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ATLANTA (AP) — Max Fried allowed no hits in five scoreless innings, Marcell Ozuna homered and the Atlanta Braves won their fifth straight in a rain-delayed game, 7-1 over the Miami Marlins. The defending World Series champion Braves have taken five in a row and 20 of 25 to move a season-high 33 games over .500. They are within one game of first place in the NL East.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Third-ranked Georgia made a statement that its offense is ready to take the lead. Saturday’s 49-3 rout of Oregon was a showcase for the Bulldogs’ depth on offense and its new attacking, pass-first style. Georgia showed impressive depth at running back, wide receiver and tight end while quarterback Stetson Bennett accounted for three touchdowns.

ATLANTA (AP) — Stetson Bennett threw for 368 yards and accounted for three touchdowns and Georgia's revamped defense didn’t miss a beat. The third-ranked Bulldogs looked very much like a team intent of defending their national championship with a 49-3 rout of No. 11 Oregon. Bennett completed 25-of-31 with two touchdowns and ran for another score before calling it a day in the third quarter of the season opener.

The university presidents who oversee the College Football Playoff have voted to expand the postseason model for determining a national champion from four to 12 teams. It will happen no later than the 2026 season. A process that started 14 1/2 months ago with optimism, and then derailed as conference leaders haggled over details, is now moving forward. The presidents approved a proposal that calls for the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams to make the playoff.

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena and Venus Williams lost in the first round of doubles at the U.S. Open. They were eliminated by the Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Thursday night. Arthur Ashe Stadium had never hosted a first-round doubles match until this one featuring two American sisters who have combined to claim 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles but were partnering for the first time since the 2018 French Open.

ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie Spencer Strider set an Atlanta record with 16 strikeouts while allowing only two hits in eight innings to lead the Braves to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. Austin Riley and rookie Michael Harris II hit home runs for Atlanta. Strider logged his longest career start. He did not walk a batter. The Braves remained three games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones, who missed most of the preseason while recovering from offseason right shoulder surgery, will open the season on injured reserve. The Falcons have also placed former starting offensive guard Jalen Mayfield, cornerback Isaiah Oliver, defensive lineman Marlon Davidson and rookie tight end John FitzPatrick on injured reserve. Each player will be eligible to return after missing four games.

NASHVILLE (BP) – A matchup between two Baptist colleges joins a slew of games tonight as Week 1 of college football begins, ushering in what many actually consider the most wonderful time of the year. Oklahoma Baptist, coming off its most successful season in school history, will host Ouachita Baptist tonight in Shawnee. Ouachita is ranked 17th in the Division II preseason coaches’ poll and earned a #2 ranking in the Great American Conference preseason poll, in which Oklahoma Baptist was ranked fifth by coaches.

ATLANTA (AP) — A significant chunk of Georgia’s defense for the ages has moved on to the NFL. Can we expect a major drop-off in 2022? Don’t count on it. The reigning national champions still have plenty of talent on defense, led by massive lineman Jalen Carter, linebacker Nolan Smith, and defensive backs Kelee Ringo and Christopher Smith. They’ll get a chance to claim the spotlight when No. 3 Georgia opens the season Saturday against No. 11 Oregon in Atlanta.

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams eliminated No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2 in the U.S. Open’s second round to ensure that the 23-time Grand Slam champion will play at least one more singles match. The 40-year-old Williams has hinted this will be the last tournament of her illustrious career.

ATLANTA (AP) — Kyle Wright pitched seven scoreless innings to earn his major league-leading 17th victory, Austin Riley and Ronald Acuña Jr. homered, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2. The defending World Series champion Braves avoided their first four-game losing streak since Sept. 14-18, 2021. Atlanta, with the NL’s third-best record at 80-51, remained three games behind the New York Mets in the East Division.

The Southeastern Conference has a national championship quarterback, a Heisman Trophy winner and a collection of talented passers both new and old. The group is headlined by Alabama’s Heisman winner Bryce Young and Stetson Bennett, who led Georgia to the national title over Young & Co. But it hardly stops there. There are established starters at Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi State.

Veteran quarterbacks are plentiful in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. In all, 12 of 14 teams have at least one quarterback with nine or more career starts. That list is headlined by Louisville's Malik Cunningham with 38 starts. The list includes preseason league player of the year Devin Leary for No. 13 North Carolina State.

ATLANTA (AP) — C.J. Cron drove in two runs, José Ureña outpitched Max Fried, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2019, Fried has 50 wins, second-most in the majors to Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, and he had a 2.12 ERA in his previous 11 starts. But the first-time All-Star wasn’t his usual sharp self.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — When you build a powerhouse program, it’s inevitable that others will try to copy your success. That means hiring people who work for you. Georgia coach Kirby Smart will see another familiar face on the opposing sideline Saturday when the reigning national champion Bulldogs open the season against No. 11 Oregon. Smart’s former defensive coordinator, Dan Lanning, is now guiding the Ducks.

College students often keep lists to keep them on track, but lists have taken on a new significance for Auburn University basketball player Dylan Cardwell. He’s seen God’s hand at work through them. “Twice I’ve put things on a list, and both times God used those things to spread His kingdom,” said the junior center.  Cardwell made the first list as a high school student during the 2019–20 basketball season, writing down 10 goals for his senior year and thinking he had a sure-fire way to guarantee success.

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams has won her match in the first round of the U.S. Open. Williams beat Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam champion who turns 41 next month and has said she is ready to move on from her playing days. She will play again Wednesday.

ATLANTA (AP) — In his two years in the NFC South, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady’s dramatic impact has forced other teams in the division to scramble. It’s no easy task trying to keep up with the quarterback regarded by many as the best in NFL history. He has a Super Bowl championship and division title in his two seasons as the Bucs' starter. Brady is 45, but he has looked sharp in practice. Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans all added veterans to their QB depth charts.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run homer to break an eighth-inning tie and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied past the Atlanta Braves 6-3. Tommy Edman pulled the Cardinals even with a leadoff homer in the eighth against A.J. Minter, who also gave up O’Neill’s two-out drive to straightaway center field. Lars Nootbaar went deep with two outs in the sixth for the first hit off Braves starter Jake Odorizzi. The Cardinals have won 12 of 15 and are six games in front of second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Austin Dillon avoided a massive wreck in the rain to win at Daytona International Speedway and snag a playoff spot in the Cup Series’ regular-season finale. Dillon passed Austin Cindric for the lead with three laps to go after a 3-hour and 20-minute red flag for inclement weather. It was an aggressive move that capped a drama-filled race.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Commanders say rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. was shot during an attempted robbery or carjacking. The 23-year-old former Alabama player was taken to the hospital with what the team called non-life-threatening injuries. The team says staff members were with Robinson at the hospital.

ATLANTA (AP) — Rory McIlroy is the FedEx Cup champion for the third time. He stormed from a record-tying six shots behind to win the Tour Championship and capture the $18 million prize. Scottie Scheffler never trailed all week until the 70th hole. He built the six-shot lead Sunday morning with four birdies in six holes to complete the third round. But he was never on his game and made only one birdie in a round of 73. McIlroy shot a 66.

ATLANTA (AP) — Josef Martínez and Juan José Purata scored back-to-back goals midway through the second half and Atlanta United rallied to beat D.C. United 3-2. Ravel Morrison scored his first goal of the season to give D.C. United a 1-0 lead in the 47th minute. Alan Franco picked up his first netter of the season two minutes later to pull Atlanta United (8-10-9) even, but Ola Kamara scored — his eighth — in the 55th minute to regain the lead for D.C. United (6-17-4).

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Corey Dickerson tied the game with an infield single and Tyler O’Neill drew a bases-loaded walk, all in the bottom of the ninth inning, to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. Nolan Arenado and Andrew Knizner homered for the Cardinals, who claimed their sixth walk-off win of the season.

ATLANTA (AP) — Desmond Ridder shook off an interception on his first throw to lead the Atlanta Falcons to their first home preseason win since 2016, 28-16 over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams relied mainly on backups and roster wannabes in their preseason finale. The 2-1 Falcons prevailed behind their third-round draft pick out of Cincinnati.

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