INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SECTIONAL SCHEDULE
PORTAGE (0-9) AT LAKE CENTRAL (4-5)
LAFAYETTE JEFF (5-4) AT CROWN POINT (9-0)
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE) (7-2) AT WARSAW (8-1)
ELKHART (3-6) AT PENN (8-1)
FISHERS (6-3) AT HOMESTEAD (5-4)
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (7-2) AT FORT WAYNE NORTHROP (1-8)
WESTFIELD (8-1) AT CARMEL (5-4)
NOBLESVILLE (3-6) AT ZIONSVILLE (3-6)
BROWNSBURG (9-0) AT BEN DAVIS (8-1)
AVON (2-7) AT PIKE (2-7)
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) (0-9) AT INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (6-3)
LAWRENCE CENTRAL (4-5) AT LAWRENCE NORTH (6-3)
PERRY MERIDIAN (2-7) AT WARREN CENTRAL (3-6)
SOUTHPORT (1-8) AT INDIANAPOLIS TECH (0-9)
FRANKLIN CENTRAL (4-5) AT CENTER GROVE (8-1)
JEFFERSONVILLE (0-9) AT COLUMBUS NORTH (4-5)
MUNSTER (3-6) AT MERRILLVILLE (7-2)
HAMMOND MORTON (4-4) AT HAMMOND CENTRAL (5-4)
MICHIGAN CITY (5-4) AT LAPORTE (2-7)
VALPARAISO (7-2) AT CHESTERTON (2-7)
MISHAWAKA (7-2) AT GOSHEN (1-8)
CONCORD (5-4) AT SOUTH BEND ADAMS (1-8)
ANDERSON (2-7) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (8-1)
PLAINFIELD (6-3) AT HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE) (8-1)
DECATUR CENTRAL (7-2) AT MCCUTCHEON (6-3)
WHITELAND (5-4) AT TERRE HAUTE NORTH (0-9)
FRANKLIN (5-4) AT TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (4-5)
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (8-1) AT BLOOMINGTON NORTH (9-0)
SEYMOUR (5-4) AT COLUMBUS EAST (3-6)
EVANSVILLE NORTH (6-3) AT FLOYD CENTRAL (8-1)
CASTLE (6-3) AT NEW ALBANY (2-7)
NEW PRAIRIE (8-2) AT KANKAKEE VALLEY (5-5)
HIGHLAND (4-6) AT CULVER ACADEMY (4-6)
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (3-7) AT NORTHWOOD (8-2)
WAWASEE (2-8) AT NORTHRIDGE (8-2)
FORT WAYNE DWENGER (5-5) AT DEKALB (6-4)
EAST NOBLE (8-2) AT LEO (8-2)
MISSISSINEWA (10-0) AT COLUMBIA CITY (6-4)
MARION (3-7) AT KOKOMO (8-2)
LEBANON (5-5) AT BREBEUF JESUIT (5-4)
INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI (4-6) AT MOORESVILLE (5-5)
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (9-1) AT NEW PALESTINE (8-2)
BEECH GROVE (5-5) AT MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE) (6-4)
JENNINGS COUNTY (5-5) AT GREENWOOD (5-5)
EAST CENTRAL (10-0) AT MARTINSVILLE (7-3)
EVANSVILLE REITZ (10-0) AT BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (7-3)
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (7-3) AT JASPER (7-3)
BOONE GROVE (8-2) AT HANOVER CENTRAL (10-0)
WEST LAFAYETTE (7-3) AT RENSSELAER CENTRAL (6-4)
FAIRFIELD (6-4) AT JOHN GLENN (6-4)
WEST NOBLE (10-0) AT KNOX (10-0)
YORKTOWN (5-5) AT DELTA (6-4)
GARRETT (5-5) AT HERITAGE (9-1)
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD (10-0) AT GUERIN CATHOLIC (8-2)
MACONAQUAH (7-3) AT HAMILTON HEIGHTS (10-0)
TRI-WEST (9-1) AT NORTH MONTGOMERY (6-4)
MONROVIA (8-2) AT SPEEDWAY (3-7)
PIKE CENTRAL (2-8) AT VINCENNES LINCOLN (7-3)
GIBSON SOUTHERN (8-2) AT WASHINGTON (3-7)
LAWRENCEBURG (8-2) AT BATESVILLE (9-1)
INDIAN CREEK (7-3) AT FRANKLIN COUNTY (4-6)
SCOTTSBURG (6-4) AT SALEM (3-7)
HERITAGE HILLS (9-1) AT SOUTHRIDGE (7-3)
WHEELER (6-3) AT BREMEN (5-5)
LAVILLE (9-1) AT WHITING (4-6)
ROCHESTER (7-2) AT LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (7-3)
SEEGER (7-3) AT LEWIS CASS (6-4)
EASTSIDE (7-3) AT FORT WAYNE LUERS (7-3)
CENTRAL NOBLE (4-6) AT MANCHESTER (4-6)
TIPTON (2-8) AT EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (8-2)
EASTBROOK (7-3) AT BLUFFTON (8-2)
GREENCASTLE (8-2) AT LINTON-STOCKTON (9-1)
CASCADE (6-4) AT SOUTHMONT (5-5)
EASTERN HANCOCK (6-4) AT INDIANAPOLIS RITTER (4-6)
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (7-3) AT WINCHESTER (7-2)
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (9-1) AT TRITON CENTRAL (9-1)
SWITZERLAND COUNTY (6-4) AT EASTERN (PEKIN) (4-6)
NORTH POSEY (9-1) AT EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (3-7)
FOREST PARK (6-4) AT PAOLI (9-1)
SOUTH NEWTON (4-6) AT NORTH JUDSON (6-4)
TRITON (7-3) AT CULVER (1-9)
CLINTON CENTRAL (1-7) AT PARK TUDOR (10-0)
CLINTON PRAIRIE (6-4) AT NORTH VERMILLION (7-3)
CASTON (2-8) AT CARROLL (FLORA) (10-0)
WEST CENTRAL (8-2) AT TRI-CENTRAL (4-6)
MADISON-GRANT (7-3) AT NORTH MIAMI (2-8)
ADAMS CENTRAL (10-0) AT SOUTHWOOD (5-5)
WES-DEL (4-5) AT MONROE CENTRAL (5-5)
INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY (4-5) AT SHERIDAN (7-3)
EDINBURGH (1-8) AT NORTH DECATUR (7-3)
TRI (7-3) AT MILAN (7-3)
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (8-0) AT SOUTH PUTNAM (9-1)
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (6-3) AT RIVERTON PARKE (5-5)
WEST WASHINGTON (5-4) AT SPRINGS VALLEY (9-1)
PROVIDENCE (10-0) AT NORTH DAVIESS (5-5)
INDIANA BOYS AND GIRLS STATE SOCCER FINALS
FRIDAY, OCT. 27
6 PM ET | CLASS 2A GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
LEO (15-2-3) VS. GUERIN CATHOLIC (15-4-1)
8:30 PM ET | CLASS 1A GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY (12-8) VS. PARK TUDOR (15-4-1)
SATURDAY, OCT. 28
11 AM ET | CLASS 1A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
BETHANY CHRISTIAN (15-4-2) VS. FOREST PARK (15-7)
1:30 PM ET | CLASS 2A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
MISHAWAKA MARIAN (19-2) VS. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (13-7-1)
4 PM ET | CLASS 3A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NOBLESVILLE (17-0-5) VS. INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (17-4-2)
6:30 PM ET | CLASS 3A GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NOBLESVILLE (16-1-3) VS. BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (18-2-1)
INDIANA VOLLEYBALL SEMI-STATE MATCH-UPS
1. HUNTINGTON NORTH
CLASS 1A | FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (28-8) VS. SOUTHWOOD (30-4) | 1 PM ET
CLASS 3A | NORTHWOOD (32-4) VS. BELLMONT (33-2) | APPROX. 2:30 PM ET
CLASS 2A | PIONEER (24-13) VS. MUNCIE BURRIS (29-4) | 4 PM ET
CLASS 4A | LAPORTE (32-4) VS. HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (31-0) | APPROX. 5:30 PM ET / 4:30 CT
3. COLUMBUS EAST
CLASS 2A | INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (25-11) VS. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (24-13) | 1 PM ET
CLASS 3A | TRI-WEST HENDRICKS (25-9) VS. PROVIDENCE (29-5) | APPROX. 2:30 PM ET
CLASS 1A | GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN (24-13) VS. TECUMSEH (31-4) | 4 PM ET
CLASS 4A | RONCALLI (30-3) VS. CASTLE (33-3) | APPROX. 5:30 PM ET
INDIANA CROSS COUNTRY STATE FINALS-SATURDAY
SITE: LAVERN GIBSON CHAMPIONSHIP CROSS COUNTRY COURSE, WABASH VALLEY SPORTS CENTER, 599 S. TABORTOWN ROAD, TERRE HAUTE, IN 47803.
TIMES: BOYS AT 12 PM ET FOLLOWED BY THEIR AWARDS CEREMONY; GIRLS AT 2:30 PM ET FOLLOWED BY THEIR AWARDS CEREMONY.
GATES OPEN: 9:30 AM ET / 8:30 AM CT
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, OCT. 26
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 44 GEORGIA STATE 27
VIRGINIA TECH 38 SYRACUSE 10
FRIDAY, OCT. 27
BROWN AT PENN | 7 P.M. | ESPNU
FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT CHARLOTTE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN2
SATURDAY, OCT. 28
OKLAHOMA AT KANSAS | 12 P.M. | FOX
INDIANA AT PENN STATE | 12 P.M. | CBS
UMASS AT ARMY | 12 P.M. | CBSSN
UCONN AT BOSTON COLLEGE | 12 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
MARYLAND AT NORTHWESTERN | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
SOUTH CAROLINA AT TEXAS A&M | 12 P.M. | ESPN
HOUSTON AT KANSAS STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN2
WEST VIRGINIA AT UCF | 12 P.M. | FS1
TULSA AT SMU | 12 P.M. | ESPNU
HOWARD AT DELAWARE STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
DUQUESNE AT SACRED HEART | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
TENNESSEE TECH AT ROBERT MORRIS | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
COLUMBIA AT YALE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
LAFAYETTE AT GEORGETOWN | 12:30 P.M. | ESPN+
WESTERN MICHIGAN AT EASTERN MICHIGAN | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
BUCKNELL AT COLGATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
HOLY CROSS AT FORDHAM | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
UNI AT ILLINOIS STATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
PRINCETON AT CORNELL | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
STETSON AT DRAKE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
UT MARTIN AT GARDNER-WEBB | 1:30 P.M. | ESPN+
CHATTANOOGA AT VMI | 1:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MORGAN STATE AT NORFOLK STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
INDIANA STATE AT NORTH DAKOTA | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
MISSOURI STATE AT YOUNGSTOWN STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE AT SOUTH DAKOTA | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
EAST TENNESSEE STATE AT FURMAN | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
MERCER AT WESTERN CAROLINA | 2:30 P.M. | ESPN+
JACKSON STATE AT ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
ABILENE CHRISTIAN AT SOUTHERN UTAH | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTHERN COLORADO AT MONTANA | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE AT HOUSTON CHRISTIAN | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
LINDENWOOD AT TENNESSEE STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE AT NICHOLLS | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
LINCOLN (CA) AT KENNESAW STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
THE CITADEL AT SAMFORD | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
MEMPHIS AT NORTH TEXAS | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
GEORGIA VS. FLORIDA (IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.) | 3:30 P.M. | CBS
BYU AT TEXAS | 3:30 P.M.
OREGON AT UTAH | 3:30 P.M. | FOX
PITT AT NOTRE DAME | 3:30 P.M. | NBC
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT AUBURN | 3:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
MICHIGAN STATE AT MINNESOTA | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
PURDUE AT NEBRASKA | 3:30 P.M. | FS1
IOWA STATE AT BAYLOR | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
EAST CAROLINA AT UTSA | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN MISS AT APPALACHIAN STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MIAMI (OHIO) AT OHIO | 3:30 P.M. | CBSSN
ALABAMA A&M VS. ALABAMA STATE (IN BIRMINGHAM, ALA.) | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MURRAY STATE AT NORTH DAKOTA STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
USC AT CAL | 4 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
TULANE AT RICE | 4 P.M. | ESPN2
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M AT FLORIDA A&M | 4 P.M. | ESPNU
NORTH ALABAMA AT AUSTIN PEAY | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
EASTERN WASHINGTON AT PORTLAND STATE | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
MONTANA STATE AT IDAHO | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
UC DAVIS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
DARTMOUTH AT HARVARD | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
UIW AT LAMAR | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
BRYANT AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT WESTERN ILLINOIS | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
ARKANSAS STATE AT UL MONROE | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
LOUISIANA AT SOUTH ALABAMA | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
TARLETON STATE AT CENTRAL ARKANSAS | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
MOREHEAD STATE AT SAN DIEGO | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
WYOMING AT BOISE STATE | 5:30 P.M. | FS2
MARSHALL AT COASTAL CAROLINA | 6 P.M. | NFL NETWORK
WASHINGTON AT STANFORD | 7 P.M. | FS1
TENNESSEE AT KENTUCKY | 7 P.M. | ESPN
AIR FORCE AT COLORADO STATE | 7 P.M. | CBSSN
TROY AT TEXAS STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
OHIO STATE AT WISCONSIN | 7:30 P.M. | NBC
VANDERBILT AT OLE MISS | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
COLORADO AT UCLA | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
WASHINGTON STATE AT ARIZONA STATE | 8 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
CINCINNATI AT OKLAHOMA STATE | 8 P.M. | ESPN2
OLD DOMINION AT JAMES MADISON | 8 P.M. | ESPNU
EASTERN KENTUCKY AT UTAH TECH | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTHWESTERN STATE AT MCNEESE | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
IDAHO STATE AT SACRAMENTO STATE | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
OREGON STATE AT ARIZONA | 10:30 P.M. | ESPN
NEW MEXICO AT NEVADA | 10:30 P.M. | CBSSN
UNLV AT FRESNO STATE | 10:30 P.M. | FS1
SAN JOSE STATE AT HAWAI’I | 12 A.M. SUNDAY | SPECTRUM SPORTS PPV
FLORIDA STATE AT WAKE FOREST
NORTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA TECH
DUKE AT LOUISVILLE
CLEMSON AT NC STATE
VIRGINIA AT MIAMI (FLA.)
NFL WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
BUFFALO 24 TAMPA BAY 18
HOUSTON TEXANS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT DALLAS COWBOYS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
NEW YORK JETS AT NEW YORK GIANTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
ATLANTA FALCONS AT TENNESSEE TITANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS 1:25P (MST) 4:25P CBS
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS 2:25P (MT) 4:25P CBS
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P CBS
CHICAGO BEARS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 5:20P (PT) 8:20P NBC*
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT DETROIT LIONS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
FRIDAY, OCT. 27
AZ @ TEX, GAME 1, 8 P.M. (FOX)
SATURDAY, OCT. 28
AZ @ TEX, GAME 2, 8 P.M. (FOX)
MONDAY, OCT. 30
TEX @ AZ, GAME 3, 8 P.M. (FOX)
TUESDAY, OCT. 31
TEX @ AZ, GAME 4, 8 P.M. (FOX)
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1
TEX @ AZ, GAME 5 (IF NECESSARY), 8 P.M. (FOX)
FRIDAY, NOV. 3
AZ @ TEX, GAME 6 (IF NECESSARY), 8 P.M. (FOX)
SATURDAY, NOV. 4
AZ @ TEX, GAME 7 (IF NECESSARY), 8 P.M. (FOX)
MILWAUKEE 118 PHILADELPHIA 117
LA LAKERS 100 PHOENIX 95
ANAHEIM 4 BOSTON 3 OT
CAROLINA 3 SEATTLE 2 OT
WINNIPEG 4 DETROIT 1
MONTRÉAL 4 COLUMBUS 3 OT
PITTSBURGH 4 COLORADO 0
TAMPA BAY 6 SAN JOSE 0
NY ISLANDERS 3 OTTAWA 2
PHILADELPHIA 6 MINNESOTA 2
TORONTO 4 DALLAS 1
ST. LOUIS 3 CALGARY 0
NY RANGERS 3 EDMONTON 0
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
D-BACKS’ LOVULLO AND HAZEN NAVIGATED DIFFICULT YEARS — ON FIELD AND OFF — EN ROUTE TO WORLD SERIES
PHOENIX (AP) — Some say the Arizona Diamondbacks are ahead of schedule, advancing to the World Series with a young roster that was supposed to need a few more years of seasoning before hitting the sport’s biggest stage.
Manager Torey Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen have a different perspective.
The two friends and colleagues have navigated a difficult five years — both personally and professionally — that have made the D-backs’ improbable run to the Fall Classic even sweeter.
Game 1 against the Texas Rangers in Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
“Trust me when I say there were some real hardships,” Lovullo said on Tuesday night after the D-backs beat the Phillies 4-2 in Game 7 of the NLCS. “There were some very dark days in my career. We lost 110 games two years ago.”
The Diamondbacks had a 52-110 record just two seasons ago, sinking to the cellar of the NL West in ugly fashion. A couple rough seasons during a rebuild is common in baseball in these days, but Arizona’s nadir felt even worse in the sense that the franchise wasn’t even trying to tank.
They were just terrible.
Arizona occupies a middle space in today’s baseball economy — it’s not really a small-market team, but it doesn’t spend like the Mets, Yankees or Dodgers. There isn’t much room for error when doling out sizable contracts.
Prior to the 2020 season, they gave an $85 million, five-year deal to veteran lefty Madison Bumgarner that didn’t pan out. Smaller contracts in 2021 for veteran relievers like Joakim Soria and Tyler Clippard were essentially a sunk cost, too. Some of the team’s younger players like Ketel Marte and Christian Walker regressed.
And then the players the organization let go often seemed to blossom. They dealt lefty Robbie Ray to the Blue Jays in 2020, and he went on to win a Cy Young Award with Toronto in 2021.
The D-backs were cursed with a reverse Midas touch.
Arizona’s president, CEO and general partner Derrick Hall admits that earlier in his career, he might have made a change. But Hall said he “had a hunch” that his patience would be rewarded if he stuck with Hazen and Lovullo.
“We have always had great confidence in both,” Hall said. “Mike has had a plan and we believed he deserved the time to see it play out. And Torey keeps getting better and better. He is a players’ manager and those guys love playing for him.”
There was also personal tragedy mixed into those tough seasons. Nicole Hazen — the GM’s wife — was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2020 and fought the brain cancer for more than two years. She was 45 when she died.
Mike Hazen took a partial leave of absence during the 2021 season, spending more time at home to care for his wife and the couple’s four sons. Before Game 3 of this year’s NL Division Series, Charlie (17), John (16), Teddy (15) and Sam (13) all threw out the ceremonial first pitch in honor of their mom.
Lovullo — who is close with Hazen’s family — exchanged hugs with the boys on the field after the first pitches.
When the D-backs clinched a spot in the playoffs on Sept. 30, Mike Hazen admitted the emotions were still raw.
“It has been long. A lot of stuff has happened,” Hazen said. “There is somebody for me that is not here that was here six years ago that was a huge Diamondbacks fan. Was a huge Merrill Kelly fan. He was her favorite player.”
Kelly pitched a gem in Game 6 during the recently-finished NLCS, providing a gutsy road win that set the stage for the team’s Game 7 triumph. Kelly’s emergence is one of many shrewd moves Hazen made over the years that slowly started to pan out. The veteran right-hander was pitching in South Korea before the D-backs brought him back to MLB in 2019.
Hazen’s made several moves since that ugly 2021 season — particulary in the past 12 months — that have been vital. He traded rising star Daulton Varsho to the Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who both immediately became important pieces.
He inked veteran three-time All-Star Evan Longoria to a $4 million, one-year deal to help bring leadership to a young clubhouse. He also traded for closer Paul Sewald and outfielder Tommy Pham at the trade deadline, with both providing big moments. Sewald, in particular, has been brilliant in these playoffs, throwing eight scoreless innings and converting all six save opportunties.
And maybe most importantly, Hazen had the foresight to sign rookie Corbin Carroll to an $111 million, eight-year deal during spring training, cementing the 23-year-old as the team’s main building block. Carroll rewarded the franchise’s confidence with a brilliant year and is favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year award after finishing with 30 doubles, 25 homers, 10 triples and 54 stolen bases.
Two years after nothing went right, everything has gone right.
Now the D-backs are four wins from winning a World Series for just the second time in franchise history.
“I won’t speak for other people, but I thought it would take a little more time,” Carroll said. “So to be able to do it in this first year just makes it all the more special.”
MLB.COM WORLD SERIES PREVIEW
D-BACKS-RANGERS POSITION-BY-POSITION BREAKDOWN
The World Series is here, and if Arizona-Texas is a most unexpected matchup, it’s also quite a compelling one. Both teams went from more than 100 losses two years ago to the World Series – the first time such a thing has happened – and both teams have an identical 9-3 record so far this month, both having swept their first two rounds and having required seven games to win their LCS. Each team has a truly outstanding young rookie (or two) in its lineup.
But that might be where the similarities end. Texas has a living legend Hall of Fame manager, and the core of its roster largely came via big-ticket signings and trades; the Rangers and their fans are desperate to overcome the ghosts of 2010-11 to finally win their first title. The D-backs are this year’s official giant slayers, having taken down the Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers; they may literally be the least likely World Series participant ever.
If you don’t get too hung up on the narratives about big markets and regular-season win total, you might just find some really interesting baseball. Let’s break the two sides down position by position – and remember, it’s not just about “who has played better in the playoffs.”
Both teams have a strength here, though there’s definitely a difference in Arizona making a big trade for a highly touted prospect (Gabriel Moreno) and Texas finding a late-blooming star on his fourth organization (Jonah Heim), acquired in a deal mostly meant to ship out long-time stalwart Elvis Andrus.
To look at their regular-season hitting line, they’d be about identical (Heim: 103 OPS+ // Moreno: 104 OPS+). But the shape there is very different, as Moreno overcame a slow start to mash in the second half, while Heim did the exact opposite (around, it should be noted, a wrist injury). They each even have 12 hits this month, though Moreno’s got two additional extra-base hits, and while Heim did have a considerable advantage in framing this year, they’ve been about identical in the postseason. They’re both good at throwing, but Heim is strong and Moreno elite; given Moreno’s late-season hitting, we’ll ever so slightly give him the edge.
Christian Walker is the best defensive first baseman in baseball, by kind of a lot, and while we should pause to note that Nathaniel Lowe made some considerable steps forward in that regard – he went from one of the weakest around to being named a Gold Glove finalist, which is just an incredible year-over-year improvement – he’s not Walker, who is truly elite.
While Walker hasn’t hit much in the playoffs so far (.699 OPS), neither has Lowe (.698 OPS, with a strikeout rate of nearly 40%). Given that Walker hit better over the course of the regular season (.830 OPS to .775) and retains that fielding edge, the D-backs have a somewhat small advantage here.
We said we wouldn’t just look at postseason performance to date, and we mean it, as you’ll see at other positions. But it’s a little hard to look past the fact that Ketel Marte has a 16-game postseason hitting streak, while Marcus Semien has had a pretty miserable October overall, hitting a mere .192/.276/.231. That alone wouldn’t be enough to tip things Arizona’s way, except we’re guessing that plenty of people are going to be surprised to learn that Marte actually out-hit Semien by a little in the regular season, as well (128 OPS+ vs 122 OPS+).
It’s fair to point out that Semien is an elite defender, and Marte is a merely average one. But Semien often gets talked about as “baseball’s most underrated star,” and while that’s true, it’s true for Marte too.
With all due respect to Arizona shortstop Geraldo Perdomo – who did, we should remind you, make the All-Star team and then pitch in eight hits against the Phillies – he’s a nice player who is definitely not the most likely player to finish second behind Shohei Ohtani in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting, as Corey Seager is. It’s not like he’s cooled off any in October, either; Seager is merely hitting .333/.483/1.127 this month, with eight extra-base hits.
Arizona uses both Evan Longoria and Emmanuel Rivera here, but neither has hit much at all this month – Longoria in particular has been rough, with a .135/.214/.189 line this season contributing to a mere .172/.238/.391 line across 47 career postseason games – and Rivera has actually been worse. All of which is to say, the Rangers don’t have a high bar to clear here to gain the edge, and star rookie Josh Jung has more than done that, following up a strong 23-homer season with three postseason homers among his 13 hits.
Texas rookie Evan Carter has been an absolute sensation on both sides of the ball in his first postseason – remember, again, that he only made his Major League debut on Sept. 8 – and even though the team usually platoons him with righty Robbie Grossman against lefties, the D-backs don’t have any lefty starters. (They did use lefty Joe Mantiply as an opener once in the NLCS, which they might do again.)
While Carter has been tremendous (.308/.449/.538 with strong defense), Arizona’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has had a more up-and-down postseason, chipping in some big hits at times but managing just a .250/.265/.438 line overall. Throw in the huge defensive difference, and Texas will be happy to go with the 21-year-old Carter.
On one side: a pretty good defensive center fielder who didn’t hit that much this year (Arizona’s Alek Thomas, at +6 Outs Above Average and a 75 OPS+). On the other side, a pretty good defensive center fielder who took some steps forward to being almost league-average with the bat (Texas’s Leody Taveras, at +8 Outs Above Average and a 97 OPS+). This isn’t the spot where you’ll find the biggest stars on either side, and so there’s not much of an edge here. We’ll take Taveras due to the better regular-season bat and that he’s reached based far more often in October (.354 OBP to Thomas’s .290), even if Thomas has offered a bit more power.
Easily the closest and most difficult call to make, and there is not a choice that will satisfy everyone, or even anyone. Corbin Carroll is the breakout young star of the entire 2023 season, the almost certain National League Rookie of the Year, the one who overcame a relatively unimpressive first six games of the NLCS to have a tremendous impact in Game 7, the one who can change a game both at the plate and on the bases.
On the other side, Texas has Adolis García, who has merely pounded his way through the entire postseason, mashing seven homers – including at least one in each of the final four games of the ALCS – and with a massive .327/.352/.750 line. Carroll slightly out-hit García during the regular season, and he’s a far more dangerous baserunner, but there’s one difference between them that’s striking, and that’s in their throwing arms, where García has one of the strongest and most valuable outfield arms, while Carroll’s is extremely weak, even allowing Kyle Schwarber to go first-to-third on him in the NLCS. It might be an important difference in a big spot.
Mitch Garver didn’t even appear in the first three games of postseason for Texas, but a grand slam in ALDS Game 2 – and 12 total postseason hits – has made him Bruce Bochy’s regular choice as DH ever since. Garver slugged .500 with 19 homers this year, despite playing in only 87 games, and for years, he’s been one of baseball’s best four-seam fastball mashers. (Since 2019, only Aaron Judge has a higher slugging percentage on four-seamers, among those with at least 250 plate appearances against them.) While Tommy Pham offers a tough at-bat and the ability to play the outfield, he’s got a .590 OPS this October, and Garver outslugged him by 54 points in the regular season.
Mitch Garver didn’t even appear in the first three games of postseason for Texas, but a grand slam in ALDS Game 2 – and 12 total postseason hits – has made him Bruce Bochy’s regular choice as DH ever since. Garver slugged .500 with 19 homers this year, despite playing in only 87 games, and for years, he’s been one of baseball’s best four-seam fastball mashers. (Since 2019, only Aaron Judge has a higher slugging percentage on four-seamers, among those with at least 250 plate appearances against them.) While Tommy Pham offers a tough at-bat and the ability to play the outfield, he’s got a .590 OPS this October, and Garver outslugged him by 54 points in the regular season.
Were we to simply rely on postseason performance, then we would have to say that Zac Gallen (5.24 ERA, 6.93 FIP in the playoffs) is a poor pitcher, and certainly that’s not the case, not after he posted a season that’s likely to garner him some Cy Young support. The whole thing gets tricky, really; you can’t just look at Gallen’s postseason ERA, and you can’t just look at Max Scherzer’s incredible resume without realizing he’s not that pitcher right now – even if, like Gallen, he’s not really a “9.45 ERA” pitcher, as he’s been this postseason.
So what do you do? The D-backs and Rangers can probably each use their top two starters (Gallen and Merrill Kelly for Arizona; Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi for Texas) twice in a potential full-length seven-game series. If there’s an edge there, it’s a tiny one; it’s here we’ll at least note that Montgomery has been tremendous this month, while Gallen has not.
Beyond that, Scherzer is a legend not performing like one, while Brandon Pfaadt is a rookie who did not have a good regular season (5.72 ERA) before allowing just two earned runs in three starts against the Phillies and Dodgers. The real issue here, however, is that the Rangers have ever so many options to start a fourth game – Dane Dunning or Jon Gray or Andrew Heaney or however Bochy may like it. The D-backs do not have a fourth starter, which is how they ended up using an opener in the NLCS. It’s tight, but that difference in depth is enough for us.
The bullpens aren’t a strength of either side, really; they might be the largest weakness on both clubs, which could lead to some wild late-inning outcomes. Not that regular-season bullpen performance matters much right now – many of the faces and names have changed – but both teams had bottom-half bullpen ERAs, and even though the postseason ERAs look better ….
Arizona: 2.94 ERA
Texas: 3.72 ERA
… the underlying numbers are appropriately spooky for the Halloween season:
Arizona: 8.6 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, an xERA of 4.01
Texas: 6.9 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, an xERA of 7.21
The bullpens aren’t a strength of either side, really; they might be the largest weakness on both clubs, which could lead to some wild late-inning outcomes. Not that regular-season bullpen performance matters much right now – many of the faces and names have changed – but both teams had bottom-half bullpen ERAs, and even though the postseason ERAs look better ….
Arizona: 2.94 ERA
Texas: 3.72 ERA
… the underlying numbers are appropriately spooky for the Halloween season:
Arizona: 8.6 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, an xERA of 4.01
Texas: 6.9 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, an xERA of 7.21
Given that both LCS went the full seven, there’s no “does a layoff matter” narrative here. Given that neither team won more than 90 games, there’s not even really a David vs. Goliath story to tell; they can both claim “momentum,” and the D-backs can push back against Texas’s home-field advantage by pointing out that the Rangers are 8-0 on the road this month, and just 1-3 at home. There’s not even much of a shared history between the clubs, if you care about that.
What we have, instead, are two teams that might not be the most visible on the national stage, yet are fully equipped to play some truly interesting and exciting baseball, and isn’t that what it’s all about? It’s truly hard to pick this one apart – you have to figure someone like Semien will step up at some point, right? – but series like these so often come down to the bullpens, and as much as we can’t believe we’re saying this, Arizona has the (slightly) more trustworthy one. Twenty-two years ago, Arizona won a ring in seven. We’ll see it again.
D-backs in 7
STOLEN BASES AND BATTING AVERAGE ARE UP, GAME TIMES DOWN IN FIRST POSTSEASON WITH MLB’S NEW RULES
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Stolen bases and batting averages are up and game times are down in the first postseason with the pitch clock and larger bases.
There have been an average of 1.4 steals per game through the League Championship Series, up from 0.8 through last year’s LCS. The Arizona Diamondbacks, who play the Texas Rangers in the World Series beginning Friday, lead all postseason teams with 1.6 steals per game.
The overall postseason batting average has climbed from .213 to .241, and batting average for left-handed hitters has risen from .217 to .244 in the first year with defensive shift limits, although with the small sample size, any changes may be an aberration.
The average game time is 3 hours, 2 minutes, a decrease from 3:22 for nine-inning games during the first three rounds of the 2022 postseason and from 3:40 in 2021 through the LCS.
Just seven pitch clock violations have been called through 36 postseason games.
Stolen base attempts
Stolen base attempts are up significiantly, rising from 1.1 per game to 1.6. The success rate has climbed from 77.8% to 84.5%.
The postseason figures follow a regular season in which the average time of nine-inning games dropped from 3:04 to 2:40, its lowest since 1985.
MLB, over the objections of the players’ association, instituted a pitch clock set at 15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. The postseason average of one violation per five games was down from one per four games in the final month of the regular season, which overall averaged just under one per two games.
Changes included the introduction of 18-inch square bases, up from 15 inches, which reduced the distance between first and second, and second and third, by 4 1/2 inches.
The regular season included the most steals since 1987 and the 80.2% success rate was the highest in big league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
DUSTY BAKER HOPES TO FIND A NEW CALLING AFTER RETIRING AS ASTROS MANAGER
HOUSTON (AP) As Dusty Baker officially ended one notable chapter in his illustrious career, he said Thursday he feels an obligation to do more around the game with his next one.
Baker, 74, confirmed his retirement at a press conference following his fourth season managing the Houston Astros, who came one win shy of reaching the World Series for a third straight year with a loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.
The toothpick-chewer and epic storyteller finished his career ranked ninth all-time with 2,183 victories in 4,046 regular-season games. He was the 12th manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins and the first Black man to do it.
Ten of the other 11 managers who have accumulated at least 2,000 wins are in the Hall of Fame. Bruce Bochy (2,093), who is still managing the Rangers and isn’t yet eligible, is the only exception.
Baker began managing in 1993 after a 19-year playing career as an outfielder. He played with Hank Aaron in Atlanta and won a World Series with the Dodgers in 1981.
Baker said Thursday that attending Aaron’s funeral in 2021 was an eye-opening experience for him.
“All these people were talking about how Hank had contributed and helped out their college education and affected this life and that life,” Baker said. “I came back home and told my wife, ‘I don’t feel like I’ve done anything.’
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know it’s going to be good, whatever it is. I believe that.”
Baker managed San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati and Washington before coming to Houston.
Baker’s Giants, starring Barry Bonds, entered Game 6 of the 2002 World Series against the Angels a win away from a title. As the road team for the last two games of that series, the Giants squandered a five-run lead in a 6-5 loss in Game 6 before the Angels won the title with a 4-1 victory in Game 7.
Baker took plenty of criticism over his managerial career – especially for his aggressive handling of young Cubs pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, who both burned out as starters due to injury. But Baker persisted and succeeded – he’s the only manager in major league history to take five different teams to the postseason.
After being fired by the Nationals following a 97-win season in 2017, Baker wondered if he’d ever get another shot to manage, much less win that elusive title.
Back home in California, as he worked on his wine business and grew collard greens in his garden, he often felt perplexed he had been passed over for interviews so many times as managerial openings came and went, having made inquiries that he said were unanswered over the years.
Then came Astros owner Jim Crane’s call after the sign-stealing scandal that cost A.J. Hinch his job, and Baker was back in the dugout.
Baker took over for the 2020 COVID-19-shortened season. The Astros squeaked into the postseason as a wild card before heating up in the playoffs and coming one win shy of reaching the World Series.
Baker posted a 320-226 record with the Astros, leading them to the playoffs in each of his four seasons and winning the pennant twice.
Baker made two World Series trips before winning it all with Houston last season. Baker and the Astros fell to the Braves in six games in 2021 after his most crushing defeat in the Fall Classic in 2002.
“It was probably the quickest four years I ever spent in my life,” Baker said. “But that’s what happens when you’re winning. When you’re losing, three or four years can feel like a decade.”
Astros owner Jim Crane addressed Baker directly at Thursday’s press conference.
“You were a great example for everyone,” Crane said. “We love you and we’ll miss you. You came in and helped us when we needed some help. You did a great job. You were the only guy who could do that.”
Baker wore his World Series ring on Thursday and said he hasn’t worn his 1981 Dodgers ring in a while because “it hasn’t fit in 30 years.”
“I was kind of mad at the world when I got through playing,” Baker said. “Like a lot of African-Americans and Latin players, there aren’t jobs, really. I was going to go home. And then my dad told me, ‘After all the people you’ve met, it’s not up to you to take with you and possess what they gave you. It’s up to you to pass it on to somebody else.’ That’s what I’ve tried to do.”
Baker said he feels like he has unfinished business around baseball.
“I haven’t made my mind yet on what I’m going to do, but I’m going to go home to talk to my daughter, who thinks she’s my mother, and spend some time with my grandkids and let the Lord tell me where to go and what to do with my life,” Baker said. “I still feel like I haven’t done what I’m supposed to do in life, so I believe the Lord has some great things ahead for me.”
Houston has the sixth manager opening of the offseason after Cleveland, the New York Mets, San Diego, San Francisco and the Los Angeles Angels. Only the Giants have filled the vacancy, hiring Bob Melvin from the Padres.
“We’ll work on it quickly,” Crane said. “(General manager Dana Brown) and I will do the work and we’ll find someone. It’ll be tough to replace Dusty, but we’ll work fast to get somebody in place.”
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NO. 6 OKLAHOMA SEEKING 19TH STRAIGHT WIN OVER KANSAS
Oklahoma coach Brent Venables likes to run a scout-team quarterback against his defense during practice.
He had some help earlier this week as the No. 6 Sooners prepared to visit Kansas in Big 12 play Saturday in Lawrence.
General Booty split reps with starter Dillon Gabriel as Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0) got ready to face either Jalon Daniels or Jason Bean at quarterback for the Jayhawks (5-2, 2-2).
“They’ve got two, we’ve got two,” Venables said.
Kansas coach Lance Leipold said Monday that Daniels, who hasn’t played since Sept. 23, was “doubtful to questionable” to play against the Sooners.
“He’s making progress,” Leipold said. “It’s still not where it needs to go. … I would expect Jason Bean to be the starting quarterback. and that’s the direction we’re heading.”
The Jayhawks are coming off a bye week after dropping two of their last three without Daniels, though Bean did throw for 410 yards and five touchdowns in a shootout loss at Oklahoma State on Oct. 14.
“I feel that sometimes when I answer these questions because when you’re talking about someone like Jalon it’s like, ‘Hurry up and get back here because this other guy can’t get it done,'” Leipold said. “I don’t feel that’s the case (here).”
The Sooners escaped with a 31-29 win over UCF last Saturday.
Venables said last week that the Knights and Jayhawks were two of the best teams in the country at deception.
Oklahoma didn’t always handle UCF’s deception well.
“What I like is that we found a way to win and overcome some of our mistakes,” Venables said. “But we’ve got great ownership of both the good and the bad, and that’s allowed the growth process to take place. … Our job is to fix some of those mistakes and the issues that we had and make sure our guys are comfortable with what we need and want them to do to execute at a high level.”
Oklahoma has won 18 consecutive games in the series, with Kansas’ most recent victory over the Sooners coming in 1997.
There have been some close games recently, though, including the last time Oklahoma played in Lawrence.
In 2021, the Jayhawks led 10-0 at halftime and 17-14 going into the fourth quarter before the Sooners stormed to a 35-23 win.
In that game, Kansas opened the gates at halftime, hoping to draw fans in for the second half after the first half was played in front of a small crowd.
That doesn’t figure to be the case Saturday, when the Jayhawks are looking to pull off a big upset and clinch bowl eligibility for the second consecutive season.
“It’s a testament to how much they’ve improved over the last two years,” Oklahoma wide receiver Drake Stoops said. “People like watching good football, and they’re a good football team, so it’s gonna be a sold-out stadium.”
The Sooners figure to have running back Tawee Walker back after Walker missed last week’s game due to an in-house suspension.
Leipold said Tuesday that two players — backup tackle Logan Brown and safety Andrew Russell — had undergone season-ending surgeries.
NO. 10 PENN STATE LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST INDIANA
For the first time this season, No. 10 Penn State is going to have to prove it has what it takes to effectively respond to adversity.
After getting roughed up by No. 3 Ohio State, the Nittany Lions will look to avoid losing back-to-back regular-season games for the first time in more than two years when they face Indiana on Saturday in State College, Pa.
Penn State (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) is in danger of losing consecutive games in the regular season for the first time since Oct. 23, 2021, after falling 20-12 to the Buckeyes last Saturday. The Nittany Lions failed to reach the end zone until Drew Allar connected with Kaden Saunders for an 8-yard touchdown with just 29 seconds left in the game.
Despite the poor showing, Allar has faith that Penn State can return to the form that had it ranked as high as sixth in the nation just a few weeks ago.
“At the end of the day, we have to go out and do what we did the first six weeks,” Allar said. “Obviously (Saturday) was not good enough at all, but if we attack each week and don’t lose faith in each other, we can still be in the position we want to be at the end of the year.
“We just got to control what we can control (and) not worry about all the outside noise.”
Allar has good reason to be confident, as the Nittany Lions are averaging the second-most points per game in the Big Ten (39.7) and will be pitted against a Hoosiers defense that allows the second-most points in the conference (29.3).
It also helps that Penn State boasts the most suffocating defense in the country among FBS teams, surrendering just 218.1 yards per game.
None of that bodes well for Indiana (2-5, 0-4), which continued its downward spiral with a 31-14 loss to Rutgers last weekend. The Hoosiers have been outscored 127-38 over the course of their current three-game skid, and coach Tom Allen admitted the season is starting to slip away.
“I don’t think I feel it, I think it’s a reality that you get to this stage of the year and you’ve got several losses now in a row,” Allen said. “That’s where you don’t hide from it. You’ve got to address it head on, and you’ve got to really work hard together to help your guys.”
Allen realizes it won’t be easy slowing down the Nittany Lions, but he sees Saturday’s meeting as a golden opportunity for his team to get back on track.
“Playing a very good football team on the road that has a lot of talent at all positions, all three phases, and a tough environment to play in,” Allen said. “Great opportunity for our program to continue to grow and develop as a team.”
The Hoosiers have been seeking consistency under center, as they’ve gone with two different starting quarterbacks during their losing streak. Brendan Sorsby got the nod against the Scarlet Knights, completing 15 of 31 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown.
Allen said he plans on having Sorsby as the No. 1 moving forward.
Indiana and Penn State last met on Nov. 5, 2022, with the Nittany Lions coming away with a 45-14 victory.
NO. 4 FLORIDA STATE PUTS PERFECT MARK ON LINE AT WAKE FOREST
No. 4 Florida State aims to keep its unbeaten streak rolling on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C., when it opposes Wake Forest.
The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are coming off a 38-20 home win over then-No. 16 Duke. It wasn’t easy though, as Florida State trailed by double digits early in the second quarter. The Seminoles outscored the Blue Devils 21-0 in the fourth to close out the win.
While Florida State is aiming for a spot in the College Football Playoff, Wake Forest (4-3, 1-3) is simply trying to go bowling for the eighth consecutive season in Dave Clawson’s 10 years at the helm. The Demon Deacons are coming off their first conference victory of the season, a 21-17 nail-biter against visiting Pitt. Wake Forest scored the go-ahead touchdown — a 15-yard pass from Santino Marucci to Cameron Hite — with seven seconds left.
The win against the Panthers was Marucci’s first career start at quarterback. A year ago, he played quarterback, running back and safety. He completed 12 of 21 passes vs. Pitt for 151 yards and threw two picks, but when the game hung in the balance, he made the plays necessary for the Demon Deacons.
“Santino was backpedaling, playing safety a year ago,” Clawson said. “We went into this and we said, ‘Let’s put this on the O-line, let’s put this on the backs, let’s give him some quick screens, maybe some play-action bootlegs.’ And then, at the end of the game, we had to let him play.”
Marucci entered this season as Wake Forest’s third-string quarterback. He was thrust into action against Pitt due to injuries to starter Mitch Griffis and backup Michael Kern.
It’s unclear who will start for Wake Forest against Florida State, but Seminoles coach Mike Norvell is preparing for Griffis to step back in under center and to be the orchestrator of Clawson’s signature offensive scheme.
“We’ll plan for (Griffis) and be able to adjust to whatever shows up and whatever the situation is,” Norvell said. “They’ve got talented receivers. What they do schematically offensively is really tough, just with the slow mesh read, it’s something that’s unique to their program (and) is really unique to college football and how they operate it.”
Meanwhile, Wake Forest’s defense will have to prepare to face Florida State’s Jordan Travis, who has played like one of the best quarterbacks in the country this season. Travis is tied for the ACC lead in touchdowns-responsible-for with 20, and he is second in the conference in passing efficiency rating with a mark of 153.4. He leads an offense that takes care of the ball with just 0.6 turnovers per game.
Against Duke, Travis threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns with one interception while also rushing for 62 yards and a score.
“I thought Jordan was remarkable,” Norvell said of Travis’ play vs. the Blue Devils. “Especially in the second half, really just did a wonderful job with his arms, legs, decision-making and all things.”
Travis is 0-2 in his career against Wake Forest. Florida State hasn’t beaten the Demon Deacons since 2018 but still owns the series with a 30-9-1 record.
QB GRAHAM MERTZ, FLORIDA SET FOR CLOSE-UP WITH NO. 1 GEORGIA
Graham Mertz and Florida will find out if they’ve hit their stride Saturday when the Gators and No. 1 Georgia square off in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mertz has the attention of the Bulldogs after posting huge numbers in each of the past two games to climb to third in the nation in completion percentage at 76.2 percent.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said no quarterback in the country is playing better than Mertz over the past two games. He’s had extra time to prep for Florida, and the Gators, also coming off a bye last week, largely know what they’re getting with the two-time defending champions.
“They’re physical up front. They’re fast. You see that on tape. They fly around, make plays,” Mertz said. “Across the board, they play a brand of football on defense that you can see when you’re watching film.”
Mertz makes his 40th career start Saturday but first in the rivalry after joining Florida as a transfer from Wisconsin. With the Badgers, Mertz played in annual rivalry games and said there’s always a special element to the dates on the schedule that mean the most to the fanbase.
“I think that’s one thing that once you spend some time in college, you have an appreciation for ’em,” Mertz said. “I think anytime you go into a game that’s a rivalry game, you have to appreciate that, enjoy that process, whether it’s the whole week of seeing all the stuff on the TVs or all that. I mean, there’s countless different things you do during a rivalry week. We’re excited for it.”
Georgia has a 24-game winning streak and a quarterback making his first start in the ballyhooed rivalry. But Carson Beck has the luxury of playing a de facto home game. The Jacksonville native returns to Florida in a huge spot with a queue of “big games” stacked behind, including next week against No. 16 Missouri.
“Welcome to the SEC,” Smart said. “Every game is gonna be a rivalry game in the SEC. They’re all tough games. This one is unique because of where it’s played. It’ll be a new experience for some of our guys. I think you forget about that after the whistle blows and you kick it off and you get out there and go play.”
Beck and the Bulldogs are operating without All-American tight end Brock Bowers. He had ankle surgery and might return in November. Without him, Georgia is absent its top playmaker and leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns this season.
Smart said Georgia counts on Oscar Delp, who learned under Darnell Washington and Bowers, rising to the occasion.
“His growth has been good. I don’t know that if he didn’t have those two he would be where he is, because those two demanded that he do things right in order to get on the field,” Smart said. “He had to earn the right to play. He has earned that by how he’s practiced and played.”
Mertz and Florida have been slowed when they allow pressure to impact the pocket. But Georgia has been atypically below-average generating a pass rush with just 12 sacks this season.
Smart knows the Florida scheme well. He served as an assistant at Alabama on the same coaching staff as Gators coach Billy Napier for four seasons.
And Smart said without pressure, Mertz has been able to consistently make the right decisions and avoid self-inflicted wounds.
“He does a great job within Billy’s system of knowing when to take the shot, the check down, when to put him in the right play,” Smart said. “If you’re just in the right play more often, you tend to have more success. He’s done a really good job of that for them.”
NO. 18 LOUISVILLE, NO. 20 DUKE LOOK TO AVOID LOSING STREAK
There have been so many positives for No. 20 Duke and No. 18 Louisville this season, a season of breakthroughs for both teams.
Now, with the Atlantic Coast Conference rivals meeting Saturday in Louisville, Ky., one of them is about to pick up their first losing streak of the season.
Louisville (6-1, 3-1 ACC) had a week to stew after its lone defeat, while Duke (5-2, 2-1) will be taking on its fourth nationally ranked opponent of the season after dropping a major showdown last Saturday.
“If we finish strong, maybe good things happen at the end,” Louisville coach Jeff Brohm said. “If you can’t win this next game, then obviously you’ve got to regroup.”
Not all is lost for either team. The winner will continue to control on the track for landing a spot in the ACC championship game.
“We have a lot of football left,” Duke defensive lineman DeWayne Carter said. “We just have to focus on what is in front of us.”
Duke’s loss Saturday night at No. 4 Florida State was certainly understandable — though the Blue Devils didn’t trail in the game until early in the fourth quarter.
But expecting another hostile environment at Louisville, coach Mike Elko said there needs to be an uptick in the passing attack. The Blue Devils have completed a total of 12 passes in their last two games combined.
“In those types of games and those types of atmospheres we have to be more efficient in the throw game and execute better,” Elko said, referring to eight completions against Florida State. “We complete that few passes and (can’t) expect to win a game on the road like that. We have to finish better in the fourth quarter and execute at a high level.”
Louisville might still be trying to come to grips with its 38-21 loss two weeks ago to a Pitt team that now has just two wins.
“We have to regroup and understand that from here on out, the schedule gets tougher and every team will come ready to play,” Brohm said. “We have to get better.”
Duke’s approach is bound to be impacted by the status of quarterback Riley Leonard. He was injured near the end of the Notre Dame game and then didn’t play in a 24-3 victory against North Carolina State.
Leonard wasn’t at full strength but played for about three quarters of the Florida State game before departing with an injury. Henry Belin IV might have to fill in again.
“We have a lot of tough kids on this team and that has been a reason as to why we have been successful the last couple of years,” Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton said. “You have to instill some confidence in Henry.”
On Monday, Elko said Leonard is day-to-day.
Duke is averaging 198.3 rushing yards per game, so it isn’t heavily reliant on throwing the ball, anyway.
“They pride themselves on running the football,” Brohm said. “This is a tough, physical football team.”
Even with the week off, there was sour injury news coming from Louisville. Offensive lineman Renato Brown, who had started every game for two seasons until the Pitt game, is out for the season after knee surgery. Running back Jawhar Jordan (hamstring) and defensive back Jarvis Brownlee Jr. (foot) will be monitored this week.
Jordan’s 661 rushing yards are more than all other players combined on the Louisville roster.
NO. 14 NOTRE DAME, FRESH AFTER BYE, AIMS TO STAY HOT VS. PITT
Coming off a bye, No. 14 Notre Dame is feeling rested and refreshed as it prepares to host Pitt on Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.
Notre Dame (6-2) has not played since Oct. 14, when it rolled to a 48-20 win on its home field over then-No. 10 Southern California. The Fighting Irish held a 24-6 lead by halftime and never relented.
Then came a break, which Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman described as “much needed” for his team as it gears up for its final four games before bowl season.
“For our players, mentally and physically, they needed it,” Freeman said. “You think about, we started this season the last week of June (when) we started training camp, and we had gone straight until last week. It was a great chance for them to have a bye week.”
Now, the Fighting Irish turn their attention to Pitt (2-5). After winning their season opener against FCS foe Wofford, the Panthers lost four straight. However, they showed improvement in the past two weeks with a 38-21 win over then-No. 14 Louisville and then a narrow 21-17 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday.
Part of Pitt’s progress has come thanks to running back C’Bo Flemister, a Notre Dame transfer who will go up against his friends and former teammates. Flemister leads the Panthers with 282 rushing yards to go along with two touchdowns, and he has 92 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Pitt also has found some success under new quarterback Christian Veilleux, who is set to make his third career start. He threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns last weekend.
“It’s a team that I see that is continuously getting better,” Freeman said. “This team has gotten better from what they were at the beginning of the year, so we’ve got to understand the challenge that will be presented on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman will face a defense that he opposed in the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference championship game while he was at Wake Forest. Through his first eight games for the Fighting Irish, Hartman has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,838 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said Hartman’s scouting report changed this season compared to his time with the Demon Deacons.
“Obviously, a totally different offense,” Narduzzi said. “He’s in a pro-style offense. He’s huddling up and taking snaps under center. If he’s going to play in the NFL, it’s going to be in that type of offense, not what they were doing at Wake Forest.
“I think he’s probably enjoying it. I think it’s every childhood kid’s dream to play in the National Football League, and he’s going to have an opportunity just by being able to make run checks, sit underneath the center and do all the things that they ask him to do there.”
Notre Dame also showcases a potent ground game led by running back Audric Estime, who enters this weekend averaging 6.2 yards a carry. He has rushed for 787 yards and nine scores.
Safety Xavier Watts leads the Fighting Irish’s defense with four interceptions. Three players are tied for the lead in sacks with two apiece.
Pitt’s defense features three players with three sacks apiece. Defensive back M.J. Devonshire has two interceptions and eight passes defended.
The Saturday game will be the 73rd meeting between the programs. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 50-21-1, with wins in the past three matchups.
NO. 7 TEXAS’ QB DEPTH WILL BE TESTED VS. BYU
No. 7 Texas will have plenty of questions to answer — perhaps more than at any time so far this season — when it faces BYU on Saturday in Austin, Texas, in what will be the only Big 12 Conference matchup of the teams.
The Longhorns (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) will have either Maalik Murphy, who has been the backup all season, or highly coveted freshman Arch Manning at quarterback for the contest. Starter Quinn Ewers sprained his right (throwing) shoulder late in the third quarter of their 31-24 win at Houston last week.
Ewers was listed as week-to-week by Texas coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday. Sarkisian said both Murphy, who finished 1 of 2 for 7 yards in the fourth quarter of the win over Houston, and Manning, who has not seen the field this year, would get a “ton of reps” this week and that both could play.
“What are the things that Maalik does well? What are the things that Arch does well? What do they do well and how do we ensure, ‘OK, here’s the concepts that we think they run really well,’ ” Sarkisian said about his two backups. “They don’t have to run the whole playbook. They need to run what they run really well.”
The Longhorns bounced back from a loss to then-No. 12 Oklahoma with the victory over Houston, scoring the winning touchdown on a 16-yard run by CJ Baxter with 5:37 to play. Texas sprinted to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter before giving it all back. After Baxter’s scoring run, the Longhorns’ defense repelled a final drive by the Cougars that ended at the Texas 10 with 1:03 remaining.
Jonathon Brooks led Texas with 99 yards on 20 carries and added eight catches for 51 yards, but the Longhorns finished with just 360 total yards, their second lowest output of the year.
Texas still climbed a spot in the AP poll despite its less-than-stellar effort and Ewers’ injury.
BYU (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) heads to Austin after a 27-14 home win over Texas Tech last week. The Cougars rebounded from a dismal 44-11 loss at TCU the week before. They have alternated losses and wins the past four games after starting the season with three victories.
Cougars quarterback Kedon Slovis completed 15 of his 27 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, and LJ Martin rushed 10 times for 93 yards, though BYU produced only 277 total yards in the win.
The Cougars forced five turnovers. Eddie Heckard recovered a fumble for a touchdown and nabbed an interception, Jakob Robinson recorded his fourth interception of the season, Ethan Slade hauled in his first career interception and Tyler Batty caused a fumble on special teams that was recovered by punter Ryan Rehkow.
The Cougars’ running game remains an issue. BYU had 150 yards on the ground in the win over Texas Tech but is ranked 128th out of 130 FBS teams in yards per carry (2.78).
BYU is a win away from being bowl-eligible.
“We just do whatever it takes to win,” Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said. “There is still some room for improvement in every phase. We still have some new bodies and some new people to the scheme. They’re getting used to it. They are starting to develop rapport with each other on the line, in the passing game with our quarterback. Then on defense, (they are) understanding the scheme a little bit more.”
The Cougars have dominated the all-time series between the teams, winning four of the five games, including a 41-7 victory in Austin in 2014 in the most recent matchup.
BYU will get just the one Big 12 crack at Texas as the Longhorns are moving to the Southeastern Conference next year.
NO. 8 OREGON, NO. 13 UTAH CLASH IN LIKELY ELIMINATION MATCH
It is a virtual elimination game Saturday when No. 8 Oregon faces No. 13 Utah in Salt Lake City.
Both teams are 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12. The team that loses falls out of national championship consideration.
“Big game in the conference picture,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said his Monday news conference. “They’re a one-loss team, as are we. Both our backs are to the wall. Hopefully it will be a great football game.”
Utah’s lone blemish is a 21-7 defeat at then-No. 19 Oregon State on Sept. 29. The Ducks lost 36-33 at then-No. 7 Washington in a battle of unbeatens on Oct. 14.
Oregon coach Dan Lanning shares Whittingham’s view that it’s a must-win game.
“This is gonna be a fun opponent,” Lanning said at his Monday news conference. “A really good team, extremely well coached. They’ve done a phenomenal job of utilizing their personnel and have some really talented players on their team.”
The Ducks have more firepower with an offense that ranks second nationally in scoring (47 points per game) and total offense (551.6 yards per game).
Oregon also features standout quarterback Bo Nix, who made his NCAA-record 54th career start at quarterback last week in the Ducks’ 38-24 home win over Washington State. Five other quarterbacks shared the record at 53 (though current Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman is in that group.)
Nix has passed for 2,089 yards, 19 touchdowns and one interception this season. That pick is the lone turnover committed by the Ducks, who have the fewest in the nation. Utah is tied for third with just four turnovers.
The Utes rank 96th in scoring (23.4 ppg) and 98th in total offense (345.0 ypg), but the attack has been spruced up by having standout safety Sione Vaki (tied for the team lead with 35 tackles) play on both sides of the ball.
Vaki caught two touchdown passes and had 217 offensive yards last week in Utah’s 34-32 road victory over then-No. 18 Southern California. He caught five passes for 149 yards and rushed nine times for 68 more.
“It’s been a big plus for our offense to say the least to have him over there,” Whittington said. “The impact he makes on offense is actually bigger than the impact he has on defense. And he’s one of the best safeties in the country, so that tells you how valuable he has been for us.”
Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes had career bests of 235 yards and three touchdowns against USC but also threw an interception that was returned for a score. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Barnes will continue to run the show after the weekend news that standout Cam Rising won’t play this season. Rising sustained a serious knee injury in the Rose Bowl against Penn State on Jan. 2.
Utah ranks 11th in scoring defense (15.0 ppg) and 14th in total defense (295.4 ypg) but can’t just worry about stopping Nix.
The fifth-ranked run defense (78.0 ypg) will look to lasso Ducks running back Bucky Irving (649 rushing yards) for the second straight season. Irving had just 20 yards on 10 carries in Oregon’s 20-17 home win over the Utes last season.
Irving accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) and ran for a season-best 129 yards against Washington State. One week earlier, he rushed for 127 yards against Washington.
“I would say his heart is pounding out of his chest. This dude is so passionate, he cares so much for his teammates and never goes down on first contact,” Lanning said of Irving’s running style. “Really selfless player, and I think that really shows up when you see this guy play on the field.”
Oregon has won 10 of the past 15 meetings with the Utes.
NO. 24 USC SEARCHES FOR OFFENSIVE STRIDE AGAINST CAL
No. 24 USC searches for offensive stride against Cal
Cal and No. 24 Southern California both come into their Saturday Pac-12 Conference matchup in Berkeley, Calif., looking to pull out of two-game losing streaks.
USC (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) followed its first defeat of the 2023 season — a 48-20 rout on Oct. 14 at then-No. 21 Notre Dame — with its first conference loss last week, falling 34-32 to then-No. 14 Utah.
The Trojans fought back from a 14-point, third-quarter deficit to pull ahead 32-31 of the Utes with 1:46 left in the game thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. That was the only TD Williams accounted for in the contest.
Utah’s ensuing drive ended with Cole Becker’s 38-yard field goal that sent USC to a fourth consecutive loss against the Utes.
The latest setback all but ended the Trojans’ College Football Playoff aspirations. USC has never reached the four-team field since the CFP’s inception in 2014-15.
“It’s always that one little niche off,” Trojans assistant head coach and offensive passing game coordinator Dennis Simmons said, filling in for coach Lincoln Riley on Monday’s “Trojans Live” radio show. “We may overrun a zone here or not quite be in the right space there or not quite pick up something on a protection. It’s just getting all 11 things to click at the same time.
“From an offensive standpoint, that’s vital. Because if one piece breaks down, it has a chance to muck up the whole picture.”
USC came into the month of October having scored no fewer than 42 points in each of its first five games. The Trojans head to Cal still ranked third nationally in scoring offense among FBS teams at 45.4 points per game but have averaged 26.7 in regulation over the past three contests.
The Trojans went into the first of three overtimes tied at 28 on Oct. 7 in what ended up being a 43-41 win over Arizona.
Cal (3-4, 1-3) is coming off a bye week after also dropping a game to Utah, 34-14 on Oct. 14. That came after a 52-40 shootout setback vs. then-No. 15 Oregon State on Oct. 7.
Golden Bears coach Justin Wilcox said Cal used the extra date, in part, to “get a head start on USC.”
Wilcox believes the Trojans’ defense, which has allowed 30.5 points per game, is better than what the stats show.
“They have excellent edge players. They create a lot of negative plays on their own, either sacks or tackles for loss,” Wilcox said. “They have a guy inside (Bear Alexander) who’s a very, very talented, gifted player.”
A Cal offense that has experienced ups and downs from week to week will not have to see USC’s standout defensive lineman Alexander in the first half. Alexander was penalized for a targeting penalty on Utah’s final drive and will therefore miss the opening two quarters on Saturday.
The Golden Bears’ offense, ranked third in the Pac-12 with 195.4 rushing yards per game behind running back Jaydn Ott, will attempt to take advantage of Alexander’s absence.
Ott averages a conference-leading 100.5 rushing yards per game.
RICE SEEKING STATEMENT WIN AGAINST NO. 22 TULANE
Tulane is off to a good start in trying to win its second consecutive American Athletic Conference championship.
Rice is trying to stay in contention for the title in its first season in the AAC as it hosts the No. 22 Green Wave (6-1, 3-0) on Saturday in Houston.
Tulane is in a three-way tie for first while the Owls (4-3, 2-1) are coming off their most lopsided conference victory in 10 years — a 42-10 win at Tulsa on Oct. 19.
The Green Wave appeared headed to a lopsided victory of their own last Saturday when they took a 21-0 halftime lead against visiting North Texas but saw the Mean Green pull even before Michael Pratt ran for a tie-breaking touchdown with 2:34 left to produce a 35-28 victory.
“I do like the fact that we finished and that we were put in a bad situation and we came out of it with a win,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “That’s good, but you never know how these games are going to play out.”
Pratt, who also threw three touchdown passes, was named the AAC’s Offensive Player of the Week for a second time this season.
The Green Wave needed every one of his scores to hold off North Texas’ second-half surge.
In the first half, the Tulane defense ended three UNT possessions with fourth-down stops, forced two punts and recovered a fumble. In the second half, it allowed four consecutive touchdowns before getting another fourth-down stop as time expired.
“We need to play better on defense throughout the whole game,” Fritz said. “We played really well in the first half. We’ve just to continue for the whole ballgame.”
Rice had what coach Mike Bloomgren called “as complete a win as we’ve had against any FBS opponent” against Tulsa.
It was the Owls’ largest margin of victory in a conference game since a 52-14 victory against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 14, 2013.
The defense forced three turnovers and benefited from an offense that produced three touchdown drives of less than a minute each in the first half and two others that each ate more than eight minutes of clock in the second half.
“When you can do that,” Bloomgren said, “it makes the defense’s job easier.”
JT Daniels passed for 342 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown. Dean Connors had 120 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries.
Rice, which left Conference USA to join the AAC, knows this game will demonstrate how it matches up against one of the top teams in its new league.
“This is not the kind of football team we played in our conference last year,” Bloomgren said of the Green Wave. “This is a team that looks a lot more like Texas or Houston.”
The Owls, who didn’t turn the ball over last week, hope to repeat the type of execution that enabled them to outgain Tulsa 512-294 and possess the ball for nearly 34 minutes.
“In order to beat Tulane, who’s a really solid team,” Connors said, “we’re going to have to do that all over again and do it better.”
NO. 19 AIR FORCE AIMS TO BOTTLE UP COLORADO STATE
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said last week that quarterback Zac Larrier would be “out a while” after being injured in the Falcons’ previous game.
Navy sure wishes Calhoun were right.
Larrier threw for 151 yards, including a school-record 94-yard touchdown pass to Dane Kinamon, as Air Force stayed unbeaten and rose to No. 19 in the Top 25 after a 17-6 win over the Midshipmen in Annapolis, Md.
Larrier and the Falcons (7-0, 4-0 Mountain West) will look to keep rolling Saturday when they make the short trip to Fort Collins, Colo., to face Colorado State (3-4, 1-2).
A knee injury during a 34-27 victory over Wyoming on Oct. 14 put Larrier’s availability in doubt but ultimately did not alter Calhoun’s game plan. Larrier ran the ball 15 times, on par with his per-game average, and threw for his second-most yards of the year.
“They got me ready to play, and I felt ready,” Larrier said of the training staff. “I know my coaches wouldn’t have sent me in if I wasn’t ready or if they didn’t believe I was ready, so they let me get in there. And I’m happy they let me get in there.”
Equally as important was the Falcons’ defense. Navy finished with only 124 total yards, including 78 on a late touchdown drive that foiled Air Force’s shutout bid. The Midshipmen were limited to 22 rushing yards on 35 carries.
The result put the Falcons in the driver’s seat for their second straight Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. A win at home next week against Army would give them their 22nd trophy, extending their series record.
“It’s always a big deal,” Calhoun said. “It just moves you beyond football, too. You have future service members that have made a commitment to do everything they can to make our country a better place.”
Meanwhile, Colorado State is coming off a bitter 25-23 loss last week at UNLV on a 28-yard field goal by Jose Pizano with three seconds left. The Rams took a one-point edge on a 55-yard field goal by Jordan Noyes with 44 seconds left but couldn’t make one final stop on defense.
It was Pizano’s sixth field goal of the day.
“We just made too many little mistakes at critical times that could have helped us either move the ball offensively or get off the field on defense,” said Colorado State coach Jay Norvell. “We didn’t play as well on special teams as we needed to with the field position.”
It was a 180-degree turn from the previous week, when the Rams came up with three touchdowns in the final five minutes, including a Hail Mary on the last play, to stun Boise State 31-30.
Wasted in the outcome against UNLV were 235 passing yards from Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi and seven receptions from Tory Horton, who in seven games already has 65 catches. That puts him on pace to finish with 110 for the year.
Air Force leads the series 38-21-1 and has won 14 of the last 16 meetings, including six in a row.
NO. 21 VOLS, KENTUCKY PITCH COMPLETE GAME PLANS
When No. 21 Tennessee travels to face Kentucky in a Southeastern Conference clash on Saturday in Lexington, the Volunteers and Wildcats are seeking the finishing touch.
Both are coming off games in which they led SEC opponents in the second half before imploding.
In Tennessee’s 34-20 loss at then-No. 11 Alabama, the Volunteers (5-2, 2-2 SEC) blew a 13-point advantage as they were outscored 27-0 in the second half.
In Kentucky’s 38-21 home defeat to Missouri, the Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) entered the fourth quarter in the lead before surrendering the game’s last 18 points.
Kentucky has had a bye week to recover from its collapse and to address other issues. After opening 5-0 and rising to a No. 20 rank, the Wildcats have yielded 89 points while losing their past two games, to No. 1 Georgia and then Missouri.
“You’ve got to repair, reflect and readjust,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said on Monday of the bye. “Most importantly, it gives us a good chance to look at ourselves.”
The Kentucky defense has excelled against the run, but stopping the pass has been problematic. The Wildcats allow opponents to complete 67.7 of their attempts, ranking No. 125, and they are No. 127 in completions allowed (24.8 per game).
The Wildcats have struggled against teams that play quickly and quarterbacks who can improvise. Tennessee and its mobile quarterback, Joe Milton III, present a stylistic challenge, Stoops said, as an “elite tempo team.”
The Kentucky offense boasts Ray Davis, who leads the SEC in rushing (111.6 yards per game) and yards per carry (7.0). However, the Wildcats have been hindered by an anemic passing attack.
Transfer quarterback Devin Leary has shown little of the stuff that made him the 2022 ACC preseason player of the year at North Carolina State. In the past three games, Leary has completed just 33 of 72 passes for 317 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
Tennessee arrives in Lexington after an uncharacteristic second-half meltdown. In three seasons when leading at halftime under Josh Heupel, the Volunteers had won 22 straight times.
“I could sense the players’ disappointment this morning,” Heupel said on Monday. “At the same time, when we walked out of the team meeting room, you gotta cut it clean. You gotta take the lessons moving forward. But we gotta go.”
Last week in Tuscaloosa, Tennessee laid the groundwork for toppling Alabama for the second straight year as Milton threw two touchdown passes to spark the Volunteers to a 20-7 halftime lead.
However, the Crimson Tide owned the second half. They stopped Tennessee twice on downs and got a soul-crushing defensive play in the fourth quarter when Milton fumbled and Jihaad Campbell made a 24-yard scoop and score.
The Volunteers’ inability to convert on fourth down has been telling. In their two losses (against Florida and Alabama), they are 0-for-6 on fourth down.
On Monday, Heupel dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that the Volunteers employ the “tush push” strategy popularized this year by the Philadelphia Eagles.
“At the end of the day, we gotta find a way to pick up the first down,” Heupel said. “We’ve used a lot of different formations. We’ve been under center, been in (shotgun). We’ve used it all.”
NO. 5 WASHINGTON AIMS TO RESTORE HIGH-OCTANE OFFENSE VS. STANFORD
No. 5 Washington aims to restore high-octane offense vs. Stanford
After the meekest showing of its undefeated season, No. 5 Washington will seek improvement on offense against host Stanford on Saturday.
The Huskies (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12) barely made it past last-place Arizona State 15-7 last week.
“It didn’t go the way that you’d expect as far as the night, but there was a lot of grit and there was a lot of guys that just stayed the course and just kept fighting,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said. “I know I say that a lot, but we have a solution-oriented group of guys. … Collectively as a team, we’re going to continue to fight and find a solution and a way to win.”
After scoring 31 points or more in each of their first six games — including 56 vs. Boise State and 59 against Cal — the Huskies were held to three points for the first three quarters against Arizona State. Their only touchdown came defensively, via Mishael Powell’s 89-yard pick-six with 8:11 to play.
DeBoer was not concerned that the Sun Devils delivered a blueprint for how to slow his offense.
“There’s a chess match within the game, you know, that takes place certainly. But we have those answers I think built into what we do,” DeBoer said.
Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. completed 27 of 42 passes for 275 yards but threw two interceptions after entering the game with just three picks all year. Penix is still a Heisman Trophy candidate thanks to his four games of four touchdown passes or more this season.
The Washington athletic department is pushing a “Penix for Heisman” campaign, but DeBoer said that is secondary to his senior quarterback.
“He’s so focused — I mean, the reason he came back was not about winning an award,” DeBoer said. “He came back to play because he wanted to do something special for this football program and win a championship for this football team.”
The Cardinal (2-5, 1-4) had a notable game on Oct. 13 when they rallied from a 29-0 halftime deficit to stun Colorado 46-43 in double overtime. But last week, Stanford fell flat in a 42-7 loss to then-No. 25 UCLA.
Stanford coach Troy Taylor said he will mix things up in practice in search of a faster start.
“You just can’t put yourself in a hole and expect to be able to come back and win,” he said.
In last year’s meeting in Seattle, Penix went 22-for-37 for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Washington beat Stanford 40-22.
“We’re a completely different team,” said Taylor, in his first year at Stanford. “Washington … is very similar to the same team. So I think you can get something out of (last year’s tape) for sure.”
The Cardinal will need another big game from quarterback Ashton Daniels, who went 27-for-45 for 396 yards and four touchdowns in the comeback over Colorado.
Taylor said leading rusher Casey Filkins (206 rushing yards, one TD) is expected back after missing the UCLA game with an injury.
Neither team does that much on the ground, with Stanford (127.4) ranking 98th in FBS in rushing yards per game and Washington (103.9) ranking 117th. The Huskies managed just 13 yards on 13 carries against Arizona State.
Washington has won two straight in the series to hold a 45-44-4 edge all-time.
NO. 12 OLE MISS GUARDING AGAINST UPSET WHEN VANDERBILT VISITS
No. 12 Ole Miss hopes to take another step toward playing for a conference title when it hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday in Oxford, Miss.
The Rebels are riding a three-game winning streak, the most recent victory being last Saturday’s 28-21 win at Auburn.
While Ole Miss (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) has primarily been known more for its offense under Lane Kiffin, the Rebels held Auburn to 275 yards a week after limiting Arkansas to 286. It’s the first time Ole Miss has held consecutive SEC opponents to fewer than 300 yards since 2009.
The Rebels, 24 1/2-point favorites over Vandy, trailed the Commodores at halftime last season before a second-half explosion keyed a 52-28 win in Nashville. Kiffin, addressing the issue of how to keep his team from becoming complacent as a heavy favorite, referenced that game as well as Virginia’s upset of North Carolina as tools the Rebels are using to combat that.
“We showed them some upsets that just happened, especially a really big one over in the ACC,” Kiffin said. “These guys were beating us at halftime last year. We’ve got a lot of work to put in, a lot of work to do, so it’s a lot more about us than who we’re playing.”
Ole Miss averages 39.7 points and 480.1 yards per game, with quarterback Jaxson Dart (1,840 yards passing, 346 rushing, 19 total touchdowns) leading the way. The improved health of wide receiver Tre Harris (102 of his 469 receiving yards last week) and tight end Caden Prieskorn (63 of his 125) has made the Rebels even more dangerous.
So has the re-emergence of preseason All-American Quinshon Judkins, who has recovered from a slow start to amass 366 of his 567 rushing yards over Ole Miss’ three-game winning streak.
Vanderbilt (2-6, 0-4) comes off a bye week in the midst of a difficult six-game skid. Last time out, the Commodores gave No. 1 Georgia a brief fourth-quarter scare before falling 37-20 in Nashville.
Turnovers — an SEC-leading 14, with a league-worst nine interceptions — have plagued Vanderbilt this season.
But the Commodores have started to get that under control as coach Clark Lea made Ken Seals the starting quarterback the last three games. In them, Seals has passed for 740 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.
“We’re going to stay the course with Ken,” Lea said. “We appreciate how he’s taken care of the ball. We’ve seen enough in the last few weeks to see Ken has stepped forward with confidence.”
Seals could use some help from the running game, which gained 18 yards on 15 carries vs. Georgia.
Perhaps the team’s biggest problem has been defense. The Commodores have allowed 437.5 yards and 34.4 points per game and a 50 percent conversion rate on third down (57-for-114).
Secondary health has been a part of that. All five of Vandy’s starting defensive backs have missed time with injury.
This week, Lea termed starting safeties De’Rickey Wright and CJ Taylor as “questionable” and “doubtful,” respectively. Starting cornerback BJ Anderson is again out, while starting cornerback Martel Hight (who missed the Georgia game) is back this week.
COLORADO LOOKS TO REBOUND AT NO. 23 UCLA
Colorado will begin another tough two-week stretch of Pac-12 play when the Buffaloes travel to No. 23 UCLA on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
Colorado (4-3, 1-3) will follow its game against the Bruins by hosting No. 11 Oregon State on Nov. 4 in another nighttime matchup.
The most recent time the Buffaloes faced back-to-back ranked opponents, they were exposed in several ways, losing last month to then-No. 10 Oregon and then-No. 8 Southern California. Colorado fell out of the Top 25 after the loss to the Ducks.
After a narrow win at Arizona State on Oct. 7, Colorado blew a 29-0 lead against visiting Stanford on Oct. 13 and lost 46-43 in double overtime, further eroding a 3-0 start that included a season-opening win against then-No. 17 TCU.
Colorado had a week off to shake the shocking loss to the Cardinal and begin preparing for the Bruins, who are coming off a 42-7 win against Stanford last weekend.
First-year Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders is challenging his players to be better against UCLA while not placing any blame on the recent losses.
“I’m not going to point fingers. That’s not what I’m here for,” Sanders said. “I let the coaches; that’s what they’re here for. They’re here to guide us, so I can’t really say that and throw no teammate under the bus, because that’s not the type of player I am.”
UCLA (5-2, 2-2) faced three straight ranked opponents before playing the Cardinal, and the Bruins went 1-2 vs. those ranked teams.
An injury to UCLA freshman quarterback Dante Moore early last week limited his repetitions in practice, so coach Chip Kelly started redshirt junior Ethan Garbers against Stanford. He performed well, completing 20 of 28 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
Garbers also had 51 rushing yards on eight carries.
Moore came in for one series late against the Cardinal, demonstrating he was healthy enough to play, and Kelly said Monday he had not settled on a starting quarterback for the Colorado game.
“We make our decision at the end of the week, so I couldn’t tell you who’s going to be up or down by (then),” Kelly said. “When we get to the end of the week, we sit down as a staff and we’ll go through it.”
In addition to Moore and Garbers, junior Collin Schlee could be an option under center against the Buffaloes. Schlee was injured earlier this month as well, which took him out of the running to start against Stanford.
“We’re one of the fortunate teams in the country; we have depth at quarterback,” Kelly said. “I believe Ethan’s a starter at the Power 5 level, Dante’s a starter at the Power 5 level, and Collin Schlee’s a starter at the Power 5 level, so that’s a luxury that not a lot of people have.”
Whoever starts at quarterback, he’ll have one of the top wide receivers in the Pac-12 in J. Michael Sturdivant, a transfer from Cal who leads UCLA with 407 receiving yards. He also has three TD catches.
There’s also no mystery which running back will get a majority of carries for the Bruins: Carson Steele, who is averaging 109 rushing yards over the past three weeks, with four touchdowns.
NO. 3 OHIO STATE TURNS FULL ATTENTION TO WISCONSIN
After a statement-making victory over a previously undefeated Top 10 opponent, No. 3 Ohio State will look to avoid a letdown in Saturday night’s Big Ten clash with Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.
Ohio State (7-0, 4-0) is fresh off a 20-12 win at home against then-No. 7 Penn State, which dropped to 10th in the rankings. The Buckeyes are second in the Big Ten East, a half-game behind Michigan, the nation’s No. 2-ranked team.
Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1) overcame a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to stun Illinois 25-21 behind redshirt freshman quarterback Braedyn Locke, who was making his first collegiate start.
The Badgers moved back atop the Big Ten West, a half-game in front of Iowa, which lost at Minnesota.
“We talked about it on Sunday as a team, that we’ve got to bring it this week,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Tuesday about Wisconsin. “They’re playing well, they’re a good football team, they’ve got a really good opportunity to win their side. And we can’t let last week affect this week.”
Ohio State limited Penn State to two field goals until a touchdown in the final minute. The Buckeyes’ defense held the Nittany Lions to 240 total yards, including 49 on the ground.
“They were 1-for-16 on third down and 1-for-3 on fourth down, so 2-for-19 on third and fourth down is tremendous,” Day said after the Penn State game. “If we could play like this, then this is that champion-level defense, and if we grow as a team, we will be tough to beat down the road.”
First-year starter Kyle McCord completed 22 of 35 passes for 286 yards and one touchdown. Marvin Harrison Jr. had a career-high 11 receptions for 162 yards and a TD and was named the conference’s co-Offensive Player of the Week.
The Buckeyes are ranked fourth in the country in total defense at 260.1 yards per game, and third in scoring defense at 10 points per game.
First-year Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell played for the Buckeyes, then coached at Ohio State from 2002 through 2016, including the 2011 season as interim head coach.
“The first thing, to start off with is, it’s not about me,” Fickell said Monday. “We have some guys on our staff, myself included, who have some obvious history there, whether they went to school there or played there. But that’s not what it’s about.”
“It’s about the players, it’s about our team, it’s about our program,” he said.
Locke started against Illinois in place of injured Tanner Mordecai, who broke his throwing hand the previous week in a loss to Iowa.
Locke completed 21 of 41 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns vs. Illinois, including the game-winning 3-yard toss to offensive lineman Nolan Rucci with 27 seconds remaining. Braelon Allen ran for 145 yards on 29 carries with one score.
Ohio State has won nine straight games against Wisconsin since the Badgers’ last victory, 31-18 in 2010 over the then-No. 1 Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin 52-21 last season, rolling up 539 yards offense while holding the Badgers to 296. Allen ran for 165 yards on 23 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown.
NO. 17 UNC SEEKS BOUNCE-BACK EFFORT VS. GEORGIA TECH
After absorbing an upset loss in their latest outing, the No. 17 North Carolina Tar Heels will aim to bounce back when they travel to Atlanta on Saturday to face Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels (6-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) saw their unbeaten record blemished and their hopes of making the College Football Playoff diminished when they lost 31-27 to visiting Virginia last week.
North Carolina was just 4-of-15 on third- and fourth-down conversions in the defeat and allowed the Cavaliers a 37-minute to 23-minute edge in time of possession. The Tar Heels lost despite leading by as much as 10 points in the third quarter.
After falling behind with 8:51 to play, North Carolina saw its first three offensive series end in a punt, on failed fourth-down play and an interception.
On Monday, North Carolina offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey took some blame for the loss, and for not getting the ball into the hands of running back Omarion Hampton more often.
“I got to do a better job, just being honest with you, (about) making sure that gets done. That’s on me as coordinator, I’m responsible for it all,” Lindsey said. “Omarion is a great player and I think he ended up with 19 carries.
“Disappointed that we didn’t finish the game like we wanted to. We had some opportunities at the end.”
Indeed, while Hampton rushed 19 times for 112 yards, it felt as if he could have had even more yards on the ground as he averaged 5.9 yards per carry. He was never stopped for a loss by Virginia. North Carolina could have utilized other ball carriers, too. Other than Hampton’s production, the Heels ran 10 times for 31 yards.
“Why didn’t I step up and say, ‘Come on, maybe hand it to Omarion more?’ ” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “You hate to get involved with play selection during a game because I’ve done that, but that’s my job.”
Georgia Tech (3-4, 2-2) is also licking its wounds after taking a 38-23 home loss to Boston College last week. The Yellow Jackets had 452 yards of total offense, but they gave up 563 yards to the Eagles. And Georgia Tech quarterback Haynes King threw three interceptions — one of which was a pick-six and another that led to a Boston College scoring drive.
The Yellow Jackets led 23-17 heading into the fourth quarter before squandering their advantage and getting outscored 21-0 in the final period.
“We have to play better football in the fourth quarter and be in a better place to be able to sustain an edge and a toughness that we have to be able to in those situations,” Georgia Tech coach Brent Key said. “Looking forward to the game this weekend, we have a good opponent coming in.”
Should the Yellow Jackets win on Saturday, it would be the third straight year they have defeated a ranked North Carolina team. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series against the Tar Heels 32-22-3, having prevailed in four of the past five matchups.
NO. 25 JAMES MADISON TURNS FOCUS TO OLD DOMINION
For the second straight year, No. 25 James Madison is drawing double-takes as a rankings interloper.
In their second year in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Dukes (7-0, 4-0 Sun Belt) are again making noise, both for their record and for still being ineligible for a bowl game.
The Virginia school is serving a two-year ban from the postseason, its penance for transitioning from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Last year, when James Madison started with five straight wins and hit the rankings at No. 25, it went on to lose its next three games.
The Dukes hope that last year’s experience will pay dividends on Saturday night when they host Old Dominion (4-3, 3-1) in their homecoming in Harrisonburg, Va.
“Last season when we were ranked there was a lot of hoopla,” JMU’s fifth-year coach Curt Cignetti said Monday. “This team has learned lessons from the past. It’s very mature. They have been extremely focused, day in, day out.”
The lessons were evident earlier this month when JMU dominated Georgia Southern 41-13. A year ago, it was the Eagles who knocked off the newly-ranked Dukes, 45-38, triggering their three-game slide.
On Thursday of last week, JMU overcame another nemesis as it beat Marshall for the first time, winning on the road, 20-9.
Jalen Green registered five of the Dukes’ eight sacks, matching a program record, while quarterback Jordan McCloud threw for 264 yards and tacked on 69 yards rushing.
McCloud, a former starter at South Florida and Arizona, has been a good fit in Cignetti’s pass-oriented offense.
McCloud made a quick impression in his second game, rallying the Dukes to a 36-35 win at Virginia as he threw the game-winning touchdown pass with 55 seconds left on Sept. 9.
Old Dominion coach Ricky Rahne said on Monday that he has been impressed with McCloud’s decision-making.
“This is, from me, an ultimate compliment when I say this, the ball’s going where it’s supposed to go,” Rahne said. “And he will sit in that pocket and he will take one right in the teeth in order to throw a ball.”
ODU is coming off a 28-21 win over Appalachian State as Keshawn Wicks scored the clinching touchdown on a 16-yard run with 48 seconds to go.
Wicks finished with 82 yards and two TDs on 12 carries while Kadarius Calloway contributed 104 yards on 13 rushes.
The Monarchs’ ground game will be tested against a Dukes defense that leads the FBS in fewest rushing yards allowed per game (36.1) and fewest per carry (1.2).
Green leads the unit with an FBS-high 18 tackles for a loss, with 13 of them sacks. The Dukes have held two teams to negative rushing yards this year.
Last season, James Madison beat Old Dominion for the first time, handing the Monarchs their worst loss of 2022, 37-3, in Norfolk, Va.
Cignetti likes his team’s mindset as it prepares for its final five games, even if the Dukes can’t play for a title.
“I think this team is really focused on taking care of business and doing something special,” he said.
NO. 11 OREGON STATE RIDES RUGGED RUNNING GAME INTO ARIZONA
No. 11 Oregon State has its eyes on big prizes as it brings one of the Pac-12’s best rushing attacks into a tricky game at Arizona on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.
The Beavers (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) have won three consecutive games, including handing Utah its only defeat of the season and a victory over then-No. 18 UCLA. By the time late November rolls around, Oregon State could be playing for a spot in the conference title game, closing against Washington and Oregon.
“We want some excitement about what we’re doing, but ultimately, each week, you never know how these games are going to turn out,” said coach Jonathan Smith.
“The only thing we can control is how we prepare. We want to play in meaningful games at the end of the year, and the only way to do that is to take care of business right now.”
Oregon State hasn’t been ranked this high in the AP poll since the week of Oct. 21, 2012, when it was seventh.
Also entering the game fresh from a bye week, Arizona (4-3, 2-2) is at its highest point in coach Jedd Fisch’s third season, routing then-No. 19 Washington State 44-6 on Oct. 19 in Pullman, Wash., which was the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory ever over a ranked opponent on the road.
“They were able to score and then shut down what I think is a very potent offense,” said Smith, whose team’s only loss came at Washington State (38-35) on Sept. 23.
This week’s matchup will be the Wildcats’ fourth consecutive game against a ranked team, having previously dropped one-possession games to then-No. 7 Washington (31-24) and then-No. 9 Southern California (43-41 in three overtimes).
While each of the past three opponents featured high-powered passing attacks, Arizona’s much-improved defense will have to stop the run first against Oregon State. The Beavers roll to 195.1 rushing yards per game, led by Damien Martinez, who is 19th nationally with an average of 96.6 yards per game on the ground.
“Schematically they are extremely different,” Fisch said. “They’re a much more under-center team; they’re not a spread team.
“They have some really good skill players on the perimeter, which is what we’ve been going against every week. They have a very good quarterback, which we’ve been going against every week. But what they do and how they use them and what they do in their running game is very different and unique.”
Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been efficient in his first season since transferring from Clemson. He has completed 106 of 176 passes (60.2 percent) for 1,573 yards, with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Fisch did not commit to a starting quarterback on Monday, although the expectation is that he will stick with redshirt freshman Noah Fifita, who has started the past three games for Jayden de Laura, who suffered an ankle injury late in the third quarter against Stanford on Sept. 23.
Fifita earned back-to-back Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors in his past two games. He completed 34 of 43 passes for 342 yards against Washington State, when de Laura was available to play. Fifita is completing 75.2 percent of his passes (94 of 125) with eight TDs and two interceptions.
These teams haven’t met since 2019. The Beavers were favored by 3.5 points early in the week.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: TOP 25…#20 ALABAMA
|2022-23:||31-6, 16-2 (1st, SEC)|
|NCAA TOURNAMENT – Sweet 16|
|Coach:||NATE OATS (5th season)|
|Homecourt:||COLEMAN COLISEUM (15,316)|
|Key Departures:||BRANDON MILLER (18.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 38.4% 3PT)|
|NOAH CLOWNEY (9.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg)|
|JAHVON QUINERLY (8.7 ppg, 3.6 apg)|
|CHARLES BEDIAKO (6.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg)|
|JADEN BRADLEY (6.4 ppg, 3.1 apg)|
|NIMARI BURNETT (5.6 ppg)|
|Key Newcomers:||GRANT NELSON (transfer, North Dakota State)|
|AARON ESTRADA (transfer, Hofstra)|
|LATRELL WRIGHTSELL JR. (transfer, Cal State Fullerton)|
|JARIN STEVENSON (freshman, Seaforth HS, NC)|
|SAM WALTERS (freshman, Villages Charter, FL)|
|MOUHAMED DIOUBATE (freshman, Putnam Science, NY)|
|KRIS PARKER (freshman, Crossroad Academy, FL)|
|12||Latrell Wrightsell Jr.*||G||6-3||Sr||33.2||16.3||4.5||2.4||1.5||0.1||42.4||38.3|
|4||Davin Cosby Jr.||G||6-5||Fr.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
FROM THE COACH
“[Grant Nelson’s] the quintessential positionless guy. We’re going to play him 1 through 5. The highlights are real, I’m glad he didn’t stay in the draft, but if we don’t get him into the first [round], I’m going to feel like I didn’t coach him well.”
There may not be a program in college basketball that underwent more turnover this offseason than Alabama did.
It’s not just that the Tide lost two players to the NBA Draft, or that eight of their top 10 scorers — including three of the four members of last season’s freshman class — departed. All three of Nate Oats’ assistant coaches got head coaching gigs of their own this spring, too. Bryan Hodgson took over at Arkansas State, Antoine Pettway took over Kennesaw State, and Charlie Henry was hired by Georgia Southern.
That’s not an ideal situation to be in during the heart of transfer portal season, but that’s where Oats found himself. And while the Crimson Tide lost a number of key pieces somewhat unexpectedly, they did get Mark Sears back while adding three of the best mid-major players in college basketball to put alongside him.
It will be an older group this season, but one that should be good enough to compete atop the SEC once again.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
At this point, it’s no secret what style Nate Oats wants to play. For the uninitiated, Oats is the undisputed king of pace and space in the college ranks. He wants his teams playing fast, and he wants them shooting 3s and layups — and nothing in between, if they can help it. That means he needs multiple guys who can dribble, pass and shoot.
He’s got them this season.
Newcomer Grant Nelson is one of the most interesting players in the SEC. A 6-11, 235-pound forward, Nelson can do everything there is to do on a basketball court offensively. He can score off the bounce. He can score in the post. He can play in pick-and-roll as the ball-handler and as the screener. He can bring the ball up the floor.
“He’s the tallest kid on our team, and he can bring it up and get us in our offense,” Oats said. “He needs to shoot it, and he worked on that all summer, but he’s not a position. He’s a basketball player.”
The value Nelson provides, Oats says, is similar to that of Herb Jones. They are different players, but Nelson similarly creates mismatches on offense, and his playmaking will open things up for Alabama.
“There are no 5s that can guard him with the way we space the floor,” Oats said.
Alabama’s most entertaining lineups will be the ones that feature Nelson and the three combo guards: Sears, Aaron Estrada and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. All three have similar games and all three can fill similar roles on this team.
Sears is the returnee. A 6-3 transfer from Ohio, Sears was Alabama’s second-leading scorer last season, a playmaker who can space the floor and play off the ball as well. Estrada is a fifth-year senior who put up enormous numbers at Hofstra the past two seasons. He spent his sophomore year at Oregon, so he does have previous high-major experience.
“The longer our summer went, the better he was able to handle the point,” Oats said of Estrada.
Wrightsell is more of a pure scorer than either Estrada or Sears and will likely spend more time playing off the ball, but he’s still a guy that averaged 2.4 assists as a junior at Cal State Fullerton.
“We can play all three of them together,” Oats said. “That’s three combo guards that can pass and shoot; they are going to play the bulk of the minutes.”
Rylan Griffen will be counted on to play big minutes as well. He’s grown an inch since the start of last season while putting on 20 pounds of muscle. Griffen will be asked to be a floor-spacer; he entered Alabama with the reputation of being a big-time shooter but struggled with consistency as a freshman.
Freshmen forwards Sam Walters and Jarin Stevenson will both see minutes if they continue to shoot it as well as they have over the summer. Their size will make them a nice complement to Nelson in the frontcourt when Oats wants to play more perimeter-oriented. Fellow rookie Mouhamed Dioubate will see time when Oats needs another defender on the wing.
When he doesn’t, Nick Pringle and Mohamed Wague will be the two 5-men that fight for minutes. Pringle is a senior who understands the system now that he’s been on the roster for a year, while Wague was a late addition from West Virginia; he missed much of the summer with a nagging injury.
This is Year 5 for Oats in Tuscaloosa, and in his first four seasons with the Tide he’s been a top-10 team twice and lost 14 or more games twice.
When he’s been at his best, it’s been because of what Alabama can do on the defensive end of the floor. In 2021, that defensive impact was caused by Herb Jones. Last season, it was the presence of Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako.
Size, length and athleticism. Switchability. Defensive versatility. Rim protection. Those teams had all of those things. This year’s roster? Not so much.
Pringle and Wague will be taking on a difficult task of replacing Bediako, who left for the professional ranks after his sophomore season. They have, combined, blocked 31 total shots in three seasons of college basketball between them.
“They are not rim protectors like Bediako,” Oats said. “Pringle is athletic and he can really run the floor, but can he switch ball screens? Wague was the best offensive rebounder [in the Big 12], and he’s got a motor, but we haven’t seen much of him yet.”
Nelson’s skill and versatility show up on the offensive end, but not so much on the defensive end. The trio of guards are all around 6-3.
None of these issues are necessarily things that will torpedo Alabama’s season, but when taken together in context, it’s easy to have some questions about just what this group can be on the defensive end of the floor.
Every person associated with Alabama basketball other than Oats is taking a big step up this season.
Sears is going from a complimentary piece to the most experienced returner. Estrada, Wrightsell and Nelson are all moving up to the high-major level from the mid-major level, and that’s never the easiest transition to project. Griffen and Pringle are going to be asked to play much bigger roles this season.
And then there is the coaching staff Oats had to cobble together after all three of his assistants from last season earned head coaching jobs elsewhere.
The new guys: Austin Claunch, who was a head coach at Nicholls State but has never been at the high-major level before; Ryan Pannone, who was an NBA and G League guy but has never been in college before; and Preston Murphy, who has been out of college coaching since 2019.
And all of these new faces are being thrown together to try and compete in a league that includes the likes of Tennessee, Kentucky, Auburn, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
That’s not an easy thing to do.
Offensively, the Crimson Tide have been remarkably consistent in the Oats era.
They always run the same stuff, and it always works to the tune of a top-30ish finish on KenPom in terms of adjusted efficiency. It’d be shocking if that wasn’t the case again this year. In fact, this year’s Alabama team should be one of Oats’ best offensively.
The issue is the defensive end of the floor. If there is no rim protector and Wague takes longer than expected to get back up to speed, Alabama is looking at a situation where it must score 85 or 90 points every night in order to win.
The Tide might be able to do that, but that’s a hard way to compete for a league title, when one poor shooting stretch can suddenly become a 15-point deficit.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: TOP 25…#19 BAYLOR
|2022-23:||23-11, 11-7 (T-3rd Big 12)|
|NCAA Tournament – Second Round|
|Coach:||SCOTT DREW (21st season)|
|Homecourt:||FERRELL CENTER (10,347)|
|Key Departures:||ADAM FLAGLER (15.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 40% 3PT)|
|KEYONTE GEORGE (15.3 ppg, 2.8 apg, 4.2 rpg)|
|LJ CRYER (15.0 ppg, 2.0 apg, 41.5% 3PT)|
|FLO THAMBA (5.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg)|
|Key Newcomers:||RAYJ DENNIS (transfer, Toledo)|
|JA’KOBE WALTER (freshman, McKinney, TX)|
|JAYDEN NUNN (transfer, VCU)|
|MIRO LITTLE (freshman, Sunrise Christian)|
|YVES MISSI (freshman, Prolific Prep)|
FROM THE COACH
“We’ve had it before where we turned over, but we had guys that were coming back that redshirted. They were ready to step in. We’ve never had so many new players.”
When Baylor was at the peak of its power, when the Bears went through a three-season stretch that saw them ranked No. 1 in the country all three years, it was because Scott Drew’s teams were just as dangerous on the defensive end as they were offensively.
From 2019-20 through 2021-22, the Bears ranked in the top 25 of both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. That balance is why they would have been a 1 seed had the 2020 NCAA Tournament happened. It’s why they were champs in 2021, and it’s why they had a shot to repeat in 2022 until injuries derailed their season.
This past season, the Bears were once again an elite offensive unit, finishing second nationally. But they ranked outside KenPom’s top 100 defensively, so Scott Drew already had some problems to solve going into the offseason.
Then, key players started to leave. Keyonte George went to the draft, Adam Flagler headed to the pro ranks, and LJ Cryer transferred to Houston, one of Baylor’s new league rivals.
What happens when a team that can’t guard loses their three best offensive weapons?
ROAD TO SUCCESS
It’s going to have to start on the defensive end this year for Drew. The Bears have no choice but to be better defensively — they finished dead last in defensive efficiency in Big 12 play, and the league just added another national title contender in Houston.
A big part of the issue last year was on the perimeter, but first, let’s address the interior.
Drew will be looking to replace Flo Thamba, a veteran that had been with the program for five years. Getting Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua for a sixth year is a good start.
“Everyday Jon” suffered a devastating and potentially career-ending knee injury in February 2022, but he found a way to get back on the court midway through last season. He wasn’t in shape, but the big man had added a 3-point shot to his game and was still an effective interior presence. Tchamwa Tchatchoua has dropped 25 pounds and gotten back some of his quickness and explosiveness, but Drew says it’s “his leadership and his vocal presence” that will impact the defense as much as anything.
Caleb Lohner is back for his second season after transferring in from BYU. He went from playing the 5 in the WCC to being a wing in the Big 12, and it’s taken time to adjust. Josh Ojianwuna returns for a sophomore campaign that Drew hopes will lead to a breakout season. Freshman Yves Missi has had a few highlights in practice, and the staff is excited about his ability as a rim protector. He should be ready to contribute minutes by the start of the season.
“Bigs in the Big 12 are like offensive linemen in football,” Drew said. “It takes a year or two to get used to the physicality of the league.”
The key along the frontline may end up being Jalen Bridges, an athletic, 6-7 forward that, in theory, can play the hybrid forward role that is so valuable in modern basketball. He can shoot it, he can be a switchable defensive piece, and he has the talent to get 20 points in a Big 12 game.
Consistency, not just from game to game but from possession to possession, will be the key to Bridges playing at his best.
“By the end of the year, it was really night and day what he was as a player compared to early in the season,” Drew said. “He’s one of those guys that, the longer he does something, the more comfortable he is and the better he plays. He doesn’t float or drift as much, and he knows that to reach the next level, his motor has to run every play.”
One of the biggest issues that Baylor had defensively last year is that Drew had to play three smaller guards together because they were just so good offensively. Cryer, Flagler and George were all 6-4 or under, and none of them were ever going to be confused with Davion Mitchell.
Will the new crop have the same problem?
RayJ Dennis, a big-name transfer from Toledo, is 6-2. Jayden Nunn is 6-4 and developed into one of the best wing defenders in college hoops at VCU. (“He wants to be Davion,” Drew said.) Langston Love is 6-5, and so are freshmen Miro Little and Ja’Kobe Walter. Drew isn’t opposed to moving Bridges to the 3 and playing with two bigs on the floor, either.
They’ll guard this season. That’s not the question.
The question is whether or not there is enough offensive pop with this group to be able to compete with Kansas, the preseason No. 1 team in the country according to some, and Houston, who has been a top-five program in America the last half-decade. It’s safe to say that Cryer’s decision to leave Baylor for Houston will have a significant impact on the Big 12 title race.
The answer will likely be Dennis, who was one of the most productive players in the mid-major ranks a season ago. The step up from the MAC to the Big 12 is a big one, and unlike some of Drew’s other up-transfers, Dennis isn’t going to have a redshirt year to figure it all out. That said, he is a very effective ball-screen creator and has already embraced a leadership role.
“He’s someone that hasn’t taken long to gain the respect and trust of our team,” Drew said. “He spits the ball around on time and on target.”
Nunn will likely be playing alongside Dennis in the backcourt. He’s known for his defense, but he’s also a knockdown 3-point shooter who is better at playing off ball screens than Drew realized. Little spent the summer playing with the Finnish national team, so it will take time for the freshman to adjust. He is expected to be a rotation piece, as is Dantwan Grimes, who redshirted last season. Love underwent surgery on his pectoral muscle in June and should be available by the start of conference play.
The other critical piece in the backcourt is Walter, a five-star wing out of McKinney, Texas, who turned down the chance to play for USA Basketball this summer.
He’s been on campus, he’s been with his teammates, and he’s spent the summer trying to get himself ready for a season in the Big 12.
That’s important, because Walter could end up being the piece that changes Baylor’s ceiling. A high-volume scorer, Walter has a reputation for being a tough shot-maker that has continued to develop his ability as a passer and a creator. The difference between Walter and a guy like Keyonte George is that Walter may be better on the defensive side of the ball than he is offensively.
“He’s a two-way guy,” Drew said of Walter.
At 6-5, he’s already well-developed and has the build that should allow him to handle the physicality of the league. If he can be a threat to get 15 to 20 points on a given night offensively while providing the length, defensive solidity and versatility Baylor lacked on the perimeter last season, it makes this team that much more dangerous.
“The things he does translates to winning,” Drew said.
He’s also a freshman, and freshmen in the Big 12 don’t exactly have a long-standing track record of success. The amount of time it takes Walter to adjust to this level could be the difference between the Bears being a top-five team in the Big 12 and being a legitimate threat to make a run at the top of the league.
The bottom line with this Baylor group: This season comes down to their ability to adjust.
For the new players, how well will RayJ Dennis and Jayden Nunn adjust to playing in a tougher, deeper and more talented conference? How well will Ja’Kobe Walter and Miro Little adjust to playing in college?
As for the guys who came back, how will Jalen Bridges adjust to being asked to play a bigger role on both ends of the floor? How will Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua adjust to playing starter’s minutes with a surgically-repaired knee?
Perhaps most importantly, how will Scott Drew adjust to a team that is going to have so many new faces? How will he adjust to a roster that is going to have growing pains as they try to figure out who they are offensively?
Drew has reached a point in his career where you have to bet on him to figure it out — regardless of what the roster looks like. Baylor will be good, but it remains to be seen whether that means the Bears will be a top-15 team or just another NCAA Tournament team.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: BIG 10…OHIO STATE
|2022-23:||16-19, 5-15 (13th, Big Ten)|
|Coach:||CHRIS HOLTMANN (6th Season)|
|Homecourt:||VALUE CITY ARENA (19,049)|
|Key Departures:||BRICE SENSABAUGH (16.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 apg)|
|JUSTICE SUEING (12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 apg)|
|SEAN McNEIL (9.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.3 apg)|
|ISAAC LIKEKELE (3.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.8 apg)|
|Key Newcomers:||JAMISON BATTLE (transfer, Minnesota)|
|DALE BONNER (transfer, Baylor)|
|SCOTTY MIDDLETON (freshman, Sunrise Christian)|
|TAISON CHATMAN (freshman, Totino-Grace)|
|DEVIN ROYAL (freshman, Pickerington Central)|
|EVAN MAHAFFEY (transfer, Penn St.)|
|1||Roddy Gayle Jr.||G||6-4||So.||16.3||4.6||1.6||0.9||0.6||0.3||44.0||42.9|
FROM THE COACH
“You know what you are going to get from Bruce (Thornton) every single day. He’s as consistent of a player in his preparation as we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Last season was a complete disaster in Columbus.
The expectations are always to go to the NCAA Tourney, but this was the first time Chris Holtmann was unable to do it since taking over in 2017. The Buckeyes lost nine consecutive games in a month-stretch starting at the end of January, and finished 16-19 overall and 5-15 in the Big Ten. But Holtmann was encouraged by a Big Ten Tournament run that included three wins over Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State before losing to Purdue in the semifinals.
Freshman Brice Sensabaugh (16.3 ppg) left after one season. Veterans Justice Sueing, Sean McNeil, Isaac Likekele, Tanner Holden and Eugene Brown are also gone. However, Holtmann brings back four key pieces from last year’s team, adds three guys from the portal and welcomes in three top-75 freshmen.
Now, he hopes that’s enough to get Ohio State back on track.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
It’s going to start with the sophomore class of point guard Bruce Thornton, big man Felix Okpara and wing Roddy Gayle Jr.
“Those guys are really going to have a huge impact on how good we are this season,” Holtmann said.
Thornton may not have a high ceiling, but the 6-2 floor leader has a consistent approach that should help in turning things around. Thornton can score when necessary, whether it’s getting to the basket or shooting the 3 — but he’s just a solid, all-around guard who should make a jump and become one of the better point guards in the league.
Okpara should battle veteran big man Zed Key for minutes in the post and could win the starting spot. The duo can also play together, but look for the long and athletic 6-11 Okpara to get more minutes because of his ability to run the court, be a lob threat and also give the Buckeyes some much-needed rim protection. Key (10.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is completely different, a 6-8, 250-pound veteran who is a tremendous offensive rebounder. He doesn’t provide much in terms of shot-blocking, though, and also has trouble scoring over length.
That duo should be solid up front, whether or not they are on the court together.
Gayle Jr. finished strong last season with a terrific Big Ten tourney, but there are questions. Can the sophomore wing can pick up where he left off and be one of the key scorers on this team? Or will he revert back to being a role player, which he was for the majority of his freshman campaign?
Holtmann and his staff brought in three transfers, two of which come with no shortage of experience.
Minnesota forward Jamison Battle saw his production drop off last season from 17.5 to 12.4 points per game. He can still provide a boost offensively, but will need to step it up defensively. Dale Bonner, a quick 6-2 guard, started his career at Division III Fairmont State but spent the past two seasons at Baylor and shot 37% from 3 last season. The final transfer is Evan Mahaffey, a 6-6 wing who averaged 2.6 points at Penn State last season as a freshman. He’s long and can rebound, but Mahaffey needs to improve his shot and will likely be an impact guy in future years.
Holtmann brings in another heralded freshman class. Point guard Taison Chatman (No. 32) is the highest-rated, but he has Thornton in front of him and needs to develop physically. Devin Royal (No. 49) is a 6-6, 220-pound athletic forward who should be able to help this season. Meanwhile, Scotty Middleton (No. 57) may make the biggest impact of the frosh as a long 6-7 wing who knows how to play and can shoot it.
An improved defense will be imperative if the Buckeyes are to be a factor nationally this season and a Top 25 team — which has been the case for much of Holtmann’s tenure in Columbus.
“We have the potential to be better defensively,” Holtmann said. “I’m not sure we’ll be a top-10 defense nationally, but we also won’t be what we were last year.”
Ohio State was ranked 106th last year in KenPom’s defensive efficiency. Losing Sensabaugh will honestly be addition by subtraction on that end of the floor, and increased playing time for Okpara should help because he’s capable of being one of the best shot-blockers in the Big Ten, maybe even the country. He gives Ohio State a completely different dimension than Key. Gayle is a plus-defender, and Thornton is also solid in that department — especially with both of them having a year in the program.
Last year’s transfer class, which was highly regarded entering the season, wound up being disappointing. Holtmann was dealing with the departure of EJ Liddell and Malaki Branham, and brought in McNeil, Likekele and Holden. McNeil was solid, but the offensively challenged Likekele (3.8 ppg) and Holden (3.6 ppg) were disappointing.
Battle needs to come in and buy into the fact that he can be a significant piece on a winning team, and Key might need to accept the fact that Okpara needs to get more minutes — which likely means a decrease in his own role.
As for the ‘winning team’ part of the equation, Battle is 39-71 in four seasons between his time at George Washington and Minnesota, but he has put up big scoring numbers in his career. Bonner is looking for an expanded role but comes from a winning Baylor program where he was a nice piece off the bench. Those two, along with the freshman class, will need to not just help on the court but also help provide quality chemistry off the court as well.
Chatman will likely have to wait his turn, and one of Royal or Middleton could wind up playing sparingly with Gayle, Battle and Bonner ahead of them at the wings.
Gayle picking up where he left off last season is absolutely critical for Ohio State. He became a go-to guy, someone who can make a play and manufacture a bucket.
The 6-4 sophomore was a virtual non-factor for the majority of the season, averaging 3.2 points while shooting 36% from the field and 29% from 3 in Big Ten play. In six of his 35 games, Gayle failed to get in the scoring column.
But then he was terrific when given the opportunity in the Big Ten tourney, especially in the final two contests against Michigan State and Purdue. Gayle needed time to develop his offensive game, with his defense being ahead of his offense, but he carried the Buckeyes for those final two games, going for 15 points in the win against the Spartans and following it up with 20 in the loss to the Boilermakers.
Gayle was 7-of-14 from 3 in the Big Ten tourney, and he showed his ability to get to the bucket and finish in the paint. He looked like a completely different player, and a big aspect of that was his confidence and also being able to play through mistakes.
The key will be whether Holtmann can count on him to be a consistent double-digit scorer this season — especially now that opposing teams will have him on their scouting report.
“We need him to be assertive like he was at the end of last season,” Holtmann said. “If he can do that, we’re a different team.”
Holtmann had gone to all four NCAA Tournaments that have been held since he arrived in Columbus, but the Buckeye fans don’t care. They want a second-weekend appearance, and that’s something Holtmann has been unable to provide — and they certainly don’t want another losing season like 2022-23, when OSU posted its worst winning percentage in 25 years.
This season, Holtmann has enough between the returners coming back and the veterans and talented freshmen that he added; the Buckeyes should make another tourney appearance. Including Holtmann’s three campaigns at Butler, he’s been to the Big Dance seven of the past eight years, with last season being the lone exception.
But Holtmann can ill afford to have a repeat performance of 2022-23 if he wants to get the fan base back. And it won’t just be regular-season success. It’s more about what this program does come March.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: MAC…NORTHERN ILLINOIS
|2022-23:||13-19, 9-9 (T-6th, MAC)|
|Coach:||RASHON BURNO (3rd Season)|
|Homecourt:||CONVOCATION CENTER (9,100)|
|Key Departures:||DARWESHI HUNTER (9 ppg, 3 rpg, 0.5 apg)|
|ANTHONY CRUMP (7.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg)|
|KALEB THORNTON (8.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.3 apg)|
|Key Newcomers:||PHILMON GEBREWHIT (transfer, DePaul)|
|ETHAN BUTLER (transfer, Oregon)|
|QUARAN MCPHERSON (transfer, Nebraska)|
|14||Yanic Konan Niederhauser||F||6-11||So.||7.6||2.2||1.5||0.2||0.2||0.5||42.9||18.8|
FROM THE COACH
“The injuries were a blow initially. You get punched, you stumble; but it’s a 12-round fight. The guys really bonded over the course of the season. The injuries actually brought us closer together. It’s a testament to the type of culture we’re trying to build.”
Rashon Burno is right on schedule. From 6-12 to 9-9, Northern Illinois’ three-game climb in the MAC standings was the league’s biggest upward move last year. Not too shabby for Burno’s second season at the helm, which saw the program creep back to .500 or better for the first time since 2020.
From the outside, no one took these Huskies seriously last year. They were discounted for various reasons — multiple losing seasons in a row is one way to curb expectations — but the primary skepticism was rooted in an unknown band of JUCO newcomers. No one really knew what to expect from the likes of David Coit, Zarique Nutter and Harvin Ibarguen.
There’s little reason for skepticism anymore. Coit, Nutter and Ibarguen, among others, kicked down the D1 door with a grand entrance, lifting NIU out of the MAC basement immediately.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
A year removed from a disastrous offensive campaign in 2022, NIU flipped the script overnight. Thanks to Coit and Keshawn Williams, the Huskies sported multiple backcourt assassins last season.
For a time, Coit and Williams were dueling banjos. Then, Williams tore his ACL two games into the MAC season — and without him, NIU had every reason to turn in and fold. Coit, however, had a different agenda. From Jan. 10 onward, he poured in 20 or more points six times in an eight-game stretch. That flurry helped the Huskies post a 6-2 record in those games, turning NIU from a cellar dweller to competitor in a matter of weeks.
Nutterwas another who improved demonstrably as the season progressed. He is a devastating slasher on the wing, where he takes long strides with purpose to attack the rim. Defenders could only hack him to keep him away from the goal, and he earned a living at charity stripe. However, Nutter must tighten up his finishing touch around the rim. He graded out poorly last year in this area, per multiple advanced metrics — both ShotQuality and Synergy scored him as a low-efficiency finisher at the rim.
Ibarguenis a budding star born during the late conference run. Offensively, he played his role at a Best Supporting Actor level, owning the MAC’s highest effective field goal percentage at 81.7%. The 6-9 Colombian turned out to be a terrific pick-and-roll dance partner, which is a critical skill for bigs in this offense. Don’t be caught off guard by a big leap in his second D1 campaign in 2024.
Two key reserves were on the mend during NIU’s late-season run, as Xavier Amos (ankle) and Zion Russell (thumb) each went down. Along with Williams, the Huskies were down three critical cogs when it mattered most, leaving Burno grasping for straws in terms of depth. He’ll be glad to have them back in the rotation this year.
One area NIU must correct this offseason is the free-throw line. Other than Coit, the team’s assortment of guards and wings are long, sturdy and wired to get to the rim and draw contact. Last year, however, the Huskies left a lot of those potential points on the table. They made less than 64% from the stripe in conference play last season.
Williams’ reinsertion into the lineup should alleviate those woes. He’s a career 82% free-throw shooter on over 200 attempts. He’s also a heady decision-maker who protects the rock at all costs. NIU did experience some turnover turbulence, at times, but a healthy Williams will only help this moving forward.
Burno is proud of the strides his team took defensively last year. Again, few expected this team to defend at a high level, especially with the offensive skill Burno prefers at the 4 and 5.
“Our defensive numbers were really good last year. The way I see it, our foundational structure is there,” Burno said. “This year, we’ll be even longer, so that size and experience will help.”
Burno is even considering pushing the envelope on defense, a luxury he didn’t have last season with limited depth. He’s excited to tinker with different personnel alignments in different defensive structures. Expect an uptick in zone and potentially pressure-based defensive looks.
He’ll need all hands on deck to turn that excitement into a reality, though. Fortunately for the Huskies, Burno found a few sets of helping hands in the portal.
One of the major tasks this offseason was replacing Anthony Crump, a matrix-type defender — and somehow, Burno found another 6-8 guard right down the road. In steps DePaul defector Philmon Gebrewhit, whobrings a true 3-and-D wing skillset to the table. Gebrewhit doesn’t need the ball in his hands to do damage on offense. As a low-usage stretch shooter, he’ll fit seamlessly next to the ball-dominant perimeter pieces. On defense, however, is where he could fill the major void left behind by Crump.
Another real game-changer could be Oregon transfer Ethan Butler, who comes with a heralded defensive reputation. Another power conference import, Quaran McPherson, comes from Nebraska. McPherson fits the same big-bodied mold Burno wants in his perimeter corps.
More broadly, this trio of newcomers should dial up the intensity in NIU’s competitive atmosphere. The depth will be a useful contingency plan should any additional injuries arise, but Burno is equally excited about new iron sharpening old iron this year.
“We wanted to bring in guys who could push the envelope every day in practice. It will make us as a team better, especially the guys coming back,” he said.
Williams’ road to recovery after tearing his ACL last season is an above-the-fold headline for NIU fans. Burno expressed confidence that Williams will be back by October, just in the nick of time for the season’s launch in early November.
Even though Northern Illinois fared just fine without Williams in the lineup last year, Burno shouldn’t bank on another circle-the-wagons response in 2024. More importantly, Williams is just downright good, and the Huskies are better off with him setting the table alongside Coit.
Up front, Burno is pushing his bigs to the brink this season. He believes they hold the key to NIU’s destiny in 2024, based on what transpired last year.
“Our X-factor is probably our 4s and our 5s. When we were good last year, we won those battles. When we weren’t, we lost,” Burno explained. “We’re looking for guys who can stretch the floor on offense but also hold their own in the paint.”
It’s hard to find skilled bigs who can shoot but are also strong enough to battle on the boards. Burno thinks he has two in development with Oluwasegun Durosinmi and Yanic Konan Niederhauser. They each bring something unique to the table offensively, but their rebounding and rim protection prowess will be on watch.
Burno recognizes it’s a tall order for his bigs. However, he’s instilled a tight support structure around them to help them succeed. Notably, a longer, more athletic group of guards and wings will help uphold last year’s defensive standard. Burno said McPherson and Gebrewhit are instrumental in this regard as two multi-positional defenders who can float all over the floor and thrive in various schemes.
Rashon Burno is laying the stepping stones for another terrific year in DeKalb. Defending home court against Kent State and taking down Indiana State on the road last year showed that this team can get in the ring with anyone — and belong.
Taking consistent strides year over year isn’t easy, as forward progress is rarely a straight line. So far, Burno’s been able to avoid any setbacks, despite multiple injury curveballs thrown at him. Going from below-average to competitive is one thing. Jumping from competitive to top of the class is exponentially more difficult.
With a few premier MAC programs losing marquee pieces this offseason, though, Northern Illinois could be in prime position to inch even higher in the standings in 2024.
LILLARD SCORES 39 POINTS IN HIS BUCKS DEBUT TO HELP MILWAUKEE EDGE THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 118-117
MILWAUKEE (AP) Damian Lillard acknowledged this season opener felt a little different from the others as he adjusted to switching teams for the first time.
But the results he delivered were familiar to anyone who watched the seven-time All-NBA guard during his 11 years in Portland.
Lillard scored 39 points and the Milwaukee Bucks regrouped after blowing a 19-point lead to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 118-117 on Thursday night. Lillard had the highest point total for a player making his Bucks debut, surpassing the 34 that Terry Cummings scored in 1984.
“It was definitely different,” Lillard said. “I think I’ve been in an environment where I come in the arena and know everybody that works in the arena. When I get on the court, I look around and I even recognize the fans that have been there year after year after year. It’s just a super, super familiar environment that I’d been in.
“And when I come here, it kind of feels like a road game right now. It’s like I’m looking around like I’m the new guy, even though I’ve been in this league a long time. … I came in here to be a part of winning, and I think I’ve started to settle in just by how I’ve been embraced and what the team is saying to me behind closed doors.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 23 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 10 of 22 from the floor to become the franchise’s career leader in baskets. Antetokounmpo has 5,905 career field goals, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made 5,902 baskets with the Bucks from 1969-75.
Tyrese Maxey scored 31, Kelly Oubre Jr. had 27 and Joel Embiid 24 for the 76ers.
Lillard had requested a trade in the offseason and landed in Milwaukee, which gave up two-time All-Star Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen and plenty of draft capital to land him.
Lillard continually came up big down the stretch and scored Milwaukee’s final 11 points.
“He had the hot hand,” Antetokounmpo said. “You’ve just got to keep on feeding him. What works, you’ve got to keep going to what works.”
Lillard put the Bucks ahead for good 105-104 by sinking a 3-pointer with 3:41 remaining. Antetokounmpo got an offensive rebound on his own miss and found Lillard open behind the arc.
His basket started an 11-0 run that gave Milwaukee a nine-point lead with 2:45 remaining. The 76ers scored seven straight points to get the margin down to two, but Lillard answered by sinking another 3-pointer with 1:13 left.
After Tobias Harris made a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game again, Lillard drove to the basket, drew a foul and sank two game-clinching free throws with 11.5 seconds left. Lillard made all 17 of his free-throw attempts.
“You just got a sense during the game, he wasn’t going to let us lose,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said.
This game marked the head coaching debut for Griffin, who was facing his former boss. Griffin spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach on a Toronto Raptors staff headed by Nick Nurse, who now coaches the 76ers.
After trailing 57-38 late in the second quarter, the 76ers clawed their way back and pulled ahead by going on a 14-0 run early in the fourth quarter. But they couldn’t slow down Lillard the rest of the way.
“I do like the way we adjusted to some things and played a lot better (after falling behind early),” Nurse said. “We had every opportunity to win that game.”
The 76ers were playing without seven-time All-NBA guard James Harden. The 2018 MVP, hoping to be traded, arrived late to training camp and said before the season that his fractured relationship with team president Daryl Morey couldn’t be repaired.
Harden arrived at the 76ers’ complex in Camden, New Jersey, on Wednesday but was told not to accompany the team to Milwaukee. Nurse said Wednesday that Harden is back in the “ramp-up phase” after being away from the team for 10 days.
76ers: At Toronto on Saturday as Nurse faces his former team.
Bucks: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
LEBRON JAMES KEYS LAKERS’ 4TH-QUARTER RALLY FOR 100-95 WIN OVER KEVIN DURANT’S SHORT-HANDED SUNS
LOS ANGELES (AP) When Kevin Durant scored in the final minutes, LeBron James answered. These two generational basketball greats put on a scintillating duel in their first head-to-head matchup in nearly five years.
Although Durant was better in the first three quarters, he eventually had to concede he couldn’t do it alone.
James didn’t have to.
Anthony Davis had 30 points and 13 rebounds, James scored 10 of his 21 points while playing the entire fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew past Phoenix in the final minutes for a 100-95 victory over the short-handed Suns on Thursday night.
James made the tiebreaking layup with 1:11 to play for the Lakers, who rallied from a 12-point deficit entering the fourth to get their first victory of the new season in the home opener of James’ 21st NBA campaign.
Durant finished with 39 points and 11 rebounds while carrying the Suns on his shoulders with no help from injured Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, but James seized the game with back-to-back layups in the final 90 seconds.
“There were a few moments where you just appreciate what the fans are watching,” said Phoenix coach Frank Vogel, who has coached both superstars. “Two of the game’s greats just going head to head. Some collisions out there. The level of competition for Game 2 of the NBA season was super-high. Felt like a playoff game out there. A boxing match. A slugfest. … To see those two guys out there fighting for it was pretty special.”
Durant and James have been friends since Durant’s senior year of high school 17 years ago, but they improbably hadn’t faced each other on an NBA court since Christmas 2018. Injuries, load management and health and safety protocols prevented them from playing in the previous 13 meetings between James’ Lakers and Durant’s Warriors, Nets and Suns.
“Someone you just compare yourself to,” Durant said. “If you could accomplish and achieve some of the stuff that he’s done, you’re doing pretty solid for yourself. It’s just a baseline for yourself as a player to see how great you can be.”
While James was good, he wasn’t totally responsible for how the Suns flailed down the stretch without Booker or Beal to take the focus off Durant. Phoenix led 84-72 entering the fourth, but missed 13 of its next 14 shots and committed 10 turnovers in the next 10 minutes.
Durant still tied it at 91 with 1:28 to play by scoring on two straight possessions. With his final bucket, he passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th place on the NBA career scoring list topped by James.
But James replied with two clutch baskets sandwiching a missed 3-pointer by Durant. Austin Reaves and Davis hit free throws in the final seconds to ice it for LA.
“It’s hard to maneuver when everybody is just watching me at all times,” Durant said. “Especially late in the clock, it’s tough to find a good shot with that type of defense.”
James and the Lakers acknowledged plans to limit his minutes this season, but the plan wasn’t followed while James stayed on the court throughout the fourth to sweat out this win.
James is entering his third NBA decade with the Lakers determined to limit his minutes for health optimization, yet Los Angeles struggled mightily whenever James was off the court in the first half.
“It was tough,” Durant said. “He was pretty much coaching the team on how to guard certain actions. That’s what he’s been doing his whole career. … It’s always a battle playing against high-IQ players like that.”
Eric Gordon added 15 points in Suns coach Vogel’s first trip back to face the Lakers, who fired him 18 months ago after three seasons and one NBA title.
The Lakers honored Vogel with a tribute video in the first timeout. Vogel led the Lakers to the franchise’s 17th championship three years ago this month in the Florida bubble, but they dismissed him exactly 18 months later when his injury-plagued team missed the playoffs.
Booker sat out with left foot soreness after tweaking his foot late in his 28-point performance against Golden State on Tuesday. Beal still hasn’t made his Suns debut due to lower back tightness.
Suns: Host Utah on Saturday.
Lakers: At Sacramento on Sunday.
NBA LOOKING INTO FACTS BEHIND HARDEN’S ABSENCE FROM 76ERS’ NATIONALLY TELEVISED OPENER IN MILWAUKEE
MILWAUKEE (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers went to Milwaukee without James Harden and the NBA wants to know why.
The league, which strengthened its rules about resting healthy players this summer, is investigating the reasons behind Harden’s absence from the 76ers’ nationally televised season opener against the Bucks on Thursday night.
“We’re looking into the facts around James Harden’s availability tonight to determine whether an approved reason exists for his lack of participation,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement.
Harden wants to be traded and was away from the Sixers recently until returning this week. Coach Nick Nurse said Wednesday that the point guard wouldn’t travel with the team so he could work on rebuilding his conditioning with team staff members at the 76ers’ training facility.
TNT reported during the 76ers’ 118-117 loss that Harden had attempted to board the team plane to Milwaukee and was turned away. Asked after the game whether that report was accurate, Nurse replied that “there was a report that he showed up for practice and we determined that he should stay back for conditioning.”
The player participation policy requires teams to demonstrate an approved reason for a star player to miss national TV games (such as Phoenix listing injuries for Devin Booker and Bradley Beal that had them missing the Suns’ visit to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night).
Teams could be fined $100,000 for their first violation of the policy.
OTTAWA’S SHANE PINTO SUSPENDED 41 GAMES, BECOMES THE 1ST MODERN NHL PLAYER BANNED FOR GAMBLING
The NHL suspended Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto for 41 games on Thursday, making the 22-year-old American the first modern-day hockey player banned for sports gambling.
The league said the half-season ban was for “activities relating to sports wagering” and that its investigation found no evidence Pinto bet on NHL games.
“I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans and city of Ottawa and most importantly my family,” Pinto said in a statement released by the team. “I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”
The NHL Players’ Association was not expected to appeal the suspension. The league said it considers the matter closed, barring any new information in the case.
Coach D.J. Smith told reporters at the team’s morning skate in New York that the Senators would help Pinto and welcome him back with open arms when he’s eligible to return.
That would be the middle of this season, once Pinto signs a contract. He is currently an unsigned restricted free agent and was the last player in that category without a deal, something this suspension begins to explain.
“Shane is a valued member of our hockey club; an engaging, intelligent young man who made poor decisions that have resulted in a suspension by the National Hockey League,” the Senators said in a statement. “We know he is remorseful for his mistakes. The Ottawa Senators fully support the NHL’s rules on gambling. While saddened to learn of this issue, the entire organization remains committed to Shane and will work together to do what is necessary to help provide the support to allow him to address his issues and become a strong contributor to our community.”
Pinto is the latest professional athlete suspended since the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for legalized sports wagering in 2018. At least 10 NFL players have recently been banned for gambling, most notably receiver Calvin Ridley missing the entire 2022 season for betting on games in the league. The NBA and Major League Baseball have not announced any recent gambling punishments, though the topic is a growing concern across college sports.
According to industry estimates, Americans have wagered over $220 billion on sports in the first five years since the Supreme Court decision.
The NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement says that “gambling on any NHL game is prohibited.” NHL teams can go as far as prohibiting employees from hockey operations to the business side from even joining fantasy leagues for money.
Two years ago, the league investigated Evander Kane for gambling after his estranged wife claimed he bet on NHL games, including against his own team. Kane denied those allegations, and an investigation by NHL security and the firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler found no evidence Kane bet on or tried to throw any games.
Before Pinto, the last NHL players to be suspended for gambling were Billy Taylor, Don Gallinger and Babe Pratt back in the 1940s.
NHL ROUNDUP: PENGUINS END AVS’ RECORD ROAD RUN
Reilly Smith scored two first-period goals and Tristan Jarry stopped all 31 shots he faced Thursday as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak and handed the visiting Colorado Avalanche their first loss of the season, 4-0.
The Avalanche, who had not lost in any fashion in their first six games, had their NHL record for consecutive road wins, dating to last season, snapped at 15.
It was Jarry’s second shutout of the season, the 15th of his career and his first against the Avalanche. He had been 1-3-0 in his first four starts, meaning both his wins have come via shutout.
Lars Eller and Sidney Crosby also scored for the Penguins, who are 6-2-0 against Colorado in the past eight meetings.
Rangers 3, Oilers 0
Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for his 59th career shutout and visiting New York scored three times in the second period to beat Edmonton for its third straight win.
The 37-year-old Quick, making his second start for the Rangers, moved into a tie for 20th place on the all-time shutouts list with Evgeni Nabokov. Adam Fox and Brayden Schneider each had a goal and an assist, Artemi Panarin had two assists and Alexis Lafreniere also scored for the Rangers.
Stuart Skinner made 29 saves for Edmonton, which took its sixth loss in seven games.
Flyers 6, Wild 2
Bobby Brink scored two goals, Travis Sanheim added one goal and two assists and host Philadelphia defeated Minnesota.
Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny each had one goal and one assist while Owen Tippett contributed one goal for the Flyers. Cam Atkinson registered three assists. Carter Hart made 26 saves.
Dakota Mermis and Marcus Foligno scored one goal apiece for the Wild. Filip Gustavsson stopped 29 shots.
Jets 4, Red Wings 1
Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves and Mason Appleton and Nino Niederreiter each had a goal and an assist as visiting Winnipeg defeated Detroit.
Hellebuyck’s sharp performance neutralized an offense that entered the game averaging an NHL-best 4.86 goals per game. Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor had the other goals for the Jets.
Lucas Raymond scored the only goal for the Red Wings, who lost in regulation for the first time since their season opener. Dylan Larkin stretched his season point streak to eight games with an assist. James Reimer was credited with 25 saves.
Hurricanes 3, Kraken 2 (OT)
Martin Necas scored with 9.7 seconds left in overtime to propel Carolina to a victory over Seattle in Raleigh, N.C.
Necas finished with two goals and an assist as the Hurricanes snapped a three-game losing streak. Frederik Andersen made 24 saves for Carolina in his first action since Oct. 17. The Hurricanes forced overtime when Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored with 4:24 left in regulation.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Devin Shore scored for the Kraken, who have yet to win consecutive games this season. Kraken goalie Joey Daccord stopped 42 shots.
Ducks 4, Bruins 3 (OT)
Mason McTavish scored at 2:08 of overtime as Anaheim scored the final three goals to top host Boston.
Radko Gudas also scored, Ryan Strome added two assists, and John Gibson made 27 saves for Anaheim, which has back-to-back wins following a three-game skid.
David Pastrnak scored a goal and added an assist while Charlie McAvoy dished out three helpers to lead Boston, which was 6-0-0 entering the night. Charlie Coyle and Matt Grzelcyk scored the Bruins’ first two goals.
Canadiens 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Cole Caufield scored with 43 seconds remaining in overtime, and Montreal rallied from two goals down to beat visiting Columbus.
After recording two assists, Caufield’s shot past Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (25 saves) in the final stages of overtime helped Montreal win for the third time in four games. Caufield has four goals and five assists and has earned at least one point in six of his seven games this season.
Nick Suzuki also had a goal and two assists for Montreal, which got 33 saves from Sam Montembeault. Emil Bemstrom had two power-play goals, and Jack Roslovic recorded a goal and two assists for Columbus, which is amid a 2-0-2 stretch.
Lightning 6, Sharks 0
Jonas Johansson crafted his second straight shutout and host Tampa Bay blitzed its way to a trio of first-period goals en route to a dominant victory over winless San Jose.
In his fifth consecutive game manning the Tampa Bay net, Johansson (4-1-2) stopped all 23 shots by the Sharks. He made 32 saves while beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Tuesday.
Brayden Point, Michael Eyssimont and Steven Stamkos scored in the opening 20 minutes for the Lightning, who moved to 3-0-1 on their five-game homestand and 4-0-1 on home ice. Brandon Hagel, Nicholas Paul and Luke Glendening also found the net. San Jose’s Mackenzie Blackwood (0-4-1) surrendered five goals on 21 shots before being removed before the game’s halfway point.
Maple Leafs 4, Stars 1
Morgan Rielly had a goal and an assist as visiting Toronto defeated Dallas.
Mitchell Marner, Tyler Bertuzzi and John Tavares also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won three in a row. Joseph Woll made 31 saves in his second straight start in goal for the Maple Leafs, who are 3-1-0 on their five-game road trip.
Mason Marchment scored for the Stars, who had registered a point in each of their previous games this season, going 4-0-1. Scott Wedgewood stopped 20 shots for the Stars, who have lost six straight vs. Toronto in Dallas and are 4-17 in the series’ last 21 games.
Blues 3, Flames 0
Oskar Sundqvist collected a goal and an assist and goaltender Joel Hofer recorded his first career shutout as visiting St. Louis beat struggling Calgary.
Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Leddy also scored for the Blues, who have been on a lose-one, win-one run since the season began. Hofer, the backup goaltender, made 26 saves for the victory in his second game of the season, the 10th of his NHL career.
Jacob Markstrom produced 32 stops for the Flames but received virtually no support as his team dropped a fourth consecutive clash. Calgary has one victory in its past seven outings (1-5-1). The Flames, who have scored only four goals total in their past four outings, left the ice to a chorus of boos from the local faithful.
Islanders 3, Senators 2
Noah Dobson scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period for host New York, which edged Ottawa in Elmont, N.Y.
The Senators played the final 31-plus minutes without defenseman Erik Brannstrom, who was wheeled off the ice with 11:17 left in the second after he hit his neck on the ice following a check from Clutterbuck.
Bo Horvat and Cal Clutterbuck scored in the first for the Islanders, who snapped a three-game losing streak (0-2-1). Goalie Ilya Sorokin made 45 saves.
INDIANA RELEASES/TOP HEADLINES
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BIG GAMES THIS WEEK
BISHOP CHATARD (10-0) AT GUERIN CATHOLIC (8-2): BISHOP CHATARD IS ON A ROLL. BUT BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT THIS YEAR’S MATCH-UP, DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR? THE TROJANS BEAT GUERIN 49-13 TO WIN THE SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. OH YEA, REMEMBER WEEK 6? THE TROJANS BARELY BEAT THE GOLDEN EAGLES 13-7 IN OT. BOTH BEAT RANKED TEAMS LAST WEEK.
PLAINFIELD (6-3) AT HARRISON (8-1): THE QUAKERS BEAT HARRISON IN THE SECOND WEEK OF THE REGULAR SEASON 15-14. PLAINFIELD WILL COUNT ON QB HUNTER NEWELL (1,289 PASSING YARDS, 11 TDS) AND RB LUKE STARNES (887 RUSHING YARDS, 12 TDS). HARRISON WILL COUNT ON QB CAILIX DILLON WHO HAS PASSED FOR 1,184 YARDS AND 16 TDS. DILLON HAS COMPLETED 82% OF HIS PASSES.
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (9-1) AT NEW PALESTINE (8-2): THE COUGARS SURVIVED LAST WEEK BY BEATING PENDLETON 27-17. NOW THEY SET THEIR SIGHTS ON A NEW PAL TEAM THAT HAS BEATEN THEM 14 STRAIGHT TIMES AND OWN A 27-5 ALL-TIME RECORD. GC AVERAGES 281 YARDS RUSHING PER GAME. NP RB GREYSON THOMAS HAS 1,861 RUSHING YARDS AND 24 SCORES.
LUTHERAN (8-0) AT SOUTH PUTNAM (9-1): A GREAT TEST FOR THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS. LUTHERAN WILL COUNT ON QB JACKSON WILLIS (1,634 PASSING YARDS, 24 TDS) AND RB BRAYDON HALL (1,209 RUSHING YARDS, 17 TDS). SOUTH PUTNAM LOST TO LUTHERAN LAST SEASON 42-0 IN THEIR SECTIONAL MATCH-UP. THE KEY FOR THE EAGLES IS QB WYATT MULLIN (1,745 PASSING YARDS, 21 TDS; 565 RUSHING YARDS, SEVEN TDS).
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (9-1) AT TRITON CENTRAL (9-1): TRITON CENTRAL IS RANKED #1 FOR A REASON. THEY ARE LED BY QB JACE STUCKEY (2,342 PASSING YARDS, 27 TDS; 701 RUSHING YARDS, EIGHT TDS) AND WR BRAYDEN WILKINS (50 CATCHES, 1,007 YARDS, NINE TDS). SCORING 39PPG DOESN’T HURT EITHER. MEANWHILE, THE BRAVES RUN THE FOOTBALL AT A 280 YARDS PER GAME CLIP.
TRI-WEST (9-1) AT NORTH MONTGOMERY (6-4): THE REGULAR SEASON MATCH-UP WENT TO TRI-WEST 38-0.
WESTFIELD (8-1) AT CARMEL (5-4): THE SHAMROCKS BEAT CARMEL IN LAST YEAR’S SECTIONAL. WESTFIELD’S OFFENSE WILL BE TOUGH TO STOP WITH QB JACKSON GILBERT (1,750 PASSING YARDS, 18 TDS), WR’S GABE ARAMBOLES (38 CATCHES, 563 YARDS, FIVE TDS) AND MAX NOSLER (29 CATCHES, 514 YARDS, SIX TDS).
BROWNSBURG (9-0) AT BEN DAVIS (8-1): THIS WILL BE THE GAME OF THE TOURNAMENT THUS FAR. #1 VS. #3. THE BULLDOGS HAVE TONS OF WEAPONS INCLUDING RB GARRETT SHERRELL (1,919 YARDS, 22 TDS) AND QB JAKE DUNN (64% PASSER, 1,525 YARDS, 17 TDS; 468 RUSHING YARDS, FIVE TDS). WR’S COREY SMITH (27 CATCHES, 589 YARDS, SEVEN TDS) AND CAYDEN OLINGER (34 CATCHES, 562 YARDS, FOUR TDS) ARE ALSO HUGE THREATS. THE GIANTS ARE LOADED AS WELL WITH QB THOMAS GOTKOWSKI (64% PASSER, 1,786 YARDS, 25 TDS. ALSO WATCH FOR WR MARK ZACKERY (33 CATCHES, 538 YARDS, SEVEN TDS), WR NATE WILLIAMS (38 CATCHES, 393 YARDS, TWO TDS) AND RB ALIJAH PRICE (599 RUSHING YARDS, EIGHT TDS; 20 CATCHES, 207 YARDS, FOUR TDS).
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (8-1) AT BLOOMINGTON NORTH (9-0): BLOOMINGTON NORTH KNOCKED OFF BLOOMINGTON SOUTH 25-24 IN OVERTIME IN WEEK 4.
EAST NOBLE (8-2) AT LEO (8-2): LEO DEFEATED EAST NOBLE 14-7 IN WEEK 5.
WEST NOBLE (10-0) AT KNOX (10-0): KNOX IS RANKED NO. 9 AND WEST NOBLE IS UNRANKED.
LAWRENCEBURG (8-2) AT BATESVILLE (9-1): BATESVILLE BEAT LAWRENCEBURG 26-23 IN WEEK 6.
HERITAGE HILLS (9-1) AT SOUTHRIDGE (7-3): HERITAGE HILLS BEAT SOUTHRIDGE 45-13 EARLIER THIS SEASON.
EVANSVILLE NORTH (6-3) AT FLOYD CENTRAL (8-1): EVANSVILLE NORTH DEFEATED FLOYD CENTRAL 24-7 IN LAST YEAR’S SECTIONAL MATCHUP.
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (7-3) AT JASPER (7-3): EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL BEAT JASPER 30-13 IN WEEK 1. MEMORIAL ALSO BEAT JASPER IN LAST YEAR’S SECTIONAL.
EVANSVILLE REITZ (10-0) AT BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (7-3): REITZ AVERAGES 362 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE PER GAME.
ROCHESTER (7-2) AT LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (7-3), LCC DEFEATED ROCHESTER 24-8 IN LAST YEAR’S SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
MISSISSINEWA (10-0) AT COLUMBIA CITY (6-4): MISSISSINEWA IS LOOKING TO UP END LAST YEAR’S CHAMPION COLUMBIA CITY.
EAST CENTRAL (10-0) AT MARTINSVILLE (7-3): THE TROJANS ARE A FOOTBALL MACHINE AND THEY POUNDED MARTINSVILLE IN LAST YEAR’S SECTIONAL 47-0.
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE) (7-2) AT WARSAW (8-1)
DECATUR CENTRAL (7-2) AT MCCUTCHEON (6-3)
BOONE GROVE (8-2) AT HANOVER CENTRAL (10-0)
MACONAQUAH (7-3) AT HAMILTON HEIGHTS (10-0)
GREENCASTLE (8-2) AT LINTON-STOCKTON (9-1)
EASTSIDE (7-3) AT FORT WAYNE LUERS (7-3)
EASTBROOK (7-3) AT BLUFFTON (8-2)
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (7-3) AT WINCHESTER (7-2)
TRI (7-3) AT MILAN (7-3)
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (7-2) AT FORT WAYNE NORTHROP (1-8)…HSE FAVORED BY 42
AVON (2-7) AT PIKE (2-7)…AVON FAVORED BY 10
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) (0-9) AT INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (6-3)…CATHEDRAL FAVORED BY 35
SOUTHPORT (1-8) AT INDIANAPOLIS TECH (0-9)…SOUTHPORT FAVORED BY 11
JEFFERSONVILLE (0-9) AT COLUMBUS NORTH (4-5)….COLUMBUS NORTH FAVORED BY 28
MISHAWAKA (7-2) AT GOSHEN (1-8)…MISHAWAKA FAVORED BY 28
WHITELAND (5-4) AT TERRE HAUTE NORTH (0-9)…WHITELAND FAVORED BY 28
MARION (3-7) AT KOKOMO (8-2)…KOKOMO FAVORED BY 21
TIPTON (2-8) AT EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (8-2)…EASTERN FAVORED BY 21
CLINTON CENTRAL (1-7) AT PARK TUDOR (10-0)…PARK TUDOR FAVORED BY 42
MADISON-GRANT (7-3) AT NORTH MIAMI (2-8)…MADISON GRANT FAVORED BY 28
EDINBURGH (1-8) AT NORTH DECATUR (7-3)…NORTH DECATUR FAVORED BY 42
PACERS KEEPING COACH RICK CARLISLE ON BOARD WITH MULTIYEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Most of the Indiana Pacers key players are locked up with multiyear contracts.
Now their coach is, too. On Thursday, team officials announced Rick Carlisle agreed to a contract extension that will allow him to continue to preside over a rebuilding project that began midway through the 2021-22 season.
“It goes without saying that coach Carlisle is one of the most creative and successful coaches in the history of the league, so there was never a question that he continues to be the right person to lead our team,” said Kevin Pritchard, Pacers president of basketball operations, in a statement announcing the deal. “His ties to this organization and community run deep, his guidance and leadership are invaluable to our players and staff, and we’re looking forward to working together for years to come as we build something special for our fans.”
Carlisle returned to the Pacers as head coach in 2021 after spending four seasons with Indiana from 2003-07. He also served as an assistant with Indiana during Larry Bird’s three-year coaching tenure, a span that included the Pacers only NBA Finals appearance in 2000.
The 63-year-old Carlisle improved to 897-793 in his 22nd season with Wednesday night’s 143-120 rout of the Washington Wizards. He spent 13 of those seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, who he led to the 2010-11 NBA championship, and his first two seasons as a head coach with the Detroit Pistons.
“My first head coaching game was actually in Dallas when they opened the American Airlines Center in 2001,” Carlisle recalled before Wednesday’s game. “Kind of ironic since I ended up being there for many, many years.”
And while he – and the Pacers – spent most of this past offseason talking about the need to improve defensively, it was the offense that stole the show in the season opener.
All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton and backup Andrew Nembhard each had double-doubles, free agent acquisition Bruce Brown scored 24 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers as the Pacers produced the franchises’ highest scoring total on opening night. Indiana made 20 3s, three short of the single-game record, and fell two points short of tying the franchise scoring record for a home game.
INDIANA FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. PENN STATE
ETTING THE SCENE
• Indiana goes back on the road for a noon kickoff against No. 10/10 Penn State on CBS. It will be the third true road game of the
season for the Hoosiers, all three coming in Big Ten play.
• Saturday’s game in Happy Valley will mark the 13th contest for Indiana at Beaver Stadium since Penn State joined the Big Ten in
1993. The two teams have played 12 times in Bloomington and twice at neutral sites, both with Indiana as the home team (2010,
FedEx Field – Landover, Maryland; 2000, RCA Dome – Indianapolis).
• The two programs have met in 27 of Penn State’s 31 seasons in the conference and every season since 2007.
• Three of Indiana’s final five games of the season will be away from home, with Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue all hosting IU
down the stretch. The Hoosiers host Wisconsin and Michigan State at Memorial Stadium to close out its home slate.
NEWS & NOTES
• Per Pro Football Focus, redshirt senior Andre Carter ranks No. 10 in the Big Ten with 21 total pressures (sacks, QB hits or
hurries), a total that sits tied for No. 45 in the Power 5.
• With 2.0 tackles for loss in each of the first two games of the season, Carter’s 4.0 TFLs were the most by a Hoosier in the first
two games of a season since 2004 when Kyle Killion posted 5.5 tackles for loss.
• With 59 tackles, redshirt senior Aaron Casey ranks No. 6 in the Big Ten and his 8.4 tackles per game are No. 36 nationally entering
Week 9. His 8.0 tackles for loss are No. 2 in the Big Ten and includes 3.0 sacks.
• Sophomore Jaylin Lucas produced the first multi-touchdown game of his career in Week 2 versus Indiana State with a pair of rushing
scores. He has eight career touchdowns (four rush, two receiving, two KR) after a 44-yard receiving score at Michigan in Week 7.
• Redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby threw for a score and rushed for a touchdown against Rutgers in a Week 8 start at
quarterback. The passing score was the third of his career and the rushing touchdown marked the first of his career – a 4-yard score.
• Senior Louis Moore grabbed his first career interception in the second quarter versus Akron and followed that with his first
defensive touchdown in the third quarter on a 22-yard interception return for a score versus the Zips.
• With three interceptions on the season, sophomore Phillip Dunnam continues to sit tied for No. 2 on the Big Ten leaderboard
and tied for No. 14 in the FBS. One of two true freshman not to redshirt in 2022, Dunnam has takeaways versus No. 3/4 Ohio
State, Louisville, and Akron.
• The Indiana special teams units blocked its first kick of the 2023 season at Maryland to move its streak to 12 straight seasons
with at least one blocked kick. Special teams coordinator Kasey Teegardin’s crew has blocked at least one kick in each of his
four seasons as the corps leader.
PENN STATE NOTES
OPENING KICK: No. 10 Penn State welcomes Indiana to Beaver Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon on CBS. • SERIES HISTORY: The Nittany Lions meet Indiana for the 27th time in program history. The teams are meeting for the 17th consecutive year, playing each season since 2007. Penn State holds a 24-2 lead in the series, including wins in eight of the last nine matchups. The Nittany Lions are 12-0 against Indiana in Happy Valley. In 2022, Penn State earned a 45-14 win in Bloomington. Kaytron Allen scored on three rushing touchdowns, while the Penn State defense tallied 16 tackles for loss, six sacks and three interceptions. • TOUGH AGAINST THE RUN: Penn State held Ohio State to 79 yards rushing, marking the sixth-straight opponent the Nittany Lions have held under 100 rushing yards in 2023. Over those six games, Penn State is allowing just 2.02 yards per carry. Since the start of the 2022 season, Penn State has held 15 opponents under 100 yards, tied second in the nation, and since 2014, the Nittany Lions have limited opponents to less than 100 rushing yards on 54 occasions. • ISAAC’S STRONG SEASON: Defensive end Adisa Isaac is enjoying a strong senior campaign. Isaac collected two tackles for loss, including a half-sack, at Ohio State. It marked Isaac’s sixth career game with multiple tackles for loss. Since the start of the 2022 season, Isaac is tied for the Big Ten lead with five games with multiple tackles for loss, matching Illinois’ Jer’Zhan Newton. In 2023, Isaac leads the Big Ten with 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. He also paces the conference in sacks per game (0.79; 16th nationally) and tackles for loss per game (1.4; 15th). • THE OPPOSITION: Indiana dropped a 31-14 decision against Rutgers last Saturday. The Hoosiers tallied 279 total yards, including 153 on the ground. Brendan Sorsby threw for 126 yards and a score, while adding 49 rushing yards and a 4-yard touchdown. Omar Cooper Jr. hauled in a 35-yard touchdown reception. Aaron Casey led the defense with nine tackles, while Nick James registered a sack.
RECENT SUCCESS Since 2016, Penn State holds a .737 winning percentage, with a record of 70-25, the seventh-best winning percentage among Power Five programs. Penn State has won at least nine games in five of the last seven seasons. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE A total of 584 of Penn State football student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner. ONE OF NATION’S TOUGHEST HOME VENUES Penn State owns a superlative 314-80 (.797) record inside Beaver Stadium, the nation’s second-largest facility, which opened in 1960 and has a capacity of 106,572. The Nittany Lions are 43-8 in Beaver Stadium since 2016, an .843 winning percentage, the ninth-best home record among Power Five teams.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The No. 15/16/16 Penn State football team defeated the Indiana Hoosiers, 45-14, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The game featured a complementary effort on both sides of the ball with the offense racking up 483 total yards and the defense registering 16 tackles for loss. Freshman running back Kaytron Allen highlighted the offense’s performance with 158 scrimmage yards and three rushing touchdowns. Of the defense’s 16 TFLs, six of them were sacks, while the unit also pulled in three interceptions in a dominant performance. Twelve different players picked up at least a 0.5 tackle for loss in the contest. Sean Clifford completed 15-of-23 passes for 229 yards and one interception. Drew Allar pitched in 75 passing yards and two scores, going 9-for-12. Ten different receivers caught passes from the two signal callers, led by Mitchell Tinsley with five catches for 63 yards. Kobe King paced the defense with eight total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss. Kalen King and Dani Dennis-Sutton both recorded their first career interceptions in the contest. The Nittany Lions scored first on a 1-yard touchdown carry by Nicholas Singleton with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter. The score was set up by a 27-yard catch by Tinsley to put Nittany Lions inside the 5-yard line. Indiana tied the game on the next possession, constructing an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown reception by A.J. Barner. Allen broke the tie with an 11-yard touchdown run with 9:25 left in the second quarter. Allen also hauled in a 27-yard pass that led to his own score. The Nittany Lions opened up a two-score lead on another Allen rushing touchdown. This time, it was a 6-yard score with 5:04 left in the first half. With less than a minute left in the second quarter, Jake Pinegar connected on a career-long 50-yard field goal to put the Nittany Lions up 24-7. Kalen King recorded his first career interception with 11:15 left in the third quarter. The Nittany Lions promptly marched 96 yards on seven plays to score and take a 31-7 advantage. The touchdown was Allen’s third rushing score of the day. Penn State scored once again off an interception late in the third quarter as Drew Allar hit Harrison Wallace III on a 1-yard touchdown. A pick by Dani Dennis Sutton led to the Nittany Lion touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Daequan Hardy recorded the Nittany Lions’ third interception of the game and returned the ball 18 yards to the Indiana 4-yard line. Allar then found Theo Johnson in the end zone to put Penn State up 45-7. Indiana rounded out the scoring with a 1-yard run by Jaylin Lucas with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter.
2013 BASEBALL TEAM SET TO CELEBRATE 10-YEAR CWS ANNIVERSARY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One of the best teams in program history, and one of the best the Big Ten has ever seen, is set to return to Bloomington next week (Nov. 3-4) as it celebrates the 10-year anniversary of a historic run to Omaha and the College World Series in 2013.
Led by future MLB players Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis, Aaron Slegers and Kyle Hart, the Indiana Baseball team began one of the best two-year runs in history of any Big Ten baseball program with an outright regular season title and conference tournament title in 2013.
The Hoosiers won a modern-era program record 49 games in 2013 and made the program’s one and only trip to Omaha for the College World Series. After sweeping the Bloomington Regional, IU went down to Tallahassee and beat No. 7 Florida State in the Super Regional.
After taking care of Louisville in the opening round of the College World Series, the Hoosiers were handed a pair of one-run losses to Mississippi State and No. 3 Oregon State. IU would go on to win 44 games in 2014 and win the Big Ten title once again.
Not only could the 2013 team hit the ball, seven starters finished with an average above .300, but it also produced the deepest staff in program history on the mound. IU’s top four pitchers, which featured three future big leaguers and the program’s all-time wins leader in Joey DeNato, combined to go 33-7 on the bump.
The 2013 team held a 2.64 earned run average across 65 games, second in the modern era only to the 2014 staff which produced a 2.33 earned run average with most of the same staff. DeNato is the only pitcher in school history to win 10-or-more games in two different seasons, collecting 10 victories in 2013 and 14 in 2014.
Offensively, IU combined to hit .301 across 65 contests with 53 home runs, 407 runs batted in and 134 doubles. Dustin DeMuth led the Hoosiers with a .377 batting average and would go on to win the Big Ten batting title in 2014. Schwarber and Travis hit 28 home runs combined with Scott Donley driving in 61 runs on the season.
Next weekend’s reunion will feature a baseball team banquet, a golf outing and a halftime honor at Saturday’s football game vs. Wisconsin. IU’s current 2024 team, coming off a 43-win season in 2023, will have the opportunity to interact with returning players throughout the entire weekend.
INDIANA CROSS COUNTRY
HOOSIERS READY FOR BIG TEN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana cross country heads to Madison, Wis., for the Big Ten Championships held at Thomas Zimmerman Cross Country Course on Friday morning.
Men’s 8k – 11:45 a.m. ET
Women’s 6k – 12:45 p.m. ET
Both races will be broadcasted on B1G+ and can be followed using the live stats link HERE.
Location & Parking
Thomas Zimmerman Championship Cross Country Course
The course is located at 9002 County Road PD Madison, WI 53593.
Parking and admissions for the meet are free of charge.
Indiana will race against the other 13 Big Ten universities including four nationally ranked teams. The men will compete against No. 19 Michigan and No. 24 Wisconsin with the women racing against No. 15 Michigan State and No. 22 Wisconsin.
In the last meet, the men dominated earning a second-place team finish at the Arturo Barrios Invitational. Indiana earned four top-25 finishes from Camden Marshall (12th, 23:35.0), Austin Haskett (13th, 23:38.9), Abe Eckman (18th, 23:44.4) and Skylar Stidam (24th, 23:52.7).
Senior Mariah Wehrle had the top finish from the Hoosiers in her second race of the season crossing the line with a time of 20:50.1 coming in at 63rd. Teammate Phoebe Bates finished with a time of 20:55.5 in a competitive race.
Men’s Lineup: Big Ten Championships
Personal Best (8K) Athletes
23:44.4 Abe Eckman
23:38.9 Austin Haskett
23:52.7 Skylar Stidam
25:00.8 Tristan Forsythe
24:50.0 Travis Hickner
24:29.4 Nolan Satterfield
24:41.0 Cole Raymond
24:10.9 Martin Segurola
25:02.4 Owen Forberg
23:35.0 Camden Marshall
24:48.3 Keelan Grant
25:42.7 Garrett Hicks
Women’s Lineup: Big Ten Championships
Personal Best (6K) Athletes
21:45.4 Emma Everhart-Deckard
21:52.8 Allie Latta
20:42.5 Phoebe Bates
21:20.6 Grace Tyson
22:13.0 Jasmine Klopstad
21:16.6 Katelyn Winton
21:09.2 Lily Myers
21:09.4 Tori Schmidt
22:48.7 Maddie Russin
22:54.3 Andi VanMeter
20:14.4 Mariah Wehrle
20:56.3 Claire Overfelt
INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER
HOOSIERS HOST TRINE ON SENIOR DAY
BLOOMINGTON — Indiana men’s soccer (8-3-4, 3-2-2 B1G) will welcome NCAA Division-III Trine (7-5-3, 5-1-1 MIAA) to Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong for the third straight season on Friday (Oct. 26).
Fans can watch the match on the Big Ten Plus digital platform. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.
Prior to kickoff, IU men’s soccer will honor 10 student-athletes with a senior day ceremony – Hugo Bacharach, Brett Bebej, Andrew Goldsworthy, Maouloune Goumballe, Quinten Helmer, Karsen Henderlong, Austin Himebaugh, Lukas Hummel, Joey Maher and Nate Ward. Over five seasons, Indiana’s senior class has recorded 63 wins, participated in the NCAA College Cup twice and won four Big Ten Championships.
• Senior forward Maouloune Goumballe made his 99th career appearance on Tuesday at Northwestern. He is the NCAA’s active career leader in games played and will earn his 100th appearance in his next match.
ABOUT THE THUNDER
• Trine comes to Bloomington with a five-match winning streak after starting the season 2-5-3.
• The Thunder are led by seventh-year head coach David Jacobs, who owns a 63-45-15 record during his time in Angola.
• Senior forward Tyler Murphy leads the Thunder with nine goals. Sophomore defender Liam Zimmerman has tallied a team-best six assists.
• The annual matchup began in the 2021 season, and IU has won both games in the series.
• Current Hoosiers Luka Bezerra and Karsen Henderlong both scored in last season’s 3-0 win over the Thunder.
JACOB MORAN CONCLUDES COMPETITION AT U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
TIRANA, Albania ––––– Indiana Wrestling senior Jacob Moran finished up competition at the 2023 U23 United World Wrestling (UWW) Championships this week.
Moran wrestled at 57 kg in the Men’s Freestyle Division for Team Puerto Rico on Tuesday. He competed in two matches, going 1-1 in the tournament.
Moran opened the tournament with a 12-2 win over Thomas Epp of Switzerland in the qualifying round.
In the 1/8 final match, Moran dropped a close one to Tatsuya Tsukaoka of Japan in a 2-0 finish.
Due to Tsukaoka not reaching the finals, Moran was not able to be pulled back into the tournament to compete in repechage.
Qual:Jacob Moran (Puerto Rico) def. Thomas Epp (Switzerland), VSU1, 12-2 (5:21)
1/8: Tatsuya Tsukaoka (Japan) def. Jacob Moran (Puerto Rico), VPO, 2-0
PURDUE FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. NEBRASKA
STORY LINES • Following the bye week, Purdue Football returns to the gridiron with a Big Ten West matchup. The Boilermakers travel west to battle Nebraska, the first of back-to-back road games for Ryan Walters’ squad. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1. • The Boilermakers have won five of their past seven games that have come off a bye week. • Saturday’s matchup features two of the newest head coaches in the Big Ten with Walters’ Boilermakers facing Matt Rhule’s Cornhuskers. • The Boilermakers have beaten the Cornhuskers four out of the past five times, including two straight with a 28-23 win in Lincoln (Oct. 20, 2021) and a 43-37 victory at home last season (Oct. 15, 2022). • Last season, Walters’ defense forced four turnovers and held Nebraska to 248 total yards in Lincoln, resulting in a 26-9 victory for Illinois. • Purdue is no stranger to playing in century-old venues. While Nebraska commemorates the 100-year anniversary of Memorial Stadium, the Boilermakers are playing their 100th season in Ross-Ade Stadium. • The Boilermakers are not afraid to return kickoffs, averaging 30.0 yards per kick return to rank second nationally. Purdue is the only team in the Big Ten with a kickoff return touchdown this season. • On this day 23 years ago (Oct. 28, 2000), Drew Brees found Seth Morales for a 64-yard touchdown to lead the Boilermakers to a 31-27 victory over #12 Ohio State, one of the most famous plays in Purdue Football history. The victory kept Joe Tiller’s Boilermakers in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten and earn a berth to the Rose Bowl. • Dillon Thieneman is a consensus Midseason Freshman All-American, making the list from multiple media outlets. • As Purdue’s leading tackler, Thieneman ranks second nationally with 6.9 solo tackles per game. • Combining for 9.5 sacks, outside linebackers Kydran Jenkins (5.0) and Nic Scourton (4.5) have more sacks than any other duo in the Big Ten. • As a team, Purdue ranks third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally with 3.0 sacks per game. • Cam Allen, who ranks third all-time with 12 career interceptions, picked off a pass the last time Purdue played in Lincoln. • Deion Burks has caught five of the Boilermakers’ seven passing touchdowns this season. • Running the Air Raid offense, Hudson Card averages 21.3 completions per game to rank second in the Big Ten. • The Boilermakers have shown versatility on the offensive side of the ball with 13 of their 20 touchdowns coming from the ground game.
Nebraska squares off against a Big Ten West opponent in Lincoln for the second straight week as the Huskers play host to Purdue on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The game between the Huskers and the Boilermakers marks Nebraska’s 2023 Homecoming contest, and it will kick off shortly after 2:30 p.m., with television coverage provided by FS1 and on the Fox Sports App. The game is also available on the Huskers Radio Network, the official Huskers App and Huskers.com. Nebraska comes into the contest with a 4-3 overall record and a 2-2 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers have won their past two games and four of five overall to move over the .500 mark heading into the season’s final five games. The Huskers are coming off a 17-9 victory over Northwestern last Saturday in Lincoln. Defense dominated the day, with the Blackshirts limiting Northwestern to just three field goals while also recording eight sacks in the victory. It marked the sixth time in seven games this season the Nebraska defense has limited the opposition to less than 100 yards rushing. Purdue heads to a Lincoln after a bye weekend. The Boilermakers are 2-5 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten Conference play under first-year head coach Ryan Walters. Purdue has faced one of the nation’s most difficult schedules, facing six Power Five opponents to date. The Boilermakers own one of the Big Ten’s best offenses, ranking fourth in the Big Ten in passing yards per game at better than 230 yards per contest. Nebraska will be looking to end a Purdue two-game win streak in the series, as the Boilermakers won by six points last year in West Lafayette and five points in 2021 at Memorial Stadium.
The Nebraska defense has allowed a total of 16 points in its past two games, seven at Illinois and nine against Northwestern. It marks the first time the Huskers have held two straight conference foes to single digits since 2010. The Nebraska defense has recorded 24 sacks through seven games this season. The sack total is already Nebraska’s best total since having 27 sacks in 2019. The last time Nebraska reached 30 sacks in a season was in 2013 when the Huskers had 39 sacks. 112 Saturday’s game is the 112th Homecoming game in University of Nebraska history. The Huskers are 84-23-4 on Homecoming and have won 11 of their last 13 Homecoming games. Nebraska is 8-2 against Big Ten opponents on Homecoming.
SERIES HISTORY: NEBRASKA VS. PURDUE Saturday’s meeting will be the 12th matchup in the Nebraska-Purdue series. The Boilermakers own a 6-5 edge, and the teams have split four previous meetings in Lincoln. • The series is tied at five wins apiece since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011. The Huskers won four of the first five matchups between 2013 and 2017, and Purdue has responded by winning four of the past five games since 2018. • Four of the past six games between the schools have been decided by six or fewer points, including Purdue victories by six and five points the past two seasons. • Nebraska and Purdue will meet for the 12th consecutive season next fall in West Lafayette. However, with the Big Ten’s new non-division schedule format, the schools will not meet in 2025 or 2026, before resuming with games in 2027 (Lincoln) and 2028 (West Lafayette).
Nebraska limited Northwestern to nine points after holding Illinois to seven points in its last game. NU held back-to-back conference opponents to single-digit points for the first time since November of 2010, when Nebraska limited Kansas to three points and then allowed only nine points the next week at Texas A&M. • The Huskers totaled 13 TFL with eight sacks. The 13 TFLs were the most for Nebraska this season and marked the most TFLs since NU also had 13 TFLs at Illinois in 2019. NU’s eight sacks against Northwestern tied its season high (also at Colorado). • Freshman running back Emmett Johnson rushed 12 times for 73 yards, marking career highs in both categories. His previous highs were seven carries for 29 yards at Illinois. • Freshman receiver Malachi Coleman had a 44-yard TD reception early in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown. It was Coleman’s second career reception. • The 44-yard touchdown was Nebraska’s longest touchdown pass of the season and its fourth TD this season of at least 44 yards. • Nose tackle Nash Hutmacher had 2.5 sacks, including 1.5 in the first half, marking a career high for Hutmacher. He finished the game with a career-high seven tackles. • Freshman linebacker Princewill Umanmielen had seven tackles, marking his career best. Umanmielen also set career highs with 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. • Safety Isaac Gifford finished with seven tackles, including 0.5 sacks and 1.0 TFL, marking his fourth consecutive game with at least seven tackles.
#16 PURDUE SWEEPS MINNESOTA
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A sound showing by the No. 16 Purdue volleyball squad, backed by a season-high .390 team hitting %, culminated in a 3-0 sweep over Minnesota (28-26, 25-23, 25-16).
The Boilermakers’ effort was led by freshman setter Taylor Anderson, who produced a double-double with 41 assists and 11 digs, alongside three block assists and a pair of service aces.
Two Boilermakers remained errorless in the match: freshman Grace Heaney (seven kills for a .500 hitting %) and redshirt-junior Lourdes Myers (three kills for a .600 hitting %). Meanwhile, no Boilermaker committed more than three attack errors.
A gritty Set 1 win included staving off three Minnesota set points before Purdue took the set, 28-26. Set 2 began similarly, going point-for-point until Purdue fell behind, 13-17 before coming back to win it. Then, the Boilermakers closed out the match with a decisive .500 attack % in Set 3 to secure the victory.
The Boilermakers and Golden Gophers will meet once more this season, with the final match of the series scheduled in two weeks on Friday, November 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Up next, No. 16 Purdue begins a two-match road stretch on Saturday at Illinois. The matchup is set for 7 p.m. ET on B1G+.
Purdue hit .390% in the match, a season-best and the highest since the team’s .422 attack % last year vs. Xavier (9/10/22). Meanwhile, it was the best attack % by the program against a Big Ten team in two years (last: .405 vs. Rutgers, 10/2/21).
Purdue is now 8-3 vs. teams ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA/Taraflex poll.
It is Purdue’s fourth consecutive match and fourth consecutive win against a team ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA/Taraflex poll.
The Boilermakers have hit .300 or better six times this season (last: at Ohio State, a team also receiving votes in the poll).
The Boilermakers took away three Minnesota set points in the opening game, which included a service ace by Ali Hornung to tie it 24-24 and a kill by Eva Hudson to tie it 26-26. Hudson went on to have the set-winner on a free ball at the net.
Purdue came from behind in Set 2 after being down, 13-17, while Maddie Schermerhorn was at the service line. The Boilermakers took four unanswered points to tie it up, 17-17. The run included a pair of blocks, with Taylor Anderson on both assists. With the score 21-22 in Set 2 in favor of Minnesota, Gracey Heaney won a key battle at the net for Purdue to tie up the score. Following the play, the Boilermakers closed out the set on a 3-1 run.
Eva Hudson totaled a team-leading 17 kills with just three errors on 36 swings for a .389 attack %, just shy of her season-high (.394 set vs. Illinois).
In Chloe Chicoine’s 30 attempts, the freshman committed just one error, a season-best. Chicoine recorded 11 kills with a .333 hitting clip for the second straight match hitting above .300.
Purdue is now 3-1 over the last four matches vs. Minnesota.
Junior Ali Hornung reached 500 career digs.
Schermerhorn ended the night with a team-leading 14 digs, and has reached double-digit digs in all but one match this season. The libero also tied a season-high two aces in the match.
The Boilermakers service-receive was one of the most solid performances of the year, registering seven team aces, while allowing just one opponent ace.
Purdue out-blocked Minnesota, 8-1 in the match, the fewest allowed against a Big Ten opponent in more than four years (last: 1 allowed at Indiana, 9/30/17).
PURDUE WOMEN’S SOCCER
BOILERS PRIMED FOR BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
MADISON, Wis. – The Purdue cross country team begins the postseason at the 2023 Big Ten Cross Country Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday, October 27.
The conference championship meet will commence with the men’s 8k race at 11:45 a.m. ET / 10:45 a.m. CT, followed by the women’s 6k event at 12:45 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. CT. The meet is hosted by Wisconsin at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.
The meet will be streamed live on B1G+ and live results are available here. Additional championships information can be found at BigTen.org along with UWBadgers.com. Direct links to follow along are on the schedule page at PurdueSports.com/CrossCountry, and updates from Madison also are available by following and connecting with the Boilermakers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Purdue will be represented by 12 men and 11 women in Madison on Friday. Both squads will race against a pair of top-25 opponents. The 14-team women’s field includes No. 15 Michigan State and No. 22 Wisconsin, and the 12-team men’s field includes No. 19 Michigan and No. 24 Wisconsin. Additionally, the Ohio State women and Michigan State men are receiving votes in the latest national coaches poll.
Wisconsin will host the Big Ten meet for the first time since 2010.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 2022 BIG TEN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Purdue men were fifth and the women finished 11th at the 2022 Big Ten Championships on October 28 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then-sophomore Nathan Walker was 19th overall to pace the men individually on the 8k course, and then-sophomore Emma Squires led the women in the 6k race.
The Boilermaker men finished in the top five for the fifth time in the last six years, a feat the team hadn’t accomplished since 1950. The program earned five total top-five finishes from 1951-2016 (1969, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986), while, prior to 1951, Purdue placed in the top five in 14 of 15 Big Ten Championships contested from 1931-1950.
A complete recap from the meet can be found at PurdueSports.com/CrossCountry.
PURDUE AT THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Purdue men have won two Big Ten titles, in 1916 and 1941. The Boilermakers recorded four consecutive top-five finishes from 2017-2020, coming in fifth in 2017, second in 2018, fourth in 2019 and third in 2020. The 2017 race marked the first time Purdue finished better than sixth since 1986.
The Boilermaker women’s best Big Ten finish was second place in 1983, and Purdue also was third in 1981, its first Big Ten Championship.
Five men have won Big Ten titles, most recently by Matt McClintock in 2015. He set a Big Ten record in the 8k race with a time of 23:12.1.
LAST TIME OUT: NATIONAL FIELD AT PRE-NATS
Purdue finished the 2023 regular season at the highly-competitive XC-23 Pre-Nationals in Charlottesville, Virginia, on October 14. On a rain-filled morning against a nationally-ranked field at Virginia’s Panorama Farms, the Boilermaker men were fifth as a team and the women were 23rd. Both squads were selected to race in the blue championship events.
Sophomore Douglas Buckeridge paced the men with a 25th-place finish, just ahead of Walker, who was 28th on the 8k course. Senior Payne Turney led the women in the 6k race.
A complete recap is available at PurdueSports.com/CrossCountry.
NEXT UP: NCAA GREAT LAKES REGIONAL
The Boilermakers come back to Madison in two weeks for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday, November 10. Purdue will race for a trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, both individually and as a team.
PURDUE WOMEN’S GOLF
WOMEN’S GOLF CONCLUDES FALL SEASON WITH LANDFALL TRADITION
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After winning two of the first three tournaments of the season, followed by an entire month off, Purdue Women’s Golf returns to the links. The Boilermakers close out their fall season in familiar fashion, traveling to Wilmington, North Carolina for the Landfall Tradition (Oct. 27-29).
Friday, Oct. 27: Round 1 (Tee Times starting at 8:30 a.m. ET)
Saturday, Oct. 28: Round 2 (Tee Times starting at 8:30 a.m. ET)
Sunday, Oct. 29: Round 3 (8:45 a.m. ET Shotgun Start)
Kan Bunnabodee – Sr. (9:51 AM ET off No. 10)
Leads the team in stroke average (70.22), team-low rounds (4), rounds in the 60s (4) and birdies (34)
Holds three of the 10-lowest 54-hole scores in school history
Led Purdue to a team victory at the season-opening Boilermaker Classic, placing a career-best runner-up on the individual leaderboard with a 9-under 207 (75-63-69), tying for the third-lowest 54-hole total in program history
Became the first Boilermaker in school history to shoot 63 (-9), breaking current LPGA member Paula Reto’s 11-year old record of 64
Big Ten Preseason Watch List
Is making her 31st appearance as a Boilermaker
Tied for fourth at the 2021 Landfall Tradition with a 3-under 213 (71-70-72), earning her first career Top 5 finish
2021-22 First Team All-Big Ten
Two-time Academic All-Big Ten
Jocelyn Bruch – Sr. (9:42 AM ET off No. 10)
Making her 24th appearance as a Boilermaker
Last time out, fired a career-low 209 (69-70-70) at the Schooner Fall Classic for the 10th-best three-round total in school history
Holds a 70.89 stroke average with the help of three rounds in the 60s, ranking second on the team in both categories
Seven of her nine rounds have been par-or-better, a team high
Paced the field in par-4 scoring (-3) to help the Boilermakers win the Mary Fossum Invitational, tying for seventh on the individual leaderboard for her second career Top 10 (76-70-71—217)
Cracked the Top 10 for the first time in her career, tying for sixth with a 4-under 212 (69-69-74) to help Purdue win the Boilermaker Classic
Recorded the team-low round three times throughout last season and has already matched that total this season
Won the Hoosier Amateur over the summer
Two-time Academic All-Big Ten
Ashley Kozlowski – Sr. (9:33 AM ET off No. 10)
Playing in her 32nd tournament as a Boilermaker, more than anyone on the current team; also her third appearance in the Landfall Tradition
Last time out, paced the Boilermakers with a 208 (72-70-66) at the Schooner Fall Classic, the seventh-best 54-hole total in program history; her final round 66 was a new career low and the fifth-lowest for a Boilermaker
Led Purdue to a win in the Mary Fossum Invitational, finishing runner-up individually for the second time in her career with a 214 (73-71-70)
Holds a 71.44 stroke average
Big Ten Preseason Watch List
Appeared in 11 of the 12 tournaments a season ago, ranking second on the team with a 73.75 stroke average
Made a team-best four eagles throughout last season
Tied for fourth at the NCAA Raleigh Regional with a season-low 213 (-3), nearly qualifying for the national championships as an individual
Named B1G Women’s Golfer of the Week (Feb. 15), becoming the first Boilermaker to earn the honor since 2019 after leading Purdue to a win at the Tulane Classic and placing runner-up for the best finish of her career
Starred in the classroom as an aeronautical and astronautical engineering major, earning several academic honors: WGCAA All-American Scholar Team, Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Academic All-Big Ten
Natasha Kiel – Jr. (9:24 AM ET off No. 10)
Making her fourth appearance as a Boilermaker, but playing in her 16th collegiate tournament
Holds a 72.78 stroke average
Last time out, tied for 29th at the Schooner Fall Classic with a 213 (71-72-70), her best 54-hole total as a Boilermaker
Ranked second in par-4 scoring (-1) and tied for ninth (73-72-73—218) to help the Boilermakers win the Mary Fossum Invitational
In her Purdue debut, tied for 37th (79-74-71—224) to help the team win the Boilermaker Classic
Transferred to Purdue after two seasons at Vanderbilt
Last season, played in eight tournaments and produced a 74.4 stroke average
Fired a career-low 66 in the second round of the Mason Rudolph Championship last fall
Landed on the SEC Academic Honor Roll at the conclusion of last season
Named to the 2021-22 SEC All-Freshman Team
Momo Sugiyama – Jr. (9:15 AM ET off No. 10)
Making her 16th appearance as a Boilermaker after playing in all 12 tournaments a season ago
Holds a 72.22 stroke average this season
Led Purdue at last season’s Landfall Tradition, tying for 12th with a 3-under 213 (68-72-73); she paced the 96-player field in par-5 scoring (-6)
Started the season with her fourth Top 10 as a Boilermaker, tying for ninth at the Boilermaker Classic with a 1-under 215 (73-69-73)
Produced her eighth Top 20 finish by tying for 19th at the Mary Fossum Invitational
Big Ten Preseason Watch List
2022-23 Second Team All-Big Ten
Tied Purdue’s single-season record with six rounds in the 60s last year
Led the team in stroke average (73.31), team-low round (14), rounds in the 60s (6) and pars (410) last season
Held a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout the 2022-23 school year, collecting several academic accolades: WGCAA All-American Scholar Team, Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Academic All-Big Ten
The tournament will take place on the Country Club of Landfall’s Dye Course, a par 72 layout measuring 6,194 yards.
The Country Club of Landfall features 45 holes of championship golf designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus.
The Country Club of Landfall hosted the 1995 and 2010 NCAA Division I Championships.
HISTORY AT LANDFALL
The Boilermakers have closed out their fall season at the Landfall Tradition every year since 2011.
Purdue has won two of the 20 editions of the tournament, capturing team titles during the 2005-06 and 2011-12 seasons.
Four Boilermakers have experience playing in the Landfall Tradition. Ashley Kozlowski is making her third appearance, while Jocelyn Bruch, Kan Bunnabodee and Momo Sugiyama are playing in the tournament for the second time.
Last season, the Boilermakers placed 10th behind a 12th-place individual finish by Momo Sugiyama (68-72-73—213). Sugiyama paced the 96-player field in par-5 scoring (-6).
As a sophomore, Kan Bunnabodee tied for fourth to lead Purdue at the 2021 Landfall Tradition, earning the first Top 5 finish of her career
LAST TIME OUT
Tied for seventh heading into the final round, Purdue used a 6-under 274 to vault up the leaderboard and place third at the Schooner Fall Classic.
The Boilermakers finished 3-under for the tournament, tying a school record with a 54-hole total of 837 (284-279-274).
The final round 274 was the second-best team round ever, just behind the program-record 270 carded at the Boilermaker Classic earlier this season.
For the second straight tournament, Ashley Kozlowski led the Boilermakers. Firing a career-low 66 (-4) in the final round, Kozlowski posted a three-day total of 208 (-2) to tie for the seventh-best 54-hole score in program history.
Also cracking the Top 10 for lowest 54-hole totals all-time were Jocelyn Bruch and Kan Bunnabodee. The pair of Boilermakers tied for 14th, carding 209 (-1) through three rounds.
SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON
Entering the final round eight shots back of host Michigan State, Purdue flipped the script and fired a final round 284 (-4) to win the Mary Fossum Invitational by 10 strokes.
Purdue was 6-under (290-284-284—858) on the par 72 West Course at Forest Akers GC, the only team to finish under par and just one shot off the tournament record. The Boilermakers defeated a field of 14 other teams that included five Big Ten programs. The three-round total also cracked the Top 10 for one of the lowest 54-hole scores in program history.
The Boilermakers played the par 4s a combined 5-over to lead all teams, including 16 shots better than Michigan State. Purdue also paced the field in par-3 scoring (-2) and birdies (47).
Four Boilermakers finished in the Top 10 of the individual leaderboard. Ashley Kozlowski led the way, ending the tournament at 2-under to place runner-up for the second time in her career. Kan Bunnabodee earned her second Top 5 of the season, tying for fourth at even par (72-71-73—216) and leading the entire field in birdies (13) and par-3 scoring (-2). Jocelyn Bruch tied for seventh (+1) for her second Top 10 of the 2023-24 campaign.
FLYING HIGH WITH BYRD
Victorious in two of their three tournaments this fall, the Boilermakers have won multiple tournaments in a season for the first time in seven years.
Winning the Boilermaker Classic and the Mary Fossum Invitational, Purdue won back-to-back tournaments for the first time since the 2012-13 season. The last time Purdue won its first two tournaments of the season was the start of the 2005-06 campaign.
Purdue already has three tournament titles in just the second season under head coach Zack Byrd; the Boilermakers won three tournaments over the previous six seasons before Byrd’s arrival.
Eleven of the 50 lowest team rounds in program history have occurred under Byrd, including the school record 270 (-18) at the season-opening Boilermaker Classic earlier this month as well as the second-best round, a 274 at the Schooner Fall Classic last time out.
This season, the Boilermakers have produced two of the lowest five team totals (54 holes) in school history, a program-best 837 at last month’s Schooner Fall Classic and an 852 (fifth) at the season-opening Boilermaker Classic.
HOME COURSE PROTECTED
Purdue protected its home course, starting the 2023-24 season by beating 14 other teams to win the Boilermaker Classic (Sept. 4-5).
The Boilermakers finished the 54-hole event 12-under par (296-270-286—852) on the Kampen-Cosler Course at the Birck Boilermaker Complex, six shots ahead of runner-up Alabama.
Kan Bunnabodee paced Purdue with a final round 69 (-3) to finish runner-up on the individual leaderboard at 9-under. Her 207 (75-63-69) matched her career low and tied for the third-best 54-hole total in program history with the help of a school-record 63 in the second round.
Jocelyn Bruch cracked the Top 10 for the first time in her career. She placed sixth with a 212 (69-69-74).
Momo Sugiyama finished another tournament in red figures, firing a 215 (-1) with a 69 sandwiched in between rounds of 73. Starting her second season as a Boilermaker, she recorded her fourth Top 10, tying for ninth on the individual leaderboard.
SCHOOL RECORDS BROKEN
On the first day of the 2023-24 season, a pair of school records were broken in the second round of the Boilermaker Classic.
The Boilermakers fired a 270 (-18) in the second round to break the program record for team-low round by five strokes, besting the previous record of 275 shot by the 2011 Boilermakers at the Administaff Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate.
Kan Bunnabodee’s 63 along with 69s (-3) from Jocelyn Bruch, Ashley Kozlowski and Momo Sugiyama produced the school-record round of 18-under par.
Bunnabodee became the first Boilermaker in history to shoot 63, recording nine birdies and nine pars to break current LPGA member Paula Reto’s record 64 that stood for 11 years.
PRESEASON B1G HONOREES
A trio of Boilermakers were named Big Ten Preseason Women’s Golf Watch List, the conference office announced ahead of the season. Kan Bunnabodee, Ashley Kozlowski and Momo Sugiyama received the recognition.
Bunnabodee, a 2022 First Team All-Big Ten honoree, played in all eight spring tournaments last season after missing the fall due to injury.
Last season, Kozlowski posted a 73.75 stroke average over 32 rounds (11 tournaments) to rank second on the team. Thirteen of those rounds were par-or-better, a team best, which included a season-low 68.
Sugiyama earned Second Team All-Big Ten accolades after leading Purdue in stroke average (73.31), team-low rounds (14), rounds in the 60 (6) and Top 5 finishes (3) throughout the 2022-23 campaign. Her six rounds in the 60s matched a single-season school record, and she fired a 2-under 142 (73-69) at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic for the second-best 36-hole total in program history.
NEXT ON THE TEE
After four tournaments, Purdue’s successful fall comes to an end.
The Boilermakers return to action when the calendar flips to 2024, starting the spring by hosting the Puerto Rico Classic (Feb. 4-6) in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
#3 PURDUE TRAVELS TO #14 ARKANSAS FOR CHARITY EXHIBITION GAME
GAMEDAY INFORMATION — UNITED WAY ARKANSAS CHARITY GAME
 Purdue at  Arkansas
4:00 p.m. ET | Fayetteville, Arkansas
SEC+ (Josh Haley, Manny Watkins)
THE NOTES TO KNOW
• Purdue “unofficially” tips off one of its most-anticipated seasons in school history when it travels to No. 14-ranked Arkansas for a charity exhibition game in support of United Way Arkansas to help raise money for victims of the devastating tornadoes that occurred on March 31.
• The Boilermakers open the 2023-24 campaign ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25 preseason poll released Oct. 16.
• Purdue’s No. 3 ranking marks its highest preseason ranking since the 1987-88 season (No. 2). Purdue has been ranked in the preseason top 10 for the second time in the last three years (2021-22 –> No. 7). It marks the eighth time in school history that Purdue has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP preseason poll. The last five times that Purdue has been ranked top 10, it has posted a 140-31 (.819) record.
• With its top-five preseason ranking, Purdue has been ranked in the top five in 17 straight weeks, the longest streak in the country. Kansas is the next closest at six weeks.
• A year ago, Purdue became the first team since Wisconsin in 2015 to win an outright Big Ten regular-season title and the Big Ten Tournament title in the same season. Purdue became the first team in Big Ten history to win the regular-season title by at least three games and win the Big Ten Tournament in the same season. No team since Michigan State (1999, 2000) has won consecutive Big Ten Tournament and outright regular-season championships.
• Purdue’s 58 wins over the last two seasons are the most in school history and the sixth most in the country (Houston, Kansas, Arizona, Gonzaga, Duke). Purdue needs just 25 wins this season to tie the school record for the most wins in a three-year span (83; 2016-17-18).
• Purdue will enter the year having won 14 straight games in the month of November, with the last loss coming Nov. 26, 2020, vs. Clemson in the SpaceCoast Challenge. The streak is the second-longest November winning streak in America (Arizona – 22).
• The Boilermakers have won 24 straight regular-season, non-conference games, dating to a Dec. 8, 2020, setback at Miami, Fla. The streak is the longest in the country by nine games (New Mexico – 15).
• The Boilermakers enter the season ranked No. 1 by three major analytic services (KenPom, Bart Torvik, Evan Miyakawa). It marks the first time in the 23-year history that Purdue has been ranked No. 1 by KenPom.
• Eric Musselman and Matt Painter are two of eight coaches nationally to average at least 25 wins over the last eight seasons.
• Zach Edey won Purdue’s third National Player of the Year honor (1932 – John Wooden; 1994 – Glenn Robinson) a year ago after averaging 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Purdue (2), Duke (3) and North Carolina (2) are the only schools in America to have at least two consensus (all six major services) National Players of the Year in the last 30 seasons. Edey could become the first consensus back-to-back National Player of the Year since Bill Walton (1972, 1973).
• Zach Edey is the nation’s third-leading scorer from a year ago (22.3 PPG), but among players that played in a major conference a year ago, he is first. Edey is the only one of the top-11 returning scorers in America from a year ago to play in a major conference last year.
• Braden Smith’s mother, Ginny, was Arkansas’ Miss Basketball in 1997 and both his mother and father, Dustin, played at Arkansas Tech. Braden was born in Arkansas and was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2022.
• Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer return after scoring a combined 724 points a year ago. The total is second nationally among sophomore teammates behind Duke’s Kyle Filipowski and Tyrese Proctor (881 points).
• Matt Painter ranks fifth on the Big Ten’s list for career wins with 413, needing just eight victories to tie Illinois legend Lou Henson for fourth (421). On the Big Ten games-only chart, Painter is seventh (209 wins), needing one win to tie Indiana’s Branch McCracken (210).
BUTLER WOMEN’S SOCCER
BULLDOGS HEADED TO POSTSEASON WITH WIN OVER CREIGHTON
INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women’s soccer team defeated Creighton, 3-1, on Thursday evening and has locked up the sixth seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Bulldogs (6-7-6, 2-3-5 BIG EAST) scored two first-half goals and then took at 3-0 lead in the 62nd minute. The Bluejays (4-9-5, 2-7-1 BIG EAST) began to push back and scored a goal in the 64th minute, but Butler’s defense held through full time.
25′ | Aliya Diagne tangles with Creighton defenders and comes away with the ball. She lunges forward to tap the ball to Abigail Isger. Isger also lunges forward to push the ball under the legs of the Bluejays’ keeper, and it slowly rolls over the line. Butler takes a 1-0 lead.
32′ | Isger draws a foul in the penalty area, and Becky Dean converts the penalty kick. Dawgs up, 2-0.
62′ | Amelie Darey manuevers among Creighton midfielders on the right side. She sends a ball forward that finds Isger, who taps the ball from her right foot to her left and opens up an opportunity. The left-footed shot slides in just inside the left post. Butler now has a three-goal advantage.
64′ | Creighton earns a corner kick, and the service is headed in. The Bluejays draw to within two, but still trail, 3-1.
Butler Points Summary
GOALS: Abigail Isger (2), Becky Dean
ASSISTS: Aliya Diagne, Amelie Darey
Abigail Isger’s goals were her third and fourth of the season. She now has 21 in her career. It was her first brace of the season and the second of her career.
Becky Dean’s goal was her first of the season and the sixth of her career.
Aliya Diagne’s assist was her third of the season and the seventh of her career.
Amelie Darey’s assist was her first of the season and the third of her career.
Anna Pierce made four saves in her fifth win of the season. She now has 11 career wins.
As the No. 6 seed, Butler will travel to face the No. 3 seed, UConn, on Sunday, Oct. 29, in the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. PITT
NOTRE DAME NOTES:
IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS: 3 Three Notre Dame student-athletes received Midseason All-America accolades last week. Left tackle Joe Alt, running back Audric Estimé and defensive lineman Howard Cross III were all first-team selections by the Associated Press and also received honors from ESPN, CBS Sports and The Sporting News. 4 Notre Dame is the only Associated Press Top 25 team, according to the current schedule and rankings of the teams in this week’s poll, that will face four consecutive ranked teams in 2023. Georgia, Southern Cal and UCLA could possibly face three straight ranked teams this year. 6 The 48-20 victory over No. 10 Southern Cal on October 14 was the sixth ranked victory of the two-year Marcus Freeman era at Notre Dame. That matches Terry Brennan (1954-55) for the most ranked wins by an Irish head coach in his first two years with the program. Freeman also needed just 22 games to claim a second AP Top-10 victory (No. 4 Clemson last season, No. 10 Southern Cal this season) which is the fifth-fewest games required by an Irish head coach to claim two top-10 wins (Frank Leahy 8, Brennan 16, Gerry Faust 19, Ara Parseghian 21). 45 Senior defensive tackle Howard Cross III leads all Power 5 defensive linemen with 45 tackles this season and is third overall among all FBS front four defensive lineman in total tackles. See page 7 for more. 128 Sam Hartman has thrown 128 passes in his career and is poised to become just the sixth FBS quarterback to surpass 15,000 passing yards in a career. See page 6 for a full breakdown of Hartman’s prolific career. 242 Piling up 39 tackles over the past four games, JD Bertrand has pushed his career total to 242 entering this weekend’s game. That ranks 22nd all-time at Notre Dame, just ahead of Kyle McCarthy (240) and just behind Nyles Morgan (250).
NOTRE DAME – PITTSBURGH SERIES HISTORY • Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will be meeting for the 73rd time on Saturday afternoon with the Irish leading the all-time series 50-21-1. • The Irish are 21-10-0 against Pittsburgh in Notre Dame Stadium. The Panthers are visiting South Bend for the first time since 2018 when fifth-ranked Notre Dame earned a 19-14 victory. • The most recent meeting between the two teams occurred in 2020, a 45-3 Notre Dame victory over Pittsburgh in Heinz Field. • Notre Dame has won six of the last seven meetings against the Panthers dating back to 2010. • Pitt’s most recent win came in Heinz Field in 2013, a 28-21 win over No. 24 Notre Dame. • The series dates back to 1909, when the Irish earned a 6-0 victory over Pitt at Forbes Field on Oct. 30. • Pittsburgh is one of 11 teams the Irish have faced 30 or more times and is the fifth-most prolific series in Notre Dame football history with 72 meetings. • The most prolific opponents in Notre Dame football history: 96 – Navy; 94 – Southern Cal; 87 – Purdue; 79 – Michigan State; 72 – Pittsburgh; 51 – Army; 49 – Northwestern; 44 – Michigan; 37 – Georgia Tech; 36 – Stanford; 30 – Air Force.
GAME FACTS • Notre Dame is 16-3-0 all-time on October 28 which includes two meetings with Pittsburgh in Notre Dame Stadium. In 1933, the Panthers defeated the Irish 14-0. In 1989, No. 1 Notre Dame defeated No. 7 Pittsburgh 45-7 at home. • Notre Dame is 408-100-8 (.798) all-time in the month of October and 4-2 in the month under Marcus Freeman. • The Irish moved up to 14th in the Associated Press Top 25 this week. The Irish are 10-5-0 all-time as the AP No. 14-ranked team, the most recent victory was a 32-29 win at Virginia Tech on Oct. 9, 2021. • One of Notre Dame’s five losses as No. 14 came to unranked Pittsburgh on the road in 1958. The unranked Panthers knocked off No. 14 Notre Dame 29-26. The Irish are 9-0 in all other meetings as No. 14 against an unranked team. • The Irish are ranked in the Associated Press poll for the 14th consecutive week (and 13th consecutive game). • Notre Dame is 1-0 under Marcus Freeman coming off a bye week. The Irish defeated No. 16 BYU 28-20 in the 2022 Shamrock Series game in Allegiant Stadium last season coming off the team’s bye. • Since 2010 Notre Dame is 15-2 coming off a bye week. A 31-17 loss to Southern Cal in 2011 and a 45-14 setback at No 16 Michigan in 2019 are the only blemishes.
TWO-DEEP TIDBITS – OFFENSE: Jayden Thomas is the leading returning receiver for the Irish in 2023. Thomas has been affected over the past four weeks by a hamstring injury. He is tied for third on the team with 15 receptions for 228 yards. Chris Tyree has shifted to wide receiver after three years as a running back with the Irish. Tyree has made a key play in each of Notre Dame’s six victories this season, which includes a career-best 76-yard touchdown reception against Central Michigan and a key 46-yard touchdown reception in the victory over No. 10 Southern Cal. He ranks sixth in the country in yards-per-reception with a 22.19 average. True freshman Jaden Greathouse nabbed a 35-yard touchdown pass on his first career touch against Navy. He followed up with a 20-yard scoring catch later in the game. Greathouse returned to the starting lineup against Southern Cal after missing portions of the Duke and Louisville games with a hamstring injury. Joe Alt, the son of former NFL All-Pro John Alt, is one of four team captains for the Irish this season, has been selected as a consensus preseason All-American and is on the Outland, Lombardi and Walter Camp Award watch lists. See page 7 for more on Alt. Pat Coogan made his first career start in just his second game played against Navy. He has started all eight games for the Irish at left guard this season. Zeke Correll has played guard and center during his career and now enters the season as one of the top snappers in the nation. He will make his 31st-career start on the Irish offensive line against Pittsburgh and is on the Rimington Award watch list. Rocco Spindler joined Coogan in making his first career start, at right guard, for the Irish against Navy. He has started all eight games at the same position this season. Blake Fisher is one of the more athletic right tackles in the nation, Fisher combines with Joe Alt to provide Notre Dame one of the best offensive tackle bookends in the nation. Mitchell Evans leads the Irish in receiving with 24 catches for 356 yards. He peaked with a career-best 134 receiving yards in the victory at No. 17 Duke. He also plays a key role in some of Notre Dame’s short yardage packages by taking direct snaps. He rushed for five first downs and a touchdown from under center last season. Holden Staes capped the scoring against Central Michigan with a four-yard catch which followed up his career-best game at NC State which included four catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Both of those touchdowns came from more than 30 yards (30, 45). Staes and Evans combine as the only two TEs, from the same team, to post two 100-yard receiving performances this season. Rico Flores Jr. earned his first career start against Central Michigan and responded with early career-highs of three catches and 60 receiving yards. His first career touchdown reception against Ohio State provided the Irish their first lead of the game. Flores also nabbed a crucial two-point conversion in the game’s final minutes at No. 17 Duke. He is tied for third on the team with 15 catches for 178 yards. Sam Hartman continues his ascent up the FBS career passing touchdown and yardage lists this season. See page 6 for much more on Hartman. Audric Estimé owns three 100-yard performances in the first eight games of the year, while rushing for 95 yards vs. Navy , 81 at Duke and 95 against Southern Cal. Jadarian Price’s first career carry against Navy was a 19-yard touchdown. His second career catch was a 40-yard touchdown reception vs. Tennessee State. His fifth career kick-off return was a 99-yard scoring effort against Southern Cal. Spencer Shrader has quickly established himself as the best long-distance kicker in Notre Dame history. The USF transfer has kicked a school-record 54-yard field goal twice this season –at NC State and at Louisville. He shares the Notre Dame record for career kicks of 50 yards or more (four) with Kyle Brindza and Jonathan Doerer. Bryce McFerson has a booming leg showed that off against NC State. He punted six times in the game, averaging 50.7 yards per attempt. He also posted a career-best 59- yard punt against the Wolfpack. He also uncorked a 57-yard effort at Duke. Michael Vinson is in his sixth year at Notre Dame and is one of the top long snappers in the nation. He has developed into a clear leader not only for the Irish special teams, but the entire roster.
TWO-DEEP TIDBITS – DEFENSE Jordan Botelho missed the first half of the Louisville game after being called for targeting late in the game at Duke. The starting ‘vyper’ end for the Irish this season, Botelho has two sacks this season along with 19 tackles. Joshua Burnham posted his first career start in place of Botelho at Louisville and finished the game with two tackles. Overall, Burnham has been disruptive in limited snaps, with 2.5 tackles-for-loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries. Rylie Mills is No. 10 on The Athletics Freak List for his work in the weight room and has been disruptive on the defensive line so far in 2023. Mills posted a career-best seven tackles in the victory at No. 17 Duke and has posted at least three tackles in the five games. Howard Cross III is the only Power 5 defensive lineman with double-digit tackles in a game this season after his dominating 13-tackle, two-forced fumble performance at Duke. He leads all Power 5 defensive linemen in tackles this season with 45. Javontae Jean-Baptiste played perhaps the best game of his career against Ohio State, posting a career-high eight tackles. JJB has been consistent across the Irish defensive line all season and is sixth on the team in tackles (33) and leads the Irish with eight quarterback hurries. Nana Osafo-Mensah is a leader in the defensive line group and a steady force against the run. He made two key plays against Louisville, which included a tackle-for-loss followed up by his first sack of the season. Osafo-Mensah followed up with a career best four tackles against Southern Cal which included a sack. Marist Liufau enters his second full season as a starter in 2023 and has been all over the field through the first eight games of the year. He has 33 tackles on the season, two quarterback hurries, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. JD Bertrand missed the CMU game in concussion protocol and has returned to the line up in top form over the past four games. He has 39 tackles in the last four outings, which includes 11 at No. 17 Duke, nine tackles, one sack and a shared tackle-for-loss at No. 25 Louisville and 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and .5 sacks against No. 10 Southern Cal. Jack Kiser does a little bit of everything for the Irish defense and can appear on the line or even as a spot safety if necessary. He is third on the team with 41 tackles after piling up a career-best 10 while starting at Mike linebacker for JD Bertrand against Central Michigan. Cam Hart was voted a captain by his teammates this season, and looks poised for a highly productive final season with the Irish. Hart began the second half at No. 25 Louisville with a forced fumble and recovery, then forced another fumble that led to a touchdown return against Southern Cal. DJ Brown returned for a fifth year and is the ‘quarterback’ of the back seven for Notre Dame’s defense. Brown picked off his fourth career pass against NC State, missed the CMU game with a leg injury but returned against Ohio State to finish with three tackles and two PBUs. He also finished with a career-high matching nine tackles at No. 25 Louisville. Xavier Watts has grown from a rookie wide receiver into one of Notre Dame’s starting safeties and dominated the game against No. 10 Southern Cal with two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble return for a touchdown. His outstanding performance earned him national defensive player of the week honors from Walter Camp, Bronko Nagurski Award and he was the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week. Benjamin Morrison was a Freshman All-American last season, and is focused on taking his game to an even higher level in 2023. He intercepted his first pass of the season at NC State and added an interception against No. 10 Southern Cal. See page 8for more on Morrison. Clarence Lewis has played in 45 games at Notre Dame and scored his first career touchdown on a 33-yard interception return against Tennessee State. He started at nickle in place of Thomas Harper at Louisville, who missed the game in concussion protocol. Thomas Harper, a transfer from Oklahoma State, made his first start in an Irish uniform against TSU and followed up with a team-high seven tackles at NC State. He continued his playmaking moments with his first career sack against Central Michigan. Harper missed the game at Louisville but returned to the staring lineup at nickle for the Irish against Southern Cal. He has 28 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble this season.
√ In a series long on history and color, Pitt and Notre Dame meet for the 73rd time. The Panthers will visit Notre Dame Stadium for the first time since 2018. √ Ten of the past 13 games between Pitt and Notre Dame have been decided by single digits. That includes each of the past six encounters at Notre Dame Stadium. √ Pitt is looking to snap a three game losing streak in the series. The Panthers last defeated the Irish in 2013, a 28-21 victory in Pittsburgh. √ The Panthers last won at Notre Dame Stadium in 2008, a 36-33 decision that went four overtimes. √ Pitt is one of just six teams that will play 11 “Power Conference” opponents in 2023, joining Colorado, Louisville, Purdue, Utah and West Virginia. √ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 42 victories in ACC play, the second-highest win total during that span. Pitt trails only Clemson (62). √ Quarterback Christian Veilleux is set to make his third career start when Pitt plays at Notre Dame. √ Veilleux is coming off a career performance, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-45 passing at Wake Forest. √ Bub Means has caught a touchdown in three consecutive games. Means achieved career highs with nine catches for 109 yards (including a 22-yard touchdown) last week at Wake Forest. √ The Panthers once again feature an outstanding pass rush. Pitt leads the ACC (tied) and ranks 11th nationally with an average of 3.14 sacks per game.
Series Began: 1909 Series Overall: ND leads 50-21-1 At Pittsburgh: ND leads 28-11-1 At Notre Dame: ND leads 22-10 At Neutral Sites: DNA OT Games: Series tied, 1-1 Last Meeting (at Pitt): Oct. 24, 2020 (Notre Dame 45, Pitt 3) Last Meeting at ND: Oct. 13, 2018 (Notre Dame 19, Pitt 14) Current Series Streak: Notre Dame has won 3 (2015, ’18, ’20) Longest Pitt Series Win Streak: 3 games (three times, last: 1983, ‘86-87) Longest ND Series Win Streak: 11 games (1964-74) Largest Pitt Victory Margin: 26 points (26-0, 1936) Largest ND Victory Margin: 58 points (58-0, 1944).
Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi Overall (season): 64-46 (ninth) At Pitt (season): same Alma Mater: Rhode Island, 1990 Record vs. Notre Dame: 0-3
Notre Dame Coach Marcus Freeman Overall (season): 15-7 (second) At Notre Dame (season): same Alma Mater: Ohio State, 2007 Record vs. Pitt: 0-0
NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER
MATCH 16 PREVIEW: #20 PITT
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The No. 5 Irish wrap up the regular season with another ranked ACC matchup at Alumni Stadium at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 27 as they take on No. 20 Pitt. The game will air on ACCNX.
No. 5 NOTRE DAME vs. No. 20 PITT
Location: South Bend, Indiana | Alumni Stadium
Live Stats: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @NDMenSoccer
THE PITT SERIES
• The Irish and Panthers will meet on the pitch for the 33rd time on Friday.
• Notre Dame holds a decisive lead in the all-time series with a record of 20-7-5.
• The Irish are 11-3-2 when playing Pitt in South Bend.
• The two sides played once last season, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw at Pitt.
• Daniel Russo scored the equalizer for Notre Dame in the 58th minute.
LAST TIME OUT
• Notre Dame wrapped up the ACC Coastal division title in a 1-1 draw at No. 3 Wake Forest last Friday.
• The Irish leveled the match in the 85th minute off a perfectly executed set piece as Ethan O’Brien’s delivery connected with Daniel Russo, who scored with a diving header.
•Bryan Dowd has been masterful in goal this season for the Irish, making a claim as one of the top goalies in the country despite playing some of the best attacking units in the nation.
• The senior ranks fourth in the country in shutouts (7), fifth in save percentage (.860) and fifth in goals against average (.571).
• The shot stopper has 55 career starts while appearing in 56 matches over his previous three seasons in South Bend.
• Dowd has amassed 149 career saves and has recorded 20 clean sheets over his time in South Bend.
•The senior produced his best performance of his career in the 0-0 draw at Akron, making a career-high 12 saves to keep the clean sheet intact.
• The 12 saves are the most by an ACC goalkeeper this season and the third most of any goalie at the DI level.
TOP OF THE TABLE
• The Irish captured their second ACC Coastal Division title in program history after the draw against No. 3 Wake Forest. The program now has three ACC regular season titles, also winning in 2014 and 2013.
• Notre Dame is off to its best start in ACC play in program history through seven games, totaling 17 points with a record of 5-0-2 to lead the league.
• A win or draw against Pitt would give the Irish their first unbeaten season in ACC play in program history and its first undefeated regular-season conference record since going 7-0-4 in the Big East in 2011.
• Notre Dame has scored 13 goals in its seven matches, which are tied for the second most in the league.
• The Irish have a +7 goal differential through seven ACC matches, which ranks second in the conference.
ROOU’S RUN OF FORM
• Junior Matthew Roou leads the Irish attack through 15 matches this season, producing 21 points off nine goals and three assists.
• The junior ranks tied for second in the ACC in both points (21) and points per match (1.50) while ranking third in goals per match (0.64).
• Roou’s hat trick in the win over IUPUI was the first of his career and the first of the season for the Irish.
• The junior forward finished with seven points off three goals and an assist, becoming the first Notre Dame player to record seven or more points in a match since Dave Donohue also had seven points against Marquette on Sept. 11, 2008.
• Roou currently has 20 career goals to go along with 10 career assists, totaling 50 career points for the forward.
• Notre Dame has made it a habit of jumping out to an early lead this season, as the Irish have scored the opening goal in 10 of 15 matches in 2023.
• Nine of the 10 opening goals have come in the first 45 minutes of play.
•The quickest goal to start a match came from Matthew Roou in the 4th minute in the win over Clemson.
• The Fighting Irish are unbeaten when scoring the opening goal over the last 30 occurrences, posting a record of 29-0-1 spanning back to the early stages of the 2021 season.
FIGHT TO THE FINISH
• As good as the Irish have been at the beginning of matches, they have been even better in the final 45 minutes of play.
• Notre Dame has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 16-2 in second halves this season.
• The first goal allowed came via a deflected own goal in the win over Virginia and the second came in a 1-1 draw on the road against No. 3 Wake Forest.
• ND has excelled on both ends of the field on set pieces during the 2023 season.
•The Irish defense has allowed just one goal off a set piece all season while in attack 12 of the team’s 30 goals have come via a set piece.
• Notre Dame has scored off four free kicks, three corners, three penalty kicks and two from throw-ins.
• The Fighting Irish have allowed just eight goals through 15 matches during the 2023 campaign.
• The 0.533 goals against average ranks first in the ACC and second in the country.
• With eight
• With eight shutouts over 15 matches, the Irish are eighth in the country in shutout percentage with a mark 53.3.
• Notre Dame has given up just one or no goals in 14 of 15 matches this season.
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER
#11 IRISH ROLL TO 2-0 WIN OVER #8 CLEMSON
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The ACC regular-season finale for the No. 11 Notre Dame women’s soccer team was oh so sweet. The Fighting Irish (11-2-4, 7-1-2) not only knocked off a top-10 opponent in the No. 8 Clemson Tigers (13-2-3, 7-2-1), but also secured the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament.
With only the top-six teams making the ACC Tourney, that means the Irish head straight to the semifinal round on November 2 in Cary, North Carolina. They’ll await the winner of Clemson vs. Wake Forest.
Leah Klenke put an exclamation point on her regular season with her ACC best 10th assist tonight, on Maddie Mercado’s game-winner in the 13th minute. Mercado scored via header from a Klenke cross from the left side, marking her team best seventh goal of the season.
The Irish, who have found much success scoring off corners this season, secured yet another set-piece goal in the 51st minute as Morgan Roy found Sophia Fisher’s head in the middle of the box. It marked Fisher’s second goal on the 2023 season and Roy’s fourth assist. Important to note, Fisher started in the backline yet again and went the full-90.
Speaking of the Irish defense, freshman keeper Atlee Olofson earned her fourth shutout on the year. She only needed to make two saves on the evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first-half stats might show just two Notre Dame shots on goal compared to Clemson’s one, but the Irish dictated the possession for most of the half and practically lived in the Tiger’s side of the field.
The Irish did take a 1-0 lead into the half, with the goal arriving in the 13th minute. ACC assist leader Leah Klenke crossed the ball to Maddie Mercado around the top-middle of the six and the graduate’s header tucked it neatly to the near post. Mercado then did her signature sprint to the bench to celebrate with a raucous bench.
The second Notre Dame goal occurred in the 51st minute off of a Morgan Roy corner kick. It marked the seventh corner kick goal the Irish have scored this season. The goal scorer, none other than starting defender Sophia Fisher, her second on the year.
The Irish could have made it a 3-0 victory in the 83rd minute when Ellie Ospeck was taken out in the box by the Clemson goalie. The result was a penalty kick taken by Kiki Van Zanten, but Halle Mackiewicz came up big with the save.
The Irish press was relentless and they cruised to the 2-0 victory, earning seven ACC victories for the second year in a row. Also keep in mind, this is a Clemson Tigers squad that had only surrendered eight goals heading into tonight’s ACC regular-season finale, before giving up two to the Irish.
The Irish know the date and time for their ACC Tournament semifinal, but not the opponent. Notre Dame will play on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET inside WakeMed Soccer Park. They’ll face the winner of Clemson/Wake Forest, who play on Sunday.
NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL
THE SHREWSBERRY ERA OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF NOV. 6
New eras and Notre Dame basketball aren’t commonalities.
In the tradition-rich history of the storied Fighting Irish basketball program, nine different coaches have patrolled the Shamrock sidelines for five or more years; George Keogan, John Jordan, Digger Phelps and Mike Brey combined for 76 of Notre Dame’s 120 seasons.
For the first time since the average cost for a gallon of gas was $1.51 and the price for a gallon of milk was $2.78, Notre Dame is poised for an exhilarating new era in men’s basketball.
Micah Shrewsberry officially opens his first chapter of his Notre Dame book Nov. 6 when Niagara visits Purcell Pavilion – 8,388 days since Brey’s decorated run initiated in 2000.
Basketball in his DNA from growing up in Indiana. Shrewsberry has been on a fast and successful trajectory toward Notre Dame – he cultivated his coaching acumen inside the Butler Bulldogs program and with the globally renowned Boston Celtics franchise; then he turned around Penn State to the tune of an NCAA Tournament Round of 32 team last season.
But judge not the Fighting Irish on Shrewsberry’s past or any preconceived notions regarding this year’s roster; instead, Shrewsberry has an invitation.
“Come and watch us. Just come and watch us,” Shrewsberry, a 47-year-old Indianapolis native who augmented his preparation to be a head coach with two stints at Purdue and a run atop the Indiana University-South Bend program. “Don’t come in with any preconceived notions of what this team is like, what this team may be, what people say this team is. Come and make your own judgements about us.
“You might not know it. You might come in and be like, ‘Man, I don’t know what Notre Dame basketball is going to be.’ But you sit and watch us for 40 minutes, you’re going to be like, ‘If that’s Notre Dame basketball, I’m going to be proud of that group. I can come back to the next game, because I want to watch that group play, man.’”
Watching the group play will be perhaps the only method to learning this roster – not just playing style but simply the composition of the team.
Since becoming outgoing athletics director Jack Swarbrick’s final major hire at the conclusion of last season, Shrewsberry and his staff – assistant coaches Kyle Getter, Mike Farrelly, Ryan Owens – have ushered in seven new players on the Irish’s 11-man roster.
Shrewsberry’s son, Braeden, along with 6-foot-10 Corey Booth, 6-4 Logan Imes and local sensation, Markus Burton, an athletic, energetic guard from nearby Penn High School have been brought in as the freshman foundation for what Shrewsberry has envisioned for the future of Notre Dame basketball.
Julian Roper transferred in from Northwestern and Tae Davis did the same from Seton Hall; sophomore Kebba Njie followed Shrewsberry from Penn State to Notre Dame.
Returning for the Irish are seniors Tony Sanders Jr. and Matt Zona, as well as third-year sophomore J.R. Konieczny and former walk-on turned scholarship player Alex Wade.
The quartet has a combined 82 career appearances and just two starts, one apiece for Sanders and Zona.
Even with less than a full complement of scholarship players, Shrewsberry demands a “non-negotiable” daily standard of effort, defense, discipline and competition as fabric of his program.
“You are what you emphasize,” Shrewsberry said. “I say I don’t coach effort, but effort’s a huge part of it, especially defensively, especially how hard we have to play on that end, how detailed we need to be.
“I emphasize ball movement. I don’t want anyone questioning what kind of shots they’re taking. I want them to have the freedom to take shots, but also know that we’re looking for great shots. Not average. Not just OK. We are hunting for a great shot at every possession.”
Rotation for the coming season? Players dictate that via their approach to Shrewsberry’s aforementioned tenets.
“You have to earn your spot every single day with me,” Shrewsberry said. “There is nobody sitting there being happy and getting satisfied. If you don’t come and perform, the next dude is taking your spot if you don’t play the right way.
“You have to have that competition and that’s what we’ve been about, really, this whole fall, this whole preseason. We’ve switched teams from day to day. We’ve thrown different combinations together, we’ve played with different combinations.”
Shrewsberry finds this approach yields multiple benefits.
“One, so they’re comfortable with each other. They’re comfortable with each other and what they like to do,” he said. “Also, on the whim (if) one guy’s not playing the way he’s supposed to play, I’ve got no problem sitting him down next to me and putting somebody else in there that’s just as capable.
“If you’re not getting the job done, you’re going to come have a seat. I’m big on discipline. I’m big on how we play. I’m big on accountability. You’ve got to be able to do your job. You’re going to make mistakes. They’re going to make mistakes, but if one guy isn’t capable of doing his job and somebody else is, that guy’s going to play.”
This Irish team will coalesce around another challenging slate. Mid-major programs Niagara and Western Carolina give Notre Dame its first two tests at home under Shrewsberry; the program then has perennial SEC force Auburn and either Oklahoma State or St. Bonaventure at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.
ACC play begins Dec. 2 as the Irish travel to Miami; they also have additional notable non-conference tilts against South Carolina, Marquette and Georgetown.
“We’re going to work our butts off no matter what’s going on,” said the versatile Konieczny, who starred locally at St. Joseph, played sparingly his freshman campaign and sat out last year. “Every guy on our team has that dog in him. I think that really stands to what we’re trying to do
“No one has any expectations for us, so everyone is going out with a chip on our shoulders saying, ‘Why not us? Why can’t we be a good team, one of the best in the ACC?’ The main difference between this year and last, I think, is there’s a sense of urgency to get better every single day. We feel we really got something accomplished out of every practice. It’s been a grind; a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it’s been rewarding and I think that grind will pay off in the end to make some noise this year.”
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MILES, CITRON AND HIDALGO EARN ALL-ACC PRESEASON RECOGNITION
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the Irish quickly approach the opener across the pond, the preseason recognitions are ramping up. On Thursday, the ACC announced its preseason conference honors. Olivia Miles and Sonia Citron made the Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team, and Hannah Hidalgo has been voted the conference’s top newcomer.
Both Miles and Citron made last year’s All-ACC First Team, and it was Miles’ second time on the list. Citron was the 2022 ACC Rookie of the Year. The dynamic duo led Notre Dame last year with 14.7 and 14.3 points per game, respectively, and they both rank in the top five in the ACC in total defensive rebounds over the last two seasons. Miles and Citron have notched a combined 226 steals over the last two years, more than any other duo in the ACC.
Of note, senior Maddy Westbeld also received a first-place vote, as did Clemson’s Amari Robinson. The full list of preseason All-ACC honors is below:
Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team (61 voters)
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech (46)
Ta’Niya Latson, Florida State (4)
Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech (2)
Olivia Miles, Notre Dame (3)
Deja Kelly, North Carolina (1)
Sonia Citron, Notre Dame (1)
Dyaisha Fair, Syracuse (1)
Alyssa Ustby, North Carolina
Makayala Timpson, Florida State
Olivia Cochran, Louisville (1)
While the ACC does not have a female Newcomer of the Year, Hannah Hidalgo was the top vote-getter amongst those entering their first season of ACC play. Hidalgo is one of two freshmen on the list (Jaydn Donovan, Duke), while the other three players are transfers (Jefferson, JMU; Curry, Cal; Donarski, Iowa State). Hidalgo was the No. 5 overall recruit in the 2023 ESPN HoopGurlz rankings, and she put on a show on the international stage, winning gold with Team USA at the 2023 U19 World Cup.
Newcomer Watch List
Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Dame
Kiki Jefferson, Louisville
Jayda Curry, Louisville
Lexi Donarski, North Carolina
Jadyn Donovan, Duke
In addition to the preseason individual accolades, the ACC released its 23-24 predicted order of finish, as voted on by the Blue Ribbon Panel. Notre Dame was picked second. The Irish won the ACC regular season last year after being picked fourth in the preseason and going 15-3 in conference play. The full list is below:
- Virginia Tech (1156)
- Notre Dame (1052)
- North Carolina (973)
- Louisville (867)
- Florida State (855)
- Miami (702)
- Duke (686)
- NC State (652)
- Syracuse (504)
- Virginia (438)
- Clemson (395)
- Georgia Tech (342)
- Boston College (226)
- Wake Forest (192)
Wake Forest (192)
- Pittsburgh (120)
BALL STATE WOMEN’S SOCCER
SOCCER TOPS CMU 2-0; SECURES HOME MAC QUARTERFINAL MATCH
MUNCIE, Ind. – – Junior forward Lexi Fraley scored her third brace of the season, helping lift the Ball State soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Central Michigan Thursday afternoon in the final regular season match of the 2023 season.
With the win, the Cardinals (8-7-3; 6-2-3 Mid-American Conference) secured the third seed and a home quarterfinal match in the 2023 MAC Women’s Soccer Championship and will battle No. 6 seed Ohio Sunday at 1 p.m. back on the Briner Sports Complex pitch.
“We played with a little extra focus today,” head coach Josh Rife said. “The margins are so small in the game of soccer. It might be one of the only sports where you can do all the things right and still lose the game. The MAC is a very unforgiving conference, and you have to be dominant every day. Today was not easy by any means. Credit to the ladies for being prepared, focused and taking care of opportunities when they got them.”
Sophomore forward Delaney Caldwell had a helping the Cardinals capitalize on a pair of those opportunities, sparking both goals by winning battles for the ball. In the eighth minute, she battled for the ball just outside the defending third and found an open junior midfielder Kaitlyn Fraser with a pass.
Fraser took the ball to the midfield line and found an open Fraley in the attacking third, who proceeded to dribble into the penalty area and around the Chippewas (2-8-6, 1-7-3 MAC) goalie to find the back of the net.
In the 48th minute, another battle win from Caldwell at midfield was passed to Fraley who made another run and goal, giving her 10 on the season and 19 over her career. With her two helpers, Caldwell raised her season total to six. Fraser’s primary assist on the opening goal was her second of the season.
Overall, the Ball State defense did a solid job shutting down the CMU attack, limiting the Chippewas to 13 shots, only six of which were on goal. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Bethany Moser finished the day with six saves, raising her Ball State single season record total to 107.
Also helping lock down the Chippewas were junior defender Maya Millis and freshman defender Audrey Goodyear who played all 90 minutes.
“Home field is always big,” Rife said. “The MAC is such a difficult conference that the familiarity of being home is big. To not have to get on another bus and travel right now is massive. Heading into Sunday, we have to be focused and keep everything in check physically, mentally and emotionally. You have to play with a certain edge, but make sure it doesn’t push you into mistakes.”
BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL
MEN’S BASKETBALL GEARING UP FOR 2023-24 SEASON
The Ball State men’s basketball is gearing up for its second season under the direction of head coach Mike Lewis with a schedule featuring a neutral site game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse against Indiana State and a trip to Minnesota in addition to an 18-game Mid-American Conference schedule.
Ball State features a young group headlined by junior forwards Mickey Pearson Jr. (7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 2022-23) and Basheer Jihad (7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds), who account for the bulk of the returning production. Five true freshmen and a trio of transfers have been added to the group to bolster a team that went 20-12 (11-7 MAC) a season ago.
“I like what we have in this group,” Lewis said about the Cardinals. “I like their coachability. I like their fire. There’s a youthful energy to this group, and they have a strong desire to be good.”
The 2023-24 Cardinals ramp up to the regular season with a 7 p.m. exhibition on Nov. 2 against Rose-Hulman at Worthen Arena.
Ball State’s official season opener is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. vs. Goshen College in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals will host Old Dominion the following Saturday at 2 p.m. in the MAC-Sun Belt Challenge and Oakland City on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.
“I want to get quality games here at home,” Lewis said on how he’s approaching nonconference scheduling. “I want to play in front of our fans. I think we generated some excitement and saw our crowds grow (last season).”
A trip to Evansville on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. serves as the Cardinals’ first official competition away from Muncie on the schedule. Ball State then hosts games with USC Upstate (Nov. 21) and Arkansas – Pine Bluff (Nov. 24) as part of the Midwest Madness: Cardinal Classic.
The basketball Cardinals emerge from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend alternating road and home games, traveling to Little Rock on Nov. 28 and Detroit Mercy on Dec. 6 while hosting Bellarmine on Dec. 2 and SIUE on Dec. 10.
The nonconference slate concludes with an in-state battle against Indiana State on Dec. 16 in Indianapolis for the Indy Classic and a road trip to Big Ten Conference member Minnesota on Dec. 21. There will be one more nonconference game at a yet-to-be-determined Sun Belt Conference foe on Feb. 10 in the second half of the MAC-SBC Challenge.
“I like in-state rivalries,” Lewis continued on his nonconference schedule. “I love our series with Evansville. I like our series with Indiana State. We want to stay regional. I think that the fans recognize the regional programs, and it generates a little bit more interest. Ultimately you’re trying to get yourself in a position to when you get into MAC play in January that you feel like you’re prepared for your conference schedule..”
Ball State’s home-and-road MAC opponents include Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.
Akron (Jan. 9) and Ohio (Feb. 6) are the Cardinals’ single-play opponents at Worthen Arena while Ball State faces Toledo (Jan. 13) and Buffalo (Jan. 23) once also in the regular season, both away.
Conference – 18
Nonconference – 13
Home – 16
Road – 14
Neutral – 1
Indiana – 18
Ohio – 4
Michigan – 4
Arkansas – 1
Illinois – 1
Minnesota – 1
New York – 1
Night (7 p.m. or later) – 17
Freshmen – 7
Sophomores – 1
Juniors – 5
Seniors – 0
Graduate Students – 1
BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL
VOLLEYBALL HOSTS KENT STATE & OHIO THIS WEEKEND
THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL: The Ball State women’s volleyball team returns home this weekend to face its final two foes from the Mid-American Conference East Division with a Friday match up versus Kent State (6 p.m.) and a Saturday showdown with Ohio (4 p.m.).
FOLLOW THE ACTION: Fans unable to make their way to Worthen Arena can still watch the action live, as both contests will be broadcast on ESPN+ … In addition, live stats will be provided by Ball State Athletics … Updates from the matches will also be provided on the team’s X feed and Instagram story: @BallStateWVB.
BALL STATE ALL-TIME: The Ball State enters Friday’s match versus Kent State with a 1,007-643-2 (.610) all-time record in women’s volleyball … Thanks to its 3-0 sweep of Central Michigan on Sept. 22, Ball State became just the 44th program in NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball history to reach 1,000 wins … All-time, the Cardinals have captured 12 MAC West Division Championships, 10 MAC Regular Season Championships and eight MAC Volleyball Championship titles … Ball State has made 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three of the last four seasons … BSU has also earned one bid into the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
IN #MACTION: With a 9-2 MAC record so far this season, Ball State maintains its status as the winningest program in league play with a 442-217 (.671) all-time Mid-American Conference mark … Western Michigan is second on the list, five matches behind the Cardinals at 437-222 (.663) … Kent State enters the week ranked 10th based on winning percentage at 241-418 (.366) while Ohio is sixth at .572 (376-281).
THE WORTHEN FACTOR: The Cardinals own an even better record when playing at home, boasting a 314-96 (.766) all-time mark inside Worthen Arena … Looking at just opponents from the MAC, Ball State is 231-58 (.799) when battling in Worthen Arena … Overall, no MAC opponent owns a winning record inside Worthen Arena, as the Cardinals have at least a .632 winning percentage against all league schools on its current home floor.
MORE FROM THE HOME FRONT: With the Oct. 17 sweep of Toledo, Ball State improved to 33-3 in Worthen Arena over the past three seasons (Fall 2021-2023) … BSU has won its last 23 MAC regular season home matches, with its last regular season MAC home loss coming to Central Michigan on March 20, 2021.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS KENT STATE: Ball State holds a 44-18 lead in the all-time series versus Kent State, including three straight wins … Last season, the Cardinals hosted the Golden Flashes for a pair of matches with BSU earning a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-17) win Nov. 3 and a 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-18) victory Nov. 4 … Overall, Ball State holds a 23-7 edge in matches played in Muncie and a 16-4 advantage in Worthen Arena … KSU’s last win in Muncie was a 3-1 (18-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-16) victory in the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center on March 12, 2021.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS OHIO: Ball State holds a 42-21 lead in the all-time series versus Ohio, including a 3-1 (25-21, 14-25, 25-18, 25-21) victory in the latest meeting played Nov. 12, 2022, in Athens, Ohio … The Bobcats picked up a 3-1 (25-21, 24-26, 25-15, 25-17) win one day earlier, also on its home court … Overall, Ball State holds a 19-8 edge in matches played in Muncie and a 12-7 advantage in Worthen Arena …. Ohio’s last win in Worthen was a 3-2 (25-11, 16-25, 20-25, 32-30, 15-11) thriller on Oct. 15, 2016.
SCOUTING BALL STATE:
• Ball State enters the week with a 12-10 (9-2 MAC) record after seeing its 10-match winning streak snapped last weekend with a pair of five-set losses at Buffalo … The Cardinals played one of the league’s toughest non-conference slates, including three programs (No. 17 Creighton, No. 18 Dayton and No. 23 Western Kentucky) currently ranked inside the Top 25 of the AVCA/Taraflex Coaches Poll.
• Ball State enters the weekend as one of the nation’s top blocking programs, ranking first in the MAC and 63rd nationally with a 2.41 blocks-per-set average … Freshman middle Camryn Wise has played a large role in those numbers over the last six weeks, averaging a league-best 1.33 blocks per set … Wise, who has played in 56.3% (45 of 80) of Ball State’s sets this season, would rank 25th nationally were she to reach the 66.7% of sets played threshold required to be included in the NCAA rankings.
• On the attacking front, redshirt freshman outside Aniya Kennedy leads the squad, is second in the league and ranks 45th nationally with a 3.93 kills-per-set average … Fifth-year middle Marie Plitt is BSU’s top attacker by percentage, boasting a .381 hitting percentage which is second in the league and 39th nationally.
SCOUTING KENT STATE:
• The Golden Flashes enter the weekend with a 5-17 (1-10 MAC) record … KSU has lost three straight, including dropping a pair of 3-0 contests at Bowling Green last weekend.
• The Kent State offense features the league’s current top attacker with Mackenzie McGuire leading the MAC and ranked 39th nationally with a 3.99 kills-per-set average, while her 10.53 attack per set is 58th in the nation.
• On the defensive front, the Golden Flashes rank sixth in the MAC and 142nd nationally with 14.51 digs per set, led by Bryn Roberts who is 94th nationally at 4.21 … KSU is also fifth in the league at 1.53 aces per set, led by Kiana Mack at 0.41.
• The Bobcats enter a Friday match at Toledo with a 12-11 (7-4 MAC) record … Ohio is coming off a two-match sweep at Miami last weekend, picking up a pair of 3-0 victories … The Bobcats are also the only MAC team to take a set off league-leading Western Michigan (11-0 MAC) this season, pushing the Broncos to five sets on Oct. 6.
• Caitlin O’Farrell leads the Ohio attack, ranking fifth in the MAC and 108th nationally with at 3.49 kills per set … She is also one of the league’s top attackers by percentage, hitting .335 to rank fourth in the MAC and 123rd nationally … Overall, the Bobcats rank third in the MAC and 53rd among all NCAA Division I programs with 13.31 kills per set.
• In the backcourt, Sam Steele is sixth in the league at 4.11 digs per set, while also ranking sixth from the service line with 34 total aces … However, as a squad Ohio is 12th in the league at 1.22 aces per set.
BALL STATE QUICK HITS:
• Marie Plitt currently leads the squad and ranks 39th nationally with a .381 (201-30-449) attack percentage this season … Her best effort came in the win over Purdue Fort Wayne (Aug. 26) when she smashed 10 kills on 12 swings with one error for a .750 attacking mark … Plitt also hit .688 in the Sept. 21 win over Central Michigan and has hit .500-or-better in 33 career matches … In BSU’s first 11 MAC matches this season, Plitt is hitting .439 (118-14-237) and averaging 2.95 kills per set.
• Marie Plitt enters Friday’s match vs. Kent State ranked third on Ball State’s all-time list with a .357 career hitting percentage … Plitt has steadily improved each year, hitting .295 as a freshman, .316 as a sophomore, .360 as a junior and a Ball State single season record .404 last year … She is the first player in program history to hit .400-or-above in a single season … Ball State’s career record for attack percentage is .360 set by Julie Zilka (1998-2001), while Susie Meshberger (1999-2001) is second at .358.
• Marie Plitt, who became Ball State’s all-time leader in sets played at Eastern Michigan (Sept. 30), became the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills with her first of 10 markers in last season’s NCAA Tournament opening round match at No. 16 Marquette … With 1210 career kills, Plitt currently ranks ninth in program history and needs 25 more to pass Julie Breivogel’s (2006-2009) total of 1,234 for eighth.
• Marie Plitt has also made her presence felt at the net over her career, ranking fifth in program history with 404 career blocks … She is fifth on Ball State’s all-time charts with 325 career block assists, while ranking ninth with 79 solo blocks … Plitt’s average of 0.83 blocks-per-set so far this season is her best since averaging 1.05 during the 2021 spring COVID season.
• Fifth-year defensive specialist Havyn Gates has served as starting libero in 21 of Ball State’s 22 matches this season, and has now started in the off-colored jersey 26 times in her Ball State career … She was credited with a season-high 26 digs in the near upset at then-No. 20 Creighton (Sept. 1) and followed with 22 versus UNI (Sept. 2) … Add 20 digs at Buffalo (Oct. 21) and Gates has 27 career matches with 20-or-more digs … Gates earned a Ball State career-high 33 digs in the five-set thriller at Central Michigan (Sept. 24, 2022), while registering 42 digs in a match as a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan in 2019 … She has 2,065 career digs including 941 in her three seasons at BSU and 1,124 over her two-year career at IWU.
• Megan Wielonski, who currently ranks sixth in program history with 3,560 career assists, has proven to be one of the nation’s elite setters … In fact, her 3,560 career assists currently rank 18th among all active NCAA Division I players … As a freshman, she finished the 2021 season ranked second nationally with 1,394 total assists … Her sophomore campaign ended with her ranked fourth nationally with 1,358 total assists in 2022 … 22 matches into the 2023 season and Wielonski is 36th nationally with 807 total assists.
• In addition to being one of the nation’s top setters, Megan Wielonski is one of the country’s top servers with 131 career aces … The total currently ranks seventh in program history … As a freshman, she ranked eighth among all NCAA Division I players with 58 aces, including a career-high seven vs. Ohio (Sept. 30, 2021) … Her 58 aces in 2021 tied as the sixth most in a single season in Ball State history and were a single season record for a BSU setter, topping Amber Seaman’s total of 51 in 2018 … Last season, she ranked 55th nationally with 46 service aces, while she has a team-leading 27 aces so far this season.
• Aniya Kennedy enters Friday’s match vs. Kent State ranked second in the MAC with her team-leading 3.93 kills-per-set average, while her 4.58 kills-per-set average in league play is tops in the conference … She has smashed double-digit kills in 16 matches, while leading the team in kills in 15 outings … In BSU’s four-set win over Akron (Oct. 13), Kennedy was credited with a career-high 25 kills, marking the third time in four matches she set a new career standard for kills.
• In fact, Aniya Kennedy’s 25 kills versus Akron (Oct. 13) were the most for a Ball State player in a match since Kia Holder (2017-20) logged 27 at Eastern Michigan on March 27, 2021 … In addition, the total ties as the fourth-most by a MAC player in a match this season and is the second-best total by a league attacker in a four-set match … Kennedy also owns the third-best total in a four-set match with her 21 kills at Bowling Green (Oct. 7) … Kennedy is the first Ball State player to register multiple 20+ kill matches in the same season since Natalie Risi (2019-22) had two as a freshman in 2019.
• Madison Buckley has also made a big impact, ranking third on the squad with a 2.44 kills-per-set average … Her biggest match came at then-No. 20 Creighton (Sept. 1) when she smashed a career-high 14 kills, a mark she tied versus UIC (Sept. 9) … Buckley has also made her presence felt at the net, ranking sixth in the MAC with a 0.94 blocks-per-set average … She has a team-best 75 total blocks this season, including five solo blocks and 70 block assists.
• Freshman Camryn Wise has found a home in the middle of the court over the last six weeks, boasting a team and MAC-leading 1.33 blocks-per-set average … She has registered at least two blocks in all 13 matches she has played, while tallying a career-high nine total blocks in the Oct. 14 four-set win over Akron … Wise has also aided from the attack line, with 45 kills and a .344 hitting percentage, boasting a career-high 11 kills last time out at Buffalo (Oct. 21)
• Ball State currently ranks fourth in the MAC and 80th nationally with a 15.21 digs-per-set average … Havyn Gates leads the squad and is seventh in the MAC with her 4.00 digs-per-set average … Megan Wielonski is not far behind, ranking second on the team at 2.59 digs per set.
• Also aiding in Ball State’s backcourt play has been sophomore defensive specialist Paige Busick who registered a career-high 21 digs in the four-set win over Akron (Oct. 13) … She currently ranks third on the team with a 2.03 digs-per-set average and became the third Cardinal to register 20+ digs in a match this season, joining Havyn Gates and Megan Wielonski.
• Both Megan Wielonski and Havyn Gates are approaching 1,000 career digs as Cardinals, with Gates entering the weekend at 941 and Wielonski at 932 … Only 19 players in program history have reached 1,000 career digs, with the record being 2,273 set by Stephanie Keller (2001-04).
BALL STATE FIELD HOCKEY
FIELD HOCKEY CLOSES OUT REGULAR SEASON ACTION AT MIAMI AND MICHIGAN STATE THIS WEEKEND
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State field hockey team will close out its season this weekend when it plays at Miami in Mid-American Conference action Friday in Oxford, Ohio at 3 pm ET. The Cardinals will wrap their season up on Sunday on the road at Big Ten foe Michigan State for a 1 pm ET start.
The Cardinals (7-9, 2-4 MAC) are looking to get back on the winning track against the RedHawks (11-7, 5-1 MAC) after dropping their last four conference contests. Currently, Miami is on a two-game win streak after posting recent wins over Central Michigan (7-0) and Michigan State (2-1 OT).
Overall, Friday’s contest will mark the 77th meeting all-time between the Cardinals and the RedHawks, with Miami leading the all-time series 51-25. Ball State will look to snap a 20-game losing streak to the six-time defending MAC regular season champions.
On Sunday, the Cardinals will head to East Lansing for a matinee against the Spartans (3-11, 1-6 BIG10).
Ball State has won two of their last five meetings against Michigan State, defeating MSU in 2016 by a score of 3-2 and in 2014 by a score of 2-1. The last time these two teams met was on Oct. 9 in Muncie last season resulting in a 5-3 loss for Ball State. Kerrianne McClay, Fleur Knopert and Michaela Graney all scored a goal apiece that contest against the Spartans.
INDIANA STATE VOLLEYBALL
CRUCIAL REGULAR SEASON STRETCH STARTS AT HOME FOR SYCAMORES
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State returns to the confines of ISU Arena for a pair of matches over the weekend, starting Friday evening against Southern Illinois at 6 p.m.
The Sycamores also play host to Missouri State Saturday at 5 p.m. Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+.
Friday’s match is sponsored by Greek’s Pizza, with a giveaway available for students who attend the match. The match has also been designated as Indiana State’s Halloween Night.
Saturday’s match is a Blue Out, with all fans encouraged to wear blue for the match.
Last Time Out
Indiana State is looking to get back on track after dropping both ends of its most recent road trip against Bradley and Illinois State. Four of the six sets played were contested by five points or less. Kira Holland had a double-double against Illinois State with 14 kills and 10 digs, while Avery Hales had 31 assists, seven digs, five kills and three aces against Bradley.
Indiana State outside hitter Kira Holland has earned MVC Freshman of the Week honors in each of the last four weeks, becoming the first player in program history to earn multiple Freshman of the Week honors in the same season and just the second freshman in conference history to be named MVC Freshman of the Week in four consecutive weeks. Missouri State’s Danielle Messa is the only other athlete in MVC history to earn four straight Freshman of the Week honors, having done so in 2016.
Indiana State’s five MVC Freshman of the Week honors this season are also the most of any MVC school in 2023 and the represent the most weekly awards for the Sycamores in a season in program history. The Sycamores have earned more than half of the conference’s Freshman of the Week honors handed out this season.
Home Sweet Home
Indiana State returns home for a pair of matches this week, with contests against Southern Illinois and Missouri State on deck at ISU Arena. The Sycamores close the regular season with five of their last seven games coming on their home court.
Each of Indiana State’s conference wins since the start of the 2022 season have come at home, while the Sycamores’ average attendance this season is over the listed capacity of ISU Arena.
With the conference tournament less than a month away, Indiana State finds itself looking to move up the standings. The Sycamores are currently three games back of the final spot in the tournament field, which is currently occupied by Southern Illinois. Of the Sycamores’ last seven matches, four come against teams in the bottom half of the standings, with each of those four matches to be played at home.
Indiana State closes the season with five of its last seven matches at home, starting with this weekend’s contests. The Sycamores’ lone road matches during that span come Nov. 3 and 4 at Northern Iowa and Drake.
The Streak Lives On
Indiana State outside hitter Kira Holland continues to post strong attacking numbers for the Sycamores, having notched double-digit kills in each of the last 10 matches.
The streak dates back to the opening weekend of conference play, where she is averaging 3.76 kills per set. Holland had double-digit kills in 15 of the last 17 matches for Indiana State, and also has double-digit digs in seven matches during that span.
Opponents At A Glance
Southern Illinois enters the weekend at 12-10 overall and 4-7 in MVC play. The Salukis have dropped their last six matches. Nataly Garcia leads SIU with 273 kills, while Annabelle Sulish and Tatum Tornatta have also topped 200 kills. Anna Jaworski (449 assists) and Ema Stermenska (463 assists) split the setting duties, while Cecilia Bulmahn leads the team with 268 digs. Imani Hartfield has a team-high 64 blocks.
Missouri State heads into the weekend at 10-13 overall and 4-7 in MVC play. The Bears have lost five of their last seven matches. Maddy Bushnell leads the Bears with 226 kills, while Breanah Rives has 204 kills. Morgan Sprague (488 assists) and Josie Halbleib (310 assists) split the setting duties, while Teagan Polcovich has a team-high 436 digs. Azyah Green leads the team with 86 blocks.
Southern has a 54-25 advantage in the all-time series, and won the earlier meeting this season in Carbondale in four sets. Indiana State is 6-4 in its last 10 matches against the Salukis, including wins in two of the last three matches in Terre Haute.
Missouri State had a 72-4 advantage in the all-time series and won the first meeting between the teams this season in four sets in Springfield. Three of Indiana State’s four wins in the series have come in the last five years, including a five-set win in Terre Haute last season.
Indiana State heads on the road for the final time this season to face the top two teams in the conference, Northern Iowa (November 3) and Drake (November 4).
INDIANA STATE FOOTBALL
INDIANA STATE CONTINUES VALLEY PLAY THIS WEEKEND AT NO. 17/15 NORTH DAKOTA
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State travels to No. 17/15 North Dakota on Saturday afternoon as the Sycamores hit the road to the Alerus Center this weekend. Kickoff between the Sycamores and the Fighting Hawks is set for 2 p.m. and will be carried live on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.
Indiana State trails the all-time series, 1-0, against North Dakota dating back to the inaugural contest between the two programs in 2022. North Dakota joined the MVFC in 2020, but due to the conference scheduling, the first time ISU and UND took the field against each other was this past season in Terre Haute.
Saturday marks Indiana State’s first trip to the Alerus Center in program history. The Sycamores enter the season with an 0-7 record, 0-4 in Valley play. It marks just the seventh time Indiana State has started off the season falling in their first seventh games since the 2000 season.
Indiana State faces one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season including three ranked in the top-25 in FCS over their final four games of the season.
About North Dakota
North Dakota enters the weekend ranked in both the major FCS national polls as the Fighting Hawks sit No. 17 in the AFCA FCS Coaches Poll, and No. 15 in the STATS Perform FCS top-25. The Fighting Hawks boast a 4-3 record on the season, 2-2 in MVFC play including wins against Northern Arizona and No. 6/7 North Dakota State. The Hawks are coming off a 27-0 loss at Northern Iowa this past weekend snapping a two-game Valley winning streak against Western Illinois and North Dakota State.
North Dakota is a perfect 4-0 at home in the 2023 season, while sitting 0-3 on the road. UND quarterback Tommy Schuster remains one of the top quarterbacks in the MVFC this season posting a 70.9% completion percentage and an 8:1 touchdown/interception ratio. The top weapon through the air, Bo Belquist leads UND with 35 catches for 412 yards and three touchdowns on the season. The UND defense is led by linebackers Wyatt Pedigo (43 tackles, 5.0 TFL), and Malachi McNeal (37 tackles, 3.0 sacks).
On This Date in History
Indiana State has lined up nine times on October 28 in program history dating back to the 1950 season. Each of the last five October 28 games have come on the road dating back to 1978 at Northeast Louisiana. ISU’s two wins on the date came at home against Western Illinois in 1972 and on the road at Youngstown State in 1995.
1950 – vs. Eastern Illinois – L, 47-0
1961 – vs. Butler – L, 26-0
1967 – vs. Ball State – L, 26-24
1972 – vs. Western Illinois (HC) – W, 41-7
1978 – at Northeast Louisiana – L, 14-0
1995 – at Youngstown State – W, 13-6
2000 – at Youngstown State – L, 42-7
2006 – at Western Kentucky – L, 41-3
2017 – at Missouri State – L, 59-20
Last Time Against North Dakota
No. 21 North Dakota scored 35 unanswered points aided by a pair of first-half turnovers as Indiana State fell to the visiting Fighting Hawks at Memorial Stadium, 42-7. The Sycamores tied the game up at 7-7 as Justin Dinka scored on a two-yard touchdown run at the 13:44 mark in the second quarter. The drive was highlighted by a trio of Harry Van Dyne catches, including a one-handed snag that moved ISU inside the North Dakota 25-yard line in leading to the score.
Indiana State had the momentum going their way following a North Dakota punt, but back-to-back ISU turnovers were converted to UND touchdowns prior to the halftime break to swing the edge back to the Fighting Hawks. UND would score touchdowns on five consecutive drives on their way to pulling away in the Valley Football win.
Gavin Screws went 11-of-19 through the air to lead the Sycamore efforts as the sophomore quarterback came into the game due to injury to ISU starter Cade Chambers. Screws targeted six different receivers for 130 yards in the loss. Evan Olaes added 71 rushing yards on the ground including a 57-yard carry down the right sideline to pace the ISU run game.
Rylan Cole recorded a game-high eight tackles, including a tackle-for-loss to lead the ISU defense. Garret Ollendieck added six tackles and the first sack of his ISU career, while Kris Reid Jr. posted 1.5 tackles-for-loss in the game.
Time of Possession
Indiana State has put together a dominant statistical line over the last four games as the Sycamores have won the time of possession battle in all our Missouri Valley Football games this year. The Sycamores put together a dominant 39:58-20:02 TOP edge against Northern Iowa, marking the largest in the Curt Mallory coaching era, surpassing the program’s previous single-game high 38:25 set last season against Western Illinois.
Time of Possession in MVFC Games
at Murray State – 34:37-25:23
Northern Iowa – 39:58-20:02
at Illinois State – 31:24-28:36
South Dakota – 35:10-24:50
INDIANA STATE CROSS COUNTRY
SYCAMORES SET FOR 2023 MVC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State cross country heads south for the final time this season, as the Sycamores take part in the 2023 MVC Cross Country Championships Friday in Nashville, Tennessee.
The women’s 6k race is slated to begin at 11 a.m., with the men’s 8k race to follow at noon. Following the completion of both races, an awards presentation will take place. Both races will be streamed on ESPN+, with Brad Wells and Mike Mahon on the call.
Who’s in the Field?
The Sycamores will be joined by Belmont, Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Missouri State, Murray State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, UIC and Valparaiso.
Last Time Out
Rachel Conhoff and Hadley Gradolf moved into the top 20 6k times in program history, earning top-60 finishes in the Bradley Pink Classic at Newman Golf Course.
Indiana State placed 16th on the women’s side behind the strong showing from Conhoff and Gradolf. The Sycamores were 19th on the men’s side. Conhoff moved to 16th in program history in the women’s 6k, while Gradolf moved to 19th in program history in the event.
Conhoff was the top finisher of any Sycamore in the main race, her time of 22:03.8 placing her 48th. Gradolf was 60th with a time of 22:14.1, while Kyra Young (22:35.3) and Halle Miller (22:38.6) both placed in the top 100. Morgan Dyer (22:40.9) and Allison Steffey (23:11.0) rounded out the Sycamore contingent in the Women’s Red Race.
Logan Pietrzak was the top finisher on the men’s side for the Sycamores, his 8k time of 25:23.1 placing 71st. Cael Light also earned a top-75 finish with a time of 25:24.0, while Layton Hall (25:45.2), Jason Dworak (25:49.9) and Ethan Breen (25:57.0) rounded out the scorers for the Sycamores. Jocqael Thorpe (26:11.0) and Ryan York (26:37.9) closed out Indiana State’s contingent in the Men’s Red Race.
Indiana State was picked to finish seventh in the women’s race and eighth in the men’s race in the MVC Pre-Championship Poll. The Sycamores finished the 2022 MVC Championships in sixth on the men’s side and 10th on the women’s side.
Belmont was picked as the favorite on the women’s side, while Drake was selected as the favorite on the men’s side. The pre-championship poll was voted on by the conference’s head cross country coaches.
Indiana State will be looking to add to its success in conference championship meets, as the Sycamores have had at least one men’s or women’s all-conference or honorable mention athlete at every MVC Cross Country Championship since 1984. Cael Light was the most recent addition to that list, earning Honorable Mention All-MVC last season with a 12th-place finish at the 2022 MVC Cross Country Championships.
Indiana State has won nine MVC Men’s Cross Country Championships and two MVC Women’s Cross Country Championships in program history. The Sycamores’ last men’s title came in 2014, while Indiana State’s last women’s title came in 1993.
Who To Watch
Three of Indiana State’s top 20 on the all-time men’s 8k performance list are slated to compete in Friday’s championship in Jackson Krieg (sixth), Logan Pietrzak (ninth) and Jason Dworak (15th), with the trio all running times of 24:35 or better last year at the Live in Lou Cross Country Classic. Krieg (24:48), Pietrzak (24:49) and Dworak (24:54) all ran times this season at the John McNichols Invitational that rank among the top 20 on ISU’s LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course performance list.
Emma Gresham and Rachel Conhoff have been the standout performers on the women’s side for the Sycamores. Gresham’s time of 18:08 at the John McNichols Invitational was the fastest for an ISU freshman at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course and ranked fourth in program history. Conhoff (16th, 22:03) and Hadley Gradolf (19th, 22:14) both cracked the top 20 6k times in program history at the Sycamores’ most recent meet, the Bradley Pink Classic.
Indiana State will take part in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional November 10 in Madison, Wisconsin.
UE RETURNS HOME TO FACE MISSOURI STATE AND SIU
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Two home matches are on the docket this weekend as the University of Evansville volleyball team welcomes Missouri state and Southern Illinois to Meeks Family Fieldhouse. UE faces the Bears on Friday with the Salukis coming to town on Saturday; both matches are set for 5 p.m. start times with ESPN+ having both broadcasts.
On a Roll
– Giulia Cardona earned her third MVC Player of the Week honor on Oct. 16 as she averaged 6.62 kills in matches versus Indiana State, UIC and Valparaiso
– Highlighting the week was her 40-kill performance versus UIC that tied the league’s single-match record that was set by UNI’s Bobbi (Becker) Petersen in 1989
– Along with her 40 kills, Cardona had 94 attempts, tying for the second-highest total in league history; teammate Melanie Feliciano holds the MVC record with 95 in 2019
– Cardona remains the national leader in kills (5.27/set), points (6.00/set) and attacks (14.90/set)
– With seven aces over the weekend, Cardona has retaken the MVC lead with 0.48 per set (33rd in the nation)
30 for 30
– Ainoah Cruz has put together an excellent streak over the last five matches, picking up her first two 30-dig performances
– With 32 digs against UIC, Cruz put forth the top performance of her young career; her previous high of 27 digs came in the road win at Samford
– On Oct. 21 at Bradley, Cruz added 30 digs and has averaged 5.60 per set over the last five matches
– Cruz checks in with an average of 4.40 digs per set, which is 8th in the MVC
– Her numbers in MVC matches is even better at 4.78/frame
Scouting the Opposition
– Missouri State enters Friday’s match with a 10-13 overall mark while going 4-7 in MVC matches
– Teagan Polcovich paces the defense with 4.90 digs per set, which ranks 6th in the conference
– Southern Illinois is 12-10 on the season but opens the weekend tied with the Bears at a 4-7 MVC mark
– Imani Hartfield is one of the most efficient hitters in the league, ranking third with a season tally of .381
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S SOCCER
WOMEN’S SOCCER FALLS TO MURRAY STATE, 1-0, IN MVC TOURNAMENT
CHICAGO, Ill. – The fifth-seeded Murray State women’s soccer team scored a goal in the first 38 seconds of Thursday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament match against the eighth-seeded University of Evansville, and then held off the Purple Aces for a 1-0 victory at Flames Field in Chicago, Illinois.
The Racers sent a ball into the six-yard box in the opening seconds of the match, and UE goalkeeper Myia Danek was able to deny MSU’s Hailey Cole of a would-be goal with a sliding kick-save that bounced off the side goal post right to a wide-open Mary Hardy of Murray State. Hardy quickly fired a shot into the back of the net for her eighth goal of the year, and sixth goal in the last seven matches for the Racers.
Evansville would out-shoot Murray State, 7-5, the remainder of the half, but could not find the back of the net, as MSU goalkeeper Griselda Revolorio came up with three saves to keep UE off the scoreboard.
In the second half, Evansville would once again out-shoot Murray State 7-5 for the half, but Revolorio recorded three more saves to keep Evansville scoreless. Evansville best opportunity to equalize came beyond the 70th minute, as freshman forward Brooklyn Robinson had a shot blocked inside the penalty area in the 75th minute, while junior midfielder Reese Simmons was denied on a blast from the top of the penalty box by a diving save by Revolorio.
Evansville would out-shoot Murray State for the match, 14-12, with Robinson and sophomore defender Kaylee Woosley firing four shots each. Simmons also recorded two shots, with both on-target. Danek finished with three saves in goal to move into tenth place on UE’s career saves chart, as she has 105 career saves now.
With the loss, Evansville sees its 2023 season end with a 1-7-9 overall record. Murray State, meanwhile, will advance on to the MVC quarter-finals to battle host UIC on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. Evansville is scheduled to return 22 players from this year’s team next season, including 13 of the 17 players who saw action in Thursday’s MVC Tournament match.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S SOCCER
MEN’S SOCCER TO CELEBRATE SENIOR DAY AGAINST BRADLEY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Evansville men’s soccer team hosts its final home game of the 2023 season on Friday night.
Evansville will celebrate its six graduating players and one manager on Friday night in its home finale of the season. The Aces will host Senior Day celebrations prior to Friday’s game for midfielder Carlos Barcia, defender Francesco Brunetti, winger Nkosi Graham, goalkeeper Jacob Madden, goalkeeper Aidan Montoure, midfielder Porter Pomykal, and student manager Kyler West.
UE comes into Friday’s game after completing its bye weekend from conference play. The Aces were last on the pitch at Arad McCutchan Stadium over a week ago in their close 2-1 loss to then No. 10 Missouri State. Senior forward Kai Phillip was Evansville’s hero in the final minute of the match on the 18th as he scored UE’s lone goal of the game on an assist from midfielder Ola Arntsen. With almost a week and a half of rest, Evansville is looking to close out the final stretch of Valley play with two wins.
To get that first win, the Aces will have to break the red-hot Bradley Braves. The Braves come into Friday’s match with a two-game unbeaten streak after a 1-1 tie with UIC and a 2-1 win over Drake. Overall Bradley has a 5-4-6 record and a 1-4-1 conference record. All five of the Braves wins have come on the road including a four-game stretch to begin the season in August and September. Bradley has also benefited from having players return from injuries down the stretch as Pepe Mellado had a free kick goal against Drake and Claudel Ngongang, who found the net within 15 minutes of his comeback against UIC.
A win on Friday evening is crucial for the Aces who are fighting for a spot in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Currently, Evansville can either grab the 5th or 6th seed with wins against Bradley and Belmont. UE could also make the tournament with a win and a draw if Drake and Bradley both end the season with losses.
Friday’s game will not be carried on ESPN+. Aces fans who cannot make it to Arad McCutchan Stadium can follow along with all of the action on Senior Day through live stats on gopurpleaces.com. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at McCutchan Stadium.
SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER
EAGLES LOSE A HEARTBREAKER TO PANTHERS
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Soccer lost a heartbreaker to Eastern Illinois University, 1-0, Thursday afternoon in Charleston, Illinois. The Screaming Eagles go to 1-12-3 overall and 0-6-3 in the OVC, while the Panthers are 4-8-4, 3-4-2 OVC.
With the loss, the Eagles fall out of contention for the final spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. EIU and Chicago State University, which visits Houston Christian University tonight, will be playing for the final spot during Sunday’s final 2023 league matches.
The first 45 minutes of the match was a draw as both teams missed chances to get on the scoreboard. EIU led in the statistics, leading 9-5 in overall shots, 6-3 on-goal, and 4-2 in corner kicks.
USI senior goalkeeper Alec Meissner (St. Charles, Missouri), who started before leaving the game with an injury, and junior goalkeeper Braden Matthews (Princeton, Indiana) kept the Panthers off the board with four and two saves, respectively. Matthews would add two more saves in the second half and had four for the match.
In the second half, USI had its best chance to take control of the match in the 64th minute when junior midfielder Garland Hall (Evansville, Indiana) found the back of the EIU goal, but it was called back due to an Eagles’ foul in the box. Hall also was denied by the Panther defense for a second time at 80:51 in USI’s last shot on goal.
The Panthers came away with the game-winner at 86:58, scoring on a scramble in front of the USI goal. EIU managed to stifle the USI offense in the final three minutes to seal its win. The Eagles had a 7-6 in shots advantage in the final 45 minutes, 3-1 in corners.
NEXT UP FOR USI:
USI finishes the 2023 regular season at Strassweg Field Sunday at 5 p.m. versus Lindenwood University, which starts the week 6-4-6 overall and 3-1-4 in the OVC. The Lions, who host Southern Illinois University Edwardsville tonight, were tied with Liberty University for second in the OVC at the start today’s action.
Game time for USI-Lindenwood has been changed to 5 p.m. due to USI Women’s Soccer hosting the second round of the OVC Women’s Soccer Championship at 1 p.m. Sunday.
SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S GOLF
MEN’S GOLF ENDS FALL SEASON WITH THE KENTUCKY WESLEYAN INVITATIONAL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Golf looks to build off its win at The Buddy Championship when the Screaming Eagles compete in the Kentucky Wesleyan Invitational this weekend.
The two-day tournament will take place on Saturday and Sunday at The Pearl Club in Owensboro, Kentucky. The Par-72 course will measure at 6,816 yards.
The Eagles will compete this weekend against host Kentucky Wesleyan College, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Maryville University, Purdue University-Northwest (IN), Brescia University (KY), Kentucky State University, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Illinois-Springfield, Lewis University, and John A. Logan College.
Last time out, USI used a record-setting 844 (284-272-288) to win The Buddy Championship in Murray, Kentucky. The Screaming Eagles led the tournament from start to finish. USI built an insurmountable lead in the second round by tying a program record for the second time this season with a 272. The 272 tied the USI 18-hole record set earlier this season in the second round of the Derek Dolenc Invitational.
USI had three players under 70 in the second round. Senior Jace Day (Bloomington, Indiana) and junior Sam Vertanen (Ames, Iowa) each posted a 66, while junior Jason Bannister (Laguna Nigel, California) had a 67 to round out the Eagles top three. The 66 by Day and Vertanen is tied for the third-best round in the history of the program.
USI finished with a record-breaking 844 over the three rounds. The 844 broke the USI 54-hole mark set at the McKendree Bearcat Dual (853) in the fall of 2021.
Individually, Day won the tournament with a seven-under and a USI 54-hole individual record of 206 (70-66-70). Day’s 206 broke the record set by Bannister, who posted a 208 (72-65-71) at the Derek Dolenc Invitational in September.
VALPO CROSS COUNTRY
CROSS COUNTRY SET FOR MVC CHAMPIONSHIP IN NASHVILLE
A breakout season from senior Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side) may come as a surprise to some, but not to those closest to the Valparaiso University cross country program.
“We knew this was coming,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Vincent Walker said. “A lot of our competitors thought it was a shock, but he and I knew all summer long that something big was on the horizon. How big that could be was the question.”
That something turned out to be the 8K program record, as Walda’s most recent race saw him finish sixth in a large field of 232 student-athletes at the Bradley Pink Classic, stopping the clock in 24:22.90. That time shattered Alexander Bruno’s Valpo record that had stood since 2018.
“Evan came out of the gate swinging at the home meet, nearly going under 18 minutes in the 6K,” Walker said. “That set the tone. We took a couple stabs at the program record earlier in the year with big expectations at Notre Dame and Illinois State. At Bradley, we just went out and competed. The conditions were nasty and muddy and we were one of the last races of the day, so the course was torn up. Through 2K, he was in around 40th place, and he kept climbing each kilometer from there.”
Walda and fellow senior Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo. / Heritage) have been at the top of the lineup for a team that features significant young talent. The Valpo men were picked tied for eighth of 11 in the preseason poll and have surpassed two teams to be picked seventh in the pre-championship poll that was released this week.
“We beat conference teams at several meets this season and we’re ready to put all of the pieces together,” Walker said. “We always talk about how we want to be really good at this time of year. It’s fun to run fast through the regular season, but the most important part is how we do in late October and early November. I’d like to see us finish above where we were picked to set up for more success next year.”
The women’s team was picked 11th of 12 in both the preseason poll and pre-championship poll. Senior Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) continues to lead the team, while Lauren Wroza (Rochester, Mich. / Rochester) and Vivian Rahmel (Springfield, Ill. / Sacred Heart-Griffin) have enjoyed strong freshman campaigns.
“On the women’s side, I’d like to see us be able to climb the ladder a little bit,” Walker said. “I want to see us grow in The Valley and take that step up that our men’s program took last year. Grace is ready to have a giant breakthrough and has been knocking on that door all year. I think she’s ready to do something special. Lauren has been not far off from Grace as a true freshman, and she’s just scratching the surface of what she’s able to do. Vivian has had a really good freshman campaign as well.”
The 2023 Missouri Valley Conference Championship will take place on Friday, hosted by Belmont at Percy Warner Park (Vaughn’s Gap Cross Country Course) in Nashville. The women’s 6K will get underway at 10 a.m. CT, followed by the men’s 8K at 11 a.m. Both races will be broadcast on ESPN+ with Brad Wells (play-by-play) and Mike Mahon (analyst) on the call. Links to live video and results are available on ValpoAthletics.com.
VALPO WOMEN’S SOCCER
SOCCER BEATS BELMONT, ADVANCES IN MVC TOURNAMENT
The Valpo soccer team lives to play at least another 90 minutes this season, as the sixth-seeded Beacons took the lead on seventh-seeded Belmont Thursday afternoon in the eighth minute and kept the Bruins off the board the rest of the way to earn a 1-0 victory in the first round of the MVC Tournament. With the win, Valpo advances to play third-seeded UNI in second-round action Sunday afternoon.
How It Happened
After an early stretch of defending deep, the Beacons got out onto the attack and scored on their first sustained pressure. Senior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) won Valpo a corner, and classmate Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) came over to take the set piece. James sent a perfectly-placed corner towards the goal line in the center of the box, and DuSatko — just in front of Belmont goalkeeper Sarah Doyle — redirected it into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead.
That was one of eight corners for Valpo in the first half as the Beacons kept the pressure on throughout the opening 45 minutes, but turned out to be the only one they converted on.
Meanwhile, the Valpo defense kept Belmont at bay for most of the half, save for a couple moments on set pieces mid-half. The Bruins’ Maci Pekmezian sent a direct free kick off the post in the 21st minute, but it was an effort which goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) had covered if it had been on target.
Two minutes later, another free kick led to back-to-back tough stops by Coryell. Taken from the left flank, the free kick took one hop in the box to Belmont’s Carly Ross at the far post at the edge of the six. Coryell came off her line well and sprawled out, denying Ross with an outstretched leg. She then hopped up and dove back to her right to save the rebound effort by Anna Sweeney from 10 yards away.
The match went into halftime scoreless, and the second half played out with the same scoreline for its entirety as the Beacons successfully saw out the match and advanced in the tournament.
Inside the Match
Thursday’s victory was just the second win in program history in the MVC Tournament (2-8-1). It also was the first victory in regular time.
The clean sheet was Valpo’s third all-time in MVC Tournament action.
The win came against a Belmont side which dealt the Beacons a 2-0 defeat in their regular season meeting. It is the first time since 2009, when Valpo lost to Wright State 3-0 in the regular season and then earned a 2-1 win over the Raiders in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament, that the program has beaten a team in the postseason it lost to in the regular season.
DuSatko’s goal was her fourth of the season and the 11th of her Valpo career. It was her fourth career match-winner, two of which have come in MVC Tournament play.
The goal was Valpo’s fourth of the season in the opening 10 minutes of the match.
James’ assist on the match’s lone goal was the 12th assist of her career, moving her into a tie for third in program history.
Coryell totaled five
Coryell totaled five saves to keep the clean sheet Thursday. With 25 career shutouts, she is now alone in third place in MVC history — just one clean sheet out of second and two away from first.
Valpo held a slim 10-9 edge in shots, while both sides put five shots on goal Thursday. The Beacons racked up eight corner kicks, all of which came in the first half, while limiting the Bruins to one corner.
The Beacons posted the shutout despite being without veteran center back Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels). In Norfolk’s absence, senior Aubrey Ramey (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School [DePaul]) shifted from right back to center back, while junior Sam Gountounas (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and freshman Daisy Boardman (Warrington, England) covered at right back.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“Just a gritty win today. When you get into the conference tournament, that’s what it’s about — you know it’s going to be a battle and we battled for 90 minutes.”
“I thought the way we adapted to the conditions, dealing with the wind and the wet grass, was really good — we made some good adjustments.”
“Our goal came off something we talked about in our scout. We saw something we felt really good about, and it was great to see the execution of what we talked about on the training ground pay off.”
“Everybody that played today really put in a good shift. I thought our back line did an excellent job and embraced the next woman up mentality with the adjustments we had to make back there — I was impressed with how that group responded, and it really shows the strength and character of our players.”
Valpo (8-5-6) advances to the second round of the MVC Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Sunday, taking on third-seeded UNI. The match, which kicks off at 1 p.m., can be seen live on ESPN+.
VALPO MEN’S GOLF
MEN’S GOLF SET FOR PROGRAM’S FIRST EVENT HELD OUTSIDE OF UNITED STATES
A memorable calendar year for the Valparaiso University men’s golf program will close in equally memorable fashion this weekend.
When the Beacons
When the Beacons take the course for the final time before the calendar flips to 2024, they will not do so on U.S. soil. For the first time in program history, the team has left the country to take part in the Monterrey Collegiate Classic in Monterrey, Mexico beginning on Friday.
“This continues to be an exciting time for our golf program,” head coach Dave Gring said. “We have been blessed with the opportunity to play a tournament in a foreign country for the first time. We received the invitation for this inaugural tournament last spring, and we knew this would be a tremendous experience for our players. One of our foundational principles is to provide an exceptional Division 1 experience to every one of our players, and the guys will remember this tournament and travel for many years.”
The event features a 10-team field – host George Washington, Howard, Idaho, Loyola (MD), North Dakota State, Tarleton State, Utah State, UTRGV, Yale and Valpo. The tournament will be held at Campestre Monterrey’s par-72, 7141-yard Mitras/Silla Courses. Instead of the more traditional format of 36 holes on Day 1 and 18 holes on Day 2, the tournament will feature 27 holes on Friday and 27 on Saturday. A link to live scoring via GolfStat can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.
“The tournament is going to have a unique format where we will play 27 holes on Friday and 27 holes on Saturday,” Gring said. “We will be playing an equal amount on the Silla and Mitras courses. Playing on Bermuda grass will be an adjustment for us, even though the greens all feature bent grass. There’s a good amount of changes in elevation throughout the course, so we will make our adjustments in adding and subtracting yardage on given approach shots. We will be playing right around a total elevation of 2,000 feet, so we will take into account our yardage differences for that also.”
This marks the final tournament of the 2023 calendar year, one that has seen the Beacons finish as the Missouri Valley Conference Championship runners-up, send two individuals (Caleb VanArragon and Anthony Delisanti) to NCAA Regionals and earn a team postseason berth in the National Golf Invitational (NGI).
“The team has played solid all year,” Gring said. “We have had some of our guys out of our lineup with injuries and sickness this fall, but other guys have stepped up, and that speaks to the depth on our team. I’m very pleased with the way the team has practiced this fall and especially later into October. I feel the team is well prepared for our final fall tournament and they’re ready to compete after having a few weeks off following our last tournament. The guys are excited to play on a gorgeous golf course and the weather looks terrific for the entire tournament.”
UINDY MEN’S BASKETBALL
GREYHOUNDS VOTED GLVC PRESEASON FAVORITE
INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy men’s basketball team was unanimously chosen as the 2023-24 GLVC preseason favorite, the league office announced on Wednesday. The Greyhounds, who also topped last year’s preseason poll, went on to go 17-3 in conference action and earn the No. 1 seed in the league postseason tournament.
The preseason poll is determined by the league’s head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own team.
No. 1 UIndy
- Received 13 first-place votes and 169 total points.
- Earned GLVC Regular Season title and top seed in Championship Tournament last year.
- Garnered top seed and hosting rights to NCAA Midwest Regional last season.
- Led by reigning GLVC Coach of the Year Paul Corsaro, who enters his fourth campaign after a 26-5 overall and 17-3 GLVC record in 2022-23.
- Return GLVC Player of the Year, Kendrick Tchoua, and fellow unanimous First Team All-GLVC selection Jesse Bingham, who was also a member of the All-Defensive team.
Illinois Springfield received the only other available first-place vote, while Missouri-St. Louis – which advanced to last season’s Elite Eight – was picked third. The complete poll and voting results can be found below.
2023-24 GLVC MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
|Place||School||Points (1st-Place Votes)|
|2.||Illinois Springfield||155 (1)|
UINDY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PICKED THIRD IN GLVC PRESEASON POLL
INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis women’s basketball team was picked to finish third in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), the league office announced on Thursday.
The preseason poll is determined by the league’s head coaches, who, per GLVC Bylaws, are not permitted to vote for their own team.
No. 3 Indianapolis
- Received 142 total points.
- Advanced to GLVC Championship Tournament semifinals this past season as fourth seed.
- Coached by Marc Mitchell, who enters his second season after a 18-12 overall and 13-7 GLVC record in 2022-23.
- Return Second Team All-GLVC selection Elana Wells.
The complete poll and voting results can be found below.
|Place||School||Points (1st-Place Votes)|
|4.||Truman State||134 (1)|
GREYHOUNDS WELCOME GLVC-NEWCOMER UPPER IOWA TO KEY STADIUM SATURDAY NIGHT
vs. Upper Iowa Peacocks (3-5, 1-3 GLVC)
Saturday | October 28 | 6 p.m. ET
After four of the last five weeks on the road, the 10th-ranked UIndy Greyhounds return to Key Stadium for the first of back-to-back home dates, hosting the GLVC’s newest member, the Peacocks of Upper Iowa University. The Hounds, owners of a spotless 7-0 record, look to maintain their lead in the GLVC standings and remain firmly in the playoff picture.
DID YOU KNOW?
Upper Iowa spent the previous 17 seasons in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference before becoming a full-time member of the GLVC in 2023-24.
Fans will notice a number of changes and improvements to their gameday experience this fall, all of which are outlined on the following webpage. Meanwhile, fans unable to attend the game will see a change as well. This season, the GLVC announced a multi-year partnership with Hudl to put select regular season and championship broadcasts behind a paywall—including all its of football games. GLVC football fans will have three different purchase options for regular-season broadcasts, including an individual broadcast cost of $10, a season pass for $75, and a full GLVC package (all volleyball, football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games in 2023-24) for $100.
GAMEDAY GUIDE: NO. 5 MARIAN TRAVELS TO TAYLOR FOR IN-STATE MATCHUP
INDIANAPOLIS – Coming off a 24-14 home victory over St. Francis, the Marian football team heads back on the road this weekend as they take on the Taylor Trojans in Upland. Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Marian and Taylor are set to kick off for the 17th time in program history, the second-longest active series in program history. The Knights are 15-1 all-time against Taylor, and have won the last 13 games against the Trojans. Taylor’s lone win in the series came in 2009.
Last year Marian was victorious 67-7, and scored the most points on Taylor in the series’ history. Baron Huebler, Christian Hunter, Jake Reichard, and William Gibson each scored two touchdowns in last year’s game, while Keagan La Belle and CJ Young each found the end zone once. Marian has averaged 42 points per game against Taylor, and has scored 30 or more points in every game since 2014.
Taylor enters with a 2-6 overall record, coming off a homecoming win against Madonna. Taylor won their matchup against the Crusaders 51-14. Marian enters 7-0 overall, tied for first place in the MSFA Mideast with Indiana Wesleyan who has identical 7-0 and 4-0 records.
This week will be the first of consecutive weeks played in Grant County, as Marian travels to Taylor and Indiana Wesleyan over the next two weeks.
WATCH AND FOLLOW ALONG
Those fans unable to attend Saturday’s game can watch live through the Trojan Athletics YouTube page, listed above. The Knights broadcast duo of Scott McCauley and Zach Graves will also be calling the game from Upland, with the audio-only broadcast of the game streamed through the ISC Sports Network. Fans can also find live statistics at MarianStats.com. Live updates of the game will be posted on the official Marian Athletics Twitter/X page, @MUKnights.
Fans can purchase tickets online now at the link above. All tickets are general admission and cost $10 per ticket.
For the second time this year, the Knights may have to overcome the weather, as Saturday’s game has a chance of rain in the forecast. Marian won their previous weather game two weeks ago, defeating Concordia 14-7 in the rain.
Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Taylor.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|American Football Conference|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Miami Dolphins||5||2||0||.714||0.0||240||187||3-0-0||2-2-0||3-1-0||1-1-0||1 L|
|Buffalo Bills||5||3||0||.625||0.5||222||136||4-1-0||1-2-0||2-3-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|New York Jets||3||3||0||.500||1.5||113||119||2-2-0||1-1-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|New England Patriots||2||5||0||.286||3.0||101||177||1-3-0||1-2-0||2-2-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||1||0||.857||0.0||178||105||3-1-0||3-0-0||4-0-0||2-0-0||6 W|
|Las Vegas Raiders||3||4||0||.429||3.0||112||161||2-1-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||1-1-0||1 L|
|Los Angeles Chargers||2||4||0||.333||3.5||144||155||1-2-0||1-2-0||1-3-0||1-1-0||2 L|
|Denver Broncos||2||5||0||.286||4.0||148||217||1-3-0||1-2-0||0-4-0||0-2-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Baltimore Ravens||5||2||0||.714||0.0||171||97||2-1-0||3-1-0||4-2-0||2-1-0||2 W|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||4||2||0||.667||0.5||103||127||2-1-0||2-1-0||3-1-0||2-0-0||2 W|
|Cleveland Browns||4||2||0||.667||0.5||134||115||3-1-0||1-1-0||3-2-0||1-2-0||2 W|
|Cincinnati Bengals||3||3||0||.500||1.5||100||127||2-1-0||1-2-0||0-3-0||0-2-0||2 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||5||2||0||.714||0.0||173||146||2-2-0||3-0-0||3-2-0||2-1-0||4 W|
|Houston Texans||3||3||0||.500||1.5||135||113||2-1-0||1-2-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|Indianapolis Colts||3||4||0||.429||2.0||178||191||1-3-0||2-1-0||3-3-0||2-2-0||2 L|
|Tennessee Titans||2||4||0||.333||2.5||104||117||2-1-0||0-3-0||2-3-0||0-1-0||2 L|
|National Football Conference|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Philadelphia Eagles||6||1||0||.857||0.0||186||141||3-0-0||3-1-0||4-0-0||1-0-0||1 W|
|Dallas Cowboys||4||2||0||.667||1.5||154||100||2-0-0||2-2-0||1-2-0||1-0-0||1 W|
|Washington Commanders||3||4||0||.429||3.0||140||190||1-2-0||2-2-0||2-3-0||0-2-0||1 L|
|New York Giants||2||5||0||.286||4.0||85||174||1-2-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||2||0||.714||0.0||201||109||3-0-0||2-2-0||4-1-0||2-0-0||2 L|
|Seattle Seahawks||4||2||0||.667||0.5||144||118||2-1-0||2-1-0||4-1-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|Los Angeles Rams||3||4||0||.429||2.0||155||141||1-3-0||2-1-0||2-2-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|Arizona Cardinals||1||6||0||.143||4.0||127||182||1-2-0||0-4-0||1-5-0||0-3-0||4 L|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Detroit Lions||5||2||0||.714||0.0||174||151||2-1-0||3-1-0||4-1-0||1-0-0||1 L|
|Minnesota Vikings||3||4||0||.429||2.0||151||152||1-3-0||2-1-0||3-2-0||1-0-0||2 W|
|Green Bay Packers||2||4||0||.333||2.5||130||132||1-1-0||1-3-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||3 L|
|Chicago Bears||2||5||0||.286||3.0||158||188||1-3-0||1-2-0||1-3-0||0-2-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Atlanta Falcons||4||3||0||.571||0.0||115||133||3-1-0||1-2-0||3-2-0||2-0-0||1 W|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||4||0||.429||1.0||121||128||1-3-0||2-1-0||3-3-0||1-1-0||3 L|
|New Orleans Saints||3||4||0||.429||1.0||133||127||1-2-0||2-2-0||1-2-0||1-1-0||2 L|
|Carolina Panthers||0||6||0||.000||3.5||112||186||0-2-0||0-4-0||0-5-0||0-2-0||6 L|
|New York||0||1||.000||1.0||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|Oklahoma City||1||0||1.000||—||–||1-0||–||–||1-0||1 W|
|LA Clippers||1||0||1.000||—||1-0||–||–||1-0||1-0||1 W|
|LA Lakers||1||1||.500||0.5||1-0||0-1||1-0||1-1||1-1||1 W|
|Golden State||0||1||.000||1.0||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|New Orleans||1||0||1.000||—||–||1-0||1-0||1-0||1-0||1 W|
|San Antonio||0||1||.000||1.0||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|Detroit Red Wings||8||5||2||1||11||5||35||24||3-1-1||2-1-0||5-2-1|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||7||5||2||0||10||4||27||21||2-1-0||3-1-0||5-2-0|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||8||4||2||2||10||4||29||24||4-0-1||0-2-1||4-2-2|
|New York Rangers||7||5||2||0||10||5||21||13||1-1-0||4-1-0||5-2-0|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||7||3||2||2||8||3||20||23||2-2-1||1-0-1||3-2-2|
|New York Islanders||6||3||2||1||7||3||16||19||3-1-1||0-1-0||3-2-1|
|New Jersey Devils||6||3||2||1||7||3||24||23||1-2-1||2-0-0||3-2-1|
|St. Louis Blues||6||3||2||1||7||2||14||15||2-1-0||1-1-1||3-2-1|
|Vegas Golden Knights||7||7||0||0||14||6||28||13||4-0-0||3-0-0||7-0-0|
|Los Angeles Kings||6||3||2||1||7||3||27||22||1-2-1||2-0-0||3-2-1|
|San Jose Sharks||7||0||6||1||1||0||8||29||0-3-1||0-3-0||0-6-1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
949 As part of the Browns’ five-year plan, team president William O. DeWitt announces he plans to place 14 players on the trading block who are 28 years old or older. The youth movement results from St. Louis finishing in seventh place with 53 wins and 101 losses.
1954 Former Yankees superstar Joe DiMaggio and actress Marilyn Monroe’s well-publicized stormy marriage ends in divorce after the famous movie star files on the grounds of mental cruelty, just 274 days after the wedding. After her death in 1962, Joltin’ Joe sends roses to his ex-wife’s grave three times per week for the next 20 years.
1962 The Tigers begin an eighteen-game tour of Japan, compiling a 12-4-2 record against their opponents from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun.’ During the trip, the two countries work out terms of player exchanges between the two nations, giving the respective league’s commissioner final approval of any transaction.
1972 The Braves trade outfielder Rico Carty, the 1970 National League batting champ (.366), to the Rangers for hurler Jim Panther. The 28-year-old right-hander posts a 2-3 record with an ERA of 7.14 in his final major league season, and the traded flycatcher retires in 1979 after finishing a 15-year career with a .299 batting average.
1977 Calvin Griffin confirms he has rejected skipper Gene Mauch’s request to leave the team to manage the Angels. Two days ago, the Twins owner informed Gene Autry, the Halos owner, of his decision, citing the three-year contract was Mauch’s idea, and he didn’t want to lose a competent manager, liked by the players and the Minnesota fans.
1985 The Royals become the sixth team to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the Fall Classic when series MVP Bret Saberhagen, who became a new dad yesterday, blanks the Cardinals on five hits, 11-0. Kansas City is the first home team in World Series history to lose the series’ first two games and win the World Championship.
1986 With another dramatic comeback, the Mets defeat the Red Sox, 8-5, winning Game 7 of the Fall Classic to become World Champions for the second time in the franchise’s 25-year history. Third baseman Ray Knight, the Fall Classic’s MVP, makes amends for an earlier error by hitting a home run, which puts the Mets ahead in the seventh inning.
1989 After a ten-day delay due to the Loma Prieta earthquake, the World Series resumes with the A’s beating the Giants in Game 3, 13-7. Oakland joins the 1928 Yankees as only the second team in major league history to hit five home runs in a Fall Classic contest.
1991 In Game 7 of the ‘Worst to First’ World Series, the Twins beat the Braves, 1-0, when Dan Gladden scores the winning run in the bottom of the tenth on Gene Larkin’s single, clinching its second world championship since relocating from Washington D.C. in 1961. Atlanta and Minnesota had both finished in last place in their respective divisions the previous season.
1991 At the Metrodome, Jack Morris goes the distance in Game 7 of the World Series, blanking the Braves, 1-0, in the Twins’ ten-inning, dramatic walk-off win. The 36-year-old right-hander, who posts a 2-0 record along with a 1.17 ERA during his three starts, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.
1998 President Bill Clinton signs into law legislation overriding part of a 1922 Supreme Court ruling that exempted baseball from antitrust law because it was not considered interstate commerce. The 76-year-old exemption helped owners use the reserve clause to deprive players of bargaining rights, leading to much labor unrest in the national pastime.
1998 “It is especially fitting that this legislation honors a courageous baseball player and individual, the late Curt Flood, whose enormous talents on the baseball diamond were matched by his courage off the field. It was 29 years ago this month that Curt Flood refused a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. His bold stand set in motion the events that culminate in the bill I have signed into law.” – BILL CLINTON, U.S. president, commenting on the Curt Flood Act.
President Clinton signs the Curt Flood Act of 1998, revoking baseball’s antitrust exemption for labor matters, but not for issues involving relocation, expansion, or the minor leagues. The passage of the legislation by the 105th Congress comes over seventy-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that the sport was not involved in interstate commerce or trade as customarily defined within the context of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
1999 The Yankees, behind the solid pitching of Roger Clemens, sweep their second straight Fall Classic, beating the Braves, 4-1. Atlanta joins the New York Giants (1910-19) as the only team to lose four World Series in a decade.
2000 New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani thinks it is okay for children to take a day off from school to watch the Yankees’ ticker-tape parade. His Honor, believing baseball can be an educational experience, has allowed his kids, Andrew and Caroline, to miss classes in the past to watch the Bronx Bombers’ postseason celebrations.
2000 The Mets, who lost the Fall Classic in five games to their crosstown rivals, turn down New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s invitation to be part of the ticker-tape parade for the World Champion Yankees in the famed Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan.
2002 In the team’s 42nd season, the Angels finally win a World Series title by beating the Giants, 4-1, in Game 7 at Edison Field. Garret Anderson’s three-run double provides enough offense for John Lackey to become the first rookie to win the seventh game since 1909, when Babe Adams accomplished the feat for the Pirates.
2003 The Red Sox will not renew manager Grady Little’s contract. The manager, who won 188 games during his two seasons with Boston, was severely criticized for not removing a tiring Pedro Martinez in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the ALCS, allowing the Yankees to tie the score in their eventual extra-inning pennant-winning victory.
2004 Under the moon’s reddish tint caused by a lunar eclipse, the Red Sox exorcised 86 years of agonizing losses by winning their first World Series since 1918. In one of the most dominating Fall Classic performances, Boston, who never trailed during the four games, blanks the Cardinals, 3-0, to complete the sweep.
2004 After a 10-day Overstock.com online auction and 240 bids, Barry Bonds’ 700th home run ball goes for $804,129. Steve Williams, who came up with the milestone ball in SBC’s left-field bleachers on September 17, announced he was quitting his day job as a broker’s assistant but hadn’t decided what to do with the windfall.
2006 At the new Busch Stadium, the Cardinals beat the heavily favored Tigers, 4-2, in Game 5 of the Fall Classic to win their first world championship since 1982. With an 83-78 record, St. Louis, who lost 10 of their last 14 regular-season games, won fewer games than any World Series champion in baseball history.
2006 After leading the Padres to two consecutive NL West titles, Bruce Bochy, with a year left on his contract, leaves San Diego to become the manager of the division rival, San Francisco Giants. The 51-year-old skipper, who compiled a 951-975 (.494) record during his 12 seasons in the Friars dugout, signs a three-year deal worth approximately $6 million.
2007 In the first Fall Classic game played in Colorado, Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, allowing two runs on three hits in 5.1 innings to beat the Rockies in Game 3, 10-5, becomes the first Japanese starting pitcher in World Series history. After paying $51.1 million to negotiate with the right-hander, Boston obtained ‘Dice-K’ from the Seibu Lions, signing the World Baseball Classic MVP to a six-year deal worth $52 million.
2008 In a 5-4 Game 3 loss to the Phillies, B.J. Upton becomes the fourth player and first American Leaguer to steal three bases in a World Series game. The Rays’ center fielder joins Honus Wagner (Pirates, 1909), Willie Davis (Dodgers, 1965), and Lou Brock (Cardinals, 1967) to accomplish the trio of thefts in a Fall Classic contest.
2008 After playing in drenching rain until the middle of the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park, officials suspend Game 5 of the World Series, making it the first Fall Classic contest to start and not played to completion. The 2-2 tied game between the Rays and hometown Phillies, who are one victory away from a world championship, will resume tomorrow at the point the rain delay stopped play.
2009 General manager Ed Wade announces Brad Mills has agreed to a two-year contract, with a team option for the third, to become the Astros’ manager, replacing Dave Clark, the interim manager named in September to take the reins for the fired Cecil Cooper. The 52-year-old, who for the past six seasons has been Terry Francona’s bench coach with the Red Sox, has never managed in the majors but spent 11 seasons as a minor league skipper with the Cubs, Rockies, and Dodgers.
2013 The Red Sox win the first World Series game to ever end on a pickoff, beating the Cardinals, 4-2, in Game 4 of the Fall Classic. Kolten Wong, a 23-year-old rookie pinch-running for Allen Craig, is caught off first base by Boston closer Koji Uehara, ending the Busch Stadium contest with the dangerous Carlos Beltran at the plate.
2013 The San Diego State University baseball team continues their tradition where every player dons a costume during a late-October intra-squad scrimmage. The Aztecs’ third annual Halloween Game at Tony Gwynn Stadium, open to the public, features team members dressed as the Jamaican Bobsled Team, social media apps, a Leprechaun, and Captain America and Captain Underwear.
2015 Michael Conforto becomes the third player to accomplish the World Series Triple Crown, playing in the Little League World Series (2004 Redmond LL, WA), the College World Series (2013 Oregon State), and the MLB World Series (2015 Mets). The two other major leaguers who have participated in the rare event are Jason Varitek (1984 Altamonte Springs LL, FL, 1994 Georgia Tech, and the 2004 Red Sox) and Ed Vosberg (1973 Tucson LL, AZ, the 1980 University of Arizona, and the 1997 Marlins).
2019 Arriving just before the first pitch of Game 5 of the World Series, President Donald Trump stays for seven innings in the Astros’ eventual 7-1 victory over Washington at Nationals Park. Amidst the boos, chants of “Lock him up!” a reference to a refrain often used during the 2016 campaign toward his opponent Hillary Clinton, are heard when he and his entourage are announced and appear on the ballpark’s video screens at the end of the third frame.
2020 The Dodgers, the National League representative three out of the last four World Series, end their 32-year drought without a world championship, beating the Rays, 3-1, in Game 6 at Globe Life Field. After winning seven straight divisional titles, the team wins its first Fall Classic since 1988, a year best remembered for the heroics of Kirk Gibson.
WORLD SERIES HISTORY
New York Yankees (4) vs St. Louis Cardinals (0)
After coming off of a magical season, the defending champion Yankees managed to hold off the Athletics to win their third consecutive pennant by 2½games, but at a serious cost as injuries depleted their line-up. Pitcher Herb Pennock (17-6) was on the sidelines for the Series with a sore arm. Centerfielder Earle Combs was available only as a pinch-hitter because of a broken finger. Second baseman Tony Lazzeri suffered a lame-throwing arm, and Babe Ruth was playing on a bad ankle. The St. Louis Cardinals, however, were all in good shape and ready for a repeat of the 1926 contest when they had dethroned New York four games to three.
For Game 1, Waite Hoyt went up against Bill Sherdel in a classic rematch of David vs. Goliath. The Babe managed to play, despite his inability to run and he and his young protégé both put on quite a show. Ruth had a single and two doubles, Gehrig went two-for-four with two RBIs and Bob Meusel knocked a two-run home run on the way to a 4-1 opening victory.
Grover Alexander (who had embarrassed the Yankees and their pitching staff in the ’26 Series) returned for Game 2, but lacked the dominating presence of two years ago. Lou Gehrig started things off with a three-run homer in the first inning and the Yankees continued to score without resistance on the way to a 9-3 victory.
As expected, Ruth and Gehrig continued to abuse the Cardinals’ pitching staff with reckless abandon. The Iron Horse launched two blasts in Game 3 for a 7-3 win and The Babe knocked three into the seats in Game 4 (with Gehrig contributing one) for another 7-3 triumph and a second sweep for the World Championship.
Both sluggers had combined to go sixteen-for-twenty-seven at the plate, with a .593 average, seven homers and thirteen RBIs. Ruth set one of many Series records hitting an unbelievable .625 with ten hits in four games. Gehrig hit .545 and set his own record with nine RBIs in four games.
It truly was a two-man show as the rest of the Yankees batted .196, but were supported by solid pitching by Hoyt, George Pipgras and Tom Zachary. The perennial World Champions had managed to save-face after a difficult season and once again proved that they were the best-of-the-best.
First Pro Pass
October 27, 1906 – Per the profootballhof.com website the very first documented pass completion in a professional football game came when George Peggy Parratt of the Massillon Tigers threw a completion to Dan “Bullet” Riley in a victory over a team that was comprised of a combined mix of Benwood players and Moundsville players.
Selmon Brothers Inc.
October 27, 1973 – NFF tells us 1988 College Football Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon and his brothers Lucious and Dewey combined for 26 tackles as Oklahoma downs Kansas State 56-14 in the 16th game of a 37-game unbeaten streak for the Sooners.
Dan the Man
October 27, 1979 – Per the National Football Foundation’s website, No. 12 Pittsburgh freshman quarterback and future College Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers sunk undefeated No. 17 Navy Midshipmen, 24-7. Pitt starting quarterback Rick Trocano went down early in the first quarter and never regained his starting spot from Marino. The Midshipmen jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the second quarter before giving up 24-straight points in the losing effort.
Wake Forest Big Day!
October 27, 1979 – From Wake Forest Athletic Department- James McDougald rushed for four touchdowns, three in the second half, to lead 18th-ranked Wake Forest to a come-from-behind 42-38 win over Auburn at Groves Stadium. The win improved Wake Forest’s record to 7-1 on the season.
WIllie Totten Lights It Up
October 27, 1984 – Per the NFF website, 2005 College Football Hall of Famer Willie Totten of Mississippi Valley State passes for 599 yards against Prairie View, the third best single-game performance in I-AA history. Totten threw for over 530 yards in a single game four times in his collegiate career.
October 27, 1995 – Art Model and officials in Baltimore, Maryland finalized by them signing the contract to move the Cleveland Browns’ franchise Baltimore. We of course later learned that the City of Cleveland would retain Brown’s name and the former Browns franchise would become the Baltimore Ravens.
Holy War 13
October 27, 2001 – Per the On this Day website we are informed that the 13th edition of the College Football Holy Wartook place as Boston College beat Notre Dame 21-17 in Chestnut Hill.
Emmett Smith Breaks the Record!
October 27, 2002- Dallas Cowboys runner Emmett Smith breaks Walter Payton’s career yards rushing record of 16,726 yards to become the NFL’s All TIme Leading Rusher per the onthisday.com website. Smith ended up rushing for 109 yards in the game but the Cowboys fell to the Seattle Seahawks 17-14 in the contest. Just to serve your memory, Walter Payton had held the record since October 7, 1984 when he surpassed the mark that Jim Brown had held for decades.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS FOR OCTOBER 27
October 27, 1928 – San Antonio, Texas – William Kyle Rote a halfback from Southern Methodist University arrived into this world. Rote was honored in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1964. Kyle played a short stint in minor league baseball then the joined on with the NFLs New York Giants where he played from 1951 through 1961 and was a team captain. Kyle Rote even made the Pro Bowl four times to cap off a brilliant career in football.
Bill George, I think He’s Got it!
October 27, 1929 – Waynesburg, Pennsylvania – Bill George a linebacker from Wake Forest University was born. Bill played in the NFL for 15 years for both the Bears and the Rams. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a neat piece on Bill George in his bio on their site. George made a now historic move that permanently changed defensive strategy in the National Football League.
On passing plays, George’s job was to bump the center and then drop back. George, noting the Eagles success at completing short passes just over his head, decided to skip the center bump and drop back immediately. Two plays later he caught the first of his 18 pro interceptions. While no one can swear which middle guard in a five-man line first dropped back to play middle linebacker and create the classic 4-3 defense, George is the most popular choice. Bill had 8 seasons where he was selected as an All-NFL player as well as 8 where he made the Pro Bowl roster. George’s 18 interceptions were surpassed only by his 19 career fumble recoveries.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Bill George in 1974
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
9 – 36 – 31 – 22 – 47 – 42 – 25 – 24 – 22 – 23 – 20 – 5
October 27, 1963 – Detroit Red Wings right wing Gordie Howe, Number 9 scored his 544th career goal in a 6-4 loss against the Montreal Canadiens. This milestone tied him with another Number 9, Maurice Richard‘s (Montreal Canadiens) all-time NHL regular season record
October 27, 1984 – Washington State University’s running back Number 36, Rueben Mayes set a collegiate football record of 357 yards rushing in one game (at Oregon)
October 27, 1985 – World Series: KC Royals rout St Louis Cardinals, 11-0 at Royals Stadium for 4 games to 3 series win; MVP: KC pitcher Number 31, Bret Saberhagen
October 27, 1986 – World Series: NY Mets win their second title; beat Boston Red Sox, 8-5 at Shea Stadium for 4 games to 3 series win; MVP: Mets infielder Ray Knight, Number 22
October 27, 1991 – World Series: Minnesota Twins beat Atlanta Braves, 1-0 in 10 in Game 7 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome; win 2nd title since move to Minneapolis; MVP: Twins pitcher Jack Morris, Number 47
October 27, 1999 – World Series: New York Yankees beat Atlanta, 4-1 in Game 4 at Yankee Stadium to sweep Braves and retain title; MVP: Yankees closer Number 42, Mariano Rivera
October 27, 2002 – World Series: Anaheim beats San Francisco Giants, 4-1 in Game 7 at Edison Field to win Angels’ first title; MVP: Anaheim 1st baseman Number 25, Troy Glaus
October 27, 2004 – World Series: Boston beats St. Louis, 3-0 in Game 4 at Busch Stadium to sweep Cardinals and win Red Sox first title since 1918; MVP: Boston outfielder Number 24, Manny Ramirez
October 27, 2006 – World Series: St. Louis beats Detroit Tigers, 4-2 in Game 5 at Busch Stadium to win Cardinals’ 10th title in franchise history; MVP: Cardinals infielder Number 22, David Eckstein
October 27, 2011 – World Series Game 6: St. Louis Cardinal 3B Number 23, David Freese hit the game-tying 2 run triple with 2 outs in the 9th and then later smacked a walk-off home run in the 11th
October 27, 2015 – American soccer star Abby Wambach, Team USA Number 20 announced her retirement
October 27, 2020 – World Series: LA Dodgers beat Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1 in Game 6 at Globe Life Field, Arlington to win first title in 32 years; MVP: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager
TV SPORTS FRIDAY
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|Florida Atlantic at Charlotte||7:30pm||ESPN2|
|COLLEGE HOCKEY||TIME ET||TV|
|Minnesota Duluth vs Cornell||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Harvard vs Dartmouth College||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Maine vs Quinnipiac||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Lake Superior State vs Clarkson||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Michigan State vs Boston College||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UMass vs Boston U||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UConn vs UMass Lowell||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Vermont vs Providence||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Mercyhurst vs Notre Dame||7:30pm||Peacock|
|Yale vs Brown||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Wiscosnin vs Minnesota||9:00pm||BTN|
|DP World: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters||4:00am||GOLF|
|LPGA: Maybank Championship||10:00pm||GOLF|
|MLB PLAYOFFS||TIME ET||TV|
|World Series Game 1: Arizona at Texas||8:00pm||FOX|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Detroit at Charlotte||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Denver at Memphis||7:00pm||ALT|
|New York at Atlanta||7:30pm||MSG|
|Miami at Boston||7:30pm||ESPN|
|Oklahoma City at Cleveland||7:30pm||Bally Sports|
|Toronto at Chicago||8:00pm||Sportsnet|
|Houston at San Antonio||8:00pm||ATTSN-SW|
|Brooklyn at Dallas||8:30pm||YES|
|LA Clippers at Utah||9:30pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Orlando at Portland||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Golden State at Sacramento||10:00pm||ESPN|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Chicago at Vegas||6:00pm||NHLN|
|San Jose at Carolina||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Buffalo at New Jersey||7:00pm||MSG-BUF|
|Minnesota at Washington||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Los Angeles at Arizona||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|St. Louis at Vancouver||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Bundesliga: Bochum vs Mainz 05||2:30pm||ESPN+|
|Serie A: Genoa vs Salernitana||2:45pm||Paramount+|
|UEFA Women’s Nations League: England vs Belgium||2:45pm||CBSSN|
|Belgium Pro League: Sint-Truiden vs RWDM||2:45pm||ESPN+|
|EPL: Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur||3:00pm||Peacock|
|La Liga: Girona vs Celta de Vigo||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|Ligue 1: Clermont vs Nice||3:00pm||beIN Sports|
|Argentina Primera División: Colón vs River Plate||5:30pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Palmeiras vs Atlético Mineiro||6:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Cruzeiro vs Flamengo||6:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Santos vs RB Bragantino||7:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Rosario Central vs Vélez Sarsfield||7:45pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Sarmiento vs Racing Club||8:00pm||Paramount+|
|SOCCER – MEN’S COLLEGE||TIME ET||TV|
|Bryant vs Binghamton||6:05pm||ESPN+|
|Trine vs Indiana||6:30pm||B1G+|
|Stony Brook vs William & Mary||7:00pm||FloSports|
|UMBC vs NJIT||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Virginia Tech vs Duke||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Charlotte vs Florida International||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Tulsa vs Temple||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Marshall vs Old Dominion||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Georgia Southern vs James Madison||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UCF vs Georgia State||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Duke vs Louisville||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Coastal Carolina vs South Carolina||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Clemson vs NC State||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|West Virginia vs Kentucky||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Drake vs Michigan State||7:00pm||B1G+|
|Syracuse vs Boston College||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|North Carolina vs Virginia||7:30pm||ACCN|
|Northern Illinois vs UIC||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|SMU vs UAB||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|South Florida vs Memphis||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|SOCCER – WOMEN’S COLLEGE||TIME ET||TV|
|New Mexico State vs Western Kentucky||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Florida International vs Middle Tennessee||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Incarnate Word vs Houston Christian||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Pepperdine vs San Diego||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai Round Robin||1:00am||TENNIS|
|Vienna-ATP & Basel-ATP Early Rounds|
WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai Round Robin
|Vienna-ATP & Basel-ATP Early Rounds|
WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai Round Robin
|WOMEN’S COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|UTSA vs Memphis||2:00pm||ESPN+|
|Tennessee Tech vs Western Illinois||4:00pm||ESPN+|
|Miami vs Eastern Michigan||4:00pm||ESPN+|
|Brown vs Pennsylvania||5:00pm||ESPN+|
|Lipscomb vs Bellarmine||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|North Florida vs Queens (NC)||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Austin Peay vs Eastern Kentucky||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|UT Martin vs Morehead State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Buffalo vs Western Michigan||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Missouri State vs Evansville||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Northern Kentucky vs Oakland||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|UNC Asheville vs Charleston Southern||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|South Carolina Upstate vs Presbyterian||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Winthrop vs Radford||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Gardner-Webb vs High Point||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Albany vs Binghamton||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Buffalo vs Western Michigan||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|The Citadel vs Mercer||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|East Tennessee State vs Chattanooga||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Colgate vs Holy Cross||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Dayton vs George Washington||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Coastal Carolina vs Marshall||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Old Dominion vs Appalachian State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Clemson vs Syracuse||6:00pm||ACCNX|
|Kent State vs Ball State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Wichita State vs Florida Atlantic||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Ohio vs Toledo||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|NC State vs Duke||6:30pm||ACCNX|
|Miami vs Notre Dame||6:30pm||ACCNX|
|Jacksonville vs Kennesaw State||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UTEP vs Middle Tennessee||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Tennessee State vs SIU Edwardsville||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Little Rock vs Lindenwood||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Southeast Missouri State vs Eastern Illinois||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Belmont vs Valparaiso||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Bradley vs Drake||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Illinois State vs Northern Iowa||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Yale vs Princeton||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Columbia vs Dartmouth||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Cornell vs Harvard||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Robert Morris vs Green Bay||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Youngstown State vs Milwaukee||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Akron vs Northern Illinois||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|American University vs Lehigh||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Navy vs Lafayette||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Loyola (MD) vs Bucknell||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|TCU vs UCF||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Charlotte vs Tulane||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|East Carolina vs Rice||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Temple vs North Texas||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UL Monroe vs Louisiana||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Troy vs South Alabama||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Wake Forest vs Virginia||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Florida State vs Louisville||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Xavier vs St. John’s||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Duquesne vs Loyola Chicago||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Arkansas vs South Carolina||7:00pm||SECN+|
|Auburn vs Georgia||7:00pm||SECN+|
|Mississippi State vs Alabama||7:00pm||SECN+|
|Georgia Tech vs Boston College||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Wisconsin vs Michigan State||7:00pm||B1G+|
|Rutgers vs Iowa||7:00pm||B1G+|
|Creighton vs Villanova||7:00pm||Flo Sports|
|Baylor vs Texas||8:00pm||LHN|
|Maryland vs Nebraska||8:00pm||B1G+|
|UConn vs DePaul||8:00pm||Flo Sports|
|BYU vs Kansas State||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Liberty vs Sam Houston||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|West Virginia vs Kansas||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|South Florida vs Tulsa||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Baylor vs Texas||8:00pm||LHN|
|Wofford vs Samford||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|UAB vs SMU||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Montana vs Montana State||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Hawai’i vs CSU Northridge||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|UC Santa Barbara vs UC Irvine||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Cal Poly vs Cal State Fullerton||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Kentucky vs LSU||9:00pm||SECN+|
|Providence vs Marquette||9:00pm||Flo Sports|
|Kentucky vs LSU||9:00pm||SECN|
|USC vs Colorado||9:00pm||P12LA, P12MT|
|Oregon vs Washington State||10:00pm||PAC12N|
|Oregon State vs Washington||10:00pm||PAC12N|