In Sports from United Press International

Oct. 25, 2002 at 4:01 PM
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World Series has an open date

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Friday is an open date in the 2002 World Series, with the San Francisco Giants one win away from being world champions after a 16-4 rout of the Anaheim Angels in Game Five Thursday night.

The Giants have a three games to two lead.

The Giants are looking for their first title since 1954, when the franchise was in New York. The Angels are seeking the first title in franchise history.

The Angels scored 24 runs in the first three games of the series and took a 2-1 series lead. but the Giants evened the Fall Classic with a 4-3 win Wednesday before Thursday night's rout.

The rest of the Fall Classic will be played at Edison International Field in Anaheim.

"I think we have enough gas in our tank to do what we need to do," said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who is looking for a repeat of last year, when the Arizona Diamondbacks won the final two games at home after trailing, three games to two, and beat the New York Yankees, 4-3.

Saturday, the Angels will need a much better start from Kevin Appier, who yielded three homers and five earned runs in just two innings in Game Two, an 11-10 win for the Angels.

The Giants will be counting on Russ Ortiz to rebound from a rough Game Two in which he allowed seven runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings.

"I want to be the guy," Ortiz said. "I'm going to do everything I can to beat the Angels. After last Sunday, I think I know what I was doing wrong in my execution and location. It wasn't a mechanical problem. It was the way I was thinking."

Jeff Kent had three hits, including a pair of two-run homers, and four RBI, and Rich Aurilia and Benito Santiago drove in three runs apiece in the rout Thursday.

Ironically, the Giants are 8-0 in the postseason when slugger Barry Bonds is held without a home run.

Irish, Seminoles in key gridiron clash

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- With the number of unbeatens continuing to dwindle, No. 6 Notre Dame travels to Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday to try to keep its record clean when it plays homestanding Florida State in this weekend's marquee matchup in college football.

Last week, the Fighting Irish improved to 7-0, their best start since 1993, by beating Air Force, 21-14, holding the nation's top rushing team to just 104 yards on the ground.

While sixth in both major polls, Notre Dame is third in the BCS standings because of the strength of its schedule, but goes into this contest as a 10-point underdog to the Seminoles (5-2), who are in the unlikely position of playing spoiler.

Florida State has had an extra week to prepare for the game, and has lost only two games at home since 1991. Two weeks ago, the Seminoles nearly ended No. 1 Miami's winning streak before the Hurricanes escaped with a 28-27 victory when Xavier Beitia missed a 43-yard field goal on the final play of the game.

Greg Jones should challenge the Notre Dame defense, which ranks sixth nationally against the run. Jones has rushed for 354 yards in the last two games, including a career-high 189 yards against Miami.

The other unbeatens also are in action this weekend, except No. 2 Oklahoma, which has a bye. Though second in both major polls, the Sooners are first in the BCS poll with more than a three-point lead over Miami.

The top-ranked Hurricanes (6-0) play at West Virginia, while No. 3 Virginia Tech (7-0) tries to keep pace with Miami when its hosts Temple.

Miami and Virginia Tech cannot both finish unbeaten because they collide at the Orange Bowl on Dec. 7 in a contest that likely will decide the Big East title.

No. 4 Ohio State (8-0) hopes to maintain at least a share of the Big Ten Conference lead when its hosts No. 17 Penn State (5-2), while No. 5 Georgia (7-0) can move closer to the Southeastern Conference East Division title with a victory against improving Kentucky at Lexington.

The other remaining unbeaten, No. 22 Bowling Green (6-0), entertains Ball State in a Mid-American Conference contest.

A pair of once-beaten teams collide in a key Big Ten Conference game in Ann Arbor as eighth-ranked Michigan (6-1) hosts No. 14 Iowa (7-1). The surprising Hawkeyes are off to their best start since 1990.

Another key contest takes place in Austin as No. 7 Texas (6-1) entertains No. 18 Iowa State (6-2) in the Big 12 Conference.

The Longhorns last week rebounded from a loss to Oklahoma to beat Kansas State, 17-14, on a blocked field goal in the final seconds, but Iowa State was humbled by the Sooners, 49-3, in the opener of a brutal stretch for the Cyclones.

The Heisman Trophy aspirations of Seneca Wallace suffered a notable blow when he completed just 1-of-12 passes in the first half of the debacle against Oklahoma and finished just 4-of-22 for 43 yards with three interceptions.

Things do not get any easier for Iowa State, which also has road games at Colorado and Nebraska in November.

Ohio State is expecting a major test from Penn State (5-2), which suffered its only losses in overtime to Iowa and Michigan.

Larry Johnson rushed for a school-record 257 yards in last week's 49-0 demolition of Northwestern.

Ohio State freshman sensation Maurice Clarett needs just 20 yards to reach 1,000, and only 147 to surpass the freshman record of Robert Smith, who has 1,126 yards in his first year.

Georgia will be without running back Musa Smith and wide receiver Fred Gibson, who are sidelined with thumb injuries. The Bulldogs are the only SEC East team with less than two losses and can clinch a spot in the SEC title game with wins over Kentucky and Florida the next two weeks.

No. 11 Washington State (6-1) visits Arizona, with quarterback Jason Gesser needing just 140 yards to become the Cougars' all-time leader in

total offense. With a win, Mike Price, the dean of Pac-10 coaches, will clinch consecutive winning seasons for the first time in his career.

Washington State is 16-3 since the start of the 2001 campaign.

Arizona State (6-2), which moved into the rankings at No. 25 in the coaches poll after a stirring come-from-behind 45-42 win at Oregon, hosts slumping Washington.

No. 12 Oregon (6-1) welcomes No. 16 Southern California (5-2) to Eugene. The Trojans are coming off an impressive 41-21 victory over Washington as Carson Palmer passed for 348 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.

In the Southeastern Conference, Alabama tries to snap a seven-game losing streak against No. 15 Tennessee (4-2), its longest against any opponent.

Phillip Fulmer again seeks his 100th career victory at Tennessee, and quarterback Casey Clausen, who sat out last week's 18-13 setback to Georgia, is expected to be back in the lineup.

No. 10 LSU (6-1), which is still without quarterback Matt Mauck and star running back LaBrandon Toefield, hopes to stay atop the SEC West when it visits Auburn, which is beginning life without star tailback Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, who is out for the season after breaking a bone in his left leg in last week's 30-23 overtime loss at Florida.

LSU, which leads Division 1-A in total defense, has won six straight since a season-opening loss to Virginia Tech.

In other games, No. 19 Air Force (6-1) visits Wyoming in a Mountain West Conference tilt, and No. 21 Kansas State (5-2) plays at Baylor in the Big 12.

In addition to Oklahoma, No. 23 Florida and No. 24 Minnesota are idle this week.

Ninth-ranked North Carolina State got the weekend started Thursday night with a 38-6 rout of ACC rival Clemson.

Rob Johnson to start for Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- While Brad Johnson nurses a fractured left rib, Rob Johnson will start at quarterback Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they visit the Carolina Panthers.

Rob Johnson signed with the Bucs as a free agent in the offseason and, in training camp, beat out Shaun King for the backup quarterback job.

Brad Johnson was injured early in the fourth quarter last Sunday when he flinched after throwing an interception in a 20-10 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia.

During the game, he took a beating from the physical Philadelphia defense, getting sacked six times while taking numerous hits.

Rob Johnson, who is more mobile than Brad, completed 4-of-7 passes for 31 yards in relief.

He has a history of injury problems, but also has plenty of experience, spending his last four seasons in a quarterback controversy in Buffalo.

For his career, Rob Johnson has started 27 games, completing 430-of-705 passes for 5,197 yards and 29 touchdowns with 20 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 85.5.

His weakness is his propensity to hold on to the ball too long, resulting in numerous sacks. In the system of Tampa Bay Coach Jon Gruden, the quarterback is often required to make quick decisions based on three- and five-step drops.

Gruden also revealed that the Bucs likely will be without starting wide receiver Keenan McCardell because of a left shoulder injury. Joe Jurevicius likely will replace McCardell as a starter alongside Keyshawn Johnson.

Tampa Bay (5-2) is one game behind first-place New Orleans in the NFC South.

Sky Mesa has ankle injury

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Undefeated Sky Mesa has been scratched from the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday because of an ankle injury in his right fore.

He was favored to win the race. He was the son of Pulpit, and the 3-1 morning line favorite for $1 million, 1 1/8-mile race.

"It looks like it could be a strain or a wrench," said trainer John Ward. "The best part of it is that there is no evidence of a condylar fracture, and initial pictures show no crack. It's unfortunate timing, but the future might still look good."

It is unknown how Sky Mesa, the winner of the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, suffered the injury. X-rays showed a soft filling in the ankle rather than a cracked canon bone, which Ward initially feared.

"It wasn't there when he came back from the track yesterday," said Donna Ward, the trainer's wife and assistant. "Who knows where it happened? The groom said he left at 10:30 last night and the colt was moving around fine. When the groom called this morning, he said it looked like he was tender in the stall. The fortunate thing is that better today than tomorrow (during the race). The local vet who saw him this morning said it looked like a sprain. Let's hope that's all it is."

The absence of Sky Mesa reduces the Juvenile field to 13 horses, and spoils the anticipated showdown with Vindication, who also is undefeated and now becomes the race favorite.

Ducks lose Oates to broken hand

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim left Vancouver Thursday night with a major lineup void as veteran center Adam Oates suffered a broken left hand in the second period of a 2-2 tie against the Canucks. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

"I may have been slashed," Oates said. "I broke it in two spots. I didn't feel anything until I went off (the ice). I took my glove off and it (the hand) was all twisted. I broke two bones in my left hand. I will have to go back to Anaheim and get it re-evaluated."

Oates, eighth on the NHL's all-time assists list, became the first free agent to sign with a new team this past summer, inking a two-year deal with Anaheim on July 1.

Oates, 40, who split the 2001-02 season between Washington and Philadelphia, has three assists in seven games with the Mighty Ducks. In 1,217 career contests, Oates, a native of Weston, Ontario, has 330 goals and 1,030 assists.

"It is a huge loss for us," said Anaheim left wing Paul Kariya. "(Oates) is a great player, a great power-play guy. Hopefully, he heals quickly."

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