There were no ‘huge’ match ups between ranked teams during the third week of the college football season, but that didn’t mean that Saturday was a complete waste of time. As always, there were a few upsets that took place. Chief among them was Arizona State knocking off ‘Sparty.’ No. 18 Michigan State came into the home game against Herm Edwards’ team at 2-0, but they ended up losing that unbeaten record as the Sun Devils clawed out a 10-7 win in East Lansing thanks to tremendous defense and a late 12-man-on-the-field penalty that negated a potential tying field goal. Eno Benjamin proved to be the hero, scoring the game-winning touchdown, only one of two in the entire game, with just under a minute to go. That drive went 75 yards over 11 plays, an astounding way to end a game in which a team had only mustered three points prior. The only other ranked team to fall on Saturday was no. 21 Maryland as Temple beat them 20-17. All of the big teams remained unbeaten, with most of them crushing their opponents. UCF, ranked 17th currently, got a big win over Stanford by a score of 45-27, showing they can beat the Power 5 schools if afforded the chance to do so.
The Atlanta Braves officially clinched a spot in the National League playoffs on Saturday evening against the Washington Nationals, but there wasn’t a whole lot of celebrating to be done. The Braves had seen utility man Charlie Culberson attempt a bunt only to be hit directly in the face and then taken to the hospital. The whole situation was a strange one, and it got weirder as manager Brian Snitker ended up getting tossed from the game as a result of arguing that it was a hit by pitch rather than a strike on his player. Nonetheless, the Braves would take full advantage in that inning, using their manager’s dismissal as motivation as Ronald Acuna, Jr. drove in two to hand the Braves a 3-1 lead. They then would bust the game open, ultimately winning it 10-1 in the end. Not only does that seal a playoff spot, but it also means that their magic number to win the NL East it just at four games now.
In the old days of the NFL, it was perfectly normal to see a guy get ‘knocked silly’ and then reenter the contest. It was the manly thing to do, after all. That, however, is no longer allowed due to the concussion protocol put into place to protect players. Unfortunately, that was not followed last Sunday as the New York Giants allowed a concussed Sterling Shepard to return to the game against the Dallas Cowboys. As a result of that occurrence, the NFL and NFLPA, according to sources, are beginning an investigation into the matter. This may not seem like a big deal, but not only does it have ramifications upon the player’s career and life, but it also could well lead to a dispute as we get closer and closer toward a new bargaining agreement between the two sides.