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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.

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