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The wildest moments from the most unforgettable Red River Showdown



The weirdest Red River Showdown game in history started ugly and finished as the highest-scoring game in the 117-year history of the rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma.

With 24,000 fans scattered among 93,000 seats, no bands at halftime and the State Fair of Texas canceled due to the pandemic, the scene was unforgettable.

But so was the game. Here are some of the craziest moments from just the second four-OT game in the Big 12’s 25 seasons.

Spencer Rattler fumbles, gets benched

With Oklahoma leading 10-3 in the second quarter, Rattler, the Sooners’ redshirt freshman quarterback, starts scrambling, steps up and runs into Texas’ T’Vondre Sweat, who pops the ball in the air right into the arms of Juwan Mitchell.

It is Rattler’s second turnover of the game after an interception in the first quarter, and his sixth in the past three games. He’s benched for backup Tanner Mordecai, who was 3-for-3 on his first drive, until running back T.J. Pledger fumbled on the Texas 18.

“I thought Spencer did some good things early then had a couple plays that I didn’t like,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “I felt like Tanner would go play well. I also felt like it would help Spencer step back for a second and kind of see the whole thing a little bit and settle down, and I think that happened.”

Right where the punt block team wanted him

Ryan Bujcevski, an Australian punter who kicks rugby style, rolls to the right after several steps and kicks the ball right into the hand of Oklahoma’s David Ugwoegbu, who chases the ball down and recovers it on the Texas five-yard line.

It was the second punt Texas has had blocked in the past three games after going all of 2019 without one. Oklahoma scored five plays later to take a 17-10 lead.

Ehlinger picked off in the endzone, OU gives it back

Down 31-17, Texas drives 67 yards in 10 plays. After completing two passes to running back Bijan Robinson for 39 yards, Ehlinger keeps the ball for an 11-yard run to the Oklahoma 23. The next play, he is intercepted by Woodi Washington in the end zone, leaving Oklahoma with a 14-point lead with 7:02 left in the game.

Oklahoma takes over at its 20. On third and five, Lincoln Riley calls for a reverse. The ball comes loose and wide receiver Theo Wease jumps on it for a 10-yard loss, and the Sooners have to punt. Texas takes over on the 50.

Oklahoma can’t keep Texas off the field

After Sam Ehlinger needs just 1:10 to drive Texas 50 yards and throws a 9-yard touchdown to Joshua Moore, Oklahoma gets the ball back on the OU 46 after Texas attempts a failed onside kick.

The Sooners’ drive: A fumble by Rattler on first down, recovered by center Creed Humprey. A four-yard run by Pledger. A third-down pass dropped by Austin Stogner.

The Sooners have to punt again, and Texas gets the ball with 1:52 remaining.

The game-tying drive

Ehlinger drives Texas down the field efficiently, then Texas gets a pass interference call on walk-on receiver Kai Money, which sets the Longhorns up at the Oklahoma 2-yard line. On first and goal, Ehlinger finds a wide-open Keaontay Ingram, who fumbled last week on the goal line at the end of the game in a loss to TCU.

Ehlinger tap dances

After Oklahoma takes a lead in the second overtime, Ehlinger doesn’t waste any time. Out of the shotgun, he drops back before scrambling down the left sideline around a block, breaking a tackle for a 25-yard touchdown run, his 12th rushing TD against the Sooners in five games.

The kickers can’t catch a break

Cameron Dicker, who kicked the game-winner with nine seconds left in Texas’ 48-45 win over Oklahoma in 2018, had his FG blocked in the first drive of the third overtime, meaning Oklahoma could now win the game with a field goal.

Oklahoma drives to the Texas 14, then on second down, opts to bring on Gabe Brkic, the only FBS kicker in the country to make every field goal and extra point last season. He misses a 31-yarder. We are still tied, 45-45 and go to the fourth overtime.

Another Stoops has his day at OU

Drake Stoops, a walk-on receiver and the son of Bob Stoops, who went 11-7 against Texas, catches a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rattler to give Oklahoma the lead in the fourth overtime as OU fans yelled “STOOOOOOOOOPS.” It was just Stoops’ second career touchdown, after catching one last month against Kansas State.

After a two-point conversion pass from Rattler to Wease, the Sooners take a 53-45 lead.

A knockout blow

Ehlinger, who had already accounted for six touchdowns, faces second and goal, but a holding penalty has set the Longhorns back to the 19. Ehlinger drops back and attempts to connect with Moore in the end zone, but overshoots him. Tre Moore intercepts it for Oklahoma.

After four hours and 43 minutes, the game is over. Rattler comes back to wear the Golden Hat and sends one final shot at the rival Horns. Stay weird, 2020.


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Daniel Cormier: This is the Khabib Nurmagomedov I know



Editor’s note: Some content has been edited for clarity and brevity.

More than anything, Khabib Nurmagomedov and I are friends.

I’ve watched this guy grow from a young, Russian kid who didn’t speak English to a global superstar.

He came with a dream, not much money. American Kickboxing Academy teammate Shawn Bunch picked him up at the airport, took him to McDonald’s and fed him because he was hungry. And then he took him to the gym.

Khabib was undefeated at the time (18-0) and we would talk to him a little bit, because he couldn’t really speak much English. You saw how intent on getting better he was. You watch the kid, and then you see Luke Rockhold showing him something. And then Cain Velasquez would be showing him something. And then I would be showing him something. Everybody drew to him because he was different, like a kid who wanted to learn and was going to do whatever you told him. He never questioned anything.

Even today as the global superstar that he is, you’re a coach, he will not question anything you tell him to do. He will not question the way you tell him to do it. He’s a sponge for knowledge. I just remember him always being in there, trying to learn and everybody being drawn to him because of that real key part of his personality that made him want to learn.

One thing that I used to always enjoy, was before he was called “The Eagle of Dagestan,” he wasn’t just “The Eagle,” and he fought in the UFC, and he somehow copied the audio of Bruce Buffer introducing him, so he would just play that all the time. Go up to the locker room, and you’d hear “Eagle of Dagestan, Nurmagomedov,” and that was some of the first English the dude learned, was how to repeat Bruce introducing him in the Octagon.

‘Brother, I’m going to be world champion’

You know what he told me one time, years ago, “Brother, I’m going to be world champion, and I’m going to fight for $10 million every fight.” I promise you. Years ago, and we all go, “No chance.” Because nobody was making $10 million at the time. And I’m sure right now Khabib is fighting as the world champion at 28-0 for $10 million, straight.

He sure doesn’t need the money, but he told me that, because he said it was going to change. He was going to be so big that things would change. And now, it has happened. He has done all the stuff he said he would do.

Living in Dagestan, he doesn’t need much. It doesn’t cost much over there. We sent some kids to wrestle there in January, and Khabib paid for their hotels. He took care of them, because they were my little wrestlers. Hotels weren’t very expensive. He doesn’t need much, he does it because he loves it.

I think a lot of stuff about his background is very guarded, and it’s guarded purposely. He’s a guy who’s a bit of a mystery, and I think part of the intrigue to him is the mystery. So I’m not going to blow the top off that.

If I’m going to share anything, I think about his father, Abdulmanap, and the intensity his dad lived with. I could only imagine little Khabib growing up as that kid in that house. When I was light heavyweight champ of the world, one day I was cutting weight, Khabib’s dad jumped on me to grapple with me and the dude was actually trying to win. He was wrestling, trying to win. Just an intense man, very knowledgeable man. I know that he raised Khabib pretty hard.

‘I’m so nervous, I’ve never done an English interview’

Around 2015, 2016, Khabib came to Fox to do an interview. And I was doing “UFC Tonight,” and I was like, ”You can do it. Just try it.” He was like, “I’m so nervous, I’ve never done an English interview.” I thought he did well, but I remember, he would talk, but he would only talk s—. It was like all he did was talk trash, because we made fun of him all the time. We made fun of him for his little widow’s peak, we used to call him Eddie Munster. And he hated it. And he just learned to talk trash back. And now, that’s all he does is talk s— the whole time.

There have been times when Khabib was short on training partners, and I’ll go in there and spar him, light, I’m not going hard. I’m just kind of working, but honestly, you can’t go as light with Khabib as you’d want. He’s not the normal 155-pounder. He’s big and he’s strong. He can wrestle, so you kind of have to give him a little bit more than you would generally give a little guy, but that’s what makes him so special. He can be standing across the Octagon from me, and that’s when I was the heavyweight champion of the world, and I would go in there and spar with him a little and that dude had no fear. I kind of have to give up a little bit more than I would normally give a little dude, because this dude’s actually trying to win. He’s like his dad.

He grapples so much, it’s wild. He grapples more than anybody I’ve ever seen. He’s getting better at controlling, which is absurd, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy better at top control in my life. He’s better at chasing the finishes once he gets on top, because for a while, he was just beating up guys. He wasn’t finishing them as much as he wanted to. But now he’s getting finishes. All that control that Khabib does with his legs now, it wasn’t like that before. He was a wrestling guy, like me, and we were trying to control everything with our arms and squeezing, and over the years he developed the ability to control with his legs, and it completely changed the game.

Knocking down Conor McGregor, and eyeing Georges St-Pierre

Khabib takes a lot of pride in the fact he knocked down Conor McGregor. It was supposed to be the wrestler vs. the striker, and for him to be the one who scored the knockdown, was a big deal for him.

He doesn’t really say Conor’s name, though. I don’t ever think I’ve ever heard him say Conor’s name. It’s always ‘this guy.’ which I think tells you how he feels about him. And I try to trick him into saying it. He won’t do it.

I don’t think he’ll be around very much longer. I think you have to take it in right now. Obviously, he doesn’t need to fight. I’m sure he has enough money, living in Dagestan, for the rest of his life. I think he’ll fight for maybe a year or two, max. And then move on, spend time with his family. I know he does not like whenever he comes to camp because he misses his kids and his wife.

“I went into the locker room before he fought Conor and I couldn’t believe the stillness of the room. The room wasn’t filled with nervous energy. We walked in there, me and my son, and he started wrestling with my son, before the match.”

Daniel Cormier

I think part of Khabib going away sooner rather than later, is part of the reason why we all love him so much. It’s that he understands that as long as he’s champion, his teammate Islam Makhachev can’t be. And he feels like Islam is the champ if he’s not fighting. Even if it’s for that, to give Islam that, he won’t be that long.

And it’s going to suck. It’s going to be a terrible day for all of us at AKA when Khabib walks away, because he brings a different vibe to the gym, a different feel. And he always has. Not just as the champion now. When he was a kid who didn’t know anything, everybody liked Khabib, because he just brought something different to our gym. He was like our Russian little brother who had a ton of potential. Now he’s our Russian little brother who’s a global superstar.

When he’s done, I think it will be over. I think you’ll see him on social media occasionally. But I think he’ll be gone. I don’t know if he’s one of those guys who loves fame. Some guys love fame. Maybe he will. I think he’ll be around with his teammates. But I don’t know if he’ll be a guy you see him randomly.

He loves the competition. He loves the ability to go out there and do something special, leave people talking. I think fight week, to him, means getting in there and being able to do something. I don’t know about all the interviews, and everything that leads up to it, but he has gotten really good at it.

I went into the locker room before he fought Conor and I couldn’t believe the stillness of the room. The room wasn’t filled with nervous energy. It wasn’t like I walked into a room with people so nervous because a guy was getting walked out to lose. It was still. We walked in there, me and my son, and he started wrestling with my son, before the match. I think he lives for those moments, to go out there and compete.

GSP will be the one he leaves on. If Khabib ever gets scheduled to fight GSP, know that will probably be the last time you see him. Because I know how much he respects him. He respects Georges, and wants to fight Georges for all the right reasons.


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World Series ‘travel day’ roundtable: Everything we learned in Games 1 and 2



It’s a travel day in the 2020 World Series … just without any travel.

The Series — tied at 1 — is staying in Arlington, Texas, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays have 24 hours to catch their breath before Game 3 on Friday.

While they do, ESPN baseball writers Sam Miller and David Schoenfield answer some key questions so far this Fall Classic.

What has stood out to you most over the first two games of this World Series?

Sam Miller: How much deeper the Rays’ lineup looks when Brandon Lowe and Joey Wendle aren’t helpless. Tampa Bay got through three playoff rounds behind good pitching and Randy Arozarena, but every inning seemed to start with slumping Rays hitters making two quick outs. Lowe, their best regular-season hitter/worst postseason hitter, broke out with two homers in Game 2. Wendle, in a similar slide, hit one oppo-rocket for a sac fly and pulled a double so hard that Mookie Betts took a bad route at it. Austin Meadows and Yandy Diaz each hit his hardest ball this postseason in Game 2, and Manuel Margot is showing that he might have actually turned into a star sometime in mid-August. The Kershaws and Buehlers of the world might still shut this lineup down, but the Rays should scare the rest of the Dodgers’ staff.

David Schoenfield: That maybe this isn’t going to be the low-scoring, grind-it-out, home runs-or-die series that we expected. With scores of 8-3 and 6-4, we’ve seen a little more offense than perhaps anticipated given the two pitching staffs. Also, that second-guessing in the World Series will forever remain a fun parlor game. Did Kevin Cash leave Tyler Glasnow in too long in Game 1? Did the Dodgers outthink themselves with a bullpen game in Game 2? Why does Dustin May not strike out more batters given his fastball? What is with all these “contact” plays by the runner on third base this postseason? OK, it worked for Mookie Betts on Tuesday, but it has failed several other times. Are 28-man rosters too many players? (Yes.) Are you tired off bullpen games? (Yes.) Is Corey Seager locked in right now? (Yes.) Do Dodgers fans want to see Joe Kelly in a close game? (No.)

What do the Dodgers need to do to win the series from here?

Miller: It sounds like the worst kind of cliche, but they just need to do what they do. The Dodgers are (no offense, Tampa Bay!) the better team here, and even in two split games it has showed: The Dodgers have 50 points of OBP on Tampa Bay so far in this series and 80 points of slugging. The regular-season Dodgers were only the 11th team in modern history with a winning percentage over .700, and so far in the postseason, against other postseason teams, they have the run differential of a .700 team. If they don’t make any gaffes and they just [serious cliche voice] play like they’re capable of playing, they’re going to win every seven-game series that isn’t beset by weirdness.

Schoenfield: Picking up where Sam left off, keep working those counts. They made Tyler Glasnow throw 112 pitches in just 4⅓ innings. Blake Snell was great in Game 2 through four innings, but in the end they drew four walks off him and knocked him out after 4⅔ innings. They’ve seen Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks now and the more they see of them, the better they will adjust. As good as the Tampa Bay pen is, Cash doesn’t really want to go too deep, and with three games in three days, reliever fatigue becomes a potential issue.

What do the Rays need to do to win the series from here?

Miller: Get Nick Anderson right. Anderson was the best reliever in baseball for the year prior to this month, and the Rays use him so aggressively that it’d be easy to see him being named MVP of this series. But arguably his four worst outings of the year — OK, probably four of his worst five — have come in his past four appearances. His rightness obviously carries extra importance, because he comes into the biggest moment of every close game. He doesn’t have the freedom to fail just a little bit. But beyond the direct impact his pitches have, the Rays’ trust in him sets the rest of the pitching plan. If you’re counting to 27 outs and you don’t have Anderson for four to seven of them, that has ramifications for Charlie Morton and Blake Snell, for Pete Fairbanks and Diego Castillo, for the whole story the Rays are trying to tell.

Schoenfield: Sam took my suggestion. Indeed, the dirty little secret for the Rays is that Anderson hasn’t actually been that good in the postseason. He has now been scored on in five straight appearances and in six of his eight games in the playoffs. After averaging 14.3 K’s per nine innings in his limited action in the regular season, he has only eight in 13 postseason innings. Anyway, let’s go with this: Ride Charlie Morton. Given Anderson’s struggles, it’s important that Morton shuts down the Dodgers in Game 3 … and then again in Game 7 if the series goes the distance. Morton is riding a streak of five straight postseason starts dating to 2019 where he has given up one earned run or fewer (including his past two). His longest outing in this stretch has been just 5⅔ innings, but if he gives up one run in five innings, the Rays will be in a great position.

Who is the MVP of the series through two games?

Miller: Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw took control of this series for the Dodgers on the fourth batter of the first game, when — with two on and one out — he got Hunter Renfroe on a checked swing for a huge strikeout. He then retired 16 of the next 17 batters as the Dodgers’ offense chewed through three Tampa Bay pitchers to first take a small lead and then build a big one. No, they couldn’t keep control of the series after Kershaw left, and we go into the first “travel” day tied. But nobody looms over the rest of this series quite so much as Kershaw, the pitcher Tampa Bay couldn’t hit, lined up for a Game 5 start and a probable Game 7 (if necessary) relief appearance.

Schoenfield: Kershaw is in the best shape to win it for the entire series since he’s now guaranteed a start in Game 5 since the Rays avoided the sweep. It’s hard for a pitcher to win MVP honors though. If it’s close — like Steve Pearce and David Price in 2018 — it seems as if the hitter usually wins. We’ve had 21 MVPs since 2000 (Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling shared it in 2001), but pitchers have won only six.

What have you noticed the most about the neutral site, limited fans World Series so far?

Miller: I haven’t noticed their presence very much, to be honest. I certainly haven’t noticed fans affecting the game the way 40,000 delirious partisans can. Maybe it’s different for the players in the middle of it, but if there’s a spectrum that ranges from “empty” to “full and Octobery,” it has felt closer to empty.

Schoenfield: Now, this wouldn’t have been a problem with a regular Tampa Bay-Los Angeles World Series since both are warm-weather cities and the Rays play indoors, but it has been nice that the entire postseason has been played in warm-weather locations — the way baseball is supposed to be played. No winter jackets. No heaters in the dugouts. No turtlenecks or ski masks. Am I advocating for a permanent warm-weather World Series? Well, it’s supposed to snow in Minneapolis on Thursday with a high of 35.

How will a travel day off — without travel — impact the rest of this series?

Miller: Probably a lot less than we would have guessed 36 hours ago! The break (and the break between Games 5 and 6) will let the Dodgers use Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin in relief during the games “in” Tampa Bay, which seemed important except that neither of them has looked very good lately. None of either team’s high-leverage relievers are gassed, thanks to the blowout Tuesday. I guess the day gives Tampa Bay a chance to reset its bullpen after Anderson’s and Fairbanks’ extended outings Wednesday, but neither threw that many pitches. Uh … it gives Kevin Kiermaier‘s wrist another day to get healthy, if that’s still a factor? Dave? Got something better?

Schoenfield: More time for the Dodgers to outthink themselves? I kid! I kid! The Dodgers will definitely make all the right choices in their pitching decisions, just like in the 2017 World Series and 2018 World Series and … OK, here’s the deal. They can play the next three games straight with Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and then Kershaw going. I think Dave Roberts has finally decided on who his top relievers are: Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol, Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen from the right side and then maybe Victor Gonzalez and Jake McGee from the left side. Trouble is, he had all those righties available in Game 2 (only Baez pitched in Game 1), yet he used the struggling May and then Joe Kelly and those two combined to give up four runs (he got away with using Alex Wood, the worst pitcher on the staff). This is the World Series. It’s not time to save your best relievers for only when you’re ahead. It’s important to hold down the fort at all times and … oh, wait, you were asking about the “travel” day, not the Dodgers’ bullpen. My bad.


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2020 NBA free agency and trades: Latest buzz, news and reports



The 2020 NBA free-agent class won’t have the star power of last season — when nearly half the league became available — but plenty of big names are set to hit the market. Even more could be offered in trade talks.

Will back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo sign a five-year extension with the Milwaukee Bucks? What is the market for Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet? Is Anthony Davis a lock to return to the champion Los Angeles Lakers?

Keep it here for the latest news, buzz and analysis throughout the free agency and trade season.

MORE: Trade Machine | Full FA list | More on free agency/trades

Oct. 21 updates

3 p.m. ET: During the introduction of new Indiana Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren, team president Kevin Pritchard discussed the biggest offseason question remaining for the franchise: the future of two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo, who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

“[Oladipo] feels good about the team. He’s talked to me about how he thinks this team can be very good,” Pritchard said. “We hear a lot of things, but until it comes to me, I don’t really worry about that.”

Oladipo is entering the final year of four-year, $85 million deal.

Marks: Next steps for the Pacers

11:34 a.m. ET: The Minnesota Timberwolves, who don’t yet see a clear choice for their No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, are closely evaluating all situations, including trade scenarios, before coming up with a set plan on draft night, ESPN’s Eric Woodyard reports.

“For us, we typically study the draft from 1 to whatever number we feel like is a draftable player,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “And we’ll evaluate those guys for trade scenarios, trade back, trade out, for undrafted free-agent opportunities, for minor league opportunities, so we really beat up the draft board as much as can all the way up until the draft.”

Minnesota also holds the 17th and 33rd picks in the Nov. 18 draft.

MORE: Everything to know for the 2020 draft

Oct. 12 update

2:18 a.m. ET: Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ title-clinching win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Anthony Davis addressed his impending free agency.

“I had a great time in L.A. this first year. This has been nothing but joy, nothing but amazement. Over the next couple of months, we’ll figure it out. I mean, I’m not 100 percent sure, but that’s why my agent [Rich Paul] is who he is, and we’ll discuss it and figure it out,” Davis said.

Davis is expected to opt out of his $28.8 million contract for 2020-21 and could receive $32.7 million next season if the salary cap stays at $109.1 million, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Marks: How the Lakers get back to the Finals

Must-reads: NBA offseason

Watch these four teams during trade season

With the trade market to reopen soon, NBA Insider Kevin Pelton examines what’s next for Brooklyn, Golden State, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia.

5-on-5: Debating the biggest storylines for the 2020 offseason

What New Orleans will do and where Chris Paul and Fred VanVleet play next season are among the topics we’re watching right now.

Biggest decisions for all 30 teams

NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks runs though all 30 teams with breakdowns on big-picture priorities, draft assets, potential moves, cap-space possibilities and team needs.


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