A.J. Burnett hopes to duplicate CC Sabathia's brilliant performance from Game 1 this evening as the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are underway in the second game of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. However, there is a chance of rain in the forecast for New York, meaning Game 2 could be delayed or postponed until Sunday, an already scheduled travel day. Sabathia was magnificent through eight innings in Game 1 on Friday, and the Yankees took advantage of multiple Angels errors on their way to a 4-1 win. Sabathia (2-0) gave up only one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out seven for the Yankees, who are back in the ALCS for the first time since 2004 after sweeping the Twins in the Division Series. Tonight, the Angels turn to 16-game winner Joe Saunders, who is making his first start since October 4.
The National League Championship Series shifts to cold and wet Philadelphia for Game 3 Sunday night. The Phillies took the opener in Los Angeles, 8-6, behind three-run homers from Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz, but the Dodgers came back for a 2-1 victory Friday afternoon to even the best-of-seven series. Hiroki Kuroda gets the starting assignment on the mound for the Dodgers in his first postseason test of 2009. The Phillies go with lefty Cliff Lee, who has a 1-0 mark 1.10 ERA through two games thus far in the playoffs as he shut down the Rockies in the NLDS.
Caleb Sturgis' 27-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining in the game lifted top-ranked Florida to a 23-20 win over Arkansas. Tim Tebow threw for 255 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-26 attempts for the Gators (6-0, 4-0 SEC), who overcame four fumbles, three of which came in the first half, to extend the program's and nation's longest winning streak to 16 games. Aaron Hernandez led all Gator receivers with 92 yards on seven catches, while Riley Cooper made six grabs for 58 yards. Ryan Mallett completed 12-of-27 passes for 224 yards with a touchdown for the Razorbacks (3-3, 1-3), who had won two straight. With running back Michael Smith held out of the lineup due to a hamstring injury, Dennis Johnson rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries to pace Arkansas' ground attack. Greg Childs had 135 yards and a touchdown on four receptions in defeat.
Oklahoma starting quarterback Sam Bradford left Saturday's 16-13 loss to third-ranked Texas with what appeared to be a recurrence of a right shoulder injury he suffered earlier this season. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was sacked by Aaron Williams, who came on corner blitz with nearly 11 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. Bradford fell hard on the right shoulder, and got up gingerly before walking off the field. He was taken out of the game in favor of Landry Jones with the 20th- ranked Sooners holding a 3-0 lead. Bradford was knocked out of the first game of the season with a sprained shoulder joint and missed 3 1/2 contests in all. However, he looked fine in his return last week, throwing for 389 yards and one TD, without an interception in a 33-7 rout of Baylor. Jones played the second half of the season opener, then started Oklahoma's games against Idaho State, Tulsa and Miami. He set a school record with six touchdown passes against Tulsa. He came into Saturday having completed 49- of-81 passes for 673 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions this year. Bradford was 2-of-6 for 77 yards before leaving, while Jones finished 24-of-43 for 250 yards with a TD and two interceptions.
Damian Williams recorded four catches for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while the Trojans defense thwarted a last- second Fighting Irish drive as sixth-ranked USC bested No. 25 Notre Dame, 34-27. Matt Barkley finished 19- of-29 for 380 yards, two scores and an interception for the Trojans (5-1), who have won three straight since a memorable defeat at Washington. Anthony McCoy led all receivers with 153 yards on five receptions, while Joe McKnight and Allen Bradford each contributed a rushing TD for USC, which posted its eighth consecutive victory over its cross-country rivals. Jimmy Clausen went 24-of-43 for 260 yards and two touchdowns but was sacked five times, as the Irish (4-2) saw their three-game win streak halted despite a fourth-quarter rally from a 20-point deficit. Golden Tate racked up 117 yards and two scores on eight grabs, Robby Parris added nine catches for 92 yards and Robert Hughes scored on the ground for Notre Dame, which has not topped USC since October 20, 2001.
Control of the ACC Coastal Division is up for grabs Saturday when fourth- ranked Virginia Tech visits No. 19 Georgia Tech. The Hokies are 5-1 and have won five straight since a season-opening loss to Alabama, while the Yellow Jackets are also 5-1 and have won three straight since a September setback at Miami. Virginia Tech has won the last two meetings, including a 20-17 triumph last year in Blacksburg, and a win Saturday would give the Hokies a firm grasp on the division title with a victory over Miami already in the books.
The final ranked matchup on Saturday's schedule takes place in Tuscaloosa, as second-ranked Alabama welcomes No. 22 South Carolina to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide moved ahead of Texas into the No. 2 slot in the latest media poll after a 22-3 win at Ole Miss last weekend, while South Carolina has won four straight since its lone loss on September 12 at Georgia. Alabama leads the all-time series, 11-2, and won the last matchup between the schools back in 2005.
Carson Wiggs kicked four field goals and Purdue forced five turnovers in a 26-18 victory over seventh-ranked Ohio State, ending the Buckeyes' chance at a Big Ten record-tying 17th consecutive conference road win. Terrelle Pryor accounted for four of Ohio State's five turnovers as the Buckeyes (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) were denied a late comeback. Pryor completed 17- of-31 passes for 221 yards with a touchdown, but was intercepted twice and also lost a pair of fumbles. Joey Elliott connected on 31-of-50 throws for 281 yards with two TDs and an interception for the Boilermakers (2-5, 1-2), who snapped a five-game skid. Purdue also broke a 19-game winless streak against top 25 teams. Purdue last defeated a ranked team in 2003 when it bested No. 10 Iowa, 27-14, in West Lafayette. The result left Iowa as the lone remaining unbeaten Big Ten team. The Hawkeyes topped Wisconsin, 20-10, Saturday. It also kept Michigan's record of 17 straight conference road wins intact, which the Wolverines set from 1988-92.
The "Chase for the Sprint Cup" championship resumes Saturday with the NASCAR Banking 500 -- the fifth race in the chase. Current points leader Jimmie Johnson, the three-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion and last Sunday's race winner at California, had the pole as the race is underway. Johnson enters the 500-mile race with a 12-point advantage over Hendrick Motorsports teammate and closest competitor Mark Martin, who started alongside Johnson on the front row. Kasey Kahne, a Chase driver, qualified third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart, another title contender.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Russian Nikolay Davydenko will battle in the final of the $5.25 million Shanghai ATP Masters after each won semifinal encounters Saturday. Nadal the top seed and the reigning Australian Open champion, was ahead 6-1, 3-0 on Feliciano Lopez when his fellow countryman retired from the match with a right ankle injury. Davydenko, seeded sixth, rallied to down second-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in a three-hour marathon.