INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES SATURDAY

Adams Central 62 Norwell 30
Central Noble 69 East Noble 52
Dugger Union 73 Washington Catholic 48
Eastern (Pekin) 76 Milan 45
Evansville Memorial 68 Owensboro (Ky.) 53
Floyd Central 64 Southwestern (Hanover) 63
Franklin Central 68 Southport 62
Franklin County 56 Oldenburg Academy 44
Indianapolis Cathedral 66 Indianapolis Chatard 47
Muncie Central 55 Jay County 36
Seymour 43 Martinsville 30
Union County 37 Rushville 31
Warren Central 72 Brebeuf Jesuit 70
Warsaw 67 Harrison (West Lafayette) 65
West Noble 59 Eastside 13


Belfry (Ky.) Tournament
Avon 64 Paintsville (Ky.) 38


Hall of Fame Tournament
Indianapolis Attucks 69 Kokomo 59
Brownstown Central 56 Brownsburg 48
Kokomo 87 Brownsburg 58
Indianapolis Attucks 76 Brownstown Central 51


Lakeland Christian Tournament
Westville 71 Clinton Christian 46
Demotte Christian 55 Lakeland Christian 28
Illiana Christian 54 Bethany Christian 52


Lawrenceburg Tournament
Lawrenceburg 51 Jennings County 48
Beech Grove 58 Connersville 47
Newport (Ky.) 69 Guerin Catholic 52
New Palestine 69 Bethesda Christian 49
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 73 Whiteland 63
Pike Central 90 West Morgan (Ala.) 65
Jennings County 77 Connersville 50
Lawrenceburg 49 Beech Grove 48
Bethesda Christian 70 West Morgan (Ala.) 46
New Palestine 91 Pike Central 48
Whiteland 65 Guerin Catholic 59
Newport (Ky.) 79 Fort Wayne Blackhawk 54


Owensboro (Ky.) Classic
Owensboro Catholic (Ky.) 65 Rock Creek Academy 48


Perry-Spencer Tournament
South Spencer 60 Tell City 52 OT
Benton Central 58 Crawford County 24
Boonville 51 Perry Central 41
Heritage Hills 65 Corydon Central 31


South Central (UM) Tournment
South Central (Union Mills) 60 West Central 34
Boone Grove 64 North White 46
West Central 75 North White 48
Boone Grove 48 South Central (Union Mills) 47


Switzerland County Tournament
Trinity Lutheran 68 Tri-Township 41
Hamilton Heights 71 Rising Sun 39
Switzerland County 79 Hopkins County Central (Ky.) 64
Indian Creek 65 Christel House 62


Wabash County Tournament
Southwood 69 Northfield 46
Wabash 50 Manchester 40

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL SCORES SATURDAY

Bellmont 38 Bluffton 28
Dugger Union 35 Washington Catholic 23
Eastside 54 Edon (Ohio) 38
Hancock County (Ky.) 69 Evansville Harrison 32
Indianapolis Cathedral 43 Indianapolis Chatard 37
Loogootee 53 Clay City 32
Morristown 54 Indianapolis Scecina 32
New Washington 64 Paoli 54
Rock Creek Academy 67 Shoals 35
Shakamak 61 Mitchell 40
Shenandoah 63 Union (Modoc) 21


Goshen Classic
East Noble 67 New Prairie 55
DeKalb 33 Goshen 25


Grant 4 Tournament
Oak Hill 50 Madison-Grant 31
Eastbrook 73 Mississinewa 50
Mississinewa 59 Madison-Grant 39
Eastbrook 52 Oak Hill 32


Huntington North Classic
Huntington North 43 Wawasee 36
Hamilton Heights 59 Plymouth 24
Hamilton Heights 52 Wawasee 25
Huntington North 38 Plymouth 26


Lakeland Christian Tournament
Hamilton 49 Clinton Christian 22
Lakeland Christian 35 Granger Christian 27
Bethany Christian 49 Demotte Christian 29


Lawrence North Tournament
Lawrence North 59 Westfield 42
Eastern Hancock 60 Elkhart 49
Westfield 50 Elkhart 32
Lawrence North 71 Eastern Hancock 39


Logansport Tournament
Northwestern 54 Argos 49
Wheeler 43 Logansport 36
Argos 54 Logansport 50
Northwestern 42 Wheeler 34


Northridge Tournament
Northridge 63 Andrean 19
Fort Wayne Dwenger 57 Knox 22
NorthWood 47 South Bend St. Joseph 21
Merrillville 72 Rushville 31
Rushville 37 Andrean 27
South Bend St. Joseph 54 Knox 37
NorthWood 48 Fort Wayne Dwenger 34
Northridge 74 Merrillville 51


Union City Invitational
Adams Central 52 Southwestern (Shelbyville) 16
Union County 45 Blue River 22
Clinton Central 74 Union City 35
Blackford 48 Fort Wayne Blackhawk 32
Blue River 65 Southwestern (Shelbyville) 37
Union County 39 Adams Central 37
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 60 Union City 40
Clinton Central 41 Blackford 31


Vincennes Rivet Tournament
Lafayette Central Catholic 56 Vincennes Rivet 38
Lanesville 54 Corydon Central 31
South Knox 60 Evansville Memorial 54


Wabash County Tournament
Northfield 55 Southwood 34
Wabash 51 Manchester 43 OT


Whitefield Academy Tournament
Marshall County (Ky.) 57 South Central (Elizabeth) 20

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING RESULTS

https://indianamat.com/index.php?/dualresults.html/

COLLEGE BOWL GAMES

Saturday, Dec. 30

Ole Miss 38 Penn State 25

Maryland 31 Auburn 13

Georgia 63 Florida State 3

Wyoming 16 Toledo 15

Monday, Jan. 1, 2024

ReliaQuest Bowl

No. 13 LSU vs. Wisconsin

Tampa, Florida

12 p.m. | ESPN2

Citrus Bowl

No. 17 Iowa vs. No. 21 Tennessee

Orlando, Florida

1 p.m. | ABC

Fiesta Bowl

No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 23 Liberty

Glendale, Arizona

1 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl

No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama

Pasadena, California

5 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas

New Orleans, Louisiana

8:45 p.m. | ESPN

Monday, Jan. 8

College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Houston, Texas

7:30 p.m. | ESPN

NFL WEEK-17 SCHEDULE

SATURDAY DECEMBER 30

Dallas 20 Detroit 19

SUNDAY DECEMBER 31

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens, 1PM, CBS

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1PM CBS

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears, 1PM CBS

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1PM FOX

Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts, 1 PM CBS

Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1PM CBS

Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1PM FOX

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles, 1PM FOX

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1PM FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Commanders, 1PM FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 PM FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos, 4:25 PM CBS

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 PM CBS

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 PM NBC, Universo (stream with free trial from FUBO)

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

#20 James Madison 82 Texas State 65

#16 Duke 106 Queen’s University 69

#10 Marquette 72 #22 Creighton 67

#2 Kansas 86 Wichita State 67

#14 BYU 94 Wyoming 68

#19 Memphis 81 Austin Peay 70

#3 Houston 81 Pennsylvania 42

Florida Gulf Coast 72 #7 Florida Atlantic 68

ELSEWHERE:

Rutgers 59 Stone Hill 58

Notre Dame 76 Virginia 54

Michigan State 87 Indiana State 75

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#1 South Carolina 73 E. Carolina 36

Michigan 69#17 Ohio State 60

#25 West Virginia 85 Kansas 60

#11 Kansas State 66 Cincinnati 41

#10 Baylor 85 #5 Texas 79

#4 Iowa 94 Minnesota 71

#8 Colorado 76 #12 Utah 65

#21 Creighton 67 St. John’s 56

#23 TCU 81 BYU 67

#7 LSU 110 Jacksonville 68

#2 UCLA 71 #6 USC 64

ELSEWHERE:

Purdue Fort Wayne 65 Milwaukee 55

Michigan State 98 Penn State 87

Purdue 89 Wisconsin 50

Indiana State 66 Evansville 49

Murray State 90 Valparaiso 62

NBA SCOREBOARD

Indiana 140 New York 126

Utah 117 Miami 109

Detroit 129 Toronto 127

Minnesota 108 LA Lakers 106

Chicago Bulls 105 Philadelphia 92

Dallas 132 Golden State 122

NHL SCOREBOARD

Winnipeg 4 Minnesota 2

Buffalo 3 Columbus 2 OT

Nashville 3 Washington 2

Florida 4 Montréal 1

Carolina 3 Toronto 2

Pittsburgh 4 St. Louis 2

Boston 5 New Jersey 2

NY Rangers 5 Tampa Bay 1

Edmonton 3 Los Angeles 2

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

NFL NEWS

COWBOYS WIN AFTER LIONS’ 2-PT ATTEMPT RETAKEN TWICE

The Dallas Cowboys hung on for a 20-19 win over the Detroit Lions after stopping a two-point conversion with 0:23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Jared Goff connected with Amon-Ra St. Brown for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Lions in position to either tie or win the game.

The Lions opted to go for the win with a two-point conversion. Goff connected with offensive lineman Taylor Decker for what many thought was the go-ahead score for Detroit. However, the conversion was overturned after officials flagged Decker for not reporting as an eligible receiver. Detroit was assessed a 5-yard penalty.

Cowboys star pass-rusher Micah Parsons was ruled offside on the Lions’ second two-point attempt. Finally, on the team’s third try, Goff’s throw to tight end James Mitchell went incomplete, ending one of the wildest sequences of the season.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell told reporters postgame that he gave the officiating crew a heads up pregame about the two-point play call in question.

“Two people can’t report,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to talk about it. I explained everything pregame to a tee.”

“(Dan Skipper) reported,

“(Dan Skipper) reported, 68 (Decker) didn’t, we threw it to 68, that was the explanation,” Campbell said when asked what the officials gave as their explanation for overturning the first two-point attempt.

The Lions players in question offered a different view of what happened before the play. Skipper said he didn’t report as eligible, while Decker confirmed he reported as eligible, according to Lions team reporter Tim Twentyman.

Referee Brad Allen said after the game that Skipper reported and Decker did not.

“We had a situation where if you were going to have an ineligible number occupy an eligible position, you have to report that to the referee,” Allen explained, according to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas News. “On this particular play, number 70 (Skipper), who had reported during the game a couple of times, reported to me as eligible. Then he lined up at the tackle position. So, actually, he didn’t have to report at all.

“Number 68 (Decker), who ended up going downfield and touching the pass, did not report. Therefore, he is an ineligible touching a pass that goes beyond the line, which makes it a foul. So, the issue is, number 70 did report, number 68 did not.”

Campbell said he knew he wanted to go for two if the Lions scored when they got the ball back with 1:41 remaining.

When asked if the offense starting at the Cowboys’ seven-yard line played a factor, Campbell didn’t hesitate.

“We were going for the win,” he said.

WEEK 17 NFL CAPSULES

****SUNDAY****
Miami Dolphins (11-4) at Baltimore Ravens (12-3): Baltimore would claim the conference’s top seed with a victory in a clash of a Miami offense that leads the NFL in scoring at 30.9 points per game and total offense at 411.5 yards per game against a Ravens defense that allows a league-low 16.3 points per outing. Baltimore’s arrow is pointing up after a Christmas night win over a team many view as the team to beat the NFC, the 49ers. Miami coach Mike McDaniel is a former San Francisco assistant in his second season of running a similar system with the Dolphins. The rout of the 49ers was the Ravens’ seventh victory by 14 or more points this season. Miami beat the Ravens in the past two meetings. Lamar Jackson is back in MVP form. The 2019 MVP has passed for 3,357 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also rushing for 786 yards and five scores this season.

MIAMI NOTES:

DOLPHINS clinched postseason for 2nd-straight season. Lead NFL in total offense (411.5 yards/game) & scoring offense (30.9 points/game). • QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 24 of 37 atts. (64.9 pct.) for 293 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs with 98.1 rating last week, 12th game with 90+ rating this season, most in NFL. Aims for 5th in row with 0 INTs & 90+ rating. Set career highs in completions (36), pass yards (469) & TD passes (6) in last meeting. Has career-high 4,214 pass yards & 26 TD passes in 2023 & can join HOFer Dan Marino as only QBs in franchise history with 4,500+ pass yards in a season. • RB RAHEEM MOSTERT had TD catch last week, 5th-straight game with TD. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 6 of past 7. Has 233 scrimmage yards (116.5 per game) in 2 career games vs. Bal. Ties for NFL lead with franchise-record 21 TDs (18 rush, 3 rec.) in 2023, 3rd-most by undrafted player in a season since 1967. • RB DE’VON ACHANE ranks tied-2nd among rookies with 9 TDs (7 rush, 2 rec.) Has 100+ scrimmage yards & 2 rush TDs in 2 of 3 road games. • WR TYREEK HILL had 9 catches for 99 yards last week. Has 5+ catches & 95+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Had 11 catches for 190 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Leads NFL with 1,641 yards & needs 70 rec. yards for new career high & single-season franchise record. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE had 11 catches for 171 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Has 1,014 rec. yards, 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. • LB BRADLEY CHUBB aims for 3rd in row with 1.5+ sacks. Had sack in only career game vs. Bal. (9/23/18 w/ Den.). • LB ANDREW VAN GINKEL had 1.5 sacks last week & aims for 3rd in row with 0.5+ sacks & PD. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD aims for 7th in row with PD. • CB JALEN RAMSEY aims for his 4th in row vs. Bal. with PD.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 at Washington Commanders 1:00 PM W, 45-15 9-3

14 Dec. 11 Tennessee Titans (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 28-27 9-4

15 Dec. 17 New York Jets 1:00 PM W, 30-0 10-4

16 Dec. 24 Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM W, 22-20 11-4

RAVENS NOTES:

RAVENS clinched playoff berth for 2nd-consecutive season & for 5th time in past 6 seasons. • QB LAMAR JACKSON totaled 297 yards (252 pass, 45 rush) & had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 105.9 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating. Has 1,044 total yards (348 per game) & 10 TDs (9 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT with 128 rating in 3 career starts vs. Mia. Has career-high 3,357 pass yards in 2023 & can become 3rd Ravens QB ever with 3,500+ pass yards in a season, joining Joe Flacco & Vinny Testaverde. • RB GUS EDWARDS had 70 scrimmage yards (39 rec., 31 rush) & career-high 12th rush TD of season last week, tied 2nd-most rush TDs in a season in franchise history. Aims for 3rd in row with rush TD. Has rush TD in 4 of past 5 at home. • WR ZAY FLOWERS (rookie) led team with 9 catches for 72 yards & TD last week. Has 5+ catches & rec. TD in 3 of past 4. Ranks tied-2nd among rookies with 74 catches, most-ever by Bal. rookie. • WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. has TD catch in 3 of past 4 at home. Has 250 rec. yards (125 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in 2 career games vs. Mia. • TE ISAIAH LIKELY (rookie) aims for 4th in row with 55+ rec. yards. • DT JUSTIN MADUBUIKE has 0.5+ sacks in 11 of past 12 overall & has full sack in 6 of 7 home games this season. Has 12 sacks in 2023 & can become 6th Raven ever with 13+ sacks in a season. • DE BRENT URBAN led team with career-high 2 sacks last week. • LB ROQUAN SMITH aims for 7th in row with 7+ tackles. Ranks tied4th in NFL with 151 tackles, 3rd-straight season with 150+ tackles. • S KYLE HAMILTON set career highs in PD (3) & INTs (2) last week. Has 10 PD in his past 7. • S MARCUS WILLIAMS had 7 tackles, TFL & INT in Week 16. Aims for 6th in row with 5+ tackles & has PD in 4 of past 5.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Houston Texans 1:00 PM W, 25-9 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM W, 27-24 2-0

3 Sep. 24 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM L, 22-19 (OT) 2-1

4 Oct. 1 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM W, 28-3 3-1

5 Oct. 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM L, 17-10 3-2

6 Oct. 15 vs Tennessee Titans (Tottenham) 9:30 AM W, 24-16 4-2

7 Oct. 22 Detroit Lions 1:00 PM W, 38-6 5-2

8 Oct. 29 at Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM W, 31-24 6-2

9 Nov. 5 Seattle Seahawks 1:00 PM W, 37-3 7-2

10 Nov. 12 Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 33-31 7-3

11 Nov. 16 Cincinnati Bengals (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 34-20 8-3

12 Nov. 26 at Los Angeles Chargers 8:20 PM W, 20-10 9-3

13 BYE

14 Dec. 10 Los Angeles Rams 1:00 PM W, 37-31 (OT) 10-3

15 Dec. 17 at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:20 PM W, 23-7 11-3

16 Dec. 25 at San Francisco 49ers (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 33-19 12-3

New England Patriots (4-11) at Buffalo Bills (9-6): Speculation about the future of Bill Belichick is ramping up as these AFC East rivals square off in New York. Bills head coach Sean McDermott tries to avoid that narrative by steering Buffalo back to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. It’s not yet a cinch. Winners in four of their past five games, the Bills are still very much in the thick of the playoff race but can secure a postseason berth as early as Sunday. The Bills have 14 clinching scenarios, all requiring a win or tie. Buffalo would then need help from at least two other teams in each scenario. But one of New England’s four wins this season was Oct. 22 against the Bills. The Patriots have won two of their past three games following a five-game losing streak.

PATRIOTS NOTES:

QB BAILEY ZAPPE completed 25 of 33 atts. (season-high 75.8 pct.) for season-high 256 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with seasonhigh 117.7 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 70+ comp. pct. Has 115+ rating in 2 of past 3. Has 7 TDs vs. INT with 117.2 rating in 3 career road starts. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 60 scrimmage yards (33 rec., 27 rush) & rec. TD last week. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4 & rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had rush TD in Week 7 meeting. Is only RB with 800+ scrimmage yards in each of past 8 seasons. • WR DEMARIO DOUGLAS (rookie) had 5 catches & led team with 74 rec. yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 5 of past 6. Had 54 rec. yards in Week 7 meeting. Needs 6 catches to become 1st NE rookie with 50+ catches since Terry Glenn in 1996 (90). • WR DEVANTE PARKER had season-best 65 rec. yards in Week 16. Has 60+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 6 catches for 79 yards & 2 TDs in last road meeting (1/8/23). • WR JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER had 5 catches for 113 yards & TD in his last game vs. Buf. (10/16/22 w/ KC) & has 50+ rec. yards in each of 3 career games vs. Buf. • TE HUNTER HENRY aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • TE MIKE GESICKI had 2nd TD catch of season last week. Had rec. TD in Week 7 meeting. • DT CHRISTIAN BARMORE had career-high 8 tackles, careerhigh 3 sacks & 1st-career FF in Week 16. Aims for 4th in row with 0.5+ sacks & 3rd in row with 6+ tackles & full sack. Had sack in Week 7 meeting. Needs 1.5 sacks for 1st-career 10-sack season. • LB JOSH UCHE had 3rd sack of season last week. • LB JA’WHAUN BENTLEY has 7+ tackles in 3 of past 4. • S KYLE DUGGER had 5 tackles, TFL & PD last week.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM L, 6-0 2-10

14 Dec. 7 at Pittsburgh Steelers (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 21-18 3-10

15 Dec. 17 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM L, 27-17 3-11

16 Dec. 24 at Denver Broncos 8:15 PM W, 26-23 4-11

BILLS NOTES:

QB JOSH ALLEN completed 15 of 21 atts. (71.4 pct.) for 237 yards with 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 pass) & 104.7 rating last week, 11th game this season with both pass & rush TD, most in a season all-time. Has rush TD in 8 of past 9, incl. each of past 4. Had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) in Week 7 meeting & aims for his 5th in row vs. NE with 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating. Ranks 4th in NFL with 13 rush TDs in 2023, tied 3rd-most ever by QB in a season. Needs 222 pass yards & 3 TD passes to join Drew Brees as only QBs ever with 4,000+ pass yards & 30+ TD passes in 4 straight seasons. • RB JAMES COOK rushed for 70 yards last week. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of past 6 & each of past 3 at home. Aims for 3rd in row at home with TD. Had 102 scrimmage yards (56 rush, 46 rec.) & rec. TD in Week 7 meeting & has 100+ scrimmage yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. NE. Ranks 4th in NFL with 1,471 scrimmage yards & can become 1st Buf. RB with 1,500-yard season since 2017 (LeSean McCoy). • WR STEFON DIGGS had 5 catches in Week 16. Aims for his 5th in row vs. NE with 6+ catches, 55+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Needs 4 catches to become 3rd player ever with 100+ catches in 4 straight seasons. • WR GABE DAVIS led team with season-high 130 rec. yards last week, 3rd game this season with 100+ rec. yards. • TE DALTON KINCAID (rookie) had 8 catches for 75 yards in Week 7 meeting. Ranks 2nd among rookie TEs with 62 catches. • S JORDAN POYER has 5+ tackles in 3 of past 4. Had 10 tackles, sack & FF in Week 7 meeting. Has TFL in 4 of his past 5 vs. NE. • CB TARON JOHNSON had season-best 2 PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ tackles & PD. Had PD in Week 7 meeting. • LB TERREL BERNARD had 7 tackles & sack in Week 16. • DT ED OLIVER had season-high 2 sacks last week, 2nd-career 2-sack game. Has PD in 2 of past 3.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 11 at New York Jets (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 22-16 (OT) 0-1

2 Sep. 17 Las Vegas Raiders 1:00 PM W, 38-10 1-1

3 Sep. 24 at Washington Commanders 1:00 PM W, 37-3 2-1

4 Oct. 1 Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM W, 48-20 3-1

5 Oct. 8 Jacksonville Jaguars (Tottenham) 9:30 AM L, 25-20 3-2

6 Oct. 15 New York Giants 8:20 PM W, 14-9 4-2

7 Oct. 22 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM L, 29-25 4-3

8 Oct. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 24-18 5-3

9 Nov. 5 at Cincinnati Bengals 8:20 PM L, 24-18 5-4

10 Nov. 13 Denver Broncos (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 24-22 5-5

11 Nov. 19 New York Jets 4:25 PM W, 32-6 6-5

12 Nov. 26 at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 PM L, 37-34 6-6

13 BYE

14 Dec. 10 at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM W, 20-17 7-6

15 Dec. 17 Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM W, 31-10 8-6

16 Dec. 23 at Los Angeles Chargers (Sat) 8:00 PM W, 24-22 9-6

Atlanta Falcons (7-8) at Chicago Bears (6-9): Falcons owner Arthur Blank offered no guarantees on the job status of coach Arthur Smith this month, stating he wants to see how it plays out, referring to the final games of the regular season. Atlanta needs two wins and a lot of help to sneak into the playoffs and stands No. 9 in playoff seeding — with the top seven teams getting in — entering Week 17. Playoff probability measures the Falcons’ chances to reach the postseason at 10 percent. Smith said you’d have to live in “Perth, Australia” not to be aware of all the postseason chatter. A win over the Colts last week kept the postseason conversation alive. The Bears have won three of the past four games and had the fourth in their grasp at Cleveland, a sign Chicago could be rounding into form at this late juncture. Will it be enough for head coach Matt Eberflus and QB Justin Fields to stay in 2024? Both say they’re focused on beating the Falcons and nothing else.

FALCONS NOTES:

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE completed 23 of 33 atts. (69.7 pct.) for 229 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 99.2 rating in Week 16. Aims for his 9th in row with TD pass. Has 100+ rating in 3 of his past 4 road games. Aims for his 3rd in row on road in 2023 with 0 INTs. • RB BIJAN ROBINSON (rookie) had career-high 7 catches & 122 scrimage yards (72 rush, 50 rec.) in Week 16, his 5th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. Leads all rookies in rush yards (872) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (1,246). • RB TYLER ALLGEIER had 88 scrimmage yards (69 rush, 19 rec.) & career-high 4th rush TD of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Robinson (1,246) & Allgeier (754) are 1 of 4 RB duos in 2023 each with 750+ scrimmage yards. Rushed for 55 yards in last meeting. • WR DRAKE LONDON leads team with 61 receptions & 808 rec. yards. Had rec. TD in last meeting. • TE KYLE PITTS had career-high 3rd rec. TD of season last week. Has 50 catches for 635 yards in 2023. • DL CALAIS CAMPBELL had season-high 1.5 sacks last week & has 5.5 sacks in 2023, his 13th-career season with 5+ sacks. Aims for his 3rd in row with sack. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Chi. with PD. • DL ZACH HARRISON (rookie) had 1st-career 2-sack game last week & aims for his 3rd in row with sack. • LB KADEN ELLISS had 10 tackles, career-high 3 TFL, sack & PD last week. Is 1 of 7 in NFL with 100+ tackles (110) & 10+ TFL (10) in 2023. • S JESSIE BATES ranks tied-2nd in NFL with career-high 6 INTs & ranks 2nd among DBs in 2023 with career-high 117 tackles. Has 6 PD & 3 INTs in his past 5. • S RICHIE GRANT had 2nd FF of season in Week 16.

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

13 Dec. 3 at New York Jets 1:00 PM W, 13-8 6-6

14 Dec. 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM L, 29-25 6-7

15 Dec. 17 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM L, 9-7 6-8

16 Dec. 24 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 29-10 7-8

BEARS NOTES:

QB JUSTIN FIELDS had 267 yards (170 pass, 97 rush) & 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) in Week 16, his 9th-career game with both pass TD & rush TD. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with TD pass & rush TD. Has 7 career games with 95+ rush yards, 3rd-most by QB in NFL history. Had 238 yards (153 pass, 85 rush) & 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) in last meeting. • RB KHALIL HERBERT had 121 scrimmage yards (112 rush, 9 rec.) & 1st rush TD of season last week, his 6th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. • WR DJ MOORE leads team with 83 receptions for 1,141 yards & 7 TDs in 2023 & is 1 of 4 WRs (Amari Cooper, Stefon Diggs & Tyreek Hill) with 1,100+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5 seasons. Has 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6 at home. Has 50+ rec. yards in 8 of his 10 career games vs. Atl. • TE COLE KMET had career-high 107 rec yards last week, his 1st-career 100-yard game. Has career highs in receptions (70) & rec. yards (678) in 2023. • LB T.J. EDWARDS ranks 2nd in NFC with 141 tackles in 2023 & needs 9 tackles for 2nd-straight 150+ tackle season. Has 5 PD in his past 5. • LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS needs 2 tackles for 6th-straight 100+ tackle season. Aims for his 6th in row with 6+ tackles. • DE MONTEZ SWEAT has sack in 2 of his 3 career games vs. Atl. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with PD. Has 6 sacks in his past 5. • DB JAYLON JOHNSON has PD in 4 of his past 5. Had FR in last meeting. • DB KYLER GORDON had 1st-career sack last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 7+ tackles. • DB JAQUAN BRISKER has PD in 6 of his past 7. Aims for his 5th in row at home & 5th in row overall with PD.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Green Bay Packers 4:25 PM L, 38-20 0-1

2 Sep. 17 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM L, 27-17 0-2

3 Sep. 24 at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM L, 41-10 0-3

4 Oct. 1 Denver Broncos 1:00 PM L, 31-28 0-4

5 Oct. 5 at Washington Commanders (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 40-20 1-4

6 Oct. 15 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM L, 19-13 1-5

7 Oct. 22 Las Vegas Raiders 1:00 PM W, 30-12 2-5

8 Oct. 29 at Los Angeles Chargers 8:20 PM L, 30-13 2-6

9 Nov. 5 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 24-17 2-7

10 Nov. 9 Carolina Panthers (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 16-13 3-7

11 Nov. 19 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM L, 31-26 3-8

12 Nov. 27 at Minnesota Vikings (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 12-10 4-8

13 BYE

14 Dec. 10 Detroit Lions 1:00 PM W, 28-13 5-8

15 Dec. 17 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 20-17 5-9

16 Dec. 24 Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM W, 27-16 6-9

Tennessee Titans (5-10) at Houston Texans (8-7): Rookie quarterbacks returning to health is the top storyline in the AFC South showdown with Houston holding onto hope for a playoff bid in C.J. Stroud’s debut season. The Texans are in a three-way tie with Jacksonville and Indianapolis in the division but are currently eighth in conference seeding, on the outside looking in at the postseason picture. However, should Houston defeat the Titans and Colts over its final two games, it will secure its first playoff berth since the 2019 campaign. The Titans have been eliminated from postseason contention, but they are anxious to get additional looks at Will Levis, who is 3-5 as a starter and was lost to an ankle injury in a 19-16 overtime loss to the Texans two weeks ago. Levis, who did not play last week in a setback against the Seahawks, has passed for 1,792 yards and eight touchdowns against four interceptions in his eight starts.

TITANS NOTES:

QB WILL LEVIS (rookie) completed 17 of 26 atts. (65.4 pct.) for 199 yards & had 1st-career rush TD in Week 15 meeting. Has 0 INTs in 2 of 3 games vs. division. • QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 18 of 26 atts. (69.2 pct.) last week in 1st start since Week 6. Had 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 138.9 rating in his last start vs. Hou. (1/9/22). • RB DERRICK HENRY rushed for 88 yards & 11th TD of season in Week 16. Has rush TD in 4 of past 5 & ties for NFL lead with 7 rush TDs since Week 12. Has 1,027 rush yards (171.2 per game) & 10 rush TDs in his past 6 vs. Hou., with 125+ rush yards & rush TD in 5 of 6 games. Needs 28 rush yards for 5th-career season with 1,000+ rush yards. Is 3rd player ever with 10+ rush TDs in 6 straight seasons. • RB TYJAE SPEARS (rookie) had 67 scrimmage yards (40 rush, 27 rec.) & 5 catches last week. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Ranks 3rd among rookies RBs with 45 catches & 4th with 743 scrimmage yards (428 rush, 315 rec.). • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS aims for his 3rd in row on road with 50+ rec. yards & TD catch. Needs 61 rec. yards for 7th-career 1,000-yard season. Spent 1st 7 seasons of career with Hou. (2013-19) & ranks 2nd in Hou. franchise history in catches (632), rec. yards (8,602) & rec. TDs (54). • TE CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO set season highs in catches (6) & rec. yards (63) & had 1st TD catch of season last week. • DE DENICO AUTRY has 0.5+ sacks in 4 of past 5. Had 2 sacks in Week 15 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with sack. • LB HAROLD LANDRY had 2 TFL & sack last week & has 0.5+ sacks in 3 of past 4. • LB AZEEZ AL-SHAAIR aims for 6th in row with 8+ tackles & 3rd in row with 2+ TFL. Had 13 tackles & 2 TFL in Week 15 meeting.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM L, 31-28 (OT) 4-8

14 Dec. 11 at Miami Dolphins (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 28-27 5-8

15 Dec. 17 Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 19-16 (OT) 5-9

16 Dec. 24 Seattle Seahawks 1:00 PM L, 20-17 5-10

TEXANS NOTES:

QB C.J. STROUD (rookie) has 0 INTs in each of his past 3 & 105+ rating in 2 of his past 3. Has 17 TDs (16 pass, 1 rush) vs. 4 INTs with 109 rating in 7 home starts. Has 968 pass yards (322.7 per game) & 7 TDs (6 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 111.5 rating in 3 starts vs. division. Needs 171 pass yards to surpass Mac Jones (3,801 in 2021) for 5th-most pass yards by rookie in NFL history. • QB CASE KEENUM completed 11 of 17 atts. (64.7 pct.) last week. Passed for 229 yards in Week 15 meeting. • QB DAVIS MILLS passed for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs last week. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY aims for 4th in row with 60+ scrimmage yards. Had career-high 170 scrimmage yards (121 rush, 49 rec.) in Week 15 meeting. Needs 60 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. • RB DAMEON PIERCE had 98-yard KR-TD last week, 1st-career return-TD. Hou is only team this season with 2 KR-TDs. • FB ANDREW BECK had 1st TD catch of season last week. • WR NICO COLLINS had career-high 7th rec. TD of season last week & has rec. TD in 3 of past 4. Has 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of 3 games vs. division this season. • WR NOAH BROWN had 8 catches for 82 yards & TD in Week 15 meeting. Has career-high 559 rec. yards this season. • TE DALTON SCHULTZ aims for 3rd in row with 55+ rec. yards. • CB DESMOND KING led team with 11 tackles & had 2 TFL & PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 11+ tackles & 2+ TFL. • CB DEREK STINGLEY had 2 PD & 5th INT of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ PD. Has INT in each of past 4 at home. • S DEANDRE HOUSTON-CARSON had 6 tackles, TFL & 2nd INT of season last week. Has PD in 3 of his past 4 at home. • DE JERRY HUGHES had 2nd sack of season in Week 16.

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

13 Dec. 3 Denver Broncos 1:00 PM W, 22-17 7-5

14 Dec. 10 at New York Jets 1:00 PM L, 30-6 7-6

15 Dec. 17 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 19-16 (OT) 8-6

16 Dec. 24 Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 36-22 8-7

Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) at Indianapolis Colts (8-7): Interim head coach Antonio Pierce is assembling an impressive resume tape for the full-time position with the Raiders as they head to Indianapolis with a plan to slow down RB Jonathan Taylor. Taylor has three consecutive 100-plus-yard outings against the Raiders and neither team can afford another loss in a tightly packed field of teams chasing the final playoff spots in the AFC. The Raiders are 4-3 under Pierce and upset the Chiefs on Christmas Day. Colts QB Gardner Minshew is on high alert after Las Vegas scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in each of the past two weeks. The Colts entered the week in the final wild-card spot in the AFC despite tumbling 29-10 last week in Atlanta. WR Michael Pittman (concussion, shoulder) is expected back from a one-game absence.

RAIDERS NOTES:

RAIDERS are 1st team with 2+ defensive TDs in consecutive games since Chicago in 2012. • QB AIDAN O’CONNELL (rookie) aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 163 completions, tied-3rd with 8 TD passes & 4th with 1,675 pass yards this season. • RB JOSH JACOBS aims for his 7th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Had 106 scrimmage yards (78 rush, 28 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with rush TD. Needs rush TD to become 7th player all-time with 7+ rush TDs in each of 1st 7 seasons. • RB ZAMIR WHITE had career-high 145 rush yards last week, most in NFL in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 85+ scrimmage yards. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS has 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards in 5 of past 6. Has TD catch in each of 3 career games vs. Ind., with 100+ rec. yards in each of his past 2. Is 1 of 4 in NFL with 5+ rec. TDs in each of past 8 seasons. Needs 28 rec. yards for 4thstraight 1,000-yard season. • WR JAKOBI MEYERS led team with 42 rec. yards last week. Has 5+ catches in each of 2 career games vs. Ind. • TE AUSTIN HOOPER has 55+ rec. yards in 3 of 4 career games vs. Ind. • DE MAXX CROSBY aims for 6th in row with TFL. Has 5+ tackles in 6 of 7 road games this season. Had sack in last meeting. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 20 TFL in 2023 & is 6th player sine 2000 with 20+ TFL in consecutive seasons. • DE MALCOLM KOONCE had career-high 4 TFL & 3 sacks last week, 2nd-straight game with 2+ sacks. • DT BILAL NICHOLS had 8-yard FR-TD in Week 16. • DT ADAM BUTLER had sack & 1st FF of season last week. • CB JACK JONES is 2nd player this season (DaRon Bland) with INT-TD in consecutive games.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM W, 17-16 1-0

2 Sep. 17 at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM L, 38-10 1-1

3 Sep. 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 8:20 PM L, 23-18 1-2

4 Oct. 1 at Los Angeles Chargers 4:05 PM L, 24-17 1-3

5 Oct. 9 Green Bay Packers (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 17-13 2-3

6 Oct. 15 New England Patriots 4:05 PM W, 21-17 3-3

7 Oct. 22 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM L, 30-12 3-4

8 Oct. 30 at Detroit Lions (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 26-14 3-5

9 Nov. 5 New York Giants 4:25 PM W, 30-6 4-5

10 Nov. 12 New York Jets 8:20 PM W, 16-12 5-5

11 Nov. 19 at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM L, 20-13 5-6

12 Nov. 26 Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM L, 31-17 5-7

13 BYE

14 Dec. 10 Minnesota Vikings 4:05 PM L, 3-0 5-8

15 Dec. 14 Los Angeles Chargers (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 63-21 6-8

16 Dec. 25 at Kansas City Chiefs (Mon) 1:00 PM W, 20-14 7-8

COLTS NOTES:

QB GARDNER MINSHEW totaled 232 yards (201 pass, season high 31 rush) last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his past 4 at home. Passed for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 102.8 rating in only career start vs. Raiders (12/15/19 w/ Jax.). Needs 60 pass yards for 2nd-career 3,000-yard season (3,271 in 2019 w/ Jax.). • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR aims for his 5th in row with TD. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 90+ scrimmage yards. Has 442 scrimmage yards (147.3 per game) & 4 rush TDs in 3 career games vs. LV, with 100+ rush yards & rush TD in each game. • RB ZACK MOSS needs 44 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN has 75+ rec. yards in each of his past 5. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LV with 6+ catches. Ranks 6th in NFL with 99 catches & can become 1st Ind. player with 100 catches in a season since 2012 (Reggie Wayne). • WR JOSH DOWNS (rookie) led team with 6 catches last week. • TE KYLEN GRANSON had season-high 5 catches for team-high 62 rec. yards in Week 16. Had 57 rec. yards in last meeting. • LB ZAIRE FRANKLIN had 12 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. Has 5+ tackles in all 14 games this season. Leads NFL with 161 tackles in 2023. • LB E.J. SPEED led team with career-high 13 tackles & had 2 PD & TFL in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. • DT DEFOREST BUCKNER has PD in 4 of past 5. Has 0.5+ sacks in 3 of 4 career games vs. Raiders. • DE KWITY PAYE had sack last week. Aims for his 4th in row at home with TFL. Had sack in last home meeting (1/2/22). • CB KENNY MOORE had 7 tackles, TFL & PD in last meeting.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 31-28 (OT) 7-5

14 Dec. 10 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM L, 34-14 7-6

15 Dec. 16 Pittsburgh Steelers (Sat) 4:30 PM W, 30-13 8-6

16 Dec. 24 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM L, 29-10 8-7

Carolina Panthers (2-13) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7): It wasn’t all that long ago that the Jaguars were coming off of a 3-14 season in 2021 and looking for a new head coach. Enter Doug Pederson, with Jacksonville going 9-8 in 2022 to crash the playoffs last January. Jacksonville can inch closer to a repeat appearance, but QB questions have dominated December due to a string of injuries to starter Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars try to snap a four-game losing streak Sunday and might be breaking in C.J. Beathard in place of Lawrence, who has overcome knee and head injuries to return ahead of schedule and is now fighting a shoulder issue. A Carolina loss would guarantee the Panthers the NFL’s worst record and temporarily the rights to the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft. But that prized selection is headed to Chicago to complete the trade that brought the franchise rookie quarterback Bryce Young in April. Carolina is in full rebuilding mode and with no head coach in place to oversee the U-turn. Carolina knocked off Atlanta two weeks ago and nearly pulled an upset of Green Bay last week before losing 33-30 on a last-minute field goal.

PANTHERS NOTES:

QB BRYCE YOUNG (rookie) passed for career-high 312 yards & had 2 TD passes vs. 0 INTs for career-high 110 rating in Week 16, his 2nd-career game with 2+ TD passes. Aims for his 3rd in row with 90+ rating & 4th in row with 0 INTs. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD tied his career high with his 5th rush TD of season last week. Has career highs in scrimmage yards (972), rush yards (774) & rec. yards (198) in 2023. Aims for his 7th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has 90+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. • WR ADAM THIELEN had 6 catches for 94 yards last week. Leads team with 95 catches & needs 5 catches for 2nd-career 100-catch season (113 in 2018). Has team-high 964 rec. yards & needs 36 rec. yards for 3rd-career 1,000-yard season (2017 & 2018). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Jax. with 75+ rec. yards. • WR DJ CHARK had season highs in catches (6) & rec. yards (98) & had 4th-career game with 2 rec. TDs in Week 16. Had 5 catches for 98 yards in his only career game vs. Jax. (12/4/22 w/ Det.). Had 147 catches for 2,042 yards & 15 TDs in 4 seasons (2018-21) with Jax. • LB BRIAN BURNS is 1 of 5 with 13+ TFL in each of past 3 seasons. Had sack, FF & FR-TD in last meeting. • LB FRANKIE LUVU led team with 10 tackles & had 6th sack of season & 3rd-career FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with TFL. Is only player with 100+ tackles, 10+ TFL & 5+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. • DT DERRICK BROWN had 9 tackles last week. Leads all DL in tackles (career-high 88) & games with 5+ tackles (11) this season. • CB DONTE JACKSON had 5th PD of season last week & has 5+ PD in 5 of his 6 career seasons.

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

13 Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 PM L, 21-18 1-11

14 Dec. 10 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 28-6 1-12

15 Dec. 17 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 9-7 2-12

16 Dec. 24 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM L, 33-30 2-13

JAGS NOTES:

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE totaled 240 yards (211 pass, 29 rush) last week. Has 8 TDs (5 pass, 3 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 106.4 rating in his past 3 at home. Needs 264 pass yards to become 1st Jax. QB ever with 4,000+ pass yards in consecutive seasons. • QB C.J. BEATHARD completed 11 of 15 atts. (73.3 pct.) & had TD vs. 0 INTs last week. Can make 1st start of season. • RB TRAVIS ETIENNE has 55+ scrimmage yards in 5 of past 6. Needs rush TD to become 4th Jax. player ever with 10+ rush TDs in a season. • WR CALVIN RIDLEY had 6 catches for 90 yards & 2 TDs last week, 6th-career game with 2+ rec. TDs & 2nd this season. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. Has 551 rec. yards (91.8 per game) & 4 rec. TDs in 6 career games vs. Car., 2nd-most rec. yards vs. any opponent. Needs 106 rec. yards for 2nd-career 1,000-yard season (1,374 in 2020 with At.). • TE EVAN ENGRAM led team with 10 catches for 95 yards last week, 3rd game this season with 10+ catches, most among TEs. Has 9+ catches & 80+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Leads TEs with 98 catches in 2023 & can become 8th TE all-time with 100-catch season. • LB JOSH ALLEN has 0.5+ sacks in 2 of past 3 at home. Had sack in last meeting. Leads team with career-high 13.5 sacks. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN led team with 12 tackles last week. Has 10+ tackles in 4 of past 5. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 160 tackles, 3rd-straight season with 150+ tackles. • LB TRAVON WALKER aims for 3rd in row with sack. • DE ADAM GOTSIS had career-high 3 PD in Week 16. • DE ROY ROBERTSON-HARRIS had sack last week. • S RAYSHAWN JENKINS aims for 6th in row with 6+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Aims for 3rd in row at home with TFL. Had 9 tackles, 2 TFL & sack in only career game vs. Car. (9/27/20 w/ LAC).

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 4 Cincinnati Bengals (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 34-31 (OT) 8-4

14 Dec. 10 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 31-27 8-5

15 Dec. 17 Baltimore Ravens 8:20 PM L, 23-7 8-6

16 Dec. 24 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 PM L, 30-12 8-7

Los Angeles Rams (8-7) at New York Giants (5-10): Don’t look now but few teams can boast a better second half than the Rams, who nearly upset the Baltimore Ravens and have otherwise won five of the past six to shove their way into the playoff picture. That’s not the case for the Giants, who are undergoing another QB change with Tyrod Taylor set to take the starting role from rookie Tommy DeVito. The Rams climbed out of a 3-6 hole and could clinch a playoff spot in Week 17 with a win and a Seattle loss to Pittsburgh. A more indirect route is a Rams win and a tie in the game between the Vikings and Packers. Those scenarios looked unthinkable when the Rams fell 20-3 to the Green Bay Packers in Week 9 when QB Matthew Stafford was out with a thumb injury. A well-placed bye week came next, followed by Stafford’s high-level play starting in a Week 11 victory over the Seahawks. Over the past six games, he has completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 1,578 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions.

RAMS NOTES:

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 328 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.7 rating last week, his 5th-straight start with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. Completed 22 of 28 atts. (78.6 pct.) for 251 yards & 4 TDs vs. INT for 128.7 rating in last meeting. Has 2+ TD passes & 115+ rating in 4 of his past 5 vs. NYG. • RB KYREN WILLIAMS rushed for 104 yards & had 9th rush TD of season in Week 16. Has career highs in scrimmage yards (1,249) & scrimmage TDs (12) in 2023 & is 1 of 3 (Tyreek Hill & Christian McCaffrey) to average 110+ scrimmage yards per game (113.5) in 2023. Aims for his 7th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 2+ TDs in 3 of his 5 road games this season. • WR COOPER KUPP has 55 catches in 2023, his 5th-straight 50-catch season. Aims for his 5th in row with 6+ catches. Had 9 catches for 130 yards & 2 rec. TDs in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with TD catch. • WR PUKA NACUA leads all rookies with 96 receptions (3rd-most by rookie all-time) & 1,327 rec. yards (5th-most by rookie all-time). Is 1 of 5 rookies ever with 3+ games (3) of 150+ rec. yards & 1 of 3 rookies in SB era with 6+ games (6) of 100+ rec. yards. • WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON aims for his 5th in row with rec. TD. • DT AARON DONALD had 14th TFL of season last week. Has 5.5 sacks & 8 TFL in 7 road games this season. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NYG with 0.5+ sacks. • LB ERNEST JONES had 2 PD, 2 TFL & sack last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TFL & 4th in row with sack & PD. Has career highs in tackles (132), TFL (13), PD (6) & sacks (4.5) in 2023. • DB JORDAN FULLER had 2nd INT of season last week. Had 11 tackles in last meeting. • DB JOHN JOHNSON has 6 PD in his past 6.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 Cleveland Browns 4:25 PM W, 36-19 6-6

14 Dec. 10 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM L, 37-31 (OT) 6-7

15 Dec. 17 Washington Commanders 4:05 PM W, 28-20 7-7

16 Dec. 21 New Orleans Saints (Thu) 8:15 PM W, 30-22 8-7

GIANTS NOTES:

QB TYROD TAYLOR passed for 133 yards & TD vs. INT last week. Had 2 TD passes vs. 0 INTs for 97 rating in his only career start vs. Rams (10/9/16 w/ Buf.). Has 487 pass yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 92.8 rating in 1st 3 starts in 2023, incl. 200+ pass yards in 2 of 3 starts. • RB SAQUON BARKLEY rushed for 80 yards & had 4th rush TD of season last week. Has 1,087 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 4th-career 1,000-yard season. Has 5 TDs (3 rush, 2 rec.) in his past 5. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. • TE DARREN WALLER has 42 catches for 456 yards in 2023 & needs 44 rec. yards to reach 500 for 4th time in past 5 seasons. • WR DARIUS SLAYTON led team with 90 rec. yards & had 2nd rec. TD of season last week, his 17th-career TD catch. • WR WAN’DALE ROBINSON has career-high 49 catches in 2023. • LB KAYVON THIBODEAUX has 7.5 sacks & 8 TFL in 6 home games in 2023 & aims for his 6th in row at home with 0.5+ sacks. • LB BOBBY OKEREKE had 10 tackles & PD last week. Is only player with 130+ tackles (132), 9+ TFL (9) & 9+ PD (9) in 2023. Has 5+ tackles in 14 of 15 games this season. • LB MICAH MCFADDEN has 7 TFL in his past 7 & has careerhigh 12 TFL in 2023. • DL DEXTER LAWRENCE had season-high 2 TFL last week & has 6 TFL in 2023, his 4th-straight season with 5+ TFL. • S XAVIER MCKINNEY had 10 tackles & half sack last week, his 5th 10+ tackle game in 2023, tied-most among DBs. Ranks 6th among DBs with career-high 104 tackles in 2023. Had 3 PD & 2 INTs in last meeting. • CB ADOREE’ JACKSON had 1st-career INT-TD last week. Has 4 PD in his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row at home with PD.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Dallas Cowboys 8:20 PM L, 40-0 0-1

2 Sep. 17 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM W, 31-28 1-1

3 Sep. 21 at San Francisco 49ers (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 30-12 1-2

4 Oct. 2 Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 24-3 1-3

5 Oct. 8 at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM L, 31-16 1-4

6 Oct. 15 at Buffalo Bills 8:20 PM L, 14-9 1-5

7 Oct. 22 Washington Commanders 1:00 PM W, 14-7 2-5

8 Oct. 29 New York Jets 1:00 PM L, 13-10 (OT) 2-6

9 Nov. 5 at Las Vegas Raiders 4:25 PM L, 30-6 2-7

10 Nov. 12 at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM L, 49-17 2-8

11 Nov. 19 at Washington Commanders 1:00 PM W, 31-19 3-8

12 Nov. 26 New England Patriots 1:00 PM W, 10-7 4-8

13 BYE

14 Dec. 11 Green Bay Packers (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 24-22 5-8

15 Dec. 17 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 24-6 5-9

16 Dec. 25 at Philadelphia Eagles (Mon) 4:30 PM L, 33-25 5-10

Arizona Cardinals (3-12) at Philadelphia Eagles (11-4): The health of Kyler Murray could be a factor after he missed consecutive practices midweek with an illness, but the Cardinals are optimistic he’ll take the field at Philly. It’s a reunion for the team’s head coaches. At this time last season, Jonathan Gannon was the defensive coordinator for a Philadelphia team that was stumbling ahead of a run to the Super Bowl. Gannon returns as Arizona’s head coach to face a team whose current Super Bowl dreams have diminished this month. The Eagles returned to the win column with an up-and-down, 33-25 victory over the Giants on Monday, but didn’t exactly return to Super Bowl form — two turnovers, nine penalties and a shaky finish after grabbing a 20-3 halftime lead. The Eagles did snap a three-game losing streak and moved a game ahead of the Cowboys in the NFC East. They still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a first-round playoff bye with two more wins and some help.

CARDS NOTES:

QB KYLER MURRAY passed for 230 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 97.5 rating in Week 16. Aims for his 6th in row with TD pass. Has 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 102.3 rating in 2 career starts vs. Phi. • RB JAMES CONNER had 5 catches, 112 scrimmage yards (67 rec., 45 rush) & 1st rec. TD of season last week, his 9th-career TD catch. Aims for his 4th in row with 85+ scrimmage yards & TD. Is 1 of 2 RBs (Derrick Henry) with 6+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 6 seasons. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of his 18 road games with Ari. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with 60+ scrimmage yards. • RB EMARI DEMERCADO (rookie) had career-high 7 catches & 50 scrimmage yards (40 rec., 10 rush) last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • TE TREY MCBRIDE had 6 catches last week & aims for his 7th in row with 5+ catches. Ranks 6th among TEs in catches (72) & 7th in rec. yards (743) this season. • WR MARQUISE BROWN had 8 catches for 78 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with 50+ rec. yards. • WR GREG DORTCH had 2nd TD catch of season in Week 16. • S BUDDA BAKER led team with 10 tackles last week, his 25thcareer game with 10+ tackles, most among DBs since 2017. Leads all DBs with 705 tackles over past 7 seasons. • S JALEN THOMPSON had career-high 3 PD & career-high 4th INT of season in Week 16. Has 5 PD & 3 INTs in his past 5. • CB ANTONIO HAMILTON had 2 PD last week & aims for his 4th in row with 2+ PD. Has career-high 10 PD in 2023. • LB DENNIS GARDECK had 6th sack of season last week. • LB KRYS BARNES had season-high 9 tackles last week.

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

13 Dec. 3 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM W, 24-10 3-10

14 BYE

15 Dec. 17 San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM L, 45-29 3-11

16 Dec. 24 at Chicago Bears 4:25 PM L, 27-16 3-12

EAGLES NOTES:

QB JALEN HURTS passed for 301 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) in Week 16 & has 15 rush TDs in 2023, most by QB in season in NFL history. Has 11 games with pass TD & rush TD, tied-most by QB in single season all-time (Josh Allen – 2023). Has 41 career rush TDs, 4th-most by QB in NFL history. Has 6 TDs (3 pass, 3 rush) vs. 0 INTs in 2 career starts vs. Ari. Has 20 TDs (12 pass, 8 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 100.3 rating in 7 home starts in 2023. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT rushed for 92 yards & 5th TD of season last week, his 4th-straight season with 5+ rush TDs. Ranks 5th in NFL with career-high 988 rush yards in 2023. • WR A.J. BROWN ranks 3rd in NFL with 1,394 rec. yards & 5th with career-high 101 receptions in 2023. Leads NFL with 13 games of 5+ receptions this season. • WR DEVONTA SMITH had 7th rec. TD of season last week. Has 1,036 rec. yards in 2023, his 2nd-straight 1,000-yard season. Brown & Smith are 1 of 2 WR duos (Tyreek Hill & Jaylen Waddle) each with 1,000+ rec. yards this season. Had 10 catches in last meeting. • TE DALLAS GOEDERT led team with 7 catches last week. Had 8 catches for 95 yards in last meeting. • LB HAASON REDDICK had 12th TFL of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ari. with sack. Had 20 sacks, 33 TFL & 9 FFs in 4 seasons (2017-20) with Ari. • DT FLETCHER COX has sack in 3 of his past 4. • LB SHAQUILLE LEONARD had 2 TFL & 1st sack of season last week, his 16th-career sack. • CB JAMES BRADBERRY had PD last week. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Ari. with PD. • S KEVIN BYARD has 102 tackles in 2023, his 3rd-career 100+ tackle season. Had INT in his last game vs. Ari. (9/12/21/ w/ Ten.).

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM L, 42-19 10-2

14 Dec. 10 at Dallas Cowboys 8:20 PM L, 33-13 10-3

15 Dec. 18 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 20-17 10-4

16 Dec. 25 New York Giants (Mon) 4:30 PM W, 33-25 11-4

New Orleans Saints (7-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7): Is there a true contender in the NFC South? The Bucs believe it’s them. Tampa Bay has gotten hot at the right time and has won four games in a row, and it can lock down the top spot in the NFC South with a win. Tampa Bay won its first two games but slid to 4-7 after losing seven of nine before the current winning streak began. The Buccaneers have averaged 28.5 points per game during the winning streak after scoring at least 28 points just once in their first 11 contests. They gained a season-high 452 yards in a Dec. 17 victory at Green Bay and had their fifth-highest total (335 yards) last week against Jacksonville. Tampa Bay holds the tiebreaker against New Orleans and Atlanta, who are tied for second in the division at 7-8. The Buccaneers handed the Saints their most lopsided loss of the season — 26-9 — back in Week 4 in New Orleans.

SAINTS NOTES:

QB DEREK CARR passed for 319 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 106.1 rating in Week 16. Is 1 of 2 QBs (C.J. Stroud) with 6 games with 300+ pass yards in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with 3+ TD passes & 100+ rating. Has 3,417 pass yards in 2023 & is 3rd QB ever (HOFer Peyton Manning & Russell Wilson) with 3,000+ pass yards in each of his 1st 10 career seasons. • RB ALVIN KAMARA aims for his 3rd in row with 5+ catches & leads all RBs with 73 catches in 2023. Has 1,111 scrimmage yards this season, his 7th-straight 1,100-yard season. Had 13 catches in Week 4 meeting. Has 1,078 scrimmage yards (89.8 per game) & 10 TDs (7 rush, 3 rec.) in 12 career games vs. TB. • WR CHRIS OLAVE had season-high 9 receptions for 123 yards last week, his 8th-career 100-yard game. Has 100+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. Has 90+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Has career-high 81 catches & 1,041 rec. yards in 2023, his 2ndstraight 1,000-yard season. • WR RASHID SHAHEED had 4th rec. TD of season last week. • DE CAMERON JORDAN has 10.5 sacks in 12 career games at TB. Aims for his 3rd in row at TB with FF. • DE CARL GRANDERSON has career highs in sacks (8.5) & TFL (13) in 2023. Aims for his 4th in row with sack. Had FR in last road meeting. • LB DEMARIO DAVIS has 108 tackles in 2023, his 7th-straight 100+ tackle season. Needs TFL for 7th-straight 10+ TFL season. Has 8 TFL & 14 PD in 13 career games vs. TB. • CB PAULSON ADEBO led team with career-high 10 tackles last week. Ranks tied-4th in NFL with career-high 16 PD in 2023 & aims for his 3rd in row with PD. • S TYRANN MATHIEU aims for his 3rd in row on road with PD.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 Detroit Lions 1:00 PM L, 33-28 5-7

14 Dec. 10 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 28-6 6-7

15 Dec. 17 New York Giants 1:00 PM W, 24-6 7-7

16 Dec. 21 at Los Angeles Rams (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 30-22 7-8

BUCS NOTES:

QB BAKER MAYFIELD completed 26 of 35 atts. (74.3 pct.) for 283 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 116.7 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 115+ rating. Completed 25 of 32 atts. (78.1 pct.) for 246 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 116.9 rating in Week 4 meeting. Has 3,598 pass yards in 2023 & can set new career high (3,827 in 2019 w/ Cle.). Has 26 TD passes this season & can set a new career high (27 in 2018 w/ Cle.). • RB RACHAAD WHITE had 6 catches, 77 scrimmage yards (39 rush, 38 rec.) & 6th rush TD of season last week. Has TD in 7 of his past 8 & aims for his 5th in row with TD. Ranks 3rd among RBs in scrimmage yards (career-high 1,380) & 4th in receptions (career-high 56). Had rec. TD in last home meeting. • WR MIKE EVANS had 2 rec. TDs in Week 16 & aims for his 5th in row at home with TD catch. Leads NFL with 13 rec. TDs in 2023 & became 5th player ever with 5+ career seasons (5) with 12+ rec. TDs. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6 at home vs. NO. • WR CHRIS GODWIN had 6 catches for 78 yards last week. Had 8 catches for 114 yards in Week 4 meeting & aims for his 5th in row vs. NO with 6+ catches. Has 892 rec. yards in 2023 & can reach 1,000 rec. yards for 4th time in past 5 seasons. • LB LAVONTE DAVID led team with 8 tackles & had sack last week. Has TFL in 8 of his past 9 & ranks 4th in NFL with 17 TFL this season. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. NO with 11+ tackles, 2+ TFL & sack. • LB YAYA DIABY (rookie) had 1.5 sacks, his 2nd-career FR & 1stcareer FF last week. Aims for his 4th in row at home with sack. • S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR. is only player since 2000 with 100+ tackles (110), 10+ PD (12), 5+ sacks (5) & 5+ FFs (5). Aims for his 3rd in row at home with sack & 4th in row at home with INT.

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

13 Dec. 3 Carolina Panthers 4:05 PM W, 21-18 5-7

14 Dec. 10 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 29-25 6-7

15 Dec. 17 at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM W, 34-20 7-7

16 Dec. 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 4:05 PM W, 30-12 8-7

San Francisco 49ers (11-4) at Washington Commanders (4-11): It might take the entire offseason for the Commanders to figure out what’s next in Washington, which limps into Sunday’s home game with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback amid a six-game losing streak. The playoff-bound 49ers have two games to figure out their direction, including their regular-season finale against the Rams. Wins in both matchups will give San Francisco the top seed in the NFC and a bye into the divisional round of the playoffs. The Niners can also clinch the top seed with a win Sunday, along with a Cowboys win over the Lions on Saturday and a Cardinals win over the Eagles on Sunday. But the 49ers are coming off the kind of jolting, humbling loss at home (33-19 to the Ravens on Monday night), that can leave even a confident team questioning its fitness for the postseason. Brissett has been sharp in relief the last two weeks, completing 18 of 23 passes for 224 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

49ERS NOTES:

QB BROCK PURDY leads NFL in rating (112.2) & ranks 2nd in both TD passes (29) & pass yards (4,050) in 2023. Can become 1st player ever with 7 games with 130+ rating in single season. Has 3+ TD passes & 135+ rating in 3 of his past 4 on road. Had 2 TD passes vs. INT for 114.6 rating in last meeting. • RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY had 6 catches, 131 scrimmage yards (103 rush, 28 rec.) & 14th rush TD of season last week. Has 505 catches in 90 career games & became fastest RB to 500 catches in NFL history. Leads NFL in scrimmage yards (1,932), & rush yards (1,395) & ranks tied-1st in scrimmage TDs (career-high 21). Needs 68 scrimmage yards for 2nd-career 2,000-yard season (2,392 in 2019 w/ Car.). Leads NFL with 12 games with 100+ scrimmage yards in 2023 & aims for his 9th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with TD. • WR BRANDON AIYUK had 6 catches for 113 yards last week, his 6th game with 100+ rec. yards in 2023. Has career-high 1,203 rec. yards this season. • WR DEEBO SAMUEL has 1,103 scrimmage yards (834 rec., 179 rush) in 2023, his 2nd-career 1,000-yard season. Aims for his 5th in row on road with TD. • TE GEORGE KITTLE had 7 catches for 126 yards last week, his 17th-career 100-yard game. Leads all TEs with 991 rec. yards in 2023 & aims for his 3rd-career 1,000-yard season. Had 6 catches for 120 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. • DL NICK BOSA had season-high 3 TFL last week. Has 3 sacks, 6 TFL & FF in 2 career games vs. Was. • DL CHASE YOUNG was selected No. 2 overall in 2020 by Was. & had 14 sacks & 19 TFL in 34 games (2020-23) with team. • LB FRED WARNER has 4th-straight season with 125+ tackles (126). • CB CHARVARIUS WARD leads NFL with 22 PD in 2023.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 PM W, 42-19 9-3

14 Dec. 10 Seattle Seahawks 4:05 PM W, 28-16 10-3

15 Dec. 17 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM W, 45-29 11-3

16 Dec. 25 Baltimore Ravens (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 33-19 11-4

COMMANDERS NOTES:

QB JACOBY BRISSETT expected to make 1st start of season. Completed 10 of 13 atts. (76.9 pct.) for 100 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 123.9 rating in Week 16. Passed for 124 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 157.9 rating in Week 15. In 48 career starts, has 60 TDs (48 pass, 12 rush) vs. 22 INTs for 85.2 rating. Passed for 314 yards & had rush TD in his only career start vs. SF (10/8/17 w/ Ind.). • RB BRIAN ROBINSON has career highs in scrimmage yards (990) & scrimmage TDs (8) in 2023. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON had 1st rush TD of season last week, his 22nd-career rush TD. • RB CHRIS RODRIGUEZ (rookie) had 58 rush yards & 1st 2 career rush TDs in Week 16. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN has 50 rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. Needs 115 rec. yards for his 4th-straight 1,000-yard season. Had 77 rec. yards & TD catch in last meeting. • WR CURTIS SAMUEL had 6 catches & rec. TD in last meeting. • TE LOGAN THOMAS had 5 catches & 4th rec. TD of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. SF with 6+ catches. • DT JONATHAN ALLEN has 4 TFL in his past 5 & has 10 TFL in 2023, his 4th-career 10+ TFL season. • DT DARON PAYNE has 5 TFL in his past 5 & aims for his 3rd in row at home with TFL. • LB CODY BARTON had 1st INT of season last week. Has 101 tackles in 2023, his 2nd-straight 100+ tackle season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. SF & 4th in row overall with 10+ tackles. • LB KHALEKE HUDSON had career-high 15 tackles & 1st 2 career PD last week & aims for his 3rd in row with 13+ tackles. • S KAMREN CURL had 5th PD of season last week. Ranks tied4th among DBs with career-high 106 tackles in 2023.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM L, 45-15 4-9

14 BYE

15 Dec. 17 at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM L, 28-20 4-10

16 Dec. 24 at New York Jets 1:00 PM L, 30-28 4-11

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) at Seattle Seahawks (8-7): The Seahawks are clinging to the final NFC playoff spot as they host a Steelers squad that cannot afford a loss as one of five 8-7 AFC teams fighting to get in. Mason Rudolph will start under center for Pittsburgh after throwing for 290 yards and two scores against Cincinnati last week, his first win as a starter since 2019. Kenny Pickett (ankle) has been out since Dec. 3 but was back on the practice field this week for the Steelers, who follow the trip to the Pacific Northwest with a Week 18 showdown against top-seeded Baltimore. Seattle is coming off consecutive 20-17 wins against the Eagles and Titans, which followed a four-game losing streak. Geno Smith returned after missing two games with a groin injury to throw for 227 yards and two TDs against Tennessee, including the game-winner to Colby Parkinson with 57 seconds remaining.

STEELERS NOTES:

QB MASON RUDOLPH completed 17 of 27 atts. (63 pct.) for 290 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 124 rating last week in 1st start of season. Passed for 2 TDs in only career game vs. Sea. (9/15/19). • RB NAJEE HARRIS rushed for 78 yards & 5th TD of season last week. Had 127 scrimmage yards (81 rush, 46 rec.) & TD catch in last meeting. Needs 50 scrimmage yards to become 1st RB in franchise history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • RB JAYLEN WARREN has 50+ scrimmage yards in 7 of past 8. Warren (1,006) & Harris (950) are only pair of AFC RB teammates each with 950+ scrimmage yards this season. • WR GEORGE PICKENS had career-high 195 rec. yards & 2 rec. TDs last week, 5th-career 100-yard game. Has 85+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC. Leads team with 1,009 rec. yards in 2023, 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON has TD catch in 3 of past 4. Has 50+ rec. yards in 3 of his 4 road games this season. Had 9 catches for 71 yards in last meeting. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON had 4 catches last week. Had 10 catches for 83 yards in only career game vs. Sea. (9/17/18 w/ Chi.). • TE PAT FREIERMUTH had 7 catches for 58 yards in last meeting. • LB T.J. WATT had sack, FF & PD in Week 16. Has 0.5+ sacks in 8 of past 9. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 2+ sacks. Had 3 PD, 2 sacks & FF in last meeting & has sack & FF in each of 2 career games vs. Sea. Leads NFL with 17 sacks in 2023. • LB ALEX HIGHSMITH had 7th sack of season & INT last week. Had 7 tackles & 1.5 sacks in last meeting. • DT CAMERON HEYWARD has TFL in 2 of past 3. Had sack in last meeting. • CB PATRICK PETERSON had 2nd INT of season in Week 16. • S ERIC ROWE had INT in season & Pit. debut last week.

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

13 Dec. 3 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 PM L, 24-10 7-5

14 Dec. 7 New England Patriots (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 21-18 7-6

15 Dec. 16 at Indianapolis Colts (Sat) 4:30 PM L, 30-13 7-7

16 Dec. 23 Cincinnati Bengals (Sat) 4:30 PM W, 34-11 8-7

SEAHAWKS NOTES:

SEAHAWKS became 3rd team since 1970 (Jax. in 2004 & Sea. in 2012) with 4 GW-TDs in final 2 mins. of 4th qtr. or in OT in single season. • QB GENO SMITH completed 25 of 36 atts. (69.4 pct.) for 227 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.7 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Has 90+ rating in 4 of his past 5. Had TD pass vs. 0 INTs for 99.6 rating in last meeting. • RB KENNETH WALKER rushed for 54 yards last week & aims for his 4th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has 1,006 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 2nd-straight 1,000-yard season. Has 110+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. • WR DK METCALF had 8th rec. TD of season last week & has 43 rec. TDs since 2019, tied 4th-most in NFL. Has 5 rec. TDs in his past 4. Has 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Had 6 catches in last meeting. • WR TYLER LOCKETT led team with 8 catches & 81 rec. yards last week. Has 76 receptions in 2023, his 4th-career season with 75+ catches. • WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA (rookie) had 6 catches for 61 yards in Week 16. • LB BOBBY WAGNER led team with 11 tackles & had 2 TFL & sack last week. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 154 tackles in 2023, his 4th-career 150+ tackle season. Has 10 TFL in 2023, his 4thcareer 10+ TFL season. Had 14 tackles in last meeting. • LB BOYE MAFE had career-high 2 sacks last week. • NT JARRAN REED has sack in 3 of his past 4. • DE LEONARD WILLIAMS aims for his 3rd in row vs. Pit. with sack. Aims for his 6th in row with TFL. • S JULIAN LOVE has career-high 10 PD in 2023 & aims for his 4th in row with PD.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM L, 30-13 0-1

2 Sep. 17 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM W, 37-31 (OT) 1-1

3 Sep. 24 Carolina Panthers 4:05 PM W, 37-27 2-1

4 Oct. 2 at New York Giants (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 24-3 3-1

5 BYE

6 Oct. 15 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM L, 17-13 3-2

7 Oct. 22 Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM W, 20-10 4-2

8 Oct. 29 Cleveland Browns 4:05 PM W, 24-20 5-2

9 Nov. 5 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM L, 37-3 5-3

10 Nov. 12 Washington Commanders 4:25 PM W, 29-26 6-3

11 Nov. 19 at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM L, 17-16 6-4

12 Nov. 23 San Francisco 49ers (Thanksgiving) 8:20 PM L, 31-13 6-5

13 Nov. 30 at Dallas Cowboys (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 41-35 6-6

14 Dec. 10 at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM L, 28-16 6-7

15 Dec. 18 Philadelphia Eagles (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 20-17 7-7

16 Dec. 24 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM W, 20-17 8-7

Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) at Denver Broncos (7-8): No team still alive in the AFC playoff picture has odds as dim as Denver’s entering Week 17. Sean Payton turned to Jarrett Stidham and away from Russell Wilson in a must-win scenario against the Chargers. “We’re desperately trying to win,” Payton said on Wednesday. There’s a lot more to it, most of it tied to guaranteed money on Wilson’s contract, based on multiple insider reports. Wilson hasn’t played poorly this season, but the Broncos have lost three of four after a five-game winning streak shoved Denver into the playoff picture. They enter the week No. 12 in the AFC playoff field that will ultimately include just seven teams. The Chargers already have been eliminated and are in the market for a new braintrust for 2024. Stidham started the final two games for the Raiders last season, replacing Derek Carr, who was released and went on to sign with the Saints in the offseason. In his first start as Carr’s replacement late last season, Stidham had 365 passing yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in a narrow defeat to the 49ers.

CHARGERS NOTES:

QB EASTON STICK completed 23 of 33 atts. (69.7 pct.) for 215 yards & 0 INTs & rushed for 25 yards & 1st-career TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 215+ pass yards. • RB AUSTIN EKELER had 86 scrimmage yards (65 rush, 21 rec.) last week. Has 85+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Had 100 scrimmage yards (51 rush, 49 rec.) & rush TD in Week 14 meeting. Aims for his 6th in row vs. Den. with 70+ scrimmage yards & has TD in 6 of his past 7 vs. Den. Needs 35 scrimmage yards for 4th-career 1,000-yard season. Has 69 career TDs (39 rush, 30 rec.), tied with Rod Smith for 3rd-most by undrafted player in common-draft era. • WR KEENAN ALLEN aims for his 10th in row with 55+ rec. yards & 8th in row with 5+ catches. Has 632 rec. yards (105.3 per game) in 6 road games this season. Had 6 catches for 68 yards in Week 14 meeting & has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Den. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 108 catches, single-season franchise record. • WR JOSHUA PALMER had 5 catches last week. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 100+ rec. yards. • TE GERALD EVERETT aims for his 4th in row with 5+ catches. • LB KHALIL MACK aims for 3rd in row with TFL. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Has 2 sacks & FF in 3 of his past 4 on road. Has 8 sacks in 6 career games at Den. Ranks 4th in NFL with 15 sacks. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS aims for 5th in row with 0.5+ sacks. Had sack in Week 14 meeting & has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. Den. • LB TULI TUIPULOTU (rookie) had 5 tackles, half sack & FF last week. • S DERWIN JAMES led team with 8 tackles last week, his 10thstraight game with 5+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Had 11 tackles & PD in Week 14 meeting. • CB ALOHI GILMAN had 1st INT & 3rd FF of season in Week 16

RESULTS

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

13 Dec. 3 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM W, 6-0 5-7

14 Dec. 10 Denver Broncos 4:25 PM L, 24-7 5-8

15 Dec. 14 at Las Vegas Raiders (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 63-21 5-9

16 Dec. 23 Buffalo Bills (Sat) 8:00 PM L, 24-22 5-10

BRONCOS NOTES:

QB RUSSELL WILSON joined HOFer Peyton Manning as only QBs ever with 3,000+ pass yards in each of 1st 12 seasons. • QB JARRETT STIDHAM expected to make 1st start of season. Has 584 pass yards (292 per game) in 2 career starts (both with LV in 2022). • RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS had rush TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Had 91 scrimmage yards (66 rush, 25 rec.) in Week 14 meeting & has rush TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. LAC. • RB JALEEL MCLAUGHLIN (rookie) led team with 67 scrimmage yards (37 rush, 30 rec.) last week. • WR COURTLAND SUTTON has 50+ rec. yards in 6 of past 7. Has TD catch in each of his past 2 vs. LAC. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 10 rec. TDs in 2023, most by Den. player since 2014. • WR JERRY JEUDY had 5 catches for 154 yards in last home meeting (1/8/23). Needs 2 catches for 3rd-career 50-catch season. • WR MARVIN MIMS (rookie) led team with 63 rec. yards in Week 16. • WR BRANDON JOHNSON had 4th rec. TD of season last week. • LB ALEX SINGLETON led team with 12 tackles & had PD in Week 16, 11th game this season with 10+ tackles, most in NFL. Aims for 3rd in row at home with PD. Has 46 tackles (15.3 per game) in his past 3 vs. LAC. Ranks tied-4th in NFL with 151 tackles. • LB JOSEY JEWELL had TFL last week. Had 9 tackles, sack, FR & PD in Week 14 meeting. • LB JONATHON COOPER aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had only career INT in Week 14 meeting. • CB PAT SURTAIN has 5+ tackles in 3 of past 4. Is 1st Den. player since 2000 with 10+ PD in each of 1st 3 seasons. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had sack & FF in Week 14 meeting, 2ndstraight game vs. LAC with FF.

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

13 Dec. 3 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 22-17 6-6

14 Dec. 10 at Los Angeles Chargers 4:25 PM W, 24-7 7-6

15 Dec. 16 at Detroit Lions (Sat) 8:15 PM L, 42-17 7-7

16 Dec. 24 New England Patriots 8:15 PM L, 26-23 7-8

Cincinnati Bengals (8-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-6): With losses in three of their last four games, the Chiefs aim to regain their composure. Kansas City can clinch a playoff berth and its eighth straight AFC West title with either a win or tie Sunday. The Chiefs also can punch both tickets with a Las Vegas loss or tie against Indianapolis and a Denver loss or tie against the Chargers. Kansas City didn’t do itself any favors with Monday’s 20-14 setback to the Raiders. Patrick Mahomes threw for 235 yards and a touchdown. However, his interception was returned 33 yards for a touchdown by Jack Jones to stake Las Vegas to a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. Frustration was evident as star tight end Travis Kelce threw his helmet on the sideline. Mahomes insists the emotion shows commitment, not controversy. Mahomes has matched his five touchdowns with five interceptions in his last four games. The status of WR Ja’Marr Chase looms large for Cincinnati. Chase sat out last week’s 34-11 setback to the Steelers. That snapped a three-game winning streak for the Bengals, who reside in 10th place in the AFC as one of five 8-7 teams in the conference.

BENGALS NOTES:

QB JAKE BROWNING completed 28 of 42 atts. (66.7 pct.) for 335 yards last week. Has 1,288 pass yards (322 per game) in his past 4. Has 73.7 comp. pct. in 5 career starts, 2nd-highest by QB in 1st 5 starts since 1950. Can become 3rd QB all-time with 300+ pass yards in 4 of 1st 6 career starts, joining Joe Burrow & Patrick Mahomes. • RB JOE MIXON aims for 7th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in 3 of past 4 overall. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & TD in 3 of past 4 on road. Is 1 of 2 in NFL (Tyreek Hill) with 1,200+ scrimmage yards in each of past 3 seasons. • RB CHASE BROWN (rookie) has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. • WR JA’MARR CHASE has TD catch in each of his past 4 on road, with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. Has 492 rec. yards (123 per game) & 4 rec. TDs in 4 career games vs. KC, incl. playoffs. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (Stefon Diggs & Tyreek Hill) with 80+ catches, 1,000+ rec. yards & 7+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • WR TEE HIGGINS had season-high 140 rec. yards & TD catch last week. Aims for 3rd in row overall & 3rd in row vs. KC, incl. playoffs, with rec. TD. Has 5+ rec. TDs for 4th-straight season. • WR TYLER BOYD aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON aims for 8th in row with 0.5+ sacks & 7th in row with full sack. Has 0.5+ sacks in each of 7 road games this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with single-season franchise record 16 sacks. • DT B.J. HILL had career-high 8 tackles in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles. Has PD in 3 of past 4. • LB LOGAN WILSON led team with 11 tackles & had TFL & PD last week. Aims for 7th in row with 7+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Has FF in 2 of past 3 on road. Has career-high 125 tackles in 2023. • LB GERMAINE PRATT has 10+ tackles in 3 of past 4. • CB MIKE HILTON aims for 3rd in row with PD.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 4 at Jacksonville Jaguars (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 34-31 (OT) 6-6

14 Dec. 10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM W, 34-14 7-6

15 Dec. 16 Minnesota Vikings (Sat) 1:00 PM W, 27-24 (OT) 8-6

16 Dec. 23 at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sat) 4:30 PM L, 34-11 8-7

CHIEFS NOTES:

QB PATRICK MAHOMES totaled 288 yards (235 pass, season high 53 rush) last week, 9th-career game with 50+ rush yards & 2nd this season. Has 13 TDs (12 pass, 1 rush) vs. 3 INTs with 106.8 rating in 5 career starts vs. Cin., incl. playoffs. Has 218 TD passes in 95 career games, surpassing HOFer Dan Marino for most-ever by player in 1st 100 games. Needs 62 pass yards for 6th-straight 4,000-yard season. • RB ISIAH PACHECO aims for his 4th in row with rush TD. Has 85+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4. Has 80+ scrimmage yards in each of 2 career games vs. Cin., incl. playoffs. • RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE aims for 4th in row with 45+ scrimmage yards. • TE TRAVIS KELCE aims for 4th in row overall with 5+ catches & has 5+ catches in each of his 6 games in KC this season. Has TD catch in 3 of his past 4 vs. Cin., incl. playoffs. Ranks 3rd among TEs with 90 catches in 2023 & is 3rd player ever with 90+ catches in 6 straight seasons. Needs 32 rec. yards for 8th-straight 1,000-yard season. • WR RASHEE RICE (rookie) aims for 6th in row with 6+ catches & 55+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3. Ranks tied-2nd among rookies with 74 catches & 3rd with 811 rec. yards. • WR JUSTIN WATSON had 3rd TD catch of season last week. • DT CHRIS JONES had sack last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. Had 3 TFL & 2 sacks in 2022 AFC-C meeting. Needs 1.5 sacks for 3rd-career season with 10+ sacks. • LB NICK BOLTON aims for his 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 16 tackles in last reg. season meeting. • CB L’JARIUS SNEED has 7+ tackles & 2+ PD in 2 of past 3. Has career-best 13 PD this season. • S JUSTIN REID aims for 7th in row with 6+ tackles.

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

13 Dec. 3 at Green Bay Packers 8:20 PM L, 27-19 8-4

14 Dec. 10 Buffalo Bills 4:25 PM L, 20-17 8-5

15 Dec. 17 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM W, 27-17 9-5

16 Dec. 25 Las Vegas Raiders (Mon) 1:00 PM L, 20-14 9-6

Green Bay Packers (7-8) at Minnesota Vikings (7-8): Longtime division rivals look to remain in the playoff chase Sunday night in a wildcard elimination game of sorts. The Vikings would boost their playoff chances to 49 percent with a win this weekend, according to playoff probability metrics. A loss? The playoff chances for the Vikings plummet to 4 percent. They’ll enter with another QB change (rookie Jaren Hall will start) as the Packers try to resolve a wobbly defense on the fly. Green Bay’s playoff chances are 55 percent with a win — but only 1 percent with a loss. Packers quarterback Jordan Love said players are embracing the stakes of the primetime clash. “We all know what’s in front of us, and we know what we’re capable of,” Love said. “We’re just going to go finish this thing off.” The Packers are coming off a 33-30 road win against the Carolina Panthers in Week 16 courtesy of a last-second field goal. Love threw for two touchdowns and ran for another one in the victory, and Aaron Jones rushed for 127 yards.

PACKERS NOTES:

QB JORDAN LOVE had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 109.1 rating in Week 16, his 3rd-career game with both pass TD & rush TD. Has 7 games with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating, tied2nd-most in NFL this season, incl. 5 of his past 6 starts. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with 27 TD passes in 2023. • RB AARON JONES had season-high 135 scrimmage yards (127 rush, 8 rec.) in Week 16, his 12th-career game with 125+ rush yards. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has 447 scrimmage yards (89.4 per game) & 4 rush TDs in 5 career games at Min. • RB AJ DILLON had 2nd rush TD of season last week. Has 4 rush TDs in his past 4 vs. Min. Needs 91 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight season with 900+ scrimmage yards. • WR ROMEO DOUBS led team with 79 rec. yards & had 8th rec. TD of season in Week 16. Had TD catch in Week 8 meeting. • WR CHRISTIAN WATSON aims for his 4th in row with TD catch. • WR JAYDEN REED (rookie) has TD in 5 of his past 6. • DL KENNY CLARK has 5 TFL in his past 4. Had sack in Week 8 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Min. with sack. • LB RASHAN GARY had sack in last road meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Min. with TFL. • LB PRESTON SMITH had 1.5 sacks last week. Had 2 sacks & FF in Week 8 meeting & has 5 sacks in his past 5 vs. Min. • LB QUAY WALKER had 5 tackles & half sack last week. Has 103 tackles in 2023, his 2nd-straight 100+ tackle season. • LB ISAIAH MCDUFFIE aims for his 3rd in row on road with TFL & 7th in row on road with 7+ tackles. • CB KEISEAN NIXON had 2 PD in last meeting. • S JONATHAN OWENS has 5+ tackles in 7 of his past 8.

RESULTS

1 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

13 Dec. 3 Kansas City Chiefs 8:20 PM W, 27-19 6-6

14 Dec. 11 at New York Giants (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 24-22 6-7

15 Dec. 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM L, 34-20 6-8

16 Dec. 24 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 33-30 7-8

VIKINGS NOTES:

QB NICK MULLENS passed for 411 yards & 2 TDs in Week 16, his 2nd-career 400-yard game. Aims for his 3rd in row with 300+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes. • RB ALEXANDER MATTISON has career highs in scrimmage yards (833) & rush yards (659) in 2023. • RB TY CHANDLER had 3rd rush TD of season last week & aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON had 6 catches for 141 yards & 4th rec. TD of season last week. Has 375 receptions & 5,648 rec. yards in his career, both most by player in 1st 4 career seasons. Has 28 career games with 100+ rec. yards, tied-2nd most by player in 1st 5 seasons all-time. Had 9 catches for 184 yards & 2 rec. TDs in last home meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. GB with 8+ catches, 165+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs. • WR JORDAN ADDISON ranks tied-1st among rookies in rec. TDs (9), 2nd in rec. yards (826) & tied-5th in catches (63). • WR K.J. OSBORN had 5 catches for 95 yards & 3rd rec. TD of season last week, his 15th-career TD catch. • LB DANIELLE HUNTER leads NFL with 21 TFL & ranks 3rd with career-high 15.5 sacks in 2023. Has 10 sacks in his past 8 at home. Had 2 FFs & sack in Week 8 meeting & has sack in 4 of his past 5 vs. GB. • LB PAT JONES had career-high 3 TFL & 1st sack of season last week. • S CAMRYN BYNUM had career-high 2 FFs last week. Leads all DBs with career-high 120 tackles in 2023. Had 2 PD & half sack in Week 8 meeting. • S JOSH METELLUS had season-high 10 tackles last week & has career-high 99 tackles in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. Had 8 tackles & INT in Week 8 meeting.

RESULTS

1 Sep. 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM L, 20-17 0-1

2 Sep. 14 at Philadelphia Eagles (Thu) 8:15 PM L, 34-28 0-2

3 Sep. 24 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM L, 28-24 0-3

4 Oct. 1 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM W, 21-13 1-3

5 Oct. 8 Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM L, 27-20 1-4

6 Oct. 15 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM W, 19-13 2-4

7 Oct. 23 San Francisco 49ers (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 22-17 3-4

8 Oct. 29 at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM W, 24-10 4-4

9 Nov. 5 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 31-28 5-4

10 Nov. 12 New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM W, 27-19 6-4

11 Nov. 19 at Denver Broncos 8:20 PM L, 21-20 6-5

12 Nov. 27 Chicago Bears (Mon) 8:15 PM L, 12-10 6-6

13 BYE

14 Dec. 10 at Las Vegas Raiders 4:05 PM W, 3-0 7-6

15 Dec. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals (Sat) 1:00 PM L, 27-24 (OT) 7-7

16 Dec. 24 Detroit Lions 1:00 PM L, 30-24 7-8

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BOWL ROUNDUP: NO. 6 GEORGIA CRUSHES NO. 5 FSU IN ORANGE BOWL

Carson Beck passed for two touchdowns in two quarters and No. 6 Georgia steamrolled No. 5 Florida State 63-3 on Saturday in a record showing at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Beck completed 13 of 18 passes for 203 yards before exiting as the Bulldogs won by an Orange Bowl-record 60 points. The previous largest margin of victory was 55 when Alabama routed Syracuse 61-6 on Jan. 1, 1953.

Kendall Milton rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns and Daijun Edwards also ran for two scores as Georgia (13-1) pummeled a previously unbeaten Florida State squad. The Seminoles (13-1) were missing several key players on both sides of the ball, most of them either declaring for the NFL draft or entering the transfer portal.

Freshman Brock Glenn completed 9 of 26 passes for 139 yards and two interceptions in his second straight start for Florida State. Glenn became the starter after star Jordan Travis broke his leg and Tate Rodemaker sustained a concussion and later entered the portal.

Peach Bowl: No. 11 Mississippi 38, No. 10 Penn State 25

Jaxson Dart threw three touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown as the Rebels defeated the Nittany Lions in Atlanta.

Tre Harris finished with seven catches and 134 yards for Mississippi (11-2), as the Rebels recorded 11 wins for the first time in program history. Ole Miss also had the second 10-win season in school history.

Drew Allar passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns and Tyler Warren had five catches for 127 yards for Penn State (10-3), which had 510 yards.

Music City Bowl: Maryland 31, Auburn 13

Billy Edwards Jr. passed for one touchdown and ran for another in place of record-setting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who opted out of the bowl game, to lead the Terrapins over the Tigers in Nashville, Tenn.

Edwards, a redshirt sophomore who attempted 10 passes during the regular season, helped the Terps (8-5) to a 21-0 lead after one quarter. Edwards completed 6 of 20 passes for 126 yards and also ran for a team-high 50 yards on 13 carries.

It was the fourth consecutive bowl loss for Auburn (6-7), whose last bowl victory was a 63-14 rout of Purdue in the 2018 Music City Bowl.

Arizona Bowl: Wyoming 16, Toledo 15

John Hoyland kicked a 24-yard field goal with one second remaining to lift the Cowboys to a comeback win over the Rockets in Tucson, Ariz.

Hoyland’s kick capped a game-winning, 12-play, 87-yard drive for Wyoming (9-4). Andrew Peasley completed 20 of 25 passes for 168 yards for the Cowboys, who won their final game under coach Craig Bohl before his retirement.

Tucker Gleason completed 14 of 34 passes for 184 yards and one interception for Toledo (11-3). Jacquez Stuart led the team with 99 rushing yards and a touchdown.

MOTIVATORS FUEL NO. 1 MICHIGAN, NO. 4 ALABAMA IN CFP SEMIFINAL

Jalen Milroe’s benching after Alabama’s Week 2 loss to Texas is well known, and so is his ensuing rise to one of the top players in the nation.

The chip on the shoulder of the Crimson Tide quarterback is pronounced as he leads No. 4 Alabama into the College Football Playoff semifinal contest against No. 1 Michigan on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Milroe has often heard he should switch positions. But watching those words come from the mouth of then-Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien (2021-22) was particularly irritating.

“My own offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien, told me I shouldn’t play quarterback,” Milroe said Thursday. “The biggest thing was to stay true to myself. I had a bigger purpose than anyone’s opinion. (O’Brien) told me a bunch of positions I could’ve switched to, but look where I’m at, so who has the last laugh?”

Milroe looks to add more enjoyment to his spectacular campaign when the Crimson Tide (12-1) face the Wolverines (13-0) for a spot in the national championship game. No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas meet in the other semifinal.

Milroe has passed for 2,718 yards, 23 touchdowns and six interceptions while also rushing for 12 scores. The Crimson Tide have won 11 straight games — including all 10 since he was restored to the starting gig.

The signature moment was the fourth-and-31 pass to Isaiah Bond with 32 seconds left to beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

“He’s a different quarterback than we’ve seen all year,” Michigan defensive end Jaylen Harrell said. “Freaky athletic, can make all the throws, big throws.”

Michigan has its own solid quarterback in J.J. McCarthy. He owns a 25-1 record as a starter, but that lone setback came in last year’s CFP semifinals when the Wolverines lost 51-45 to TCU. That setback stretched Michigan’s bowl losing streak to six. Now the pressure is higher.

“I think for the outside observer, it’s the biggest game in Michigan history, one of the biggest games in college football history,” McCarthy said Friday. “But to us it’s just another football game that we’re going to go out there and try to execute, play with physicality, and lock into all the little details that are going to show up in these big games.”

McCarthy has completed 74.2 percent of his throws this season for 2,630 yards and 19 touchdowns against four interceptions. Star running back Blake Corum (1,028) has topped 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season while setting a school mark with 24 rushing touchdowns.

The Michigan defense entered the bowl season as the nation’s leader in scoring defense (9.5 points per game) and No. 2 in total defense (239.7).

The Wolverines have thrived despite coach Jim Harbaugh missing six games due to two different suspensions. But Michigan’s reputation for falling short in big games includes an 0-2 mark in CFP semifinal appearances.

“I think everyone wants to change the narrative of Michigan football or how we can’t win postseason games or we haven’t won a (national title) in forever or whatever it may be,” Wolverines center Drake Nugent said.

On the other hand, Alabama is a stellar 6-1 in the CFP semifinals and has won three national titles during the CFP era. Few people thought the Crimson Tide would be back after a dismal Week 3 effort when a last-minute touchdown was needed to put away South Florida. Milroe was reinstated as starter the following day.

“After Week 3, I don’t think anybody thought we would be in this position,” Alabama defensive end Justin Eboigbe said. “But just truly each and every game, each and every practice, we just came together, understood that it’s us. And I feel like truly we became close as a team through all the doubts, the adversity that happened, and we truly understood that we still controlled our own destiny.”

Crimson Tide running back Jase McClellan (foot) said he’s good to play. He missed the victory over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference title game.

Alabama is 44-26-3 (plus one win vacated due to NCAA violations) in bowl games, while Michigan is 21-29. The teams have met five times with the Crimson Tide holding a 3-2 edge.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: MICHIGAN VS. ALABAMA

MICHIGAN NOTES

What You Need to Know

• The Wolverines are making their third straight appearance in the College Football Playoff.

• Michigan will play in its 21st Rose Bowl; 8-12 overall record.

• The semifinal is a match-up of the two winningest programs in college football: U-M (1,002) and UA ( 965).

• Michigan joined Clemson (2018- 19), Florida State (2013-14) and Yale (twice, 1891-92 and 1888-89) as the only programs to achieve a 13 -0 record in consecutive seasons.

• The Wolverines claimed their 45th Big Ten Championship with a 26-0 victory against Iowa.

• U-M is ranked No. 1 in the polls for the first time since 1997.

U-M Selected for Third Straight CFP Semifinal

• The Wolverines will be making their third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff with their selection to the national semifinal held in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

• U-M is one of the three Big Ten teams to advance to the playoff: Ohio State and Michigan State.

• The Wolverines will make their league-leading 21st appearance in the “Granddaddy of Them All” on New Year’s Day.

• U-M has appeared in more Rose Bowls than any other Big Ten school and trails only Southern California (34) in overall appearances by both conferences.

• Michigan has compiled an 8-12 overall record in Rose Bowl games. 

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Wolverines and Crimson Tide

• This will be the fifth meeting between Michigan and Alabama during the bowl season, with the series tied at two wins apiece.

• Michigan claimed victories in the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl (28-24) and 2000 Orange Bowl (35-34, OT) while Alabama earned wins in the 1997 Outback Bowl (17-14) and 2020 Citrus Bowl (35-16).

•The only regular season match-up between the two programs came in the 2012 season opener at Cowboys Stadium, a 41-14 victory for Alabama.

• This will be the sixth overall meeting with the Crimson Tide, who hold a 3-2 series advantage. 

Series vs. Alabama: Alabama leads 3-2
Series Streak: Alabama won 2
Last Meeting: 2020 (#9 AL 35, #17 U-M 16) 
Last Michigan Win: 2000 (#8 U-M 35, #5 AL 34, OT)

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Michigan Ranked First in the Polls 

• U-M is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press media poll and the AFCA Coaches’ poll heading into the match-up with No. 4 Alabama.

• Michigan is ranked No. 1 for the first time in 26 years; since the 1997 national championship season.

• The Wolverines moved up one spot to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings after listing No. 3 in the first four rankings this year and No. 2 in the penultimate ranking.

• Michigan began the 2023 season ranked No. 2 in the polls, which is the program’s highest preseason ranking since listing No. 2 in 1991, and maintained that ranking through 13 polls before falling to No. 3 prior to the Ohio State game.

• The Wolverines finished No. 3 in the polls the past two seasons marking just the third time in school history the program accomplished the feat; the only other times that U-M ranked in the top 5 in consecutive seasons were 1947 and 1948, capturing back-to-back national championships, and 1940 (No. 3) and 1941 (No. 5).

• Michigan has been listed in the top five of the national polls for 30 straight rankings.

• The Wolverines have been ranked in the top 10 of the polls for 42 straight rankings: 15 this fall, all 16 in 2022, and the final 11 of 2021.

• The Wolverines have been listed in the national rankings for 45 straight polls dating back to the second poll of 2021, including a current string of 42 consecutive polls in the top 10.

• U-M has been ranked for all but 13 contests during Jim Harbaugh‘s tenure (99 of 112 games).

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Game Notes Nuggets

(All rankings and statistics are pre-bowl games)

• The Maize and Blue have reached the College Football Playoff for the third year in a row. The teams to make three consecutive CFP semifinals since the system was developed (2015) include Alabama (2015-19), Oklahoma (2018-20) and Clemson (2016-21).

• Michigan has achieved its second consecutive 13-0 season and second 13-win season ever.

• Michigan captured its league-leading 45th Big Ten Title earlier this month, marking the first time in program history with three consecutive outright Big Ten championships.

• The last stretch with three consecutive Big Ten titles for the Wolverines was 1988-92, when four of five Big Ten titles belonged to U-M outright (1988, ’89, ’91, ’92).

• The Wolverines are averaging a scoring margin of +27.2 across their 13 wins this season, the best figure in the country (next: Penn State, +23.0).

• Michigan is one of seven teams to rank in the top 15 in both scoring offense (14th, 36.7 points per game) and scoring defense (first, 9.5 points per game allowed). Penn State (third defense, 12th offense), Florida State (sixth defense, 13th offense), Notre Dame (eighth, both), Georgia (ninth, both), Oregon (11th defense, second offense) and SMU (12th defense, sixth offense) are the other six teams.

• Michigan holds top-12 PFF grades and ranks in 10 of 13 major team categories Full list: overall team, No. 1 (95.5), offense, No. 6 (90.9), passing, No. 11 (87.6), receiving, No. 4 (86.6), run-blocking, No. 9, (74.1), defense, No. 1 (95.5), run defense, No. 6 (93.1), tackling, No. 2 (92.1), pass rush, No. 5 (90.7), and pass coverage, tied-No. 1 (93.1).

• U-M has trailed for only 23:33 of cumulative game time in 2023, as opposed to 1:11:39 through 13 games last season. The Wolverines have not trailed at any point in the second half all year and have at least three offensive touchdowns in 12 of 13 games.

• Wolverines were chosen as finalists for the following awards: Lott IMPACT Trophy (Junior Colson, winner), NFF William V. Campbell Trophy (Zak Zinter), Rimington Trophy (Drake Nugent), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (J.J. McCarthy), Wuerffel Trophy (Blake Corum), Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year (Corum).

• Eleven (11) players have made their first starts as Wolverines this season, including five on offense (AJ BarnerLaDarius HendersonMyles HintonTyler Morris, Nugent) and six on defense (Rayshaun BennyKenneth GrantKeshaun HarrisQuinten JohnsonKeon Sabb, Josh Wallace).

• U-M’s 0.578 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 0.162 points per play against, the lowest rate in the nation.

• 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 10.4 yards per point, while the defense forces opponents to travel 25.4 yards per point (No. 1 nationally). That margin (+15.0) is the largest in college football by a wide margin and one of only two margins in double-digits (Ohio State, 10.2). The same separation that exists between Michigan’s top-ranked margin and Ohio State’s second-ranked margin (4.8) exists between Ohio State and the No. 10 margin (Notre Dame, 5.4).

• In McCarthy’s 26 career starts, U-M is 25-1 for a winning percentage of 96.2, the best mark by any starting quarterback in at least the last 20 years. That winning rate ranks above those of Trevor Lawrence (34-2; 94.4), Tua Tagovailoa (22-2, 91.7) and Trevone Boykin (22-2, 91.7).

• McCarthy (5,718 career pass yards entering) passed Todd Collins (5,858 yards) for sixth on the all-time passing list at Michigan.

• In McCarthy’s career as a starter, the offense has registered 247 drives in which the quarterback starts and finishes the possession (excludes kneel-downs, ends of halves). The Wolverines have points on 146 of those drives (59.1 percent) with 106 touchdowns (42.9 percent of all drives) and 40 field goals.

• Through 13 games in 2023, McCarthy has completed 213-of-287 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 74.2, second-best in the country (Bo Nix, Oregon, 77.2). His completion rate is paired with an average depth of target (ADOT) of 9.8 yards downfield, whereas Nix’s is 6.9.

• In the red zone, the Wolverines have 42 touchdowns in 52 scoring conversions (out of 59 opportunities). McCarthy has nearly as many red-zone touchdowns (nine) as incompletions (15) and 23 of Corum’s 24 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 15th in third-down conversion rate on offense and conversion rate allowed on defense and also ranks top-seven in fourth-down conversion rate on offense and conversion rate allowed on defense.

• McCarthy has been particularly effective on third down, completing 46-of-64 pass attempts (71.9 percent) for 648 yards with a 182.71 passer rating. In situations of 3rd-and-7-plus yards, McCarthy is 29-of-38 (76.3 percent) for 463 yards with 25 first downs or touchdowns (five).

• This season, his 11.1 yards per attempt on play-action is 10th in the nation (minimum 50 attempts). He is 52-of-66 (78.8 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), over Drew Henson (3.43:1), Cade McNamara, and Shea Patterson (3:1).

• McCarthy is the program’s career leader in yards per play (7.85) and ranks sixth in career touchdown percentage as a passer (6.9). 

• He 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 sixth in the nation in pass efficiency (170.3) and eleventh in yards per attempt (9.16) while ranking second in completion percentage (74.2).

• McCarthy is ESPN’s No. 3 quarterback in total QBR (89.2) and PFF’s tied-eighth-highest graded quarterback (91.1). Jalen Milroe (90.6) is 10th.

• McCarthy is averaging 213.5 yards of total offense per game in 2023 despite only 22 fourth-quarter pass attempts on the season (1.69 per game). 

• Corum eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in the conference championship game (1,028), becoming the first Wolverine with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Denard Robinson in 2010 (1,702), 2011 (1,176), and 2012 (1,266). The last U-M running back to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons was Mike Hart in 2006 (1,562) and 2007 (1,361).

• Corum added to his already-established single-season record of 22 rushing touchdowns (entering) with two more scores, setting a new Michigan benchmark with 24 rushing touchdowns this season. He remains the only FBS player to score in each game this season, the national leader in total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, and points scored (144).

• Corum (55 career rushing touchdowns) is tied with Anthony Thomas (55) for the most career rushing touchdowns in program history. His 57 career total touchdowns are a modern-era record, surpassing marks held by Thomas (56) and Tyrone Wheatley (54).

• Corum (3,520 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 and Butch Woolfolk is sixth with 3,861 yards.

• Corum’s 144 points this year are three shy of the single-season scoring record set by Jake Moody (147, 2022). James Turner (106 points) is 12th on the single-season list and eight points shy of cracking the top 10. Five points would put him past Kenny Allen (110 points, 2016) for the second-most by a kicker in a single season in program history.

• Before 2022, no kicker in U-M history had made more than two 50-plus-yard field goals in the same season. Now, Wolverines have done it in back-to-back years with Jake Moody converting 52-, 54-, and 59-yard field goals in the 2022 season and Turner converting three tries from exactly 50 yards in the 2023 season.

• One more make from 50-plus would tie Turner with Hayden Epstein, Quinn Nordin, and Jake Moody for most in a career at Michigan (four).

• Turner has converted 13 consecutive field goals, three shy of the all-time record held by Brendan Gibbons (16). His 58 PAT conversions this year are two shy of the single-season record held by Jake Moody (2021).

• Donovan Edwards ranks tied-fourth among running backs in all-time receptions (68), 15 shy of B.J. Askew for third all-time. Another 15 catches this year would also give Edwards the single-season receptions record for a running back. He is fourth in receiving yards by a running back with 714, just 96 shy of the career record held by Anthony Thomas (810).

• Wide receiver Roman Wilson is tied for ninth nationally in receiving touchdowns (11), ranking second in the Big Ten. Those 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.

• Thirty (30) of Cornelius Johnson’s 45 offensive touches have produced a touchdown or first down. He has multiple catches in 11 games and at least one catch of 20-plus yards in 10.

• Three Wolverine pass catchers are among the Big Ten’s leaders in yards per route run (minimum 36 targets): Wilson (2.68) ranks 33rd in the country and second in the conference, Colston Loveland (2.43) ranks 59th among all pass catchers and third among tight ends nationally, fifth in the league among all pass catchers.

• Loveland has at least one catch in every game this year with 40 catches for 572 yards and four receiving touchdowns, ranking second on the team in the latter two categories and third in receptions. 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 eighth in receiving yards by a tight end across the NCAA this season (572) and eighth in single-season Michigan history; he lists tied-10th nationally among tight ends in receptions (40).

• Wilson (14 receiving), Loveland (11 receiving), Cornelius Johnson (eight receiving, one rushing), and Semaj Morgan (three receiving, one rushing, five returns) have combined for 43 explosive plays (20-plus yards). Six Wolverines have six or more explosive plays overall.

• Michigan’s offensive line has allowed only 18 sacks on the season (1.38 per game), the 29th-fewest nationally and third-fewest in the Big Ten. With that unit as the engine, U-M permits the fourth-fewest negative plays per game (3.38) of any team in the country.

• The Wolverine defense ranks among the nation’s best in third down conversion rate against (30.8, 15th), fourth down conversion rate against (32.1, seventh), pass efficiency defense (100.81, sixth), rushing defense (86.6 yards per game, fifth), red zone defense (71.4, fifth), passes intercepted (16, fifth), pass yards allowed per game (152.2, second), total defense (239.2, second) and leads the nation in defensive touchdowns (tied; five) and scoring defense (9.5 points per game).

• Michigan’s shutout of Iowa was the second in Big Ten Championship Game history (2014, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin). It was U-M’s second of the season (Michigan State). The last time Michigan recorded two or more shutouts in a season was 2015 (Weeks 4-6).

• The FBS-leading 4.5 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.

• The defense has held opponents to one series (four plays) or fewer on 46.7 percent (65-of-139) possessions with 49 three-and-outs/turnovers on downs, and 16 turnovers or safeties forced in the first four plays of drives. U-M has at least one three-and-out forced in 25-of-26 halves this season.

• On the season, U-M has allowed 165 first downs, an average of 12.7 per game which is the lowest rate nationally. On average, teams reach a first down by passing 6.8 times per game, the lowest rate in the country and the only mark below 7.0. 

• U-M excels in the second half defensively. Opponents have accumulated 35 total first downs in 13 third quarters played. Eleven (11) of 13 teams failed to reach 75 yards of offense in the quarter and four teams have been held under 15 yards of total offense.

• Opponents average 1.5 red zone trips per game against the Wolverines, the fewest in the country and one of two rates below 2.0 in the nation. U-M’s defense is a threat to score itself, with five touchdowns, tied for the national high mark. Four have come via interception returns and one via a fumble return.

• 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 SainristilWill 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 24 turnovers (16 interceptions, eight 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-13 overall.

• Nine different players have forced 13 fumbles (eight recovered), in addition to one blocked kick. Michael Barrett leads the team in fumbles forced (three) and recovered (two).

• The 14.3 completions per game U-M’s pass defense is permitting are the third-fewest in the country.

• The Wolverines have gotten their hands on 63 passes thrown by opponents (of 341 attempts, 18.5 percent) with 16 interceptions and 47 pass breakups. Defensive linemen account for 15 of those breakups and two of those interceptions (27 percent of all breakup/interceptions).

• Twenty-four (24) different players have at least a share of a tackle for loss on the season. Thirteen (13) different players have recorded at least a share of a sack so far this season, led by Jaylen Harrell (8.0 TFL, 6.5 sacks).

• Harrell ranks 11th nationally and third in the Big Ten in pass-rush win rate (20.7 percent). Josaiah Stewart is 28th in the country and seventh in the league (18.1), Mason Graham is 31st and eighth (17.6) and Derrick Moore is 39th and 11th (17.1). Braiden McGregor is 16th in the conference at 14.5 percent, giving U-M five of the 16 highest-graded pass rushers in the Big Ten.

• PFF gives Michigan front-seven defenders six of the top 25 grades for run defense in the Big Ten: Stewart (seventh), Barrett (ninth), Kris Jenkins (10th), Colson (13th), Graham (19th),  Moore (25th).

• Punter Tommy Doman is averaging 4.39 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. The only punter with a better average is Alabama’s James Burnip (4.40).

• Doman has five 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 five games. His current single-season average of 44.64 yards per attempt would rank fourth all-time at Michigan.

• The Wolverines are also among the best kickoff return defense units in the country, allowing 16.69 yards per return attempt (23rd, NCAA). Doman has delivered 61 touchbacks and forced nine fair catches on 88 kickoffs this season (79.5 percent).

• In the Big Ten Championship Game, freshman wide receiver Morgan had his first career punt return opportunity and took it 87 yards. It was the third-longest punt return in Michigan history, the longest in the history of the league’s championship game, and the longest allowed by Iowa’s All-American punter, Tory Taylor.

ALABAMA NOTES

Overall: Sixth meeting (Alabama leads, 3-2) In Bowl Games: Alabama tied, 2-2 Current Streak: Alabama, Won 2 Last Meeting: Jan. 1, 2020 – Orlando (W, 35-16) Series Notes: Alabama and Michigan will meet for just the sixth time in the history of the two storied programs. The Crimson Tide owns a 3-2 all-time advantage overall with the teams tied at 2-2 in bowl matchups. The Tide and Wolverines last met in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day 2020, with UA claiming a 35-16 victory. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 4-3 all-time against UM, including a 2-0 mark with the Crimson Tide. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is 0-1 against Alabama with the lone contest coming in that Citrus Bowl pairing.

2023 PERMANENT CAPTAINS: The Crimson Tide selected the 2023 permanent team captains at Alabama’s annual postseason banquet on Dec. 3. The group consisted of Jalen Milroe, Malachi Moore and Dallas Turner.

ALABAMA’S ALL-AMERICANS: Alabama had six total players earn All-America honors from one of the five major outlets (AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, The Sporting News, Walter Camp). Terrion Arnold (AP), Kool Aid McKinstry (AP, TSN) and Dallas Turner (AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN) all earned first-team honors with Turner representing the Crimson Tide as a consensus first team All-American. The second-teamers included Arnold (AFCA, TSN), Caleb Downs (AP, TSN), JC Latham (AP, FWAA, TSN, WC), McKinstry (AFCA, WC), Will Reichard (TSN) and Turner (WC). Reichard was also selected as a third team honoree by the AP.

ALABAMA’S CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICANS: Linebacker Dallas Turner was named a first team All-American by four of the fi ve major outlets at the conclusion of the 2023 regular season to earn consensus All-America status. Turner became the 80th consensus All-American in Alabama history and represented the 86th consensus honor for the Crimson Tide. The 86 honors are the sixth-most in NCAA history with the all-time leader being Notre Dame at 110. A total of 41 of the program’s 80 players and 46 of the 86 total consensus All-America honors have come under head coach Nick Saban. The 41 players under Saban alone would tie for the 17th most by any program in NCAA history.

ALABAMA WINS 30th SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: Alabama captured its league-high 30th Southeastern Conference crown with a 27-24 win over then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia in the 2023 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 2. The Crimson Tide has won eight of the last 12 league crowns (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2023) and is unbeaten in its last nine SEC Championship Game appearances (2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2023).

PERFECT IN CONFERENCE PLAY ONCE AGAIN: Alabama finished the 2023 regular season at a perfect 8-0 in Southeastern Conference play to mark the sixth perfect conference finish under head coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide also went 8-0 in 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2018 and finished 2020 at 10-0 against league foes. THE 12-WIN CLUB: With its 27-24 win over then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia in the 2023 Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Dec. 2, Alabama reached the 12-win mark for the 12th time in the last 16 seasons under head coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide reached the 12-win plateau in 2008 (12), 2009 (14), 2011 (12), 2012 (13), 2014 (12), 2015 (14), 2016 (14), 2017 (13), 2018 (14), 2020 (13), 2021 (13) and 2023. Across those 12 seasons with 12-or-more wins, Alabama has won nine SEC titles and six national championships, including three College Football Playoff national titles in 2015, 2017 and 2020.

TIDE REACHES 11 WINS FOR THE 27TH TIME: With the 27-24 win at Auburn on Nov. 25 to close out the 2023 regular season, Alabama secured its 11th victory of the year, marking the 27th time in program history that the Tide has achieved the feat. Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama has had 15 11-win seasons (2008-09, 2011- 23). It is the 13th straight season with at least 11 wins, which is the longest streak of its kind in SEC history. The SEC has had three streaks of three seasons with at least 11 victories, including Alabama from 1973-75, LSU from 2005-07 and South Carolina from 2011-13.

ALABAMA EXTENDS NCAA RECORD FOR 10-WIN SEASONS: The 66-10 win over Chattanooga on Nov. 18 was Alabama’s 10th of the 2023 campaign. The victory over the Mocs secured the Tide’s 16th consecutive 10-win season, adding to Alabama’s NCAA record for the most 10-win seasons in a row. The previous record was 14 straight 10-win campaigns by Florida State and head coach Bobby Bowden from 1987-2000. In the 15 previous 10-plus win seasons, the Crimson Tide finished with a 12-2 record in 2008 and 2014; 14-0 in 2009; 10-3 in 2010; 12-1 in 2011; 13-1 in 2012 and 2017; 11-2 in 2013, 2019 and 2022; 14-1 in 2015, 2016 and 2018; and 13-0 in 2020.

ALABAMA IN THE ROSE BOWL: Alabama has been a part of seven total Rose Bowl matchups, holding a 5-1-1 mark in those games. The Crimson Tide has played six of those contests in Pasadena with the seventh occurring in Arlington, Texas, at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 1, 2021 as part of the College Football Playoff Semifinal. Texas played host to the Rose Bowl in 2021 due to a global pandemic.

GOING BACK TO CALI: The Crimson Tide’s appearance in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2024, will be the program’s 12th game played in the state of California. Alabama holds an 8-2-1 (.773) record in The Golden State, including a 1-1 mark under head coach Nick Saban. The Tide first downed then-No. 2 Texas, 37-21, in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, 2010, before falling to then-No. 2 Clemson, 16-44, on Jan. 7, 2019, in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The matchup with the Longhorns was in Pasadena while the pairing with the Tigers occurred in Santa Clara.

NEUTRAL SITES: Alabama is 99-51-4 (.656) all-time in 154 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 31-7 (.816) in neutral site games.

ALABAMA vs. THE BIG TEN: The Crimson Tide is 28-13 (.683) all-time against the current member teams of the Big Ten Conference, including a 3-2 mark against Michigan. Alabama owns a winning record against eight of the 10 total Big Ten teams that the Tide has matched up with, with a 1-1 record against Wisconsin and an 0-1 mark against Minnesota. The Tide’s most frequent opponent is Penn State, with UA owning a 10-5 (.667) advantage in 15 contests with the Nittany Lions. Alabama has never faced Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern or Purdue in its history.

THE TIDE’S WINNING WAYS: Alabama enters the postseason as one of four teams in the country with at least six wins against opponents that hold a winning record and one of five programs with eight wins against bowl eligible opponents. The Crimson Tide is also one of two teams with four wins against the final regular season Associated Press Top 25 and College Football Playoff Rankings.

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 11 wins against the AP’s top-ranked team in program history, most recently against then-No. 1 Georgia in the 2023 Southeastern Conference Championship Game. Eight of those 11 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 85-79-1 (.518) 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 36-13 (.735) overall record against top-10 teams, including a 21-7 (.750) 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 80-21 (.792) against the Associated Press Top 25 since the start of 2008. That record includes a 4-1 record in 2023 with wins against then-No. 15 Ole Miss on Sept. 23, then-No. 17 Tennessee on Oct. 21, then-No. 13 LSU on Nov. 4 and most recently against then-No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 2.

SABAN LEADS IN WINS vs. TOP-FIVE TEAMS: Alabama’s 27-24 win over then-No. 1 Georgia in the 2023 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 2 was Nick Saban’s 30th 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 30-15 career record in top-five contests gives him a .667 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 27-24 win over then-No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 2 was Nick Saban’s 104th career win, and 82nd 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 (104-47, .689) tops Bryant (.592), Bowden (.557), Spurrier (.529) and Paterno (.512).

DOMINATING THE AP TOP 25: Alabama’s 45-20 win over then-No. 11 Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl to close out the 2022 campaign was head coach Nick Saban’s 23rd career win by 25-plus points against a ranked opponent. Saban is the all-time leader for the most wins by 25-plus points in the Associated Press Poll Era (since 1936), sitting just ahead of Bobby Bowden’s previous record of 20. Saban is also the NCAA record holder with 25 career wins of 20-plus points against AP top-15 opponents, including the win over the Wildcats. A total of 22 of Saban’s career 20-plus point wins against AP top-15 opponents have come while at UA.

THE ALABAMA-MICHIGAN SERIES: Alabama and Michigan will meet for just the

sixth time in the history of the two storied programs. The Crimson Tide holds a 3-2

advantage all-time with the teams tied at 2-2 in bowl pairings.

Michigan (UA leads, 3-2)

Date Result Site Score Total

Jan. 2, 1988 L N* 24-28 24-28

Jan. 1, 1997 W N** 17-14 41-42

Jan. 1, 2000 L/OT N*** 34-35 75-77

Sept. 1, 2012 W N**** 41-14 116-91

Jan. 1, 2020 W N***** 35-16 151-107

*—Hall of Fame Bowl (Tampa, Fla.)

**—Outback Bowl (Tampa, Fla.)

***—Orange Bowl (Miami, Fla.)

****—AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

*****—Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)

SABAN vs. MICHIGAN: Alabama head coach Nick Saban owns a 4-3 career record

against Michigan, including a 2-0 mark during his time in Tuscaloosa. His first five

matchups with the Wolverines came during his time at Michigan State, with the

Spartans going 2-3 in those contests. Since arriving at Alabama, Saban has faced

Michigan twice, coming away with a pair of three-plus score victories in each matchup.

Saban vs. Michigan (Saban leads, 4-3)

Date Result Site Score

Nov. 4, 1995 W H 28-25

Nov. 2, 1996 L A 29-45

Oct. 25, 1997 L H 7-23

Sept. 26, 1998 L A 17-29

Oct. 9, 1999 W H 34-31

Sept. 1, 2012 W N* 41-14

Jan. 1, 2020 W N** 35-16

*—AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

**—Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)

DEFENSES ON ALERT IN CFP SEMIFINAL BETWEEN NO. 2 WASHINGTON, NO. 3 TEXAS

A pair of high-powered offenses created the matchup between No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Monday at New Orleans, with a spree of points expected for the College Football Playoff semifinal.

All that touchdown potential will put both defenses in the hot seat in a game that is a rematch of last season’s Alamo Bowl that was won by Washington.

Monday’s winner will meet the survivor of the other CFP semifinal between No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama in the national championship game on Jan. 8 at Houston.

Washington (13-0) is riding a 20-game winning streak that extends back to Oct. 15, 2022, and could have easily been ranked No. 1 heading into the playoffs. The Longhorns (12-1) had the season’s benchmark road win at Alabama and have won seven straight games, including a dominating 49-21 victory over then-No. 18 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 championship game, to jump into the final four.

There’s plenty of evidence to substantiate the expectation of a shootout.

During the regular season, both teams averaged more than 469 yards of total offense per game, with Texas ranking ninth nationally and the Huskies 10th.

Washington, spurred by record-setting quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Michael Penix Jr., led the nation in passing yards per game (343.8), while the Longhorns were more balanced, finishing the regular season in the top 23 in both rushing and passing.

The Huskies’ offensive line won the Joe Moore Award for the best in college football; Texas counters with massive defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat, the Outland Trophy winner for best interior lineman, and linebacker Jaylan Ford, who led the Longhorns in tackles this season with 91.

“I’m not going to lie, their D-line is good,” Penix said. “But at the same time, they haven’t played our O-line. They showed a lot of great things throughout the year. With their whole defense, they do a great job. Their coaches do a great job with their system.

“They definitely play good ball, man. But we’re not playing the 49ers’ D-line or the Eagles’ D-line. So we’ll be good.”

The Longhorns have survived a two-game injury absence of quarterback Quinn Ewers and the loss of running back Jonathon Brooks, who had 1,139 rushing yards through the first 11 games. They have responded by putting together arguably their best two games of the season.

So how do the teams keep the ball rolling after such a successful run to the playoffs? Texas coach Steve Sarkisian believes energetic practices are a positive sign moving toward Monday.

“Part of it was making sure that we did enough good-on-good in practice,” Sarkisian said. “Especially early on in the prep. That we kept the speed of the competitiveness, of what a game would feel like in a practice setting. Not necessarily to scrimmage all the time, but at the line of scrimmage, offensive line, they need to feel the speed and physicality of our defensive line.

“Our DBs need to feel the speed and the rhythm of our passing game because that’s critical when that ball gets kicked off next Monday night. It’s all going to be fast.”

The Longhorns are a four-point favorite despite being the lower-ranked team.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME PREVIEW: TEXAS VS. WASHINGTON

TEXAS NOTES

THE OPENING KICKOFF • The University of Texas continues its 131st season of football on New Year’s Day when the Longhorns face Washington in the 2024 Allstate Sugar Bowl. The College Football Playoff semifinal between the Longhorns (12-1) and Pac-12 Champion Huskies (13-0) will kick off at 7:45 p.m. CT from inside Caesars Superdome and air nationally on ESPN. • Texas will be making its first College Football Playoff appearance in program history, climbing from No. 7 in the penultimate CFP ranking last week to No. 3 after a dominant victory over No. 18 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship game, winning 49-21. • The Longhorns won the Big 12 title for the first time since 2009 and the fourth time in program history. • Texas won the first-ever Big 12 Championship in 1995 and the four overall titles are the second-most in conference history. • Washington defeated Oregon for the Pac-12 crown, the Huskies’ first since 2018, and has won 20 consecutive games, the longest active streak among FBS programs. • Texas’ No. 3 ranking in the College Football Playoff is the highest in program history. The Horns had been selected at number seven in the first five CFP rankings, the best mark in program history, prior to climbing to third. • The Longhorns checked in at No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll, the fourth time this season UT his been ranked in the top-3, and at No. 4 in the Coaches poll, the second time the Horns have been in the top-4 in 2023. • Texas (No. 3/4) is ranked in the AP Top-10 for the 13th consecutive week and the Coaches poll Top-10 for the eighth-straight week, the longest streak for UT in both polls since the 2009-10 seasons. • The Longhorns’ 13-1 start is the best for the program since 2009. • UT has won seven consecutive games, the longest winning streak for Texas since 2008-09 (17 games). • Texas currently boasts 948 all-time wins, the fourth most in college football history. UT holds an all-time record of 948-391-33 (.703).

LONGHORN BOWL HISTORY • Texas is making its 59th all-time bowl appearance this season, the third-most in the country behind only Alabama and Georgia. • The Longhorns have an all-time record of 31-25-2 (.552) in bowl games. • This year’s Sugar Bowl will be UT’s fifth all-time appearance in the game. The Longhorns are 2-2 in the Sugar Bowl, with their last appearance being a 28-21 victory over Georgia in 2019. Prior to that, the Horns won the 1948 Sugar Bowl, 27-7 over Alabama, lost the 1958 Sugar Bowl, 39-7 to Ole Miss, and fell in the 1995 Sugar Bowl to Virginia Tech, 28-10. • The Cotton Bowl (22 appearances), Alamo Bowl and Bluebonnet Bowl (six appearances) are the only bowl games that the Longhorns have appeared in more frequently than the Sugar Bowl, while this year’s fifth appearance will match the number of times Texas has played in the Holiday Bowl. • Texas will be making its 18th trip overall to Louisiana. The Longhorns have a 10-6-1 record in the Pelican State with a 7-0-1 record in New Orleans against Tulane, a 1-4 mark against LSU in Baton Rouge and a 2-2 Sugar Bowl record. The Horns are 2-1 all-time in the Superdome (a win over Georgia and a loss to Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl and a 2002 win over Tulane). • Texas will be playing a current member of the Pac-12 Conference for the 14th time. UT holds an 8-5 record in those instances.

SERIES HISTORY VS. WASHINGTON • Texas and Washington will face off for the sixth time in series history. The teams met in last season’s Valero Alamo in San Antonio. The Longhorns and Huskies will meet in back-to-back seasons for the first time since a home-and-home series in 1974-75. • Texas holds a 3-2 record all-time against Washington, including a 1-2 record in neutral-site meetings. UT fell to Washington in the 2022 Alamo Bowl, (27-20) after previously besting the Huskies at the 2001 Holiday Bowl (47-43) and Washington claiming the win at the 1979 Sun Bowl (14-7). Texas won a home-and-home series against Washington in the early 70’s winning in Austin by a score of 35-21 in 1974, then topping the Huskies in Seattle in 1975, 28-10.

A TEXAS WIN WOULD … • Be Texas’ 949th all-time victory, the fourth winningest program in college football history. • Give the Longhorns their first CFP semifinal win and advance Texas to the CFP national championship for the first time in program history. • Move Texas to the National Championship Game for the first time since 2009. • Give Steve Sarkisian his 72nd victory as a head coach and 26th at Texas in his 120th career game as a head coach. • Mark the first 13-1 start for a Steve Sarkisian led team and the best for the Longhorns since 2009 (13-1). • Be the Longhorns’ first 13-win season since 2009. • Extend Texas’ winning streak to eight-straight games, the longest since 2008-09 (17 games). • Mark Texas’ second consecutive neutral-site victory. THIRD SEASON OF SARKISIAN ERA • Texas Football Head Coach Steve Sarkisian is in his third season at the helm of the Longhorns and his 10th season as a head coach overall. • Last season, the Texas offense ranked 24th in the nation and third in the Big 12 Conference with 34.5 points per game, the fourth-straight top-25 scoring output for a Sarkisian-led offense.

• The offensive showing also marked the eighth top-25 scoring offense in Sarkisian’s career. • Marked the seventh time a Sarkisian offense averaged at least 34 points per game. • Jonathon Brooks surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the season in the victory over Kansas State, marking the 12th consecutive year a Sarkisian offense (as head coach or offensive coordinator) has had a 1,000-yard rusher. • Texas has had both a 1,000-yard rusher and 500-yard rusher in all three of his seasons at UT. Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson rushed for over 1,000 and 500 yards, respectively, in 2021 and 2022, while Jonathon Brooks topped 1,000 yards this season and CJ Baxter has surpassed 500 yards on the ground this year. VICTORY COUNT • For the third time in program history, Texas heads into a bowl game with 12 wins (2005, 2009). • Texas has three wins this season over teams in the final College Football Playoff Top-25 rankings: Alabama, Oklahoma State, Kansas State • The Longhorns have eight wins over teams playing in bowl games.

RECORD-SETTING CHAMPIONSHIP GAME • Texas had 422 yards of offense and 35 points in the first half of the Big 12 Championship Game. • Texas finished the game with 662 yards of total offense, it is the fifth time they’ve surpassed 500 total yards of offense this season. • The 49 combined points in the first half is the most points scored in a half in Big 12 Championship game history. The previous record was 46 (Colorado vs Texas, 2001). • QB Quinn Ewers, the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player, completed 35-of-46 passes for 452 yards and four touchdowns, breaking the Big 12 Championship Game record and establishing career-highs for completions and passing yards, while also equaling the Big 12 Championship Game and his personal best with four touchdown passes. • Texas became the only Power 5 team over the last 20 seasons to put up 400 yards of offense and 35 points in a single half of a conference title game. • Texas’ 662 yards of offense in the Big 12 title game were 7th-most ever in a game for Longhorns. Meanwhile, the Longhorns defense held an OSU offense that was averaging 433 yards per game to 281 (89 of which came on the Cowboys final drive when Texas led 49-14).

FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS • Over the last 2 games, Texas has averaged 595 yards of offense (345 pass/250 rush) and 53 points. By contrast, the defense has allowed an average of just 239.5 yards (169 pass/70.5 rush) and 14 total points in that stretch. • Texas has scored over 30 points in the second half against Texas Tech and the first half against Oklahoma State, the first time this season with back-to-back games of 30 point halves.

WASHINGTON NOTES

THE GAME: The No. 2-ranked Washington football team (13-0) takes on No. 3 Texas (12-1) in the 2024 Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1 at Caesers Superdome in New Orleans. The winner of this College Football Playoff game will advance to face the winner of Michigan-Alabama one week later in Houston. The Sugar Bowl kicks off 5:45 p.m. PT and will air on ESPN television. HUSKIES’ BOWL HISTORY: Washington will be making its 42nd bowl game appearance in New Orleans. The Huskies enter the game with an 20-20-1 overall record in bowl games, dating back to the 1924 Rose Bowl, where the UW tied Navy, 14-14. This game vs. Texas marks the first-ever trip to the Sugar Bowl by a Pac-12 team.

13 WINS: Washington has won 13 games for the first time in UW history, and finished the regular season unbeaten for the first time since 1991, when the Huskies went 11-0 in the regular season before beating Michigan in the 1991 Rose Bowl. Prior to that, the Huskies hadn’t gone unbeaten and untied in the regular season since 1916. The Dawgs also won 12 or more games for just the third time ever (12-0 in 1991; 12-2 in 2016). TWO 100-YARD RECEIVERS IN A GAME: Prior to the start of this season, Washington had had just eight games in its history with two players finishing with 100 or more receiving yards (including two such games last year). In 2023, UW has had two players with 100 receiving yards in six of 13 games: vs. Boise State: Rome Oduzne (132) & Ja’Lynn Polk (101) vs. Tulsa: Jalen McMillan (120) & Odunze (107) at Michigan State: Odunze (180) & Polk (118) vs. California: Polk (127) & Odunze (125) vs. Oregon: Odunze (128) & Polk (118) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 Champ. Game): McMillan (131) & Odunze (102) Additionally, last year, Odunze was the first Husky ever to record four straight 100-yard games. In both the first and last four games of 2023, he matched that streak, twice.

CONFERENCE MOVES: Along with USC, UCLA and Oregon, the Huskies will move to the Big Ten Conference after this coming academic year (2023-24) and will play a Big Ten schedule in 2024. Four other current Pac-12 programs – Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah – will join the Big 12 Conference in 2024-25; while Stanford and California will join the ACC. Washington has been a member of what is now the Pac-12 since the inception of the league, in 1915. UW-TEXAS TIES: One main connection between the current Washington and Texas football teams is obvious: third-year Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian served as head coach at Washington from 2009 through 2013. Sarkisian’s UT staff also includes a number of individuals with direct UW ties. Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski coached at UW from 2014 through 2020, while co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Jeff Choate was also on the Husky staff in 2014 and 2015 before taking the job as head coach at Montana State. Additionally, Texas strength & conditioning coach Torre Becton worked at Washington from 2011-15, under both Sarkisian and Chris Petersen. The staff also includes former UW linebacker Tevis Bartlett (a graduate assistant coach) and Joey Thomas (a UT analyst), who began his playing career at UW before transferring to Montana State. Former Husky GA Henry Fernandez and quality control coach Jeff Crosby are also on the Texas staff, as is former UW director of football operations Jared Blank. The Husky roster includes six players who attended high school in the state of Texas: WR Ja’Lynn Polk (Lufkin), RB Will Nixon (Waco/Midway), CB Jaivion Green (Houston/Lamar), S Diesel Gordon (Arlington/Seguin), EDGE Anthony James (Lavon/Wylie East), and CB Jabbar Muhammad (DeSoto).

HUSKIES vs. LONGHORNS HISTORY: The Huskies and Longhorns will be facing one another in a bowl game for the second year in a row, having played in the Valero Alamo Bowl last year. It’s the first (and only) time since the 1992 and 1993 Rose Bowls (Michigan that UW has faced the same team in a bowl game in consecutive years. Washington and Texas have squared off against one another just five times, despite sharing a significant connection. In 1956, Darrell Royal was hired as Washington’s new head football coach, having served the previous two years as head coach at Mississippi State. A former Oklahoma player and Bud Wilkinson disciple, Royal’s tenure on Montlake lasted just one season before Texas came calling. He moved to Austin where he was so successful (180 wins, 11 Southwest Conference titles, 3 national championships) that they named the Longhorns’ stadium after him. It took nearly two decades to arrange a series against his former team as the Huskies and Horns played a home-and-home in 1974 and 1975. They’ve since played one another two more times, in bowl games. Here are brief recaps of the five Washington-Texas games: October 5, 1974 • Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas #19 TEXAS 35, WASHINGTON 21 Washington traveled to Austin for the fourth and final game of the non-conference schedule in what would turn out to be the final season for UW head coach Jim Owens, who had replaced Royal back in 1957. Both teams came into the game with 2-1 records. Washington grabbed the early lead on a 40-yard pass from Chris Rowland to Robin Earl, but by halftime, the home team had compiled a 21-14 lead. In the second half, the strong Texas ground game took over as the Longhorns, behind Roosevelt Leaks and freshman Earl Campbell, racked up 367 rushing yards for the game, 300 more than the Huskies. Campbell, already an emerging star four games into his career, finished with 125 yards on just 16 carries. Rowland led the Huskies, passing for a solid 328 yards and two scores, with Scott Phillips compiling 133 receiving yards. The Longhorns would go on to finish 8-3, before falling to Auburn in the Gator Bowl. Washington went 5-6 and, after winning the Apple Cup, Owens stepped down.

September 20 • Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash. #8 TEXAS 28, WASHINGTON 10 Just one week after the UW’s first game under new head coach Don James (a 35-12 loss at Arizona State), the Huskies welcomed 8th-ranked Texas to Seattle. In a manner similar to the previous year’s game in Austin, the Texas wishbone offense, and its talented stars, proved too much for the Huskies. Now a sophomore, Campbell had another outstanding game, rushing for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, while quarterback Marty Akins ran for 140. The Longhorns finished with 440 rushing yards to go with just 23 through the air. Washington split time with quarterbacks Rowland and JC transfer Warren Moon, who combined to pass for 128 yards.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: FLORIDA GULF COAST CLIPS NO. 7 FAU

Dallion Johnson sank the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:12 remaining as host Florida Gulf Coast knocked off No. 7 Florida Atlantic 72-68 on Saturday night in Fort Myers, Fla.

The Eagles (6-9) hosted a Top 10 team for the first time in school history and led most of the way. They allowed the Owls to tie the score twice in the final 4:46 before Johnson sank the clutch trey from the left side over Jalen Gaffney after a timeout.

After Johnson’s triple, Florida Atlantic (10-3) got two offensive rebounds on its next trip and Johnell Davis missed a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left. Franco Miller Jr. hit one of two free throws with 16 seconds left, but Florida Gulf Coast got the offensive rebound.

After a traveling violation by the Eagles’ Rahmir Barno with 13 seconds left, Alijah Martin missed a trey for the Owls and Miller secured the defensive rebound with five seconds left.

No. 2 Kansas 86, Wichita State 67

Hunter Dickinson had another double-double for the Jayhawks, who cruised past the Shockers in a neutral-site game at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Dickinson finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for his eighth double-double in 13 games this season. Kansas (12-1) extended its winning streak to eight games. Kevin McCullar Jr. added 20 points.

Wichita State (8-5), which lost on this court to another in-state rival, Kansas State, 69-60 nine days ago, was led by Dalen Ridgnal with 13 points. Xavier Bell added 11 points and Quincy Ballard had 10.

No. 3 Houston 81, Penn 42

L.J. Cryer surpassed 1,000 career points while freshman forward Joseph Tugler posted a career-high 13 points as the host Cougars completed an unbeaten nonconference slate by walloping the Quakers.

Cryer, a Baylor transfer who needed eight points to reach the milestone, scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half. Tugler added seven rebounds after starting in place of J’Wan Roberts, who aggravated a knee injury last week against Texas State.

Jamal Shead had 14 points and four assists for the Cougars, who will host West Virginia in their Big 12 opener on Jan. 6. Befitting its reputation, Houston (13-0) dominated with defense. Tyler Perkins led the Quakers (8-6) with 10 points. Penn finished with 22 turnovers and shot 31.1 percent from the field.

No. 10 Marquette 72, No. 22 Creighton 67

Sean Jones and Tyler Kolek each scored 15 points and Kolek dished eight assists to lead the Golden Eagles past the visiting Bluejays in their Big East matchup in Milwaukee.

Kam Jones also dropped 12 for Marquette (11-3, 2-1 Big East). Oso Ighodaro scored seven while grabbing a game-high 16 boards.

Creighton (9-4, 0-2) was led by Baylor Scheierman with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting along with his eight boards. Trey Alexander added 18 points and six assists.

No. 14 BYU 94, Wyoming 68

Trevin Knell and Noah Waterman scored 17 points apiece and shot a combined 8 of 15 on 3-point attempts as the Cougars blew away the Cowboys in a nonconference matchup at Provo, Utah.

BYU (12-1) won its fourth straight game going into its Big 12 opener vs. fellow conference newcomer Cincinnati on Jan. 6. Atiki Ally Atiki finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Sam Griffin scored 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting to lead Wyoming (7-6), which begins its Mountain West campaign on Tuesday against San Jose State.

No. 16 Duke 106, Queens 69

Jared McCain scored a season-high 24 points and the Blue Devils rolled past the visiting Royals in Durham, N.C.

Kyle Filipowski provided 19 points and five blocks, and Caleb Foster had 13 points for Duke (9-3), which played its final nonconference game and returns to Atlantic Coast Conference play Tuesday at home vs. Syracuse.
Blue Devils guard Tyrese Proctor, who had been out for four weeks with an ankle injury, came off the bench and had nine points to go with four assists.

Deyton Albury’s 23 points and Jaxon Pollard’s 10 points were tops for Queens (6-9), which was blown out by an ACC team for the second game in a row after a loss at Clemson.

No. 19 Memphis 81, Austin Peay 70

David Jones scored 19 points and the host Tigers struggled at times before subduing the Governors in the nonconference finale for both teams.

Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 15 points and Nick Jourdain netted 12 for the Tigers (11-2), who pushed their winning streak to six games.

Dezi Jones had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Austin Peay (7-8), which was denied what could have been its second-ever victory against a Top 25 team. Dez White added 11 points.

No. 20 James Madison 82, Texas State 65

T.J. Bickerstaff had 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Dukes pulled away in the second half for the Sun Belt Conference victory over the Bobcats in Harrisonburg, Va.

Terrence Edwards Jr. added 17 points and five rebounds as the Dukes (13-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) established a program record with their 13th straight win and remained one of three unbeaten teams in Division I. The Dukes had just five turnovers to 14 for the Bobcats.

Coleton Benson scored all 19 of his points in the final 10 minutes for Texas State (6-7, 0-1), and Kaden Gumbs tallied 14 points and five rebounds.

NBA NEWS

NBA ROUNDUP: PISTONS NIP RAPTORS, END 28-GAME SKID

Cade Cunningham scored 30 points and dished out 12 assists as the host Detroit Pistons snapped their record-tying, 28-game losing streak by defeating the Toronto Raptors 129-127 on Saturday.

Detroit’s skid winds up level for the all-time NBA mark. The Philadelphia 76ers lost 28 straight spanning the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Earlier this week, the Pistons broke the NBA record for most consecutive losses in one season.

Bojan Bogdanovic contributed 19 points, Jalen Duran had 18 points and 17 rebounds and Kevin Knox II added 17 points as the Pistons avoided two consecutive winless months.

Pascal Siakam led Toronto with 35 points. Dennis Schroder supplied 30 points and nine assists, and Gary Trent Jr. had 24 points. Scottie Barnes added 22 points and nine rebounds.

Timberwolves 108, Lakers 106

Anthony Edwards scored 31 points in 38 minutes and Minnesota held on for a win over Los Angeles in Minneapolis.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker contributed 21 points off the bench for Minnesota, which earned its fourth win in five games. Mike Conley added 15 points and seven assists, and Rudy Gobert registered 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 33 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists. LeBron James finished with 26 points on 10-for-21 shooting on his 39th birthday.

Pacers 140, Knicks 126

Tyrese Haliburton became the first player in 33 years to post consecutive games with at least 20 points and 20 assists when he led Indiana to a win over New York in Indianapolis.

Haliburton, who had 21 points and 20 assists in Thursday’s 120-104 win over the Chicago Bulls, finished with 22 points and 23 assists on Saturday. He is the third player in NBA history to collect at least 20 points and 20 assists in consecutive games, joining Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (Dec. 18-19, 1984) and John Stockton (March 1-3, 1990). Myles Turner had 28 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers, who have won three straight.

Donte DiVincenzo scored a career-high 38 points for the Knicks, who ended an 0-3 road trip hours after trading guards RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley as well as a 2024 second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for small forward OG Anunoby, forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn.

Bulls 105, 76ers 92

DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points to lead host Chicago past Philadelphia.

Coby White added 20 points and Andre Drummond scored 15 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and blocked three shots for Chicago. The short-handed Bulls played without Torrey Craig (foot) and Nikola Vucevic (groin).

Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers with 20 points and Tobias Harris added 15 points. Philadelphia recorded a season low in points.

Mavericks 132, Warriors 122

Luka Doncic won a scoring duel over Stephen Curry as Dallas held off Golden State in San Francisco.

Doncic went for a game-high 39 points, 14 more than Curry in their first head-to-head matchup of the season, helping the Mavericks end a two-game losing streak while extending the Golden State skid to three.

Dante Exum had 19 points and Josh Green added 18 for the Mavericks. The Warriors got 24 points from Chris Paul, who made a rare start.

Jazz 117, Heat 109

Collin Sexton scored 22 points and Keyonte George added 21 points to lead Utah over Miami in Salt Lake City.

Bam Adebayo had a huge game for Miami, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped. He totaled 28 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Tyler Herro scored 25 and added six rebounds and six assists.

George scored 12 points in the fourth quarter. The rookie had a career-high-tying five 3-pointers to help the Jazz continue their best stretch of the season with their seventh win in 10 games.

NHL NEWS

NHL ROUNDUP: RANGERS’ ARTEMI PANARIN (HAT TRICK) LIGHTS UP LIGHTNING

Artemi Panarin recorded his sixth career hat trick, Vincent Trocheck notched a goal and three assists and the New York Rangers whipped the host Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Saturday night.

In tying his career high with four points, Trocheck had helpers on two of Panarin’s goals and Chris Kreider’s marker. Trocheck’s tally marked his third game-winner of the season for the Rangers, who went 9-5-0 in December. Alexis Lafreniere recorded two assists, while goaltender Igor Shesterkin had 34 saves and recorded his fifth consecutive win.

As the NHL’s first club to reach 25 wins, the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers moved to 6-0-0 in the second game of a back-to-back set and 9-1-0 after a loss.

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov produced his team-high 25th goal. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 15 shots in his ninth straight start.

Oilers 3, Kings 2 (SO)

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist and Derek Ryan netted the winner in a shootout to give visiting Edmonton a comeback victory over Los Angeles.

Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers, who are riding a four-game winning streak and have won 12 of 15 games. Goaltender Stuart Skinner made 26 saves through regulation and overtime, and he was beaten twice on four shootout attempts. McDavid played his 600th regular-season game, and he collected his 316th goal and 581st assist (897 points).

Adrian Kempe netted one goal and one assist and Kevin Fiala also scored for the Kings, who have dropped two straight games and have won only four of 10 games (4-4-2).

Jets 4, Wild 2

Nino Niederreiter scored twice and Winnipeg defeated visiting Minnesota to extend its point streak to seven games.

Alex Iafallo and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby also scored for the Jets, who are amid a 5-0-2 stretch. Niederreiter, meanwhile, recorded his second multi-point effort in three games for the Jets, who improved to 6-0-1 at home this month.

Ryan Hartman scored in his fourth straight contest for Minnesota, which had its four-game winning streak end. Filip Gustavsson stopped 19 of 22 shots through two periods, but did not come out for the third, with no official word given for the move. He was replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury, who saved 9 of 10 in career-game 999.

Sabres 3, Blue Jackets 2 (OT)

Jeff Skinner scored at 1:20 of overtime to lift Buffalo over visiting Columbus.

Jack Quinn and Casey Mittelstadt also scored and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 18 saves for the Sabres, who have lost four of five.

Damon Severson and Adam Fantilli scored and Daniil Tarasov made 39 saves for the Blue Jackets, who had lost three of four.

Penguins 4, Blues 2

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist to help Pittsburgh top visiting St. Louis.

Drew O’Connor, Jeff Carter and Sidney Crosby also scored, and Jake Guentzel had two assists for the Penguins, who are 6-1-1 in their past eight.

Robert Thomas and Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Blues, who lost their second straight.

Hurricanes 3, Maple Leafs 2

Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists and visiting Carolina defeated Toronto.

Michael Bunting and Seth Jarvis also scored for the Hurricanes, and Andrei Svechnikov added two assists. Aho has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his past three games.

Timothy Liljegren had a goal and an assist and Nicholas Robertson also scored for Toronto, which has lost three in a row (0-2-1). Max Domi added two assists, and Martin Jones stopped 25 shots.

Predators 3, Capitals 2 (SO)

Yaroslav Askarov made 27 saves and also stopped both shootout attempts he faced as Nashville snapped a three-game losing streak and beat host Washington.

Nashville’s Luke Evangelista and Roman Josi scored in regulation before Gustav Nyquist and Ryan O’Reilly converted their attempts in the shootout.

Alex Ovechkin and Beck Malenstyn scored for Washington, which lost its fourth straight game (0-2-2).

Bruins 5, Devils 2

A four-goal run in the second period helped Boston come from behind for a win over visiting New Jersey.

David Pastrnak had a three-point night to lead the Bruins en route to their second straight win after a four-game skid (0-2-2), scoring the tying and winning goals in the middle frame and adding an assist. Kevin Shattenkirk also scored twice to surpass the 100-goal mark for his career, while Jake DeBrusk posted a goal and an assist.

Nico Hischier and Luke Hughes scored for the Devils, who lost a 2-0 lead and saw their three-game win streak snapped.

INDIANA TEAM NEWS RELEASES/SPORTS NEWS

COLTS NEWS

COLTS ELEVATE WR ETHAN FERNEA AND LB LIAM ANDERSON TO ACTIVE ROSTER FROM PRACTICE SQUAD FOR WEEK 17 GAME AGAINST LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Indianapolis –The Indianapolis Colts today elevated linebacker Liam Anderson and wide receiver Ethan Fernea to the active roster from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Anderson, 6-3, 226 pounds, has spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad. He was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 5, 2023. Collegiately, Anderson played in 53 games (30 starts) at Holy Cross (2018-22) and compiled 231 tackles (148 solo), 37.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, 11 passes defensed, six interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was a two-time First Team All-Patriot League choice (2021-22).

Fernea, 6-0, 195 pounds, has spent time on the team’s active roster and practice squad this season. He saw action in Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh and Week 16 at Atlanta. As a rookie in 2022, Fernea spent time on Indianapolis’ active roster and practice squad. He saw action in one game. Fernea was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 13, 2022. Collegiately, he appeared in 50 games (three starts) at UCLA (2016-21) and caught eight passes for 155 yards (19.4 avg.) and two touchdowns. Fernea registered 10 carries for 83 yards (8.3 avg.) and one touchdown. He also tallied 12 tackles (nine solo). His last name is pronounced FIR-knee-uh.

COLTS TE DREW OGLETREE FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES

Indianapolis Colts tight end Drew Ogletree was arrested on felony charges of domestic violence Friday in Hendricks County, Ind.

Ogletree was charged with one count of domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and one count of domestic battery committed in the physical presence of a child younger than 16 years old, per arrest records from the Hendricks County Jail. Bo

“We are aware of the disturbing allegations involving Drew Ogletree,” the Colts said in a statement. “The team takes these matters seriously. We have notified the NFL and are in the process of gathering more information. We will have no further comment at this time.”

Per the Avon (Ind.) police department, Ogletree’s arrest stemmed from an incident on Tuesday evening. Officers were dispatched to a residence to address a domestic disturbance between Ogletree and a woman.

ESPN reported that a probable cause affidavit revealed that the woman was discovered in an upstairs bedroom in pain. The woman told police that the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Ogletree “body slammed” her during an argument. An ambulance was called and the woman was transported to the hospital, police said.

Per the affidavit, Ogletree’s young son was in the home at the time of the alleged altercation. An arrest warrant was issued Thursday and Ogletree turned himself in to the Hendricks County Jail on Friday.

Ogletree, 25, spent his entire rookie season in 2022 on injured reserve with a torn ACL. He has nine catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games this season.

INDIANA PACERS

GAME REWIND: PACERS 140, KNICKS 124

2023 was a breakout year for Tyrese Haliburton. He earned his first All-Star selection in February and emerged as one of the new faces of the league in the early months of the 2023-24 season, leading the Pacers to the Championship game of the In-Season Tournament and leading the NBA in assists.

So it’s fitting that Haliburton pulled off a historic feat in his final two games of the calendar year. After tallying 21 points and 20 assists in Thursday’s 120-104 victory in Chicago, Haliburton followed that up with 22 points and 23 assists on Saturday in Indiana’s 140-126 victory over the New York Knicks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Haliburton is just the third player in NBA history to record 20 or more points and 20 or more assists in consecutive games. The others? Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and John Stockton.

His 23 assists also tied the Pacers franchise record, set by Jamaal Tinsley against Washington on Nov. 22, 2001.

“I didn’t know 23 was the franchise record, otherwise I probably would have hunted to get 24,” Haliburton joked after the win.

“We had the most threes in franchise history today,” he continued. “It’s a common theme. Assists don’t happen without making shots…It’s no surprise that those things correlate. Guys have to make shots for me to get assists. We’re doing that at a high clip right now. Everybody shot the ball well from three.”

Haliburton’s historic feat was the headliner, but five Pacers finished in double figures as Indiana (17-14) closed out 2023 with three consecutive wins.

Myles Turner finished with a team-high 28 points and eight rebounds, going 10-for-17 from the field and 6-for-8 from 3-point range. Aaron Nesmith added 25 points while going 7-for-11 from beyond the arc.

The Knicks (16-15) were playing on the second night of a back-to-back and also shorthanded on Saturday after making a significant trade earlier in the day, dealing away RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley — their third- and fourth-leading scorers — to Toronto in exchange for OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn.

Still, New York was competitive for much of the night, with Donte DiVincenzo scoring 38 points, going 15-for-21 from the field 7-for-11 from 3-point range.

The Knicks jumped out to a 13-4 lead at the start of Saturday’s contest, with Josh Hart, Julius Randle, and Jalen Brunson each hitting a 3-pointer in the first four minutes.

But the Pacers found their offensive groove shortly thereafter. Big man Turner scored nine of Indiana’s first 19 points, then second-year swingman Bennedict Mathurin checked in off the bench and promptly knocked down back-to-back threes to tie the game at 25.

The Blue & Gold took the lead for the first time when second-year guard Andrew Nembhard got a shooter’s bounce on a 3-point attempt from the right wing with 56.1 seconds left in the opening quarter. A Mathurin layup on the next Pacers possession gave the hosts a 32-27 lead after one.

Haliburton had eight assists in the opening frame.

The Knicks opened the ensuing frame with a 7-2 run to tie the game at 34, but the Pacers answered with a 10-3 surge of their own and remained in front for the majority of the quarter.

New York tied the game once again at 49 on Brunson’s three with 4:08 remaining, but former Knick Obi Toppin answered with a three of his own on the other end. The visitors knotted the score once more at 57 following a Randle free throw with 1:35 to play in the half, but a Turner layup at the 1:02 mark gave Indiana a lead it would not relinquish up through the intermission, as the Blue & Gold led 64-62 at the break.

The Knicks scored the first five points of the second half to briefly surge in front, but Nesmith, Jalen Smith, and Turner knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive possessions.

Haliburton assisted on the first two of those threes and would connect with Nesmith to set up three more threes in the frame.

Indiana outscored New York 39-20 from the 10:31 mark to 1:04 mark in the third quarter to build a 16-point lead and took a 105-92 advantage into the fourth.

The Pacers made eight 3-pointers in their 41-point third quarter, with Nesmith going 4-for-5 and Turner 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Haliburton dished out seven assists in the frame to get to 19 on the night.

He reentered the game with 6:52 to play and Indiana up 117-103, needing just three points and one assist to record another 20/20 game.

The points came at the 5:50 mark, when he drove left and banked in a runner through contact from Brunson, then knocked down the ensuing free throw.

The assist came the very next possession, as he dribbled the left elbow, then kicked back to Turner at the top of the arc. The veteran big man drained his fifth three of the night with 5:27 to play to complete history.

Haliburton found him again for another trey with 4:30 to play for his 21st assist, putting him two behind Tinsley’s franchise record. His 22nd assist came a minute later, when he drove right and found Nesmith spotting up on the left wing for his sixth trey of the evening.

He added two free throws with 1:44 to play and was serenaded with “M-V-P” chants while at the stripe. When Brunson missed a three with 1:12 remaining, Haliburton grabbed the rebound and pushed the break, connecting with a streaking Nembhard for a layup and the record-tying assist.

That prompted a timeout, with both teams electing to empty their benches for the final minute, meaning Haliburton will share the franchise record with fellow Iowa State Cyclone Tinsley for the time being.

“He just keeps getting better and better and better,” Turner said of Haliburton’s performance. “He’s not satisfied with his past performances. It’s easy to get satisfied and say ‘I’m an All-Star,’ but he’s continued to add more and more to his game…He just knows the game so well. It’s been a pleasure to be able to play with him.”

Mathurin finished with 20 points off the bench, going 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Nembhard added 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

Randle tallied 28 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists for the Knicks, while Brunson added 28 points and six assists. Josh Hart had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds slotting into the starting lineup after Barrett was traded.

The Pacers will open up 2024 with two straight games against their Central Division rivals, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pacers and Bucks will meet in Milwaukee on Monday and again at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers went 23-for-42 (54.8 percent) from 3-point range, tying the franchise record for threes made in a game. Indiana first made 23 3-pointers last season in a win at Brooklyn on Oct. 29, 2022.

Nesmith’s seven 3-pointers were a new career high. He made six at Milwaukee on March 16.

Turner’s 28 points were a new season high. He topped 20 points for the 13th time this season and the third time in his last four games.

Haliburton now has 23 double-doubles on the season, the most of any guard in the NBA and tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the most double-doubles by any player in the Eastern Conference.

Haliburton’s 43 assists over the last two games are the most by any player in a two-game span since Stockton had 44 over a two-game span in April 1992. Stockton and Guy Rodgers share the NBA record with 47 assists over a two-game span, with Rodgers setting the mark in 1963 and Stockton matching it in 1991.

The Pacers shot 59.5 percent from the field in the win and reached 140 points for the sixth time in 31 games.

Playing against the team that drafted him for the first time, Toppin tallied nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, eight rebounds, and three blocks in just under 20 minutes off the bench.

DiVincenzo’s 38 points shattered his previous career high. His best was 25 points at Charlotte on Nov. 18.

You Can Quote Me On That

“His offensive level

“His offensive level is beyond elite…He’s put a lot of work in the last two summers on reads, on being able to create rim pressure and to increase his range. Teams are in a real bind. He causes major problems. Our points per chance when he’s in the pick-and-roll with the five-man is at a galactic rate.” -Carlisle on Haliburton

“It’s fire. It’s pretty cool. Anytime your name is brought up with legends of the game, it’s a blessing and it’s awesome.” -Haliburton on joining Johnson and Stockton as the only players in NBA history to have 20+ points and 20+ assists in two straight games

“We’re playing with pace. That was important…They played last night so we wanted to keep attacking them. I thought we did a good job of it. Ty was finding people, Nembhard was finding people. Aaron had a great game. He got hot pretty early and our guys continued to find him.” -Carlisle on the Pacers’ offense

“It’s just me being more aggressive. I think in those situations, a lot of bigs get the ball and look to pass and distribute. My first look is to the basket. Obviously, he benefits from that because he gets his assists and then on the other hand if they take it away, we have great shooters on the perimeter, so I’m spreading it out and those guys are making shots.” -Turner on finding success with Haliburton in the pick-and-roll

“I pulled Aaron to the side and told him in that third quarter, ‘Your improvement is astronomical just compared to last year.’…It’s noticeable, just the work he’s put in and how he’s embraced his role here. He’s got a starting role now and I think he’s doing a great job of just playing both ends of the floor.” -Turner on Nesmith’s development

“The other thing I want to mention is how well Obi played off the bench and the way he battled Randle. I thought it set a defiant tone to the game. This has been a tough stretch for him, being out of the starting lineup after starting for (27) games. He was a real pro. He knows Randle. Randle’s a really tough matchup, but he made him work and blocked a couple of his shots and he really impacted him. I was really happy for him. It’s always tough playing against your former team.” -Carlisle on Toppin’s contributions

“Just attention to detail. I feel like we’re spending the majority of our time talking about the defensive side of the ball. I think that (Coach Carlisle) trusts me and my teammates offensively. We know how to play. We’re obviously putting up one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history right now…The main focus has been defense. Our shootarounds have been a lot more intense on that side of the ball. Just paying attention to detail. I think there’s just been a big emphasis on that (and) holding guys more accountable.” -Haliburton on the Pacers’ defensive improvements

Stat of the Night

Haliburton joined an exclusive club on Saturday, becoming just the third player in NBA history to tally 20 or more points and 20 or more assists in consecutive games. Magic Johnson was the first to accomplish the feat on Dec. 18 and 19, 1984 and John Stockton did it on March 1 and 3, 1990.

Noteworthy

The Pacers have won two straight against the Knicks including a 141-136 victory at Madison Square Garden on the final day of the 2022-23 regular season. The Knicks do not visit Indianapolis again in the regular season, but Indiana will travel to New York for two games on Feb. 1 and 10.

Pacers guard Bruce Brown missed his fourth straight game with a right knee bone bruise.

The Pacers improved to 7-1 on the season when wearing their City Edition uniforms.

Toppin faced off against his younger brother, Jacob, a rookie on a two-way contract for the Knicks, for the first time. Jacob Toppin played the final 1:05 and tallied one assist. Carlisle subbed Obi Toppin back in with 28.9 seconds left so he could be on the floor with his brother for the closing seconds of the contest.

Up Next

The Pacers tip off a home-and-home set with the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday, Jan. 1 at 8:00 PM ET.

INDIANA WRESTLING

BULLOCK AND MORAN COMPETE UNATTACHED AT MIDLANDS

Hoffman Estates, Ill. –––– Indiana seniors Jacob Bullock and Jacob Moran each competed at the 59th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships over the weekend (Dec. 29-30).

Both wrestlers are redshirting this season, so they competed in the prestigious event unattached to preserve their redshirt status.

Bullock had an impressive showing in the tournament, finishing on the podium with a fourth-place finish at heavyweight.

He won three matches in a row to reach the semifinals before dropping to the consolation bracket.

Moran worked his way to the fifth round of the consolation bracket at 125 lbs. before falling to No. 9 Eric Barnett of Wisconsin.

FULL RESULTS

Jacob Moran – 125 lbs.

R64: Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU) advanced via bye.

R32: Ben Aranda (Cleveland State) def. Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU): Dec. 4-2

C1: Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU) advanced via bye.

C2: Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU) def. Jace Schafer (West Virginia): MD, 11-2

C3: Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU) def. Christian Guzman (North Central): TF, 17-2

C4: Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU) def. Ryan Miller (Penn): Dec. 8-7

C5: No. 9 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) def. Jacob Moran (Unattached-IU): Fall (2:15)

Jacob Bullock – 285 lbs.

R32: Jacob Bullock (Unattached-IU) def. Bryan Caves (CMU): Dec. 9-3

R16: Jacob Bullock (Unattached-IU) def. John Stout (Penn): Dec. 13-6

R8: Jacob Bullock (Unattached-IU) def. Cole Jackson (Cal Poly): MD, 19-8

Semi: Isaac Trumble (Unattached-UNC) def. Jacob Bullock (Unattached-IU): Fall (3:32)

Cons. Semi: Jacob Bullock (Unattached-IU) def. Daulton Mayer (Thomas More): MD, 9-1

3rd: Jimmy Mullen (Virginia Tech) def. Jacob Bullock (Unattached-IU): Dec. 9-6

Jacob Bullock finished in fourth place.

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NEW YEAR’S EVE CONFERENCE CLASH ON DECK BETWEEN NO. 16 INDIANA AND ILLINOIS

ABOUT THE FIGHTING ILLINI

Illinois split a pair of games at the West Palm Beach Invite to Arkansas and UTEP before breaking for the holidays. They are led by a pair of guards in Genesis Bryant (15.2 ppg.) and Makira Cook (12.5 ppg.). Forwards Kendall Bostic and Adalia Mackenzie also add double figures for the Illini, who shoot 46.3 percent from the floor and average 75.1 points per game.

SERIES HISTORY

Indiana leads 49-30

LAST MEETING

1/18/23 – W, 83-72 (Champaign, Ill.)

NOTES

The Hoosiers will look to extend its longest active win streak over another Big Ten opponent against Illinois on Sunday. They hold a 15-game win streak over the Fighting Illini, which dates back to the 2014-15 season. IU is 26-10 all-time when playing Illinois inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Senior guard Sara Scalia set a new IU career-high 32 points on 8-for-11 from the 3-point line in the non-con finale against Bowling Green. The Stillwater, Minn. native went 11-for-17 from the floor and totaled for over half of IU’s made triples (14) on the evening. It marked th first 30 point game of her IU career and the sixth in her collegiate career.  She leads IU from the 3-point line this season, as she has hit 35 triples and shoots 36.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Indiana ranks sixth in the nation in average attendance per game, with 8,578 fans in attendance in each game through the first four home games. They rank second in the Big Ten in overall attendance and are one of only seven programs in the country averaging crowds of 8,000 or more.

Sophomore forward Lilly Meister has pulled down seven or more rebounds four times this season as she has appeared in all 11 games off the bench this season. The Rochester, Minn. native grabbed a season-high eight boards versus Bowling Green and seven in games against Stetson and Evansville. She has also scored six or more points in five games while shooting a collective 77.4 percent from the field.

UP NEXT

A three-game homestand wraps up on Thursday, January 4 against Michigan at 7 p.m. ET.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

PURDUE ROLLS IN B1G HOME OPENER OVER WISCONSIN

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Following a 10-day break for the holidays the Purdue women’s basketball team rolled to its largest Big Ten win since the 2016-17 season with an 89-50 win over Wisconsin on Saturday night at Mackey Arena.

Purdue (8-5, 1-1) extended its home winning streak to nine games in a row, the longest stretch for the program since 12 straight from between the 2005-06 and 2006-07 campaigns.

Five Boilermakers finished in double figures for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign, as all five starters scored 12 or more points. Caitlyn Harper led the way with a game-high 16 points on an efficient 7-of-8 shooting with one triple. Madison Layden connected from the outside four times to tally 14 points and added five assists. Abbey Ellis dropped 12 points to go with five rebounds.

Jeanae Terry finished one assist shy of her third career triple-double, as the fifth-year senior went for 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists with a trio of steals and one block. It was Terry’s second double-double of the season and first with points and rebounds.

Mary Ashley Stevenson was two rebounds shy again of a double-double to finish with 13 points and eight rebounds. She now has four games with eight rebounds and eight points, first among Big Ten freshmen.

The Boilermakers shot 51.5% from the field and connected on 9-of-20 3-point attempts. Led by Terry’s nine dimes, Purdue dished out 23 assists to just 12 turnovers. The assist mark tied for the fifth most in the Katie Gearlds era.

Purdue forced a season-high 21 turnovers by Wisconsin (7-5, 0-2) that turned into 25 points for the Boilermakers. Terry and Layden evenly split six steals and Purdue notched a season-best 12 takeaways.

The Boilermakers dominated on the glass 44-24 for their second plus-20 margin of the year. Ten of Purdue’s 12 players hauled down at least one rebound. Purdue improved to 7-2 this season when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer.

Even as the Boilermakers got 68 points from their starting five, the bench added 21 points. Sophie Swanson led the way for the second unit with nine points.

The Boilermakers jumped out to a 10-1 run with back-to-back triples from Layden. Purdue built the gap up to 17-3, before Wisconsin made its first field goal of the game with 3:42 to play in the period. Ellis, Harper and Layden combined for 20 of Purdue’s opening 23 points in the first.

The Boilermakers extended their lead to 25 points with a 19-6 run early in the second with six points from Terry. Purdue shot 61.1% in the frame and tallied nine points off eight Wisconsin giveaways. The Boilermakers scored 40 points in the first half for the fourth time this season, leading 47-23 at the break.

Purdue scored a game-high 26 points in the third to open a 38-point lead going into the fourth. Layden hit a pair of triples to score eight points, while Swanson was 3-of-4 to notch seven in the third.

A quick 10-2 run early in the fourth grew the gap to 44 points when Jayla Smith connected on a corner triple. Terry completed her double-double with five points and three rebounds in the period, but the elusive final assist did not come before she exited with 3:12 to play.

NOTES

• Purdue leads the all-time series 56-22 with a 32-6 mark at Mackey Arena.

• The Boilermakers are 24-3 when holding opponents under 60 points under head coach Katie Gearlds.

• The Boilermakers have held two opponents to 50 points or fewer this season for the first time since the 2019-20 season.

• Layden’s four triples moved her into the program top-10 for career triples with 175, passing Ukari Figgs (1996-99).

• The Boilermakers are 5-0 this season when dishing out 20 or more assists.

• Purdue last held a Big Ten opponent to 50 or fewer points against Ohio State on Dec. 28, 2019.

• Purdue got out in transition to score 10 points, while holding Wisconsin off the board when on the break.

• The Boilermakers turned 17 offensive rebounds into 16 second chance points while surrendering just seven on five Wisconsin offensive boards.

• Purdue dominated inside out outscore the Badgers in the paint 40-26.

UP NEXT

Purdue will open 2024 and close out a two-game homestand on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. tip against Rutgers at Mackey Arena.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL

IRISH MAKE STATEMENT IN 76-54 WIN OVER VIRGINIA

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame men’s basketball was locked in from buzzer-to-buzzer, posting a dominant 76-54 victory over Virginia on Saturday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion. The 76 points were the most scored by Notre Dame (6-7, 1-1) all-time in the 21-game series against the Cavaliers (10-3, 1-1). In addition, the Irish handed Virginia its biggest loss to an ACC opponent sinc 2017 (65-41 loss to No. 10 UNC on Feb. 18, 2017).

It was 574 Day inside Purcell and the local boys (plus Carey Booth) balled out for Notre Dame. South Bend native J.R. Konieczny posted 17 points and eight rebounds, shooting 6-of-8 including a 4-for-5 mark from three. Mishawaka native Markus Burton earned 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, plus a career high eight assists.

Then there was freshman Carey Booth, who poured in 17 points and a season high tying nine rebounds in what was his second consecutive start. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

J.R. Konieczny got the crowd on their feet early with three consecutive treys to start the game, with the last one being a buzzer beating shot in which he caught the pass and shot it all in mid-air. Meanwhile, Virginia started 0-for-7 from the field, as Notre Dame jumped out to a 13-0 lead.

Konieczny was in double figures by the 13:36 mark as he started 4-for-4 from the field as the Irish thus started 7-for-8. By the under-12 media timeout, the Irish boasted a 19-9 advantage.

Next, the Notre Dame defense recorded a four-minute stretch in which they held the Cavaliers to without a field goal as a Braeden Shrewsberry three made it 29-14.

Konieczny maintained the hot hand the entire half, as he improved to 4-for-4 from beyond the arc at the 3:40 mark to boost the score to 34-16. Burton then got into double digits with 10 points as the Irish rode into half with a 41-24 advantage.

Ultimately, it marked the most points scored against Virginia in a half this season. The Irish shot a season best 69.6 percent (16-23). Konieczny and Burton combined for 27 of those points on 10-for-11 shooting, including a 6-for-6 mark from three-point range. 

Yet, you knew Virginia would not go quietly, as the Cavaliers threw some punches Notre Dame’s way by scoring the first seven points in the second half and trimming the Irish lead to 10 points by the 17:22 mark. 

That UVA run prompted a timeout from Coach Shrewsberry and out of the break Julian Roper II responded with a three followed by a slam by Kebba Njie a possession later.

Later around 12 minutes remaining, the Cavaliers would take advantage of a four-minute Irish scoring drought and once again cut the Irish lead to 10. That’s when Burton answered by driving the lane and hitting a signature floater. That was followed by five straight points from Carey Booth. Then back to Burton who converted an emphatic and-one to push the Irish lead to 61-40.

Booth was a man possessed late in the second half. Soon after Burton’s and-one, he converted an and-one of his own and maintained his momentum. Booth ultimately scored all 14 of his second half points from the 11:11 mark to 4:54 on the clock.

With under three minutes remaining, the bench was emptied as Tony Sanders got in on the fun and hit a three to finish the Irish scoring for the 76-54 final.

UP NEXT

The Irish look to build off the Virginia win by continuing the homestand with two more ACC contests: NC State on Jan. 3 and Duke on Jan. 6.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY

KNUBLE HAT TRICK FUELS IRISH WIN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame hockey program opened the second half of its season with a 5-1 victory over Augustana, behind multi-goal performances from both Trevor Janicke and Cole Knuble.

The Irish got on the board first with a shot in front of the net from Trevor Janicke just over four minutes into play.

Shortly after the Notre Dame tally, the Irish were called for a trip and headed to the penalty kill for the first time Saturday night. The team successfully killed the attempt by the Vikings and play returned to five-on-five.

Both teams were whistled for infractions through the remaining 13 minutes of game action but neither team could capitalize on the man-advantage as the Irish held the 1-0 lead through the first 20 minutes, outshooting their opponents 15-3.

With an Irish skater still in the box to start the second, Augustana evened the tally just 1:06 into the second period to make it a 1-1 game.

The Vikings were called for a crosscheck moments later and the Irish powerplay unit went back to work but were unable to take advantage of the man-up opportunity and the penalty was killed.

The two teams continued to press for the majority of the second period, with the Irish and Vikings each looking to break the stalemate halfway through the contest. Cole Knuble finally broke the scoring drought at 14:19 of the second period, ripping. a shot off from the top of the circle for the eventual game-winner.

The Irish returned to the ice for the final 20 minutes of regulation with the 2-1 lead, looking to net a few insurance goals.

Augustana nearly tied it back up early in the third period but a series of big saves from Ryan Bischel between the pipes kept the Irish lead in tact.

Knuble scored his second of the night halfway through the final period to take the 3-1 lead, recording his first career multi-goal game. The elder Janicke scored his second of the game less than 90 seconds later to extend the Irish lead to three goals with 7:10 to play in regulation.

The Irish capped off the win with Knuble’s third of the game, scored on the powerplay, for the team’s first hat trick in nearly two years.

With the win, Bischel picked up his ninth of the season in the crease with a .947 save percentage on 19 saves on 20 shots faced.

GOALS

Trevor Janicke picked up the loose puck in the crease just over four minutes into the game to take the early 1-0 lead over the Vikings. Grant Silianoff and Michael Mastrodomenico each picked up assists on the opening goal.

Controlling the play along the blue line, Drew Bavaro fed a quick pass over to Paul Fischer along the halfwall who found Knuble atop the far circle. The rookie took handled the puck, taking three strides in to find an open lane before ripping a shot into the back of the net for the 2-1 tally at 14:19 of the second period.

Knuble scored his second of the night halfway through the final period after Brennan Ali forced the Vikings to overturn the puck in their end. After an icing was waved off, the Viking defender settled the puck behind their own net where Ali pressured hard and chased down the puck, poking it off the Viking players’ stick and getting it over to Patrick Moynihan who centered a pass to Knuble for the 3-1 tally.

Justin Janicke’s initial shot sailed wide where Hunter Strand chipped a pass back to Trevor Janicke who tapped in his second of the game with 7:10 left in regulation.

The rookie centerman Knuble completed the hat trick with his third goal of the night at 17:10 of the third period. Hunter Strand and Landon Slaggert were both credited with assists on the powerplay tally.

KEY STATS

With the three-goal performance, Cole Knuble becomes the first Irish skater to net a hat trick since Ryder Rolston on January 19, 2022 (vs. Boston College).

Going into Saturday’s contest, Knuble and Trevor Janicke had combined for four goals in 2023-24. The duo recorded all five goals in game one against Augustana with Trevor adding two to the tally in the 5-1 win.

Eleven players highlighted the box score in the victory, including Hunter Strand with a two-assist night to join Trevor and Knuble with multi-point performances.

Ryan Bischel’s 19 saves on 20 shots faced improves him to 9-8-2 on the season.

The Irish outshot the Vikings 38-20 in the contest while blocking seven additional Augustana shots, led by Paul Fischer with two.

UP NEXT

The two teams close out the calendar year with their series finale slated for 5 p.m. Sunday, December 31.

IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL

IUPUI TO CLOSE OUT 2023 AGAINST VIKINGS INSIDE THE COLISEUM

INDIANAPOLIS – IUPUI will close out its four-game homestand and put a capper on 2023 on Sunday (Jan. 31) when the Jaguars host Cleveland State (9-5, 2-1 HL) inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum at 2:00 p.m.. Sunday’s game is sponsored by Indiana Members Credit Union and will be broadcast on ESPN+ as Scott Agness (pxp) and IUPUI Hall of Famer Bob Lovell (analyst) describe the action.

Students in grades K-8 can receive a FREE ticket to Sunday’s game with the purchase of an adult ticket and the first 100 fans in attendance will receive a FREE IUPUI blanket.

IUPUI (5-9, 1-2 HL) is coming off back-to-back wins, including an emphatic 67-55 victory over Detroit Mercy on Friday. Sophomore Vincent Brady II had a season-high 17 points and six rebounds and Bryce Monroe and DJ Jackson added 13 each as Jlynn Counter sat out due to illness. The Jaguars built a quick 19-5 lead in the early going and later led 30-10 before taking an 18-point halftime lead. IUPUI extended the lead to as many as 25 in the second half before sitting in cruise control for much of the final 20 minutes. Sophomore Abdou Samb had eight points and eight rebounds and Kidtrell Blocker tallied eight points off the IUPUI bench, including a one-handed dunk that later earned a spot on ESPN’s SportsCenter’s #SCTop10.

Offensively, IUPUI had a season-low eight turnovers in the victory.

QUOTABLE

“It feels good. I’m just happy we got the win. We played together today. I feel like that’s the biggest reason why the scoreboard was the way it was. I feel like when we play together, no one can really stop us and we’ve got to keep doing that,” Brady said following Friday’s win over Detroit Mercy.

SCOUTING CLEVELAND STATE

Cleveland State enters play at 9-5 overall and 2-1 in Horizon League play, following Thursday’s 75-67 home win over Oakland. The Vikings have won three straight, including non-conference wins over Bradley and Western Michigan before the Oakland win. The Vikings are 8-0 at home this season and just 1-5 on the road with the line win coming at Bradley. CSU comes in shooting 43.7 percent from the floor and an impressive 38.0 percent from beyond the arc. Tristan Enaruna (17.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.8 apg), Drew Lowder (13.9 ppg) and Tae Williams (12.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) all come in averaging double-digits.

INSIDE THE SERIES

IUPUI is 4-9 all-time against Cleveland State and 3-4 in the seven meetings in Indianapolis. IUPUI hasn’t defeated CSU since January 2019, having lost eight straight in the series. 

UP NEXT

IUPUI will open a two-game road trip at Robert Morris on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN+. The Jags will close out the trip at Youngstown State on Sunday (Jan. 7) at 1:30 p.m.

Notes and Tidbits (click here to download the full IUPUI Game Notes)

    AGAINST THE TITANS

    Albeit against a winless Detroit Mercy squad, the IUPUI basketball team is coming off its most emphatic win of the season, despite playing without top performer Jlynn Counter. The Jaguars surged out to a 19-5 lead and never let up, ultimately building an 18-point halftime lead.

    Vincent Brady II had a season-high 17 points (5-10 FG, 3-8 3’s, 4-7 FT) and six rebounds while Bryce Monroe and DJ Jackson added 13 points each. The Jaguars shot 56.7 percent in the opening half and committed a season-low eight turnovers, leading to just 10 UDM points. IUPUI also limited UDM to just two second chance points.

    SAMB, FOR STARTERS

    In two games in the IUPUI starting lineup (both wins), sophomore Abdou Samb is averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, going 8-of-8 from the field in those two contests.

    Samb missed his final field goal attempt in the Lindenwood (Dec. 16), giving him eight straight makes from the floor. His field goal percentage has risen from 55.5 percent to 65.7 percent with the eight consecutive makes.

    MR. DO-IT-ALL

    In his second season with the program, junior guard Jlynn Counter has become the Jaguars’ Mr. Do It All, leading the team in scoring (16.2 ppg),assists (2.7 apg), field goal percentage (51.0%), threes made (13), free throws made (37) and minutes played (30.0 mpg). He ranks second on the team in  rebounding (4.6 rpg) and finds himself among the Horizon League’s top-10 in scoring and field goal percentage. 

    Counter, a preseason Second Team All-Horizon League pick, led the team in scoring (14.5 ppg) and assists (3.3 apg) last season.

    COUNTER COUNT

    Counter tallied his 500th career point against Elon on Nov. 17 and enters today with 661 career points.

    …He’s scored in double-digits 32 times in 44 career games

    …He’s hit for 20-or-more points 13 times in 44 career games

    QWANZ SEES DOUBLE

    Graduate transfer Qwanzi Samuels recently recorded his first collegiate double-double at Minnesota (Dec. 16), having finished with a career-high 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-3 FT), 10 rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes off the Jaguars’ bench.

    It marked his first-ever double-digit scoring game (in his 96th career game) and his second career game with 10-or-more rebounds.

    Q ON THE GLASS

    The last eight games, Samuels has hit the glass hard, averaging 6.5 rebounds per game, including a pair of double-digit rebound efforts. Samuels now leads the team in rebounding at 5.0 rebounds per game and is second on the team in offensive rebounding (1.3 rpg).

    BENCH WORK

    IUPUI is averaging 26.1 points per game from its reserves this season and has gotten at least 21 bench points in 13 of 14 games (including five games of 30+). The Jaguars are coming off a season-low 14 points, largely due to Jlynn Counter missing the Detroit Mercy game. Both Vincent Brady II and DJ Jackson moved into the starting lineup with Counter sidelined as Kidtrell Blocker scored a team-high eight off the bench. 

    FOR STARTERS

    After relying on the starting group of Jlynn Counter, Bryce Monroe, Kidtrell Blocker, Qwanzi Samuels and Yves Nkomba for the bulk of the season (8 games, 2-6 overall), head coach Matt Crenshaw has tried some alternatives of late.

    Cooper Dewitt has started the past six games in place of Samuels and both Vincent Brady II and DJ Jackson have recently earned three starts. Most recently, sophomore Abdou Samb moved into the starting five, replace Nkomba ahead of the Dec. 21 game with Defiance. 

    No IUPUI player has started every game this season.

    TEN MAN ROTATION

    Ten different Jaguars are playing at least 10 minutes per game, led by Jlynn Counter (30.0 mpg) down to Yves Nkomba (10.5 mpg).

    Eight of the 10 have scored in double-digits at least once this year.

    ONLY THE LONELY   

    Only three Jaguars (Blocker, Egbuta, Samuels) have appeared in all 14 games so far this season as 12 different players have missed at least one game due to injury or illness. Most recently, Jlynn Counter missed the Detroit Mercy game due to illness.

    IN THE CLASSROOM

    Seven members of the squad topped a 3.0 grade point average for the fall semester, paced by John Egbuta (3.62) and Amhad Jarrard (3.51). Others included Vincent Brady II (3.48), Yves Nkomba (3.46), Derek Petersen (3.29), Qwanzi Samuels (3.12) and Bryce Monroe (3.00). 

    SEEING RED

    It’s likely that both Amhad and Armon Jarrard will redshirt this season. Amhad missed the entire summer and preseason after suffering an injury last season and Armon was limited to just three games this season while playing through an injury. He was shutdown after trying to play at Indiana State on Nov. 14.

    The Jarrards are one of 21 sets of brothers playing for the same team this season and one of nine sets of twins in Division I basketball.

    FIRST TO TIP

    IUPUI was the first team in the country to tip-off the 2023-24 season, starting at 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 6 in front of a crowd of 4,867 on the annual NCAA ‘Readers Become Leaders’ Day at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

    The 4,867 represented a new home attendance record for the Jaguars, eclipsing the previous mark of 4,114 from last year’s similar event.

    ROAD KILL

    The road win at Valpo was a welcome event, marking IUPUI’s first road win since winning at Robert Morris on Feb. 17, 2022. It was the first road non-conference victory since winning at South Florida on Nov. 13, 2019 at the Cayman Islands Classic.

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WBB CLOSES NON-CONFERENCE ACTION WITH IMPRESSIVE WIN OVER OAKLAND CITY

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State women’s basketball team turned in another impressive non-conference season as the Cardinals closed out 2023 with an impressive 95-58 victory over the Oakland City Mighty Oaks Saturday afternoon in Worthen Arena.

The win over Oakland City (7-6) marked Ball State’s 10th of the season as the Cardinals closed out non-conference play with a 10-2 ledger for Ball State’s best start since the 2017 season when the Cardinals finished non-conference play 12-0.

For the game, Ball State had three players reach double figures, junior Madelyn Bischoff led the Cardinals offensively with 16 points. Senior Annie Rauch finished with 15 points and seven rebounds while senior Estel Puiggros wrapped up the day with 14 points which included 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc.

All-in-all it was an overall team effort as all 14 Cardinals saw playing time with 13 of them scoring two points or more.

After a slight holiday break, the Cardinals, and the Mighty Oaks both started the game off slowly. Ball State had a slight 8-6 lead at the 6:09 before going on a 28-5 scoring spree which lasted the remainder of the first quarter. Ally Becki and Bischoff provided the offensive spark and then their teammates continued, allowing the Cardinals to pull away early for a 28-11 first frame advantage.

Oakland City found some offensive rhythm in the second stanza, but Ball State continued to outpace them, as the teams went into the half with the Cardinals leading by almost 30 points (52-26). The bench led the Cardinals at the half with Puiggros having 14 and Rauch with 11.

In the second half, the Cardinals continued their fast-paced offense as head coach Brady Sallee continued to utilize the Cardinals bench. Fresh legs helped Ball State to keep up its strong defense throughout the remainder of the contest.

For the game, Ball State shot a whopping 55 percent (33-60) from the field, saw 52 points scored from its bench while scoring 36 points in the paint and 17 off fast break layups.

 The Ball State women’s basketball team will open Mid-American Conference action on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Western Michigan. Tipoff is at 7 pm ET in Read Fieldhouse

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

SYCAMORES COME UP SHORT AT MICHIGAN STATE

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Indiana State saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday afternoon as the Sycamores fell in a tough test at Michigan State, 87-75, inside the Breslin Center.

The Sycamores (11-2) fell for just the second time in the 2023-24 season in the rematch of the 1979 NCAA Championship Game despite Isaiah Swope’s 26-point effort that included a game-high six three-pointers. The junior guard was 9-of-18 from the floor and 6-of-13 in leading the ISU offensive charge in the effort. Ryan Conwell added 16 points, while Jayson Kent had 12 points over 21 minutes as the Sycamores battled through foul trouble throughout the contest in the loss.

Michigan State (8-5) closed out the 2023 calendar year with the win as the Spartans improved to 2-0 all-time against ISU. Tyson Walker led four MSU players in double-digits with 22 points, including a 10-of-10 mark from the free throw line, while Malik Hall (18), A.J. Hoggard (17), and Jaden Akins (13) were all in double figures. Overall, the Spartans show 23-of-27 from the free throw line, including 16-of-19 in the second half to secure the nonconference win.

The teams battled through three early ties over the first 5:12 of the game with Robbie Avila hitting a three-pointer to knot the game up at 8-8. From there, Michigan State took control of the first half going up nine points at the 9:11 mark as Tyson Walker’s three-pointer put the Spartans ahead 26-17.

The Sycamores kept the game within two possessions throughout the final minutes of the opening half with Swope connecting on a three-pointer at the 2:59 mark to make it a 39-34 MSU lead. The Spartans closed out the half with the final five points as Hoggard made a pair of free throws and Walker converted a late three-pointer to make it a 44-34 game at the halftime break.

The Michigan State lead hit 11 early in the second half as Hoggard made a layup and converted the and-one free throw attempt to put the score at 47-36. Conwell took over for the Sycamores from there going on a personal 8-3 run to cut the game down to 49-44 before Kent converted an offensive rebound for a layup to cut the deficit down to three points with 16:15 to play.

Swope tied the game up on the next Indiana State possession with a three-pointer as the ISU offense continued to roll early in the second half. Swope scored seven consecutive points for the Sycamores from the 12:14 to the 10:38 mark to give Indiana State the 64-59 lead. The Spartans rattled off seven consecutive points capped by a second Hoggard jumper in the paint and and-one to swing the lead back to Michigan State at 66-64 with 8:31 to play.

A layup by Kent at the 8:16 mark tied the game up for the final time at 66-66, before Malik Hall gave the Spartans the lead for good with a three-pointer with eight minutes remaining. Michigan State took control of the game inside the paint the rest of the way scoring 10 points inside the paint over the final 6:51 and the Spartans went 7-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch in pulling away for the win.

News & Notes

Isaiah Swope’s 26 points marks the third time this season he scored 25+ points. Swope’s six triples is the most he’s knocked down all season for the Sycamores.

Jayson Kent finished in double figures with 12 points, his 12th game this season finishing in double figures out of ISU’s 13 games. Ryan Conwell has scored in double figures in 10 of the 12 games he’s played in. Isaiah Swope has recorded double figures in 11 of the 12 games he has played.

The Sycamores as a team made 14 three-pointers, good for a 40% clip, which ties for the second-most Indiana State has made this season (16 against Rice in the Ball Dawgs Classic).

Michigan State made 23-of-27 free throws, tying for the most against ISU this season. MSU tied Alabama, who also made 23-of-27 in their victory.

The Sycamores committed the second-most fouls this season as a team with 22 fouls, just behind the 24 fouls committed against Alabama.

This game marked the first matchup since the 1979 National Championship game, when the Spartans and Sycamores squared off in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Michigan State won the game 75-64.

Up Next

The Sycamores return to Missouri Valley play for the remainder of the season, beginning on January 3 at home versus Evansville with a 7 p.m. tip.

INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

LOCKDOWN DEFENSE LEADS SYCAMORES TO CONFERENCE-OPENING WIN

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Chelsea Cain led all players with 20 points Saturday night and Mya Glanton registered her third double-double of the season, propelling Indiana State to a 66-49 win over Evansville in the conference opener for both teams.

Glanton had 13 points and 11 rebounds, while six different Sycamores had six or more points. Indiana State’s defense played a major factor in the win, as Evansville shot just 22 percent from the field for the game.

Indiana State opened the game on an 8-0 run, thanks largely in part to Cain, and never looked back. The Sycamores held Evansville without a field goal for the first 10-plus minutes of the game and built a double-digit lead by the midway point of the second quarter. Indiana State further extended its lead with a 14-0 third-quarter run  and led by as many as 22 in the second half. The Trees weathered a late storm from Evansville, and a 7-0 fourth-quarter run for the Blue and White put away the conference-opening win for the Sycamores.

First Half

Cain opened the scoring with five early points, including a 3-pointer from the corner, as Indiana State stormed out to an early 8-0 lead. The Sycamores limited Evansville without a field goal for the entire opening quarter, and Finnegan later knocked down a three-ball from the wing to push the advantage to double-digits. Thanks in large part to stout defense, Indiana State took a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.

Indiana State kept adding to its lead early in the second, with Cain going on a personal 6-0 run to make it 20-10 just 90 seconds into the quarter. Baskets from Glanton and Donald, the latter’s being part of a three-point play, made it 26-13 in favor of the Sycamores late in the quarter. Layups from Lily Niebuhr and Keslyn Secrist inside the last three minutes helped the Sycamores take a 30-17 lead into the intermission.

Second Half

Glanton opened the Sycamores’ account in the third quarter with a pair of early baskets, and Secrist added a layup midway through to make it 36-24. Evansville got within eight, but a jumper from Cain at exactly the halfway point of the third quarter kickstarted a 14-0 run for the Sycamores. Asia Donald connected on a 3-pointer, and layups from Secrist and Cain tacked on to the Sycamore advantage. Glanton added a second-chance basket down low with just over a minute to go to make it 50-28, and Finnegan added on with a trey inside the final minute. Indiana State headed to the fourth quarter with a 53-32 lead.

Evansville clawed its way back in the fourth quarter, starting the final frame with a 13-2 to get within 55-45. Layups from Glanton and Ella Sawyer ended the run, and the Sycamores iced the game with a 7-0 run of their own. Baskets from Cain and Savannah White, the latter’s coming as part of an old-fashioned three-point play, made it 64-46 Sycamores and essentially put the game out of reach. Sawyer added another basket for good measure, as the Trees closed out a 66-49 victory on the road.

News and Notes

Indiana State overcame adversity on its way to a win, as the Sycamores were without Head Coach Chad Killinger (illness) and leading scorer Kiley Bess (ankle). Associate Head Coach Deidra Johnson served as the Sycamores’ interim head coach.

Indiana State had a commanding 38-12 advantage in points in the paint.

The Sycamores’ defense gave Evansville plenty of problems, as the Purple Aces were 11-for-50 from the field and 3-for-17 from 3-point range.

Continuing a trend seen throughout the 2023-24 season, Indiana State was plus-13 in rebound margin. The Sycamores also pulled down 16 offensive rebounds and had eight second chance points.

Indiana State tied its season-high of six blocks Saturday, with five different Sycamores recording at least one block in the game.

All 12 players who were active for Saturday’s game saw the floor, with eight of the 12 recording a positive plus/minus.

Saturday’s win snapped a two-game losing streak to Evansville for the Sycamores. Indiana State improved to 43-22 overall against the Purple Aces and 18-13 on the road against Evansville.

Indiana State won its opening conference road game for the fourth straight season (2020-21 at Loyola Chicago, 2021-22 at Drake, 2022-23 at UIC, 2023-24 at Evansville). Three of those four wins came by double-digits, with the Sycamores winning those four games by an average of 12.8 points.

Up Next

Indiana State begins the 2024 calendar year on the road Thursday night at Drake, with tipoff set for 7 p.m.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

MASTODON WBB FINISHES ON 12-0 RUN, BEATS MILWAUKEE 65-55 TO MOVE TO 3-0 IN HL

MILWAUKEE – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team moved to 3-0 in Horizon League play on Saturday (Dec. 30) after finishing its game at Milwaukee on a 12-0 run to win 65-55.

The Mastodon defense locked down Milwaukee for the final four minutes while scoring 12 points of their own. Destinee Marshall hit a jumper to tie the game at 55, then Amellia Bromenschenkel added a layup a minute later. Then, Ryin Ott delivered the back-breaking triple from the top of the key from Audra Emmerson to go up five with under two minutes to go. From there, three free throws from Bromenschenkel and two from Sellers iced the win.

It was the Mastodons’ first-ever win at Milwaukee.

Immediately preceding the final 12-0 run from the ‘Dons, there was a stretch of over five minutes where neither team missed a shot. The two teams were a combined 10-of-10 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

Bromenschenkel was the Mastodons’ best player on Saturday, recording a stat line of 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal. Four of her rebounds were offensive.

The ‘Dons had 21 points off the bench: 11 from Ott, six from Sydney Graber, two from Jazzlyn Linbo and two from Erin Woodson.

After Milwaukee took a two-point lead into halftime, the ‘Dons came out of the locker room with a 7-0 run. Renna Schwieterman and Sellers made a layup each and Marshall drilled a 3-pointer.

The Mastodons had just eight turnovers, matching a season-low.

There were 10 ties and six lead changes.

Milwaukee’s Kendall Nead had a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds.

The Mastodons finishing with a 38.6 shooting percentage (22-of-57) while Milwaukee was a step lower at 38.2 percentage (21-of-55). The ‘Dons were 14-of-16 (87.5 percent) from the charity stripe.

Over the last five games, the ‘Dons are 82.1 percent from the line (64-of-78). They have also made double-digit free throws in all but the season opener.

Purdue Fort Wayne improved to 9-4 and 3-0 in the Horizon League. Milwaukee’s loss moved the Panthers to 7-7, 1-2. The Mastodons will head upstate to play Horizon League favorite Green Bay on New Year’s Day at 2 p.m. ET.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL

BALL DROPS ON 2023 WITH #HLMBB CONTEST AGAINST THE TITANS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Mastodons will look to move to 4-0 in league play when Detroit Mercy comes to the Gates Sports Center on Sunday (Dec. 31). Kids 18 and under can receive a free general admission ticket to the game at the box office window. Fans will also receive a free Marathon can koozie (while supplies last). 

Game Day Information
Who: Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (12-2, 3-0 Horizon League) vs. Detroit Mercy Titans (0-14, 0-3 Horizon League)
When: Friday, December 31 | 2:00 p.m. ET 
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Gates Sports Center
Live Stats: Link
Video: ESPN+
Radio: 1380 AM
Tickets: Link
Game Program: Link
Series Record: Titans lead 5-4
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne (PDF) | Detroit Mercy (PDF)

‘DONS & ENDS:

// A victory on Sunday over Detroit Mercy would put the ‘Dons at 13-2, tying for the program record for best start over the first 15 games of the season. The 1988-89 and 1992-93 teams also started 13-2.

// The ‘Dons are 3-5 all-time on New Year’s Eve but have won the last two thanks to a 102-91 win over Oral Roberts in 2016 and a 76-71 win at Youngstown State on 2022.

// Rasheed Bello is nearing 1,000 career points. Combined with his scoring at NCAA Division II UW-Parkside, he has 995 career NCAA points.

// The ‘Dons are 5-0 when Jalen Jackson leads the team in scoring.

// The ‘Dons are 3-0 in league play for the first time since 2018-19 when the ‘Dons opened 4-0 in Summit League play.

// The ‘Dons have recorded double-digit steals in seven games. They have had more steals than their opponent in 10-of-14 games.

// Rasheed Bello had seven steals on Dec. 29 vs. Northern Kentucky, tying a program record in the NCAA Division I era. Some of the best individual steal performances in program history have come against Northern Kentucky. During the NCAA Division II era, Randy Spicer had eight steals against Northern Kentucky on Jan. 9, 1999.

// The ‘Dons have made at least eight 3-pointers in 10-of-14 games and double digit treys in five games.

// Quinton Morton Robertson is 6th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 47.0 percent (39-of-83). Maximus Nelson is shooting 46.9 percent (32-of-70) from three. Nelson doesn’t appear on the national rankings as he is shy of the 2.5 made 3-pointers per game required to make the list.

// The Mastodons average 20.3 points off turnover this season, which is 24.5 percent of all points. Sparking points off turnovers, the ‘Dons are 8th in the nation in turnovers forced per game at 17.71 and 10th in the nation in fastbreak points with 17.21.

// The ‘Dons have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in all but two games this season (at Oakland, Dec. 2 and at Pitt, Dec. 20).

// The ‘Dons are ranked No. 12 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major 25 Poll. They have been as high as No. 9 this season.

// The ‘Dons are No. 85 in the latest NET rankings, the ‘Dons reached a program-best No. 53 on Dec. 8, 2023.

// Purdue Fort Wayne’s scoring margin of 16.6 is first in the league.

// The ‘Dons have limited six consecutive opponents to under 30 percent shooting from three.

// All five starters reached double-digits vs. SEMO (Dec. 9) and vs. Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 16). Additionally, six times this season four starters have reached double-digits.

// Rasheed Bello has reached double-digits in every game this season but one this season. Jalen Jackson and Anthony Roberts each have just two games without 10 points.

// The ‘Dons are averaging 83.0 points per game, 38th in the nation and up from 73.9 last season.

// Purdue Fort Wayne’s 10.1 steals per game this season are up from the 7.3 last year. The Division I era program high for steals per game was the 8.8 mark in 2021-22.

// Four Mastodons are averaging better than 12.0 points per game: Rasheed Bello (14.6), Anthony Roberts (14.4), Jalen Jackson (14.5) and Quinton Morton-Robertson (12.5).

// The Mastodons’ 5-0 start was their longest undefeated stretch to start a season as a NCAA Division I program. It was their longest stretch to start a season since the 1992-93 team opened 9-0. That team earned a bid in the NCAA Division II Tournament, the only NCAA bid (Division I or II) in program history.

// Thanks to the 5-0 start to the season, the ‘Dons now have now had a winning streak of at-least four games in every season since 2009-10 except for one (2017-18). That is 14-of-15 seasons.

// The ‘Dons have won 20 straight home non-league games, a streak that started on Nov. 16, 2019 vs. Stetson.

// Thanks to wins over Northern Arizona (Nov. 17) and South Dakota (Nov. 18), the ‘Dons won the Arizona Tip-Off. Quinton Morton-Robertson was named the MVP of the event and selected to the All-Tournament Team with Rasheed Bello.

// The ‘Dons have partnered with Team IMPACT to add Bolton Richardson to the squad in 2023-24. Added to the team at a signing ceremony in July, Bolton will be at games, practices and other team activities.

TOP 25 NATIONAL RANKINGS:

// 3rd in the nation in turnover margin (+7.9)

// 8th in the nation in turnovers forced per game (17.71)

// 10th in the nation in fast break points per game (17.21)

// 12th in the nation in three point percentage defense (27.0 percent)

// 14th in the nation in steals per game (10.1)

// 19th in the nation in scoring margin (+16.6)

// 22nd in 3-pointers per game (9.9)

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

COLD START TRIPS UP ACES IN LOSS TO INDIANA STATE

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville women’s basketball team opened Missouri Valley Conference play with a 66-49 loss to the Indiana State Sycamores.

After nine days off for the Christmas holiday, the Purple Aces took until the fourth quarter on Saturday to get its offense going. Sophomore point guard Kynidi Mason Striverson again led UE on offense with 16 points while center Barbora Tomancova led the team on defense with 12 rebounds. Forward Maggie Hartwig also had a double-digit performance against the Sycamores with 12 points.

“We can tell our team over and over how tough conference play is going to be,” said Head Coach Robyn Scherr-Wells following the game. “Especially when you open up conference play with a rivalry as well. You tell them, hey it’s going to be physical; they’re going to be very physical with us. We’ve got to match that and not be surprised by it in the first quarter.

“But Indiana State did a really good job of coming out and beating us up a little bit early on. And we didn’t quite match it and it took us a while to toughen up. It wasn’t until that fourth quarter we started fighting back. And it’s very difficult to dig early holes against MVC teams and try to have a comeback win. It’s a tough learning experience but I do think we’ll learn from it.”

Evansville’s offense wasn’t able to find a field goal in the first 10 minutes of Saturday night’s game. But the Aces were able to make their way to the free-throw line in the sixth minute. UE sank all six of its free throws in the first quarter to head into the second down by only eight.

 It was a quick start for Evansville in the second quarter as Tomancova got to the line in the first 10 seconds. The Aces hit their first field goal thanks to Mason Striverson 30 seconds in for a four-point run. But Indiana State responded with a run of their own to make it a double-digit game early. UE quickly cut into the Sycamore led with a three from Hartwig. But Evansville wasn’t able to put together another scoring run, heading into the second half down by 11.

The Aces again had the first points in the third quarter as guard Madlena Gerke put in a second-chance three-pointer. UE put together an early four-point run to get the score back within single digits. Evansville brought the deficit down to eight on two separate occasions in the third. But a 4:30 scoreless stretch near the end of the quarter made it a 21-point hole for the Aces to dig out of in the fourth.

UE’s offense kicked into gear with a six-point run to begin the final quarter. The teams traded baskets but it quickly ended as Mason Striverson made five points in under 20 seconds for a 10-point game. Indiana State responded with a 9-1 run over the next two minutes, putting the game out of reach for Evansville. Hartwig made the final shots of the game for the Aces with two free throws in the 66-49 loss.

It will be four days before UE is back in action on the road. Evansville begins 2024 at Northern Iowa with a midweek matchup against the Panthers. Tip-off from the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS VALLEY OPENER AT MURRAY STATE

The Valpo women’s basketball team opened the 2023-24 Missouri Valley Conference slate Saturday evening in Murray, Ky., dropping a 90-62 decision to host Murray State.

How It Happened

Early 3-pointers from Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) and Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) had the score tied at 8-8 just over three minutes into the game.

The Racers pushed their lead out to 18-10 with 5:19 to play in the opening quarter. Valpo came back with six points in a row in less than a minute, with Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) tallying a basket, two assists and two steals during that quick spurt.

Murray State posted a big run to close the first period, scoring the final 11 points — seven of which came in the last 1:05 of the quarter — to claim a 29-16 lead at the end of the opening 10 minutes.

The Racers pushed their advantage to 16 points with a triple on their first possession of the second quarter. Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) retorted with 3-pointers on back-to-back trips, kicking off a 12-3 run which brought the Beacons to within 35-28 with 4:44 to play in the first half.

Once again, Valpo went on a drought from the field in the late stages of the quarter, as the Racers rattled off nine straight points. A 3-pointer by Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) with just over one minute remaining accounted for the Beacons’ only points of the final five minutes of the quarter, cutting the deficit to 44-31 at intermission.

The teams were close to even over the first few minutes of the third quarter, as a 3-point possession by Earnest with 6:51 to play in the period made it a 54-39 game. The Beacons went scoreless over the next four-plus minutes, however, as Murray State reeled off 13 points in a row to pull away.

The Racers led 76-49 with 10 minutes to play, and Valpo was unable to get any closer in the fourth quarter.

Inside the Game

Earnest led all players with a game-high 17 points, the ninth time in 10 games this season that the senior has scored in double figures.

Earnest also came up just one rebound shy of a double-double, pacing all players with nine boards. With 493 career rebounds, Earnest is just two shy of cracking the program’s all-time top-20 in the category and is seven shy of hitting the 500-board milestone for her career.

Saniya Jackson tallied 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting to reach double figures for the fifth time in Valpo’s last seven games, while Nevaeh Jackson totaled 10 points to hit double digits for the second time this year. Both of the twins contributed three steals and two blocked shots as well.

Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) contributed nine points and handed out a team-best three assists.

Valpo shot at a 40.7% (22-of-54) clip from the floor to Murray State’s 46% (29-of-63) shooting. The Racers also hit 11 triples versus the Beacons’ eight 3-pointers.

The Beacons committed a season-worst 28 turnovers which Murray State converted into 35 points.

Led by the Jackson twins, Valpo racked up 11 steals to maintain its MVC-leading pace as a team in that category. It is the sixth time this year the Beacons have posted a double-digit steal total.

Next Up

Valpo (1-9, 0-1 MVC) continues its swing of road games with the longest trip of the Valley slate next week, heading to Springfield, Mo. to face Missouri State Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL

VALPO TO OPEN CALENDAR YEAR VS. BRADLEY

Bradley (8-5, 0-2 MVC)

at Valparaiso (4-9, 0-2 MVC)

Game No. 14 – Wednesday, Jan. 3, 7 p.m. CT

Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will open up the calendar year of 2024 and start the continuous portion of Missouri Valley Conference play on Wednesday night by hosting Bradley at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Beacons will play at home for the first time since Dec. 19 and return to league action after starting the MVC slate with two games the week after Thanksgiving. This will mark the only regular-season matchup between these two teams as Bradley is one of two Valley foes that Valpo will face only once during the 20-game Valley gauntlet.

Last Time Out: Freshman Jahari Williamson tallied a season-high 24 points while fellow rookie Cooper Schwieger poured in 21, but Valpo fell 82-78 on Friday afternoon at Elon despite outscoring the Phoenix 49-40 after halftime in the nonconference finale. Valpo trailed by as many as 17 in the second half before shrinking the gap to as few as two, but could not tie or take the lead. Sophomore Jaxon Edwards added 15 points on a day where underclassmen thrived, while junior point guard Darius DeAveiro tossed in 10 points and six assists for a Valpo team that was playing without the services of leading scorer Isaiah Stafford.

Following the Beacons: Streaming – The Valley on ESPN+ Exclusive – Andy Masur (play-by-play) and Kevin Lehman (analyst)

Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and The Victory Bell (analyst)

Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball

Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Roger Powell Jr.: Roger Powell Jr. (4-9) is in his first season as the head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program. After helping guide Gonzaga to a 121-13 record during his four seasons as an assistant coach, Powell returned to Valpo, where he was part of head coach Bryce Drew’s staff from 2011-2016 and led the team to 124 wins in five seasons, including a program-record 30 victories and a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) title game appearance in 2015-16. He was part of head coach Mark Few’s Gonzaga staff as the Bulldogs reached the 2021 national championship game after winning their first 31 games of the season. During Powell’s first season on staff in 2019-20, Gonzaga was 31-2 at the time the NCAA college basketball season was halted due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs reached the Sweet Sixteen in each of his final three seasons on staff, including two Elite Eight appearances and the aforementioned trip to the 2021 national title game. Prior to his arrival at Gonzaga, Powell served as the associate head coach at Vanderbilt University under Bryce Drew from 2016-2019. During his stint as an assistant at Valpo, he was part of four Horizon League regular-season championships in a five-year period while also leading the 2012-13 and 2014-15 squads to Horizon League tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. A product of Joliet West High School and a native of Joliet, Ill., Powell capped a prolific collegiate playing career at Illinois with a national title game appearance in 2005 before going on to a successful professional playing career.

Series Notes: Bradley has won five straight head-to-head matchups and leads the all-time series 11-5. Valpo does hold a 5-3 edge in games play at the ARC. The Beacons will not cry buckets of tears based on the schedule makers determining that they will not play in Peoria this season as the Brown & Gold are 0-7 all-time when visiting the Braves. Valpo beat Bradley 91-85 in double overtime on Jan. 28, 2021, but since then all five showdowns between the two teams have been double-figure triumphs for the Braves including three games decided by over 20 points.

Scouting the Braves

Picked to finish third of 12 in the MVC preseason poll.

Off to an 0-2 start to league play with a road loss at Murray State (79-72) and a home loss to Indiana State (85-77).

Went 25-10 and 16-4 in the MVC last season. Fell to Drake in the MVC title game before facing Wisconsin in the NIT.

Coming off a 69-47 victory over Truman State on Thursday, Dec. 28.

We Are Young

Valpo’s 2023-24 roster is a new-look group that is among the nation’s most inexperienced teams.

The Beacons rank 356 of 362 in the KenPom “experience factor” at 0.54. The experience factor is calculated using eligibility class weighted by minutes played.

The only more inexperienced teams nationally, per KenPom, are Notre Dame, Boston, Saint Francis, Siena, Northwestern State and Idaho.

Underclassmen on Display

A young and inexperienced team was even more young and inexperienced on Dec. 29 at Elon as junior Isaiah Stafford was sidelined with an injury.

Three of the five starters in that game were freshmen and four were underclassmen, including rookie Jahari Williamson, who made his first collegiate start.

Of the team’s 78 points on Friday, 51 (65.3 percent) were scored by freshmen and 68 (87.2 percent) were scored by freshmen and sophomores.

Williamson scored a career-high 24 points, knocked down five 3s and was a perfect 7-of-7 at the free-throw line. He also had five rebounds and two assists. He outdid his previous season best of 20 that came on Dec. 16 vs. Chicago State.

Cooper Schwieger went 7-of-11 from the field for a season-high 21 points with the bulk of his damage coming after halftime. Over the final 20 minutes, he scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Schwieger outdid his previous personal best of 18 that occurred on Dec. 2 at Belmont.

20-Point Tandem

On Dec. 29 vs. Elon, Cooper Schwieger and Jahari Williamson both eclipsed 20 points, marking the first time a Valpo tandem turned that trick since Ben Krikke and Kobe King did it on Feb. 14 of last season vs. Southern Illinois.

This marked the first time in over 30 years that a pair of Valpo rookies each reached the 20-point threshold. No freshman tandem had achieved that feat since at least the start of the Homer Drew head coaching era in 1988-89.

This marked the first time Valpo had a pair of 20-point scorers in a true road game since Dec. 18, 2019 at High Point (Javon Freeman-Liberty and Eron Gordon).

Starter Shakeup

Valpo had featured the same starting lineup for each of the first 11 games this season – Jerome Palm, Cooper Schwieger, Jaxon Edwards, Darius DeAveiro and Isaiah Stafford.

This marked the first time Valpo had utilized the same starting five for each of the first 11 games of a season since 2012-13, when the eventual Horizon League champions started Ryan Broekhoff, Kevin Van Wijk, Ben Boggs, Erik Buggs and Will Bogan.

In 2012-13, the 12th game featured Valpo’s first starting lineup change of the year as LaVonte Dority and Matt Kenney replaced Will Bogan and Erik Buggs for the Dec. 20 game vs. IUPUI.

This season, it was once again the 12th game where Valpo made its first lineup tweak. Freshman Kaspar Sepp replaced Palm in the starting five for the Dec. 19 contest vs. Samford.

The last time Valpo used the same starting lineup for each of the first 12 games of the season was 2007-08. That season’s quintet was comprised of Shawn Huff, Samuel Haanpaa, Urule Igbavboa, Brandon McPherson and Jake Diebler.

Valpo made another change to the starting lineup for Game 13, this time as Isaiah Stafford became the first usual starter to miss a game due to an injury this year. Jahari Williamson started alongside Sepp, Schwieger, Edwards and DeAveiro.

Jahari’s Jumpers

Jahari Williamson returned to the rotation on Dec. 16 vs. Chicago State after missing the previous two games due to an illness. He made a significant impact, tallying 20 points and going 4-of-6 from 3-point territory.

Williamson’s scoring output against Chicago State represented a career high. He surpassed his previous best of 16 established in the Nov. 6 season opener vs. Trinity Christian and his previous high against a Division-I opponent of 13, which came on Nov. 21 vs. Western Illinois.

Before the 20-point outpouring, Williamson had been held to six points or fewer in six of his previous seven games.

Williamson enjoyed his second 20-point output in a three-game span when he went 5-of-8 from 3 and produced a season-high 24 points on Dec. 29 at Elon.

In the game against the Phoenix, Williamson became the first Valpo player to hit five 3s in a game against a Division-I opponent this season.

The 24 points marked the most by a Valpo rookie since Javon Freeman-Liberty had 27 on Feb. 5, 2019 at Illinois State.

Rookie Report

Cooper Schwieger is averaging 11.6 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game this season.

The Overland Park, Kan. native ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring average among freshmen at 11.6 points per game. He is behind only Drake’s Kevin Overton (13.5 ppg).

Schwieger ranks second among MVC freshmen with 0.9 blocks per game and is tied for the league lead in rebounds per game among rookies, joining teammate Kaspar Sepp at 4.7 boards per game apiece.

Schwieger is one of seven freshmen nationally averaging at least 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.8 blocks.

The Season of Giving

Valpo starting point guard Darius DeAveiro has thrived in the assist department of late, giving out five or more helpers in each of the last nine games, including a season-high 10 on Dec. 19 vs. Samford.

Just 13 games into the season, DeAveiro has 73 assists, already surpassing his previous single-season career high of 68, set in 25 games last year. He’s up to 191 career assists, nine shy of 200.

His 10 assists against the Bulldogs tied a career high set on Nov. 13, 2022 vs. Western Michigan.

Entering the Nov. 21 game vs. Western Illinois, DeAveiro had played 58 career games and owned a career high of eight points, achieved twice (Jan. 15, 2022 vs. Missouri State and Nov. 13, 2022 vs. Western Michigan). After that, he scored at least eight points in three straight games including a personal-best 11 on Nov. 21 vs. Western Illinois and Nov. 29 vs. Drake.

DeAveiro made three 3-pointers on Nov. 29 vs. Drake after having entered the game with no more than one 3-point make in any of his first 60 career games. For further comparison, he made three 3s all of last season in 25 games.

The junior entered this season with seven career made 3s over 54 games and has surpassed that with 10 made 3s in the first 13 contests this year.

DeAveiro became just the third Valpo player in the last decade to shoot 80 percent or better from the field (minimum five attempts) while handing out at least seven assists in the game against the Leathernecks. He was the first to do it since Max Joseph on Jan. 10, 2018 vs. Drake. Before that, the most recent was Erik Buggs on March 2, 2013 against Green Bay.

Sepp Surging

Kaspar Sepp tallied a game-high 11 rebounds on Dec. 19 vs. Samford, his second double-figure rebound total in his last four contests, joining 12 on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan.

Sepp is averaging 6.4 points per game over his last five games after totaling eight points in the first four games that he played this season, including three where he played and did not score.

Before the last five games, Sepp had not scored in any of the team’s previous seven games, three where he played and did not score and four where he did not play (coach’s decision).

Taking the Takeaway Battle

Valpo ranks third in the MVC in turnovers forced per game (14.1) and third in turnover margin (+2.8).

Valpo has lost the turnover battle just twice in the team’s 13 games this year.

Valpo has won or tied the turnover battle in each of the last six games.

On Dec. 19, Valpo had just 10 turnovers against Samford, the fewest of any Bulldogs’ opponent this season.

With a Win vs. Bradley, Valpo Would…

End a seven-game losing streak, the program’s longest since losing eight straight during the 2006-07 season.

End a five-game head-to-head losing streak against Bradley.

Improve to above .500 at home this season.

Garner its first win since Nov. 25 vs. Southern.

Win the first game of the calendar year 2024.

Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 29: Elon 82, Valpo 78

Cooper Schwieger scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the second half alone as part of his 21-point barrage. He has scored 15 or more points four times this season including each of the last two games.

Jahari Williamson’s 24-point outpouring marked his second 20-point game over the last three contests.

Jaxon Edwards posted 15 points, slammed home a pair of dunks and squeezed a team-high eight rebounds. He was in double figures by halftime.

Edwards had his highest scoring output in the last 10 games and posted his fifth double-figure scoring output this season.

Elon shot 52.7 percent for the game while Valpo’s shooting numbers represented a tale of two halves – 26.7 percent before the break and 61.3 percent after.

Elon owned a 32-2 edge in bench points.

Valpo grabbed 13 offensive rebounds including five from Edwards and four from Ola Aijboye.

Valpo made nine 3s, tied for the team’s highest total against a Division-I opponent this season.

Valpo won or tied the turnover battle for the sixth straight game, committing 11 to Elon’s 13.

In addition to his 10 points and six assists, Darius DeAveiro had a career-high seven rebounds. This surpassed his previous watermark of six that had stood dating all the way back to Nov. 27, 2021 vs. Trinity Christian.

Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 19: Samford 79, Valpo 61

­Samford extended its winning streak to 10 games and improved to 10-2 on the season. The Bulldogs entered the game ranked third in the country in scoring average at 91.5 points per game.

Valpo held Samford to 79 points, its first time under 88 in a six-game span and tied for the team’s lowest scoring output during the 10-game winning streak.

Valpo’s 10 turnovers were an improvement from last year’s game at Samford, when Valpo gave it away 17 times in a 79-49 setback. The Beacons trailed that game by 30 at halftime versus trailing by only eight at the break this season.

Valpo attempted 30 3-pointers, its highest attempt total against a Division-I opponent this season and highest since the season opener vs. Trinity Christian (33). The Beacons made just six of their 30 attempts in the game against Samford.

Samford shot a robust 67.9 percent from the field after halftime (19-of-28) to finish the game at 50.8 percent. Valpo shot 35.4 percent for the afternoon.

The Beacons shot 81.8 percent from the free-throw line (9-of-11), while Samford shot just 45.5 percent at the stripe (5-of-11).

Stafford’s Steady Scoring

Isaiah Stafford had scored 14 points or more in five straight games before being held to eight on Dec. 16 vs. Chicago State, just his second single-figure output in 11 contests this season. He followed that with a season-low two points on Dec. 19 vs. Samford, when he was limited to 15 minutes and battled an injury that kept him out on Dec. 28 at Elon.

The junior college transfer has led the team in scoring (outright or tied) in eight of his 12 games this season.

Stafford, who ranks 10th in the MVC in scoring at 16.2 points per game, had a season-high two blocks in the Dec. 9 game at Virginia Tech to go along with four steals, matching a personal best that was set in the Nov. 6 opener vs. Trinity Christian.

In the Dec. 9 game at Virginia Tech, Stafford became the first Valpo player with 14+ points, four or more steals and multiple blocks in a game since Ryan Broekhoff on Feb. 10, 2011 vs. Detroit Mercy.

Welcome to The Valley

Valpo newcomers have achieved Missouri Valley Conference recognition in back-to-back weeks as Isaiah Stafford was tabbed MVC Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 20 before Cooper Schwieger earned MVC Freshman of the Week on Nov. 27.

Valpo has already won two MVC weekly awards in the first three weeks this season, one away from the team’s season total from last year and already only two away from the team’s highest total number of weekly awards in a season since joining The Valley.

Schwieger’s honor came after he averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, going 4-of-6 from 3-point range in a pair of wins over Western Illinois and Southern.

Stafford averaged 24.0 points per game during the week of his award, tallying 18 in a home win over Green Bay before exploding for 30 at No. 23 Illinois.

UINDY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BECKER’S DOUBLE-DOUBLE PROPELS HOUNDS TO IN-REGION VICTORY

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis women’s basketball team closed out the 2023 section of their season with an 83-71 victory over in-region Ohio Dominican.

Liv Becker and Elana Wells were the offensive powerhouses for the Greyhounds. Becker dropped a 23 and 10 double-double and Wells scoring 20 points off a career-high 12 free throws made.

Outside of Becker and Wells, the Hounds had two more players hit double digits in scoring in Jada Haines and newcomer Shekinah Thomas.

INS AND OUTS

The Hounds were aggressive to start the contest, leaping to a 12-2 advantage in the first five, with Caroline Jakaitis scoring off a dime by Haines.

The Hounds’ lead continued to stay strong throughout into the second quarter of action with Thomas’ first career bucket as a Hound landing just two minutes into the second period.

Action stayed at that pace from there as the Hounds entered the locker room for halftime with an 11-point lead. That advantage ballooned all the way to 18 behind a 13-6 run by the Hounds, ending with a splash by Haines.

The Panthers would mount a run of their own in the fourth, outscoring the Hounds 16-7 to bring the Hounds lead down to just six, the lowest it had been since the beginning of the contest. The Hounds would survive the onslaught ending the game on a 16-12 run behind eight points from Wells.

INSIDE THE BOX

INSIDE THE BOX

– The Hounds shot 30-35 from the charity stripe, a season high for the team in both attempts and makes.

– With Wells’ 20, she has now scored in double figures in her last three contests.

– Becker’s double-double is the first of her career.

– Jakaitis’ four blocks is a career high.

UP NEXT

The Hounds will have to wait until 2024 for more action, with them travelling to Truman State next for a matchup on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 6:15 p.m. ET.

MARIAN MEN’S BASKETBALL

MARIAN COMPLETES FOURTH CONSECUTIVE UNDEFEATED NON-CONFERENCE SEASON WITH 25-POINT WIN OVER RIO GRANDE

INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian men’s basketball team completed their fourth-consecutive undefeated non-conference slate Saturday afternoon, as the Knights used a strong second half to claim an 79-54 win over Rio Grande. Marian’s win is their 39th consecutive non-conference win dating back to 2019, as they close 2023 with an 11-2 overall mark.

Gus Etchison scored the first points of the game for Marian after the Knights won the opening tip, but the tide of the game would favor Rio Grande early on as the Red Storm retaliated with six unanswered points. Marian’s short comings came from a poor shooting percentage in the opening minutes, however a Jackson Ames putback and Etchison trifecta knotted the game after the under-15 media timeout. Despite the quick surge of points, Rio Grande continued to hold the lead, pushing ahead by as many as four with the clock running under 10 minutes to play in the first half.

A three-point play from Ames after the second media timeout of the half helped spark Marian’s offense, as shots began to fall with ease. Rio Grande would continue to hold a lead of one or more points as the clock continued to roll toward halftime, and expanded their lead to seven as a Trey Robertson triple put the visitors on top 33-26. With 2:36 to play before the break, the Knights made their run, getting a pair of free throws from Etchison to ignite the fire, while a three from Maximus Gizzi on the next possession cut the score to two. Brody Whitaker made a pair of free throws to tie the game with 1:21 remaining, and with two seconds to play Etchison buried a contested three, capping the 10-0 run to give Marian a 36-33 lead at intermission.

Riding the momentum of their run to close the first half, the Knights exploded to start the second half, scoring on four of their first five possessions of the half. A pair of three-point plays highlighted Marian’s quick start, while four unanswered points from Etchison on the front end of the under-15 media timeout pushed their lead to 14. The strong start to the half gave Marian a 52-38 lead, and put the home team in control as Brody Whitaker managed the scoring to keep the Knights on top by four possessions.

An open three-point shot from Josh Bryan with 10:54 to go in the game reclaimed a 16-point lead for Marian, and all but sealed the game as the Knights led by 15 points or more for the final 9:20 of the afternoon. Bryan added five more points to his total as he gave Marian a 67-47 lead in the game, putting the game further out of reach with five minutes to go. A jumper from Gizzi gave Marian their largest lead of the game with 62 seconds left as they held a 27-point difference on the board, leading Marian into the New Year with a 79-54 victory.

The Knights shot an effective 49 percent from the field in the win, and were led in scoring by Whitaker who poured in 23 points to go with four rebounds. Gus Etchison had a strong game, scoring 17 points on a 4-5 shooting mark from downtown, adding a team-high six assists and two blocks to his stat line. Bryan finished with 13 points off the bench, and Ames added eight points and eight rebounds. Gizzi scored eight points as well in the win for Marian.

The victory for Marian is their 39th consecutive non-conference win, completing four consecutive seasons with an undefeated mark against non-Crossroads League foes in the regular season. Marian’s winning streak in the non-conference started on December 15, 2019, with a win over Rocky Mountain College. Marian ended 2019-20 with four consecutive wins against non-CL foes, adding seven wins in their COVID-19 altered 2020-21 slate, eight in 2021-22, and 10 in both the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons.

The winning streak in the non-conference in the longest in the nation in all levels of college basketball. Purdue University currently holds the longest such streak in the NCAA, winning 33 consecutive games with three straight undefeated non-conference runs.

Marian returns to Crossroads League play when they next return to the court, taking on Goshen College on Wednesday, January 3. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and will be the second game in Wednesday’s doubleheader with the women’s team.

MARIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

MARIAN CLOSES NON-CONFERENCE SLATE WITH COMMANDING ROAD WIN OVER CONCORDIA

Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Marian women’s basketball team ended their non-conference slate on a high note Saturday afternoon, earning a one-sided 76-37 victory over Concordia University. The final win of the 2023 calendar year for the women give them a 12-1 overall record entering 2024.

It took nearly two minutes to take the lid off the basket Saturday, but a layup from Kinnidy Garrard got Marian’s offense in gear in the slow-paced opening stanza. The Knights led throughout the opening quarter, as contributions from Aliyah Evans and Abbey McNally held the visitors in the lead. The Cardinals would stay within a basket of Marian for most of the first quarter, but were never able to take a lead, with a three-point play from Evans securing the opening quarter lead. Garrard scored the final point for the Knights in the first quarter, as Marian held Concordia scoreless for the final two minutes en route to building a 15-10 lead.

In the second quarter Marian took off and put the game in their hands, as Ella Collier got involved with the offense scoring the quarter’s first points. A layup from Allison Bosse doubled the lead as the Knights pushed ahead 20-10, and as the quarter wore on Marian’s continued to pour it on with Collier and Evans adding to Marian’s lead. Josie Trabel made an impact to the offense after checking in and scored four of Marian’s 23 second quarter points, as her basket with 60 seconds remaining in the half gave Marian a 38-19 lead going into the break.

Marian put the game to rest in the third quarter, as their offense scored 26 points in the quarter while their defense limited the Cardinals to just 10 total points. Garrard and Bosse started the scoring onslaught, while a three from Ella Collier helped extend Marian’s 9-0 run that put a 28-point difference on the board. Collier and Garrard soon put Marian on top by 30 points in the quarter, and as the period hit it’s waning moments Tamia Perryman converted a three-point play helping the guests take a one-sided 64-29 lead into the fourth quarter.

Marian allowed only two made field goals in the third quarter, and in the fourth quarter kept their intensity going as they held the Cardinals to eight points in closing minutes. Marian out-scored the Cardinals 12-8 in the final quarter as they closed their 76-37 win, as Kiley McNally and Kenna Gray helped lead the offense.

Garrard finished the afternoon with a team-high 15 points, while Collier and Evans each scored 11 points in the win. Tamia Perryman scored 10 points off the bench, and in total 12 different Knights scored at least one point in the win.

The Knights return to Crossroads League play as the calendar flips to 2024, with Marian hosting Goshen College on January 3. Tip is set for 5:30 p.m.

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

NFL STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/standings

NBA STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nba/standings

NHL STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nhl/standings

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/standings/

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.ncaa.com/standings/basketball-women/d1

FOOTBALL HISTORY

December 31, 1961 – New City Stadium, Green Bay, Wisconsin – The NFL Championship of 1961 pitted the Giants against the Packers. Green Bay Packers won their first of 5 NFL titles in a 7-year span by Packers and head coach, Vince Lombardi. shutdown New York Giants 37-0 per the Pro Football Reference website. Paul Hornung scored a TD, kicked three field goals and three extra points to lead the Packers. As a side note New City Stadium was renamed to Lambeau Field in 1965 after the death and in honor of the legendary Packers coach Curly Lambeau per an interesting story on the stadiumsofprofootball.com website.

December 31, 1967 – Oakland’s Alameda County Coliseum – The AFL Championship game pitted the host Raiders against the Houston Oilers. Quarterback Daryle Lamonica who had been claimed off of waivers from Buffalo earlier in the season led the Silver and Black to a 13-1 record per the American Football Database. Houston on the other hand went from last place in the AFL’s Eastern Conference the previous season to the top position in the 1967 season. Lamonica had two scoring passes and one TD with his legs while George Blanda booted four field goals through the uprights to help Oakland win its first AFL Championship. Final score Oakland Raiders 40, the Houston Oilers 7.

December 31, 1967 – Lambeau Field, Green Bay – The NFL Championship which is often remembered as the “The Ice Bowl.”  With game time temps around -13°F Lambeau Field lived up to its nickname of the frozen tundra.  Some interesting facts about this game. Referee Magazine tells how head ref Norm Schachter said there was only one official whistle blown all game and it was right before the opening kick off. At the time only metal whistles were available right before kick off the Umpire lost some skin off of his lips the crew never tweeted another one the rest of the game and Schachter’s own whistle was found to have the wooden ball frozen in place inside the metal part. As for the players it would have been a great game no matter what the temperature was as there would be 12 future Hall of Famers on the field that day in the arctic conditions plus each head coach would get a bust in Canton too according to a JS Online article. Even when you don’t consider the great people involved or the extreme weather it was an awesome game to boot! Drama at the end as Bart Starr keeps the ball and plunges into the frozen end zone. The Green Bay Packers last second heroics defeated the upstart Dallas Cowboys, 21-17 in the coldest NFL game on record!

December 31, 1972 – Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh – The AFC Championship game was played as Pittsburgh a nere week removed from their thrilling Immaculate Reception win over Oakland faced the undefeated Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins were too much for the Steelers in this one as they kept the loss column clean knocking off Pittsburgh, 21-7. Yes these were the 1972 Dolphins who would go on to win the Super Bowl and become the only Super Bowl era team to go undefeated and win the title.One interesting question arises why were the Steelers the home team if Miami clearly had the better record? Well I found the best answer on Funtrivia.com by Drewh2os; “From 1970 through 1974, after the merger of the AFL and NFL, teams were not seeded by winning percentage. Home playoff games were determined by a preset rotation through each of the three divisions. Select division winners would play all playoff games at home, regardless of the comparative record of their opponent. the AFC Eastern Division Champion Miami Dolphins had gone undefeated yet played the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh because the AFC East was not in the “home game” rotation that year and Pittsburgh was.” The current system of the best winning percentage team receiving Home field advantage throughout the playoffs started in 1975.

December 31, 1973 – 40th Sugar Bowl: #3 Notre Dame beats #1 Alabama, 24-23

December 31, 1974 – 41st Sugar Bowl: #8 Nebraska beats #18 Florida, 13-10

December 31, 1991 – J Donald Crump resigned as CFL Commissioner. According to a Wikipedia post Crump was the 7th commissioner of the Canadian Football League and held the position for just shy of two years. Previously he had been an executive with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

December 31, 1997 – Marv Levy retires as coach of the NFL Buffalo Bills after 12 seasons, including 4 consecutive losing Super Bowl appearances. Marv was 72 year-old at the time.

December 31, 2017 – Cleveland Browns with a 28-24  loss to Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field earned the dubious claim of becoming only the 2nd team in NFL history to finish a season with 0-16 record. The other was the 2008 Detroit Lions. Pro Football Reference shows us that a Ju-Ju Smith Schuster 96 yard kickoff return TD in the third quarter was the difference maker in the contest.


Hall of Fame Birthdays for December 31

December 31, 1875 – Uniontown, New Jersey – Lafayette College’s stellar guard Charles “Babe” Rinehart was born. The NFF says that Rinehart was one of the first players outside of the Ivy League to garner All-America recognition from the legend Walter Camp, who picked the teams.  Other experts of the gridiron of the era had high regard for Babe as Parke Davis, an authority of football’s early era, named Rinehart to his All-Time All-America first team, while New York Sun football editor George Trevor hailed Rinehart as, “one of the great guards of the era.”  The College Football Hall of Fame placed the name of Babe Rinehart into their fold in 1964.

December 31, 1928 – Los Angeles, California – The University of Washington’s star halfback from 1949 through 1951, Hugh “the King” McElhenny was born. The website footballfoundation.org informs readers that McElhenny with his speed and open field prowess marked the record book up with new ink at Washington during his career. During his  junior season of 1950, Hugh set single-game marks for rushing with 296 yards, touchdowns scoring 5 of them and total points at 30 as the Huskies embarrassed rival Washington State, 52-21, in the season finale. McElhenney followed that up with a spectacular Senior year as he ran back a 100-yard punt return for a touchdown against USC and finished the season with 17 touchdowns and 125 total points which led to him receiving first team All-America honors. The National Football Foundation selected Hugh McElhenny into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981. In 1952 Hugh was picked by the San Francisco 49ers as their top pick and his NFL career spanned over 13 seasons in San Francisco, Minnesota, Green Bay, Detroit and New York. Hugh played in 6 NFL Pro Bowls and was the games MVP in 1958. He finished his career  with 11,375 net yards. In 1970 Hugh McElheny received his much deserved place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

16 – 14 – 5 – 10 – 66 – 39 – 13

December 31, 1967 – AFL Championship, Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland: Oakland Raiders beat Houston Oilers 40-7. Number 16, George Blanda booted 4 field goals for the Raiders in club’s 1st AFL Championship

December 31, 1973 – Number 14, Johan Cruyff was chosen European Football Player of the Year

December 31, 1974 – Ballon d’Or: Ajax forward Number 14, Johan Cruyff wins back-to-back awards, and his 3rd overall, for best European football player ahead of Bayern Munich defender Number 5, Franz Beckenbauer and Legia Warsaw midfielder Number 10, Kazimierz Deyna

December 31, 1988 – Pittsburgh NHL center Number 66, Mario Lemieux accounted for all of his team’s goals in Penguins 8-6 win over the NJ Devils; famously scores 5 goals, each in a different way: even strength, power play, shorthanded, penalty shot and empty net; also 3 assists

December 31, 1997 – Buffalo’s Czech NHL goalie Number 39, Dominik Hasek stopped 36 shots for his 27th career shutout in Sabres’ 3-0 win over Ottawa Senators; his 6th shutout in month of December; first since George Hainsworth in 1928-29 to achieve the feat

December 31, 2018 – Houston Rockets guard Number 13, James Harden scored 43 points in Rockets’ 113-101 win over Memphis Grizzlies; 4th straight NBA game with 40+ points and 8th straight with 35+; joined Number 14, Oscar Robertson as only player with at least 35 points & 5 assists in 8 straight games

TELEVISION SUNDAY

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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Robert Morris at Green Bay1:00pmESPN+
New Hampshire at Iowa State1:00pmESPN+
Emerson at UMass Lowell1:00pmESPN+
Washington State at Colorado2:00pmPAC12N
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Ecclesia at Southern3:00pmESPN+
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Omaha at South Dakota3:00pmCBSSN
Carroll at UNLV3:00pmScripps
Bethune-Cookman at Mississippi State3:00pmESPN+
South Carolina State at Oklahoma State3:00pmESPN+
Wright State at Milwaukee3:00pmESPN+
Monmouth at Oklahoma3:00pmESPN+
Southern Indiana at Lindenwood3:30pmESPN+
Bryant at Ole Miss4:00pmSECN
Arizona at Stanford4:00pmPAC12N
Westcliff at San Diego4:00pmESPN+
Morehead State at Southeast Missouri4:15pmESPN+
Western Illinois at SIUE4:30pmESPN+
Morgan State at NJIT4:30pmESPN+
Oral Roberts at Denver5:00pmALT
Trevecca Nazarene at Jacksonville State5:00pmESPN+
Washington at Utah6:00pmPAC12N
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SOCCER MATCHESTIME ETTV
EPL: Fulham vs Arsenal9:00amPeacock
EPL: Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Bournemouth9:00amUSA