INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEMI-STATE

CLASS 6A

MERRILLVILLE (12-0) AT WESTFIELD (11-1)

BEN DAVIS (7-5) AT CENTER GROVE (12-0)

CLASS 5A

ZIONSVILLE (8-5) AT MICHIGAN CITY (9-3)

NEW ALBANY (9-3) VS. CATHEDRAL (12-1), AT TECH

CLASS 4A

NORTHRIDGE (9-4) AT NEW PRAIRIE (11-2)

MT. VERNON (12-1) AT EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (11-2)

CLASS 3A

BREBEUF JESUIT (11-2) AT MISHAWAKA MARIAN (10-3)

GIBSON SOUTHERN (12-1) AT TRI-WEST (11-2), SATURDAY

CLASS 2A

ANDREAN (10-3) AT EASTSIDE (13-0)

EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (11-2) VS. SCECINA (10-3), AT BEECH GROVE

CLASS A

ADAMS CENTRAL (12-1) AT NORTH JUDSON (9-3)

TRI (11-2) AT LUTHERAN (13-0)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 37 BALL STATE 17

NORTHERN ILLINOIS 33 BUFFALO 27

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/cfb/scoreboard.asp?conf=fbs%3A-1&week=12

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, NOV. 18

LOUISVILLE AT DUKE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN

FRIDAY, NOV. 19

SOUTHERN MISS AT LOUISIANA TECH | 8 P.M. | CBSSN

MEMPHIS AT HOUSTON | 9 P.M. | ESPN2

ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON STATE | 9 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK

AIR FORCE AT NEVADA | 9 P.M. | FS1

SAN DIEGO STATE AT UNLV | 11:30 P.M. | CBSSN

SATURDAY, NOV. 20

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN AT GEORGIA | 12 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+

MICHIGAN STATE AT OHIO STATE | 12 P.M. | ABC

IOWA STATE AT OKLAHOMA | 12 P.M. | FOX

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M AT TEXAS A&M | 12 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+

WAKE FOREST AT CLEMSON | 12 P.M. | ESPN

NEW MEXICO STATE AT KENTUCKY | 12 P.M. | SEC NETWORK

PURDUE AT NORTHWESTERN | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK

TENNESSEE STATE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+

FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT WESTERN KENTUCKY | 12 P.M. | STADIUM

FLORIDA STATE AT BOSTON COLLEGE | 12 P.M. | ACC NETWORK

WOFFORD AT NORTH CAROLINA | 12 P.M. | ESPN3

RUTGERS AT PENN STATE | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK

UMASS AT ARMY | 12 P.M. | CBSSN

TEXAS AT WEST VIRGINIA | 12 P.M. | ESPN2

SOUTH FLORIDA AT TULANE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+

KENT STATE AT AKRON | 12 P.M. | ESPN+

TEXAS STATE AT COASTAL CAROLINA | 1 P.M. | ESPN+

ILLINOIS AT IOWA | 2 P.M. | FS1

ARKANSAS STATE AT GEORGIA STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN3

GEORGIA TECH AT NOTRE DAME | 2:30 P.M. | NBC

WASHINGTON AT COLORADO | 3 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK

ARKANSAS AT ALABAMA | 3:30 P.M.| CBS

SMU AT CINCINNATI | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN

MICHIGAN AT MARYLAND | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK

NEBRASKA AT WISCONSIN | 3:30 P.M. | ABC

VIRGINIA AT PITT | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN2

UAB AT UTSA | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+

MARSHALL AT CHARLOTTE | 3:30 P.M. | STADIUM

OLD DOMINION AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+

MINNESOTA AT INDIANA | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK

EAST CAROLINA AT NAVY | 3:30 P.M. | CBSSN

APPALACHIAN STATE AT TROY | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+

BYU AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN | 4 P.M. | ESPN+

SYRACUSE AT NC STATE | 4 P.M. | ACC NETWORK

UCLA AT USC | 4 P.M. | FOX

FLORIDA AT MISSOURI | 4 P.M. | SEC NETWORK

RICE AT UTEP | 4 P.M. | ESPN+

UCONN AT UCF | 4 P.M. | ESPN+

LOUISIANA AT LIBERTY | 4 P.M. | ESPNU

KANSAS AT TCU | 4 P.M. | BIG 12/ESPN+

TEMPLE AT TULSA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+

BAYLOR AT KANSAS STATE | 5:30 P.M. | FS1

AUBURN AT SOUTH CAROLINA | 7 P.M. | ESPN

CAL AT STANFORD | 7 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK

NORTH TEXAS AT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL | 7 P.M. | ESPN3

OREGON AT UTAH | 7:30 P.M. | ABC

VANDERBILT AT OLE MISS | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK

VIRGINIA TECH AT MIAMI | 7:30 P.M. | ACC NETWORK

SOUTH ALABAMA AT TENNESSEE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPNU

OKLAHOMA STATE AT TEXAS TECH | 8 P.M. | FOX

WYOMING AT UTAH STATE | 8 P.M. | CBSSN

UL MONROE AT LSU | 9 P.M. | ESPN2

NEW MEXICO AT BOISE STATE | 9 P.M. | FS1

ARIZONA STATE AT OREGON STATE | 10:30 P.M. | ESPN

COLORADO STATE AT HAWAI’I | 11 P.M. | SPECTRUM SPORTS PPV

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/cfb/wire.asp

WEEK 11 NFL SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2021

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (THU) 8:20P (ET) 8:20P FOX/NFLN/AMAZON**

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT BUFFALO BILLS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT CAROLINA PANTHERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CHICAGO BEARS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS

DETROIT LIONS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

HOUSTON TEXANS AT TENNESSEE TITANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P CBS

DALLAS COWBOYS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 3:25P (CT) 4:25P FOX

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 5:20P (PT) 8:20P NBC*

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2021

NEW YORK GIANTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN

THE NFL WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/fb/wire.asp

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

BOONVILLE48EVANSVILLE CENTRAL40
EASTBROOK61NORTHFIELD33
EDINBURGH51CROTHERSVILLE33
KOKOMO32LEWIS CASS16
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)61LAWRENCE NORTH43
NORWELL62FORT WAYNE LUERS39
OREGON-DAVIS53BOWMAN ACADEMY34
SILVER CREEK54CHARLESTOWN37
TRITON CENTRAL59MONROVIA12
WARSAW55WABASH29
WASHINGTON CATHOLIC40EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN39

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#2 UCLA 98 N. FLORIDA 63

#8 TEXAS 62 NORTHERN COLORADO 49

#9 BAYLOR 92 CENTRAL ARKANSAS 47

GEORGE MASON 71 #20 MARYLAND 66

#23 CONNECTICUT 93 LONG ISLAND 40

INDIANA 76 ST. JOHN’S 74

TEXAS SAN ANTONIO 60 IUPUI 57

MICHIGAN STATE 73 BUTLER 52

MIAMI OHIO 80 STETSON 65

OAKLAND 80 TOLEDO 59

LIPSCOMB 78 DAYTON 59

STANFORD 74 VALPARAISO 60

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/cbk/scoreboard.asp?conf=-1&day=20211117

NEWS WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/cbk/wire.asp

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 SOUTH CAROLINA 76 CLEMSON 45

#8 IOWA 87 SOUTHERN 67

#10 LOUISVILLE 62 TENNESSEE MARTIN 30

#12 TEXAS 88 SE. MISSOURI 47

#15 OREGON STATE 80 CALIFORNIA BAPTIST 72

#18 GEORGIA TECH 65 EASTERN TENNESSEE 42

#21 OHIO STATE 94 BOWLING GREEN 63

#25 VIRGINIA TECH 85 COPPIN STATE 32

PURDUE 76 ILLINOIS STATE 64

DAYTON 69 TOLEDO 60

EASTERN ILLINOIS 64 INDIANA STATE 55

EVANSVILLE 67 EASTERN KENTUCKY 57

MIAMI OHIO 77 XAVIER 73

MINNESOTA 73 AMERICAN 56

NEBRASKA 67 CREIGHTON 62

NORTHWESTERN 63 LOYOLA CHICAGO 47

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/wcbk/scoreboard.asp?conf=-1&day=20211117

NBA SCOREBOARD

DETROIT 97 INDIANA 89

CHARLOTTE 97 WASHINGTON 87

ATLANTA 110 BOSTON 99

MIAMI 113 NEW ORLEANS 98

MILWAUKEE 109 LA LAKERS 102

BROOKLYN 109 CLEVELAND 99

ORLANDO 104 NEW YORK 98

MINNESOTA 107 SACRAMENTO 97

OKLAHOMA CITY 101 HOUSTON 89

PHOENIX 105 DALLAS 98

PORTLAND 112 CHICAGO 107

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/scoreboard.asp

NBA NEWS WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/wire.asp

NHL SCOREBOARD

COLORADO 4 VANCOUVER 2

CHICAGO 4 SEATTLE 2

WASHINGTON 2 LOS ANGELES 0

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/scoreboard.asp

NHL NEWS WIRE: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/wire.asp

TOP NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS AND RELEASES

NFL NEWS: THURSDAY NIGHT PREVIEW

Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season gets underway on Thursday, November 18 (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) as the New England Patriots (6-4) visit the Atlanta Falcons (4-5) in a midseason interconference meeting. It will be the second time the teams have met since New England’s 34-28 comeback victory over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI following the 2016 season, the only Super Bowl ever to go into overtime. The Patriots lead the all-time regular-season series, 8-6, and have won each of the past five meetings.

New England enters Week 11 coming off a 45-7 victory over Cleveland. After scoring 54 points in Week 7, the Patriots are one of two teams in the league (Tampa Bay) to score at least 45 points in multiple games this season. Quarterback MAC JONES completed 19 of 23 attempts (82.6 percent) for 198 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 142.1 rating in the victory, marking the fifth-highest single-game passer rating by a rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era (minimum 20 attempts). Jones enters Thursday leading rookie quarterbacks in completions (223), completion percentage (69.0), passing yards (2,333), touchdown passes (13) and passer rating (94.1). and looks to join DAK PRESCOTT (2016) and BEN ROETHLISBERGER (2004) as the only rookie quarterbacks to ever win their first five career road starts.

Rookie running back RHAMONDRE STEVENSON rushed for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10. With Jones and Stevenson, the Patriots became the fifth team since 1970 to have a rookie quarterback throw at least two touchdown passes and a rookie running back rush for at least two touchdowns in a single game. Stevenson aims for his third in a row with at least 100 scrimmage yards. Running back DAMIEN HARRIS, who was out last week, has rushed for a touchdown in each of his past five games (Weeks 5-9). Wide receiver JAKOBI MEYERS caught his first career touchdown last week and is one of three AFC wide receivers (KEENAN ALLEN and TYREEK HILL) with at least four receptions in nine games this season. Wide receiver KENDRICK BOURNE recorded a career-high 98 receiving yards and added a touchdown catch in Week 10 and aims for his third in a row on Thursday Night Football with a touchdown reception. Tight end HUNTER HENRY had a season-high two touchdown receptions last week and leads all tight ends with seven touchdown receptions this season. He has a touchdown catch in each of his previous three games on Thursday Night Football.

Cornerback J.C. JACKSON has two passes defensed in each of the past two games and leads the league with 14 passes defensed in 2021. He is the only player in the NFL with at least five interceptions in each of the past three seasons (2019-21). With Jackson and defensive backs KYLE DUGGER (three interceptions) and ADRIAN PHILLIPS (three), New England is the only team in the league featuring three players each with at least three interceptions this season. Linebacker MATT JUDON has three sacks in his past three games and ranks tied for fourth in the league with 9.5 sacks this season. The sixth-year veteran seeks his first career 10-sack season.

Atlanta enters Thursday as winners of three of their past five games, scoring at least 27 points in each of their past three wins. Quarterback MATT RYAN ranks eighth in NFL history with 58,041 passing yards and 10th with 362 touchdown passes, and is within striking distance of ELI MANNING (366 touchdown passes) for ninth place on the all-time list. In four career starts against New England, including the postseason, Ryan has 1,137 passing yards (284.3 per game) and five touchdowns for a 100.4 rating.

Running back CORDARRELLE PATTERSON enters Week 11 leading all running backs with a career-high 473 receiving yards and ranks tied for third with 39 catches. In four home games this season, Patterson has totaled 369 scrimmage yards (92.3 per game) and four touchdown receptions. He spent the 2018 season with New England and totaled 475 scrimmage yards (247 receiving, 228 rushing) and four touchdowns (three receiving, one rushing). Tight end KYLE PITTS leads all rookie tight ends with 40 catches this season and ranks second among all rookies with 606 receiving yards. He is one of three tight ends (MARK ANDREWS and TRAVIS KELCE) with at least 60 receiving yards in five or more games this season.

Defensive tackle GRADY JARRETT has at least five tackles in three of his past four and tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks against New England in Super Bowl LI. Linebacker DEION JONES is one of four players in the league with at least 10 tackles in six or more games this season and has five tackles for loss and five passes defensed in five career Thursday games. Linebacker FOYESADE OLUOKUN leads the team with 100 tackles and is one of two in the NFL (BOBBY WAGNER) with at least 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons. Oluokun and Jones (87) are the only pair of teammates each with at least 85 tackles this season.

FOX will broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 5-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). Thursday’s game is slated to be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes and streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

The game will feature Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink on the call for FOX. The Amazon broadcast features Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm, and the Amazon Scout’s feed is called by Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah and Joy Taylor.

NFL WEEK 11 PREVIEW: EXPECT MORE OF THE UNEXPECTED AS NFL ENTERS WEEK 11

When anything can happen, everything becomes significant.

Take, for instance, the National Football League, where in consecutive weeks, four teams that entered the weekend with .500-or-below records defeated opponents that began the week with at least a share of first place in their divisions. The eight such wins – .500-or-below teams defeating first-place clubs – are the most in Weeks 9-10 of a single season since 1970.

The teams that entered each of the last two weeks with .500-or-below records and beat opponents in first place:

WEEK 9WEEK 10
WINNING TEAM*FIRST-PLACE TEAM*WINNING TEAM*FIRST-PLACE TEAM*
Denver (4-4)at Dallas (6-1)at Miami (2-7)Baltimore (6-2)
at Jacksonville (1-6)Buffalo (5-2)Carolina (4-5)at Arizona (8-1)
at Kansas City (4-4)Green Bay (7-1)Minnesota (3-5)at L.A. Chargers (5-3)
at N.Y. Giants (2-6)Las Vegas (5-2)at Washington (2-6)Tampa Bay (6-2)
*Record entering game

This week, six of the eight division leaders are facing teams with .500-or-below records. Which first-place team will fall in Week 11? The field is wide open in each conference. Any team can beat any other team. Go ahead and try to predict the unpredictable.

The playoffs are only eight weeks away and each conference has only one first-round bye. Every play of every game matters, especially when the unexpected is more than merely expected.

BOUNCE-BACK TEAMS HAVE PLAYOFF HOPES: Through the first 10 weeks, two divisions have a team in first place that missed the postseason in 2020: The NFC West (ARIZONA, 8-2) and NFC East (DALLAS, 7-2). At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 17 of the past 18 years.

Entering Week 11, five teams that missed the postseason last year are in playoff position: ARIZONACAROLINADALLAS, the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS and NEW ENGLAND. Additionally, six teams – ATLANTACINCINNATIDENVERLAS VEGASMINNESOTA and SAN FRANCISCO – that missed the postseason last year are within one game of a playoff spot entering Week 11.

In each season since 1990 – a streak of 31 consecutive years – at least four teams that were not in the prior postseason have qualified for the playoffs.

COWBOYS-CHIEFS COULD BE MAIN EVENT ON SUNDAY CARD: The DALLAS COWBOYS (7-2), who have won three straight road games, make an interconference trip to face the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-4) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX) in a battle of first-place teams.

  • The Cowboys lead the NFL in both total yards per game (433.9) and points scored per game (31.6). The last time Dallas finished a season leading the league in both categories was 1971, when the Cowboys won Super Bowl VI.
  • The Chiefs’ offense ranks fourth in the NFL in total yards per game (405.6).
  • Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who grew up about two hours east of AT&T Stadium, meets the Cowboys for the first time (Dallas, Minnesota and Kansas City are the only NFL clubs he has not faced).
  • Last week, Mahomes passed for 406 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions, compiling a 127.6 rating in the Chiefs’ win. The performance was the 30th game in which Mahomes reached 300 yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (29) for the most such games in a player’s first five NFL seasons. Mahomes also became the first player in NFL history to reach three career games of 400-plus yards passing and five-or-more touchdown passes in his first five NFL seasons.
  • Each team has a standout rookie linebacker. The Cowboys’ MICAH PARSONS leads NFL rookies with six sacks while the Chiefs’ NICK BOLTON has 75 tackles, most among the league’s rookies.
  • In last week’s win, Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 127.9 rating and added a rushing touchdown, while cornerback TREVON DIGGS registered his eighth interception of the season.
  • Prescott, who enters with the NFL’s top-ranked passer rating (110.8) among qualified players this season, has 126 touchdown passes and 25 rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2016 and joined DAUNTE CULPEPPER and CAM NEWTON as the only players with at least 125 touchdown passes and 25 rushing touchdowns in their first six seasons in league annals. Prescott also now has 17 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, the fourth-most such games by a quarterback in his first six seasons in NFL history. Only CAM NEWTON (35), DAUNTE CULPEPPER (20) and JOSH ALLEN (19) had more.
  • Diggs’ eight interceptions are tied with JAIRUS BYRD (eight in 2009) and TIM JENNINGS (eight in 2012) for the most by a player in his team’s first nine games of a season since 1990.

JACKSON STELLAR WHEN FACING OPPONENT FOR FIRST TIME: Two well-rested teams, the BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-3) and CHICAGO BEARS (3-6), will square off at Soldier Field on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS).

  • Each club also ranks in the top five among NFL teams in rushing. Baltimore leads the league with 154.1 rushing yards per game while Chicago ranks fifth with 136.6.
  • The Bears have kicked an overtime field goal to defeat the Ravens in each of the last two meetings, 2017 in Baltimore and 2013 in Chicago.
  • Before the bye week, Chicago rookie JUSTIN FIELDS threw for a season-high 291 yards, including a late, go-ahead touchdown pass to DARNELL MOONEY, in the Bears’ loss at Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football.

SUPER BOWL STRIKING DISTANCE: Every NFL team has multiple losses through 10 weeks. The last time the NFL entered Week 11 in a season in which every team had at least two losses was 2010, when the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team. Over the previous three seasons, the eventual Super Bowl champion entered Week 11 with at least three losses.

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSEASONENTERING WEEK 11FINISHED
Tampa Bay20207-3; second, NFC South11-5; NFC Wild Card
Kansas City20196-4; first, AFC West12-4; AFC West champion
New England20187-3; first AFC East11-5; AFC East champion

CARDINALS BID FOR NFL HISTORY AT SEATTLE: When the ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-2) meet the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-6) at Lumen Field on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Arizona has a chance to accomplish something no NFL team has done: Score 30-or-more points in each of its first six road games of a season. Arizona is the fourth team in league history to reach 30 points in its first five road games of a season, joining the 2000 St. Louis Rams, 1983 San Francisco 49ers and 1966 Kansas City Chiefs.

  • Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON is 35-10 (.778) with a 105.7 passer rating in regular-season games following Seahawks losses.

TITANS LOOK TO STAY HOT: The TENNESSEE TITANS enter the week with the AFC’s best record (8-2). Tennessee has won six straight, the league’s longest active winning streak, and bids to extend that streak when the Titans host the HOUSTON TEXANS (1-8) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS).

  • Last week, Tennessee became the second team ever to win five consecutive games against opponents that earned playoff berths the prior season, joining the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles. Tennessee’s gauntlet consisted of victories over the Buffalo Bills (Week 6), Kansas City Chiefs (Week 7), Indianapolis Colts (Week 8), Los Angeles Rams (Week 9) and New Orleans Saints (Week 10).
  • With a win this week, Tennessee would have its longest winning streak (seven) since a 10-game streak to begin the 2008 campaign. A win would also make the Titans 9-2 in their first 11 games. In franchise history, the Titans/Oilers have won nine or more of their first 11 games five times (1991, 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2008).
  • A win would also guarantee the Titans a winning record for the sixth consecutive season (2016-21). The only previous stretch in which the Titans/Oilers achieved at least six straight winning records was a seven-year run from 1987-93.

COLTS CULTURE: The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-5) have won four of their past five games heading into their trip to face the BUFFALO BILLS (6-3) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS).

  • After dropping their first three games, the Colts are attempting to become just the seventh team in NFL history to make the playoffs after an 0-3 start. In the previous 22 seasons, only the 2018 HOUSTON TEXANS have made the playoffs after losing their first three games. Other teams to reach the playoffs after beginning a season 0-3: The 1998 BUFFALO BILLS, the 1995 DETROIT LIONS, the 1992 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS, the 1982 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS and the 1981 NEW YORK JETS
  • Last week, Indianapolis running back JONATHAN TAYLOR rushed for 116 yards and one touchdown in the Colts’ win. He became the fourth player to register at least 100 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in seven consecutive games in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (eight consecutive games in 2006), LYDELL MITCHELL (eight from 1975-76) and LARRY JOHNSON (seven in 2005).
  • The Bills (plus 14 with 24 takeaways) and Colts (plus 11 with 21 takeaways) rank first and second in the NFL, respectively, in both turnover margin and takeaways this season. The last time two teams leading the league in both categories met in Week 11 or later was Week 12 of the 2016 season, when Kansas City beat Denver, 30-27, in overtime.
  • Buffalo’s defense leads the NFL in both fewest total yards allowed per game (274.1) and fewest points allowed per game (15.0).
  • Sunday’s contest is also a rematch of a 2020 AFC Wild Card game, won by the Bills. To date, the 2021 schedule has featured six 2020 playoff rematches, and teams have avenged a playoff loss in four of those six games.

The 2021 rematches of 2020 playoff games, through Week 11:

2021 PLAYOFF REMATCHWEEK2020 PLAYOFF GAME
Kansas City 33, Cleveland 291Kansas City 22, Cleveland 17 (AFC Divisional)
*Buffalo 38, Kansas City 205Kansas City 38, Buffalo 24 (AFC Championship)
L.A. Rams 26, Seattle 175L.A. Rams 30, Seattle 20 (NFC Wild Card)
*New Orleans 36, Tampa Bay 278Tampa Bay 30, New Orleans 20 (NFC Divisional)
*Pittsburgh 15, Cleveland 108Cleveland 48, Pittsburgh 37 (AFC Wild Card)
*Washington 29, Tampa Bay 1910Tampa Bay 31, Washington 23 (NFC Wild Card)
Indianapolis at Buffalo11Buffalo 27, Indianapolis 24 (AFC Wild Card)
*Avenged 2020 playoff loss

HARBINGER OF DEEP PLAYOFF RUNS: In recent history, whenever the GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-2) visit the MINNESOTA VIKINGS (4-5) – as they do on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) – the winner is important. In three of the past four seasons, the team that won the Packers-Vikings game in Minnesota has advanced to the NFC Championship Game. The Vikings used a home victory over Green Bay to help them reach the NFC Championship Game in 2017 while the Packers picked up wins at U.S. Bank Stadium in both 2019 and 2020 en route to the game.

  • Last week, Minnesota quarterback KIRK COUSINS passed for 294 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 109.5 rating while wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON recorded nine receptions for 143 yards in the Vikings’ win.
  • Cousins became the sixth player ever with at least two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 100-or-higher in seven consecutive road games, joining CARSON PALMER (eight games from 2004-05), TOM BRADY (seven from 2011-12), PATRICK MAHOMES (seven from 2018-19), TONY ROMO (seven in 2014) and AARON RODGERS (seven in 2011).
  • Jefferson played in his 25th career game and increased his career receiving yards to 2,175, surpassing VICTOR CRUZ (2,032) for the second-most by a player in his first 25 games in the Super Bowl era. Only ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2,625) had more. Jefferson also recorded his 10th-career game with at least 100 receiving yards and joined Beckham (15 games) as the only players in the Super Bowl era with 100-or-more receiving yards in at least 10 of their first 25 career games.

GIANTS, JONES RETURN TO TAMPA: The NEW YORK GIANTS (3-6) travel to face the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-3) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN).

  • In their last visit to Raymond James Stadium, Week 3 in 2019, then-rookie quarterback DANIEL JONES made his first NFL start, passing for 336 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 112.7 rating and adding two rushing touchdowns in a 32-31 win. Jones became the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a single game since the league merger in 1970.
  • On their way to a Super Bowl XLII championship, the Giants opened the 2007 playoffs with a Wild Card victory at Tampa Bay. Including that game, New York has returned victorious in four of its last five trips to Tampa Bay.
  • The Giants also won Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium, a 20-19 win over Buffalo.
  • Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY leads the league with 27 touchdown passes. In each of his last five home games, he’s thrown at least four touchdowns.


EAGLES, SAINTS MAKE FOR INTERESTING CHESS MATCH: When the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-6) have the ball against the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-4) at the Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), look for who controls the line of scrimmage. The Eagles enter the contest ranked third in the league with 144.3 rushing yards per game while the Saints (72.9 rushing yards allowed per game) rank first in the league against the run.

  • Philadelphia has at least 175 rushing yards in three consecutive games. The Saints have not allowed 175 rushing yards since giving up 179 to the Chiefs in Week 15 last season.
  • Eagles quarterback JALEN HURTS made his first NFL start against the Saints in Week 14 of last season, passing for 167 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions and adding 106 rushing yards in the Eagles’ 24-21 win. Hurts joined LAMAR JACKSON (119 rushing yards in Week 11, 2018) as the only quarterbacks with at least 100 rushing yards in their first career starts in NFL history.
  • Last week on his 23rd birthday, Eagles rookie wide receiver DEVONTA SMITH caught a season-high two touchdowns among four receptions for 66 yards in Philadelphia’s win.

RIVERA VISITS PANTHERS, NEWTON: Both Washington head coach RON RIVERA and Panthers quarterback CAM NEWTON will make their return to Bank of America Stadium when the WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (3-6) plays the CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-5) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • Rivera and Newton spent nine seasons together (2011-19) in Carolina. In Newton’s 124 starts under Rivera, Carolina was 68-55-1 with four playoff appearances, including a 15-1 season in 2015 that ended with a berth in Super Bowl 50.
  • Newton is expected to make his first appearance in Charlotte since Sept. 12, 2019. Last week, days after re-signing with the team, Newton ran for a 2-yard touchdown to cap the Panthers’ first drive, then threw a 2-yard touchdown to ROBBY ANDERSON to give Carolina a 14-0 lead just six minutes into the game. Newton has 71 career rushing touchdowns and 43 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, both the most by a quarterback in NFL history.
  • Also in the win, Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY registered 10 receptions and 161 scrimmage yards (95 rushing, 66 receiving). McCaffrey now has 11 career games with at least 10 receptions, the most by a running back in NFL history, surpassing JULIO JONES (10 games) for the third-most such games by a player in his first five career seasons in league annals. Only MICHAEL THOMAS (18 games) and BRANDON MARSHALL (12) have more.
  • Meanwhile last week, Rivera’s Washington club defeated defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay, 29-19. After the Buccaneers cut the deficit to 23-19 in the fourth quarter, Washington quarterback TAYLOR HEINICKE engineered a 19-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, draining most of the final 11 minutes off the clock. Heinicke on the drive competed all six pass attempts for 45 yards, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by ANTONIO GIBSON to put the game out of reach with 29 seconds left.

LIONS, BROWNS RENEW LAKE ERIE RIVALRY: From 1952-57, the Lions and Browns met in the NFL Championship Game four times over six seasons, with Detroit taking three of the four league titles (1952-53 and 1957). Cleveland won the world championship in 1954. This week, DETROIT (0-8-1) and CLEVELAND (5-5) meet for the 25th time, including the postseason, on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

WEEK 11 NFL SCHEDULE

(All times Eastern)

Thursday, November 18New England at AtlantaFOX/NFLN/Amazon8:20
    
Sunday, November 21Indianapolis at BuffaloCBS1:00
Washington at CarolinaFOX1:00
Baltimore at Chicago CBS1:00
Detroit at Cleveland FOX1:00
San Francisco at JacksonvilleFOX1:00
Green Bay at MinnesotaFOX1:00
Miami at New York JetsCBS1:00
New Orleans at PhiladelphiaFOX1:00
Houston at TennesseeCBS1:00
Cincinnati at Las Vegas CBS4:05
Dallas at Kansas CityFOX4:25
Arizona at SeattleFOX4:25
Pittsburgh at Los Angeles ChargersNBC8:20
   
Monday, November 22New York Giants at Tampa BayESPN8:15
Byes: Denver, Los Angeles Rams

FLACCO TO GET START AT QB FOR JETS ON SUNDAY VS. DOLPHINS

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The Mike White era is over almost as quickly as it began.

Joe Flacco will start at quarterback for the New York Jets on Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins, a surprising decision by the 2-7 team that will be without injured starter Zach Wilson for the fourth straight game.

Wilson, the No. 2 overall draft pick, sprained the posterior collateral ligament in his right knee against New England on Oct. 24 and is still not 100%. White started the last three games in Wilson’s place, but the Jets decided to go with the 36-year-old Flacco this week against the Dolphins’ aggressive defense.

“One of the reasons we went and got Joe was for the experience part of it,” coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday. “Not only for the playing ability and for the (quarterbacks) room, but also for situations just like this. Miami’s got a dynamic coverage system as it pertains to defense with (cover) zero and all the different coverages they run, and Joe’s kind of been there, done that.

“Just kind of a steadying experience that we thought would put us in the best position to win.”

White, who’ll serve as Flacco’s backup Sunday, became a sudden celebrity with a terrific first NFL start in a win over Cincinnati while throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns and set a league record for a player in his initial start with 37 completions. The performance landed White’s jersey and game ball in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

It also had some fans and media wondering if perhaps White – and not Wilson – could be the Jets’ long-term answer at quarterback.

But White lasted less than one quarter the following week at Indianapolis because of a bruised nerve in his throwing hand. And he struggled last Sunday in a 45-17 loss to Buffalo, throwing four interceptions against the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

White had the wind knocked out of him late in the game and was replaced on the Jets’ final drive by Flacco, who went 3 for 3 for 47 yards and a touchdown pass – the 225th of his career.

Still, it appeared White would continue to start as long as Wilson was sidelined, especially after Saleh said Monday he was fascinated by the New York/New Jersey media market and how people were quick to anoint him “the next coming after one game and now everyone wants to throw him away. He deserves better than that.”

But not enough to get one more start.

“I want to be very, very clear on this one: My comments on Monday were because people wanted him out of New York,” Saleh said. “And what Mike has done in three weeks as a starter is proven to this entire organization, and in my opinion, to the entire New York fan base, that he is a capable quarterback who can play in this league and could do a lot of good things. We’re more excited about Mike as a quarterback in our future and working with Mike for as many years as possible because of what he’s been able to do in his three starts.

“He’s also a young guy. He’s also got some inexperience to him.”

While it doesn’t appear anyone was actually calling for the Jets to jettison White, there was some concern how he might be able to handle Miami’s defense. The Dolphins (3-7) have been impressive lately while winning two in a row, particularly in shutting down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in a 22-10 victory last Thursday night.

“Miami obviously presents a completely different challenge (for White),” Saleh said. “And you know, this is kind of what we brought in a guy like Joe for, situations just like this and his experience to be able to play systems of Miami’s caliber.”

The Jets acquired Flacco from Philadelphia on Oct. 25, sending a conditional sixth-round pick to the Eagles for the veteran. He spent last season in New York as a backup to Sam Darnold, and started four games. Flacco signed with Philadelphia as a free agent in the offseason, but didn’t play for the Eagles as Jalen Hurts’ backup.

“There’s a young group that’s out there playing their butts off, and it’s just a chance to get the chains moving and get the ball to our guys,” Saleh said. “Because just like Mike proved, if you can get the ball to our guys, they can do a lot of damage with it. It’s just in the situation where you’re seeing a very complex defense, we feel like Joe can get the ball to those guys.”

NOTES: WR Denzel Mims remains in COVID-19 protocols after missing the game against Buffalo after testing positive for the coronavirus. … Saleh said Wilson would be limited at practice, as would LG Alijah Vera-Tucker (toe) and DT Nathan Shepherd (undisclosed). The coach added Vera-Tucker and Shepherd should be fine to play Sunday.

NFL UPDATES COVID-19 PROTOCOLS AHEAD OF THANKSGIVING

(AP) — The NFL is requiring players and staff to wear masks inside team facilities regardless of vaccination status for a week starting on Thanksgiving, and they must be tested twice for COVID-19 after the holiday.

The league’s protocols were updated as a result of increasing rates of COVID-19 across the country. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger each missed a game in consecutive weeks because of COVID-19.

“This upward trend, coupled with the onset of colder weather driving individuals indoors, has resulted in an increased risk of infection among players and staff,” the league said in a memo sent to teams Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press. “Our experts and data confirm that getting vaccinated remains our strongest defense against contracting and transmission of the virus within club facilities.”

Additional masking will not be required outdoors or in the practice bubble. Testing will take place on Monday Nov. 29 and Wednesday Dec. 1.

Also, the league is encouraging teams to offer drive-through COVID-19 testing for friends and family of players and staff if they’re visiting or staying with them for Thanksgiving. The testing should be conducted before friends and family interact with players and staff, and should be arranged at times separate from when players and staff are testing.

Teams were reminded to strictly enforce protocols at their facilities. The NFL is offering to send league staff to assist with the enforcement of the protocols at club facilities.

Last week, the NFL fined the Packers $300,000 and issued $14,650 fines to Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard for violations of league and players’ union protocols.

JUDGE ORDERS RUGGS BACK TO COURT AFTER MISSED ALCOHOL TEST

LAS VEGAS (AP) A Las Vegas judge ordered former Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III to appear before her on Monday after learning he missed a required alcohol test while on house arrest following a fatal crash he’s accused of causing by driving drunk at speeds up to 156 mph.

Ruggs’ lawyers told Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum that Ruggs “self-tested” negative shortly after missing one of his calls for a breath test last weekend.

Ruggs’ attorney, David Chesnoff, blamed the delay on trouble with testing equipment.

A note posted later in the court record shows Ruggs, 22, missed a test at 4:41 p.m. Saturday and that he completed “a client initiated remote breath test” at 6:28 p.m.

The alcohol monitoring agency noted that it “cannot confirm Mr. Rugg’s sobriety during this point-in-time,” and said Ruggs’ attorney provided an updated phone number for text notifications for Ruggs’ remote breath test.

Ruggs was not in court Wednesday for a brief hearing during which Baucum declined his lawyers’ request for a court order to obtain fire department records about the Nov. 2 crash and fire. She said she’d reconsider if they can’t get the records themselves.

Ruggs could face a return to jail. A judge who set his bail at $150,000 warned Ruggs directly that if he didn’t comply with release restrictions he would face re-arrest.

Ruggs is under home confinement with electronic monitoring and four-times-a-day alcohol checks. He is required to respond to a telephone or text signal by blowing into a device that checks his blood-alcohol level. Records show he owns a $1.1 million home not far from where the crash occurred.

Prosecutors have said Ruggs’ blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.16%, twice the legal limit for drivers in Nevada.

Authorities said he and his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, were injured when Ruggs’ Chevrolet Corvette slammed into the rear of Tina Tintor’s Toyota Rav4, rupturing that vehicle’s fuel tank.

His lawyers have said in court filings that a witness told them firefighters were slow to extinguish flames They have not identified the witness.

Other witnesses told police they heard screams and tried to rescue Tintor, 23, and her dog but were turned back by heat, flames and smoke.

A Clark County spokesman has said there were no delays in the firefighting response or the attack on the fire.

Baucum has set a Dec. 16 preliminary hearing of evidence on two felony charges of driving under the influence causing death or serious injury. Each charge carries two years of mandatory prison time for a conviction, and as much as 20 years each.

Ruggs also faces two felony reckless driving counts and a misdemeanor weapon charge after police said a loaded handgun was found in his wrecked sports car.

Ruggs suffered a leg injury, and Washington underwent surgery for an arm injury, prosecutors said.

Chesnoff and attorney Richard Schonfeld are fighting separately to block prosecutors from accessing Ruggs’ medical records, and an attorney for Washington has launched a similar effort on her behalf. A Dec. 8 hearing is scheduled.

The Raiders made Ruggs their first pick in the 2020 NFL draft from Alabama, where he helped the Crimson Tide win the 2017 NCAA championship. He had been an emerging star for the Raiders this season, but the team released him after his arrest in the crash.

JUDGE TELLS RUGGS’ LAWYERS TO SEEK FIRE RECORDS WITHOUT HER

LAS VEGAS (AP) A Las Vegas judge told attorneys for Henry Ruggs III on Wednesday to get their own subpoena for fire department records about the fatal crash and fire the former Raiders wide receiver is accused of causing by driving drunk at speeds up to 156 mph.

Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum told attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld during a brief hearing that she didn’t agree with the effort and a court order from her wasn’t needed.

The lawyers have said in court filings that a witness told them firefighters were slow to extinguish flames in the vehicle in which Tina Tintor, 23, died on Nov. 2. They have not identified the witness.

A Clark County spokesman has said there were no delays in the firefighting response or the attack on the fire.

Witnesses told police they tried to rescue Tintor. But they were turned back by heat, flames and smoke.

Ruggs, 22, was released by the Raiders after the crash. He’s free on $150,000 bail under strict home confinement with electronic monitoring and four-times-a-day alcohol checks while the case proceeds.

Records show Ruggs owns a $1.1 million home not far from where the crash occurred.

He’s due for a preliminary hearing of evidence Dec. 16 on two felony charges of driving under the influence causing death or serious injury that could get him at least two years of mandatory prison time each if he’s convicted, and as much as 40 years. He faces two additional felony reckless driving counts and a misdemeanor weapon charge after a loaded handgun was found in his wrecked Chevrolet Corvette.

Authorities say Ruggs and his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, were injured when Ruggs’ sports car slammed into the rear of Tintor’s Toyota Rav4, rupturing that vehicle’s fuel tank.

Prosecutors said Ruggs suffered a leg injury and Washington underwent surgery for an arm injury.

Chesnoff and Schonfeld are fighting separately to block prosecutors from accessing Ruggs’ medical records, and an attorney for Washington has launched a similar effort on her behalf. A Dec. 8 hearing is scheduled.

The Raiders made Ruggs their first pick in the 2020 NFL draft from Alabama, where he helped the Crimson Tide win the 2017 NCAA championship. He had been an emerging star for the Raiders this season.

PACKERS’ RODGERS DOESN’T PRACTICE BECAUSE OF TOE ISSUE

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers’ imperfect offense hasn’t been getting the practice it needs.

And it might not get it this week, either.

Reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who missed a game because of COVID-19 and didn’t rejoin the team until the day before Sunday’s 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, wasn’t on the practice field Wednesday because of an injured toe.

“I’m not sure what my status will be tomorrow or Friday, but I’d like to get out there if I’m feeling good enough,” Rodgers said.

“But it’s definitely a better week than last week being separated, being able to go through all the meetings. I plan on being at practice on the field tomorrow. Not sure how much involvement I’ll do, though.”

While the Packers (8-2) are atop the NFC North entering Sunday’s game at Minnesota (4-5), the offense hasn’t found its stride. Last year, the Packers led the NFL in scoring. Through Week 10, Rodgers’ passer rating is down almost 20 points and Green Bay is producing 10.2 fewer points per game.

Coach Matt LaFleur chalked up some of the problems to a lack of practice time.

In Week 8, the Packers played at Arizona on a Thursday night. The team held only a couple of walk-through practices that week, and the team’s top three receivers weren’t in the lineup.

Then, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, so he missed three practices that week and didn’t play in a Week 9 loss at Kansas City. Finally, he missed all three practices before the Seattle game.

“We’ve got to get back out on the practice field,” LaFleur said Monday. “We need those guys to continue to work on the timing portion, making sure that the details of our route depths and our assignments are on point because, I think right now if you just look at as a whole, there is opportunity out there for us.”

With Rodgers not practicing, so much for that.

LaFleur has a difficult balancing act on his hands. His team is playing for an 11th consecutive week, so he’s trying to keep his players fresh. But his team ranks 20th in total offense and hasn’t reached 30 points in seven consecutive games after averaging 31.8 points last season.

This week means another date against Mike Zimmer and the Vikings.

Minnesota is 16th with 23.4 points allowed per game, but is coming off an impressive 27-20 road victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Every time we play them, they present something new,” Rodgers said. “Helps that they have a lot of the same guys over the years – Harrison (Smith) and (Anthony) Barr and (Eric) Kendricks have been in that system for a long time now – so they can throw a number of different things at you, and they always have some special wrinkle off of stuff that they’ve done on tape or done against us in the past. Coach Zim is a great coach, and he always has something special for us.”

NOTES: The Packers held a walkthrough. Rodgers, LT David Bakhtiari (knee) and RB Aaron Jones (knee) would not have practiced and WR Davante Adams (shoulder) would have been limited. … LaFleur was hopeful that Bakhtiari, who is coming off a torn ACL, would make his season debut. “Him being out there from what I’ve seen of him in practice so far, there’s flashes where he looks great,” offensive line coach Adam Stenavich said. “It’s just going to be a matter of can he sustain that for a game. That’s going to be the hardest thing because he didn’t have camp, he didn’t have anything built up.” … The Packers lead the NFC North by 3 1/2 games and could all but wrap up a third consecutive title on Sunday. “First goal is winning the North,” Rodgers said. “They’ve been ahead by seven or more in every game they’ve played. They’ve had some overtime games. This team could easily be 7-2 or 6-3 for sure right now.”

FLACCO TO GET START AT QB FOR JETS ON SUNDAY VS. DOLPHINS

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The Mike White era is over almost as quickly as it began.

Joe Flacco will start at quarterback for the New York Jets on Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins, a surprising decision by the 2-7 team that will be without injured starter Zach Wilson for the fourth straight game.

Wilson, the No. 2 overall draft pick, sprained the posterior collateral ligament in his right knee against New England on Oct. 24 and is still not 100%. White started the past three games in Wilson’s place, but the Jets decided to go with the 36-year-old Flacco this week against the Dolphins’ aggressive defense.

“You can’t take this game for granted,” said Flacco, who confirmed he’s not vaccinated and wore a mask during his news conference Wednesday. “I’m 14 years in and I want to play now more than ever.”

He’ll get at least one start, and it’ll be against a team the Jets think he matches up well against.

“One of the reasons we went and got Joe was for the experience part of it,” coach Robert Saleh said. “Not only for the playing ability and for the (quarterbacks) room, but also for situations just like this. Miami’s got a dynamic coverage system as it pertains to defense with (cover) zero and all the different coverages they run, and Joe’s kind of been there, done that.

“Just kind of a steadying experience that we thought would put us in the best position to win.”

Flacco got the news he will start from senior offensive assistant Matt Cavanaugh, as well as a text from Saleh. It came as many outside the facility assumed it would be White under center again.

“I don’t know if I’m surprised about anything in this league anymore,” Flacco said.

White, who’ll serve as Flacco’s backup Sunday, became a sudden celebrity with a terrific first NFL start in a win over Cincinnati while throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns and set a league record for a player in his initial start with 37 completions. The performance landed White’s jersey and game ball in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

It also had some fans and media wondering if perhaps White – and not Wilson – could be the Jets’ long-term answer at quarterback.

But White lasted less than one quarter the following week at Indianapolis because of a bruised nerve in his throwing hand. And he struggled last Sunday in a 45-17 loss to Buffalo, throwing four interceptions against the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

White had the wind knocked out of him late in the game and was replaced on the Jets’ final drive by Flacco, who went 3 for 3 for 47 yards and a touchdown pass – the 225th of his career.

Still, it appeared White would continue to start as long as Wilson was sidelined, especially after Saleh said Monday he was fascinated by the New York/New Jersey media market and how people were quick to anoint him “the next coming after one game and now everyone wants to throw him away. He deserves better than that.”

But not enough to get one more start. Saleh said White expressed “a lot of disappointment” at the news.

“I want to be very, very clear on this one: My comments on Monday were because people wanted him out of New York,” Saleh said. “And what Mike has done in three weeks as a starter is proven to this entire organization, and in my opinion, to the entire New York fan base, that he is a capable quarterback who can play in this league and could do a lot of good things.”

While it doesn’t appear anyone was actually calling for the Jets to jettison White, there was some concern how he might be able to handle Miami’s defense. The Dolphins (3-7) have been impressive lately while winning two in a row, particularly in shutting down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in a 22-10 victory last Thursday night.

“Miami obviously presents a completely different challenge (for White),” Saleh said. “And you know, this is kind of what we brought in a guy like Joe for, situations just like this and his experience to be able to play systems of Miami’s caliber.”

The Jets acquired Flacco from Philadelphia on Oct. 25, sending a conditional sixth-round pick to the Eagles for the veteran. He spent last season in New York as a backup to Sam Darnold, and started four games. Flacco signed with Philadelphia as a free agent in the offseason, but didn’t play for the Eagles as Jalen Hurts’ backup.

“When you’re a backup and then you get traded, there’s all kinds of things that are running through your head,” Flacco said. “You want to go out there and you want to play. Not only that, you need to prove to yourself that you can play. All those things – a lot of emotions come up.”

NOTES: Flacco said he has “my reasons” for not being vaccinated, but declined to discuss them. The quarterback said talking about his views on the vaccine would be “a distraction” and he wants to focus on football. … DE Kyle Phillips was activated from the physically unable to perform list. … WR Denzel Mims remains in COVID-19 protocols after missing the game against Buffalo after testing positive for the coronavirus. … Wilson, LG Alijah Vera-Tucker (toe) and DT Nathan Shepherd (knee) were all limited, but Saleh said Vera-Tucker and Shepherd should be fine to play Sunday.

TEXAS TECH CLEARS SHANNON TO RETURN AFTER RULES REVIEW

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech has cleared junior Terrence Shannon Jr. to return to play for the Red Raiders after the standout forward was held out of their first three games during a review of eligibility rules.

The school said Wednesday that all questions related to Shannon going through the NBA draft process last summer had been resolved. No specifics were disclosed.

Shannon, a preseason All-Big 12 pick by the league coaches, will be available to play when the Red Raiders (3-0) have their next game Saturday against Incarnate Word at South Padre Island, Texas.

School officials said before the season opener last week that Shannon, who did not hire an agent as he explored his NBA options, was being withheld from competition “out of an abundance of caution” to ensure all NCAA rules were followed.

The 6-foot-6 Shannon averaged 12.9 points and 4.0 rebounds last season. He was Tech’s top returning scorer.

THIS WEEK IN BIG 10 FOOTBALL

• Entering Week 12, Ohio State can clinch the East Division title outright AND earn a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game with a win over Michigan State AND a loss by Michigan. The Buckeyes can clinch at least a share of the East Division title with a win over Michigan State.

• Wisconsin can clinch at least a share of the West Division title AND earn a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game with a win over Nebraska AND losses by both Iowa and Minnesota. The Badgers can clinch at least a share of the West Division title with a win over Nebraska AND a loss by Iowa. 

• Iowa can clinch at least a share of the West Division title with a win over Illinois AND a loss by Wisconsin.

• The College Football Playoff will release its next set of top 25 rankings on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The Big Ten had six teams in last week’s CFP’s rankings, including three teams in the top 10: No. 4 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Michigan State, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Purdue and No. 20 Iowa. 

• Five Big Ten teams appear in the Associated Press Poll this week, highlighted by three of the top 10 teams in the country. Ohio State leads the conference at No. 5, followed by No. 7 Michigan State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 18 Iowa, and No. 19 Wisconsin.

• The Big Ten is the only conference with three teams in the top 10 of last week’s CFP rankings and the conference’s three teams in the top 10 of the AP Poll are tied for the most by any conference in the FBS.

• The Big Ten is the only conference in the country that boasts three teams with one loss or fewer (Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all at 9-1)

• Four teams in the Big Ten rank among the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense: Wisconsin (2nd, 14.6 ppg), Michigan (t-4th, 16.1), Iowa (t-7th, 16.3), and Penn State (t-9th, 17.1). In terms of total defense, Wisconsin ranks first in the nation (216.3 ypg), Minnesota is seventh (296.7), and Michigan is eighth (301.5). 

• Additionally, the Big Ten has two teams in the top 10 in terms of rushing defense (No. 1 Wisconsin at 60.6 ypg, and No. 9 Minnesota at 99.9 ypg) and four teams in the top 10 in terms of defensive passing efficiency: Wisconsin (2nd, 100.68), Iowa (5th, 103.79), Michigan (7th, 110.48) and Penn State (10th, 111.98). The Badgers are surrendering the second-fewest passing yards per game in the country (155.7).

• Offensively, Ohio State leads the nation with 550.4 yards per game, while also boasting the country’s highest-scoring offense (46.3 points per game). The Big Ten has two of the top passing offenses in the country: Ohio State (6th, 353.6 ypg) and Purdue (7th, 338.2). 

• Iowa improved to 5-2 in conference play and 8-2 overall with a 27-22 win over Minnesota. Sophomore QB Alex Padilla made his first career start and finished the game with 206 passing yards and two touchdowns, while also running for a score. With the victory the Hawkeyes earned the Floyd of Rosedale trophy for the seventh straight year. Iowa is now 21-5 in its last 26 trophy games. 

• Michigan defeated Penn State, 21-17, to improve to 9-1 on the season. Senior RB Hassan Haskins totaled more than 200 yards from scrimmage, recording 156 rushing yards on 31 carries (5.0 avg.) and catching five passes for 45 yards (9.0 avg.). The Wolverines defense compiled seven sacks, including a career-high three from Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week DE Aidan Hutchinson and two from DE David Ojabo. Hutchinson and Ojabo are tied for the most sacks in the Big Ten this season (10.0) and are the first-ever pair of Michigan teammates to record 10-plus sacks in the same season. The duo is the only pair of teammates in the FBS to each record more than 10 sacks in 2021. Both defensive ends forced a fumble in the game and Ojabo’s five forced fumbles in 2021 mark a new program single-season record and rank second among all FBS players this season. 

• Michigan State improved to 9-1 on the season with a 40-21 win vs. Maryland, marking the Spartans’ best start to a season since 2015. Junior RB Kenneth Walker III registered his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the year with 143 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 30 carries. Walker III leads the country with 1,473 rushing yards and his 17 rushing touchdowns are tied for the most in the FBS this season. Sophomore QB Payton Thorne completed 22 of 31 passes for 287 yards and a career-high-tying four touchdowns. 

• Ohio State improved to 9-1 on the season and 7-0 in the Big Ten with a 59-31 win over Purdue. The Buckeyes have now won 25 consecutive conference games and are the only team in the Big Ten with an undefeated record in conference play in 2021. Now in his fourth season has head coach of the Buckeyes, Ryan Day is 32-3 overall and 22-0 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes lead the nation in scoring offense (46.3 ppg) and total offense (550.4 ypg), and rank third in the country in passing efficiency (178.20).  

• Rutgers defeated Indiana 38-3, marking the Scarlet Knights’ largest margin of victory ever in a Big Ten game. The Rutgers defense allowed just 262 yards of total offense and three points, both of which are program lows in Big Ten play. Head Coach Greg Schiano earned his 76th victory with the Scarlet Knights and needs just three more wins to pass Frank Burns for the most wins in program history. Rutgers rushed for five touchdowns in the game, marking the most rushing touchdowns that the Scarlet Knights have scored in a Big Ten game since 2017. 

• Wisconsin topped Northwestern, 35-7, to earn its sixth straight win and its fifth consecutive Big Ten victory. The Badgers’ six-straight wins mark the program’s longest winning streak since starting the 2019 season 6-0. Wisconsin has now won five consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since posting a perfect 9-0 record in conference play in 2017. During the Badgers’ six-game winning streak, Wisconsin has allowed 7.3 points per game and 194.5 yards per game. Wisconsin’s offense has developed a balanced attack and registered more than 200 yards through the air and on the ground in the win over Northwestern. The Badgers have now recorded back-to-back games with 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing for the first time since 2017.

• The Badgers rank No. 1 in the nation in total defense (216.3 ypg) and rushing defense (60.6 ypg). Additionally Wisconsin ranks second in the country in scoring defense (14.6 ppg), passing yards allowed (155.7 ypg) and defensive passing efficiency (100.68).

• Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin have all secured bowl eligibility by reaching six wins this season, while Maryland needs just one more win to become eligible. The Big Ten will continue to feature the largest bowl lineup in conference history.

• In 2021, the Big Ten has seen top-five single-game FBS rushing-yard performances from Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson (2nd, 270 vs. Tulsa) and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III (5th, 264 at Northwestern). The Big Ten has four additional 200-plus-yard rushing performances this season: Illinois’ Chase Brown’s 257 yards vs. Charlotte, Walker III’s 233 yards at Rutgers, Brown’s 223 yards at Penn State, and Northwestern’s Evan Hull’s 216 yards vs. Ohio.

• Additional top-five single-game FBS performances in the Big Ten include: Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell (2nd, 536 passing yards vs. Michigan State), Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (4th, 242 receiving yards at Maryland), Purdue’s David Bell (5th, 240 receiving yards at Iowa), Northwestern’s Brandon Joseph (5th, 111 punt return yards vs. Indiana State), Northwestern’s Chris Bergin (t-2nd, 19 tackles vs. Minnesota), Nebraska’s Luke Reimer (2nd, 19 tackles vs. Purdue), and Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal (2nd, 5.5 tackles for loss).

• On October 10, for the first time in the history of the Associated Press college football poll (established in 1936), the Big Ten has five teams ranked in the top 10. Iowa leads the conference at No. 2, followed by No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, and No. 10 Michigan State.      

• The 2021 Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and will be televised nationally on FOX. The winner will earn the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and a chance to play in one of the six bowls that comprise the College Football Playoff, including the Rose Bowl Game.

BIG 12 SUSPENDS TEXAS TECH RADIO ANNOUNCERS OVER COMMENTS

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech’s radio announcers were suspended for a game by the Big 12 on Wednesday over comments about officiating in the Red Raiders’ 41-38 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.

The announcers were publicly reprimanded by the conference and banned from calling Saturday’s home finale against No. 9 Oklahoma State.

Several calls on reviews went against Texas Tech, including one that overturned an interception near the goal line and prompted fans to throw objects on the field. Security cleared a portion of the stands near the field.

Texas Tech won on Jonathan Garibay’s school-record 62-yard field goal on the final play.

One of the announcers named every member of the crew while saying the Big 12 should be embarrassed by the officials.

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said comments from the announcers “were contrary to expected levels of respect and professionalism.”

ANTETOKOUNMPO, MIDDLETON HELP BUCKS DEFEAT LAKERS 109-102

MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 47 points and Khris Middleton tied Milwaukee’s franchise record for career 3-pointers as the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 on Wednesday night.

Middleton returned after missing eight games due to COVID-19, played 30 minutes and made consecutive 3-pointers 30 seconds apart early in the fourth quarter to put the Bucks ahead for good. The second of those 3s was his 1,051st with the Bucks to match Ray Allen for first place on the team’s all-time list.

“That’s a very, very special place to be,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think we all just admire what Khris does every night, his ability to shoot, the different ways he gets 3’s and his kind of consistency and longevity here.”

Allen holds the NBA record with 2,973 3-pointers in a career that also included stints with the Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

LeBron James missed an eighth straight game for the Lakers due to an abdominal strain. The Lakers have gone 3-5 during that stretch.

Los Angeles also is missing Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn, who haven’t yet appeared in a game this season.

“It’s a part of the game,” said Anthony Davis, who scored 18 points for the Lakers. “Same thing with the team we just played. They’ve been hit with injuries as well. It kind of goes with the league, the business of the game. You go out there and put your body on the line every night, God forbid, something is going to happen in the course of a season. Someone’s going to get hurt. We’ve got to adjust and continue to fight until we get everybody back.”

Talen Horton-Tucker scored 25 points for the Lakers two nights after getting a career-high 28 in a 121-103 loss to Chicago. Russell Westbrook had 19 points, Malik Monk 11 and Carmelo Anthony 10.

Antetokounmpo posted his highest point total since scoring 50 in a Game 6 Finals victory over the Phoenix Suns that clinched Milwaukee’s first title since 1971.

“I wanted to be the aggressor out there,” Antetokounmpo said. “I wanted to initiate the contact, get in the paint, make the right play and just play with an edge out there.”

Bobby Portis added 17 points for the Bucks. Middleton and Pat Connaughton had 16 each.

This marked just the third game this season in which the Bucks had their three top players – Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Jrue Holiday – all available. The only other times were in a 127-104 season-opening victory over the Brooklyn Nets and a 121-111 triumph at San Antonio on Oct. 23.

Bucks center Brook Lopez hasn’t played since that Nets game due to a back issue and guard Donte DiVincenzo still hasn’t made his season debut. DiVincenzo tore a ligament in his left ankle during the first round of the 2020-21 playoffs.

BOOKER SCORES 24 POINTS, SUNS BEAT MAVS FOR 10TH STRAIGHT

PHOENIX (AP) It was a shooting slog for much of Wednesday night for the Phoenix Suns, who bricked short jumpers, 3-pointers and just about everything in between.

But then Cam Johnson hit a couple of 3-pointers. Chris Paul added another. Jae Crowder got in the act with another and Devin Booker hit the dagger with 50 seconds left: a long, off-balance triple that capped a 37-point team outburst in the final quarter.

It’s awfully hard to hold down the Suns for 48 minutes.

That’s a big reason they’re riding the longest current winning streak in the NBA.

Booker scored 24 points, Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 13 rebounds and the Suns ran their winning streak to 10 games, beating the Dallas Mavericks 105-98. It’s the longest winning streak for the Suns since the 2009-10 season.

“We didn’t shoot a great number tonight but when we needed it, guys just stepped up,” coach Monty Williams said. “We have the mentality of, `Let it fly.'”

Paul drove to the basket and was about to fall out of bounds before finding Ayton for the dunk and a 100-96 lead with 1:27 left. Paul had seven assists in the fourth quarter and finished with 14.

Booker’s big 3 with less than a minute remaining closed it out.

“That wasn’t the play,” Booker said with a grin. “But we made it work. That’s the name of the game, figuring out a way.”

Dallas lost for the second time in the last seven games. The Mavericks were playing their first game this season without star guard Luka Doncic, who suffered sprains to his left knee and ankle in the waning moments of a victory over Denver on Monday.

Even without their best player, the balanced Mavericks nearly won. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 21 and Jalen Brunson had 18.

“The guys played hard, gave us a chance to win on the road against the Western Conference champs, who also have won nine in a row,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “Everyone in that locker room executed the game plan. We just missed some shots down the stretch and they didn’t.”

Said Brunson: “We had control of it but they are a good team. They went to the Finals for a reason.”

The game was tight throughout, though the Mavericks usually had a slight advantage. Booker gave the Suns their first lead of the fourth quarter at 87-86 when he made a driving layup with 5:32 left.

Dallas took a 73-68 lead into the fourth after Trey Burke hit a shot just before the third-quarter buzzer.

The Mavericks held a 46-45 lead at halftime. Booker had 15 points for the Suns, and Ayton added 10 points and eight rebounds. Porzingis had 14.

TORONTO LEFTY RAY WINS AL CY YOUNG, BREWERS’ BURNES TAKES NL

(AP) — In this Year of the Pitcher, both Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes completed their own kind of comebacks.

Ray rebounded from a dismal season that saw him take a rare pay cut to win the AL Cy Young Award with Toronto while Burnes returned from an early bout of COVID-19 with Milwaukee to win the NL’s top pitching prize Wednesday.

“Everyone has their story,” Burnes said during a conference call.

Burnes led the majors with a 2.43 ERA and edged out Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler. They both got 12 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, but Burnes drew 14 seconds to Wheeler’s nine.

Burnes pitched 167 innings, the fewest for a Cy Young-winning starter in a non-shortened season, and the right-hander struck out 234. Wheeler fanned 247 – one shy of Ray’s big league-leading total – and topped the majors with 213 1/3 innings.

“Everyone’s case,” Burnes said, “was different.”

Ray was best in the AL with a 2.84 ERA and 193 1/3 innings. That came after a pandemic-shortened 2020 when the lefty went a combined 2-5 with a 6.62 ERA for Arizona and Blue Jays and issued the most walks in the majors.

“I knew … I was going to have to put in some hard work,” Ray said, adding, “I knew I wanted to make changes.”

And in a sign of just how much voters have moved past simply win-loss records while crunching new-era stats, Dodgers lefty Julio Urias posted the most victories in going 20-3, but finished a distant eighth and didn’t get a single top-four nod.

Max Scherzer, who pitched for Los Angeles and Washington, finished third in the NL and Dodgers ace Walker Buehler was fourth.

Burnes became the first Brewers pitcher to earn the NL honor – Pete Vuckovich in 1982 and Rollie Fingers in 1981 won the award when Milwaukee was still in the American League.

Ray got 29 first-place votes and became the first Toronto pitcher to win since the late Roy Halladay in 2003. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole drew the other top vote and finished second and Chicago White Sox righty Lance Lynn was third.

Ray went 13-7 in 32 starts and helped keep Toronto in playoff contention until the final weekend.

Having turned 30 last month, the award sets him up well — a free agent, he turned down an $18.4 million qualifying offer from Toronto earlier Wednesday.

“I’m enjoying free agency,” he said. “The process is a lot of fun.”

Ray said Toronto is “still in the conversation.”

“Obviously, I love Toronto, but we’ll see where things go,” he said.

Burnes was 11-5 and an All-Star for the NL Central champion Brewers. His innings count was lower than his competitors, owing to him missing two weeks in early May after testing positive for the coronavirus.

In his first season as a full-time starter, Burnes struck out a record 58 before issuing his first walk. He tied the major league mark by fanning 10 in a row against the Cubs in August.

Burnes combined with closer Josh Hader on a no-hitter against Cleveland in September. Burnes struck out 14 over eight innings in that game – it was the record ninth no-hitter in the majors this season, topping the eight set in 1884 when pitchers began throwing overhand.

Burnes had an 8.82 ERA in 28 relief appearances and four starts in 2019, then was 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA during the virus-shortened season when he was hampered by an oblique strain. He came back to lead the majors with 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings this year.

“You always have to evolve,” he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the playoffs began. Burnes threw six shutout innings against Atlanta in the NL Division Series and turned 27 later in October.

Ray’s power arm always drew attention. He ranks No. 1 in major league history with 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings (minimum: 1,000 innings), and he was an All-Star with Arizona in 2017.

But controlling his heat and sharp breaking pitches often was a problem, and Ray bottomed out last year.

The dip caused his base salary to drop from $9.43 million to $8 million this year. He earned some of that back with a $125,000 for winning the Cy Young, and figures to cash in even more soon.

Drafted and signed by Washington in 2010, Ray made his big league debut in 2014 with Detroit — that staff also included future Cy Young winners Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello and David Price.

Ray was traded with cash to Toronto on Aug. 31, 2020, for reliever Travis Bergen. Ray was 49-51 with a 4.26 ERA over seven seasons in the majors before this big year.

Ray became the fifth Blue Jays pitcher to win the Cy Young, along Halladay, Roger Clemens in 1997-98 and Pat Hentgen in 1996.

UP NEXT

The MVPs will be announced Thursday, ending the BBWAA awards season.

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is considered the AL favorite, with Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Blue Jays infielder Marcus Semien as the other finalists. Ohtani, who went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130 1-3 innings, didn’t get a Cy Young vote; he hit 46 homers with 100 RBIs and stole 26 bases.

Phillies star Bryce Harper, Washington outfielder Juan Soto and San Diego dynamo Fernando Tatis Jr. are the NL finalists.

No matter who wins, it will mark the first time since 1987 (the Cubs’ Andre Dawson and Toronto’s George Bell) that neither MVP reached the playoffs in the year they were elected.

VERLANDER AGREES TO $25M, 1-YEAR DEAL WITH ASTROS

HOUSTON (AP) Justin Verlander has agreed to a $25 million, one-year contract with the Houston Astros that includes a conditional $25 million player option for a second season.

Verlander became a free agent after completing a $94 million, three-year contract with the Astros. He played in just one game in the past two seasons.

He made just one start in 2020, pitching six innings on July 24 in a win over Seattle on opening day before being placed on the injured list with strained right forearm. He attempted a comeback after he was injured, but announced on Sept. 19, 2020 that he needed Tommy John surgery and underwent the procedure on Oct. 1.

He said earlier this year that his rehabilitation was going well and added that he hated that he only played one game in the time that deal covered.

“That gnaws at me,” he said. “But … this was an unfortunate injury that nobody could have seen coming. But I still do like to earn my keep.”

The 38-year-old right-hander is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and the 2011 AL MVP.

Verlander spent his first 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers before being traded to the Astros on Aug. 31, 2017. His stellar performance after the late deal helped Houston to its first World Series title that season. He is 43-15 with a 2.45 ERA and 640 strikeouts in 74 starts for the Astros.

Verlander went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019, striking out a career-high 300 and throwing the third no-hitter of his career to win his second career Cy Young Award. He pitched 223 innings, most in the majors, and made six more starts in the postseason as the Astros reached the World Series.

Verlander is 226-129 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 seasons. Along with his Cy Young Awards and MVP award, he was also the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year. He has 3,013 strikeouts in his career, which ranks 19th all-time.

RED SOX OWNERS IN TALKS TO BUY NHL’S PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

BOSTON (AP) The owners of the Boston Red Sox are in talks to buy the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

Red Sox President Sam Kennedy confirmed on Wednesday that Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Major League Baseball team as well as Liverpool FC of the Premier League and is partners in the RFK Racing NASCAR team, has been working on a deal for the professional hockey club. The talks were first reported by Sportico.

Kennedy declined to elaborate on the terms of the deal. Sportico valued the Penguins last month at $845 million.

Former Penguins star and current part-owner Mario Lemieux and the management team will reportedly remain in place.

FSG has been looking to add another major sports franchise to its portfolio.

This spring, it brought on as an investor Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who has said he ultimately wants to own an NBA team. FSG received a reported $750 million investment from RedBird Capital Partners in March that valued the sports conglomerate at $7.35 billion.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC BEATS RUBLEV TO REACH ATP FINALS SEMIFINALS

TURIN, Italy (AP) Novak Djokovic advanced to the semifinals of the ATP Finals by beating Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.

The top-ranked Djokovic is attempting to match Roger Federer’s record of six titles at the season-ending event for the top eight players in the world.

Djokovic was again almost perfect on his serve, although Rublev managed to break him in the opening game. Djokovic broke twice in each set and won the match with his 12th ace.

“I knew that I had to be on my toes and start well,” Djokovic said. “I dropped my serve again like in the first match. It was quite a nervous start from both of us until 4-3, then with new balls I somehow managed to find the right shots at the right time.

“Winning the first set I put additional pressure on him, and I started to maybe play more consistently from the back of the court. I served well, that helped tremendously. I wanted to put him out of his comfort zone, taking away the time and mix up the pace.”

Djokovic is now 2-0 in the Green Group. He beat Casper Ruud in his opening group match.

Ruud will face Cameron Norrie later Wednesday. Norrie was called in as the second alternate after 2019 champion Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to withdraw with an injured elbow. Matteo Berrettini was replaced by Jannik Sinner on Tuesday.

FEDERER SET TO MISS WIMBLEDON, DREAMS OF 1 MORE SLAM FINAL

GENEVA (AP) Roger Federer does not expect to return from his latest knee surgery in time for next year’s tournament at Wimbledon.

The 40-year-old tennis great, who has won a record eight titles at the All England Club, said in an interview published Wednesday in Switzerland that it wouldn’t make a big difference to him if he was to return in 2022 or 2023.

“The truth is that I’d be incredibly surprised to play Wimbledon,” Federer told the Tribune de Geneve daily. “At 40 or 41 years old, it’s the same.”

Federer did say that he still wants to play in one more Grand Slam final.

“I believe in this kind of miracle,” said Federer, who has played in 31 major finals and won 20 of them. “In sport, miracles exist.”

Federer said the task of making a comeback would be clear only after several more months of steady rehabilitation from this latest operation in August.

Wimbledon starts on June 27, and Federer has not played on tour since a straight-set loss in the quarterfinals at the All England Club in July. Within a few weeks of that match, he underwent his third knee surgery in 18 months.

Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, tied with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal for the most ever for a man.

“Let’s be clear, my life is not going to fall apart if I don’t play another Grand Slam final,” he said. “But that would be ultimate dream to get back there.

“I want to see one last time what I’m capable of as a professional tennis player.”

Federer explained the motivation for his latest surgery was to protect his future quality of life rather than tennis.

“I had this operation to be able to ski with my children, play football or tennis with my friends in the decades to come,” he said.

Federer said there was never a possibility of playing at the Australian Open in January in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

“And that’s no surprise,” Federer said. “We knew before the operation that this type would require a months-long break.”

Federer said he gave the interview to send a message to his fans who “deserve to understand my mood and my hopes.”

“They deserve better than the image left during the grass-court season this year,” said the Swiss great, whose last match ended in a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 loss to Hubert Hurkacz on the Centre Court.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS AND RELEASES

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL: GRANT, JOSEPH LEAD PISTONS TO 97-89 COMEBACK WIN OVER PACERS

DETROIT (AP) Jeremi Grant scored 19 points, Cory Joseph added 18 and the Detroit Pistons rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-89 on Wednesday night.

“This is the way we have to play,” Grant said. “We have a lot of length in our lineup, and we need to be active defensively, get stops and get out to run.”

Rookie guard Cade Cunningham added 16 points for Detroit (4-10), and Saddiq Bey scored 15.

“Cade is getting better each and every day, and he’s already becoming a leader,” Joseph said. “When he’s at the point, it is like we have another coach on the floor.”

Malcolm Brogdan had 19 points for Indiana (6-10). Caris LeVert scored 18, and Domantas Sabonis finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

“This is a tough loss, because (the Pistons) really dominated the play,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “They were clearly the aggressors from the start, and we didn’t raise our game to match it. That’s a recipe for losing in the NBA.”

Both teams shot below 43% from the floor and under 30% on 3-pointers.

“We told our guys that we have to be able to win games when we aren’t making baskets,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “The way we shoot, we have to be able to do other things.”

The score was tied going into the fourth quarter, but Indiana got to the basket on its first three possessions to go ahead 79-73. The Pacers, though, couldn’t hit enough jumpers to take control of the game, and then Sabonis missed three straight free throws.

Detroit went ahead 85-82 on Joseph’s 3-pointer with 5:46 left, and Cunningham followed with a layup in traffic.

Indiana got as close as two, but Grant’s jumper made it 94-88 with 1:01 to play.

“We’re such a young team that it isn’t easy to play hard and play smart in the same game,” Joseph said. “We played hard all night, but there were a few times we didn’t make good plays. We knew we had to stay focused in the fourth quarter – that’s how we won the game.”

The Pistons led 49-41 at halftime, aided by 17 points off 14 Pacers turnovers.

“The turnovers obviously killed us,” Brogdan said. “That’s on me and it has to get better.”

Joseph had 10 points in 13 minutes with the second unit, while Brogdan had 14 of the 27 points scored by the Indiana starters.

Detroit quickly increased the lead to 11 in the third quarter, but LeVert and Sabonis combined for 18 points in seven minutes as Indiana tied the game at 59.

“We had a very good third quarter and then we did some great things to build the six-point lead,” Carlisle said. “But then we gave up some easy dribble penetration, had some bad offensive possessions, and the game got away from us.”

TIP-INS

Pacers: SG Chris Duarte (shoulder soreness) missed his second straight game. The rookie started Indiana’s first 14 games, averaging 14.3 points. … The Pacers swept their three games against Detroit last year.

Pistons: Bey hit his 200th career 3-pointer in his 84th game, matching the third-fewest games for any NBA player. Duncan Robinson did it in 69 games, Anthony Edwards took 82 games and Donovan Mitchell also did it in 84.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Pistons: Host the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: HOOSIERS DOWN ST. JOHN’S

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Mike Woodson softly punched the air from a sideline walk.

The Gavitt Games cliffhanger was over, big plays were made, a ferocious St. John’s rallied was squelched.

Indiana had survived 76-74 at rocking Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Wednesday night..

“We didn’t crack,” Woodson said. “We made winning plays down the stretch.”

A 14-point lead dissolved into a pair of crunch-time ties before the Hoosiers (3-0) found a way.

“It gives us confidence,” forward Race Thompson said. “Last year, we struggled to close out games. Like Coach Woodson says, we’re not doing that anymore.”

Contributions came everywhere you looked, from guys you expected (Trayce Jackson-Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds dor his 24th career double-double; Thompson had 15 and five) to guys maybe you didn’t (freshman guard Tamar Bates had 11 points; sophomore forward Jordan Geronimo had seven points and five rebounds and defended so well IU coaches pulled Jackson-Davis for him for St. John’s final futile possession; sophomore guard Khristian Lander contributed a key crunch-time basket and solid point-guard play; transfer forward Miller Kopp had 12 points, his most as a Hoosier).

“Like Coach Woodson says,” Jackson-Davis said, “when your name is called, you’ve got to be ready to play and those guys stepped up.”

Added Thompson: “They bring it every day in practice. They do it every day. It’s next man up. You come in ready to play. They came in and it showed.”

Still, St. John’s (2-1) nearly found a way.

“They punched us in the mouth early on,” Red Storm coach Mike Anderson said. “We were fortunate to get into halftime only 12 down. They were making shots. They were rebounding. They were scoring at will. I thought we played kind of on our heels.

“We reversed it in the second half. Our intensity picked up on defense. We sped the game up and it gave us a chance.

“I told our guys, we didn’t lose that game, we just ran out of time. They made big plays down the stretch, and we weren’t able to.”

IU’s guard depth was tested by foul trouble and St. John’s relentless pressure that switched from man to zone that only the most focused of teams could have withstood.

“They have a great coach,” Woodson said. “They play hard. They hit us with everything they could hit us with — man press, zone press, half-court zone. It’s a lot to swallow. Our guys were in tune.”

This was the second time IU has blown a double-digit lead.

Woodson noticed.

“I’ve got to do a better job when we get big leads,” he said.

St. John’s averaged 9.5 steals a game, more than twice IU’s 4.5 average, but didn’t open with full-court, trapping pressure.

That would happen in the second half.

A fast-paced start delivered a Xavier Johnson three-pointer, a Thompson steal and dunk, and a Parker Stewart three-pointer.

The Hoosier cause was helped by Posh Alexander’s early foul trouble. That briefly sidelined a player averaging 15.0 points and 8.0 assists.

Bates made quick impact with a basket and a rebound as IU built an 18-10 lead after 11 minutes. In one stretch, the Red Storm was 1-for-11 from the field.

One result — Alexander returned to action and St. John’s quickly got a free throw to end a 6:44 scoring drought. A Julian Champagnie three-pointer soon followed, which was countered by a Bates three-pointer. IU led 23-14.

St. John’s was hit by a flagrant 2 foul that sent Trey Galloway to the floor and an eventual meeting with team trainer Tim Garl and team doctor Larry Rink. The Hoosiers capitalized for a 27-14 lead.

Jackson-Davis led a fast break, passing to Thompson for a dunk and a 29-16 edge. The Hoosiers attacked their way to a 37-23 lead that would have been bigger if not for a pair of missed three throws and a missed layup.

IU ended the half ahead 39-27 led by Bates’ 11 points in 11 minutes. The Hoosiers defended St. John’s into nine turnovers and 33 percent shooting. They capitalized with 52 percent shooting and eight assists.

“He seizes the moment,” Woodson said of Bates. “He’s not scared of the moment. You need guys like that.”

The big question — could the Hoosiers sustain it for the final 20 minutes?

The quick answer — no.

Not with St. John’s ratcheting up the defensive pressure and Champagnie finding his Wooden Award-caliber offense (he finished with a game-high 32 points).

“We knew St. John’s would make runs,” Woodson said. “They keep pressing and putting the heat on. They’re always in the game.”

St. John’s closed within five points. IU pushed it back to 10. The Red Storm cut it to three.

A Champagnie three-pointer and a pair of Alexander free throws tied it at 56-56 with nine minutes left.

Geronimo’s second three-pointer of the season broke the tie. Lander followed with a layup to put Indiana ahead 62-56 with 7:49 remaining.

St. John’s rallied for a 65-65 tie. Jackson-Davis and Thompson scored inside for a four-point Hoosier cushion.

With 21.5 seconds left, Thompson rattled in a basket to beat the shot clock for a 75-72 IU lead.

Champagnie’s jumper with 11 seconds left made it a one-point game. Johnson was fouled with 8.4 seconds left and made one of two free throws.

IU would survive.

“At the end of the day,” Woodson said, “this is a good win.”

“I’m happy with where we are. We’re competing. Our defense was solid as hell.”

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: INDIANA ADDS HENNA SANDVIK TO SIGNING CLASS

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s basketball has announced the signing of Henna Sandvik for the class of 2026.

A 6-foot guard out from Helsinki, Finland joins Lexus Bargesser (Grass Lake, Mich.) and Lilly Meister (Rochester, Minn.) to the Hoosiers freshman class for next season.

Sandvik plays for the Finland Senior National team, where started she both games last week in the 2023 Eurobasket Qualifier. Sandvik scored 7 points and had 3 rebounds against Ukraine. With her club team, HBA Marsky, she is currently averaging 15.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. In addition, at the 2019 U16 European Championships, she averaged 13.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

“We are really excited for Henna to join our program,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “She is a competitive player who does a little bit of everything. She can handle the ball and attack the basket, shoot the 3 and she is a good defender who rebounds. She has continued to grow her game over the past few years as we have been recruiting her. She is going to keep getting better and better.”

INDIANA WRESTLING ADDS THREE IN NEWEST RECRUITING CLASS

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana Wrestling head coach Angel Escobedo announced his newest class of wrestlers to the IU program on Wednesday afternoon.

“I am excited about this small but strong class we are bringing to Bloomington. All three young men come from strong high school programs and bring grit and skill to our wrestling room,” Escobedo said.

The three recruits will come into the program in the Fall of 2022.

Henry Porter | 141/149 lbs. | Gilroy, Calif.

Originally a 2021 signee with IU… opted out of the 2021-2022 season and will resign with the Hoosiers… earned Wrestling USA Senior All-American honors… finished his high school career with a 135-15 record… three top-three finishes in the California State Tournament

Ty Lillard | 157/165 lbs. | Aurora, Ohio

Compiled a career record of 85-13 through season matches so far… wrestled three years for Wrestling Prep out of Virginia and Rock of Ages out of Pennsylvania… 2020 Journeyman Champion… 2021 Journeyman Runner Up… qualified to Team State Duals in 2019-2020… 2019-2020 Alliance District Champion… CEO of the Team Tyler Epilepsy Foundation… son of Tina Eugenia Lillard

Gabe Sollars | 197 lbs. | Terre Haute, Ind.

2021 State Champion and Team Champion at wrestling powerhouse Evansville Mater Dei… 4th place at Super 32… 2021 Team MVP… Most Pins in 2019 and 2021… son of Antonio and Audra Sollars… has one brother Briar… intends to major in Business.

INDIANA FOOTBALL: GAME NOTES: MINNESOTA

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One final time at Memorial Stadium for the Indiana football program in 2021. It will be Senior Day for the Hoosiers as they host Minnesota in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on the Big Ten Network on Saturday (November 20).

MINNESOTA (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) at INDIANA (2-8, 0-7 Big Ten)

Memorial Stadium

Saturday, Nov. 20 | 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: Big Ten Network  |  RADIO: Indiana Hoosiers Sports Network

Setting The Scene

• Indiana (2-8, 0-7 B1G East) welcomes Minnesota (6-4, 4-3 B1G West) for Senior Day on Saturday, Nov. 20. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at Memorial Stadium (52,656; FieldTurf) on BTN.

• The Golden Gophers hold a 39-26-3 edge in the all-time series, including a 38-31 victory in Minneapolis the last time the two teams met on Oct. 26, 2018.

• Saturday marks the first meeting between the two teams in Bloomington since Nov. 2, 2013.

• Former Hoosier running back Kenni Burns (2003-06) is Minnesota’s assistant head coach/running backs.

• Indiana has faced six ranked opponents, each of which has entered the Top 10 in 2021, with a combined record of 44-8.

• Linebacker Micah McFadden is second the Big Ten and shares seven nationally with 15 tackles for loss, and he has at least one TFL in 14 of the last 15 games.

• Peyton Hendershot is the Hoosiers tight ends receptions (130) and yardage (1,428) leader. His 14 touchdowns only trail Ted Bolser’s 15 from 2010-13.

The Coaches

• The 2020 American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, Tom Allen is 26-30 in his fifth season as Indiana head football coach. His 24 wins over his first four years are the most for an IU head coach during that span. Allen was also named the 2020 Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (Big Ten coaches vote) and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year (Big Ten media vote). (full bio on page 15)

• P.J. Fleck is 32-23 (.582) in his fifth season at Minnesota. Fleck served as Western Michigan head coach (2013-16) and carries an overall record of 62-45 (.579).

News & Notes

• The team voted WR Ty Fryfogle, TE Peyton Hendershot, LB Cam Jones, DB Marcelino McCrary-Ball, LB Micah McFadden, and QB Michael Penix Jr. season captains.

• Jones, McCrary-Ball, McFadden, and Penix were also 2020 captains.

• The Hoosiers (6-2, 6-1 Big Ten) finished the 2020 season with a No. 12 final rating from the Associated Press, their highest final ranking since 1967 (No. 4).

• IU’s 11 B1G wins over 2019-20 tied for the most in school history over a two-year span (1987-88).

• Indiana has played in consecutive January bowl games (2020 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and 2021 Outback Bowl) for the first time in school history.

• Tom Allen reached win No. 25 in his 48th career game to become the third-fastest in program history to 25 victories behind James M. Sheldon (40 games) and James H. Horne (46 games).

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: PURDUE MOVES TO 3-0 WITH WIN AT ILLINOIS STATE

NORMAL, Ill. – The Purdue women’s basketball team improved to 3-0 on the year with a 76-64 win on the road at Illinois State on Wednesday night. The Boilermakers had a trio of players in double figures and dished out 17 assists on 28 made field goals.

Purdue (3-0) was paced by Abbey Ellis’ season-high 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Madison Layden chipped in 18 points with four 3-pointers, seven rebounds and five assists. Ra Shaya Kyle tallied 14 points with three rebounds and matched her career high with three blocks.

The Boilermakers, again, knocked down nine three pointers for the third straight game and shot 52.8% from the field. Defensively, Purdue blocked eight shots for the first time since the 2019-20 season and scored 20 points off 18 Illinois State (1-2) turnovers.

For the first time in the young season, the Boilermakers found themselves trailing in the first quarter. The deficit was short-lived. Ellis and Layden combined to score all the points on a 15-2 run that gave the Boilermakers a 17-10 lead in the first.

Rickie Woltman made her first mark on the game last in the first with a layup off an offensive rebound that stymied a Redbird run. The junior matched her career high with four points and set a new best with four blocks.

Coming out of the break with an eight-point lead, the Boilermakers quickly looked inside to find Kyle, who scored six of Purdue’s first eight points of the third.

Layden, Ellis and Kyle put the game out of reach for good in the fourth, accounting for 19 of Purdue’s 21 points in the frame. The Boilermakers shot 61.5% over the final 10 minutes to pull out the victory.

DISHING OUT DIMES

The Boilermakers made a habit of making the extra pass, with 17 assists on the night. Six different Boilermakers tallied a helper, led Layden matching her season high. Jeanae Terry and Cassidy Hardin both tallied four assists on the night, the latter was one off her career mark. The Boilermakers moved the ball well in the first half with 12 assists on 14 made baskets.

BLOCK PARTY

Purdue turned away eight shots in the win, the most since March 6, 2020, against Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament. Woltman split her blocks over each half and was the first Boilermaker to reject a quartet of shots since Ae’Rianna Harris had six against the Terrapins. Kyle matched her career high with three, originally set against Bowling Green on Dec. 13, 2020.

QUOTE

Head coach Katie Gearlds …

All road wins are good wins. Down 8-2 to start, we faced a little adversity. We talked about calling a timeout, but we wanted to see the maturity of our team and how they could weather the storm. They made another run in the second half. We just stayed the course and kept to our gameplan. We moved the ball pretty well. We need to cut down the turnovers. Everyone who stepped on the floor and our bench was really engaged.

Rickie was really good today. Shay struggled a bit in the first half, but she put the game away when we threw it into her in the second half. Rickie is someone who is going to set good screens and keep to the defensive gameplan. Abbey and Madison scored it. It was a great team win. 

NOTES

• Illinois State now leads the all-time series 5-4, in just the second meeting since 1991.

• Purdue has hit 27 3-pointers through three games this season.

• The Boilermakers shot over 50% for the first time this season.

• Layden and Kyle both went 4-for-4 at the free throw line.

• Layden moved within one game of tying Ashley Morrissette for the longest 3-point streak in program history. The sophomore has now made a 3-pointer in her last 24 games.

• The Boilermakers have scored at least 70 points in all three games this season.

• Purdue notched 13 points on the fastbreak to Illinois State’s three.

• Jayla Smith, Brooke Moore and Abbey Ellis all recorded two steals.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will return to Mackey Arena for two games in three days against Dayton and Marshall on Saturday and Monday, respectively. Tipoff Saturday against the Flyers will be at 6 p.m. on B1G+.

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL: MICHIGAN STATE TOPS BUTLER MBB, 73-52

Michigan State posted a 73-52 win over Butler Wednesday night as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Butler falls to 3-1 on the young season, while Michigan State improves to 2-1. It was the first match-up between the two schools since meeting in the 2010 Final Four.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games are an annual series between teams from the BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences.

The Spartans’ defense limited Butler to 29-percent shooting and only eight assists.

“We felt like we know who they (Michigan State) are and what they wanted to do,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “They really set the tone in the first four minutes of each half. I thought we had some moments and the effort was there, but we had some breakdowns.”

Gabe Brown (19) and freshman Max Christie (18) combined for 37 points for the Spartans, who shot 47 percent from the field. Michigan State got to the free throw line 24 times, converting 19.

A 9-0 run gave Michigan State an early 22-8 run with 11:47 remaining in the first half. At that point in the contest, Butler was only 3-of-15 from the field. The Spartans then led 31-23 at the half.

Butler cut the lead to six (34-28) less than two minutes into the second half, but the lead was soon back to double figures and never closer.

Ty Groce led the Bulldogs with a season-high 15 points and eight rebounds. Chuck Harris added 13 points. Thirty (30) of Butler’s 56 attempts were from three-point range; they made nine.

Bryce Nze played seven minutes in the first half before leaving the contest with a shoulder injury. He did not return and will be further evaluated in the coming days.

Butler celebrated the life of Xan Korman in a pregame recognition featuring his parents. The rising junior at Butler was tragically killed in August. He had grown close with many members of the Butler basketball program and larger Butler community, and was planning to assist the basketball program in a manager role for the 2021-22 season prior to his passing.

The Bulldogs next travel to Las Vegas for the Maui Invitational, opening Monday with a first-round match-up against No. 15 Houston.

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: WILLIAMS NAMED HORNUNG AWARD FINALIST

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — University of Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams was named one of five finalists for the 2021 Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse. The award is presented to the most versatile player in college football.

Kyren Williams is a key cog in the Notre Dame offense this season. He leads the team in all-purpose yards (1,327), rushing yards (872), total touchdowns (13) and is second on the team in receptions (36). He ranks 18th in the NCAA in total touchdowns, 19th in the country with 132.70 all-purpose yards per game and has been named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll five times this season.

He led the Irish in the win over Navy with a team-high 95 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns, seven receptions and 176 all-purpose yards. It was his third-straight game and fourth time this season he has totaled 150 all-purpose yards or more. It is the second time this season he has had multiple rushing touchdowns in a game.

Williams recorded a career-best 199 yards against North Carolina. He ripped off a career-long 91-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter and it tied for the fifth-longest rush in Notre Dame history. The 199 rushing yards were the most by an Irish player since Dexter Williams had 202 against Florida State in 2018. It was the first time this season and third time in his career that Williams rushed for 100 yards or more in back-to-back games. Williams finished the night with a career-high 261 all-purpose yards (199 rushing, 47 returning, 15 receiving). It was the most all-purpose yards by an Irish player since 2009 when Golden Tate had 275 (244 receiving, 31 rushing) against Washington. The 261 all-purpose yards were the third most by any player in FBS during Week 9.

Williams broke out for the Irish with 138 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns in the win over Southern Cal. Williams finished with 180 all-purpose yards, his second-highest total this season. The 180 all-purpose yards were the 10th-most by any player in Week 8 and he was just one of three of those 10 players who faced a Power-5 opponent.

The winner of the Hornung Award will be announced on Wednesday, December 8. Williams is looking to be the first winner for the Irish since the award was introduced in 2010.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: #14 IRISH CONTINUE BIG TEN PLAY AT #1 MICHIGAN

WHO: #14/15 Notre Dame (8-3-0, 2-2-0-0-0-0 B1G) at #1 Michigan (10-2-0, 5-1-0-0-0-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET // Saturday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET
WHERE: Yost Ice Arena
WATCH: BTN+
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
NOTES (PDF)

SETTING THE STAGE

  • Winners of four straight including a sweep of Big Ten foe Wisconsin last weekend, No. 14/15 Notre Dame heads to Ann Arbor this weekend to take on top-ranked Michigan (Nov. 19-20).
  • The Fighting Irish have also won five games in a row at Yost Ice Arena.
  • With the sweep of the Badgers (Nov. 12-13), Notre Dame evened its conference record at 2-2-0-0-0-0, while Michigan has already played six conference games and is 5-1-0-0-0-0.
  • Graduate Student Matthew Galajda helped the Irish to the sweep last weekend, going 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .979 save percentage while pitching a 22-save shutout in game two.
  • Galajda, who is now 7-1-0 on the season with a 1.38 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage, was named the Big Ten’s Third Star of the Week (Nov. 16).
  • On offense, Max Ellis (2-1-3) led the Irish with a pair of goals and an assist as seven different players combined to score Notre Dame’s eight goals. 
  • In the 5-1 game one win over Wisconsin, Spencer Stastney had a career-best three assists.
  • Ellis leads the Irish with 14 points on a team-high seven goals and seven assists, followed by Solag Bakich (3-7-10) and Ryder Rolston (2-7-9).
  • Trevor Janicke ranks second on the team with five goals, while Ellis, Bakich, Rolston and Spencer Stastney are tied for the team lead with seven assists.
  • All told, 13 Notre Dame players have scored so far this season, while 18 have at least one point.
  • Ellis has a five game point streak (4-3-7), while Adam Karashik (0-3-3) and Rolston (1-3-4) have three-game point streaks.
  • The Irish are 7-0-0 when scoring first this season.
  • Notre Dame’s penalty kill is 41-for-43 on the season (.9535), which ranks first in the NCAA (Michigan’s power play ranks third in the NCAA at 31.25%).
  • The Irish are averaging 3.61 goals per game, which ranks 11th in the NCAA (second in the Big Ten) and are also holding opponents to 1.71 goals-against per game, which ranks sixth nationally (second in the Big Ten).
  • Notre Dame has made each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, the longest streak in program history, and eight of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments overall..

THE BIG TEN STANDINGS

  • This season, teams are awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation. 
  • If the game is tied following regulation, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.
  • The conference standings now match a national standard: W-L-T-OTW-OTL-SOW.

GALAJDA SHUTOUT RANKS

  • Graduate student Matthew Galajda made 22 saves to help lead the Irish to a 3-0 win over Wisconsin on Oct. 13, marking his second shutout for Notre Dame and the 21st of his career.
  •  A 2018 First Team All-American, his 21 career shutouts rank tied for third in NCAA Men’s Division I history:
  • Rank Name (Years) GP Shutouts
  • 1. Dryden McKay (2018‑pres.) 109 27
  • 2. Ryan Miller (1999‑2002) 106 26
  • 3. Michael Bitzer (2014‑2018) 138 21
  • Matthew Galajda (2017‑pres.) 94 21
  • 5. Joe Fallon (2004‑2008) 132 20
  • 6. Ben Scriven (2006‑2010) 117 19
  • Michael Garteig (2012‑2016) 124 19

THE NOTRE DAME – MICHIGAN SERIES

  • All-time, Michigan leads the series 82-65-5, however, since their final season in the CCHA (2012-13), the Irish hold the edge with a 14-9-0 record. 
  • Notre Dame recognizes the first official meeting as a 3-2 overtime win by the Fighting Irish on Jan. 17, 1922 at the Weinberg Coliseum in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • The Irish and Wolverines met each season from 1991-92 to 2012-13.
  • During the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame went 5-0-0 against the Wolverines, including a 3-1 victory in the championship game of the final CCHA tournament.
  • In Notre Dame’s inaugural season in the Big Ten (2017-18), the Irish and Wolverines met five times, with the Irish claiming three victories, including a last second win at the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four.
  • As time ran down in the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal (April 5), Cam Morrison slid the puck back to Jake Evans in the slot, who shot it five-hole for the game-winner with five seconds remaining – sending Notre Dame to the national championship.
  • Notre Dame and Michigan’s other Frozen Four meeting came at the 2008 Frozen Four (Denver, Colorado) when the Irish posted a 5-4 overtime win to advance to the NCAA championship game for the first time in program history.
  • Calle Ridderwall scored the game-winning goal in that contest at the 5:44 mark of overtime.
  • Head Coach Jeff Jackson is 35-34-8 all-time against Michigan (including his time at Lake Superior State), while he is 12-6-0 all-time against the Wolverines in the playoffs.
  • Jackson named current Michigan head coach Mel Pearson as one of his Team USA assistant coaches for the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Jackson and Pearson helped lead USA to the silver medal in that tournament in Switzerland.
  • Notre Dame leads the series 9-8-0 since joining the Big Ten.
  • Notre Dame has a five-game winning streak at Yost Ice Arena, having swept a weekend series last season as goaltender Ryan Bischel led the Irish to a weekend sweep at then No. 4/3 Michigan on Nov. 27 (W, 3-2) and Nov. 28 (W, 2-1).
  • Bischel stopped 55 of 58 shots he faced in the series for a .948 save percentage to go along with a 1.50 goals against average. 
  • Notre Dame goal scorers in that series included Nick Leiveramann, Nate Clurman, Grant Silianoff (GWG), Spencer Stastney and Alex Steeves (GWG).
  • For the past two seasons, the teams have each posted road sweeps and are even at 4-4-0 in that stretch. 
  • During the 2018-19 season, the teams split the season series, going 2-2-0 against each other (with each team earning a home and road win), including the January 5, 2019 outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium, as the two teams utilized the same ice as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins of the NHL for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
  • The Let’s Take This Outside game featured the largest crowd to attend a home hockey game for the Irish (23,422) but Michigan claimed the 4-2 win over the Irish.
  • Notre Dame’s active career offensive leaders against Michigan include Graham Slaggert (12 GP; 1-5-6), Jake Pivonka (12 GP; 1-4-5) and Spencer Stastney (12 GP; 2-1-3).
  • Ryan Bischel had the two starts last season at Yost, going 2-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average to go along with a .948 save percentage.

STEPPING UP

  • Several Fighting Irish skaters have increased their point totals already this season over the past few years.
  • Junior Max Ellis leads the team with 14 points (7-7-14) in 11 games. 
  • As a sophomore, Ellis had 16 points in 24 games (5-11-16) while he skated in eight games as a freshman and scored one goal.
  • Solag Bakich has a career-high 10 points (3-7-10) in 11 games this season after scoring once in 10 games as a freshman and then notching seven points (4-3-7) in 28 games as a sophomore. 
  • Ryder Rolston had six points on a goal and five assists last season as a freshman and now has two goals and seven assists for nine points in 11 games as a sophomore.
  • Defenseman Jake Boltmann joined the Irish for the second semester, skating in 19 games (0 points).
  • This season, Boltmann has a goal and five assists for six points. 

NOTRE DAME WSOCCER: NCAA 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS PREVIEW

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team continues its trek in the NCAA Tournament by heading to Razorback Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the second and third rounds. Up first, a familiar foe in Purdue on Friday, Nov. 19, at 4:30 p.m. ET. If successful, the Irish would advance to play either Virginia Tech or host Arkansas on Sunday at a t0-be-determined time. Both games will be streamed live on SECN+.

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

For the 27th time over the last 29 years, Notre Dame women’s soccer are dancing in the NCAA Tourney. Not only did the Irish earn a berth, but drew a national seed (No. 3) as well.

Notre Dame’s overall postseason record now sits at 70-22-3. The Irish boast three NCAA championships – 1995, 2004, 2010, including 12 appearances at the College Cup.

If the Irish were to win on Friday, it would mark their 19th all-time appearance in the 3rd Round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition, they have made a total of 15 appearances in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tourney. However, the last time they made it to the quarters was back in 2012.

REGULAR SEASON REMATCH

The Irish and Boilermakers have already met once this season, with Notre Dame earning a 1-0 victory back on September 2. Olivia Wingate scored the game-winner in the 59th minute off of a Sammi Fisher corner kick. The ball was sent deep to the far side of the six-yard box, where it was met by Eva Wirtz. The sophomore then headed it back to the middle where Wingate buried it with her head into the corner for the goal.

Though the shots on goal differential were only 5-4 in favor of ND, the Irish finished the match with 70 percent of the possession.

BEST SEASON IN A DECADE

The Irish have won 14 games so no matter how the season ends, it will mark Coach Norman’s best year at the helm.

The Irish could also achieve its best season in term of winning percentage since the 2010 season – when that squad simply went 21-2-2 and won a national championship. They would need at least two more wins for that to happen.

The Irish also made program history with its 6-0-0 start in ACC play, before finishing 7-3-0.

2020: 6-7-0

2019: 11-8-1

2018: 8-10-0

2017: 10-7-5

2016:13-3-5

2015: 14-5-1

2014: 14-6-2

2013: 13-8-1

2012: 16-6-2

2011: 10-8-3

TOURNAMENT RESUME

The Irish have gone 14-5-1 this season and boast the 16th-best RPI in the country. Notre Dame went 6-4-1 against the RPI top-50. In addition, in the No. 1 rated RPI conference of the ACC, the Irish went 7-3 and earned the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament.

SUPER FRESHMAN

Super freshman Korbin Albert, who cracked the Irish starting XI on day one, has asserted herself into the list of top-20 ND freshmen all-time. Albert owns the second-most goals on the team with 11, which is tied for 16th on said list.

Albert is also red hot, scoring seven goals over the last nine games.

THREE ALL-ACC SELECTIONS

Sammi Fisher (31 points), Olivia Wingate (15 points) and Korbin Albert (26 points) were all rightfully honored by the league office with All-ACC awards. Fisher picked up First Team honors, while Wingate and Albert both landed on the Third Team. Albert also got the All-Freshman Team nod as well.

Fisher is now a three-time All-ACC selection and certainly playing like it. This weekend she’ll continue what is her best season of her career – ranking 2nd in the ACC with 13 goals, which also ranks 16th in the nation. Fisher has scored in 11-of-20 games this season.

Fisher has turned up the assist production as of late, registering four assists over the last eight games.

Then there’s Wingate, who boasts five goals and five assists. She scored the game-winner against Purdue, earned her first brace of the season at Miami and most recently scored at No. 7 UNC on Oct. 24. Wingate notched assist No. 5 in the regular-season finale vs Wake Forest. Her five assists have now tied both Fisher and Kati Druzina for the team lead.

SAVED BEST SEASON FOR LAST

Sammi Fisher has made the most of her graduate season, for it only took her one month of play to achieve her best year in an Irish uniform. She has now placed her name onto the list of top scorers in the country this season.

She owns 13 goals to her name, topping her previous season high of six set in 2019.

Her 13 goals rank 16th in the country and 2nd in the ACC. In addition, her 0.65 goals per game rank 28th in the nation and 4th in the league. Her 31 total points rank 27th nationally and 3rd in the ACC.

ON THE FRONT FOOT

Notre Dame has had a tendency to strike early, scoring a total of 12 goals in the first 20 minutes of games this season – spanning 10 different games. In fact, they have done so in eight of the past 13 games.

SIUE 3:23 | Wake Forest 19:58 | Clemson 11:51 | Louisville 0:37, 9:28 | NCST 0:58 | BC 4:49 | Syracuse 6:38 | Detroit 1:43, 11:59 | Wisconsin 7:52 | Bowling Green 7:14

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

Coach Norman talked about how the freshmen class is his true first class at the helm of the program and they are certainly leaving their mark on this season.

Ten of the last 19 goals have been delivered from the foot of a freshman: Korbin Albert, Katie Coyle, Sophia Fisher and Kaylie Ronan.

Albert is the No. 8 ranked freshmen in Division I (according to Top Drawer Soccer) and she’s living up to the ranking. She owns the second most goals on the team with 11. In fact, she has seven goals in the last nine games, including an absolute rocket at No. 2 Virginia.

Katie Coyle recorded her first career game-winner, scoring in the second half of the 2-1 victory at NC State. Coyle owns two goals and one assist. Unfortunately, Coyle is currently mending a foot injury.

Sophia Fisher also has a game-winner, scoring in the 1-0 victory at Marquette. The freshman most recently scored in the win over Louisville, bringing her season total to three.

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

FLEXING THE OFFENSIVE MUSCLE

Notre Dame has scored 49 goals which rank 4th in the ACC and 20th in the nation. In addition, the 49 goals are the most in a season since 2010. Notre Dame’s scoring offense of 2.45 ranks 20th in the nation and 4th in the ACC. In addition, ND’s 132 total points rank 25th in the country.

BALL STATE FOOTBALL: BALL STATE SUFFERS 37-17 SETBACK TO CENTRAL MICHIGAN

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State marched the opening kickoff down the field in 2:35 to score the game’s first touchdown Wednesday night in midweek Mid-American Conference action versus Central Michigan.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals (5-6, 3-4 MAC) could not hang onto the momentum as a red-hot Chippewas (7-4, 5-2 MAC) team scored the next 14 points on its way to a 37-17 victory inside Scheumann Stadium.

“Obviously, it was a tough night,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. “You have to credit Central Michigan. They played well. There were some times in the game where weather played a bit of a factor and they executed in the adverse conditions. We have to regroup on our end. We have a short week, so we have to put this game behind us and get ready for Buffalo on Tuesday.”

BSU utilized a heavy dose of Carson Steele on the opening drive, as the true freshman running back rushed for 23 yards and caught a 31-yard pass. His nine-yard rush to the left capped the 75-yard drive with his sixth rushing touchdown of the season.

Steele would finish the game with 93 rushing yards, falling just shy of his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game. He also caught three passes for 44 yards.

After CMU put together a pair of touchdown drives to pull ahead, a 37-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Jacob Lewis brought the Cardinals back within four at 14-10.

Central Michigan then used a pair of big plays on its next two possessions, a 50-yard scoring pass and a 66-yard touchdown run, to take control of the game.

Ball State would attempt to battle back at the end of the first half, as a six-yard strike from fifth-year quarterback Drew Plitt to senior receiver Yo’Heinz Tyler cut the CMU edge to 28-17.

Plitt finished the game 21-for-39 for 170 yards with his one touchdown and one interception. Junior Jayshon Jackson had a team-high 61 receiving yards, while Tyler finished the game with 46.

BSU’s defense followed Tyler’s touchdown with a big play of its own, as fifth-year senior Jaylin Thomas picked off a CMU pass in the end zone to keep it a two-score game at the half.

However, a steady rain moved in at the start of the third quarter and hampered both teams the rest of the game. Thanks in part to a strong rushing effort from Lew Nichols, who ended the game with 219 yards and three touchdowns, CMU would add nine more points over the final 30 minutes to give the game its final score.

“We have to make sure we finish the fight,” Neu added. “More than anything else, we have to make sure we have a good day of recovery, take care of business in the classroom, and move on to Buffalo full speed ahead.”

Ball State will have one more opportunity to reach bowl eligibility when it hosts Buffalo on Tuesday (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m. in the regular season finale and senior night.

BALL STATE FOOTBALL: JUSTIN HALL SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR PAUL HORNUNG AWARD

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ball State wide receiver Justin Hall was chosen as a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, the Louisville Sports Commission announced Wednesday. He is one of five players from around the country in contention for the annual award.

Hall, who has earned recognition on the Hornung Award Honor Roll four times this season, is one of seven players in the country to score a touchdown via rush, reception and kickoff return this season.

The dynamic playmaker is responsible for 72 points this season through 12 touchdowns, which is tied for the most by a wide receiver in the country. He has scored six touchdowns on the ground, five through reception and one by way of a kickoff return.

Hall is first among active players in career receiving yards (3,378) and has recorded at least one reception in 53 straight games – every game of his career – and is one off of tying the NCAA record set by Central Michigan’s Bryan Anderson (2006-09) for the most consecutive games catching a pass with 54.

The Douglasville, Ga. native is second among active players in career all-purpose yards (5,352) and is 15th in the country overall averaging 136.1 all-purpose yards per game this season.

Hall’s kickoff return average of 34.5 currently stands as the third-highest mark in the country.

Joining Hall as finalists for the award are Blake Corum (Michigan), Marcus Jones (Houston), Jayden Reed (Michigan State) and Kyren Williams (Notre Dame).

The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son, and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players who often go unnoticed. The 17-person Paul Hornung Award National Selection Committee chose the 2021 finalists, with fans generating the 18th vote online.

The 12th annual Paul Hornung Award winner will be selected from among the finalists and announced on Dec. 8, 2021. Fan voting for the winner, powered by Texas Roadhouse, opens today and continues through Dec. 6 at www.paulhornungaward.com and will again count as the 18th vote. Fans can vote once every 24 hours for their favorite from among the five finalists.

BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL: VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS TOLEDO; HEADS INTO MAC TOURNAMENT WITH NCAA-LEADING 27 WINS

TOLEDO, Ohio – – With a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-22) sweep at Toledo in Wednesday night Mid-American Conference action, the Ball State women’s volleyball team put a nice bow on the 2021 regular season.

The Cardinals (27-3; 17-1 MAC) claimed the 2021 MAC regular season championship outright. Extended its winning streak to 17 matches, which ties as the third-longest active streak in the nation and as the second-longest in program history. Upped its win total to 27, the most in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball so far this season and the fifth-most in a single season in BSU annals.

“I’m just so proud of this team,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “Every player works hard, trusts one another, enjoys one another, and it just makes it a really fun group to coach. They train hard and don’t get distracted by external things. They are mentally tough, competitive and just a really amazing group of women who have earned this MAC title.”

But for all the accomplishments, there is still work to be done if the Cardinals want to achieve its ultimate goal; a berth in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.

“We know next week the season starts over,” Phillips said. “We have to continue to work hard this week in practice, build our confidence, and we know we still have to work to get better between now and then. We have learned a ton about ourselves this season and we just have to keep trusting, working and let it fly in the tourney.”

That work will start Monday at 4:30 p.m. for Ball State when it hosts the semifinals of the 2021 MAC Volleyball Championships inside Worthen Arena. By virtue of locking up the top seed and hosting rights, the Cardinals also secured a first-round bye in the event.

While the Cardinals were able leave Savage Arena with a sweep Wednesday, the Rockets (19-11, 10-8 MAC) did test Ball State throughout the night.

“Toledo came out really hot out the gate and I thought it took us half a set to really get into rhythm,” Phillips said. “Once we settled down, started playing BSU defense, then good things started to happen.”

UT, which is one of five other teams who will join BSU in Worthen Arena next week for the MAC Tournament, limited the Cardinals to a .214 (39-15-112) attack percentage. However, that did not stop Ball State from victory, as the team rallied from down late in the first and third sets to secure the sweep.

Toledo led 21-19 in the opening set, only to have a kill from opposite Natalie Mitchem and back-to-back Rockets attack errors give Ball State a 22-21 edge. With the score tied at 23, outside Natalie Risi made perhaps the biggest play of the night, with an impressive solo block to give BSU set point. She would go on to add the frame-winning kill in the next rally.

After a second set which in which Ball State led the entirety, Toledo would test the Cardinals again leading 20-18 in the third. However, three straight Risi kills shifted the momentum back to Ball State, who went on to win the frame 25-22.

Risi finished the night with a team-high nine kills, to go along with a match-best two solo blocks. Overall, Ball State was once again able to effectively spread out its offensive attack, with six different players recording at least four kills.

“Risi was really clutch tonight,” Phillips added. “She was swinging with confidence and her competitive poise tonight really impressed me. She does so many little things for our team and when we really needed her to tonight, she stepped up big time.”

Mitchem was second on the squad with eight, while outside Jaclyn Bulmahn added seven. The middle duo for junior Marie Plitt and sophomore Lauren Gilliland added six and five, respectively, while setter Megan Wielonski was credited with four.

Ball State’s defense also turned in a solid effort, limiting Toledo to a .181 (47-24-127) hitting mark. Libero Maggie Huber paced the squad with 16 digs, while defensive specialist Havyn Gates added 11.

Toledo’s Taylor Alt led all players with 16 kills, while libero Rhyen Neal earned a match-best 17 digs.

Another factor in the win, was Ball State’s strong serving, including five total aces. Senior defensive specialist Cathryn Starck led the team with two aces, while Wielonski was one of three Cardinals with one. That raised Wielonski’s MAC-leading ace total to 50.

BALL STATE MBB: CARDINALS READY FOR JERSEY MIKE’S CLASSIC

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team returns to the hardwood for the Jersey Mike’s Classic in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Thursday. The Cardinals open the tournament against FIU on Thursday, followed by a game with Weber State on Friday, and conclude the classic with a matchup with UMass on Sunday.

This will mark the third time Ball State has played in an early-season tournament under the direction of Head Coach James Whitford. In 2018, the Cardinals played in the Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C. BSU produced a 1-2 record, with a win against Appalachian State and losses against Virginia Tech and Alabama. Ball State finished the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic with a 1-2 record. While in Hawaii, BSU defeated Portland, but fell to Washington and UTEP.

Luke Bumbalough leads the Cardinals entering the Jersey Mike’s Classic with 14.5 points per game and has a team-high nine assists. Jalen Windham is second on the team averaging 13.0 points per game and leads the team with a 53.8 percentage from 3-point range. Payton Sparks continues to be a force on the glass and has a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game. Sparks is third on the squad with 9.5 points per game. Tyler Cochran is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per game. Cochran, Sparks, and Demarius Jacobs are tied for the team lead with 2 steals each.

Thursday will mark the third meeting between the Cardinals and Panthers. Ball State has won the previous meetings against FIU, including a 105-50 victory on Jan. 13, 1990, in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals won the first ever meeting 89-66 on Dec. 7, 1988. BSU and FIU are scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip on Thursday.

The Panthers are led by Daniel Parrish with 15.0 points per game. Tevin Brewer is averaging 14.0 points game and leads the team with six 3-pointers. Denver Jones is the final Panther averaging double digits, with 10.0 points per game. Eric Lovett leads FIU on the boards and is averaging 7.0 rebounds per game.

Weber State won the only meeting between the two squads at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Nov. 23, 2002. The Wildcats knocked off the Cardinals 72-67. Ball State and Weber State are slated for a 5:30 p.m. start time on Friday.

Coming into the Jersey Mike’s Classic the Wildcats are led by Koby McEwen with 18.5 points per game and he has a team-high seven 3-pointers. JJ Overton is second on the team with 13.0 points per game. Seikou Sisoho Jawara is averaging 12.5 points per game. Dillon Jones and Cody Carlson round out the double-digit scorers for Weber State with 11.0 and 10.0 points per game, respectively. Jones has been dominant on the glass and is averaging 12.0 rebounds per game. 

Ball State and UMass will meet for the first time in program history on Sunday. Tip for Sunday is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Trent Buttrick leads UMass with 15.3 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game, and is tied for the team lead in 3-pointers with seven. Noah Fernandes is second on the squad with an average of 12.7 points per game. C.J. Kelly and Rich Kelly are averaging 12.5 and 12.0 points per game, respectively. Rich Kelly is tied for the team lead with seven 3-pointers made.

All games for the Cardinals during the Jersey Mike’s Classic can be seen on the CBS Sports Network. All of BSU’s games are on Woof Boom Radio’s 96.7 FM, 102.9 FM, 104.9 FM, WLBC HD2, and the stream of 967BlakeFM.com as well as WERKFM.net.

INDIANA STATE WBB: SYCAMORES UNABLE TO OVERCOME TURNOVERS IN MIDWEEK LOSS TO EIU

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State was unable to overcome inopportune turnovers in the contest and Eastern Illinois took advantage down the stretch as the Sycamores fell at home to the visiting Panthers on Wednesday night, 64-55.

Indiana State (1-2) shot 40.7% (22-of-54) from the field in the contest and held the 33-31 rebounding edge in a back-and-forth game through the first three quarters in the Sycamores’ second home contest of the 2021-22 season. The Panthers (2-0) took advantage of five Indiana State turnovers down the stretch and scored seven points off the miscues in taking the nonconference win.

Adrian Folks was back in double-digits for the third consecutive game as the junior forward finished with 15 points and five rebounds, while Del’Janae Williams was in double-digits for the second time of the season with 11 points and four rebounds in the loss.

Eastern Illinois’ Abby Wahl led all players with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds, while Kira Arthofer added 16 points and seven assists in the win. Lariah Washington added 11 points, while Jordyn Hughes had 10 as four of the Panthers starters recorded double-digit points in the contest.

First Half

Arianna Smith scored the first four points of the contest to put the Sycamores ahead early and Marie Hunter added a pair of layups to give ISU the 8-5 lead at the first media timeout. The Panthers rallied back on a Kira Arthofer three-pointer to tie the game up at 8-8 with 4:13 left in the first quarter and the teams swapped baskets to go into the quarter break tied up 10-10.

Essy Latu jump-started the Sycamores offense with a three-pointer in ISU’s first possession of the second quarter to set off a frantic scoring pace by both sides. Adrian Folks got into the mix with 11 consecutive points over a seven-minute span to give the Sycamores a 24-21 lead with 1:43 remaining in the half. Del’Janae Williams added a late three-pointer just before the half to put Indiana State ahead 27-25 at the break.

Second Half

Folks continued her scoring streak at the start of the third quarter to put the Sycamores back ahead 29-27 with 9:09 remaining on the block. Smith worked her way back into the mix with a three-point play to tie the game up at 32-32 as the game continued to swing back-and-forth. EIU’s Morgan Litwiller put the Panthers ahead 40-37 with 3:12 remaining in the quarter on a layup before the Sycamores rallied back with a five-point swing capped by a Tonysha Curry layup to set the stage for a 44-44 tie at the end of the third.

The Panthers took the quick lead on an Arthofer layup on EIU’s opening possession and the Panthers took advantage of four ISU turnovers on their way to building a double-digit lead at 58-48 with 2:33 remaining on a Washington layup. Anna McKendree connected on a late three-pointer to cut the lead down to 62-55 with 26 seconds remaining, but that was as close as the Sycamores would get the rest of the way.

Inside the Statistics

Indiana State shot 40.7% from the floor, 19.0% from the three-point line, and 70.0% from the free throw line in the loss.

Eastern Illinois shot 39.6% from the floor, 29.4% from the three-point line, and 73.9% from the free throw line in the win.

The Sycamores held the 33-31 rebounding edge, but the Panthers held the 32-30 advantage on points in the paint.

The Sycamores led the way with 13 second-chance points, while Williams (11), McKendree (7), and Latu (5) combined to help ISU outscore the EIU bench, 25-3.

The Panthers held the 25-13 edge in points off turnovers.

News & Notes

Arianna Smith made her first collegiate start on Wednesday night as the Columbus, Ohio native made her Hulman Center debut. The true freshman forward was out the first game of the season against Stephens (Mo.) due to injury.

Adrian Folks was back in double-digits before halftime for the second consecutive game as the junior forward had 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting with 5-of-5 from the free throw line at the break. She finished with a team-high 15 points and five rebounds.

Del’Janae Williams was one off her season-high with 11 points in her second double-digit scoring effort of the season.

Up Next

Indiana State hits the road for the next four games as the Sycamores start the road trek on Wednesday, November 24 at Western Kentucky University. Tipoff between Indiana State and WKU is set for noon ET in E.A. Diddle Arena.

VALPO MBB: ANDERSON POSTS DOUBLE-DOUBLE IN SETBACK AT STANFORD

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team outscored Stanford 37-35 in the second half, but couldn’t erase an early 12-1 deficit in a road matchup with a Pac-12 opponent as the Cardinal prevailed 74-60. Trevor Anderson (Stevens Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) turned in his first collegiate double-double, pulling down a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

How It Happened

Stanford held Valpo without a field goal until the 15:21 mark, building up a 12-1 lead out of the gate.

Fifth-year senior Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]) hit Valpo’s first 3 of the game with 8:50 to go in the first half, trimming the Stanford lead to seven at 19-11. However, the Cardinal scored the next eight with a pair of 3s and a dunk to extend the edge back to 16.

Sophomore Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) drained a 3 for the final basket of the first half, but the Stanford lead stood at 16 at 39-23 at the intermission.

Edwards hit a 3 early in the second half, and later Anderson drained a triple with 14:07 left in the second half to complement a half where he created and nailed several midrange jumpers.

Freshman Keyondre Young (Del City, Okla. / Del City) came off the bench and made several athletic defensive plays and knocked in a 3 with 13:04 on the clock to make it 54-38. Fellow freshman Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) stepped out and buried a triple with 11:34 remaining.

Valpo went on a late run, scoring the game’s final nine points to cut what had been a 23-point lead to 14.

Inside the Game

Anderson enjoyed his first collegiate double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. He surpassed his previous career high of seven boards, reached twice during his time at Green Bay in 2016-17. His scoring career high of 23 came on Dec. 19, 2016 vs. SIUE while playing for Green Bay. Anderson also drew five fouls while committing none. He pulled in 10 of the team’s 25 total rebounds.

Senior Thomas Kithier (Macomb, Mich. / Clarkston [Michigan State]) scored nine points on an efficient 4-of-6 shooting. Edwards was Valpo’s second double-figure scorer with 11 points. Taylor chipped in eight points on 3-of-6 shooting and drained a pair of 3s.

Freshman Trey Woodyard (London, Ohio / International Sports Academy) notched his first collegiate points, making his only shot attempt of the evening. In addition, Woodyard came up with a game-high three steals.

Redshirt junior Joe Hedstrom (Hopkins, Minn. / Hopkins [Wisconsin]) saw 15 minutes of action and drained a 3, the second of his collegiate career. That triple represented his first points in a Valpo uniform.

The Beacons shot a season-best 83.3 percent at the free-throw line, knocking down 10 of their 12 attempts. The team also enjoyed a season watermark with nine steals. However, Valpo was hurt by turnovers, committing a season-high 19.

The game marked a homecoming for Valpo head coach Matt Lottich, who was a standout at Stanford from 2000-2004. This represented his first time coaching against his alma mater.

Up Next

Valpo (0-3) will open the Nassau Championship in Nassau, The Bahamas on Monday, Nov. 22 vs. Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m. All games during the event will be streamed on FloHoops.

VALPO MBB – MAXIMUS NELSON SIGNS WITH VALPO BASKETBALL PROGRAM

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program has announced that Maximus Nelson (Appleton, Wis. / Appleton North) has signed his national letter of intent to continue his career at Valpo, beginning with the 2022-2023 academic and athletic year.

“The main factor in my college decision was the coaching staff and players surrounding the program,” Nelson said. “It’s a great coaching staff. I love Coach Lottich, Coach Bowen and the whole staff. They’re all great people who are very compassionate and understanding. They know how stressful it can be for a player to go through the recruiting process. They did a great job recruiting me. The teammates that I met up with on the visits were very nice and friendly. It’s a great school academically and athletically.”

Nelson averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists per game as a junior in 2020-21. The 6-foot-8 forward was a unanimous first team all-conference selection while also earning honorable mention all-state. In addition, he holds 10 records at Appleton North.

“Maximus embodies everything that a Valparaiso University student is about,” Valpo head coach Matt Lottich said. “He’s committed to his academics, and as a basketball player he’s really tough. He has great size and tremendous shooting ability. We are extremely excited to add that type of skill level and toughness to our program. We’re also thrilled to add that type of person to our student body.”

In the first round of the Wisconsin state playoffs last season, Nelson had a 44-point performance to establish a career high and hit the game-tying shot to send it into overtime.

“I think I do a good job with my inside-outside game,” Nelson said. “I can score down low, but also stretch the floor by shooting the 3. I hustle and play great defense, so you’ll see a lot of energy out of me on the court.”

Nelson, who also played volleyball this past fall, enjoys spending time with others and having conversations in his spare time. He also enjoys working kids camps and teaching young children the sport of basketball.  

“The Valpo coaching staff stuck with me throughout the recruiting process and consistently kept in touch,” Nelson said. “They always ask about how I’m doing, and it’s not just about basketball, but about life in general. They care about my family and me as a person.”

An extremely strong student, Nelson has interest in pursuing a degree in business or marketing. He looks forward to embracing the challenge of adapting to college, both academically and athletically.

“I know the speed of the game is going to be faster, so I need to prepare for how fast the game will be,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be really exciting. I’ve enjoyed every step in the process so far, and I can’t wait until next year to get started at Valpo.” 

MASTODON WBB OPENS HORIZON LEAGUE PLAY ON THURSDAY WITH UIC

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team will return to the Gates Sports Center on Thursday (Nov. 18) to open Horizon League action with the UIC Flames.

Game Day Information
Who: UIC Flames
When: Thursday, November 18 | 7 p.m.
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Gates Sports Center
Live Stats: Link
Watch: ESPN+

Know Your Foe
UIC is 0-1 on the young season, having only played a regular season game at Big Ten foe Northwestern. The Flames also played an exhibition game against Benedictine, which UIC won 77-67. In the Flames’ game at Northwestern, Jaida McCloud scored a team-high 14 points with eight coming at the free throw line.

The Series
UIC leads the all-time series 4-2, but the Mastodons took the last game in 2019. The ‘Dons got 15 points from Riley Ott and also held UIC without a field goal for the first 15:06. This will be the first meeting between the two since becoming Horizon League foes.

Season Opener Fun
Purdue Fort Wayne’s 102-35 win over Manchester put several single-game statistics into the Mastodon record book.
5 Turnovers: 1st
67-Point Margin of Victory: 2nd
16 3-Pointers: 3rd
24 Steals: 3rd
27 Assists: 4th
102 Points: 8th

Welcome Home Sylare
In her first game as a Mastodon, Detroit Mercy transfer Sylare Starks had a career-high 21 points against Manchester in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Fort Wayne native spent was 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) from the floor and 5-of-6  (83.3 percent) from 3-point range.

Horizon League, Meet Ryin Ott
After a 16-point performance in her first-career game with Purdue Fort Wayne, Ryin Ott was named as the Horizon League Freshman of the Week. She also recorded six rebounds, three steals and three assists without a turnover. Ott is the first Mastodon in program history to receive the honor.

The Coaching File
Purdue Fort Wayne has two former conference Coach of the Year award winners on its coaching staff: Maria Marchesano and Lauren Macer. Marchesano was the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in 2021 while at Mount St. Mary’s and Division II Independent Coach of the Year in 2012 while at Urbana. Macer was the 2020 Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year after leading Notre Dame College to regular season and tournament championships.

Day 1 Stats!
There were 248 Division I teams that played a game on opening day (Nov. 9). Here’s how the Mastodons’ stats from opening day ranked among those 248:
5.40 Assist/Turnover Ratio: 1st
6 Fouls: 1st
5 Turnovers: 2nd
29 Turnover Margin: 2nd
24 Steals: 3rd
16 3-Pointers: 4th
67 Points Scoring Margin: 6th
34 Turnovers Forced: 9th
27 Assists: 9th
55.2 3-Point Percentage: 10th
35 Points Allowed: 11th
102 Points: 14th
85.7 Free Throw Percentage: 28th
51.4 Field Goal Percentage: 34th

Last Time Out
The Mastodons opened 2021-22 with a 102-35 win over Manchester on Tuesday, which was the largest margin of victory by a Mastodon team since 1995.

Coming Up
Purdue Fort Wayne will welcome IUPUI and three-time Horizon League Player of the Year Macee Williams on Saturday, November 20 at 2 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS MBB: CORSARO INKS TWO IN CLASS OF 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team signed two members to the Class of 2022 this weekend as announced by head coach Paul Corsaro today.  Sean Craig and Shon Tupuola will join the Greyhound family for the 2022-23 season.

“Signing two student-athletes of this caliber is huge for our program, especially to do so in the early signing period,” commented Corsaro.  “Both Sean and Shon come from well-respected, winning programs.  They will provide our program with length, and they are both tremendous rebounders.  Adding to our length and height, as well as increasing our production from a rebounding standpoint, is a focal point for our program.”

Sean Craig hails from Sylvania, Ohio where he has racked up a 59-16 record at Sylvania Northview High School.  A two-time CriagAll-Ohio selection, he is also a two-time OPSWA Player of the Year and a District 7 Player of the Year.  Craig averaged over 20 points and 11 rebounds per game in both his junior and senior season en route to a pair of sectional titles.

“Greyhounds fans will see a versatile playmaker in Sean Craig.  Standing at 6’7”, he is capable of playing all five positions on the floor,” noted Corsaro.  “Sean is an elite passer and can score the ball at every level.  Sean is a winner and a great student.”

Craig is the son of Tim Craig and Lori Cassavore.  He was one brother, Cam, and plans to study business management.

TupuolaA native of nearby Brownsburg, Ind., Shon Tupuola has guided the Bulldogs to a 50-20 record over the last three seasons.  Standing at 6’9”, Tupuola has a pair of sectional title game appearances under his belt.  He’s currently boasts a career average of 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds at Brownsburg High School.

“Shon has such an incredible upside.  He is already a defensive force in terms of the way he blocks shots, guards one on one, and rebounds the ball,” said Corsaro.  “As Shon’s offensive skill set continues to develop, he is going to be a dominant force down low for us.  We are excited about his potential!”

Shon in the son of Silipa and Trina Tupoula.  He has three siblings Tony, Tana and Masi.  He plans to study mechanical engineering.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | NO. 4 TAYLOR MEN SET TO COMPETE AT CROSS COUNTRY NATIONALS

UPLAND, Ind. – The No. 4 Taylor men’s cross country team is set to compete at the NAIA National Championships, as it takes the course with 35 other teams at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Championship Course in Vancouver, Washington on Friday, November 19.

The Purple and Gold enter the race ranked No. 4, after securing an automatic bid to the national championhips following a first-place finish at the Crossroads League Championships on November 6.

Last season, the Taylor men ended as the 2020 NAIA National Champions, claiming Taylor’s first-ever national championship in school history. In 2019, TU finished as the NAIA National runner-up. Prior to the Trojans’ historic seasons in 2020 and 2019, TU recorded five-straight top-20 national finishes, ending 18th, 19th, 15th, 17th and 16th over that time.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to race,” stated head coach Quinn White. “We expect it to be a very competitive field, and we are excited for the challenge. The men have been training very well, and they are ready to compete. This will be another exciting national race. There are so many great teams that can make a run for the title and secure a spot on the podium. Our goal is to be present, run with conviction, and be competitive throughout the whole race.”

The lineup for the Trojans on Friday will be Daniel Gerber, Derek Van Prooyen, Alex Helmuth, Connor White, Josh Harden, Ben Eiffert and Nathan Streitmatter. Gerber, Van Prooyen, Helmuth and White are no strangers to the national stage, as the four seniors combine for 16 NAIA Cross Country National appearances. Meanwhile, Harden, Eiffert and Streitmatter are prepared to make their nationals debut.

The squad will look to bring home All-American honors, as the top-40 finishers will earn the award. Gerber, a two-time cross country All-American, will seek his third award after finishing 16th in 2020 and seventh in 2019. Helmuth and Van Prooyen will look to collect their second award on Friday. In 2020, Helmuth ended with an impressive fifth-place finish and Van Prooyen claimed 24th-place overall. The other four men will also seek top-40 finishes to claim All-American honors.

The Trojans will battle against a tough 36-team field, as No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.) enters the championships ranked No. 1. Other competitive threats include No. 2 Saint Mary, No. 3 Milligan, No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan and No. 6 Oklahoma City. Taylor’s only NAIA losses this year come from St. Francis (Ill.) and Indiana Wesleyan. However, TU outran St. Francis at the Bullock Invite on September 17 and beat Indiana Wesleyan at the Crossroads League Championships on November 6.

The fourth-ranked Trojans enter into the final race of the 2021 campaign with a regular season record of 71-24. The TU men have been ranked as a top-five team inside the NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 poll all season.

No. 4 Taylor will take the course at 1:30 pm (ET) on Friday. 

 

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | NO. 4 TU WOMEN SEEK STRONG SHOWING AT NAIA NATIONALS

UPLAND, Ind. – The fourth-ranked Trojans are set to compete at the NAIA National Championships, as they take the course with 35 other teams at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Championship Course in Vancouver, Washington on Friday, November 19.

The Taylor women have recorded eight-straight top-20 finishes at nationals, the last four of those have been in the top-10. In 2020, the Trojans tied their best-ever finish from 2018, ending in third place with podium honors. TU finished sixth place at the 2019 NAIA National Championships at the Fort Vancouver Historic Course and fifth place in 2017.

Head coach Quinn White commented about the upcoming race, “We are excited to compete with so many talented teams. Our goals are to be present, run with conviction, and be competitive throughout the whole race.”

The lineup for the Purple and Gold includes seniors Abbey Brennan and Giovanna Domene, juniors Brooke Studnicki and Madeline Purdom, sophomores Mollie Gamble and Ahna VanderWall, and freshman Audrey Brinkruff.

This is the third cross country national appearance for Domene and the second for Studnicki, VanderWall and Gamble, while Brennan, Purdom and Brinkruff will compete on the national course for the first time Friday. These Trojans will look to bring home their first All-American award. The top-40 finishers will earn the honor. VanderWall ended in 79th place at the 2020 National Championships, followed by Domene in 86th and Gamble in 109th.  

The group has been running fiercely the last few weeks and are ready to take the national stage. They recorded the second-fastest team time in program history at the Great Lakes Challenge on October 23, racing to a combined time of 91:39 and placing eight Trojans in the 17:00s or 18:00s. The squad also boasts four 2021 All-Crossroads League honors as Brennan, Gamble, Domene and VanderWall finished in the top-15 at the Crossroads League Championships on November 6. As a team, the Trojans will enter into the final race with a regular season record of 65-41, after winning their ninth-straight Crossroads League Championship. The TU women have been ranked as a top-four team inside the NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 poll all season.

The Taylor women are prepared to compete against a loaded 36-team field, as No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.) enters the championships ranked No. 1. Other competitive threats include No. 2 Milligan, No. 3 Cornerstone, No. 5 St. Mary and No. 6 College of Idaho. Taylor’s only NAIA losses this year come from St. Francis (Ill.) and Cornerstone, finishing behind the two tough teams at the Bullock Invite, the Louisville Classic and the Great Lakes Challenge.

No. 4 Taylor is expecting a competitive race on Friday and will take the course at 2:30 pm (ET). 

VINCENNES MBB: SECOND-HALF SCORING RUN FALLS SHORT AS TRAILBLAZERS FALL AT HOME TO DANVILLE AREA

VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University Trailblazers erased a 17-point first half lead by Danville Area to take the lead midway through the second half but ultimately fell to the Jaguars 55-45 Wednesday night.

VU got off to a slow start offensively as the Jaguars used an early 14-0 scoring run to open up a 16-4 lead over the Trailblazers.

Danville Area continued to build on this lead before it reached 25-8 midway through the first half.

Vincennes closed out the first half by outscoring Danville Area 11-4 to cut the deficit to 30-21 at the break.

VU traded baskets with Danville Area until the Trailblazers launched a 9-0 scoring run, fueled by freshman Thow James Biel (Calgary, Alberta) who scored seven points during the run.

A layup by Ketaan Wyatt (Toledo, Ohio) gave Vincennes a 41-40 lead with 8:14 to play in the second half.

The Jaguars answered this scoring run with a 13-2 scoring run of their own to give Danville Area a 10-point advantage, which would ultimately by the final as Danville Area comes away with the 55-45 victory.

“Danville pressured us, man-to-man pressured us,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “They got in our chest and we don’t like that. Other than that, we outrebounded them by 13 and we held them to 55 points. I thought there were times down the stretch where we let them back us in and put it in the basket a few times but we got plenty of stops, which is how we were able to go from 17 down to one up.”

“We got stops, we got rebounds, the problem is the book is out on us. When you pressure us and get in our chest then we will not be able to run anything offensively,” Franklin added. “That’s what happened. They didn’t trap us, they didn’t do anything exotic, they just pressured us man-to-man.”

“Right now, we don’t win on screens. Every play we call will have some type of screens in it and we don’t win any screens. We can’t put a guy in the space and get by the defender, make a read or score the ball like we need to be able to do when they are extended like that and we can’t do that at any position right now. The first 23 years of my career that’s what we would do, right now that option has not been on the table.”

The Trailblazers were led offensively by Thow James Biel, who finished with 15 points and three rebounds.

Brevin Jefferson (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with double-figures in points with 11 on the night to go along with four rebounds.

Freshman Shilo Jackson (Indianapolis, Ind.) nearly came away with another double-double, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds.

Freshman Devawn White (Montreal, Quebec) led the Trailblazers in rebounds with 10, while also finishing with team-highs in assists and steals with two each, as well as six points.

“This game is not complicated,” Franklin said. “We could have been better defensively, but we were plenty good enough to win. We just can’t handle pressure right now. I’m not talking about presses, I’m talking about on-ball pressure.”

“Right now, we can’t handle the pressure of the moment either,” Franklin added. “We start every game and we can’t score, we can’t function. The last two days of practice we did nothing but work offensively, so I can’t put any more practice time into it.”

“We go to the bench and at halftime we’ve got no assists and seven turnovers. Right now, we’ve got a problem of how to put our lineup together. Thow is not being very effective as a three but Devawn is playing better than all the other guys we could have in the game. He’s got to play at the four because he can’t really play on the outside. The problem is that Thow is not really effective at the three spot as he would be at the four and Devawn is more effective at the four. I’ve got to figure out how to make that work, which is not easy.”

“We’re definitely at a winning level defensively. I don’t think anyone is scoring on us easily. I think that we’re battling on the glass pretty good against everybody, even the top teams we’ve been competitive. But if we can’t find a way to handle pressure and make some people pay because they get in our chest, it’s a problem. I’m the one that takes the blame for whatever it is, but that’s just where we are.”

Vincennes will return to the home floor this Saturday, Nov. 20 when the Trailblazers play host to Parkland College from Champaign, Ill. Tip-off time is set for 7 p.m. eastern.

“We have to not regress defensively or on the glass. We have to continue to get better and stay tough-minded there,” Franklin said. “Those are the things that are keeping us competitive, so we can’t suddenly lose that too. Then we’ve got to have some guys who can take on the pressure. We’ll address it and try to deal with it but at some point we have to be able to deal with the pressure.”

“We’ve got to be able to win the screen game,” Franklin added. “We’ve got to be able to set up a screen, screen somebody, then come off the screen and make something happen. If we don’t then we’re not going to win.”

“We held Columbia State to 53 points and lost and we gave up 55 tonight and lost and we’re not going to do better than that. We’re going to have to find some places where we can handle it and find some offense. Now if we can start getting something better there, then we probably would have won against Columbia State and we probably would have won tonight. Then we would be sitting here at 4-3 with a completely different perspective, if we just got a little bit of offense and a little less turnovers and panicking once we’re pressured.”

“I don’t know how we’re going to do a whole lot better defensively or on the glass than what we did tonight. 55 points, holding them right at 40-percent shooting and outrebounding them by 13. Those are winning numbers on your home floor every time. I don’t think there has been a game in my career where we have held someone to 55 points and outrebounded them by 13 and lost. But I don’t have a lot of five assists and 22 turnover games in the previous 24 years either.”

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BUFFALO BILLS630.6670.02801353-1-03-2-05-3-03-0-01 W
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS640.6000.52751772-4-04-0-05-1-02-1-04 W
MIAMI DOLPHINS370.3003.51772522-3-01-4-03-5-01-2-02 W
NEW YORK JETS270.2224.01612962-2-00-5-02-5-00-3-02 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS640.6000.02622413-2-03-2-02-4-01-1-03 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS540.5560.52192282-3-03-1-03-2-02-0-01 L
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS540.5560.52102303-2-02-2-04-2-01-2-02 L
DENVER BRONCOS550.5001.02001832-3-03-2-02-4-00-1-01 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS630.6670.02312174-1-02-2-04-3-00-1-01 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS531.6110.51771853-2-12-1-03-2-01-1-01 T
CINCINNATI BENGALS540.5561.02362032-2-03-2-03-2-02-1-02 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS550.5001.52312413-2-02-3-03-4-01-1-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS820.8000.02782324-1-04-1-05-1-03-0-06 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS550.5003.02682303-3-02-2-04-3-02-2-02 W
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS270.2225.51492322-3-00-4-02-5-00-3-01 L
HOUSTON TEXANS180.1116.51282581-3-00-5-01-5-01-1-08 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS720.7780.02841954-1-03-1-05-1-02-0-01 W
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES460.4003.52572310-4-04-2-03-3-00-1-01 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM360.3334.01852462-3-01-3-03-2-01-0-01 W
NEW YORK GIANTS360.3334.01792162-3-01-3-02-4-00-2-01 W
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS820.8000.02871893-2-05-0-04-2-03-0-01 L
LOS ANGELES RAMS730.7001.02712273-2-04-1-05-2-01-2-02 L
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS450.4443.52162121-4-03-1-04-4-01-3-01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS360.3334.51811861-3-02-3-01-4-01-1-01 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS820.8000.02161804-0-04-2-06-1-02-0-01 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS450.4443.52212112-2-02-3-03-2-01-0-01 W
CHICAGO BEARS360.3334.51502242-2-01-4-01-4-01-1-04 L
DETROIT LIONS081.0567.01502600-4-00-4-10-6-00-3-01 T
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS630.6670.02792124-0-02-3-04-3-01-1-02 L
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS540.5561.02221782-2-03-2-04-3-01-2-02 L
CAROLINA PANTHERS550.5001.52051932-3-03-2-03-4-02-0-01 W
ATLANTA FALCONS450.4442.01782631-3-03-2-02-5-01-2-01 L

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN115.6885-36-22-09-48-21 W
NEW YORK87.5332.53-55-23-17-74-61 L
PHILADELPHIA87.5332.54-44-30-45-65-55 L
BOSTON78.4673.52-35-51-26-75-51 L
TORONTO78.4673.52-65-23-27-65-52 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO105.6675-25-32-05-36-41 L
CLEVELAND97.5631.54-35-41-06-46-42 L
MILWAUKEE78.4673.02-45-42-05-54-61 W
INDIANA610.3754.54-22-80-23-85-52 L
DETROIT410.2865.52-52-51-43-94-61 W
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
WASHINGTON104.7146-14-32-28-47-31 L
MIAMI105.6670.55-15-42-04-26-43 W
CHARLOTTE97.5632.05-24-52-16-35-54 W
ATLANTA79.4384.06-11-82-15-44-63 W
ORLANDO411.2676.51-63-50-42-93-71 W
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH95.6435-24-32-05-05-51 W
DENVER95.6437-12-42-16-47-31 L
PORTLAND88.5002.07-11-70-15-55-52 W
OKLAHOMA CITY68.4293.04-42-40-16-56-41 W
MINNESOTA59.3574.03-62-30-14-82-81 W
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE122.8578-14-13-08-18-21 W
PHOENIX113.7861.06-25-12-19-310-010 W
LA CLIPPERS95.6433.07-32-20-17-38-21 W
LA LAKERS88.5005.07-51-30-25-65-52 L
SACRAMENTO69.4006.52-44-51-24-83-71 L
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
DALLAS95.6436-13-45-07-26-41 L
MEMPHIS77.5002.05-32-41-16-45-51 W
SAN ANTONIO410.2865.02-42-60-31-83-73 L
NEW ORLEANS214.1258.01-61-81-12-71-92 L
HOUSTON114.0678.51-50-90-21-120-1013 L

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS161123251162428-0-03-2-35-2-3
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS171151231146428-2-13-3-09-1-0
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING1483319843404-2-24-1-16-1-3
DETROIT RED WINGS1888218851605-2-23-6-04-6-0
BOSTON BRUINS1385016741376-1-02-4-06-4-0
BUFFALO SABRES1576216645445-2-12-4-14-5-1
MONTREAL CANADIENS18412210438613-5-11-7-12-6-2
OTTAWA SENATORS1541019436523-7-01-3-12-7-1
 
METROPOLITAN DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
WASHINGTON CAPITALS171025251058395-1-35-1-26-2-2
CAROLINA HURRICANES141220241249276-1-06-1-08-2-0
NEW YORK RANGERS16103323945454-1-16-2-26-2-2
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS1484218838354-2-14-2-16-3-1
NEW JERSEY DEVILS1474317642425-3-12-1-24-3-3
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS1385016743406-3-02-2-06-4-0
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS1556414443514-4-21-2-22-6-2
NEW YORK ISLANDERS1356212529395-6-24-4-2
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
CENTRAL DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
WINNIPEG JETS1593321851407-1-12-2-27-1-2
MINNESOTA WILD15105020949474-2-06-3-06-4-0
NASHVILLE PREDATORS1696119844424-3-05-3-17-2-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES1585218751423-3-15-2-13-5-2
COLORADO AVALANCHE1375115647414-2-13-3-06-3-1
DALLAS STARS1466214537433-2-13-4-14-4-2
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS1659212437534-4-11-5-15-4-1
ARIZONA COYOTES1621315226621-4-01-9-12-8-0
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
ANAHEIM DUCKS171043231060467-2-13-2-28-0-2
EDMONTON OILERS151140221061476-1-05-3-06-4-0
CALGARY FLAMES1683521849342-1-36-2-24-2-4
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS1697018849505-4-04-3-07-3-0
LOS ANGELES KINGS1686218742395-3-03-3-27-2-1
SAN JOSE SHARKS1586117843423-2-15-4-04-5-1
VANCOUVER CANUCKS17510212443592-5-13-5-12-7-1
SEATTLE KRAKEN1641119444593-5-01-6-13-7-0