Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Saturday, highlighted by José Altuve hitting a pennant-clinching walk-off home run to send the Houston Astros to the World Series.
We’ll also take a look at a wild week in college football which featured the biggest upset of the season to date.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Sunday!
HOUSTON, WE HAVE LIFTOFF: José Altuve’s Dramatic Extra-Inning Walk-Off Home Run Propels Astros to World Series
The Houston Astros and New York Yankees seemed to be on a collision course all season long and their epic ALCS battle came to an incredible crescendo on Saturday night with a game for the ages.
With the Yankees having just tied the game in dramatic fashion with a two-run home run by DJ LeMahieu in the top of the ninth inning, up stepped the face of the Astros’ franchise, José Altuve, in the bottom of the ninth.
The 29-year-old former world champion and AL MVP delivered in grand fashion, hitting a two-run walk-off homer off of Yankees’ flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, to win the American League pennant and advanced the Astros to their second World Series in three seasons.
It was a moment that kids dream about growing up playing baseball in the backyard.
“Running around the bases, the only thing I was thinking was, just thanking God for this opportunity to be going to the World Series once again,” said Altuve, who was named the ALCS MVP.
With so much on the line and the Yankees’ season hanging in the balance, Houston and New York put on an amazing show on Saturday night that won’t soon be forgotten.
Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel got things started in the first inning with a three-run blast to left field off of the Yankees opener Chad Green.
Both teams utilized a full range of bullpen assets on Saturday night, with 14 total pitchers used in Game 6.
The defensive play of the night and one of the best we’ve seen in a big spot in a playoff game came in the seventh inning when Astros left fielder Michael Brantley robbed Aaron Hicks of a base hit with a diving catch and then got up and threw out Aaron Judge at first to end the inning.
The double play that will be talked about for years to come by Astros fans halted a possible Yankees’ rally that could have changed the outcome of Saturday’s game.
With the 6-4 win in Game 6, the Astros won the ALCS four games to two and now advance to play the Washington Nationals in the World Series.
The Fall Classic will begin on Tuesday night in Houston and if it’s anything like what we saw on Saturday night, sit back and get ready to enjoy baseball at its very best.
MORE FROM HEAVY.COM: Harden & Westbrook Cheer on Astros Behind Home
Illinois Stuns Undefeated No. 6 Wisconsin in Season’s Biggest Upset
The Illinois Fighting Illini rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter on Saturday and kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to shock the undefeated No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers, 24-23.
The Illini, who came into the game with a 2-4 record (0-3 in the Big Ten), were whopping 30.5-point underdogs at Caesars Sportsbook.
Wisconsin had yet to trail in a game this season coming into Saturday’s tilt at Illinois and led the entire way until the final play.
Trailing 23-14 in the fourth, Illinois drove 75 yards for a touchdown (Brandon Peters’ 29-yard pass to Josh Imatorbhebhe) that cut the Wisconsin lead to 23-21.
The critical game-changing play then came with 2:33 remaining when Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan was picked off by the Illini’s Tony Adams at midfield.
Illinois would then pick up two first downs, running the clock down to four seconds left, at which point they brought in their kicker James McCourt to boot the 39-yard game-winner.
The Illini’s monumental upset sent shockwaves around college football and has taken the luster off of next week’s Big Ten showdown between Wisconsin and the undefeated No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus.
College Football Week 8 Headlines & Scoreboard:
Your week 8 College Football headlines from Saturday:
- Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa knocked out of game with ankle injury
- Penn State holds off Michigan rally to win prime-time Big Ten battle
- Virginia Tech wins longest game in ACC history, outlasts UNC in 6 OT thriller
- Oklahoma’s horse-drawn ‘Sooner Schooner’ crashes during TD celebration
- Four-time cancer survivor makes emotional debut for Minnesota
Top 25 scoreboard: How they fared
- No. 1 Alabama (7-0) beat Tennessee 35-13
- No. 2 LSU (7-0) beat Mississippi State 36-13
- No. 3 Clemson (7-0) beat Louisville 45-10
- No. 4 Ohio State (7-0) beat Northwestern 52-3 (Friday, Oct. 18)
- No. 5 Oklahoma (7-0) beat West Virginia 52-14
- No. 6 Wisconsin (6-1) lost to Illinois 24-23
- No. 7 Penn State (7-0) beat Michigan 28-21
- No. 8 Notre Dame (5-1) did not play
- No. 9 Florida (7-1) beat South Carolina 38-27
- No. 10 Georgia (6-1) beat Kentucky 21-0
- No. 11 Auburn (6-1) beat Arkansas 51-10
- No. 12 Oregon (6-1) beat No. 25 Washington 35-31
- No. 13 Utah (6-1) beat No. 17 Arizona State 21-3
- No. 14 Boise State (6-1) lost to BYU 28-25
- No. 15 Texas (5-2) beat Kansas 50-48
- No. 16 Michigan (5-2) lost to No. 7 Penn State 28-21
- No. 17 Arizona State (5-2) lost to No. 13 Utah 21-3
- No. 18 Baylor (7-0) beat Oklahoma State 45-27
- No. 19 SMU (7-0) beat Temple 45-21
- No. 20 Minnesota (7-0) beat Rutgers 42-7
- No. 21 Cincinnati (6-1) beat Tulsa 24-13
- No. 22 Missouri (5-2) lost to Vanderbilt 21-14
- No. 23 Iowa (5-2) beat Purdue 26-20
- No. 24 Appalachian State (6-0) beat UL Monroe 52-7
- No. 25 Washington (5-3) lost to No. 12 Oregon 35-31
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON SUNDAY
NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys and Eagles lock-up in a critical NFC East matchup featuring two teams with high expectations who have hit a recent rough patch. The Cowboys have dropped three games in a row including last week’s contest to the winless Jets, after beginning the season 3-0. Meanwhile, the Eagles got torched last week by the Vikings and Kirk Cousins who threw for 333 passing yards and four touchdowns.
WHEN: Tonight, 8:20 p.m. ET
GOLF: ‘The Challenge: Japan Skins 2019’
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama will play 18 holes in a skins format with $350K in prize money up for grabs on Monday in Japan. The event will be televised overnight tonight beginning at 12 a.m. ET.
WHEN: Tonight, 12 midnight ET
TV: Golf Channel
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.