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>>Bulls Battle Cavs

(Champaign, IL)  --  The Bulls will battle the Cavaliers in a preseason affair at Assembly Hall this evening.  Chicago opened exhibition play with a 92-88 win over the Grizzlies on Tuesday.  Tip-off tonight is at 7:00.  The Bulls will also be on the road to face the Wolves tomorrow night.

>>Illinois Visits Michigan

(Ann Arbor, MI)  --  Illinois will be on the road to battle Michigan tomorrow afternoon.  Illinois is 2-and-4 on the season after last week's 31-14 loss to Wisconsin.  Michigan holds a commanding 68-23-and-2 lead in the all-time series.  Kick-off will be at 2:30.

>>Notre Dame Squares Off With Stanford

(South Bend, IN)  --  Seventh-ranked Notre Dame will square off with 17th-ranked Stanford in South Bend tomorrow.  The Fighting Irish moved to 5-and-0 on the season with a 41-3 win over Miami last week.  The Irish hold a 17-9 edge in the all-time series.  Kick-off will be at 2:30.

>>Bears Enjoy Bye

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Bears will enjoy their bye this weekend.  At 4-and-1, Chicago enters its off week tied with the Vikings atop the NFC North.  The Bears will be back in action a week from Monday when they host the Lions at Soldier Field.

National Football League

Rob  Bironas buried four field goals on Thursday, including a game-winning 40-
yarder  as time  expired to send the  Tennessee Titans to a 26-23 victory over
the Pittsburgh Steelers at LP Field.

=== As of 1:30 a.m. (et) ===

=== BASEBALL ===

It  was  another action-packed day  of playoff  baseball on Thursday, with all
four Division Series on the schedule.


The  San Francisco  Giants defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 6-4, in the fifth and
deciding  game  of a National League  Division Series from Great American Ball
Park.  Buster  Posey headlined  a six-run  fifth inning with  a grand slam and
Brandon  Crawford picked up  two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Giants,
the  World Series  winners  of two  seasons  ago who  became  just the  second
National  League club to win a first-round, best-of-five series after dropping
the  first two  games.


Jayson Werth kept the Washington Nationals' storybook season alive in dramatic
fashion,  belting a solo  home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave
the  National League East champions a thrilling 2-1 victory over the St. Louis
Cardinals  in  Game 4 of  their NL Division  Series from Nationals Park. Werth
came  out  as the  victor in  a tense  13-pitch at-bat  with Lance Lynn (1-1),
hammering  a fastball  from the  Cardinals' 18-game  winner into  the visiting
bullpen  to set  up a deciding Game  5 to take place Friday in Washington. The
winner will take on San Francisco in the NLCS beginning on Sunday.


J.J.  Hardy's RBI double  in the 13th inning kept the Orioles' season alive as
Baltimore  took  a 2-1 victory  over the  New York Yankees  in Game 4 of their
American  League Division  Series at Yankee Stadium. The series is now tied at
2-2 with the decisive Game 5 taking place on Friday.


Justin  Verlander fired his first postseason shutout and the Tigers are headed
back  to the ALCS following a 6-0 triumph over the Oakland Athletics in Game 5
of  their ALDS. Verlander, the American League strikeout leader, established a
new LDS record with 22 punchouts in the series. Joe Coleman was the last Tiger
to  record a shutout  in postseason play. He did so in Game 3 of the 1972 ALCS
against  the Athletics.  Verlander (2-0)  fanned 11,  scattered four  hits and
walked  one  for Detroit, which will  appear in its franchise's sixth ALCS and
third in the last seven years.


For  the first  time since  the  commencement of  the  LDS in  1995, all  four
Division  Series will go five games. With the San Francisco Giants and Detroit
Tigers  already  into the  LCS with  wins Thursday,  a pair  of series will be
decided Friday. The Baltimore Orioles are in New York taking on the Yankees in
the  afternoon session,  while the  St. Louis  Cardinals will  clash with  the
Nationals in Washington in the nightcap.

=== NFL ===

Rob  Bironas buried four field goals on Thursday, including a game-winning 40-
yarder  as time  expired to send the  Tennessee Titans to a 26-23 victory over
the Pittsburgh Steelers at LP Field.


New  York Giants  wide receiver Hakeem Nicks returned to the practice field on
Thursday.  Nicks, who  was limited in Thursday's practice, has missed the last
three  games with  foot and  knee injuries.  The North  Carolina product,  who
fractured  his foot  in  May, has  caught  14  passes for  237  yards and  one
touchdown in two contests this season.


Kansas  City  Chiefs quarterback Matt  Cassel has  been ruled out for Sunday's
game  against the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cassel sustained a concussion in last
Sunday's  loss  to Baltimore after taking  a vicious shot from Haloti Ngata in
the  fourth quarter. Following the hit, Chiefs fans began to cheer the injury,
garnering much criticism from various media outlets. Chiefs coach Romeo Crenel
said  Thursday that  doctors have  not cleared  Cassel. Brady  Quinn has  been
practicing  with the  first  team  this week  and  will  start Sunday's  game.
Quinn  will make  his first NFL start since  2009, when he was a member of the
Cleveland Browns. Second-year pro Ricky Stanzi will serve as the backup.


The  Jacksonville  Jaguars will  play  the  San  Francisco 49ers  at  London's
historic Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, the NFL announced Thursday.
The  game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET. In August, the Jaguars committed to play
one  regular-season  home game in  the United Kingdom  in 2013, 2014, 2015 and
2016,  all  at Wembley. San Francisco  will appear in the International Series
for  a second time.  The 49ers hosted the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in
2010, earning a 24-16 victory before a crowd of 83,941.

=== NASCAR ===

Hendrick Motorsports revealed on Thursday morning that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will
not  compete  in the next two  Sprint Cup Series  races due to a concussion he
suffered  last  Sunday at  Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt  Jr., who is the
most  popular driver  in NASCAR, was involved  in a 25- car crash on the final
lap  at Talladega. According to a news release from HMS, he was diagnosed with
a  concussion on  Wednesday in  Charlotte.  Earnhardt Jr.  will miss  Saturday
night's  race at  Charlotte Motor  Speedway and  the Oct.  21 event  at Kansas
Speedway.  Regan  Smith will  substitute  for  Earnhardt  Jr.  in the  No.  88
Chevrolet  at both racetracks. Smith made his last start in the No. 78 car for
Furniture  Row  Racing at  Talladega. Kurt  Busch is driving  that car for the
remaining six races this season.


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