This Weekend in Sports — Clemson vs. Florida State and LCS Finales
A clash of Top 5 teams in college football and the determination of the 2013 World Series opponents highlights the upcoming sports calendar. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, October 18
NLCS Game 6 — Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium, St. Louis; 8:37 p.m. (ET) on TBS
The National League Championship Series shifts back to St. Louis, where the Cardinals can advance to the World Series with a win in Game 6. Michael Wacha (6-1, 2.40 ERA) takes the mound for St. Louis against L.A.’s big bats, including Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers send ace Clayton Kershaw (17-10, 1.73 ERA) against a scrappy Cardinals lineup anchored by Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina. If the Dodgers win, the seventh and deciding game is Saturday night in St. Louis.
Saturday, October 19
(22) Florida at (14) Missouri
Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.; 12:21 p.m. (ET) on ESPN 3
Fourteenth-ranked Missouri (6-0) looks to stay undefeated as it welcomes No. 22 Florida (4-2) to Faurot Field. Quarterback Maty Mauk will start for the Tigers in place of the injured James Franklin. He’ll face a Gators defense led by linebacker Michael Taylor.
(24) Auburn at (7) Texas A&M
Kyle Field, College Station, Texas; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Seventh-ranked Texas A&M (5-1) hosts No. 24 Auburn (5-1) in an important Southeastern Conference clash. Auburn is averaging 287 yards rushing a game behind running backs like Tre Mason, while quarterback Johnny Manziel leads the Aggies potent offense.
(9) UCLA at (13) Stanford
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Calif. 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC
Ninth-ranked UCLA (5-0) visits No. 13 Stanford in a pivotal Pac-12 game. Running back Jordon James leads the Bruins offense, while wide receiver Ty Montgomery is an all-around threat for the Cardinal.
ALCS Game 6: Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park, Boston; 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Depending on the outcome of Thursday’s Game 5, either the Boston Red Sox or Detroit Tigers will be poised to clinch a trip to the World Series on Saturday. The Tigers will send Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA) out to face the veteran Boston lineup including the dangerous David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. The Red Sox start Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) against Detroit’s big hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. If necessary, Game 7 will be Sunday night in Boston.
USC at Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind.; 7:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
One of college football’s most storied rivalries is slightly less important this season, as both Notre Dame (4-2) and USC (4-2) enter their game unranked. Quarterback Tommy Rees leads the Fighting Irish attack, while quarterback Cody Kessler guides the Trojans’ offense.
(5) Florida State at (3) Clemson
Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.; 8 p.m. (ET) on ABC
Two undefeated national-title contenders will meet in South Carolina, as third-ranked Clemson (6-0) takes on fifth-ranked Florida State (5-0) in a huge Atlantic Coast Conference game. Florida State is led on offense by freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, while Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd paces the Tigers offense.
UFC 166: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 3
Toyota Center, Houston; 10 p.m. (ET) on Pay-per-view
The UFC heavyweight title is on the line as champion Cain Velasquez faces No. 1 challenger Junior dos Santos, with Velasquez’s grappling skills vying against dos Santos raw power. The bout is the fighters’ third in less than two years, with dos Santos winning the first contest and Velasquez capturing the second match.
Sunday, October 20
Camping World RV Sales 500
Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.; 2 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Talladega this Sunday with standings leader Matt Kenseth four points ahead of five-time champ Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch round out the top five on the Chase leader board.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Philadelphia (3-3) hosts Dallas (3-3) with the NFC East division lead up for grabs. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will start Nick Foles at quarterback this week, with Michael Vick still recovering from injury. The Cowboys know that QB Tony Romo will lead them against the Eagles’ weak pass defense.
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianpolis; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis (4-2) as an opponent for the first time this Sunday night, as Denver (6-0) looks to remain unbeaten. While much of the attention will go to Manning’s return, the Broncos are excited to see pass rush specialist Von Miller return from his suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Colts QB Andrew Luck probably isn’t as thrilled to see Miller.