Latest South Carolina sports

PANTHERS-NEWTON

Panthers QB Newton held out of practice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was held out of practice due to soreness in his ribs.

However, coach Ron Rivera still thinks Newton will start the season opener Sunday at Tampa Bay, saying, “I’m optimistic and I expect him to be there. We will see how it all unfolds. We have to look at this day by day.”

Rivera had expected Newton to practice, but the fourth-year QB was still sore from practice Monday and working out on the side with the trainers Tuesday.

Newton did not speak with reporters as he normally does on Wednesdays because he was undergoing treatment on his fractured ribs.

Derek Anderson took the first-team reps at quarterback.

Newton has never missed a start in three seasons with the Panthers.

T25-CLEMSON-PRIESTER

Clemson receiver Priester dismissed from team

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said freshman receiver Kyrin Preister has been dismissed from the team for a poor attitude.

Swinney said Wednesday that Priester had no respect for authority and that he was a good individual who had lost his way, which is why he’s no longer on the team.

Priester is a 6-foot-1, 186-pound wideout from Lilburn, Georgia, who had 56 catches for 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year at Brookwood High. Priester enrolled at Clemson this past January and had hoped to make an early impact for the 23rd-ranked Tigers.

He played on special teams in last week’s 45-21 loss at Georgia last weekend.

Priester was listed as a third-string receiver on Clemson’s depth chart for its game with South Carolina State on Saturday.

NASCAR-COMCAST

Comcast to sponsor NASCAR’s Nationwide Series

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Comcast Corp. has signed a 10-year agreement with NASCAR to replace Nationwide Insurance as the title sponsor of the second-tier series.

The series will be known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series through 2024. The deal that matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in its history.

Xfinity, the online video service of Philadelphia-based Comcast, becomes just the third title sponsor in series history. Anheuser-Busch spent 26 years as title sponsor and Nationwide has been sponsor the last 11.

ACC-NICKEL DEFENSES

ACC teams matching up with more nickel defenses

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Defenses in the Atlantic Coast Conference aren’t waiting for passing situations to bring on another defensive back.

Instead, they’re starting with the nickel package.

It’s an effort to cover more ground and avoid mismatches against offenses that keep flooding the field with receivers and attacking from sideline to sideline without substituting.

Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are using a 4-2-5 — four linemen, two linebackers and five defensive backs — as their base scheme and the starting point for what they do every week.

Other teams are using the nickel heavily, including reigning national champion Florida State.

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof says the game has evolved, and now defenses are trying to match up and disguise coverages with the nickel.

SEC-LOUSY MATCHUPS

SEC lineup of games far from must-see TV this week

UNDATED (AP) — This weekend’s SEC lineup doesn’t hold much national appeal, unless the scheduling backfires.

After opening with some made-for-TV games, the Southeastern Conference’s Week 2 lineup includes several games that shape up to be lopsided mismatches.

Texas A&M versus Lamar doesn’t hold quite the same appeal as the Aggies’ inaugural SEC Network game with South Carolina.

The list goes on: Auburn-San Jose State, LSU-Sam Houston State, Arkansas-Nicholls State, Alabama-Florida Atlantic, Mississippi State-UAB. The only league game is No. 15 Mississippi versus Vanderbilt. The top nonconference game is probably South Carolina against East Carolina.

Alabama coach Nick Saban says the challenge shouldn’t change whether you’re playing Michael Jordan or just some “old basketball player.” Saban says he’ll be mad if that’s not his players’ approach.