Huge College Games, ALCS Highlight Saturday Sports Action

Murphy

How will Tyler Murphy handle the crazy crowd in the Death Valley?

It’s going to be really hard to avoid watching an SEC game today. The nation’s best football conference has been a heart specialist’s dream so far this season. Going back to Bama-A&M, LSU-Georgia and Georgia-Tennessee, the SEC has provided a number of high-scoring and heart attack inducing games.

Today looks like that very well may happen again. Florida goes into Death Valley to play LSU who is but a three-point loss from being unbeaten right now. With QB Jeff Driskel out for the season, how will QB Tyler Murphy handle the crowd in Baton Rouge?

Georgia could find itself in yet another shootout as 5-0 Missouri comes to Athens today. The Bulldogs have sustained some horrible injuries in the last couple of weeks but they continue to persevere. Both teams are scoring points at will so this could come down to who can get crucial stops and turnovers at the right time.

Out west, Oregon faces their stiffest test in a trip to Washington. The Huskies battled last week before finally losing by three points to Stanford. With D’Anthony Thomas questionable with an injury, the Ducks appear to be less than 100% which is why so many think the Huskies will pull the upset today in Seattle. I’m not sold on that.

What was once always the game of the day regardless of whom else was playing; Texas and Oklahoma meet in the Cotton Bowl to renew the Red River Rivalry. The game has certainly lost its’ luster with Texas struggling the way they are. In fact, there are many ‘Horns fans who are quietly hoping for a blowout in hopes that the loss would seal the fate of Mack Brown.

I expect Texas to fight hard today, but Oklahoma is once again playing great defense and has the threat of both the run and pass on offense. Texas’ fans may actually get their wish.

Lester

Lester takes the hill in game one of the ALCS against Detroit.

In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series gets underway tonight in Boston. The NLCS started last night with St. Louis getting a 3-2 win over Los Angeles.

The Tigers enter the ALCS off the spectacular pitching performance of Justin Verlander. While his regular season was very average by his standards, he has now pitched 15 straight innings without giving up a run in the playoffs. Dating back to September 15th, he hasn’t given up a run in that span either.

Boston will offer different challenges however because of their offense. Ranked number one in baseball, the Red Sox and Fenway Park will also create a tougher environment than the Tigers faced in Oakland. The two ballparks couldn’t be more different and Detroit will need to adjust.

With Verlander on rest and Max Scherzer scheduled for game two, Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland will go with Anibal Sanchez to oppose Tim Lester in game one. Sanchez was as dominant as any Tigers’ pitcher in the second half of the season but was roughed up by the Athletics in game three of the ALDS.

Lester went seven and two-thirds against Tampa Bay giving up just two earned runs in the Red Sox 12-2 win. Both of those runs came via the long ball which should concern Manager John Farrell a bit considering the Tigers penchant for going deep. Lester will need to keep the ball down and keep the hitters off balance.

Tigers’ third baseman Miguel Cabrera showed some signs of life hitting a huge two-run homer in the deciding game five in Oakland. It’s no secret he has been battling injuries.

Both teams can score runs, have good starting pitching and have very good closers. The difference I believe will be in the middle relief where the Sox have a clear advantage. This could go seven but I’ll take Boston.

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