BC-OH–Ohio Sports Digest 1:30 pm, OH

The state at 1:30 p.m. All times EST.

Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the east region of the AP, can be reached at ogarcia@ap.org, or by office phone at 215-446-6632 or cellphone at 702-285-3000. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.



CINCINNATI — No. 17 Xavier (10-2) hosts Providence (10-3) to open Big East play. The Musketeers swept their series last season. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 400 words. Game time 7 p.m.


Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov are elite at 19 years old and bucking the old trend that NHL defensemen take a while to develop. Following the likes of Aaron Ekblad and Seth Jones, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Werenski and Philadelphia Flyers’ Provorov are examples that the learning curve is shorter than ever. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 900 words, photos.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The last time Ohio State played Clemson, the Tigers ripped up the Buckeyes’ defense. That 2014 Orange Bowl was the final act in a defensive meltdown that led Urban Meyer to revamp Ohio State’s defense to a scheme that has allowed talented cornerbacks such as Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore to flourish. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 p.m., photos.


COLUMBUS — When Ohio State rolled to an improbable national championship two years ago, J.T. Barrett was rolling himself around on the sideline on a scooter that kept his broken right ankle elevated. The soft-spoken, self-assured Texan is healthy this year and led the Buckeyes to an 11-1 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff against Clemson on New Year’s Eve. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 900 words, photo.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Clemson receiver Mike Williams missed the Tigers’ run to the national championship game last season while recovering from a neck injury. Now he and the Tigers are back and he will be a key for Clemson to beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. By Bob Baum. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m.


CLEMSON, S.C. — Alabama and Clemson both will put their big fellas in the backfield. Why does this happen — and how do they make it work? By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3 p.m.


CINCINNATI — The Bengals held receiver A.J. Green out of their game in Houston after a scan found his right hamstring wasn’t fully healed. His status for the final game against Baltimore on Sunday is unclear. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith intended to retire last year. He ultimately decided to come back for one more season, and now it’s unclear if his final game will be Sunday in Cincinnati. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.


Should he stay or should he go? That’s the clash some teams are considering as the NFL season winds down. Here are the pros and cons for keeping seven coaches in their jobs. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 800 words by 7 p.m., photos.