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This Week in Sports: The World Series, Lions pull even and the battle for Michigan

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson (2) runs against Michigan State during the second half on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan won, 21-7. (Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

Welcome to another weekly roundup in the world of sports. This week, the World Series will feature two of the most iconic and historic franchises in baseball. The Boston Red Sox will have home field advantage in their showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Detroit Lions picked up a big win to get back to .500 and the Dallas Cowboys lost a heartbreaker to the Washington Redskins in a game that had some controversy in a pivotal moment. The Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans faced off on Saturday in one of college football’s biggest rivalries. Weather played a huge role in the game including a lightning delay that sent both teams to their locker rooms for over an hour. College football also saw its biggest upset of the 2018 season. Ohio State went to Purdue University where they were dismantled by the  Boilermakers. The NBA season started last week, but the biggest story coming out of the first week isn’t basketball related, but rather a fist fight that ensued in the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers matchup.

Major League Baseball

The Fall Classic is set. The Boston Red Sox, who had the league’s best regular season record with 108 wins, will face the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers are back in the World Series for the second consecutive year looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox took care of those Astros in five games in the American League Championship Series. Boston dominated the defending World Series champions and closed them out with a 4-1 win on Thursday night. Jackie Bradley Jr. was named ALCS MVP for the Red Sox.

The Dodgers’ path wasn’t as easy as they had to go to a game seven, National League Championship Series matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee on Saturday night. The Dodgers were fueled by Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer in the sixth inning of game seven. That home run gave them a 5-1 lead, and they never looked back. Cody Bellinger was named the NLCS MVP for Los Angeles.

Game one of the World Series will begin tomorrow night at 8:09 p.m. on Fox. The Red Sox and Dodgers haven’t played in a World Series since Babe Ruth helped Boston beat the then Brooklyn Robins in the 1916 World Series. The Red Sox are looking for their fourth World Series title in the last 14 seasons while the Dodgers are trying to win their first since they beat the Oakland Athletics in 1988.

To keep up with everything happening in baseball and the World Series, click here.

National Football League

The Detroit Lions visited the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon trying to improve on their 2-3 record.

After not having a running back record a 100-yard game in nearly five years, Kerryon Johnson rushed for over 100 yards in a win against New England a few weeks ago. Johnson was at it again yesterday and rushed for a career high 158 yards on 19 carries.

The Lions controlled the game for most of the afternoon and held a 17-7 lead at halftime. Detroit was facing Brock Osweiler who got his second consecutive start at the quarterback position in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. Osweiler had a decent day with 239 yards through the air, two touchdowns and no turnovers.

The Lions outgained the Dolphins with 457 yards of total offense to 322 for Miami. Detroit also held a seven-minute advantage in time of possession.

In the second half, Detroit was aided by three Matt Prater field goals and a Michael Roberts touchdown reception from Matt Stafford. Miami added two touchdowns in the second half, but the closest they managed to get was within eight points. The Lions would hold on for a 32-21 win on the road.

Stafford had 217 yards passing and two touchdowns, both of which went to Roberts who had three catches for 48 yards.

The Lions are now 3-3 on the season and are in third place in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions will host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox where they are currently a two-and-a-half point favorite. The Dolphins fall to 4-3 and sit a game behind the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East. They travel to Houston for a Thursday night matchup with the Texans at 8:20 p.m. on Fox.

The Dallas Cowboys traveled to the nation’s capital on Sunday afternoon to renew their NFC East rivalry with the Washington Redskins.

Whichever team came out on top of this matchup would own first place in the division. This game came down to the final three seconds when a controversial call by the officials would leave a stain on this game.

The Cowboys trailed 20-17 with three seconds left in the game and were lined up for a game-tying 47-yard field goal. Right before the attempt, an official threw his flag and blew his whistle calling a snap infraction on the Cowboys’ long snapper L.P. Ladouceur which allegedly caused a Washington defender to jump. The replay didn’t seem to show anything out of the ordinary, but the Cowboys were pushed back five yards.

It was now a 52-yard field goal attempt. Brett Maher kicked the ball and it started centered. As the ball was in the air, it kept drifting left until it hit the left upright and fell to the ground giving Washington the 20-17 win. The kick appeared that it would have been good if the Cowboys were five yards closer.

After the game, Ladouceur made it known that he didn’t agree with the call and emphasized that he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

“I did the exact same thing I usually do. Took the ball the exact same way and you know, just a bad turn of events there,” Ladouceur said in his postgame comments to a media scrum. “Never had that happen before. I do the exact same thing every time. So when that happens – that’s what I was telling the ref is I do the exact same thing. The guy just jumped, that’s what I thought.”

The Cowboys are now 3-4 on the season and tied for second place with the Philadelphia Eagles. They will have plenty of time to let this loss marinate as they head into their bye week and don’t play another game until they host the Tennessee Titans for a Monday Night Football matchup on Nov. 5 at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. Washington improves to 4-2 and is in first place in the NFC East. They travel to New Jersey next week to face another divisional opponent in the New York Giants on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox.

Week seven will conclude tonight when Eli Manning and New York Giants travel to Atlanta to face Matt Ryan and the Falcons on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m.

For a list of all NFL matchups, gameday finals, stats and standings, click here.

NCAA Football

The No. 6 ranked Michigan Wolverines traveled to East Lansing, Michigan on Saturday to take on the 24th ranked Spartans of Michigan State. The game featured a 75-minute weather delay in the first quarter which seemed to keep both teams from being able to capture any momentum or game flow.

After the delay, Michigan did manage to score a touchdown just five seconds into the second quarter off of a Nico Collins six-yard touchdown reception. Following the touchdown, the rain picked up and both teams had trouble holding onto the ball, each coughing it up via a fumble.

At halftime, the game was still 7-0, but just four minutes into the second half, MSU took advantage of another U of M fumble. They capitalized on the turnover with a gadget play that saw the quarterback Brian Lewerke catch a four-yard touchdown from wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr.

Both team’s offenses continued to struggle until late in the third quarter when Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson hit Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 79-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead. Just about seven minutes later, the Wolverines scored another touchdown that all but ended the game. MSU’s offense could never get any rhythm and down by 14, never managed any more points in the game.

In the 21-7 win for Michigan, Patterson had 212 yards and threw for two touchdowns. The player of the game was Karan Higdon who had 33 caries for 144 yards. The Spartans put forth their worst offensive performance of the season in the in-state battle. Lewerke was a miserable 5-for-25 passing for 66 yards. LJ Scott was the Spartans’ leading rusher in the game but only managed to gain 25 yards on 10 carries.

The Wolverines move to 7-1 on the season and are undefeated in Big 10 play. They have a bye week this coming Saturday and will get ready to host the 17th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, Nov. 3. The Spartans fall to 4-3 and will host the Purdue Boilermakers this coming Saturday at noon on ESPN.

The Boilermakers will go into their matchup with the Spartans coming off the biggest upset of the 2018 college football season.

Purdue hosted the No. 2 team in the country on Saturday night when the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes came to town. Both team’s offenses underperformed in the first half, but Purdue surprisingly held a 14-3 lead at halftime. The crowd could sense an upset was brewing and was loud and rowdy in the second half.

The trend continued in the third with the Buckeyes only managing a field goal and the Boilermakers adding another touchdown. Heading into the fourth quarter, OSU trailed 21-6.

After both offenses struggled in the first three quarters, they came to life in the fourth quarter. Purdue took a 28-6 lead on a D.J. Knox 42-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. The teams would trade touchdowns back and forth and with 3:37 left in the game, Purdue took a 42-20 lead to put the game on ice. They would add another touchdown just 89 seconds later to make the final score 49-20. The home crowd rushed the field to celebrate with their team as they picked up their biggest win of the season.

OSU’s Heisman hopeful quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 470 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on an incredible 73 pass attempts. Purdue’s quarterback David Blough put up huge numbers as well with 378 yards and three touchdowns. Knox rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 carries in the Boilermakers’ win.

Ohio State picked up their first loss of the season and moves to 7-1 and had their playoff hopes take a massive blow. Like Michigan, the Buckeyes are off this coming Saturday and don’t play again until the one-win Nebraska Cornhuskers come to town on Saturday, Nov. 3.

For a list of all other games, scores, news and rankings, click here.

National Basketball Association

The NBA regular season got underway this week and all eyes were on the Los Angeles Lakers and their new front man, LeBron James.

The Lakers hosted the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, but the focus shifted from LeBron James to an all-out brawl.

With just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Rockets’ James Harden drove to the lane and was fouled by the Lakers’ Brandon Ingram. Harden was walking away and appeared to be talking with a referee when Ingram came up behind him and inexplicably shoved Harden in the back.

Both teams came together and Chris Paul of the Rockets and Rajon Rondo of the Lakers were face-to-face. Paul put his finger in Rondo’s face which led to punches being exchanged between the two. While this was happening, Ingram came back in and threw a punch that appeared to connect with Paul’s face.

The two teams were eventually separated and Paul, Rondo and Ingram were all ejected from the game. When the fight took place, the Rockets had a one-point lead. The brouhaha seemed to ignite the Rockets as they outscored the Lakers 15-7 in the last four minutes to grab a 124-115 win for their first win of the year. The Lakers are now 0-2 and still searching for their first win in the James era.

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