The first Thursday of the college football season lived up to the hype, as Minnesota hung in for four quarters against Ohio State. UCF rallied deep in the Florida night to knock off Boise State after a long weather delay. Can the momentum continue tonight with two more high-profile games, this time a pair of conference showdowns? If you want to save some room for football over the weekend, there are two key divisional battles in baseball and the fifth day of the U.S. Open features some Americans in big spots.
Here’s what I’ll be tuning in for.
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College football: North Carolina at Virginia Tech
North Carolina enters the season with high expectations after a trip to the Orange Bowl last season. But being the road team at Lane Stadium is never easy … especially at night. The crowd in Blacksburg should be rocking when “Enter Sandman” comes on before kickoff, setting the tone for one of the great atmospheres of opening weekend. How UNC QB and Heisman candidate Sam Howell fares in a big road test will be a great first impression for his candidacy, particularly given all the departures UNC faces at the skill positions from last season.
The Hokies will need its offense led by QB Braxton Burmeister to ball out and its defense to force a couple of turnovers if it wants to pull the upset.
6 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
- College Football Week 1 Picks: Who Will Open With a Victory? (SI Staff)
- Can Sam Howell Lead No. 13 UNC to Glory? (Madeline Coleman)
- Ranking the Preseason 2021 Heisman Candidates (Kevin Sweeney)
- College football: Michigan State at Northwestern | Whatever you think of when you think of Big Ten football, this will be it … minus the usual bad weather. Both squads have major questions to answer at quarterback in this one and feature defenses that rely on forcing turnovers. 9 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
- Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants | The two teams tied for the best record in baseball begin a three-game series that will go a long way in determining who will win the NL West and who will be stuck in the wild-card game. 9:45 p.m. ET, MLB Network, watch on fuboTV
- Tour Championship | The second round will be played today, with several of golf’s biggest names near the top of the leader board. Patrick Cantlay enters the day with the lead, but Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau are within striking distance. Golf Channel, watch on fuboTV
- U.S. Open | Today marks the beginning of the third round of the singles draw. On the men’s side, American Frances Tiafoe gets a major opportunity at Arthur Ashe Stadium against Andrey Rublev late tonight. Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka are each in action during the night session on the women’s side, too. ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN+, watch on fuboTV
- NYC FC at Nashville SC | Two teams in the top four of the Eastern Conference standings face off in Nashville. This one could feature a lot of goals—both squads are among the highest-scoring teams in MLS. 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
The Cardinals have fought their way back into the playoff conversation after a 15–11 August. Much of that has been on the backs of their veteran pitchers, namely Adam Wainwright, who gets the ball tonight. Wainwright has been absolutely outstanding of late, posting 1.59 ERA in his last seven starts with the Cardinals winning six of them. But with 10 games left this season with the Brewers beginning tonight, the Cards have an uphill battle in front of them to gain ground in the NL wild-card race. They’ll have to find a way to consistently beat a Milwaukee team that has quietly established itself as one of the five best teams in baseball.
8:10 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Wisconsin/Bally Sports Midwest, watch on fuboTV
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