No. 20 Michigan visiting Neb 1st time since 1911


No. 20 Michigan visiting Neb 1st time since 1911

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Playing at night has been right for Nebraska at Memorial Stadium.

The Cornhuskers go into Saturday's meeting with No. 20 Michigan on a 10-game win streak in prime-time home games.

There figures to be some extra energy in the stadium for this one.

Nebraska will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its NCAA-record sellout streak. This will be the 323rd in a row.

And Michigan (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten), the only college program with 900 all-time victories, will be making its first visit to Lincoln since 1911.

``It's going to be loud, and we've got to be prepared for that,'' Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson said. ``We have to be prepared to execute the offense every time we get a chance to get the ball. We have to be road warriors.''

The Huskers (5-2, 2-1) fed off their crowd in their last home game, coming back from a 17-point deficit to beat Wisconsin.

They'll take any advantage they can get as they try to corral Robinson and find a way to dent the fast-improving defense of the Legends Division-leading Wolverines.

``I like night games,'' Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah said. ``I feel like the fans really make a difference in a game, especially when we're playing a big team like Michigan.''

The Wolverines have lost both their night games. The first was the season-opening 41-14 defeat to defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama in Arlington, Texas. The other was 13-6 at Notre Dame, a game in which Robinson was intercepted four times.

``I think they're used to playing at night,'' Michigan coach Brady Hoke said of his players. ``I don't perceive that being a problem.''

Hoke, who brought his Ball State team to Memorial Stadium in 2007, described the Huskers' fans as ``emphatic.''

Loud is another way to put it, especially at night.

The din discombobulated Wisconsin on Sept. 29.

``I hope it's just as crazy as that night,'' cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste said.

Nebraska is 36-5 under the lights in Lincoln since the first night game was played there in 1986. Nebraska has won 28 of those games by at least 13 points.

Michigan, with a win, would put two games between itself and second-place Nebraska. The Wolverines finish the regular season with a visit to Minnesota, home games with Northwestern and Iowa and a trip to arch-rival Ohio State.

A win by Nebraska would move it into a tie atop the division and own the tiebreaker over Michigan. The Huskers end with a trip to Michigan State, home games against Penn State and Minnesota and a visit to Iowa.

The Huskers preserved their title hopes alive last week by rallying from 12 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Northwestern.

``You can't afford to lose,'' safety P.J. Smith said. ``That's what our mentality was the other night. Everyone was saying let's go out and win this game no matter what. We're going to have ups and downs but just keeping riding the wave. We can't slip up.''

Michigan, coming off a 12-10 victory over Michigan State, has won three straight since losing at Notre Dame. Hoke said he used the bye week that followed to chart the rest of the season.

``Every game's a championship game,'' he said, ``and this falls into that category.''

The game will be the second in college football history featuring a pair of quarterbacks with 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in their careers.

Robinson and Taylor Martinez are among just 18 quarterbacks in NCAA history to reach those totals. The only previous such meeting pitted Texas' Vince Young against Missouri's Brad Smith in 2005.

Robinson accounted for four touchdowns and Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for a career-high 138 yards in a 45-17 win over turnover-plagued Nebraska last year.

The Huskers bring in the Big Ten's top offense, at 512 yards a game. Michigan's defense is second in the Big Ten, allowing 286 yards. More impressive, the Wolverines have allowed no more than 13 points in five straight games.

``Watching them on film and watching what they've done so far this year, this will be a big test for us,'' Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. ``Going on the road and playing an offense like this, we'll kind of see where we're at.''

Same goes for Nebraska's offense, which has put up big numbers despite being turnover-prone. The Huskers' 13 lost fumbles are most in the nation.

``I feel like I'll find out a lot about our offense, not just myself,'' said Abdullah, who probably will start in place of the injured Rex Burkhead. ``We've shown some good statistical numbers this year. We've been pretty consistent other than a lot of turnovers. I just want to see our offense go to the next level and play that perfect, clean game.''

Hoke, the Wolverines' second-year coach, remembers his Ball State Cardinals putting a fright into the Bill Callahan-coached Huskers five years ago.

Nebraska survived when Hoke's kicker hooked a 55-yard field-goal try wide left in the final seconds after one of his receiver's flubbed what would have been a sure touchdown.

``Got beat 41-40,'' Hoke said. ``Dropped the ball on the 5-yard line.''

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Soto makes debut in Nationals loss to Dodgers


Soto makes debut in Nationals loss to Dodgers

WASHINGTON  -- Kike Hernandez and Yasiel Puig each hit two-run homers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Hernandez's blast off Stephen Strasburg in the fifth inning put the Dodgers up 3-2. Yasmani Grandal also homered off Strasburg (5-4), who allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Alex Wood (1-4) pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs. Wood came out to start the seventh, but returned to the clubhouse after showing some discomfort during his warm-up tosses.

Trea Turner homered for Washington, which swept Arizona last weekend and then went five days without playing a full game because of rain before getting swept by the Dodgers.

Los Angeles, after losing six consecutive games, has now won four straight overall and five of six over Washington this season.

Washington's Juan Soto, at 19 the youngest active player in the majors, made his debut in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and struck out against Erik Goeddel.

The Dodgers added two runs in the ninth. Josh Fields recorded the final four outs for his second save of the season.


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George McPhee's Vegas Golden Knights advance to Stanley Cup Final


George McPhee's Vegas Golden Knights advance to Stanley Cup Final

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Ryan Reaves scored the winning goal, Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights pushed their remarkable expansion season into the Stanley Cup Final, beating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday in Game 5 of the Western Conference final.

Alex Tuch also scored for the Knights. They lost Game 1 in Winnipeg before winning four straight to become the first expansion team since the 1968 St. Louis Blues -- when the six initial expansion teams were put alone in the West -- to get to the final.

Vegas will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Washington Capitals in the final. Tampa Bay leads the Eastern Conference final 3-2, with Game 6 set for Monday night in Washington.

Josh Morrissey scored for the Jets, and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves.

Reaves, the bruising Winnipeg native acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins before to the trade deadline in February, snapped a 1-1 tie with 6:39 left in the second period when he tipped Luca Sbisa's point shot past Hellebuyck for his first goal of the playoffs.

Winnipeg got a power play early in the third, but couldn't muster much of anything. The Knights smothered much of the Jets' attack for the next 10 minutes, with Hellebuyck having to come up with big stops on William Karlsson and Eric Haula to keep his team within one.

The Jets pressed with under 4 minutes to go, with Fleury stopping captain Blake Wheeler on the doorstep, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Knights closed out their third straight series on the road.

The Jets beat the Knights 4-2 in Game 1, but Vegas snatched home ice with a 3-1 victory in Game 2 before picking up 4-2 and 3-2 wins at T-Mobile Arena.

The Knights, whose jaw-dropping inaugural 109-point campaign included a Pacific Division crown, swept the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, and knocked out the San Jose Sharks in six games.

The Jets had the NHL's second-best record with 114 points in the regular season. They advanced to the first conference final in city's history with a five-game victory over the Minnesota Wild in the opening round before topping the Presidents' Trophy-winning Nashville Predators in Game 7 on the road.

The usual raucous, white-clad crowd at Bell MTS Place -- not to mention the thousands of fans outside the arena attending a street party on a sun-drenched spring afternoon -- were silenced just 5:11 into Game 5 when Tuch jumped on Morrissey's turnover and fired his sixth past Hellebuyck.

The Jets were tentative to start and it got worse after the opener as Vegas dominated the next couple of shifts, forcing some good saves from Hellebuyck before Winnipeg got its feet moving.

After being outshot 7-1 in the first 7 minutes, the Jets finally pushed back and turned the tide with the next nine attempts on goal, culminating with Morrissey making amends for his early gaffe with 2:46 left in the period.

Bryan Little won a faceoff in the offensive zone straight back to second-year defenseman, who blasted his first career playoff goal past Fleury's glove.

One of Winnipeg's downfalls in the series through four games was an inability to maintain momentum. The Knights scored within 1:28 of a Jets' goal in each of the first four games -- a crushing 12 seconds after Winnipeg tied Game 3, and an equally gut-wrenching 43 seconds after the Jets knotted Game 4 -- but they managed to take the game to the locker rooms tied 1-1.

Both teams had chances in the second period before Reaves made it 2-1, with Jets center Mathieu Perrault just missing on a pass from Little that had too much speed.

Right after Reaves scored the second playoff goal of his career -- and first since 2015 with St. Louis -- Winnipeg's Nikolaj Ehlers rang a shot off the post on Fleury.