INDIANA SRN SPORTS BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Thur Oct 77:20pCity Alliance ChampionshipVolleyball
Fri Oct 86:50pOwen Valley @ GreencastleFootball
Fri Oct 86:50pCovenant Christian @ Park TudorFootball
Fri Oct 86:50pMt Vernon @ ShelbyvilleFootball
Fri Oct 86:50pTraders Pt @ NC FarmersburgFootball
Fri Oct 86:50pWest Central @ FrontierFootball
Fri Oct 86:50pTindley @ Heritage ChristianFootball
Sat Oct 91:15pDefiance @ ManchesterCollege Football
Sat Oct 92pGuerin Sectional FinalSoocer Sectional Championship

MLB PLAYOFFS

Los Angeles 3 St. Louis 1

MLB PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

AL Division Series (starts Thursday)
Best-of-five format
Red Sox at Rays
White Sox at Astros

NL Division Series (starts Friday)
Best-of-five format
Los Angeles at Giants
Braves at Brewers

DIVISION SERIES
Presented by Good Sam
Best-of-five

Thursday, Oct. 7
• ALDS A, Game 1 (FS1 or MLBN)
• ALDS B, Game 1 (FS1 or MLBN)

Friday, Oct. 8
• ALDS A, Game 2 (FS1 or MLBN)
• ALDS B, Game 2 (FS1 or MLBN)
• NLDS A, Game 1 (TBS)
• NLDS B, Game 1 (TBS)

Saturday, Oct. 9
• NLDS A, Game 2 (TBS)
• NLDS B, Game 2 (TBS)

Sunday, Oct. 10
• ALDS A, Game 3 (FS1 or MLBN)
• ALDS B, Game 3 (FS1 or MLBN)

Monday, Oct. 11
• ALDS A, Game 4* (FS1 or MLBN)
• ALDS B, Game 4* (FS1 or MLBN)
• NLDS A, Game 3 (TBS)
• NLDS B, Game 3 (TBS)

Tuesday, Oct. 12
• NLDS A, Game 4* (TBS)
• NLDS B, Game 4* (TBS)

Wednesday, Oct. 13
• ALDS A, Game 5* (FS1)
• ALDS B, Game 5* (FS1)

Thursday, Oct. 14
• NLDS A, Game 5* (TBS)
• NLDS B, Game 5* (TBS)

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Best-of-seven
Presented by loanDepot

Friday, Oct. 15
• ALCS Game 1 (FOX)

Saturday, Oct. 16
• ALCS Game 2 (FOX or FS1)
• NLCS Game 1 (TBS)

Sunday, Oct. 17
• NLCS Game 2 (TBS)

Monday, Oct. 18
• ALCS Game 3 (FS1)

Tuesday, Oct. 19
• NLCS Game 3 (TBS)
• ALCS Game 4 (FS1) 

Wednesday, Oct. 20
• ALCS Game 5* (FS1) 
• NLCS Game 4 (TBS)

Thursday, Oct. 21
• NLCS Game 5* (TBS)

Friday, Oct. 22
• ALCS Game 6* (FS1) 

Saturday, Oct. 23
• NLCS Game 6* (TBS)
• ALCS Game 7* (FOX or FS1) 

Sunday, Oct. 24
• NLCS Game 7* (TBS)

WORLD SERIES
Best-of-seven

Tuesday, Oct. 26
• World Series Game 1 – hosted by team with better record (FOX)

Wednesday, Oct. 27
• World Series Game 2 – hosted by team with better record (FOX)

Thursday, Oct. 28
• Travel Day

Friday, Oct. 29
• World Series Game 3 (FOX)

Saturday, Oct. 30
• World Series Game 4 (FOX)

Sunday, Oct. 31
• World Series Game 5* (FOX)

Monday, Nov. 1
• Travel Day*

Tuesday, Nov. 2
• World Series Game 6* – hosted by team with better record (FOX)

Wednesday, Nov. 3
• World Series Game 7* – hosted by team with better record (FOX)

INDIANA BOYS SOCCER SECTIONAL SCOREBOARD

Knightstown 4 Union County 1

Wabash 5 Lakeland Christian 0

Columbus East 1 New Albany 0

Lake Central 7 Highland 0

Covenant Christian 6 Central Christian 0

Carroll 5 Lafayette Central Catholic 1

Providence 6 Henryville 1

Yorktown 4 New Castle 0

Fishers 2 Muncie Central 0

Cascade 3 Covington 0

Fort Wayne Canterbury 1 Argos 0

West Noble 3 Northwood 0

Liberty Christian 7 Tri-Central 1

Oldenburg Academy 2 Greenwood Christian 1

Huntington North 2 Homestead 1

Bremen 3 South Bend St. Joe 0

South Ripley 2 Switzerland County 1

Hobart 2 Portage 1

Illiana Christian 3 Andrean 0

Westview 3 Central Noble 0

South Bend Adams 9 Mishawaka 0

Harrison 3 McCutcheon 2

Fort Wayne Dwenger 3 Norwell 0

Heritage Christian 3 Indianapolis Scecina 0

Northwestern 4 Western 1

Southport 3 Center Grove 2

Evansville Memorial 5 Evansville Central 0

Crawfordsville 4 Frankfort 0

South Dearborn 4 Greensburg 2

Zionsville 3 N. Central 0

Avon 2 Ben Davis 1

White River Valley 1 Mitchell 0

South Vermillion 4 Edgewood 0

Bloomington North 4 Martinsville 0

Brebeuf 6 Lebanon 0

Penn 4 Goshen 1

Fort Wayne Northrup 4 Fort Wayne Snider 3

Mount Vernon 2 Shelbyville 1

Rensselaer Central 2 Benton Central 1

Silver Creek 1 Charlestown 0

Speedway 3 Chatard 0

Washington 2 Princeton 0

North Posey 4 NE  Dubois 3

Washington Township 10 Westville 0

Winamac 1 N. Miami 0

Gibson Southern 5 Vincennes Lincoln 0

Munster 3 Hammond Central 0

Southwestern 4 Hauser 0

Columbia City 4 New Haven 0

Oak Hill 4 Peru 2

Bethesda Christian 2 Riverside 0

Rock Creek 3 Trinity Lutheran 1

Kokomo 5 Lafayette Jeff 0

Chesterton 4 Crown Point 1

Tri-West Hendricks 2 Danville 1

Leo 1 Bellmont 0

South Bend Washington 3 South Bend Clay 0

Bethany Christian 2 Elkhart Christian 1

Batesville 4 Lawrenceburg 2

Lakeland 4 Angola 2

Plymouth 4 LaPorte 2

Taylor 1 Sheridan 0

Jac-Cen-Del 1 Southwestern 1 (Southwestern wins shootout 3 – 2)

Noblesville 5 Pendleton Heights 0

Perry Meridian 4 Roncalli 1

Centerville 1 Wapahani 0

Castle 5 Evansville Reitz 0

Wheeler 3 Hammond Noll 0

Hebron 1 HAST 0

Fort Wayne Blackhawk 1 Lakewood Park 0

Fort Wayne Concordia 1 Culver Academies 0

Delta 3 Muncie Burris 1

Elkhart 3 Warsaw 0

West Lafayette 5 Twin Lakes 0

Columbus North 3 Floyd Central 0

Fort Wayne North 4 E. Noble 1

Bloomington South 5 Bedford North Lawrence 0

South Knox 6 Bloomfield 1

West Vigo 4 Monrovia 1

Madison 2 N. Harrison 1

Forest Park 4 Tell City 1

Trinity 3 Morgan Twp. 1

INDIANA GIRLS SOCCER SECTIONAL SCOREBOARD

Lafayette Central Catholic 4 Crawfordsville 0

Hammond Noll 5 Hebron 2

Northeast Dubois 2 Evansville Day 0

Washington Township 3 Marquette Catholic 1

Glenn 7 Jimtown 0

Faith Christian 9 Rossville 0

Franklin Central 4 Lawrence Central 0

Crown Point 9 Hammond Central 0

Covington 3 S. Vermillion 0

Heritage Hills 9 Mount Vernon 0

Chatard 5. Indianapolis Washington 0

Carmel 1 Guerin Catholic 0

Avon 7 Ben Davis 1

Forest Park 3 S. Spencer 0

Scottsburg 2 Salem 0

Lake Central 9 Hammond Morton 0

Andrean 7 Boone Grove 1

Covenant Christian 9 Westville 0

North Putnam 4 Monrovia 3

Perry Meridian 1 Southport 0

Brownsburg 12 Indianapolis Shortridge 0

Mishawaka Marian 10. South Bend Washington 0

Danville 5 N. Montgomery 0

Western Boone 9 N. White 0

Madison 1 N. Harrison 0

Park Tudor 5 Lebanon 0

Evansville Memorial 12 Evansville Bosse 0

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

New Prairie 3 South-Central 0

South Newton 3 Milford 1

Chatard 3 Scecina 2

New Albany 3 Salem 1

Greensburg 3 Rushville 0

Jennings County 3 S. Ripley 0

Portage 3 Boone Grove 0

North Central 3 White River Valley 1

Wapahani 3 Cowan 0

Daleville 3 Monroe Central 0

Bluffton 3 Fort Wayne North 0

Sheridan 3 Taylor 0

Frankton 3, Alexandria Monroe 0

Linton Stockton 3 Terre Haute North 0

Tecumseh 3 Washington 0

Lowell 3 Wheeler 1

Winchester 3 Tri 0

Illiana Christian 2 Bishop McNamara 0

Cathedral 3 Heritage Christian 1

McCutcheon 3 Lafayette Central Catholic 0

New Washington 3 South-Central 0

North Putnam 3 W. Vigo 0

Pendleton Heights 3 Muncie Burris 2

Northwood 3 South Bend Riley 0

Monrovia 3 Mooresville 0

Mishawaka 3 Bradywine 1

Brown County 3 Bloomfield 0

Harrison 3, Lebanon 0

Kouts 3 Marquette Catholic 2

Angola 3 E. Noble 0

Culver Academies 3 South Bend St. Joseph 1

Northwestern 3 Eastern 0

INDIANA BOYS TENNIS REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Munster 5 Crown Point 0

Bremen 4 Peru 1

Fort Wayne Carroll 4 Homestead 1

Carmel 3 W. Lafayette 2

South Bend St. Joseph 5 Penn 0

Rushville 3 Batesville 2

Center Grove 5 Franklin Central 0

Mississinewa 5 Lapel 0

Westview 4 Goshen 0

Castle 4 Princeton 1

Jasper 5 North Daviess 0

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

Adams Central (6-1) at Bluffton (3-4)

Attica (0-4) at South Newton (3-4)

Avon (0-7) at Zionsville (3-4)

Ben Davis (2-5) at Lawrence Central (3-4)

Benton Central (0-5) at Lafayette Central Catholic (4-3)

Bowman Academy (0-6) at South Bend Washington (2-3)

Bremen (4-3) at South Bend Riley (1-3)

Brown County (3-4) at North Putnam (1-5)

Brownsburg (5-2) at Noblesville (2-5)

Calumet (6-1) at River Forest (3-3)

Cambridge City Lincoln (0-3) at Winchester (3-4)

Carroll (Flora) (6-1) at Clinton Prairie (3-3)

Carroll (Fort Wayne) (6-1) at Fort Wayne Concordia (1-6)

Castle (5-2) at Evansville Central (2-5)

Caston (2-5) at Winamac (5-0)

Central Noble (6-1) at Eastside (7-0)

Columbia City (4-3) at Leo (7-0)

Columbus East (2-5) at Jeffersonville (2-4)

Columbus North (4-3) at Bloomington North (5-2)

Covenant Christian (5-2) at Park Tudor (5-2)

Crawford County (2-3) at West Washington (2-3)

Crawfordsville (0-7) at Tri-West (5-2)

Crown Point (4-3) at Chesterton (6-1)

DeKalb (1-6) at Bellmont (0-7)

Delphi (4-3) at Clinton Central (2-5)

Delta (4-3) at Greenfield-Central (4-3)

East Central (6-1) at Guerin Catholic (1-6)

Eastbrook (6-0) at Elwood (0-6)

Eastern Hancock (4-3) at Shenandoah (4-2)

Edgewood (1-5) at Northview (5-1)

Elkhart (3-3) at Mishawaka Marian (4-3)

Evansville Bosse (2-5) at Evansville Reitz (2-5)

Evansville Mater Dei (5-2) at Evansville Harrison (1-6)

Evansville North (4-3) at Jasper (7-0)

Fairfield (3-4) at Lakeland (3-4)

Fishers (5-2) at Westfield (6-1)

Fort Wayne Dwenger (4-3) at Fort Wayne Snider (5-1)

Fort Wayne Northrop (2-5) at Fort Wayne North (2-5)

Fort Wayne South (1-5) at Fort Wayne Luers (7-0)

Fort Wayne Wayne (2-5) at Homestead (4-3)

Franklin Central (4-3) at Hamilton Southeastern (6-1)

Franklin County (4-3) at Batesville (4-3)

Frankton (2-5) at Madison-Grant (3-4)

Fremont (2-5) at Prairie Heights (2-5)

Garrett (3-4) at Angola (2-5)

Gary West (4-2) at Hammond Central (1-6)

Gibson Southern (6-1) at Princeton (2-5)

Goshen (2-5) at Plymouth (0-7)

Greensburg (1-4) at Milan (2-5)

Greenwood (2-5) at Franklin (2-5)

Heritage (2-5) at Southern Wells (0-7)

Heritage Christian (7-0) at Indianapolis Tindley (3-3)

Hobart (4-3) at Highland (3-4)

Huntington North (2-5) at Norwell (6-1)

Indian Creek (2-5) at Sullivan (5-2)

Indianapolis Cathedral (7-0) at Brebeuf Jesuit (6-1)

Indianapolis Chatard (3-4) at Terre Haute North (3-4)

Indianapolis Ritter (0-7) at Indianapolis Scecina (4-3)

Indianapolis Roncalli (7-0) at Cincinnati Elder (Ohio)

Indianapolis Shortridge (2-3) at South Putnam (6-1)

Indianapolis Washington (2-4) at Indianapolis Attucks (3-3)

Jay County (3-4) at Lapel (5-2)

Jennings County (1-6) at Floyd Central (2-5)

Kankakee Valley (3-4) at Andrean (5-2)

Kokomo (6-1) at Harrison (West Lafayette) (6-1)

Lake Station (2-3) at Boone Grove (0-5)

LaVille (5-1) at North Judson (5-2)

Lawrence North (5-1) at Center Grove (7-0)

Lawrenceburg (6-1) at Connersville (1-6)

Lewis Cass (2-4) at Hamilton Heights (4-3)

Linton-Stockton (7-0) at Eastern Greene (1-6)

Logansport (5-1) at Lafayette Jeff (4-3)

Lowell (4-3) at Munster (2-5)

Maconaquah (2-3) at Manchester (3-3)

Madison (3-4) at Bedford North Lawrence (3-4)

Marion (3-3) at Indianapolis Tech (4-3)

McCutcheon (0-6) at Muncie Central (1-6)

Merrillville (7-0) at Lake Central (3-4)

Michigan City (4-3) at LaPorte (2-5)

Mishawaka (5-2) at Wawasee (1-6)

Mississinewa (4-2) at Blackford (1-5)

Monrovia (5-2) at Cascade (2-5)

Mooresville (5-2) at Martinsville (5-2)

Mount Vernon (Fortville) (6-1) at Shelbyville (1-3)

New Albany (4-3) at Seymour (2-4)

New Castle (2-5) at New Palestine (4-3)

New Haven (3-4) at East Noble (4-2)

North Central (Indianapolis) (0-7) at Pike (0-7)

North Daviess (4-3) at North Knox (5-2)

North Montgomery (2-3) at Frankfort (2-4)

North Newton (4-3) at North White (3-2)

North Posey (6-1) at Mount Vernon (Posey) (6-1)

North Vermillion (3-4) at Fountain Central (3-4)

Northeastern (3-4) at Knightstown (1-5)

Northridge (5-2) at Concord (6-1)

NorthWood (4-3) at Warsaw (6-1)

Oak Hill (5-2) at Alexandria (3-3)

Oldenburg Academy (0-4) at South Decatur (0-5)

Paoli (4-1) at Mitchell (3-3)

Pendleton Heights (4-3) at Yorktown (4-3)

Penn (3-4) at New Prairie (6-1)

Perry Central (6-1) at Springs Valley (5-1)

Perry Meridian (2-5) at Decatur Central (6-1)

Peru (4-2) at Northfield (5-2)

Pike Central (1-4) at Forest Park (2-5)

Pioneer (5-2) at Culver (2-3)

Plainfield (3-4) at Whiteland (3-3)

Providence (3-4) at Corydon Central (0-6)

Purdue Polytechnic (1-6) at Monroe Central (7-0)

Rensselaer Central (4-3) at Northwestern (0-6)

Richmond (1-6) at Anderson (1-4)

Riverton Parke (2-4) at Parke Heritage (5-2)

Rochester (3-2) at North Miami (0-7)

Rock Creek Academy (1-5) at Edinburgh (4-3)

Rushville (0-7) at South Dearborn (5-2)

Salem (4-1) at Charlestown (5-2)

Scottsburg (5-2) at Eastern (Pekin) (0-4)

Sheridan (5-2) at Eastern (Greentown) (6-1)

Silver Creek (4-2) at Brownstown Central (7-0)

South Adams (5-2) at Woodlan (3-4)

South Bend Adams (3-3) at Jimtown (5-2)

South Bend Clay (0-7) at John Glenn (3-4)

South Bend St. Joseph (2-5) at Culver Academy (5-2)

South Spencer (3-4) at North Harrison (2-5)

South Vermillion (3-4) at Seeger (4-3)

Southmont (5-2) at Lebanon (4-3)

Southport (0-7) at Terre Haute South (0-7)

Southridge (4-3) at Heritage Hills (5-2)

Speedway (6-1) at Indianapolis Lutheran (7-0)

Switzerland County (2-4) at North Decatur (2-4)

Taylor (0-3) at Tri-Central (2-5)

Tell City (4-3) at Tecumseh (1-5)

Tippecanoe Valley (7-0) at Wabash (1-5)

Tipton (7-0) at Western (5-2)

Traders Point Christian (3-4) at North Central (Farmersburg) (2-4)

Tri (5-2) at Hagerstown (1-5)

Tri-County (0-6) at Covington (5-2)

Triton (3-4) at Knox (1-6)

Triton Central (4-3) at Beech Grove (3-4)

Twin Lakes (2-5) at West Lafayette (7-0)

Union City (4-2) at Centerville (6-0)

Union County (3-3) at Wes-Del (0-6)

Valparaiso (6-1) at Portage (1-6)

Vincennes Lincoln (1-6) at Evansville Memorial (6-1)

Warren Central (5-2) at Carmel (6-1)

Washington (0-6) at Boonville (1-5)

West Central (1-6) at Frontier (1-6)

West Noble (3-4) at Churubusco (5-2)

West Vigo (2-3) at Cloverdale (0-6)

Western Boone (5-2) at Danville (6-1)

Wheeler (5-1) at Hanover Central (6-1)

Whiting (2-5) at Griffith (3-4)

Whitko (1-6) at Southwood (3-4)

Owen Valley (6-1) at Greencastle (5-2)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Week 6
Thursday, Oct. 7
Houston at Tulane | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN
No. 15 Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU

Friday, Oct. 8
Temple at No. 5 Cincinnati | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Charlotte at FIU | 8 p.m. | CBSSN
Stanford at No. 22 Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, Oct. 9
Maryland at No. 7 Ohio State | 12 p.m. | FOX
No. 11 Michigan State at Rutgers | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
Vanderbilt at No. 20 Florida | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
Northern Illinois at Toledo | 12 p.m. | CBSSN
No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 21 Texas (Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas) | 12 p.m. | ABC
No. 13 Arkansas at No. 17 Ole Miss | 12 p.m. | ESPN
Akron at Bowling Green | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
West Virginia at Baylor | 12 p.m. | FS1
South Carolina at Tennessee | 12 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 2 Georgia at No. 18 Auburn | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
Georgia Tech at Duke | 12:30 p.m. | ESPN3
Old Dominion at Marshall | 2 p.m. | CBSSN on Facebook
Wisconsin at Illinois | 2:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
North Texas at Missouri | 3 p.m. | SEC Network
Virginia at Louisville | 3 p.m. | ACC Network
Miami (Ohio) at Eastern Michigan | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Middle Tennessee at Liberty | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN3
No. 24 SMU at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN
Central Michigan at Ohio | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Florida State at North Carolina | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
FAU at UAB | 3:30 p.m. | Stadium
No. 19 Wake Forest at Syracuse | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2
UConn at UMass | 3:30 p.m. | FloSports/NESN
Boise State at No. 10 BYU | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
San Jose State at Colorado State | 3:30 p.m. | FS1
Ball State at Western Michigan | 3:30 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 4 Penn State at No. 3 Iowa | 4 p.m. | Fox Sports
Oregon State at Washington State | 4 p.m. | PAC-12 Network
East Carolina at UCF | 6 p.m. | ESPN+
LSU at No. 16 Kentucky | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
UTEP at Southern Miss | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
Wyoming at Air Force | 7 p.m. | CBSSN
UTSA at Western Kentucky | 7 p.m. | Stadium
TCU at Texas Tech | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Buffalo at Kent State | 7 p.m. | ESPNU
Georgia Southern at Troy | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Georgia State at UL Monroe | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
South Alabama at Texas State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
No. 14 Notre Dame at Virginia Tech | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network
No. 9 Michigan at Nebraska | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M | 8 p.m. | CBS
Utah at USC | 8 p.m. | FOX
Memphis at Tulsa | 9 p.m. | ESPN2
New Mexico at No. 25 San Diego State | 9 p.m. | FS1
New Mexico State at Nevada | 10:30 p.m. | CBSSN
UCLA at Arizona | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN

NFL WEEK 5 SCHEDULE
Thursday, October 07, 2021
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (Thu) 5:20p (PT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/AMAZON**

Sunday, October 10, 2021
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons (London) 2:30p (BST) 9:30a NFLN
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX
New England Patriots at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX
Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS
New Orleans Saints at Washington Football Team 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS
Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals 1:25p (MT) 4:25p FOX
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys 3:25p (CT) 4:25p FOX
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC*

Monday, October 11, 2021
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS

Taylor hits walk-off HR, Dodgers deck Cards 3-1 in WC game

LOS ANGELES (AP) A recurring neck injury reduced slumping Chris Taylor from starter to bench player in September.

He proved a pain in the neck to the St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Taylor hit a two-run homer to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night in a scintillating NL wild-card game.

Justin Turner homered early and the 106-win Dodgers advanced to a best-of-five Division Series against the NL West champion Giants, who won 107 games to barely hold off rival Los Angeles for the division title. Game 1 is Friday night in San Francisco.

“That’s gonna be fun. Yeah, two of the best regular-season records of all-time. We’ve been battling all year, so I expect a hard-fought series,” Taylor said.

The Dodgers celebrated on the field before heading into their clubhouse to continue the party. Beer and champagne were poured over the heads of shirtless, goggle-wearing players.

The sellout crowd of 53,193 hung on every pitch as the tension of a tie game built from the fourth inning on. Fans waved blue towels, futilely urging on the few balls launched into the outfield only to see them caught in a winner-take-all matchup between two of the National League’s most storied and successful franchises.

Cody Bellinger drew a two-out walk from T.J. McFarland and stole second in the ninth, when nearly every fan was on their feet, anxiously waiting to see if the defending World Series champions could pull off a win.

“That’s huge, knowing I don’t have to do too much,” said Taylor, batting in the No. 9 slot after entering to play left field as part of a double switch in the seventh. “It kind of settled me down a little bit.”

Alex Reyes came in to face Taylor, who sent a 2-1 breaking ball into the left-field pavilion, triggering an explosion of cheers.

“Honestly, I was just trying to hit a single. Not trying to do too much,” Taylor said after launching the fourth walk-off homer in Dodgers postseason history. “He gave me a good slider to hit and I was able to get it up in the air.”

Tommy Edman dropped a one-out single into right off closer Kenley Jansen in the top of the ninth and stole second. Paul Goldschmidt took a called third strike and Tyler O’Neill went down swinging to end the threat.

The Dodgers’ bullpen stymied the St. Louis hitters, allowing just a pair of singles after the fifth inning.

“The whole bullpen stepped up. We’ve been doing it the whole year,” Jansen said. “Off we go up north now.”

Both teams had runners on in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but couldn’t push a run across.

St. Louis finished 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 overall. The Cardinals went on a 17-game winning streak in September to grab the second wild-card spot, only to see their playoff dreams squelched.

“That’s a clubhouse full of guys that are hurting,” manager Mike Shildt said.

Dueling aces Adam Wainwright of St. Louis and the Dodgers’ Max Scherzer struggled with their control early in just the second winner-take-all game in postseason history with two starting pitchers aged 37-plus. Wainwright is 40; Scherzer is 37.

“They were relentless,” Wainwright said of the Dodgers. “We had our chances to win that game.”

Wainwright and Scherzer issued two walks apiece through the first three innings. Scherzer’s wild pitch led to a run in the first and he plunked Harrison Bader in the fourth.

Turner tied it at 1 in the fourth on a leadoff solo shot into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left. It was the first homer Wainwright has ever given up on a curveball in the postseason. Turner’s 13 postseason homers are the most in franchise history.

St. Louis led 1-0 when Edman scored on Scherzer’s wild pitch. Edman singled leading off, stole second base and went to third when O’Neill fouled out to right.

Scherzer left with one out in the fifth after giving up a leadoff single to Edman and a walk to Goldschmidt. He paced the dugout with his hands on his hips. Former Cardinal Joe Kelly got out of the jam after Goldschmidt reached third on a wild pitch.

Scherzer allowed one run and three hits, struck out four and walked three against his hometown team.

“Pins and needles all night long. What an effort by our guys,” a shirtless Scherzer said during a postgame interview with TBS on the field. “Now we party.”

Wainwright gave up one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

The Dodgers had Wainwright on the ropes in the third, loading the bases with one out. He was within one ball of walking in the tying run before Trea Turner broke his bat grounding into an inning-ending double play on a 3-2 pitch.

Logan Webb to start NLDS Game 1 for division champion Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Logan Webb will start for the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Friday night against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fellow right-hander and 14-game winner Kevin Gausman will go Saturday night in Game 2 for the NL West champions, having thrived lately with a little extra rest – something that factored into manager Gabe Kapler’s decision when he felt equally confident in both pitchers.

“To be able to throw the first game for the best team in the league is pretty cool,” Webb said after his bullpen session Wednesday. “I’m super excited for it. I feel an extra confidence when we’re here just `cause it’s a great place to pitch, first of all, and also the crowd here is great.”

On Sunday against San Diego, Webb pitched the 107-win Giants to their first NL West title since 2012 and also hit a two-run homer – the first home run of his career. He is 10-0 since losing May 5 at Colorado.

Los Angeles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in the NL wild-card game Wednesday night on Chris Taylor’s two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Kapler is eager to see Webb on another big stage as this rivalry takes on a new intensity.

“I don’t doubt that there’s some really good adrenaline at play here. This has been an exciting month, two months, three months for Logan on many different levels, including what’s happened in the batter’s box,” Kapler said. “We’ve seen that that confidence can make your body bounce back well.”

With an extra day of rest, Gausman allowed one run over seven stellar innings in Saturday’s extra-inning loss to the Padres as San Francisco missed a chance to clinch the division. He struck out five and gave up six hits, and Kapler noted, “the extra days seemed to bring out the best velocity from Gaus, the best action on the split, a little bit more endurance in-game.”

The 24-year-old Webb insists he and Gausman had no preference who took the ball for the playoff opener, proud to support each other either way.

“He’s honestly more excited than I am, for me,” Webb said. “It’s pretty cool. That’s the type of person he is. That’s the whole thing when they asked us, is no matter who throws 1 and 2, we’re both going to be available for 5. That’s huge for both of us. We’re both confident whatever game we throw in. Having a guy like that is pretty special for me.”

Kapler said San Francisco’s starter for Game 3 of the series on the road Monday might depend on who the Giants face. It will likely be left-hander Alex Wood or righty Anthony DeSclafani, a 13-game winner.

“I do think St. Louis or Los Angeles could factor into where we decided to go for Game 3,” Kapler said.

Whether Webb can top that home run he hit in front of a packed house and so many family and friends, who knows? And just in case, he might be getting a little baserunning guidance from injured first baseman and slugger Brandon Belt.

“I was right here in the dugout, I thought it was pretty cool to see that,” said Belt, who has taken grounders the past two days hoping to return this postseason from a broken left thumb. “I just thought we’ve absolutely got to work on his trot around the bases. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a negative-7. It was not great. Hopefully if he gets a few more of those he’ll learn the correct jog around the bases.”

La Russa back in postseason with White Sox against Astros

HOUSTON (AP) A three-time World Series winner, Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa certainly couldn’t be nervous as his team prepares for the opener of a best-of-five AL Division Series against the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Except he is – and it has nothing to do with the Hall of Famer being out of the dugout for almost a decade before the White Sox hired him prior to this season.

“I’ve been nervous my whole career,” La Russa said Wednesday. “Right now, I’m nervous because I care. … If you’re not nervous, then do something else for a living.”

The 77-year-old La Russa returns to the postseason for the first time since winning the 2011 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring. He’ll send Lance Lynn to the mound in Game 1 to face Houston right-hander Lance McCullers Jr.

Lynn had a splendid year in his first season with Chicago, going 11-6 with a career-low 2.69 ERA in 28 starts. McCullers also had a career year, setting personal marks in wins (13), ERA (3.16) and strikeouts (185).

“I feel like what I bring to the table, I have the ability to pitch with anyone,” McCullers said. “I’m excited to just get out there and give my best effort for the guys.”

It’s the second time these teams have met in the postseason. The White Sox swept the Astros in the 2005 World Series when Houston was still a member of the National League.

Lucas Giolito is set to start for the AL Central champion White Sox against left-hander Framber Valdez on Friday in Game 2.

And in the dugout, La Russa will face an old foe in Houston manager Dusty Baker, a fellow septuagenarian who’s still chasing that elusive first title.

“You know how I really feel inside,” the 72-year-old Baker said. “I need it, and I got to have it.”

The AL West champion Astros are playoff tested in their fifth consecutive postseason trip. They’re looking to advance to the World Series for the second time in three years.

They’ve been to the AL Championship Series four straight years and came a win shy of reaching last year’s World Series before being eliminated by Tampa Bay in seven games.

Houston slugged its way into the playoffs by leading the majors with a .276 batting average, .339 OBP, 863 runs and 1,496 hits.

“I love everything about this team. There’s nothing I dislike,” shortstop Carlos Correa said. “I think we’re built for a championship, and we’ve just got to take care of business for us to accomplish that.”

The White Sox have reached the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history and are intent on doing more than last year, when they were bounced by Oakland in the first round.

“Last year definitely made guys… hungrier,” shortstop Tim Anderson said. “I definitely didn’t like the way that Oakland treated us when we were out there. I’m definitely hungry to get back in the postseason and compete some more (because) that left a bad taste in my mouth.”

The Astros took five of seven in the regular-season series, but both teams agree those results are immaterial this week.

“At this point our record against them guys don’t really mean nothing because it’s straight ahead now and the record’s 0-0,” Anderson said. “So, we’ll just see what happens.”

The White Sox should get some help in this series from Carlos Rodon after the All-Star left-hander was slowed by arm trouble late in the season. Chicago general manager Rick Hahn has said Rodon will pitch just once during the series, but it’s unclear when that will be.

Rodon enters the postseason after setting career highs for wins (13), strikeouts (185) and ERA (2.37). He was great against the Astros this year, going 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 18 strikeouts in two starts.

Another question mark entering the series is the status of 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu after the first baseman didn’t travel with the White Sox to Houston because he was experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The team said he was feeling better Wednesday and he would fly to Houston on Wednesday night. Abreu had multiple tests that confirmed his illness wasn’t COVID-19.

La Russa wasn’t sure if Abreu would be ready for Game 1 but said he was “certain” he’d return for Friday’s game.

An odd wrinkle to this series could be both teams using a Cy Young Award winner out of the bullpen. The Astros are expected to pitch 2009 winner Zack Greinke in relief, and the White Sox could use 2015 recipient Dallas Keuchel, who helped Houston to its only title in 2017, out of the bullpen.

Defending AL champ Rays poised to open ALDS against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays have won more games than any other team in the American League over the past two seasons, going about their business with a quiet confidence that has the full attention of the Boston Red Sox.

The AL East rivals meet in a best-of-five Division Series that begins Thursday night at Tropicana Field, with the defending league champion Rays looking to take the first step toward a return to the World Series, where they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers last fall.

With one of baseball’s lowest payrolls and a roster devoid of big names, Tampa Bay wins with a youthful, selfless blend of defense, pitching and timely hitting that’s served the team well in reaching the playoffs three consecutive years.

After dropping four straight to the Red Sox early in the season, Tampa Bay won 11 of the final 15 meetings on the way to claiming its second straight AL East crown by eight games over big-budget Boston and the even heavier spending New York Yankees.

The Red Sox beat the Yankees 6-2 at home in the AL wild-card game Tuesday night, advancing to face the Rays.

“We have some experience,” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said Wednesday before turning his thoughts toward a talented collection of rookies who helped Tampa Bay weather a rash of injuries to win a franchise-record 100 games.

Rookie shortstop Wander Franco has played up to his billing as the top prospect in baseball since hitting a homer in his major league debut against the Red Sox in June. Young pitchers Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz, who’s only been in the majors a few weeks, are slated to start the first two games of the ALDS.

“I still feel like the majority of our roster are guys on league minimum. But, man, we breed them differently over here, I promise you that,” Kiermaier said. “I mean, you got guys like Wander Franco and our starters, depending on who we run out … we got guys who can play.”

The Rays showed that a year ago when rookie Randy Arozarena had a record-setting breakout postseason after Tampa Bay rolled to the best record in the AL during the pandemic-shortened, 60-game regular season.

“I’ve said it throughout this whole year, we do not have a set lineup. Some guys play more than others. But, you know, man, 1 through 26 – doesn’t matter who we put in there, we’ve had guys that have produced throughout this whole year,” Kiermaier said. “We never relied on one person. There’s a new hero any given day. I think that is just what makes us so fun and dangerous.”

The Red Sox – in the playoffs for the first time since 2018, when they won the World Series – know that all too well.

“I know they won the season series, but if you look at the games, it’s a 1-0 game with a wild pitch in the ninth inning. There was a sun ball at Fenway when we were up 7-1,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.

“I know they’re really good. They have a great team. Coming into the season, a lot of people thought they were the best team in the big leagues. But we feel we have a good team, and we’re here,” he added. “We’ll show up. We’ll play and see where it takes us.”

ONE STEP AT A TIME

While the ultimate goal is winning the World Series, second baseman Brandon Lowe stressed it’s important Tampa Bay not get away from the selfless approach the Rays have embraced the entire season.

“Don’t change the game, do not put any added pressure. Understand that we’re the best team in the American League, we’re here for a reason,” Lowe said.

“There’s not a guy in the locker room that’s like, `You know what? If I hit 12 homers I’ll be fine with not winning.’ Every single guy is putting the team first,” Lowe added. “This is the really fun part of the year because personal performance doesn’t matter. I’ll gladly take an 0 for 4 for a win. Up and down our lineup every guy feels that way.”

MOUND MATCHUP

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (13-8, 4.74 ERA), a 19-game winner two years ago who missed all of 2020 after developing myocarditis following a bout with COVID-19, will start Game 1 for the Red Sox.

“It means a lot, you know, because everything I went through last year and I have the opportunity to throw the first inning in the ALDS. It feels real good,” Rodriguez said. “It’s just special.”

McClanahan (10-6, 3.43), a 24-year-old lefty who made his major league debut during last year’s playoffs, starts for Tampa Bay.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Nelson Cruz was Tampa Bay’s big acquisition at the July trade deadline. He homered in his debut with the Rays and finished with 13 homers and 36 RBIs in 55 games with Tampa Bay. Overall, he batted .265 with 32 homers and 86 RBIs for the Rays and Minnesota Twins.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash lauded the 41-year-old slugger for his leadership on and off the field.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was a Tampa Bay player and coach before being hired by Minnesota.

“Talking to Rocco when we acquired him, Rocco said he is going to do a lot of things that you don’t realize he is doing, and I think that has been very fair for the 2 1/2 months he has been here,” Cash said. “But there’s no secret his addition at the deadline and, obviously, Wander coming about the same time has certainly helped our team become better.”

Padres fire manager Jayce Tingler

The San Diego Padres relieved Jayce Tingler of his duties as manager Wednesday, the team announced.

“Jayce accomplished a great deal in his two seasons with the Padres, leading our team through an unprecedented pandemic and into the postseason for the first time in 15 years,” general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement.

“I have tremendous respect for him as a coach, colleague, and friend. After much thought and consideration over the last several weeks, we felt change was necessary at this time to ultimately reach out championship potential in San Diego.”

The 40-year-old Tingler owned a 116-106 record over his two seasons as Padres manager, including a 79-83 mark in 2021.

The Padres added that they’ve offered Tingler an opportunity to stay with the organization.

Saban: Alabama LB Sanders likely to miss game with injury

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama linebacker Drew Sanders is likely to miss the Texas A&M game with a hand injury.

Coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that Sanders is “probably going to be out for this game” Saturday for the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Saban said the starting linebacker needed surgery on the hand.

“It was maybe a little worse than we thought, so he’s going to be game to game for a few weeks,” the Tide coach said. “We’ll just see how it goes.”

Alabama had already lost starter Christopher Allen at that position with a fractured foot sustained in the opener against Miami. Sanders had replaced Allen, who is likely out for the season.

Sanders has 20 tackles, with four quarterback hurries, a tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

That leaves freshman Dallas Turner, who was a five-star recruit, and Chris Braswell in line for more playing time.

“Those guys have played some but they’re obviously going to get more opportunity now,” Saban said.

LSU top CB Stingley out indefinitely after foot procedure

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., the Tigers’ top defensive back, had a procedure performed on his injured left foot and his timetable to return is uncertain, coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday.

The injury sidelined Stingley for LSU’s previous two games, against Mississippi State and Auburn. The Tigers visit unbeaten No. 16 Kentucky on Saturday.

LSU released a statement from Stingley, a junior who will be eligible for the NFL draft next spring, in which the cornerback said he is doing all he can “to return to the field as soon as possible.”

“I want to finish out the season with my teammates,” Stingley said. “I will do everything I can to get healthy so that I will be able to play again this year.”

Orgeron said Stingley and LSU initially chose to wait on surgery because his injury was a nagging one in which it seemed prudent to “play by ear” and see if it improved without surgery.

While Orgeron conceded that it might be in Stingley’s best interest to not return to the team and instead begin focusing on getting healthy before the NFL draft, the coach said he didn’t get the impression that’s what the 2019 consensus All-America cornerback wants to do.

“Knowing Derek and talking to him, he wants to come back,” Orgeron said. “That’s a decision that a family has to make and I think each individual is different.”

With Stingley out, LSU’s top cornerback pairing is expected to be sophomores Eli Ricks and Dwight McGlothern.

“Dwight’s playing very well,” said Orgeron, adding that Ricks, McGlothern and Raydarious Jones all will have to be prepared to play more snaps.

LSU could move Jay Ward, who was moved to safety, back to cornerback in a pinch, but the Tigers also have concerns with depth at safety.

Georgia transfer Major Burns is not expected to play, Orgeron said, but he was more optimistic about safety Todd Harris’ readiness to return from an undisclosed ailment that has sidelined him for two games.

“Hopefully Todd Harris can come back and make some plays for us,” Orgeron said. “If we have to – we don’t want to – but in an emergency can move Ward” to cornerback.

N Colorado reprimands Max McCaffrey for clipboard incident

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) The University of Northern Colorado has reprimanded offensive coordinator Max McCaffrey for tossing a broken clipboard into the stands that hit a spectator during a game at Montana State.

The Bears’ athletics department, in conjunction with Montana State and the Big Sky Conference, finished a review of the incident involving McCaffrey, concluding that throwing the clipboard to a fan as a souvenir showed “a lack of judgment but no malicious intent.” McCaffrey is the son of Northern Colorado head coach and longtime NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey.

The Bears lost 40-7 to Montana State in Bozeman last weekend to drop to 2-3 this season.

Director of athletics Darren Dunn said in a statement that after talking to Max McCaffrey, it was “clear there was no intent to harm nor was the action fueled by anger. Max is embarrassed by the incident and is working privately to apologize to the fan hit by the errant toss.”

It’s been a family reunion in Greeley for the McCaffreys, with quarterback Dylan McCaffrey transferring in from Michigan and Max putting NFL tryouts on the backburner to serve as offensive coordinator. They joined forces with their dad, Ed, who was hired as Northern Colorado’s head coach in December 2019.

Ed McCaffrey didn’t make his college coaching debut until Sept. 3 at Colorado after the Bears’ season in 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ed McCaffrey played wideout for the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. He’s also the father of Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOTRE DAME VS. VIRGINIA TECH PREVIEW

NOTRE DAME NOTES:

BY THE NUMBERS

2

The Irish are ranked fifth in the nation with two defensive

touchdowns this season.

3

Notre Dame is currently ranked tied for third nationally

with nine interceptions to begin the 2021 season. The

nine interceptions are the most to begin a season since

the 2014 campaign, when the Irish also had nine through

the first five games.

10

Notre Dame is 10th nationally for third down defense as

it has held opponents to 21-for-75 (28%) on third down

this season.

12

The Irish have totaled 12 takeaways through the first

five games of the season. That figure is tied for eighth

nationally.

15

Notre Dame has recorded 15 sacks over the first four

games of the season. It is the most sacks to start a season

since 2003, when the Irish had 16 sacks through the first

five games.

20

Notre Dame has won 20-consecutive-regular season

games against ACC opponents after its 41-38 OT win

over Florida State. Its last defeat against an ACC foe in

the regular season came back in 2017 against Miami. Of

those 20 wins, 15 were won by 10 points or more.

35

With the 27-13 win over Purdue, the Irish have won

35-straight games against unranked opponents dating

back to the 2016 season.

48

JD Bertrand has totaled 48 tackles through the first five

games of the season. That ranks tied for 15th nationally

and is the most by an Irish player through the first five

games of a season since Manti Te’o had 64 in the first five

games of the 2010 season.

376^ Career games coached by Brian Kelly, second among

active NCAA coaches to Mack Brown (North Carolina).

LAST TIME VS. VIRGINIA TECH

November 2, 2019 – Notre Dame 21, Virginia Tech 20: A last-gasp touchdown drive resulting in a seven-yard scoring rush by Ian Book lifted No. 16 Notre Dame to a 21-20 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. After the Hokies (5-3) had held the Irish (6-2) scoreless in the second half, Book and company manufactured an 18-play, 87-yard drive in the final 3:22 of regulation, scoring with 29 seconds remaining to regain the lead. Book finished 29-of-53 for 341 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for an additional 50 yards on 13 carries. Wide receiver Chase Claypool had eight catches for 118 yards — including one for 26 yards on fourth down during the final drive — while Chris Finke finished with 56 yards on five receptions and tight ends Cole Kmet and Tommy Tremble each had touchdown receptions. Linebacker Drew White led the team in tackles with eight, while cornerback Donte Vaughan had six tackles and a pair of pass breakups and safety Kyle Hamilton finished with four tackles, a pass break-up and the interception that iced the game with two seconds to go.

VIRGINIA TECH NOTES:

VIRGINIA TECH HOSTS NOTRE DAME • Virginia Tech seeks to secure its second-ever win against Notre Dame as the Irish visit Lane Stadium (10/9) in the fourth all-time meeting in the series. • The Hokies enjoyed an open date last week after registering off a 21-10 win vs. Richmond (9/25). • Tech is seeking to register two home wins against AP Top 25 foes in the same season for the first time since 2009: 16-15 vs. No. 19 Nebraska (9/19/09) & 31-7 vs. No. 9 Miami (9/16/09). • The Hokies are seeking a five-game home winning under head coach Justin Fuente and the first such stretch since winning six straight at Lane Stadium (10/12/19 – 10/17/20). • ND is coming off a 24-13 loss vs. Cincinnati (10/2). The Irish haven’t lost back-to-back regular season games since dropping a a 34-31 contest vs. VT (11/19/16) and a 45-27 decision at USC (11/26/16). • Virginia Tech overcame a pair of 17-point deficits to register that a dramatic 34-31 victory in its initial meeting with the Irish at Notre Dame (11/19/16). • Notre Dame won its only prior visit to Lane Stadium, claiming a 45-23 win (10/6/18). • The Hokies nearly pulled off a road upset of No. 16 Notre Dame in Tech’s last game in South Bend. Backup QB Quincy Patterson was making his first start and VT held a 20-14 lead before Irish QB Ian Book led his squad on a game-winning 18-play, 87-yard TD drive to secure a 21-20 win (11/12/19). • That 2019 win for the Irish marked the start of a 16-game victory streak for Notre Dame. • The Hokies and Irish aren’t currently scheduled to meet again in regular season play until Virginia Tech returns to Notre Dame (11/6/27). • Following the Notre Dame contests Tech returns to ACC action when the Hokies play host to Pitt (10/9).

KEY SCORING STATS ON HOKIES, IRISH • Tech owns a 36-4 record under Fuente when leading at the half, including a streak of eight straight wins. • VT is 28-7 when scoring 30+ points under Fuente and 13-1 when scoring 40+ points. • ND has won 36 straight games when scoring 30+ dating back to a 49-16 win vs. Temple (9/2/17). • ND is 5-11 when permitting 30+ points going back to the start of the 2016 campaign. • VT is 31-1 under Fuente when holding foes to 21 points or fewer and has won 28 straight games when holding foes to 17 points or fewer. • Notre Dame is 1-10 in its last 11 contents when being held to 17 points or fewer. • VT is one of three ACC schools (Clemson, NCSU) that haven’t permitted 28 points in a game this season. • Notre Dame is 2-0 in games decided by three points or fewer this season and owns a four-game winning streak in such games.

OLD-SCHOOL SCORING DEFENSE • Virginia Tech, Penn State, Clemson, Georgia and Arkansas are the only P5 teams to hold an AP Top 25 foe to 10 points or fewer this season. Tech did it in a 17-10 win vs. No. 10 UNC (9/3). • Tech is one of 18 Power Five programs to hold another P5 program to 10 points or fewer this season. • Tech is 14-0 under Fuente when permitting 10 points or fewer. • ND is 0-5 under Brian Kelly when being held to 10 points or fewer. Four of those five losses have come vs. ACC foes: 10-3 at NCSU (10/8/16), 41-8 at Miami (11/11/17), 30-3 vs. Clemson (12/29/18) and 34-10 vs. Clemson (12/19/20). • Virginia Tech is permitting 15.3 ppg in 2021 to rank seventh in the P5 and 11th in FBS. Only Clemson (12.2) is better in the ACC. • Tech ranks fourth in the ACC and 13th in the FBS in third-down defense in 2021 at 28.9% (15-52). ND ranks 10th in FBS at 28.8 (21-75). • No ACC team has allowed fewer first downs than VT (71), a figure that ranks seventh in the Power Five.

MORE TURNOVER/DEFENSIVE STATS • Tech is 15-2 under Fuente when forcing two or more INTs, including a 9-0 mark at Lane Stadium. ND suffered two INTs vs. Cincinnati (10/2). • The Irish haven’t thrown two INTs in back-to-back contests since doing it vs. Virginia Tech (11/2/19) and at Duke (11/9/19). • ND is +6 (11 takes/5 gives) in turnover margin in its four wins. The Irish were -1 (2 takes/3 gives) vs. Cincinnati (10/2). • VT is second in the ACC & is 18th in the Power Five, allowing 190.3 passing ypg. Tech ranks third in the ACC in defensive pass efficiency (116.6). • In the ACC, only Pitt (1) has thrown fewer INTs than Tech (2) and Louisville (2). • Over its last six quarters dating back to the second half at WVU (9/18), Tech has permitted 13 points. FINAL STATISTICAL TIDBITS ON VT/ND • No FBS team has committed fewer penalties than Tech (15) & only Louisiana-Monroe (125) has been assessed fewer penalty yards than VT (136). • ND has been flagged 35 times for 285 yards. • VT is converting at 45.3% (24-53) on third down, while ND is at 35.8% (29-81). • ND is 3-0 when leading at the half in 2021 & 1-1 when trailing after two quarters. • Tech ranks second in the ACC with a 41.3-yard KO return avg., trailing only Syracuse (43.0). RBs Raheem Blackshear (78 yards) and Keshawn King (56) both have a KO return of 50+ yards. • CB Jermaine Waller is tied for fourth in the nation with three INTs in 2021. He was the only FBS player to have an INT in each of 2021’s first three games. • WR Tré Turner posted his third career 100-yard rec. game with 6-102, 1 TD vs. Richmond (9/25). • LB Alan Tisdale ranks seventh in the ACC, averaging 8.3 tackles per game (33 total/16 solo). • P Peter Moore ranks third in the ACC with seven punts of 50+ yards and owns eight inside the 20. • LB Dax Hollifield leads Tech with 4.5 TFL & is tied with DE TyJuan Garbutt with a team-high 3.0 sacks.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME OF THE WEEK 2: OKLAHOMA VS TEXAS

OKLAHOMA NOTES:

u In a matchup of the Big 12’s two most successful programs, No. 6/5 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) meets No. 21/23 Texas (4-1, 2-0) for the 117th time on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. The AT&T Red River Showdown, played in Dallas for the 93rd straight year, will be televised by ABC with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Rowe announcing. OU is the designated visiting team. u This is the third season in the last four both OU and Texas enter their October matchup ranked in the AP poll (prior to 2018 it had not been done since 2012). Including this season, the Sooners have been ranked in the AP poll at the time of the October meeting 15 of the last 16 years and in 20 of the last 22 seasons (OU was also ranked in the 2018 Big 12 Championship vs. Texas). UT was unranked when playing the Sooners from 2013 to 2017. u This marks the 12th time in the last 13 matchups that OU is ranked higher in the AP poll than Texas (UT was 22nd last year while OU was not ranked). u The Sooners are 15-7 against Texas since the start of the 2000 season and have outscored the Longhorns by 182 points in those 22 matchups. u Dating back to the start of the 2012 season, Oklahoma is 44-8 (.846) in regular season games away from home. OU has scored at least 30 points in 45 of those 52 contests. u OU has won 13 games in a row, which represents the 10th winning streak of at least 13 games in program history and the Sooners’ longest since winning 14 straight over the 2016 and ’17 seasons (last 10 games of 2016 and first four of ’17). The 13-game streak is also the second-longest in the country, with only Alabama (19) owning a longer active streak. Just one other Power Five program (Iowa at 11) has a winning streak longer than nine games. OU’s last loss came more than a full year ago (Oct. 3, 2020, at Iowa State). u Oklahoma has won 14 Big 12 titles in the first 25 years of the league, with no other program winning more than three. All 14 of OU’s Big 12 titles have come in the last 21 years, with no other program winning more than two during the span. Texas ranks second with three Big 12 titles (last one in 2009; OU has won eight since then). u The Sooners have as many Big 12 titles the last six seasons (six) as they have lost games against Big 12 opponents (54-6 record; includes four Big 12 Championship games). u Come Saturday, Oklahoma will have been Big 12 champion for 2,143 consecutive days.

u OU is 148-31 (.827) in regular season Big 12 play since the start of the 2000 season. That’s 26 more wins than the program with the next most victories during that period (Texas; 122-57) and 46 more than the program with the third most (Oklahoma State; 102-78). u Lincoln Riley picked up his 50th head coaching win Saturday at Kansas State against just eight losses. Only Barry Switzer (56) reached 50 victories at OU faster than 58 games (Bud Wilkinson also did it in 58 games while Bob Stoops did it in 59). Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian also notched his 50th win as a head coach Saturday at TCU. He owns a 50-36 career mark. u Riley is 12-1 as OU head coach in games against AP-ranked Big 12 opponents. The only defeat came in 2018 when the No. 7 Sooners fell 48- 45 to No. 19 Texas inside the Cotton Bowl.

u Texas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against the Sooners. Oklahoma trails 62-49-5 in the series but owns a 28-20-3 advantage since 1971. In the Big 12 era, OU is 16-10 against the Longhorns and has won nine of the last 12 meetings and 15 of the last 22. The only other period Oklahoma won at least nine Red River matchups in a 12-or-fewer-game span was in the 1940s and ’50s when Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners won nine out of 11 meetings from 1948-58. u Oklahoma has lost only six games against Big 12 opponents since the start of the 2015 season and two of the defeats have come to Texas (OU is 5-2 during the stretch against UT). The Longhorns downed No. 10 OU 28-20 in 2015 and kicked a late field goal for a 48-45 win over the No. 7 Sooners in 2018. OU’s other Big 12 losses the past seven seasons came to Iowa State in 2017 and 2020 and to Kansas State in 2019 and 2020. None of the six defeats were by more than seven points. u During their three-game winning streak over Texas, the Sooners have permitted only 329 rushing yards on 102 attempts for an average of 3.2 per carry. UT averaged 2.8 yards per rush in the 2018 Big 12 Championship and in the 2019 meeting, and 4.1 last year (1.7 through three quarters). u Over the last two Red River Showdowns, OU has registered 15 sacks (for a loss of 87 yards) and 25 tackles for loss (104 yards). It limited Texas to 4.2 yards per play in 2019 and 4.9 in 2020. Sooners outside linebacker Nik Bonitto has 3.0 sacks and 3.5 TFLs over the last two matchups. u Saturday’s game will feature an Oklahoma run defense that has held all five opponents this season to 100 or fewer ground yards (79.4 average). Over OU’s last 18 games, only one running back has rushed for 100 yards in a game against the Sooners (Iowa State’s Breece Hall had 139 yards in the third game of last season). Meanwhile, Texas running back Bijan Robinson ranks second nationally with his 130.4 rushing yards per contest and ranks second in the Big 12 with seven rushing touchdowns. OU ranked 19th nationally last year by allowing 3.5 yards per rush and this year is permitting just 2.7 per carry to rank 12th in the country. u The Sooners have committed only four turnovers through five games and rank 13th nationally with their +5 turnover margin on the season. Oklahoma has yet to lose a fumble (has only fumbled twice) this season while its opponents have fumbled 14 times and lost six. OU has also registered three interceptions. u Oklahoma’s defense has spent a lot of time in the opponent backfield this season. OU ranks 20th nationally with its 3.0 sacks per game and is 11th in the country with 8.0 tackles for loss per contest. Defensive linemen Perrion Winfrey and Isaiah Thomas are tied for fourth in the Big 12 with their 3.5 sacks while outside linebacker Nik Bonitto ranks 10th with 2.5. The Longhorns are permitting 1.8 sacks per outing.

TEXAS NOTES:

THE OPENING KICKOFF • The University of Texas continues its 129th season of football on Saturday when the No. 21/23 Longhorns meet No. 6/5 Oklahoma for the 117th time on Saturday in a matchup of the Big 12’s two most successful programs. The AT&T Red River Showdown, played in Dallas for the 93rd consecutive year, will kick off it the Cotton Bowl at 11 a.m. CT on ABC. • Last week, Texas (4-1, 2-0) defeated TCU, 32-27, snapping a two-game losing streak to the Horned Frogs and winning in Fort Worth for the first time since 2013. • Oklahoma improved to 5-0 on the year and 2-0 in conference with a 37-31 victory at Kansas State, the Sooners’ first road contest of the year. • Saturday’s matchup in Dallas will be Texas’ third consecutive 11 a.m. kickoff, with the Longhorns winning both of the previous games. In all, the Longhorns have played three day games this season with a 3-0 mark heading into Saturday’s game. • UT has scored 32 or more points in four of five games this season and in six of the last seven games overall. • Texas currently boasts 927 all-time wins, the fourth most in college football history. UT holds an all-time record of 927-379-33 (.705). SERIES HISTORY VS. OKLAHOMA • There is no rivalry quite like the Texas-Oklahoma series, which is being played for the 117th time on Saturday. Texas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against Oklahoma and leads the series, 62-49-5. • The series, which began in 1900, has been played in Dallas since 1912 and at the State Fair since 1929. Saturday marks the 99th time the game will be played at a neutral site in Dallas. • The first matchup between the two teams in 1900 ended with a 28-2 Longhorns’ victory. Texas is the only Big 12 Conference team that holds an all-time series lead against the Sooners. • Only Texas A&M (118 times) has played the Longhorns on more occasions. Since 1900, the only years Texas and Oklahoma have not played were 1918, ‘20, ‘21 and 1924-28.

A TEXAS WIN WOULD … • Be Texas’ 928th victory all-time, keeping UT as the fourth-winningest program in college football history. • Improve the Longhorns to 63-49-5 all-time against Oklahoma. • Give Steve Sarkisian his 51st victory as a head coach and fifth at The University of Texas. • Give Texas a 5-1 mark under Steve Sarkisian, making Sarkisian the first Texas head coach to win five of his first six games since Fred Akers started 6-0 in 1977. • Equal Sarkisian’s best start to a season as a head coach at 5-1.

• Improve Sarkisian’s record against programs representing the Big 12 to 4-2 and bring his record against teams currently in the Big 12 to 3-1. TRACKING THE RED RIVER RIVALRY • The higher-ranked team in the AP Top 25 has won 18 of the last 29 matchups (18-10-1) when at least one of the programs are ranked in the AP Top 25. Texas is responsible for eight of the 10 victories when the lowerranked team pulls off the Red River upset. • Texas has won the turnover battle in six of the last seven meetings with OU, with the two teams tying at one turnover apiece in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game. The team that wins the turnover battle between Texas and OU is 13-6 since 2000. • The last eight meetings between the Longhorns and Sooners have been decided by eight points or less after 15-straight years in which the annual matchup was decided by at least two scores (1999-2013). Texas leads the all-time series, 29-20-5, when the rivalry game is decided by one possession (eight points or less). • The Longhorns have scored at least 20 points against Oklahoma 27 times since 1980, posting a 14-13-1 record in those instances. Texas is 8-2 during that stretch when scoring 30-plus points, and 3-2 when scoring at least 40 points against the Sooners. Conversely, UT is 16-9-2 when holding Oklahoma to under 30 points or less since 1980, and 12-3-1 when limiting the Sooners to no more than 20 points. • The Longhorns are 5-3 since 2000 when averaging at least four yards per carry on offense vs. Oklahoma. UT is 3-0 when rushing for at least 200 yards and 0-7 when rushing for less than 100 yards against OU during that stretch. • Since 1990, the team with a returning quarterback that has prior experience in the Red River Showdown is 14- 4-1 against a team with a quarterback making his first start in the rivalry game. RED RIVER RANKINGS • Saturday’s matchup will pit the No. 21/23 Longhorns against the 6/5 Sooners. It marks the 23rd consecutive Red River Showdown in which at least one of the teams has been ranked and the 15th time in that span in which both teams will be ranked heading into the game. • Before the 2018 AT&T Red River Showdown, when Texas was ranked No. 19/20 and Oklahoma No. 7/5, the two teams had not met as ranked foes since 2012. • Since 2000, the two teams have met as ranked foes 15 times. Oklahoma owns an advantage in such matchups, having won 11-of-15 contests against Texas. • Before the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game, when No. 9/9 Texas met No. 5/5 Oklahoma, the last time the two teams were both ranked inside the Top 10 for a meeting was in 2008, when No. 5/5 Texas defeated No. 1/1 Oklahoma, 45-35.

BY THE NUMBERS

1 Texas leads the Big 12 Conference and is second in the

nation in third-down conversion percentage with a mark of

0.552 (37-of-67).

2 Sophomore RB Bijan Robinson ranks second in the

NCAA and leads the Big 12 Conference in all-purpose yards

(163.80 ypg), rushing yards (652) and rushing yards per

game (130.4), while sitting fourth in the NCAA and topping

the Big 12 in scoring (10.8 ppg), total points scored (54) and

total touchdowns (nine).

5 The Longhorns ground game is running on all cylinders,

averaging 265.8 rushing yards per game to rank fifth in the

nation and top the Big 12 Conference.

8.8 Senior LB DeMarvion Overshown is averaging a

career-best 8.8 tackles per game, a mark that ranks second

in the Big 12 Conference.

29 When Texas punted early in the second quarter at

TCU, it concluded a streak of 29 consecutive drives without

attempting a punt, the third longest streak since 2005.

43.8 Texas is averaging 43.8 points per game

this season to rank sixth in the NCAA and lead the Big 12

Conference.

117 Texas and Oklahoma will square off for the 117th

time on Saturday, with the Longhorns leading the all-time

series, 62-49-5. Texas is the only program in the Big 12

Conference that has a winning record agaisnt the Sooners.

180.4 Junior QB Casey Thompson passing at a high

level, leading the Big 12 with a passing efficency rating of

180.4, a mark that ranks seventh in the nation.

216 Bijan Robinson rushed for 216 yards against TCU,

becoming the 13th individual Longhorn to accomplish the

feat. His total ranks at the 21st-most rushing yards in a game

in program history.

338 Senior K Cameron Dicker was successful on a

career-best four field goals and was 2-for-2 on PATs against

TCU last week. The 14 points he scored brought his career

total to 338 points, one behind kicking great Phil Dawson

for fourth on Texas’ all-time scoring list and the second-spot

among Longhorn kickers

1,155 With two 38-yard kick returns in the

Longhorns victory over TCU, senior DB/KR D’Shawn Jamison

moved ahead of Victor Ike into fourth on Texas’ all-time list

with 1,155 career kick return yards.

Panthers acquire Gilmore from Pats for 6th-round pick in ’23

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Stephon Gilmore is headed home.

The Carolina Panthers have acquired veteran cornerback and 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year from the New England Patriots for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick.

The move comes after Gilmore and the Patriots failed to come to terms on a new contract.

Carolina has been looking to upgrade its cornerback position after losing first-round pick Jaycee Horn to a broken foot, which could keep him out for the remainder of the season. Last week Carolina traded for cornerback C.J. Henderson, the No. 9 pick in last year’s NFL draft, from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Gilmore was raised in Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 26 miles from Carolina’s current headquarters. He now lives in Waxhaw, North Carolina three houses down from Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer.

The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback confirmed his departure from New England earlier Wednesday in an Instagram post, saying the moments he shared with his teammates on and off the field over the past four seasons – including winning the Super Bowl following the 2018 season – “will never be forgotten.”

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base,” Gilmore wrote. “We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements.”

Gilmore began the season on the physically unable to perform list as he worked his way back from a quadriceps injury late last season that required offseason surgery. He is eligible to begin practicing again after Week 6.

The Patriots and Gilmore had been trying to work out a restructured deal since this summer. The 31-year-old sat out both the voluntary and mandatory portions of New England’s offseason program in May and June as he looked to get additional compensation entering the final season of the five-year, $65 million deal he signed in 2017.

The Panthers will be on the hook for the remaining portion of Gilmore’s $7 million contract – about $5.4 million – but the team could look to give him a contract extension before the season is over if things go well. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next year.

Carolina’s cornerback room now includes some prominent names including Donte Jackson, Henderson, Gilmore, Horn and A.J. Bouye. Henderson, Gilmore and Horn were all top 10 picks in the draft and Jackson is a former second-round pick.

Gilmore received a $500,000 roster bonus, but even with that, his 2021 compensation would have ranked him 25th among NFL cornerbacks. That didn’t sit well with Gilmore, who has been a standout in New England’s secondary since arriving as a free agent from Buffalo in 2017.

Gilmore had 11 interceptions in his four seasons with the Patriots. He tied a career low with one interception last season. He appeared in just 11 games after missing time due to a COVID-19 diagnosis and the quad injury.

He told ESPN this summer that he only wanted fair value and that he was feeling good following surgery.

“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore told ESPN. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is.”

Despite losing safety Patrick Chung to retirement, the Patriots did do some things to bolster their secondary this offseason. Defensive back J.C. Jackson, who led the team with nine interceptions last season, re-signed, and the team added veteran Jalen Mills. Jackson already has two interceptions this season.

An extended absence by Gilmore would have hampered his ability to build chemistry with a unit that also added several new pieces on the defensive line in free agency, including defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and edge rusher Matt Judon.

With Gilmore now gone, the Patriots will turn their full attention to fortifying a defense that ranks fourth in the NFL, allowing 185 passing yards per game.

Matt Nagy makes Justin Fields No. 1 Bears quarterback

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy has changed his mind and made Justin Fields the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback going forward.

On Monday, Nagy had said Fields was still the backup and playing only because of Andy Dalton’s knee injury. But on Tuesday he told both quarterbacks of the change and announced it Wednesday. Dalton will return to practice this week after suffering a bone bruise to his left knee and will be the backup.

“I told you the last couple of weeks we’ve some good conversations internally,” Nagy said. “It’s helped us in the last couple weeks.

“Continuing that process this week it’s led to making the decision to move with Justin as the starter.”

Fields experienced a dreadful start, going 6 of 20 for 68 yards and taking nine sacks in Week 3 against Cleveland. In his first home start on Sunday he completed 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards, including a 64-yarder to Darnell Mooney.

“We’ve been patient with this, we’ve grown with him, we’re proud of Justin,” Nagy said. “He’s been a great teammate from the very beginning.”

The Bears signed the veteran Dalton in free agency and traded up to No. 11 from No. 20 in the first round of the draft to pick Fields, and Nagy had said all along the job was Dalton’s until coaches felt Fields was ready.

Then came the knee injury to Dalton in the first half against Cincinnati in Week 2.

“The plan and the process that we had going into this was important for to understand, and then when Andy unfortunately got hurt with his knee, that sped the process up,” Nagy said.

Dalton also had said he was promised the starting job this year, although nothing was ever said about how long he would keep that job.

Nagy also said starting running back David Montgomery is suffering from a knee sprain and will miss an indefinite amount of time.

The Bears (2-2) are at Las Vegas (3-1) on Sunday.

Garoppolo not ruled out despite not being able to practice

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s injured calf hasn’t healed enough for him to be able to practice but isn’t injured enough to rule him out of this week’s game for the San Francisco 49ers.

The Niners began their practice week before a division showdown Sunday against Arizona with uncertainty about whether Garoppolo would be available after leaving last week’s game at halftime with an injured right calf.

“It’s better today, which is good news,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Not enough, though, to let him go. But also, not enough to rule him out. The doctors still say give him another day, he’s got a chance. So, I’m still holding out for that.”

Rookie Trey Lance got the work with the starters on Wednesday with practice-squad player Nate Sudfeld the other healthy quarterback.

Shanahan said the Niners are waiting for the swelling in the calf to go down more to determine whether the calf will be healthy enough for Garoppolo to push off on throws and be able to play.

There has been some improvement since Sunday when a dejected Garoppolo speculated he’d likely miss a couple of weeks.

Garoppolo is holding out hope that he will be able to play against the Cardinals even if he acknowledged he still has pain and likely won’t be fully healed.

“Battling through it probably,” he said about the best-case scenario if he could play. “We’ll take it day by day, but it hurts.”

Garoppolo’s history of injuries that include an injured shoulder in 2016, a blown-out knee in 2018 and a high ankle sprain that limited him to six starts last year contributed to San Francisco’s decision to trade three first-round draft picks to take Lance third overall.

Lance got only spot duty the first three weeks with seven offensive snaps in a situational role but did have a TD pass and a TD run.

He struggled with his accuracy during his long run of play in last Sunday’s 28-21 loss to Seattle but took advantage of a blown coverage to connect on a 76-yard TD pass to Deebo Samuel and led a late TD drive capped by another touchdown pass to Samuel.

He finished 9 for 18 for 157 yards, two touchdowns, a 2-point conversion run and 41 yards rushing.

“I thought when he got thrown into battle here, just running the offense and not really his specific plays, I thought he got more comfortable as the game went,” Shanahan said. “Especially going home and watching the tape after the game, I thought there was a lot of encouraging stuff.”

Shanahan said it was a bit of a challenge designing a game plan not knowing if the quarterback would be a traditional drop-back style player like Garoppolo of the more mobile Lance, who can be a big part of the running game.

Lance also offers the ability to make off-schedule plays when things break down, but Shanahan said you don’t want to rely on that style of “backyard ball.”

“When you get into some of those situations, sometimes it’s late in games, you’re down a lot and you can create and make some big plays,” he said. “But it’s got to be that type of game. You don’t want to force that type of game and that’s stuff I think we’ll get used to with Trey and he’ll get used to with us.”

NOTES: TE George Kittle (calf), LT Trent Williams (shoulder), DE Samson Ebukam (hamstring) and CB K’Waun Williams (calf) didn’t practice. … DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), RB Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) and CB Josh Norman (chest) were limited.

Cowboys vague on LB Smith’s release as players move forward

FRISCO, Texas (AP) Jaylon Smith’s murky future with the Dallas Cowboys was most evident when he played just 16 snaps in the opener after averaging 95% of the plays over the previous three seasons.

Now that the roster is looking more like it did in that 31-29 loss to defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay, the Cowboys are moving on from the linebacker who recovered from a severe knee injury in his final college game to become one of their most durable players.

Coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t get into specifics for the factors in a release that became official Wednesday, but another one was the looming $9.2 million guarantee on Smith’s 2022 salary if he was injured.

McCarthy also wouldn’t get in to why they wouldn’t keep Smith around for depth as an inactive player, or why they waited until four games into the season. The Cowboys (3-1) play the New York Giants (1-3) in the last of three consecutive home games Sunday.

“There are always factors involved, how you build your 90-man roster, how you go through training camp and get to the 53 and the extended practice squad,” McCarthy said. “He played a lot of good football for us. I have nothing but respect for him.”

Smith’s release touched a nerve with fellow linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, teammates since they went to the playoffs together in 2018. Vander Esch said Smith gave a statement to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to read to the players he left behind.

“The statement he gave … telling us to go get it and that he’s got everybody’s backs regardless of the situation that he’s in, it just shows you the character and type of person that he is,” Vander Esch said. “Yeah, it’s a tough situation.”

Vander Esch, whose own future with the Cowboys beyond this season is in question, said he found out about Smith’s release on social media after getting texts asking him about it. Those circumstances set him off.

“What bugs me most about it is when people that are on the outside, fans or whoever it might be, they want to say, `Oh, someone deserves this or someone deserves that,'” said Vander Esch, a 2018 first-round draft pick whose fifth-year option for next season wasn’t picked up.

“We don’t go talking about someone else’s job, so why are they talking about our jobs? It’s super frustrating. It’s annoying. I think it’s classless. I’ve got a lot of strong words for it. I know a lot of guys around the league deal with it.”

While Smith’s productivity and value on the field were declining, questions will linger whether the Cowboys jeopardized their fast start to the season with a somewhat surprising decision that perhaps could have waited.

The impact was clear on Vander Esch, who said he hadn’t talked to Smith and wanted to let things “die down” first. Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who entered the NFL with Smith in 2016, hid his emotions better while acknowledging the bond ran deep.

“I don’t think we can let it be a hit to the energy,” Elliott said. “We can’t let it be a distraction. We still have the goal of winning a Super Bowl this year. Yeah, it sucks. But we’ve got to control what we can control as a team and go out there and get better.”

After Smith’s streak of 48 consecutive starts ended in the opener, his snaps went up the next two games while rookie Micah Parsons, the 12th overall pick, played mostly as a pass rusher because of missing defensive linemen.

Parsons was back at linebacker last week against Carolina, and converted safety Keanu Neal is returning against the Giants after missing two games because of a positive COVID-19 test. Defensive end Bradlee Anae also was activated from the COVID-19 list Wednesday.

Smith didn’t play as a rookie while recovering from the left knee injury in his final game at Notre Dame – against Elliott and Ohio State. Two years later, he had career highs of four sacks and 13 quarterback pressures before leading the team in tackles the past two seasons.

After signing a $64 million, five-year extension, Smith made the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement in 2019. The contract included $35 million in guaranteed money. The Cowboys moved on because they didn’t want to be on the hook for more.

“I just think he’s a great person beyond football,” Parsons said. “He does everything right, really heartfelt for him. I looked at him like a big brother. It was pretty hard when I heard the news.”

NOTES: Elliott didn’t practice because of a knee issue. The two-time rushing champion said the tightness he felt in the knee the day after the game had eased considerably and he wasn’t concerned about being available against the Giants. … DT Carlos Watkins returned to practice after missing the previous two games with a knee injury.

Jaguars’ Meyer never considered resigning coaching job

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Urban Meyer says he never considered resigning following a viral video of the Jacksonville Jaguars coach at an Ohio bar and adds he has received support from several members of his team’s leadership council.

The 57-year-old Meyer also says he had three or four conversations with Jaguars owner Shad Khan and “the message is loud and clear.”

Khan publicly reprimanded Meyer for “inexcusable” behavior over the weekend. Meyer was caught on video getting cozy with a young blond. One clip released on social media shows the woman dancing close to Meyer’s lap as he sits on a bar stool. A second, more damning video appears to show Meyer touching the woman’s behind.

Meyer says team leaders have expressed support while they try to turn the page before hosting Tennessee on Sunday.

“I had at least eight to 10 phone calls where they called me and they were over-the-top supportive and said, `We got you, man. Move forward,'” Meyer said. “A common thing was, `Coach, we all did stupid things.’ I’m really impressed with our guys.”

Meyer apologized again Wednesday to Khan and the fans. He held a full team meeting after explaining what happened to players Monday in individual position groups.

“I wanted to get in their space,” he said. “I have a good relationship with this whole team. I’m not a big team meeting guy. I do a lot of it that way, where I’ll go to the running backs, where there’s a group of four. Team meetings are very … it’s just a big environment.

“In my opinion, you don’t get much done in a team meeting. You get a lot done when you’re in personal space with people. I’ve always done that.”

Meyer said he hasn’t heard from the league office, but confirmed he was not disciplined by Khan aside from the reprimand.

Meyer remains concerned about how the incident will affect his credibility on the sideline and inside the locker room, adding he’s spent countless hours trying to make sure he’s no longer a distraction.

“I’m in a fight to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Meyer said. “As of now, no, I don’t see that one bit.”

He also expects his marriage to survive the turmoil.

“I believe so, and that’s obviously, it’s very personal,” he said. “I don’t want to get into our personal life, but 37 years we’ve been together and it’s been awesome, man. And this speed bump’s not going to get in the way of that.”

NFL Abroad: League to choose German host city, eyes France

LONDON (AP) The NFL has returned to London with the Atlanta Falcons facing the New York Jets on Sunday but the league is just as focused on its next international destination: Germany.

Brett Gosper, NFL Head of UK and Europe, said they are finalizing their short list of German cities to host a game as early as next season.

The opening of an office in Germany is “reasonably imminent,” he added, as is the hiring of a general manager there as the league expands in Europe, with France and Spain also in its sights.

Eight cities in Germany expressed interest in becoming a partner city to host a regular-season game, he said. The NFL announced a bidding process in June.

“We will whittle down to three and we’re hoping we’ll be able to announce something in the next week or two,” Gosper told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

The announcement could coincide with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s expected trip to London during the International Series.

After the Falcons face the Jets on Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars play the Miami Dolphins a week later. Both games will be held at the stadium of Premier League soccer team Tottenham.

Gosper declined to identify the likely German finalists but said bidders might come to London on an “observer program” for the Jags-Dolphins game.

“They’re in the final bid,” he said. “There’s some sensitivity on their side in particular because they have to go through their own appropriate decision making. We’ve made sure these cities formed a consortium so it will be a partnership between the region, the city, the owner of the stadium – which in most cases is a Bundesliga football club.”

A regular-season game in Germany seems a question of when, not if, with a decision expected by the end of the year. He said the “only hesitation” on 2022 would be scheduling conflicts with soccer’s World Cup, which begins next November in Qatar.

“If we can solve those, then it could be ’22. Certainly no later than ’23,” he said.

A suitable stadium is the biggest factor, followed by ease of travel. Tottenham’s state-of-the-art facility was built to host both soccer and NFL games with capacity seating of 62,850.

The cities of Dortmund, Berlin, Gelsenkirchen, and Stuttgart each have a stadium – and Munich has two – capable of holding at least 60,000 fans, with soccer club Borussia Dortmund’s the largest at just over 81,000.

Sky Sports, which has the broadcasting rights for the NFL in Britain, earlier reported that Munich and Dusseldorf expressed interest but that Berlin did not, due to laws on commercial promotions.

It’s not just about size. Gosper said they’re looking for a “deeper relationship than just a game once a year,” citing grassroots partnerships and an NFL Academy.

Germany, which has increasingly produced athletes for U.S. college football programs, had five teams at various times in the former World League/NFL Europe/NFL Europa.

A league office in Germany is upcoming.

“It’s reasonably imminent because we’re at the intense phase of a search for a general manager. Where we decide that would be set up might depend on where we land on a possible game in Germany,” said Gosper, the Australian former CEO of World Rugby.

CITY OF LIGHT?

After Germany, NFL analysis has shown that France would be the next logical European host.

“It would seem that France is probably the third market in that sense in the analysis that we’ve done, followed by Spain,” Gosper said. “The Nordics are very strong too, with a smaller population base.”

Those markets “are on a high growth path now, in terms of viewership, in terms of increased fans,” he said.

LONDON

The NFL has played 28 regular-season games in London from 2007-19. None were played in the city in 2020 – when four were scheduled – because of the pandemic.

There are seven years left on Tottenham’s 10-year contract to host two NFL games annually, Gosper said.

Wembley Stadium has also held games, particularly hosting Jacksonville’s as the Jags have built a large fan base in Britain.

“We don’t have total certainty yet but we’re confident that the Jags will continue that relationship into the future,” Gosper said. “The number of games, we’re not sure of at this point.”

And with an expanded 17-game schedule, as well as the new opportunity for NFL teams to negotiate exclusive marketing deals with cities or regions around the world, there are possibilities for even more games in London.

Gosper said the NFL is reviewing marketing plans of teams interested in “deploying internationally” and they could “decide themselves to host the occasional game outside the (home) market.”

Some NFL owners also own Premier league clubs. The Glazer family owns both the defending NFL champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United. Stan Kroenke owns the Los Angeles Rams and Arsenal.

“It’s hard to determine at this stage whether we head back to four, three or five (games),” Gosper said. “That will be determined by the market. But there’ll be no less than two in the UK and probably, high likelihood, of more.”

The annual question of whether the Jags would relocate full-time to London hasn’t been discussed, he added.

“We’d love a franchise to come to London one day, obviously, because it’s going to help grow our fan base

not just in London but across Europe, as well, given the proximity. It’s now up to any owners – if that’s what they’d feel they’d like to do, then we’re ready for it. But that’s entirely their call.”

NFLPA asks league about search of Washington facility

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) The NFL Players Association said Wednesday it sent a formal request to the league for information about Washington’s practice facility being searched by federal authorities last week.

Head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion was put on administrative leave for what a Washington spokesman called an ongoing criminal investigation unrelated to the team.

Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that federal law enforcement officials, including agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, served a search warrant at the facility last week. Another search warrant was served at a local home, according to one of the people.

The NFLPA said the situation “directly impacts player health and safety. The NFLPA insisted on language in our collective bargaining agreement that obligates clubs to adhere to all state and federal laws and regulations. We look forward to learning more so we can protect our players.”

A league spokesman declined comment.

Veteran safety Landon Collins, Washington’s NFLPA rep, said he was unaware of the request but was cool with the statement that was sent out.

“We don’t have much to say because we don’t know what’s going on,” Collins said, adding he and his teammates are trying to focus on football. “When we get more information about what’s going on or any information about what’s going, we just kind of keep it to ourselves or talk amongst ourselves and just go from there and make a conclusion from there”

Washington returned to practice Wednesday without Vermillion, who did not travel for its game at Atlanta last week. Former trainer Bubba Tyer, who retired in 2009, was at the facility and on the field during practice.

Coach Ron Rivera said Tyer was assisting on a voluntary basis.

“He came in to help out, and that’s it: He’s got time and he wanted to come and just help us,” Rivera said. “We’re going to do everything pretty much by committee. I go down there and I check in, and I check in with the trainers and then I check in with our therapists and we go from there.”

Rivera has worked with Vermillion for more than a decade dating to their time together in Carolina and brought him to Washington after he was hired and put in charge of football operations.

WEEK 5 NFL PREVIEW

Week in and week out, the NFL never disappoints.

The first four weeks of the 2021 schedule have produced more late-game drama than any other season to this point. Road teams are winning more than home teams. A quarterback leads the league in rushing touchdowns. And seven teams that missed the 2020 playoffs have at least a share of their division leads, including the ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-0), who enter play as the league’s only remaining undefeated team for the first time since 1974.

The Week 5 forecast calls for more of the same, with occasional waves of double-digit comeback wins, including a good chance of games decided by a field goal or less. Games ending on the last play are likely, so prepare accordingly. And set your alarm to wake up early on Sunday, because the NFL is back in London.

EDGE-OF-SEAT DRAMATICS: This season has already seen 15 games decided on a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime, the most such games through the first four weeks of a season since at least the 1970 merger.

Twelve of those contests have been won on the last play of the game.

The most games decided on a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime through Week 4, since 1970:

SEASONGAMES
202115
201214
201313
200313

Including two Week 4 overtime games, which gave both the NEW YORK GIANTS and NEW YORK JETS their first wins, at least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first four weeks of the season. This marks the fifth instance ever in which at least one game has gone to OT in each of the first four weeks. It also happened in 1979, 1983, 2002 and 2018.

CLOSE SHAVES: Through four weeks, 17 of 64 NFL games (26.6 percent) have been decided by three points or fewer. At this point in a season, that’s tied for the fourth-most in league history.

The most games decided by three points or fewer through four weeks in NFL history:

SEASONGAMES
201119
201818
199918
202117
201217
198817

BACK TO LONDON: This week, the NFL continues an important initiative by returning to international play. Sunday’s schedule starts early with the first of two international games on the 2021 schedule when the NEW YORK JETS (1-3) meet the ATLANTA FALCONS (1-3) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (9:30 AM ET/2:30 PM in the UK, NFL Network). Both the Falcons (2014) and Jets (2015) are making their second London appearances.

The NFL had played 28 regular-season games over 13 years (2007-19) until the pandemic kept all league contests in the United States last season.

BOUNCEBACK TEAMS: Through the first four weeks, 12 teams have at least three wins and seven of those teams were not in the postseason last year: ARIZONA (4-0), CAROLINA (3-1), CINCINNATI (3-1), DALLAS (3-1), DENVER (3-1), LAS VEGAS (3-1) and the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (3-1).

  • Five teams that lost their season-openers – BALTIMORE (3-1), BUFFALO (3-1), CLEVELAND (3-1), DALLAS (3-1) and GREEN BAY (3-1) – have rebounded to win three straight games entering this week.

HOLDING ALL THE CARDS: The ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-0) can mark their best start in 47 years, since 1974, with a victory on Sunday against the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-2) at State Farm Stadium (4:25 PM ET, FOX). The club enters this week as the NFL’s lone remaining undefeated team for the first time since Week 8 of that 1974 season, when the franchise, then based in St. Louis, started 7-0.

  • Arizona’s offense leads the NFL in both total yards per game (440.5) and points per game (35.0).
  • The Cardinals this season have opened 4-0 and scored at least 30 points with 400-or-more yards of offense in each of their first four games. Prior to this season, only three teams had done that, and each went to the Super Bowl: the 2013 Denver Broncos, 2007 New England Patriots and 2002 Oakland Raiders.
  • Three of Arizona’s wins this season have come on the road, and all have been by at least 12 points, including an impressive 37-20 triumph last week against the previously undefeated Rams.
  • The Cardinals have joined the 1980 San Diego Chargers as one of only two undefeated teams over the last 60 years to register three road wins in their first four games and win each by 12-or-more points.
  • This week, Arizona wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS (764 career receptions) needs one catch to surpass LARRY FITZGERALD (764) for the most receptions ever by a player prior to his 30th birthday. Hopkins will be 29 years and 126 days old on Sunday.
  • The 49ers, meanwhile, could start third-overall selection TREY LANCE at quarterback. If that happens, all five rookie quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft will have made their starting debuts.
  • San Francisco’s DEEBO SAMUEL leads the NFL with 490 receiving yards. In franchise history, only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (522 in 1995) collected more through the first four games of a season.

CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCHES: The BUFFALO BILLS (3-1) travel to play the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-2) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC). It’s the ninth time in 10 seasons that teams who played in the most recent AFC Championship are meeting the following year. Over the previous eight rematches, the winner of the rematch game has gone on to the Super Bowl five times, winning the Lombardi Trophy in four of those seasons. And in that span, the only time the winner of the rematch did not make the playoffs, in 2018, the losing team in the rematch went on to win the Super Bowl.

The winners of the last eight rematches of the prior season’s AFC Championship Game:

SEASONREMATCHWINNING TEAM’S SEASON RESULT
2019Kansas City 23, New England 16KC won Super Bowl
2018Jacksonville 31, +New England 20JAX missed playoffs
2017New England 27, Pittsburgh 24NE Advanced to Super Bowl
2016New England 16, Denver 3NE won Super Bowl
2015New England 34, Indianapolis 27NE advanced to AFC Championship
2014New England 43, Denver 21NE won Super Bowl
2013New England 41, Baltimore 7NE advanced to AFC Championship
2012*Baltimore 28, New England 13BAL won Super Bowl
*Postseason game; +Went on to win Super Bowl

This week’s game also pits Buffalo’s No. 1-ranked defense in both points allowed per game (11.0) and yards allowed per game (216.8) against Kansas City’s top-ranked offense in yards per play (6.9). The Chiefs also rank second on offense in total yards per game (427.5) and tied for second (with Buffalo’s offense) in points per game (33.5).

Buffalo has scored at least 35 points in three consecutive games. The Bills, who registered shutouts in Weeks 2 and 4, are the third team since 1990 to record two shutouts in their first four games of a season, joining the Ravens in 2000 and Washington in 1991.

Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES made his 50th career start last week and recorded five touchdown passes while wide receiver TYREEK HILL totaled 11 receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs’ win.

  • Mahomes has a 40-10 record (.800) as a starting quarterback and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer KEN STABLER (40-9-1) as the only quarterbacks whose career began in the Super Bowl era to win 40 of their first 50 career starts.
  • With five touchdown passes in Week 4, Mahomes became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to register at least three touchdown passes in each of his first four games of a season, joining TOM BRADY (first 10 games in 2007) and Pro Football Hall of Famers STEVE YOUNG (first five games in 1998), DAN MARINO (first four games in 1987) and KURT WARNER (first four games in 1999).
  • Mahomes became the first player with four games of at least five touchdown passes in his first 50 career starts and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (four games) for the most such games by a player in his first five seasons all-time.
  • Mahomes has 25 career games with at least three touchdown passes and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (33 games) as the only players with at least 25 such games in their first five seasons in NFL history.
  • Hill, who recorded his fifth-career game with at least 180 receiving yards, is the fifth player with five games with at least 180 receiving yards in his first six seasons in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (eight games), CHARLEY HENNIGAN (seven), Pro Football Hall of Famer ISAAC BRUCE (six) and ANTONIO BROWN (five).

ROAD SWEET HOME: NFL teams in road games this season are 33-31 (.516), continuing a trend of road-team success that began in 2019. Since the beginning of 2019, road teams are 284-290-2 (.495).

The seasons with the highest winning percentage by road teams through four weeks, since 1970:

SEASONWLTPCT
198333230.589
201935271.563
197830260.536
1971*26233.531
197226242.519
202133310.516
*Tie games did not count in winning percentage prior to 1972

Six clubs this season have at least two road wins through four weeks, including the DENVER BRONCOS (3-1), who put their 2-0 road record on the line this week against the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-3) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • Last week, Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER threw his 400th career touchdown pass and became the eighth quarterback all-time to reach that milestone. Roethlisberger, who had 232 passing yards in Week 4, now has 61,381 career passing yards and also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (61,361) for the sixth-most passing yards in NFL history.

SOFI HOSTS ANOTHER SPOTLIGHT GAME: Another week, another big game at SoFi Stadium. Next up is a clash of three-win teams when the CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-1) face the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (3-1) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, CBS).

  • Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT is 7-1 over his last eight starts, dating back to Week 14 last season.
  • Herbert needs 300 passing yards this week to register the 11th 300-yard passing game of his young career and surpass PATRICK MAHOMES (10 games) and Pro Football of Famer DAN MARINO (10) for the most by a player in his first two seasons.
  • Last week, Los Angeles running back AUSTIN EKELER recorded his 18th career touchdown reception to surpass DANNY WOODHEAD (17) for the most by an undrafted running back in the common-draft era.
  • Cleveland’s NICK CHUBB ranks second in the NFL with 362 rushing yards, playing the lead role in an offense that leads the NFL in rushing (177.0 yards per game).
  • On defense, Cleveland’s MYLES GARRETT leads the NFL with six sacks.

ESTABLISHED, BURGEONING STARS FACE OFF IN CINCY: In another battle of one-loss teams, the GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-1) head south to face the CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

Last week, Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS recorded three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) with no interceptions. He now has 420 career touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (420) for the sixth-most all time.

Sunday is an intriguing matchup of Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, and Cincinnati’s JOE BURROW, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Burrow last week led the Bengals back from 14-point halftime deficit, finishing with 348 passing yards and two touchdowns. He has at least two touchdown passes in each of his first four games this season.

The first 14 NFL starts in the careers of Aaron Rodgers and Joe Burrow:

RODGERS, 2008BURROW, 2020-21
5-9-0Record5-8-1
63.5Completion Pct.66.9
3,470Passing Yards3,676
23Passing TD22
12Interceptions9
91.8Rating94.8

RAVENS HOST COLTS IN PRIMETIME: The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1-3) return to their franchise’s former home this week to face the BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-1) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN).

  • Last week, the Ravens rushed for 102 yards and now have at least 100 yards in 43 consecutive regular-season games, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers (43 from 1974-77) for the longest such streak in NFL history.
  • Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON in four career starts on Monday Night Football has passed for 664 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions for a 111.9 passer rating. In those four starts, he’s also rushed for 388 yards on 38 carries (10.2 average) with two touchdowns.
  • Indianapolis has been stout against the run since the beginning of the 2020 season. The Colts rank third in rushing defense (95.2 yards per game) over that span. Over a longer stretch, since the beginning of 2018, the Colts have allowed a 100-yard rusher in only four of their past 52 games (DERRICK HENRY in all four games).

COMEBACK PLAYERS: The annual Comeback Player of the Year Award is meaningful because it’s the manifestation of a player’s ability to overcome personal adversity and return to contribute to his team’s on-field success. Two candidates for that award, running back SAQUON BARKLEY and quarterback DAK PRESCOTT, will be on the same field when the NEW YORK GIANTS (1-3) return to AT&T Stadium to face the DALLAS COWBOYS (3-1) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX).

  • Prescott last week threw four touchdown passes in the Cowboys’ win, his fifth career game with four-or-more touchdown passes.
  • Barkley, meanwhile, scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime last week. He finished with 126 scrimmage yards (74 receiving, 52 rushing), including a 54-yard touchdown reception that sparked an 11-point comeback in the fourth quarter.
  • Two rookie linebackers – New York’s AZEEZ OJULARI (3) and Dallas’ MICAH PARSONS (2.5) – are leading their respective teams in sacks. Last month, Ojulari became the first NFL rookie with at least one sack in each of his team’s first three games since TERRELL SUGGS in 2003.
  • Dallas cornerback TREVON DIGGS leads the NFL with five interceptions. Diggs is the fourth player since 1990 to record an interception in each of his team’s first four games of a season, joining DEVIN MCCOURTY (2019), BRIAN RUSSELL (2003) and OTIS SMITH (1995).
  • Giants quarterback DANIEL JONES leads the league among qualified players with 7.0 yards per carry (27 attempts, 188 yards, two touchdowns).

DUAL-THREAT QUARTERBACKS ON DISPLAY IN CAROLINA: Week 5 features five potential matchups of starting quarterbacks under the age of 27. One of those game is in Charlotte, where the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-3) and JALEN HURTS square off with the CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-1) and SAM DARNOLD (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • Darnold leads all NFL players with five rushing touchdowns.
  • Last week, Darnold passed for 301 yards and totaled four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). He became the first quarterback in NFL history to record five rushing touchdowns in his team’s first four games of a season.
  • Darnold, who also had two rushing touchdowns in Week 3, is the sixth quarterback since 1970 to record multiple rushing touchdowns in consecutive games.
  • Hurts, meanwhile, has 226 rushing yards, second among quarterbacks this season behind Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (279).

WEEK 5 NFL SCHEDULE

(All times Eastern)

Thursday, October 7Los Angeles Rams at SeattleFOX/NFLN/Amazon8:20
   
Sunday, October 10New York Jets vs. Atlanta (London)NFLN9:30 AM
Philadelphia at CarolinaFOX1:00
Green Bay at CincinnatiFOX1:00
New England at HoustonCBS1:00
Tennessee at JacksonvilleCBS1:00
Detroit at MinnesotaFOX1:00
Denver at PittsburghFOX1:00
Miami at Tampa BayCBS1:00
New Orleans at WashingtonCBS1:00
Cleveland at Los Angeles ChargersCBS4:05
Chicago at Las VegasCBS4:05
San Francisco at ArizonaFOX4:25
New York Giants at DallasFOX4:25
Buffalo at Kansas CityNBC8:20
    
Monday, October 11Indianapolis at BaltimoreESPN8:15

NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

AFC

Quarterback JOE BURROW of the Cincinnati Bengals, linebacker TREMAINE EDMUNDS of the Buffalo Bills and punter RIGOBERTO SANCHEZ of the Indianapolis Colts are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 4 (September 30, October 3-4).

OFFENSE: QB JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS

  • Burrow completed 25 of 32 pass attempts (78.1 percent) for 348 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a career-high 132.8 rating in Cincinnati’s 24-21 win over Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football.  He had the highest rating among qualified passers in Week 4.

  • He completed five of five passes for 68 yards on the final drive of the game to set up the game-winning field goal.

  • This is the first-career Offensive Player of the Week award for Burrow and he becomes the first Bengals quarterback to earn the honor since Andy Dalton (Week 14, 2013).

  • Burrow joins Matt Flynn (Week 17, 2011) as the only former LSU quarterbacks to win Offensive Player of the Week.

DEFENSE: LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS, BUFFALO BILLS

  • Edmunds totaled six tackles and one interception in Buffalo’s 40-0 victory over Houston. He controls the middle of a Bills defense that became the third team since 1990 to record two shutouts in their first four games of a season

  • This is the first-career Defensive Player of the Week award for Edmunds and is the first Buffalo linebacker to earn the honor since A.J. Klein (Week 12, 2020). 

  • Edmunds joins Mike Johnson (Week 8, 1988) as the only former Virginia Tech linebackers to win Defensive Player of the Week.

SPECIAL TEAMS: P RIGOBERTO SANCHEZ, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

  • In Indianapolis’ 27-17 victory over Miami, Sanchez recorded four punts (50.0 average, 46.8 net), with two landing inside the 20-yard line.   

  • This is the first-career Special Teams Player of the Week award for Sanchez and he joins Pat McAfee (Week 3, 2015 and Week 6, 2014) and Hunter Smith (Week 2, 2005) as the only Indianapolis punters the earn the honor.

  • Sanchez becomes the first player from the University of Hawaii to win a Player of the Week award since kick returner Kealoha Pilares (Week 11, 2011).

NFC

Quarterback DANIEL JONES of the New York Giants, cornerback TREVON DIGGS of the Dallas Cowboys and kick returner DEANDRE CARTER of the Washington Football Team are the NFC Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 4 (September 30, October 3-4).

OFFENSE: QB DANIEL JONES, NEW YORK GIANTS

  • In Week 4, the Giants overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat New Orleans in overtime as Jones completed 28 of 40 pass attempts (70 percent) for a career-high 402 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 108.5 rating. It marked the most passing yards of any player in Week 4.

  • This is Jones’ second Offensive Player of the Week award:
    • 2019: Week 3
    • 2021: Week 4

  • Jones is the first player from Duke to win any Player of the Week award multiple times and joins Kerry Collins (four-time winner), Eli Manning (four-time winner) and Phil Simms (two-time winner) as the only Giants quarterbacks to win Offensive Player of the Week multiple times.

DEFENSE: CB TREVON DIGGS, DALLAS COWBOYS

  • In the Cowboys’ 36-28 win over the Panthers, Diggs recorded four tackles and two interceptions, becoming the fourth player since 1990 and first Cowboy since 1970 with an interception in each of his team’s first four games of a season. No other player had two interceptions in Week 4.

  • This is Diggs’ first Defensive Player of the Week award.
  • Diggs is the first Cowboys cornerback to earn the honor since Brandon Carr (Week 15, 2012).and the first former Crimson Tide defensive back to win the award since Kareem Jackson (Week 14, 2019).

SPECIAL TEAMS: KR DEANDRE CARTER, WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

  • Carter returned three kickoffs for 152 yards (50.7 average), including a 101-yard kick-return touchdown in Washington’s Week 4 win at Atlanta.

  • This is Carter’s first Special Teams Player of the Week award.

  • Carter is the first Washington returner to win the award since Steven Sims (Week 12, 2019).

  • Carter is the first player from Sacramento State to earn a Player of the Week award.

INDIANA SPORTS NEWS (PRESS RELEASES)

Andrew Irick Named Male Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Sophomore wrestler Andrew Irick was named IU’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October.
 
Irick has gotten off to a tremendous start in the classroom this year including in his Organic Chemistry class. After graduation, Irick plans on attending medical school to become a doctor.
 
The Fishers-native competed in three-dual meets in extra matches last season in the 285-lb weight-class. Irick will have his photo up in the D. Ames Shuel Academic Center during the month of October honoring his academic achievements.

Donegan Named Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana freshman golfer Áine Donegan has been named Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week, the league office announced on Wednesday afternoon.
 
The accolade is the first of Donegan’s career and the first earned by a Hoosier since Priscilla Schmid claimed the honor on Oct. 30, 2019.
 
Donegan led Indiana to the team title of the 2021 Courtney Cole Invitational after shooting an even par 144 (71-73) through 36 holes. The Hoosiers outpaced the field by 36 strokes to earn the program’s first team victory since winning the Lady Boilermaker Classic on April 14, 2019.
 
The Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, native cleared the field by two strokes to win her first collegiate tournament and become the first Hoosier since Schmid (Oct. 27, 2019) to earn an individual tournament title.
 
Donegan has played to three top-15 finishes in her first three collegiate tournaments, including a pair of top-10 finishes. Her scoring average through three tournaments (72.63) is on pace to shatter the school record set by Mary Parsons (73.31) in the 2017-18 season.
 
Indiana will wrap up the fall slate of the schedule at the Illini Invitational from Oct. 11-12 at the Medinah Country Club Golf Course.

Sekne Tabbed Big Ten Golfer of the Week

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After winning his first career tournament Monday, sophomore Herman Sekne has been named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week, the league office announced today.
 
The accolade is the first career honor for the sophomore from Oslo, Norway.
 
Sekne helped the Boilermakers to their first win of the season at the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate, while also winning medalist honors. Sekne made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to give Purdue a one-shot victory over Missouri in the team race, while also securing a one-shot victory individually.
 
Sekne totaled a 54-hole tally of 11-under 205 (69-70-66), a career-best 54-hole score. His 205 is the sixth-best, 54-hole score in school history, while in relation to par, the 11-under par is third all time. He is now one of four players in school history to have two tournaments of 206 or lower (Adam Schenk, Cole Bradley, Peter Richardson).
 
Sekne leads the Boilermakers with a 70.11 stroke average and six of his nine rounds this season have been even or under-par. He has two top-20 finishes in his three events after also finishing tied for 12th at the season-opening Marquette Intercollegiate. Entering the weekend, Sekne was ranked 79th nationally in the latest Golfweek rankings.
 
The Boilermakers will close out their fall season on Monday and Tuesday at the Purdue Fall Invitational, being played at the Kampen Course.

Butler WSoccer Travels to Georgetown

Matchday Information – Butler at Georgetown
DATE:                         Thursday, October 7 / 3 PM
LOCATION:                Washington, D.C. / Shaw Field
LIVE STATS:              guhoyas.com
LIVE VIDEO:               BEDN/FloSports
SERIES RECORD:     Georgetown leads, 8-1-2
LAST MEETING:        April 18, 2021 (BIG EAST championship) – Providence, R.I. – Georgetown 2, Butler 1 (2OT)

The Butler women’s soccer team will travel to Washington, D.C., to battle BIG EAST preseason favorite Georgetown on Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs are coming off a 3-0 win over Connecticut, while Georgetown most recently tied Providence, 1-1, after two overtimes.

In the win over Connecticut, Becky Dean’s game-winning goal was her first goal of the season. Abigail Isger, who had gone three matches without a goal, scored her sixth of the season. Julia Leonard notched her second goal of the season and has scored in two of the past three matches. Katie Soderstrom’s two assists, both coming off corner kicks, pushed her to six for the season. Alli Leonard continues to lead Butler in assists, as she tallied her seventh of the season. Freshman Emma Martin (10-0-1) made two saves and was credited with her fifth shutout of the season.

Bulldog Bits

  • (through games 10/03//2021)
  • Abigail Isger is sixth nationally with four game-winning goals and leads the BIG EAST.
  • Katie Soderstrom is second in the BIG EAST and 11th nationally with nine goals. Soderstrom is also second in the BIG EAST and ninth nationally with 24 points. Isger (with 17) is fourth in the BIG EAST.
  • Alli Leonard, with seven assists, is second in the BIG EAST and 12th nationally. Soderstrom (with six) is third in the conference and 27th nationally, while Isger (with five) is fourth in the BIG EAST.
  • Emma Martin’s five shutouts are third in the BIG EAST and 25th nationally, while her .613 GAA is fifth in the conference and 33rd nationally.
     
  • At 3-0-1, Butler is now in sole possession of first place in the BIG EAST standings. Xavier (3-1-0) and Marquette (3-1-0) are tied for second, and Georgetown (2-0-2) is right behind, in fourth.
  • The Bulldogs are unbeaten in eleven straight matches, going 10-0-1 since an opening loss to current No. 17 Michigan.
  • Katie Soderstrom and Emma Martin received recognition from the BIG EAST for their performances against St. John’s and Connecticut last week. Soderstrom was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, and Martin was named to the five-member BIG EAST honor roll.
  • The Bulldogs have scored 28 goals in 12 matches this season (2.33 goals/match) while giving up 11 goals (0.92 goals allowed/match).
  • Ten different players have scored at least one goal in twelve matches this season, and eleven different players have produced an assist.

The Matchup

  • Butler and Georgetown have played eleven times, with the Hoyas winning eight.
  • The Bulldogs’ only win (1-0) came on October 11, 2015.
  • The teams played to scoreless ties in 2019 and 2017.
  • The teams have met in the BIG EAST championship match three of the last four seasons, with Georgetown coming out on top each time.

Scouting Georgetown
Previous match: Providence T, 1-1 (2OT)

  • Eleven players have scored a goal for the Hoyas, and eleven have produced an assist.
  • Current offensive standouts for Georgetown include:
    #10 Gia Vicari (7g, 2a)
    #32 Cyanne Doyle (3g, 2a)
    #11 Maya Fernandez-Powell (2g, 4a)
    #25 Julia Leas (1g, 4a)
    #27 Kelly Ann Livingstone (1g, 2a)
    #3 Jenna Royson (1g, 2a)
  • Allie Augur (6-0-6) has started all 12 matches in goal. She has 36 saves (.837) and has allowed seven goals, leading the BIG EAST with a .53 GAA. She has five solo shutouts and one combined.

SECOND PLACE EARNED AT THE FIGHTING IRISH CLASSIC

The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team placed second in the 2021 Fighting Irish Classic held at Warren Golf Course on Monday, October 4, and Tuesday, October 5. The Irish shot a collective 828 (-12), three shots behind first place Washington (825, -15).

Notre Dame’s individual efforts ended up grouped together to finish tied for eighth and 13th place in the final standings. Junior Patrick Kelly and graduate student Davis Chatfield both finished tied for eighth at -4, with Kelly shooting 66s in the first and third round. Junior Palmer Jackson was right behind them in 13th place at 207 (-3).

Sophomore Angelo Marco, who competed as an individual during the event, shot an even par 210 to finish in a tie for 15th.

The Irish will be back in action at the Stephens Cup October 18-20 in Roland, Arkansas.

2Notre Dame273281274828
T8Davis Chatfield (1)696770206
T8Patrick Kelly (5)667466206
13Palmer Jackson (2)677169207
T25Taichi Kho (3)717269212
T28Andrew O’Leary (4)727170213
Individuals
Pos. Player (Team) Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total T15 Angelo Marcon (Notre Dame) 69 73 68 210 T50 Ricky Costello (Iowa State) 75 73 72 220 T50 Austin Vukovits (Mississippi State) 70 73 77 220 T50 Kevin O’Regan (Notre Dame) 70 78 72 220 56 Brantley Baker (Georgia Southern) 73 70 78 221 T68 Owen Mullen (Notre Dame) 78 76 72 226 T68 Aidan O’Hagan (Washington) 76 74 76 226 T72 Tyler Eedy (Michigan State) 74 77 78 229 78 Felipe Pedraza (Iowa) 76 79 78 233 80 Stewart Slayden (Notre Dame) 88 77 79 244

IRISH RETURN HOME TO HOST SYRACUSE & BC

NOTRE DAME, Ind. —Notre Dame returns home this weekend to host ACC foes Syracuse and Boston College. The Irish first take on the Orange on Friday, October 8 at 7 p.m. ET before meeting the Eagles on Sunday, October 10 at 1 p.m. ET. Both matches will be streamed via ACC Network Extra.

NOTRE DAME VS. SYRACUSE
Friday, October 8 – 7 p.m. ET
ACC Network Extra
Live Stats

NOTRE DAME VS. BOSTON COLLEGE
Sunday, October 10 – 1 p.m. ET

FOR STARTERS

  • Notre Dame owns a 62-34 record in ACC contests since the start of the 2016 season.
  • The Irish are coming off a pair of road wins last weekend, including a thrilling five-set comeback at #18 Georgia Tech and a straight-set triumph over Clemson.
  • Aubrey Hamilton led the Irish in kills in both of those victories with 20 kills at Georgia Tech and 12 kills as Clemson.
  • Hamilton, who hit a combined .375 last weekend, also notched both match points with kills in those wins and was named the ACC’s Co-Player of the Week this Tuesday (Oct. 5) for her efforts.

HISTORY VS. SYRACUSE

  • Friday marks the 37th contest between the Irish and Orange with Notre Dame holding a 27-9 advantage in the all-time series.
  • The Irish have won three consecutive matches against Syracuse and six of the last eight meetings between the two schools since the outset of the 2016 season.
  • In 2020, Notre Dame earned four-set and three-set triumphs over the Orange inside Purcell Pavilion on October 2-3.
  • Charley Niego led the Irish with 19 kills in that first victory over the Orange while Caroline Meuth notched 17 kills in the straight-set win the following day.

HISTORY VS. BOSTON COLLEGE

  • The Irish and Eagles have met on 25 previous occasions with Notre Dame owning a dominant 21-4 mark all-time against Boston College.
  • Notre Dame has won seven straight matches against Boston College dating back to the 2016 season.
  • The Irish won a pair of matches in Chestnut Hill last season, including a sweep on October 23, 2020 and a four-set victory the following day.
  • Caroline Meuth led Notre Dame with 15 kills in the first victory before Aubrey Hamilton racked up a career-high 20 kills and hit .425 the next night.

GM 13 PREVIEW: LOUISVILLE

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team (10-1-1, 4-0-0) will be riding a six-match win streak into Thursday night’s showdown with Louisville (7-2-1, 3-1-0). In addition, the Fighting Irish will not only look to remain unbeaten at home this season (6-0-1) but also undefeated in ACC play.

Kickoff is slated for 8:06 p.m. ET inside Alumni Stadium. It will be a RSN (regional sports networks) broadcast so be sure to check your local listings. For those in the Michiana area, the game can be found on the Marquee Network.

SAVED BEST SEASON FOR LAST

Sammi Fisher is making the most of her graduate season, for it only took her one month of play to achieve her best year in an Irish uniform. She owns 10 goals to her name, topping her previous season high of six set in 2019.

Her 10 total goals rank 8th in the country and first in the ACC.  In addition, her 0.83 goals per game rank 13th in the nation.

Fisher also leads the team in game-winners with four, which ranks sixth in the nation. Fisher scored game-winners against Syracuse, Brown, Wisconsin and Bowling Green.

Her 21 total points rank 20th nationally and second in the ACC.

BEST START

The Irish are now 10-1-1 on the year, marking Coach Norman’s best start at the helm of the Irish.

In addition, it marks the quickest the team has reached 10 wins (12 games or less) since the 2010 national championship season.

Notre Dame also made history in its last win at NC State, for it marked the first time the program has started 4-0-0 in ACC play.

IN THE RANKINGS

After achieving a top-25 ranking from Top Drawer Soccer heading into ACC play, the Irish continue to climb the charts. This week they check in at No. 15.

The Irish also finally cracked the United Soccer Coaches poll, checking in at No. 24. In the updated Women’s Soccer RPI, the Irish check in at No. 21.

WIN STREAK

With the win over NC State, Notre Dame has been the victors of six straight. During the win streak, the Irish have outscored their opposition, 25-3. Furthermore, Notre Dame has outshot its opponents 115-25.

In addition, there have been nine different goal scorers during said span: Maddie Mercado, Kiki Van Zanten, Sammi Fisher, Sophia Fisher, Olivia Wingate, Kaylie Ronan, Katie Coyle, Brooke VanDyck, Korbin Albert

FLEXING THE OFFENSIVE MUSCLE

Notre Dame has scored 34 goals which rank second in the ACC and 10th in the nation. Their 34 goals are already more than the last two years (2019 – 31 ; 2018 – 24) and the most in the Coach Norman era.

Notre Dame’s scoring offense of 2.83 ranks 16th in the nation and third in the ACC.

In addition, ND’s 92 total points rank 18th in the country and fourth in the conference.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

Korbin Albert is not the only freshman impressing this season. In fact, several are.

Both Katie Coyle and Sophia Fisher have notched five points on two goals and one assist. In fact, Coyle is fresh off of her first career game-winner, scoring the second half of the 2-1 victory at NC State. Fisher also has a game-winner, scoring in the 1-0 victory at Marquette.

Last but not least, there’s Kaylie Ronan, who recently scored her first career goal in the win over Boston College on Sept. 26.

Thus, Notre Dame has had four different freshmen score this season.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Irish have made Alumni Stadium a difficult venue for opposing programs to succeed in. Since its creation in 2009, Notre Dame has gone 104-26-6, good for a .787 winning percentage. In fact, they have only surrendered one loss or better on six separate seasons.

Looking at just the past three years, the Irish are 18-3-2 at home.

Notre Dame is unbeaten at home this season with a 6-0-1 record. The Irish have three home games remaining, including two this week. The last time the Irish went unbeaten at home was the 2008 season in which they went 26-1 overall (lone loss in the national title game).

DEFENSE STARTS STRONG

Sophomore Eva Gaetino has anchored the Irish back-line (as center-back) to a solid start, posting a 0.650 goals against average, which ranks 35th in the nation.

All-in-all, the Irish defense has allowed just eight goals with 37 shots on goals. Total shots wise, they are only allowing 6.8 per game.

Sophomore goalie Ashley Naylor has started the last six games for the Irish, allowing three goals and recording three shutouts.

Cardinals Host Falcons, Visit Rockets

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State soccer team returns to the friendly confines of the Briner Sports Complex on Thursday for a rematch of last spring’s MAC Championship. The Cardinals welcome the Falcons of Bowling Green for a contest before BSU takes to the road for another MAC matchup at Toledo on Sunday.
 
Earlier this week, Lexi Fraley was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week after a two-goal performance against Akron. The Cardinals enter Thursday’s matchup with a 4-5-1 record and are 2-1-1 in conference play. Chelcy Ralph leads the team with eight points with four goals. Melissa DicemanNicky Potts, and Fraley are tied for second with four points. Alex DeRuvo has started every game in net for BSU and has a 4-5-1 record and has made 33 saves on the season.
 
Ball State holds a 15-5-4 series lead of Bowling Green, but the Falcons are 2-1-1 in the last four meetings. In last spring’s MAC Championship BGSU bested BSU 2-1 in Bowling Green. The Cardinals have a 7-2-3 advantage at home against the Falcons. First touch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Live stats can be found here and ESPN+/ESPN3 video can be found here.
 
Bowling Green enters the contest with a 3-5-3 overall record and are 2-1-1 in MAC play. BGSU is led by Madi Wolfbauer with 11 points, five goals and one assist. Nikki Cox is second on the squad with nine points, five assists and two goals. Lili Berg has started all 11 games in goal for the Falcons and boasts a 3-5-3 record. She has stopped 46 shots and has notched two shutouts on the year.
 
The Cardinals enter Sunday’s match with a 12-9-2 record against the Rockets. BSU defeated UT 2-0 in last season’s meeting. In the last four matchups, the teams have split 2-2. Toledo holds a slim margin at home with a 5-4-1 mark against Ball State. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Live stats can be found here and ESPN+/ESPN3 video can be found here.
 
The Rockets currently have a 7-3-2 overall record and are 2-2-0 in conference matches. Olivia Dault paces UT with 11 points, five goals and one assist. Ellie Pool has eight points, three goals and two assists, while Ashton Cassel is the only other player in double-digit goals with two. Emma Boutorwick has a 7-3-2 record in net for the Rockets with 41 saves on the year and six shutouts.

IUPUI TO FACE MILWAUKEE AND DETROIT MERCY THIS WEEK

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s soccer team enters this week looking to stop a three-game slide as the Jaguars will host #HLWSOC leader Milwaukee on Thursday (Oct. 7) before hitting the road to face Detroit Mercy on Sunday (Oct. 10). The Jaguars dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker at Oakland last week to extend the skid as the Golden Grizzlies tallied the winner in the 85th minute. Playing short-handed, IUPUI (2-9-1, 1-4 HL) got a goal just before halftime from center back Autumn Weeks off a Leah Shumate assist to knot the score at 1-1 at the break. However, after an evenly played half, Oakland scored on a corner kick in the closing minutes to stay undefeated in league play. 

The Jaguars have yet to hit their stride this season as continuity on the field has been rare. The offense was clicking early and scored seven goals in the season’s first two games, but has tallied just five times in nine games since. On the flip side, after yielding eight goals in the season’s first three games, the Jags have allowed just 12 goals in the past eight games. 

Senior Elizabeth Bueckers has a team-high 13 points (6 goals, 1 assist) and Maya Lacognato is next with six points (2 goals, 2 assists). However, Bueckers missed the game at Oakland, corresponding with Sam Slimak’s return from an injury that cost her eight games. Twenty-one different IUPUI players have started at least one game while Lacognato, Weeks and freshman Makenna Collins are the only three to have started all 11 games. In goal, AP Woodall has started nine of the team’s 11 games and posted a 2.13 goals against average and 68 stops. Redshirt freshman Ashton Kudlo was pressed into action during the league slate for two games as Woodall was sidelined. 

PRESEASON POLLS
IUPUI was picked to finish fifth in the league according to the preseason poll released on Aug. 18: Read More

PROBABLE XI (based on the last outing)
GK- AP Woodall, Sr.
D- Makenna Collins, Fr.
D- Grace Moore, Jr.
D- Maya Turner, Jr.
D- Autumn Weeks, Jr.
MF- Renae Blevins, Sr.
MF- Abbie Schad, Jr.
MF- Paige Waskom, Fr.
F- Maya Lacognato, Jr.
F- Sam Slimak, Soph.
F- Carlie Werner, Soph.

FIRSTS
Three IUPUI players have tallied their first collegiate goals this season in junior Ciena Miller, sophomore Sam Slimakand freshman Abbey Renner. Both Miller and Slimak tallied against Marian and Renner scored against Wright State. In addition, Ashton Kudlo registered a shutout in her first match in goal, blanking Purdue Fort Wayne on Sept. 19. 

HEAD COACH CHRIS JOHNSON
Johnson is now in his 19th season on the IUPUI sidelines and owns a 133-166-42 mark with the Jaguars. He spent his first nine years of his coaching career at the University of Indianapolis where he amassed an 81-79-2 mark. All total, Johnson has 214 collegiate wins to his credit.  

SCOUTING MILWAUKEE
Milwaukee is 10-1 overall and 5-0 in Horizon League play, having outscored opponents by a 20-2 margin in league play. Four different Milwaukee players have at least six goals this season, paced by Lesley Kiesling’s eight tallies. Gaby Schwartz has a team-high 15 assists as 16 different players have at least one assist. In goal, Elaina LaMacchia has a 0.43 goals against average and three shutouts on the year. She’s logged a 9-1 record and 24 stops in her 10 appearances. 

SCOUTING DETROIT MERCY
Detroit Mercy is 1-10-1 overall and 0-4-1 in Horizon League play this season. The Titans have been outscored by a 36-10 margin this season in 12 games. Julie Ann Piechocki has a team-high three goals and eight points and she and Erica Leinweber have a team-high two assists. Marisa Silver has played the majority of the team’s minutes in goal with a 1.65 goals against average with 34 saves in her seven starts. 

ALL-TIME SERIES
IUPUI is 1-4-1 all-time against Milwaukee and 0-1 in meetings in Indy. (Series History)
IUPUI is 5-6-4 all-time against Detroit Mercy and 4-4-1 in the nine games in Detroit. (Series History)

UP NEXT
IUPUI will host Green Bay on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Carroll Stadium. 

Killinger, Sycamores announce final three games of the 2021-22 nonconference schedule

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Head Coach Chad Killinger and the Indiana State women’s basketball team released the final three nonconference games of the 2021-22 season on Wednesday afternoon as the Sycamores concluded their schedule slate for the upcoming season.
 
The Sycamores will be on the road on November 26-27 for the Georgia Southern Thanksgiving Classic against Jacksonville State and host Georgia Southern, while Indiana State will welcome the University of Illinois at Chicago to the Hulman Center on December 14.
 
Indiana State will now host four nonconference home games with the full schedule announced. The Sycamores welcome Stephens College (Nov. 9), Eastern Illinois (Nov. 17), and Western Michigan (Dec. 4), in addition to the UIC home game at the Hulman Center.
 
The road portion of the schedule includes trips to Saint Louis (Nov. 14), Western Kentucky (Nov. 24), the Georgia Southern Thanksgiving Classic (Nov. 26-27), Chicago State (Dec. 1), Nebraska (Dec. 11), and Purdue Fort Wayne (Dec. 20).
 
Missouri Valley Conference play opens on the road on December 30 at Drake.
 
Season tickets for the 2021-22 Indiana State women’s basketball season are also on sale now. With Hulman Center at Indiana State returning to full capacity, Sycamore fans can reserve their seats for the upcoming season.
 
Those seeking more information on season tickets can contact Assistant Manager of Athletic Ticketing Austin Bishop by phone at 812-237-8972 or via email at Austin.Bishop@indstate.edu. Fans can also call 877-ISU-TIXS or email ISU-Tickets@indstate.edu. Fans have the opportunity to also buy season tickets online by clicking HERE.

Indiana State Softball Ends Fall Season with Doubleheader Sweep

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State softball finished off their fall slate of games with a sweep of their doubleheader against Wabash Valley College.

The Sycamores won game one 19-0 which included a 16-run fifth inning. Game two was a 14-4 victory to complete the sweep.

“The offense was clicking for us. It’s good to see our hitters’ string quality at-bats together. Our pitchers were able to work out of some jams early on and the defense made some crucial plays behind them. I thought the team played with a lot of energy which helps make us better,” Head coach Mike Perniciaro said.

The games were played at Terre Haute South High School due to ongoing renovations at Price Field.

Game One
Lyndsi Adamson started the game and went three scoreless innings. Lexi Benko would replace her and finish out the game with four innings of work to maintain the shutout.

The Sycamores held a 3-0 lead entering the fifth inning before they exploded for 16 runs, including home runs from Amanda Guercio and Annie TokarekBella Peterson had two doubles in the inning, driving in four runs. TeAnn BringleLexie SiwekIsabella HenningDanielle HenningAbi ChippsCassie Thomerson and Livi Colip all drove in runs help give Indiana State a 19-0 lead.

The game’s final two innings had no runs cross the plate and the Sycamores would take game one 19-0.

Game Two
Cassi Newbanks started and pitched all five innings of game two.

Indiana State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning which included a TeAnn Bringle two-RBI single.

Wabash Valley would score two in the top of the second to make it a 3-2 same. The Sycamores answered quickly with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 6-2 lead. Danielle Henning worked a bases loaded walk to drive in a run and Bella Peterson plated two with a single.

The Sycamores entered the bottom of the fourth inning with a 6-4 lead before batting around and scoring eight runs in the inning to make it 14-4.

The eight-run inning included a two-RBI double from Kennedy Shade and a two-RBI single from Kaylee Barrett.

Newbanks ended the game with a 1-2-3 inning to seal the 14-4 victory.

 Spring Season Awaits
The Sycamores finished their fall schedule with a 7-1 record.

“I really liked the way we competed during our fall season. Our freshmen got some valuable game experience which will help ease their transition into the collegiate level,” Coach Perniciaro said. “We had a lot of learning opportunities that will help us grow as a team. It was great to see our upperclassmen lead and set an example of how to do things the right way.”

Sycamores fall to both Indiana and Kentucky at the Indiana Tri-Meet

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana State fell to both host Indiana and to Kentucky in their first action of the 2021 fall season as the Sycamores competed at the Indiana Tri-Meet at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on Wednesday afternoon.
 
The Sycamores competed in their first action in the 2021 regular season as they opened the regular season with a difficult road contest against Power-5 competition. Indiana State fell to the host Hoosiers, 253-47, while the Sycamores dropped the 251-49 decision to the Wildcats.
 
Wednesday’s competition featured the return to the pool from a number of key returners to the Sycamores roster. Marni Gray (Medley Relay/Butterfly), Rhiannon Wozny (Distance), Sarah Moreau (Distance), Bailey Betzer (Diving), and Sarah Montgomery (Diving) all taking top honors among the Sycamores in a number of different events on the day.
 
The Sycamores also saw a number of newcomers and true freshman make their impact felt in their first collegiate competition in the Blue & White. Junior transfer Carmen Alard Vegas finished as Indiana State’s top performer in both backstroke events, while freshman Chloe Farro was the leader in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. Elle Gilkerson (200 Breaststroke) and Alexandria Cotter (100 Breaststroke, 200 IM) were also tops among the Sycamores in their first collegiate competition.
 
Farro recorded the Sycamores’ top-two individual finishes overall on the day with a pair of sixth-place results in the 50-yard (23.91) and the 100-yard freestyle (52.81) events. Indiana State also utilized the quartet of Kaimi Matsumoto, Farro, Moreau, and Webb to finish fifth overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:33.35.
 
Top ISU Performers in Each Event
200-Yard Medley Relay: Seventh place – Carmen Alard VegasElle GilkersonMarni GrayChloe Farro (1:46.31)
1000-Yard Freestyle: Eighth place – Rhiannon Wozny (10:48.50)
200-Yard Freestyle: Eighth place – Sarah Moreau (1:55.34)
100-Yard Backstroke: Eighth place – Carmen Alard Vegas (57.54)
100-Yard Breaststroke: Ninth place – Alexandria Cotter (1:07.44)
200-Yard Butterfly: Seventh place – Marni Gray (2:08.40)
50-Yard Freestyle: Sixth place – Chloe Farro (23.91)
100-Yard Freestyle: Sixth place – Chloe Farro (52.81)
200-Yard Backstroke: Eighth place – Carmen Alard Vegas (2:06.61)
200-Yard Breaststroke: Eighth place – Elle Gilkerson (2:28.19)
500-Yard Freestyle: Ninth place – Sarah Moreau (5:11.14)
100-Yard Butterfly: Ninth place – Marni Gray (57.30)
200-Yard Individual Medley: Ninth place – Alexandria Cotter (2:09.02)
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Fifth place – Kaimi MatsumotoChloe FarroSarah MoreauEmily Webb (3:33.35)
One-Meter Diving: 13th place – Bailey Betzer (197.00)
Three-Meter Diving: 13th place – Sarah Montgomery (208.05)
 
News, Notes and Record-Watch

  • Chloe Farro’s 50-yard freestyle time (23.91) was the fifth-fastest time in ISU history.
  • Carmen Alard Vegas’ 100-yard backstroke time (57.54) was the fifth-fastest time in ISU history.

Up Next
Indiana State is back in action on Friday, October 15, at the Vigo County Aquatic Center as the Sycamores host the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois. Action begins in the pool at 6 p.m.

MVC Announces Basketball Package on ESPN Networks

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Valley Conference will have an exclusive 41-live event men’s basketball package on ESPN networks during the 2021-22 academic year, Commissioner Jeff Jackson announced today.

The Valley — in its eighth year of a 10-year agreement with ESPN — will clear productions on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3, as well as ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service.

Additional regular-season men’s basketball games produced by MVC institutions will be delivered exclusively through The Valley on ESPN — the league’s co-branded digital network with ESPN available through the ESPN App.

Coverage of men’s basketball begins in November, as five MVC schools will compete in ESPN-controlled, neutral site events.

Indiana State will play in the Myrtle Beach Invitational (Nov. 18, 19 and 21), while both Bradley and Southern Illinois will participate in the Paradise Jam (Nov. 19-22) in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Loyola — 2021 MVC regular-season champion and a Sweet 16 participant in the NCAA Tournament — will play in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 24-26) at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The Ramblers — who posted NCAA Tournament wins over Georgia Tech and regional top seed Illinois — will play Michigan State in their opening game.  Loyola faces a field that includes defending national champion Baylor as well as Connecticut, Auburn, Syracuse and Arizona State.

Drake — an at-large 2021 NCAA Tourney selection — will compete in the ESPN Events Invitational (Nov. 25, 26 and 28) in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The Bulldogs, who beat Wichita State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, open the event against Belmont University, which announced on September 28 that it would be joining The Valley on July 1, 2022.

In terms of regular-season MVC tilts, the league will have four games on ESPN2 and a total of six contests on ESPNU with final network determinations being made in some cases one week prior to competition.

That package begins on Thursday, Dec. 2, when Drake plays host to Valparaiso on ESPNU at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

After a break during the holiday season, the schedule resumes on Sunday, Jan. 2, when Loyola travels to Southern Illinois for an ESPNU tilt at SIU Arena in Carbondale, Illinois.

The league has also selected a 16-game digital exclusive men’s basketball package for distribution on ESPN3 and/or ESPN+ — via computers, smartphones, tablets and TV-connected devices to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.

The slate, which includes 16 league productions, starts on Wednesday, Dec. 1, with 2020 MVC regular-season champion Northern Iowa visiting Bradley, which earned back-to-back State Farm MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament titles in 2019 and 2020.

Postseason coverage from the 2022 State Farm MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament — known uniquely as Arch Madness — in St. Louis includes the opening-round games on March 3 and the quarterfinal contests on March 4.  Those telecasts are distributed on linear platforms Bally Sports Midwest-Indiana-Kansas City and NBC Sports Chicago plus digitally on The Valley on ESPN.

The Arch Madness semifinals on March 5 and the title game on March 6 will be shown on CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports, respectively, as part of a sublicense agreement between ESPN and CBS Sports.

In 2020, the Missouri Valley joined the Big East (New York City) as the only Division I athletics conferences to conduct their men’s basketball tournaments in the same city for 30 or more consecutive years.


 

Valpo Tennis Set to Host MVC Individual Championships

For the third time since Valparaiso University joined the Missouri Valley Conference, the campus will serve as a host site for an MVC Championship event this weekend.

The MVC Individual Tennis Championships will be hosted by the Beacons from Friday, Oct. 8 to Sunday, Oct. 10 at the Valpo Tennis Complex. If weather forces play to move indoors at any point this weekend, The Courts of Northwest Indiana will serve as the alternate site. Play will begin at 9 a.m. each day.

“This is a true honor to be able to host this event,” head coach Bob Modesto said. “We were slated to host last year, but our opportunity to do so was delayed by a year due to COVID-19. We are eager to have everyone from the conference here in Valparaiso. Hosting is a lot of work, but it’s a joyful labor and joyful work. We’re really looking forward to showcasing Valpo and our great facility.”

Individual singles players and doubles teams from Illinois State, UNI, Missouri State, Drake, Bradley and Stony Brook will compete in this weekend’s championship. Individual champions will be awarded in seven singles flights and three doubles flights. The previous instances of Valpo hosting MVC championship events were the Women’s Golf Championship in April 2019 and the Cross Country Championship in November 2019.

The Beacons have enjoyed a successful fall season that started with a 7-0 dual match win over Holy Cross and continued with the Redbird Invite at Illinois State, the ITA Midwest Regional at the University of Illinois and the Rocket Invite at Toledo. After this weekend’s event, they will close out the fall season with a home dual match against Grand Valley State on Saturday, Oct. 16.

“It’s been a phenomenal fall so far,” Modesto said. “Each weekend, we’ve had some great victories. We’ve had some indicators that we’re doing the right things and everyone is moving in the right direction. Our performances at our recent events give us a lot of optimism for this weekend.”

Valpo’s Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) is the top seed in Flight 2 and will receive a first-round bye in this weekend’s event. In addition, Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) enters the weekend one doubles victory away from becoming the program’s all-time recordholder in career doubles victories. She is currently tied with Mara Sonkin (2000-2004) atop the program record book with 55 career doubles wins.

“We’re excited about Olivia being the No. 1 seed in her flight and we’re optimistic about her chances,” Modesto said. “I also feel optimistic about the rest of our team’s chances this weekend. Everyone has been working hard and putting in the necessary time. Our graduate assistant coach Patrick McAuley has been instrumental in helping everyone and has been putting a lot of time in with our players. We’re going into the weekend feeling optimistic about our chances across the board.”

For draws, order of play and additional information on this weekend’s championships, view the Championship Central page at https://www.valpoathletics.com/wtennis/MVCITC/.  

MBB – Men’s Basketball Conference Opener to Air on ESPNU

The new-look Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will receive immediate national television exposure when the Missouri Valley Conference slate gets underway on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Valpo will tip off the MVC portion of the season against Drake at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa in a game that will air nationally on ESPNU. The contest is slated for an 8 p.m. CT start.

The Bulldogs are coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance that featured an opening-round victory over Wichita State. Drake finished the 2020-2021 season at 26-5 and 15-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Valpo and Drake engaged in a pair of compelling games at the Athletics-Recreation Center last season, with the Bulldogs winning 80-77 on Feb. 6 and Valpo prevailing 74-57 on Feb. 7. The Valpo victory ended Drake’s undefeated run at 18-0 and represented Valpo’s fourth triumph over a nationally-ranked opponent in program history.

The Beacons feature five transfers, five freshmen and five returning scholarship players (plus three returning nonscholarship players) on the roster this season.

Valpo is no stranger to national television exposure, as the game at Drake will mark the program’s 65th national television appearance since 2010-11. In addition, this marks the 106th time in that span that Valpo Basketball has appeared on either national or regional television. 

In addition to announcing the ESPNU selection of the Valpo at Drake contest, The Valley also revealed four Valpo appearances on the conference-selected Valley on ESPN package. These games will air on ESPN3 or ESPN+ with MVC on-air talent:

Jan. 15 vs. Missouri State, 6 p.m.

Jan. 19 vs. UNI, 6 p.m.

Feb. 19 at Evansville, 5 p.m.

Feb. 23 vs. Drake, 6 p.m.

The MVC will announce its CBS Sports Network package on Thursday and its MVC TV Network package (Bally Sports Network / NBC Sports Chicago) on Friday. 

Battle For Top of Valley Friday as Volleyball Heads to Loyola

Valparaiso (13-3, 4-1 MVC)
Friday, Oct. 8 – at Loyola (12-5, 5-0 MVC) – 6 p.m.

This Week in Valpo Volleyball: After a busy weekend of action last week, it’s a light slate for the Valpo volleyball team this week, as the Beacons face just a single match – a Friday evening contest at Loyola. The matchup pits the top two teams in the MVC standings against each other.

Previously: Playing at home for the first time this season, Valpo ripped off three victories in a four-day stretch at the ARC, beating Indiana State 3-0 on Friday, Evansville 3-1 on Saturday and Drake 3-2 on Monday.

Looking Ahead: The Beacons hit the road again next weekend for the trip to central Illinois, taking on Bradley on Friday, Oct. 15 before facing Illinois State the next night.

Following the Beacons: Friday’s match will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Links for the live video, as well as live stats for all matches, are available via ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 20th season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery has won 436 matches (436-210, .675) at the helm of the program and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles, as well as three NCAA Tournament appearances. A two-time league Coach of the Year, Avery has coached 55 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 491-234 (.677) record overall as a head coach.

Series History: The second-most common opponent in program history, Valpo and Loyola will meet on the volleyball court for the 51st time on Friday evening. The Ramblers hold a 30-20 advantage in the all-time series, but Valpo leads the series 17-8 under Coach Avery and is 5-3 since joining the MVC. The teams split the season series last season – Loyola took the season opener on its home floor in five sets in a match that Valpo played without a traditional setter, while Valpo answered with a four-set victory a week later at the ARC. Peyton McCarthy had a match-high 16 kills in that win, while Haley Hart posted 12 kills and seven blocks.

Scouting the Opposition: Loyola enters the week as the only team above Valpo in the MVC standings, winning each of its first five conference matches to boost its overall record to 12-5. Picked third in the MVC preseason poll, the Ramblers currently lead the Valley in hitting percentage and kills/set. Individually, Taylor Venuto is second in the conference in hitting percentage (.340) and fourth in blocks/set (1.15).

Valpo Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll: For the fourth time in five seasons as an MVC member, Valpo has been picked to finish in seventh place in the conference standings in preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. Illinois State topped the poll with 79 points and three first-place votes, narrowly edging out Drake, which tallied 77 points, including three first-place votes. Valpo has outperformed its ranking in the preseason poll in each of its first four seasons in the MVC and is one of two programs (Illinois State) to post top-half finishes in the MVC standings in each of the last four seasons.

Looking Back at the Spring: The spring 2021 campaign saw Valpo post an 11-9 record and finish fifth in the MVC standings with a 10-8 mark in conference action. Rylee Cookerly repeated as MVC Libero of the Year, was named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was an AVCA All-Region honoree, while Victoria Bulmahn was tabbed the MVC Freshman of the Year. Included among Valpo’s 11 wins were the program’s first victory over Illinois State since joining the MVC and the first wins in program history over traditional power UNI.

Who’s Back and Who’s New: The Beacons return 10 letterwinners, including four starters and the libero, from the spring 2021 campaign – a group which accounted for 75% of the team’s kills, 90% of aces, 82% of digs and 86% of blocks last season. Valpo also returns a pair of players who didn’t see action last season, while welcoming in one transfer and four freshmen.

Digging Deep: Valpo continued its long tradition of strong back row play in the spring 2021 season, finishing the season ranked third nationally and second in the Valley with 20.37 digs/set. Valpo has ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 10 seasons, including leading the nation with 20.03 digs/set in 2017 to go along with a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. Since the move to 25-point scoring, only seven teams have averaged more than 20 digs/set over the course of a season, and Valpo is the only program to have done it twice. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation with 2,613 total digs – a mark which set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era. Valpo currently sits 25th nationally in digs/set this season.

Strong Start to Conference Play: Valpo’s three wins last weekend in its first three home matches of the season pushed the team’s record to 4-1 through two weeks of MVC action. It matches the program’s best start to MVC play through five matches since joining the Valley, as the 2018 squad also sat at 4-1 five matches into conference action. That year’s team won its sixth match of the MVC slate – ironically also against Loyola – before taking its second loss in match number seven.

13-3: Valpo’s record sits at 13-3 through 16 matches, past the halfway mark of the regular season slate. This marks the ninth time in head coach Carin Avery’s tenure that Valpo has won at least 13 of its first 16 matches of the season, as the program has been 14-2 four times and 13-3 four other times prior to this season. This year’s squad has the distinction of playing the most conference matches within the first 16, though, as the Beacons have already played five MVC contests – only one of the eight other times (2007) had Valpo played even four league matches within the first 16.

Five Stars: After playing five sets in five of the season’s first eight matches, the Beacons had gone nearly a full month without a five-set affair until heading there last time out against Drake. For the sixth time in as many five-set matches this season, it was Valpo standing victorious at the end of the night. The program has now won nine consecutive five-set matches dating back to last season, the longest-such streak in program history. Notably, Valpo was down 2-0 in two of those matches – UCSB and South Alabama – before rallying to win, and faced a match point in two of those matches – Tennessee Tech and South Alabama – as well

Another Trophy For the Collection: The Beacons earned their second tournament championship of the season as they won the SIUE Cougar Classic with victories over SIUE and Western Illinois, pairing it with the trophy they won earlier this year at Tennessee Tech’s Golden Eagle Invitational. Valpo has now won 27 in-season tournament titles under head coach Carin Avery, and this season marks the 11th time in her tenure the program has claimed multiple in-season tournament championships in the same season.

Cookerly Sets Yet Another Mark: Fifth-year libero Rylee Cookerly added one more milestone to her lengthy list of accomplishments last weekend, as Friday night against Indiana State saw her surpass former Illinois State standout Courtney Pence as the MVC record holder for career digs, one week after breaking Taylor Root’s Valpo career record in the category. Cookerly, who would eventually be named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week, then moved up to second place in NCAA history in career digs on Saturday night versus Evansville. Her match-high 26 digs against Drake last time out pushed her career total to 2,833 career digs, as the two-time MVC Libero of the Year tries to make a run at the NCAA all-time record of 3,176.

Hart Earns Weekly Award: After having a strong opening weekend of MVC play, senior middle Haley Hart took her play to another level the second weekend and was honored as the MVC Player of the Week for her performance – her first career weekly award. She posted a match-high 15 kills on .500 hitting and added four blocks in the sweep of Indiana State, and then tied her career best with 16 kills on .355 hitting to go with four blocks in the four-set win over Evansville. Four of the final five points of the match (three kills, one block) came courtesy of Hart after the Beacons trailed the Purple Aces 23-20 in the fourth. Hart – a Second Team All-MVC honoree last season – added 12 kills in Monday’s win over Drake, and through five MVC matches is averaging 3.50 kills/set on .369 hitting and 0.95 blocks/set. With her performance over the last couple weeks, Hart has zoomed into the top-10 in program history in career hitting percentage and currently ranks fifth at .261.

McCarthy Reaches 1,000: With her first kill in Monday’s victory over Drake, fifth-year middle Peyton McCarthy registered the 1,000th kill of her Valpo career, becoming just the 19th player in program history to reach four figures in kills. McCarthy finished the win over the Bulldogs with 15 kills, two days after tallying a match-high 18 kills in the win over Evansville. She has now led Valpo in kills 31 times in her career and the team has posted a 22-9 record when she leads them in kills, including a perfect 5-0 mark this year. McCarthy also set a season high with eight blocks against Drake, capping a weekend in which she had 17 blocks over Valpo’s three wins to push her career total to 385, good for seventh in Valpo history and just three shy of sixth.

Right Sides Step Up: Two of last weekend’s three victories saw Valpo’s right side hitters both have strong performances to help earn victories. In the sweep of Indiana State, Maddy Boyer and Kara Cooper combined for over four kills per set on .290 hitting, as Boyer tallied seven kills and Cooper six. Then, on Monday versus Drake, they combined for 4.6 kills/set on .321 hitting, as Boyer posted a career-best 14 kills and Cooper hit .429 with nine kills and no errors.

Swistek Seizes Opportunity: Freshman Elise Swistek has been a regular at outside hitter over the last few weeks and has taken advantage of the opportunity. After entering last weekend with a season best of eight kills, Swistek posted two double-doubles over the three matches. She helped Valpo sweep Indiana State with 10 kills and 10 digs on Friday, and then went for 11 kills and 14 digs in the Monday win over Drake.

All the Honors: Seven different Valpo players received All-Tournament Team accolades over its four early-season tournaments this season. Juniors Bella Ravotto (MVP) and Gretchen Kuckkan picked up awards for their play at the SIUE Cougar Classic. Senior Jillie Grant represented the Beacons on the All-Tournament Team at Toledo in the third weekend of action. In the second weekend of play at Tennessee Tech, fifth-year middle Peyton McCarthy was named Tournament MVP (and went on to be named MVC Player of the Week) and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by fifth-year setter Brittany Anderson and sophomore setter Victoria Bulmahn. In the opening weekend at Milwaukee, McCarthy and senior middle Haley Hart earned spots on that All-Tournament Team.

Mastodons Head To Highland Heights For Horizon League Game Against NKU

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s soccer team travels to Highlight Heights, Ky. for a Horizon League match against first place Northern Kentucky on Thursday, Oct. 7 (7 p.m.).

Game Day Information
Who: Purdue Fort Wayne (3-5-4, 2-3-0 Horizon League) vs. Northern Kentucky (7-3-2, 5-0-0 Horizon League) 
When: Thursday, October 7 | 7:00 p.m. ET 
Where: NKU Soccer Stadium | Highland Heights, Ky.
Live StatsLink
Weather: 80 percent chance of rain, high of 72 degrees
Horizon League Standings: The Mastodons are tied for fifth place with Green Bay, Youngstown State, and Cleveland State with six points. The top six teams make the Horizon League tournament.

Scouting the Mastodons
The Mastodons enter Thursday’s game with an overall record of 3-5-4 and a 2-3 record in the Horizon League. They are coming off a double overtime loss to Milwaukee by a score of 2-1. The Mastodons are just the third team, and second team in the Horizon League, to score a goal on Milwaukee. As a team, the ‘Dons are fourth in the conference in shots (142), fourth in shots per game (12.50), tied for fourth in the conference in saves (71), and are tied for fourth in fewest goals allowed (18). Individually, Morgan Reitano leads the ‘Dons in goals with three. Two of Reitano’s three goals were game-winning goals, which is tied for second in the conference. Her sister Bella Reitano, along with Mackenzie Evans and Megan Sinnott are second on the team with two goals. The ‘Dons are 3-0 when either Reitano sister scores a goal. Kelsey Gallagher leads the ‘Dons in assists with five. Her assist total is good for fourth in the conference. Samantha Castaneda has started in all 12 games in net for the ‘Dons this season. She is first in the conference in goalie minutes played by over 100 minutes (1169:40), second in total saves (71), second in saves per game (5.92), and tied for second in shutouts (three).

Scouting Northern Kentucky
Northern Kentucky enters Thursday’s game with a 7-3-2 record overall and a 5-0 record in conference. The Norse are tied for first in the Horizon League standings with Milwaukee with 15 points. They are coming off a 3-2 win against Robert Morris back on Oct. 2 in Moon Township, Pa. NKU is on a six-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in the Horizon League. In addition, NKU has not lost a match since Aug. 29 when it lost to Louisville by a score of 3-0. As a team, NKU is tied for second in the conference in fewest goals given up (12), third in shots (158), and have registered an assist on 13 of its 14 goals scored. Individually, Sofia Wilmes leads NKU in goals with four, which is good for 10th in the conference. Two of her four games were game-winning goals, which is tied for second in the conference. Madelyn Koewler and Kaya Vogt lead NKU in assists with three. Mimi Stines has started 11 games in net for NKU. She is first in the conference in shutouts (four).

Series History
The ‘Dons and Norse have met five times prior to Thursday’s match. The Norse own a 4-1 series advantage. The first time these teams met was back on Oct. 23 1999. The most recent matchup between the two teams was back on March. 24, 2021 in Fort Wayne, Ind. when the Norse defeated the ‘Dons by a score of 1-0.
 
Up Next
The Mastodons will be back in action at the Hefner Soccer Complex on Sunday, Oct. 10 (1 p.m.) for a Horizon League match against Wright State. Three of the last five matches for the ‘Dons will be at the Hefner Soccer Complex.

Aces set for night matchup with EKU at Ford Center; Education Day canceled

EVANSVILLE – The University of Evansville women’s basketball team will host Eastern Kentucky at 6 PM on November 17 inside the Ford Center in Evansville, it was announced Wednesday.
 
Due to updated guidelines in local schools, the Education Day game schedule for earlier that day was altered and moved to a night tip-off.
 
Tickets for the contest will be just $3 each and are on sale now. Tickets for non-profit organizations are free and organizations can register for tickets at the link at the top of the release. Non-profits who claim 10-or-more tickets will receive recognition on the videoboard during the game.
 
Evansville is set for an exciting season in the first year under the direction of head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells as the Aces return more than 80% of their scoring, including the top three scorers, while adding seven newcomers that represent four different nations.
 
The contest with EKU caps-off a three-game homestand that opens the 2021-22 slate beginning Nov. 9 against Austin Peay, followed by Oakland City on Nov. 14, both inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse, leading into the Ford Center matchup with EKU.

GAMEDAY GUIDE: #6 MARIAN TRAVELS TO #14 INDIANA WESLEYAN

INDIANAPOLIS – Coming off a road win at Taylor, the No. 6 Marian football team travels back to Grant county for their second consecutive road game as they travel to No. 14 Indiana Wesleyan this Saturday. 

THE GAME AND SERIES

Marian is 2-0 all-time against Indiana Wesleyan, winning both of the inagural home and away matchups. Marian won the first game of the series at IWU in 2019, holding off a late IWU surge with a 33-21 win. The Knights won their last meeting in the series 23-14 on March 13 this spring, going ahead at halftime on a Jacob Presslertouchdown grab. 

WATCH AND FOLLOW ALONG

Those fans unable to attend Saturday’s game can watch live either on the IWU Wildcats Stretch Internet page or on ESPN3. Fans can also find live statistics here. Live updates of the game will be posted on the official Marian Athletics Twitter page @MUKnights.

TICKETS

General admission tickets for adults ages 18 and over cost $12, while student tickets for ages 5-17 are $6. Children under the age of six are free. Gates for Saturday’s contest will open at 11:30 AM, and tickets can be purchased at the gate. 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The Knights enter the game on a four-game winning streak, and will play their first ranked opponent of the 2021 season in No. 14 Indiana Wesleyan. Marian holds a 0.5 game lead in the MSFA Mideast League, and will look to hold it after Saturday’s contest. 

In the game Jalen Jennings will have a chance to set a single season record, needing nine kick return yards to break the season record. Jennings would have the record in the fewest amount of returns in a season, entering play with 516 yards, the second best number in the NAIA. Daylen Taylorwill also look to crack the Marian record books, entering the game just 30 yards outside of the top-10 rushing list. Johnny Williamwill also add to his Marian legacy on Saturday, needing one yard to break a tie with Krishawn Hogan for the third all-time spot in all-purpose yards. 

WOMEN’S SOCCER: WEEKEND PREVIEW

The Indiana University East women’s soccer team is set to battle a pair of River States Conference foes at home this week.

First up is Indiana University Kokomo at Centerville High School on Thursday, Oct. 7. The match gets underway at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, the Red Wolves play the opener of the doubleheader with Brescia University. The women’s contest is at 1 p.m., while the men play at 3:30 p.m.

IU East is 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the conference. IU Kokomo is 3-6-1, 3-2.

Brescia is 2-7, 1-4 heading into Thursday night’s match in Kentucky against St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.

FOLLOW THE MATCH

Admission to home matches for IU East soccer is free.

The GPS address for Centerville High School is 507 Willow Grove Road in Centerville, Ind. The soccer field is in the southwest portion of the CHS campus, adjacent to the tennis courts and baseball field.

Live video and live stats for the match are scheduled to be available.

Monitor iueredwolves.com for the postmatch recap and box score.

YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

* With the postponement of the Oakland City University match last weekend, the Red Wolves have not played since a 1-0 loss at home to the University of Rio Grande on Sept. 25.

Kimberly Trapp leads the Red Wolves with 12 points on five goals and two assists.

* The all-time series between IU East and IU Kokomo is tied at 1-1. The Red Wolves won 1-0 last spring on the road, while IU Kokomo won by the same score in Centerville in 2019.

* Keely Hoopingarner is the top scorer for IU Kokomo with nine points coming on four goals and one assist.

* IU Kokomo is coming off a 2-1 loss at Point Park University last Saturday, Oct. 2.

* Duda Feres tops Brescia with two goals.

Men’s Soccer: Bossman Delivers Game-Winner in Double Overtime

The Anderson University men’s soccer team saw itself entering double overtime for the third straight game on Wednesday. This time it was against the Earlham College Quakers on the AU Soccer Fields for Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) match-up. Jordan Bossman (Gahanna, Ohio / Westerville North) proved to be the man of the game, leading the Ravens to a 2-1 victory.

First half action saw offensive pressure from both sides of the field. Both teams recorded a shot within the first 10 minutes of the match, with the Ravens’ (4-6-2, 1-0-2) going just right and the Quakers’ (0-10, 0-3) shot being saved by Josh Brown (Thompson’s Station, Tenn. / Columbia Academy). A battle ensued between the two teams, both applying offensive and defensive pressure on the other team. As the half was ending, it seemed as if the game was going to go into halftime tied 0-0, but the Quakers had different plans. Patrick Elster of Earlham shot the bar from far out, sending the ball past the Ravens defense as it bounced into the goal. Heading into halftime, the Ravens trailed the Quakers 1-0.

The Ravens came out strong in the second half, firing off four shots in the first five minutes. From that point on, the battle continued between the Ravens and Quakers as it became a physical game. Between the 61st and 68th minute, six fouls were called between the two teams, leading to multiple free kicks.

Then, in the 69th minute the game tying goal came for the Ravens. The play started with Dalton Grubbs (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) receiving the ball on the right side of the field after making an overlapping run. Grubbs then got the ball past his defender and crossed the ball on the ground to Usman Kamara (Indianapolis, Ind. / Franklin Central). Kamara’s attempt was blocked by a Quaker defender, but fortunately for the Ravens, the ball bounced into Jordan Bossman‘s direction. Bossman took a one touch shot to send the ball into the back of the net between the keepers’ hands and the right goal post. With 21 minutes remaining, the game was tied up 1-1.

Anderson shots and fouls from both sides filled the remaining minutes. The Ravens took five shots to try to secure the victory, but fell short in regulation. For the third straight HCAC game, the Ravens found themselves playing extra soccer.

The first 10 minutes of overtime would come and go with neither team finding the back of the net. The Ravens took three opportunities, while the Quakers took one. Two of the Ravens’ three shots were saved by Quaker goalkeeper Tyler Smith, while Josh Brown saved the Quakers’ only shot.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, The Ravens had all eyes on goal. Then, in the 105th minute, Brayden Humbert (Brownsburg, Ind. / Brownsburg) made an over-the-top pass from behind the half-field line to a running Usman Kamara. Kamara took a jumping touch to get the ball past the last defender. Earlham goalkeeper Tyler Smith made a huge initial save for the Quakers to keep Kamara from scoring. After that, the Quakers would attempt to clear the ball, but Jordan Bossman was there to intercept the pass inside the 18-yard box. Bossman took one more touch to bring the ball towards the corner of the 6-yard box, then fired the shot into the opposite, lower left corner of the goal for a Ravens golden goal victory!

The Ravens ended the game with a total of 21 shots compared to the Quakers six. 12 of the Ravens shots were on goal while five of the Quakers were. Usman Kamara led the Ravens with six shots, four on goal. He was followed by Caleb Gonser (Terre Haute, Ind. / Terre Haute South) with five shots, one on goal. Then it was Jordan Bossman, who hit each of his four shots on frame, and found the back of the net twice. Matthew Murray (Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike) and Victor Silva (Paramount, Calif. / St. Matthias Catholic) each had two shots, with both of Murray’s on frame. Rounding out the Ravens shots were Drew Vaughn (Beavercreek, Ohio / Beavercreek) and Dalton Grubbs each taking one shot and hitting it on frame. Usman Kamara and Dalton Grubbs each produced assists. Jaxon Gillig (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) and Drew Vaughn both picked up three intercepts for the Ravens and Caleb Opoku (Columbus, Ohio / Worthington) made three steals against the Quakers.

Head Coach Scott Fridley had the following to say after the match: “I am proud of the boys for not giving up. After getting down one in the first half and playing pretty well, we made some chances for us to find success in the backend of the game. Jordan [Bossman] is a smooth player and does a great job of finding opportunities. I think Usman [Kamara] created a lot of issues for their defense. Those are three tough points to get.”

Anderson will be back in action on Saturday, hosting the Mount St. Joseph University Lions (2-9, 1-2) for Homecoming day. The match is set to start at 3PM on the AU Soccer Fields. Before the game, the men’s and women’s team will be having a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:45PM on the AU Soccer Fields to mark the completion of Stage 1 of the AU Soccer Stadium project.

Anderson Smashes Earlham in HCAC Match

The Anderson University women’s soccer team smashed Earlham College with a 4-0 victory during Wednesday’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) matchup in Richmond.

Action started early for the Ravens (4-5-1, 3-0) as Taylor Fort (Pendleton, Ind. / Pendleton Heights) was fouled inside the 18-yard box during the third minute. Fort took the penalty kick for the Ravens and delivered the goal, giving Anderson a 1-0 lead. The match remained at 1-0 for the remainder of the half.

During the 60th minute, an Earlham (1-8, 0-3) defender tried to clear the ball out of the Quaker defensive quarter. The ball accidentally bounced off another Earlham defender and went back into the goal for an own goal, giving Anderson a 2-0 lead.

Four minutes later, Fort made a drive on the left side of the 6-yard box. She turned and made the pass to Lillie Casey (Loveland, Ohio / Goshen), who converted the goal. During the 69th minute, Casey had the ball above the 18-yard box on the top left side. Casey fired the shot from at least 25 yards away and found the back of the next. The freshman from Loveland, Ohio scored two goals for the second match in a row.

“It was great to come out in the second half with new focus and energy,” Coach Jennifer Myhre said. “We found our rhythm again and started to play quicker and make smarter decisions with the ball. Those were great balls by Lillie and quality strikes, especially the last one. I was pleased with how we kept a clean sheet and finished the second half strong.”

The Ravens defense limited Earlham to just five shots and two shots on goal. Emmalee Paarlberg (Franklin, Ohio / Homeschool) started the first half and saved both of the shots she faced. During the second half, Mallory Housman (Evansville, Ind. / Memorial) served in goal for 25 minutes while Meg White (Greenwood, Ind. / Center Grove) served in goal for 20 minutes. Earlham did not register a shot on goal in the second half.

The Ravens outshot the Quakers 25-5 and held a 13-2 advantage in shots on goal. Fort produced five shots and four shots on goal. Casey recorded five shots and three shots on goal. Anhely Montes (Portland, Ind. / Jay County) put both of her shots on frame. Taylor Baker (Springfield, Ohio / Catholic Central) contributed three shots and one shot on goal. Jessica Pulaski (Centerville, Ohio / Centerville) and Izzy Wilson (Decatur, Ind. / Bellmont) tallied two shots apiece. Brooke Neu (West Chester, Ohio / Lakota West) and Riley Schultz (Circleville, Ohio / Logan Elm) each produced a shot on goal while Lauren Brown (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead), Corissa Horton (Fountaintown, Ind. / Triton Central), Harper Manion (Lebanon, Ohio / Bishop Fenwick) and Kaitlyn Revell (Louisville, Ky. / Assumption) each added shots.

The Ravens host Mount St. Joseph University (6-7, 3-0) for Homecoming and Senior Day on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the AU Soccer Fields. Following the match, the AU Soccer programs will be celebrating the completion of Stage 1 of the AU Soccer Stadium project with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

RHIT Women’s Soccer – Rose-Hulman 4, Franklin 0

FRANKLIN, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 2-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s soccer play with a convincing 4-0 victory at Franklin College on Wednesday night.

Kiley McKee opened the scoring in the 39th minute for the eventual game winning score.

Alicia Rodriguez made the score 2-0 at the break with a tally in the 43rd minute.  Elsa King and Endia Clark assisted on the score.

Christina Rogers added a goal in the 70th minute, and Elle Vuotto rounded out the scoring in the 72nd minute on an assist from Lane Lawrence.

Natalie Dillon recorded the shutout, and the Fightin’ Engineers outshot Franklin 17-2 on the evening.  Vuotto had a team-high four shots.

Rose-Hulman improved to 6-4-1 on the season, while Franklin dropped to 2-8 and 1-2 in league games.  The Fightin’ Engineers return to action on Saturday at 1 pm with the a Homecoming matchup against Defiance College.

RHIT Men’s Soccer – Rose-Hulman 2, Franklin 0

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 3-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s soccer action with a 2-0 victory over Franklin College on Wednesday night.

After a scoreless first half, the Fightin’ Engineers scored a pair of second half goals.  Tatenda Mafa found the back of the net in the 57th minute, courtesy of a crossing pass from Owen Trudt.

The lead reached 2-0 later in the first half, when Luke Dawdy scored courtesy of a pass from Tyler Eldridge.

Rose-Hulman controlled much of the action, outshooting Franklin 17-8 in the match.

Matt Fix led the Rose-Hulman offense with four shots, and Eldridge added three.  Evan Hofer recorded his second straight shutout with 

The Fightin’ Engineers improved to 6-4-1 overall and 3-0 in HCAC play, while Franklin dropped to 2-7-1 and 0-2-1 in league games.  Rose-Hulman returns to action on Saturday with a home matchup against Defiance College at 3:30 pm.

RHIT Volleyball Falls at MSJ

CINCINNATI, OHIO — Mount St. Joseph improved to 11-6 overall and 1-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in volleyball action on Wednesday night.

Elizabeth Canon led the Rose-Hulman with eight kills, and Sophia Koop added seven kills and a team-high three service aces.

Sophia Harrison paced the Engineers with 14 assists and also had two service aces.

Defensively, Allie Fults led the team with three blocks.  Kylie Rathbun added 11 digs, and Claudia Rowan reached double figures with 10 digs.

Rose-Hulman stands 9-9 overall and 1-1 in HCAC play heading into Saturday’s doubleheader against Transylvania and Otterbein in Lexington.

Preview: Football heads to Rose-Hulman for pivotal HCAC contest

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover football team gears up for a pivotal Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match-up at Rose-Hulman on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 2:00 PM.
 
HOW WE GOT HERE
The Panthers enter the contest at 2-2 overall after winning their HCAC opener against Anderson last weekend, 49-0. Hanover was paced in the contest by junior Devonte Hardiman (Princeton, Ind.) with six total tackles, including three solo. The junior added two sacks for a combined 12 yards and a forced fumble. Hanover combined for 527 total yards of offense, averaging 7.4 yards per play.
 
RECORDS ARE MEANT TO BROKEN
Senior Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) continues to etch his name into the record books as he became the Hanover all-time rushing touchdown leader with 43. The senior entered homecoming weekend tied with former Panther Anthony Brantley who set the record of 41 in 1973-77.
 
THE MATCH-UP
The Panthers have claimed the last three meetings, including last spring’s nail-biting victory over the Fightin’ Engineers 27-24. The contest came down to the final seconds as the Panthers were able to drive 43-yards on seven plays to set-up a 29-yard field goal. Dating back to the 2010 season, Rose-Hulman holds the slim 6-5 margin with their last win coming in 2017 as they beat the Panthers 38-28.
 
INSIDE THE STATS
Hanover enters the contest averaging 29.50 points per game, while holding opponents to just 23.5 ppg. Leading the offensive charge is the running back duo of Coane and senior Walt Ballinger (Beech Grove, Ind.). Through four games, Ballinger is averaging a team-best 5.3 yards per carry with four touchdowns.
 
The Fightin’ Engineers come in averaging 34.25 points per game, while only allowing 26.0 ppg to their opponents. Leading the attack is Shane Welshans with a 176 total rushing yards and four touchdowns. Under center, Andrew Dion has taken most of the snaps as he has tallied 1,308 total yards with 11 touchdown passes.

Women’s Tennis: Long Selected as HCAC Athlete of the Week

Anderson University women’s tennis standout Megan Long (New Palestine, Ind. / New Palestine) was selected as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Athlete of the Week, which was announced by the conference on Tuesday.

Long was named HCAC Athlete of the Week for the second time in her career.

Anderson (6-4, 2-1) went 2-0 on the week. The Ravens took down Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (2-4, 2-2) in HCAC action with a 7-2 victory on Thursday in Terre Haute. Anderson then recorded an 8-1 win against Albion College (0-2) on Saturday in Albion, Mich.

Long finished 4-0 on the week, going 2-0 at No. 2 singles and 2-0 at No. 2 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Long and Madelyn Brown (Sellersburg, Ind. / Christian Academy of Indiana) locked up an 8-4 win against Rose-Hulman’s Ella Dorfmueller/Krista Manche. Long then recorded a 6-3, 6-0 win against Dorfmueller at No. 2 singles. Against Albion, Long/Brown opened Saturday with an 8-1 victory against Saige Jost/Josie Dunn at No. 2 doubles. Long then took a 6-2, 6-0 win against Katie Valade at No. 2 singles.

The Ravens clash with Manchester University (0-9, 0-4) in HCAC action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in North Manchester.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | No. 7 Marian Tops No. 17 Taylor in Top-25 Showdown

INDIANAPOLIS – A pair of NAIA Top-25 programs squared off on Wednesday evening with the top spot in the Crossroads League standings on the line and the host No. 7 Marian squad defended its home court and undefeated record with a 25-21, 25-15, 27-25 win over the No. 17 Trojans.

The action was contested throughout the evening with TU remaining as close as 22-20 in the first set, before the Knights (20-0, 12-0 CL) finished off the 25-21 win. MU carried that momentum into a hot start in the second game and took a lopsided 25-15 victory for a two-set lead.

Taylor rebounded in the third, going toe-to-toe with the hosts once again and remaining within striking distance after a 5-0 spurt opened a 13-8 lead for Marian. The gap grew slightly at 20-14, before TU erupted for eight of the next nine tallies. Kills from Stephaney Fifield and Amanda Adams capped the rally and pushed the Trojans to a 22-21 advantage.

Marian countered with the next three points of the contest to push Taylor to the brink at 24-22, but a Knight error and a Grace Isaacs kill knotted the margin once again. That would be Taylor’s final push however, as MU held off the Purple and Gold in the final set for a 27-25 win and match sweep.

Isaacs put on a show for Taylor with 12 kills, two blocks and a .417 percentage, while Adams added 13 kills. Fifield was steady once again with 23 digs and Kacy Bragg posted 32 assists, 17 digs and two blocks.

No. 17 Taylor (21-4, 10-2 CL) will look to bounce back on Friday night inside Odle Arena against IU East (12-7) in a 6:00 pm non-league tilt.

Men’s Tennis: Nation Named HCAC Athlete of the Week

Anderson University men’s tennis standout Seth Nation (Middletown, Ind. / Shenandoah) was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Athlete of the Week, which was announced by the conference on Tuesday.

Nation received conference athlete-of-the-week honors for the second time this season and the third time in his career.

Anderson (6-1) captured a 7-2 victory against Albion College (1-1) on Saturday in Albion, Mich.

Nation won both of his matches. At No. 2 doubles, Nation partnered with Peter Hallam (Fishers, Ind. / Fishers) to secure an 8-4 victory against Danny McGarry/Matthew Czarnecki. Nation then put together a 7-5, 7-5 victory against Drake Malcolm at No. 3 singles.

The Ravens are set to battle Adrian College (2-0) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Indianapolis at the Riviera Club.

Softball: Fourteen Ravens Earn NFCA Scholar Athlete Honors for 2020-21 Season

Fourteen Anderson University softball players earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar Athlete honors for the 2020-21 season, which was announced by the NFCA on Tuesday.

Brianna Bell (Pendleton, Ind. / Pendleton Heights), Jayden Brown (Pendleton, Ind. / Pendleton Heights), Mabrey Buis (Farmland, Ind. / Monroe Central), Chloe Closser (Pendleton, Ind. / Pendleton Heights), Aimee Cook (Anderson, Ind. / Anderson Preparatory Academy), Ally Hall (Pendleton, Ind. / Pendleton Heights), Taylor Johnson (Danville, Ind. / Covenant Christian), Anna Jones (Lebanon, Ind. / Western Boone), Alexis Kern (Elkhart, Ind. / Concord), Ariel Lee (West Manchester, Ohio / National Trail), Kyleigh Lowry (Noblesville, Ind. / Noblesville), Alysa Marcin (Elkhart, Ind. / Concord), Faith Muterspaugh (Middletown, Ind. / Shenandoah) and Mickala Winans (Anderson, Ind. / Pendleton Heights) were each named NFCA Scholar Athletes. The NFCA recognized softball players that compiled at least a 3.50 for the 2020-21 academic year.

Anderson was also selected as an NFCA Academic Team. The NFCA recognized softball teams with at least a 3.0 team GPA for the 2020-21 academic year.

Brandi Jones Wins River States Conference Fall Preview

FLORENCE, Ind. – Brandi Jones earned her second individual victory of the fall season on Tuesday as she took home individual medalist honors at the River States Conference Fall Preview, played at the Belterra Golf Club. 
 
Jones was in a three-way tie after the first round of action after shooting a three-over 75. The graduate student carded a second round 78 for a two-round total of 153, giving her the victory by one stroke. Jones led the entire field in par three scoring, going two-under for the tournament.
 
Sarah Williams shot a second round 83, giving her a tournament total of 165, good for a 13th place finish. 
 
Freshman Ella Fanning trimmed five strokes off her first round 96 to shoot 91 in her first visit to Belterra Golf Club. Fanning carded eight pars in the tournament and finished in 28th place. 
 
Olivia Waymouth was 12 strokes better on day two, moving up a spot to finish in 44th place. The sophomore finished the tournament with five pars. 
 
The Cougars will return to action on Monday and Tuesday as they compete in the Battle at Stonehenge in Warsaw, Indiana. 

MEN’S SOCCER DROPS MATCH AGAINST SAINT XAVIER TUESDAY

CROWN POINT, Ind. — The Indiana University Northwest men’s soccer team was unable to come up with the victory as the host RedHawks lost a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference match to Saint Xavier Tuesday.

TEAM RECORDS
Saint Xavier 7-6-0 (5-3-0 CCAC) | IU Northwest 1-9-0 (0-9-0 CCAC)

HALF BREAKDOWN 
FIRST HALF: Saint Xavier 1, IU Northwest 0

  • Saint Xavier wasted no time going on the attack in the seventh minute but the shot attempt was saved.
  • Trevor Wittelooked to give IU Northwest a 1-0 lead but his shot went wide in the 20th minute.
  • A few minutes later, the Cougars made it 1-0 after Dorian Mahone found the back of the net.
  • Martin Palmahad a huge scoring opportunity as he went on the attack but his shot sailed just high of the goal.
  • In the 37th minute, Sami Issalooked to tie it but his shot went high.
  • Moments later, Witte tried again but this time it went wide right in the 40th minute. 
  • Right before half, Palma tried to tie it up at 1-all but his shot attempt was saved by the goalkeeper.
  • Fernando Ramos made three saves in the first half.

SECOND HALF: Saint Xavier 2, iU Northwest 0

  • SXU made it 2-0 early in the second half during the 48th minute.
  • Moments later in the 62nd minute, Ricardo Avalos tripled the lead and made it 3-0 SXU.
  • Ramos added three more saves in the second half to make it six total.

FINAL SCORE: Saint Xavier 3, IU Northwest 0

UP NEXT 

  • IU Northwest Men’s Soccer will be back in action Friday, October 8 as the RedHawks host Lincoln College at the Crown Point Sportsplex starting at 4 p.m. CT.

Vincennes golf takes fourth-place at MWAC Fall Championships

JASPER, Ind. – The Vincennes University golf team hosted the Mid-West Athletic Conference (MWAC) Fall Golf Championships Monday morning at Sultan’s Run Golf Course in Jasper, Ind.

The Trailblazers came away with a fourth-place finish as a team, with three golfers placing in the Top-15 and two in the Top-10 individually.

Sophomore Bryce Kirchner (North Vernon, Ind.) was the low-man for Vincennes Monday, battling back after a first round 76 to shoot a one-over 73 in this second round of the day.

Freshman Paxton Schwomeyer (Oakland City, Ind.) finished his first round with an even par 72, before shooting a 79 to close out his day.

Freshman Zeke Niehaus (Evansville, Ind.) improved by one shot from his opening round score, shooting a 78 in the morning and a 77 in the afternoon.

Freshmen Luke VanDeventer (Columbus, Ind.) and Sam Stewart (Floyds Knob, Ind.) rounded out the Trailblazer five, with VanDeventer shooting an 82 in round one and a 79 in the afternoon.

Stewart showed the largest improvement from one round to another, finishing round one with an 86 before finishing the day with a 79.

The VU Golf team will wrap up their 2021 Fall Schedule Sunday, Oct. 10 when the Blazers travel to Robinson, Ill. to take part in the Lincoln Trail Fall Invitational at Quail Creek Country Club.

TEAM RESULTS

Parkland – 293, 295 – 588

Heartland – 289, 309 – 598

Illinois Central – 306, 303 – 609

VINCENNES – 308, 308 – 616

Danville Area – 325, 312 – 637

Lewis & Clark – 320, 336 – 656

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

Bryce Kirchner – 76, 73 – 149

Paxton Schwomeyer – 72, 79 – 151

Zeke Niehaus – 78, 77 – 155

Luke VanDeventer – 82, 79 – 161

Sam Stewart – 86, 79 – 165

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1904       Jack Chesbro gets his 41st win of the season when the Highlanders beat Boston in New York, 3-2. Happy Jack’s win-total is considered the modern era major league mark for the most victories in a season.

1905       Fred Odwell hits his ninth and final home run of the season, an inside-the-park round-tripper of Cardinal right-hander Buster Brown at Robison Field, making the Reds’ outfielder the National League’s home run champion. ‘Fritz’ hit just one last year as a rookie, and after leading the majors this season, will not hit another round-tripper for the remainder of his career, a span of 154 games.

1911       In their last game played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, the Red Sox beat the Senators, 8-1. Anticipating a cancellation due to the cold, damp weather and a muddy field, only 850 patrons attend the 82-minute contest, but Boston owner John I. Taylor kept his promise of having a “Kids’ Day,” giving free admission to hundreds of children attending the season finale.

1925       Before Game 1 of the World Series at Forbes Field, Commissioner Landis orders the Pirates and the Senators to wear black armbands in memory of former Giants legend Christy Matthewson, who died this morning at Saran Lake (NY) of tuberculosis. Although the practice will become a common occurrence, this marks the first time in major league history that teams have altered their uniform to acknowledge a fellow ballplayer’s passing.

1935       In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 6, the Tigers win their first World Series in franchise history when Goose Goslin singles home Mickey Cochrane to give the team a dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory over the Cubs. Tommy Bridges goes the distance, giving up 12 hits, to get the Navin Field victory.

1939       In Game 3 at Crosley Field, Charlie Keller becomes the first rookie to hit two home runs in the same World Series game. The 22-year-old outfielder’s round-trippers in the first and fifth innings, both off starter Junior Thompson, help the Yankees beat the Reds, 7-3.

1950       Rookie hurler Whitey Ford, with ninth-inning help from Allie Reynolds, beats the Phillies, 5-2, as the Yankees complete the World Series sweep of Philadelphia’s ‘Whiz Kids.’ Jerry Coleman wins the Babe Ruth Award as the series MVP.

1952       In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.

1961       The Yankees win Game 3 of the World Series, beating the hometown Reds at Crosley Field, 3-2. The decisive blow is Roger Maris’ home run leading off the top of the ninth inning off Cincinnati starter Bob Purkey.

1964       Bob Uecker, who had been shagging out in left field, tries his hand at catching batting practice balls with a tuba when an unsuspecting member of a Dixieland band leaves it unattended. Much to the delight of the crowd, the comedic Cardinals backup catcher is successful in two of his six attempts to snag a fly ball in the mouth of the instrument, but the owner, who is not amused, asks the team for $250 to cover the cost of repairing the dented brass.

1969       The Cardinals trade Curt Flood, Byron Browne, Joe Hoerner, and Tim McCarver to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Dick Allen, Jerry Johnson, and Cookie Rojas. When Flood refuses to report to Philadelphia, St. Louis will send Willie Montanez and a minor leaguer to complete the trade, but the outfielder’s courageous challenge to the reserve clause will have a dramatic impact on the game.

1977       The Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium in Game 3 of the NLCS. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.

1978       In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game-winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.

1984       In a game best remembered for Cubs first baseman Leon Durham’s seventh-inning error on an easy ground ball, the Padres win the NLCS when Tony Gwynn’s seventh-inning two-run double breaks a 3-3 tie en route to a 6-3 victory at Jack Murphy Stadium. Chicago had a 2-0 game advantage and a 3-0 lead in the decisive Game 5 but could not end their thirty-nine year World Series appearance drought.

1988       The Yankees replace manager Lou Piniella, who had taken over for the fired Billy Martin in June with Dallas Green. The former Phillies’ skipper will compile a 56-65 record (.463) before being fired in August after calling George Steinbrenner ‘Manager George’ due to the team owner meddling with the team.

1995       In Game 4 of the ALDS, Edgar Martinez’s eighth-inning grand slam breaks a 6-6 tie with the Yankees at the Kingdome. The Mariner DH’s round-tripper, considered by many the biggest in franchise history, is the difference in Seattle’s eventual 11-10 victory, forcing a decisive Game 5.

1995       With a 10-4 victory over Colorado, the Braves win their Division Series behind the solid pitching of Greg Maddux and the power provided by Fred McGriff’s two home runs. The eventual World champs will sweep Cincinnati in the NLCS before beating Cleveland in the Fall Classic

1996       In a game best remembered for Cubs first baseman Leon Durham’s seventh-inning error on an easy ground ball, the Padres win the NLCS when Tony Gwynn’s seventh-inning two-run double breaks a 3-3 tie en route to a 6-3 victory at Jack Murphy Stadium. Chicago had a 2-0 game advantage and a 3-0 lead in the decisive Game 5 but could not end their thirty-nine year World Series appearance drought.

2000       Benny Agbayani’s 13th inning home run ends the longest LDS game ever played, 5 hours, and 22 minutes. The dramatic round-tripper by the Mets outfielder, who was voted the 36th greatest athlete from Hawaii by Sports Illustrated, gives New York a 3-2 victory and a 2-1 series advantage over the Giants.

2001       On the last day of the season, Rickey Henderson bloops a double down the right-field line off Rockies’ hurler John Thomson to become the 25th major leaguer to collect 3000 hits. Tony Gwynn, who is playing in his last major league game and is also a member of the 3000 hit club, meets the Padre outfielder at home plate in front of a sellout crowd at Qualcomm Park.

2001       Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right-field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.

2005       The White Sox complete a three-game postseason sweep of the Red Sox, defeating the defending World Series champion in Game 3 of the ALDS, 5-3. The Fenway Park victory marks the first time the Pale Hose have won a postseason series since 1917.

2006       Three years after enduring a 119-loss season, the wild-card Tigers upset the much-favored Yankees to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 1987. After beating New York 8-3 to take the ALDS 3 games to 1, the Detroit players start spraying champagne on fans at Comerica Park, who have suffered through 12 consecutive losing seasons and a tough month of September before the team wins their first postseason series in 19 years.

2006       The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.

2007       George Steinbrenner makes it clear if the Yankees do not get past the first round of playoffs against the Indians, Joe Torre’s job, the longest-tenured manager under the Boss’s ownership, will be in jeopardy. Trailing the ALDS 2-0, the team responds for their popular skipper with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over the Tribe at the Stadium.

2010       With only 17 instances of a manager getting tossed in postseason history, two occurrences happen on the same day when the Rays’ Joe Maddon and Twins’ Ron Gardenhire are both ejected from different ALCS games. The Tampa Bay skipper gets the heave-ho in the fifth frame in a game against Texas for arguing a check swing with home plate umpire Jim Wolf, and the Minnesota pilot suffers the same fate with Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing balls and strikes in the seventh inning in the contest against the Yankees.

2018       At the age of 20 years and 293 days, Ronald Acuña Jr. becomes the youngest player in MLB history to hit a postseason grand slam, going deep off Walker Buehler in the second inning of the Braves’ 6-5 victory over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS. Yankee legend Mickey Mantle previously held the record being 21 years, 349 days old when he went deep with the bases loaded in Game 5 of the 1953 World Series.

2018       Uni-President Lions pitcher Ryan Verdugo throws nine perfect innings, but the southpaw does not leave the mound a winner in the scoreless contest against the Chinatrust Brothers. When third baseman Kuo Fu-Lin leads off the ninth inning with a walk-off home run, the former Kansas City Royal hurler will earn his perfect game, the first in the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s history.

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Buffalo Bills310.7500.0134442-1-01-0-02-1-01-0-03 W
Miami Dolphins130.2502.0621090-2-01-1-01-3-01-1-03 L
New England Patriots130.2502.071700-3-01-0-01-1-01-1-02 L
New York Jets130.2502.047941-1-00-2-01-2-00-1-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Los Angeles Chargers310.7500.095741-1-02-0-02-0-02-0-02 W
Denver Broncos310.7500.083491-1-02-0-02-1-00-0-01 L
Las Vegas Raiders310.7500.01041002-0-01-1-03-1-00-1-01 L
Kansas City Chiefs220.5001.01341251-1-01-1-01-2-00-1-01 W
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Cincinnati Bengals310.7500.092752-0-01-1-02-0-01-0-02 W
Baltimore Ravens310.7500.0105921-0-02-1-02-1-00-0-03 W
Cleveland Browns310.7500.0100672-0-01-1-01-1-00-0-03 W
Pittsburgh Steelers130.2502.067930-2-01-1-01-2-00-1-03 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tennessee Titans220.5000.0951111-1-01-1-01-1-01-0-01 L
Houston Texans130.2501.0671161-1-00-2-01-2-01-0-03 L
Indianapolis Colts130.2501.083970-2-01-1-01-1-00-1-01 W
Jacksonville Jaguars040.0002.0741150-2-00-2-00-3-00-1-04 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Dallas Cowboys310.7500.0126972-0-01-1-02-1-01-0-03 W
Washington Football Team220.5001.01011221-1-01-1-02-0-01-0-01 W
Philadelphia Eagles130.2502.0941060-2-01-1-01-2-00-1-03 L
New York Giants130.2502.083950-2-01-1-01-2-00-1-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Arizona Cardinals4001.0000.0140851-0-03-0-02-0-01-0-04 W
Los Angeles Rams310.7501.0115992-1-01-0-02-1-00-1-01 L
Seattle Seahawks220.5002.01031000-1-02-1-01-1-01-0-01 W
San Francisco 49ers220.5002.01071020-2-02-0-02-2-00-1-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Green Bay Packers310.7500.0951002-0-01-1-02-1-01-0-03 W
Chicago Bears220.5001.064912-0-00-2-01-1-01-0-01 W
Minnesota Vikings130.2502.094921-1-00-2-01-1-00-0-01 L
Detroit Lions040.0003.0811190-2-00-2-00-3-00-2-04 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tampa Bay Buccaneers310.7500.01221052-0-01-1-02-1-01-0-01 W
Carolina Panthers310.7500.097662-0-01-1-01-1-01-0-01 L
New Orleans Saints220.5001.094691-1-01-1-01-2-00-1-01 L
Atlanta Falcons130.2502.0781280-2-01-1-01-3-00-1-01 L
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage

MLS STANDINGS

Eastern
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
New England29205457342311-2-19-3-365
Nashville SC28111434626208-7-03-7-347
Philadelphia2711973626109-3-32-6-442
Orlando City SC281198414108-4-23-5-642
D.C.28124124941810-0-32-4-940
New York City FC28117104432128-3-33-4-740
CF Montreal2811710403738-3-33-4-740
Atlanta281099373348-3-32-6-639
New York279711333035-5-34-2-834
Columbus2897123239-77-3-32-4-934
Inter Miami CF2795132542-175-2-74-3-632
Chicago2976162946-176-5-51-1-1127
Toronto FC2867153454-204-5-42-2-1125
FC Cincinnati2748152852-241-5-63-3-920
Western
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Seattle2716654422227-4-39-2-254
Sporting KC2815765131208-5-27-2-452
Colorado2713953827117-6-16-3-448
Portland2814410454419-2-35-2-746
Real Salt Lake2811611454418-4-23-2-939
Los Angeles28116113945-67-3-44-3-739
Minnesota2710893032-28-2-32-6-638
Vancouver279108343408-2-41-8-437
Los Angeles FC2897124041-16-5-33-2-934
San Jose2889113544-94-3-74-6-433
FC Dallas29610133947-84-7-32-3-1028
Houston29512123345-125-6-30-6-927
Austin2874172944-155-2-72-2-1025

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Conference