battle. They scored three in the eighth to pull within two runs and then in the ninth, scored another run to bring their deficit to one run. With the tying run on third base for the Dodgers, Justin Turner came up to bat with the chance to tie it with a base hit. Corey Knebel of the Brewers struck out Turner to put an end to the rally and give the Brewers a game one victory and their 12th win in-a-row.
The next night, it looked like the Brewers were going to get their 13th straight win. They scored two in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 3-0 lead going into the seventh inning. The Dodgers’ late game heroics continued though, and this time it was enough to get over the hump. After scoring two runs in the top of the seventh, Turner came up to bat with a runner on. After striking out to end the game the night before, Turner came through in the clutch and hit a two-run homer to put them on top 4-3. The Dodgers ended up closing out the game and holding on to the one-run lead to pick up the win.
This series is also knotted at 1-1 and the series shifts to Los Angeles tonight. The Dodgers will send out Walker Buehier to start on the mound while Jhoulys Chacin will get the start for the Brewers. Game three starts at 7:39 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
To keep up with everything happening in the MLB postseason, click here.
National Football League
Week six of the NFL featured a couple games that came down to the final seconds.
The Chicago Bears traveled to Miami where Ryan Tannehill wasn’t able to suit up for the Dolphins meaning the journeyman Brock Osweiler was under center for Miami.
Both quarterbacks put up 300+ yards and three touchdowns in the match. Frank Gore had 101 yards on 15 carries for the Dolphins and Albert Wilson had a huge game for them as well with six catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
The game went to overtime tied at 28. The Bears had the ball late in the extra quarter and had a chance to win it with a field goal with two minutes left. The Bears’ Cody Parker lined up for a game-winning 53-yard attempt but missed wide right. The Dolphins got the ball back and with three seconds remaining, Jason Sanders kicked a 47-yard field goal to win it for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins move 4-2 on the season and will welcome the Detroit Lions who are coming off a bye week on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Bears fall to 3-2 and will host the New England Patriots on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been the surprise team of the AFC North and coming into Sunday, were sitting in first place with a 4-1 record. They were hosting their biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers who had beaten them seven straight times and eight of the last nine times they played.
The Steelers held a 20-14 lead late in the game. Andy Dalton led the Bengals down the field and with 1:18 left to play, Bengals’ running back Joe Mixon ran in a four-yard touchdown to take the lead 21-20. The Steelers had all three timeouts remaining and put the ball in Ben Roethlisberger’s hands in hopes of a game-winning drive.
Roethlisberger matched what Dalton had just done and led his team into field goal position with just 15 seconds left. It would have been a 49-yard field goal, so the Steelers wanted to run at least one more play to get it closer for their kicker, Chris Boswell. Boswell’s number would never be called however as the very next play, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 31-yard touchdown to win the game.
The Steelers’ stars shined in the game all putting up massive numbers. Roethlisberger had 369 yards and a touchdown through the air. Running back James Conner had 19 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns while Juju Smith-Schuster and Brown both had over 100 yards receiving. Dalton managed to throw two touchdowns in the loss.
The Steelers are now 3-2-1 and will go into their bye week before hosting the Cleveland Browns in two weeks. The Bengals go to 4-2 with the loss and will visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC next week at 8:20 p.m.
Week six concludes tonight when the San Francisco 49ers visit Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football on ESPN at 8:15 p.m.
For a list of all NFL matchups, gameday finals, stats and standings, click here.
For the second week in a row, the college football landscape saw massive shakeups at the top of the rankings. After three top 10 teams lost last week, four top 10 teams lost this week.
The Michigan State Spartans went into Happy Valley as a major underdog against the No. 8 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. The game was close throughout and with under 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, the Spartans trailed by three. They could kick a field goal to tie it, but MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke had a different idea. He hit Felton Davis III for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left to upset the Nittany Lions.
Lewerke had 259 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception in the Spartans’ 21-17 win. Davis III had a big game as well with eight receptions for an even 100 yards and two touchdowns including the game winner. The Spartans are now 4-2 and back in the top 25 and will host their in-state rival Michigan Wolverines next week.
The 13th ranked LSU Tigers were coming off of their first loss of the year. The No. 2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs were undefeated but had yet to face a highly ranked SEC opponent.
Georgia’s sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm struggled against LSU’s defense in this match and it showed. He was under 50 percent throwing the ball and only managed to throw one touchdown while also throwing two interceptions. LSU jumped out to a 16-0 lead at half essentially winning the game with two quarters left to play. LSU would add another 20 in the second half while only allowing Georgia to score 16.
LSU’s sophomore running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire helped the Tigers dominate time of possession with 19 carries for 145 yards in LSU’s 36-16 upset of the Bulldogs.
The Iowa State Cyclones have a knack for upsetting highly ranked teams in the Big XII. Saturday they hosted the No. 6 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers and looked to add another upset to their résumé.
The Cyclones’ defense held West Virginia’s Heisman hopeful Will Grier to a season low 100 yards passing. Despite falling behind 7-0 early, the Cyclones answered back by scoring 20 unanswered points. The Mountaineers pulled within six points with a late touchdown before the half, but that would be the last points forwarded by West Virginia. The Cyclones added 10 in the fourth quarter to secure the 30-14 upset victory.
Cyclones’ quarterback Brock Purdy had 254 yards through the air with three touchdowns and an interception. Running back David Montgomery was the player of the game for Iowa State as he had 189 rushing yards and touchdown on 29 rushes.
Arguably the most exciting game of the weekend was a matchup of PAC 12 foes. The 17th ranked Oregon Ducks hosted the No. 7 Washington Huskies and four quarters wasn’t enough to settle this match.
With three seconds remaining in regulation and the two teams tied at 24, the Ducks were set up for a game-winning 37 yard field goal. The Ducks’ kicker Peyton Henry missed the kick as time expired and the game went to overtime.
After a Washington field goal in overtime, the Ducks had the ball with a chance to extend it to a second overtime or win it with a touchdown. On third and goal, Oregon running back CJ Verdell ran it in from six yards out to give the Ducks a 30-27 win over the Huskies. Verdell had 111 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries in the Ducks’ win.
The 12th ranked Michigan Wolverines had what was supposed to be one of their toughest games of the year on Saturday when they hosted the 15th ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Despite not forwarding much in the way of offensive stats, Michigan dominated the game. With the game tied at 7-7 early in the second quarter, Michigan went on tear rattling off 31 straight points that went unanswered until the Badgers scored a meaningless touchdown with 3:47 left in the game.
Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson only had 124 yards passing on 14-of-21 passing with no touchdowns or interceptions in the 38-13 win. The Wolverines move to 6-1 on the season and look to pick up another win next week when they visit East Lansing for a matchup with the now 24th ranked Michigan State Spartans.
For a list of all other games, scores, news and rankings, click here.