Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Saturday, highlighted by LSU hanging on to beat rival Alabama in a clash of National Championship contenders behind a big performance from Heisman favorite Joe Burrow.
We’ll also take a look at Celtics star Gordon Hayward suffering a broken hand in the midst of a terrific start to the season.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Sunday.
GEAUX TIGERS: LSU Gets Best of Alabama in Matchup of SEC Elite
LSU took a giant step toward its championship-laden goals on Saturday, besting SEC nemesis Alabama 46-41 behind a massive performance from Heisman contending quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns in the game, helping lead the Tigers past the Crimson Tide for the first time in eight years. But even after beating their biggest rival, Burrow made one thing certain.
“We’re not done yet,” he said. “It’s Game 9. We’ve got three more regular-season ones and the SEC championship. This was never our goal. We’ve got bigger goals than this.”
According to odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook, Burrow is a massive Heisman favorite at -600. The next closest contender is former Alabama quarterback and now Oklahoma signal-caller Jalen Hurts (+800).
Burrow has passed for 2,805 yards, 30 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this season. He ranks fourth in the nation with a QBR of 92.6.
With his patented raspy tone, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron gave credit to Burrow for making the Tigers a title contender.
“We’ve finally got the tools that we need to beat those guys,” Orgeron said. “To have a championship team, you’ve got to have a championship quarterback.”
Burrow had a late-night love note for the people back home in Louisiana.
Tua Tagovailoa started at quarterback for Alabama just weeks removed from ankle surgery. He was visibly hobbled by the injury, but still managed to pass for 418 yards and four touchdowns.
“He said he could play in the game, he wanted to play in the game and he thought he could go out and do a good job,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “I think he was a warrior in terms of what he did.”
There’s still a chance for Alabama to make the College Football Playoff, but some things out of their control would have to go right considering its unlikely they even play in the SEC championship.
“We don’t really control our own destiny but if we finish the season the right way, we can see where it takes us,” Saban said.
LIONS TAMED: Penn State Handed First Loss by Minnesota
Penn State found itself in the mix when the first College Football Playoff rankings were released this week, coming in at No. 4 and firmly in the conversation at a title contender.
Not for long.
Minnesota led pretty much wire-to-wire in a battle of Big Ten unbeatens, riding a 339-yard and three touchdown performance from quarterback Tanner Morgan to a 31-26 victory over Penn State. The Nittany Lions roared back late, but an interception in the end zone by Jordan Howden with just over 1 minute remaining sealed the upset victory.
“That’s why you take a job,” Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck said. “That was the whole vision, to be able to have that field swarmed on a top-five team in the country, and to put us undefeated. And when everybody told me, ‘Don’t take the job, don’t take the job.’ My life is usually about, ‘Don’t do that, don’t do that. OK, I’ll do that. That sounds like a good job for me.’
“That was the vision.”
It was the program’s first win at home over a top-five team since a shutout of No. 1 Michigan in 1977.
“I’m just so proud to be a Gopher, and I speak for our whole team when I say that,” Fleck said. “It shows the culture. It shows the character. It shows their charisma. It shows their ability to overcome, and it shows what they’ve learned.”
The Nittany Lions will have to regroup now, despite their postseason picture being a bit more fuzzy than it was previously.
“We knew they were a good football team,” Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said. “It’s hard to be undefeated.”
AP TOP 25: How They Fared This Week
- No. 1 LSU (9-0) beat No. 2 Alabama 46-41
- No. 2 Alabama (8-1) lost to No. 1 LSU 46-41
- No. 3 Ohio State (9-0) beat Maryland 73-14
- No. 4 Clemson (10-0) beat N.C. State 55-10
- No. 5 Penn State (8-1) lost to No. 13 Minnesota 31-26
- No. 6 Georgia (8-1) beat Missouri 27-0
- No. 7 Oregon (8-1) did not play
- No. 8 Utah (8-1) did not play
- No. 9 Oklahoma (8-1) beat Iowa State 42-41
- No. 10 Florida (8-2) beat Vanderbilt 56-0
- No. 11 Baylor (9-0) beat TCU 29-23, 3OT
- No. 12 Auburn (7-2) did not play
- No. 13 Minnesota (9-0) beat No. 5 Penn State 31-26
- No. 14 Michigan (7-2) did not play
- No. 15 Notre Dame (7-2) beat Duke 38-7
- No. 16 Wisconsin (7-2) beat No. 18 Iowa 24-22
- No. 17 Cincinnati (8-1) beat UConn 48-3
- No. 18 Iowa (6-3) lost to No. 16 Wisconsin 24-22
- No. 19 Memphis (8-1) did not play
- No. 20 Kansas State (6-3) lost to Texas 27-24
- No. 21 Boise State (8-1) beat Wyoming 20-17
- No. 22 Wake Forest (7-2) lost to Virginia Tech 36-17
- No. 23 SMU (9-1) beat East Carolina 59-51
- No. 24 San Diego State (7-2) lost to Nevada 13-17
- No. 25 Navy (7-1) did not play
Celtics Keep Streak Going, But Lose Gordon Hayward to Injury
The Boston Celtics pushed their winning streak to seven on Saturday with a dominant 135-115 road win over the San Antonio Spurs, but also got some bad news.
Gordon Hayward, who has been on a tear to start the season, suffered a broken left hand after colliding with San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge with just over a minute remaining in the first half.
Hayward has averaged just over 30 minutes a game this season, netting 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He’s also done it at a very efficient level, shooting 55% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc.
“Going to get with the doctors tomorrow and decide if he needs to do surgery or not,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “Sounds like should he decide that the surgery option (is best, it) might actually be a better timeline. So, we’ll see what that all plays out to be.”
What made the injury hurt just a little bit more is that Hayward has had injury trouble since signing with the Celtics, which started right out of the gate. Just six minutes into his debut season in 2017, Hayward broke his leg.
“This one doesn’t feel near as bad as it did two years ago,” Stevens said. “So, he’ll be back. Be off for a few weeks or a month or whatever it is.”
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
- Women’s basketball: Ionescu leads No. 1 Oregon to upset win over Team USA
- Heat guard Dion Waiters misses game after eating edible
- Runner speaks out about Nike coach’s emotional and physical abuse
- NFL Picks: 5 Best Bets for Week 10
- Joel Embiid’s fitness level questioned after embarrassing 76ers loss
- Baker Mayfield creates rallying cry for Browns with post
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON SUNDAY
NFL: Sunday Night Football, Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Dallas Cowboys get their third consecutive prime-time game as they host the Vikings on Sunday night. It will be a matchup of two of the best running backs in the league in Dalvin Cook (894 yards) of the Vikings and Ezekiel Elliott (741 yards) of the Cowboys.
WHEN: Today, 8:20 p.m. ET
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