“THE SCOREBOARD”

GIRLS BASKETBALL SCORES

ALEXANDRIA 51, FRANKTON 31

ANGOLA 55, CENTRAL NOBLE 44

BLOOMINGTON NORTH 65, SOUTHPORT 38

CHESTERTON 66, MICHIGAN CITY 29

CROTHERSVILLE 49, CANNELTON 30

CROWN POINT 65, PORTAGE 44

DANVILLE 61, BETHESDA CHRISTIAN 23

EASTBROOK 41, MISSISSINEWA 28

EDGEWOOD 51, CLOVERDALE 34

FRANKLIN 74, DECATUR CENTRAL 49

FRANKLIN CENTRAL 57, BROWNSBURG 51

FT. WAYNE NORTHROP 64, FT. WAYNE DWENGER 44

FT. WAYNE SNIDER 72, FT. WAYNE SOUTH 17

GIBSON SOUTHERN 71, FRANKLIN CO., KY. 64

GREENCASTLE 36, W. VIGO 31

GREENWOOD 41, MARTINSVILLE 35

HAMMOND NOLL 48, CALUMET 18

HANOVER CENTRAL 54, WHITING 35

HOMESTEAD 68, CARROLL (FT. WAYNE) 43

INDIAN CREEK 58, OWEN VALLEY 23

INDPLS PIKE 67, INDPLS N. CENTRAL 55

LAKE CENTRAL 60, MERRILLVILLE 43

LAKELAND CHRISTIAN 35, CULVER 31

LAWRENCEBURG 48, RICHMOND 37

LEBANON 45, CRAWFORDSVILLE 14

LOWELL 52, KANKAKEE VALLEY 47

MICHIGAN CITY MARQUETTE 60, MISHAWAKA 21

MOORESVILLE 62, INDPLS PERRY MERIDIAN 19

NORTHWOOD 38, CONCORD 30

NORTHEASTERN 69, CENTERVILLE 18

NORWELL 56, HUNTINGTON NORTH 45

OAK HILL 43, ELWOOD 11

PLAINFIELD 61, WHITELAND 50

PURDUE POLYTECHNIC 65, SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBY) 36

S. PUTNAM 50, N. PUTNAM 39

S. RIPLEY 55, RISING SUN 49

SHERIDAN 57, CLINTON PRAIRIE 25

SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER) 44, MADISON SHAWE 40

SULLIVAN 36, NORTHVIEW 30

TRI-TOWNSHIP 42, WESTVILLE 33

TRI-WEST 69, WESTERN BOONE 37

TRITON CENTRAL 83, WALDRON 37

UNION (MODOC) 46, CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN 34

VALPARAISO 67, LAPORTE 29

VINCENNES 36, SALEM 26

WARSAW 52, INDPLS BEN DAVIS 41

WASHINGTON TWP. 49, BOONE GROVE 36

WHEELER 35, RIVER FOREST 27

BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES

ANDERSON 73, INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL 48

ARGOS 62, W. CENTRAL 46

AVON 49, HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN 36

BELLMONT 52, WHITKO 47

BLOOMINGTON SOUTH 43, BEDFORD N. LAWRENCE 36

BLUE RIVER VALLEY 52, TRI 49

BLUFFTON 45, S. ADAMS 39

BORDEN 60, LANESVILLE 38

BOWMAN 55, GARY 21ST CENTURY 45

BROWNSTOWN 65, SEYMOUR 51

CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN 65, INDPLS INTERNATIONAL 45

CARMEL 52, LAWRENCE CENTRAL 46

CARROLL (FLORA) 80, FRONTIER 44

CENTER GROVE 55, BLOOMINGTON NORTH 44

CENTRAL NOBLE 48, ANGOLA 36

CHESTERTON 90, HAMMOND MORTON 65

CLINTON PRAIRIE 57, SHERIDAN 51

COLUMBIA CITY 60, FT. WAYNE CANTERBURY 46

COLUMBUS EAST 52, TRINITY LUTHERAN 43

CONCORD 45, JIMTOWN 30

CONNERSVILLE 41, RUSHVILLE 17

CORYDON 58, N. HARRISON 56

COVENANT CHRISTIAN 85, COVINGTON 58

CRAWFORDSVILLE 51, LEBANON 45

CROTHERSVILLE 76, CANNELTON 28

CULVER 61, LAKELAND CHRISTIAN 31

CULVER ACADEMY 45, NORTHRIDGE 39

DALEVILLE 51, MONROE CENTRAL 50

DANVILLE 64, BETHESDA CHRISTIAN 49

DUBOIS 70, WASHINGTON CATHOLIC 22

EASTERN (GREENE) 57, BROWN CO. 54

EASTERN (GREENTOWN) 57, EASTBROOK 51

EASTERN (PEKIN) 59, W. WASHINGTON 56, 2OT

EDGEWOOD 62, CLOVERDALE 35

EDINBURGH 48, OLDENBURG 39

ELKHART CHRISTIAN 57, HAMILTON 21

EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN 50, PERRY CENTRAL 34

EVANSVILLE HARRISON 84, NEW ALBANY 58

EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 73, S. SPENCER 50

EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL 53, OWENSBORO CATHOLIC, KY. 48

EVANSVILLE REITZ 61, VINCENNES 52

FAIRFIELD 63, PRAIRIE HEIGHTS 27

FISHERS 66, NOBLESVILLE 59

FOREST PARK 65, PIKE CENTRAL 44

FORT WAYNE HOMESCHOOLS 53, HSRC, ILL. 47

FOUNTAIN CENTRAL 76, CLINTON CENTRAL 48

FRANKLIN CENTRAL 49, BROWNSBURG 46

FT. WAYNE BLACKHAWK 54, NEW HAVEN 51, OT

FT. WAYNE NORTH 70, DEKALB 57

FT. WAYNE SNIDER 60, FT. WAYNE SOUTH 55

GARRETT 46, LAKEWOOD PARK 26

GARY WEST 62, MICHIGAN CITY 57

GLENN 55, ELKHART 45

GREENSBURG 48, BATESVILLE 42

HAMILTON HTS. 73, NEW CASTLE 48

HAUSER 54, MORRISTOWN 43

HIGHLAND 67, HAMMOND SCIENCE AND TECH 50

INDIAN CREEK 83, OWEN VALLEY 46

INDPLS ATTUCKS 59, CIN. WITHROW, OHIO 38

INDPLS CATHEDRAL 79, INDY BREBEUF 63

INDPLS N. CENTRAL 86, INDPLS TECH 57

INDPLS PIKE 74, INDPLS METRO 49

INDPLS WASHINGTON 79, INDPLS IRVINGTON 58

JASPER 75, GIBSON SOUTHERN 64, 3OT

JAY CO. 55, WOODLAN 42

JEFFERSONVILLE 57, EVANSVILLE NORTH 47

JENNINGS CO. 72, MADISON 55

KNIGHTSTOWN 45, UNION CO. 43

KOKOMO 72, PERU 45

KOUTS 44, DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN 34

LAKELAND 89, FREMONT 55

LEO 47, HERITAGE 31

LIBERTY CHRISTIAN 76, PURDUE POLY NORTH 32

LINTON 63, CLAY CITY 47

LOOGOOTEE 58, WOOD MEMORIAL 31

MACONAQUAH 79, N. MIAMI 37

MANCHESTER 60, WAWASEE 44

MARTINSVILLE 55, GREENWOOD 52

MITCHELL 54, CRAWFORD CO. 26

MONROVIA 42, CASCADE 37

MOORESVILLE 47, INDPLS PERRY MERIDIAN 41

MOOSEHEART, ILL. 90, PORTAGE CHRISTIAN 63

MORGAN TWP. 58, BETHANY CHRISTIAN 52

MT. VERNON (FORTVILLE) 54, SOUTHPORT 21

MUNSTER 74, ILLIANA CHRISTIAN 31

N. DAVIESS 44, SHOALS 27

N. DECATUR 58, S. DECATUR 40

N. PUTNAM 60, S. PUTNAM 50

N. WHITE 59, ATTICA 24

NEW PALESTINE 71, EASTERN HANCOCK 47

NORTH VIGO 32, EVANSVILLE CENTRAL 22

ORLEANS 62, SPRINGS VALLEY 41

PAOLI 72, HENRYVILLE 37

PENDLETON HTS. 41, LAPEL 28

PENN 73, S. BEND CLAY 53

PHALEN 46, INDIANA DEAF 34

PLAINFIELD 69, WHITELAND 58

PRINCETON 57, TELL CITY 23

PROVIDENCE 54, AUSTIN 45

PROVIDENCE CRISTO REY 42, CENTRAL CHRISTIAN 36

ROCHESTER 44, WINAMAC 26

ROSSVILLE 62, TRI-COUNTY 39

S. BEND RILEY 52, MISHAWAKA MARIAN 48

S. BEND ST. JOSEPH’S 76, S. BEND ADAMS 52

S. BEND WASHINGTON 75, NEW PRAIRIE 62

S. CENTRAL (ELIZABETH) 63, ROCK CREEK ACADEMY 58

S. DEARBORN 61, JAC-CEN-DEL 46

SCOTTSBURG 59, CHARLESTOWN 23

SEEGER 58, S. NEWTON 34

SHAKAMAK 48, BLOOMFIELD 47

SILVER CREEK 60, COLUMBUS NORTH 44

SOUTHMONT 50, N. MONTGOMERY 42

SOUTHRIDGE 47, WASHINGTON 46

SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER) 74, MADISON SHAWE 32

SPEEDWAY 69, BEECH GROVE 59

SULLIVAN 36, NORTHVIEW 30

SWITZERLAND CO. 53, CLARKSVILLE 51

TAYLOR 62, NORTHFIELD 31

TECUMSEH 77, EV. DAY 57

TIPTON 47, FRANKFORT 42

TRI-CENTRAL 72, COWAN 58

TRI-WEST 59, WESTERN BOONE 46

UNION CITY 59, RANDOLPH SOUTHERN 34

UNIVERSITY 64, SETON CATHOLIC 55

VALPARAISO 71, EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL 65

VINCENNES (SOUTH KNOX- 66, N. KNOX 46

W. VIGO 68, GREENCASTLE 58

WABASH 59, SOUTHWOOD 41

WAPAHANI 78, WINCHESTER 44

WARSAW 62, HOMESTEAD 56

WASHINGTON TWP. 58, BOONE GROVE 47

WESTERN 59, NORTHWESTERN 45

WESTFIELD 59, ZIONSVILLE 40

WESTVIEW 58, CHURUBUSCO 39

WESTVILLE 73, TRI-TOWNSHIP 34

WHEELER 43, RIVER FOREST 39

BANKS OF WABASH TOURNAMENT

FIRST ROUND

PARKE HERITAGE 73, RIVERTON PARKE 14

S. VERMILLION 78, N. VERMILLION 56

CASS COUNTY TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONSHIP

LOGANSPORT 49, CASS 48

THIRD PLACE

CASTON 63, PIONEER 34

LAFAYETTE TOURNAMENT

CONSOLATION

BENTON CENTRAL 44, MCCUTCHEON 42

LAFAYETTE CATHOLIC 59, TWIN LAKES 44

SEMIFINAL

LAFAYETTE HARRISON 50, LAFAYETTE JEFF 39

W. LAFAYETTE 60, RENSSELAER 50

WRESTLING SCORES

GARRETT 81 FREMONT 0

GARRETT 61 ANGOLA 15

PRAIRIE HEIGHTS 48 CENTRAL NOBLE 21

PRAIRIE HEIGHTS 55 FAIRFIELD 21

PRAIRIE HEIGHTS 58 W. NOBLE 24

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

WEEK 14

FRIDAY, DEC. 1

WASHINGTON 34 OREGON 31

LIBERTY 49 NEW MEXICO STATE 35

SATURDAY, DEC. 2

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS | 12 P.M. | ABC

MIAMI (OHIO) VS. TOLEDO (MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN DETROIT) | 12 P.M. | ESPN

MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3 P.M. | FOX

GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA (SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN ATLANTA) | 4 P.M. | CBS

AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M.

SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M.

SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M. | ESPN2

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN CHARLOTTE | 8 P.M. | ABC

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN INDIANAPOLIS | 8 P.M. | FOX

WEEK 15

SATURDAY, DEC. 9

ARMY VS. NAVY (FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS) | 3 P.M. | CBS

NFL

WEEK 13 SCHEDULE

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

DETROIT LIONS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX

ATLANTA FALCONS AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

DENVER BRONCOS AT HOUSTON TEXANS 3:05P (CT) 4:05P CBS

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 4:25P (ET) 4:25P FOX

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 7:20P (CT) 8:20P NBC*

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN*

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

NORTHWESTERN 92 #1 PURDUE 88 OT

#5 KANSAS 69 #4 UCONN 65

#6 HOUSTON 66 XAVIER 60

#19 BYU 85 FRESNO STATE 56

ALSO:

INDIANA 65 MARYLAND 53

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCOREBOARD

#3 STANFORD 85 SAN DIEGO STATE 44

#14 KANSAS STATE 79 JACKSON STATE 37

ALSO:

PURDUE 67 DAYTON 59

NBA SCOREBOARD

ORLANDO 130 WASHINGTON 125

BOSTON 125 PHILADELPHIA 119

MEMPHIS 108 DALLAS 94

NEW YORK 119 TORONTO 106

NEW ORLEANS 121 SAN ANTONIO 106

DENVER 119 PHOENIX 111

NHL SCOREBOARD

COLUMBUS 4 OTTAWA 2

SAN JOSE 6 NEW JERSEY 3

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

NO. 3 WASHINGTON RALLIES TO BEAT NO. 5 OREGON 34-31 AND SECURE PLAYOFF SPOT

LAS VEGAS (AP) Washington went into what likely was the last Pac-12 Championship living on the edge, and of course the Huskies were going to do it again Friday night.

They blew a 17-point lead, watched Oregon go ahead by four and immediately responded with the drive of the game.

And now the third-ranked Huskies not only are the Pac-12 champions, they secured a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 34-31 victory over No. 5 Oregon.

Washington didn’t panic when pressed in the second half, having closed the regular season by winning three consecutive one-possession games by a combined 12 points. Oregon entered with a six-game winning streak, five of them decided by double digits.

“The love and trust we have on our team is unmatched,” said Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., the game MVP after passing for 319 yards and a touchdown. “We’ve been doing it each and every week. We’re not going to say we want those games to be close.”

The game was likely the final Pac-12 Championship given 10 of the 12 teams will be playing in different conferences next season. Only Oregon State and Washington State will remain as they try to find a way to keep the tradition-rich conference together in some form.

Washington (13-0) was the last Pac-12 team to make the CFP – in the 2016 season.

The Huskies, who were 9 1/2-point underdogs, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 34-24 lead. Oregon (11-2) scored a late touchdown for the final score, but failed to recover the onside kick that all but ended its chances.

“That one hurts,” Ducks coach Dan Lanning said. “In a four-quarter fight, you can’t start out slow against a really good team.”

Dillon Johnson ran for 152 yards and two TDs for the Huskies. Two Washington receivers had more than 100 yards – Jalen McMillan (nine receptions for 131 yards) and Biletnikoff finalist Rome Odunze (eight for 102) who was returning to his hometown.

Oregon’s Bo Nix, the favorite entering the game to win the Heisman Trophy according to FanDuel Sportsbook, passed for 239 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 69 yards.

“It’s a lot of emotions, a lot going on that maybe you wish you could change,” Nix said. “That’s what is the good and bad about any kind of competition is there has to be a loser. As bad as it feels, that’s why you play the game.”

If it was indeed the final title game for the conference, it was quite a way to go out as Oregon and Washington again played a high-scoring game with big plays throughout. The Huskies won the regular-season meeting, 36-33 in Seattle in October.

Washington took a 20-3 lead before the Ducks scored a touchdown with nine seconds left to get to within 10 points.

That score got Oregon going, converting two fourth downs on the opening drive of the second, including a 2-yard touchdown from Nix to tight end Terrance Ferguson to get within three points. The Ducks took the lead at 24-20 with 1:51 left in the third quarter on Jordan James’ 6-yard TD run.

The lead didn’t last long as Washington scored on its next drive to take the lead for good.

Penix completed a 31-yard pass to McMillan to Oregon’s 20, helping set up Johnson’s 1-yard run up the middle for the touchdown and 27-24 lead.

“When you’ve got (Penix) right here, you give him a chance to touch the football and make plays,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said. “He’s been through it all. He’s got all these experiences to draw upon and knows when to take the risk and when not to, how to put the team on his back and keep moving.”

This is the second time both teams have been ranked in the top 10 when they have played each other. The other time was the first meeting this season.

Washington improved to 3-0 in the Pac-12 Championship. Oregon fell to 4-2.

KAIDON SALTER LEADS UNBEATEN NO. 20 LIBERTY PAST NEW MEXICO STATE 49-35 FOR C-USA TITLE

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) Kaidon Salter threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and undefeated No. 20 Liberty maintained its hopes of a New Year’s Six bowl bid, beating New Mexico State 49-35 in the Conference USA championship game on Friday night.

Salter was 20 of 25 passing for 319 yards and rushed 12 times for 165 yards in a dominant performance for the Flames (13-0, 9-0), who could end up playing on New Year’s Day as the highest-ranked Group of Five team if No. 17 Tulane falls to SMU in Saturday’s American Athletic Conference title game.

With the game tied at 35-all, Billy Lucas ran for a 2-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put Liberty ahead to stay. On New Mexico State’s next possession, Brandon Bishop stepped in front of Eli Stowers and made a one-handed interception of third-string quarterback Blaze Berlowitz’s pass in the end zone.

Four plays later, Salter turned a broken play into a 35-yard touchdown run. He was named the game’s MVP.

Diego Pavia threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score for the Aggies (10-4, 7-1) while splitting reps with Berlowitz, who had not thrown a pass all season and also had a TD toss. New Mexico State’s eight-game winning streak ended.

The Flames, with the country’s No. 1 rushing offense, ran for 393 yards. Quinton Cooley had 11 carries for 71 yards and three touchdowns, Lucas finished with 86 yards on 14 carries, and Aaron Bedgood had 72 yards on five rushes. Liberty finished with 712 yards of offense, had 35 first downs and didn’t turn the ball over.

Despite getting few defensive stops, New Mexico State kept it close until the final quarter. After Salter’s 20-yard touchdown pass to CJ Daniels put Liberty ahead 35-21 in the third quarter, Pavia threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Brady on the next play from scrimmage.

Liberty’s next possession ended in a missed field goal. Berlowitz tied the game with an 11-yard TD pass to Trent Hudson with 2:57 left in the third.

Hudson had seven catches for 112 yards and two TDs. Pavia was 11 of 18 passing for 188 yards and had 45 yards rushing. Berlowitz was 10 of 19 for 134 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

New Mexico State: The Aggies’ winning streak included a victory over Auburn, their first against a Southeastern Conference opponent in 28 tries.

Liberty: The Flames became the first team from Virginia to win 13 games in a season. They won the ninth conference title in school history and first at the FBS level after playing as an independent for the previous four seasons. Liberty won eight titles from 2007 through 2016 as a Big South Conference member.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Liberty could challenge its highest ranking in the AP Top 25, No. 17 in the 2020 season.

UP NEXT

New Mexico State is bowl eligible for the second straight season, the first time that’s happened since 1960.

Liberty will make a bowl appearance for the fifth straight year since becoming a full FBS member in 2019. The Flames are 3-1 in bowl games.

COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW (BIG 12): OKLAHOMA STATE VS. TEXAS

OKLAHOMA STATE NOTES

In the Rankings The Oklahoma State football team is ranked No. 19 in the AP Top 25 and No. 19 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. While this week’s College Football Playoff Rankings won’t be released until Tuesday, the Cowboys were No. 20 in last week’s CFP Rankings. Including the 2023 season, Oklahoma State has been ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll in 14 of the past 16 seasons and has reached the top 10 in 11 of those 16 years. OSU has been part of the CFP rankings in eight of the past nine seasons, including 2023. The Cowboys have also been included in 41 of the 58 all-time CFP Rankings prior to this week, which is tied for the ninth-most appearances in the country. Texas is No. 7 in both the AP Top 25 and coaches poll. It was also No. 7 in last week’s CFP Rankings. Conference Championships Oklahoma State has won 11 conference titles since 1926, and the 2023 Big 12 Championship appearance marks its second time to reach the championship game in the past three seasons. A win would mark the first in school history in a conference championship game, as each of the Cowboys’ previous titles were won in a format that did not include a championship game. OSU’s 11 conference titles since 1926 include Missouri Valley championships in 1926, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1944, 1945, 1948 and 1953, the Big Eight title in 1976 and the Big 12 title in 2011. The Series Saturday’s game marks the 38th overall meeting between Oklahoma State and Texas in a series that dates to 1916. The 2023 season also marks the 28th consecutive year the teams have played, beginning with the first season of Big 12 Conference play in 1996. Texas holds a 26-11 all-time advantage in the series, but OSU has won nine of the past 13 matchups, as well as six of the past eight. OSU’s five straight road wins at UT from 2010-17 marked the only time any team has beaten the Longhorns in five straight trips to Austin. Although the teams have met 37 times, this will be just the second game they’ve played at a neutral site, with the only other instance coming in the first meeting of the programs, played in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, October 13, 1916. Coach Mike Gundy is 9-9 in his career against Texas, while Texas coach Steve Sarkisian is 0-2 against Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State from a Distance Fresh off a thrilling double-overtime win to clinch a spot in the conference championship, the Cowboys are back in Arlington for the second time in three seasons. Oklahoma State has won seven of its past eight games to earn its spot in the Big 12 Championship, defeating Kansas State, 29-21; No. 23 Kansas, 39-32; West Virginia, 48-34; Cincinnati, 45-13; No. 9 Oklahoma, 27-24; Houston, 43-30, and BYU, 40-34 along the way. The Cowboy defense has produced 18 total turnovers in the past eight games while the offense has turned it over 12 times during that stretch. This season, the Cowboys are 9-0 when they win or tie the turnover battle. Sophomore running back Ollie Gordon II is the favorite for the Doak Walker Award and even inserted himself into the race for the Heisman Trophy for much of the season. He has produced eight 100-yard rushing games in the past nine games and scored 16 rushing touchdowns in his past six games. He ranks No. 1 in the FBS in rushing yards, rushing yards per game, games with at least 100, 150, 200 and 250 rushing yards, 30-yard carries, 40-yard carries and 70-yard carries. He’s also second in rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns and third in all-purpose yards per game and total points scored. Gordon had 282 rushing yards in the win at West Virginia to rank as the most for any FBS player in a game this season and followed that up with 271 rushing yards against Cincinnati to join Heisman-winner Barry Sanders as the only two players in school history with back-to-back 250-yard rushing games. Prior to that, he had 284 yards from scrimmage against Kansas, making him the only FBS player in the past 10 seasons to produce three consecutive games with more than 250 scrimmage yards. Most recently in the win over BYU, Gordon tied a school record set by Barry Sanders with five rushing touchdowns in a single game. Quarterback Alan Bowman has also impressed since taking over as the full-time starting quarterback, averaging 285.9 passing yards per game to rank second among all Big 12 players in conference play. He’s accounted for 12 total touchdowns in the nine games he has played as the full-time starter. On the defensive side, linebacker Nickolas Martin has made his case for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-America honors. The Cowboy sophomore leads all Big 12 players and ranks No. 15 in the FBS in total tackles with 10.0 per game and is No. 9 in the FBS with 5.8 solo tackles per game. His 120 tackles this season rank as the fourth-most for any Cowboy since 1986 (14 more tackles will give him the most for any Cowboy since 1986). He’s joined by linebacker Collin Oliver and safety Kendal Daniels as the biggest defensive playmakers this year, as Oliver ranks No. 3 in the FBS with four forced fumbles and Daniels is No. 17 in the FBS with 2 fumbles recovered while rankings second on the team with 90 tackles on the year. Martin and Oliver are tied for the Big 12 lead in sacks by linebackers with 6.0 each. Other notable Cowboys this season include center Joe Michalski, an All-America candidate who ranks among the best Power Five centers in pass blocking efficiency according to Pro Football Focus, and Lou Groza Award candidate Alex Hale, who ranks No. 2 in the FBS with 26 made field goals.

An Oklahoma State Win Would …

• Secure its 12th conference championship since 1926 and it first since 2011. It would also mark OSU’s

second Big 12 championship.

• Give it at least 10 wins for the eighth time in Mike Gundy’s tenure as head coach.

• Give it wins in eight of its past nine games.

• Improve Mike Gundy’s record in December games to 10-8.

• Improve Mike Gundy’s record in neutral site games to 15-8.

• Give it wins in 10 of its past 14 and seven of its past nine games vs. Texas.

• Improve its record against Texas to 12-26 and it record against Texas in neutral site games to 1-1,

with the only neutral site matchup prior to 2023 game coming in the first meeting of the programs,

played in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, October 13, 1916.

• Improve Mike Gundy’s record against Texas to 10-9.

• Make it 31-11 in its past 42 games overall, dating back to the 2020 season.

• Make it 157-73 in its history when playing as an AP-ranked team.

• Mark the Cowboys’ 12th win over an AP Top 10 team since 2008.

• Give it wins in three straight and four of its past five games against AP Top 10 teams.

• Make it 11-3 in its past 14 and 20-8 in its past 28 games vs. opponents ranked in the AP Top 25.

• Improve it to 35-25 vs. AP ranked teams since the beginning of the 2011 season.

• Make it 11-5 in its past 16 games when both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25.

• Mark Mike Gundy’s 41st career win vs. AP Top 25 opponents. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the

only other active coaches with more wins over AP Top 25 teams at their current schools.

Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game

• Ollie Gordon II has rushed for more than 100 yards in eight of the past nine games.

• Ollie Gordon II has rushed for more than 270 yards in two of the past six games.

• OSU has forced 18 turnovers and surrendered 12 turnovers in the past six games.

• OSU is 9-0 this season when winning or tying the turnover battle.

• OSU’s offensive line has not allowed a sack in five of its past eight games.

• OSU has held 34 of its past 42 Big 12 opponents under their season scoring average entering the game.

• OSU has won 85 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating

back to Sept. 13, 2003 – the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and longest since at least 1980.

Including games when opponents have scored 20 points or fewer, the streak begins at the same date

and includes 92 games.

• The Cowboy defense has produced a shutout half in two games this season.

• OSU has held its opponent scoreless on its game-opening drive in 39 of its past 56 games.

• OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50% third down conversion rate in 46 of its past 50 games.

• OSU is 38-16 in its past 54 games decided by fewer than 10 points.

• OSU is 48-8 in its past 56 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016.

• Dating back to 2005, OSU is 48-4 when not committing a turnover.

• Dating back to 2008, OSU is 80-8 when winning the turnover battle.

• OSU has won four of its past six overtime games.

• Over the past 48 games, OSU has held opponents to 226-for-742 (30.5%) on third down.

• OSU has held its opponents to just 4-of-23 on fourth down attempts this season – the No. 1 percentage in the nation.

TEXAS NOTES:

THE OPENING KICKOFF • The University of Texas continues its 131st season of football on Saturday when the Longhorns face Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Football Championship. • The Longhorns are making their seventh all-time appearance in the Big 12 Championship, with a record of 3-3. UT’s last appearance in the game was in 2018. Texas’ seven appearances are the second most in conference history. • Texas will be the home team for the game, but has chosen to wear its traditional all-white uniforms. • The Cowboy’s will be playing the conference title game for the second time in program history and first time since 2021, a 21-16 defeat to Baylor. • Saturday’s championship game will be the 22nd Big 12 Championship Game, as there was no game played following the 2011-16 seasons. • Texas (No. 7/7) is ranked in the AP Top-10 for the 12th consecutive week and the Coaches poll Top-10 for the seventh-straight week, the longest streak for UT in both polls since the 2009-10 seasons. • Last time out, Texas (11-1, 8-1) clinched the stop seed in the Big 12 Championship Game after defeating Texas Tech at home, 57-7. The moved Texas to 6-0 at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on the season, the first time UT finished undefeated at home since 2009. • Oklahoma State (9-3, 7-2) earned the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 title game with a double-overtime victory at home against BYU, 40-34. • The Longhorns’ 11-1 start is the best for the program since 2009. • Texas finished Big 12 Conference play with an 8-1 record, the best for the program since 2009 (9-0). • UT has won six consecutive games, the longest winning streak for Texas since 2018. • The Longhorns will be playing in the program’s Big 12 Conference game. • Texas finished with an all-time Big 12 regular season record of 157-79. • Texas currently boasts 947 all-time wins, tied for the fourth-most in college football history. UT holds an all-time record of 947-391-33 (.703).

SERIES HISTORY VS. OKLAHOMA STATE • Texas is set to face off with Oklahoma State for the 38th time in program history this Saturday, and for the third time ever at a neutral site. • UT holds a 26-11 advantage in the series over OSU, including a 2-0 mark in neutral site games. • The first-ever meeting between the Texas Longhorns and the then-Oklahoma A&M Aggies took place in 1916, with the Horns defeating the Aggies, 14-7, in a Southwest Conference game played in front of 5,000 fans at League Park in San Antonio. The Longhorns and Aggies met at Fair Park Stadium in Dallas in 1920 with the Horns coming out on top, 21-0, in front of 8,000 spectators. • Oklahoma State won last year’s contest in Stillwater with the 11th-ranked Cowboys topping No. 20 Texas, 41-34, despite Bijan Robinson rushing for 140 yards and scoring both a rushing and receiving touchdown. • Saturday’s game will marked the 28th game between the two programs as Big 12 opponents with the Longhorns holding a 17-10 advantage in such games. • UT’s 57-point victory over Oklahoma State (71-14) in 1996 – the first season of Big 12 Football – still stands as the largest margin of victory by either side in the series’ history. • After Texas won 12-straight meetings from 1998- 2009, the Cowboys have won nine of the last 13 contests between the schools since 2010. COWBOYS SCOUTING REPORT • Mike Gundy is in his 19th season leading the Oklahoma State Cowboys. • Gundy is a two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year (2010, ’21), was the 2011 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, and a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2021). • He is an OSU alum who played quarterback for the Cowboys from 1986-89. • Oklahoma State ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring offense (30.2 ppg) and scoring defense (27.3 ppg), while ranking eighth in total offense (432.8 ypg) and sixth in total defense (390.3 ypg). • The Cowboys lead the nation in fourth-down defense, allowing opponents to convert on just 17.4 percent (4-of-23) of their attempts. • RB Ollie Gordon leads the nation in rushing with 1,580 yards, while ranking second in rushing touchdowns (20), third in all-purpose yards (154.33 ypg) and ninth in yards per carry (6.45). • QB Alan Bowman has completed 248-of-414 passes (59.9%) for 2,808 yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has thrown for over 300 yards in each of the last two games and four of the last seven. • LB Nickolas Martin leads the Big 12 and is 15th nationally with 120 tackles (69 solo), while ranking second in the conference in tackles for loss (16.0) and sixth in sacks (6). • DB Kendal Daniels is eighth in the Big 12 with 90 tackles, fourth with 14.5 tackles for loss and tied for sixth in sacks (6). • Oklahoma State has won seven of their last eight games. A TEXAS WIN WOULD … • Be Texas’ 948th all-time victory, the fourth winningest program in college football history. • Give the Longhorns the fourth Big 12 Conference Championship in program history and first since 2009. • Mark Texas’ 29th conference championship in program history (25 SWC, 4 Big 12). • Give Steve Sarkisian his 71st victory as a head coach and 25th at Texas in his 119th career game as a head coach. • Mark the first 12-1 start for a Steve Sarkisian led team and the best for the Longhorns since 2009.

COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW SEC: GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA

GEORGIA NOTES:

WIN: What’s Important Now Top-ranked Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) will be looking to capture its 15th SEC title and second straight when it meets No. 8 Alabama (11-1, 8-0 SEC) Saturday in Atlanta. The Bulldogs completed their third consecutive perfect regular season, which is a school record. Also, the 2023 senior class has tied the school mark for victories as they enter the postseason now 49-3. The 2022 class went 49-5. The Bulldogs are making their 11th appearance in the SEC Championship Game (SECCG) where they are 4-6. Georgia claimed the 2022 SEC crown when it beat LSU while the others came in 2002 (Arkansas), 2005 (LSU) and 2017 (Auburn). Georgia is making its sixth appearance in the SECCG in the Kirby Smart era where it’s 2-3. The Bulldogs are the visiting team this year Georgia’s 14 conference titles rank the second most in the SEC. Georgia will be aiming for its first win over Alabama in an SECCG after falling in 2012, 2018 and 2021. In the all-time series, Alabama leads 42-26-4. The Bulldogs won the last meeting, posting a 33-18 triumph in the 2022 CFP National Championship Game in Indianapolis, Ind. SECCG Experience The 2023 team features 14 Bulldogs who have started at least one SECCG and two (Sedrick Van Pran-C and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint-WR) who have started the past two championship games. Offense (6): Sedrick Van Pran (C/21-22), Brock Bowers (TE/21), Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (WR/21-22), Ladd McConkey (WR/22), Tate Ratledge (RG/22), Xavier Truss (LG/22) Defense (8): Dan Jackson (SS/21), Jamon Dumas-Johnson (LB/22), Kamari Lassiter (DB/22), Smael Mondon (LB/22), Tykee Smith (STAR/22), Nazir Stackhouse (DL/22), Malaki Starks (SS/22), Tramel Walthour (DE/22) Did You Know? There have been five blocked field goalsin SECCG history, and four of them by Georgia. Last year, Nazir Stackhouse blocked a 32-yard attempt and Chris Smith returned it 96 yards for a score.

Balance Signals Success The Bulldogs are one of only three teams in the country who are ranked in the top 10 in both Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense. The Bulldogs rank sixth in Scoring Defense at 15.8 ppg and eighth in Scoring Offense at 39.6 ppg. The other teams are Oregon, who ranks seventh in Scoring Defense (15.9) and second in Scoring Offense (45.2), and Notre Dame as they are ninth in both (16.6 pgg/39.1 ppg). One of the keys to Georgia’s success is its third down defense. The Bulldogs are ranked second nationally with opponents converting just 27 percent of the time. In SEC action, Georgia opponents were a combined 28-for-95 on third downs (29 percent). The Bulldogs are second nationally in converting third downs (57 percent). Georgia converted 56 of 99 third downs (57 percent) against league opponents.

We’ve Gone Streaking * Georgia is on a school record and SEC record 29-game winning streak that began with a 34-11 win over Michigan in the 2021 CFP semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl. * Georgia is enjoying a school record streak of 39 consecutive regular season victories that dates to a 31-24 home triumph over Mississippi State on Nov. 21, 2020. That’s the longest streak in the FBS. * Georgia has won 27 regular season SEC games in a row dating to a 31-24 win over Mississippi State on Nov. 21, 2020. This is a school and SEC record tying mark for consecutive conference wins. * The Bulldogs have set a school record with 25 home wins in a row, which leads the nation. * The Bulldogs have won 15 straight games in an opponent’s home stadium and that leads in FBS. * The Bulldogs are 45-1 in their last 46 games including back-to-back national championships. * The Bulldogs will extend the nation’s longest active bowl streak to 27 consecutive years this season.

Piling Up The Points Again * The 2023 Bulldogs: Averaging 39.6 points/game (8th nationally) * Outscored their opponents 475-189, including 256-106 in the opening half * Own a +286 point differential; 62-for-68 in the Red Zone with 45 TDs, 17 FGs * The 2022 Bulldogs: Averaged 41.1 points/game (5th nationally) * Outscored their opponents 616-214, including 341-105 in the opening half * Second consecutive year led the nation in point differential at +402 * 81-for-83 in the Red Zone (98% led nation) with 57 TDs and 24 FGs * The 2021 Bulldogs: Averaged 38.6 points/game (9th nationally) * Outscored their opponents 579-153, including 358-65 in the opening half * Led the nation in point differential at +426 * 59-for-69 in the Red Zone (86% ranked 50th) with 42 TDs and 17 FGs Offensive Line Answers The Challenge * A Joe Moore Award semifinalist for the third season in a row. * The Bulldogs are 12-0 and averaging 39.6 points per game. Georgia is on pace to set school record in Avg. Yards Per Play at 7.25 and Avg. Yards Per Game at 496.4. * Tallied 611 yards of total offense against No. 9 Ole Miss, including 300 yards of rushing (most since registering 615 and 316 versus Missouri in 2020). * Racked up 608 yards of total offense in the rout of No. 20 UK. * Against USC, junior starting RT Amarius Mims went down with an ankle injury and missed the next six games before returning on Nov. 11 against No. 9 Ole Miss. * During that span, senior Xavier Truss moved from LG to RT and redshirt sophomore Dylan Fairchild came in at LG. Fairchild has started the last nine games at that spot. RSo. Micah Morris has also seen time at LG. * Junior C Sedrick Van Pran has a team-best 42 consecutive starts. Redshirt sophomore RG Tate Ratledge, who like Truss started 15 contests in 2022, and redshirt freshman LT Earnest Greene make up Georgia’s other OL starters. * The team tragically lost OL Devin Willock (Wil-LOCK) in a car accident this past January. Willock played in all 15 games last year with two starts. To honor him, a different OL will wear Willock’s #77 jersey each game this year.

Getting Defensive Georgia has had 34 players drafted over the past three seasons including 19 on defense and eight of those defenders have gone in the first round. * Ranked sixth nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing just 15.8 ppg. * Allowed just 15.3 ppg in its wins over four ranked opponents. * Blanked No. 18 Tennessee in the second half and held the Vols to just 2-of-11 on third downs; snapped UT’s 14-game home winning streak while allowing the Vols just 10 points. UT was averaging 32.0 ppg coming into the contest. * Held No. 9 Ole Miss to just 17 points after the Rebels came in with a 38.8 ppg. Ole Miss managed only a field goal in the second half. * Team had a season-high five sacks in the win versus Florida. * Allowed its first points in the third quarter in week five at Auburn. UGA has outscored opponents 134-16 in the third quarter and 219-83 in the second half. * True freshman ILB CJ Allen started his first game against #9 OM and led the team with nine stops, including a sack, and was named the SEC and Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Week. He was filling in for Jamon-Dumas Johnson, who sustained a forearm injury versus No. 12 Missouri and has been out. * Dumas-Johnson, a 2022 Butkus Award finalist, had seven stops against No. 12 Missouri before his injury. He has 34 stops on the year. * Junior ILB Smael Mondon was the team leader with 76 stops last year. Mondon ranks second on the team this year with 60 stops. Mondon and Allen had eight apiece in the latest win over Ga Tech. * Sophomore LB Jalon Walker posted four stops, including 1.5 sacks, during the victory over No. 12 Missouri. He has seen time at ILB and OLB this year. * Sophomore DL Mykel Williams is part of an experienced front that features seniors Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Tramel Walthour, Nazir Stackhouse and Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins. * Stackhouse collected his first career interception against No. 12 Missouri in the fourth quarter. Despite his 44-yard return being negated because of a chop block call on the Bulldogs, his pick helped set up Peyton Woodring’s final field goal.

ALABAMA NOTES:

Overall: 73rd meeting (Alabama leads, 42-26-4) In SEC Championship Games: Alabama leads, 3-0 Current Streak: Alabama, Lost 1 Last Meeting: Jan. 10, 2022 – Indianapolis (L, 18-33) Series Notes: Alabama and Georgia will meet for the 73rd time in series history and the fourth time in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game. The Crimson Tide owns a 42-26-4 all-time advantage, including a 3-0 mark in the SEC Championship. The two teams last met in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game with the Bulldogs coming out on top, 33-18. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 9-3 all-time against UGA, including a 7-2 mark leading the Tide. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is 1-4 for his career against UA.

ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY: Alabama will be making its 57th appearance overall (36-20, .643) on ESPN’s College GameDay when the popular pregame show airs from Atlanta this Saturday. The Crimson Tide has appeared on GameDay the second-most times of any one program, trailing only Ohio State’s all-time record of 59. Saturday will be Alabama’s 48th appearance under head coach Nick Saban (33-14, .702). The 48 appearances in the Saban era are seven better than the Buckeyes (41) for the most since the 2007 season.

NEUTRAL SITES: Alabama is 98-51-4 (.654) all-time in 153 neutral site contests. The list includes all Alabama-Auburn games not played on campus, including Legion Field from 1948-88. Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide is 30-7 (.811) in neutral site games. DOME SWEET DOME: The Crimson Tide is 34-8-1 (.802) all-time in domed stadiums. Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama owns a 26-5 (.839) record in domes, including a 25-2 (.926) mark since 2009. Saban’s record under an enclosed roof includes a 17-5 (.773) mark in postseason contests (SEC Championship, bowl, BCS Championship, CFP Championship). ALABAMA IN THE ATL: Alabama boasts a 17-1 record in games played in Atlanta since head coach Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, including 16 straight wins. The Crimson Tide is 7-0 in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games, 8-1 in SEC Championship Games, 1-0 in the Peach Bowl and 1-0 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. SABAN vs. FORMER ASSISTANTS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 30-3 all-time against his former staffers during his tenure at the Capstone. The Crimson Tide head coach’s most wins against a former assistant is six against Jimbo Fisher (6-1). Saban is 4-1 against Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. TOUGH TO GET SABAN’S TIDE TWICE: During his tenure at Alabama, head coach Nick Saban has suffered 28 total losses. Of those 28 losses, the Crimson Tide and Saban have had the opportunity to face the team that beat them at a later date on 24 occasions. In those 24 rematches, Alabama owns a 22-2 mark when avenging its previous loss. The only two times the Crimson Tide has fallen in back-to-back games against the same opponent is LSU (2010-11) and Ole Miss (2014-15). The Crimson Tide has not yet had the opportunity to bounce back from losses against Utah (2009), Clemson (2018), Georgia (2021) and Texas (2023). ALABAMA vs. THE EAST UNDER SABAN: Since head coach Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide owns a 47-5 (.904) record against SEC Eastern Division foes. That record includes an 8-1 (.889) mark in the SEC Championship Game and a 1-1 record in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Alabama’s only two postseason losses to the East during Saban’s tenure are against then-No. 2 Florida on Dec. 6, 2008 (SEC) and against then-No. 3 Georgia on Jan. 10, 2022 (CFP). The only three regular-season losses to Eastern Division foes under Saban are against then-No. 22 Georgia on Sept. 22, 2007, followed by a loss at then-No. 19 South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010 and finally a last-second loss at then-No. 6 Tennessee on Oct. 15, 2022.

ALABAMA vs. No. 1: Alabama owns the NCAA record for the most wins all-time against the Associated Press Poll’s No. 1 team since the poll was introduced in 1936. The Crimson Tide has compiled 10 wins against the AP’s top-ranked team in program history, most recently against No. 1 Georgia in the 2021 Southeastern Conference Championship Game. Seven of those 10 wins have come during the Nick Saban era with the first being Alabama’s victory over defending national champion Florida in the 2009 SEC Championship Game to send the Crimson Tide to the BCS National Championship Game against Texas. Three of the next four occurred in national title games, including LSU (2011), Notre Dame (2012) and Clemson (2015). The sixth win during the Saban era came when UA defeated top-ranked Mississippi State at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 15, 2014.

AGAINST THE TOP 10: Alabama owns an 84-79-1 (.515) all-time record against teams ranked in the top-10 of the Associated Press Poll. Since the start of the 2008 season, the Crimson Tide has posted a 35-13 (.729) overall record against top-10 teams, including a 20-7 (.741) mark versus the top 10 since the inception of the College Football Playoff. In Saban’s six national championship seasons at Alabama, his teams have gone 18-2 (.900) against top-10 opponents. BEATING THE BEST: The Crimson Tide is 79-21 (.790) against the Associated Press Top 25 since the start of 2008. That record includes a 3-1 record in 2023 with wins against then-No. 15 Ole Miss on Sept. 23, then-No. 17 Tennessee on Oct. 21 and most recently against then-No. 13 LSU on Nov. 4. SABAN LEADS IN WINS vs. TOP-FIVE TEAMS: Alabama’s 27-6 win over No. 4 Cincinnati in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 31 was Nick Saban’s 29th career victory against a team ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, the most in college football history. Saban’s 29-15 career record in top-five contests gives him a .659 winning percentage, which is also college football’s best. Following Saban on the all-time victory list are Bobby Bowden (18/.378 winning percentage), Barry Switzer (15/.516), Woody Hayes (15/.516), Steve Spurrier (15/.429) and Lou Holtz (15/.419). SABAN vs. AP TOP 25 OPPOSITION: The Crimson Tide’s 42-28 win over then-No. 13 LSU on Nov. 4 was Nick Saban’s 103rd career win, and 81st at Alabama, against the Associated Press Top 25. Saban moved past Joe Paterno (86) for the most career wins against the AP Top 25 when he defeated then-No. 22 Auburn on Nov. 28, 2020. The late Florida State legend Bobby Bowden ranks third all-time (82), while Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant is fourth (66). Former Duke, Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is fifth (64). Saban’s winning percentage against AP ranked teams (103-47, .687) tops Bryant (.592), Bowden (.557), Spurrier (.529) and Paterno (.512).

SABAN vs. GEORGIA: Alabama head coach Nick Saban owns a career 9-3 record against Georgia, including a 7-2 mark during his time in Tuscaloosa. His first meeting with the Bulldogs came while he was at LSU, a 17-10 victory for the Tigers in Baton Rouge. While at Alabama, he fell in his initial matchup with the Bulldogs in 2007 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, before winning seven straight. Saban’s winning streak ended in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW (BIG 10): MICHIGAN VS. IOWA

MICHIGAN NOTES:

What You Need to Know

• The Wolverines will head to Indianapolis seeking the program’s third consecutive outright Big Ten Championship, which would be the first time in program history with three straight outright conference titles.

• Michigan has achieved its second consecutive 12-0 season under head coach Jim Harbaugh. It marks the fifth season in program history with at least 12 wins (1905; 1997; 2021-23) and the first time the program has achieved a 12-0 mark in back-to-back seasons.

• Michigan is the only team in the nation with multiple wins over teams currently among the AP Top 10.

• Blake Corum broke Hassan Haskins’ single-season rushing touchdown record (20 in 2021) with his 21st and 22nd ground scores of the year against Ohio State.

• In total, Michigan has forced 21 turnovers (16 interceptions, five fumble recoveries) and forced two safeties, while having lost seven turnovers themselves. The defense had a streak of at least one interception in seven straight games (Bowling Green to Purdue) and has one in 10-of-12 overall.

• Tommy Doman has four straight games with a punt at or inside the opponent’s 12-yard line, including pinning opponents at the three-yard line or deeper in three of the last four games. His current single-season average of 45.03 yards per attempt would rank tied for third all-time at Michigan.

Wolverines in the Big Ten Championship Game 

• Michigan will be making its third consecutive appear­ance in the Big Ten Championship Game.

• The Wolverines have won the past two appearances in the conference championship game, defeating Iowa 42-3 in 2021 and Purdue 43-22 in 2022.

• This season, the Maize and Blue won the Big Ten East Division crown and advanced to the title game with a 30-24 victory at No. 2 Ohio State. 

• U-M is looking to capture its league-leading 45th Big Ten Championship and third in as many seasons. 

______________________________

Wolverines and Hawkeyes 

This will be the 64th meeting between Michigan and Iowa. The Wolverines hold a 44-15-4 lead in the all-time series and have won 15 of the last 23 games in the series.

Series vs. Maryland: Michigan leads 44-15-4
Series Streak: Michigan won 3
Last Meeting: 2022 (#4 U-M 27, Iowa 14) 
Last Michigan Win: 2022

______________________________

Michigan in Night Games

• U-M will play its fifth night game of the 2023 season when it face Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.

• This matchup will be the 77th night game in school history.

• U-M has compiled a 48-28 overall record in games starting after 5 p.m. local time, posting a 13-2 record at Michigan Stadium, a 29-16 mark on the road and a 6-10 record at a neutral site.

______________________________

Game Notes Nuggets

• The Wolverines will head to Indianapolis seeking the program’s third consecutive outright Big Ten Championship, which would be the first time in program history with three straight outright conference titles.

• Michigan has achieved its second consecutive 12-0 season under head coach Jim Harbaugh. It marks the fifth season in program history with at least 12 wins (1905; 1997; 2021-23) and the first time the program has achieved a 12-0 mark in back-to-back seasons.

• Michigan is the only team in the nation with multiple wins over teams currently among the AP Top 10.

• This is the fourth time U-M has won at least a share of the Big Ten East Division and the third season in a row that U-M has been the outright division champ. The Wolverines will seek their league-leading 45th Big Ten title next Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in a 2021 rematch against Iowa.

• The Wolverines have been victorious in 24 straight Big Ten games dating to 2021, the longest streak in program history and the third longest in Big Ten history.

• The Big Ten Conference does not recognize the 2021 or 2022 Big Ten championship games as conference matchups, so U-M is at 22 straight Big Ten wins by the league’s record book. That figure surpassed the previous record, a mark held by Gary Moeller’s 1990-92 teams (19).

• Michigan has been victorious in 28 consecutive regular-season games, matching the record set by the 1901-03 Michigan teams and matched by the 2005-07 Ohio State teams.

• Michigan will carry into the 2024 season a 22-game winning streak at Michigan Stadium that dates back to 2021. It is the program’s best streak since 1969-73 under Bo Schembechler (28 games) and the third-longest stretch in U-M Football history.

• U-M has trailed for only 23:33 of cumulative game time in 2023, as opposed to 1:05:05 through 12 games last season. The Wolverines have not trailed at any point in the second half of any game in 2023.

• Michigan has scored 14 points or more in every first half this season and at least three offensive touchdowns in every game this year.

• In quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s 25 career starts, U-M is 24-1 for a win rate of 96 percent, the best mark by a starting quarterback in at least the last 10 seasons (minimum 20 starts). That mark ranks above those of Trevor Lawrence (34-2; 94.4), Tua Tagovailoa (22-2, 91.7) and Trevone Boykin (22-2, 91.7).

• Running back Blake Corum is the only FBS player to score in each game this season.

• Wolverines have been named finalists for the following awards: Lott IMPACT Trophy (Junior Colson), NFF William V. Campbell Trophy (Zak Zinter), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (J.J. McCarthy). Individuals have also been named semifinalists for the following awards: Maxwell Award (Blake Corum, J.J. McCarthy), Davey O’Brien Award (McCarthy), Chuck Bednarik Award (Kris Jenkins), John Mackey Award (AJ Barner), Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy (Zinter), Wuerffel Trophy, Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year (Corum), Patrick Mannelly Award (William Wagner), Joe Moore Award (offensive line).

• The Wolverines are averaging a scoring margin of +27.3 across their 12 wins this season, the best figure in the country and one of two rates +25 points per game (Oregon, +25.3).

• Michigan is one of six teams to rank in the top 13 in both scoring offense (13th, 37.6 points per game) and scoring defense (first, 10.2 points per game allowed). Georgia (sixth, defense; seventh, offense), Oregon (seventh, defense; second, offense), Florida State (11th, defense; ninth, offense), Notre Dame (ninth, defense; eighth, offense) and SMU (13th, defense; third, offense) are the other three.

• U-M’s 0.596 points per play on offense is the best rate in the Big Ten (next: Ohio State, 0.491) and fifth overall (LSU, USC, Oregon, Notre Dame). The Wolverine defense allows 0.176 points per play against, the third-lowest rate in the nation. This week’s opponent, Iowa, leads the country at a rate of .171.

• Yards per point is a metric that describes how much of the field the offense must travel to score, on average. U-M’s offense ranks No. 1 at 10.5 yards per point, while the defense forces opponents to travel 24.2 yards per point (No. 1 nationally). That margin (+13.6) is the largest in college football and one of only two margins in double-digits (Ohio State, 10.2).

• Eleven players have made their first starts as Wolverines this season, including five on offense (Barner, LaDarius Henderson, Myles Hinton, Tyler Morris, Drake Nugent) and six on defense (Rayshaun Benny, Kenneth Grant, Keshaun Harris, Quinten Johnson, Keon Sabb, Josh Wallace).

• Michigan holds top-10 Pro Football Focus grades and ranks in 10 of 13 major team categories Full list: overall team, No. 1 (95.8), offense, No. 5 (92.1), receiving, No. 1 (88.4), run-blocking, tied-No. 5 (75.2), defense, No. 1 (95.2), run defense, No. 6 (93.1), tackling, No. 1 (92.1), pass rush, No. 4 (90.4), pass coverage, tied-No. 4 (92.4), and special team, No. 10 (86.0).

• In that span, the offense has registered 235 drives in which the quarterback starts and finishes the possession (excludes kneel-downs, ends of halves). The Wolverines have points on 140 of those drives (59.6 percent) with 104 touchdowns (44.3 percent of all drives) and 36 field goals.

• Through 12 games in 2023, McCarthy has completed 191-of-257 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 74.3, the second-best in the country (Bo Nix, Oregon, 78.6). His completion rate is paired with an average depth of target (ADOT) of 10.3 yards downfield, whereas Nix’s is 7.0.

• In the red zone, the Wolverines have 40 touchdowns in 48 scoring conversions (out of 55 opportunities). McCarthy has nearly as many red-zone touchdowns (nine) as incompletions (14) and 20 of Corum’s 21 rushing scores have come from the 10-yard line or closer.

• U-M comes up big on the most important downs on both sides of the ball. The team ranks top-10 in third- (49.6 percent, eighth) and fourth-down (77.8, fifth) conversion rate on offense and ranks top-20 in conversion rate against in both categories on defense: 17th on third down (31.2 percent) and 11th on fourth down (36.0).

• McCarthy has been particularly effective on third down, completing 42-of-57 pass attempts (73.5 percent) for 615 yards with a 193.26 passer rating. In situations of 3rd-and-7-plus yards, McCarthy is 27-of-35 (75.8 percent) for 447 yards with 24 first downs or touchdowns (five).

• This season, his 11.5 yards per attempt on play-action is tied for seventh in the nation (minimum 50 attempts). He is 51-of-63 (81 percent) on play-action concepts with five touchdowns to one interception.

• Among players with at least 20 career touchdown passes, McCarthy has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in Michigan history (46:11 / 4.6:1), better than Drew Henson (3.43:1), Cade McNamara, and Shea Patterson (3:1).

• McCarthy is the program’s career leader in yards per play (8.65) and ranks sixth in career touchdown percentage as a passer (7.28). 

• McCarthy (5,718 career pass yards) passed Shea Patterson (5,661 yards) for seventh on the program’s all-time passing list. Todd Collins (5,858 yards) ranks sixth on the list.

• McCarthy also sits sixth in all-time touchdown passes (46). Rick Leach (48) and Denard Robinson (49) are fifth and fourth on the list, respectively.

• With 19 passing scores this season, McCarthy is six shy of the single-season U-M record (Elvis Grbac, 1991). He also ranks fifth in the nation in pass efficiency (176.8) and sixth in yards per attempt (9.66) while ranking second in completion percentage (74.3). He is ESPN’s No. 3 quarterback in total QBR (90.8) and PFF’s No. 8-graded quarterback (91.0).

• McCarthy is averaging 222 yards of total offense per game in 2023 despite only 18 fourth-quarter pass attempts on the season. 

• Corum (3,468 yards) is eighth on U-M’s all-time rushing list; Chris Perry ranks one spot ahead of him (seventh) with 3,696 career yards rushing.

• Corum broke Hassan Haskins’ (2021, 20) single-season rushing touchdown record with his 21st and 22nd ground scores of the year against the Buckeyes.

• Corum (53 career rushing touchdowns) stands alone in second place on the career rushing scores list; only Anthony Thomas (55) has more.

• Donovan Edwards ranks tied for seventh among running backs in all-time receptions (64) at U-M, two shy of Chris Perry for sixth. Edwards is fourth in receiving yards by a running back with 695, 115 shy of the career record held by Anthony Thomas (810).

• Corum is the national leader in rushing touchdowns (22) while wide receiver Roman Wilson is tied for ninth in receiving touchdowns (11), ranking second in the Big Ten. Corum also leads the nation in total points scored (132).

• Wilson’s 11 receiving touchdowns are the most by a Wolverine pass catcher in the Harbaugh era (previously, Jehu Chesson, nine, 2015). They are also the most by a Michigan wideout since Mario Manningham had 12 in 2007.

• For his career, Wilson is up to 19 receiving touchdowns (plus two rushing), tied with Tai Streets (19) for seventh-most all-time. Derrick Alexander (22) is next up on the list.

• Twenty-six of Cornelius Johnson’s 35 offensive touches have produced a touchdown or first down.

• Two Wolverine pass catchers are among the Big Ten’s leaders in yards per route run (minimum 22 targets): Wilson (2.97) ranks 23rd in the country and second in the conference, Colston Loveland (2.66) ranks 42nd among all pass catchers and third among tight ends nationally, third in the league among all pass catchers. 

• Loveland has at least one catch in every game this year with 37 catches for 550 yards and four receiving touchdowns, ranking second on the team in all three categories. He has built on his freshman season totals (16 for 235, two touchdowns) and is up to six touchdowns for his career. One more will tie him with Luke Schoonmaker (seven) for the 10th-most in a career by a U-M tight end and make him one of eight U-M tight ends with at least five in a season.

• Loveland sits ninth in receiving yards by a tight end across the NCAA this season (550) and eighth in single-season Michigan history; he lists 12th nationally among tight ends in receptions (37).

• Wilson (14 receiving), Loveland (11 receiving), Cornelius Johnson (eight receiving, one rushing), and Semaj Morgan (three receiving, one rushing, four returns) have combined for 42 explosive plays (20-plus yards). Six Wolverines have six or more explosive plays overall.

• Michigan’s offensive line has allowed only 14 sacks on the season (1.17 per game), the 13th-fewest nationally and first in the Big Ten. With that unit as the engine, U-M permits the fourth-fewest negative plays per game (3.33) of any team in the country.

• The Wolverine defense ranks among the nation’s best in third-down conversion rate against (31.2, 17th), fourth-down conversion rate against (36.0, 11th), red zone defense (71.4, sixth), rushing defense (91.4 yards per game, sixth), passes intercepted (16, fourth), pass yards allowed per game (153.3, fourth), pass efficiency defense (97.95, third), total defense (246.8, second) and leads the nation in defensive touchdowns (tied; five) and scoring defense (10.2 points per game).

• The Wolverines have scored five defensive touchdowns, tied for the national high mark with five other teams. Four have come via interception returns and one via a fumble return.

• U-M has allowed 123 points across 12 games for an NCAA-leading 10.2 points allowed per game, the lowest average scoring against through 12 weeks since 1997 (9.5).

• The defense has held opponents to one series (four plays) or fewer on 46.0 percent (58-of-126) possessions with 44 three-and-outs/turnovers on downs, and 14 turnovers or safeties forced in the first four plays of drives. U-M has at least one three-and-out forced in 23-of-24 halves this season.

• On the season, U-M has allowed 158 first downs, an average of 13.2 per game which is the lowest rate nationally. On average, teams reach a first down by passing 6.9 times per game, the lowest rate in the country and the only mark below seven. 

• Opponents average 1.6 red zone trips per game against the Wolverines, the fewest in the country and one of two rates below two in the nation.

• Six of the 14 touchdowns U-M has allowed this year have been on explosive plays: a 20-yard rush by UNLV, a 69-yard pass by Rutgers, a 74-yard rush by Nebraska, a 35-yard pass by Minnesota, a 44-yard pass by Indiana, and a 24-yard pass by Purdue. Penn State was the first team to run a play from inside the 10-yard line against U-M this season, and all three of Maryland’s scores were one-yard runs to bust the trend.

• The Wolverines have four interceptions returned for touchdowns this season (Mike Sainristil, Will Johnson, Sabb), tied for the program record set in 1998 and matched in 2018. On the season, U-M has allowed seven passing touchdowns to 16 interceptions, and the Wolverines average 21.1 yards per interception return.

• Sainristil is tied for the all-time lead in career interceptions returned for a touchdown with his two this season, as well as the single-season mark. His 158 return yards are ninth. Reaching 175 return yards would take him to fifth.

• In total, Michigan has forced 21 turnovers (16 interceptions, five fumble recoveries) and forced two safeties, while having lost seven turnovers themselves. The defense had a streak of at least one interception in seven straight games (Bowling Green to Purdue) and has one in 10-of-12 overall.

• U-M excels in the second half defensively. Opponents have accumulated 33 total first downs in 12 third quarters played. Ten (10) of 12 teams failed to reach 75 yards of offense in the quarter and four teams have been held under 15 yards of total offense.

• PFF gives Michigan front-seven defenders seven of the top 23 grades for run defense in the Big Ten: Josaiah Stewart (fifth), Mason Graham (eighth), Kris Jenkins (10th), Michael Barrett (12th), Derrick Moore (tied-21st), Colson (tied-21st), Cam Goode (23rd).

• The 13.7 completions per game U-M’s pass defense is permitting are tied for the fewest in the country.

• The FBS-leading 4.8 points per half that U-M is allowing across second halves so far this season is the lowest rate nationally. No team has scored more than twice in any half this season.

• Twenty-four different players have at least a share of a tackle for loss on the season. Thirteen different players have recorded at least a share of a sack so far this season, led by Jaylen Harrell (5.5 each).

• Harrell and Stewart rank 10th and 17th in the country, respectively, in pass-rush win rate (21.2 percent, 20.0) and rank three-six the Big Ten. Graham (44th; 11th, 17.1), Moore (49th; 12th, 16.7), and Braiden McGregor (16th Big Ten, 14.8) give U-M five of the league’s top 16 pass rushers.

• Punter Tommy Doman is averaging 4.37 seconds of hangtime per attempt, the second-best average of any punter in the country (minimum one punt per game), and the best in the Big Ten. 

• Doman has four straight games with a punt at or inside the opponent’s 12-yard line, including pinning opponents at the three-yard line or deeper in three of the last four games. His current single-season average of 45.03 yards per attempt would rank tied-third all-time at Michigan.

• The Wolverines also are among the best kickoff return defense units in the country, allowing 15.21 yards per return attempt (seventh, NCAA). Doman has delivered 57 touchbacks on 81 kickoffs this season (70.4 percent).

IOWA NOTES:

HAWKEYES | 1st & 10 • The Hawkeyes clinched the outright Big Ten West Division title with its 13-10 victory at Nebraska in the regular season finale. Iowa will play No. 3 Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis for the second time in three years. • This is Iowa’s third straight year playing a No. 2 ranked opponent (Ohio State, 2022; Michigan, 2021). This is the program’s seventh game against a top 10 team since 2021 (2-4 record). • Iowa has won three Big Ten West Division crowns under head coach Kirk Ferentz (2015, 2021, 2023). • The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with a 10-2 overall and 7-2 in Big Ten play. It is the seventh time Iowa has notched its 10th victory during the regular season (five times under Ferentz) and the 11th 10-win season in program history (eight under Ferentz). • Sweet November. Iowa has won 18 of its last 19 games in the month of November, dating back to 2019. • Woody, Amos & Kirk… Ferentz’s has 196 career wins as a member of the Big Ten Conference, the third-most all-time, trailing only Woody Hayes (205) and Amos Alonzo Stagg (1999). Iowa’s win over Illinois moved Ferentz past Michigan’s Bo Schembechler. • Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker is a finalist for the Broyles Award for the first time in his career. The honor goes to the nation’s top assistant coach. • MM for 3… K Marshall Meeder, a transfer from Central Michigan, kicked a game-winning 38-yard field goal to lift Iowa past Nebraska in Lincoln. It was Meeder’s first career game and first career kick as a Hawkeye. He is the third player since 2018 to kick a game-winning field goal against the Huskers (Miguel Recinos, 2018; Keith Duncan, 2019). • RB Leshon Williams recorded his third 100-yard game of the season, rushing for 111 yards on 16 attempts at Nebraska. He had a 53-yard rush in the second quarter and a 22-yarder on Iowa’s final possession to set up the game-winning field goal. • P Tory Taylor broke the single season punting yardage record for a third consecutive season. He has 79 punts for a record 3,766 yards in 2023. • CLUTCH… The Hawkeyes are 5-1 in 2023 in games decided by seven points or less. • Iowa’s defense ranks fourth nationally, giving up 12.2 points per game. The Hawkeyes have allowed three touchdowns over their last 24 quarters, five touchdowns over the past 32 periods and 13 total touchdowns in 2023. • The 12.2 scoring average would be the best for the Iowa program since 1981 (11.7 points). • The Hawkeye rushing defense has allowed just two rushing touchdowns in 2023, which are the fewest in the nation. The Hawkeyes are the only team nationally to surrender two rushing touchdowns. • SHUTOUT! Iowa shutout Rutgers, winning 22-0. It is team’s first Big Ten shutout since 2019 and the 16th of the Ferentz era. • SAFETY! The Hawkeye defense recorded its third safety on a Joe Evans forced fumble against Illinois. It is the first time since 2018 Iowa has had three safeties in a single season. Iowa’s defense has scored 12 points in 2023. • Iowa > 400. Iowa’s defense has allowed fewer than 400 yards in 26 consecutive games — the longest active streak nationally. Iowa gave up 264 yards against Nebraska and the 127 yards surrendered against Rutgers were the fewest against a Big The opponent since 2019. • The Hawkeyes have allowed 14 or fewer points in 18 of their last 25 games and the defense has held nine teams without a touchdown since the start of the 2022 season. The unit has allowed one touchdown or less in 10 of the 12 games in 2023 and in 19 of the last 25 games. • The Hawkeye offense had a season-high 402 yards (179 on the ground, 223 through the air) against Rutgers. It was the highest total for the program in a span of 32 games (at Maryland, 2021). • QB Deacon Hill has completed 60-of-103 attempts (.582) for 549 yards and three touchdowns during Iowa’s four-game winning streak. He had a career-high 223 yards against Rutgers. Hill is 6-1 as Iowa’s starting quarterback. • Since the start of the 2015 season, Iowa is 71-2 when leading by eight points at any point in a game.

HAWKEYES IN THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME • Iowa is 0-2 in Big Ten Championship Game history. • Michigan State used a 22-play, 84-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter — a drive that spanned 9:04 — to score the game-winning touchdown with 27 seconds left to down Iowa, 16-13, in 2015. The Spartan win spoiled Iowa’s undefeated season. • Michigan led 14-3 in the first quarter and scored 21 points in the second half to down the Hawkeyes 42-3 in the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game. Iowa QB Cade McNamara and TE Erick All were members of that Wolverines’ team. B1G WEST DIVISION CHAMPIONS The Hawkeyes clinched an outright Big Ten West Division title and a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game with a 15-13 victory over Illinois on Nov. 18 in Kinnick Stadium. It is the third Big Ten West Division crown in program history and its second in three seasons (2015, 2021, 2023). GALLERY IN INDY Former Hawkeye Robert Gallery, who will become the 11th Hawkeye inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, will be in attendance and be recognized on field at the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. 10 & COUNTING The Hawkeyes notched their 10th victory in the 13-10 walk-off road win at Nebraska on Nov. 24. It is the seventh time the Hawkeyes have recorded their 10th victory during the regular season, including five under head coach Kirk Ferentz. • It is the 11th time in program history that the team has reached the 10-win mark (1985, 1987, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2023). • The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with a 7-2 Big Ten record. It is the fifth time the Hawkeyes have won at least seven league contests under Ferentz (2002, 2004, 2015, 2021, 2023). THE SERIES • Michigan holds a 44-15-4 advantage in the series that began with a 28-5 Iowa win in 1900. The first meeting between the two teams was played in Detroit and the second in Chicago. • The Wolverines have won the last three meetings, including a 27-14 victory last season in Kinnick Stadium. • It is the second meeting in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wolverines won, 42-3, in 2021 in Indianapolis.

OREGON STATE, WASHINGTON STATE, MOUNTAIN WEST AGREE TO 6-GAME FOOTBALL SCHEDULING ARRANGEMENT IN ’24

Oregon State, Washington State and the Mountain West announced a football scheduling agreement Friday for the 2024 season that gives the two remaining Pac-12 schools six opponents each and positions them to operate as a two-team conference for at least a year.

All 12 Mountain West schools will be involved and Oregon State and Washington State will each play three home games and three road games against members of a conference that includes: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State, Wyoming, Nevada, UNLV, San Jose State, Utah State, Fresno State and New Mexico.

Oregon State and Washington State will pay about $14 million to the Mountain West next year as part of the agreement, a person with knowledge of the negotiations between the schools and the conference told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the parties were not immediately disclosing financial terms.

“We are still focused on re-building the Pac-12, and continue to prioritize the student-athlete experience at Oregon State,” Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said.

Barnes said a full football schedule will be released soon and will include five Power Five opponents, six from the Mountain West and one FCS school. For its part, the Mountain West will play a seven-game conference schedule and the games against Oregon State and Washington State will not count in the league standings.

“This is a unique and unprecedented opportunity for Oregon State and Washington State to play against highly competitive Mountain West football programs in 2024,” Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez. She said the agreement expands the conference’s footprint and strengthens its nonconference schedules.

“Today’s announcement provides both institutions clarity for the 2024 football season,” Washington State President Kirk Schulz said .

Oregon State and Washington State are trying to plot a path forward after the Pac-12 was torn apart by conference realignment. Ten Pac-12 schools are joining new Power Five leagues in 2024.

Oregon State and Washington State want to rebuild the Pac-12. NCAA rules allow for a conference to be as small as two schools for a two-year period. There has been speculation about a combination of some kind between the pair and the Mountain West schools and the person with knowledge of the discussions told AP last month that the scheduling agreement could be expanded to other sports, including basketball, as the sides continue to explore options.

The Pacific Northwest schools are currently in a legal battle with the Pac-12 and the 10 departing schools to determine who runs the conference and has control over potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.

It is unclear how the additional games could impact the Mountain West’s television agreement with Fox and CBS, which runs through the 2025 football season. The Pac-12 has no television contract in place beyond this season. The league’s failure to land a deal competitive with other Power Five conferences was a primary factor in the breakup of the Pac-12.

The departures started in 2022 when Southern California and UCLA announced they would join the Big Ten in 2024. The pace picked up this fall.

Oregon State and Washington State sued the Pac-12 and departing members in September, claiming those schools relinquished a right to be on the conference board of directors and vote on league matters when the announced they were leaving.

The exiting schools say they should still be able to vote until they officially leave in August 2024. Currently, any decisions made in the Pac-12 have to be by unanimous consent of all 12 members.

A judge ruled last month in favor of Oregon State and Washington State, but the conference and departing schools have appealed to the Washington Supreme Court and t he lower’s court ruling has been put on hold.

The departing schools hailed the football announcement.

“The unanimous support for this agreement from all 12 current Pac-12 members demonstrates that OSU and WSU can successfully plan for their future while all members continue to have a say in Pac-12 decisions impacting the current athletics year,” the schools said in a statement. “The nine-figure annual revenues the Pac-12 was already contracted to receive in the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 athletics years will support this agreement and any other future plans for the conference.”

FRESNO STATE FOOTBALL COACH JEFF TEDFORD STEPPING AWAY FOR HEALTH REASONS

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Fresno State football coach Jeff Tedford is stepping away from the program because of health concerns.

The school’s athletic director, Terry Tumey, announced Tedford’s status on Friday. Assistant head coach and linebacker coach Tim Skipper will serve as head coach through the Bulldogs’ bowl game, which will be determined Sunday.

“The entire Fresno State community sends its thoughts and prayers to Coach Tedford and wish him a speedy recover,” Tumey said in a statement.

It’s the second time Tedford had to step away from Fresno State football because of his health. Tedford left the team in 2019 while dealing with heart-related issues.

Tedford, 62, took the Fresno State job in 2017 and guided a 1-11 program to 10 or more wins in each of his first two seasons. The Bulldogs went 10-4 six years ago and followed that by going 12-2 and winning the Mountain West Conference title the next season.

When then-Fresno State coach Kalen DeBoer left for Washington late in the 2021 season, Tedford was called upon to return and won the 2022 Mountain West title and finished 10-4.

NEVADA FIRES COACH KEN WILSON AFTER TWO 2-WIN SEASONS IN HIS RETURN TO RENO

Nevada football coach Ken Wilson, who won two games in each of his two seasons after returning to Reno, was fired Friday.

The Wolf Pack went 4-20 under Wilson, and they averaged 18.8 points in his first season and 17.3 this year. Their defense gave up more than 30 points a game both seasons.

“After an extensive review of the Nevada football program, I have decided to make a leadership change,” Nevada athletic director Stephanie Rempe said in a statement. “I would like to thank Ken for his dedication and service to Nevada Athletics and to our student athletes. This is not a decision I take lightly, as I know the ripple effect on so many people with a decision like this. For more than two decades Ken and his family have been and will continue to be an integral part of this community and the Wolf Pack.”

Wilson was either on Nevada’s coaching staff or part of its administration from 1989-2012. He then became the linebackers coach at Washington State from 2013-18 and co-defensive coordinator at Oregon from 2019-21 before returning to Reno.

WASHINGTON STATE’S CAMERON WARD BECOMES LATEST QUARTERBACK TO ANNOUNCE PLAN TO ENTER TRANSFER PORTAL

Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward became the latest big name quarterback to announce plans to enter the transfer portal on Friday.

Ward posted on social media that he will be evaluating his prospects for the NFL draft while also entering his name in the portal as a grad transfer.

Ward was fourth in the country throwing for for 3,736 yards and 25 touchdowns this season for the Cougars. But it was a tumultuous season for Washington State that started with the school being left out in the latest round of conference realignment, included a 4-0 start and was followed by a six-game losing streak.

Ward was at the center of praise for Washington State’s hot start but also criticism for the losing streak that cost the Cougars a chance at a bowl game. Washington State’s season ended last week with a 24-21 loss to rival Washington.

If Ward stays in college this will be his second transfer. He started his career at FCS school Incarnate Word, where he threw for 4,648 yards and 47 touchdowns in the 2021 season. Ward arrived in Pullman before the 2022 season and threw for 3,232 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first season with the Cougars.

NFL WEEK 13 CAPSULES

DENVER BRONCOS (6-5) AT HOUSTON TEXANS (6-5)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

CBS: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn

SiriusXM (team name linked to SXM App) DEN: 109 or 384 HOU: 139 or 229

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: DEN leads series, 6-3 (won 4 of past 5)

POSTSEASON: —

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 9/18/22: HOU 9 at DEN 16

POSTSEASON: –

BRONCOS NOTES:

BRONCOS have won 5 straight games for 1st time since 2015- 16, tied-longest active winning streak in NFL. • QB RUSSELL WILSON totaled 168 yards (134 pass, 34 rush) & 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 91.9 rating last week, his 5th-straight game with 0 INTs & 90+ rating, longest active streak in NFL. Is 4-0 with 7 TDs vs. 3 INTs & 93.3 rating in 4 career starts vs. Hou. Ranks 5th in NFL with 103.4 rating this season. Needs TD pass to surpass HOFer Dan Marino (328) for 2nd-most ever by QB in 1st 12 seasons. • RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS led team with 71 scrimmage yards (65 rush, 6 rec.) last week. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5. Rushed for 75 yards in last meeting. • RB SAMAJE PERINE rushed for 55 yards & 1st TD of season in Week 12. Aims for 3rd in row with 65+ scrimmage yards. Had 136 scrimmage yards (95 rush, 41 rec.) & career-best 2 rush TDs in only career game vs. Hou. (12/27/20 w/ Cin.). • WR COURTLAND SUTTON aims for 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 5 of past 6 overall & in each of his 4 road games this season. Had 7 catches for 122 yards in last meeting. • WR JERRY JEUDY has 50+ rec. yards in 3 of past 5. • TE ADAM TRAUTMAN had 2nd TD catch of season last week. • LB ALEX SINGLETON had 10 tackles, FR & PD in Week 12, his 8th game this season with 10+ tackles, tied-most in NFL. Has FR in 2 of past 3. Had 5 tackles & 2 PD in last meeting. • LB JOSEY JEWELL had 1st sack & 2nd FF of season last week. Has 5+ tackles in 6 of past 7. Had sack in last road meeting. • LB NIK BONITTO had 1.5 sacks & PD in Week 12. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS has 5 PD in his past 4. Has INT in each of 2 road games this season. Had 3 PD in last road meeting.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Las Vegas Raiders 4:25 PM L, 17-16 0-1

2 Sep. 17 Washington Commanders 4:25 PM L, 35-33 0-2

3 Sep. 24 at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM L, 70-20 0-3

4 Oct. 1 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM W, 31-28 1-3

5 Oct. 8 New York Jets 4:25 PM L, 31-21 1-4

6 Oct. 12 at Kansas City Chiefs (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 19-8 1-5

7 Oct. 22 Green Bay Packers 4:25 PM W, 19-17 2-5

8 Oct. 29 Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM W, 24-9 3-5

9 BYE

10 Nov. 13 at Buffalo Bills (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 24-22 4-5

11 Nov. 19 Minnesota Vikings 8:20 PM W, 21-20 5-5

12 Nov. 26 Cleveland Browns 4:05 PM W, 29-12 6-5

TEXANS NOTES:

QB C.J. STROUD completed 26 of 36 atts. (72.2 pct.) for 304 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 116 rating & had career-high 47 rush yards & rush TD last week, his 5th game with 300+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes, tied-most ever by rookie. Is 1st rookie in NFL history with 300+ pass yards in 4 straight games. Has 2+ TD passes in each of 6 home games. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 3,266 pass yards in 2023, 2nd-most ever by player in 1st 11 career games. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had season-high 6 catches for 54 rec. yards last week. Aims for 4th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Has 198 scrimmage yards (99 per game) & rush TD in 2 career games vs. Den. • RB DAMEON PIERCE rushed for 69 yards in last meeting. • WR TANK DELL is 3rd rookie in NFL history with 5+ catches & rec. TD in 4 straight games. Has TD catch in 4 of 5 home games, with 100+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 at home. Ties for lead among rookies with 7 rec. TDs & ranks 2nd with 709 rec. yards. • WR NICO COLLINS led team with 7 catches for 104 yards & TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards & 3rd in row with 7+ catches. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had 58 rec. yards in last meeting. • WR ROBERT WOODS aims for 3rd in row with 40+ rec. yards. • TE DALTON SCHULTZ has TD catch in 4 of past 5 at home. Is 1 of 4 TEs with 5+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • LB BLAKE CASHMAN aims for 8th in row with 5+ tackles. Has 10+ tackles & TFL in 3 of past 4 at home. Had TFL in last meeting. • LB CHRISTIAN HARRIS led team with 12 tackles & had TFL in Week 12. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles & 3rd in row with TFL. • CB DEREK STINGLEY aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles, 2+ PD & INT. Had 8 tackles & 2 PD in last meeting. • CB STEVEN NELSON had season-high 2 PD last week.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM L, 25-9 0-1

2 Sep. 17 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM L, 31-20 0-2

3 Sep. 24 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM W, 37-17 1-2

4 Oct. 1 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM W, 30-6 2-2

5 Oct. 8 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM L, 21-19 2-3

6 Oct. 15 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM W, 20-13 3-3

7 BYE

8 Oct. 29 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM L, 15-13 3-4

9 Nov. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM W, 39-37 4-4

10 Nov. 12 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM W, 30-27 5-4

11 Nov. 19 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 PM W, 21-16 6-4

12 Nov. 26 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM L, 24-21 6-5

HOUSTON (AP) Heading into Sunday’s meeting with the surging Denver Broncos, Houston coach DeMeco Ryans was asked what he thinks has allowed them to bounce back after starting 1-5.

“The biggest thing that I’ve seen from the Broncos and how they’ve turned things around is how their defense is attacking the football,” Ryans said.

“When you take the ball away as many times as they have … you set the offense up, you set the team up for success. And that’s where it starts with these guys.”

Denver (6-5) enters the game with a five-game winning streak, its longest since the 2015 season. The Broncos didn’t force a turnover in the first win in this stretch, but have piled up 15 combined in their past four games.

“They say they come in bunches and man, they’ve been coming in bunches the last couple of weeks,” safety Justin Simmons said.

“And for us we know that’s a huge key and a huge formula for us to find ways to win football games and we just need to keep that hot streak going, especially going up against a hot Houston team. Their offense is playing really well, their quarterback’s been doing a really good job. So, we’re going to need that to carry over this week in order to give us a chance to win.”

This week they’ll face rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, who has done a great job of protecting the ball. He ranks second in the NFL with 3,266 yards passing and has thrown 19 touchdown passes with just five interceptions.

Three of his interceptions came in a win over Arizona two weeks ago and he didn’t turn the ball over in last week’s 24-21 loss to Jacksonville. He said he learned from his mistakes against the Cardinals.

“This last game definitely showed my maturity, because they really took away all our deep shots, and I was running the ball, checking it down, trying to do my best just extending the play if I had to,” he said. “So, just taking steps and strides every week has definitely been a goal of mine, and I feel like I’ve done a decent job of that.”

NO HOMECOMING

Kareem Jackson, who spent his first nine seasons as a cornerback in Houston before moving to safety when he joined the Broncos in 2019, will miss the game as he serves his second suspension for a series of illegal hits this season.

Jackson flew to New York to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday so he could discuss his latest banishment and what he calls the league’s uneven enforcement of the rules.

The league used to celebrate hard hits, but Jackson has been fined, flagged, ejected and suspended multiple times for not changing his playing style. His replacement in the starting lineup, PJ Locke, said he hopes the commissioner will realize in talking face-to-face with Jackson that he isn’t a dirty player or a bad guy.

GAME RECOGNIZES GAME

Denver quarterback Russell Wilson, a 12-year NFL veteran and nine-time Pro Bowler, raved about Stroud’s performance this season. The second overall pick enters Sunday’s game having thrown for at least 300 yards in an NFL rookie record four straight games.

“C.J.’s been impressive,” Wilson said. “He’s having one of the best rookie years ever. … And he’s got a great gene in him, and it’s called the ‘clutch gene.’ He’s got some ‘it’ in him. You saw that in college, too.”

EARLY KICKOFF

The game was flexed into an earlier, kickoff at noon local time Sunday because it’s one of the weekend’s premier matchups, and Broncos tackle Garett Bolles is hoping that makes for a late-arriving crowd.

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be rockin’ unless they’re all at church,” Bolles said. “I know Texans have their church at 12 o’clock. You gotta love the Lord, so hopefully they stay away and it’s a little quieter, but we’ll see. Last time we went down there that’s what happened. They didn’t show up until halftime.”

BOUNCING BACK

When the Broncos stumbled to 1-5 out of the gate, right tackle Mike McGlinchey talked about how his old team, the 49ers, won out last year after starting 3-4 by recommitting their attention to detail, something he said has also been the case in Denver over the past 1 1/2 months.

“I think the character of the guys in each locker room are very similar,” McGlinchey said. “We have a lot of guys that love playing football, that take a lot of pride in their work in the same way that we did in San Francisco.

“A lot of talent, which was always helpful, and the buy-in and the belief. It’s that hard-nosed mental mindset of, ‘I don’t care what the results have been. We know we can get this right and will get it right.’”

  • Russell Wilson is 4-0 as a starter in his career against the Texans. That is tied for the longest win streak to begin a quarterback’s career against the Texans all-time. The others were Vince Young, Eli Manning and Jacoby Brissett.
  • The Broncos own a plus-13 turnover differential over their last five games (16-3). That is the best five-game span by any NFL team since the Bills in 2021 (September/October) and the best by the Broncos since the 1984 season.
  • Since Week 7, Courtland Sutton has four receptions of at least 30 yards, tied for second most in the NFL (the Texans’ Noah Brown is first with five). Sutton’s longest reception through Week 6 of this season was 25 yards.
  • Each of the Texans’ last seven games have been decided by seven or fewer points (Texans are 4-3). It is the longest streak by an NFL team this season and tied for the longest streak in franchise history (also 2013).
  • C.J. Stroud has passed for at least 300 yards in four straight games, the longest streak by a rookie in NFL history. The only player with a longer streak in the last four years was Patrick Mahomes (two six-game streaks; single-season streaks only).
  • Nick Bonitto leads the Broncos with 7.0 sacks after 1.5 sacks last season. The 5.5-sack improvement is tied for the third-largest in the NFL this season trailing T.J. Watt (+8.0) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (+7.0; minimum 10 games each season).

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (4-7) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-9)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

CBS: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta, Aditi Kinkhabwala

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) LAC: 158 or 380 NE: 85 or 225

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: NE leads series, 24-14-2 (won past 6)

POSTSEASON: NE leads series, 3-1

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 10/31/21: NE 27 at LAC 24

POSTSEASON: 1/13/19 AFC-DIV: LAC 28 at NE 41

CHARGERS NOTES:

QB JUSTIN HERBERT totaled 264 yards (217 pass, 47 rush) & had TD pass last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 45+ rush yards. Has 0 INTs in 4 of 5 road starts this season. Passed for 223 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Needs TD pass to surpass Patrick Mahomes (114) for 2nd-most ever by player in 1st 4 seasons. • RB AUSTIN EKELER aims for 6th in row with 60+ scrimmage yards. Had 124 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 60 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. AFC East with TD. Needs 72 rush yards for 6th-straight season with 500+ rush yards. • WR KEENAN ALLEN had 14 catches for 106 yards last week, his 3rd-straight & 19th-career game with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards, 3rd-most in NFL history. Can join HOFer Calvin Johnson (2012) as only players ever with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards in 4 straight games. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Has 574 rec. yards (114.8 per game) in 5 road games this season. Had 6 catches for 77 yards & TD in last meeting. Leads NFL with 97 catches in 2023 & can become 6th player ever with 100+ catches in 5+ seasons. • TE GERALD EVERETT had 3rd TD catch of season last week. • LB KHALIL MACK had 2 sacks & PD last week, his 2nd-straight game with 2 sacks & 4th this season, tied-most in NFL. Aims for 6th in row with TFL. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with 13 sacks in 2023 & joined HOFer Kevin Greene as only players since 1982 to record 12+ sacks with 3 franchises (2015 w/ Oak. & 2018 w/ Chi.). • LB KENNETH MURRAY aims for 8th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 2 TFL & sack in only career game vs. NE (12/6/20). • S DERWIN JAMES aims for 7th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 13 tackles, TFL & FF in last meeting. • S ALOHI GILMAN had 9 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ tackles. Has PD in 5 of past 6.

SEASON RESULTS

WEEK DATE Opponent ET TV/RESULT RECORD

1 Sep. 10 Miami Dolphins 4:25 PM L, 36-34 0-1

2 Sep. 17 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM L, 27-24 (OT) 0-2

3 Sep. 24 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM W, 28-24 1-2

4 Oct. 1 Las Vegas Raiders 4:05 PM W, 24-17 2-2

5 BYE

6 Oct. 16 Dallas Cowboys (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 20-17 2-3

7 Oct. 22 at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM L, 31-17 2-4

8 Oct. 29 Chicago Bears 8:20 PM W, 30-13 3-4

9 Nov. 6 at New York Jets (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 27-6 4-4

10 Nov. 12 Detroit Lions 4:05 PM L, 41-38 4-5

11 Nov. 19 at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM L, 23-20 4-6

12 Nov. 26 Baltimore Ravens 8:20 PM L, 20-10 4-7

PATRIOTS NOTES:

QB MAC JONES has 220+ pass yards & TD pass in 4 of 5 starts in NE this season. Passed for 217 yards in last meeting. • QB BAILEY ZAPPE completed 9 of 14 atts. (64.3 pct.) last week, Can make 1st start of season. Is 2-0 in 2 career starts, with TD pass & 100+ rating in each start. • RB RHAMONDRE STEVENSON had 107 scrimmage yards (98 rush, 9 rec.) & rush TD last week, 3rd-straight game with 100+ scrimmage yards, longest streak of career. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Needs rush TD to become 2nd player in franchise history with 5+ rush TDs in each of 1st 3 seasons, joining Jim Nance (1965-67). • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT aims for 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Had 97 scrimmage yards (71 rush, 26 rec.) & rush TD in only career game vs. LAC (9/19/21 w/ Dal.). • WR DEMARIO DOUGLAS (rookie) aims for 5th in row with 5+ catches. Has 55+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Since Week 8, ranks 3rd among rookies with 22 catches. • WR DEVANTE PARKER had 42 rec. yards last week. Has 70+ rec. yards in 4 of 5 career games vs. Chargers. • DT CHRISTIAN BARMORE had sack & PD in Week 12. Has TFL in 5 of past 6 & in each of past 2. Has PD in 2 of past 3. • DE KEION WHITE (rookie) had 1st career sack last week. • LB JA’WHAUN BENTLEY had sack & FF in Week 12. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Aims for 3rd in row vs. LAC with 5+ tackles. • LB ANFERNEE JENNINGS had career-high 1.5 sacks last week. Has TFL in 2 of past 3. Has 5+ tackles in 3 of 4 home games this season. • CB J.C. JACKSON had season-high 6 tackles & PD in Week 12. Has PD in 3 of past 4. Had 5 PD in 7 games with LAC (2022-23). • S JABRILL PEPPERS had 1st sack & FR of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 PM L, 25-20 0-1

2 Sep. 17 Miami Dolphins 8:20 PM L, 24-17 0-2

3 Sep. 24 at New York Jets 1:00 PM W, 15-10 1-2

4 Oct. 1 at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM L, 38-3 1-3

5 Oct. 8 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 34-0 1-4

6 Oct. 15 at Las Vegas Raiders 4:05 PM L, 21-17 1-5

7 Oct. 22 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM W, 29-25 2-5

8 Oct. 29 at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM L, 31-17 2-6

9 Nov. 5 Washington Commanders 1:00 PM L, 20-17 2-7

10 Nov. 12 Indianapolis Colts (Frankfurt) 9:30 AM L, 10-6 2-8

11 BYE

12 Nov. 26 at New York Giants 1:00 PM L, 10-7 2-9

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) At least the Los Angeles Chargers don’t have to worry about who should play quarterback.

The New England Patriots are still trying to figure out who’ll be the starting signal caller Sunday against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. And they’re hoping it’s the same guy who finishes the game.

In each of the last two games – and four times this season – 2021 first-round draft pick Mac Jones has been pulled in favor of backup Bailey Zappe. Zappe was a bit better in the 10-7 loss to the New York Giants last week, but he also threw loss-clinching interceptions in back-to-back games. The Patriots (2-9) also have Will Grier hanging around, and rookie Malik Cunningham on the practice squad.

“They’re trying to get the best guy out there for their team,” Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. said. “We just need to be ready for whatever they come with.”

New England coach Bill Belichick said he won’t announce a starter in advance, maintaining the secretive approach he rode to great success when Tom Brady was quarterbacking the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories.

It hasn’t worked so well since Brady left.

“I’m not going to make any announcements on our lineup at any position. So, it doesn’t matter what the position is,” Belichick said. “We haven’t won enough games. So, I don’t think anybody has performed well enough.”

With three losing records and not a single postseason victory on his own in the four years since Brady went to Tampa Bay in 2020 – winning a seventh Super Bowl his first season there – Belichick is expected to continue his pursuit of Don Shula’s all-time coaching record elsewhere in 2024.

One possible location: Los Angeles, where Chargers (4-7) coach Brandon Staley appears to have taken a step backward in his third season. Staley was asked about Belichick “going through a challenging season” this week, but he could have been talking about himself.

“Football is a tough game. The NFL is a really tough league,” Staley said. “You can have tough seasons.”

Staley inherited a seven-win team and won nine and 10 games in his first two years before stalling. The Chargers blew a 27-point lead to Jacksonville in the playoffs last year and have now lost three in a row and five of the last seven games this season.

They’ve also lost 10 in a row to New England, including three straight playoff defeats.

“When you’re going against one of the greatest ever do it, that’s why you do it, to try to compete against the best,” Staley said, who lost his only coaching matchup with Belichick in 2021. “Now, we get another chance at it. Like I said, nothing but full respect for him.”

Herbert has thrown 114 touchdown passes since he was selected No. 6 overall in the 2020 draft and needs one more to surpass Patrick Mahomes for the most in a player’s first four seasons.

But he isn’t without issues.

The 2020 offensive rookie of the year broke the middle finger on his left, non-throwing hand during a 24-17 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 1, and the Chargers are 2-5 since.

“Time is the best thing,” Herbert said. “It’s getting better, and we’re looking better each day.”

GETTING OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK

After scoring touchdowns in the last five drives of Los Angeles’ 41-38 loss to Detroit on Nov. 12, Herbert and the Chargers offense have struggled.

Wide receivers and running backs dropped four passes in a 23-20 loss to Green Bay two weeks ago while the unit committed four turnovers last week in its 20-10 loss to Baltimore.

Austin Ekeler has had a fumble the last two weeks, while Justin Herbert had a fumble and an interception last week.

The offense is ranked 11th in the NFL, but has been inconsistent. Herbert had a knack for late comebacks his first three years in the league, but doesn’t have one yet this season.

STEPPING STONE FOR DEFENSE

Three of the Chargers’ four victories this season have come against backup quarterbacks. That included holding the New York Jets without a touchdown in the Chargers last victory on Nov. 6.

That should mean a good day for a defense that remains ranked last in the league both in total defense and against the pass.

The defense had one of its better efforts in the loss to Baltimore, holding the Ravens without any plays over 40 yards and only three over 20.

Los Angeles is tied for sixth in the league with 36 sacks, including 13 by Khalil Mack, but it hasn’t generated a takeaway in the last three games.

ALLEN CONTINUES TO DOMINATE

Keenan Allen leads the league with 97 catches and is three away from becoming the fifth receiver in league history to reach the century mark in his team’s first 12 games.

Allen had 43 catches in November, which is a league record for the month. He also has at least 10 receptions and 100 yards receiving in three straight games.

He also is seven catches away from 900 career receptions and is on pace to be the fastest to reach that mark.

  • The Patriots own a 20-4 record against the Chargers since NFL-AFL merger in 1970 (including the postseason). This is the best record by any NFL team against a single opponent in that span (minimum 20 games).
  • The Chargers have allowed at least 20 points in each of their last 41 losses dating back to 2019. The only longer streak of allowing 20 points in losses in NFL history was a streak of 49 by the Oilers between 1960 and 1967.
  • Keenan Allen has 97 catches through Los Angeles’ first 11 games this season. He is behind 2019 Michael Thomas (104) and 2002 Marvin Harrison (100) for the most through 11 team games in a season all-time.
  • The Patriots have lost back-to-back games despite allowing 10 points in each game. They are the first NFL team to do so since the Pats in 1993. No team has lost three straight while allowing 10 or fewer points since the Chicago Cardinals in 1938 (four in a row).
  • The Patriots lost 10-7 to the Giants in Week 12 despite totaling six sacks on defense. It was the first time New England lost a game where it recorded six or more sacks since Week 6 of 1999 against Miami—nine sacks in a 31-30 loss.
  • Demario Douglas leads the Patriots with 410 receiving yards through New England’s first 11 games. It is the fewest receiving yards by any player leading their team this season.

DETROIT LIONS (8-3) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-6)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

FOX: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) DET: 83 or 382 NO: 82 or 227

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

FOX: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) DET: 83 or 382 NO: 82 or 227

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 10/4/20: NO 35 at DET 29

POSTSEASON: 1/7/12 NFC-WC: DET 28 at NO 45

LIONS NOTES:

QB JARED GOFF passed for 332 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 103.6 rating in Week 12, his 35th-career game with 300+ pass yards, tied-3rd most by player in 1st 8 seasons in NFL history. Has 3,075 pass yards in 2023 & is only QB with 3,000+ pass yards in each of past 7 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 1,242 pass yards (310.5 per game) & 10 TDs (9 pass, 1 rush) vs. 3 INTs for 105.9 rating in 4 career reg. season starts vs. NO. • RB JAHMYR GIBBS (rookie) had 73 scrimmage yards (54 rush, 19 rec.) in Week 12 & has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of his 1st 9 career games. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Ranks 4th among RBs with 41 receptions in 2023. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY rushed for 71 yards & TD last week & has career-high 9 rush TDs in 8 games in 2023, 4th-most rush TDs in NFL this season. Montgomery & Gibbs (5 rush TDs) are only pair of NFC RB teammates each with 5+ rush TDs this season. Aims for his 4th in row with rush TD. • WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN had 9 catches for 95 yards last week. Ranks 4th in NFL with 82 receptions & has 993 rec. yards in 2023 & can become 3rd player ever (Odell Beckham Jr. & Michael Thomas) with 90+ catches & 900+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 career seasons. • DL AIDAN HUTCHINSON had 5th TFL of season last week. • LB ALEX ANZALONE has 5+ tackles in 28 straight games, 2ndlongest active streak in NFL. Was selected by NO in 3rd round of 2017 NFL Draft & had 122 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 sacks & 3 FFs in 38 games over 4 seasons (2017-20) with Saints. • DB BRIAN BRANCH (rookie) led team with 8 tackles last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with PD. Is 1 of 2 DBs (Kyle Hamilton) with 7+ TFL (7) & 6+ PD (6) in 2023.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 7 at Kansas City Chiefs (Thu) 8:20 PM W, 21-20 1-0

2 Sep. 17 Seattle Seahawks 1:00 PM L, 37-31 (OT) 1-1

3 Sep. 24 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 20-6 2-1

4 Sep. 28 at Green Bay Packers (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 34-20 3-1

5 Oct. 8 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 42-24 4-1

6 Oct. 15 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:25 PM W, 20-6 5-1

7 Oct. 22 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM L, 38-6 5-2

8 Oct. 30 Las Vegas Raiders (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 26-14 6-2

9 BYE

10 Nov. 12 at Los Angeles Chargers 4:05 PM W, 41-38 7-2

11 Nov. 19 Chicago Bears 1:00 PM W, 31-26 8-2

12 Nov. 23 Green Bay Packers 12:30 PM L, 29-22 8-3

SAINTS NOTES:

QB DEREK CARR passed for 304 yards in Week 12, his 5thgame with 300+ pass yards in 2023, tied 2nd-most in NFL this season. Passed for 289 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 116.2 rating in his last start vs. Det. (11/3/19 w/ Raiders). • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 119 scrimmage yards (69 rush, 50 rec.) in Week 12, his 3rd game with 50+ rush yards & 50+ rec. yards this season, most in NFL. Leads all RBs with 54 catches & ranks 3rd with 355 rec. yards in 2023. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 12 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. Has 206 scrimmage yards (103 per game) & rush TD in 2 career games vs. Det. • RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS spent 2 seasons (2021-22) with Det. & set Lions single-season franchise-record 17 rush TDs in 2022. • WR CHRIS OLAVE had 7 catches for season-high 114 rec. yards in Week 12, his 6th-career 100-yard game. Aims for his 3rd in row at home & 7th in row overall with 5+ receptions. • QB TAYSOM HILL had season-high 81 scrimmage yards (55 rec., 26 rush) in Week 12 & has 50+ scrimamge yards in 5 of his past 6. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 60+ scrimmage yards. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had 2 sacks & INT-TD in last home meeting (10/15/17). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Det. with sack. • DE CARL GRANDERSON led team with career-high 10 tackles in Week 12. Is 1 of 2 DL (Maxx Crosby) with 50+ tackles (careerhigh 54) & 10+ TFL (career-high 10) in 2023. • LB DEMARIO DAVIS aims for his 3rd in row vs. Det. with TFL. • CB PAULSON ADEBO has career-high 13 PD in 2023, incl. 2+ PD in 5 of his past 6. Aims for his 4th in row at home with PD. • S TYRANN MATHIEU had 4th-career game with 2 INTs in Week 12 & has 32 career INTs, 4th-most among active players. • S MARCUS MAYE aims for his 3rd in row with TFL.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 16-15 1-0

2 Sep. 18 at Carolina Panthers (Mon) 7:15 PM W, 20-17 2-0

3 Sep. 24 at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM L, 18-17 2-1

4 Oct. 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM L, 26-9 2-2

5 Oct. 8 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM W, 34-0 3-2

6 Oct. 15 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 20-13 3-3

7 Oct. 19 Jacksonville Jaguars (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 31-24 3-4

8 Oct. 29 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 38-27 4-4

9 Nov. 5 Chicago Bears 1:00 PM W, 24-17 5-4

10 Nov. 12 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM L, 27-19 5-5

11 BYE

12 Nov. 26 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM L, 24-15 5-6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Saints’ sizeable investment in Derek Carr is looking more like a liability lately.

New Orleans has struggled to finish promising drives in the end zone – something that likely needs to change if the Saints (5-6) are to keep up with the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions (8-3) in the Superdome on Sunday.

“It’s something that we’re working on,” Carr said this week. “Everyone wants an answer, or has an answer for us, but we’re going to keep working on it here.”

“It hasn’t been what we want it to be up to this point,” Carr added, “but we still have time.”

Even with their losing record, the Saints are tied for first place in the anemic NFC South with Atlanta (5-6).

Reeling in Carr in free agency was New Orleans’ top priority last offseason. Saints coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders’ coach when that franchise drafted Carr, only to get fired during the QB’s rookie season.

The Saints were hoping Carr – whom the Saints signed to a four-year contract worth up to $150 million – could provide stability that had been lacking at that all-important position since Drew Brees’ retirement after the 2020 season.

Overall, Carr’s numbers have been solid. He has passed for 300-plus yards in five games this season. But his competion rate inside an opponent’s 20-yard line is 44.7%. Meanwhile, the Saints’ red-zone conversion rate – the number of drives inside an opponent’s 20 that resulted in a touchdown – is 42.5% (17 of 40), which ranks fourth-worst in the NFL.

Allen said that while the offense functions well much of the time, “the one critical area that continues to crop up is we’re not scoring enough touchdowns.”

“That’s an area that we keep focusing on,” Allen said. “And we’ll continue to work on it until we get it right.”

The Lions would rather that not happen this weekend as they try to improve to 9-3 for the first time since 1962. They also want to avoid dropping two straight for the first time this season after losing to Green Bay at home on Thanksgiving Day.

After studying his team’s last loss, Lions coach Dan Campbell came away not all that concerned about Detroit’s effort or overall execution. If not for turnovers, he said, the Lions could have fared a lot better. And that is something that Campbell is confident Detroit can fix.

“That’s the major issue right now,” Campbell said. “Ultimately, man, we’ve got to hold on to the football, which we can do. We can do that.”

BACK TO THE BAYOU

Campbell is looking forward to some good eating and seeing familiar faces in New Orleans.

“Shrimp gumbo down there, it’s as good as gold,” he said.

Campbell would know.

He was a Saints assistant for Sean Payton from 2016-2020 before Detroit hired him in 2021.

“My time there, things were run right,” Campbell said. “They were done right and there was a winning attitude, winning atmosphere and that’s what it was all about. It’s just special and that’s why it will always be special. To be able to go back and play there makes it special.”

Allen was the Saints defensive coordinator during Campbell’s coaching stint with New Orleans.

FRONT FAILURES

Veteran defensive end Cameron Jordan’s recent ankle injury only added to the Saints’ anxiety about how their defensive front has played lately.

The Saints allowed 228 yards rushing during a 24-15 loss at Atlanta last weekend, marking the fourth straight game in which they’ve yielded at least 125 yards on the ground.

“I’d be the first one to stand up here and tell you that it needs to be better,” said Allen, who oversees and calls the defense. “It really hasn’t quite been what we needed it to be the last couple years. It’s going to continue to be an area that we’ll address.”

GOFF’S GAFFES

Lions quarterback Jared Goff has turned it over six times in two games, losing a career-high three fumbles in the loss to Green Bay on Thanksgiving and throwing three interceptions for the first time in three years in a comeback win against Chicago on Nov. 19.

Goff, though, said he’s not going to play cautiously.

“You’ve got to be aggressive when the shots are there and take your chance to make a play,” he said.

  • New Orleans has scored double digits in each of its 27 matchups against Detroit all-time (including playoffs). The Saints’ next longest active streak of 10-point outings against a single opponent is 22 (Cardinals and Vikings tied).
  • The Lions have rushed for 1506 yards through their first 11 games. It is Detroit’s most rushing yards through 11 games in a season since 1998 when Barry Sanders rushed for 1491 yards on his own.
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown has 278 receptions through three NFL seasons with six games left for the Lions. This is the sixth most through three seasons all-time, and he is 10 away from tying Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry (288) who are tied for fourth most in NFL history.
  • New Orleans has picked off their opponent 14 times through 11 games, its most through 11 games of a season since 2009 (22). Last season, the Saints had just two interceptions through 11 games.
  • Alvin Kamara is averaging 6.57 yards per catch (355/54) through eight games in 2023. It is the third-lowest receiving average by any player with 50 catches through eight games in a season since 1960. Only 2007 Reggie Bush (5.54) and 2022 Austin Ekeler (6.35) are lower.
  • New Orleans cornerback Paulson Adebo is the only player in the NFL this season with multiple interceptions (four), forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (two). The last Saints player to have such a season was Marshon Lattimore in 2018.

ATLANTA FALCONS (5-6) AT NEW YORK JETS (4-7)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

FOX: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) ATL: 138 or 381 NYJ: 81 or 226

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: ATL leads series, 8-5 (won 4 of past 5)

POSTSEASON:

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 10/10/21: NYJ 20 at ATL 27

POSTSEASON:

FALCONS NOTES:

QB DESMOND RIDDER passed for 168 yards & TD in Week 12. Has 0 INTs in 6 of his 7 career road games. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. • RB BIJAN ROBINSON (rookie) had 123 scrimmage yards (91 rush, 32 rec.) & 1st-career game with 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in Week 12. Leads all rookies in scrimmage yards (943) & rush yards (703) & ranks tied-4th in scrimmage TDs (6). Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 4 of 5 career road games. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with rush TD. • RB TYLER ALLGEIER rushed for 64 yards last week. Has 549 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 2nd-straight season with 500+ scrimmage yards. • WR DRAKE LONDON led team with 5 catches & 91 rec. yards in Week 12. Has 5+ receptions & 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6. • DL CALAIS CAMPBELL has TFL in 4 of his past 5 vs. NYJ & aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYJ with sack. • DL DAVID ONYEMATA aims for his 3rd in row with FF. Aims for his 5th in row on road with TFL. • LB KADEN ELLISS had 6 tackles, tied his career high with 2 TFL & had PD in Week 12. Has career-high 79 tackles in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. • CB JEFF OKUDAH had season-high 8 tackles last week. • S JESSIE BATES led team with 12 tackles, had 92-yard INT-TD & career-high 3rd FF of season last week, his 2nd-career TD. Is only player with 4+ INTs (4) & 3+ FFs (3) in 2023. Ranks 4th among DBs with 85 tackles this season & aims for his 3rd in row with 12+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYJ with INT & 4th in row vs. NYJ with PD. • S RICHIE GRANT has 5 PD in his past 5.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 24-10 1-0

2 Sep. 17 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM W, 25-24 2-0

3 Sep. 24 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM L, 20-6 2-1

4 Oct. 1 vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Wembley) 9:30 AM L, 23-7 2-2

5 Oct. 8 Houston Texans 1:00 PM W, 21-19 3-2

6 Oct. 15 Washington Commanders 1:00 PM L, 24-16 3-3

7 Oct. 22 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM W, 16-13 4-3

8 Oct. 29 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM L, 28-23 4-4

9 Nov. 5 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM L, 31-28 4-5

10 Nov. 12 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM L, 25-23 4-6

11 BYE

12 Nov. 26 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM W, 24-15 5-6

JETS NOTES:

QB TIM BOYLE completed career-high 27 of 38 atts. (career-high 71.1 pct.) for 179 yards & TD last week in 1st start of season. Has TD pass in 3 of 4 career starts. Completed 24 of 34 atts. (70.6 pct.) for 187 yards & TD in only career start vs. Atl. (12/26/21 w/ Det.). • RB BREECE HALL had career-high 7 catches in Week 12. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Has 90+ scrimmage yards & TD in 3 of 4 career games vs. NFC. Needs 111 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • RB DALVIN COOK rushed for 111 yards & 2 TDs in only career game vs. Atl. (9/8/19 w/ Min.). • WR GARRETT WILSON had 7 catches for 44 yards & 3rd TD of season last week. Has 7+ catches in 5 of past 6. Has 5+ catches in all 6 home games this season. Has 80+ rec. yards in 6 of his past 7 vs. NFC. Has 64 catches in 2023 & is 3rd player in NYJ history with 60+ catches in each of 1st 2 seasons, joining Wayne Chrebet (1995-96) & Keyshawn Johnson (1996-97). • TE TYLER CONKLIN has 4+ catches in 3 of past 4. • DL QUINNEN WILLIAMS aims for 3rd in row with 6+ tackles. Has 0.5+ sacks in 2 of past 3. • LB QUINCY WILLIAMS aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles. Has TFL in 8 of past 9. Had 8 tackles & career-high 2 FFs in last meeting. • LB C.J. MOSLEY led team with 14 tackles & had TFL & PD last week. Has 11+ tackles in 4 of past 5. Had 8 tackles & FF in last meeting. • CB SAUCE GARDNER had 6 tackles & PD in Week 12. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. Has 28 career PD, tied 2nd-most in NFL since 2022. • CB BRANDIN ECHOLS had 2nd-career INT-TD last week. • CB D.J. REED had 10 tackles & 1st INT of season in Week 12. • S ASHTYN DAVIS aims for 3rd in row with PD & has FR in 2 of past 3, incl. last week. Had 5 tackles in last meeting.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 11 Buffalo Bills (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 22-16 (OT) 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM L, 30-10 1-1

3 Sep. 24 New England Patriots 1:00 PM L, 15-10 1-2

4 Oct. 1 Kansas City Chiefs 8:20 PM L, 23-20 1-3

5 Oct. 8 at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM W, 31-21 2-3

6 Oct. 15 Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 PM W, 20-14 3-3

7 BYE

8 Oct. 29 at New York Giants 1:00 PM W, 13-10 (OT) 4-3

9 Nov. 6 Los Angeles Chargers (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 27-6 4-4

10 Nov. 12 at Las Vegas Raiders 8:20 PM L, 16-12 4-5

11 Nov. 19 at Buffalo Bills 4:25 PM L, 32-6 4-6

12 Nov. 24 Miami Dolphins (Fri) 3:00 PM L, 34-13 4-7

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons have had quarterback issues, a three-game losing streak and a record under .500.

And they’re tied for the NFC South lead.

The New York Jets have had a season filled with similar struggles – and they’re in danger of falling out of the AFC playoff hunt.

It’s all a matter of circumstances for the teams that meet Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

“Consistency, right?” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “That’s the biggest challenge week to week. For us to take the next step, we need to do that with being consistent and playing with the same focus and energy that we had going into last week.”

The Falcons (5-6) showed they could take advantage of a bye week following three straight losses to return for an inspired, high-energy rivalry win over New Orleans at home.

The bigger test might be proving they can win back-to-back games for the first time since their 2-0 start.

“It goes back to consistency,” Smith said. “Shouldn’t take a loss or feel like your back is against the wall to have that level of focus and intensity.”

The Jets (4-7) know the feeling. They have dropped four in a row, with the most recent being a 34-13 loss to Miami on Black Friday.

The skid, which has included a quarterback change from Zach Wilson to Tim Boyle, has New York’s postseason hopes sinking fast. Robert Saleh challenged his coaches and players this week to be better and focus on controlling what they can.

“There’s a lot of frustration all over the place, especially on the offensive side of the ball,” Saleh said. “Guys are searching, they’re reaching, and sometimes you’ve just got to go back to understanding who you are and what your style of play is.”

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers’ potential comeback this season from a torn Achilles tendon remains a major storyline for the Jets. The four-time NFL MVP returned to practice this week – the next step in his stunningly rapid rehabilitation.

Rodgers remains intent on playing at the end of the season, as long as the doctors clear him – and the Jets stay in the playoff hunt.

“If that’s a byproduct of us winning football games and I’m happy for him, but I don’t think it adds a level of pressure or stress to us,” Boyle said. “We’re trying to win every football game we play in, so hopefully we can keep him in contention.”

BOYLE BACK UNDER CENTER

While the Jets wait to see if Rodgers will be able to actually come back this season, Boyle will get a second straight start.

The 29-year-old veteran backup was unable to spark New York’s struggling offense, going 27 of 38 for 179 yards and a TD with two interceptions – including a Hail Mary that was returned 99 yards for a score – against Miami in his first start since the 2021 season. He was also sacked seven times.

“They have a really good defense, the Falcons,” Boyle said. “But I think it’s continuing to just build on the run game and just getting the ball out of my hands and getting it into the playmakers’ hands so they can make a move or two.”

MORE SAUCE FOR RIDDER

Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner and Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder were teammates at Cincinnati, and now face each other as opponents in the NFL.

“There was a lot of talking going on, a lot of chirping back and forth,” Ridder said of his college competitions with Gardner in practice. “But, you know, at the end of the day, it was just making each other better. … It was just constant competition.”

Ridder had a quick answer when asked if the college buddies would place a wager on the game.

“No, we don’t bet,” Ridder said. “No, I don’t think any of us will touch that anytime soon.”

STALLED HALL

Jets running back Breece Hall got off to a terrific start this season in his return from a torn knee ligament that ended his rookie season after seven games.

But while the offense has stagnated lately, so has Hall. He has just 76 yards on 27 carries in his past three games. After running for a career-high 177 yards at Denver, Hall has not run for more than 50 yards in any of the Jets’ six games since.

“Breece is a special talent and we all agree when the ball is in his hands, we’re better, but there’s grimy yards that a back has to understand he has to get,” Saleh said. “When you press, you’re going to try to create an explosive every single play and you’re going to lose that style of play that makes you special.”

BACKFIELD DEPTH

Cordarrelle Patterson has joined Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier to give Atlanta three options at running back. Each had at least eight carries last week against New Orleans and each averaged at least 5.4 yards per carry.

Ridder said Patterson’s physical runs at the middle of the New Orleans’ defensive front was a crucial addition to the offense.

“Oh, it’s huge,” Ridder said. “You know, any time you give the guy the ball, you want to see a physical, tough runner. I mean, all three of the guys that we have back there in the backfield, you know, can get that done. So to be able to just kind of rotate them in and let them get in a groove and run how they run, it’s hard to stop.”

  • Atlanta has won four of the last five meetings with New York, most recently getting a 27-20 win at home in Week 5, 2021. The Falcons’ last road loss against the Jets was a 28-3 decision in Week 8, 1998. That Atlanta team would not lose or score fewer than 20 points again until a 34-19 loss to Denver in Super Bowl XXXIII.
  • The Falcons beat the Saints, 24-15, at home last week, snapping a three-game losing streak. It was also their first game that was not decided by eight or fewer points since a 23-7 loss in Jacksonville in Week 4.
  • Bijan Robinson had 123 scrimmage yards (91 rushing, 32 receiving) last week in addition to a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown. The only other Falcons rookie with 100 scrimmage yards and a rushing and receiving TD in a game was Lynn Cain against Oakland in Week 7, 1979 (139 scrimmage yards, one rushing TD two receiving TDs).
  • The Jets lost to the Dolphins, 34-13, at home last week, extending their losing streak to four games. They have scored 37 points in those four games. This is the fifth time in the last eight seasons that they’ve had a four-game losing streak with 37 or fewer points — they had just five such streaks in franchise history prior to that.
  • Last week, Garrett Wilson caught his first touchdown pass since Week 2. He had 55 receptions without scoring between the two, the second-longest streak in the league this season — Jacksonville’s Evan Engram has 64 receptions and zero touchdowns this year.
  • Atlanta has allowed six points on opponents’ opening drives this season, tied with the Chargers for the fewest in the NFL. The Jets have scored three points on their opening drives this year, fewest in the league.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-10) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-4)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

CBS: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) ARI: 162 or 383 PIT: 137 or 228

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: PIT leads series, 34-23-3 (won 5 of past 6)

POSTSEASON: PIT leads series, 1-0

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 12/8/19: PIT 23 at ARI 17

POSTSEASON: 2/1/09 SB XLIII: PIT 27 vs. ARI 23

CARDS NOTES:

QB KYLER MURRAY passed for 256 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) in Week 12. Has 18 career games with both pass TD & rush TD, tied 3rd-most by QB in 1st 5 seasons in NFL history. Aims for his 4th in row with rush TD. Had 2 TD passes in last meeting. • RB JAMES CONNER has 562 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 6th-straight 500-yard season. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in all 16 road games with Ari. since 2021. Was selected by Pit. in 3rd round of 2017 NFL Draft & had 3,265 scrimmage yards & 26 TDs in 50 games over 4 seasons (2017-20) with Steelers. • WR MARQUISE BROWN had 6 catches for team-high 88 rec. yards in Week 12. Has 51 catches & 574 rec. yards in 2023, his 4th-straight 50-catch season & 5th-straight season with 500+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row at Pit. with 50+ rec. yards. • WR GREG DORTCH had 1st TD catch of season last week. • TE TREY MCBRIDE had team-high 7 catches & 60 rec. yards in Week 12. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row with 5+ receptions. Ranks 4th among NFC TEs with career highs in receptions (48) & rec. yards (521). • S BUDDA BAKER had 9 tackles last week. Has 50 tackles in 2023, his 7th-straight 50+ tackle season. Had 8 tackles in last meeting. • S JALEN THOMPSON had 7 tackles & tied his career high with 3rd INT of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with INT. • CB KEI’TREL CLARK (rookie) had 9 tackles & 2nd-career TFL in Week 12. • LB KRYS BARNES tied his season high with 7 tackles & had TFL in Week 12. • LB BJ OJULARI ranks tied-2nd among rookies with 4 sacks.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 at Washington Commanders 1:00 PM L, 20-16 0-1

2 Sep. 17 New York Giants 4:05 PM L, 31-28 0-2

3 Sep. 24 Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM W, 28-16 1-2

4 Oct. 1 at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM L, 35-16 1-3

5 Oct. 8 Cincinnati Bengals 4:05 PM L, 34-20 1-4

6 Oct. 15 at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM L, 26-9 1-5

7 Oct. 22 at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 PM L, 20-10 1-6

8 Oct. 29 Baltimore Ravens 4:25 PM L, 31-24 1-7

9 Nov. 5 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 27-0 1-8

10 Nov. 12 Atlanta Falcons 4:05 PM W, 25-23 2-8

11 Nov. 19 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 21-16 2-9

12 Nov. 26 Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM L, 37-14 2-10

STEELERS NOTES:

QB KENNY PICKETT completed 24 of 33 atts. (season-high 72.7 pct.) for season-high 278 yards & 97.8 rating last week, 4thcareer game with 250+ pass yards. Has 0 INTs in each of past 7 starts, longest active streak among starting QBs. Is 4-1 in past 5 home starts. Has 220+ pass yards in 2 of past 3 vs. NFC. • RB NAJEE HARRIS led team with season-high 99 rush yards & had 4th rush TD of season last week. Has 75+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 3 of past 4. • RB JAYLEN WARREN had 62 scrimmage yards (49 rush, 13 rec.) last week. Has 110+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4 & rush TD in 2 of past 3. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5 at home. Warren (789) & Harris (714) are only pair of AFC RB teammates each with 700+ scrimmage yards this season. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON had 4 catches for 50 yards in Week 12. Has 7+ catches & 85+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 at home. Had 6 catches for 60 yards & TD in last meeting. • TE PAT FREIERMUTH led team with career highs in catches (9) & rec. yards (120) in Week 12, 3rd-most rec. yards ever in single game by Pit. TE. • LB T.J. WATT had 2 sacks & FF last week, 4th game this season with 2+ sacks, tied-most in NFL. Aims for 5th in row overall with sack & 8th in row at home with 0.5+ sacks. Had INT & TFL in last meeting. Ties for NFL lead with 13.5 sacks in 2023 & joins HOFer Reggie White as only player since 1985 with 13+ sacks in 5 of 1st 7 seasons. • DT CAMERON HEYWARD had 1st sack of season in Week 12. Aims for 5th in row with TFL. Had sack in last meeting. • CB PATRICK PETERSON aims for 5th in row with PD. Had 3 PD in his last game vs. Ari (10/30/22 w/ Min.). Had 91 PD & 28 INTs in 10 seasons with Ari. (2011-20).

SEASON RESULTS:

1 Sep. 10 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 PM L, 30-7 0-1

2 Sep. 18 Cleveland Browns (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 26-22 1-1

3 Sep. 24 at Las Vegas Raiders 8:20 PM W, 23-18 2-1

4 Oct. 1 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 30-6 2-2

5 Oct. 8 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM W, 17-10 3-2

6 BYE

7 Oct. 22 at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM W, 24-17 4-2

8 Oct. 29 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM L, 20-10 4-3

9 Nov. 2 Tennessee Titans (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 20-16 5-3

10 Nov. 12 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM W, 23-19 6-3

11 Nov. 19 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 13-10 6-4

12 Nov. 26 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM W, 16-10 7-4

PITTSBURGH (AP) The stat sheet looked nice. For once. The scoreboard, not so much.

For all the tangible progress the Pittsburgh Steelers made in their post-Matt Canada era debut while piling up 421 yards during a 16-10 win over Cincinnati, for all the welcome good vibes those yards generated, the Steelers still managed one measly touchdown.

Again.

Pittsburgh (7-4) somehow remains firmly in the AFC playoff picture heading into Sunday’s visit by listless Arizona (2-10) despite an offense that’s scored one touchdown (or fewer) in seven of their 11 games.

Quarterback Kenny Pickett understands it’s time – likely well past time – for the Steelers to stop relying on their T.J. Watt-led defense to bail them out.

“Points. Points. That’s what we want,” Pickett said. “We want points. Yards are great, you know, yards are great, but points win you games.”

Pittsburgh somehow hasn’t needed many of them to enter December in the top spot in the AFC wild-card race. Yet there were flashes in Cincinnati of a team that seems to be building momentum.

Pickett threw for a season-high 278 yards. The running game topped 150 yards for a fourth straight week. The Steelers didn’t have a single three-and-out and reached the red zone four times.

The next step, the most important step, will be translating that kind of productivity into the kind of production that teams that expect to play deep into January put up regularly. The kind of production that’s been awfully hard to come by for a team that hasn’t scored 30 points in a game it’s won since the giddy highs of an 11-0 start to the 2020 season.

“You know, when we got to the red zone, we just had a negative play or penalty we felt like that it kind of took us out of that rhythm, that really good rhythm that we were having,” Pickett said. “So, if we get that fixed, you know, the points will follow.”

Arizona offers a chance for the Steelers to take another positive step forward. The Cardinals gave up 37 points and more than 450 yards while getting drilled at home by the Los Angeles Rams last week, and the brief wave of excitement generated by quarterback Kyler Murray’s return from a torn ACL in mid-November has faded.

While the Steelers are pointing to the playoffs, Arizona and first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon are in the midst of a building process that is still in its very early stages.

The goal over the next six weeks isn’t so much about winning as it is about establishing the kind of culture that Gannon will see when he glances across the field to longtime Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Sunday.

“His team always plays with a level of physicality and belief that they’re going to win every game they play,” Gannon said. “It’s very impressive to watch them, all three units, on tape year to year or week to week – whatever it is.”

It’s been much the same in 2023. Barring a collapse, Pittsburgh is assured of a 17th straight non-losing season with Tomlin at the helm.

Yet the franchise’s goals are far higher than just being competitive. What they’d like to be – on both sides of the ball – is dominant. Sunday offers a chance for the scales between the offense and the defense to even out a bit.

CONNER’S RETURN

Cardinals running back James Conner faces the Steelers for the first time since leaving the franchise after the 2020 season. The now 28-year-old Conner, who starred at the University of Pittsburgh before moving across the building the Panthers share with the Steelers, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018 when he ran for a career-high 973 yards.

“I feel the love for sure,” Conner said. “Lot of love there in the city. I’ve got a lot of respect for the people there – just love for them taking a chance on me.”

Conner has continued his solid production since coming to the desert. He earned his second Pro Bowl nod with the Cardinals after scoring a career-high 18 touchdowns in 2021, including 15 on the ground and three through the air.

He’s run for 526 yards and two touchdowns this season despite missing four games on injured reserve with a knee injury.

WATT IS UP

Tomlin called Watt “the best defensive player on the planet right now” and it’s hard to argue. The perennial All-Pro outside linebacker is putting together a season that mirrors his 2021 campaign when he was the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. His 13 1/2 sacks lead the NFL and he is seemingly making an impact every week.

While Murray has proven he can still make plays with his legs on his reconstructed right knee, he’s also been sacked nine times in three games.

“(Watt is) going to make plays, he’s unstoppable,” Conner said of his former teammate. “He’s one of the best in the game right now. So we’ve got our hands full with him for sure.”

LATE BYE

This will be Arizona’s 13th straight weekend with a game. The team gets its bye week after playing the Steelers. The Cardinals certainly look like a team that could use a break – they’ve lost eight of their past nine and got thumped 37-14 by the Los Angeles Rams at home last week.

  • The Steelers are 3-0 against the Cardinals since Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. In their most recent matchup (Week 14, 2019), Diontae Johnson became the fourth player in Steelers history with a punt return for a touchdown and touchdown reception in the same game.
  • For the 18th time in his career, Kyler Murray recorded a passing and rushing touchdown in a single game, tied for third-most in a quarterback’s first five seasons with Daunte Culpepper. Only Cam Newton (31) and Josh Allen (25) recorded more in their first five seasons.
  • Arizona recorded zero sacks in their 23-point loss to the Rams in Week 12. This marked their fifth game without a sack in a 20+ point loss over the last five seasons, most in the NFL. Their 228 rushing yards allowed were the most since Week 16, 2018 (also against the Rams).
  • Pittsburgh’s offense generated over 400 total yards in Week 12 for the first time in 58 regular season games. Over the last five seasons, they have generated only two 400-yard games on offense, the fewest in the NFL (every other NFL team has at least eight).
  • T.J. Watt (two sacks in Week 12) joined Reggie White as the only player in NFL history with at least 90 sacks in less than 100 regular season games to start their careers. Week 12 marked Watt’s 16th game with at least 2.0 sacks over the last five seasons, most in the NFL.
  • Pat Freiermuth (nine catches for 128 yards in Week 12) became the third Steelers’ tight end with 120 yards in a single game, joining Eric Green (158 yards, 1991) and Heath Miller (138 yards, 2018). Freiermuth’s nine catches were the most of the three 120-yard performances.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-5) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (4-7)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

CBS: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan, AJ Ross

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) IND: 113 or 385 TEN: 160 or 230

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: IND leads series, 36-21 (TEN won 5 of past 6)

POSTSEASON: TEN leads series, 1-0

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 10/8/23: TEN 16 at IND 23

POSTSEASON: 1/16/00 AFC-DIV: TEN 16 at IND 16

COLTS NOTES:

QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 24 of 41 atts. (58.5 pct.) for 251 yards & had 3rd rush TD of season last week. Is 3-1 in 4 road starts this season. Has 5 TDs vs. 2 INTs with 98.9 rating in 2 career starts vs. Ten. Needs 28 pass yards for 3rd-career 2,000- yard season (2019-20 with Jax.). • RB ZACK MOSS had 70 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 15 rec.) in Week 12. Had career-high 195 scrimmage yards (165 rush, 30 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in Week 5 meeting. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN had season-high 10 catches for 107 yards last week. Aims for 5th in row with 8+ catches & 4th in row with 60+ rec. yards. Has 8+ catches & 55+ rec. yards in each of 5 road games this season. Aims for 4th in row at Ten. with 6+ catches. • WR JOSH DOWNS (rookie) had 5 catches last week. Had 6 catches for 97 yards in Week 5 meeting. • LB ZAIRE FRANKLIN has 7+ tackles in 10 games this season, tied 3rd-most in NFL. Had 12 tackles & PD in Week 5 meeting. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 124 tackles in 2023. • DT DEFOREST BUCKNER aims for 4th in row with TFL & 3rd in row with 5+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Has sack in 3 of 4 games vs. division this season. • DE SAMSON EBUKAM had season-high 2 sacks & 2nd FF of season in Week 12. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ten. with sack. • DE KWITY PAYE aims for 4th in row with 0.5+ sacks & 3rd in row with full sack. Has 0.5+ sacks in 4 of 5 road games this season. • DE TYQUAN LEWIS aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has PD in 2 of past 3. • LB RONNIE HARRISON had INT in season debut last week. • CB KENNY MOORE has 6+ tackles in 7 of past 8. Had 9 tackles in Week 5 meeting & sack in last road meeting.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM L, 31-20 0-1

2 Sep. 17 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM W, 31-20 1-1

3 Sep. 24 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM W, 22-19 (OT) 2-1

4 Oct. 1 Los Angeles Rams 1:00 PM L, 29-23 (OT) 2-2

5 Oct. 8 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 23-16 3-2

6 Oct. 15 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM L, 37-20 3-3

7 Oct. 22 Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 39-38 3-4

8 Oct. 29 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 38-27 3-5

9 Nov. 5 at Carolina Panthers 4:05 PM W, 27-13 4-5

10 Nov. 12 vs New England Patriots (Frankfurt) 9:30 AM W, 10-6 5-5

11 BYE

12 Nov. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM W, 27-20 6-5

TITANS NOTES:

QB WILL LEVIS (rookie) completed 18 of 28 atts. (64.3 pct.) for 185 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Is 2-0 with 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 110.5 rating in 2 home starts. • RB DERRICK HENRY rushed for 76 yards & season-high 2 TDs last week, 21st-career game with 2+ rush TDs, most in NFL since 2016. Has 539 scrimmage yards (107.8 per game) & 5 rush TDs in 5 home games this season. Has 591 scrimmage yards (118.2 per game) in his past 5 at home vs. Ind. Has 6 rush TDs in 2023 & is 5th player in SB era with 5+ rush TDs in each of 1st 8 seasons. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS has 45+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5. Had season-high 8 catches for 140 yards in Week 5 meeting. Has TD catch in 5 of his past 6 vs. Ind. Needs 2 catches to tie Brandon Marshall as 5th-fastest player ever (157 games) to reach 900 career catches. • WR NICK WESTBROOK-IKHINE had 4 catches for 41 yards last week. Has TD catch in 3 of 4 games in Ten. this season. • TE CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO had 45 rec. yards in Week 12. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 4+ catches. Had 5 catches in Week 5 meeting. • DT JEFFERY SIMMONS had season-high 3 TFL, sack & 1st FR of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. Has 0.5+ sacks in each of 4 games in Ten. this season. Had sack in last home meeting. • DE DENICO AUTRY had season-best 3 TFL & 2 sacks in Week 12, 11th-career game with 2+ sacks. Aims for 4th in row with TFL. Aims for his 6th in row in Ten. with 0.5+ sacks. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 vs. Ind. Has 8+ sacks (8) for 3rd-straight season. • LB ARDEN KEY had sack & 1st-career FF last week. • CB ROGER MCCREARY had TFL & PD last week. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Had sack & FF in Week 5 meeting. • S AMANI HOOKER led team with 10 tackles in Week 12. Has 5+ tackles in 5 of past 6. Had 10 tackles, TFL & FR in last home meeting.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 16-15 0-1

2 Sep. 17 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM W, 27-24 (OT) 1-1

3 Sep. 24 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 27-3 1-2

4 Oct. 1 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM W, 27-3 2-2

5 Oct. 8 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM L, 23-16 2-3

6 Oct. 15 Baltimore Ravens (Tottenham) 9:30 AM L, 24-16 2-4

7 BYE

8 Oct. 29 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 28-23 3-4

9 Nov. 2 at Pittsburgh Steelers (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 20-16 3-5

10 Nov. 12 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM L, 20-6 3-6

11 Nov. 19 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM L, 34-14 3-7

12 Nov. 26 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 17-10 4-7

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans have no margin for error or reason for overconfidence trying to start their first winning streak of the season with the calendar flipping to December.

“I don’t think we should take anything for granted, just as a general rule,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said.

The NFL did the Titans no favor, backloading their schedule with five of the final seven games at home.

The Titans (4-7) have yet to win away from Nashville, and Sunday will be their first chance to play back-to-back games at home this season, hosting AFC South rival Indianapolis (6-5).

“It’s good not having to get on the flight,” said Titans two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, who already has called for fans to show up loud Sunday. “I’m happy to be back at home and hopefully we bring a lot of energy, a lot from our fans for this game.”

Not only do the Titans want consecutive wins, this is a divisional rematch that means a lot to a defense that gave up a career day to Zack Moss on Oct. 5, losing 23-16 in Indianapolis. That snapped the Titans’ five-game winning streak against their divisional nemesis.

Now Tennessee gets the Colts in Nissan Stadium where the Titans are undefeated, their most recent game a 17-10 win over Carolina.

“I don’t know the rhyme or reason for it, but they’re playing good at home,” first-year Colts coach Shane Steichen said.

Indianapolis has won three straight, and a 27-20 win over Tampa Bay put the Colts into playoff contention in the AFC’s seventh spot. This starts a two-game road swing for the Colts with quarterback Gardner Minshew, who is 3-1 on the road this season.

Minshew has not won four straight as a starter in his five NFL seasons. This time, the Titans have a full week to prepare to defend Minshew, who came off the bench when rookie Anthony Richardson was hurt in the Colts’ win in October.

Now Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is sidelined by an injured thumb, but Vrabel said Minshew has a good grasp of the offense.

“He’s done a good job for them,” Vrabel said.

TRACKING MOSS

The Colts weren’t entirely sure how Moss would fit after a midseason trade with Buffalo last year. With Taylor injured at the end of last season, Moss ran for 334 yards and one TD in the final four games.

He’s been even better this season as the Titans found out in October. Moss gashed them for a career game with 165 yards rushing, another 30 receiving and two TDs. One guy not surprised is new Colts offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who wrote up Moss coming out of Utah in draft evaluations.

“He was always a guy I kept an eye on – how his career was going, how he was playing and the opportunities he was getting,” Cooter said. “Zack has shown this year that he can do a lot of different things. He’s somebody we depend on.”

ODD TWIST

Prior to April’s NFL draft, most analysts expected Colts general manager Chris Ballard to choose either Richardson or Will Levis with the fourth overall pick.

Ballard wasted little time taking Richardson, while Levis fell out of the first round before being selected at No. 33 by Tennessee.

The previous time these teams met, Richardson started his fourth and final game before a season-ending shoulder injury while Levis watched. On Sunday, Levis will make his sixth straight start and Steichen has a pretty good sense of what to expect.

“Huge arm, can make all the throws, very tough,” Steichen said of Levis. “He’s a smart football player. It looks like he’s going to have a good career.”

MISSING PIECE

In the first matchup, the Colts limited two-time league rushing champ Derrick Henry, to just 43 yards on 13 carries.

This time, there’s a big hole in the Colts defensive line. Indy will be without 314-pound run-stuffing tackle Grover Stewart serving the final game of a six-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancers.

But Henry is much better in his career the second time around against divisional rivals. The running back averages 84.1 yards in the first games of a season inside the AFC South and 119.5 in the second game. Credit watching tape of missed holes along with added motivation.

“Definitely, 43 yards makes me want to cringe,” Henry said. “Yeah I have to be better. I have to play better, and that’s going to be my main focus.”

  • The Titans have won their last two home games against the Colts, which is their second-longest home win streak against Indy all-time (longest is three from 1986 to 2002).
  • After a 3-5 start to the season, the Colts are currently in an AFC playoff spot. The only time in franchise history the Colts have made the postseason after a 3-5 (or worse) start was 2018 (finished 10-6 and won in the wild card round before losing in the divisional round).
  • Michael Pittman Jr. has caught at least eight passes in eight games this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL with Tyreek Hill. The only Colts player in history with more games in a season was Marvin Harrison in 2002 (12).
  • The Titans are 4-0 in Nashville this season (their only “home” loss was in London), one of four undefeated teams in their home city (Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles). It is the longest winning streak in Nashville to begin a season since 2008 (five).
  • Derrick Henry has averaged 5.5 yards per carry for his career in December. That is the best mark in NFL history (minimum 400 attempts).
  • The Titans are 20-1 (.952) when Derrick Henry scores multiple rushing touchdowns in his career, as he did last week. That is the second-best mark for any NFL player all-time (minimum 15 games) behind Jim Brown (26-1, .963).

MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-3) AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (4-8)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 1:00 PM ET

FOX: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) MIA: 111 or 386 WAS: 161 or 231

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: MIA leads series, 8-5 (won 2 of past 3)

POSTSEASON: Series tied, 1-1

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 10/13/19: WAS 17 at MIA 16

POSTSEASON: 1/30/83 SB XVII: MIA 17 vs. WAS 27

DOLPHINS NOTES:

DOLPHINS lead NFL in total offense (430.5 yards per game) & rank 2nd in scoring offense (30.8 points per game). • QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 21 of 30 atts. (70 pct.) for 243 yards & TD last week, 7th game this season with 70+ comp. pct., tied-most in NFL. Has 97.9 rating in 3 career starts vs. NFC East & 106.6 rating in 13 career starts vs. NFC. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 22 TD passes in 2023 & 4th with 3,177 pass yards. • RB RAHEEM MOSTERT led team with 94 rush yards & 2 rush TDs last week, 4th game this season with 2+ rush TDs, most in NFL. Aims for 4th in row with 85+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in 3 of past 4 & in each of past 2 on road. Leads NFL with 13 rush TDs, 4th-most ever in single season in Mia. history. • RB DE’VON ACHANE (rookie) has 120+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 3 of his past 4. • RB JEFF WILSON had season-high 73 scrimmage yards (56 rush, 17 rec.) in Week 12. Had rush TD in his last game vs. Was. (12/13/20 w/ SF). • WR TYREEK HILL aims for 6th in row with 8+ catches & 3rd in row with 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Has rec. TD in 6 of past 7. Had TD catch in his last game vs. Was. (10/17/21 w/ KC). Leads NFL with 1,324 rec. yards & 10 rec. TDs in 2023 & ranks 2nd in with 88 catches. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE had 8 catches for team-high 114 yards last week. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of past 6. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD aims for 4th in row with PD. Has PD in each of 5 road games this season. • S JEVON HOLLAND had 5 tackles & 99-yard INT-TD last week, 1st-career TD & tied 2nd-longest INT-TD in NFL this season. • LB JEROME BAKER had 2 PD & 2nd INT of season last week. • DT CHRISTIAN WILKINS had 2 sacks in Week 12.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at Los Angeles Chargers 4:25 PM W, 36-34 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at New England Patriots 8:20 PM W, 24-17 2-0

3 Sep. 24 Denver Broncos 1:00 PM W, 70-20 3-0

4 Oct. 1 at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM L, 48-20 3-1

5 Oct. 8 New York Giants 1:00 PM W, 31-16 4-1

6 Oct. 15 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 42-21 5-1

7 Oct. 22 at Philadelphia Eagles 8:20 PM L, 31-17 5-2

8 Oct. 29 New England Patriots 1:00 PM W, 31-17 6-2

9 Nov. 5 vs Kansas City Chiefs (Frankfurt) 9:30 AM L, 21-14 6-3

10 BYE

11 Nov. 19 Las Vegas Raiders 1:00 PM W, 20-13 7-3

12 Nov. 24 at New York Jets (Fri) 3:00 PM W, 34-13 8-3

COMMANDERS NOTES:

QB SAM HOWELL passed for 300 yards & had 3rd rush TD of season last week, his 5th game with 300+ pass yards in 2023. Leads NFL in completions (323) & pass yards (3,339) this season. • RB BRIAN ROBINSON has career-high 937 scrimmage yards in 2023, incl. 50+ scrimmage yards in 10 of 12 games. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 7 of his past 8 home games. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN had 50 rec. yards last week & aims for his 12th in row with 4+ receptions. Had 4 catches for 100 yards & 2 rec. TDs in last meeting, his 1st-career game with 2 rec. TDs. • WR CURTIS SAMUEL led team & tied his career high with 9 catches & had season-high 100 rec. yards in Week 12, his 4thcareer game with 100+ rec. yards. • WR JAHAN DOTSON had 5 catches for 52 yards in Week 12. Has career-high 42 catches in 2023 & needs 65 rec. yards for 2nd-straight 500-yard season. • DT JONATHAN ALLEN has sack in 2 of his past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. Had 2 sacks & PD in last meeting. • DT DARON PAYNE had 2 TFL & 4th PD of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL & needs TFL for 2nd-straight 10+ TFL season. • LB JAMIN DAVIS had 6 tackles & 2nd-career FF last week. Has 81 tackles in 2023, his 3rd-straight season with 75+ tackles. • LB CODY BARTON had 2nd TFL of season last week. • S KAMREN CURL is 1 of 2 DBs (Josh Metellus) with 11+ games with 5+ tackles in 2023 & ranks 2nd among DBs with 93 tackles this season. • CB BENJAMIN ST-JUSTE ranks tied-2nd in NFL with career high 15 PD this season.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 PM W, 20-16 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM W, 35-33 2-0

3 Sep. 24 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM L, 37-3 2-1

4 Oct. 1 at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM L, 34-31 (OT) 2-2

5 Oct. 5 Chicago Bears (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 40-20 2-3

6 Oct. 15 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 24-16 3-3

7 Oct. 22 at New York Giants 1:00 PM L, 14-7 3-4

8 Oct. 29 Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM L, 38-31 3-5

9 Nov. 5 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM W, 20-17 4-5

10 Nov. 12 at Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM L, 29-26 4-6

11 Nov. 19 New York Giants 1:00 PM L, 31-19 4-7

12 Nov. 23 at Dallas Cowboys (Thanksgiving) 4:30 PM L, 45-10 4-8

December was the cruelest month to the Miami Dolphins a year ago.

Going in 8-3, they lost five in a row and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to a season-ending concussion, falling out of first place in the process.

The Dolphins, again 8-3, hope this December is not as much of a wasteland, starting with their game Sunday at the Washington Commanders that they’re favored to win and pad their lead atop the AFC East.

“This is where you make your money here,” Tagovailoa said. “It’s going to be closer games, going to be one-score games. It’s going to come down to whoever gets the ball last, and you’ve got to go win the ballgame from there.”

Miami hasn’t been 9-3 since 2001. The Dolphins enter Week 13 with the NFL’s top offense, visiting the Commanders (4-8) fresh off coach Ron Rivera firing defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and taking over the play-calling duties on defense.

After blowing out the New York Jets and with their next game coming up at home against Tennessee (4-7), it’s up to the Dolphins not to stub their toe at Washington. The losing streak from a year ago might be a helpful memory.

“We felt like it was our year then, but things didn’t go that way,” running back Jeff Wilson Jr. said. “It just keeps us that more locked in because just as good as it’s going, it can easily go the other way.”

Look no further than the Commanders, who have lost eight of 10 since opening the season with back-to-back victories. A 45-10 drubbing at Dallas was the latest embarrassment in a season full of them, which is almost certain to bring major changes once it’s over.

“All of our energy for the remainder of the season will be focused on playing better, more consistent football and developing our players while intently evaluating the areas in which we need to improve this offseason,” owner Josh Harris said in a statement after Rivera fired Del Rio and defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer. “Our fans deserve a team that compete with the NFL’s best and win sustainably over the long term.”

That’s Miami’s goal: to win the division, secure a first-round game at home and attempt to make a run. But why will this time around be different?

“I guess we’ll see,” defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said. “I guess that’s left to be seen. But I think we’ve got the right guys in the locker room and right leadership and right mindset as a team that I think we have a chance to do some good things moving forward.”

BANGED UP

Injuries are piling up as the Dolphins enter the season’s final stretch.

Veteran left tackle Terron Armstead did not practice Wednesday after injuring a quadriceps muscle against the Jets, and his status for Sunday is in question. Kendall Lamm, who has filled in at left tackle this season as Armstead has battled various injuries, is dealing with a back injury.

If neither can play Sunday, Kion Smith would likely fill in at left tackle. Injuries up front have been a season-long issue, as the Dolphins have used 10 different offensive linemen and started seven different combinations this season.

Safety Jevon Holland (knee), WR Tyreek Hill (ankle) and Raheem Mostert (ankle/knee) also missed practice Wednesday.

NOT D-LIGHTFUL

No matter who’s calling the defensive plays for Washington, the line was supposed to set the tone for the entire team this season. Instead, pass rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat were traded.

Now the onus is on defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, who have combined for 7 1/2 sacks, to make a difference, even as they deal with double-teams from opponents.

“When I’m taking on a double-team, I’m helping my team have a better option of making the play,” Allen said. “If I’m taking double-teams, I’m expecting the other guys around me to contribute and make plays.”

Rivera is hoping to simplify some things to get defenders playing faster and thinking less. That may mean a smaller playbook.

“You’re just able to focus in on certain calls: things that you know that are going to be called, things that you know that we’re going to run,” cornerback Kendall Fuller said. “When you watch tape, you’re able to put yourself in those plays and prepare yourself to be where you need to be once you see certain plays and depending on how the offense wants to attack us and things like that.”

NEW NORM

Jaelan Phillips’ absence at practice Wednesday was felt most by Bradley Chubb.

The Dolphins linebackers are often seen laughing, dancing or participating in drills together on the sideline, but practices the rest of the season will look much different after Phillips suffered a season-ending right Achilles tendon tear in the win at the Jets.

Chubb said moving forward without one of their most productive players will be a “new norm” for Miami’s defense. Phillips had 6 1/2 sacks, seven tackles for loss, 11 QB hits and an interception in eight games. He underwent surgery this week and was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, when the Dolphins signed veteran pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul.

“That’s what he would want us to do: Go out there and ball and do everything we talked about in the offseason,” Chubb said. “I’m going to go out there and continue to do what’s best for this team each and every day, and I know he’s going to do everything to get back.”

  • The Dolphins and Commanders have played 13 games all-time (Miami leads, 8-5). The Commanders won the most recent meeting (2019) but have never won back-to-back games against the Dolphins in the series’ history.
  • After a 21-point win against the Jets, the Dolphins have five wins by 14 or more points this season. That is their most in any season since 2002 (also five). Their last season with more was 1990 (six).
  • Raheem Mostert and Tyreek Hill have combined for 25 total touchdowns this season. That is the most in the NFL and third most in Dolphins history. The franchise record is 27 by Mark Clayton and Pete Johnson in 1984. Clayton and Lorenzo Hampton had 26 in 1988.
  • Washington’s next loss will guarantee its seventh consecutive season without a winning record. It is already the second-longest streak in franchise history (13 from 1956-1968) and the second-longest active streak in the NFL (this would be the Jets’ eighth straight).
  • Sam Howell has attempted at least 40 passes and completed 60 percent of them in each of his last five games. The only longer streak in NFL history is by Tom Brady: six games last season (Weeks 12 to 17).
  • Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste has been targeted 77 times, second most in the NFL (Charvarius Ward, 79), and has allowed 47 completions on those targets (61.0%). St-Juste is tied for second in the NFL (with Ward) with 15 passes defensed (Darious Williams leads with 16).

CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-10) AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-7)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 4:05 PM ET

CBS: Tom McCarthy, James Lofton, Jay Feely, Tiffany Blackmon

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) CAR: 158 or 380 TB: 85 or 225

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: CAR leads series, 25-20 (TB won 5 of past 6)

POSTSEASON: —

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 1/1/23: CAR 24 at TB 30

POSTSEASON: –

PANTHERS NOTES:

QB BRYCE YOUNG (rookie) passed for 194 yards last week. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 0 INTs. Has 20+ completions in 8 of his 10 career starts. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD tied his career high with 5 receptions & had season-high 92 scrimmage yards (47 rec., 45 rush) in Week 12. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6 & has 617 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 3rd-straight season with 600+ scrimmage yards. Has TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. TB & aims for his 4th in row vs. TB with 50+ scrimmage yards. • RB MILES SANDERS needs 78 scrimmage yards for 5th-straight season with 500+ scrimmage yards. • WR ADAM THIELEN has 42 receptions for 423 yards & 3 TDs in 6 road games this season, incl. 6+ catches in 4 of his past 5 on road. Leads team with 77 receptions & 728 rec. yards, his 5thcareer season with 70+ catches & 700+ rec. yards. • WR JONATHAN MINGO (rookie) led team with 60 rec. yards in Week 12, his 2nd-career game with 60+ rec. yards (Week 8). • LB BRIAN BURNS had 6th sack of season, 2 TFL & PD in Week 12 & is 1 of 5 with 6+ sacks in each of past 5 seasons. Has TFL in 6 straight games, tied-longest active streak in NFL. Has 7.5 sacks & 13 TFL in his past 9 road games. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with TFL. • LB FRANKIE LUVU had 13 tackles, 3 TFL & sack in last meeting. • DT DERRICK BROWN aims for his 4th in row with TFL. • CB DONTE JACKSON has 5+ tackles in 4 of his past 5. Had 10 tackles in his last game vs. TB (10/23/22) & had INT in his last game at TB (9/20/20). • CB TROY HILL had 2 PD & TFL in his last game vs. TB (11/6/22 w/ LAR). Aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM L, 24-10 0-1

2 Sep. 18 New Orleans Saints (Mon) 7:15 PM L, 20-17 0-2

3 Sep. 24 at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 PM L, 37-27 0-3

4 Oct. 1 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM L, 21-13 0-4

5 Oct. 8 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM L, 42-24 0-5

6 Oct. 15 at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM L, 42-21 0-6

7 BYE

8 Oct. 29 Houston Texans 1:00 PM W, 15-13 1-6

9 Nov. 5 Indianapolis Colts 4:05 PM L, 27-13 1-7

10 Nov. 9 at Chicago Bears (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 16-13 1-8

11 Nov. 19 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 PM L, 33-10 1-9

12 Nov. 26 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM L, 17-10 1-10

BUCS NOTES:

QB BAKER MAYFIELD completed 20 of 30 atts. (66.7 pct.) for 199 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 93.6 rating in Week 12. Needs 3 TD passes for 4th-career season with 20+ TD passes. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 275+ pass yards. Completed 18 of 22 atts. (81.8 pct.) for 238 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 126.9 rating in his only career start vs. Car. (12/9/18 w/ Cle.). Passed for 1,313 yards & had 7 TDs (6 pass, 1 rush) in 7 games with Car. in 2022. • RB RACHAAD WHITE had 110 scrimmage yards (100 rush, 10 rec.) in Week 12, his 2nd-career game with 100+ rush yards. Needs 77 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. Ranks 2nd among RBs in rec. yards (364) & 3rd in receptions (43) this season. • WR MIKE EVANS had 6 catches for 70 yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 12, his 19th-career game with 2+ rec. TDs, 2nd-most among active players. Has 54 catches in 2023 & can become 1st player ever with 60+ receptions in each of 1st 10 career seasons. Has 850 rec. yards this season & can join HOFer Jerry Rice (11 seasons from 1986-96) as only players ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in 10 straight seasons. Had 10 catches for 207 yards & 3 TDs in last meeting & aims for his 4th in row at home vs. Car. with TD catch. • WR CHRIS GODWIN had 9 catches for 120 yards in last meeting & aims for his 4th in row at home vs. Car. with 100+ rec. yards. • LB LAVONTE DAVID aims for his 7th in row with TFL. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 at home vs. Car. • LB DEVIN WHITE has TFL in 3 of 4 career home games vs. Car. • NT VITA VEA had FR in last meeting. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 & has career-high 8 TFL in 2023. • DL CALIJAH KANCEY ranks tied-1st among rookies with 8 TFL. • S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR. aims for his 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. Had sack in last meeting.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM W, 20-17 1-0

2 Sep. 17 Chicago Bears 1:00 PM W, 27-17 2-0

3 Sep. 25 Philadelphia Eagles (Mon) 7:15 PM L, 25-11 2-1

4 Oct. 1 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM W, 26-9 3-1

5 BYE

6 Oct. 15 Detroit Lions 4:25 PM L, 20-6 3-2

7 Oct. 22 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM L, 16-13 3-3

8 Oct. 26 at Buffalo Bills (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 24-18 3-4

9 Nov. 5 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 39-27 3-5

10 Nov. 12 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 20-6 4-5

11 Nov. 19 at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM L, 27-14 4-6

12 Nov. 26 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM L, 27-20 4-7

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Todd Bowles is adamant. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to stop beating themselves with mistakes if they’re going to turn their season around.

Despite losing six of seven games following a promising 3-1 start, a third straight NFC South title and a fourth consecutive playoff berth remain within reach if the Bucs (4-7) finish strong over the next six weeks.

The stretch run begins Sunday against last-place Carolina (1-10), which has the NFL’s worst record and is playing for the first time since firing coach Frank Reich 11 games into his first season leading the Panthers and No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Young.

The Bucs will also close the season on the road against Carolina in January. But the way Tampa Bay has been losing, Bowles knows his team has to fix what’s ailing themselves before they can expect to be successful.

“We can’t play the Bucs plus the opposition,” Bowles said, reiterating that self-inflicted, untimely mistakes and breakdowns – whether it be on offense or defense – are holding the team back.

“It’s got to start Sunday. We don’t really care if it was a 12-0 team or a 1-10 team – we’ve got to start with ourselves. We’ve got to play hard, no matter who we’re playing on Sunday,” Bowles stressed. “The urgency has got to be there, no matter who’s on the other side of the field.”

For the second time in just over a year, the Panthers are facing Tampa Bay shortly after the in-season firing of a head coach. Carolina let Matt Rhule go in October 2022, two weeks before upsetting Tom Brady and the Bucs 21-3 in Charlotte.

Interim coach Chris Tabor will lead the Panthers following last Monday’s firing of Reich.

Bowles doesn’t feel playing a team making its debut under an interim coach changes the challenge for Tampa Bay.

“Chris is a great coach. He’s been a great special teams coach, he’ll be a good head coach,” Bowles said. “You can’t revamp your team in a week, so you concentrate on the scheme. I’m sure they’ll tweak some things, but we’ve got to worry about the things we can correct ourselves and go out and play them and see what happens.”

Brady retired from the Bucs after last season, however the Panthers will still see a familiar face on the field leading the Tampa Bay offense – former Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield appeared in seven games for the Panthers a year ago, going 1-5 as a starter, before finishing the season with the Los Angeles Rams.

“I’m excited for Bake to see him having success over there,” Carolina center Bradley Bozeman said. “Just hope he doesn’t have as much success against us on Sunday.”

TABOR IN CHARGE

Tabor will serve as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Tabor has served as an interim coach once before when he subbed in for a game in 2021 with the Chicago Bears when Matt Nagy had COVID-19.

Tabor inherits an almost impossible situation and has no real chance of landing a full-time gig after the season.

“In this business, the NFL train is always moving, and the NFL monster will eat you at any time,” Tabor said. “And you need to be prepared and you need to take the proper steps to set yourself up for success. And that’s what we’re trying to work on right now.”

As for his coaching style, Tabor said: “I’m going to coach loose and I’m gonna coach to have fun because that’s the only way I know in order to be successful. That’s kind of how I’ve always kind of lived and played and coached sports, so I’m going to stay with it.”

BROWN CALLING PLAYS FOR CAROLINA

Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will resume play-calling duties for Carolina.

Brown was given control of the offense for a three-week period earlier this season, but the Panthers struggled and Reich retook control. During Brown’s brief tenure calling plays, the Panthers averaged just 11.3 points, 237.3 yards and 16.3 first downs per game.

The Panthers offense is 30th in the league in total yards and 29th in scoring and struggles to protect Young, so Brown has his work cut out for him. Carolina has allowed 43 sacks this season and Young is constantly under pressure.

DIVISION RACE

The Bucs will play four of their remaining six games within the NFC South. Entering Sunday they trail division co-leaders Atlanta and New Orleans by one game. In addition to facing the Panthers twice, Tampa Bay will also play the Falcons (5-6) and Saints (5-6) once each down the stretch.

“My mindset right now – and it should be for the whole team – is we’re in a playoff-mode mentality,” Mayfield said.

“We have to pick up the pace. We have to have a sense of urgency about it,” the quarterback added. “I think everybody realizes what is at stake. We have to win out. We have to win these division games to get to where we want to go and to get into the playoffs.”

Tampa Bay has won the division the past two seasons, including with a losing record in 2022.

  • Tampa Bay has won three straight home games against the Panthers, scoring at least 30 points in each game. Prior to that, the Buccaneers had just one 30-point home game against Carolina (31-16 win in 2010) and had only won back-to-back games once (1998 and 2002).
  • The Panthers fell to the Titans, 17-10, in Tennessee last week. Carolina has scored at least 10 points in every game this season but has only reached 20 points in three games. Carolina’s 15.7 points per game are fourth fewest in the league.
  • Chuba Hubbard’s rushing touchdown last week was the 10th total touchdown of his career (nine rushing, one receiving). He became the fifth Canadian-born player with 10 touchdowns, joining Nate Burleson (43), Bronko Nagurski (25), Rueben Mayes (23) and Luke Willson (11).
  • Tampa Bay lost to the Colts, 27-20, in Indianapolis last week, falling to 1-6 in its last seven games after beginning the season 3-1. The Buccaneers set a season high with 125 rushing yards against the Colts, but finished with just 173 passing yards, their third fewest this year.
  • Mike Evans caught a pair of touchdown passes last week, his first multi-TD game since he had three in Week 17 last season against Carolina. It was his 19th career game with multiple touchdown receptions — among active players, only Davante Adams (22) has more.
  • Tampa Bay has converted 73.7 percent (28-for-38) of its third downs when needing fewer than four yards this season, the highest mark in the league. However, the Bucs have allowed opponents to convert 68.4 of their such third downs, fifth worst in the league.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-4) AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-6)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 4:25 PM ET

FOX: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) CLE: 138 or 381 LAR: 81 or 226

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: LAR leads series, 12-9 (won 5 of past 6)

POSTSEASON: CLE leads series, 2-1

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 9/22/19: LAR 20 at CLE 13

POSTSEASON: 12/26/55 NFC-C: CLE 38 at LAN 14

BROWNS NOTES:

BROWNS lead NFL in total defense (247.9 yards allowed per game) & pass defense (142.0 pass yards allowed per game). • QB DORIAN THOMPSON-ROBINSON (rookie) totaled 155 yards (134 pass, 21 rush) & had TD pass vs. 0 INTs last week. • QB P.J. WALKER can make 3rd start of season. • RB JEROME FORD led team with 79 scrimmage yards (65 rush, 14 rec.) last week. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4 overall & in 4 of 5 road games this season. • RB KAREEM HUNT has rush TD in 3 of his 4 road games this season. Had 111 scrimmage yards (70 rush, 41 rec.) & rec. TD in only career game vs. LAR (11/19/18 w/ KC). • WR AMARI COOPER has 6+ catches & 85+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. Had 10 catches for 81 yards in his last game vs. LAR (9/13/20 w/ Dal.). Needs 3 catches for 8th-career season with 50+ catches. • WR ELIJAH MOORE has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. • WR CEDRIC TILLMAN (rookie) had career-high 55 rec. yards last week. • TE DAVID NJOKU aims for 4th in row with 6+ catches & 55+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NFC West with TD catch. • DE MYLES GARRETT aims for 7th in row with TFL. Has sack in 5 of past 6. Had sack & FF in last meeting. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with 13 sacks in 2023 & is 4th player since 1982 with 13+ sacks in 4 of 1st 7 seasons. • DE OGBO OKORONKWO has 5 TFL in his past 2. • LB JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH led team with season high 12 tackles & had sack & 1st FF of season in Week 12. Aims for 4th in row on road with TFL. • CB DENZEL WARD has PD in 4 of his past 5. • CB GREG NEWSOME had season-high 7 tackles & PD last week.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM W, 24-3 1-0

2 Sep. 18 at Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 26-22 1-1

3 Sep. 24 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 27-3 2-1

4 Oct. 1 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM L, 28-3 2-2

5 BYE

6 Oct. 15 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 PM W, 19-17 3-2

7 Oct. 22 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 39-38 4-2

8 Oct. 29 at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 PM L, 24-20 4-3

9 Nov. 5 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 PM W, 27-0 5-3

10 Nov. 12 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM W, 33-31 6-3

11 Nov. 19 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM W, 13-10 7-3

12 Nov. 26 at Denver Broncos 4:05 PM L, 29-12 7-4

RAMS NOTES:

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD completed 25 of 33 atts. (season high 75.8 pct.). for 229 yards & 4 TDs vs. INT for 121.1 rating in Week 12, his 15th-career game with 4+ TD passes, 4th-most among active QBs. Is 3-0 with 919 pass yards (306.3 per game) & 12 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 107.7 rating in 3 career starts vs. Cle., incl. 3+ TD passes in each start. • RB KYREN WILLIAMS had 6 catches & career-high 204 scrimmage yards & became 4th player ever with 140+ rush yards (143), 60+ rec. yards (61) & 2+ rec. TDs (2) in Week 12. Is 1 of 3 RBs (De’Von Achane & Christian McCaffrey) with 2 games of 150+ scrimmage yards in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with 150+ scrimmage yards. Has 9 TDs (6 rush, 3 rec.) in 7 games this season. • RB ROYCE FREEMAN rushed for season-high 77 yards & had 2nd rush TD of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 70+ rush yards. • WR COOPER KUPP had 11 receptions for 101 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Since 2021, has 15 rec. TDs in 19 home games. • WR PUKA NACUA leads all rookies with 73 receptions for 924 rec. yards & can become 3rd rookie since 2000 (Anquan Boldin & Justin Jefferson) with 1,000+ rec. yards in team’s 1st 12 games of season. • TE TYLER HIGBEE had 1st 2 TD catches of season last week, his 4th-career game with 2+ rec. TD. • DT AARON DONALD has TFL in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cle. with sack. • NT KOBIE TURNER (rookie) had 1st-career 2-sack game last week. • LB ERNEST JONES needs 7 tackles for 2nd-straight 100+ tackle season. Has 10+ tackles in 4 of 5 home games this season. • CB AHKELLO WITHERSPOON tied his career-high with 3 PD last week. • DB JORDAN FULLER had career-high 4 PD in Week 12. • DB JOHN JOHNSON aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM W, 30-13 1-0

2 Sep. 17 San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM L, 30-23 1-1

3 Sep. 25 at Cincinnati Bengals (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 19-16 1-2

4 Oct. 1 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 29-23 (OT) 2-2

5 Oct. 8 Philadelphia Eagles 4:05 PM L, 23-14 2-3

6 Oct. 15 Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM W, 26-9 3-3

7 Oct. 22 Pittsburgh Steelers 4:05 PM L, 24-17 3-4

8 Oct. 29 at Dallas Cowboys 1:00 PM L, 43-20 3-5

9 Nov. 5 at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM L, 20-3 3-6

10 BYE

11 Nov. 19 Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM W, 17-16 4-6

12 Nov. 26 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM W, 37-14 5-6

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) The Cleveland Browns might have their fourth starting quarterback of the season when they face the Los Angeles Rams.

Four quarterbacks started a game for the Rams last season. Sean McVay wouldn’t recommend it.

The coach also realizes the adversity of 2022 played a role in his team’s rebound into playoff contention this year.

“You can’t establish grit unless you go through real challenging experiences,” McVay said. “I can’t speak for other people, but I do know that I was spoiled with a lot of the good things (early in my career), and (adversity) forces you to continue to grow and mature as a leader.”

That might not be much comfort to Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski and the Browns (7-4), who could have Joe Flacco behind center on Sunday after a week of training in the Southern California sun. Cleveland will attempt to avoid its first losing streak of a season that’s going remarkably well, considering the turmoil at quarterback.

“Across the league, and this year is no different, there’s a lot of backup quarterbacks that are playing,” Stefanski said. “We’re no different, and we have a certain standard that we play by as an offense, as a team, and it doesn’t really change based on who’s in there.”

No matter who’s taking snaps, Cleveland will lean on its powerhouse defense to shut down the Rams (5-6), whose hopes of an unlikely playoff run probably hinge on the health of Matthew Stafford. The veteran’s injured thumb is getting better, and he’s excited by LA’s two-week surge into the postseason conversation.

Cleveland’s defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, was Stafford’s head coach for his first five NFL seasons in Detroit.

“Really all phases on (Cleveland’s) defense make it an uncomfortable day for the quarterback, both in what they’re giving to you look-wise and also just the challenges they present personnel-wise as well,” Stafford said.

JJ’S REUNION

Safety John Johnson is back with the Rams after spending the past two seasons with Cleveland, which cut him last March. Johnson was drafted by the Rams, and he has reclaimed a prominent role this month.

The hard-hitting Johnson’s role changed when he changed teams, and many observers thought he wasn’t suited to his coverage-heavy responsibilities in Cleveland.

“I felt like I stayed stagnant, if anything,” Johnson said. “I didn’t really take off. My game didn’t elevate. I was just like in limbo, kind of. I just did what I’m told, you know. … Just me thinking about it now, I feel like I probably could have did some things differently, but the past is the past.”

BANGED-UP BROWNS

The Browns have spent the entire season on crutches.

But while the offense absorbed most of the major early injuries, Cleveland’s top-ranked defense has been feeling it the past two weeks.

All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett played much of last week with one arm after hurting his left shoulder, which he originally hurt last year when he flipped his Porsche following practice.

Fortunately, Garrett, who is having his best season, didn’t sustain any new structural damage. His teammates are confident he’ll be on the field with them on Sunday.

“He’s Superman,” cornerback Greg Newsome II said. ”We’re never too worried about Myles.”

Before last week’s game, Garrett joked that “everything hurts” this time of the season and the 28-year-old blamed his aches on being “just old.”

The Browns are hoping to have star cornerback Denzel Ward after he missed last week with a shoulder injury. Ward’s absence was felt from the outset as Cleveland’s secondary seemed out of sorts without him.

KYREN’S FRIENDS

Running back Kyren Williams is having a breakout season for the Rams with three 100-yard performances in the past four games, including the last two.

Williams is appropriately wary of Cleveland’s vaunted defense, even if it gave up 169 yards rushing to Denver last week. He’s looking forward to the chance to fight off tackle attempts by Newsome, a close friend, and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, his teammate for two seasons at Notre Dame.

And no matter how the game goes, Williams is planning a postgame jersey swap with Owusu-Koramoah.

“I’m gonna let him know early, before I start getting to him, ‘I’m gonna need that jersey,’” Williams said with a grin.

THE LOGO

During their extended stay in Los Angeles, the Browns met with some local basketball royalty. No, not LeBron James.

Legendary Lakers guard and Hall of Famer Jerry West spoke with Cleveland’s players, who were struck by the 85-year-old’s presence and passion.

“It was great,” said All-Pro left guard Joel Bitonio, a California native who grew up rooting for the Lakers. “His illustrious career as a player, coach and executive in the NBA is second to none.”

“He said he hates losing more than he loves winning,” said Newsome. “So a guy like that, you definitely learn a lot from.”

Beyond being a 14-time All-Star, one of the NBA’s all-time best players, and the silhouetted image for the league’s iconic logo, West was also the architect of the powerhouse “Showtime” Lakers teams in the 1980s.

West’s visit with the team at UCLA was made possible through Stefanski’s father, Ed, a longtime NBA executive. West told the players he grew up in West Virginia as a Browns fan.

Bitonio said West’s message centered on togetherness.

“The overall picture was just being a good teammate, playing for your guys, executing and having a bigger purpose out there,” Bitonio said. “It was very cool. He’s getting up there in age, but he’s still sharp and still really cool to hear a legend.”

  • The Rams have three straight wins against the Browns and have won five of the last six. This will be the first time the teams have played in California since the day after Christmas in 1993. That game’s first touchdown was scored by future Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis.
  • In their loss to the Broncos, the Browns held Denver to 125 net passing yards, their sixth time this season allowing 125 or fewer passing yards. That is two more games than the team with the next most this season (Chiefs — four).
  • Myles Garrett did not register a quarterback hit against Denver, ending a streak of 12 consecutive games with at least one for Garrett dating back to last season. The Browns have lost each of their last five games in which Garrett has played but not had a QB hit.
  • The Rams scored a season-high 37 points in their 23-point victory over the Cardinals. The win was the Rams’ first time with at least 225 net passing yards and 225 rushing yards in the same game since Christmas Eve 2000 at the Saints.
  • On Sunday, Kyren Williams averaged 8.94 yards per rush (143/16) and 10.2 yards per reception (61/6). Prior to Williams, the last player with such high averages on that many attempts/catches in a road game was Indianapolis’ Marshall Faulk at Baltimore in 1998.
  • Following his performance against the Cardinals, Matthew Stafford has thrown for at least four touchdowns in 15 different NFL games. The only other No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft to have at least 15 such games is Peyton Manning (35).

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-3) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-1)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023

GAME TIME: 4:25 PM ET

FOX: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) SF: 83 or 382 PHI: 82 or 227

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: SF leads series, 19-14-1 (PHI won 2 of past 3)

POSTSEASON: Series tied, 1-1

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 9/19/21: SF 17 at PHI 11

POSTSEASON: 1/29/23 NFC-C: SF 7 at PHI 31

49ERS NOTES:

QB BROCK PURDY has 70+ comp. pct. in 5 straight starts & leads NFL with 70.2 comp. pct. in 2023. Leads qualified passers with 112.3 rating in 2023. Has TD pass in 15 of 16 career starts. • RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY leads NFL in rush yards (939) & scrimmage TDs (16) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (1,328) in 2023. Is 2nd player ever (HOFer Randy Moss) with 16+ scrimmage TDs in a season with 2 different teams. Aims for his 5th in row with 5+ catches & 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 26 TDs (17 rush, 9 rec.) in 22 reg.-season games with SF. Has 490 career catches, most by RB in 1st 7 seasons in NFL history. • TE GEORGE KITTLE has 5,921 career rec. yards & can become 5th TE ever with 6,000+ rec. yards in 1st 7 seasons. Ranks 3rd among TEs with 667 rec. yards in 2023. Needs 4 catches for 6th-straight 50+ catch season. • WR BRANDON AIYUK had 5th rec. TD of season last week & has 5+ TD catches in each of his 1st 4 seasons. Needs 5 catches for 4th-straight 50-catch season. Aims for his 3rd in row on road & 4th in row overall with rec. TD. • WR DEEBO SAMUEL had 7 catches, 94 scrimmage yards (79 rec., 15 rush) & 3rd rush TD of season last week. Has TD in 3 of his past 4 road games & aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD. • DL NICK BOSA had 2 sacks in Week 12, his 11th-career 2+ sack game. Aims for his 4th in row with 1.5+ sacks. • DL CHASE YOUNG has 3.5 sacks in 4 career games vs. Phi. • DL ARIK ARMSTEAD aims for his 5th in row with 0.5+ sacks. • DL JAVON HARGRAVE had 1.5 sacks last week. Had 23 sacks in 3 seasons (2020-22) with Phi. • LB FRED WARNER needs 5 tackles for 6th-straight 100-tackle season. • DB CHARVARIUS WARD had season-high 3 PD in Week 12 & ranks tied-2nd in NFL with career-high 15 PD this season.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM W, 30-7 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM W, 30-23 2-0

3 Sep. 21 New York Giants (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 30-12 3-0

4 Oct. 1 Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM W, 35-16 4-0

5 Oct. 8 Dallas Cowboys 8:20 PM W, 42-10 5-0

6 Oct. 15 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 19-17 5-1

7 Oct. 23 at Minnesota Vikings (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 22-17 5-2

8 Oct. 29 Cincinnati Bengals 4:25 PM L, 31-17 5-3

9 BYE

10 Nov. 12 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM W, 34-3 6-3

11 Nov. 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 PM W, 27-14 7-3

12 Nov. 23 at Seattle Seahawks (Thanksgiving) 8:20 PM W, 31-13 8-3

EAGLES NOTES:

EAGLES are 4th team ever to win 10+ of 1st 11 games in consecutive years & 4th team ever to win 4 straight games when trailing at halftime. Phi. has 27-2 record in past 29 starts by Jalen Hurts. • QB JALEN HURTS had career-high 5 TDs (3 pass, 2 rush) in Week 12 & has 11 career games with 2+ rush TDs, most by QB in NFL history. Ranks tied-2nd in NFL with 11 rush TDs in 2023 & is 1st QB ever with 10+ rush TDs in 3 straight seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. SF with rush TD, incl. postseason. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 770 rush yards in 2023. Needs 29 scrimmage yards for 2nd-career 1,000- yard season (1,069 scrimmage yards in 2021 w/ Det.). Had 8 catches, 104 scrimmage yards (65 rec., 39 rush) & TD catch in his only career game vs. SF (9/12/21 w/ Det.). • WR A.J. BROWN had 7th rec. TD of season last week. Aims for his 5th in row at home with TD catch. Ranks 4th in NFL with 1,050 rec. yards in 2023, his 4th-career 1,000-yard season. Had 11 catches for 145 yards & rec. TD in his only career reg.-season game vs. SF (12/23/21 w/ Ten.). • WR DEVONTA SMITH led team with 7 catches for 106 yards & had 5th rec. TD of season last week, his 9th-career 100-yard game. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with TD catch. • LB HAASON REDDICK has sack in 3 of his past 4. Needs 1.5 sacks for 4th-straight 10+ sack season. Had 2 sacks, FF & FR in 2022 NFC-C vs. SF. • CB JAMES BRADBERRY had career-high 5 PD & 1st INT of season last week. Has 11 PD in 2023 & is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 8 seasons. • CB DARIUS SLAY aims for his 6th in row with PD. • S KEVIN BYARD led team with career-high 13 tackles in Week 12.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at New England Patriots 4:25 PM W, 25-20 1-0

2 Sep. 14 Minnesota Vikings (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 34-28 2-0

3 Sep. 25 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon) 7:15 PM W, 25-11 3-0

4 Oct. 1 Washington Commanders 1:00 PM W, 34-31 (OT) 4-0

5 Oct. 8 at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM W, 23-14 5-0

6 Oct. 15 at New York Jets 4:25 PM L, 20-14 5-1

7 Oct. 22 Miami Dolphins 8:20 PM W, 31-17 6-1

8 Oct. 29 at Washington Commanders 1:00 PM W, 38-31 7-1

9 Nov. 5 Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM W, 28-23 8-1

10 BYE

11 Nov. 20 at Kansas City Chiefs (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 21-17 9-1

12 Nov. 26 Buffalo Bills 4:25 PM W, 37-34 10-1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jalen Hurts sat alone on the bench and shook his head with a mostly blank stare on his face as Jake Elliott boomed a 59-yard-field that kept a shot at a win alive.

His Eagles teammates went as wild as the Philly fans at the Linc – the kicker nicknamed “Jake The Make” had saved a game again. But Hurts could hardly be motivated to leave his seat.

So, what gives?

Hurts doesn’t celebrate with the fiery trademarks of his Philly sports brethren. Think Bryce Harper running his hands across the “Phillies” on his chest after a big hit or Joel Embiid mimicking a pro wrestling chop on a big bucket. Hurts could only think in the moment of all the plays he failed to make, all the penalties and miscommunication that forced the Eagles to have to shoot for OT against a team like the Bills.

“I think in that moment, it was out of my hands, so I could only think about the things that I could have done better to that point,” he said.

At that point, Hurts had only accounted for four touchdowns against the Bills. Yeah, only four.

So when Hurts ran for another TD in overtime, he sent the Eagles to a 10-1 record and Philly into a week of hype overdrive for Sunday’s NFC championship game rematch against the San Francisco 49ers (8-3). But most of the build-up – the 49ers were thumped in the game, then oddly talked smack about the Eagles in the offseason – mostly escaped Hurts. Hurts stayed above the fray, his monotone answers the same as always, whether talking about the 49ers, his confidence in Elliott or his meeting this week with LeBron James at a 76ers game.

Hurts wiggled out of questions about his subdued demeanor on the sidelines.

“Sorry if you don’t think I don’t find enjoyment in these moments,” he said, “because I do.”

It’s not always this way, of course. Hurts was all smiles when he snatched the mic and led an off-key rendition of the Eagles’ fight song after they beat the 49ers and advanced to the Super Bowl.

The Eagles aren’t looking for another singalong this time. Just a win in a game that could shape the NFC race.

The 49ers left Philly 10 months ago battered behind injuries to QBs Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson and return as 2½-point favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I don’t really know how that stuff works,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I don’t really know why. It is random.”

CBS Sports reported the Eagles are the first team since at least 1970 that holds a 10-1 record or better, has a healthy, starting QB and is a betting home underdog.

“Before I ever stepped foot in the city, all I knew about this city was Rocky versus Apollo Creed and the city plays the underdog well,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.

Rocky Balboa, of course, lost to Creed (at least in the first fight), so perhaps there’s a better mode of inspiration to find.

The 49ers are the favorites in large part because Purdy, who has 2,871 yards passing and 19 touchdowns, is facing an Eagles defense ranked 29th against the pass. the passing game. The 49ers also averaged 10 points allowed the last three games, the kind of defense that might make another Eagles comeback – they’ve won their last four games while trailing at halftime – tougher to pull off. And while the Eagles are winning, they’re not winning big. They haven’t had a margin bigger than seven points in any of their last four games.

Should the Eagles pull off the rare home upset, maybe even Hurts might celebrate a bit.

SWITCHING SIDES

Javon Hargrave has switched sides in this rivalry, having signed as a free agent with San Francisco after helping the Eagles beat the Niners a year ago. Hargrave has six sacks already this season and is a key part of a defensive line that has 15 sacks the past three weeks.

“I’m happy he’s on our side and not their side this time around,” Niners linebacker Fred Warner said. “He’s just been so consistent for us in terms of getting just disruption up there in the middle of our defensive line. He has been such a key piece to what we do all season long.”

Hargrave said a few former teammates have reached out this week but there won’t be much talk until after the game, when he gets the opportunity to play against Philadelphia’s stellar offensive line.

“They know me like I know them,” he said. “We went at it for about three years (in practice). I know what to do against them and I guess they know what to do against me.”

TRASH TALK

In the days after the NFC championship game, Niners receiver Deebo Samuel called Eagles cornerback James Bradberry “ trash ” and Philadelphia his “most hated” opponent.

Bradberry was later flagged for a late defensive holding penalty in the Super Bowl that kept a Kansas City drive alive and helped secure the Chiefs’ win over the Eagles. Bradberry was a second-team All-Pro pick in 2022 and a Pro Bowler in 2020.

Samuel said this week he had no regrets over ripping Bradberry. Bradberry said he was unsure why Samuel singled him out.

“I don’t necessarily like what he said. I wish he used a better word,” Bradberry said. “From the clips that I saw, they felt like they had a good game plan against us. They felt like they had some open routes against us. Yeah, I don’t know. You’ve got to ask him.”

FAST STARTERS

The Niners have been fast starters this season, scoring on the opening drive in eight of their 11 games this season. San Francisco has seven TDs and one field goal for a league-best 52 points on the opening drive — the fourth-highest total for any team through 11 games since 2000.

Two of the 49ers’ three losses this season came after they failed to score on the opening drive. They have been far more effective playing with the lead than from behind.

  • San Francisco travels to Philadelphia in a rematch of last season’s Conference Championship game (31-7, Eagles win). The two teams have split the last six regular-season matchups (3-3), with five games being decided by one score.
  • Brock Purdy (21-30 for 209 yards and one touchdown in Week 12) recorded his 11th game as a starter with a at least 200 yards passing, 65.0 completion rate and one touchdown, tied for most in the NFL with Jared Goff since becoming a starter in Week 13 last season.
  • Week 12 marked Christian McCaffrey’s 22nd career game with at least five receptions and a rushing touchdown, third most in NFL history behind Marshall Faulk (35) and LaDainian Tomlinson (27).
  • Jalen Hurts (two rushing touchdowns in Weeks 11 and 12) has 11 career games with at least two rushing scores, the most ever by a quarterback. Hurts (11 rushing touchdowns this season) is the first QB in NFL history with 10 rushing scores in three straight seasons.
  • In Week 12, Brandon Graham became the Eagles’ franchise leader in games played (189). Graham ranks fourth in team history in sacks (73), and his 51 games with at least one sack rank tied for third with Fletcher Cox (Reggie White — 72, and Trent Cole — 60).
  • Over Philadelphia’s last four victories, they have been outgained by a combined 437 net yards by their opponents. They are the second team in NFL history to be outgained by 400 yards over a four-game span and go 4-0 (Dolphins, 2020).

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-3) AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-6)

DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2023 GAME TIME: 8:20 PM ET

NBC: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Melissa Stark

Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Ryan Harris

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) KC: 81 or 226 GB: 85 or 225 National: 88

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: KC leads series, 8-4-1 (GB won 2 of past 3)

POSTSEASON: GB leads series, 1-0

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 11/7/21: GB 7 at KC 13

POSTSEASON: 1/15/67 SB I: KC 10 vs. GB 35

CHIEFS NOTES:

QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 27 of 34 atts. (season-high 79.4 pct.) for 398 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 122.8 rating last week, 66th-career game with 2+ TD passes, surpassing HOFer Dan Marino (65) for most-ever by QB in 1st 7 seasons. Aims for 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has won each of past 6 starts on SNF. Ranks 4th in NFL with 21 TD passes in 2023. • RB ISIAH PACHECO had 89 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 34 rec.), 5 catches & career-high 2 rush TDs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 85+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in 3 of past 4 on road. Aims for his 3rd in row on SNF with 105+ scrimmage yards. Is 3rd KC RB in SB era with 5+ rush TDs in each of 1st 2 seasons. • TE TRAVIS KELCE had 6 catches for 91 yards in Week 12. Has 6+ catches in 8 of past 9. Aims for 5th in row on road with 55+ rec. yards. Has 60+ rec. yards in each of 3 career games vs. GB, with TD catch in each of past 2. Has 11,076 career rec. yards & became fastest TE ever (154 games) to reach 11,000 rec. yards. • WR RASHEE RICE (rookie) led team with career highs in catches (8) & rec. yards (107) last week & had 5th TD catch of season. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Is 1 of 4 rookie WRs with 500+ rec. yards (527) & 5+ (5) rec. TDs this season. • WR JUSTIN WATSON aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. • DT CHRIS JONES has TFL in 4 of 5 road games this season. Aims for his 3rd in row on SNF with sack. Is 1 of 2 in NFL (Myles Garrett) with 7+ sacks in each of past 6 seasons. • DE GEORGE KARLAFTIS has sack in 4 of past 5 & each of past 2. • LB DRUE TRANQUILL had 8 tackles & season-high 2 TFL last week. Aims for 5th in row with 7+ tackles & 3rd in row with TFL. • CB L’JARIUS SNEED tied career high with 9 tackles last week. • CB TRENT MCDUFFIE aims for 3rd in row with PD.

SEASON RESULTS

1 Sep. 7 Detroit Lions (Thu) 8:20 PM L, 21-20 0-1

2 Sep. 17 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM W, 17-9 1-1

3 Sep. 24 Chicago Bears 4:25 PM W, 41-10 2-1

4 Oct. 1 at New York Jets 8:20 PM W, 23-20 3-1

5 Oct. 8 at Minnesota Vikings 4:25 PM W, 27-20 4-1

6 Oct. 12 Denver Broncos (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 19-8 5-1

7 Oct. 22 Los Angeles Chargers 4:25 PM W, 31-17 6-1

8 Oct. 29 at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM L, 24-9 6-2

9 Nov. 5 Miami Dolphins (Frankfurt) 9:30 AM W, 21-14 7-2

10 BYE

11 Nov. 20 Philadelphia Eagles (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 21-17 7-3

12 Nov. 26 at Las Vegas Raiders 4:25 PM W, 31-17 8-3

PACKERS NOTES:

QB JORDAN LOVE completed 22 of 32 atts. (68.8 pct.) for 268 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 125.5 rating (career-high as starter) in Week 12, his 3rd-career game with 3 TD passes. Aims for his 3rd in row with 100+ rating & 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. • RB AARON JONES has 279 scrimmage yards (139.5 per game) & 2 rec. TDs in 2 career games vs. KC. Has 1,487 scrimmage yards (99.1 per game) & 10 TDs (5 rush, 5 rec.) in 15 career SNF games. • RB AJ DILLON had 81 scrimmage yards (43 rush, 38 rec.) in Week 12 & has 50+ scrimmage yards in 6 of his past 7. Had 90 scrimmage yards (46 rush, 44 rec.) in last meeting. • WR CHRISTIAN WATSON led team with 5 catches for 94 yards & had 10th-career rec. TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • WR ROMEO DOUBS has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 at home. • WR JAYDEN REED (rookie) had 5th rec. TD of season last week & aims for his 4th in row with TD. • LB RASHAN GARY tied his career high with 3 sacks, had career high 2 FFs & had 6th-career FR in Week 12. Is 1 of 2 (Josh Allen) with 2 games of 3+ sacks in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with sack & FR. Had sack in last meeting. Needs 1 sack to tie career high (9.5) set in 2021. • DL KARL BROOKS (rookie) had 1st-career FF & 1st-career FR in Week 12. • LB ISAIAH MCDUFFIE had 11 tackles last week, his 4th game in 2023 with 10+ tackles. Has career-high 64 tackles this season. • LB QUAY WALKER aims for his 5th in row with 5+ tackles. • S JONATHAN OWENS had 12 tackles, TFL & 27-yard FR-TD in Week 12, his 1st-career TD. Has 8 games with 10+ tackles since 2022, most among DBs. Aims for his 5th in row with 8+ tackles.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at Chicago Bears 4:25 PM W, 38-20 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM L, 25-24 1-1

3 Sep. 24 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM W, 18-17 2-1

4 Sep. 28 Detroit Lions (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 34-20 2-2

5 Oct. 9 at Las Vegas Raiders (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 17-13 2-3

6 BYE

7 Oct. 22 at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM L, 19-17 2-4

8 Oct. 29 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM L, 24-10 2-5

9 Nov. 5 Los Angeles Rams 1:00 PM W, 20-3 3-5

10 Nov. 12 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM L, 23-19 3-6

11 Nov. 19 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM W, 23-20 4-6

12 Nov. 23 at Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving) 12:30 PM W, 29-22 5-6

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) After one of their trademark come-from-behind victories last week in Las Vegas, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs hope their rally sparks a surge that can help the defending Super Bowl champions make another postseason run.

The next step comes Sunday night when the AFC West-leading Chiefs (8-3) visit the improving Green Bay Packers (5-6).

Kansas City is coming off a 31-17 triumph over the Raiders in which the Chiefs responded after falling behind 14-0 in the first 18 minutes. Chiefs coach Andy Reid, whose team made plenty of notable comebacks during its two recent Super Bowl championship seasons, liked the way his players didn’t flinch amid adversity.

“They picked everything up and said, ‘We have to play better,’” Reid said. “And I hear things on the sideline, so I get a feel most people don’t hear. The guys, the leaders were really encouraging guys, and I thought all that was positive.”

That comeback ended a string of three straight games in which Kansas City failed to score after halftime, and it provided a glimpse of how the Chiefs must play the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Green Bay had its own issues earlier this season, as the Packers failed to score a single first-half touchdown during one five-game stretch.

But just like the Chiefs turned around their second-half woes, the Packers are doing a better job of moving the ball early on. They scored touchdowns on their first two drives in a 29-22 Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit.

“I just think we’re doing a better job of finding our rhythm, finding our flow as an offense,” Packers wide receiver Christian Watson said. “It took us a little too long early in the season to find that, to find that rhythm. Now I think we’re connecting a little bit better as an offense and finding it a little quicker.”

This marks the Chiefs’ first regular-season visit to Green Bay since 2015, which means it will be the first time Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has played at Lambeau Field. The two-time Super Bowl champion was here for a 2019 preseason game in which he didn’t play.

“I’m extremely excited for it,” Mahomes said. “I’ve watched it my whole entire life. I know it’s going to be a hostile environment and loud, a lot like what Arrowhead is like to other teams. If you love football, you love Lambeau Field, and I’m excited to play a game there.”

LOVE VS. CHIEFS AGAIN

Packers quarterback Jordan Love faced the Chiefs in his first career start in 2021, when a positive COVID-19 test sidelined Aaron Rodgers. The Packers lost that game 13-7 as Love struggled to deal with all the pressure the Chiefs were putting on him.

“It was a good learning experience for me, just being able to see those experiences, see where I need to be going with the ball,” Love said. “I watched it back that offseason and was able to learn a lot just from that film.”

CELEBRITY WATCH

TV viewers could end up seeing plenty of shots in the stands Sunday night with the possibility that pop superstar Taylor Swift, who’s in a relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles, who’s married to Green Bay safety Jonathan Owens, could be on hand for the game.

Swift hasn’t attended the last two Chiefs games due to conflicts with her tour schedule, which is currently on a break. Biles has attended multiple Packers home games and expressed her approval via social media last week when Owens scored his first career touchdown on a 27-yard fumble return.

VALDES-SCANTLING’S RETURN

Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling played his first four seasons in Green Bay, where he provided a deep threat but struggled to catch the ball consistently. He has had the same issues in Kansas City.

Valdes-Scantling has just 15 receptions for 248 yards and dropped a potential go-ahead touchdown pass in the final minutes of a 21-17 loss to the Eagles in their Super Bowl rematch a couple of weeks ago.

SACK ATTACK

The Chiefs are tied for fourth in the NFL with 37 sacks. They have three players with more than five sacks: George Karlaftis (8), Chris Jones (7½) and Mike Danna (5½).

The Packers have their own exceptional pass rusher in Rashan Gary, who had three sacks in the Thanksgiving victory at Detroit.

DANGEROUS IN DECEMBER

The Packers are 15-0 in December games during Matt LaFleur’s coaching tenure. That represents the second-longest December winning streak in NFL history. The Chargers won 18 straight from 2006-09, well before their move to Los Angeles.

  • The Chiefs have an all-time record of 8-5-1 against the Packers, including Green Bay’s win in Super Bowl I. Their most recent meeting was a 13-7 Chiefs win in Week 9, 2021 in Kansas City.
  • The Chiefs beat the Raiders, 31-17, in Las Vegas last week despite trailing, 14-0, at one point. It was the fourth time in Chiefs history they have won by double-digits after trailing by at least 14 points — three of those have come in road games against the Raiders (11-point wins in 1981 and 1993). They also had an 11-point win at Tennessee in 2004.
  • Last week, Rashee Rice became just the second rookie in Chiefs history with eight receptions, 100 receiving yards (107) and a receiving touchdown. He joined Dwayne Bowe, who had eight catches for 164 yards and a TD in Week 4, 2007 against the Chargers.
  • The Packers beat the Lions, 29-22, in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, their third win in their last four games following a four-game losing streak. The 29 points scored were their most since opening the season with a 38-20 win in Chicago.
  • Jordan Love had three touchdown passes and zero interceptions last week, his third such game this season (also Weeks 1 & 2). The only Packers quarterbacks with more such games in a season are Brett Favre (three times) and Aaron Rodgers (eight times).
  • This will be the 32nd different stadium in which Patrick Mahomes has played an NFL game. The only active NFL stadiums Mahomes has not played in are Lambeau Field (GB), AT&T Stadium (Dal), Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atl) and Bank of America Stadium (Car).

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-6) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (8-3)

DATE: Monday, December 4, 2023 GAME TIME: 8:15 PM ET

ESPN: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Lisa Salters

Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner

SiriusXM (also available on the SXM App) CIN: 81 or 226 JAX: 83 or 225 National: 88

ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY

REG. SEASON: JAX leads series, 13-11 (CIN won past 2)

POSTSEASON: —

THE LAST TIME …

REG. SEASON: 9/30/21: JAX 21 at CIN 24

POSTSEASON: —

BENGALS NOTES:

QB JAKE BROWNING completed 19 of 26 atts. (73.1 pct.) for 227 yards & TD vs. INT with 96.2 rating last week in 1st-career start. Aims for 3rd in row with TD pass. • RB JOE MIXON has 60+ scrimmage yards in 10 games this season, tied-most among RBs. Has TD in 4 of past 5. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 100+ scrimmage yards & TD. Has 6 TDs (4 rush, 2 rec.) in 4 career games vs. Jax., with TD in each game. Has TD in each of 3 primetime games this season. • WR JA’MARR CHASE had 81 rec. yards last week. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3 overall & in each of his past 3 on road. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 on road. Had 77 rec. yards in last meeting. Had 12 catches for 141 yards in only career game on MNF (9/25/23 vs. LAR). Needs 5 catches & 86 rec. yards to become 4th player ever with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • WR TEE HIGGINS aims for his 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Had 77 rec. yards in only career game vs. Jax. (10/4/20). • WR TYLER BOYD had 9 catches for 118 yards in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Jax. with 7+ catches & 90+ rec. yards. • TE DREW SAMPLE had 2nd rec. TD of season last week. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON aims for 4th in row with 0.5+ sacks & 3rd in row with full sack. Has 6 sacks in 5 road games this season. Has 7.5 sacks in 6 career games on MNF, with 0.5+ sacks in each game. Has 3rd-career season with 10+ sacks (10.5). • LB LOGAN WILSON led team with 10 tackles last week. Aims for 8th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 10 tackles & sack in last meeting. • DE MYLES MURPHY (rookie) had 2nd-career sack in Week 12. • CB MIKE HILTON had 8 tackles & season-high 2 TFL last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles & 3rd in row with TFL. • S JORDAN BATTLE (rookie) aims for 3rd in row with 8+ tackles.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 24-3 0-1

2 Sep. 17 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM L, 30-23 0-2

3 Sep. 25 Los Angeles Rams (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 19-16 1-2

4 Oct. 1 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM L, 27-3 1-3

5 Oct. 8 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM W 34-20 2-3

6 Oct. 15 Seattle Seahawks 1:00 PM W, 17-13 3-3

7 BYE

8 Oct. 29 at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM W, 31-17 4-3

9 Nov. 5 Buffalo Bills 8:20 PM W, 24-18 5-3

10 Nov. 12 Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 30-27 5-4

11 Nov. 16 at Baltimore Ravens (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 34-20 5-5

12 Nov. 26 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM L, 16-10 5-6

JAGS NOTES:

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE passed for season-high 364 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) with 90.2 rating last week, 2ndcareer game with 350+ pass yards. Aims for 3rd in row with 250+ pass yards, 90+ rating & rush TD. Passed for 204 yards with 96.5 rating & had rush TD in last meeting. Is 3-1 with 4 TDs (2 pass, 2 rush) vs. 0 INTs in 4 career reg. season starts in primetime. • RB TRAVIS ETIENNE had 86 scrimmage yards (56 rush, 30 rec.) last week. Has 55+ scrimmage yards in 8 of past 9. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of 3 career reg. season games in primetime. • WR CALVIN RIDLEY aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches, 85+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Had 54 rec. yards & 2 rec. TDs in only career game vs. Cin. (9/30/18 w/ Atl.). Leads team with 5 rec. TDs in 2023, his 4th-career season with 5+ rec. TDs. • WR CHRISTIAN KIRK had 89 rec. yards last week & has 85+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Has 85+ rec. yards in each of 2 career games on MNF. • TE EVAN ENGRAM had 5 catches last week, 8th game this season with 5+ catches, tied 2nd-most among TEs. Had 6 catches for 129 yards in only career game vs. Cin. (11/29/20 w/ NYG). • LB JOSH ALLEN had 2.5 sacks in Week 12, 4th game this season with 2+ sacks, tied-most in NFL. Has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. Cin. Has career-high 12 sacks in 2023, tied 2nd-most ever by Jax. player in single season. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN led team with 12 tackles last week. Ranks 4th in NFL with 119 tackles this season. • LB DEVIN LLOYD had 8 tackles, TFL & PD in Week 12. Aims for 7th in row with 8+ tackles. • LB TRAVON WALKER aims for 3rd in row with 0.5+ sacks. • CB DARIOUS WILLIAMS has PD in 10 of 11 games this season & leads NFL with 16 PD in 2023, 2nd-straight season with 16 PD.

SEASON RESULTS

Sep. 10 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 31-21 1-0

2 Sep. 17 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM L, 17-9 1-1

3 Sep. 24 Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 37-17 1-2

4 Oct. 1 Atlanta Falcons (Wembley) 9:30 AM W, 23-7 2-2

5 Oct. 8 vs Buffalo Bills (Tottenham) 9:30 AM W, 25-20 3-2

6 Oct. 15 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 37-20 4-2

7 Oct. 19 at New Orleans Saints (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 31-24 5-2

8 Oct. 29 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM W, 20-10 6-2

9 BYE

10 Nov. 12 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 PM L, 34-3 6-3

11 Nov. 19 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 34-14 7-3

12 Nov. 26 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM W, 24-21 8-3

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Josh Allen remembers the moment he heard the Jacksonville Jaguars would be playing on “Monday Night Football.”

He was working out in Arizona in May and picked up his phone to scroll through highlights of the 2023 schedule.

“I screamed,” the pass rusher recalled Thursday.

It meant that much to Allen. The primetime showcase might mean even more to the small-market franchise.

The Jaguars (8-3) will return to the coveted spot for the first time in a dozen years when they host the reeling Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) to end the Week 13 schedule.

Every team in the league has played on “Monday Night Football” at least seven times since Jacksonville’s 38-14 home loss to Philip Rivers and the then-San Diego Chargers on Dec. 5, 2011.

Six teams – Chicago, New Orleans, the New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle – have each played more than 20 times on “MNF” since.

The Jaguars, meanwhile, kept getting overlooked – even after making the AFC title game in the 2017 season. Their market played a role. So did the team’s lack of success; Jacksonville finished with double-digit losses 10 times in 11 seasons between 2011 and 2021.

“We just got to keep winning,” Allen said. “If we keep winning and then they see us in the Super Bowl, I really could care less about how people feel or how they see us. That’s really how we rock. We win games, and you don’t hear about us.”

The Jaguars are making noise. They’ve won seven of their past eight this season and 14 of 18 going back to last season. And they hope to keep it going against the Bengals, who have lost three in a row and will be without star quarterback Joe Burrow following season-ending wrist surgery.

“It’s obviously exciting,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said. “It’s always an electric moment. We’ll have conversations this week. It’s really just approaching it the same, learning to control your emotions. I want the guys to feel relaxed, but at the same time, continue to have that edge that we’ve had the last couple of weeks.

“Monday night is a special night. You’re the only game on, everybody is watching you and you want to put your best foot forward.”

The Bengals have struggled to do that on one of the league’s brightest stages. Cincinnati is 3-20 on the road in Monday night games, the worst record in NFL history. The Bengals have lost nine in a row on the road on “MNF,” with their previous victory coming against Cleveland in 1990.

They probably need to end the skid against Jacksonville to avoid fading in the crowded AFC playoff picture.

“No one is out of it; no one is in,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “We’re right where we need to be. We just have to play our best football. Plenty of opportunity in front of us with people we play against that are in similar positions, maybe slightly more favorable.”

TAYLOR BROTHERS BOWL

Taylor and his younger brother, Press, will be on opposite sidelines for the first time since the 2020 season. Press Taylor is Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator and play-caller.

Press also has the edge in their head-to-head NFL matchups, posting a 2-1-1 record against Zac. Their most recent meeting came in 2020, with Zac in his second season as the Bengals coach and Press on Pederson’s staff in Philadelphia. It ended in a 23-23 tie.

DEALING WITH IT

Burrow and his teammates are still getting over the shock of his injury, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said this week. Burrow was in street clothes on the sideline during last week’s loss to Pittsburgh and had surgery Monday.

“I think it’s a difficult thing to wrap your mind around, to be out there at the game the next week watching someone else run the offense and not being able to,” Callahan said. “I think that’s a hard thing so I give him a little bit of grace for how difficult that probably is for him.”

RUNNING ON EMPTY

Cincinnati’s lack of a consistent run game makes Browning’s job more difficult. The Bengals have struggled to run all season despite having Joe Mixon behind an offensive line that was fortified in the offseason by signing four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

The Bengals are last in the NFL in rushing, averaging 75.8 yards a game.

O-LINE SHUFFLE

The Jaguars will have their fifth starting offensive line combination of the season. They placed left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) on injured reserve and will move guard Walker Little to replace Robinson and turn to veteran Ezra Cleveland to step in at left guard. Jacksonville sent a sixth-round draft pick to Minnesota to get Cleveland at the trade deadline.

  • Jacksonville is 8-3 (.727) at home all-time against Cincinnati and won its last home game in 2019, 23-7, allowing 148 total yards in the game. It stands as the fewest net yards allowed by either team in a game in the history of the matchup.
  • The Jaguars are 8-3 for the first time since 2007. The Jags started 9-3 or better three times in franchise history: 9-3 in 2005, 11-1 in 1999 and 9-3 in 1998.
  • Josh Allen had 2.5 sacks against the Texans on Sunday, his third game with at least 2.5 sacks this season, most in the NFL. Allen has 39.5 total sacks in his career, moving him past Yannick Ngakoue (37.5) for second most in Jaguars history. Tony Brackens is first (55.0).
  • Cincinnati has turned the ball over nine times this season, tied with Pittsburgh for the fewest in the NFL. The last time the Bengals had the fewest turnovers in the league at the end of season was 1985 (29).
  • Drew Sample caught his second touchdown pass this season after just one in his career prior to this year. That gave the Bengals five different players with at least two receiving touchdowns, which trails only the Cowboys, Vikings, and Commanders (each with six).
  • Jacksonville had a successful two-point conversion on Sunday and is now 3-for-3 on the season. The only other team this year with a perfect percentage on at least three two-point conversion attempts is New Orleans (also 3-for-3).

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: NORTHWESTERN STUNS NO. 1 PURDUE AGAIN

Boo Buie scored 31 points and dished nine assists, and Northwestern held on for a thrilling 92-88 overtime win against No. 1 Purdue in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams on Friday night in Evanston, Ill.

Northwestern fans stormed the court after the victory, which marked the second time in less than 10 months that the Wildcats (6-1, 1-0 Big Ten) pulled off a home upset over the Boilermakers. Northwestern also beat then-No. 1 Purdue on Feb. 12 in Evanston.

Zach Edey scored 35 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead Purdue (7-1, 0-1). Fletcher Loyer added 17 points, and Braden Smith finished with 12 points and nine assists.

Northwestern improved to 2-19 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams, with both victories coming against Edey and the Boilermakers.

No. 5 Kansas 69, No. 4 Connecticut 65

Kevin McCullar Jr. scored 21 points and the Jayhawks led most of the way to beat the Huskies in the Big East-Big 12 Battle at Lawrence, Kan.

KJ Adams Jr. added 18 points and Hunter Dickinson registered 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for Kansas (7-1).

Tristen Newton made a career-best six 3-pointers while scoring a season-high 31 points for Connecticut (7-1).

No. 6 Houston 66, Xavier 60

LJ Cryer scored a game-high 23 points while Jamal Shead added 13 to lead the Cougars past the Musketeers in a Big East-Big 12 Battle contest in Cincinnati.

J’Wan Roberts had 12 rebounds to go with nine points for Houston (8-0), which was playing its first true road game of the season.

Quincy Olivari scored 17 points while Desmond Claude added 14 for the Musketeers (4-4). The game was slowed in the second half by 33 personal fouls and a technical on Houston coach Kelvin Sampson. In all, 50 fouls were called in the contest.

No. 19 BYU 85, Fresno State 56

Jaxson Robinson scored 24 points and Spencer Johnson added 22 as both set career highs in the Cougars’ win over the Bulldogs in Salt Lake City.

Robinson shot 6-for-8 from 3-point range for BYU (7-0), which led by as many as 32 and cruised to the nonconference win.

Isaiah Hill led Fresno State (3-4) with 14 points, while Jalen Weaver scored 10 points. The Bulldogs committed 21 turnovers.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS

WOMEN’S TOP 25 ROUNDUP: ANGEL REESE RETURNS IN NO. 7 LSU’S WIN

In a rematch of a game in last season’s Final Four, LSU got past Virginia Tech again on Thursday in an ACC/SEC Challenge game at Baton Rouge, La., as Tigers star Angel Reese returned to action.

Behind 19 points and 15 rebounds from Aneesah Morrow, the seventh-ranked Tigers beat the ninth-ranked Hokies 82-64. In her return from a four-game absence, All-America forward Angel Reese added 19 points and nine boards for LSU (8-1), while Mikaylah Williams had 20 points and five assists. LSU coach Kim Mulkey never explained the reason why Reese was away from the team.

Virginia Tech (5-2) was powered by Georgia Amoore’s 25 points, while Elizabeth Kitley added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Matilda Ekh put up 11 points.

Virginia Tech led by as much as nine points in the first quarter, but then LSU outscored the Hokies 22-9 in the second frame to take a six-point lead into the break. The Tigers went on to lead by as much as 22 points in the second half as they shot 50 percent from the floor and won the rebounding battle by 14.

Back on March 31 in a national semifinal game at Dallas, LSU beat Virginia Tech 79-72 en route to winning the championship.

No. 1 South Carolina 65, No. 24 North Carolina 58

Bree Hall scored 15 points as the Gamecocks erased an 11-point deficit to top the Tar Heels in front of a sold-out crowd at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C. The contest was part of the ACC/SEC Challenge.

Hall’s 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining pushed the lead to eight points for the Gamecocks (6-0). The Tar Heels (5-3) trimmed the deficit to three points with 26 seconds remaining but never got any closer.

“These guys stuck to the defensive gameplan as much as I could’ve asked,” North Carolina coach Courtney Banghart said. “We fought. On the glass we were really good. South Carolina is a great team. They’re big, and this was just a good college basketball game for all the fans.”

Kamilla Cardoso scored just six points for South Carolina, but she had a game-high 16 rebounds and four blocks. Te-Hina Paopao added 14 points and four assists for the Gamecocks.

Deja Kelly had 20 points for North Carolina while Alyssa Ustby contributed 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. The Tar Heels got no points from their bench and shot just 4-of-21 from 3-point range.

Despite that, North Carolina built an 11-point lead after Ustby sank a pull-up jumper from the elbow to start the second quarter. South Carolina chipped away at the deficit and wound up making 15 of 22 free throws and 6 of 11 3-point attempts. The Tar Heels were 12 of 17 at the foul line.

The Gamecocks will remain in North Carolina’s Research Triangle and play at Duke on Sunday.

Arkansas 71, No. 15 Florida State 58

Taliah Scott scored 24 points as the Razorbacks took down the Seminoles in an ACC/SEC Challenge game at Tallahassee, Fla.

Also crucial for Arkansas (7-1) was the presence of Saylor Poffenbarger, who grabbed a school-record 23 rebounds to go along with 13 points. Samara Spencer added 15 points and six assists for the Razorbacks.

Makayla Timpson powered Florida State (5-2) with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Taniya Latson added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, and O’Mariah Gordon chipped in 16 points.

Arkansas led 28-26 at halftime, then really pulled away by outscoring Florida State 24-6 in the third quarter. The Razorbacks connected on 13 3-point shots overall.

The Razorbacks have another challenge on Sunday when they host No. 2 UCLA.

No. 17 Indiana 67, Maine 59

Anne Simon’s 34 points, 11 rebounds and five steals weren’t quite enough as the Black Bears fell short of upsetting the Hoosiers in Bangor, Maine.

Key for Indiana (6-1) in the tough road game was the play of All-America forward — and Maine native — Mackenzie Holmes, who had 22 points and seven rebounds. Sydney Parrish added 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Sara Scalia chipped in 10 points.

Maine (4-4) got 14 points and 13 rebounds from Adrianna Smith. The Black Bears led 37-29 at halftime, but the Hoosiers outscored them 38-22 in the second half to take the lead and pull away. Indiana had 21 assists on 25 made field goals.

No. 13 Baylor 85, SMU 61

Dariana Littlepage-Buggs had 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Bears remained unbeaten by downing the Mustangs in Dallas.

Baylor (6-0) also got a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds from Dre’Una Edwards, plus 17 points from Bella Fontleroy. Tamia Jones led SMU (3-4) with 17 points, while Tiara Young added 16 points and nine boards.

SMU led by four points early, but then Baylor ended the first quarter on a 14-6 run and closed the second frame on a 9-0 run to take a double-digit lead into halftime. The Bears shot 45.8 percent from the field overall and led by as much as 29 points.

NBA NEWS

NBA ROUNDUP: MAGIC TIE TEAM MARK WITH 9TH STRAIGHT WIN

Franz Wagner scored 31 points and Paolo Banchero added 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as the Orlando Magic tied a franchise record with its ninth consecutive victory, beating the visiting Washington Wizards 130-125 on Friday.

Moritz Wagner had 18 points, Jalen Suggs added 15 and Joe Ingles scored a season-high 14 for Orlando, which also won nine straight games during the 1994-95, 2000-01 and 2010-11 seasons. Franz Wagner chipped in with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Kyle Kuzma put up 27 points for the Wizards, who have lost 15 of their past 17 games. Washington’s Daniel Gafford had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Corey Kispert scored 15 and Jordan Poole had 14.

Celtics 125, 76ers 119

Boston overcame a season-high 20 turnovers and improved its home record to 9-0 by beating undermanned Philadelphia.

The 76ers led 116-115 with 2:28 to play, but the Celtics went on an 8-0 run that gave them a seven-point advantage with 18 seconds remaining. Derrick White had 21 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Celtics, who received 20 points apiece from Al Horford and Jaylen Brown.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum (21 points) was ejected with 2.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter after he was given his second technical foul. Patrick Beverley scored 26 points to lead the 76ers, who were without their top two scorers, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, both due to illness.

Knicks 119, Raptors 106

Jalen Brunson scored 22 points as visiting New York defeated Toronto.

Julius Randle added 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Knicks, who took over the game in the third quarter.

Scottie Barnes had 29 points for the Raptors and Pascal Siakam scored 21 points. Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Toronto.

Grizzlies 108, Mavericks 94

Desmond Bane scored 18 of his 30 points in the first half to fuel visiting Memphis over Dallas.

Bane made 11 of 20 shots from the floor — including 4 of 6 from 3-point range — for the Grizzlies, who benefited from the absence of Dallas star Luka Doncic (personal reasons) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (back spasms) to record a second win in a row for the first time this season.

Dallas’ Grant Williams collected 16 points and eight rebounds and Derrick Jones Jr. added 16 points. Kyrie Irving added 10 points, making just 3 of 15 shots from the floor and misfiring on all five attempts from 3-point range.

Pelicans 121, Spurs 106

Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double and Trey Murphy III scored 18 points in his season debut as host New Orleans defeated San Antonio.

Valanciunas scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Pelicans won their second game in a row. Murphy returned from arthroscopic knee surgery to shoot 7 of 13 from the floor and sink four 3-pointers.

San Antonio rookie No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama missed a game for the first time, with the team stating he had right hip tightness. Eight Spurs players scored in double figures, though the team lost its 14th consecutive game, two shy of the franchise record set last season.

NHL NEWS

MERZLIKINS STOPS 41 SHOTS TO LEAD BLUE JACKETS IN 4-2 WIN OVER SENATORS

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Elvis Merzlikins stopped 41 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from two goals down to beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Friday night.

Patrik Laine, Dmitri Voronkov, Adam Fantilli and Boone Jenner scored for Columbus, which earned its second win in three games for the Metropolitan Division cellar-dwellers. Johnny Gaudreau and Zach Werenski added two assists apiece.

“Without Elvis, I’m not sure we see the same final score,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said. “He made some big saves and the bench just got elevated. A lot of times it’s one player doing having a great performance and it boosts–-gives some confidence.”

Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, and Claude Giroux scored for Ottawa, which lost its third straight to remain last in the Atlantic Division. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 19 shots for the Senators in his first game against the team where he spent the first 7 1/2 seasons of his career.

After outshooting Columbus 14-2 to start the game, the Senators got on the board at 8:43 of the first period, with Giroux sliding the puck through Merzlikins’ pads in his 100th game with Ottawa.

Tkachuk made it 2-0 just over two minutes later with a power-play goal off a laser from the right circle. Tim Stützle had the secondary assist for his 200th career point.

The power-play goal was the first given up by Columbus in 12 chances over its last six games.

The rest of the game belonged to Columbus.

“After 2-nothing we didn’t give up,” Merzlikins said. “We kept skating. We were all together. We were blocking the shots. We were trying hard. Obviously, this is hockey. A lot can happen, but I was hoping and I believe that we can turn around this thing, and we turn around, and it went really well.”

The Blue Jackets dominated the back half of the first period, as Laine cut the lead in half with his own power-play goal with 5:07 left rushing in from the right circle.

Voronkov tied it 43 seconds later with his fifth goal of the season.

Fantilli gave Columbus the lead at 5:15 of the second, redirecting Ivan Provorov’s shot from along the left boards.

Jenner made it 4-2 with a power-play goal that tipped in Werenski’s shot from the blue line.

“We did enough things to win the game today,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “At the end of the day we don’t get a couple of blocks and they get some tips, and they go into the net. We’ve got to find ways to score.”

UP NEXT

Senators: Host Seattle on Saturday.

Blue Jackets: At Boston on Sunday.

MACDONALD AND DUCLAIR SCORE TWICE AS SHARKS BEAT DEVILS 6-3 FOR 1ST ROAD WIN

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Jacob MacDonald and Anthony Duclair each scored twice, and Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 44 shots as the San Jose Sharks beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on Friday night for their first road win this season.

Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists and William Eklund also scored for San Jose, which improved to 6-16-2 overall. The league-worst Sharks came in 0-10-0 away from home with just six goals in those games.

“I’m happy for our guys. It’s been a tough year, especially on the road,″ Sharks coach David Quinn said. “To find a way to win is a tribute to our team.”

Dawson Mercer, Jack Hughes and Ondrej Palat scored for New Jersey, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Defenseman Simon Nemec had two assists for the Devils in his NHL debut. Akira Schmid finished with 12 saves.

“Puck management on the goals, no respect to the game,″ Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “We knew we would have zone time. You can do all this good work but if you’re going to disrespect the game, which we did, it’s disappointing.”

MacDonald opened the scoring, beating Schmid 2:10 into the contest.

New Jersey tied it on the power play a little more than 11 minutes later when Mercer scored his sixth of the season.

MacDonald the put the Sharks back ahead at 2:51 of the middle period with his second of the night and third of the season. It was the first two-goal game for the 30-year-old MacDonald, who came in with four goals in 109 career games.

“I am glad to contribute any way that I can,” said MacDonald, a defenseman who was playing up front against the Devils on a line with Nico Sturm and Kevin Labanc. “We started out hot. A quick goal builds confidence right from the start.”.

Duclair increased San Jose’s lead to 3-1 at 9:47 of the second.

Hughes narrowed the deficit to 3-2 with his ninth goal at 2:56 of the third, but Duclair then scored again, his fifth of the season, at 5:07.

Palat made it 4-3 with 7:02 remaining with his third before Granlund restored the two-goal lead for the Sharks 40 seconds later with his second.

“We know if we are good defensively everything else will come for us and we got our first road win,” Granlund said. “Hopefully we can keep it going and have a good road trip.”

Eklund scored an empty-net goal for the Sharks in the final minute.

San Jose started the season 0-10-1 before going 5-5-1 in their next 11 games. They scored just three goals in five road losses in November.

“Everybody wants to score goals,” Quinn said. “When you see guys getting rewarded for hard work, it makes you feel good. It gives you a lot more confidence and a little bit of swagger.”

Timo Meier returned to the Devils’ lineup against his former team after missing seven games with a lower-body injury.

The game marked the return of goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, defenseman Nikita Okhotiuk and forward Fabian Zetterlund to New Jersey. They were all part of last season’s trade that brought Meier to New Jersey. Meier, who played parts of seven seasons for the Sharks, signed an eight-year contract extension with the Devils last summer.

“I think you can play all you want on the outside, you’ve just got to get inside,” Meier said. “We were trying to outscore the other team and they stayed tight. We just didn’t do a good enough job.”

New Jersey recalled Nemec from AHL Utica to replace injured defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who is out indefinitely after having surgery Friday for a torn left pectoral muscle sustained in Tuesday’s home win over the Islanders. The 19-year-old Nemec, the second overall pick in the 2022 draft by New Jersey, had two goals and six assists in 13 games with Utica.

UP NEXT

Sharks: At the New York Rangers on Sunday night to continue a six-game road trip.

Devils: At Vancouver on Tuesday night to start four-game road trip.

BASEBALL NEWS

REPORT: BLUE JAYS, DODGERS, CUBS AMONG OHTANI SUITORS AS 3 TEAMS DROP OUT

The number of teams showing serious interest in Shohei Ohtani has dwindled.

The Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Texas Rangers are turning their attention to other players after showing initial interest in the two-time AL MVP, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The remaining field of serious Ohtani suitors includes the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Toronto Blue Jays, Passan’s sources confirmed.

Despite being linked to the two-way superstar throughout the offseason, the San Francisco Giants’ interest in Ohtani is unknown.

Ohtani’s reported price tag appears set to be between $550 million and $600 million.

Negotiations between Ohtani and interested clubs appear to be entering the final stretch, with a small number of teams expected to meet with him and his representatives this weekend in Los Angeles, sources told Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.

The 29-year-old had another tremendous season in 2023, slashing .304/.412/.654 with a league-leading 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 20 steals as a hitter.

He also posted a 10-5 record with a 3.14 ERA and 11.4 K/9 as a pitcher. Ohtani won’t pitch next season after undergoing offseason elbow surgery.

REPORT: MARLINS HIRING FORMER GIANTS MANAGER KAPLER AS ASSISTANT GM

The Miami Marlins are hiring former San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler as assistant general manager under new president of baseball operations Peter Bendix, sources told Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

Miami was intrigued by Kapler’s success in player development during his time as farm director of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which came before he joined the MLB ranks as a manager, a source told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Kapler’s main role will come in player development, but he’ll be involved in all areas of baseball operations, Rosenthal adds.

The Giants dismissed the 2021 National League Manager of the Year in September after four seasons with the organization.

Miami hired Bendix in November after Kim Ng departed in October. The Marlins made the postseason in 2023, their first playoff appearance in a non-shortened season since 2003.

REPORT: GUARDIANS OPEN TO TRADING ALL-STAR CLOSER CLASE

The Cleveland Guardians might rely on someone else to finish games for them next season.

Cleveland is open to trading All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Clase would be an attractive back-end option for teams seeking a shutdown reliever on a team-friendly contract. The 25-year-old led MLB in saves in each of the last two seasons while posting dominating strikeout numbers thanks to an elite cutter that averages 99 mph.

He’s set to earn just $2.9 million in 2024, which will be followed by salaries of $4.9 million in 2025, $6.4 million in 2026, and $10-million options in each of 2027 and 2028.

Cleveland could turn to former Kansas City Royals pitcher Scott Barlow – acquired during a November trade with the San Diego Padres – at closer if it trades Clase.

The Guardians have already traded a starter from last season in Cal Quantrill and are expected to deal ace Shane Bieber, who’s been mentioned in numerous offseason trade rumors.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS RELEASES/ NEWS

COLTS FOOTBALL

COLTS-TITANS PREVIEW:

At 4-7, the Tennessee Titans enter Week 13 with their worst record through 11 games in the Mike Vrabel era:

2022: 7-4

2021: 8-3

2020: 8-3

2019: 6-5

2018: 5-6

But heading into Sunday’s matchup at Nissan Stadium, the Colts aren’t buying into the Titans’ record as an indication of the challenge ahead of them in Week 13. A few players this week mentioned the Titans’ home vs. road splits, which tell a better story of what the Colts can expect this weekend in Nashville:

StatHomeRoad
Record4-10-6
Point Differential+31-70
Yards Per Carry4.63.8
Yards Per Pass8.36.3
TD/INT radio7/22/6
Passer Rating105.665.2
Passer Rating Allowed89.3107.0
Yards Per Play Allowed4.75.7

“Playing against Tennessee, there’s no secret and no stranger to the energy and mentality that coach Vrabel brings to that team, to that field,” linebacker Zaire Franklin said. “I know their team is gonna be ready, I know their team is gonna be prepared.

“Playing Tennessee is no secret. You gotta stop the run, you gotta run the ball. I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

The formula Franklin laid out is the one the Colts followed to a Week 5 win over the Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium, in which Zack Moss rumbled for a career high 165 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries (7.2 yards/attempt), while Derrick Henry was limited to just 43 yards on 13 rushes (3.3 yards/attempt). The 43 yards Henry gained were his fewest in a start against the Colts, while Moss’ 165 rushing yards were nearly double the second-highest total a single player has had against the Titans in 2023:

Table inside Article
PlayerTeamRushing Yards
Zack MossIND165
Jaylen WarrenPIT88
Najee HarrisPIT88
Joe MixonCIN67
Bijan RobinsonATL62
Lamar JacksonBAL62

And Moss’ 56-yard run in Week 5 was the longest allowed by the Titans’ defense since Week 1 of the 2022 season.

The Colts will again lean on Moss with running back Jonathan Taylor undergoing a procedure on his thumb that’ll keep him out for at least Week 13. On the other side of the ball, the Colts will rely on their defensive tackle depth and collective rallying to tackle for the final week of Grover Stewart’s six-game suspension.

“It’s 11 men on the field and when we’re playing a team like Tennessee,” linebacker EJ Speed said, “it takes all 11.”

While the Colts have gone from allowing 3.7 yards per carry with Stewart in Weeks 1-6 (10th) to 4.8 yards per carry without Stewart in Weeks 7-12 (28th), they’ve compensated with a ferocious pass rush (22 sacks, 4th in Weeks 7-12) and ballhawking mentality (10 takeaways, T-5th).

But in their final game without Stewart, the Colts will need to stop the run to generate the sacks and takeaways that’ve become pillars of their defense over the last few weeks. 

“I think each week we say No. 1, stop the run – but probably this week it’s No. 1, stop, stop the run,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “It’s a special emphasis just because that’s what really everything is based off of. If they can get the ball running and now their play-action passes become that much more effective – we have to do a good job up front. Our stats don’t show that we’re knocking out the run.

“The past couple weeks it’s been a give and take on what our philosophy is going into the game, but I think a team like this where you’ve got great respect for their run game and their ability – I mean, they can get 200 yards on you real quick. We’ve got to have a special emphasis on that part.”

Zooming back out, Sunday’s game carries significant playoff implications for the 6-5 Colts, who currently hold the seventh and final spot in the AFC playoffs. Per the New York Times’ playoff simulator, the Colts enter Week 13 with a 48 percent chance of reaching the postseason, which will change depending on the result:

  • With a win: 65 percent
  • With a loss: 36 percent

The Colts haven’t won both meetings with the Titans since 2018. But as the calendar flips to December, and the Colts know now is when they need to play their best football, the time is now to knock off Tennessee and move on in the AFC playoff race. 

“They’ve been playing really well at home all year obviously,” defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said. “Any division game is always going to be a dog fight. Shoot, personally I haven’t swept the Titans since I’ve been here. So, it’s a great opportunity to do that and also stack another win in the win column and make this playoff push.”

COLTS RULE OUT CB JUJU BRENTS, RB JONATHAN TAYLOR FOR WEEK 13 GAME VS. TENNESSEE TITANS

The Colts on Friday ruled out cornerback JuJu Brents (quad) and running back Jonathan Taylor (thumb) for their Week 13 game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.

Taylor underwent surgery on his thumb this week and will miss a to-be-determined amount of time, head coach Shane Steichen said earlier this week, though the Colts are not considering placing Taylor on injured reserve, which would sideline him for a minimum four games.

Brents sustained a quad injury in the Colts’ Week 7 loss to the Cleveland Browns and has not played or participated in practice since.

Center Ryan Kelly should be available, Steichen said, while tight end Drew Ogletree was not ruled out Friday after missing the Colts’ last two games with a foot injury.

FUEL HOCKEY

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY BIG IN RIVALRY WIN

FORT WAYNE – The Fuel began their weekend on the road in Fort Wayne to take on the Komets. It was a story of special teams as the Fuel came out on top 3-1 thanks to timely goals by their penalty kill and power play units.

1ST PERIOD

It was a quiet first 19 minutes and 59 seconds. Outside of eight total penalty minutes, the action came within exciting goal opportunities that ended in clinks and clanks off the posts on both sides.

However, with 0.2 seconds left in the period,  Noah Ganske was all alone in front of the net and was able to get it past Zach Driscoll’s blocker side to give the Komets a boost heading into the first intermission.

2ND PERIOD

The second period came up all Fuel. It took until 8:19 but, on the penalty kill, Jordan Martin steals the puck away in the neutral zone and snipes one past Tyler Parks to tie the game up at one, but the scoring wasn’t over for Indy.

The first goal was short-handed but the second was on the power play when Colin Bilek found the back of the net for his fourth goal in five games this season.

The Fuel kept the pressure on in the second period, putting 16 shots on net compared to just eight for the Komets, the same number they put up in the first period.

3RD PERIOD

The final frame was anything but boring. The penalty minutes started early with a Colin Bilek tripping just 25 seconds into the period. That would be the first of 12 total penalties committed by the Fuel and Komets in the third period, including a late-game misconduct on Bray Crowder at 18:48.

 Before all the fighting at the end of the period, Seamus Malone found the back of the net for an insurance goal at 8:21. After a time-consuming review, the goal was deemed true after the net was thought to be moved out of place.

Things would begin to get chippy in the second half of the final frame as the misfortune and unclean play from the Komets began to boil over into frustration. There were 52 total penalty minutes in the game with 38 of them coming in the third period.

It truly was a difference in special teams tonight as Fort Wayne went 0-5 on their power play compared to Indy’s 1-7, plus a short-handed goal to kick off the Fuel’s scoring. The game ended with 41 shots on goal from Indy to 31 shots on goal from Fort Wayne.

These two teams will meet again in less than 48 hours for a Sunday afternoon matchup at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

INDIANA TOPS MARYLAND IN BIG TEN OPENER

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Mike Woodson pushes the next-man-up approach. His Indiana Hoosiers buy into it.

Do they ever.

On Friday night, in the Big Ten opener against Maryland (4-4), senior guard Trey Galloway was a difference-making force, flirting with a triple double as IU (6-1) rolled to a 65-53 victory at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

That came as the Hoosiers were without senior point guard Xavier Johnson, who suffered a foot/ankle injury in last Sunday’s win over Harvard.

Freshman Gabe Cupps started in his place. CJ Gunn and Anthony Leal also got their shots.

But it was Galloway who set the run-the-team tone. He had 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting along with six rebounds and six assists.

“He knows we’re short-handed,” Woodson said. “He doesn’t have his running mate with X out. He has to do more, give us more. He’s a senior. He’s supposed to do that. I was pleased with him from beginning to end.”

With Cupps and fellow freshman Mackenzie Mgbako starting, leadership and direction also were Galloway priorities, and not just in the game.

“We have to pull those guys along,” Galloway said, “and it starts with me. I have to do a great job. When I come to practice, I have to help lead.”

With Johnson out, Maryland attacked with the press. IU handled it with fast starts in the first and second half.

“That was good to get it going early,” center Kel’el Ware said. “We showed Maryland we came to play. Then, complete the mission and win.”

Ware continued his strong early season play with 18 points and 14 rebounds despite a physical Terrapin defense that sent as many as three players at him when he got the ball in the paint.

“He’s been smacked around this season,” Woodson said. “It’s part of the game. You have to get in the fight. He did a great job of holding his own and demanding the ball.”

Added Ware: “Now I know I can do that. Even if they keep sending people, find the open man.”

Forward Malik Reneau added 11 points and five rebounds. Mgbako had his second straight solid game with 13 points and seven rebounds.

The Hoosiers’ 40-26 edge in points in the paint, combined with solid defense that held Maryland to 36 percent shooting (2-for-16 on three-pointers), were too much for the Terrapins to overcome.

“Early on, we had our way in the paint,” Woodson said.

Getting an early jump in Big Ten play is a positive, Galloway said. IU plays at Michigan on Tuesday before returning to non-conference action. Conference play resumes in January.

“It’s good to get a feel for what the Big Ten is like,” Galloway said. “You have to be ready to compete every night. You get a little taste of that.”

One area of concern was the offense over the final seven minutes.

“Bodies weren’t moving,” Woodson said. “We were stagnant. I have to do a better job of getting them to execute the offense.

“It’s a learning tool for me. I’ve got to be better in helping them.”

Beyond basketball, new head football coach Curt Cignetti took center court during a first-half timeout to a big roar, that got bigger when he said, “I don’t plan on taking a back seat to anybody. Purdue sucks, but so do Michigan and Ohio State. Go IU.”

“I want to give a big shout out to Curt,” Woodson said. “Welcome to Bloomington. He couldn’t have picked a better place to come.”

Even without Johnson and with Reneau limited to just eight first-half minutes by foul trouble, the Hoosiers took a 40-28 halftime lead.

Why?

Because Ware and Mgbako combined for 23 points.

IU opened with energy, tenacity and physicality to bolt ahead 8-2 and 13-4. Ware led with five points, including a three-pointer. Reneau followed with his own three-pointer for a 16-4 lead.

A Ware three-point play, followed by five straight Mgbako points, pushed Indiana ahead 39-24 before ending with a 40-28 halftime lead.

Ware led with 12 points Mgbako had 11.

Maryland needed a fast second-half start to have a rally chance.

IU refused to led it happen. It pounded the paint, forced turnovers and basically had the game won with 12 minutes to play.

Still, Maryland cut a 23-point deficit to 12 with five minutes to play before the Hoosiers ended the threat with a Ware basket and a pair of Reneau free throws.

Now it’s on to Michigan and more physical play.

“It’s the Big Ten,” Woodson said. “It’s going to be this way every night. It won’t be any easier when we go to Michigan.

“The Big Ten is tough. They let you play. If you don’t meet the challenge, you’ll be exposed. Tonight we were more aggressive.”

INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER

INDIANA, NO. 2 NOTRE DAME CLASH FOR COLLEGE CUP BERTH

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Indiana men’s soccer (15-4-4, 4-2-2 B1G) will face No. 2 national seed Notre Dame Saturday (Dec. 2) in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals at Alumni Stadium. The winner will advance to the NCAA Men’s College Cup.

The match will stream live on the ESPN+ digital platform. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET.

KICKING OFF

• Indiana has won 12 of its last 13 matches, including eight straight victories. In that span, nine different Hoosiers have combined for 27 goals, and eight have scored multiple goals.

• IU is making its NCAA-record 29th appearance in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal round. The Hoosiers have advanced to the Final Four 22 times, also a national record.

• Indiana and Notre Dame met in the 2023 season opener and played to a 1-1 draw. The Hoosiers recovered from a 1-0 deficit thanks to Collins Oduro’s first-career goal.

• For the third straight tournament round, Indiana is facing a national seed from the ACC. Indiana defeated No. 10 seed Wake Forest 3-2 in the second round before shutting out No. 7 Virginia 1-0 in the Sweet 16. IU has been the visiting team in all three contests.

• Senior forward Maouloune Goumballe has recorded eight goal contributions (five goals, three assists) in eight matches. Oduro has scored two goals in three NCAA Tournament matches.

ABOUT THE FIGHTING IRISH

• Notre Dame owns a 12-2-5 record, was 6-0-2 in ACC regular season play and has a 9-2-2 mark in home matches. 

• The Fighting Irish are led by sixth-year head coach Chad Riley, who owns a 63-38-16 record during his time in South Bend and a 114-64-30 career mark in 11 seasons as a head coach.

• Notre Dame is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal round and has advanced to the NCAA College Cup twice, mostly recently in 2021.

• The Fighting Irish have not allowed a goal in two tournament matches. After receiving a bye through the opening round, they knocked out Kentucky 2-0 in the second round before beating Western Michigan 4-2 on penalties despite playing with 10 men the final 83 minutes (including overtime).

• Junior forwards Matthew Roou and Eno Nto lead Notre Dame in scoring with 10 goals apiece.

• Sophomore midfielder KK Baffour, who leads Notre Dame with seven assists, will miss Saturday’s match after receiving a red card in the previous game.

SERIES HISTORY

• Indiana’s first-ever varsity match was a 5-1 victory in South Bend. The Hoosiers then won 11 straight matchups to kick off a series that has been renewed 47 times.

• More recently, the two teams have met in 22 of the last 23 seasons, only missing the unique 2020-21 campaign due to IU’s conference-only schedule. In that span, the programs have met 25 times.

• The Hoosiers hold a dominant 33-10-4 record in the series and are undefeated in the last seven matches (5-0-2), each decided by one goal or a draw.

• Indiana and Notre Dame have met three times in the NCAA Tournament with the Hoosiers holding a 3-1 advantage in those matches. Notably, IU earned a comeback, 2-1 win over the No. 1-seeded Fighting Irish in the third round of the 2012 tournament on its way to its eighth national title. In 2018, IU beat Notre Dame in the quarterfinal round to advance to the NCAA College Cup.

INDIANA SWIMMING

NO. 6/9 HOOSIERS BEAT BEARCATS IN FALL FINALE

BLOOMINGTON – Despite missing some of its top performers due to national competitions, Indiana swimming and diving won every event contested in its dual meet victories over Cincinnati on Friday (Dec. 1) inside the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.

Seven Hoosiers won multiple individual events. Most notably, senior Warren Briggs and junior Katie Carson swept the distance freestyle races, junior Elyse Heiser won the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke and junior Kacey McKenna won the 50-yard and 200-yard freestyle events. On the springboards, junior Skyler Liu – coming off a dominant performance at midseason – and sophomore Maxwell Weinrich swept the diving competitions.

TEAM SCORES

Men

Indiana 204, Cincinnati 90

Women

Indiana 194, Cincinnati 99

HOOSIER WINNERS

Men

Luke Barr – 200 medley relay (1:25.10), 200 freestyle (1:47.35), 200 freestyle relay (1:18.01)

Toby Barnett – 200 IM (1:48.70)

Warren Briggs – 1,000 freestyle (9:09.93), 500 freestyle (4:22.21)

Finn Brooks – 200 medley relay (1:25.10), 50 freestyle (19.88), 100 butterfly (46.13), 200 freestyle relay (1:18.01)

Billy Cruz – 200 medley relay (1:25.10), 200 freestyle relay (1:18.01)

Harry Herrera – 200 breaststroke (1:57.82)

Alejandro Kincaid – 200 backstroke (1:45.24)

Maxwell Reich – 100 breaststroke (53.45)

Armando Vegas – 200 butterfly (1:43.47)

Maxwell Weinrich – 1-meter (321.23), 3-meter (378.98)

Gavin Wight – 200 medley relay (1:25.10), 100 backstroke (47.58), 200 freestyle relay (1:18.01)

Women

Elizabeth Broshears – 200 medley relay (1:37.67), 200 freestyle relay (1:31.38)

Katie Carson – 1,000 freestyle (9:57.54), 500 freestyle (4:49.44)

Kabria Chapman – 200 medley relay (1:37.67), 100 breaststroke (1:01.07)

Anna Freed – 200 IM (2:00.25)

Catherine Graham – 200 breaststroke (2:14.83)

Elyse Heiser – 100 backstroke (54.66), 200 backstroke (1:59.47)

Dominika Kossakowska – 100 freestyle (49.89), 200 freestyle relay (1:31.38)

Skyler Liu – 3-meter (375.98), 1-meter (327.83)

Kacey McKenna – 200 medley relay (1:37.67), 100 butterfly (53.52), 200 freestyle relay (1:31.38)

Ella Ristic – 200 freestyle (1:47.35), 50 freestyle (23.20)

Avery Spade – 200 butterfly (2:01.05)

Ashley Turak – 200 medley relay (1:37.67), 200 freestyle relay (1:31.38)

NCAA CUTS

A: None.

B: Luke Barr – 200 free (1:35.79); Finn Brooks – 100 fly (46.13); Kabria Chapman – 100 breast (1:01.07); Kacey McKenna – 100 fly (53.52); Armando Vegas – 200 fly (1:43.47)

NCAA ZONE QUALIFYING SCORES

1-meter: Morgan Casey (290.93), Dash Glasberg (308.25), William Jansen (317.93), Skyler Liu (327.83), Maxwell Weinrich (321.23)

3-meter: Morgan Casey (310.95), Dash Glasberg (328.80), William Jansen (366.60), Skyler Liu (375.98), Maxwell Weinrich (378.98)

UP NEXT

Indiana will take a break from dual meet action until the calendar turns over. The Hoosiers will host Michigan on January 19 in their first meet of the spring. 

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

TOP-RANKED BOILERMAKERS STUMBLE IN OVERTIME AT NORTHWESTERN

Northwestern 92, #1 Purdue 88 (Postgame Notes)

No. 1-ranked Purdue fell to 7-1 overall and 0-1 in the Big Ten Conference with a 92-88 overtime loss at Northwestern. Purdue is now 13-6 under head coach Matt Painter in Big Ten opener, suffering its first loss in a league opener since the 2018-19 season at Michigan.

Purdue has now been court-stormed in eight of its last nine road losses dating to the 2021-22 season (Indiana 2x, Northwestern 2x, Rutgers, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland).

Purdue’s last nine road losses since the 2021-22 season have come by 2 (Rutgers), 3 (Indiana), 24 (Michigan), 3 (Michigan State), 3 (Wisconsin), 5 (Indiana), 6 (Northwestern), 14 (Maryland) and 4 in overtime (Northwestern).

Purdue saw a 10-game winning streak in the month of December end, dating to Dec. 2021.

Purdue saw a 53-game win streak end when scoring at least 80 points, dating to Dec. 2018. The Boilermakers are 75-3 since the start of the 2017-18 season when scoring 80 or more points.

Purdue suffered its first loss ever when outrebounding a team by 25 rebounds. Purdue outrebounded Northwestern, 52-27.

Zach Edey recorded his 45th career double-double with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. The effort was his ninth 30-10 game in his last 41 contests and sixth in the last 21 regular-season Big Ten contests.

Edey now has nine 30-10 games, six more than the next players on the active 30-10 list (Norchad Omier, Drew Pember). His nine 30-10 games are the most for a Big Ten player since the 2010-11 season (Luka Garza – 5).

Edey’s nine 30-point games are tied for the sixth most in school history with Carsen Edwards (2017-19).

Edey’s 35 points gave him 1,721 career points, moving him past Chad Austin (14th), Todd Mitchell (13th), Glenn Robinson (12th), Keith Edmonson (11th) and Robbie Hummel (10th) into 10th on Purdue’s career scoring list.

His 14 rebounds gave him 936 career rebounds, moving past A.J. Hammons into third on the career rebounds list at Purdue.

Braden Smith narrowly missed his second straight double-double with 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Over the last three games, Smith is averaging 16.3 points, 8.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Fletcher Loyer tallied 17 points, making 3-of-5 from long range, and is now averaging 14.8 points per game over the last four contests.

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Boo Buie scored seven of his 31 points in overtime to help Northwestern beat Zach Edey and No. 1 Purdue for the second straight season, winning 92-88 on Friday night in the Big Ten opener for each school.

Buie also had nine assists and four rebounds, rallying Northwestern from an eight-point halftime deficit. Ty Berry also scored seven points in OT and finished with 21, and Ryan Langborg added 20 points.

The Wildcats (6-1, 1-0) became the seventh program since 2010-11 to beat a team ranked No. 1 in the AP poll in consecutive seasons. They topped the Boilermakers 64-58 on Feb. 12 for their first win against a No. 1 team.

Edey had 35 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots, but Purdue (7-1, 0-1) had no answer for Buie when it mattered most.

Moments after the final seconds ticked off, Edey & Co. trudged off the floor as students stormed the court at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Northwestern went ahead to stay on Berry’s two foul shots with 2:09 left in overtime. Blake Preston forced a key turnover by stepping in front of Edey, and Buie and Berry each made two free throws in the final seconds to help close it out.

Fletcher Loyer scored 17 points for Purdue, and Braden Smith had 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. The Boilermakers outrebounded the Wildcats 52-27 and went 31 for 41 at the line.

Buie got Northwestern back in the game after an uneven start. The fifth-year guard converted two three-point plays and made a turnaround jumper during an 8-1 run that lifted the Wildcats to a 48-47 lead with 14:54 to go.

That set up a tight, back-and-forth finish to regulation with neither team leading by more than three. Northwestern grabbed a 69-66 advantage on Luke Hunger’s tiebreaking 3 with 4:43 remaining, but Edey made two foul shots to tie it again at 70 with 3:52 to go.

Buie gave the Wildcats a 76-74 lead with a floater in the lane with 3.9 seconds left, but the 7-foot-4 Edey sent the game to OT when he grabbed Mason Gillis’ well-placed lob and scored inside in the final seconds.

Purdue put together an early 12-2 run and led 40-32 at halftime. Edey had 14 points and eight boards at the break, and Loyer made two of the Boilermakers’ four 3-pointers in the first half.

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: This game was eerily similar to Purdue’s previous loss to Northwestern, when it led 55-47 with 3:52 left and stumbled down the stretch.

Northwestern: This one should provide a big confidence boost for the Wildcats, and a victory that will look quite good as they push for another NCAA Tournament berth later this season.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

PURDUE PULLS AWAY IN FOURTH TO WIN AT DAYTON

DAYTON, Ohio – The Purdue women’s basketball team used a nine-point run at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away to a 67-59 win on the road Friday night at Dayton. The Boilermakers knocked down 13-of-18 free throw attempts over the final 10 minutes to move to 4-3 on the year.

Abbey Ellis finished with a game-high 21 points for her second 20-point performance of the season. The Australian made a pair of 3-pointers and went 8-of-10 at the line including six makes in the final frame.

The Boilermakers were 7-of-15 from behind the arc, 16-of-21 from the line and shot 40% from the field in the win.

Purdue held Dayton (4-4) to 34.7% shooting from the floor, while the hosts attempted just five free throws all night. The Boilermakers held their fifth opponent to 60 or fewer points this year.

Madison Layden made a trio of triples and went a perfect 4-for-4 at the stripe to finish with 13 points. Caitlyn Harper added 13 on a 6-of-10 shooting night. Mary Ashley Stevenson added a productive night with eight points and seven rebounds.

The Boilermakers connected early from distance making their first four attempts in the first. Ellis paced Purdue with eight points in the opening frame. Purdue built up a 14-2 lead over the opening 3:35 before holding a 24-15 advantage at the end of the frame.

Purdue’s hot shooting cooled off in the second with 5-of-15 mark from the floor with one triple. Five different players scored in the period. The Boilermakers forced 10 turnovers and kept Dayton (4-4,) to just 33.3% shooting over the opening 20 minutes. Purdue led 35-27 at the break.

Neither side found much of a rhythm out of halftime 10 combined turnovers. Dayton cut the gap down to a two-possession game on three separate occasions, but Harper and Stevenson stymied the momentum with layups through contact. Rashunda Jones sprinted the full length of the court to score at the buzzer to give Purdue a 44-38 lead with 10 minutes to play.

Harper quickly swung the momentum to Purdue’s side in the fourth with back-to-back baskets inside to kickstart a 9-0 run to make it a 15-point advantage. After Dayton scored five straight, Jeanae Terry hit Ellis in the corner for an open 3-pointer. Layden connected on a triple with 3:43 to go for the Boilermakers’ final made field goal of the night. Purdue scored its final seven points at the line.

NOTES

• Dayton leads the all-time series 8-6.

• The Boilermakers have scored a combined 59 points in the first quarter of their last two games.

• Purdue is now 21-2 when holding an opponent to 60 points or fewer under head coach Katie Gearlds.

• With four assists, Jeanae Terry recorded her 412th helper at Purdue, moving her past Ukari Figgs for 11th on the program charts.

• Madison Layden moved into 12th on Purdue’s career 3-point chart with her 158th triple tonight.

• Dayton won the rebounding battle 45-40.

• Rashunda Jones finished with seven points and three assists in 19 minutes off the bench.

• The Boilermakers tallied 30 points in the paint for the fourth time this season.

• Purdue set a season high with eight steals.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will play their second of two games in three days on Sunday when they host Valparaiso at Mackey Arena for a 2 p.m. tip on B1G+.  

PURDUE VOLLEYBALL

GUTSY WIN SENDS BOILERMAKERS TO SWEET SIXTEEN

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Another Purdue record was set as the No. 3 seeded Boilermaker volleyball team gutted out a 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 24-26, 26-24) victory vs. No. 6 seed Marquette to advance to the NCAA Regional Semifinals.

Purdue’s victory was powered by a double-double from freshman Taylor Anderson, with 60 assists and 16 digs. The 60 assists are the most in team history in an NCAA Tournament match, and season-highs by any Big Ten setter and all Division I freshmen. Additionally, Maddie Schermerhorn’s 25 digs broke her own Purdue record for an NCAA tournament match, which she set a year ago at Louisville (12/3/22).

The fourth set saw 12 ties, including stalemates at 24-24, 23-23, 22-22 and 19-19. In her final match in Holloway Gymnasium, fifth year libero Maddie Schermerhorn served up the match-winner with an ace to seal the Second Round victory.

Meanwhile, sophomore Eva Hudson racked up 27 kills, the second-largest kill production of her career, doing so on a career-high 73 attacks (27-6-73) for a .288 clip. The Boilermaker came two digs shy of a double-double and registered a pair of aces.

It is the third time in the last four years the Boilermakers have advanced to the Sweet 16 and marked the second win vs. Marquette this season.

Purdue (23-8) will continue its NCAA journey in Madison, Wisconsin next week and will take on No. 2 seed Oregon (28-5) in the round of 16. The Regional Semifinals will take place on Thursday, December 7 followed by Regional Finals for the advancing team on Friday, December 9 the winner will play either No. 1 seed Wisconsin or No. 5 seed Penn State in Madison.

QUICK HITS

Purdue improved to 37-24 (.607%) all-time in the NCAA tournament.

Dave Shondell is leading the Boilermakers to the team’s 11th Regional Semifinal under his leadership and improves to 32-16 in NCAA tournament matches.

The Boilermakers have never lost to Marquette, improving to 5-0 all-time vs. the Golden Eagles.

Taylor Anderson posted a double-double 60 assists and 16 digs in the victory. The 60 assists were the most by a DI freshman this season, the most by any Big Ten setter this season, and was the most by a Boilermaker in an NCAA match in program history.

Maddie Schermerhorn totaled 25 digs, eclipsing her own Purdue in an NCAA tournament match record (18 digs at Louisville, 12/3/22).

Eva Hudson totaled 27 kills, just three shy of matching the Purdue in an NCAA tournament match record, which was set in 1982 by Joan King. The Boilermaker recorded a career-high 73 attempts in the match, also just three shy of tying the program record.

Purdue’s six service aces mark the second consecutive match with as many aces and the ninth time this season.

Raven Colvin totaled 13 kills in the match, adding a team-leading four block assists in the victory. Colvin was on the block assists with Anderson to give Purdue match point and the go-ahead kill in Set 2, breaking the 23-23 tie for Purdue to go on and win the set.

Marquette’s Aubrey Hamilton set an opponent record at the NCAA tournament with her 65 attempts, meanwhile Carsen Murray matched the record for block assists (7).

PURDUE FOOTBALL

THIENEMAN 1 OF 5 FINALISTS FOR SHAUN ALEXANDER FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Days after being named the Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Purdue defensive back Dillon Thieneman was tabbed a finalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award. The Maxwell Football Club announced five finalists for the honor (Dec. 1), including Thieneman, who leads the nation’s freshmen in interceptions, tackles, solo tackles and forced fumbles.

The Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award is an honor given each year to the most outstanding freshman player in college football. Named after Shaun Alexander since 2018, this award recognizes the exceptional performance and impact made by these players on their respective teams throughout the season.

Right from the start of the 2023 campaign, Thieneman led the Purdue defense all season long and emerged as one of the best defensive players in the country. The Westfield, Indiana, native ranks second nationally in interceptions (6) and third in solo tackles (74), both new Purdue freshman records and more than any other freshman in the country. Thieneman also paces the nation’s freshmen in total tackles (106) and forced fumbles (2). His six interceptions are double the nearest competition, as four freshmen around the country have three INTs apiece.

A consensus Midseason Freshman All-American, Thieneman’s team-high 106 tackles rank fifth in the country to go along with his Big Ten-best 74 solo tackles. He was Purdue’s leading tackler in eight different games, cracking double figures four times. Thieneman became the first Purdue freshman to record multiple double-digit tackle games since Ja’Whaun Bentley (New England Patriots) in 2014.

Following a historic debut season, Thieneman became the seventh Boilermaker to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year (Brian Fox – 1988, Eric Hunter – 1989, Corey Rogers – 1991, Stuart Schweigert – 2000, Rondale Moore – 2018, David Bell – 2019), including the third Purdue player in the last six seasons. The Purdue freshman was the conference’s 11th defensive player to win the award as well as the fifth defensive back alongside the fellow Boilermaker Schweigert (2000), Charles Woodson (Michigan – 1995), Jabrill Peppers (Michigan – 2015) and Brandon Joseph (Northwestern – 2000).

Thieneman was the only Big Ten freshman defender to make one of the three all-league teams, earning Second Team All-B1G honors from the coaches and third team accolades from the media. He was a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree throughout the 2023 season, becoming the first defender in conference history to win any weekly award five times in a single season. The Purdue defensive back joined a list of only seven other Big Ten players (six quarterbacks, one running back) to win at least five weekly accolades in a single season and the first Boilermaker to win a weekly conference award five times. Drew Brees (Offense – 2000), Travis Dorsch (Special Teams – 2001), Kyle Orton (Offense – 2004), Rondale Moore (Freshman – 2018) and David Bell (Freshman – 2019) collected Big Ten weekly honors four times in a season, tying for Purdue’s previous best.

Ending his first season as a Boilermaker, Thieneman went out with a bang by breaking a pair of school records. The defensive back made a pair of interceptions in the first half against Indiana, bringing his season total to six to surpass Schweigert’s freshman record of five for a single season. Thieneman became just the eighth Boilermaker to record six interceptions in a season, the first since Ricardo Allen in 2013.

Along with his pair of picks, Thieneman recorded a team-high eight tackles to lead the Purdue defense in stopping the Hoosiers. All of his tackles were solo, as he broke College Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson’s Purdue freshman record of solo tackles in a single season. Woodson ended his 1983 freshman campaign with 67 solo tackles, while Thieneman registered 74 this season.

The winner of the sixth annual Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year award will be unveiled December 29. The formal presentations of this awards will be made at the Maxwell Awards Friday March 8, 2024 from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

2023 Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Finalists

Caleb Downs (S), Alabama

Noah Fifita (QB), Arizona

Rueben Bain, (DE), Miami (FL)

Kevin Concepcion (WR), NC State

Dillon Thieneman (DB), Purdue

Thieneman by the Numbers

6 Interceptions (National Rank: 2nd, Freshman Rank: 1st, Purdue Freshman Record)

74 Solo Tackles (National Rank: 3rd, Freshman Rank: 1st, Purdue Freshman Record)

106 Tackles (National Rank: 29th, Freshman Rank: 1st)

Forced Fumbles (Freshman Rank: 1st)

Thieneman Accolades

Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Second Team All-Big Ten (Coaches), Third Team All-Big Ten (Media)

Consensus Midseason Freshman All-America

5-time B1G Freshman of the Week (Only B1G defender in league history, Purdue record)

PURDUE WRESTLING

4 BOILERS STILL BATTLING AFTER CKLV SESSION 1

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Four Boilermakers will head into the second round of matches as Purdue Wrestling navigates through a loaded field at the 2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Purdue sits in 21st after round one with 18.5 points coming from six bonus point wins.

Matt Ramos lead the way for the Boilermakers, punching his ticket to the quarterfinals with an opening round pin and a comfortable decision in his only two matches of the first session. Dustin Norris, Stoney Buell, and James Rowley all fought their way through wrestlebacks into the consolation round of eight and all will now face a top-20 opponent in their next match.

No. 1 seed in the tournament and the No. 2 ranked Ramos was already up 10-2 on App State’s Noah Luna before quickly finishing off a turn for his second pin of the year. He faces a familiar foe in the quarters in Stanford’s No. 20 Nico Provo. He last took on the Cardinal wrestler in the opening round of the 2023 NCAA tournament, winning in a tight 3-2 decision.

Norris bounced back from an opening round defeat to claim two come-from-behind wins in a row, beating Maryland’s King Sandoval 9-3 before upsetting No. 25 Caden McCrary of North Carollina 4-3. It was only the third ranked win of his career and the first this season. He next takes on No. 15 Nic Bouzakis of Ohio State.

The Dundee, Mich., native Buell added two big bonus point wins to the Boilermakers’ score in the first session. He opened with a 16-1 tech (6:33) of Navy’s Christian Hodges and finished with a 20-7 major decision over Dominic Baker of Campbell. His lone loss so far came against All-American No. 3 Izzak Olejnik from Oklahoma State in the round of 16. Buell squares off with No. 10 Antrell Taylor of Nebraska in the next round.

The redshirt-freshman Rowley came to Vegas ready to compete and he looked impressive in his first two matches. In his opener, he wrestled to a very close 4-3 loss to No. 4 Chris Foca of Cornell. The match was decided by a riding time point and Rowley got the only takedown. In his second bout he ran away with a 12-3 major decision over No. 24 Caleb Hopkins of Campbell. A rematch with N.C. State’s No. 20 Dylan Fishback awaits in the second session.

True freshman No. 15 Joey Blaze picked up a 20-3 (4:06) tech fall over Morgan State’s AJ Tecson to start the day before dropping close decisions to No. 13 Cael Swensen of South Dakota State (SV 4-1) and No. 10 Trevor Chumbley of Northwestern (D 5-2). Fellow newcomer Cole Solomey added his first career bonus point win in a 12-0 shutout of Chris Naegele from Sacred Heart.

Second round matches will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET with coverage continuing on FloWrestling throughout the weekend.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER

NCAA QUARTERFINALS PREVIEW: INDIANA

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The No. 2 overall seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on intrastate rival Indiana at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 2 with a trip to the College Cup in Louisville on the line. The match will air on ESPN+.

No. 2 NOTRE DAME vs. INDIANA

Location: South Bend, Indiana | Alumni Stadium

Live Stream: ESPN+

Live Stats: Click Here

Twitter Updates: @NDMenSoccer

Game Notes: vs. Indiana

Tickets: Click Here

THE IRISH IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

• Notre Dame is playing in its 24th NCAA Championship in 2023 and have played in the tourney in 20 of the last 23 seasons.

• The Irish have an overall record of 22-20-6 in the NCAA Championships.

• Notre Dame is 16-8-5 when playing at home in NCAA Tournament play in program history and has advanced to the next round 20 times.

• The Irish have advanced to the round of 16 on 12 occasions and have now made six quarterfinals with three coming during the six years of the Chad Riley era.

• Notre Dame’s No. 2 national seed is the highest the program has earned since being the top-seed during the 2014 season.

• The last time the Irish were in the NCAA Tournament they advanced to the College Cup for the second time in program history, coming in the 2021 season.

• Notre Dame won the College Cup in 2013, defeating Maryland by a score of 2-1 to capture the title. It was the program’s only trip to the College Cup.

• With the win over Kentucky on Nov. 19, the Irish are 13-8-2 in their opening NCAA Tournament matches in program history and have advanced to the next round 15 times.

THE INDIANA SERIES

• Notre Dame and Indiana will face each other on Saturday evening for the 46th time in series history.

• The Irish are 10-31-4 against the Hoosiers in the all-time series.

• Despite trailing in the series, the rivalry has been much more even as of late, as the Irish have recorded a mark of 5-7-3 in the last 15 meetings dating back to the 2010 season.

• Nine of the last 10 matches have either ended in a draw or a one-goal decision.

• This will be the sixth matchup between the two programs in NCAA Championship play. The Hoosiers hold a 4-1-0 advantage. All four IU victories have been one-goal decisions with two requiring overtime.

• The Irish and Hoosiers battled to a 1-1 stalemate in the season opener this season at Alumni Stadium. Paddy Burns scored the goal for ND.

LAST TIME OUT

• Notre Dame used a gutsy performance to advance past Western Michigan in the NCAA Championship Round of 16, using a 4-2 victory in a penalty shootout after playing 110 minutes of scoreless soccer.

• The Irish played 83 minutes of soccer with just 10 men, as KK Baffour was shown a red card in the 27th minute of play.

• Bryan Dowd made seven saves over regulation and the two overtimes and then made a huge stop on the first penalty attempt of the shootout.

• The four Irish penalty takers each converted, as Matthew Roou, Paddy Burns, Eno Nto and Daniel Russo scored each of their attempts.

ATTACKING CLINIC

• Notre Dame’s attack has been one of the best in the country and also one of the best in program history during the 2023 season.

• The Irish rank 13th in the country in goals (2.16), ninth in assists per game (2.42) and seventh in goal differential (+29).

• The 2.16 goals per match are the most for a Notre Dame teams since averaging (2.36) during the 2012 season.

• Sixteen different Irish players have scored a goal this season and 22 have recorded at least one point.

STRONG STARTS

• Notre Dame has made it a habit of jumping out to an early lead this season, as the Irish have scored the opening goal in 12 of 19 matches in 2023.

• Ten of the 12 opening goals have come in the first 45 minutes of play.

•The quickest goal to start a match came from Matthew Roou in the 4th minute in the win over Clemson.

• The Fighting Irish are unbeaten when scoring the opening goal over the last 32 occurrences, posting a record of 31-0-1 spanning back to the early stages of the 2021 season.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH

• As good as the Irish have been at the beginning of matches, they have been even better in the final 45 minutes of play.

• Notre Dame has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 25-5 in second halves this season.

•The Irish have allowed second half goals in just three matches this season while having scored in the final 45 minutes of play in 12 outings.

SET-PIECE SUCCESS

• ND has excelled on both ends of the field on set pieces during the 2023 season.

•The Irish defense has allowed four goals off set pieces all season while in attack 15 of the team’s 41 goals have come via a set piece.

• Notre Dame has scored off five free kicks, five corners, three penalty kicks and two from throw-ins.

DOMINATING DEFENSE

• The Fighting Irish have allowed just 12 goals through 19 matches during the 2023 campaign.

• The 0.624 goals against average leads the ACC and ranks third in the country.

• With 11 shutouts over 19 matches, the Irish are second in the country in shutout percentage with a mark 57.9.

• Notre Dame has given up just one or no goals in 17 of 19 matches this season.

•The nine regular season shutouts are the most the Irish have recorded in a regular season since posting nine during the 2007 season.

• Notre Dame’s eight goals allowed in the regular season are the fewest the Irish have given up since the 2004 season in which they allowed seven goals.

DOWD DELIVERS

• Bryan Dowd has been masterful in goal this season for the Irish, making a claim as one of the top goalies in the country despite playing some of the best attacking units in the nation.

• The senior ranks fourth in the country in shutouts (10) and seventh in save percentage (.838).

• The shot stopper has 59 career starts while appearing in 60 matches over his previous three seasons in South Bend.

• Dowd has amassed 162 career saves and has recorded 23 clean sheets over his time in South Bend.

•The senior produced his best performance of his career in the 0-0 draw at Akron, making a career-high 12 saves to keep the clean sheet intact.

• The 12 saves are the most by an ACC goalkeeper in the regular season and the third most of any goalie at the DI level.

TOP OF THE TABLE

• The Irish captured their second ACC Coastal Division title in program history after the draw against No. 3 Wake Forest. The program now has three ACC regular season titles, also winning in 2014 and 2013.

• Notre Dame is coming off its best regular season in ACC play, finishing with its first undefeated year in league action with a record of 6-0-2.

• This marked Notre Dame’s first undefeated regular-season conference record since going 7-0-4 in the Big East in 2011.

• Notre Dame scored 19 goals in regular season ACC play, which were the most of any team in the ACC over the eight matches.

• The Irish posted a +13 goal differential over the eight ACC matches, which ranked first in the conference.

ROOU’S RUN OF FORM

• Junior Matthew Roou is a prominent force in the Irish attack through this season, producing 23 points off 10 goals and three assists.

• The junior ranks third in the ACC in goals per game (.63) and third in total goals (10).

• Roou’s hat trick in the win over IUPUI was the first of his career and the first of the season for the Irish.

• The junior forward finished with seven points off three goals and an assist, becoming the first Notre Dame player to record seven or more points in a match since Dave Donohue also had seven points against Marquette on Sept. 11, 2008.

• Roou currently has 21 career goals to go along with 10 career assists, totaling 52 career points for the forward.

NTO’S HISTORIC NIGHT

• Eno Nto scored a career-high four goals in the 6-0 victory over No. 20 Pitt in the season finale.

• The four-goal performance represented the most goals from an Irish player in a match since Joseph Lapira scored four against Indiana on Sept. 3, 2006.

• Nto’s four goals are the most any player in the ACC has scored in a match this season and the forward is one of three players at the men’s DI level to score four goals in a game this season.

• Nto was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week, College Soccer News National Player of the Week and Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week after the performance.

• The junior is now tied for the team lead for goals on the season with 10 and has 17 goals in his Notre Dame career.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY

IRISH DOMINANT IN 6-1 WIN OVER #13 MICHIGAN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame hockey team improved to 8-5-2 on the season following a dominant 6-1 victory over visiting No. 13/12 Michigan Friday night to open the season series. Five individuals scored for the Irish in the home victory to give Catalino Family Head Hockey Coach Jeff Jackson his 400th career win behind the Irish bench in the sold out Compton Family Ice Arena.

Landon Slaggert scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season to give the Irish the 1-0 lead early in the first period but the Wolverines would knot the tally back up, 1-1, with a five-on-three goal at 10:01 of the first.

It was all Irish the rest of the night though as Justin Janicke scored the eventual game-winner less than two minutes after the Michigan equalizer to carry the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Coming back after the break, Patrick Moynihan wasted no time extending the Irish lead off a feed from Paul Fischer just 53 seconds into the middle frame.

The Irish would score once more in the second period as Landon net his second of the night at 17:59 to take the 4-1 lead into the locker room through 40 minutes played.

Similar to the first two periods of the night, the Irish scored twice more in the final frame for the 6-1 final while Ryan Bischel finished the night with 27 saves on 28 shots faced.

KEY STATS

Landon Slaggert’s two goal night was his third of the season and gives him 12 on the season, tying his previous season high set as a sophomore. His 12 goals thus far ranks second in the nation and leads all Big Ten skaters.

Danny Nelson also posted a two-point night with a goal and an assist for a team-best on the night. The rookie now boasts 14 points on the season and ranks second among Irish forwards in the category.

The Irish outshot the Wolverines 38-28 in the contest as they held Michigan to just 12 shots over the final 40 minutes of play.

With four shots each, Patrick Moynihan and Cole Knuble tied for a team-high Friday night.

Eleven Irish skaters highlighted the box score in the 6-1 victory, as Landon, Danny, Moynihan, Justin Janicke and Tyler Carpenter each found the back of the net in the tilt.

Boasting just one goal against, which came on Notre Dame’s five-on-three penalty kill, Ryan Bischel registered 27 saves in the victory and improved to 8-5-2 between the pipes in his graduate season.

His .930 save percentage ranks third nationally.

With the win, Coach Jackson now boasts 400 career victories as head coach of the Fighting Irish in his 19 seasons at the helm.

UP NEXT

The Irish close out their fall semester home slate Saturday night against the Wolverines before the first half finale next weekend at Michigan State, December 8-9.

BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BUTLER TO PLAY AT WISCONSIN IN BIG EAST VS. BIG TEN MATCHUP

INDIANAPOLIS – The Bulldogs and the Badgers will meet at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon for a 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT matchup on B1G+.  Each team heads into the contest with a 5-2 overall record. Butler has won five of their last six games and Wisconsin recently followed up two losses with a pair of wins.

GameDay

Date: Sunday, Dec. 3

Time: 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT

Location: Madison, Wisconsin – Kohl Center

Live Stats: UWBadgers.com – Statbroadcast

Watch: B1G+

Bulldog Bits

– Butler leads the BIG EAST in 3-pointers made per game (9.0)

– BU ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage (36.8).

– Jordan Meulemans averages three made 3-pointers per game to rank fourth in the BIG EAST.

– Meulemans ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (55.3).

– The Bulldogs rank fourth in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (44.4).

– Caroline Strande ranks 10th in the BIG EAST in rebounding (7.1) and ninth in scoring (15.7).

– Strande has hit a 3-pointer in five-straight games and has 6+ rebounds in every game this year.

– Lilly Stoddard has six blocks in seven games for BU. She ranks 10th in the BIG EAST in blocks per game.

– Stoddard scored a career-high six points on Wednesday night.

– Cristen Carter set a new career-high vs. Bradley with two blocked shots.

– Jordan Meulemans pulled down a career-high eight rebounds in the win over the Braves.

– Karsyn Norman also set a career-high with seven rebounds vs. Bradley.

– Ari Wiggins came up with a career-high five steals vs. Bradley and tied her career-high assist total with four.

BIG EAST Standings

Marquette 7-0

Creighton 5-1

Georgetown 5-1

Villanova 4-1

Butler 5-2

UConn 4-2

Seton Hall 4-3

DePaul 4-3

Providence 3-4

St. John’s 3-5

Xavier 0-6

Scouting Wisconsin                                                                              

The Badgers are 5-2 overall after defeating Northern Illinois on Wednesday night. Five UW players scored in double figures to keep Wisconsin undefeated at the Kohl Center (4-0). The balanced scoring attack paired with a 16-0 run midway through the second quarter kept the Badgers in control. Head Coach Marisa Moseley has a nice 1-2 punch on the roster with Ronnie Porter on the perimeter and Serah Williams inside. No Big Ten student-athlete plays more minutes than Ronnie Porter. She leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the NCAA with 24 steals. Williams leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh in the country in blocked shots (20). She is also the fifth-best rebounder in the conference (7.7)

All-Time Series                                                                                      

Wisconsin is 3-1 all-time against Butler. The two teams met for the first time in Coconut Grove, Florida as participants in the Sonesta Thanksgiving Classic. The Badgers won that contest 61-46 and would move to 2-0 in the all-time series with a 68-48 win over Butler in the 2011 WNIT. Butler’s second loss at Wisconsin came during the 2016-17 season (60-55). They found the win column in the last matchup the following year inside Hinkle Fieldhouse 69-62.

Last Win vs. the Big Ten                                                                                    

Butler’s last win over a Big Ten opponent came on Dec. 20, 2018 against Ohio State. The Bulldogs and the Buckeyes played in the opening game of the West Palm Invite. BU won the contest 66-53.

Best in the BIG EAST                                                                                           

Butler leads the BIG EAST in bench points per game (23.1), and 3-pointers made per game (9.0). The team is 4-0 this season when their bench outscores the opponent bench. The ‘Dawgs have also shot the ball very well from distance over the last two weeks. Butler made 13 3-pointers vs. Roosevelt, 16 vs. St. Thomas and 10 most recently against Bradley.

Defense Leading to Offense                                                               

Butler has recorded 10 steals in each of their last two games. Ari Wiggins leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference in steals (15).

Season-Best Stats vs. Bradley                                                            

Butler had a season-low 10 turnovers vs. Bradley and were able to defend the Braves without fouling. The Bulldogs were only whistled for seven fouls on Wednesday night their lowest foul total of 2023. Those two stats helped Butler limit Bradley to just 46 points, the lowest point total of any opponent this year.

Nice Job in November                                                                         

Butler recorded five wins during the month of November for the first time since 2019. That year the Bulldogs won their first four games and moved on to the month of December with a 5-2 record. A year ago, in his first season with the program, Parkinson guided BU to a 4-2 record during the first month of the season.

Homecoming                                                                                                       

Caroline Strande (Racine), Jordan Meulemans (De Pere), and Anna Mortag (Milwaukee) are all from Wisconsin. Strande and Meulemans went to high school about two hours away from Madison and Mortag was closer to one. Strande has scored 17 or more points in five of Butler’s seven games, Meulemans is the top 3-point shooter on the team with 21 makes from behind the arc and the Bulldogs are still waiting on Mortag to make her season debut.

3-Point Threats                                                                                     

Jordan Meulemans shot 80% from distance and drained eight triples vs. St. Thomas, matching the single-game high in the BIG EAST this season, while the Bulldogs made 16 as a team, the most by a conference team this year. Meulemans was just one 3-pointer shy of tying the single-game individual record and the ‘Dawgs tied the team record.

Shot Selection                                                                                       

Four of Butler’s five starters are shooting over 40 percent from the field at the start of the season. Jordan Meulemans and Sydney Jaynes are over 50 percent while Strande and Wiggins hover near 45 percent from the field. Jaynes, Strande and Meulemans also shoot 40 percent or better from behind the arc.

Alright Ari                                                                                                             

Ari Wiggins has 13 assists and just four turnovers over Butler’s last four games. A two-way talent, Wiggins is also an excellent on-ball defender with 11 steals over this stretch.

Career Milestones                                                                                              

Kendall Wingler needs one assist at Wisconsin to reach 100 in her collegiate career. Caroline Strande needs two free throws to reach 100 and four rebounds to get to 200 in her career.

Winning Recipe                                                                                     

The Bulldogs are undefeated this year when three or more players score in double figures and when they keep their opponent under 60 points. The BU team defense will be tested in Madison as Wisconsin averages 68 points per game and have a balanced offensive attack that includes six players averaging between eight and 14 points.

Knock Out the Non-Conference                                                        

Butler only has five games scheduled in December with three of the five being played at home. The only conference opponent lined up before the start of 2024 is a road game at #11 UConn. Last year, Butler played eight games in December with five of those coming against BIG EAST foes. They played four games in the span of 10 days from Dec. 2-11.

Up Next                                                                                                                 

Butler returns to Indianapolis to host Vanderbilt on Thursday night. The 7 PM tip will stream on FloHoops.com

BUTLER TRACK

BUTLER TRACK AND FIELD SEASON OPENS WITH TOP-THREE PERFORMANCES AT NOTRE DAME

The Bulldogs opened the 2023-24 track season at the Blue & Golf Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

Butler was joined in the field by athletes from host Notre Dame, BIG EAST rivals Marquette and DePaul, as well as Northern Illinois, Detroit Mercy, Indiana Tech, Grace, Bethel, Marian (Ind.) and Trine.

Top-three performances by the Bulldogs included:

Zac Stanley won the men’s long jump with a leap of 6.79 meters (22′ 3.25″). Freshman Cabott Craft was third in the event (6.68m).

Jack Elder and Luke Walden went 1-2 in the pole vault. Elder won the event, clearing 4.80 meters (15’9″), while Walden was second at 4.50 meters (14′ 9.25″).

Drew Herman cleared the high jump bar at a height of 1.95 meters (6′ 4.75″) to claim second in the event.

Michael Dunagan posted a time of 4:26.40 in the men’s mile, finishing second.

Sean Robertson’s time of 8:27.87 was good for third in the men’s 3,000 meters.

The Bulldogs placed three teams in both the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays. One of those groups – Harrison Hrbek, Stanley, Ben Bradley and Lairden Rogge – placed second on the men’s side in a time of 3:23.55.

A handful of Bulldogs are in Boston for Saturday events at the Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener, an early-season meet that brings together some of the nation’s elite athletes.

The group that was in South Bend Friday will return to action a week from tonight (Dec. 8) at the Indiana Early Bird Meet in Bloomington, Ind.

IUPUI TRACK

HOARD LEADS JAGUARS AT SEASON OPENING MASTODON MULTI INVITE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Sophomore Morgan Hoard placed third of six competitors at the Mastodon Multis Invite on Friday (Dec. 1) as the women’s track and field team officially kicked off their indoor season in Fort Wayne. Hoard set new personal bests in four of the five events of the pentathlon and easily set a new personal high score of 2,856 points, eclipsing her prior best by more than 200 points.

Teammate Paige Laffoon made her collegiate debut in multis as well, placing fifth overall with 2,802 points.

“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season,” Hoard said following the opener. “For one, I am so proud of Paige. She had done so many events and killed it. I’m also really proud of how far I’ve come since last year.

“I can’t wait to see how I perform and improve over the season.”

Hoard started strong, pacing the six competitors in the 60m hurdles with a personal best time of 9.46 seconds while Laffoon crossed at 10.23. In the high jump, Laffoon cleared 1.56m (5′ 1.25”) on her third and final attempt while Hoard jumped a personal best 1.44m (4′ 8.75”).

In the shot put, Hoard obliterated her prior best with a longest throw of 9.71m (31′ 10.25”) on her third throw while Laffoon threw 8.43m (27′ 8”) on her third attempt. In the long jump, Laffoon jumped 4.73m (15′ 6.25”) on her final jump of the day while Hoard jumped 4.59m (15′ 0.75”).

Laffoon closed by running second among the six competitors in the 800m race in a time of 2:43.87 and Hoard came in just behind her at 2:44.32.

IUPUI will close out the initial portion of the indoor slate next Friday (Dec. 8) when the Jaguars compete in the Indiana Early Bird Meet in Bloomington.

BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL

VOLLEYBALL’S SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN NIVC SECOND ROUND

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – – The Ball State women’s volleyball team battled until the end Friday night but fell a few points short in a 3-2 (26-24, 25-17, 23-25, 118-25, 15-8) setback to Clemson in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) at Middle Tennessee’s Alumni Memorial Gym.

With the loss, the Cardinals end the season with a 17-15 overall record. The Tigers improve to 19-13 and advance to next week’s third round.

“Tonight was another tough match,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “I felt like our group wasn’t quite as sharp as we were yesterday. Part of that had to do with Clemson being a big physical team. They had a strong net presence which made it more difficult for us to score. It was a heck of a match by both teams and I’m proud of our group. We just came up a couple points short in a couple sets.”

Overall, four Cardinals finished the night with double digit kills, led by redshirt freshman Aniya Kennedy’s match-high 22. It was her eighth outing with 20-or-more kills this season which is the eighth most for a Ball State attacker in a single season in program history. Kennedy also led all attackers with a .457 (22-1-46) hitting percentage.

In her final collegiate match, fifth-year middle Marie Plitt scored 14 kills and hit .448 (14-1-29). The effort helped her finish her career with a program record .362 hitting percentage, to go along with the sixth-most kills in the BSU record book at 1,322.

Also scoring double digit kills were freshman outside Kendall Barnes and sophomore opposite Madison Buckley at 13 and 12, respectively.

All four were set up by junior setter Megan Wielonski who registered her 4,000th career assist in the third set. Just the sixth player in program history to break the 4,000-assist mark, Wielonski finished the night with 57 assists and 12 digs for her 17th double-double of the season. She also served up one more ace, raising her career total to 144 which is fourth in BSU annals.

In her final collegiate match, fifth-year libero Havyn Gates led the Ball State defense with 21 digs to raise her BSU career total to 1,115 and her overall career total to 2,239. Senior defensive specialist Kate Vinson chipped in five digs in her last time wearing the Cardinal and White, raising her career total to 728. She also led Ball State’s primary passers with a perfect reception percentage on 16 attempts.

“In the post-match huddle, I told everyone what a blessing it was to be able to have two more weeks for our seniors,” Phillips added. “They are such great people and true competitors. They worked hard in the gym from the second they stepped on campus and gave their maximum effort while maintaining their focus that it was about something bigger than their class or them. They played for the love of the game, they played for each other. I couldn’t be prouder to be able to coach them, and this entire group. They certainly represented our program and themselves extremely well.”

While the Cardinals jumped out to an early 4-1 edge in the opening set, the Tigers battled back to even the score at seven. From there, the team’s battled to a 19-19 stalemate before a three-point run gave Clemson a 22-19 advantage. Ball State would survive a pair of set points, starting at 24-22, before a service error and ace gave the Tigers the frame at 26-24.

Clemson carried over the momentum into the second frame, scoring the first five points and building a 7-1 lead. Ball State would get as close as four, at 14-10, only to see the Tigers score the next three to regain control as it went on to win the set 25-17.

The Cardinals responded early in the third, jumping out to a 5-1 lead after an ace from junior defensive specialist Kendall Seimet and a kill from freshman middle Camryn Wise. Ball State went on to take a five-point edge at 9-4 after back-to-back Clemson errors.

While the Tigers responded with a 10-1 run to pull ahead 14-10, it was short lived as BSU regained the advantage at 16-15 with a 6-1 run. The teams battled to a 22-22 deadlock before a kill from Plitt and an ace from Vinson gave BSU set point. Clemson would stay alive for one more point before a kill from Kennedy sent the match to a fourth frame.

Kennedy followed with two more kills to open set four, helping Ball State jump out to another 5-1 start. Once again, the Tigers battled back, tying the score at 7-7. From there, the teams battled to a 14-14 tie before another Plitt blast started a 4-0 Cardinals run, giving the hosts on the scoreboard a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the set. BSU went on to win the frame 25-18 on Kennedy’s 19th kill of her match-high 22.

Unfortunately, Clemson would score the first three points in the fifth frame to force an early Ball State timeout. The Cardinals would get within one at 3-2 and 4-3, only to see a 6-1 run give the Tigers all the momentum at 10-4. Despite a pair of kills from Kennedy down the stretch, BSU dropped the set 15-8 to end its postseason run.

On the other side of the net, Kateryna Tkachenko led the Tigers’ offense with 15 kills, while the squad connected for a .333 rate of success. In the backcourt, Devan Taylor led all players with 24 digs.

BALL STATE TRACK

INDOOR TRACK HAS A PROMISING START TO THE SEASON

MUNCIE, Ind. — Track and field opened its indoor season Friday evening in Saginaw, Michigan. The team competed in five events at the SVSU Holiday Open.

Ashley Pernecker and Maci Easton were the first Cardinals to compete, each running in the 400m dash. In her first collegiate indoor meet, Pernecker took sixth place out of 25 competitors with a time of 59.35. Easton improved her season-opener time by almost three seconds. 

Evie Noel had a strong start to her season as well, finishing second in the 800m run with a time of 2:22.17. Mikayla Mimnaugh also competed in the 800m for her collegiate track debut. She finished with a time of 2:30.27. 

In Maci Hoskins’s collegiate track debut, she competed in the 5000m run, tying her personal best with a time of 18:57.23. 

The Cardinals will now look ahead to next Saturday when they will attend the Tom Wright Open hosted by Bowling Green. `

Ball State Individual Results at SVSU Holiday Open

400m Dash 

6th – Ashley Pernecker – 59.35

24th – Maci Easton – 1:09.47

800m Run

2nd – Evie Noel – 2:22.17

9th – Mikayla Mimnaugh – 2:30.27

200m Dash

29th – Maci Easton – 29.90

4x400m Relay

5th – Mikayla Mimnaugh, Ashley Pernecker, Evie Noel, Maci Easton – 4:15.05

5,000m Run

26th – Maci Hoskins – 18:57.23

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

CARDINALS RETURNING TO WORTHEN TO FACE BELLARMINE

The Ball State men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Worthen Arena to host Bellarmine in its first game of December.

The Cardinals (5-2) and Knights (2-6) are scheduled to play for the first time in series history. Little Rock topped Ball State 90-64 on Tuesday in Arkansas, but the Cardinals ended November undefeated at home. Bellarmine is used to road games by now after starting the year with 6 of its first 8 games being away contests.

Basheer Jihad upped his career high to 25 points against the Trojans, scoring 21 in the first half, but that wasn’t enough for the Cardinals to win against a hot Little Rock offense. Ball State fell to 0-2 away from Muncie with the loss.

Bellarmine, of the Atlantic Sun Conference, lost close games at Kansas State (83-75 on Nov. 10), West Virginia (62-58 on Nov. 26) and Louisville (73-68 on Nov. 29) while also playing at Washington in the season opener. The Knights’ wins were at Bowling Green (85-67 on Nov. 17) and against Midway (77-56 on Nov. 21). Bellarmine won the ASUN Conference Tournament back in 2022 but wasn’t yet eligible

for the NCAA Tournament after transitioning to Division I.

\Ball State recorded a 20-12 record (11-7 Mid-American Conference) in 2022-23 to earn the No. 4 seed in the MAC Tournament. Head coach Michael Lewis enters his second season leading the Cardinals after recent stops as an assistant at UCLA, Nebraska and Butler.

Juniors Mickey Pearson Jr. and Jihad headline the returners, as they averaged 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds and 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, respectively, in 2022-23. Three transfers and five true freshmen bolster Ball State’s 2023-24 team.

SCOUTING BELLARMINE: The Knights went 15-18 (9-9 ASUN) last season in head coach Scott Davenport’s 17th leading the program. Bellarmine made the jump from the NCAA Division II Great Lakes

Valley Conference beginning in the 2020-21 season.

Redshirt sophomore guard Ben Johnson paces the Knights offense with 13.0 points per game on 40 percent 3-point shooting and 81.3 percent free throw shooting, while fellow guards Peter Suder (11.0) and Bash Wieland (10.6) also average in double figures scoring.

Graduate guard Alec Pfriem leads Bellarmine in rebounding (5.0 per game), assists (25 total) and field goal percentage (.545) while chipping in 8.8 points per contest.

CARDINAL DIRECTIONS

Jihad leads the Cardinals in scoring (17.3 points per game) and rebounding (6.1) averages. The junior forward out of Detroit has led the Cardinals in scoring five games so far, scoring in double-figures six times, including three games with 20+ points.

The Cardinals lead the MAC in rebounding margin (+6.0), scoring defense (65.0 points per game) and scoring margin (+13.1).

Ball State’s 20 wins last year were its most since 2016-17 when that team won 21. This season’s Cardinals will look for back-to-back 20-win schedules for the first time since that 2016-17 season.

The Cardinals are a young group, as the roster includes only one senior or graduate student (Ethan Brittain-Watts). Ball State returns only 21.5 percent of minutes played and 19.6 percent of points scored from last year’s team.

Brittain-Watts (Boston University), Jalin Anderson (Loyola Marymount) and Davion Bailey (Southeastern CC) form Ball State’s trio of transfers.

Joey Brown (Indianapolis), Zane Doughty (Indianapolis), Mason Jones (Valparaiso, Ind.), Trent Middleton Jr. (Philadelphia) and Jurica Zagorsak (Zadar, Croatia) are the Cardinals’ quintet of true freshmen.

Ball State recently signed forward Jai Anthoni Bearden (Phoenix, Ariz.) and guard Jermarhi “Fatt” Hill (Bessemer, Ala.) to national letters of intent to form the Cardinals’ 2024 recruiting class.

Up Next

Ball State plays at Detroit on Wednesday at Detroit on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Cardinals’ third road game on the 2023-24 calendar.

BALL STATE BASEBALL

BULLINGTON NAMED TO 2024 INDIANA BASEBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS

Ball State baseball alumnus Bryan Bullington will be inducted into the 2024 Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame class, the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association announced.

The other player in the induction class is Clayton Richard, who Ball State head coach Rich Maloney coached when he was at Michigan.

“Very cool having two of my former players, one from Ball State (Bullington) and one from Michigan (Richard) make the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame,” Maloney said.

Bullington, a Madison Consolidated High School graduate, made history in 2002 when he was selected No. 1 overall in the Major League Baseball draft, becoming only the second top selection from Indiana.

The right-handed pitcher was a three-time First Team All-MAC selection and won the MAC Pitcher of the Year honor in both 2001 and 2002. This is the third such recognition for Bullington, who was inducted into the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame in 2020.

“Bryan Bullington was truly one of the greatest players I ever coached,” said Maloney. “He was a star the moment he walked on campus. His competitive fire was second to none. He always wanted the ball, as there were times when he started on Friday and closed on Sunday. He just wanted to win. He was a great teammate and very humble.

“When he was selected first in the professional baseball draft it was probably the greatest sports accomplishment in Ball State history. Watching Bryan handle the questions after his selection was special; his grace, quiet confidence and professional demeanor were way ahead of his years. I stood amazed. This is another tremendous honor for a very special person. It is well deserved.”

Richard, a McCutcheon High School graduate who was under Maloney’s tutelage at Michigan, was drafted in the eighth round (No. 245 overall) of the 2005 MLB Draft. The Lafayette, Ind., native was the first student-athlete to be named Indiana Mr. Football and Mr. Baseball, when he did so during the 2002-03 school year.

The left-handed pitcher played in parts of 11 Major League seasons for the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays, earning a World Series ring as a contributor on the 2016 Cubs team.

“Clayton also had a burning competitive fire,” Maloney said. “He was a joy to work with; he had a great belief in himself and was not going to be denied. He had an outstanding pro career.

“These are two great individuals who made the most of their gifts on the field, but I am most proud of the men they are. Both are very deserving of this honor.”

Bullington and Richard join high school coaches Dean Lehrman (Heritage), Dave Ginder (Fort Wayne Carroll) and Joe Decker (Silver Creek) to form the 2024 Hall of Fame Class, which will be honored on Jan. 19 in Indianapolis.

INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

SATURDAY MATINEE AT CENTRAL MICHIGAN ON DECK FOR SYCAMORES

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State opens the month of December on the road, as the Sycamores head to Central Michigan for a Satuday afternoon showdown.

Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET, with the game being broadcast on ESPN+.

Last Time Out

Mya Glanton recorded her second straight double-double Saturday afternoon and Kiley Bess led Indiana State with 18 points, but it came in a 67-62 defeat to Northern Illinois at the Puerto Rico Clasico.

Glanton finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Bess added seven rebounds and four assists in addition to her scoring output. Asia Donald and Chelsea Cain had six points apiece for the Sycamores.

Northern Illinois used a 3-point barrage in the first half to go in front, as the Huskies hit seven threes in the opening 20 minutes and led by as many as 16. Indiana State whittled its deficit down to 10 at halftime, and the Sycamores turned things on in the third quarter. Bess scored 10 of her 18 in the third, while Indiana State went on a 14-0 run that extended into the fourth quarter to take a 53-49 lead. NIU rallied back go in front late in the fourth, and a deep 3-pointer inside the last two minutes proved to be a dagger, as Indiana State never got in a rhythm offensively after its lengthy scoring run.

Weekly Winner

After leading Indiana State in scoring against Northern Illinois and having the highest plus/minus against Radford, senior guard Kiley Bess was named the MVC Newcomer of the Week Monday afternoon by the conference office.

Bess was instrumental in the Sycamores earning a split on their trip to Puerto Rico, averaging double-digit scoring for the third straight week while adding significant contributions on both ends of the court. She was a team-high plus-14 against Radford, finishing with four points, five rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block in the win over the Highlanders. Bess found her stroke from behind the arc against Northern Illinois, scoring a team-high 18 points, 12 of which came from 3-pointers, to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

Get Some MACtion

Saturday’s game against Central Michigan is the second straight game against a Mid-American Conference opponent for the Sycamores.

Indiana State faced Northern Illinois in its most recent test, falling 67-62 to the Huskies in the finale of the Puerto Rico Clasico. The Sycamores will also face Ohio on Dec. 17.

Balanced Attack

Indiana State has featured a balanced lineup this season, as three different Sycamores are averaging double-figure scoring.

Kiley Bess leads the way at 12.2 points per game, while Bella Finnegan and Chelsea Cain are both averaging 11.7 points per game. Mya Glanton is nearly averaging a double-double for the Sycamores with 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season, and has recorded double-doubles in each of the last two games.

Magic Numbers

Indiana State has been tough to beat when scoring 70 or more points under Chad Killinger. The Sycamores have scored 70-plus points 17 times under Killinger and are 14-3 in those games.

Included in that mark is a perfect 8-0 record when scoring 80 or more points. Indiana State has won those seven games by an average of 19 points, which includes the Sycamores’ season-opening win at Northern Kentucky.

Conversely, the Sycamores have also been hard to beat when their opponents fail to put up high point totals. Indiana State is 13-4 over the last two seasons when allowing fewer than 60 points, including a 4-0 mark in games where the Trees allowed less than 50 points. All of Indiana State’s wins when allowing less than 50 points have come by double-digits, while Indiana State’s most recent win against Radford saw the Sycamores allow just 52 points.

Balancing Act

Indiana State showcased a balanced offense to close out November, as four Sycamores scored in double-figures against both Wright State and Radford. Bella Finnegan and Mya Glanton have been in double-figures in each of the last two games, with Chelsea Cain and Kiley Bess hitting double-digits against Wright State, and Asia Donald and Ella Sawyer scoring 10-plus points against Radford.

Indiana State has also made it hard to key in on particular players on offense. No Sycamore has led the team in scoring in back-to-back games through Indiana State’s first five contests of the season.

Central Michigan at a Glance

Central Michigan enters the weekend at 1-4, with the Chippewas’ lone win this season coming against Concordia Ann Arbor. Indiana State is the second MVC foe Central Michigan has seen this season, as the Chippewas previously fell to Bradley in November.

Madisen Wardell leads the Chippewas in scoring at 12.0 points per game, while Tamara Ortiz adds 10.8 points per game and a team-leading 2.4 assists per game for CMU. Rochelle Norris leads Central Michigan with 8.2 rebounds per game. Taylor Anderson averages a team-best 2.4 steals per game.

Kristin Haynie is in her first season as a head coach, after previously spending time as an assistant coach at Michigan State, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Haynie’s most recent stop was with the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.

Series History Against Central Michigan

Indiana State has a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series after winning last year’s matchup 84-71 in Terre Haute.

The Sycamores are looking for their first win in Mount Pleasant, as Indiana State is 0-3 all-time in games played at Central Michigan

Last Meeting Against Central Michigan (Nov. 16, 2022)

Anna McKendree scored a game-high 23 points and Natalia Lalic added a career-high 22 off the bench, leading Indiana State past visiting Central Michigan, 84-71, inside Hulman Center.

Del’Janae Williams also finished in double-figures with 12 points for the Sycamores, who led by as many as 28. Indiana State’s defense forced 23 Central Michigan turnovers and had 17 steals.

Central Michigan led for most of the first quarter, but Indiana State took control in the second with a 13-2 run to close the half and never looked back. The Sycamores caught fire from behind the arc in the middle quarters, going 7-for-10 from distance across the second and third quarters to build a 68-48 lead through the first 30 minutes. Indiana State’s defense often led to offense and the Trees’ ability to push the ball up the court in transition gave Central Michigan fits, allowing the Sycamores to win their second straight game.

Up Next

Indiana State plays its final home game of the non-conference slate Dec. 10 against Southeast Missouri State.

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

ISU BATTLES THE BRAVES TO END EARLY MVC SLATE

PEORIA, Ill. – Indiana State men’s basketball heads to Bradley University on Saturday to end the short two-game conference stint on Saturday, Both teams enter 6-1 on the season; the Sycamores are 1-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference and Bradley is 1-0. Saturday’s matchup tips at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT. Those who can’t make it in-person can watch ESPNU or listen on 105.5 The Legend.

Series History

Saturday will be the 100th game between the Sycamores and the Braves. Indiana State is on a three-game losing streak vs Bradley, with the recent matchup coming in last season’s MVC tournament where the Braves were victorious.

About Bradley

The Braves are in their 9th season with Brian Wardle at the helm. Bradley won the MVC last season 23-8, 16-4 MVC to win the regular-season title. Bradley went onto the postseason championship and lost to Drake 77-51. The Braves continued one game post-MVC championship in the NIT and fell to the University of Wisconsin 81-62. Three Braves are averaging more than 10.0 PPG this season: Malevy Leons (15.3), Darius Hannah (13.1), and Connor Hickman (12.7).

Last Time Out – Indiana State

Indiana State men’s basketball opened Missouri Valley play with a win over Southern Illinois on Tuesday night with the largest margin of victory over the Salukis in 20+ years, 77-48. The Sycamores moved to 6-1 on the season with the first MVC win.

Isaiah Swope finished with a game-high 22 points, leading the Sycamores’ offense in scoring for the sixth time in seven games. Swope knocked down four triples, marking the fifth time he’s recorded four-plus made threes this season. Xavier Bledson entered the starting lineup for the third time this season and made the most of his 28 minutes, shattering his season-high in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-9 from the floor. Julian Larry recorded 11 points, and Jayson Kent finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.

For the second straight season under Coach Josh Schertz, the Sycamores opened the season with a 6-1 record. ISU has opened MVC play with a win twice in the Coach Schertz era. The victory was the largest margin of victory over the Salukis since January 19, 2000 when ISU won 91-56.

Last Time Out – Bradley

Bradley men’s basketball fell to Murray State on the road by a score of 79-72 on Wednesday night. Murray State held a 42-32 lead over Bradley at halftime. The Braves collected 19 rebounds while the Racers had 16. Bradley also had 18 of their 32 points in the paint. Malevy Leons led the way for Bradley with 10 points and three rebounds. Darius Hannah tallied five points and five rebounds.

In the second half, the Braves outscored the Racers 40-37 but could not complete a comeback on the road. Bradley and Murray State were tied in rebounds with 33 in the game. The Braves shot 33% from beyond the arc and recorded 14 second chance points with seven steals in the game.

INDIANA STATE SWIMMING

SYCAMORES POST MULTIPLE TOP-THREE FINISHES ON SECOND DAY OF 2023 MIAMI INVITATIONAL

OXFORD, Ohio – Indiana State improved in the team standings through the second day of the Miami Invitational paced by top-three finishes by Alexandria Cotter, Zoe Smith, Ali Pearson, and Erin Cummins.

The Sycamores also posted a pair of top-four finishes in both the 800-yard Freestyle Relay and the 200-yard Medley Relay on their way to wrapping up day two of the invite held at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. Indiana State (580.5) trails host Miami (785) in the team standings, while leading Dartmouth (558.5) and Grand Canyon (446) heading into Saturday’s final day.

Friday Night Finals

Indiana State’s top group was just off record-setting pace in the opening 200-yard Medley Relay on Friday night as the team of Alexandria Cotter, Ali Pearson, Kaleigh Kelley, and Chloe Farro finished fourth in the field with a time of 1:41.53. The second grouping finished sixth with Kate Reeves, Kaimi Matsumoto, Raine Boles, and Alexa Szadorski finished sixth in 1:43.55, while Kalli Agapios, Kamila Nowak, Allie Barasch, and Ash Saple finished 14th in 1:48.32. Trista Bullock, Makayla Sura, Becca Shaffer, and Jordan Gruce rounded out the Sycamore relay teams finishing 18th in 1:49.52.

Kaimi Matsumoto led the Sycamores in the 100-yard Fly as the senior finished fourth overall with a time of 55.31. Five additional ISU athletes finished inside the top 14 in the field with Raine Boles (55.67), Kaleigh Kelley (56.22), Raz Harel (56.26), Allie Barasch (56.87), and Haley Halsall (57.39) finishing among the scorers in the field. Becca Shaffer rounded out the group with a time of 57.58 to place 17th overall.

Alexandria Cotter followed up a strong swim in the morning with her second top-three finish of the day in the 400-yard IM. The junior wrapped up with a time of 4:21.89 to finish third overall in the field to add to the Sycamores’ point totals. Dorotea Bukvic added a seventh-place result in 4:32.61, while Alexa Szadorski finished 11th in 4:29.79. Esther Rydbeck Norden rounded out the group in 4:36.33 to place 15th overall.

Four Sycamores finished inside the top-eight in the field in the 200-yard Freestyle event paced by freshman Erin Cummins’ 1:49.71. Claire Parsons (1:50.49, 4th) and Peyton Heagy (1:51.07, 5th) both added top-five finishes, while Chloe Farro touched the wall in 1:52.48 to place eighth. Trista Bullock (1:54.63) and Kalli Agapios (1:56.64) both finished in the scoring, while Rose Parsons (1:54.29), Jordan Gruce (1:55.33), and Kamila Nowak (1:56.98) added top results in the finals.

Ali Pearson (1:02.76) was just off ISU’s record in the 100-yard Breaststroke on her way to finishing second overall in the field. Kaimi Matsumoto (1:03.87, 6th) and Kaleigh Kelley (1:04.74, 8th) were both in the top-eight, while Alexa Szadorski was 13th in 1:04.84.

Olivia DiRuzza (57.14), Kate Reeves (57.51), Alexandria Cotter (58.72), and Allie Barasch (58.82) all finished inside the top-16 for the Sycamores in the 100-yard Backstroke on Friday night. Raz Harel (58.66) and Kalli Agapios (1:00.12) finished 18th and 21st respectively in the field.

Zoe Smith improved on her qualifying scoring in Friday night’s 1M Diving event finals, but the senior was not able to complete the weekend sweep finishing second overall in the field with a six-dive score of 273.60.

The Sycamores closed out the day with the team of Peyton Heagy, Erin Cummins, Dorotea Bukvic, and Claire Parsons finishing second overall in the 800-yard Freestyle Relay finals. The team of Raz Harel, Trista Bullock, Esther Rydbeck Norden, and Jordan Gruce finished eighth overall in 7:41.22, while Allie Barasch, Kate Reeves, Ali Pearson, and Kamila Nowak finished 11th in 7:48.66.

Top ISU Performers in Each Event

200-yard Medley Relay: Alexandria Cotter, Ali Pearson, Kaleigh Kelley, Chloe Farro (1:41.53, 4th)

100-yard Fly: Kaimi Matsumoto (55.31, 4th)

400-yard IM: Alexandria Cotter (4:21.89, 3rd)

200-yard Freestyle: Erin Cummins (1:49.71, 3rd)

100-yard Breaststroke: Ali Pearson (1:02.76, 2nd)

100-yard Backstroke: Olivia DiRuzza (57.14, 10th)

1M Diving: Zoe Smith (273.60, 2nd)

800-yard Freestyle Relay: Peyton Heagy, Erin Cummins, Dorotea Bukvic, Claire Parsons (7:26.23, 2nd)

Friday Morning Preliminaries

Kaimi Matsumoto opened the second day of the Miami Invitational pacing the Sycamores in the 100-yard Fly as the senior placed seventh in the field with a time of 55.84. Kaleigh Kelley (56.27, 9th), Raz Harel (56.45, 10th), Allie Barasch (56.73, 11th), and Haley Halsall (57.20, 12th) all finished in the top-12 in the field, while Raine Boles sat two spots back in 14th in 57.38. Becca Shaffer also moved on in the field placing 22nd in 58.01.

Alexandria Cotter (4:24.12) and Dorotea Bukvic (4:28.14) finished third and fifth respectively to lead Indiana State in the 400-yard IM on Friday morning. Alexa Szadorski (4:32.28, 11th) and Esther Rydbeck Norden (4:37.24, 15th) were also in the top 15 in the field to advance to Friday night’s finals.

Erin Cummins (1:50.70), Claire Parsons (1:51.03), and Peyton Heagy (1:51.03) finished third, fourth, and fifth in the field in the 200-yard Freestyle, while Chloe Farro (1:52.93) finished eighth to put four Sycamores in the top-eight heading into the finals. Trista Bullock (1:53.40, 11th) and Kalli Agapios (1:53.97, 16th) were also in the top-16, while Jordan Gruce (1:54.65) and Haley Halsall (1:54.65) were both in the top-20 in the field. Kamila Nowak (1:55.48) placed 24th in the field, while Rose Parsons (1:55.53) and Ash Saple (2:00.11) also took on the field on Friday.

Ali Pearson was ISU’s top finisher in the 100-yard Breaststroke posting a time of 1:03.87 to place sixth in leading three Sycamores in the top-eight in the field. Kaimi Matsumoto (1:03.94, 7th) and Kaleigh Kelley (1:04.63, 8th) also advanced into the finals, while Alexa Szadorski placed 13th in the field in 1:05.18. Dorotea Bukvic placed 23rd overall in 1:08.19 and Makayla Sura rounded out the group in 1:09.53 to place 28th.

Kate Reeves led the Sycamores in the morning’s 100-yard Backstroke preliminaries finishing 12th in the field in 57.27. Olivia DiRuzza (58.04), Alexandria Cotter (58.19), and Allie Barasch (58.33) finished 14th, 15th, and 16th, while Kalli Agapios (58.64, 19th) and Raz Harel (58.83, 21st) also advanced to the finals. Trista Bullock (1:00.32) finished 25th overall to round out the Sycamores.

Zoe Smith was the top individual in the 1M diving preliminaries as the senior paced the field with a score of 263.75. Bailey Betzer added a top-10 finish in 220.85, while Daniela Orta Castaneda finished 21st with a score of 192.95. Sierra Bowman was 23rd with 191.40 with Brenna Woodruff rounding out the ISU group with a score of 152.45.

Top ISU Performers in Each Event

100-yard Fly: Kaimi Matsumoto (55.84, 5th)

400-yard IM: Alexandria Cotter (4:24.12, 3rd)

200-yard Freestyle: Erin Cummins (1:50.70, 3rd)

100-yard Breaststroke: Ali Pearson (1:03.87, 6th)

100-yard Backstroke: Kate Reeves (57.27, 12th)

1M Diving: Zoe Smith (263.75, 1st)

Up Next

Indiana State continues the weekend on Saturday for the final day of the Miami Invitational. The schedule for the day is as follows:

Saturday, December 2 Schedule (Preliminaries/Finals)

200-yard Backstroke (9 a.m., 5 p.m.)

100-yard Freestyle (9 a.m., 5 p.m.)

200-yard Breaststroke (9 a.m., 5 p.m.)

200-yard Fly (9 a.m., 5 p.m.)

1650-yard Freestyle (9 a.m., 5 p.m.)

400-yard Freestyle Relay (5 p.m.)

PURDUE FT. WAYNE TRACK

‘DONS START 2023-24 CAMPAIGN WITH MASTODON MULTI INVITATIONAL

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Three Purdue Fort Wayne student-athletes were in action on Friday (Dec. 1) at the Mastodon Multi Invitational hosted at the Lutheran Health Fieldhouse.

Senior Ramey Wilder, freshman Ellie Zagel and junior Aubrey Haas competed in the pentathlon against student-athletes from IUPUI and Huntington.

Ellie Zagel finished first (3004 points) while Wilder was fourth (2832) and Haas was sixth (2664).

Wilder and Zagel went 1-2 in the shot put. Wilder had a mark of 10.82 meters, while Zagel was at 10.70. Zagel was first in the long jump (5.10 meters) with Wilder earning third (4.90 meters). Wilder was second in the 60 hurdles (9.54) while Zagel earned number two in the high jump (1.47 meters).

The entire Mastodon team will compete on Saturday (Dec. 2) in the Mastodon Opener at the Lutheran Health Fieldhouse.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

SHAYLA SELLERS NEARS 1,000 CAREER POINTS AS MASTODONS WELCOME WRIGHT STATE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Shayla Sellers enters Sunday’s (Dec. 3) contest against Wright State needing six points to join the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball 1,000-point club.

Game Day Information

Who: Wright State Raiders

When: Sunday, December 3 | 2 PM

Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Gates Sports Center

Live Stats: Link

Watch: ESPN+

Tickets: Link

Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Wright State | Horizon League

Know Your Foe

Wright State is 5-2 and 1-0 in the Horizon League, already significantly better than their 8-24 record last year. The Raiders have won five in a row and are coming off a 79-67 win against IUPUI. Alexis Hutchison is their leading scorer at 16.9 points per game, followed by Layne Ferrell at 12.4 and Kacee Baumhower at 11.7.

The Series

Wright State leads the all-time series 10-9, but the Mastodons have won the last four. The ‘Dons have out-scored the Raiders by 55 in their last three meetings. Last February, the ‘Dons won 95-82, led by 25 points from Amellia Bromenschenkel.

No Sitting On This Bench

Purdue Fort Wayne has had two players score 20 points or more off the bench this season: Renna Schwieterman (28 vs. Great Lakes Christian) and Ryin Ott (21 at Oakland). This is the first time since the 2014-15 season that two Mastodons have scored 20 or more off the bench in one season. That season, Keanna Gary (20 vs. Trine) and Kamilah Carter (20 vs. South Dakota)

#3Nation

Purdue Fort Wayne hit 14 or more 3-pointers twice this season (Western Kentucky and Oakland). This is the first time since 2014 that the Mastodons have had two games with 14 or more triples in a season and the first time ever that the ‘Dons have done it in back-to-back games.

We Love Threes…

Purdue Fort Wayne has been dangerous from 3-point land this season. The Mastodons are sixth in the country with a 42.5 3-point percentage and third in the nation with 10.6 3-point makes per contest. Audra Emmerson and Renna Schwieterman are in the top 230 nationally in 3-pointers per game: Emmerson ranks in the top-70 in 3-point percentage at 43.2 percent.

… and It’s Been a While Since We Haven’t

The Mastodons love making threes so much, they haven’t had a game without a 3-pointer made since January 1, 2021, a streak of 86 games. This includes every game in the Maria Marchesano era.

Some More on the 3-Ball

The Mastodons have seven players shooting at least 40 percent from the 3-point line. Destinee Marshall is 7-of-14 (50 percent), Lauryn Stover is 1-of-2 (50 percent), Shayla Sellers is 12-of-25 (48 percent), Renna Schwieterman is 13-of-28 (46.4 percent), Amellia Bromenschenkel is 11-of-24 (45.8 percent), Ryin Ott is 9-for-20 (45.0 percent) and Audra Emmerson is 19-for-44 (43.2 percent).

Post Up Syd!

Sydney Graber is shooting 76.2 percent from the floor this season. If she had enough attempts, this mark would be the second-best in the nation.

Chasing 1,000

The Mastodons have two players that are looking to reach 1,000 points in their careers. Shayla Sellers has 994 and Amellia Bromenschenkel has 731. With Bromenschenkel’s average of 14.9 points per game this season, she is on pace to reach 1,000 career points in 18 games.

Magic Numbers 70 and 80

Under head coach Maria Marchesano, the Mastodons are 18-4 when they score 70 points or more and 10-1 when they hit 80.

Audramatic

Audra Emmerson is shooting 44.9 percent from deep since January 1, 2023, a mark of 57-of-127 over 25 games, including 26-of-60 (43.3 percent) this year.

Ott-omatic – Yep, We’re Using The Same Joke Twice

Ryin Ott had a career-high 21 points on the road at Oakland on November 30. She was 6-of-7 from 3-point range. The six 3-pointers were also a career-high.

Linbo Limbo

In this calendar year, Jazzlyn Linbo has shot 52.2 percent (72-of-138) from the floor, including 54.2 percent (13-of-24) this season.

Last Time Out

The Mastodons defeated Oakland 84-66 on November 30, netting a career-high 21 points from Ryin Ott. The Mastodons were red-hot from 3-point range, pouring in 14 triples on 26 attempts for 53.8 percent.

Coming Up

Purdue Fort Wayne will hit the road for a game at Bellarmine on Wednesday (Dec. 6) before returning to the Summit City to play St. Thomas on Saturday (Dec. 9).

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL WELCOMES UNI ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Missouri Valley Conference action continues on Saturday when the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plays host to UNI at the Ford Center.  Tip is set for 1 p.m. with ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network having the coverage.

Last Time Out

– On Wednesday, UE opened its MVC slate on the road at Missouri State with the Bears taking a 90-78 victory

– Chuck Bailey III recorded a career-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting

– Ben Humrichous completed the night with 14 points while Kenny Strawbridge Jr. scored 10

– Tanner Cuff put together a solid all-around performance with 8 assists, 7 points and 7 boards

Making a Statement

– With the Aces facing a deficit in the second half on Wednesday at Missouri State, freshman Chuck Bailey III put the team on his back, scoring a career-high 27 points

– His effort was the top output by a freshman this season in the MVC and was just the second 20-point game by a freshman in the league this year

– Bailey connected on 10 of his 17 attempts while going a perfect 5-for-5 from the line

– On Nov. 14, he was recognized as the MVC Freshman of the Week after averaging 10.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in UE’s first two games

Newcomer of the Week

– Averaging 27.5 points per game while leading the Aces to a pair of wins at the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Classic, Ben Humrichous was named the MVC Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 27

– He opened the week with a season-high 28 points versus the Mocs before tallying 27 against the Redhawks

– Humrichous has scored at least 11 points in each game and ranks 5th in the MVC with 18.3 PPG

– Humrichous’ MVC stat rankings include: blocks (T-5 | 1.71/gm), FG% (6th | 58.5%) and 3-point% (6th | 47.4%)

Second in the Nation

– Over the last five games, Tanner Cuff has accumulated an astonishing 21.00 assist-to-turnover ratio

– He has 21 helpers against just one turnover during that span; for the season, Cuff has a ratio of 8.67, which is second in the nation and best in the MVC

– Cuff had an excellent all-around performance at Missouri State, recording 8 assists, 7 points and 7 boards

– He had UE’s first double-double of the season at Chattanooga, totaling 10 points and 11 caroms

Scouting the Opponent

– UNI enters Saturday’s match-up with a 2-5 record after dropping their MVC opener on Wednesday night

– The Panthers fell to Belmont by a 90-70 score to open the league slate

– In the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis, UNI led #14 North Carolina at halftime before dropping a close 72-70 contest to Texas Tech

– In the finale, the Panthers rolled to a 73-51 victory over Stanford

– Nate Heise leads the Panthers with an average of 13.9 points per game while ranking second with 6.3 assists

– Just behind him it Tytan Anderson with 10.4 points and a team-best 6.3 boards per contest

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

ACES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HEADS TO UT MARTIN

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Evansville women’s basketball team hopes to bounce back from a tough home loss down in Martin.

A cold fourth quarter on offense doomed Evansville in its return to Meeks Family Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening against the Bellarmine Knights. Despite leading for over 30 minutes, the Aces suffered a 64-58 loss after a scoreless streak of three minutes midway through the fourth quarter. UE did have a strong game on the defensive side of the ball particularly at the glass.

In back-to-back games, Evansville has outrebounded its opponent, including a new program record on Sunday against Chicago State. Wednesday night the Aces had 50 rebounds including 18 offensive boards to control the glass. The Aces had 70 rebounds against Chicago State in their first win of the season last weekend. The 70 rebounds replaced the former program record of 67 boards set at Creighton on March 5, 2005.

The UT Martin Skyhawks are looking for their first win on Saturday afternoon and the program’s 700th win. UT Martin currently has a six-game losing streak, its longest under Head Coach Kevin McMillan since he joined the Skyhawks program in 2010. UT Martin’s leaders are mostly underclassmen as redshirt freshman Kenley McCarn leads the team on offense. On defense the Skyhawks rely on sophomore Anaya Brown as she averages 6.7 rebounds a game along with adding 11 points.

UE has rocketed into the Top 10 nationally at the free throw line. Following another game with over 20 chances at the charity stripe, Evansville is sixth in the country for free throw attempts per game and lead the Missouri Valley Conference. Along with having several chances at the line, the Aces make a high number of those to be fifth in the nation in free throws made per game. Currently, UE is averaging 19.33 made free throws across six games. Evansville is also in the Top 50 for rebounds a game after the past week, averaging 43.3 boards.

SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

FIRST HALF HURTS EAGLES IN LOSS AGAINST RACERS

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball returned home to Screaming Eagles Arena on Friday night, where graduate guard Tori Handley (Jeffersonville, Indiana) scored a career-high 16 points and junior guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) posted her second double-double of the season, but it was not enough as the Screaming Eagles fell to Murray State University, 93-73.

The two teams matched in the opening minutes, exchanging baskets in the first four and a half minutes toward an early 6-6 score. Then Murray State built a lead in the middle of the first quarter, 15-8, but Southern Indiana battled back to within one possession. USI senior forward

Meredith Raley

Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana) got off to a good start in the game, earning six points in the first quarter off opportunistic looks inside. In a hectic, physical finish to the first quarter, Murray State took a 20-14 advantage into the second stanza.

Murray State had a fast start to the second, increasing their lead to 11, 25-14. Despite a spurt in the middle of the second with tallies from Raley, Shafford, and senior forward Madi Webb (Bedford, Indiana), the Racers’ offense continued to click while getting stops on the defensive end. In the back half of the second frame, Murray State went on a 12-0 run to take a 48-24 lead, holding USI scoreless for nearly four minutes. The Eagles snapped the drought with a jumper from Webb. Before the first-half buzzer, sophomore guard Ali Saunders (Depauw, Indiana) knocked down a jump shot to beat the horn. After shooting over 60 percent in the second quarter, Murray State led 49-28 going into the halftime locker room.

Southern Indiana came out of the break with a triple from Shafford and a bucket by Webb. Webb crossed over into double figures scoring during the third quarter. After seven threes in the first half, Murray State’s hot shooting resumed after halftime with another pair of treys, giving the Racers a 58-37 lead at the 6:23 mark of the third. However, the Eagles still had a strong quarter going, shooting over 44 percent in the third and receiving solid minutes from the bench. Inside the final minute of the third, freshman forward Chloe Gannon (Manchester, Tennessee) ran the floor and scored a wide-open layup after a couple of connection passes down the court. The Racers carried a 67-45 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Gannon continued her strong minutes into the start of the fourth, tallying two consecutive makes for the Eagles. Later in the fourth period, Shafford crossed into double digits in the scoring and rebounding column toward her second double-double of the season and seventh of her career. Down the stretch, Handley caught fire, drilling three triples toward 12 fourth-quarter points and a career best for the game. Despite USI shooting over 52 percent and outscoring the Racers in the fourth period, Murray State maintained its cushion toward the win.

Southern Indiana’s second-half shooting put USI at nearly 43 percent (32-75) overall for the game with six three-pointers. USI outrebounded Murray State, 47-45, and outscored the Racers in the paint, 40-32. Handley’s 16 points led the Eagles. Webb totaled 14 points, and Shafford posted 11 points and 10 rebounds in the double-double effort. Saunders, who also had a nice scoring stretch late, recorded eight points alongside Raley and Gannon.

Even though Murray State’s offense cooled off in the second half, the Racers shot over 44 percent (33-74) from the floor with 13 threes. Five players scored 10 or more for Murray State, including a game-high 17 points from senior forward Katelyn Young.

Friday was the third consecutive setback for USI, who moves to 3-3 on the season. Murray State went to 4-2 with the victory.

Next up, the Screaming Eagles will get set for a road tilt at Saint Louis University next Wednesday at 7 p.m. from Chaifetz Arena. Wednesday’s game will be available to watch with a subscription to ESPN+.

VALPO SWIMMING

SWIMMING CONCLUDES FALL SEMESTER COMPETITION FRIDAY

The Valpo men’s and women’s swimming teams concluded their fall semester competition schedule on Friday at the Valparaiso Aquatic Complex, as the men took on Lewis in a dual meet and the women faced Butler and Lewis in a tri-meet.

How It Happened

The men had a swimmer crack the program’s all-time best on Friday, as sophomore Luke Snider (Germantown, Tenn./Memphis University School) placed second in the 50 fly in a time of 23.82 —fifth-fastest in program history.

Two Valpo men led the team in multiple events. Sophomore Jackson Oostman (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) paced the Beacons in three individual swims — the 50 back, which he placed second in with a time of 24.84, the 100 back (53.19) and the 200 IM, where he posted a runner-up finish with a time of 1:57.56.

Sophomore Anthony Martin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) led the Valpo contingent in the sprints, recording the team’s top time in both the 50 free (21.96) and the 100 free (47.98).

On the women’s side, four different Valpo swimmers led the team in two events apiece. Freshman Roxanne Adams (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico/Homeschooled) placed third in the 100 breast with a time of 1:11.21 and also paced Valpo in the 50 breast (32.07).

The three other Beacon women to pace the squad in multiple events did so in two different disciplines. Freshman Olivia Tressler (Las Vegas, Nev./Desert Oasis) topped the team in the 200 free (2:05.90) and the 200 IM (2:19.06).

Freshman Kailyn Benoit (Sussex, Wis./Hamilton) led the way for Valpo in the 100 fly (1:01.37) and the 500 free (5:38.61).

Freshman Gretchen Schmierer Knust (Overland Park, Kan./Shawnee Mission South) paced the Beacons in the 100 back (1:03.61) and the 50 fly (28.83).

The Valpo men fell to Lewis in dual meet action, 199-63, while the women dropped dual meet decisions to both Lewis (190-72) and Butler (194.5-67.5).

Next Up

Valpo returns to the pool in 2024 when it heads to Rose-Hulman on Friday, January 12.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CLOSES ROAD STRETCH SUNDAY AT PURDUE

Valparaiso (0-5, 0-0 MVC)

Game #6 – December 3, 2023 – 1 p.m. CT

at Purdue (4-3, 0-0 Big Ten)

Mackey Arena (14,222) – West Lafayette, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team wraps up a stretch of four consecutive road games with a Sunday afternoon matinee at Big Ten foe Purdue.

Previously: Valpo looked poised to claim its first victory of the season Wednesday evening in Kalamazoo, Mich., but Western Michigan’s Kaiden Glenn banked in a 3-pointer as time expired in regulation to force overtime and the Broncos went on to emerge 75-71 victors. Leah Earnest had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Beacons, while Olivia Brown contributed 16 points.

Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: BTN+

Valpo Radio: None

Links for live coverage: Available via ValpoAthletics.com

Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her sixth year at the helm of the program in 2022-23 and owns a record of 55-96. Evans has made an impact on the program in her first four years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. The 2022-23 season saw Evans lead Valpo to the first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State. The Beacons also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

Series Notes: Valpo and Purdue match up for the 17th time in program history on Sunday, with the Boilermakers owning a 14-2 advantage in the series. Valpo has won two of the last three matchups, however, including a victory at Mackey Arena in the last meeting – 52-47 on Dec. 6, 2020. Grace White paced Valpo with 20 points and eight rebounds in that contest, while Leah Earnest – the only member of this year’s team who appeared in that game – chipped in two points and six rebounds in 18 minutes of action off the bench.

@ValpoWBB…

…and @ValleyHoops

– Valpo was picked to finish in 10th place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 162 points, coming in ahead of Evansville and Bradley.

– Valpo is in its seventh season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

– The Valley was ranked 13th in conference NET last season. The MVC ranked 10th in conference NET in 2021-22, seventh in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth in conference RPI in 2019-20.

…looking back at last year

– Valpo finished last season with a 7-23 overall record and finished at 5-15 in MVC play, good for 11th in the Valley standings.

– The Beacons earned their first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State.

– Valpo also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

– Ali Saunders was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team.

…at Western Michigan

– WMU led 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, but Valpo pulled ahead 24-18 at intermission.

– The Broncos used a 12-0 run to lead by as many as six in the third quarter, and WMU was ahead 46-45 with 10 minutes to play.

– WMU extended its lead to as many as eight points early in the fourth quarter, but Valpo rallied to retake the lead with 4:24 to play.

– The Broncos were back in front 64-60 with 2:40 to go before six straight for the Beacons – capped by a 3-pointer from Nevaeh Jackson – gave them a 66-64 lead with 1:39 to play.

– It was still 66-64 Valpo when Ava Interrante took a charge with four seconds remaining. The Beacons split a pair of free throws after an immediate foul on the inbounds to make it a 3-point game, but WMU’s Kaiden Glenn banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.

– Valpo never led in overtime, as its only field goal came on a triple by Olivia Brown with 2:06 to play which tied the game at 70-70. The Beacons had three possessions in the final 90 seconds with a chance to tie or take the lead, but they went 0-for-3 from the floor and committed a pair of turnovers on those possessions.

– The Beacons hit at a season-best clip from inside the arc, going 23-of-41 (56.1%) from 2-point range as they enjoyed a 46-28 edge in points in the paint. They were just 4-of-16 from 3-point range, however.

– Meanwhile, Valpo limited WMU to 38.7% shooting from the field, but the Broncos hit 10-of-23 from 3-point range.

– Leah Earnest paced Valpo with 22 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year.

…at UAB

– Valpo trailed 21-18 at the end of the first quarter and 40-36 at halftime.

– UAB opened the third quarter on a 15-2 run to extend out to a 55-38 lead.

– The Beacons came back with a 17-3 run spanning the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarters. Leah Earnest had 12 of Valpo’s 17 points during that spurt, which brought the Beacons back to within 58-55 with 7:05 remaining.

– The Blazers scored the next eight points, however, and Valpo got no closer than six points the rest of the way.

– Earnest poured in 26 points to easily surpass her previous career best of 20 points, set in last year’s season opener at Central Michigan.

– For the second time this season, a bushelful of Valpo steals contributed to a high turnover total for its opponent. The Beacons racked up 16 steals on Saturday, led by Saniya Jackson’s eight thefts, while the Blazers committed 23 turnovers in all — leading to 22 points off turnovers.

– UAB shot 59.6% from the field, however, to Valpo’s 39.3% clip. The Beacons did have the advantage behind the 3-point line, hitting 9-of-25 (36%) from downtown while UAB was just 4-of-14 (28.6%) from deep.

…looking ahead

– The Beacons return to the ARC for an exhibition game against IU Northwest Dec. 7 before taking on Chicago State Dec. 9.

– Valpo will be off for 10 days following the matchup with the Cougars to allow for final exams.

…on the road

– Valpo will play 17 games away from home in the 2023-24 regular season, 16 of which will be true road games.

– The Beacons are 0-4 away from home so far this year and posted a 4-10 record in true road games last season.

@PurdueWBB

– The Boilermakers enter Sunday’s game at 4-3 overall following a 67-59 win at Dayton on Friday night, their second consecutive victory.

– Abbey Ellis is averaging a team-high 15.6 points/game.

– Caitlyn Harper and Madison Layden are both averaging 10.3 points/game as well, the latter doing so while hitting at a 50% clip from the 3-point line.

Facing the B1G

– Mary Evans has not been shy about having her team take on Big Ten opponents since taking the helm of the Valpo program prior to the 2018-19 season.

– Sunday’s game at Purdue means that Valpo has taken on at least one Big Ten opponent in each of Evans’ six years at the helm of the program.

– Counting this season’s games, the Beacons will have faced 10 Big Ten opponents in Evans’ six seasons – Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin twice apiece, as well as Ohio State and Michigan State once each.

– Back in 2020-21, Valpo claimed a pair of Big Ten road wins with victories at Illinois and at Purdue, and came within an overtime decision of winning at Wisconsin that season as well.

UINDY TRACK

INAUGURAL SCOTT FANGMAN INVITE KICKS OFF INDOOR TRACK & FIELD SEASON SATURDAY

INDIANAPOLIS—The UIndy track & field program opens its indoor season this weekend by hosting the inaugural Scott Fangman Invitational. Set for Saturday, Dec. 2 in the UIndy Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC), the meet is named after the recently-retired and longtime Greyhound head coach.

The festivities will start in the ARC’s Wells-Fargo Room at 12:30 p.m. when the man himself will be honored for his service and dedication to UIndy track & field and cross country. Fangman and company will move to the dome at 1 p.m. for a group picture at the start/finish line. Competition will start with field events at 1:30 p.m. and track events at 2 o’clock.

Following Fangman’s retirement, UIndy alumnus Brad Robinson, the Greyhounds’ current Cross Country Head Coach, stepped into the lead role as Interim Director of Track and Cross Country. Robinson returns a number of standouts from last season. Four national qualifiers are back, including Ellie Lengerich (pentathlon), Zoe Pentecost (weight throw), Sabrina Robison (pole vault) and Treyton Arnold (pole vault). Both Pentecost and Robison earned All-America status, while Lengerich is the reigning GLVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and Arnold is the defending GLVC men’s pole champ.

UINDY MEN’S SOCCER

GREYHOUNDS SEASON ENDS WITH 2-1 LOSS TO LEWIS

INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy men’s soccer team fell, 2-1, to Lewis in the NCAA Tournament Third Round. The Greyhounds finished the season 12-2-7 with a GLVC Tournament Championship victory.

INS AND OUTS

Lewis reached the goal early in the first half. UIndy started taking shots more frequently afterward. The Greyhounds finished the first half with seven, two on goal.

The Hounds came out in the second half on the offensive, building to an August Abrahamsen goal 10 minutes in. Abrahamsen was able to head the ball in with help from Brandon Johnson.

With the match now tied both teams started to attack the ball. The ball traveled the length of the field as Lewis and UIndy tried to set up a scoring opportunity. The Flyers were the ones to succeed with seven minutes left in the contest. 

INSIDE THE BOX

– The Greyhounds finished the match with 14 shots, seven on goal. Pierre Lurot had two shots, both on goal.

– Kieran Brown was in goal for UIndy. Brown completed the game with one save out of five shots faced.

– Niklas Thanhofer, Pierre Lurot, Bobby Turner, and Jakob David all remained on the field for all 90 minutes of the contest. 

MORE NOTES

The Flyers will move on to the Regional Championship. They will face fellow GLVC member Maryville at 2:30 p.m. in Key Stadium.

UINDY TRACK

INAUGURAL SCOTT FANGMAN INVITE KICKS OFF INDOOR TRACK & FIELD SEASON SATURDAY

INDIANAPOLIS—The UIndy track & field program opens its indoor season this weekend by hosting the inaugural Scott Fangman Invitational. Set for Saturday, Dec. 2 in the UIndy Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC), the meet is named after the recently-retired and longtime Greyhound head coach.

The festivities will start in the ARC’s Wells-Fargo Room at 12:30 p.m. when the man himself will be honored for his service and dedication to UIndy track & field and cross country. Fangman and company will move to the dome at 1 p.m. for a group picture at the start/finish line. Competition will start with field events at 1:30 p.m. and track events at 2 o’clock.

Following Fangman’s retirement, UIndy alumnus Brad Robinson, the Greyhounds’ current Cross Country Head Coach, stepped into the lead role as Interim Director of Track and Cross Country. Robinson returns a number of standouts from last season. Four national qualifiers are back, including Ellie Lengerich (pentathlon), Zoe Pentecost (weight throw), Sabrina Robison (pole vault) and Treyton Arnold (pole vault). Both Pentecost and Robison earned All-America status, while Lengerich is the reigning GLVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and Arnold is the defending GLVC men’s pole champ.

MARIAN TRACK

PAIR OF KNIGHTS OPEN 2023-24 INDOOR TRACK SEASON AT NOTRE DAME BLUE AND GOLD INVITATIONAL

Notre Dame, Ind. – The Marian men’s track and field team began their 2023-24 season on Friday night in Northern Indiana, as Blake Hipkiss and Olivier Lifrange represented the Knights at the Notre Dame Blue and Gold Invitational. Blake Hipkiss had a strong start, earning NAIA B standard marks in his first meet of the year.

Olivier Lifrange competed in the 400m in his opening meet of the season, finishing fifth overall in a field of 20 finishers. Lifrange finished fourth of five in his heat, turning in a time of 49.22 seconds. Lifrange’s time was just 0.01 seconds off of the 2023 season NAIA B standard mark and 0.12 seconds off the 2024 B mark.

Blake Hipkiss ran in the 3000m to begin his season, still riding strong off the training from his cross country season. Hipkiss finished eighth overall in the race and turned in a strong time of 8:34.87, hitting the NAIA B standard to become Marian’s first NAIA National Qualifier of the season. His time in the event is the third fastest in his career.

The Knights will continue the season on Saturday, December 2, as a group of athletes will begin their seasons at the UIndy Scott Fangman Invitational.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/

ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index

TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/

OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx

ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index

IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/

IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/

IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/

PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/

INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx

GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/

ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/

GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php

TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Boston154.7899-06-48-114-38-23 W
Philadelphia127.6323.07-35-44-28-54-62 L
New York127.6323.06-36-41-210-47-33 W
Brooklyn99.5005.56-53-41-38-85-51 L
Toronto911.4506.56-53-60-65-104-61 L
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee136.6848-15-52-211-68-21 L
Indiana98.5293.06-53-34-17-75-52 L
Cleveland109.5263.05-65-31-26-46-41 L
Chicago614.3007.55-61-83-25-92-81 W
Detroit217.10511.01-81-91-42-100-1016 L
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Orlando145.7379-25-33-19-29-19 W
Miami118.5793.05-26-63-08-76-41 W
Atlanta99.5004.53-56-43-26-84-61 W
Charlotte611.3537.03-63-53-36-94-61 W
Washington316.15811.01-62-101-72-151-92 L
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Minnesota144.7789-15-34-010-28-23 W
Denver146.7001.09-05-62-112-46-44 W
Oklahoma City126.6672.06-46-21-26-57-31 W
Portland612.3338.02-54-71-22-83-72 W
Utah613.3168.55-41-91-46-104-62 L
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Sacramento107.5885-25-53-39-77-31 L
Phoenix118.5794-57-32-28-67-32 L
LA Lakers119.5500.57-24-73-28-66-41 L
Golden State910.4742.04-65-43-38-83-71 W
LA Clippers810.4442.55-33-71-27-85-51 L
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Dallas117.6115-36-44-26-55-51 L
New Orleans119.5501.08-43-53-28-87-32 W
Houston88.5002.08-10-72-27-75-52 L
Memphis513.2786.01-84-52-35-104-62 W
San Antonio316.1588.51-92-71-33-110-1014 L

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Miami Dolphins830.7270.03392515-0-03-3-06-2-03-1-02 W
Buffalo Bills660.5002.53282275-2-01-4-03-5-02-2-01 L
New York Jets470.3644.01632382-4-02-3-02-6-01-3-04 L
New England Patriots290.1826.01482481-5-01-4-02-4-02-2-04 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Kansas City Chiefs830.7270.02561814-2-04-1-06-1-03-1-01 W
Denver Broncos650.5452.02462804-3-02-2-03-4-01-2-05 W
Las Vegas Raiders570.4173.52022564-2-01-5-03-5-01-2-02 L
Los Angeles Chargers470.3644.02692582-4-02-3-02-4-01-1-03 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Baltimore Ravens930.7500.03241874-2-05-1-06-3-03-2-02 W
Pittsburgh Steelers740.6361.51822054-2-03-2-05-3-03-1-01 W
Cleveland Browns740.6361.52392095-1-02-3-05-3-03-2-01 L
Cincinnati Bengals560.4553.52122423-3-02-3-01-6-00-4-03 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Jacksonville Jaguars830.7270.02542253-3-05-0-06-2-04-1-02 W
Indianapolis Colts650.5452.02692682-4-04-1-04-3-02-2-03 W
Houston Texans650.5452.02592324-2-02-3-03-3-01-2-01 L
Tennessee Titans470.3644.01852244-1-00-6-02-5-00-2-01 W
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Philadelphia Eagles1010.9090.03102465-0-05-1-06-0-03-0-05 W
Dallas Cowboys930.7501.53882206-0-03-3-06-3-03-1-04 W
New York Giants480.3336.51592922-3-02-5-03-4-02-2-02 W
Washington Commanders480.3336.52463501-4-03-4-02-7-00-5-03 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
San Francisco 49ers830.7270.03101704-1-04-2-06-1-03-0-03 W
Seattle Seahawks660.5002.52642904-2-02-4-05-4-01-3-03 L
Los Angeles Rams560.4553.02322342-3-03-3-04-4-04-1-02 W
Arizona Cardinals2100.1676.52063212-4-00-6-02-6-00-4-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Detroit Lions830.7270.02942584-2-04-1-05-2-02-1-01 L
Minnesota Vikings660.5002.52632422-4-04-2-06-3-02-1-02 L
Green Bay Packers560.4553.02312243-2-02-4-04-3-02-2-02 W
Chicago Bears480.3334.52422962-3-02-5-03-5-01-3-01 W
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Atlanta Falcons560.4550.02132324-2-01-4-04-4-03-0-01 W
New Orleans Saints560.4550.02292222-2-03-4-02-4-01-2-02 L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers470.3641.02122272-3-02-4-03-4-01-1-02 L
Carolina Panthers1100.0914.01732921-4-00-6-00-7-00-2-04 L

NHL STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Boston Bruins221543331474558-1-17-3-25-3-2
Florida Panthers231472301469587-3-07-4-26-3-1
Toronto Maple Leafs21126327873707-4-05-2-37-2-1
Detroit Red Wings221273271281648-3-24-4-15-3-2
Tampa Bay Lightning241095251082856-3-34-6-24-5-1
Buffalo Sabres2310112221068775-5-05-6-24-5-1
Montreal Canadiens231011222864825-7-05-4-24-6-0
Ottawa Senators18810016762636-7-02-3-04-6-0
 
Metropolitan Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
New York Rangers211641331570527-2-09-2-18-2-0
Carolina Hurricanes221381271275737-2-16-6-06-3-1
Washington Capitals201262261051557-4-15-2-17-2-1
New York Islanders2297624861714-3-45-4-24-3-3
Philadelphia Flyers2311102241068665-6-16-4-16-3-1
Pittsburgh Penguins2211101231169575-6-06-4-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils2211101231179835-6-16-4-04-6-0
Columbus Blue Jackets25813420873856-7-12-6-34-6-0
 
Western Conference
Central Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Colorado Avalanche221561311483638-2-07-4-17-2-1
Dallas Stars211353291271615-4-18-1-26-2-2
Winnipeg Jets221282261272646-5-16-3-16-4-0
St. Louis Blues221291251167697-3-05-6-16-4-0
Arizona Coyotes22119224972676-4-05-5-25-4-1
Nashville Predators2211110221171728-5-03-6-06-4-0
Minnesota Wild21710418666794-4-23-6-23-5-2
Chicago Blackhawks21714014754783-6-04-8-03-7-0
 
Pacific Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights241554341278588-2-17-3-34-3-3
Vancouver Canucks241581311592618-2-17-6-05-5-0
Los Angeles Kings201343291377494-4-39-0-07-2-1
Calgary Flames2310103231068785-3-15-7-26-3-1
Seattle Kraken24810622768864-6-14-4-53-4-3
Edmonton Oilers22912119874795-4-14-8-07-3-0
Anaheim Ducks23914018963814-9-05-5-02-8-0
San Jose Sharks24616214642965-6-21-10-04-5-1

FOOTBALL HISTORY

December 2, 1893 – Allegedly, many claim that the leather helmet was first used in the game of football on this day. The version in question was created by an Annapolis, Maryland, shoemaker from moleskin straps. The first game that this masterpiece was used for was worn by Admiral Joseph Mason Reeve in the annual Army vs Navy game. The Smithsonian Magazine says that he “had apparently been kicked and hit in the head so many times, his doctor told him that another hard impact could lead to “instant insanity.” Determined to play in the big game, Reeve went to his shoemaker and had him fashion a moleskin hat with earflaps.

December 2, 1922 – Richardson Stadium, Kingston – At the 10th Grey Cup Queen’s University won its first of 3 straight titles; defeating the Edmonton Elks by the score of 13-1.

December 2, 1944 – The 10th Heisman Trophy Award was given to Les Horvath. Les attended and played for Ohio State University as a halfback/quarterback. He earned football letters in 1940, 1941, 1942 & 1944. The 1944 season was a special eligibility for Horvath, as most players of that era only had 3 seasons of eligibility but the NCAA granted an extra season due to World War II and the lack of athletes in college. OSU Head Coach Carroll Widdoes asked Horvath to return to the team for a fourth year. Due to the demands of dental school, Horvath was initially reluctant to play but agreed to do so after Widdoes promised that Horvath would be flown to all of the games and would not have to practice as much as the other players. Ohio State went 9-0, won the Big Ten and ranked No. 2 nationally. Horvath rushed for 905 yards and passed for 345. He ranked second in the nation in rushing, third in total offense, was unanimous All-America, Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten, and won the Heisman Trophy. Les was the very first Buckeye Heisman Trophy in 1944 winner according to heisman.com.

December 2, 1947 – Heisman.com tells us that the 13th Heisman Trophy Award went to Notre Dame’s legendary quarterback, Johnny Lujack. Lujack helped propel the Fighting Irish to a 9-0 record in 1947 as they claimed the national title. Johnny was Notre Dame’s second player to receive the prestigious, as Angelo Bertelli won the Heisman award when Lujack was a sophomore. Johnny Lujack earned the votes for the Trophy as he was 61 of 109 on his passing attempts for 777 yards and also ran 139 yards on 12 carries.  

December 2, 1950 – Legion Field, Birmingham -The 15th Iron Bowl was a fairly one sided contest as the Alabama Crimson Tide rolled up on Auburn 34-0.

December 2, 1951 – Griffith Stadium, Washington D.C. – The Philadelphia Eagles set an NFL record of rushing for 25 1st-downs as they powered their way to a 35-21 win over the Washington Redskins.

December 2, 1951 – Green Bay, Wisconsin – The very first number that the Packers retired in the history of the franchise took place. The jersey was the number 14 that was worn by future Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Don Hutson. Packers.com describes Hutson’s biggest attribute for success in the NFL as his “ability to cut sharply at top speed and another was his uncanny knack for adjusting to the flight of the ball and running down what were seemingly out-of-reach passes.”

December 2, 1951 – The 16th Iron Bowl which was played at Legion Field in Birmingham brought another victory for the Tide as Alabama knocked off Auburn 25-7.

December 2, 1952 – Billy Vessels a halfback from the University of Oklahoma took home the hardware of the 18th Heisman Trophy.  Vessels according to Heisman.com was the first Sooner to win the award from the Downtown Athletic Club and one reason he earned the votes was due to rushing for over 1000 yards in 1952. As a matter of fact he was the first Heisman winner to ever reach that milestone in rushing. The game in November against a rugged Notre Dame squad could have sealed the deal though as Billy, on the nationally televised contest, ran for 195 yards on 17 carries scoring twice and caught a pass for another TD. His late 4th quarter fumble at the Irish 20 yard line may have been the undoing for the Sooners though, in their only loss of the season as Notre Dame won 27-21.

December 2, 1957 – NFL Draft took place and the Chicago Cardinals picked Rice University Quarterback, King Hill as the top choice. Pro-Football-Reference shares with us the Hill played in the NFL for a total of 12 seasons with the Cards in Chicago and St. Louis as well as with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings. In his career he threw 429 passes for over 5,500 yards with 37 TDs.

December 2, 1958 – The Black Knights of Army went undefeated in the 1958 season. One of the constant performers on that great Army squad was halfback Pete Dawkins,who the official website of the Heisman says was a dual threat runner and southpaw passer who on the 2nd of December 1958 took home the 24th Heisman Trophy.

December 2, 1958 – 1959 NFL Draft was held and the Green Bay Packers were on the clock first. Their choice was Randy Duncan from the University of Iowa. According to HawkCentral.com Duncan led the Hawkeyes to the 1959 Rose Bowl and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Army’s Pete Dawkins, of whom we just got done mentioning. An interesting story about Duncan shared in the article was that during the Christmas season of 1956 before the 1957 Rose Bowl the players were asked about if winning the Rose bowl was on their Christmas wish list. Duncan recanted, “’I don’t care about a Rose Bowl victory, I want to take a look at Jayne Mansfield and give her a kiss,”. Entertainer Bob Hope heard of Randy Duncan’s answer and took action to make it happen. So during the Dinner for Champions before the Rose Bowl game, Hope gave Duncan the opportunity to close his eyes and plant a kiss on the era’s leading bombshell Jayne Mansfield while his teammates roared with approval!

December 2, 1961 – I think that the University of Alabama likes to play on December 2 because once again at the 26th Iron Bowl Alabama shut out Auburn 34-0 in Birmingham.

December 2, 1961 – CNE Stadium, Toronto – A 6th title for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was held at the 49th CFL Grey Cup as the Bombers overcame the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 21-14.

December 2, 1962 – Exhibition Stadium, Toronto – One year later at the 50th Grey Cup game it was once again those Winnipeg Blue Bombers edging out the Hamilton Ti-Cats, 28-27. We talked about this one yesterday as game play started December 1 , but due to severe fog the balance of the contest was suspended and became the first Grey Cup ever to be completed on a Sunday

December 2, 1963 – The San Francisco 49ers had the top pick in the 1964 NFL Draft and their choice was Dave Parks from Texas Tech. 

December 2, 1967 – Landsdowne Park, Ottawa – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated Saskatchewan Roughriders, 24-1 in the 55th CFL Grey Cup.

December 2, 1967 – Run in the Mud – The Crimson Tide was down by three points with less than a quarter to go in a muddy sloppy Legion Field.  Alabama Quarterback Kenny Stabler busted his way through the Tiger defense for a 47-yard touchdown scramble. Saturdaydownsouth.com has the call Alabama held on tight to their lead and defeated their rival in the 32nd Iron Bowl  with a final of #8 Alabama 7, Auburn 3.

December 2, 1972 – The 37th Iron Bowl  will forever be known by the words, ’Punt Bama Punt!” SaturdaydownSouth.com once again comes through with the write up on the game. In the middle of the fourth quarter Alabama was on cruise control as they led 16-3, but were forced to punt when their ball control offense was stopped. Punter Greg Gantt took the snap and put foot to ball but Auburn backer Bill Newton pushed his way through the line and blocked the punt while another Tiger,  David Langner scooped it up and ran it back for a touchdown. That is incredible all by itself but a few minutes later, the Tide drive was stopped, Newton blocked that one too and guess who ran it back for the winning score? You got it, defensive back David Langer!  You need to watch the plays in the video below to believe it! In one of the most uncanny times of lightning striking twice, the Auburn Tigers edged out the Tide of Alabama 17-16 at Legion Field in Birmingham.

December 2, 1975 – Talk about lightning striking twice. Well it’s not by chance when you are a dominating player. And that is exactly what  Ohio State Running back  Archie Griffin was. Griffin on this date became the first player ever to win the Heisman Trophy in two consecutive seasons. 

December 2, 1978 – At the 43rd Iron Bowl the Tide rolled as the defeated Auburn 34-16 in Birmingham’s Legion Field.

December 2, 1984  – Miami quarterback Dan Marino broke the NFL single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 37th scoring strike. Unfortunately for the Fins fans it was in the Dolphins’ 45-34 loss to the Oakland Raiders.  Dan the man finished the 1984 season with a record 48 touchdown passes thrown.

December 2, 1985 – Orange Bowl, Miami – The Chicago Bears’ head coach Mike Ditka and their defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan almost came to blows in the halftime locker room of their only loss in that historic 1985 season. The discontinuity spread to the player as the out of sync Bear suffered a 38-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

December 2, 1989 – Quarterback Andre Ware of the University of Houston  won the 55th Heisman Trophy Award.

December 2, 1989 – Jordan-Hare Stadium – The 54th Iron Bowl saw Auburn take care of business as they handed the Crimson Tide a 30-20 loss.

December 2, 1995 – At the 4th SEC Championship Game: #2 Florida knocked around #23 Arkansas, 34-3.

December 2, 2000 – The 9th SEC Championship Game pitted #7 Florida against #18 Auburn, the Gators once again had it going as they cruised past the Tigers 28-6.

December 2, 2000  – There was a Top Ten match up at the 5th Big 12 Championship Game. #1 Oklahoma played #8 Kansas State.  The Sooners outlasted K-State 27-24 to win the Conference.

December 2, 2006 – Another Top Ten in the country Championship game occurred at the 15th SEC Championship Game. The #4 Florida Gators got past #8 Arkansas Razorbacks, by the final score of 38-28.

December 2, 2006 – When #16 Wake Forest took on #23 Georgia Tech at the 2nd ACC Championship Game it was a nail biter as the Deacs nudged the Jackets 9-6.

December 2, 2006 – Over at the 11th Big 12 Championship Game it was the #8 Oklahoma Sooners outlasting the #19 Nebraska Huskers 21-7.

Hall Of Fame Birthdays for December 2

December 2, 1901 – Hamilton, Ontario – The swift Harvard halfback George Owen was born.  Per the National Football Foundation, George was a great all around athlete who starred at hockey and baseball too. George Owen was rewarded for a brilliant collegiate gridiron career by being inducted into the College football Hall of Fame in 1983.

December 2, 1940 – Yazoo City, Mississippi – Willie Brown the great cornerback of the Oakland Raiders was born.  Willie had 54 interceptions in his 16 year with the AFL and NFL career. He returned two of those picks all the way for scores including a 75 yarder on the Big Stage of Super Bowl XI. The Pro Football Hall of Fame tells us that Brown played on 5 All Star teams for the AFL and in 4 Pro Bowls.  Willie Brown was entered into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the 1984 Enshrinement ceremonies.

December 2, 1953 – Atlanta, Georgia – Randy Rhino the great DB from Georgia Tech arrived to his parent’s delight. The NFF says that Randy Rhino was the first Yellow Jacket to be a three-time All-America. The National Football Foundation selected Randy Rhino to enter into their College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

December 2, 1974 – Orland Park, Illinois – Pat Fitzgerald at the time of this writing is the very successful head coach of the Northwestern Wildcats. Pat was also a standout linebacker for the Cats in his playing days. The NFF thought enough of his great play at backer that they inducted him into their College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

22 – 32 – 6 – 14 – 35 – 16 – 6 – 15 – 24 – 7 – 34 – 43 – 57 – 13 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 19 – 15

December 2, 1887 – International Baseball League disbands; teams in Syracuse, Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo form the International Association; those in Newark, Jersey City, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton become the Central League

December 2, 1907 – Association of Football Players’ and Trainers’ Union (English Professional Football Players’ Association) is formed by Charlie Roberts and Billy Meredith in Manchester, England

December 2, 1909 – National Hockey Association (NHA) is formed in Montreal; original members include Montreal Wanderers and Montreal Canadiens; becomes NHL after some NHA teams leave due to ownership disagreements, and create their own league

December 2, 1928 – St. Cardinals future Baseball HOF first baseman Jim Bottomley was voted as the NL MVP

December 2, 1944 – 10th Heisman Trophy Award was given to Ohio State Quarterback, Number 22,  Les Horvath.

December 2, 1947 – 13th Heisman Trophy Award was handed to Notre Dame quarterback, Number 32, Johnny Lujack.

December 2, 1948 – After one of the best seasons in baseball history, St Louis Cardinals utility Number 6, Stan Musial was named NL MVP; leads NL in batting average (.365), runs (135), RBI (131), hits (230), doubles (46), triples (18) & slugging (.702), with 39 HRs

December 2, 1951 – Future Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Don Hutson has his Number 14 jersey retired by the Green Bay Packers; first number retired in franchise history

December 2, 1952 – 18th Heisman Trophy Award was won by Oklahoma half back Number 35, Billy Vessels.

December 2, 1957 – NFL Draft: Rice quarterback King Hill #1 pick by Chicago Cardinals, where he wore Number 16

December 2, 1958 – 1959 NFL Draft: Randy Duncan QB University of Iowa #1 pick by Green Bay Packers. He wore Number 15 as a member of the Dallas Texans in 1961.

December 2, 1958 – 24th Heisman Trophy Award was won by Army half back Number 24, Pete Dawkins

December 2, 1963 – 1964 NFL Draft: Dave Parks, Number 81 at Texas Tech first pick by San Francisco 49ers

December 2, 1969 – Two years after doubling its size from six to 12, the NHL announces 2 new teams would be joining the League the following year; Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks

December 2, 1978 – The Sporting News announced that Baltimore Orioles shortstop Number 7, Mark Belanger as the winner of his 8th (and final) MLB Gold Glove Award

December 2, 1981 – Pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, Number 34 became the 3rd consecutive LA Dodgers player to be named National League Rookie of the Year; (Number 43) Rick Sutcliffe 1979, Steve Howe 1980 (Number 57)

December 2, 1984 – Miami Dolphins quarterback Number 13, Dan Marino broke the NFL single-season touchdown pass record when he throws his 37th in the Dolphins’ 45-34 loss to the Raiders; finishes season with 48 TD passes

December 2, 1987 – “334” club forms as 334 brave Devil fans journey through 20″ of snow to attend New Jersey Devils 7-5 NHL victory over Calgary at Meadowlands

December 2, 1989 – 55th Heisman Trophy Award was won by Houston (QB) Number 11, Andre Ware

December 2, 2008 – Manchester United’s Portuguese forward Number 9, Cristiano Ronaldo won his first award as best football player in the world; Barcelona forward Number 10, Lionel Messi 2nd, Liverpool striker Number 9, Fernando Torres 3rd

December 2, 2016 – For 6th time in 7 years, Cincinnati Reds 1st baseman Number 19, Joey Votto wins Tip O’Neill Award as best Canadian MLB player; hit .326 with NL-leading .434 OBP, 29 HRs & 97 RBIs in an outstanding all-around season for last-place club

December 2, 2019 – Barcelona forward Number 10 , Lionel Messi wins his record 6th award from Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk; American midfielder Number 15,  Megan Rapinoe is Women’s World Player of the Year

TV SATURDAY

NBA REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Golden State at LA Clippers4:00pmNBCS-BAY
Bally Sports
Minnesota at Charlotte5:00pmBally Sports
Orlando at Brooklyn7:00pmYES
Bally Sports
Cleveland at Detroit7:00pmBally Sports
Indiana at Miami8:00pmBally Sports
New Orleans at Chicago8:00pmNBCS-CHI
Bally Sports
Atlanta at Milwaukee8:00pmBally Sports
Oklahoma City at Dallas9:00pmBally Sports
Memphis at Phoenix9:00pmNBATV
Bally Sports
AFSN
Portland at Utah9:30pmKJZZ
Root Sports
Denver at Sacramento10:00pmNBATV
ALT
NBCS-CA
Houston at LA Lakers10:30pmSCHN
Spectrum
NHL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Tampa Bay at Dallas2:00pmBally Sports
Chicago at Winnipeg3:00pmNBCS-CHI
Sportsnet
NY Rangers at Nashville4:00pmBally Sports
MSG
NY Islanders at Florida6:00pmBally Sports
MSGSN
Boston at Toronto7:00pmNESN
Sportsnet
Detroit at Montreal7:00pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Seattle at Ottawa7:00pmRoot Sports
Sportsnet
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh7:00pmNBCS-PHI
ATTSN-PIT
Buffalo at Carolina7:00pmBally Sports
MSG-BUF
St. Louis at Arizona9:00pmBally Sports
Scripps
Vancouver at Calgary10:00pmSportsnet
Washington at Vegas10:00pmMNMT
Scripps
Colorado at Anaheim10:00pmBally Sports
ALT
COLLEGE FOOTBALLTIME ETTV
Oklahoma State vs Texas12:00pmABC
Miami (Ohio) vs Toledo12:00pmESPN
Mountain West Championship3:00pmFOX
Georgia vs Alabama4:00pmCBS
SMU vs Tulane4:00pmABC
Troy vs Appalachian State4:00pmESPN
Iowa vs Michigan8:00pmFOX
Louisville vs Florida State8:00pmABC
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Syracuse at Virginia12:00pmESPN2
Notre Dame at Miami (FL)12:00pmCW
Bucknell at Penn State12:00pmBTN
Northern Kentucky at IUPUI12:00pmESPN+
Marquette at Wisconsin12:30pmFOX
South Florida at UMass1:00pmNESN
Holy Cross at Central Connecticut1:00pmNEC Front Row
Georgia State at Kennesaw State1:00pmESPN+
Presbyterian at VMI1:00pmESPN+
Lehigh at UMBC1:00pmESPN+
Memphis at Ole Miss2:00pmESPN2
Indiana State at Bradley2:00pmESPNU
Florida State at North Carolina2:00pmACCN
Big 5 Championship2:00pmNBCS-PHI+
Grambling State at Dayton2:00pmBally Sports
Boston University at Sacred Heart2:00pmNEC Front Row
Binghamton at Stonehill2:00pmNEC Front Row
St. Bonaventure at Buffalo2:00pmESPN+
Delaware at Ohio2:00pmESPN+
High Point at North Florida2:00pmESPN+
Youngstown State at Robert Morris2:00pmESPN+
Valparaiso at Belmont2:00pmESPN+
UNI at Evansville2:00pmESPN+
Furman at Princeton2:00pmESPN+
Mississippi Valley State at North Texas2:00pmESPN+
Bellarmine at Ball State2:00pmESPN+
North Alabama at Kansas State2:00pmESPN+
Saint Francis U at American2:00pmESPN+
Cornell at Lafayette2:00pmESPN+
Southern Virginia at Campbell2:00pmFloSports
Old Dominion at Northeastern2:00pmFloSports
The Citadel at North Carolina A&T2:00pmFloSports
Duke at Georgia Tech2:15pmCW
Colgate at Arizona3:00pmPAC12N
Wright State at Davidson3:00pmESPN+
Jacksonville at Georgia Southern3:00pmESPN+
Nicholls at Louisiana Tech3:00pmESPN+
Health Sciences & Pharmacy at Eastern Illinois3:00pmESPN+
Detroit Mercy at Cleveland State3:00pmESPN+
Purdue Fort Wayne at Oakland3:00pmESPN+
UT Martin at McNeese3:00pmESPN+
Colorado College at Denver3:00pmSummit
USC Upstate at North Carolina Central3:00pm
Michigan at Oregon3:30pmFS1
Wagner at Stony Brook3:30pmSNY
Saint Louis at Southern Illinois3:30pmESPN+
Winthrop at Coastal Carolina3:30pmESPN+
Fairleigh Dickinson at NJIT3:30pmESPN+
Illinois at Rutgers4:00pmBTN
NC State at Boston College4:00pmACCN
Harvard at Loyola Chicago4:00pmNBCS-CHI+
Misouri State at Drake4:00pmESPN+
Pacific at Northern Arizona4:00pmESPN+
Bowling Green at Southern Indiana4:00pmESPN+
San Jose State at Montana4:00pmESPN+
Lipscomb at UCF4:00pmESPN+
CSUN at Northern Colorado4:00pmESPN+
Big 5 Championship4:45pmNBCS-PHI+
Portland State at Washington State5:00pmPAC12N
Alabama A&M at Vanderbilt5:00pmSECN+
Delaware State at Loyola Maryland5:00pmESPN+
Houston Christian at Rice5:00pmESPN+
Dartmouth at UAlbany5:00pmESPN+
UTRGV at Tarleton5:00pmESPN+
Cal Poly at Idaho5:00pmESPN+
TCU at Georgetown5:30pmFS1
South Carolina State at Charleston Southern5:30pmESPN+
William & Mary at Richmond6:00pmMNMT
Charleston at Florida Atlantic6:00pmESPNU
Southern Utah at Seattle U6:00pmESPN+
Stephen F. Austin at Abilene Christian6:00pmESPN+
Northwestern State at Baylor6:00pmESPN+
LIU at FIU6:00pmESPN+
UNCW at Kentucky7:00pmSECN
Washington vs. Colorado State7:00pmCBSSN
Santa Clara at California7:00pmPAC12N
UMass Lowell at Merrimack7:00pmNEC Front Row
Miami (OH) at Marshall7:00pmESPN+
Austin Peay at Tennessee State7:00pmESPN+
Western Carolina at Gardner-Webb7:00pmESPN+
Yale at Vermont7:00pmESPN+
Sacramento State at Long Beach State7:00pmESPN+
George Mason at Toledo7:00pmESPN+
Milwaukee at Green Bay7:00pmESPN+
SIUE at Troy7:00pmESPN+
Rhode Island at Providence7:30pmFS1
Big 5 Championship7:30pmNBCS-PHI+
Wofford at Middle Tennessee7:30pmESPN+
Tulsa at Oral Roberts8:00pm
UTA at Grand Canyon8:00pmKUTP
Lindenwood at Idaho State8:00pmESPN+
UC Irvine at Utah State9:00pmKMYU
NM State at New Mexico9:00pmMWN
Utah Valley at Utah Tech9:00pmESPN+
Gonzaga vs. USC10:00pmESPN
Loyola Marymount at Nevada10:00pmKNSN
COLLEGE HOCKEYTIME ETTV
Dartmouth vs Clarkson4:00pmESPN+
Quinnipiac vs Union4:00pmESPN+
Michigan vs Notre Dame6:00pmPeacock
Minnesota vs Penn State6:00pmBTN
Cornell vs Colgate7:00pmESPN+
Harvard vs St. Lawrence7:00pmESPN+
Princeton vs Rensselaer7:00pmESPN+
MMATIME ETTV
Lightweights: Beneil Dariush vs. Arman Tsarukyan7:00pmESPN
SOCCERTIME ETTV
La Liga: Girona vs Valencia8:00amESPN+
Serie A: Genoa vs Empoli9:00amParamount+
Bundesliga: Bochum vs Wolfsburg9:30amESPN+
Bundesliga: Borussia M’gladbach vs Hoffenheim9:30amESPN+
Bundesliga: RB Leipzig vs Heidenheim9:30amESPN+
Bundesliga: Bayern München vs Union Berlin9:30amESPN+
EPL: Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers10:00amUSA
EPL: Brentford vs Luton Town10:00amPeacock
EPL: Burnley vs Sheffield United10:00amPeacock
La Liga: Athletic Club vs Rayo Vallecano10:15amESPN+
Ligue 1: Lens vs Olympique Lyonnais11:00ambeIN Sports
Serie A: Lazio vs Cagliari12:00pmParamount+
EPL: Nottingham Forest vs Everton12:30pmPeacock
Bundesliga: Stuttgart vs Werder Bremen12:30pmESPN+
La Liga: Real Madrid vs Granada12:30pmESPN+
Serie A: Milan vs Frosinone2:45pmParamount+
EPL: Newcastle United vs Manchester United3:00pmUSA
La Liga: Osasuna vs Real Sociedad3:00pmESPN+
Ligue 1: Nantes vs Nice3:00pmbeIN Sports
Women’s Friendly:USA vs China3:00pmTNT
GOLFTIME ETTV
PGA: Hero World Challenge12:00pmGOLF
PGA: Hero World Challenge2:30pmNBC
DP World: Australian Open8:00pmGOLF
TENNISTIME ETTV
Next Gen Finals Final1:00pmTENNIS
WOMEN’ COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Buffalo vs Stony Brook1:00pmSNY
Maryland Eastern Shore vs Seton Hall1:00pmFloSports
Wingate vs Elon1:00pmFloSports
Bowling Green vs Iowa1:30pmFS1
Coppin State vs East Carolina2:00pmESPN+
Drake vs Minnesota2:00pmB1G+
Iona vs Providence2:00pmFloSports
Michigan vs Harvard2:00pmESPN+
Monmouth vs Rider2:00pm
St. Bonaventure vs West Virginia2:00pmESPN+
Morgan State vs Saint Francis U2:00pmNEC Front Row
St. Thomas vs Western Illinois2:00pm
Arkansas State vs Kansas City3:00pmSummit
Colorado vs Air Force3:00pmMWN
Georgia Tech vs Nebraska3:00pmB1G+
Saint Mary’s vs Cal3:00pmPAC12N
Southeast Missouri State vs Missouri3:00pmSECN+
Troy vs Memphis3:00pmESPN+
Arizona vs UNLV5:00pmMWN
Xavier vs Arizona State6:00pm
American vs FDU7:00pmNEC Front Row
BYU vs Utah9:00pmPAC12N

TV SUNDAY

NFL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
LA Chargers at New England1:00pmCBS
Detroit at New Orleans1:00pmFOX
Atlanta at NY Jets1:00pmFOX
Arizona at Pittsburgh1:00pmCBS
Carolina at Tampa Bay1:00pmCBS
Indianapolis at Tennessee1:00pmCBS
Miami at Washington1:00pmFOX
Denver at Houston4:05pmCBS
Cleveland at LA Rams4:25pmFOX
San Francisco at Philadelphia4:25pmFOX
Kansas City at Green Bay8:20pmNBC
NHL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Chicago at Minnesota2:00pmBally Sports
NBCS-CHI
San Jose at NY Rangers6:00pmNBCS-CA
MSG
Columbus at Boston7:00pmBally Sports
NESN
Nashville at Buffalo7:00pmBally Sports
MSG-BUF
Colorado at Los Angeles8:00pmBally Sports
ALT
COLLEGE FOOTBALLTIME ETTV
Playoff Selection Show12:00pmESPN
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Columbia at New Hampshire12:00pmESPN+
Brown at Maine12:00pmESPN+
Auburn at App State1:00pmESPN2
Tulane at Fordham1:00pmSNY
Siena at Mount St. Mary’s1:00pmESPN+
Saint Peter’s at Canisius1:00pmESPN+
Keystone at James Madison1:00pmESPN+
FGCU at Cincinnati1:00pmESPN+
Coppin State at Navy1:30pmESPN+
Clemson at Pitt2:00pmACCN
Fairfield at Rider2:00pmESPN+
Manhattan at Marist2:00pmESPN+
Quinnipiac at Niagara2:00pmESPN+
Elon at Radford2:00pmESPN+
South Dakota at Western Illinois2:00pmESPN+
Longwood at Morgan State2:00pm
Stetson at Chicago State2:00pmYouTube
Wichita State at Missouri3:00pmESPN2
San Francisco at Arizona State3:00pmPAC12N
Murray State at Illinois State3:00pmMVC TV
ETSU at Jacksonville State3:00pmESPN+
A&M-Commerce at SMU3:00pmESPN+
Creighton at Nebraska4:00pmFS1
Southern at Mississippi State4:00pmSECN
Louisville at Virginia Tech4:00pmACCN
Air Force at Portland4:00pmKRCW
Alice Lloyd at Tennessee Tech4:00pmESPN+
LaGrange at Samford4:00pmESPN+
Chattanooga at Morehead State4:00pmESPN+
Missouri Baptist at Southeast Missouri4:00pmESPN+
Pepperdine at Colorado5:00pmPAC12N
Eastern Kentucky at WKU5:00pmESPN+
Stanton at Cal State Fullerton5:00pmESPN+
Lamar at Sam Houston6:00pmESPN+
Minnesota at Ohio State6:30pmBTN
San Diego at Stanford7:00pmPAC12N
North Dakota at UC Riverside7:00pmESPN+
Central Arkansas at Hawai’i10:00pmSpectrum
SKIINGTIME ETTV
Alpine World Cup4:30pmNBC
SOCCERTIME ETTV
Serie A: Lecce vs Bologna6:30amParamount+
Ligue 1: Le Havre vs PSG7:00ambeIN Sports
La Liga: Mallorca vs Deportivo Alavés8:00amESPN+
EPL: Liverpool vs Fulham9:00amPeacock
EPL: Chelsea vs Brighton & Hove Albion9:00amUSA
EPL: AFC Bournemouth vs Aston Villa9:00amPeacock
EPL: West Ham United vs Crystal Palace9:00amPeacock
Serie A: Fiorentina vs Salernitana9:00amParamount+
Serie A: Udinese vs Hellas Verona9:00amParamount+
Ligue 1: Brest vs Clermont9:00ambeIN Sports
Ligue 1: Monaco vs Montpellier9:00ambeIN Sports
Ligue 1: Toulouse vs Lorient9:00ambeIN Sports
Bundesliga: Mainz 05 vs Freiburg9:30amESPN+
La Liga: Almería vs Real Betis10:15amESPN+
Ligue 1: Lille vs Metz11:05ambeIN Sports
EPL: Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur11:30amUSA
Bundesliga: Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund11:30amESPN+
Serie A: Sassuolo vs Roma12:00pmParamount+
La Liga: Sevilla vs Villarreal12:30pmESPN+
Bundesliga: Augsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt1:30pmESPN+
Serie A: Napoli vs Internazionale2:45pmParamount+
Ligue 1: Olympique Marseille vs Rennes2:45pmbeIN Sports
La Liga: Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid3:00pmESPN+
GOLFTIME ETTV
PGA: Hero World Challenge11:30amGOLF
PGA: Hero World Challenge1:30pmNBC
TENNISTIME ETTV
UTS Seoul Semifinals & Final6:00pmTENNIS
WOMEN’ COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
William & Mary vs Navy11:00amESPN+
North Carolina A&T vs Louisville12:00pmACCNX
NJIT vs Miami12:00pmACCN
UMass Lowell vs Boston College1:00pmACCNX
Virginia vs La Salle1:00pm
Bethune-Cookman vs FIU1:00pmESPN+
Butler vs Wisconsin1:00pmB1G+
George Mason vs Maryland1:00pmB1G+
South Carolina vs Duke1:00pmABC
Tennessee Tech vs Kentucky1:00pmSECN+
Villanova vs Columbia2:00pm
Miami (OH) vs Michigan State2:00pmB1G+
Furman vs Georgia2:00pmSECN+
Wyoming vs Oklahoma State2:00pmESPN+
Northern Iowa vs Creighton2:00pmFloSports
Illinois State vs NC State2:00pmACCNX
Eastern Michigan vs North Dakota2:00pmSummit
Oregon vs Baylor2:00pmFS1
Kent State vs Florida State2:00pmACCNX
Kansas vs Texas A&M2:00pmSECN
Pennsylvania vs Marquette2:00pmFloSports
Lehigh vs Hofstra2:00pmFloSports
Mayville State vs North Dakota State2:00pm
Stetson vs Indiana2:00pmB1G+
UNC Wilmington vs Iowa State2:00pmESPN+
Valparaiso vs Purdue2:00pmB1G+
Louisiana Tech vs Vanderbilt2:00pmSECN+
Delaware vs Duquesne2:00pmESPN+
Campbell vs UCF3:00pmESPN+
Florida A&M vs Houston3:00pmESPN+
UCLA vs Arkansas3:00pmSECN+
UConn vs Texas3:00pmABC
Wyoming vs Oklahoma State3:00pmESPN+
Georgetown vs Northwestern4:00pmBTN
Wake Forest vs James Madison4:00pm
Ohio State vs Tennessee5:00pmESPN
Binghamton vs Pittsburgh6:00pm