Jon Cartu Conveys: Friday Sports in Brief | Raleigh News & Observer

Friday Sports in Brief | Raleigh News & Observer

Jon Cartu Conveys: Friday Sports in Brief | Raleigh News & Observer


Alabama and Ohio State advanced to the College Football Playoff championship game.

In the relocated Rose Bowl, DeVonta Smith caught three of fellow Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones’ four touchdown passes, Najee Harris ran for 125 yards and top-ranked Alabama beat No. 4 Notre Dame 31-14 to reach its fifth CFP title game.

In the Sugar Bowl, Justin Fields threw six touchdown passes to outshine Trevor Lawrence and No. 3 Ohio State avenged last season’s painful College Football Playoff loss to Clemson with a 49-28 victory in the other semifinal Friday night.

The Buckeyes (7-0) head to the CFP title game for the first time since the inaugural playoff.

PROVO, Utah (AP) — BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is entering the NFL draft.

Wilson passed for 3,692 yards and 33 touchdowns with three interceptions this season as a junior to help the Cougars finish 11-1. He capped his BYU career with a victory over UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl.

In three seasons at BYU, Wilson passed for 7,652 yards with 56 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

DENTON, Texas (AP) — Clint Bowen is leaving North Texas after only one season as defensive coordinator, a move that coach Seth Littrell says was a mutual decision.

North Texas announced Bowen’s departure Friday.

The Mean Green finished 4-6 this season, and were last in Conference USA allowing 522 total yards and nearly 43 points a game. They lost 56-28 to Appalachian State in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Dan Mullen has fired two defensive assistants in the wake of the unit’s worst season in more than a hundred years, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Mullen parted ways with secondary coaches Ron English and Torrian Gray, the person said Friday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the moves hadn’t been made public. 247Sports first reported the firings.

The 10th-ranked Gators (8-4) allowed 30.8 points a game in 2020, their most since giving up 41.2 over six games in 1917, and the secondary was a significant part of the problem.

—By AP Sports Writer Mark Long.


Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari will miss the rest of the season after the three-time Pro Bowl selection injured his knee in practice Thursday.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur confirmed the severity of the injury Friday. The injury comes six weeks after the standout left tackle agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth up to $105.5 million with a $30 million signing bonus.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd has gone to a hospital after feeling abdominal pain shortly before practice.

Floyd left the Rams’ training complex for the hospital Friday as a precaution, a team spokesman said.

Floyd ranks eighth in the NFL with 9 1/2 sacks in his strong debut season with the Rams (9-6), who host the Cardinals on Sunday. Los Angeles needs a win over Arizona or a loss by the Chicago Bears to make the playoffs.

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