****INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES****
|Bloomington North||21||Bedford North Lawrence||14|
|Boone Grove||53||South Bend Clay||6|
|Bremen||42||South Bend Washington||7|
|Bronson (Mich.)||40||Prairie Heights||12|
|Cambridge City Lincoln||42||Union County||36||OT|
|Carroll (Flora)||62||Riverton Parke||0|
|Carroll (Fort Wayne)||18||Warren Central||14|
|Castle||49||Evansville Mater Dei||7|
|Center Grove||28||Oakland (Tenn.)||0|
|Christian Brothers (Mo.)||55||Carmel||28|
|Cincinnati Moeller (Ohio)||57||Fort Wayne Dwenger||0|
|Columbus North||41||Columbus East||0|
|Covenant Christian||42||Greenwood Christian||16|
|Crown Point||49||Chicago Taft (Ill.)||7|
|Decatur Central||43||New Palestine||42|
|East Central||42||Harrison (Ohio)||7|
|Eastbrook||38||Fort Wayne Concordia||24|
|Eastern Hancock||36||North Decatur||14|
|Evansville Bosse||48||Evansville Central||6|
|Evansville Memorial||17||Evansville North||0|
|Evansville Reitz||23||Vincennes Lincoln||7|
|Forest Park||37||Perry Central||26|
|Fort Wayne Snider||45||East Noble||28|
|Fort Wayne Wayne||35||Fort Wayne Northrop||7|
|Franklin Central||20||Indianapolis Roncalli||6|
|Gibson Southern||21||Mount Carmel (Ill.)||14|
|Guerin Catholic||27||Lafayette Central Catholic||3|
|Hamilton Heights||28||North Montgomery||12|
|Hamilton Southeastern||35||North Central (Indianapolis)||7|
|Hanover Central||24||Hammond Morton||14|
|Heritage Hills||56||Tell City||7|
|IC Catholic Prep (Ill.)||47||Bowman Academy||0|
|Indianapolis Attucks||38||Terre Haute North||10|
|Indianapolis Chatard||46||Indianapolis Tech||6|
|Indianapolis Lutheran||49||Indianapolis Ritter||12|
|Indianapolis Shortridge||42||Indianapolis Washington||0|
|Jay County||14||Huntington North||9|
|Lawrence North||35||Fort Wayne North||13|
|Linton-Stockton||35||Decatur St. Teresa (Ill.)||20|
|Michigan City||36||Lafayette Jeff||30|
|Mishawaka Marian||21||Culver Academy||14|
|Monroe Central||43||Union City||22|
|Mount Vernon (Fortville)||41||Franklin||38|
|New Haven||36||Fort Wayne Luers||7|
|North Daviess||35||North Central (Farmersburg)||0|
|North Knox||25||Eastern Greene||20|
|Paris (Ill.)||21||North Vermillion||14|
|Parke Heritage||38||West Vigo||14|
|Plainfield||15||Harrison (West Lafayette)||14|
|Providence Catholic (Ill.)||28||Lake Central||21|
|Purdue Polytechnic||32||Christel House Manual||16|
|Rensselaer Central||53||North Newton||0|
|South Bend Adams||23||Logansport||22|
|South Bend Riley||20||John Glenn||0|
|South Bend St. Joseph||41||Fort Wayne South||3|
|South Central (Union Mills)||44||Culver||22|
|South Decatur||69||Irvington Prep Academy||0|
|South Putnam||46||Owen Valley||6|
|Switzerland County||24||Gallatin County (Ky.)||7|
|Taylor||33||Fort Wayne Blackhawk||0|
|Triton Central||36||New Castle||7|
|West Central||58||Lake Station||10|
|Brown County||Jennings County||ppd.||10am Sat|
|Christian Academy (Ky.)||New Albany||ppd.||12pm Sat|
|Eastern (Pekin)||Crawford County||ppd.||7pm Sat|
|Louisville Holy Cross (Ky.)||Providence||ppd.||7pm Sat|
|North Harrison||Scottsburg||ppd.||6pm Sat|
|Sullivan||South Vermillion||ppd.||6pm Mon|
|Terre Haute South||Floyd Central||ppd.||7pm Sat|
|West Washington||Clarksville||ppd.||7pm Sat|
****INDIANA VOLLEYBALL SCORES****
HAMMOND NOLL 2 SHEPARD 0
HAMMOND NOLL 2 AURORA CHRISTIAN 1
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN 3 HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 0
BORDEN 3 LANESVILLE 2
HAUSER 3 SOUTHWESTERN 0
SHAKAMAK 3 BLOOMFIELD 0
COMMUNITY BAPTIST 3 SUBURBAN CHRISTIAN 2
HEBRON 3 DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN 1
CROSSPOINTE CHRISTIAN 3 COLONIAL CHRISTIAN 0
ELKHART CHRISTIAN 3 SOUTH BEND CAREER 0
LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN 3 CARUTHERSVILLE 0
****INDIANA BOYS SOCCER SCORES****
NOBLESVILLE 2 ROCKFORD 2
VICTORY CHRISTIAN 6 MARQUETTE CATHOLIC 0
HERITAGE HALL CHRISTIAN 1 KINGS ACADEMY 0
KOUTS 4 MICHIGAN CITY 1
SUBURBAN CHRISTIAN 5 COMMUNITY BAPTIST 0
FAITH CHRISTIAN 3 ARGOS 0
****INDIANA GIRLS SOCCER SCORES****
ZIONSVILLE 4 CENTRAL MAGNET 2
DETROIT 26 CAROLINA 17
TENNESSEE 23 NEW ENGLAND 7
LA CHARGERS 23 SAN FRANCISCO 12
SATURDAY, AUGUST 26
BUFFALO AT CHICAGO, 1:00
SEATTLE AT GREEN BAY, 1:00
CLEVELAND AT KANSAS CITY, 1:00
ARIZONA AT MINNESOTA, 1:00
N.Y. JETS AT N.Y. GIANTS, 6:00
CINCINNATI AT WASHINGTON, 6:05
MIAMI AT JACKSONVILLE, 7:00
BALTIMORE AT TAMPA BAY, 7:00
LAS VEGAS AT DALLAS, 8:00
L.A. RAMS AT DENVER, 9:00
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27
HOUSTON AT NEW ORLEANS (FOX), 8:00
*****WEEK 1 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE*****
DETROIT LIONS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (THU) 7:20P (CT) 8:20P NBC
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
HOUSTON TEXANS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
TENNESSEE TITANS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT CHICAGO BEARS 3:25P (CT) 4:25P FOX
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT DENVER BRONCOS 2:25P (MT) 4:25P CBS
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P CBS
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 4:25P (ET) 4:25P CBS
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS 8:20P (ET) 8:20P NBC
BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW YORK JETS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN/ABC
****MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL****
BALTIMORE 5 COLORADO 4
LA DODGERS 7 BOSTON 4
LA ANGELS 3 NY METS 1
DETROIT 4 HOUSTON 0
NY YANKEES 6 TAMPA BAY 2
CLEVELAND 5 TORONTO 2
OAKLAND 12 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 4
MINNESOTA 12 TEXAS 2
SEATTLE 7 KANSAS CITY 5
WASHINGTON 7 MIAMI 4
PHILADELPHIA 7 ST. LOUIS 2
MILWAUKEE 7 SAN DIEGO 3
ARIZONA 10 CINCINNATI 8
ATLANTA 5 SAN FRANCISCO 1
****MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL****
INDIANAPOLIS 2 IOWA 1
SOUTH BEND 18 CEDAR RAPIDS 2
GREAT LAKES 6 FORT WAYNE 1
LOS ANGELES 83 ATLANTA 78
****MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER****
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
*****COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE*****
SATURDAY, AUG. 26
NOTRE DAME VS. NAVY (DUBLIN, IRELAND) | 2:30 P.M. | NBC
MERCER VS. NORTH ALABAMA (MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA) | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
JACKSONVILLE STATE VS. UTEP | 5:30 P.M. | CBSSN
NEW MEXICO STATE VS. UMASS | 7 P.M. | ESPN
SAN DIEGO STATE VS. OHIO | 7 P.M. | FS1
VANDERBILT VS. HAWAI’I | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
JACKSON STATE VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (ATLANTA, GEORGIA) | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
USC VS. SAN JOSE STATE | 8 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
LOUISIANA TECH VS. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL | 9 P.M. | CBSSN
THURSDAY, AUG. 31
WAKE FOREST VS. ELON | 7 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
UCF VS. KENT STATE | 7 P.M. | FS1
GEORGIA STATE VS. RHODE ISLAND | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
WESTERN MICHIGAN VS. ST. FRANCIS (PA) | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
UCONN VS. NC STATE | 7:30 P.M. | CBSSN
MINNESOTA VS. NEBRASKA | 8 P.M. | FOX
MISSOURI VS. SOUTH DAKOTA | 8 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
UTAH VS. FLORIDA | 8 P.M. | ESPN
TULSA VS. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
UAB VS. NORTH CAROLINA A&T | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
ARIZONA STATE VS. SOUTHERN UTAH | 10 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
FRIDAY, SEPT. 1
EASTERN MICHIGAN VS. HOWARD | 6:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MICHIGAN STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN | 7 P.M. | FS1
MIAMI (FLA.) VS. MIAMI (OHIO) | 7 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
GEORGIA TECH VS. LOUISVILLE (MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM IN ATLANTA) | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN
KANSAS VS. MISSOURI STATE | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
HAWAI’I VS. STANFORD | 11 P.M. | CBSSN
SATURDAY, SEPT. 2
IOWA VS. UTAH STATE | 12 P.M. | FS1
KENTUCKY VS. BALL STATE | 12 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
LIBERTY VS. BOWLING GREEN | 12 P.M. | CBSSN
MICHIGAN VS. EAST CAROLINA | 12 P.M. | PEACOCK
PURDUE VS. FRESNO STATE | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
SMU VS. LOUISIANA TECH | 12 P.M. | ESPNU
TENNESSEE VS. VIRGINIA (NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE) | 12 P.M. | ABC
TCU VS. COLORADO | 12 P.M. | FOX
BOSTON COLLEGE VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS | 12 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
OKLAHOMA VS. ARKANSAS STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN
OLE MISS VS. MERCER | 2 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
IOWA STATE VS. UNI | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
TEMPLE VS. AKRON | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
OHIO VS. LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
AIR FORCE VS. ROBERT MORRIS | 2 P.M. | ALTITUDE SPORTS
OREGON VS. PORTLAND STATE | 3 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
INDIANA VS. OHIO STATE | 3:30 P.M. | CBS
AUBURN VS. UMASS | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
MARYLAND VS. TOWSON | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
WISCONSIN VS. BUFFALO | 3:30 P.M. | FS1
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. SOUTH FLORIDA | 3:30 P.M. | CBSSN
WASHINGTON VS. BOISE STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ABC
NOTRE DAME VS. TENNESSEE STATE | 3:30 P.M. | NBC
PITT VS. WOFFORD | 3:30 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
CINCINNATI VS. EASTERN KENTUCKY | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
TEXAS VS. RICE | 3:30 P.M. | FOX
APPALACHIAN STATE VS. GARDNER-WEBB | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
ARKANSAS VS. WESTERN CAROLINA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. SE LOUISIANA | 4 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
NORTH TEXAS VS. CAL | 4 P.M. | ESPNU
SYRACUSE VS. COLGATE | 4 P.M. | ESPN+/ACCNX
GEORGIA VS. UT MARTIN | 6 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
CHARLOTTE VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
FLORIDA ATLANTIC VS. MONMOUTH | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
GEORGIA SOUTHERN VS. THE CITADEL | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
JAMES MADISON VS. BUCKNELL | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
MARSHALL VS. ALBANY | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL VS. MAINE | 6:30 P.M. | ESPN+
USC VS. NEVADA | 6:30 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
TEXAS A&M VS. NEW MEXICO | 7 P.M. | ESPN
UL MONROE VS. ARMY | 7 P.M. | NFL NETWORK
VANDERBILT VS. ALABAMA A&M | 7 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
COLORADO STATE VS. WASHINGTON STATE | 7 P.M. | CBSSN
BAYLOR VS. TEXAS STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
HOUSTON VS. UTSA | 7 P.M. | FS1
KANSAS STATE VS. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
OKLAHOMA STATE VS. CENTRAL ARKANSAS | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
MEMPHIS VS. BETHUNE-COOKMAN | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN MISS VS. ALCORN STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
TROY VS. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
ALABAMA VS. MIDDLE TENNESSEE | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
ILLINOIS VS. TOLEDO | 7:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
SOUTH CAROLINA VS. NORTH CAROLINA (CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA) | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
PENN STATE VS. WEST VIRGINIA | 7:30 P.M. | NBC
WYOMING VS. TEXAS TECH | 7:30 P.M. | CBS
LOUISIANA VS. NORTHWESTERN STATE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN+
VIRGINIA TECH VS. OLD DOMINION | 8 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
TULANE VS. SOUTH ALABAMA | 8 P.M. | ESPNU
NEW MEXICO STATE VS. WESTERN ILLINOIS | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
UTEP VS. UIW | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
ARIZONA VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA | 10 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
BYU VS. SAM HOUSTON | 10:15 P.M. | FS1
UCLA VS. COASTAL CAROLINA | 10:30 P.M. | ESPN
SAN DIEGO STATE VS. IDAHO STATE | 10:30 P.M. | CBSSN
SUNDAY, SEPT. 3
RUTGERS VS. NORTHWESTERN | 12 P.M. | CBS
SAN JOSE STATE VS. OREGON STATE | 3:30 P.M. | CBS
FLORIDA STATE VS. LSU (ORLANDO, FLORIDA) | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
MONDAY, SEPT. 4
DUKE VS. CLEMSON | 8 P.M. | ESPN
Major League Baseball
LOS ANGELES DODGERS — Optioned RHP Ryan Pepiot to Oklahoma City (PCL).
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS — Reinstated INF Nolan Gorman from the 10-day IL. Optioned INF Jose Fermin to Memphis (IL). Placed RHP Drew VerHagen on the bereavement list. Recalled RHP Guillermo Zuniga from Memphis.
National Football League
ARIZONA CARDINALS — Signed OL Cohl Cabral.
CINCINNATI BENGALS — Waived DE Tarell Basham.
HOUSTON TEXANS — Signed P Ty Zentner. Released CB Darius Phillips. Waived T Jacky Chen.
MIAMI DOLPHINS — Signed DL Jamal Woods to a two-year contract.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS — Waived T Chim Okorafor. Signed CB Jameson Houston.
NEW YORK JETS — Released DB Dane Cruikshank.
National Hockey League
ARIZONA COYOTES — Agreed to terms with assistant coach John Madden on a multi-year contract extension.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS — Signed C Jay O’ Brien to a one-year contract.
TOP NATIONAL NEWS HEADLINES/PRESS RELEASES
***CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Bryce Young certainly looks ready for the regular season as a passer.
His sliding? Well, that could use some help.
The No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft completed 7 of 12 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown in his final tuneup for Week 1, but the Carolina Panthers lost 26-17 to the Detroit Lions on Friday night.
Young looked sharp leading scoring drives on his only two possessions, the second culminating in his first TD pass – a 16-yard strike to veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen giving Carolina a 10-0 lead. The heady 22-year-old rookie from Alabama also showed superior pocket awareness, scrambling three times for 21 yards and two first downs.
But one of his runs ended awkwardly with Young essentially squatting down on the turf rather than sliding to avoid an approaching defender.
“I never played baseball so I never really learned that,” said an embarrassed Young. “But yeah, a lot of room for improvement. I can’t disagree with that.”
Panthers coach Frank Reich said the team needs to work with Young on his sliding so that he doesn’t expose himself to injury. However, he likes what he saw in Young’s ability to sense pressure and make plays.
“He has that instinct, right?” Reich said. “He has that in him. He has that make-you-miss quality even when a guy has him dead to rights. We’ve seen little snippets of that in practice. He has that stop-start hesitation move that is hard to figure out.”
Young led a 14-play, 52-yard drive to open the game, resulting in a 41-yard field goal by Eddy Pineiro. A pass interference penalty on the Lions extended Carolina’s second drive. Young took advantage when he found Thielen, who beat third-string nickelback Will Harris near the left sideline for the score.
Thielen finished with four catches for 48 yards after shaking off an early back injury.
Young credited his coaches and teammates for helping get him ready to start the season opener Sept. 10 season at Atlanta.
“Obviously I haven’t played in a regular season game before and it will present challenges I haven’t faced yet but I’m excited for that,” Young said.
The Lions rested starting quarterback Jared Goff.
Former Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater proved more than capable under center, leading four scoring drives for Detroit (2-1) in the first half. He finished 13 of 22 for 178 yards, including a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass to rookie Antoine Green in the closing seconds of the first half.
“He’ll only get better the more he’s able to be around our system,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “It was good to see. He was at a good spot, he was in a flow, he had great command of the offense and it’s just about being on time and on task under our system. I thought that he made some good throws.”
Green, the team’s seventh-round pick from North Carolina, finished with three catches for 97 yards.
“That catch that he had where he ran through the dagger for the touchdown was big and that was a hell of a throw by Teddy,” Campbell said. “It was encouraging. It was what we needed to see.”
Craig Reynolds ran for 41 yards and a 5-yard touchdown as the Lions built a 20-10 halftime lead. Rookie cornerback Steven Gilmore returned a Jake Luton interception for a touchdown with 3:01 left to seal the win.
Andy Dalton made his preseason debut for the Panthers (0-3) after being sidelined with a back injury. He finished 6 of 11 for 60 yards and an interception in the end zone.
Panthers running back Miles Sanders missed his third straight preseason game while recovering from a groin injury, but is expected to be ready for Week 1. … The announced “feels like” temperature for the game at kickoff was 104 degrees. … The Panthers and Lions meet again Oct. 8 in Detroit.
Lions backup quarterback Nate Sudfield suffered a hyperextended knee when he was shoved out of bounds in the third quarter while rolling out of the pocket on a third-down pass play. He slowly walked off the field after the play, then was carted to the locker room. He will reevaluated on Saturday.
Lions: Open regular season at Kansas City on Sept. 7.
Panthers: Open regular season at Atlanta on Sept 10.
****NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mike Vrabel wants to see his Tennessee Titans start faster, especially now that the preseason is over.
The Titans coach does like how one of his young quarterbacks shook off a rough start.
Malik Willis passed for 211 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Titans to a 23-7 victory Friday night over the New England Patriots in the teams’ preseason finale.
“Love the way that he competed,” Vrabel said of Willis shaking off a pair of interceptions. “Loved it. And, you know, got to eliminate the mistakes.”
Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill started and handed off three times in his lone action this preseason before putting on a ballcap for the rest of the night.
Bailey Zappe started at quarterback as New England (1-2) rested many of its starters. The Patriots managed just 79 yards total offense.
“Obviously, we got a chance to look at a lot of guys here tonight,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
Tennessee (2-1) had six sacks and forced a turnover. Most of the Titans’ starters played the first quarter.
With rookie Will Levis missing a second straight game with an injured left thigh, Willis made his case to back up Tannehill again this season.
The 86th pick in the 2022 draft struggled in the first quarter, going 1 of 5 for 22 yards. He also threw a pass that went behind tight end Josh Whyle and off the rookie’s hands to Patriots linebacker Calvin Munson late in the quarter. Vrabel said protection kind of dictated that throw.
Willis flipped a switch in the second, completing all eight of his passes for 115 yards and a 12-yard TD pass to Julius Chestnut just before halftime. That capped a 90-yard drive for a 13-7 halftime lead. He tossed a 26-yard TD pass to undrafted rookie receiver Kearis Jackson early in the fourth.
He actually didn’t have a pass hit the ground after the first quarter. Midway through the third, Willis threw to a wide-open Patriots linebacker Joe Giles-Harris for the Titans quarterback’s second interception of the game.
Willis also showed more patience, running only eight times for 17 yards. The quarterback said his biggest growth from his rookie season has been not taking weeks and months to correct an issue.
Now Willis said he’s able to take “a few moments and understand what’s trying to get put towards me and how can I fix it.”
These teams had been scheduled to practice together Tuesday and Wednesday until Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden was carted off the field in Green Bay last weekend. New England alerted the Titans that night that plans had changed, with the Patriots returning home for a couple practices.
The temperature was 92 degrees at kickoff with the temperature feeling around 105. Zappe, who’s from Texas, said he was pretty used to the heat. He was 8 of 15 for 57 yards and sacked four times.
“I made a joke when I got off the bus that this is real weather,” Zappe said. “Some of you northerners, I’m sure y’all don’t like it, but I was fine with it.”
Three-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, three-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry, two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and linemate Teair Tart all warmed up. Then they came out for kickoff without pads and watched from the Tennessee sideline.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones dressed but did not play. Zappe came back in the third quarter. Rookie Malik Cunningham got in late and was incomplete on both pass attempts. He ran once for 5 yards and played 19 snaps at wide receiver.
WATCH THE KICKERS
Chad Ryland, the Patriots’ fourth-round pick out of Maryland, hit the crossbar on a kickoff to show off his strong leg as he pushes veteran Nick Folk for the kicker’s job.
Michael Badgley, who signed and practiced with Tennessee for the first time Tuesday, didn’t help his case to make the final roster. He made a 44-yard field goal that banked in off the left upright while also making two more from 27 and 33 yards. But Badgley also hooked a 39-yard field goal wide left.
Titans starting right guard Daniel Brunskill went to the locker room with a knee injury. Riley Reiff, who started at right guard for New England, also left with an right leg injury.
Whyle went to the locker room in the fourth quarter with an injured ankle.
Patriots host Philadelphia on Sept. 10 to open the season.
Titans open season Sept. 10 visiting New Orleans.
****SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Brock Purdy ran for a 5-yard touchdown during a brief tune-up for the season opener for San Francisco before the Los Angeles Chargers backups beat the 49ers 23-12 in the exhibition finale on Friday night.
The teams took different approaches in the final preseason game with San Francisco (1-2) playing Purdy and several other starters for two drives, while the Chargers (2-1) used almost exclusively second and third-string players.
“We’re ready to get this thing rolling,” Purdy said.
The game took place only a few hours after the Niners traded former quarterback of the future Trey Lance to Dallas for a fourth-round draft pick.
Lance became expendable less than three years after San Francisco traded three first-round picks to draft him third overall because of the emergence of Purdy.
“Obviously we took our shot, and it didn’t work,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “That’s on us for that. I’m not going to say anything was a failure. That’d be too much of a negative towards Trey. I get our deal. We took a shot to go for that. We were hoping that he could be our guy, and that didn’t work out. I understand that from our standpoint, but I still do believe in Trey.”
Purdy won the job after Lance got hurt last season and appears ready to build on a strong rookie campaign. He moved the offense easily on his two drives with the first ending when Jordan Mason lost a fumble at the goal line and the second ending with his TD run. Purdy went 5 for 9 for 73 yards.
Sam Darnold, who beat out Lance for the backup job, struggled to get the Niners offense moving in his first three drives but ended the night by throwing a 6-yard TD pass to Willie Snead.
Brandon Allen, who is now in line to be the third-stringer if San Francisco keeps three quarterbacks, threw an interception on his first pass of the game.
The Chargers have been searching for options at running back behind starter Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley made a good case for it with a 75-yard run touchdown in the first quarter.
Backup quarterback Easton Stick also led a field-goal drive in the first half. Stick finished 9 for 11 for 38 yards.
Third-string QB Max Duggan threw a 3-yard pass to Hunter Kampmoyer.
“To win a game on the road against a quality team, a team that started their starters in the game was a huge confidence boost for our guys,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said.
Chargers: DL Christian Okoye injured his elbow in the second half but returned to the game.
49ers: Third-round rookie K Jake Moody didn’t play after straining his right quadriceps in practice this week. He is day to day. Zane Gonzalez was expected to play but hurt his calf during pregame warmups and was scratched. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky missed an extra point. … WR Chris Conley (shoulder), DB A.J. Parker (hamstring) and S Taylor Hawkins (hand) left the game with injuries.
Chargers: Host Miami in season opener Sept. 10.
49ers: Open the season on Sept. 10 at Pittsburgh.
******SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers have traded quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys less than three years after trading three first-round picks to draft him.
A person familiar with the situation said the Cowboys will send a fourth-round pick to San Francisco for a player drafted third overall in 2021. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms have not been announced.
“Really hard day,” general manager John Lynch said on the team’s preseason broadcast on KPIX during Friday night’s exhibition finale. “Such a wonderful young man. We took a shot and it didn’t work out. We own that. We take accountability for it. I think his story is very much unwritten. I’m excited for Trey. Dallas stepped up and really wanted him and they came after him. I think it will be a great landing spot for him.”
ESPN first reported the trade.
Lance had lost the competition to Sam Darnold to be the backup to Brock Purdy in San Francisco earlier in the week, setting the stage for his departure.
The move is a remarkable backtrack following the hefty investment the Niners made in hopes of Lance becoming a franchise quarterback.
San Francisco traded three first-round picks and a third-rounder to Miami in 2021 to move up from No. 12 and draft the untested Lance third overall.
Lance started only 17 games at FCS-level North Dakota State before the Niners drafted him, and he never got much of a chance to gain the experience he needed in the NFL.
He spent his rookie season backing up Jimmy Garoppolo, starting just two games as an injury replacement and being hampered by a finger injury on his throwing hand.
Lance was handed the starting job last season, but that lasted less than five quarters as he broke his ankle early in Week 2 and was sidelined for the rest of the season.
Purdy, taken with the last draft pick in 2022, came on late in the season and won his first seven starts to take over the starting role headed into this season.
San Francisco signed Darnold in free agency after he flamed out with the Jets and Carolina after also being drafted third overall in 2018 by New York. Darnold ended up doing enough in practices and the first two preseason games to beat out Lance.
Lance has completed 56 of 102 passes in his brief NFL career for 797 yards, five TDs, three interceptions and an 84.5 passer rating. He also has rushed for 235 yards and one TD on 54 carries.
“I can tell everybody it wasn’t for a lack of effort on Trey’s part or on our part,” Lynch said. “Circumstances took hold and he struggled through injuries. This team is ready to win. We like our quarterback room. We like Brock Purdy a lot, we like Sam Darnold and we like Brandon Allen. We wish Trey all the best in Dallas and we’ll always care about that young man and admire his work ethic and the person that he is.”
Lance’s four starts will be the fewest for any quarterback taken in the top five of the draft in the common draft era for the team he made his debut. Jack Thompson had the previous low after starting five games for Cincinnati after being taken third overall in 1979.
The Cowboys now get a look at Lance, who is owed $940,000 this year and is guaranteed $5.3 million next season in the final year of his rookie deal.
Cooper Rush has been the backup most of Dak Prescott’s career in Dallas, including last season when he went 4-1 filling in after Prescott broke his thumb in the opener.
The trade appears to be the end of the line for Will Grier, who has been the third-stringer the past two seasons without appearing in a game.
***Defensive tackle Jamal Woods signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins on Friday.
Terms were not disclosed, but KPRC2 reported Woods inked a two-year deal on the heels of a successful workout with the team.
Woods, 24, was signed by Indianapolis on May 8 as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois. He was waived by the Colts on Aug. 1.
Woods recorded 78 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 49 career games with the Fighting Illini.
****NFC SOUTH PREVIEW
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
*This is it for Todd Bowles. He’s been a terrific defensive coordinator. By all accounts, he’s a good guy. But as a head coach he’s been less than successful. A brief 10-6 burst with the Jets back in 2015 was promising, but that fell apart quickly. It was easy enough to excuse because…well, because it was the Jets organization. But last year began his second chance and it took a bad division to cover up a bad team. Yes, Brady was obviously fading. But just as obviously, the fading version of Tom Brady was still better than half the quarterbacks in the league and he stole a couple of games other QBs would have lost. Bowles has to at least show some signs of progress this year.
*To that end, Tampa Bay has a great group of receivers, starting with Mike Evans, who is quietly putting together a Hall of Fame resume. The defense will have a healthy Shaq Barrett, the Bucs used a first-round pick on pass-rusher Calijah Kancey, and Bowles’ defensive specialty remained a strength last year anyway. So, speaking of last chances, this is likely the last shot for Baker Mayfield to prove he can make something happen at quarterback. He’s got the pieces around him. Together, he and Bowles have to show they can win.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
*In a division rife with mediocrity and change, the Saints come the closest to having some stability. They’re bringing in a veteran quarterback in Derek Carr. Moreover, Carr has worked with head coach Dennis Allen, when they were both with the Raiders. Granted, that was back in 2014, but any familiarity has to help when the competitive bar is this low. Carr has Michael Thomas and Chris Olave to throw to. Alvin Kamara is expected to return to his role as more of an all-purpose back, rather than being mismatched as the lead back. Kamara will be suspended for the first three games due to legal issues. But in our era of 17 regular season games and 14 teams in the playoffs, that’s a drop in the bucket. Heck, it might even leave him fresher for the stretch drive.
*The defense was the strength of the team last year, ranking ninth in points allowed, and New Orleans invested more on that side of the ball in the draft. They grabbed Bryan Breese, the latest in an assembly line of defensive line talent that Clemson keeps churning out. And the Saints also picked Isaiah Foskey, an end from Notre Dame. The Saints were only one crushing prime-time loss in Tampa Bay from winning the division last year. There’s no reason to think they’ll be any worse. It’s just a question if anyone else can get better.
*Speaking of teams that can get better. The Falcons look like a team with a big upside. I love the draft pick of running back Bjan Robinson. The offensive line is stable. The front office went out and spent some money to upgrade a defense that was 23rd in the league a year ago. I particularly like bringing in Calais Campell. The great defensive end might be on his last legs, but he brings experience and leadership to a unit that needs it. It might take some time for new coordinator Ryan Nielsen to put all the pieces in place, but the possibility for Atlanta to have a good defense and strong running game is real.
*It all comes down to quarterback play and that’s what makes Desmond Ridder the most interesting player in the league this year. Ridder led the Cincinnati Bearcats to the College Football Playoff in 2021, and spent last year learning as an NFL rookie. He’s expected to get the job over Marcus Mariota this season. If Ridder is ready, there’s no reason the Falcons shouldn’t win this division and rise as high as the 2-seed in the NFC. If Ridder is not ready…well, there’s no reason to expect any better than last year’s 7-10.
*The Panthers made the big move on draft day, trading up to get the first pick overall and get Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. I love the situation Carolina has put together with their quarterbacks. They have Andy Dalton on hand as the veteran stopgap. If this division doesn’t get any better, there’s no reason Carolina couldn’t steal it with Dalton if Young still needs more time. The head coach is Frank Reich, the ideal mentor a young QB. Adam Thielen is the ideal receiver for a rookie, a veteran who can get open short. It wasn’t ideal to have deal D.J. Moore to Chicago to get the pick, but you can’t have everything. Young has been put in a good position to succeed for the long haul, and the franchise is in good position to at least be respectable in the short-term.
*The defense has possibilities. They have the disruptor you need in pass rusher Brian Burns, a player the Panthers were unwilling to part with in the draft day trade talks with Chicago. It’s hard to get a read on the rest of the defense—they ranked 19th a year ago, so it’s tough to be too optimistic. But they aren’t a bad unit either. If Burns has a Defensive Player of the Year type of season, the Panthers could get very interesting.
*****JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS PREVIEW
What to Know: Offense
The biggest storyline is Trevor Lawrence. We all know what happened in Year 1 for Trevor.
Then, Doug Pederson came in for Year 2, and Lawrence made a quantum leap in all the major statistical categories. He went from a 59 percent completion rate to 66. He threw 25 touchdowns with only eight interceptions, compared to his rookie season when he had 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Lawrence added 4,113 passing yards and five rushing touchdowns, too.
I expect Lawrence to make another huge leap in Year 2 in Pederson’s offense. He’s not even close to his ceiling. This is a super-talented guy. He’s got a great arm.
His supporting cast has a ton of talent. TE Evan Engram just resigned. WR Calvin Ridley is going to be in the mix with receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. Plus, they have Travis Etienne in the backfield. This season, Lawrence will take another leap, maybe 5,000 yards passing, 32 touchdowns with single-digit interceptions.
What to Know: Defense
He was the No. 1 overall pick in 2022, and many people said this was a stretch. But if you looked at LB Travon Walker when he was at the University of Georgia, saw the metrics, the skill set and his 6-foot-5, 275 frame, and it starts to make sense. Walker can run like a deer, come off the edge, set the edge in the run game and rush the quarterback.
He didn’t have the season everybody expected him to have in 2022: 3.5 sacks and only 10 quarterback hits. This kid has gone to work. He’s probably going to be in the best shape of his life. He’s added some new tricks and some new moves to his toolbox when rushing the passer.
He did a phenomenal job as a rookie vs. the run. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell is in his second season. Caldwell will find ways to get Walker some favorable pass-rush matchups.
On the other end, Josh Allen should take up many of the offensive protection issues. So Walker is the storyline on defense for this team. If they’re going to be good on defense, they need Walker to get to the quarterback.
Biggest Off-Field Storyline
The Jaguars have a great quarterback with Lawrence, and the way you protect a great quarterback is by locking down his blindside. But LT Cam Robinson will not be available for the first four games because he’s suspended for a PED violation.
In comes Walker Little. He started eight games in Robinson’s absence during the last couple of years. He’s 6-foot-7 and a little more than 300 pounds. He’s a bright kid who went to Stanford. Look out, he may throw a book at you. The biggest thing is how Walker will perform, especially early in the year when Robinson is out. Walker will have to protect the franchise quarterback’s blindside.
Breakout Player Prediction
Calvin Ridley. You pull up YouTube, watch the NFL Network, whatever you want, and look at this guy’s highlights from training camp. He looks like the Road Runner.
It looks like everybody else is in slow motion, and Ridley is moving at 1,000 miles per hour. In 2020, he had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns — a phenomenal season. In 2021, he was banged up, had to leave the field for personal issues and was suspended in 2022.
Now, he’s got a fresh start with Pederson and company. I expect Ridley to have a huge year for the Jaguars because a lot of attention will go to those other dudes (Kirk, Jones, Engram). Ridley has to have a huge chip on his shoulder, so he will come out swinging. Look for Ridley to have a phenomenal year for Jacksonville.
Move Jaguars Should Make
They should look to add some players who can get to the quarterback. They lost LB Arden Key in free agency. Last season, Allen had seven sacks, and Walker had only 3.5.
This team was 27th in the league in sacks, with only 35. The Philadelphia Eagles, who finished first or second in the league in most major defensive categories, had 70 sacks.
So if I’m Jacksonville, I’m starting to kick the tires on some of these edge rushers still out there and see if I can improve. They could bring in Jadeveon Clowney or Melvin Ingram. Bring those guys in for a workout to see where they’re at.
They could wait till the final cut down, too. Another team might release a player who played their tail off in the preseason. The Jaguars just need to try to find a player to help that pass rush.
2023 Season Expectations
Just look at the AFC South. This team came out of nowhere after a rough start in the first half of the season. They won the games they needed to, made the playoffs, won the South and went 9-8 in 2022. They came back from down 27 points at halftime to win in the wild-card round, beating a really good Chargers team.
There is a ton of momentum down in Jacksonville right now. The Jaguars should win the AFC South and get back to the playoffs again. This is a talented, talented roster.
Pederson’s a Super Bowl-winning coach, and he’s making magic right now. They’re buying into everything he’s saying. I’d hate to see this team in the playoffs if I was an opposing coach.
****EXPLAINING THE NFL’S FINAL ROSTER CUT PROCESS
For an NFL general manager and his staff, the last week of preseason games leading up to the formation of the opening-day roster is a hectic time.
Colloquially known as the “cut to 53” or “final cut,” it consists of a number of different personnel decisions dictated by somewhat complicated rules. The final cut occurs on Aug. 29 at noon ET. At that time, a club must reduce its active roster to 53 players. Teams do this by cutting players from the existing 90-man roster and placing certain qualified players on various restricted lists.
Without putting you through a graduate class on NFL roster management, we’ll highlight the most important definitions and restricted lists as they apply to this process.
Roster Cutdown Explained
There are two categories of players on every roster who have different rights under the collective bargaining agreement.
A vested veteran is a player with four or more years of NFL service. When a team cuts a vested veteran prior to the trading deadline in the regular season, he’s not subject to the waiver system. He becomes a free agent.
A player with fewer than four years of service, when cut at any time, is subject to the waiver system. This means any other team in the league could claim him. There is a claiming priority, which up until Week 3 of the regular season, is based on the previous year’s record.
It directly mirrors the order of the previous year’s draft. The team with the worst record has priority on any waived players, followed in reverse order of won-loss record by all others, with the Super Bowl champions last.
In short, if released at the final cut, vested veterans are free agents. All others are subject to waiver claims.
Using Restricted Lists
There are two major restricted lists and both significantly impact the strategy of the cutdown.
The first is Physically Unable to Perform, commonly referred to as PUP. A player who sustained a football-related injury before training camp and was placed on active PUP may be activated at any time during camp.
If he is not ready to go at the cut to 53, he could be placed on Reserve PUP. He will not count against the 53-man roster limit but is ineligible to be activated to practice or play for four regular-season games. PUP players are not subject to waiver claims.
Using Injured Reserve
The second major category of restricted lists is injured reserve. A player with a major injury who will not be ready to play at the cut to 53 can be placed on injured reserve and does not count against the active roster (i.e., the final 53).
If placed on injured reserve before the cut to 53, that player is ineligible to practice or play for the entire season, including playoffs. If that same player is placed on the active roster on cutdown day and remains in that status for 24 hours, he can subsequently be placed on IR. At that time, he will not count against the 53-man roster. In this status, he is not eligible to practice or play for four regular-season games.
There are arcane rules that apply to practice for PUP and IR players with which I won’t confuse you. The important thing to remember is an injured player placed on the active list for 24 hours at the cut to 53 is eligible to come back to the active roster after four regular-season games. A club may activate players from injured reserve eight times during the season. This effectively creates a 61-man roster for three-quarters of the regular season.
Getting Ready for Cutdown Day
With our class in various restricted categories complete, let’s look at the task the general manager and his staff must face before actually getting to cutdown day.
The waiver and trade market surrounding the cut to 53 presents the last real opportunity for a club to upgrade multiple spots on its roster and teams must (and do) take advantage.
The first order of business is for the general manager and head coach to meet with the medical staff and get a final reading on the readiness of PUP and injured players. Because of roster limitations, an injured player who will not be back for a significant amount of time, but is valuable to the team, must be placed on the active roster at the cut to 53 and stay there for 24 hours before being placed on the IR list. He is then eligible to return for the regular season.
Because medicine isn’t an exact science, clubs always err on the side of caution when it comes to significant contributors. They carry the player down in order to have him available when healthy later in the season.
Handling Vested Veterans
The next task is to identify the vested veterans who are not subject to waiver claims. A club will often terminate such a player with the understanding he will be signed a day later when the carried-down injured players are placed on IR. Veterans who are happy with their situation are often willing to do this in return for a modest signing bonus in their new contract.
Vested veterans who are on the roster for the opening game have their contracts fully guaranteed for that season. As a result, many vested veteran backups are terminated at the cut to 53 with the understanding they will be re-signed by their club the day following the first game of the regular season when their contracts are not fully guaranteed.
Hall of Fame executive Bill Parcells liked to call this “sending the player to Tidewater.” This was a reference to the New York Mets optioning a player to their Triple-A affiliate for a brief time and then recalling him.
Developing the Claim Board
While the general manager and head coach are engaged in these roster management discussions, the pro scouting staff is putting the final touches on the Claim Board. They have evaluated every player likely to be cut and placed them on the board by position in order of priority as they fit for their team.
Clubs I was with used a color-based system to differentiate players for whom we would trade as opposed to those whom we would simply claim. We shared this board with the head coach and owner but no one else — loose lips sink ships. The claiming period is competitive.
Depending on where your club stands in the claim priority, your focus differs. If you are high in the claiming order, you concentrate on using claims to upgrade. Whereas, if you are in the middle or lower, a trade to fill a key need could be necessary.
If you are a playoff team and at the bottom of the claim priority, your assistant general manager has probably been working the trade market hard since helpful players cut by others are not likely to get to you.
During the week preceding the last preseason game, our head coach would join the pro scouting staff and me to discuss potential trades and possible claims that could help us upgrade. We wanted him to focus on specific position upgrades or injury replacements without having to worry about the total roster picture.
Final Staff Meeting
That brings us to the gathering that gets all the fanfare: the final staff meeting to cut the squad. In attendance are the head coach and his staff, the general manager, the assistant general manager and personnel director, the head athletic trainer and at least one of the doctors.
There’s always media noise about “who has the final say?” In my experience, this is always a collaboration between the head coach and general manager.
The conclave begins with the position coaches ranking their players in priority order.
In the Real World
Let me give you an example from our Indianapolis Colts teams. At running back, we would list Edgerrin James and Dominic Rhodes as No. 1 and No. 2. James Mungro was a solid No. 3. There was no argument there. We did not carry a fullback. He was replaced by third tight end Ben Hartsock.
The running back and special teams coaches wanted to carry a fourth running back who was a contributor on special teams. Doing that would have necessitated cutting a promising young player at another position. That player could possibly have been lost on waivers.
It was a tough decision.
Coach Tony Dungy favored keeping the special-teams contributor. We were a legitimate Super Bowl contender, so I went along knowing we might regret losing a promising player via waiver claim. If you are a contender, winning now is all that counts. My contract gave me “the final say,” but I had too much respect for Dungy and our shared goals to go against his wishes.
If you are the general manager of a rebuilding team, you would try much harder to convince the coach not to risk losing a promising young player in order to keep a veteran backup. In that situation, the general manager would likely prevail one way or the other.
On every team, there are 35 to 40 players who form the core. The first order of business is to identify from among the remaining players those who have no future with your club. There is usually little disagreement about these players.
The next discussion would be on those players who would form our 16-man practice squad. There were usually 20 or so players identified in this group as coaches have a hard time separating prospects. In addition, you need specified position fillers to practice efficiently.
For example, if you keep eight offensive linemen on the 53, you need at least two more on the practice squad for efficiency. Teams must waive all of these players, the personnel staff needs to be nimble and flexible because other clubs could claim them.
Putting Veterans on the Markets
The most difficult discussion revolves around veterans you must expose to waivers in order to keep promising rookies who might be claimed. Early in my career, I was party to cut meetings that were emotional and contentious. Position coaches understandably do not want to risk losing trusted veterans in order to keep a rookie they didn’t know well.
Additionally, the special teams coach always has a key veteran non-specialist or two that he does not want to lose. These decisions are more difficult if you are up against the salary cap. I learned early from coach Marv Levy with the Buffalo Bills to make money decisions on veterans in February and not in September when it can impact morale.
Experience taught me to handle hard decisions in advance.
Dungy and I would meet every night in camp to check on any issues that might have cropped up. I’d later do the same with Dungy’s successor, Jim Caldwell. If either of us saw a veteran vs. rookie battle looming, we would share perspectives and explore alternatives. If necessary, we would bring the position coach and coordinator into the discussion long before the final cut to smooth the process.
Often, we found a way to keep both players. If a tough decision could not be avoided, at least all concerned had their say, which helped calm the waters.
Looking for More
The final task was to identify positions where we would try to upgrade. Since this is an uncertain business, the coaches offered their thoughts on where upgrades were needed but left the rest to the personnel department. Following this meeting, the personnel staff and head coach met with all the players who were going to be exposed to waivers but whom we wished to keep in some capacity.
Veterans who were exposed by teams went first. I talked with their agents and to them personally. We told practice squad candidates their status and advised them to stay in town until we had clarity on waivers. Players clear waivers at noon ET the following day.
At this point, everyone took a deep breath. After a short break, the personnel department would begin a final run-through of the Claim Board. The general manager and his assistants continue trade talks, and everyone anxiously awaits the news on those players who other clubs release.
The next day, the league office calls with the names of players your club released who have been claimed and those claims you have made that have been awarded to you. The personnel department notifies all concerned and begins the process of onboarding new players ASAP.
Much has been written, said and depicted in the “Hard Knocks” TV series about how players are informed of their release. We will cover that process in depth in next week’s article.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
***Atlantic Coast Conference athletic directors held a video call to discuss — again — the possibility of adding California, Stanford and SMU to the league and what to do with the extra revenue that could come with expansion.
The ACC’s university presidents and chancellors have the final say on expansion and the full board was not involved in Thursday night’s talks. As of Friday morning, the next formal meeting of ACC leadership had not been scheduled.
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips has been searching for ways to create more revenue for a conference that is locked into a media rights contract with ESPN that runs through 2036 and leaves its members in danger of falling way behind Big Ten and Southeastern Conference schools.
Florida State leaders have gone so far as to say if nothing changes they would be forced to try to find a way out of the conference, though breaking contracts with the ACC could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
If the ACC adds schools, ESPN is obligated to increase its total annual payout to the conference to cover an equal annual share for each new member, estimated to be about $30 million per year. Any new members would likely take a reduced rate upon entry — possibly drastically reduced — and the incumbent members would share the rest.
Stanford and California are desperate to find a landing spot for next year with the Pac-12 down to four schools. Eight Pac-12 members have already announced this will be their final seasons in the league.
SMU, the Dallas private school in the American Athletic Conference, has informed the ACC it would be willing to forgo any distribution payment for several years if invited to join, a person with direct knowledge of the school’s plans told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because SMU is not making its strategy public.
At issue in the ACC is how that money will be distributed, according to multiple people who have been involved in the discussions, all speaking to AP on condition of anonymity to share private internal discussions.
With Florida State, Clemson, Miami and North Carolina leading the push, ACC leaders earlier this year agreed to a “ success incentive initiative” that would allow schools to earn more of the money generated from their own postseason performances in football and men’s basketball, plus other potential bonuses.
The amount of expansion-generated revenue that goes toward the incentive initiative as opposed to being distributed equally among members is a key issue that could determine whether Phillips can get the required 12 of the 15 schools to approve adding new members, a person briefed on the ACC’s talks told AP.
Two weeks ago, ACC presidents declined to hold a formal vote on expansion, knowing it would have likely failed, with at least Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and North Carolina State not supporting the plan.
***DUBLIN (AP) — The Irish are a generous bunch. Now they’re giving away street names.
Notre Dame can have that effect on a city.
The Fighting Irish are in Dublin and headlining a college football game against longtime rival Navy. They’ve played here twice before but this time they’re going bigger.
Notre Dame has brought more than 30,000 fans, with at least one U.S. Supreme Court justice expected to be among them. There are business and academic summits, a pep rally at a concert venue Friday night. A Catholic Mass on Saturday is expected to draw 5,000 to Dublin Castle.
DUBLIN (AP) — The Irish are a generous bunch. Now they’re giving away street names.
Notre Dame can have that effect on a city.
The Fighting Irish are in Dublin and headlining a college football game against longtime rival Navy. They’ve played here twice before but this time they’re going bigger.
Notre Dame has brought more than 30,000 fans, with at least one U.S. Supreme Court justice expected to be among them. There are business and academic summits, a pep rally at a concert venue Friday night. A Catholic Mass on Saturday is expected to draw 5,000 to Dublin Castle.
***The Big 12 Conference is bigger than ever before with 14 schools spread across eight states, and those numbers will increase next year.
Newcomers UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU bring huge student bodies into the Big 12. And more miles to travel.
A by-the-numbers look at the newfangled Big 12 going into the 2023 season, the last before Texas and Oklahoma leave for the Southeastern Conference, and at the same time four teams that are now in the Pac-12 come into the league:
UCF has the largest enrollment among the Big 12 schools with 59,996 undergraduate students, according to the most recent figures (fall 2021) available on the data website for the U.S. Education Department. Texas’ enrollment of 40,916 ranked second.
All four newcomers were already among the six largest enrollments in the conference. Houston was third at 38,581, ahead of continuing member Texas Tech’s 33,132 undergrad students. BYU showed an enrollment of 31,642 and Cincinnati had 28,968 on its main campus to rank sixth among the 14 schools.
TCU, with the smallest enrollment at 10,222, made the College Football Playoff national championship game last season. The men’s basketball team then made the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the baseball team went to the College World Series.
Newcomer BYU will have the farthest flight for a Big 12 conference game this year, more than 1,600 air miles to play Thanksgiving weekend at West Virginia, which before the new additions was the league’s geographic outcast. A drive between those two campuses would take about 28 hours, seven times longer than it takes to fly.
West Virginia and UCF both have to fly more than 1,000 miles for four of their five away games this season. But the Mountaineers only have to go about 680 air miles for its game at UCF on Oct. 28, which is shorter than how far the Knights have to go for their game at Cincinnati.
For the league’s other 12 teams, there are only a combined five trips with flights further than 1,000 miles. That includes BYU’s trip to West Virginia.
The league’s longest potential trip is about 1,900 air miles between BYU and UCF, though the newcomers don’t play each other this season.
SOME OTHER NUMBERS
3: Time zones where the Big 12 has schools (Eastern, Central and Mountain).
5: Heisman Trophy winners in the Big 12 era for current league teams: Texas RB Ricky Williams (1998); Oklahoma QBs Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008), Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018); and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III (2011). Nebraska’s Eric Crouch won in 2001 when the Cornhuskers were still in the Big 12.
6: Different schools that have appeared in the Big 12 championship game the past three years (Iowa State vs. Oklahoma; Baylor vs. Oklahoma State; and Kansas State vs. TCU).
9: Number of conference games each team plays, same as when it was a 10-team league with a round-robin schedule. There are four conference foes that each team won’t play this season.
16(asterisk): Schools that will be in the league next summer when Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are set to join as Oklahoma and Texas depart. That will have the league spread over 10 states. (Of course, there is an asterisk, just in case there are any more unexpected realignment moves).
17: Big 12 championships Oklahoma has won or shared (out of the league’s 27 seasons so far).
19: Seasons that Mike Gundy has been the head coach at Oklahoma State, his alma mater, making him the Big 12’s longest-tenured coach.
95: Career TD passes by Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel, who threw for 3,168 yards and 25 TDs last season after transferring from UCF. Gabriel had 8,037 yards and 70 TDs passing in his three seasons with the Knights, who play at Oklahoma on Oct. 21.
803: Number of pass blocking plays Kansas State left guard Cooper Beebe, a member of The Associated Press preseason All-America team, has played since 2020 without allowing a sack, according to Pro Football Focus.
1996: First Big 12 season, after the Big Eight Conference merged with four Texas teams from the old Southwest Conference.
2010: Final Big 12 season for Nebraska (to Big Ten) and Colorado (to Pac-12), dropping the league to 10 schools.
2011: Final Big 12 season for Texas A&M and Missouri before they went to the SEC.
2012: First Big 12 season for TCU and West Virginia.
****BIG 10 PREVIEW
Michigan – Avoid slipping en route to title game
After back-to-back appearances in the College Football Playoff, vibes are high within the Michigan football program. Despite all the NFL talent the Wolverines have fielded over the past few seasons, the 2023 roster might give Jim Harbaugh his best chance at finally breaking through and getting to the national title game.
The offense is absolutely loaded, with J.J. McCarthy back at quarterback and the dynamic duo of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards returning in the backfield. Add three starters from one of the best offensive lines in the country, and it will be a shock if the Wolverines aren’t one of the best attacks in college football.
The defense returns a number of star players from both the linebacking unit and the secondary, with lockdown cornerback Will Johnson garnering headlines as a potential Bednarik Award candidate.
So where are the potential landmines for Michigan this year? Back-to-back road games at Nebraska and Minnesota can be tricky, but the talent gap alone should be enough for the Wolverines to claim both those games. The stretch that should worry the Michigan faithful comes at the end of the year, with back-to-back trips to Penn State and Maryland before the finale at home versus Ohio State.
Ohio State – The next star QB to emerge
Ohio State faced a weird reality the past two seasons, as the Buckeyes were undoubtedly one of the best teams in the country, but not the best team in their division. Michigan has turned the tables on its bitter rival with consecutive wins over Ryan Day’s outfit by the combined scoreline of 87-50. Those losses have garnered the vast majority of the attention on Day’s program despite the coach’s overall 45-6 record.
Day faces one of his biggest challenges in his tenure as he hopes to avoid Ohio State’s first three-game losing streak to Michigan since 1997. The talent returning is out of this world, with Marvin Harrison Jr. having a legit shot at competing for the Heisman. Add Emeka Egbuka, TreVeyon Henderson, and Miyan Willams, and the offense is as loaded as any – except at the quarterback position. CJ Stroud is gone, and there’s plenty of uncertainly left in his wake. Day admitted this week that he hasn’t yet picked a starter between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. Both are very talented, highly touted prospects but are a major step down from Stroud at this point in their careers.
Day’s track record with quarterbacks should give Ohio State fans plenty of hope. In four seasons with Justin Fields and Stroud behind center, the pair averaged 287 yards passing per contest with three touchdowns. However, the schedule might prove to be too difficult, regardless of whoever eventually emerges as the starter, to get the Buckeyes back atop the East. Not only does Ohio State travel to the Big House for the rivalry game, but the team also makes high-profile road trips to Notre Dame and Wisconsin.
Penn State – Getting past the Michigan/Ohio State roadblock
James Franklin is likely counting down the days to the 2024 season when Oregon, Washington, USC, and UCLA join the Big Ten and divisions likely disappear. Putting aside the shortened COVID season in 2020, Penn State is 23-5 since 2018 against everyone in the Big Ten not named Ohio State or Michigan. However, with both those teams residing in the East division, Penn State has been blocked from progressing further on the national stage.
That may change this time around with the arrival of Drew Allar as starting quarterback. ESPN ranked Allar as the second-best pocket-passer in the class of 2022, and he adds some firepower to what should be a potent offense. The offensive line should be strong and open plenty of holes for the dynamic running back duo of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen.
Week 3 will be a good indicator of whether Allar is up to the task, as the Nittany Lions travel to Illinois to face a defense that ranked first in the nation in opponent’s passer rating last year.
Following that is the biggest road trip of the year to face Ohio State on October 21st. Penn State’s only game in the 20 days leading up to the clash with the Buckeyes is a home date with UMass. With almost three weeks of prep for that contest, this season represents perhaps the best chance for Franklin and Penn State to make a statement.
Wisconsin – Offense takes to the air
There may not be a team that presents a more jarring scheme change in 2023 than Wisconsin. Paul Chryst and the smashmouth football that has long been a staple of Badger football is gone, with Luke Fickell coming over from Cincinnati to take over the program. Fickell didn’t take long to completely change the program’s style, as he immediately hired Phil Longo from North Carolina to run the offense. Longo has long implemented a pass-happy, up-tempo attack that saw Drake Maye throw for 4,321 yards last season.
How big of a change is that for Wisconsin? Consider that Russell Wilson is the only 3,000-yard passer in program history, holding the all-time record at 3,175 yards. New quarterback Tanner Mordecai would have obliterated that mark in each of his last two seasons at SMU before transferring to join the Badgers.
Longo’s arrival may bring more passing to Madison, but it won’t signal the end of Braelon Allen’s production as an elite running back. While the offense may be based around the pass, Longo delivered two 1,000-yard running backs in the same season in 2020 at North Carolina.
Illinois – How Bielema handles massive roster turnover
Illinois was a very enjoyable team to watch in 2022 with arguably the nation’s best secondary on full display and an incredible defense. It’s a good thing those highlights exist on YouTube because the Illini roster will look drastically different this season.
Devon Witherspoon, Jartavius Martin, and Sydney Brown were all picked in the opening three rounds of the NFL Draft – a collection of talent that is borderline impossible to replace in one offseason. Bret Bielema went shopping in the transfer portal with small-school talent high on his list. The return is Demetrius Hill, Clayton Bush, and Nicario Harper. That trio will join returning standout Tahveon Nicholson under new defensive coordinator Aaron Henry.
The good news is the dominant defensive line remains largely in tact to pressure the quarterback and take the onus off the secondary. However, the transfers will have to rise to the occasion if Illinois is going to be among the best pass defenses in the nation again this year.
Nebraska – The Matt Rhule effect
For the second time in six years, Nebraska hired a head coach that brought nothing but praise from around the college football world and is considered a home-run addition. But the Cornhuskers are certainly hoping the Matt Rhule era goes significantly better than Scott Frost’s 16-31 tenure over the previous five years.
Putting the NFL failure aside, Rhule is a proven program builder at the collegiate level who is able to turn fortunes around in fairly quick fashion. The cupboard isn’t bare at Nebraska despite its struggles, as many of the losses came in one-score contests. He wasted no time in putting his stamp on the team, hitting the transfer portal hard to nab Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims, Virginia receiver Billy Kemp IV, and a pair of promising defenders in Elijah Jeudy from Texas A&M and Corey Collier Jr. from Florida.
Rhule’s rebuild won’t be flying under the radar, as there will be plenty of eyes on his first month with the Cornhuskers. Nebraska opens the year with a Thursday trip to Minnesota before a Week 2 showdown with Deion Sanders at Colorado. Add a Sept. 30th home game against Michigan, and the college football world will know before the month of October just how fast the Rhule effect is taking shape in Lincoln.
Michigan State – Which version shows up
If history can predict future events, Michigan State could be in for an impressive season in Mel Tucker’s fourth with the program. The Spartans have been an absolutely roller coaster under the coach’s watch, with a 2-5 COVID season record and last year’s 5-7 campaign sandwiching an outstanding 11-2 mark in 2021.
Tucker has adapted a live-by-the-portal, die-by-the-portal philosophy of roster construction in his time at Michigan State – a strategy that can explain the wild season-by-season fluctuations. That is true once again for 2023 with the Spartans adding double-digit transfers while also losing starting quarterback Payton Thorne and star receiver Keon Coleman.
The bulk of the transfers come on the defensive side of the ball, with up to seven new players expected to see time. Their first job is to make life much tougher on the opposition quarterback in 2023. Last year’s Spartans ranked 123rd in the nation and last in the Big Ten in passer rating allowed.
It would be a borderline miracle if Tucker is able to deliver another 11-win season, but steady improvement and a quality bowl game would likely be enough to satisfy the fan base.
Minnesota – Kaliakmanis to build off promising end to 2022
For the first time since 2017, Tanner Morgan won’t be on the Minnesota roster. The veteran quarterback has finally graduated and it’s now Athan Kaliakmanis’ job. The sophomore saw action in a number of games last season, and the way he finished things off should have the Golden Gophers feeling pretty positive about his prospects.
Kaliakmanis completed 26-of-37 passes for 399 yards and two touchdowns in the final two wins over Wisconsin and Syracuse. The receiving trio of Corey Crooms, Chris Autman-Bell, and Daniel Jackson should give the young passer plenty to work with on offense, and Sean Tyler joins from Western Michigan to bolster the rushing attack.
Minnesota won’t be able to ease into the season with a high-profile season opener against Nebraska next Thursday. The team also faces an explosive North Carolina team on the road in Week 3. While the Tar Heels’ defense is gettable, Kaliakmanis will have to keep up with Drake Maye and the offense to give the Golden Gophers a chance.
Iowa – The race to 25
Iowa doesn’t usually rank high on a watchability list due to the ineptitude on offense that’s become associated with the program, but the Hawkeyes have one of the most compelling storylines of the season for 2023. Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz had his contract restructured in the offseason, and the following conditions must be met for him to return to his previous deal:
The team must average 25 points per game for the season
The team must win at least seven games
The unbelievable Hawkeyes defense should handle the seven-win portion of that on their own, but the offense averaging 25 points per game would represent an eight-point increase from last season. Just how low of a bar is 25 points per game? That number would have ranked 85th in the nation last year.
The biggest move Ferentz made to help hit that number is the addition of former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara. The talented passer helped lead the Wolverines to the CFP in 2021 before losing his job to J.J. McCarthy last season. His talent level alone is such a drastic upgrade on last year’s quarterback room that it should be worth a few points on its own.
The entire season is now must-watch until Iowa hits the point total, as the team is likely to try to run up the score against lesser opponents to give Ferentz some cushion when the games get tougher. Regardless, we can always look back at 2023 as the season that the Iowa offense became something you couldn’t turn away from.
Purdue – Keeping momentum post-Brohm
The reigning Big Ten West champs face the monumental task of replacing Jeff Brohm after the coach left for his alma mater, Louisville, in the offseason. Brohm’s impact on the Purdue program was incredible, as he delivered an average of 6.8 wins a season when not counting the COVID-shortened schedule of 2020. That was double the 3.8 wins the program had averaged in the eight years before Brohm signed on.
The Boilermakers looked 90 miles west to find their new head coach, opting to sign Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters after he led the nation’s top defensive unit in 2022. It’s a stark contrast from Brohm’s offensive system, and Walters immediately tabbed Graham Harrell as the new coordinator for that side of the ball. Harrell was able to secure the transfer of Hudson Card from Texas – a talented passer who showed flashes in limited action with the Longhorns.
The defense should improve solely based on Walters’ addition, but it will be fascinating to see whether his system translates without three NFL players in his secondary. The ability to leave defensive backs in one-on-one coverage helped Illinois generate a pass-rush last year, but that likely won’t be a luxury Walters has in 2023.
Maryland – Getting that program-defining upset
Fresh off the best season for Maryland football in over a decade, the Terrapins are eyeing the next leap by going from bowl eligibility to a serious threat to Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State in the Big Ten. Mike Locksley’s outfit is a sparkling 15-5 the last two seasons when not playing that trio and 0-6 in matchups with the division’s powerhouse programs. With prolific quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa in his final collegiate season, the time is now to pull off a big upset.
The thing that may hold Maryland back is how much better the Wolverines, Nittany Lions, and Buckeyes are along both lines. According to Bill Connelly of ESPN, the Terrapins lose almost their entire offensive line from last year and lose all six interior defensive linemen who played at least 220 snaps.
The two dates to circle for a potential big-time upset are home games in November when Penn State and Michigan come to town. Maryland gave the Wolverines all they could handle in the Big House last year before eventually losing 34-27, and the team gets the defending Big Ten champs one week before its rivalry game against Ohio State.
Indiana – Tom Allen hopes to strike portal gold
With an absolutely dismal 6-18 record over the past two seasons, major change needed to happen at Indiana this offseason. Tom Allen’s hefty buyout ensured there wouldn’t be a move at the coaching spot, so instead it was a massive roster turnover with a number of transfers coming in.
The defense will see almost every player who saw over 300 snaps move on, with 13 new faces expected to see significant action. Andre Carter from Western Michigan comes over to bolster a pass-rush that ranked 108th in sacks per game last season. Carter posted seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in the MAC last year – both numbers that would have led the Hoosiers.
While the offense returns more players than the defense, some transfers will be called upon to be key contributors early. Tayven Jackson is battling for the starting quarterback spot after coming over from Tennessee, and Clemson’s E.J. Williams should be a major player at the receiver position.
Rutgers – Any sort of offensive improvement
The offensive drought at Rutgers the past seven years is even worse than the one we’ve seen at Iowa. Outside of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, the last time the Scarlet Knights averaged more than 20 points per game was 2015. Greg Schiano’s move to get any sort of production on that side of the ball was to bring in Kirk Ciarrocca to fix things, but the veteran coordinator doesn’t have a ton of playmakers to work with in New Jersey.
Ciarrocca’s first order of business will be increasing the production of quarterback Gavin Wimsatt. Wimsatt flashed some potential as a runner last year but connected on just 44% of his passes and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Add in the departure of the top three receivers, and scoring points will be tough for Rutgers yet again in 2023.
Northwestern – Winning a game in the United States
By the time Northwestern takes the field for its opener against Rutgers on Sept. 3, it will have been an astonishing 687 days since the Wildcats last won a football game on United States’ soil. That number sounds almost unbelievable, but with the team’s only win last season coming in Ireland, it’s sadly the state of affairs in Evanston. Northwestern enters the 2023 campaign with a 1-17 record in the last 18 games and facing as much turmoil as any team in the country.
The opener against Rutgers will also mark the first time since the 2006 season that Pat Fitzgerald isn’t the head coach after the 48-year-old was fired in the wake of a hazing scandal at the school. That leaves defensive coordinator David Braun as the new man in charge, and he faces arguably the toughest task in college football.
The offense is hoping Cincinnati transfer Ben Bryant can provide a spark at quarterback, but it’s tough to see him being able to do much with the nation’s worst Power 5 attack. The defense was long a staple of consistency for Northwestern but struggled mightily in its first season since long-time coordinator Mike Hankwitz retired.
Perhaps Rutgers can once again be the medicine Northwestern needs, as the Scarlet Knights were the opponents 687 days ago when the Wildcats last won in the United States.
Georgia – Complacency
It’s very tough to find a challenge for Georgia in its quest for a remarkable three-peat. The team again loses a number of players to the NFL but has a number of top recruits waiting to take their places and continue the dominance in Athens. The biggest question might be at quarterback with Stetson Bennett gone, but Carson Beck is more than capable of filling that void as he’s surrounded by Brock Bowers and a significant amount of talented receivers.
Complacency may creep in for the Bulldogs, though, as it could be tough to get hyped for an October home game against Kentucky when you’ve won back-to-back national titles. Georgia actually had a couple of close calls last year – notably a narrow road win at Missouri – en route to the national title.
This year’s schedule is actually more favorable than last year’s, with road trips to Auburn and Tennessee and the annual neutral site game versus Florida representing the three toughest tests. With master motivator Kirby Smart heading the program, the Bulldogs are well-equipped to avoid a hangover following two years of success.
Regardless, when you are dealing with 85 people aged 18-22, there’s always the threat of getting comfortable and not giving maximum effort and focus at all times. If anything can sink Georgia this year, it might be complacency.
Alabama – Quarterback
Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones and Bryce Young. It’s safe to say the quarterback position at Alabama has been an embarrassment of riches for Nick Saban since 2016. That doesn’t appear to be the case this season as a three-way battle for the starting job has yet to determine a winner.
Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson were the Crimson Tide’s options coming out of spring practice, but the late addition of Tyler Buchner from Notre Dame added a third body to the mix. If a team is adding a quarterback on April 27th, they probably aren’t super optimistic about that position. Buchner is familiar with new coordinator Tommy Rees from their time together at Notre Dame but has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his limited action.
While Alabama’s quarterbacks have lit up the scoreboard in recent years, Saban is no stranger to winning with a less-than-stellar passing attack. He found great success with both Blake Sims and Jake Coker at quarterback by relying on a strong running game and dominant defense. Expect that approach from the legendary coach with this roster, as both the defense and running attack should be among the best in the country.
If that system doesn’t prove successful, the Crimson Tide could fail to win the SEC West in back-to-back years for the first time since 2011.
LSU – Finding a running game
Brian Kelly’s first season with LSU exceeded expectations, as the former Notre Dame coach stunned Alabama and won the SEC West. Perhaps most impressive was his staff’s work with Jayden Daniels at quarterback, turning the often-frustrating Arizona State transfer into an absolute weapon. Keeping Daniels healthy and active has to be a major priority for Kelly to repeat 2022’s success.
The first step in doing that is to establish a running game around the speedy quarterback. LSU ranked eighth in the SEC in rushing, but that was primarily due to Daniels’ success on the ground. His 885 yards were over 350 more than the best running back on the Tigers. Josh Williams battled injuries en route to a season total of 532 yards – which ranked 21st among running backs in the conference.
Kelly brought in a familiar face, former Notre Dame standout Logan Diggs, to help get more production in the backfield. With all five offensive linemen returning and Williams also back in the fold, there’s no reason the running backs’ production shouldn’t be better in 2023.
Tennessee – Getting Milton to raise level
There are few things in football more surgical than Tennessee on an offensive drive. Josh Heupel raised the Volunteers from one of the SEC’s worst offensive units to the nation’s leading scoring outfit last season. The challenge now is repeating that task with Joe Milton taking over for Hendon Hooker and both Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman in the NFL.
There’s no doubt Milton has the talent to be a star in the offensive system – the 6-foot-5, 235-pound senior possesses one of the strongest arms in the nation. He’s also been given two previous chances to be a starter at Michigan and Tennessee and was replaced on both accounts due to poor play. However, he did provide some hope with strong performances to close last season after Hooker went down with an injury.
If Tennessee fans want to feel confident about Milton’s chances, his accuracy numbers, passer rating and average depth of completion were all career-highs last season once he took over.
Milton performing at a high level makes Tennessee a major threat to Georgia for the SEC East and a potential playoff berth. If he reverts to the form we’ve previously seen in his career, he might not last the season as QB1 in Knoxville.
South Carolina – Difficult first two months
There may not be a team in the country that finished the regular season last year on a bigger high than South Carolina. The Gamecocks showed what they are capable of under Shane Beamer with a blowout win over Tennessee and a close rivalry game win over Clemson in back-to-back weeks. While a bowl loss to Notre Dame dampened the mood slightly, the vibes are high heading into the season in Columbia.
Those vibes probably won’t remain high by the time the calendar turns to November. South Carolina may have the most difficult opening two months of football in the nation. An opening-week neutral site contest with North Carolina is a stern first test, with a Week 3 road trip to Georgia just 14 days later. A road trip to Tennessee comes two weeks after that before a brief respite comes in the form of a bye. October ends with a home game versus Florida and back-to-back road trips to Missouri and Texas A&M.
South Carolina doesn’t leave home in November, but it might not matter if Beamer and the Gamecocks can’t deliver a few quality wins during their challenging two months to open things up.
Auburn – Stopping the run
Hugh Freeze’s return to the SEC comes with plenty of challenges at Auburn, including a roster lacking the necessary depth to compete in the loaded SEC West. The offense was certainly an issue for the Tigers, but Freeze has shown throughout his career that he can scheme up points with just about anybody at quarterback.
That brings the attention to a defensive line that got mauled way too often last season. The Tigers finished a whopping 104th in the nation in yards allowed per rush, something that simply won’t work in a rugged division like the West.
Freeze hit the portal hard to bring in at least five new defensive linemen, but it could be a season of transition before we see real results in that position group.
Kentucky – Maximizing Leary’s potential
Kentucky went hunting for Will Levis’ replacement at quarterback after he departed for the NFL, and the school came back with one of the top prizes in the transfer portal in Devin Leary. However, the question surrounding the former NC State star is whether he’ll be the player who shone bright in 2021 or the one who struggled prior to injury last year.
Leary saw significant drops in passer rating, completion percentage and yards per completion last year. He now has to replace a player who ended up being a second-round draft pick in the NFL.
The good news for Leary and Kentucky is that Liam Coen is back on campus to tutor the quarterback and run the offense. Levis was a star under Coen’s watch two years ago before the coordinator left for the Los Angeles Rams. Levis’ numbers dropped off without Coen on campus, and the 37-year-old’s time in the NFL didn’t go as planned either. A return to Kentucky might be just what both he and the program need for the 2023 season.
Texas A&M – Fisher, Petrino working together
All eyes will be on Texas A&M at the first sign of offensive struggles this season. The interaction between head coach Jimbo Fisher and coordinator Bobby Petrino could be must-see television. Fisher wouldn’t have brought in Petrino if he didn’t think it would help – something that is drastically needed after the Aggies finished 2nd-last in the SEC in scoring.
As any college football fan knows, Petrino comes with equal parts offensive genius and excess baggage wherever he goes. After a summer of confusion, it appears he will be calling the plays for the Aggies this year. That means star quarterback Conner Weigman is now at his disposal, with a number of talented skill-position players flanking the second-year passer.
Petrino’s offensive track record suggests there should be a nice bump from the Aggies in production as they attempt to make noise in the SEC West. It also could result in some tense interactions between the coach and coordinator. Either way, the Texas A&M 2023 season will be a fun watch for the neutral observer.
Florida – Production in the passing game
It’s 2023, Wisconsin is running an Air Raid offense and Graham Mertz is now a Florida man. Things escalated quickly following a very poor season for the Badgers in 2022. However, the Big Ten’s loss is the Gators’ gain (or so they hope) as Mertz won the starting quarterback job for Billy Napier’s outfit with a strong fall camp.
Mertz certainly doesn’t possess the skill set that NFL first-rounder Anthony Richardson does, but the Florida offense didn’t fully click with him behind center last year. The Gators finished 9th in the SEC with only 223.8 passing yards per game, a figure that should be easy for Mertz to surpass.
At least that’s what an optimist would say. In reality, Mertz failed to hit that number in his final six games with the Badgers last season. That Wisconsin offense really didn’t throw the ball down the field, but it’s still enough of a concerning trend to raise the eyebrows of pessimistic Gators fans.
Arkansas – New coordinators
It’s a whole new world for Sam Pittman at Arkansas after both his offensive and defensive coordinators left for other jobs at the end of last season. Pittman went for veteran Dan Enos on offense while tabbing 40-year-old Travis Williams for the defensive gig.
Enos has a powerful duo at his disposal with quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders. The pair combined for 2,083 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns on the ground last season alone. Jefferson nearly threw for 3,000 yards as well and gives the offense a true star in the SEC West. While Enos’ system is vastly different from that of the outgoing Kendall Briles, he’s been around enough to know how to draw on the strengths of his personnel.
The defense was very poor last season despite generating a very strong pass rush the majority of the time. The Razorbacks set a school record with 42 sacks and ranked 18th in the country in sacks per game. Unfortunately, the rest of the defense fell off the map to sit 121st nationally in yards per play and 101st in points allowed. It’s on Williams to try and keep the pass-rush production pumping while cutting down on yards allowed.
The self-proclaimed ‘Portal King’ was at it again this offseason for Ole Miss. According to Bill Connelly of ESPN, only five coaches brought in more than 25 transfers this offseason and Lane Kiffin is the only one who’s been at his school for more than two years. While that strategy can produce some quick winners, it can also be extremely difficult to continue annually.
The offensive names to watch this time around include long-time Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders and UTSA’s star wideout Zakhari Franklin. The defense boasts a new coordinator in Pete Golding from Alabama and pass-rusher Isaac Ukwu from James Madison.
Kiffin better have his new players ready to roll from the jump, as the September schedule for Ole Miss is a bear by the end of the month. A Week 2 trip to ranked Tulane will be a test, but the back-to-back games at Alabama and versus LSU in Weeks 4 and 5 rank as hard a combo as there is in the country.
Mississippi State – Players don’t fit scheme
A major cultural change at Mississippi State begins this season following the tragic death of Mike Leach in December. The legendary coach had turned the Bulldogs’ program into his own during his tenure with the SEC school and his passing leaves a huge hole in both the conference and the sport.
The team will push forward with Zach Arnett as the new head coach, who hired Appalachian State’s Kevin Barbay as his new offensive coordinator. While that won’t immediately signal an end to the pass-happy offense Leach ran to perfection, Barbay’s history suggests he’s going to lean heavily on the rushing attack. The Mountaineers attempted over 40 rushes per game last season, 17 more than the lowest total in the country – his new employer.
Prolific quarterback Will Rogers returns along with Vanderbilt transfer Mike Wright to add depth to that position. The biggest challenge might be on the offensive line, where an experienced group returns after three years of blocking in an Air Raid attack.
Missouri – Quarterback production
Eli Drinkwitz is 17-19 through three seasons at Missouri. It’s time for the Tigers to take the next step under his watch, and the ability to pull that off will come down to one thing – quarterback production.
The lack of passing attack doomed Missouri too often last season. The SEC’s fourth-ranked defense was unable to overcome the lack of production from the league’s fourth-worst passing offense. The quarterback battle heated up over the offseason with the options down to incumbent Brady Cook or talented redshirt freshman Sam Horn.
Cook showed some flashes towards the end of last season that suggest he could be the guy to turn things around. However, the fact that Drinkwitz announced both he and Horn would take snaps in Week 1 would point to the team not being fully convinced of Cook’s potential.
There’s plenty of skill position talent and an experienced offensive line to help whoever eventually wins the quarterback battle. It’s just a matter of identifying that person and getting enough out of him to bring Missouri to the next level.
Vanderbilt – Overcoming roster losses
After winning just five games the previous three years combined, Vanderbilt put together a 5-7 record last season. However, in today’s NIL landscape, success means other schools come hunting on your roster to bring aboard new talent. That was true for the Commodores as they lost a number of players to big-time programs following the season.
Ray Davis is certainly the biggest name that left Vanderbilt, as the talented running back chose to play the rest of his collegiate career in Kentucky. Davis was fourth in the SEC with 1,042 rushing yards last season. Add quarterback Mike Wright’s move to Mississippi State to the books and the Commdores lost all but 360 yards of the team’s season total of 1,919.
Vanderbilt’s strict academic requirements can make it challenging to operate in the transfer portal era. Clark Lea has shown that he’s a quality coach who can build a great culture and scheme for a football team. Whether he can overcome the roster losses that hit the Commodores’ program annually remains to be seen.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
*****PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks jumped to an early four-run lead, and nearly blew it in the ninth inning.
Their starting pitcher earned his first win in the majors. They even scored on infield fly rule popup.
The most impressive highlight of a wild night: a kid stealing the ball from an outfielder trying to steal a home run.
Tommy Pham lost a homer when a kid snatched the ball from Cincinnati left fielder Spencer Steer’s glove, but the Diamondbacks did enough offensive damage before that to beat the Reds 10-8 on Friday night.
“Once I saw what happened, I had the same reaction every fan had in the stadium that it was a pretty remarkable play by the kid,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “It looked like the ball was in Steer’s glove and the kid stole it. I don’t know how he did it.”
Pham followed Jace Peterson’s two-run triple with a two-run double off Hunter Greene (2-6), giving the Diamondbacks a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning.
With Arizona leading 8-4 in the seventh, Pham sent a towering shot to the wall in left. Reds outfielder Spencer Steer timed his leap perfectly and had the ball in his glove, seemingly robbing Pham of the homer.
One problem: a kid stole the ball from Steer.
Also wearing a glove, the kid reached into Steer’s glove and pulled the ball out, leaving the left fielder slumped against the wall.
The umpires initially ruled Pham’s shot a homer and the hometown fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” at the kid when they saw video of his robbery.
The home run was negated after review, setting off a chorus of boos at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks’ broadcast showed the kid and his family being removed from their seats by security.
“I was in the dugout like, out, it’s clear interference,” Pham said. “I just feel bad for him because kids really don’t don’t know that interference rules, so sucks that you got to get kicked out for that.”
That wasn’t the end of the drama.
Cincinnati loaded the bases against Justin Martinez and Will Benson hit a grand slam, cutting Arizona’s lead to 10-8. Kevin Ginkel struck out the final two batters for his fourth save in five chances.
“That’s a lot of runs, but our offense did a good job of continuing to battle,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They gave us an opportunity at the end and at that point in the game that’s what you’re looking for.”
Arizona’s Brandon Pfaadt (1-6) allowed two hits on three runs in 5 1/3 innings for his first big league victory. Peterson had two triples and three RBIs.
The Diamondbacks have won six straight and 11 of 13 to move a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.
“It was a really good day for our offense,” Lovullo said. “It was all-field approach. It was patience and it equaled 10 runs. We’re in a good spot offensively.”
Nick Martini hit his first two homers in four years and had four RBIs for the Reds, who dropped a game behind the Cubs in the wild-card standings.
INFIELD FLY RUN
The Diamondbacks scored a bizarre run in the sixth inning, when Reds left fielder Spencer Steer collided with shortstop Elly De La Cruz.
De La Cruz caught the ball after the infield fly rule was invoked, but was knocked down by Steer. Geraldo Perdomo took advantage of the collision, just beating De La Cruz’s throw home to put Arizona up 6-4.
“A player goes down on the field and he was ready to take advantage,” Lovullo said. “I thought that was a really heady play and the things we do really well around here.”
Cincinnati RHP Ben Lively (right pectoral muscle strain) joined the team in Arizona and could start Saturday’s game instead of making a third rehab start. … The Reds stopped LHP Nick Lodolo’s rehab assignment after he suffered a setback in a rehab start on Sunday. He’s been out since mid-May with a stress reaction in his left tibia.
Arizona RHP Zach Davies (1-5, 7.38 ERA) returns from the injured list with lower back inflammation to pitch in Saturday’s game. The Reds have yet to name a starter.
*****PITTSBURGH (AP) Mitch Keller pitched eight scoreless innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates scored twice in the first before holding on to beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Friday night.
Keller (11-8) allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six in a 94-pitch outing. The All-Star won back-to-back starts for the first time since May 26 and 31.
The Cubs lost for the second time in seven games. They entered play Friday holding the second National League wild card and trailing first-place Milwaukee by three games in the NL Central.
“The goal is to get strikes, put good swings on them and hit the ball hard but (Keller) was just really good,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Sometimes we got off our ‘A’ swings, but his stuff was moving all over the place. Nights like this, you can lay your head down on the pillow knowing that we didn’t beat ourselves, they beat us.”
Ian Happ hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning off closer David Bednar to avoid the shutout and pull the Cubs within one. Bednar retired the next three batters for his 28th save in 31 chances.
Keller set down his first 11 hitters before Happ doubled with two outs in the fourth inning. Happ was left stranded when Cody Bellinger flied out and the Cubs got only one other runner into scoring position against Keller.
“I didn’t feel particularly good in my pregame, but I try not to put any weight because the good ones usually lead to bad starts and the bad ones usually lead to good starts,” Keller said. “I just try to go out by out, because as soon as you start thinking that it’s going to be a good one, it will humble you very fast.”
Keller was struck on the right shin in the eighth inning by a line-drive single by Nick Madrigal. After throwing one warmup pitch, Keller stayed in the game.
“He was unbelievable, he was lights out tonight,” Pirates shortstop Alika Williams said of Keller. “He just filled up the zone and put guys away when he needed to. It was a lot of fun to watch, kind of like watching somebody play a video game.”
The Pirates scored their runs within the first four batters of the game against Kyle Hendricks (5-7).
Ke’Bryan Hayes singled and took third on Bryan Reynolds’ double. Andrew McCutchen’s groundout drove in Hayes and Reynolds scored on a fielder’s choice when second baseman Nico Hoerner threw late to home plate on Joshua Palacios’ grounder.
Hendricks pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, striking out four and walking one.
“They just came out swinging and I mis-executed against Hayes then Reynolds jumped me on the first pitch and that was really it,” Hendricks said. “I made one or two bad pitches after that, but I locked in and gave ourselves a chance. You’ve got to tip your hat (to Keller). Not too much you can do. That’s baseball.”
Hayes had two hits for Pittsburgh. Happ and Seiya Suzuki had two each for Chicago.
SMYLY BACK TO BULLPEN
The Cubs moved left-hander Drew Smyly from the starting rotation to the bullpen for the second time this month and he pitched one scoreless inning.
Smyly was dropped from the rotation after giving up seven runs in five innings on Aug. 7 in a loss to the New York Mets. Following three relief appearances, Smyly started Tuesday and lost to Detroit, getting tagged for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Smyly was scheduled to start Sunday against the Pirates and the Cubs have not decided who will replace him. Triple-A Iowa left-hander Jordan Wicks, Chicago’s first-round draft pick in 2021, is a possibility to make his major league debut.
Cubs lefty Edwin Uceta cleared waivers and was sent outright to Iowa after being designated for assignment. In addition to Chicago, Uceta has been claimed off waivers by Detroit, Pittsburgh and the Mets since the end of last season.
Pirates: RHP Max Kranick (Tommy John elbow surgery) had his rehab assignment transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis from Low-A Bradenton. Kranick pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings Friday against Iowa, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four.
RHP Javier Assad (2-2, 3.13 ERA) will start for the Cubs on Saturday night while the Pirates will use rookie RHP Colin Selby (1-0, 7.27) as an opener in his first major-league start.
*****BOSTON (AP) Mookie Betts didn’t arrive at Fenway Park with any expectations. He wanted to be ready to receive whatever came his way during his return to face the first major league franchise he played for.
On a night in which he was embraced and celebrated by his former team and its fan base, he left feeling satisfied. And above all, with a victory.
Freddie Freeman had four hits, including a tie-breaking double, Betts doubled and scored two runs in his return to Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Red Sox 7-4 on Friday night.
Betts, back on the field in Boston for the first time since he was traded by the Red Sox in 2020, was given a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat and went 1 for 4 against the franchise where he spent his first six major league seasons.
“I don’t really remember what I was feeling. I know I was kind of shaking a little bit,” Betts said. “But I’m just thankful. Thankful I got the ovation. … Thankful we won.”
Dodgers starter Lance Lynn (10-9) allowed four runs off 10 hits over six innings, plus two batters, yielding two home runs. Evan Phillips allowed a hit and struck out two in the ninth to get his 20th save.
The NL West-leading Dodgers have won five of six. Max Muncy added three RBIs, including a two-run double in the seventh inning that made it 6-3.
Betts said the trembling feeling persisted through about third inning, but he was constantly helped to stay in the moment by Freeman , who checked in on him throughout.
“The whole situation took me a little bit to settle in,” he said. “Once I settled in I was fine.”
Freeman, who has gone through a similar reunion with his former Atlanta Braves team, said it brought back memories.
“For him to be appreciated tonight and then, obviously, tomorrow and the next day is just awesome to see, because he’s an awesome person and he deserves it,” Freeman said.
The Red Sox got one run back in the bottom of the inning when Rafael Devers scored off a throwing error by Muncy. They had two runners on trailing 6-4 in the eighth, but after a single by Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong over ran second base, was caught in run down and retired.
Nick Pivetta (9-7) allowed four runs over two relief innings to take the loss for Boston, which had won its previous two. Starter Kutter Crawford lasted five innings, plus two batters, yielding two runs off four hits.
Betts popped out in foul territory to lead off the game. Then Verdugo, one of the players Boston acquired for the 2018 AL MVP, opened the bottom half of the inning with a first pitch home run that landed in the right field bullpen.
Trevor Story made it 3-0 in the second when he bashed a two-run homer into the Green Monster seats in left field.
Betts doubled to lead off the sixth inning and moved to third on a single by Freeman.
Crawford was pulled in favor of Pivetta, but it didn’t stop the rally.
Will Smith doubled, scoring Betts. Freeman then scored on a groundout by Muncy,
David Peralta grounded out. But Boston couldn’t get out of the inning before Kiké Hernández tied it with a single to center.
“It was a very special moment and I’ll cherish it for the rest of my life,” Betts said.
Red Sox: Claimed RHP Zack Weiss off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels and optioned him to Triple-A Worcester. To make room on the 40-man roster, they transferred RHP Corey Kluber to the 60-Day IL.
As part of welcoming back Betts to Fenway, the Red Sox showed a highlight video from the 2018 World Series season that also included pitcher Ryan Braiser, now a member of the Dodgers.
In addition, Red Sox fans gave a nice ovation during Hernández’s first at-bat. Hernández played for Los Angeles for six seasons before signing with Boston in 2021 in free agency. He was traded back to the Dodgers in July.
Boston DH Justin Turner was a member of the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series teams.
Dodgers: LHP Julia Urias (11-6, 4.15 ERA) will face Boston for just the second time in his career. In his lone appearance against the Red Sox in 2019 he struck out two in two scoreless innings.
Red Sox: RHP James Paxton (7-4, 3.79) has pitched five-plus innings in 13 of his 17 starts. He is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers.
*****TORONTO (AP) Ramón Laureano homered and had three RBIs, Tanner Bibee pitched six innings to win for the third time in four starts and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Friday night.
Andrés Giménez and Bo Naylor hit solo home runs as Cleveland rebounded after losing its past two.
Bibee (10-3) allowed two runs and six hits, including two home runs. The rookie walked one and struck out five.
“He has that ability to kind of get another gear, which is really fun to watch,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said.
Enyel De Los Santos and Trevor Stephan each worked one inning. Emmanuel Clase finished for his 34th save in 43 chances.
Laureano wasn’t in Cleveland’s original starting lineup but got the call when Will Brennan was scratched because of a strained right knee.
“He ended up being huge in the middle of our order,” Francona said of Laureano.
George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays but Toronto lost its third straight. Guerrero’s homer was his first since Aug. 4 at Boston.
The slumping Blue Jays have scored five total runs over the past three games.
Springer opened the scoring with a leadoff homer in the second, his 16th, but Cleveland tied it on Naylor’s one-out drive off Chris Bassitt (12-7) in the third. The homer was Naylor’s fifth.
Playing in front of a large group of friends and family, Naylor became the 16th Canadian-born player to hit a home run in Toronto.
“All the things working up to this moment has made it super special, having the people I love dearest closest to me here,” Naylor said. “And to add a win on top of that, it’s a great night.”
Brother and Guardians teammate Josh also homered north of the border last season. The Naylors are from Mississauga, just west of Toronto.
Toronto challenged after plate umpire Adrian Johnson called Cleveland’s Steven Kwan safe on a two-out double by Oscar Gonzalez in the third. The call was overturned when replays showed Kwan’s hand missed the plate as he slid by.
“It was a good slide to evade the tag, he just evaded the plate, too,” Francona said. “If he gets closer, he’s probably out.”
Laureano made sure there was nothing to challenge with a two-out, two-run homer in the fourth, his seventh.
The Blue Jays couldn’t deliver on an opportunity to cut the deficit in the bottom half, when Guerrero was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score from first on Matt Chapman’s double to left. Shortstop Gabriel Arias made the relay throw to Cleveland catcher Naylor, who tagged Guerrero to end the inning.
Gonzalez doubled to begin the sixth and scored on Laureano’s one-out double, but Guerrero replied with a one-out homer in the sixth, his 19th.
Giménez made it 5-2 with a two-out homer off Jordan Hicks in the eighth, his 12th.
Bassitt allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander lost for the first time since July 31 against Baltimore.
“I felt fine,” Bassitt said. “I just pitched terrible.”
Guardians: Brennan injured his knee when he collided with the fence while making a catch Thursday. Brennan was in the original lineup at DH with Oscar Gonzalez in right field. Laureano started in right and Gonzalez was the DH.
Blue Jays: RHP Chad Green (elbow surgery) is expected to pitch in back-to-back games at Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday, likely his final hurdle before joining Toronto’s roster.
Clase has 101 career saves, 100 of them with Cleveland. He got his first save with Texas in 2019.
BEAST FOR THE EAST
Bibee is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts against AL East opponents
Cleveland recalled RHP Cody Morris from Triple-A Columbus. RHP Hunter Gaddis and LHP Tim Herrin were optioned to Triple-A.
LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (2-1, 1.89 ERA) was set to start for Toronto against LHP Logan Allen (6-6, 3.31).
*****CHICAGO (AP) Nick Allen homered and drove in a career-high five runs, Zach Neal won his first start in seven years and the Oakland Athletics pounded the Chicago White Sox 12-4 on Friday night.
The Athletics (38-91) tagged Dylan Cease for a career-high nine runs on the way to their fourth win in five games. Chicago lost for the 10th time in 13 games.
Dropping the first two in a four-game series between two of the worst teams in the majors only added to a rough week for the White Sox (50-79), who fired executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday.
Allen hit RBI singles in a five-run second and in the fourth before chasing Cease with a two-run single in the fifth. Allen and Ryan Noda hit consecutive homers in the seventh, the sixth time this season Oakland went deep back to back.
Neal (0-1) went five innings, allowing four runs – two earned – and five hits in his first start since Sept. 6, 2016 for Oakland against Baltimore. The right-hander also picked up his first win since Aug. 9 that year in a start for the Athletics against Baltimore. Neal pitched in Japan from 2019 to 2021 and was in Colorado’s system last year.
“It means a lot, man,” a choked-up Neal said. “It’s kind of been my mantra, man, just keep going. You just never know. To do that tonight is super cool and something I’ll remember. Hopefully, it gives other people inspiration, too. Just keep going, man. You never know.”
Cease (5-7) gave up eight earned runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The AL Cy Young Award runner-up last season, he has an 8.16 ERA over his past six starts.
“We’ve still got a handful of starts,” Cease said. “At the end of the day, all I can do is flush this one, get to work with Ethan (pitching coach Ethan Katz) and come up with a plan for the next one.”
Lenyn Sosa and Eloy Jiménez homered. But the White Sox committed three errors – two by left fielder Andrew Benintendi in the second.
The already frustrated fans got another reason to vent after the game when the team announced a Vanilla Ice concert was canceled due to technical issues. They let out loud boos and chanted “Sell the team! Sell the team!”
Athletics: Rookie RHP Mason Miller (forearm tightness) could rejoin the team next month, depending on how his next rehab outing goes, manager Mark Kotsay said. Sidelined since May 7, Miller has a 3.38 ERA in four starts. … OF Seth Brown got hit in the head by a pitch in the sixth, but stayed in the game.
The four-game series continues with the White Sox sending RHP Touki Toussaint (1-6, 5.30 ERA) to the mound and the Athletics going with LHP JP Sears (2-10, 4.61 ERA). Both pitchers are 0-3 in four starts since picking up wins on July 28. Toussaint has an 8.84 ERA in that span, while Sears’ is 8.00. —
*****MILWAUKEE (AP) Rowdy Tellez isn’t accustomed to waiting this long between homers.
Tellez went deep for the first time since May 22 as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 7-3 on Friday for their season high-tying sixth straight victory. Tellez’s three-run shot capped a five-run third inning.
His 406-foot drive to center off a 1-1 curve from Yu Darvish (8-10) ended a career-high string of 128 straight at bats without a homer.
“It’s just nice to do that and help the team win,” Tellez said. “It helps out personally, too.”
Tellez added an RBI single in the seventh inning for his first multi-hit game since June 13.
This has been a difficult season for Tellez, who hit a career-high 35 homers last year. He entered Friday with a .679 OPS, down from .902 in early May. Tellez spent six weeks on the injured list – first with a right forearm issue and later with a fracture in his left ring finger – before getting activated last weekend.
Tellez acknowledged Friday the finger still bothers him at times.
“Some days it feels better than others,” Tellez said. “Some days it’s sore. Some days the dog steps on it or something”
Brandon Woodruff (3-1) struck out 11 and allowed only one run in six innings as the NL Central-leading Brewers (71-57) moved a season-high 14 games above .500.
The Brewers also won six consecutive games from April 1-7.
“I feel like we go through this every year,” said Woodruff, who lowered his ERA to 2.65. “We go through stretches where we don’t play good. ‘Well, what’s wrong?’ Then we hit this stretch here where we’re playing good. ‘Well, dadgumit, we’re good.’ We’re just playing good baseball.”
While pitching carried Milwaukee for much of the season, the Brewers have scored at least six runs in every game of this win streak.
“A lot of people don’t think we can hit well, but we are a very timely hitting (team), kind of build on each other,” Tellez said. “We have depth in our lineup. It’s a good team. I don’t think people really understand that.”
The game was scoreless until Darvish ran into trouble in the third.
He started the inning by allowing Brice Turang’s single and hitting Tyrone Taylor with a pitch. One out later, William Contreras singled home Turang. Willy Adames continued his hot streak with a two-out RBI single before Tellez connected.
Darvish lasted just four innings and allowed six hits and five runs. He struck out three and walked one.
“Just some location stuff today,” Padres coach Bob Melvin said. “It looked like he had good stuff to start.”
Adames also singled and scored in the seventh inning. Adames has gone 12 of 26 with 10 RBIs over his last six games.
San Diego’s only runs came on homers from Manny Machado and Gary Sánchez. Machado hit a solo shot off Woodruff in the fourth inning and Sánchez had a two-run homer off Andrew Chafin in the ninth.
Padres: 1B Jake Cronenworth left the game after a ninth-inning pitch from Chafin hit him in the area of his right wrist. Melvin said Cronenworth was getting an X-ray after the game. “For him to have to come out of the game means it got him pretty good,” Melvin said.
Brewers: OF Sal Frelick missed a fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. He participated in a pregame workout to indicate how soon he could return. … RHP Julio Teheran (hip) pitched three innings Friday in a rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Wisconsin. He threw 43 pitches (30 strikes) and struck out four while allowing three hits, one run and no walks.
Former Brewers LHP CC Sabathia threw out the first pitch as the Brewers recognized the 15th anniversary of his 2008 performance, when he led the franchise to its first playoff appearance since 1982. Although Sabathia only spent half a season with the Brewers, he went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and and seven complete games over 17 starts during that stretch.
“I think (Christian) Yelich’s second half of 2018 is probably right up there, but CC’s second half of 2008, you talk about those pretty much the same, as good as we’ve ever seen a Brewer play in the second half of a season,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.
RHP Pedro Avila (0-0, 1.17 ERA) starts for the Padres and RHP Freddy Peralta (10-8, 3.97) pitches for the Brewers on Saturday night.
WORLD BASKETBALL CUP
***Canada has never medaled at the Basketball World Cup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander evidently has his sights on changing that, and his team sent a serious message on the opening night of the tournament.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points and Canada topped France 95-65 in a Group H game at Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday night. It cap Day 1 of the World Cup that’s also being held in the Philippines and Japan. Canada outscored France 25-8 in the third quarter, turning what was a three-point game at the half into a runaway.
“I’m not surprised,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We played really good basketball today. We did the right things on both ends of the court. … When we play to our identity and the things we’ve been preaching for the last month…we can beat and play with anyone in the world. We just have to continue to get better and the sky’s the limit.”
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 13 points in that third quarter, and also finished with 13 rebounds and six assists. Kelly Olynyk scored 18 points for Canada.
Evan Fournier scoring 19 of his 21 points in the first half for France, which had won all three of its previous World Cup contests against Canada.
“They kind of forced us to do things we didn’t want to do,” Fournier said. “They kept applying pressure and it got the best of us.”
MONTENEGRO 91, MEXICO 71
At Manila, Nikola Vucevic got Montenegro’s World Cup trip off to a flying start.
Vucevic finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds in just 31 minutes, and Montenegro pulled away for a win over Mexico in Group D on the opening day of the Basketball World Cup that started Friday with games in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.
Vucevic was 11 for 15 from the field, including 3 for 3 on 3-pointers. Kendrick Perry scored 16 points and Nikola Ivanovic added 14 for Montenegro.
Pako Cruz scored 16 for Mexico, while Joshua Ibarra scored 13, Fabian James had 12 and Paul Stoll finished with 10 points and seven assists.
Montenegro plays Egypt on Sunday while Mexico takes on Lithuania.
LITHUANIA 93, EGYPT 67
At Manila, Margiris Normantas scored 18 points in 18 minutes and Lithuania easily won its opener.
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Elmantas Bendzius scored 10 for a Lithuania team that outrebounded Egypt 53-34.
Assem Marel scored 14 for Egypt, while Amr El Gendy had 13, Anas Mahmoud added 11 and Ehab Amin finished with 10.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 87, PHILIPPINES 81
At Manila, Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 10 rebounds and the Dominican Republic prevailed on a night where fans in the Philippines set a World Cup attendance record.
A total of 38,115 fans came to the game, breaking the record of 32,616 set at the gold-medal game of the 1994 world championship in Toronto when the U.S. rolled past Russia for the title.
Victor Liz added 18 for the winners.
Jordan Clarkson led the Philippines with 28 points. June Mar Fajardo added 16.
ITALY 81, ANGOLA 67
At Manila, Simone Fontecchio scored 19 points and Italy pulled away in the final 12 minutes to hold off upstart Angola.
Stefano Tonut scored 18 points for Italy, Giampaolo Ricci scored 12 and Marco Spissu added seven assists.
Childe Dundao scored 19 points for Angola, which led by seven early and was still tied with Italy at 52-all late in the third.
Bruno Fernando scored 13 for Angola.
Both teams struggled from 3-point range. Angola was 4 for 30 from beyond the arc — Dundao was 4 for 8, his teammates combined to shoot 0 for 22 — while Italy was 5 for 31 on 3s.
Italy takes on the Dominican Republic on Sunday, while Angola plays the Philippines.
GROUP EAUSTRALIA 98, FINLAND 72
At Okinawa, Patty Mills scored 25 points and Olympic bronze medalist Australia overwhelmed Finland over the final 23 minutes on Friday in the opening game for both teams.
Josh Giddey flirted with a triple-double — finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists — for the winners, who got 13 from Joe Ingles and 10 from Dante Exum.
Finland led 38-30 with 3:33 left in the first half. Australia outscored Finland 68-34 the rest of the way.
Lauri Markkanen, the reigning NBA’s Most Improved Player, led Finland with 19 points and eight rebounds. Markkanen had been fulfilling mandatory military service just prior the tournament opening.
Australia plays Germany on Sunday, while Finland plays Japan.
GERMANY 81, JAPAN 63
At Okinawa, Moritz Wagner scored 25 points and added nine rebounds as Germany pulled away from the start and was up 53-31 at the half in the first game in the tournament for both teams.
Dennis Schroder added 14 points and Daniel Theis had 13 for the winners. Moritz Wagner’s brother, Franz Wagner, had 10 points.
Yuta Watanabe topped Japan with 20 points and Yudai Baba added 15 to give some joy to the home fans on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa.
GROUP HLATVIA 109, LEBANON 70
At Jakarta, Dairis Bertans scored 20 points, going 6 for 7 on 3-pointers, and Latvia turned its first World Cup game into an easy win over Lebanon.
Rolands Smits had 17 points for Latvia, which had a 10-point lead midway through the first quarter and kept pulling away.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Davis Bertans, the only current NBA player for either team, scored 10 points off the bench. Sergio El Darwich scored 19 points for Lebanon, while former NBA player Omari Spellman scored 18 points.
Latvia was 18 of 35 from 3-point range, while Lebanon was just 7 of 24 from distance.
Latvia plays France on Sunday, while Lebanon faces Canada.
ATLANTA (AP) One bad shot during practice led to Collin Morikawa spending two hours looking for a fix. And now he has a scoring record at East Lake that previously belonged to Tiger Woods.
Morikawa followed his 61 with another clean card for a 6-under 64 on Friday in the Tour Championship, giving him the lowest 36-hole score at East Lake and a share of the lead with Viktor Hovland going into the weekend of the FedEx Cup finale.
“Sometimes just being out there when you don’t realize that you’re out there for that long of a period, but you find one thing that you hope works,” said Morikawa, winless since the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai at the end of 2021.
“I’ve done that for the past few years, hoping that we’re going to find that one thing that clicks and right now, I’m going to stick with it.”
Scores can look inflated at the Tour Championship because players start at various points under par depending on the FedEx Cup position. Looks were not the least bit deceiving with Morikawa, who shot 125 without a bogey over two day in extreme heat.
He was No. 24 in the FedEx Cup and started at 1-under par. Hovland, who has been hotter than Atlanta dating to the final round in the BMW Championship last week, was the No. 2 seed and began the tournament at 8 under.
They now are 16-under par, two shots clear of top seed Scottie Scheffler. The world’s No. 1 player was running hot under the collar after opening with a 71 that included the worst kind of triple bogey – a tee shot in the water and a three-putt from 15 feet.
Friday was another ball-striking clinic – he missed only two greens – and Scheffler made enough birdie chances for a 65.
“I was six shots better,” Scheffler said. “I didn’t hit it in the water on 15, and I had three less three-putts, so there you go.”
That’s about the only simple math in the FedEx Cup, that and the $18 million to the winner.
Woods shot 127 for the opening 36 holes in the 2007 Tour Championship, back when everyone started at even. That was the year grass was hard to find on the putting surfaces and the pins were in the middle of most greens.
This year it’s all about the wind, or lack of it. The heat has been stifling, but only an occasional breeze has allowed for extreme scoring. Five players shot 65 or lower.
“There’s going to be a lot more low scores, a lot more birdies made. I’m going to have to continue that heading into the next two days,” Morikawa said.
Keegan Bradley, doing what he can to make those six wild-card picks even tougher for Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, birdied three of his last five holes for a 67 and was at 13-under.
Masters champion Jon Rahm (65) and Xander Schauffele (64) were four shots behind.
Schauffele twice has posted the low score at the Tour Championship and only has one trophy to show for it in 2017. The other time, during the era of the staggered start, he had the low score in 2020 but started seven shots behind Dustin Johnson. Schauffele began this year seven shots behind and rounds of 67-64 have allowed him to at least get in the mix.
“I look up at the board and I’m just barely picking up ground,” he said. “So still a lot to do.”
Rory McIlroy, who has been dealing with back spasms since Tuesday, felt marginally better on Friday though he still struggles to go after shots with a shorter iron, and he isn’t launching drives like he normally does.
He had a 67 and was at 10-under, six shots behind.
“I’m limited in what I can do, but I’m here grinding away, battling away,” McIlroy said. “So happy to be through 36 holes.”
The timing isn’t great. McIlroy started the tournament only three behind Scheffler, and he has won all three of his FedEx Cup titles from behind. The upside?
“I would rather it pop up now than in three or four weeks’ time,” he said, eyeing the Ryder Cup.
Morikawa was No. 10 in the Ryder Cup standings, and even with Johnson having six captain’s picks, two rounds have at least served up a reminder that Morikawa’s iron play, the hallmark of his game, works in Atlanta and Rome.
Now it could be a wild race on the weekend for a FedEx Cup title involving a world-class list of contenders. That includes Hovland, whose 28 on the back nine at Olympia Fields led to his victory in the BMW Championship last week. He shot 30 on the back nine Friday, which featured four straight birdies.
“I just tried to do more of the same and I was able to make some putts on the back nine,” Hovland said. “So, yeah. It was good.”
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Megan Khang had five straight birdies in a back-nine burst and shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the CPKC Women’s Open at challenging Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.
After playing the first 10 holes in 1 under, Khang birdied five straight on Nos. 11-15. She closed the bogey-free morning round with three pars, leaving her at 7-under 137 on the tree-lined – and mosquito-ladden – layout.
“Honestly, this golf course I feel like you can’t really get too comfortable,” Khang said. “These fairways are tight and the greens are fast and firm, so I’m not taking anything for granted.”
Linn Grant of Sweden was second after a 71.
First-round leader Yuka Saso of Japan followed her opening 66 with a 73 to drop into a tie for third at 5 under with 2019 winner Jin Young Ko of South Korea. The fourth-ranked Ko had a 70.
While winless on the LPGA Tour, Khang has 33 top-10 finishes and career earnings over $5 million. The 25-year-old American is No. 27 in the world.
“Definitely birdies are out there,” Khang said. “Again, just try to stay patient. There will be times where if you happen to miss the fairway you’re just going to have to punch out, and that’s OK. Just as long as you stay level-headed out there”
Grant won the Dana Open in July in Ohio for her first LPGA Tour title.
“Still a tricky course,” Grant said. “Still some good golf, but not quite there.”
Ko won in 2019 at Magna outside Toronto. She has 15 LPGA Tour victories.
“I hit a lot of good shots today,” Ko said. “I hit 17 greens out of 18 greens. I did some miss putts, but was OK.
Second-ranked Nelly Korda was 4 under after her second 70.
“It’s very crucial to hit it well out here,” Korda said. “At the end of the day, you got to make putts.”
Canadian star Brooke Henderson rebounded from an opening 75 with a bogey-free 68 to get to 1 under. The 2018 winner at Wascana in Regina, Saskatchewan, she is wearing glasses in competition for the first time.
“Feels really good to get back under par,” Henderson said. “Feel like I fought really hard to get back under par. … Yesterday was not good, so coming out early this morning just wanted to get off to a good start, and birdieing the 11th hole – my second hole of the day – gave me the right momentum.”
Rose Zhang had a 75 to fall to even par. The 20-year-old Zhang won the Mizuho Americas Open in June at Liberty National in her first professional start.
Top-ranked Lilia Vu also was even par after a second 72.
Three-time winner Lydia Ko was 2 over after a 74. She won at Vancouver Golf Club in 2012 and 2015.
Lexi Thompson missed the cut with rounds of 76 and 80. She’s No. 157 in the Race to CME Globe and in danger of losing her LPGA card without having to use a one-time career money exemption.
TOP INDIANA PRESS RELEASES
Indianapolis Colts first-year coach Shane Steichen said rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson put forth a “solid” performance in Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, even if his passing stats say otherwise.
Richardson, the fourth overall draft pick this year out of Florida, played the first half and led the Colts on three scoring drives in a 27-13 victory over the Eagles. He connected on just 6 of 17 throws for 78 yards, but he also ran for a game-high 38 yards on five carries.
“Shoot, I thought he did a solid job. We scored three out of the first four drives, which is good,” Steichen said. “The two-minute drive wasn’t what we wanted, but we’ll go back, look at the tape. I thought he did some really good things and some things we’ve got to clean up as well.”
Richardson was named Indianapolis’ starting quarterback on Aug. 15. He will be under center on Sept. 10 when the Colts host the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Richardson, 21, played in 24 games over three seasons at Florida. He started 12 games last season, posting a 6-6 record. He completed 176 passes for 2,549 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ran 103 times for 654 yards with nine scores.
The Miami Dolphins are in serious negotiations for star running back Jonathan Taylor and have made at least one offer for the 2021 All-Pro tailback that the Indianapolis Colts rejected, a source told the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.
The two sides are reportedly continuing to negotiate a deal.
The Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears are among other suitors to have expressed interest in Taylor, Jackson reports.
As of Thursday, no team had offered “a first-round or something comparable” to the Colts’ asking price, Jackson adds.
Indianapolis has given Taylor until Tuesday to find a trade partner, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder. Tuesday is the deadline for teams to get their rosters under the 53-player regular-season limit. Colts owner Jim Irsay initially said in July the team wouldn’t entertain trade offers for the halfback.
Taylor is set to make $4.3 million in the final year of his rookie contract. He issued a trade demand on July 25 following a meeting with Irsay. The sides have been unable to work toward a new deal for the Wisconsin product, with the club denying a request for an extension in May, a source told Holder.
The 24-year-old is currently on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason ankle surgery. Taylor must be placed on the active roster or moved to the reserve PUP list by Tuesday. He’ll miss the season’s first four weeks if the Colts put him on the reserve PUP.
Taylor has departed training camp twice over the past couple of weeks. He left the first time to seek treatment on his ankle at an off-site medical facility. The second time was for an unspecified personal matter.
Despite his ongoing rift with the organization, Taylor accompanied the team for its final preseason game Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Miami is kicking the tires on a possible deal for Taylor to bolster its depth at running back. Rookie De’Von Achane is considered week-to-week due to a shoulder injury he sustained in the Dolphins’ second preseason contest.
Taylor rushed for 861 yards, four touchdowns, and averaged 4.5 yards per carry in 2022 but sat on the sidelines for six games with an injury. He posted 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two campaigns since being selected in the second round by the Colts in the 2020 draft.
Indy Eleven vs Loudoun United FC
Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis
Streaming Video: ESPN+ (click to subscribe)
Spanish Radio: Exitos Radio 94.3 FM & exitos943.com
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed
Stats: #INDvLDN MatchCenter at USLChampionship.com
2023 USL Championship Records
Indy Eleven: 9W-9L-8D (4), 35 pts; 7th in Eastern Conference
Loudoun United FC: 7W-17L-3D (-16) 24 pts; 11th in Eastern Conference
Community Health Network Sports Medicine Indy Eleven Injury Report
OUT: Y. Oettl (ankle)
SETTING THE SCENE
The Boys in Blue return home after a three-match road swing to host Loudoun United FC on Saturday.
The Eleven are coming off a 0-0 draw at Memphis 901 FC and are 3-1-1 in their last five games. With a 9-9-8 record, Indy is seventh in the USLC Eastern Conference. Loudoun is 1-3-1 in its last five matches and is coming off a 3-1 loss to Sacramento Republic. LDN is 11th in the Eastern Conference at 7-17-3.
SERIES VS. LOUDOUN
Saturday marks the seventh meeting between the two teams, with Indy holding the 4-2-0 all-time advantage in USL Championship action. This is the second match up of the 2023 season with the Boys in Blue coming from behind to take the first meeting 2-1 on the road.
IND leads: 4-2-0 | GF 8, GA 7
5.6.23 | at LDN | W, 2-1
9.17.22 | home | W, 1-0
3.12.22 | at LDN | L, 1-0
8.18.23 | at LDN | L, 4-1
7.20.19 | home | W, 2-0
USL Championship Regular Season
Loudoun United FC 1:2 Indy Eleven
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Segra Field – Leesburg, Va.
LDN – Kalil ElMedkhar (Santos) 6’
IND – Sebastian Guenzatti (Boudadi) 73’
IND – Juan Tejada (Martinez) 90’
LAST TIME OUT
MEM 0:0 IND
AUGUST 23, 2023
Indy Eleven successfully defended a 0-0 draw at Memphis 901 FC, playing a man down for a half-plus of action.
A scoreless first half saw the teams even with three shots apiece with one on target each. In true form, Indy topped the possession battle at 55%-45%, but perhaps the most significant stat that carried into the second frame was a Harrison Robledo ejection that put the Eleven down a man for the remainder of the match.
The second half saw a brilliant defensive effort from the Boys in Blue, led by Tim Trilk in goal. Trilk registered three saves for his third clean sheet in six games in 2023, and ninth overall for Indy.
Sebastian Guenzatti led the Indy attack with a pair of shots, with Jack Blake having the lone shot on target. Defensively, Robby Dambrot won a team-high three tackles and Mechack Jerome had a match-high seven clearances.
USL Championship Regular Season
Memphis 901 FC 0:0 Indy Eleven
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
AutoZone Park – Memphis, Tenn.
2023 USL Championship Records
Memphis 901 FC: 10W-6L-8D (3) 38 pts Eastern Conference
Indy Eleven: 9W-9L-8D (4), 35 pts Eastern Conference
MEM – Aiden McFaddden (caution) 44’
IND – Harrison Robledo (ejection) 44’
MEM – Carson Vom Steeg (caution) 54’
IND – Callum Chapman-Page (caution) 67’
IND – Douglas Martinez (caution) 67’
MEM – Nighte Pickering (caution) 80’
Solomon Asante and Aodhan Quinn became the first two players in USL Championship history to reach both 50 regular season goals and 50 regular season assists. Asante (51G/52A) had three assists in the 4-0 win over Birmingham (8.9) to push himself over the plateau. Quinn (53G/50A) added his 50th assist in the 1-0 win at Miami (8.12).
20,000 AND BEYOND…
Aodhan Quinn became the USL Championship’s leader in regular-season minutes played against Tampa Bay on July 22.
Minutes | 20,726 | 1st
Appearances | 249 | 6th
Assists | 50 | 4th
Quinn has 53 goals, becoming the 24th player in USL Championship history to hit 50 goals. He is one of only seven players to have a combined 100 career goals and assists with 53 goals and 50 assists, and is the second player to join the 50 goals/50 assists club.
Quinn has recorded 24 penalty kick goals in 27 attempts in his career in the league, the most of any individual player on record in league history.
INDIANAPOLIS – Quinn Priester followed four combined shutout innings by Max Kranick and Kyle Nicolas with nine strikeouts over 5.0 innings of one-run ball, and Miguel Andújar drove in the game-winning run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth to carry the Indianapolis Indians to a third consecutive last at-bat win over the Iowa Cubs on Friday night, 2-1.
With the game locked at one and stellar pitching on display throughout, Grant Koch provided a spark with a leadoff triple in the eighth for Indianapolis (58-64, 25-23). The three-bagger was just the second of his career and first since Aug. 8, 2018, with Short-Season A West Virginia. Following a groundout by Canaan Smith-Njigba, Jared Triolo walked on four pitches to set up Andújar, who plated Koch after narrowly beating the relay to first base on a chopper to short.
Indy struck first in the second inning thanks to a leadoff double by Malcom Nuñez and single by Domingo Leyba. After a strikeout, Mason Martin scored Nuñez on a fielder’s choice to first.
Kranick, whose rehab assignment was transferred from Single-A Bradenton to Indy prior to the game, recorded four strikeouts and yielded just one hit and one walk in 2.2 scoreless frames. The outing was his first with the Indians since May 3, 2022. Nicolas inherited runners at the corners and walked Yonathan Perlaza to load the bases before ringing up Matt Mervis on strikes. He then registered two swinging strikeouts in the fourth before turning the game over to Priester (W, 8-3), who dazzled down the stretch in his career-high seventh straight win in Triple-A dating back to May 4. The nine-strikeout performance was his fourth with nine or more this season – all at Victory Field – and second against Iowa (also: May 16). He also tied Osvaldo Bido (April 16 vs. St. Paul) and Nicolas (June 30 at Louisville) for the most strikeouts in relief in the Victory Field era. In total, the trio of Kranick, Nicolas and Priester combined for 16 strikeouts, tied for the second-most by Indy’s staff in a game this season.
Iowa (69-52, 26-22) only mustered three hits in the contest, two coming in the seventh to tie the game. P.J. Higgins singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch ahead of a two-out knock by Luis Vázquez.
Caleb Kilian struck out seven in 6.0 innings of one-run ball to take a no-decision for Iowa. Brendon Little (L, 2-3) was saddled with the loss.
The Indians and I-Cubs continue their series on Saturday at 7:05 PM ET. RHP Roansy Contreras (0-0, 2.45) will toe the rubber for Indianapolis against RHP Nick Neidert (5-5, 5.44).
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – An outstanding night from the service line, highlighted by four aces from junior setter Camryn Haworth, boosted the Indiana Volleyball team (1-0, 0-0) to an opening-night sweep of New Hampshire on Friday night (Aug. 25) in Wilkinson Hall.
In front of a raucous student section, IU defeated New Hampshire 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-12), winning a third-consecutive season opener under head coach Steve Aird.
The Hoosiers featured a balance attack offensively with six players providing four-or-more kills including a game-high 10 kills from junior outside hitter Mady Saris. Graduate student middle blocker Kaley Rammelsberg was errorless across 15 attempts, providing eight kills and an additional three blocks in the victory.
IU aced New Hampshire 14 times across three sets, breaking a program record for team aces in a match under the current 25-point rally-scoring system (played since 2008).
Three players made their IU debuts including Gary, sophomore opposite hitter Avry Tatum and redshirt freshman setter Natalia Hagopian.
IU returns to action tomorrow for a pair of games to close out the Indiana Invitational at 10:00 AM (Southern Indiana) and 7:00 PM (Radford).
Stats and Notes
• The Hoosiers recorded 14 aces against New Hampshire led by four from Haworth and three from Gary and senior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede. IU’s 14 aces broke a program record for team aces in a match under the current 25-point scoring system (in place since 2008).
• IU recorded seven team blocks to New Hampshire’s five, 14 aces to New Hampshire’s one and 40 digs to New Hampshire’s 36 on the evening.
#10 Haworth, Camryn
• The Fishers, Ind. native recorded four aces on the evening, the fifth time she’s reached that mark in her career.
• An all-around night for Haworth featured 27 assists, four digs, four kills and four aces.
#18 Rammelsberg, Kaley
• IU’s most veteran player was efficient the entire night, hitting .533 (8-0-15) with three blocks and two digs.
#32 Gary, Ramsey
• On debut, Gary recorded 12 digs and three aces while wearing the libero jersey for the first time.
#12 Gosnell, Grae
• Gosnell played a big role in the back row, picking up 10 digs for the second time in her career.
Set 1: Indiana 25, New Hampshire 20
• The Hoosiers converted on 16 kills in the opening set, led by four from Saris, Tatum and Rammelsberg.
• Haworth recorded all four of her aces in the first set.
Set 2: Indiana 25, New Hampshire 18
• After New Hampshire brought the deficit to three, IU went on a 7-1 run behind a strong run of serve from Kjolhede.
• Saris had four kills, two digs and a solo block in the second frame.
Set 3: Indiana 25, New Hampshire 12
• Kjolhede blew open the scoring, serving seven straight points with three kills from Rammelsberg and a service ace sprinkled in to take a 15-7 lead.
• New Hampshire hit just -.294 in the final frame with five team blocks from the Hoosiers halting the visiting attack.
*****INDIANA FIELD HOCKEY
DURHAM, N.C. ––– Indiana lost a tough battle at No. 20 Duke, 3-2, on the opening night of the field hockey season.
The Hoosiers kept pace with the Blue Devils all night long despite falling behind early in each half. Trailing 3-2 after three periods, Indiana earned a handful of chances down the stretch, but could not convert.
The team now stands at 0-1 through the first game of the year.
• Duke struck first with a score in the fourth minute of the game off a penalty corner to take an early 1-0 lead.
• On its second shot of the game, Indiana evened the game at 1-1 right before the half. Graduate student Sarah Charley knocked one through to the back of the cage in the 28th minute.
• Duke scored a quick set of goals after the break in the 32nd and 37th minute of the third period to take a 3-1 lead.
• Just a few minutes later junior Maggie Carter drove up the endline to score and wrapped a shot around the corner for a goal in the 41st minute to make it 3-2.
• In the closing seconds of the third period, Indiana earned two penalty corners. The second resulted in an opportunity for a penalty stroke.
• Redshirt senior Sydney Keld found the back of the cage on the stroke, but it was negated due an official ruling of Keld dragging the ball.
• Indiana had a chance to tie in the 59th minute with Charley shooting a strong shot, but Duke’s Piper Hampsch made the save.
• In her first career game as a Hoosier, Sarah Charley scored a goal and had two shots.
• Six Hoosiers made their Indiana debut: Charley, Maddie Olshemski, Inés Garcia Prado, Javi Baeza, Cecilia Maixner and Hannah Riddle.
• Shannon McNally and Arabella Loveridge both spent time in the cage. The two keepers combined for eight saves.
• Maggie Carter scored her fourth career goal.
• Sofia Arrebola Garcia and Inés Garcia Prado each recorded an assist.
• IU continues the weekend with a trip to Lynchburg, Va. on Sunday at 11 a.m. to face No. 14 Liberty.
By: Rachel Coe
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The No. 16 Purdue Boilermaker volleyball squad opened their season with a 3-1 (25-19, 26-28, 25-19, 25-14) victory vs. the Duke Blue Devils.
Chloe Chicoine posted the most kills in a season-opener by a freshman this century, besting Eva Hudson’s previous record of 18 kills, set last year vs. Bowling Green
Eva Hudson recorded a double-double with 14 kills, 12 digs
Raven Colvin recorded just one attack error with 12 kills on 16 swings (.688)
The Boilermakers hit .333 as a team, including a perfect 4-0-4 effort by Raven Colvin
Maddie Schermerhorn posted seven digs
Eva Hudson led with an errorless five kills on 11 swings (.455%)
The score was tied 10 times with four lead changes, the most of any set
Chicoine registered six hits to lead the team in the set
Schermerhorn added seven digs, reaching 14 total through two sets of action
Purdue out-scored Duke 10-5 to close the set
Purdue hit .310 in the set while holding Duke to .118%
Two Boilermakers went errorless: Raven Colvin (4-0-5 for .800%) and Chloe Chicoine (4-0-9 for .444%)
Through three sets, Colvin owned just one error with a 11-1-14 over the first three sets
Colvin was on all four Purdue blocks in the set (1 solo, 3 assisted)
Ali Hornung led the back row with five digs
The match was the first of three for the Boilermakers in its Purdue Reamer Club Xtra Special Volleyball Premier tournament and will face No. 16 Creighton tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.
INDIANAPOLIS — A well-rounded offense helped Butler’s volleyball team top Fresno State 3-1 (32-30, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22) on Friday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The win was the second of the day and improved their record to 2-0 at the season-opening Bulldog Brawl tournament.
Set 1: 32-30
Butler got out to an early 5-4 lead with the help of kills by Cora Taylor. Fresno State would keep it within two points until Abby Maesch helped extend the score to 21-17. The Bulldogs from California didn’t give up as they came crawling back tying the game at 25. The battle between the two teams turned into a marathon as the score alternated until the 30th point where Mariah Grunze stepped up with consecutive kills to close out the first set. Grunze finished with six kills and Taylor added 13 assists and three digs.
Set 2: 25-22
Kills by Destiny Cherry and Maesch helped Butler get out to a 3-0 lead early. Fresno State would slowly shorten the gap to tie the score 8-8 followed later by a 4-0 spurt to take the lead 18-14. Butler would then mount a comeback on the backs of Sawyer Jones and Grace Boggess to regain the lead 22-21. Cherry would cap off the comeback with consecutive blocks to secure the second set. Taylor posted 14 assists and Cherry finished with three kills and blocks.
Set 3: 25-17
Fresno State jumped out to an early 10-4 lead and never looked back in the third set. The gap would continue to widen with the score reaching 18-9. Kills by Jones and Cherry helped cut the advantage to 23-16, but Fresno State would ultimately hold on 25-17. Grunze led the team with five kills in the set.
Set 4: 25-16
Butler would fall behind early in the fourth frame 2-5 until two attacking errors and a service ace by Elise Ward helped tie the game 5-5. The score would remain within two points until a solo block by Maesch helped extend their lead to 18-15. Butler wouldn’t look back holding onto the lead until Jones clinched the game with a kill. Boggess and Jones each put down 4 kills in the set while Taylor reached 10 assists for the third time in the match.
Stat of the Match
The Bulldogs had five players with nine or more kills including Gruze (16), Maesch (10), Jones (10) Boggess (nine), and Cherry (nine).
Inside the Box Score
Taylor finished the match with 43 assists and four kills
Jaymenson Kinley added 19 digs and 7 assists
Grunze scored a team-high 16.5 points on 16 kills and six digs
Maesch went for 10 kills, two blocks, and a serving ace.
Jones totaled 10 kills and two blocks
Cherry recorded nine kills and five blocks
Boggess tallied nine kills and three blocks
The Bulldogs will return to Hinkle Fieldhouse tomorrow for the final game of the Bulldog Brawl against UC San Diego beginning at 4 pm.
PEORIA, Ill. – The IUPUI volleyball team opened the 2023 season with a win against Eastern Michigan to begin the CEFCU Invitational at Bradley, 3-2. The marks Andrew Kroger first win as IUPUI’s head coach.
I’m so proud of the fight and grit our team showed today,” said Kroger. “It wasn’t always pretty, but we competed hard on every point despite facing multiple match points against us. Several freshman played great in their collegiate debuts and our upperclassman brought composure and leadership that was crucial to our success.”
Eastern Michigan came out strong, winning the first two sets, taking a 2-0 lead. Attack errors proved costly in the first set with the Jags committing seven compared to EMU’s two.
After losing the first two sets, IUPUI fought back with 14 kills in the third set to take set three, 25-22. Freshman Grace Purichia closed out the third set with a kill to seal the third set victory.
The fourth set was nothing short of exciting with Eastern Michigan and IUPUI exchanging the leads several times. The Eagles had set and match point at 24-22 when EMU committed an attack error and Emily Alan recorded a kill to tie the set at 24-24. After the Jags took a 25-24 lead, Morgan Ostrowski closed out the fourth set with an ace.
After a thrilling fourth set to tie the match at two sets each, Eastern Michigan took an early 4-1 lead in the fifth set. The Jags quickly recovered going on a 6-0 run with kills from Maia Long, Alan and Purichia. Brooke Phillips added a service ace to give the Jags a 7-4 lead. IUPUI closed out the fifth set at 15-12 due to a couple attack errors by the Eagles.
Freshman Long led the Jaguar attack with 14 kills followed by Ostrowski with 12 and Ava Harris with 11. Purichia added a team-high 39 assists and 14 digs while Phillips recorded three service aces and 14 digs. Junior Addie Evans collected 12 digs.
IUPUI starts the season 1-0 with coach Kroger earning his first win with the Jags. IUPUI will now face SIUE and Bradley tomorrow at 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
******IUPUI WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI basketball program announced it’s 2023-24 schedule on Friday (August 25), headlined by four non-conference games and 10 Horizon League matchups. Head coach Kate Bruce’s team returned four from last year’s squad and added ten newcomers to make up the 2023-24 roster.
The Jaguars will open up the regular season when they host Eastern Illinois on November 6. Other non-conference home games include matchups with Marquette (Nov. 15), Ball State (Nov. 22) and Eastern Michigan (Dec. 15). The road slate includes a BIG Ten matchup against Ohio State (Nov. 11) and games against UIC (Nov. 19), Ohio (Nov. 26), Evansville (Dec. 6) and UCF (Dec. 19).
Horizon League play will open at Wright State on Nov. 30 before returning home to face Milwaukee in the Jungle on Dec. 3. The Horizon League schedule is highlighted by three three-game homestands. IUPUI will host Detroit Mercy (Jan. 4), Wright State (Jan. 11) and Northern Kentucky (Jan. 14) for the first three-game home stretch.
The Jags will finish the regular season in the Jungle against Oakland on March 2.
The Horizon League Tournament will begin on campus sites on Mar. 5 and Mar. 7 with the semifinals and finals being played at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Mar. 11 and Mar. 12.
******BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL
MUNCIE, Ind. – – Fifth-year middle Marie Plitt picked up right where she left off last season, hitting a match-best .500 (13-1-24) to lead the Ball State women’s volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-18) sweep of Gonzaga Friday night inside Worthen Arena.
Plitt, who hit a single-season program record .404 last season, started with six kills in the opening set and never looked back, leading all players with 13. She was one of four Cardinals (1-0) to tally double-digit kills in the contest, joined by senior outside Cait Snyder with 11, senior middle Lauren Gilliland with 10, and sophomore outside Madison Buckley with a career-high 10.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the crowd we had tonight,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said after the win. “That set the tone from the beginning of what we are going to be in this new season. We had a really balanced offense, and while we left a couple plays on the table, for our first match we came out ready and prepared. It’s a great start.”
Running the offense to a .309 (49-15-110) hitting percentage on the night was reigning Mid-American Conference Setter of the Year Megan Wielonski. The junior handed out 36 total assists and helped keep the Bulldogs’ (0-2) defense off-balance the entire match. Wielonski, who also tallied 10 digs for her 38th career double-double, has led Ball State offense to a .300-or-better attack percentage in 19 of her 68 matches as the program’s starting setter.
Wielonski also continued to make an impact from the service line, registering a match-high three aces to raise her career total to 107. The total currently stands 15th in program history.
Leading the Ball State backcourt was fifth-year libero Havyn Gates with 11 digs. She was also one of six Cardinals to earn a perfect reception percentage on the night, going 9-for-9 in serve receive. Junior defensive specialist Kendall Seimet led the way in that category, going 11-for-11 while adding five digs.
In addition to smashing 10 kills each, Gilliland finished the night hitting .429 (10-21-21) and Buckley connected at a .389 (10-3-18) clip.
In the opening set, the Cardinals trailed 9-7 early, only to post a 13-1 run to take control of the frame. The second set saw Gonzaga pull ahead 4-3 early, but a 5-1 run gave Ball State another lead it would not relinquish. The Bulldogs were again up 4-3 in the third set, only to see a 4-0 run give the hosts control and ultimately end the night with a marker from Buckley.
The Cardinals continue play in the Ball State Invitational on Saturday (Aug. 25) with matches versus Oklahoma (1 p.m.) and Purdue Fort Wayne (7 p.m.). Both contests will be streamed live on ESPN+ and Ball State Sports Link digital radio.
******NOTRE DAME VOLLEYBALL
Lubbock, TX – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened up the 2023 season taking on the Wichita State Shockers for the first time in program history. While the Irish would take set one, a tough set two and three against the Shockers would take the Irish into a competitive fourth and fifth. Notre Dame battled back to take home the final two sets and start the 2023 season 1-0.
Junior Sydney Palazzolo, the 2022 Big South Player of the Year, made her debut in an Irish uniform on Friday, August 25. The outside hitter tallied a team-high 24 kills, a .254 hitting percentage, 12 digs, and three blocks. Freshman Ava Lange made her freshman debut and first start at Notre Dame, recording 13 kills and five digs. Graduate transfer Nicole Drewnick also dished out 54 assists and tallied 12 digs in her first Irish game day.
Senior middle blockers Lauren Tarnoff and Charity McDowell finished with eight kills and seven kills, respectively, while Tarnoff also defended the net with a team-high four blocks. Sophomore Lucy Trump chipped in five kills and tallied a team-best four service aces.
The Irish came out strong posting their first set win of the 2023 season as they took home set one 25-18. After trailing at 6-5, the Irish strung together a run of five points sparked from a Palazollo kill to take the lead 10-6. Notre Dame would lead the rest of the set and would outscore the shockers 7-2 to close and take home set one 25-18.
It was back and forth between the Irish and the Shockers to start the second, as neither team was able to grab more than a two-point advantage until the 11-11 mark. Wichita would pull away to take the lead 20-14 and while the Irish closed the gap to four with three kills from Lange, the Shockers took home set two 25-20.
Set three would start in a similar fashion as set two – the Irish led early at 7-5, but a 10-2 run by the Shockers quickly gave Wichita State the edge in the third. Trailing 24-16, three straight kills from Palazollo brought Irish within three, but the Shockers took the 2-1 advantage heading into the fourth.
Notre Dame posted a 9-3 lead over the Shockers to start set four, which included three kills and an ace from Trump and kills from Palazzolo and Drewnick. Wichita State rallied to tie it up at 13-13, but a Tarnoff kill and back-to-back aces from Trump gave the Irish the 16-13 advantage. The Shockers responded with a three-point run of their own to make it an even game at 16-16, but a McDowell kill would solidify the 25-23 set four win.
Going into five sets was nothing new for the Irish as Notre Dame battled through many five set matches in the 2022 season. Ready to rise to the occasion, the Irish were back and forth with the Shockers until Notre Dame took their first lead of the fifth set at 8-7. Tied up at 9-9, 10-10, and 11-11, three kills from Lange and a kill from Palazollo allowed the Irish to close the set with a 4-1 run to secure their first win of the 2023 season.
The Irish are back in action on Saturday, August 26, against the Under Armour Challenge host, Texas Tech, at 8 PM ET.
******INDIANA STATE VOLLEYBALL
CINCINNATI – Karinna Gall recorded a team-high 14 kills along with 12 digs for her 15th career double-double, but Xavier defeated Indiana State in four sets (25-19,25-16,23-25,25-17) Friday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena in the season opener for both teams.
Mallory Keller added nine kills for the Trees, all of which came in the last two sets, while Kaitlyn Hamilton finished with six kills. Hannah Baudin had 31 assists, while Macy Lengacher and Cadence Gilley tallied 15 and 14 digs, respectively.
Indiana State opened the match strong with kills by Hamilton and Ella Scott, but Xavier used a six-point swing midway through and never looked back in the first set. Hamilton and Gall helped trim the deficit with kills in the later stages of the set, and a block assist by Madisen Perry and Scott made it 20-18, but the Musketeers took the first set 25-19.
The Sycamores and Musketeers traded early blows in the second set, with Scott registering a pair of kills within the first 10 points of the set. Storm Suhre and Scott added kills midway through to get the Trees within 13-9, but Indiana State never got closer than a four-point deficit for the remainder of the set. Hamilton and Gall tacked on kills late in the set, but the Trees found themselves with work to do after dropping the second set 25-16.
Baudin, Keller, Hamilton and Gall each had kills early in the fourth set, as the Sycamores and Musketeers were neck-and-neck early on. A 5-1 Xavier run saw the Sycamores trail 13-8 before Hamilton ended the run with a kill. Xavier extended its advantage up to seven points before Keller and Gall recorded kills on back-to-back plays to make it 20-15. The Musketeers kept their foot on the gas, though, and closed out the match by taking the fourth set 25-16.
Inside the Numbers
Karinna Gall’s double-double was the 15th of her career. She had seven double-doubles in each of the last two seasons.
Mallory Keller hit a team-best .381 on 21 attempts, despite not playing in the first two sets.
Hannah Baudin registered the first 30-assist game in a season opener for the Sycamores since the 2019 opener against Northeastern.
News and Notes
Indiana State’s third-set win was its first set win in a season opener since the first set of the 2021 season.
Hannah Baudin, Macy Lengacher, Madisen Perry and Ella Scott made their Indiana State debuts Friday.
Friday’s match was the first of two straight against 2022 postseason teams.
Indiana State continues play at the Tribute to #10 Tournament in Cincinnati Saturday at 3 p.m. against Alabama State.
******PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S SOCCER
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s soccer team fell 2-1 to the SIUE Cougars on Friday night (Aug. 25).
SIUE went up 2-0 in the opening 10 minutes. Kasey Neidhardt and Taryn Moore scored for the Cougars.
Four minutes after the Cougars’ second goal, the Mastodons found the net for the first time. Morgan Reitano was in close and found contact with the post. She found the rebound and sent it to Rylee Vruggink to tap in for the goal.
Midway through the second half, Reitano was fouled outside the box, setting up a pair of set pieces in dangerous position. Neither resulted in a shot, but both had battles for possession inside the box deep in SIUE territory.
With 15 minutes left, Reitano ripped a shot from outside the 18 that was knocked away. It led to a corner kick, but Purdue Fort Wayne could not capitalize.
SIUE and Purdue Fort Wayne both move to 1-2. The Mastodons will be back in action on Sunday at Southern Indiana.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Taking on preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorite Southeast Missouri State, the University of Evansville volleyball team put forth a strong effort but dropped a 3-0 decision on Friday morning at Houck Field House.
Each set was decided by two points with two frames going to extra points. Giulia Cardona led the way for the Purple Aces, finishing with 14 points, 8 digs and 4 blocks. Melanie Feliciano added 13 kills and 5 digs. Brooke Springer registered a game-high eight blocks. Marisa Guisti and Lucy Arndt paced SEMO with 12 and 11 kills, respectively.
Game 1 – SEMO 26, UE 24
In the early portion of the opening set, the lead changed hands on multiple occasions before Evansville turned an 8-8 tie into an 11-8 lead. Giulia Cardona and Melanie Feliciano recorded kills. Feliciano registered another kill to push the lead to 13-10. Southeast Missouri State stormed back, scoring five in a row to take their first multipoint lead at 15-13.
Continuing to fight back, the Aces jumped back in front when a Madisyn Steele kill gave her squad a 20-19 advantage. SEMO countered with a 5-2 stretch to force set point at 24-22. Feliciano got her team back on track to tie it up at 24-24 before the Redhawks scored the final two points to take a 26-24 decision.
Game 2 – SEMO 26, UE 24
Carrying the momentum from a strong finish to the first set, SEMO stormed out to a 7-1 lead with two service aces contributing to the rally. Kora Ruff contributed an ace to cut the deficit to a pair (7-5), but the Redhawks scored five of the next six to match their largest lead at 12-6.
Things continued to go the way of Southeast Missouri State as they held a 16-10 lead. Steele and Feliciano posted kills to begin an 8-1 run that gave UE its first advantage of the set. Feliciano totaled three kills during the run while combining with Brooke Springer on the block that put Evansville in front. Springer added a solo block to give UE set point at 24-23, however, it was another late rally that would be the difference. The final three points belonged to SEMO as they took another 26-24 win.
Game 3 – SEMO 25, UE 23
Evansville had the upper hand in the early moments of the set. After Southeast Missouri State took a 6-4 edge, the Aces stormed back with eight in a row to open a 12-6 advantage. Cardona and Springer combined for a pair of blocks during the stretch. A pair of aces from the Redhawks helped them cut the lead in half before a kill made it a 14-12 game in favor of UE.
Steele had a solo block to push the lead back to four points (16-12), but the complexion of the game changed once again as the Redhawks scored six in a row before extending the lead to 24-20. The Aces rallied with three in a row but it was not enough as SEMO clinched the 25-23 win to take the match.
On Saturday, the Aces take on Central Michigan at 12 p.m.
******SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer returns home Sunday at 2 p.m. against Purdue Fort Wayne University. The home match is the back half of a USI soccer doubleheader at Strassweg Field.
Southern Indiana (0-2-1) is coming off a 2-1 road loss at Wright State University on Thursday evening. After a goal by Wright State in the 19th minute and one in the 54th minute, USI built momentum and provided some pushback at the Raiders. Down 2-0, USI scored in the 58th minute on the first career goal for freshman forward Pilar Torres (Chula Vista, California). The Screaming Eagles had a few more chances late but could not find another breakthrough.
In the match at Wright State, USI had eight total shots on target. As a team, USI tallied its highest shot total of the season so far with 11 attempts. The Screaming Eagles outshot the Raiders 8-6 in the second half. Freshman midfielder Greta Ohlwein (Chicago, Illinois) joined Torres in leading USI with two shots on goal each.
On Thursday, junior midfielder Maggie Duggan (Defiance, Missouri) tallied another shot on goal for the Screaming Eagles. Duggan has five shots on goal in five of the last six matches she has played in dating back to last season. She has placed over 55 percent of her shot attempts on target during that stretch. What is interesting about the trend for Duggan is that she finished last season as a defensive outside back and moved into a holding midfield position this season, showcasing her versatility.
USI leads the all-time series 2-1-0 against the Mastodons. Last season, USI and PFW met for the first time since the 2000 season, as the Mastodons protected its home field in a 1-0 victory. The two schools previously met as Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents in 1999 and 2000. USI won both of those matchups, outscoring the Mastodons 14-0.
Purdue Fort Wayne, out of the Horizon League, is 1-2-0 this season. The Mastodons are coming off a 2-1 defeat against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. All three goals in the match were scored within the first 15 minutes of the contest. Senior forward Rylee Vruggink recorded the goal for Purdue Fort Wayne, her first of the season. Vruggink leads PFW with three assists in 2023 and is tied for a team-best five points with graduate forward Morgan Reitano. Reitano leads the Mastodons with a pair of goals.
Sunday’s match can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+. Additional coverage links are on the USI Women’s Soccer schedule page on usiscreamingeagles.com.
******SOUTHERN INDIANA VOLLEYBALL
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (1-1) kicked off the 2023 campaign at Wilkinson Hall on Friday afternoon with a 3-1 loss (25-19, 27-25, 25-20, 25-21) to the University of New Hampshire before taking down Radford University in sweeping fashion, 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 26-24). The Screaming Eagles are one of four teams in this year’s Indiana Invitational hosted by Indiana University and competed in the first two matches of the tournament.
USI vs. New Hampshire
An early deficit from the Wildcats handed the Eagles a 25-19 opening-set loss. UNH started off hot on the attack, earning four kills and a pair of aces to go up 8-2 early. The Wildcats’ run ended after back-to-back kills from sophomore middle hitter Bianca Anderson (Chicago Heights, Illinois) and some key mistakes from UNH that put USI back in the game, trailing 9-8. Even though the Eagles tied it at 10 apiece, the Wildcats responded with a 6-1 stint that put USI in a deep hole, 16-11. After trading off points, UNH stole the show and took home the first-game victory. Senior outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) racked up four kills, all coming in the final points for the Eagles.
Despite holding a late lead, USI watched UNH go on a streak to hand the Eagles their second loss of the match, 27-25. The Wildcats kicked off the set with a 7-3 advantage until a 6-0 rally from the Eagles made it a 9-7 game. The surge started with junior setter Carly Sobieralski (Indianapolis, Indiana) throwing down a kill before Leah Anderson put up a pair of kills and junior outside hitter Abby Weber (Fishers, Indiana) added back-to-back service aces. Later in the set, USI held a 23-19 lead until UNH added five straight points to shift the momentum. Even though L. Anderson’s two kills forced extra serves, the Wildcats stormed off with a two-set advantage. USI had a team-high 14 kills in the second frame.
A late push from the Eagles kept them alive, taking a 25-20 win over the Wildcats in the third set. USI jumped out to an early 6-4 lead after tallying five kills from three different Eagles. UNH later responded with a 6-0 surge that made it 15-10. After some mistakes from the Wildcats’ offense and a kill from senior outside/right side hitter Abby Bednar (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), the Eagles were back in it but trailing 18-14. USI hit the gas and went for a dominating 8-0 run that left the Wildcats in the dust. The stint was led by Weber’s four aces and Bianca Anderson’s three kills. USI ended the set on an 11-2 sequence that gave the Eagles their first win of the season.
USI could not catch fire in the final frame, falling 25-21 to UNH and losing the match. The Eagles and Wildcats were tied at five apiece before a couple of kills and an attacking error gave UNH the 8-5 advantage. Back-and-forth play went on throughout the rest of the match and led to a 19-14 Wildcats advantage. The Eagles were able to capitalize off some UNH miscues, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit. The Wildcats put up a match-high 16 kills in the fourth frame compared to USI’s 12 kills.
Sobieralski and Bednar each posted the team’s first double-double of the season. Sobieralski nabbed a match-high 40 assists paired with a team-high 16 digs. Bednar posted 12 kills along with 14 digs, each the second-most for the Eagles. Leading the offensive attack was Leah Anderson with 16 kills while Weber provided a match-high six aces. Bianca Anderson was able to secure four blocks to lead USI at the net.
As a team, the Eagles earned 48 kills off 46 assists along with 70 digs and six blocks. USI got the upper hand on UNH in service aces, securing eight in comparison to the Wildcats’ four.
USI vs. Radford
A set-ending 6-0 run gave the Eagles the 25-15 opening-frame victory. USI was trailing Radford 8-7 before the Eagles scored three straight off a pair of attacking errors and a kill from senior outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois). USI would add four more with the help of a Leah Anderson ace and a kill from sophomore middle hitter Bianca Anderson (Chicago Heights, Illinois) to make it 14-9. After the Highlanders cut the Eagles’ lead to four, USI went on a 6-0 tear that gave them a 1-0 match advantage. Both Andersons scored kills during the run and three each in the set. The Eagles were also able to take advantage of the 12 Radford errors, the most in the match.
USI had a pair of runs that secured the 25-18 second-set win over Radford. The Eagles kicked off the set with three straight points before back-and-forth play led to an 8-7 lead for USI. The Highlanders would take a 12-10 lead off a pair of errors from the Eagles. Down 13-11, USI put up an 11-1 stint with 5-0 and 6-0 runs. Senior outside/right side hitter Abby Bednar (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) was the heavy force during the surge, posting a kill and three aces. Even after a late push by Radford, USI held their ground and defeated the Highlanders to hold a 2-0 match lead. The Eagles’ net pressure forced 10 Radford errors that led to a negative .100 hitting percentage.
Radford’s late run was no match as USI earned the sweep, 26-24. The Eagles went down 4-1 early before catching up and forcing a 7-7 tie. Both sides traded points until the Highlanders’ 5-1 surge put them up 14-12. USI responded with four kills from four different Eagles to knot it up at 17 apiece. Radford regained the lead, 19-18, before giving up three straight off attacking errors, handing the Eagles a 21-19 advantage. USI held on to a 24-21 lead until Radford stormed back to tie it at 24-24 until junior middle hitter Paris Downing (Avon, Indiana) threw down back-to-back kills to end the Highlanders’ night and give the Eagles their first victory of the season.
USI led in all five categories with 33 kills, 30 assists, 44 digs, seven blocks, and six aces. A total team effort was used to earn the sweep as Leah Anderson was the lone Eagle to have double-digit kills with a match-high 11 and a team-leading four blocks to add to her stat line. Sobieralski nabbed a match-high 26 kills while sophomore libero/defensive specialist Keira Moore (Newburgh, Indiana) captured a team-high 14 digs. At the line, Bednar served up four aces to lead all players.
NEXT UP FOR THE EAGLES:
The Eagles wrap up the Indiana Invitational tomorrow at 9 a.m. (CT) when USI faces Indiana University. This will be the first time the two schools have faced off in program history.
Over the last three seasons, the Valparaiso University football program has notched its highest Pioneer Football League win total in a three-year period in program history.
The list of 2022 accomplishments is a long one – the program’s first win at Morehead State since 2006, the team’s first-ever win at Marist, a victory over an Indiana Wesleyan team that went undefeated for the remainder of the regular season and appeared in a national semifinal and the closest game in program history against a full-scholarship Missouri Valley Football Conference opponent. And that’s just to name a few.
While those successes helped lay a foundation to build upon, the players and coaches have turned the page from 2022 and are focused on taking another step forward in 2023 – something the team has done successfully in each season during the Landon Fox head coaching regime.
From the moment the charter flight landed in Northwest Indiana after the program’s first-ever contest against an FBS opponent on Dec. 3 at New Mexico State, Valpo football has focused on building toward this moment. From winter conditioning to spring ball to summer workouts to fall camp, everything has built toward this – the opportunity to take the field in a game situation. The 2023 season opener is less than a week away with a Thursday night tilt at Youngstown State on the docket for the final evening of August.
After bursting onto the scene as the starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman, Michael Appel Jr. (Springboro, Ohio / Springboro) sits atop the signal caller depth chart as he returns for his sophomore season. After throwing for 1,878 yards and tossing 10 touchdown passes a year ago, Appel will start under center for the season opener in Youngstown, Ohio.
Veteran Jeffrey Jackson (San Diego, Calif. / Bishop’s [San Diego]) is back for his sixth season of college football and his third at Valpo. He will back up Appel. Other QBs on the roster include freshman Caron Tyler (Temecula, Calif. / Chaparral), redshirt freshman Rowan Keefe (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and freshman Michael Martin (Los Angeles, Calif. / Maranatha).
“I’m excited about Mikey being back,” Fox said. “He has experience and is very efficient running our offense. His knowledge has improved; he has a great arm and an ability to make all the throws. Jeffrey provides us with someone who has played college football for a long time as a backup.”
It’s no secret that Valpo has big shoes to fill at the running back position with the departure of Aaron Dawson, who had the second-most rushing yards in a single season in program history a year ago. However, the cupboard is far from bare in the RB room.
“This position will be running back by committee,” Fox said. “There’s a lot of talent in this position group. You’ll see a number of people play and they will each be used in a variety of roles.”
Redshirt sophomore Ryan Mann (Vernon Hills, Ill. / Vernon Hills [Northern Illinois]) is atop the two-deep and is described as a “complete back.” Transfer Jashon Butler (Lynwood, Wash. / Meadowdale [Arizona]) is a change-of-pace back and Barret Labus (Wadsworth, Ohio / Wadsworth) is a versatile utility man. Freshman Brian Thomas (Apopka, Fla. / Orlando Christian Prep) has enjoyed an impressive fall camp, while sophomore Jeffery Vercher (Nashville, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy) will see action and veteran Darius Lane (Stephens City, Va. / Sherando) is also a factor in a deep position group.
Preseason All-Pioneer Football League choice Solomon Davis (Brighton, Tenn. / Brighton) leads the way in the receiving corps as he enters his fifth year in Valpo’s program. He earned All-PFL First Team accolades a season ago, when he boasted 43 receptions for 748 yards and four touchdowns.
Transfer Brandon Jimenez (Suffern, N.Y. / Don Bosco Prep [Albany]) enters Week 1 as the other projected starter at wide receiver. Transfer Moise Tezzo (Houston, Texas / Fort Bend Austin [Millsaps]) and redshirt junior Tytus Ragle (New Castle, Ind. / New Castle) will split time in the slot. Freshman Micah Mackay (Zionsville, Ind. / Lutheran), redshirt freshman Devin Yeats (Hampshire, Ill. / Hampshire) and senior Cam Livingston (Leo, Ind. / Leo) are among the other players who are expected to make contributions to the position group.
“Solomon is a guy who had a big year last year,” Fox said. “He has an ability to stretch the field. Moise is elusive in the slot and has the ability to find holes quickly. Tytus has been in the program for four years and will be on the field 50 percent of the time on Thursday. Brandon is a really good route runner with good ball skills. Livingston is a trustworthy guy who will be in the right places. Yeats and McKay are young guys who have shown promise.”
Three starters return to this position group with redshirt sophomore Brett Gray (Vancouver, Wash. / Skyview), senior Carter Woody (Fort Mill, S.C. / Charlotte Catholic) and senior Tyler Eberhart (Barberton, Ohio / Barberton) all poised to retain their starting roles. Redshirt freshman Mason Smith (Hershey, Pa. / Martin County) has tremendous ability and has earned a starting job, while redshirt freshman Niko Paic (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) rounds out the starting offensive line after switching from defense to offense.
“Carter had a great camp and is playing at a high level,” Fox said. “Tyler is a mechanical engineering student who runs the show as our center and is a great leader. Brett has improved tremendously in both the running game and the passing game. Mason is a great athlete and a natural pass setter. Nico came in as a defensive lineman. As coaches, we asked him if he would be willing to make a move, and now that decision has paid off for him and he’s going to be starting Game 1.”
A pair of familiar faces are featured on the tight end depth chart as redshirt junior Jake Vickers (Canton, Mich. / Canton) and redshirt sophomore Evan Jernegan (Altadena, Calif. / St. Francis) both return after seeing substantial playing time last season. Jernegan was named to the Preseason All-PFL squad.
“Jake is a good on-the-ball blocker with good hands,” Fox said. “Evan has the ability to catch the ball down field and create matchups against linebackers. He’s a big-body target for the QB.”
Speaking of familiar faces, there’s no shortage of those in Valpo’s defensive line position group. Sam Hafner (Green Bay, Wis. / De Pere), Kurt Kessen (Shelby Township, Mich. / Utica), Logan Chastain (Clackamas, Ore. / Clackamas) and Kevin Spelman (New Lenox, Ill. / Providence Catholic) are the projected starters at one of Valpo’s most experienced positions.
“Sam is an all-league player who understands our defense,” Fox said. “He’s going to be in the right spots and play hard. Kurt is a multi-year starter who plays his part. He’s a very successful student as a mechanical engineering major. Logan is a guy we’re very high on who is powerful and good at the point of attack. We’re expecting a big year out of Kevin. He can play both the run and the pass.”
George Trojanek (Carpentersville, Ill. / IMG Academy), Trent Miller (Gibsonia, Pa. / Pine-Richland), Matt Molnar (Avon Lake, Ohio / Saint Edward) and Onye Nowasi (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cardinal Ridge [Muskingum]) are among other players who will see action on the defensive line.
Transfer Mohamed Kamara (Kalamazoo, Mich. / Kalamazoo Central [Hope]) sits atop the depth chart at nickelback after a tight battle with fellow newcomer Jimmy Pouba (Chicago, Ill. / Lyons [College of Sequoias]) in camp. The middle linebacker spot is also a close battle with Evan Annis (Hilliard, Ohio / Hilliard Davidson) and Jake Birmingham (River Forest, Ill. / Oak Park and River Forest) both in the mix. Birmingham earned a starting job during the second half of last season, while Annis was a two-time All-PFL honoree prior to missing last season with an injury. Wade Abrams (Fox River Grove, Ill. / Cary-Grove) will start at “Will” linebacker in Week 1.
“Mohamed is very athletic and will play the run and pass,” Fox said. “Jimmy will have a lot of playing time as well. Evan is a great leader and motivator. Jake is a tough, prototypical middle linebacker. Wade has good size and runs well with good versatility.”
Caleb Rao (Liberty Township, Ohio / Lakota West), Tyler Geiman (Zion, Ill. / Zion-Benton Township [Dubuque]) and Max Franco (La Habra, Calif. / La Habra) will all see significant time at cornerback. Ousmane Dabo (Columbus, Ohio / Westland [Eastern Kentucky]) is a veteran leader who will also see playing time and will be a part of the mix on special teams. Colin Graves (Seattle, Wash. / Bishop Blanchet) and Austin Chilton (Westermere, Fla. / West Orange) are returning starters at safety, while transfer Kalil Brown (Novi, Mich. / Walled Lake Western [Albion]) will also rotate in and see snaps.
“Caleb continues to improve,” Fox said. “Last year was his first year playing corner after he was converted from wide receiver. He’s continuing to learn the fundamentals and techniques for the position and has gotten better through the spring and fall. Tyler Geiman is a lengthy corner who has played a lot of college football before joining our program as a transfer. Franco is very active and can also rotate to nickel for us if necessary like he did last year. Colin has grown tremendously in terms of his knowledge of the defense. Chilton has length and range.”
There was no question in camp regarding the punting duties, as Evan Matthes (Reston, Va. / South Lakes [West Virginia]) returns after finishing second in the league with 41.38 yards per punt last season. The reigning All-PFL Second Team honoree was tabbed to the Preseason FCS Punter of the Year Watch List this season.
However, there was a tight competition for kicking duties in camp. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Hawk (Columbus, Ohio / Bishop Hartley) will handle kickoffs, while redshirt senior Patrick Oliva (South Bend, Ind. / Saint Joseph) and Hawk are both in the mix for PAT and field goal duties.
Graves and Tezzo will return punts, while Labus and Vercher will return kicks.
“Evan is a guy who we have a lot of faith in who had a good season last year,” Fox said. “Hawk provides us with a strong leg on kickoffs and Pat and Ryan are battling it out for extra points and field goals.”
Valpo Football Welcomes Coaching Staff Additions
The Valpo football program has finalized a quartet of additions to the coaching staff. This group joined the program prior to the start of fall camp. Bryan Parker has taken over as wide receivers coach, while Curtis Harper joins the Beacons as assistant defensive line coach. Cam Burnette is handling quality control, and Nathan Richards has been named Director of Football Operations.
Parker previously served as assistant wide receivers coach at Austin Peay State University this spring after a stint as a graduate assistant at Kent State University. His coaching career also includes stops at Michigan Tech, Briar Cliff University and Elkhorn High School. Parker started his collegiate playing career at the College of DuPage before the Walworth, Wis. native played at the FBS level in the Big Ten Conference for Indiana University.
“Bryan understands Indiana football,” Fox said. “He played at a high level after starting out as a junior college player. He understands the academic part of college football as well as the talent you need to be successful. He played the wide receiver position and understands the fundamentals and techniques.”
Harper was a defensive lineman at Syracuse, where he was a four-time honor roll member. After playing in 33 games over his final three seasons, Harper closed out his collegiate playing career with a season at Akron.
“I decided to join the Valpo football program because I want to be a part of something great,” Harper said. “That ties into what I’m most excited about when it comes to Valpo football. We can do some special things this year.”
Harper completed a student-athlete tutor internship and an Akron football internship during his time in Ohio. The McKeesport, Pa. native earned degrees in communications & rhetorical studies (December 2020) and instructional design development & evaluation (December 2021) from Syracuse before going on to earn another degree in educational administration from Akron (December 2022).
“Curtis recently finished his playing career and played the defensive tackle position at a high level,” Fox said. “He understands the academic piece with multiple degrees. He has respect from our players because he’s played at a high level, and he understands taking advantage of academic opportunities while playing football.”
Burnette started his collegiate playing career at Furman before going on to play at East Carolina University as a wide receiver. The Summer, S.C. native served as a communications assistant at ECU in 2021. Valpo offensive coordinator Matthew Symmes knows Burnette from his time on staff at ECU.
“The family atmosphere was one of the biggest attractions to Valpo for me,” Burnette said. “The way the team interacts with each other from the coaches to the players and everyone involved in the program is special and helps create an environment that I’m proud to be part of. Our team is made up of a lot of high-character guys and I’m excited to watch us compete this season.”
Burnette was a two-time honor roll member and earned his degree in interpersonal communication in May 2022. He also has experience as a social media manager and coach for LimitLifters – Elite Training and Mentorship.
“Cam can contribute to our staff in terms of his experience playing the wide receiver position while also helping us in a variety of ways by handling quality control,” Fox said. “His age and ability to relate to our players is a huge plus.”
Richards handled football operations and recruiting at Kennesaw State University during the 2022-2023 academic year. He served as an operations and recruiting assistant at New Mexico State University from 2017-2020 after getting his start as a student assistant for the North Greenville University football program in 2016.
“I decided to come to Valpo to be the Director of Football Operations because I have seen the steady improvement of the program and I wanted the opportunity to be a part of it,” Richards said. “The vision of the program resonated with me and I am excited to see Valpo Football continue to grow.”
Richards earned a bachelor’s degree in business and sport professions from North Greenville in 2017 before achieving his master’s in sport administration from Georgia State University in 2022.
“Nathan has done a nice job after being thrown into the fire when he arrived in July,” Fox said. “He is figuring out the operations role at our University. He comes to us from a program that has had success in Kennesaw State.”
The Valpo volleyball team came within one set of winning both matches on its opening day of action at the EIU Volleyball Invitational in Charleston, Ill. on Friday, but after sweeping Akron 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21) in their morning match, the Beacons dropped a 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 15-4) decision to the host Panthers in the nightcap.
How It Happened – Akron
Valpo seemingly gained control in the opening half of the first set, leading by six points at 13-7, but a six-point run by the Zips tied the frame at 13 apiece.
The set was still tied at 17-all before Valpo put together a 6-1 run to take control for good. Fifth-year Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) converted a kill on Valpo’s second set point chance to give the Beacons the opener.
It was a start-to-finish set win for the Beacons in the second frame. Senior Olivia Blackketter (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South [Winthrop]) had three early kills as Valpo jumped out to an 8-3 lead, and the advantage didn’t fall under three points the rest of the way.
It looked like Valpo had the third frame locked away, as after leading by as many as six points during the set, the Beacons still held an 18-13 lead late. Much like the first set, though, Akron had a run waiting, scoring seven of the next nine points to even things up at 20 each.
The Beacons responded immediately when Akron tied the score, however, as they reeled off four points in a row with junior Abby Boyle (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) serving. On its second match point chance, Valpo closed out the sweep with another kill from Ravotto.
How It Happened – EIU
Valpo claimed the first set for a second straight match, pulling away late with an 8-1 run — which included three blocks by Blackketter and a pair of rejections for fifth-year Miranda Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central [LIU]) — after the frame was tied at 17-17.
The Beacons led by a comfortable margin past the halfway mark of the second set, but with the advantage at 14-9, the Panthers reeled off seven points in a row to take the lead. Valpo tied the frame three times after that point, the latest at 19-19, before EIU closed the set with a 6-1 run to level the match.
Valpo took control of the third set with a 4-0 spurt — including two kills by senior Mallory Januski (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) — after the Panthers claimed the opening point. The Beacons never let EIU back within one point after that mark, and a kill from redshirt sophomore Sam Warren (Kentland, Ind./South Newton) eventually closed the set to give Valpo a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set proved to be the most closely contested of the match, with 10 tie scores along the way. After trailing 14-10, Valpo rallied to gain the lead at 16-15 on a block from Strongman and Ravotto, and pushed the lead out to 20-18 on a Januski kill. But the Panthers had the final run of the set in them, scoring seven of the final eight points to force the fifth frame.
The momentum from the end of the fourth set carried into the fifth set for EIU, as it scored the first 11 points of the frame en route to the victory.
Inside the Matches
Valpo extended its winning streak for in-season tournament matches to 15 straight dating back to the 2021 season with the victory over Akron before falling to EIU.
The sweep of Akron was the program’s first in a season-opening match since the 2008 squad took down Nevada in straight sets.
Valpo tallied nine service aces against Eastern Illinois, tied for fourth-most in a five-set match in the 25-point era. It was the most aces by a Valpo team since posting nine aces in a win over Indiana State on March 21, 2021.
Ravotto led the way in the win over the Zips with 10 kills, her 28th career match with double figures in kills. Valpo is 22-6 all-time when Ravotto tallies at least 10 terminations.
After appearing in just 16 sets total in her first season of action at Valpo last season, Warren started this season at right side and made an immediate impact in the Akron victory. Warren smashed her career best with nine kills, hitting at a .389 clip, and also tied her career high with four blocks.
On her return to the lineup from an injury which cost her the last month and a half last year, junior Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) notched eight kills and 10 digs against Akron before pacing the Beacons with 13 kills versus EIU.
Moving to the right side and playing regularly in Valpo’s 6-2, Blackketter was strong on the attack in both of Friday’s matches. The senior hit .429 with six kills in the win over Akron and followed with an identical hitting percentage on seven kills against EIU while adding four blocks as well.
Januski hit double figures in kills for the ninth time in her career in the nightcap, posting 11 kills. She tied for team-high honors in the opener with five rejections, sharing that mark with Strongman, who tallied five more blocks to lead the Beacons while hitting .538 with seven kills against EIU.
Redshirt sophomore Addy Kois (Osceola, Ind./Penn) tallied team-high assist totals in both contests, posting 20 helpers against Akron and 23 versus EIU.
Coming off a standout rookie season, sophomore libero Emma Hickey (Granger, Ind./Penn) led all players with 21 digs in the win over Akron and added a team-best 16 digs in the nightcap.
Senior setter Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) picked up her 34th career double-double against EIU, tallying 17 assists and 12 digs.
A trio of Valpo newcomers made their debuts in the Beacon uniform in the second half of the fifth set versus EIU. Freshman Kennedy Arp (Byron Center, Mich./South Christian) came in and was part of a pair of blocks, while freshman Mara Thomas (Bogart, Ga./Athens Academy) picked up an assist and a dig. Fifth-year Laura Ilizastigui (Bogota, Colombia/Integrado de Fontibón [Chicago State]) also saw action late in the final set of the evening.
In the win over Akron, the Valpo offense clicked at a .261 hitting percentage while limiting Akron to .116 hitting.
The Beacons posted 10 team blocks in both of Friday’s matches.
Valpo (2-1) looks to end the weekend on a winning note on Saturday morning when the Beacons face ULM at 11 a.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN+, with links for the live video and live stats available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Bourbonnais, Ill. – The Marian volleyball team erased their three-game losing streak on Friday and bounce back into the win column with a pair of wins, as the Knights earned back to back wins against CCAC opponents Olivet Nazarene and Governors State. The Knights swept both matches in straight sets, getting back over .500 as their record improves to 4-3 on the season.
Game 1 | Marian 3-0 Olivet Nazarene (14-25-24)
The Knights pounced early and established the lead in the first set early, holding their own through the first 10 rallies of the match. Nicole Wilkinson and Mikayla Christiansen started what would be a big outing in the first few points for Marian, with the duo combining for four early points. Emma Hirchak and Alison Dreves helped score for the Knights in a 5-0 run which helped force a Tiger timeout, as the lead ballooned to 13-6. The transfer duo continued to attack and helped Marian reach a double-digit lead at 18-7, allowing the visitors to hold a steady pace. A pair of Olivet errors and Hirchak kill ended the set on a 3-0 run in favor of the Knights, as they took set one 25-14.
The second and third sets were not as one-sided, as Marian had to fight off extra set points in each of the two games. Olivet Nazarene built an early 7-4 lead in the second set, and later grew their lead to eight at 15-7 as the hitters for the home team got into a rhythm. A kill from Grace Hunter and service ace from Logan Smith on the ensuing rallies after a timeout got Marian back into system, and while trailing 17-10, made their run with Wilkinson, Christiansen, and Sarah Bennett helping pace a 6-0 run. The Knights would yield one point, but soon took the lead back with an ace from Ainsley Neighbors. The game teetered back and forth as Olivet would claim the first set point at 25-24, but a Hunter spike, brought the match level, with Marian scoring the final three points to take a 27-25 win.
The third set was as tightly contested as the second, with Marian clinging to an early 8-5 lead after scoring the first three points of the set. Olivet would hang with the Knights and go on their series of two and three point swings, eventually taking the lead at 15-14. Wilkinson and Gabby Fish helped stop the skid and put their team back in the lead, as Marian held control as the set moved to a draw at 20-20. The two sides exchanged side outs as the score inched to 24-24, as Marian held their control of the tempo. A spike from Wilkinson got the Knights to match point, while Emma Lyons delivered the final blow with a service ace to seal the sweep with a 26-24 win.
Wilkinson and Christiansen combined for 28 of the team’s 47 kills in the win, as Wilkinson delivered 15. Neighbors led the Marian setters with 16 assists while adding three service aces, while Smith posted 15. Lyons recorded a team-best 15 digs to go with two aces, and Caroline Kubacki had two aces of her own.
Game 2 | Marian 3-0 Governors State (17-18-14)
Turning back and playing on 30 minutes of rest in between matches, Marian came out flat in the opening moments of their match against Governors State as the Jaguars crept out to an early 10-6 lead. A Jaymison Summers kill turned the Knights back into form after falling behind, as the junior’s kill sparked a 10-0 against the Jaguars, with Marian getting three service aces from Emma Lyons. Holding a grasp on the lead with their 16-10 advantage, the Knights were able to pace their way to a 1-0 lead in the match, as Christiansen scored four kills in a string of seven rallies to help push the lead to seven. Summers recorded back to back spikes to win the set, as the Knights won 25-17.
The second set started out back and forth in the first eight rallies, but quickly turned one sided as Marian reached an early nine-point lead with a 13-4 advanatage. A pair of errors ignited an 8-0 run, while Maddie Ellis and Sydney Schaffer helped score for the team with a kill and an ace. The advantage would reach double digits at 15-5 before Governors State started to chip back, as the Jaguars found a deep run of their by scoring eight unanswered points to get back within one of Marian. After the string of errors for the Knights subsided, a GSU service error gave the visiting team the side out they needed, as Marian scored five consecutive to gain breathing room. With a 21-15 lead at hand following the run, Marian scored four of the next seven rallies to take a 25-18 win and a 2-0 lead.
Marian rotated through the lineup multiple times in the third and final set, as the Knights battled to an early 6-6 stalemate. The two sides exchanged blows before Marian was finally able to go on a commanding run, with Emma Hirchak posting a pair of kills at the start of the 9-0 swing. The run under Sami Luttel’s serve put Marian on top 18-9, with the Knights never looking back as they led by seven points or more for the remainder of the match. Averi Lanman drilled three kills in the Knights’ closing stretch, as they finished the final game 25-14 to secure their second sweep of the day.
Summers and Christiansen led the Marian hitters in the second win of the day, with each player scoring nine. Lyons led the team with aces as she had three to go with her season-high 21 digs, and Logan Smith led the team with 15 assists. In total, Marian had 22 of their 25 players see action in the win over Governors State.
The Knights will continue their long preseason road stretch next weekend, as the team travels south to play in the Campbellsville Tournament. Action from Kentucky will be held on September 1 and 2.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
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
*****MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STANDINGS*****
|Baltimore||80||48||.625||–||39 – 24||41 – 24||26 – 15||18 – 7||16 – 10||7 – 3||W 3|
|Tampa Bay||78||52||.600||3||43 – 23||35 – 29||20 – 15||20 – 6||13 – 12||7 – 3||L 1|
|Toronto||70||59||.543||10.5||32 – 28||38 – 31||12 – 25||18 – 9||14 – 11||5 – 5||L 3|
|Boston||68||61||.527||12.5||35 – 29||33 – 32||19 – 14||16 – 10||14 – 12||5 – 5||L 1|
|NY Yankees||62||66||.484||18||36 – 33||26 – 33||16 – 24||12 – 10||16 – 13||2 – 8||W 1|
|Minnesota||67||62||.519||–||38 – 26||29 – 36||12 – 17||23 – 19||13 – 8||6 – 4||W 2|
|Cleveland||61||68||.473||6||33 – 33||28 – 35||11 – 12||19 – 21||13 – 12||4 – 6||W 1|
|Detroit||59||69||.461||7.5||28 – 35||31 – 34||5 – 20||25 – 15||10 – 13||6 – 4||W 1|
|Chi White Sox||50||79||.388||17||26 – 37||24 – 42||8 – 17||19 – 17||10 – 21||3 – 7||L 2|
|Kansas City||41||89||.315||26.5||23 – 40||18 – 49||6 – 18||13 – 27||6 – 17||2 – 8||L 1|
|Seattle||72||56||.563||–||35 – 28||37 – 28||12 – 15||18 – 13||22 – 11||9 – 1||W 1|
|Texas||72||56||.563||–||42 – 24||30 – 32||14 – 11||17 – 7||21 – 15||2 – 8||L 8|
|Houston||72||58||.554||1||35 – 31||37 – 27||12 – 12||11 – 12||26 – 17||4 – 6||L 3|
|LA Angels||62||67||.481||10.5||32 – 33||30 – 34||13 – 13||14 – 8||18 – 22||3 – 7||W 1|
|Oakland||38||91||.295||34.5||20 – 45||18 – 46||7 – 22||11 – 12||6 – 28||5 – 5||W 2|
|Atlanta||83||44||.654||–||44 – 22||39 – 22||27 – 8||16 – 6||14 – 10||8 – 2||W 3|
|Philadelphia||70||58||.547||13.5||37 – 25||33 – 33||16 – 19||12 – 8||16 – 14||5 – 5||W 1|
|Miami||65||64||.504||19||37 – 28||28 – 36||14 – 20||13 – 10||12 – 16||3 – 7||L 2|
|Washington||60||69||.465||24||29 – 36||31 – 33||14 – 23||12 – 14||14 – 14||7 – 3||W 2|
|NY Mets||59||70||.457||25||31 – 29||28 – 41||18 – 19||12 – 17||15 – 13||5 – 5||L 3|
|Milwaukee||71||57||.555||–||36 – 27||35 – 30||10 – 9||24 – 12||11 – 19||7 – 3||W 6|
|Chi Cubs||67||61||.523||4||35 – 30||32 – 31||11 – 17||22 – 15||9 – 8||6 – 4||L 1|
|Cincinnati||67||63||.515||5||31 – 34||36 – 29||13 – 16||16 – 23||16 – 11||5 – 5||L 2|
|Pittsburgh||58||71||.450||13.5||32 – 34||26 – 37||10 – 10||17 – 21||16 – 15||5 – 5||W 1|
|St. Louis||56||73||.434||15.5||28 – 37||28 – 36||11 – 13||14 – 22||10 – 16||3 – 7||L 1|
|LA Dodgers||79||48||.622||–||43 – 21||36 – 27||13 – 8||19 – 14||23 – 12||8 – 2||W 3|
|Arizona||68||61||.527||12||34 – 31||34 – 30||13 – 15||13 – 10||25 – 19||9 – 1||W 6|
|San Francisco||66||62||.516||13.5||35 – 29||31 – 33||12 – 17||18 – 9||18 – 11||3 – 7||L 1|
|San Diego||61||68||.473||19||35 – 33||26 – 35||15 – 14||8 – 16||17 – 22||5 – 5||L 1|
|Colorado||48||80||.375||31.5||28 – 33||20 – 47||14 – 17||11 – 13||8 – 27||3 – 7||L 5|
*****TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY*****
1912 At Forbes Field, Owen Wilson hits three triples in the doubleheader against the Braves. The Pirates center fielder’s third triple, his second in the nightcap, establishes a new major league record for three-baggers with 32, breaking the mark he shared with Dave Orr (1886 Metropolitans/AA) and Heinie Reitz (1894 Orioles/NL).
1916 A’s hurler Joe Bush no-hits the Indians at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, 5-0. ‘Bullet Joe,’ who will win 15 of the last-place Athletics’ 36 victories this season, allows his only baserunner in the first inning when he issues a walk to Jack Graney.
1926 Senators hurler Walter Johnson (408) bests Red Faber (197) and the White Sox at Griffith Stadium, 9-3. The veteran pitchers have accumulated the largest amount of victories, a total of 605, for two hurlers who start the same game, a record that will last until 1986 when Tom Seaver faces Don Sutton.
1939 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game on experimental station W2XBS, covering a doubleheader where the Reds win the first game, 5-2, and the Dodgers take a 6-1 victory in the nightcap. The network employs two cameras, one behind home plate, showing an expansive view of the field, and the other on the third-base line to capture the plays at first base.
1947 Dan Bankhead becomes the major league’s first black pitcher. The 27-year-old right-hander doesn’t do well in a relief stint, giving up ten hits and six runs in 3.1 innings in a 16-3 loss to the Pirates, but the Dodger rookie hits his only big-league home run in his first major league at-bat.
1961 Roger Maris, hitting his 51st round-tripper of the season, has the most homers in major league history at this point in the season. The Yankees’ right fielder goes deep off right-hander Jerry Walker in the sixth inning of the team’s 5-1 victory over Kansas City at Municipal Stadium.
1962 The Orioles complete a five-game sweep of the Yankees when right-hander Robin Roberts, released by New York during the first week of the season, beats Whitey Ford at Memorial Stadium, 2-1. Homers by Brooks Robinson and Jim Gentile account for Baltimore’s only runs.
1962 At Metropolitan Stadium, Twins’ left-hander Jack Kralick throws the team’s first no-hitter since the franchise moved to Minnesota last season and the fifth no-no hurled this season in the major leagues. The slight southpaw retires the first 25 A’s batters he faces before issuing a walk to George Alusik, ending his bid for a perfect game, but retires the next two hitters to no-hit Kansas City, 1-0.
1965 At Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-2, making rookie southpaw Tug McGraw (2-2) the first Mets pitcher to defeat Sandy Koufax (21-7). Previously, New York had lost 13 consecutive times to the future Hall of Fame southpaw.
1966 After seeing a caricature of himself on the scoreboard, an angry Leo Durocher calls the Astrodome’s press box to have it removed. When nothing happens, the enraged Cubs manager rips the phone out of the dugout wall and tosses it onto the infield.
1966 Coming off the Orioles bench, Vic Roznovsky and Boog Powell hit consecutive pinch-hit homers, tying the game in the ninth in an eventual 12-inning, 3-2 victory over the Red Sox. The consecutive round-trippers mark only the third time back-to-back pinch-hit home runs have occurred in major league history.
1968 After starting his career 0-5, Jim McAndrew gets his first major league victory when he goes the distance at Busch Stadium, blanking St. Louis on five hits, 1-0. In his first four major league starts, the Mets failed to score a run, resulting in two 2-0 and two 1-0 defeats for the 24-year-old rookie right-hander.
1972 Ron Santo’s three-run home run off Ron Bryant is the difference in the Cubs’ 10-9 victory over San Francisco at Wrigley Field. The third-inning round-tripper, the first of a pair he hits in the game, is the third baseman’s 2,000th career hit and drives in his 1,200th run.
1973 Paul Blair hits a rare inside-the-park grand slam in the Orioles’ 10-1 victory over the A’s in Baltimore. The fleet-footed outfielder circles the bases when Amos Otis and Steve Hovley collide as they chase down his gapper in right-center field.
1975 Luis Tiant Sr., recently allowed by Fidel Castro to leave Cuba to travel to Boston, throws out the first pitch at Fenway Park as his proud son stands behind him on the mound. The former Negro League star, dissatisfied with his first effort, flutters a knuckleball over the plate with his second effort, much to the sold-out crowd’s delight.
1980 George Brett strokes four singles and a double in five at-bats when the Royals edge Milwaukee at County Stadium, 7-6. The Kansas City third baseman’s 5-for-5 performance raises his league-leading batting average to .407.
1981 Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog fines Garry Templeton $5,000, suspending him indefinitely without pay for his rude behavior, including an obscene gesture directed toward fans after being booed for not hustling to first base. The St. Louis shortstop, who will be traded to the Padres in the offseason for Ozzie Smith, agrees to seek psychiatric help and will be reinstated to the lineup on September 15th.
1985 In the Orioles’ 17-3 rout of the Angels, Eddie Murray homers three times‚ including a grand slam in the fifth frame‚ and drives in nine runs, tying Jim Gentile’s mark for RBIs in a game. Baltimore goes deep seven times in the Anaheim Stadium contest matching a club record set on May 17, 1967.
1987 Paul Molitor’s 39-game hit streak ends as he waits in the on-deck circle, watching pinch-hitter Rick Manning single home the winning run in the tenth inning to give the Brewers a 1-0 walk-off victory over Cleveland at County Stadium. The Ignitor’s accomplishment remains the longest consecutive hitting streak in franchise history.
1989 The Trumbull (CT) All-Stars become the first American team to win the Little League World Series since 1983, snapping Asia’s six-year hold on the title. The U.S. National team defeats Chinese Taipei, 5-2, behind the complete game, five-hitter thrown by 12-year-old Chris Drury, who goes on to win NHL’s Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.
1990 Returning from the disabled list after dislocating his shoulder, Bo Jackson homers in his first plate appearance back in the Royals’ lineup. The round-tripper gives the slugging outfielder home runs in four consecutive at-bats forty days apart, having gone deep three straight times before getting injured attempting to catch a Deion Sanders fly ball in July.
1991 The Yankees reluctantly agree to a $1.55 million contract with 19-year-old high school southpaw Brien Taylor, the overall number one pick from the June amateur draft. George Steinbrenner is outraged by the record deal, but the suspended owner had driven up the price when he publicly made his wishes known to Newsday two days before the signing by saying, “If they (Gene Michael) let him go, they ought to be shot.”
1991 With the help of a questionable scorer’s decision in the fifth inning, 27-year-old Bret Saberhagen fires a no-hitter, beating the White Sox at Royals Stadium, 7-0. When Royals’ left fielder Kirk Gibson misses Dan Pasqua’s slicing line drive, Del Black changes his ruling from a double to a two-base error, after viewing several replays.
1993 The Mets announce that Vince Coleman will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of the season, effectively ending his playing career with the team. Fred Wilpon’s decision that the outfielder, who signed a four-year $11.95 million deal before the 1991 season, will never put on a Mets uniform again results from Coleman’s admission of tossing an M-100 leaving a Dodger Stadium parking lot last month that injured three people.
1996 The Mets replaced Dallas Green as their manager with Bobby Valentine, a former coach who left the organization to manage Texas. During his stormy seven-year tenure in New York, Bobby ‘V’ will compile a 536-467 (.534) record and lead the team to an NL pennant in 2000.
1996 With a ten-year, $20 million deal, Pro Player, the sports apparel division of Fruit of the Loom, becomes the first sports marketing and products company to have its name used as the moniker for a stadium. The renaming of Joe Robbie Stadium, the home of the Florida Marlins, to Pro Player Stadium sparks controversy as many Miamians believe the benefactor’s name should remain due to his generosity and efforts to fund the original project.
1998 Phil Garner earns his 500th victory at the Brewers helm, making him the only manager in team history to reach that milestone when Milwaukee beats Colorado at Coors Field, 6-5. ‘Scrap Iron’ will finish his eight-year stint with the Brew Crew with a 563-617 (.477) record.
1999 Achieving the mark in his 29th start, Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson reaches the 300-strikeout milestone in record time, surpassing Pedro Martinez, who reached the milestone in 31 starts in 1997. The ‘Big Unit’ reaches the plateau when he whiffs Kevin Millar to end the fifth inning in the team’s 12-2 victory over the Marlins, en route to finishing the season with 364 strikeouts.
2001 Sammy Sosa becomes the third player in baseball history to hit 50 homers in a season four times when he blasts a two-run shot off Dustin Hermanson in the first inning of the Cubs’ 6-1 victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Slammin’ Sammy joins Babe Ruth (1920-21 and 1927-28) and Mark McGwire (1996-99) to accomplish the feat.
2001 In the 18th inning, second-string catcher Bill Haselman beats out a bases-loaded potential inning-ending double-play grounder, allowing Chad Curtis to score the winning run in the Rangers’ 8-7 victory over the Red Sox. The six-hour and 35-minute contest is the longest game ever played in Ranger history.
2002 At Yankee Stadium, Alfonso Soriano, with a solo shot in the fourth inning in the team’s 10-3 victory over the Rangers, sets a team record for home runs by a second baseman. The previous mark of 30 was established in 1940 by Joe Gordon.
2002 Sixty-three years to the day after the first televised contest, the first video streaming coverage of a major league baseball game takes place on the internet. Approximately 30,000 fans visit MLB.com to see the Yankees defeat the Rangers, 10-3, far less than the 42,000 watching the game at the Bronx ballpark.
2002 Derek Jeter becomes only the third player to score at least 100 runs in his first seven major league seasons. The Yankees’ shortstop joins Hall of Fame outfielders Ted Williams (Red Sox, 1939-49) and Earle Combs (Yankees, 1925-32) as the only big leaguers to accomplish the feat.
2003 The Padres trade starting pitcher Oliver Perez, along with prospect Jason Bay, to the Pirates for outfielder Brian Giles. The Canadian-born Bay will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year next season.
2004 Ichiro Suzuki becomes the only player to collect at least 200 hits in his first four seasons in the big leagues. The milestone hit is a ninth-inning homer in the Mariners’ 7-3 loss to the Royals at Safeco Field.
2007 Warner Robins, Georgia captures the Little League World Series when 12-year-old Dalton Carriker’s extra-inning (8th) walk-off home run beats Tokyo, 3-2. The victory is the third consecutive LLWS championship for the United States, its longest streak since winning eight straight titles from 1959-1966.
2007 At Comiskey Park, the Red Sox complete a four-game sweep of the White Sox, 11-1. Boston, tallying at least ten runs in every contest, outscores their Windy City opponents, 46-7.
2008 Driving in Damion Easley with a fourth-inning groundout at Citizens Bank Park, Mets infielder David Wright becomes the first player in franchise history to have four 100-RBIs seasons. Since becoming the team’s regular third baseman, the 25-year-old has reached the plateau every year.
2008 Before the Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, Kenny Campbell falls more than 15 feet from the stands onto the right-field warning track after catching a batting practice home run. The ten-year-old fan, shaken and bruised but unhurt, is comforted by Mike Pelfrey and other Mets until a medical unit arrives.
2008 Teddy Roosevelt gets off to a fast start, appearing finally to beat his Mount Rushmore teammates, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, to win his first-ever President Race at Nationals Park. When the blue do-rag-clad presidential character sporting dreadlocks stops to high-five fans sitting in the right-field stands, the public address announcer explains the mascot’s behavior as ‘Teddy being Teddy,’ the big lead disappears.
2008 The Phillies, trailing 7-0 early in the game, rally to beat the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, 8-7. Chris Coste, who goes 4-for-4 after entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning, delivers the walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th to put Philadelphia back into first place, a half a game ahead of New York.
2018 Cardinal first baseman Matt Carpenter ties an 81-year-old franchise mark when he strokes four doubles in the team’s 12-3 rout of the Rockies at Coors Field. Joe Medwick established the record, hitting four two-baggers against the Boston Bees on August 4th, 1937.
2020 “Our team and the Reds felt that with our community and our nation in such pain, tonight we wanted 100 percent of the focus to be on issues that are much more important than baseball,” – BRENT SUTER, the team’s MLB Players Association representative. MLB postpones the Miller Park contest to respect the Brewers’ decision not to participate in the against the Reds following the police shooting of a 29-year-old Wisconsin black man. Later in the day, the Mariners, who have more Black players than any team in the sport, and the Dodgers also choose not to play.
*****BASEBALL HALL OF FAME******
A star on a pitching mound and a hero on the battlefields, Warren Spahn excelled in two far different uniforms.
The winningest southpaw pitcher in big league history, Spahn won 363 games in a career that included 13 20-win seasons.
But fellow Hall of Famer Stan Musial had his doubts as to whether Spahn, a major league pitcher until his mid-40s, would ever be honored in Cooperstown, once half-jokingly stating, “I don’t think Spahn will ever get into the Hall of Fame. He’ll never stop pitching.”
Spahn made his big league debut with the Boston Braves in 1942, the same year he would join the Army. Over the next four years he would participate in the Battle of the Bulge and the taking of the bridge at Remagen. A true war hero, he was awarded a Purple Heart for shrapnel wound and a battlefield commission.
Spahn, who returned to the Braves soon after his discharge in 1946, would go 21-10 in 1947. In addition to his fastball, Spahn also developed a number of off-speed pitches, all thrown with the same high-kicking motion.
“A pitcher needs two pitches – one they’re looking for and one to cross them up,” Spahn was fond of saying.
With the Braves’ franchise move to Milwaukee prior to the 1953 season, Spahn continued his excellence and the team soon responded by winning pennants in 1957 and 1958. Playing the Yankees in both World Series, Spahn helped Milwaukee capture the 1957 championship, the same year he won the Cy Young Award.
As Spahn grew older, his pitching seemed to improve. He won at least 20 games every year from 1956 to 1961, led the league in complete games every year from 1957 to 1963, and in 1963 – at age 42 – posted a 23-7 record and compiled a 2.60 earned run average.
In maybe his most memorable pitching performance, Spahn faced off with the Giants’ Juan Marichal on July 2, 1963, each hurler pitching shutout ball until Willie Mays hit a home run in the bottom of the 16th inning to give San Francisco the 1-0 victory.
In 21 big league seasons, Spahn, a 17-time All-Star, compiled a 363-245 record, started 665 games, completed 382, struck out 2,583 batters and finished with a 3.09 ERA – leading the league in ERA three times.
Spahn was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973. He passed away on Nov. 24, 2003.
Born March 26, 1960 – Marcus Allen the stud running back from Southern Cal was born. Marcus was a good player but in his first two seasons he was often used as a fullback who blocked for Charles White, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1979. The patience that Allen learned from his freshman and sophomore seasons and the success he saw it bring the team and White resonated in the young back. In 1980 Marcus was elevated to tailback and he had the opportunity to show off his own rushing skills. The NFF says he not only led the team in rushing yards but in receiving yards as well in 1980 and 1981. In 1980 he rushed for 1,563 yards, second in the nation. In 1981 he rushed for 2,342. He led the nation in scoring, 12.5 points per game; rushing, 219.9 yards per game; and all-purpose running, 232.6 yards per game. In 1981 Marcus won the Heisman, the Walter Camp Foundation Award, Maxwell Trophy as well as the Pop Warner League Player of the Year honor. Marcus Allen received the great honor of being selected for inclusion into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. The LosAngeles Raiders used their first round pick to take Marcus in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft. He was the 1982 NFL Rookie of the Year, NFL MVP in 1985 and the very first player in the League’s history to rush for more than 10,000 yards while also having receiving yards exceeding 5000 yards. Allen stayed with the Black and Silver for eleven of his 16 seasons in the NFL, spending the last five with the Kansas City Chiefs. For his pro career Marcus compiled 12243 yards rushing with 123 touchdowns and another 21 scores from catching passes with 5411 yards receiving. Allen was a 2 time All-Pro and played in 6 Pro Bowls. The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined the great Marcus Allen in 2003.
Born August 26, 1952 in Whitmire, South Carolina, was Safety Donnie Shell. The undrafted free Agent from South Carolina State was a strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) between 1974 and 1987. Shell was a member of the Steelers famed Steel Curtain defense in the 1970s.
Shell retired as the NFL strong safety career leader in interceptions with 51. He started 11 consecutive seasons for the Steelers and was selected to the Steelers All-Time Team, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2020), and to the NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team.
Born August 25, 1965, in Birmingham, Alabama was Cornelius Bennett was a former linebacker from the University Alabama. This prolific LB remarkably is one of only two Bama players to have ever been names as an All-American three times (LB Woodrow Lowe being the other.) He is remembered in the College Football Hall of Fame, where he entered as part of the induction class of 2005. Bennett went on to play professionally for the Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts at LB. He also was selected to 5 Pro Bowls and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year two times in 1988 and 1991. Bennett played in all four of Buffalo’s Super Bowl appearances in the 1990’s and then he played in a fifth SB with the Falcons.
*****INDIANA FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME*****
In 1999, head coach Tim Able took the East Noble Knights to its school’s first sectional championship. He reached his pinnacle in coaching, leading East Noble to the 4A state championship in 2000 with a decisive score of 28-7 over Plainfield. In 2001, Tim took the reins of the Decatur Central Football Program to get 10 wins in 2005 and won the school’s first ever sectional championship with a kay win over Ben Davis on their home field. With this championship, Coach Able was named the 2005 Indy Marion County Coach of the Year, which is an award voted on by all Marion County Coaches. In 2009, Coach Able moved to New Palestine and guided them to their first-ever 4A championship. He was voted by his statewide peers to be the head coach of the South team for the forty-fourth All-Star Game in 2010. Tim Able was inducted into the East Noble Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
His wife is Ronda Gentis Able. His daughter Daphne Able Capps is married to Cody Capps and his son Ryne Able is married to Audrey Bales Able. Tim and Ronda have 7 grandchildren.
Coach Able first started his coaching career at Maconaquah HS as a varsity assistant. His first year as a head football coach was at North Daviess High School in 1992. Coach Able took over the 1A football program that was struggling with 2 wins in the three previous seasons. Tim was able to guide the Cougars to 22 wins in 3 years and a sectional championship at North Daviess. Coach Able moved his family to class 4A with an East Noble football program that had won 4 games in 5 seasons. Coach Able then started his last stop at Triton Central. The TC Tigers have won 90 games, a 2014 ICC championship, 2019 regional championship, and 4 consecutive sectional championships 2019-2022. His current head coaching record stands at 215-132 and currently the 13th winningest active coach in Indiana. His record over his past 12 years of coaching, he has won 75% of games played (119-40).
******FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME******
Place of Birth: Bowden, GA
Date of Birth: Mar 17, 1931
Place of Death: Rome, GA
Date of Death: Jan 10, 2007
Jersey Number: 60
High School: Cedartown, GA (Cedartwon HS)
Ray Beck played four years at guard for Georgia Tech and had his best season in 1951. He was named All-America by the Football Writers Association and the American Football Coaches Association. The Birmingham Quaterback Club named him the Most Valuable Lineman in the Southeastern Conference, and he helped Georgia Tech to an 11-0-1 season that included a 17-14 victory over Baylor in the Orange Bowl. That 1951 season at Georgia Tech was part of a streak of 30 games without a loss. Beck played in 1952 and 1955-57 with the New York Giants in the National Football League. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial management. After his football playing days, he served as president of a trucking company in the Atlanta area. He also served in the U.S. Army with the rank of lieutenant.
******NUMBERS IN SPORTS******
4 – 23 – 15 – 23 – 26 – 32 – 9 – 33 – 16
August 26, 1912 – MLB pitcher Walter Johnson’s 16-game winning streak ends
August 26, 1930 – Chicago Cub’s Hack Wilson (who would eventually wear Number 4) hits his 44th HR, breaks Chuck Klein’s NL record
August 26, 1938 – Montreal Maroons dropped from NHL. The franchise started up in the league during the 1924-25 season at the same time that the Boston Bruins were added to the fold. The Maroons shared the city with the Canadiens for almost a decade and a half. Their purpose was to be the team of the English speaking population of the City while the Canadiens appeased the French speaking contingent. The Maroons filled a void left when a 1917 fire burned down the arena of a prior club called the Montreal Wanderers. At first the Canadiens organization challenged the rise of the Maroons, but the NHL appeased them by handong over a good portion of the Maroon’s $15,000 League entrance fee. During their 14-year existence, the Maroons qualified for the playoffs in all but three seasons, and won the Stanley Cup during the 1926 and 1935 seasons. In 1935 they went undefeated in the postseason but the writing was on the wall due mainly to economic reasons incurred due to the Great Depression and the two teams in one city.
August 26, 1947 – Dodgers’ Dan Bankhead, Number 23 who was MLB’s first African-American pitcher, tagged a home run in his very first MLB at bat in 16-3 loss to Pittsburgh, at Ebbetts Field, Brooklyn, NYC
August 26, 1962 – Minnesota Twins Jack Kralick, Number 15 tossed a no-hitter against the Kansas City A’s, for the 1-0 victory
August 26, 1966 – Baltimore Orioles Vic Roznovsky (Number 23) & Boog Powell (Number 26) are 4th to hit consecutive pinch HRs
August 26, 1967 – Minnesota’s Dean Chance, Number 32 pitched a 2-1 no-hitter, & Twins sweep Cleveland
August 26, 1971 – MLB Baltimore Orioles’ Don Buford, Number 9 struck out 5 times in a game
August 26, 1985 – Baltimore Oriole Eddie Murray, Number 33 delivered in 9 RBIs in a game vs California Angels
August 26, 1990 – Bo Jackson, Number 16 of the KC Royals hit his 4th of 4 consecutive home runs
AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL
FS2 — AFL: Western at Geelong
1 a.m. (Sunday)
FS2 — AFL: Melbourne at Sydney
4 a.m. (Sunday)
FS2 — AFL — Greater Western Sydney at Carlton
ESPN2 — Formula 1: Practice, CM.com Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands
ESPN — Formula 1: Qualifying, CM.com Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands
NBC — NASCAR Cup Series: The Coke Zero Sugar 400, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
CBS — BIG3 Celebrity Game: Team Webull vs. Team Price.com, Atlanta (Taped)
CBS — Playoffs: Enemies vs. Triplets, Championship, London
ESPN — Top Rank Main Card: Jared Anderson vs. Andriy Rudenko (Heavyweights), Tulsa, Okla.
NBC — Navy vs. Notre Dame, Dublin
ESPN — North Alabama vs. Mercer, Montgomery, Ala.
CBSSN — UTEP at Jacksonville St.
ESPN — UMass at New Mexico St.
FS1 — Ohio at San Diego St.
ABC — SC State vs. Jackson St., Atlanta
SECN — Hawaii at Vanderbilt
PAC-12N — San Jose St. at Southern Cal
CBSSN — FIU at Louisiana Tech
COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL (WOMEN’S)
BTN — Creighton at Purdue
BTN — Big 12/Big Ten Challenge: Wisconsin vs. TCU, Minneapolis
BTN — Big 12/Big Ten Challenge: Baylor at Minnesota
FIBA BASKETBALL (MEN’S)
ESPN2 — FIBA World Cup Group Stage: U.S. vs. New Zealand, Group C, Manila, Philippines
FS1 — Bassmaster Elite Series: The 2023 Minn Kota Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River, Clayton, N.Y.
CBSSN — SFC: The San Juan International Billfish Tournament – Day 3, Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico
GOLF — DP World Tour: The D+D Real Czech Masters, Third Round, Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic
GOLF — PGA Tour: The TOUR Championship, Third Round, East Lake Golf Course, Atlanta
CBS — PGA Tour: The TOUR Championship, Third Round, East Lake Golf Course, Atlanta
GOLF — PGA Tour Champions: The Ally Challenge, Second Round, Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Grand Blanc Township, Mich.
GOLF — USGA: The U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Third Round, Waverley CC, Portland, Ore.
GOLF — LPGA Tour: The CPK Canadian Women’s Open, Third Round, Shaughnessy Golf Course, Vancouver, British Columbia
GOLF — Korn Ferry Tour: The Albertsons Boise Open, Third Round, Hillcrest Country Club Inc., Boise, Idaho (Taped)
6 a.m. (Sunday)
GOLF — DP World Tour: The D+D Real Czech Masters, Final Round, Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic
CNBC — USGA: U.S. Championships, Men’s Events – Day 1, San Jose, Calif. (Taped)
CNBC — USGA: U.S. Championships, Women’s Events – Day 1, San Jose, Calif. (Taped)
CNBC — USGA: U.S. Championships, Men’s Events – Day 2, San Jose, Calif.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
ESPN — St. Frances (Md.) vs. Chaminade-Madonna (Fla.), Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
ESPN2 — St. John Bosco (Calif.) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
ESPN2 — St. Joseph Prep (Pa.) vs. IMG Academy (Fla.), Ocean City, N.J.
ESPN2 — Mater Dei Catholic (Calif.) at Carlsbad (Calif.)
FS2 — Saratoga Live: From Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
FS1 — Saratoga Live: From Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
FOX — Saratoga Live: The Travers Stakes, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
FS2 — Saratoga Live: From Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
ABC — Little League World Series: TBD, International Bracket – Championship, Williamsport, Pa.
ABC — Little League World Series: TBD, United States Bracket – Championship, Williamsport, Pa.
MLBN — Cleveland at Toronto
FS1 — Atlanta at San Francisco
FOX — Regional Coverage: St. Louis at Philadelphia, Texas at Minnesota, Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh
MLBN — Cincinnati at Arizona (Joined in Progress)
NFLN — Preseason: Cleveland at Kansas City
NFLN — Preseason: NY Jets at NY Giants
NFLN — Preseason: LA Chargers at Denver
FS2 — NRL: Canberra at Brisbane
CBSSN — SPFL Premiership: Rangers at Ross County
USA — Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur at Bournemouth
USA — Premier League: Fulham at Arsenal
NBC — Premier League: West Ham United at Brighton & Hove Albion
CBSSN — Serie A: AS Roma at Hellas Verona
FS2 — CPL: Valour FC at HFX Wanderers FC
FS1 — Liga MX: Guadalajara at Santos Laguna
TENNIS — Cleveland-WTA Singles Final
TENNIS — Winston-Salem-ATP Singles Final
TRACK AND FIELD
CNBC — World Championships: Day 8, Budapest, Hungary
1 a.m. (Sunday)
CNBC — World Championships: Men’s Marathon, Budapest, Hungary
NBATV — Las Vegas at Washington
Sunday, August 27
AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL
FS2 — AFL — Greater Western Sydney at Carlton
ESPN — Formula 1: The Heineken Dutch Netherlands Grand Prix, CM.com Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands
FS2 — NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Qualifying, Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
FS1 — NASCAR ARCA Menards Series: The Sprecher 150, Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
USA — IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: The Michelin GT Challenge, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va.
NBC — NTT IndyCar Series: The Bommarito Automotive Group 500, World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill.
FS1 — NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: The Clean Harbors 175, Playoffs – Round of 10, Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
2 a.m. (Monday)
CNBC — Pro Motocross Championship: The Ironman National, Crawfordsville, Ind. (Taped)
CBSSN — Ottawa at Edmonton
COLLEGE SOCCER (MEN’S)
BTN — UNC-Greensboro at Maryland
COLLEGE SOCCER (WOMEN’S)
ACCN — Wisconsin at Duke
ACCN — Arkansas at Notre Dame
CNBC — UCI: Vuelta a España, Stage 1, 9 miles, Barcelona, Spain (Taped)
CNBC — UCI: Vuelta a España, Stage 2, 113 miles, Mataró to Barcelona, Spain
FS1 — Bassmaster Elite Series: The 2023 Minn Kota Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River, Clayton, N.Y.
GOLF — DP World Tour: The D+D Real Czech Masters, Final Round, Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic
GOLF — PGA Tour: The TOUR Championship, Final Round, East Lake Golf Course, Atlanta
CBS — PGA Tour: The TOUR Championship, Final Round, East Lake Golf Course, Atlanta
GOLF — PGA Tour Champions: The Ally Challenge, Final Round, Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Grand Blanc Township, Mich.
GOLF — Korn Ferry Tour: The Albertsons Boise Open, Final Round, Hillcrest Country Club Inc., Boise, Idaho
GOLF — LPGA Tour: The CPK Canadian Women’s Open, Final Round, Shaughnessy Golf Course, Vancouver, British Columbia
GOLF — USGA: The U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Final Round, Waverley CC, Portland, Ore. (Taped)
NBC — USGA: U.S. Championships, Men’s Events – Day 2, Tampa, Fla. (Taped)
NBC — USGA: U.S. Championships, Women’s Events – Day 2, Tampa, Fla.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
ESPN — Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) at St. Edward (Ohio)
FS2 — Saratoga Live: From Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
ESPN — Little League World Series: TBD, Third-Place Game, Williamsport, Pa.
ABC — Little League World Series: TBD, Championship, Williamsport, Pa.
PEACOCK — LA Angels at NY Mets
MLBN — Regional Coverage: LA Dodgers at Boston OR NY Yankees at Tampa Bay
MLBN — Regional Coverage: Cincinnati at Arizona OR Kansas City at Seattle (Joined in Progress)
ESPN — Atlanta at San Francisco
ESPN2 — Atlanta at San Francisco (KayRod Cast)
FOX — Preseason: Houston at New Orleans
CBS — PBR: The Camping World Teams Series, Austin, Texas (Taped)
CBSSN — PBR: The Camping World Teams Series, Austin, Texas
USA — Premier League: Manchester City at Sheffield United
USA — Premier League: Liverpool at Newcastle United
FOX — MLS: Minnesota United at Seattle
ESPN2 — Athletes Unlimited: Team Denham vs. Team Flippen, Rosemont, Ill.
TRACK AND FIELD
CNBC — World Championships: Men’s Marathon, Budapest, Hungary (Taped)
NBC — World Championships: Final Day, Budapest, Hungary
CNBC — World Championships: Final Day, Budapest, Hungary
CBSSN — Los Angeles at Connecticut
NBATV — Atlanta at Indiana
NBATV — Dallas at Phoenix