INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SECTIONAL SCHEDULE
PORTAGE (0-9) AT LAKE CENTRAL (4-5)
LAFAYETTE JEFF (5-4) AT CROWN POINT (9-0)
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE) (7-2) AT WARSAW (8-1)
ELKHART (3-6) AT PENN (8-1)
FISHERS (6-3) AT HOMESTEAD (5-4)
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (7-2) AT FORT WAYNE NORTHROP (1-8)
WESTFIELD (8-1) AT CARMEL (5-4)
NOBLESVILLE (3-6) AT ZIONSVILLE (3-6)
BROWNSBURG (9-0) AT BEN DAVIS (8-1)
AVON (2-7) AT PIKE (2-7)
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) (0-9) AT INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (6-3)
LAWRENCE CENTRAL (4-5) AT LAWRENCE NORTH (6-3)
PERRY MERIDIAN (2-7) AT WARREN CENTRAL (3-6)
SOUTHPORT (1-8) AT INDIANAPOLIS TECH (0-9)
FRANKLIN CENTRAL (4-5) AT CENTER GROVE (8-1)
JEFFERSONVILLE (0-9) AT COLUMBUS NORTH (4-5)
MUNSTER (3-6) AT MERRILLVILLE (7-2)
HAMMOND MORTON (4-4) AT HAMMOND CENTRAL (5-4)
MICHIGAN CITY (5-4) AT LAPORTE (2-7)
VALPARAISO (7-2) AT CHESTERTON (2-7)
MISHAWAKA (7-2) AT GOSHEN (1-8)
CONCORD (5-4) AT SOUTH BEND ADAMS (1-8)
ANDERSON (2-7) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (8-1)
PLAINFIELD (6-3) AT HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE) (8-1)
DECATUR CENTRAL (7-2) AT MCCUTCHEON (6-3)
WHITELAND (5-4) AT TERRE HAUTE NORTH (0-9)
FRANKLIN (5-4) AT TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (4-5)
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (8-1) AT BLOOMINGTON NORTH (9-0)
SEYMOUR (5-4) AT COLUMBUS EAST (3-6)
EVANSVILLE NORTH (6-3) AT FLOYD CENTRAL (8-1)
CASTLE (6-3) AT NEW ALBANY (2-7)
NEW PRAIRIE (8-2) AT KANKAKEE VALLEY (5-5)
HIGHLAND (4-6) AT CULVER ACADEMY (4-6)
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (3-7) AT NORTHWOOD (8-2)
WAWASEE (2-8) AT NORTHRIDGE (8-2)
FORT WAYNE DWENGER (5-5) AT DEKALB (6-4)
EAST NOBLE (8-2) AT LEO (8-2)
MISSISSINEWA (10-0) AT COLUMBIA CITY (6-4)
MARION (3-7) AT KOKOMO (8-2)
LEBANON (5-5) AT BREBEUF JESUIT (5-4)
INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI (4-6) AT MOORESVILLE (5-5)
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (9-1) AT NEW PALESTINE (8-2)
BEECH GROVE (5-5) AT MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE) (6-4)
JENNINGS COUNTY (5-5) AT GREENWOOD (5-5)
EAST CENTRAL (10-0) AT MARTINSVILLE (7-3)
EVANSVILLE REITZ (10-0) AT BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (7-3)
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (7-3) AT JASPER (7-3)
BOONE GROVE (8-2) AT HANOVER CENTRAL (10-0)
WEST LAFAYETTE (7-3) AT RENSSELAER CENTRAL (6-4)
FAIRFIELD (6-4) AT JOHN GLENN (6-4)
WEST NOBLE (10-0) AT KNOX (10-0)
YORKTOWN (5-5) AT DELTA (6-4)
GARRETT (5-5) AT HERITAGE (9-1)
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD (10-0) AT GUERIN CATHOLIC (8-2)
MACONAQUAH (7-3) AT HAMILTON HEIGHTS (10-0)
TRI-WEST (9-1) AT NORTH MONTGOMERY (6-4)
MONROVIA (8-2) AT SPEEDWAY (3-7)
PIKE CENTRAL (2-8) AT VINCENNES LINCOLN (7-3)
GIBSON SOUTHERN (8-2) AT WASHINGTON (3-7)
LAWRENCEBURG (8-2) AT BATESVILLE (9-1)
INDIAN CREEK (7-3) AT FRANKLIN COUNTY (4-6)
SCOTTSBURG (6-4) AT SALEM (3-7)
HERITAGE HILLS (9-1) AT SOUTHRIDGE (7-3)
WHEELER (6-3) AT BREMEN (5-5)
LAVILLE (9-1) AT WHITING (4-6)
ROCHESTER (7-2) AT LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (7-3)
SEEGER (7-3) AT LEWIS CASS (6-4)
EASTSIDE (7-3) AT FORT WAYNE LUERS (7-3)
CENTRAL NOBLE (4-6) AT MANCHESTER (4-6)
TIPTON (2-8) AT EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (8-2)
EASTBROOK (7-3) AT BLUFFTON (8-2)
GREENCASTLE (8-2) AT LINTON-STOCKTON (9-1)
CASCADE (6-4) AT SOUTHMONT (5-5)
EASTERN HANCOCK (6-4) AT INDIANAPOLIS RITTER (4-6)
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (7-3) AT WINCHESTER (7-2)
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (9-1) AT TRITON CENTRAL (9-1)
SWITZERLAND COUNTY (6-4) AT EASTERN (PEKIN) (4-6)
NORTH POSEY (9-1) AT EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (3-7)
FOREST PARK (6-4) AT PAOLI (9-1)
SOUTH NEWTON (4-6) AT NORTH JUDSON (6-4)
TRITON (7-3) AT CULVER (1-9)
CLINTON CENTRAL (1-7) AT PARK TUDOR (10-0)
CLINTON PRAIRIE (6-4) AT NORTH VERMILLION (7-3)
CASTON (2-8) AT CARROLL (FLORA) (10-0)
WEST CENTRAL (8-2) AT TRI-CENTRAL (4-6)
MADISON-GRANT (7-3) AT NORTH MIAMI (2-8)
ADAMS CENTRAL (10-0) AT SOUTHWOOD (5-5)
WES-DEL (4-5) AT MONROE CENTRAL (5-5)
INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY (4-5) AT SHERIDAN (7-3)
EDINBURGH (1-8) AT NORTH DECATUR (7-3)
TRI (7-3) AT MILAN (7-3)
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (8-0) AT SOUTH PUTNAM (9-1)
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (6-3) AT RIVERTON PARKE (5-5)
WEST WASHINGTON (5-4) AT SPRINGS VALLEY (9-1)
PROVIDENCE (10-0) AT NORTH DAVIESS (5-5)
INDIANA BOYS AND GIRLS STATE SOCCER FINALS
FRIDAY, OCT. 27
6 PM ET | CLASS 2A GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
LEO (15-2-3) VS. GUERIN CATHOLIC (15-4-1)
8:30 PM ET | CLASS 1A GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY (12-8) VS. PARK TUDOR (15-4-1)
SATURDAY, OCT. 28
11 AM ET | CLASS 1A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
BETHANY CHRISTIAN (15-4-2) VS. FOREST PARK (15-7)
1:30 PM ET | CLASS 2A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
MISHAWAKA MARIAN (19-2) VS. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (13-7-1)
4 PM ET | CLASS 3A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NOBLESVILLE (17-0-5) VS. INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (17-4-2)
6:30 PM ET | CLASS 3A GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
NOBLESVILLE (16-1-3) VS. BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (18-2-1)
INDIANA VOLLEYBALL SEMI-STATE MATCH-UPS
1. HUNTINGTON NORTH
CLASS 1A | FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (28-8) VS. SOUTHWOOD (30-4) | 1 PM ET
CLASS 3A | NORTHWOOD (32-4) VS. BELLMONT (33-2) | APPROX. 2:30 PM ET
CLASS 2A | PIONEER (24-13) VS. MUNCIE BURRIS (29-4) | 4 PM ET
CLASS 4A | LAPORTE (32-4) VS. HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (31-0) | APPROX. 5:30 PM ET / 4:30 CT
3. COLUMBUS EAST
CLASS 2A | INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (25-11) VS. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (24-13) | 1 PM ET
CLASS 3A | TRI-WEST HENDRICKS (25-9) VS. PROVIDENCE (29-5) | APPROX. 2:30 PM ET
CLASS 1A | GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN (24-13) VS. TECUMSEH (31-4) | 4 PM ET
CLASS 4A | RONCALLI (30-3) VS. CASTLE (33-3) | APPROX. 5:30 PM ET
INDIANA SRN GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PRE-SEASON WATCH LIST
LILLIAN BARNES, VALPARAISO
ADDISON BAXTER, COLUMBIA CITY (BUTLER)
KENNEDY FUELLING, NORWELL
AVERY GORDON, BROWNSBURG (PURDUE)
JAYLAH LAMPLEY, LAWRENCE CENTRAL
LOLA LAMPLEY, LAWRENCE CENTRAL
LAILA ABDURRAQIB, LAWRENCE CENTRAL
ANIYAH MCKENZIE, LAWRENCE CENTRAL
LILY GRAVES, FRANKLIN CENTRAL
MAYA MAKALUSKY, HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (INDIANA)
KENNEDY HOLMAN, HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
KAYLA STIDHAM, HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
ELLERY MINCH, MT. VERNON (DEPAUL)
JORDYN POOLE, FORT WAYNE SNIDER (PURDUE)
KIRA REYNOLDS, SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (PURDUE)
CHLOE SPREEN, BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (ALABAMA)
MEREDITH TIPPNER, NOBLESVILLE
CC QUIGLEY, NOBLESVILLE
REAGAN WILSON, NOBLESVILLE (IOWA STATE)
KYA HURT, LAWRENCE NORTH
FAITH WISEMAN, INDIAN CREEK (INDIANA)
JULIANN WOODARD, JENNINGS COUNTY (MICHIGAN STATE)
MOLLIE ERNSTES, JENNINGS COUNTY
KAMRAH BANKS, DECATUR CENTRAL
ANIYAH BISHOP, LAKE CENTRAL
VANESSA WIMBERLY, LAKE CENTRAL
ADDISON BOWSMAN, TWIN LAKES
JOH’NEA DONAHUE, FORT WAYNE SNIDER (BOWLING GREEN)
LAUREN FOSTER, INDIAN CREEK
TALIA HARRIS, FISHERS
DENYHA JACOBS, WARREN CENTRAL
ELLIE KELLEHER, WESTFIELD
MONIQUE MITCHELL, SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
OLIVIA NICKERSON, TWIN LAKES
CAMRYN RUNNER, HAMILTON HEIGHTS (EVANSVILLE)
GABBY SPINK, GIBSON SOUTHERN
SAMIYAH STOUT, ELKHART
LEAH WEST, GREENSBURG
ELISE COLEMAN, FLOYD CENTRAL
RYIAH WILSON, SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
CARLEY BARRETT, LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC
BRADIE CHAMBERS, LINTON-STOCKTON
HADLEY CROSIER, LANESVILLE
KENZIE GARNER, SHERIDAN
MAYA LAYTON, FAITH CHRISTIAN
ALLI HARNESS, CARROLL (FLORA) (WESTERN MICHIGAN)
JACKLYNN HOSIER, ALEXANDRIA
MAYA LAYTON, FAITH CHRISTIAN
ADDISEN MASTRIANO, NORTHEASTERN
SOPHIA MORRISON, EASTBROOK
ISABEL SCALES, CASTON
EMMA SIMPSON, PARKE HERITAGE
MADISON WAGNER, CARROLL (FLORA)
ZOE WILLEMS, BETHANY CHRISTIAN
LANIAH WILLS, LAPEL
KIMBER ABSHEAR, MONROE CENTRAL (OAKLAND)
MADI ALLEN, NORTH DECATUR
EMMA ANCELET, DANVILLE
AUDREY ANNEE, CENTER GROVE
MADISYN BAILEY, BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE
MOLLY BAKER, COLUMBIA CITY
AUDRY BARRON, SHAWE MEMORIAL
PAYTON BENGE, PLAINFIELD
HANNAH BLEDSOE, BARR-REEVE
JOSLYN BRICKER, WARSAW
BROOKE WINCHESTER, WARSAW (BALL STATE)
CHANEY BROWN, GREENFIELD-CENTRAL
ERICA BUENING, FRANKLIN COMMUNITY
MADDIE CARNES, SPRINGS VALLEY
HAILEY COLE, BELLMONT
KENNEDY COLEMAN, CHARLESTOWN
KENLEY CORNELIUS, TRI
MORGAN CROSS, NORTHRIDGE
JALYN DAVIDSON, NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)
LANIAH DAVIS, MARQUETTE CATHOLIC
MYA DAVIS, HERITAGE CHRISTIAN
AIJIA ELLIOTT, KOKOMO
MYAH EPPS, HOMESTEAD
GRACIE FIELDS, HUNTINGTON NORTH
MAKENZIE FUESS, NORWELL
BECCA GERDT, VALPARAISO
ARIANNA GERKIN, VINCENNES LINCOLN
SARAH GICK, BENTON CENTRAL
SORIAH GOUARD, DECATUR CENTRAL
CHLOEY GRAHAM, GIBSON SOUTHERN
ALYSSA GROOVER, CORYDON CENTRAL
EMMA HAAN, ZIONSVILLE
LEXI HALE, NORTHWESTERN
RACHEL HARSHMAN, MOORESVILLE
ELLA HICKOK, HAMILTON HEIGHTS
BREN HILL, SOUTH KNOX
KYRA HILL, GOSHEN
OLIVIA HOWELL, EASTBROOK
KEYLEE HUDSON, EASTERN GREENE
CHLOE HUNT, WESTERN
SWYNN JACKSON, FORT WAYNE NORTHROP
KAIDEN JAMES, NEW WASHINGTON
SYDNEY JERRELLS, LINTON-STOCKTON
SOPHIE JOHNSON, EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL
MADISON KEITH, TRINITY LUTHERAN
AVERY KELLEY, EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL
SCARLETT KIMBRELL, FRANKLIN COMMUNITY
CLAIR KLINGER, WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
TAYLOR KNEUBUHLER, WOODLAN
AYLA KRYGIER, LAKE CENTRAL
KAYLA LACOMBE, INDIANAPOLIS TECH
CLAIRE LINDSEY, RONCALLI
GRACIE LITTLE, WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
KORYN MARSHALL, HERITAGE CHRISTIAN
ALEX MCKINLEY, NORTH KNOX
KASSIE MCMASTERS, SOUTHPORT
NICOLE MEARS, FRANKLIN COUNTY
JULIA MEYER, JAC-CEN-DEL
NORAH MILLER, EVANSVILLE REITZ
BRYNN OWENS, AUSTIN
EMILY PARKER, BOONVILLE
TIA PHINEZY, FORT WAYNE SNIDER
MADELYN POYNTER, LAPEL
LEXI PRIMUS, NORTH KNOX
BROOKLYNN RENN, SILVER CREEK
EMMA REUST, HOMESTEAD
MYAH EPPS, HOMESTEAD
ELLIE RICHARDSON, SCOTTSBURG
MIA ROBBENNOLT, BLOOMINGTON NORTH
ABAGAIL ROUSEY, BLOOMINGTON LIGHTHOUSE
MOLLY SCHULTE, SOUTH SPENCER
SHELBY SEAY, NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)
ADDIE SHANK, FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS
KYNDRA SHEETS, COLUMBIA CITY
MADALYNN SHIRLEY, EVANSVILLE CENTRAL
ANIAH SMITH, AVON
EMMA SPERRY, FRANKTON
KENDALL STERLING, SEYMOUR
MARIAH STOLTZFUS, BETHANY CHRISTIAN
ADRIANNE TOLEN, WEST LAFAYETTE
MARISSA TROUT, HUNTINGTON NORTH
JESSA TROY, PENN
JOSIE VAUGHN, CORYDON CENTRAL
ALYSSA MURPHY, CORYDON CENTRAL (INJURED)
ADDYSON VIERS, TRITON
KAYCIE WARFEL, PENDLETON HEIGHTS
SARAH WERTH, WEST LAFAYETTE
NEVAEH DICKMAN, FISHERS
ELLA BOBE, SOUTH KNOX
AVA WHEELER, BORDEN
TRINITY WILBURN, FAITH CHRISTIAN
AVA WILSON, SHELBYVILLE
AVA ZIOLKOWSKI, CROWN POINT
JAMAYA THOMAS, LAWRENCE NORTH
INDIANA CROSS COUNTRY STATE FINALS-SATURDAY
SITE: LAVERN GIBSON CHAMPIONSHIP CROSS COUNTRY COURSE, WABASH VALLEY SPORTS CENTER, 599 S. TABORTOWN ROAD, TERRE HAUTE, IN 47803.
TIMES: BOYS AT 12 PM ET FOLLOWED BY THEIR AWARDS CEREMONY; GIRLS AT 2:30 PM ET FOLLOWED BY THEIR AWARDS CEREMONY.
GATES OPEN: 9:30 AM ET / 8:30 AM CT
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
JACKSONVILLE STATE 41 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL 16
UTEP 37 SAM HOUSTON STATE 34
THURSDAY, OCT. 26
SYRACUSE AT VIRGINIA TECH | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN
GEORGIA STATE AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN2
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE AT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL | 7:30 P.M. | ESPNU
FRIDAY, OCT. 27
BROWN AT PENN | 7 P.M. | ESPNU
FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT CHARLOTTE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN2
SATURDAY, OCT. 28
OKLAHOMA AT KANSAS | 12 P.M. | FOX
INDIANA AT PENN STATE | 12 P.M. | CBS
UMASS AT ARMY | 12 P.M. | CBSSN
UCONN AT BOSTON COLLEGE | 12 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
MARYLAND AT NORTHWESTERN | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
SOUTH CAROLINA AT TEXAS A&M | 12 P.M. | ESPN
HOUSTON AT KANSAS STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN2
WEST VIRGINIA AT UCF | 12 P.M. | FS1
TULSA AT SMU | 12 P.M. | ESPNU
HOWARD AT DELAWARE STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
DUQUESNE AT SACRED HEART | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
TENNESSEE TECH AT ROBERT MORRIS | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
COLUMBIA AT YALE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
LAFAYETTE AT GEORGETOWN | 12:30 P.M. | ESPN+
WESTERN MICHIGAN AT EASTERN MICHIGAN | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
BUCKNELL AT COLGATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
HOLY CROSS AT FORDHAM | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
UNI AT ILLINOIS STATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
PRINCETON AT CORNELL | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
STETSON AT DRAKE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
UT MARTIN AT GARDNER-WEBB | 1:30 P.M. | ESPN+
CHATTANOOGA AT VMI | 1:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MORGAN STATE AT NORFOLK STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
INDIANA STATE AT NORTH DAKOTA | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
MISSOURI STATE AT YOUNGSTOWN STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE AT SOUTH DAKOTA | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
EAST TENNESSEE STATE AT FURMAN | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
MERCER AT WESTERN CAROLINA | 2:30 P.M. | ESPN+
JACKSON STATE AT ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
ABILENE CHRISTIAN AT SOUTHERN UTAH | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTHERN COLORADO AT MONTANA | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE AT HOUSTON CHRISTIAN | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
LINDENWOOD AT TENNESSEE STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE AT NICHOLLS | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
LINCOLN (CA) AT KENNESAW STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
THE CITADEL AT SAMFORD | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
MEMPHIS AT NORTH TEXAS | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
GEORGIA VS. FLORIDA (IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.) | 3:30 P.M. | CBS
BYU AT TEXAS | 3:30 P.M.
OREGON AT UTAH | 3:30 P.M. | FOX
PITT AT NOTRE DAME | 3:30 P.M. | NBC
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT AUBURN | 3:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
MICHIGAN STATE AT MINNESOTA | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
PURDUE AT NEBRASKA | 3:30 P.M. | FS1
IOWA STATE AT BAYLOR | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
EAST CAROLINA AT UTSA | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN MISS AT APPALACHIAN STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MIAMI (OHIO) AT OHIO | 3:30 P.M. | CBSSN
ALABAMA A&M VS. ALABAMA STATE (IN BIRMINGHAM, ALA.) | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MURRAY STATE AT NORTH DAKOTA STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
USC AT CAL | 4 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
TULANE AT RICE | 4 P.M. | ESPN2
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M AT FLORIDA A&M | 4 P.M. | ESPNU
NORTH ALABAMA AT AUSTIN PEAY | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
EASTERN WASHINGTON AT PORTLAND STATE | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
MONTANA STATE AT IDAHO | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
UC DAVIS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
DARTMOUTH AT HARVARD | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
UIW AT LAMAR | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
BRYANT AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT WESTERN ILLINOIS | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
ARKANSAS STATE AT UL MONROE | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
LOUISIANA AT SOUTH ALABAMA | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
TARLETON STATE AT CENTRAL ARKANSAS | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
MOREHEAD STATE AT SAN DIEGO | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
WYOMING AT BOISE STATE | 5:30 P.M. | FS2
MARSHALL AT COASTAL CAROLINA | 6 P.M. | NFL NETWORK
WASHINGTON AT STANFORD | 7 P.M. | FS1
TENNESSEE AT KENTUCKY | 7 P.M. | ESPN
AIR FORCE AT COLORADO STATE | 7 P.M. | CBSSN
TROY AT TEXAS STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
OHIO STATE AT WISCONSIN | 7:30 P.M. | NBC
VANDERBILT AT OLE MISS | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
COLORADO AT UCLA | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
WASHINGTON STATE AT ARIZONA STATE | 8 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
CINCINNATI AT OKLAHOMA STATE | 8 P.M. | ESPN2
OLD DOMINION AT JAMES MADISON | 8 P.M. | ESPNU
EASTERN KENTUCKY AT UTAH TECH | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTHWESTERN STATE AT MCNEESE | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
IDAHO STATE AT SACRAMENTO STATE | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
OREGON STATE AT ARIZONA | 10:30 P.M. | ESPN
NEW MEXICO AT NEVADA | 10:30 P.M. | CBSSN
UNLV AT FRESNO STATE | 10:30 P.M. | FS1
SAN JOSE STATE AT HAWAI’I | 12 A.M. SUNDAY | SPECTRUM SPORTS PPV
FLORIDA STATE AT WAKE FOREST
NORTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA TECH
DUKE AT LOUISVILLE
CLEMSON AT NC STATE
VIRGINIA AT MIAMI (FLA.)
NFL WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT BUFFALO BILLS (THU) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P PRIME VIDEO
HOUSTON TEXANS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT DALLAS COWBOYS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
NEW YORK JETS AT NEW YORK GIANTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
ATLANTA FALCONS AT TENNESSEE TITANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS 1:25P (MST) 4:25P CBS
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS 2:25P (MT) 4:25P CBS
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P CBS
CHICAGO BEARS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 5:20P (PT) 8:20P NBC*
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT DETROIT LIONS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
FRIDAY, OCT. 27
AZ @ TEX, GAME 1, 8 P.M. (FOX)
SATURDAY, OCT. 28
AZ @ TEX, GAME 2, 8 P.M. (FOX)
MONDAY, OCT. 30
TEX @ AZ, GAME 3, 8 P.M. (FOX)
TUESDAY, OCT. 31
TEX @ AZ, GAME 4, 8 P.M. (FOX)
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1
TEX @ AZ, GAME 5 (IF NECESSARY), 8 P.M. (FOX)
FRIDAY, NOV. 3
AZ @ TEX, GAME 6 (IF NECESSARY), 8 P.M. (FOX)
SATURDAY, NOV. 4
AZ @ TEX, GAME 7 (IF NECESSARY), 8 P.M. (FOX)
INDIANA 143 WASHINGTON 120
BOSTON 108 NEW YORK 104
ORLANDO 116 HOUSTON 86
CHARLOTTE 116 ATLANTA 110
MIAMI 103 DETROIT 102
CLEVELAND 114 BROOKLYN 113
TORONTO 97 MINNESOTA 94
OKLAHOMA CITY 124 CHICAGO 104
NEW ORLEANS 111 MEMPHIS 104
SACRAMENTO 130 UTAH 114
DALLAS 126 SAN ANTONIO 119
LA CLIPPERS 123 PORTLAND 111
WASHINGTON 6 NEW JERSEY 4
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
NEW YORK 5 CHARLOTTE 2
KANSAS CITY 0 SAN JOSE 0 (KANSAS CITY WINS ON PK’S 4-2)
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
LONG SHOT WORLD SERIES: DIAMONDBACKS VS RANGERS IS A FALL CLASSIC FEW SAW COMING
Tell the truth: How many people picked Arizona and Texas to meet in the World Series?
A Rangers-Diamondbacks matchup had 1,750 to 1 odds when wagering opened last fall.
But in an era when 12 teams make the playoffs, sustained excellence over the six-month regular season has become a boarding pass, not the journey, leading to a long shot Series that opens Friday night at Globe Life Field.
“Once you get into the big dance, anything can happen,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said before Tuesday night’s 4-2 win at Philadelphia advanced Arizona to its first World Series since 2001. “Throw it all out the window. The teams that get in deserve to be in.”
All the glamour teams are watching at home: the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves stumbled in the Division Series, defending champion Houston was ousted by Texas, and the New York Yankees didn’t even make it to the postseason.
Instead, Major League Baseball has its third all-wild card meeting, a Grand Canyon vs. Lone Star finale of second-place teams played in air-conditioned ballparks under retractable roofs — potentially the first all-indoor Fall Classic.
“I thought it would take a little more time,” Diamondbacks rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll said. “So to be able to do it in this first year just makes it all the more special.”
Both prior all-wild card matchups went seven games. The Los Angeles Angels beat the San Francisco Giants in 2002, and Bruce Bochy’s Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in 2014 for their third title in five years.
Texas and the Diamondbacks are both two years removed from last-place finishes and 100-loss seasons. Arizona is a No. 6 seed and Texas a No. 5.
“Sometimes, one of the last hurdles to get over is that winning feeling, attitude, when you’ve been losing for a few seasons,” Bochy said.
Bochy, 68 and in his 26th year as a big league manager, joined the Rangers last October. He is going for his fourth title, which would tie Walter Alston and Joe Torre for fourth-most behind Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel (seven each) and Connie Mack (five). All prior managers with three or more are in the Hall of Fame.
“I don’t think about me. I’m riding their backs, trust me,” Bochy said. “It’s unreal that I’m here, to be honest. Sitting at the house for three years, and think here I am going to a World Series. Yeah, that’s special. But it’s more about them and trying to find a way to get a ring for those guys.”
Texas started play as the expansion Washington Senators from 1961-71 and has played 10,028 games without a title (9,964 regular-season games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, plus 64 in the postseason). That’s the second-longest drought behind Cleveland, which last won in 1948.
After losing in the World Series in 2010 and ’11, the Rangers are among six teams without a title, joined by Colorado, Milwaukee, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay.
Arizona’s only title came on Luis Gonzalez’s ninth-inning single off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in Game 7 in 2001.
Texas headed into the playoffs with the sixth-highest payroll at $228 million. Arizona was 20th at $127 million.
Both teams rallied and earned their World Series berths on the road. It was the first time road teams won Games 6 and 7 in both leagues since the LCS expanded to a best-of-seven format in 1985.
Without Jacob deGrom following a season-ending elbow injury, the Rangers acquired Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery to join a rotation that included Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney. Adolis García has seven homers and 20 RBIs in the playoffs, leading an offense also powered by 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Mitch Garver and Josh Jung.
Arizona’s rotation is led by Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Brandon Pfaadt, and its offense sparked by Carroll, Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno. Lovullo, 58, is in his seventh season as Diamondbacks manager and in the playoffs for the first time since his 2017 team was swept by the Dodgers in the Division Series.
Texas is 8-0 on the road in the postseason but has home-field advantage because it won 90 games to Arizona’s 84 — which could be the second-fewest for a World Series champion in a non-shortened season behind the St. Louis Cardinals’ 83 in 2006. The Diamondbacks split two games at Texas in May and swept a pair at home in August, including an 11-inning win on consecutive doubles by Geraldo Perdomo and Tommy Pham off Will Smith. The Rangers hold a 28-25 edge in regular-season matchups.
There are some common ties. Lovullo’s staff includes bench coach Jeff Banister, the Rangers’ manager from 2015-18.
Scherzer was drafted by the Diamondbacks and spent his first two seasons with Arizona in 2008-09 before he was dealt to Detroit.
2023 MLB FREE AGENCY: SHOW SHOHEI THE MONEY
Five days after the final game of the World Series, it’s officially Shohei Time.
The season is over for 28 teams who shift their focus from the final series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers to prep for 2024.
Major League Baseball free agency begins not long after the champagne celebration, and the crown jewel of the offseason is Shohei Ohtani. He’ll be coveted by teams with deep pockets, with an historic payday exceeding $500 million projected.
There’s a less familiar ace rising up free agent lists in Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a 25-year-old strikeout starter who throws mid-90s with a filthy splitter.
Here are the top 10 players available in free agency:
1. RHP-DH Shohei Ohtani, Angels
If there was ever a time for an owner to consider overpaying a player on the open market … billionaires, start your engines. Perhaps the most marketable athlete not directly connected to Taylor Swift, Ohtani strolls into free agency with the kind of blank check chutzpah last seen when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. Elbow surgery means Ohtani won’t showcase his two-way skills right away — he’s not planning to pitch until 2025 — but a seven- or eight-year contract should allow any team willing to drop the half a billion to sign him a wide enough window to recoup some of the accounts payable losses. Ohtani wants to win, which might win out if the ever-present wildcard bidder emerges.
2. RHP Aaron Nola, Phillies
Nola, 30, reportedly asked for $200 million over eight seasons before the 2023 season and team president Dave Dombrowski shook him off. Nola topped 200 strikeouts for the fifth time but his ERA ballooned to 4.46. If the Phillies blink or compromise to satisfy Nola’s desire for more years, he’ll stay. If not, a dozen teams are knocking, starting with the Dodgers, Cardinals and Mets.
3. LHP Blake Snell, Padres
Dominant in 2023, Snell makes sense for so many teams that he could wind up with an even bigger contract than expected. He’ll likely be a two-time Cy Young winner by claiming the 2023 NL Cy Young Award to pair with his 2018 AL model. Opponents hit just .181 against him but he wasn’t perfect, leading the National League in walks. He also started the season 1-6 in his first nine starts. Snell bailed himself out more often than not with a whiff rate over 36 percent and had an historic strand rate of 85 percent. He’ll be 31 in December, meaning a deal longer than four or five years might be difficult for an owner to digest.
4. RHP Lucas Giolito, Guardians
Three teams in three months appeared to run Giolito ragged. Traded by the White Sox at the deadline, Giolito wound up with an ERA of 4.88 in 33 total starts with Chicago, the Angels and Guardians. A bounceback season isn’t out of the question for the 29-year-old and graduating to a ballpark with better dimensions than the South Side bandbox he called home with the White Sox would only help his case.
5. OF-1B Cody Bellinger, Cubs
The former National League MVP with the Dodgers rebounded with the Cubs in 2023, hitting over .300 for the first time since his 47-homer, 115-RBI season in 2019. In 130 games, his 26 homers nearly topped his combined total from 2021 and 2022 with L.A. Bellinger’s position flexibility, lefty stick and run production put him on multiple shopping lists.
6. 3B Matt Chapman, Blue Jays
Despite Gold Glove-level defense and at least 50 extra-base hits in four of his last six seasons, Chapman doesn’t touch the must-have level of elite free agents. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be an above-average addition to most teams based on his consistency and durability. At age 30, he’s past his ceiling, and his best fit is likely staying put with the Jays.
7. RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Orix Buffaloes
Dominant and not yet to his physical prime as a two-time Pacific League MVP and three-time Japanese Triple Crown winner. Yamamoto’s price point likely starts north of the record for a Japanese pitcher, the $155 million given to Masahiro Tanaka by the New York Yankees before he debuted in 2014.
8. LHP Josh Hader, Padres
The Yankees and Dodgers could be in on Hader, who posted 33 saves with a 1.28 ERA and allowed only 32 hits in 2023. He could threaten the record reliever contract established a year ago when Edwin Diaz and the Mets knocked out a five-year, $102 million deal. Hader ranks first among relievers with a 2.50 ERA and 15 strikeouts per nine innings since entering the league in 2017.
9. SS Tim Anderson, White Sox
The White Sox are almost certain to decline the $14 million team option on Anderson unless they agree he’ll play second base for a season. He could embrace a fresh start if the White Sox decide to pay his $1 million buyout instead. Anderson hit .245 last season and there were no strong bites when the White Sox floated him at the trade deadline. At 30, a move to second base would likely make Anderson more intriguing and stands as his best path to a bounceback season.
10. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, Tigers
He’s 29 games over .500 as a starter (82-53) and went 13-9 with the Tigers last season, posting an ERA of 3.30 in 26 starts. A one-time 19-game winner with the Red Sox (2019), Rodriguez would interest Boston, the Dodgers — who attempted to acquire him at the 2023 deadline — and most contenders because of his consistency. He appeared in at least 25 games five times in the past six seasons.
GIANTS OFFICIALLY NAME BOB MELVIN AS MANAGER
The San Francisco Giants named Bob Melvin as their new manager on Wednesday morning.
Melvin, who turns 62 on Saturday, left the San Diego Padres to accept the position with their National League West rivals. He formally will be introduced in a news conference at Oracle Park later on Wednesday (1:30 p.m. ET).
Melvin had one season and $4 million remaining on his contract in San Diego. The three-time Manager of the Year and Bay Area native received permission from the Padres to interview with the Giants, who fired Gabe Kapler with three games remaining this season.
The Padres have two internal candidates to potentially replace Melvin: bench coach Ryan Flaherty and senior advisor Mike Shildt. The Athletic reported that Flaherty, 37, has a strong relationship with general manager A.J. Preller, although the 55-year-old Shildt has major league managerial experience due to his time with the St. Louis Cardinals (2018-21).
Melvin, a former Giants catcher, and Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, worked together in Oakland. Melvin was the Athletics’ manager and Zaidi served as their assistant general manager.
Melvin initially was slated to return as skipper of the Padres in 2024 despite the team failing to meet high expectations this season.
There were reports of friction between Melvin and Preller late in the season.
Melvin posted a 171-153 record in two seasons with San Diego. The Padres went 89-73 in his first season and reached the NL Championship Series before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 20 seasons as a big-league manager, Melvin has a 1,517-1,425 record with the Seattle Mariners (2003-04), Arizona Diamondbacks (2005-09), Athletics (2011-21) and Padres. He has guided eight teams to the postseason.
REPORTS: METS TO INTERVIEW BREWERS’ CRAIG COUNSELL
The New York Mets will interview Milwaukee Brewers skipper Craig Counsell for their vacant managerial position, multiple media outlets reported on Wednesday.
The Mets received permission from the Brewers to speak to Counsell, whose contract with Milwaukee expires on Tuesday. New York is looking for a replacement for Buck Showalter, who was fired on Oct. 1 after the high-spending team limped to a 75-87 record this season.
Should Counsell join the Mets, he would be reunited with the team’s new president of baseball operations David Stearns. Counsell worked with Stearns from 2016-22 when the latter was the general manager and then president of baseball operations with the Brewers.
Counsell, 53, led Milwaukee to three National League Central titles and five playoff appearances — including an NL Championship Series appearance in 2018 — in the past six seasons. He owns a 707-625 record since becoming the team’s skipper in 2015.
Stearns, 38, officially was introduced to his new post on Oct. 2.
Showalter, 67, posted a 176-148 record in his two seasons with the Mets.
YANKEES HITTING COACH SEAN CASEY WON’T RETURN IN ’24
Sean Casey announced on his podcast that he won’t return as hitting coach for the New York Yankees next season.
Casey, who took over the position on July 10, said Wednesday on “The Mayor’s Office with Sean Casey” that family reasons were behind his decision.
Casey, 49, replaced Dillon Lawson on manager Aaron Boone’s staff at the All-Star break.
New York ranked 13th in the American League with a team batting average of .231 when he was hired. The Yankees finished 14th at .227, ahead of only the Oakland Athletics (.223).
A three-time All-Star, Casey played for five teams from 1997-2008, most notably the Cincinnati Reds (1998-2005). In Cincinnati, he was a longtime teammate of Boone.
Casey had a career average of .302 in 1,405 games, with 322 doubles, 130 homers and 735 RBIs.
BROWNS QB DESHAUN WATSON OUT AGAINST SEAHAWKS BECAUSE OF RIGHT SHOULDER INJURY
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will not play again this week with a strained right shoulder, a nagging injury that has already cost him three games and lingered much longer than expected.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said P.J. Walker will start for Watson on Sunday when the Browns (4-2) visit the Seattle Seahawks (4-2). Stefanski made the announcement before Wednesday’s practice, and said Watson won’t practice this week to focus on his rehab.
Stefanski said Watson, who started last week at Indianapolis but left after just 12 plays, did not sustain any additional damage to his shoulder in the brief outing against the Colts. He initially hurt it on Sept. 27 against Tennessee.
Stefanski said Watson has “residual swelling” in his shoulder. There has been no consideration for surgery, the coach said.
Watson returned to practice last week for the first time since hurting it on a running play against the Titans. Although he was listed as questionable, he started Sunday’s game at Indianapolis, but left after taking a hit on his fifth pass attempt.
Watson underwent another MRI on Monday, and Stefanski said the results came back clean.
Stefanski kept Watson on the sideline, saying the decision to play Walker for the rest of Cleveland’s 39-38 win at Indianapolis was made to “protect our franchise quarterback.” But Watson didn’t look ready to play as his passes were underthrown and lacked velocity.
Watson said last week he has “microtears” in his rotator cuff, an injury that normally takes up to six weeks to heal.
The 28-year-old Watson didn’t play in an Oct. 1 loss to Baltimore, and then following Cleveland’s bye week, sat out a win over San Francisco when Walker started.
PJ WALKER SIGNED TO BROWNS’ ROSTER, WILL START WEEK 8
The Cleveland Browns officially signed quarterback PJ Walker to the active roster on Wednesday after exhausting his three gameday elevations from the practice squad and promptly named him the starter for this week’s game.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski announced Wednesday that Deshaun Watson (shoulder) will rest and rehab this week. Stefanski reversed course 48 hours after saying Watson would start this week.
The move relegates rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson to third string. It also comes amid Watson’s chronic shoulder issues. Watson did not practice Wednesday and was considered day-to-day ahead of this week’s game against the host Seattle Seahawks.
Watson started last week’s game against Indianapolis but didn’t last long. He was pulled with 3:13 left in the first quarter after a hit from Colts defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo. Watson cleared concussion testing and an MRI on Monday showed no further damage to the shoulder.
Stefanski said Monday that he was protecting Watson by not putting him back in against the Colts.
“He’s our starter moving forward,” Stefanski said. “He’s our starter in Seattle. I just — it’s always going to be my decision to protect our players.”
Walker replaced Watson and was 15-of-32 passing for 178 yards and one interception against the Colts.
Watson, 28, has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 683 yards, four touchdowns and three picks in four starts this season.
The Browns could have cut Walker and hoped he cleared waivers to re-sign him back to the practice squad for a fresh new slate of three elevations.
The Browns also announced the signings of running backs Jordan Wilkins and Nate McCrary to the practice squad.
49ERS QB BROCK PURDY PLACED IN CONCUSSION PROTOCOL
(AP) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is in concussion protocol, putting his status for this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals in doubt.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said that Purdy reported symptoms on the flight home after Monday night’s loss in Minnesota and was placed in the protocol.
Purdy is feeling better Wednesday and will be able to take part in a portion of San Francisco’s walkthrough practice but still must clear several protocols in order to play on Sunday against Cincinnati.
“He definitely has enough time,” Shanahan said. “He just has to go through the process.”
Shanahan said Purdy could play without practicing this week if he clears the concussion protocol, pointing to his performance in a Thursday night game last season against Seattle when he didn’t practice because of injured ribs.
Shanahan said he was uncertain when Purdy took the hit that led to the concussion, but said it might have happened on a quarterback sneak attempt midway through the fourth quarter. He said he didn’t see any signs on film that Purdy was hampered by it down the stretch but he did throw interceptions on his final two drives of the 22-17 loss.
If Purdy can’t go on Sunday, the Niners will turn to Sam Darnold, the the 2018 No. 3 overall pick who signed with San Francisco as the backup this season.
Darnold struggled for his first five seasons with the New York Jets and Carolina before signing this offseason with San Francisco. He beat out the 49ers’ 2021 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance for the backup job.
“I have as much confidence in Sam as I could with someone I haven’t gotten into a real NFL game with,” Shanahan said. “He was great in the offseason and great in these seven weeks so far. He’s always ready go.”
Darnold has started 55 games in his career. His 78.2 passer rating is the worst among 38 quarterbacks who have thrown at least 1,000 passes since he entered the league in 2018. But Darnold has never had as talented a team to work with as he has in San Francisco.
The 49ers were impressed with Darnold’s work in the offseason and preseason and said that has carried over into his role as scout team quarterback.
“He’s accurate, a decisive thrower, good with his reads and everything,” cornerback Charvarius Ward said. “I think if we need him this week, I expect him to go out there and put up some points.”
NOTES: LT Trent Williams (ankle) didn’t practice but could be back on the field Thursday after missing last week’s game. … LB Dre Greenlaw got a rest day and WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder) remains sidelined. … Shanahan said defensive coordinator Steve Wilks lost track of time when he called for a blitz with 16 seconds left in the first half. The Vikings scored a 60-yard TD on the play. “He knows he messed up on that call,” Shanahan said.
REPORT: TITANS IN LINE TO START LEVIS VS. FALCONS WITH TANNEHILL LIKELY OUT
The Tennessee Titans are preparing rookie quarterback Will Levis to start Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Ryan Tannehill is dealing with a high ankle sprain and is unlikely to play. He suffered the injury in Week 6 but has decided not to have surgery.
Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel left the door open Tuesday for the Titans to use a two-quarterback system versus Atlanta featuring Levis and Malik Willis. Levis is expected to be the primary quarterback, according to Rapoport.
Week 8 will mark Levis’ NFL debut, as the second-round pick hasn’t been active for a game yet this season. The 24-year-old joined the Titans as the 33rd overall pick after a standout college career at Kentucky.
Willis – Tennessee’s backup through the campaign’s first six games – attempted 66 passes in eight appearances (three starts) as a rookie in 2022. The 24-year-old, whom the Titans drafted in the third round out of Liberty, didn’t pass for any touchdowns while tossing three interceptions.
Tennessee ranks 25th in scoring in 2023, averaging 17.3 points per game. The Titans, who are coming off a bye, sit in the AFC South’s basement with a 2-4 record.
THE STARTING 11 — FANTASTIC FOURTH QUARTERS HAVE HIGHLIGHTED SEASON AS LEAGUE CLOSES OCTOBER
EMMITT SMITH once eloquently described the attitude that helped him lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles and break the NFL’s all-time career rushing record.
“I may win and I may lose,” said the Pro Football Hall of Famer, “but I will never be defeated.”
As the NFL concludes October, NFL teams are utilizing similar approaches. Just look at the close games entering the fourth quarters in recent weeks.
Since Monday Night Football in Week 6, 24 of the last 29 NFL games have been within one score in the fourth quarter. And for the season, an impressive 69 percent of all games (73 of 106) are one-score games in the fourth quarter.
Last week, ATLANTA, CLEVELAND and NEW ENGLAND each scored game-winning points in the final 15 seconds. And including a win by JACKSONVILLE, for the first time since Week 6 of the 2022 season, three teams in a single week won with game-winning touchdowns in the final five minutes of regulation.
This week, those Jaguars travel to PITTSBURGH, which owns the league’s best record (4-0) in games within one score in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville, meanwhile, is 3-1 in that category.
Last year’s Super Bowl finalists, KANSAS CITY and PHILADELPHIA, have each played six games this season that were within one score in the fourth quarter. Both clubs are 5-1 in those games.
So prepare those candy bowls and costumes, and cue the ominous, scary music. Just don’t try to predict any of the endings. The NFL has a full slate of 16 games on tap this week, along with a full slate of unpredictability.
The Starting 11 entering Week 8…
- BENGALS, 49ERS LOOK TO REPEAT LAST SEASON’S STRETCH PERFORMANCES: Following their bye week last season, the Bengals won nine straight games, including the postseason, until narrowly losing a thriller at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. Over the balance of the last two seasons following bye weeks, the Bengals are a combined 17-5 (.773), including the postseason. This week, the first order of business off the 2023 bye for CINCINNATI (3-3) is a visit to Levi’s Stadium and the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-2) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). The 49ers also played well over the stretch run in 2022. Beginning with Week 8 last year, the 49ers won 12 straight games until a loss at Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game.
- Cincinnati wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE has 3,057 receiving yards in 35 career games since entering the NFL in 2021. He is the fifth player in NFL history to reach 3,000 in 35-or-fewer games, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (30 games), CHARLIE HENNIGAN (31), JUSTIN JEFFERSON (33) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (34). Chase also needs 125 receiving yards Sunday to become the fourth player ever to reach that mark in 10 games over his first three seasons, and would join Jefferson (14 games), Beckham (13) and Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (12).
- Last week, San Francisco running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY broke one impressive record. This week, he continues his quest for another. McCaffrey recorded a scrimmage touchdown in a 16th consecutive game to establish the longest streak in NFL history, including the postseason. With another touchdown this week, McCaffrey can join Pro Football Hall of Famer LENNY MOORE (17 consecutive games from 1963-64) as the only players all-time with a touchdown of any kind in 17-or-more straight games, including the postseason (Moore’s streak included a touchdown on a fumble recovery).
- NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 16: The league-leading number of takeaways by JACKSONVILLE (5-2) this season. The Jaguars are on pace for 39 over a full season. The last two teams with 39-or-more takeaways in a season – Carolina with 39 in 2015 and Seattle with 39 in 2013 – each reached the Super Bowl.
- This week at PITTSBURGH (4-2) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), the Jaguars have an opportunity to improve to 6-2 and match the franchise’s best start in 24 years, since the team opened 7-1 in 1999.
- Jacksonville running back TRAVIS ETIENNE has three straight games with two-or-more rushing touchdowns. Should he record two rushing touchdowns this week, he would join RICKY WILLIAMS (four straight games in 2002), PRIEST HOLMES (six straight games from 2003-04) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (eight straight games in 2006) as the only players with two rushing touchdowns in four-or-more consecutive games over the last 22 seasons.
- Since Thanksgiving last season (Week 12), the Jaguars are 11-3 (.786), tied with Philadelphia (also 11-3, .786) for the third-best winning percentage in the league over that time. Only Kansas City and San Francisco (both 12-2, .857) have better records in that span. Pittsburgh during that stretch is 10-3 (.769), tied for the league’s fifth-best mark with Buffalo (10-3, .769).
- Steelers linebacker T.J. WATT last week joined Pro Football Hall of Famer LAWRENCE TAYLOR as the only players to reach 70 sacks and seven interceptions over their first seven NFL seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
- Pittsburgh quarterback KENNY PICKETT is expected to make his 35th combined college or pro start at Acrisure Stadium. The 20th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Pickett went 18-7 (.720) in 25 home starts with the Pitt Panthers; he’s also won six of his first nine NFL starts at the stadium.
- IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: This week, 20 teams kick off the final 10 games of their 2023 seasons. Since the NFL expanded regular-season schedules to 17 games in 2021, the Chiefs have been the standard-bearers for excellence over the final 10 games. Kansas City has closed each of the last two seasons 9-1, and in that span owns an NFL-best 18-2 record over the final 10 games.
- Quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES returns to Empower Field at Mile High, site of his first career start on Dec. 31, 2017. Including that game, a 27-24 victory, Mahomes has won his first 12 NFL starts against the Broncos. If he can lead KANSAS CITY (6-1) to another win at DENVER (2-5) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), he would establish the longest stretch of wins by a starting quarterback against a single opponent to begin an NFL career since at least 1950. With the Chiefs’ win two weeks ago over Denver, Mahomes tied Pro Football Hall of Famer OTTO GRAHAM, who led the Cleveland Browns to wins in each of his first 12 NFL starts against the Chicago Cardinals from 1950-55, for the longest streak against an opponent in that span. Also with a win on Sunday, Mahomes would match TOM BRADY (13 straight wins over Buffalo) and Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (13 straight wins over the Rams) for the second-longest streak by a starting quarterback over a single opponent at any point in a career during the Super Bowl era (1966-present). Only Pro Football Hall of Famer BOB GRIESE (17 straight wins over Buffalo) has a longer streak.
- Last week, Mahomes registered his 17th career game with at least four touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (16) for the most such games ever by a player in his first seven seasons. Mahomes has 10 career games with 400 passing yards, and 26 career games with 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes, both tied with Marino for the most such games ever by a player in his first seven seasons.
- Chiefs tight end TRAVIS KELCE posted 12 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown in last week’s win. With another touchdown reception this week, Kelce would tie JASON WITTEN (74) for the fifth-most by a tight end in NFL history. Kelce also would become the fourth tight end ever to reach five touchdown catches in seven consecutive seasons, joining ANTONIO GATES (nine from 2004-12), Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (eight from 2006-13) and GREG OLSEN (eight from 2008-15). Kelce has five career games with 150 receiving yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer SHANNON SHARPE (six games) as the only tight ends ever with five career 150-yard receiving games.
- SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: Rams defensive tackle AARON DONALD (13th overall choice) and Cowboys guard ZACK MARTIN (16th) were both first-round selections in the 2014 NFL Draft. They’ll meet for the seventh time on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), including the postseason. Their teams have split their first six meetings since drafting those players. Donald and Martin have combined for 17 Pro Bowl invitations and 13 All-Pro selections.
- Rams wide receiver PUKA NACUA, who leads the NFL with 58 catches, is the first rookie with at least a share of the NFL lead in receptions through seven weeks since Philadelphia tight end KEITH JACKSON was tied atop that column with 42 catches in 1988. Nacua needs one catch on Sunday to surpass SAQUON BARKLEY (58 in 2018) for the most receptions by a player in his first eight NFL games all-time. Nacua has 752 receiving yards this season and joined JA’MARR CHASE (754 in 2021) as the only players with 700 receiving yards in their first seven career games in NFL history.
- The Cowboys have won 10 consecutive home games, the NFL’s longest active streak.
- SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: Since the beginning of 2020, the Seahawks own the NFC’s best record against AFC teams, 9-6 (.600). Also since 2020 against the AFC, Seattle has a share of its conference’s best home record (5-2, .714). This week, when SEATTLE (4-2) hosts CLEVELAND (4-2) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), the Seahawks get a Browns club that owns an 11-4 record (.733) since 2020 against the NFC – the AFC’s fourth-best interconference mark in that span.
- In last week’s win, Cleveland defensive end MYLES GARRETT became the first player this century to record two-or-more sacks, two-or-more forced fumbles and a field-goal block in a game. Garrett, who has 82 career sacks and turns 28 years old later this season, also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (80 sacks) for the most NFL sacks by a player prior to his 28th birthday since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Garrett has at least one sack in 55 of his first 90 career games, tied with VON MILLER (55) for the most games with at least one sack in a player’s first 90 NFL contests since 1982.
- Also last week, Browns kicker DUSTIN HOPKINS converted three 50-yard field goals (54, 54 and 58) in the Browns’ 39-38 win. In the process, he became the first kicker in NFL history to convert a 50-yard field goal in five consecutive games in a season.
- Including last week, Seattle running back KENNETH WALKER has six career 100-yard rushing games. The Seahawks are 5-1 in those contests.
- Since becoming Seattle’s starting quarterback prior to the 2022 season, GENO SMITH owns the league’s highest completion percentage, 69.5.
- STREAK SPEAK: Philadelphia wide receiver A.J. BROWN has reached 125 receiving yards in each of the past five games, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON (2012) and PAT STUDSTILL (1966) for the longest such streak in NFL history. Brown, who ranks second with 809 receiving yards and fourth with 52 receptions this season, also has three touchdown receptions. He can become the fifth player in NFL history with 50 receptions, 850 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions in each of his first five career seasons, joining GARY CLARK, A.J. GREEN, T.Y. HILTON and Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS.
- Eagles quarterback JALEN HURTS has led the Eagles to wins in 23 of his last 25 regular-season starts. Against Washington, Hurts is 1-1 in his last two starts, including a Week 4 overtime win earlier this month.
- DID YOU KNOW?: MINNESOTA (3-4) owns the NFC’s longest active winning streak – two games – as the Vikings make the 278-mile journey to GREEN BAY (2-4) for Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field (1:00 PM ET, FOX). The NFC North rivals have split their season series each of the last three years.
- Last week, Vikings quarterback KIRK COUSINS completed 35 of 45 attempts (77.8 percent) for 378 yards and two touchdowns. Cousins, who leads the NFL with 16 touchdown passes in 2023, became the fifth player in league annals with 50 career 300-yard passing games in his first 12 seasons, joining DREW BREES, MATT RYAN and Pro Football Hall of Famers PEYTON MANNING and KURT WARNER.
- UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: Bears quarterback TYSON BAGENT, whose father is a 17-time world champion in the sport of professional arm wrestling, can make his own history this week. When CHICAGO (2-5) meets the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-4) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Bagent could become only the second undrafted rookie quarterback to win each of his first two starts. Only DEVLIN HODGES in 2019 holds that distinction. In his first NFL start last week, Bagent completed 21 of 29 attempts (72.4 percent) with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 97.2 rating. A product of Division II Shepherd University, Bagent recorded the third-highest completion percentage by an undrafted rookie quarterback making his first NFL start in the common-draft era, trailing SAM WYCHE (80.0 percent, 20 of 25; Nov. 3, 1968; with Cincinnati against the Houston Oilers) and DEVLIN HODGES (75.0 percent, 15 of 20; Oct. 13, 2019; with Pittsburgh against the Los Angeles Chargers).
- TREND TIME: The BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-2) are 16-1 against the NFC with LAMAR JACKSON as their starting quarterback. This week, the Ravens head west to battle the ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-6) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS).
- In last week’s win, Jackson passed for 357 yards and three touchdowns with a 155.8 rating and added a rushing touchdown. Jackson recorded his 50th regular-season win in his 68th career regular-season start, the fifth-fewest starts by a quarterback to reach 50 victories in the Super Bowl era (1966-present). Only Pro Football Hall of Famer KEN STABLER (62 starts), PATRICK MAHOMES (63), TOM BRADY (65) and Pro Football Hall of Famer ROGER STAUBACH (67) reached the mark in fewer starts since 1966.
- Jackson also became the fourth player in NFL history to record 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown and a passer rating of 150-or-higher in a game, joining DREW BREES (Dec. 29, 2013), RYAN FITZPATRICK (Sept. 9, 2018) and AARON RODGERS (Oct. 20, 2019).
- NEXT GEN STAT OF THE WEEK: In last week’s win, Philadelphia linebacker HAASON REDDICK recorded six quarterback pressures. According to Next Gen Stats, three of the six were quick pressures (under 2.5 seconds), increasing his season total in that category to 18, tied for third in the NFL entering Week 8.
- AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: For only the fifth time in the common-draft era, rookie starting quarterbacks selected first and second overall are expected to start in the same game when HOUSTON (3-3) meets CAROLINA (0-6) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).
- While No. 1 overall selection BRYCE YOUNG and No. 2 pick C.J. STROUD never played in college, they did face off in the eighth grade. Friends since before they could drive, both grew up in Southern California. A quarterback for the Pomona Steelers, Young threw several touchdown passes to defeat Stroud, who played both quarterback and cornerback for the Inland Empire Ducks.
- In the NFL’s four prior meetings between the top overall selections, the No. 1-drafted quarterback has defeated the No. 2 twice (TREVOR LAWRENCE topped ZACH WILSON in 2021 and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING topped RYAN LEAF in 1998). The No. 2 choice has also defeated the No. 1 selection on two occasions (RICK MIRER over DREW BLEDSOE in 1993 and MARCUS MARIOTA over JAMEIS WINSTON in 2015).
- Stroud passed for 199 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Texans’ Week 6 win. This season, Stroud recorded 191 attempts prior to his first interception, the longest streak to begin a career in NFL history. The streak also was the second-longest by a rookie at any point all-time, trailing only KYLER MURRAY (211 attempts in 2019).
- Including Texans defensive end WILL ANDERSON, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, Sunday’s game is expected to be the first in the common-draft era in which the top three choices from the most recent draft see playing time. The last time the top three selections from any draft played in the same game was Sept. 15, 2013, when JAKE LONG, CHRIS LONG and MATT RYAN – the first three overall choices in the 2008 NFL Draft – met in Atlanta’s 31-24 win over the Rams in St. Louis.
- Carolina wide receiver ADAM THIELEN had 11 receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown in Week 6. Thielen has 24 career 100-yard receiving games and surpassed GARY GARRISON (23) for the third-most such games by an undrafted player in the common-draft era. Only ROD SMITH (30) and WES WELKER (28) have more. Thielen has eight career games with at least 10 receptions, tied with J.T. SMITH (eight games) for the second-most such games by an undrafted player in the common-draft era. Only WES WELKER (18) has more.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS: BRUTAL STRETCH RUN IN PAC-12 IS OBSTACLE TO BREAKING CFP DROUGHT
Now comes the hard part for the Pac-12.
The Pac-12 has been tons of fun and high quality in what will be its last season in its current form. Next year, 10 Pac-12 schools scatter to three other Power Five conferences.
Before they go, the conference is trying to break a six-year College Football Playoff drought. To do so, it will have to overcome itself.
Because of some excellent out-of-conference results, the Pac-12 has four teams with zero or one loss. Only the Southeastern Conference has that many.
The difference: In the Pac-12, most of those teams still have to play each other, starting with No. 8 Oregon (6-1) at No 13 Utah (6-1) on Saturday.
The Utes also play No. 5 Washington (7-0) next month. The Ducks and Huskies have already played each other and each play No. 11 Oregon State (6-1) in late November. The Beavers handed Utah its only loss.
That doesn’t even count No. 24 Southern California’s back-to-back games against the Huskies and Ducks in early November, though calling the Trojans (6-2) a contender at this point seems like a stretch.
Ideally, what the Pac-12 — or any conference — wants is a conference title game that is likely to send the winner to the playoff. Realistically, that requires two teams with no more than one loss each.
That’s hard to achieve when all the best teams have to knock heads on the road to the championship game.
Balance and depth makes for a fun regular season, but powerful teams that separate from the pack — on in this case the Pac-12 — reach the playoff.
The Pac-12 needs two of its best to breakaway, which is why Oregon-Utah is one of the most intriguing games of Week 9.
No. 8 Oregon (minus 6 1/2) at No. 13 Utah
Utah’s Kyle Whittingham has made a strong case for Pac-12 and maybe even national coach of the year by keeping the two-time conference champions in contention despite a load of injuries and a work-in-progress offense. The Utes were too tough for USC last week. The Ducks are not as likely to be pushed around, but it has become apparent that Utah is not giving up its Pac-12 crown without a knock-down, drag-out fight.
PICK: Oregon 28-20.
No. 1 Georgia (minus 14 1/2) vs. Florida
The Bulldogs have won two in a row and five of the last six at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gators have shown some progress under coach Billy Napier in Year 2, but they still look a ways from being able to threaten the two-time defending national champions — even if the Bulldogs have not quite played to that level so far this season.
PICK: Georgia 41-20.
No. 3 Ohio State (minus 14 1/2) at Wisconsin
After the Buckeyes dispatched Penn State, this trip to Camp Randall appears to be the biggest stumbling block between them and another pivotal showdown with No. 2 Michigan.
This is a huge one for the Badgers as the try to win the final version of the Big Ten West before the conference abandons divisions and expands in 2024. Wisconsin is alone in first place, but another loss could throw the Badgers back into a tiebreaker situation with Iowa — which they would lose. And, the Badgers are playing with a backup quarterback.
Ohio State has won nine straight against the Badgers since they upset a top-ranked Buckeyes team in Madison in 2010.
PICK: Ohio State 31-14.
No. 20 Duke (plus 4 1/2) at No. 18 Louisville
The biggest football game the basketball powers have ever played. A second loss for either would make it tricky to reach the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. Once again Duke QB Riley Leonard (ankle) is a question mark.
PICK: Louisville 21-18.
No. 6 Oklahoma (minus 10) at Kansas
The Sooners have won 18 straight against the Jayhawks, who are hoping for the return of QB Jaylon Daniels (back) after he missed the last three games. Kansas has been potent offensively even with backup QB Jason Bean. The defense, though, is not great. The path to an upset is to win an classic 2010s Big 12 shootout and the chances go way up with Daniels.
PICK: Oklahoma 49-34.
The rest of Saturday’s games involving ranked teams and FBS foes, with lines by FanDuel Sportsbook:
No. 4 Florida State (minus 20 1/2) at Wake Forest
You might not think of the Wake game as a hurdle for FSU to clear, but the Demon Deacons have won three straight meetings … FLORIDA STATE 42-17.
No. 5 Washington (minus 26 1/2) at Stanford
Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies have a good get-right opponent after that ugly victory last week against Arizona State … WASHINGTON 55-20.
BYU at No. 7 Texas (minus 17 1/2)
QB Maalik Murphy fills in for Quinn Ewers (shoulder) with freshman Arch Manning moving up the depth chart to No. 2 … TEXAS 35-14.
Indiana at No. 10 Penn State (minus 31 1/2)
Going from Ohio State to the Hoosiers has to feel like getting upgraded to first-class from a middle seat in the last row in coach for the Nittany Lions … PENN STATE 42-7.
No. 11 Oregon State at Arizona (minus 3 1/2)
Wildcats have quietly entered the chat in the Pac-12 and have a chance to play spoiler down the stretch … ARIZONA 24-20.
Vanderbilt (plus 24 1/2) at No. 12 Mississippi
Rebels have won four straight overall against Vandy, averaging 42 points per game … OLE MISS 35-14.
Pittsburgh (plus 20 1/2) at No. 14 Notre Dame
Irish have won six of seven meetings and haven’t lost at home to Pitt since 2008 … NOTRE DAME 34-17.
No. 17 North Carolina (minus 11 1/2) at Georgia Tech
Last year, the Tar Heels’ befuddling upset loss was to Georgia Tech, but they got that out of the way last week against Virginia … NORTH CAROLINA 30-14.
No. 19 Air Force (minus 11 1/2) at Colorado State
Falcons defense is third in the nation in yards per play allowed at 4.05 … AIR FORCE 34-17
No. 21 Tennessee (minus 3 1/2) at Kentucky
Matchup of quarterbacks ranked 11th (Joe Milton of Tennessee) and 13th (Devin Leary of Kentucky) in the SEC in passer rating … TENNESSEE 23-16.
No. 22 Tulane at Rice (plus 10 1/2)
Owls QB JT Daniels, at his fourth school, is leading the AAC with 2,173 yards passing and 17 touchdowns … TULANE 32-27.
Colorado (plus 17 1/2) at No. 23 UCLA
Deion Sanders’ Buffs have been listing but they are still an attraction. UCLA announced a rare sellout at the Rose Bowl … UCLA 35-21.
No. 24 Southern California (minus 10 1/2) at Cal
USC has lost two straight and still have three ranked teams on the schedule … USC 38-27.
Old Dominion (plus 19 1/2) at No. 25 James Madison
Dukes lost their only game as a ranked team in 2022 … JAMES MADISON 27-10.
UNLV (plus 7 1/2) at Fresno State (@MattK_FS) — A surprising big game in the Mountain West with the Rebels bowl-eligible for the first time since 2013 … FRESNO STATE 35-31.
Purdue at Nebraska (minus 2 1/2) (@CHuskerJ) — Cornhuskers have lost four of five to the Boilermakers, which is a big part of why Nebraska has not been to a bowl game since 2016 … NEBRASKA 17-13.
Miami (Ohio) at Ohio (minus 6 12) (@jcohenap) Battle of the Bricks could decide the MAC East Division, but Miami will be without injured QB Brett Gabbert … OHIO 26-17.
Washington State (minus 5 1/2) at Arizona State (@ArtWMoore) Cougars are trying to snap a three game losing streak … WASHINGTON STATE 38-17.
REPORT: ARMY TO JOIN AAC AS FOOTBALL-ONLY MEMBER IN 2024
The American Athletic Conference voted to add Army as a football-only member starting in 2024, ESPN reported Wednesday.
The Black Knights would keep the AAC’s football membership at 14 by replacing SMU, which is joining the Atlantic Coast Conference next year.
Navy has a similar arrangement with the AAC, with both service academies competing in the Patriot League for all sports besides football.
As far as the annual Army-Navy game, ESPN reported that the Black Knights and Midshipmen will not face off in the AAC regular season and that the rivalry will continue as a non-conference contest.
Should Army and Navy finish the regular season in the top two spots in the conference standings, they would meet in back-to-back weeks — first for the AAC championship and then in the rivalry match, ESPN reported.
Army will also maintain its traditional early November matchup with Air Force, per the report.
Army has competed primarily as an independent since 1891, other than a seven-season stretch with Conference USA from 1998-2004.
Longtime head coach Jeff Monken’s Black Knights are 2-5 this season heading into Saturday’s game against UMass (1-7) in West Point, N.Y.
NBA ROUNDUP: MAVS SPOIL VICTOR WEMBANYAMA’S DEBUT
Luka Doncic produced a triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks spoil Victor Wembanyama’s NBA debut with a 126-119 victory over the host San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
The contest was one of 12 on the night, with all 24 teams making their season debuts.
Doncic posted 33 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists only hours after being cleared to play as he deals with a left calf strain.
Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4, 19-year-old forward from France who was the league’s top draft pick, finished with just 15 points and struggled with foul trouble. He played 23 minutes and scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter.
Celtics 108, Knicks 104
Kristaps Porzingis scored nine of his 30 points in the final 2:34 for Boston, which overcame a late six-point deficit to beat host New York.
Jayson Tatum put up 34 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who led by as many as 12 in the third quarter and opened the fourth with a nine-point lead before the Knicks stormed back.
RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley each had 24 points for the Knicks, who shot just 14 of 26 from the free-throw line, including 5 of 9 in the fourth quarter. Julius Randle had 14 points and 11 rebounds for New York, while Jalen Brunson scored 15 points but shot just 6-for-21 from the field.
Clippers 123, Trail Blazers 111
Paul George scored 27 points and Kawhi Leonard added 23 as Los Angeles made easy work of its season opener with a victory over visiting Portland.
Ivica Zubac had 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots while Russell Westbrook had 11 points and 13 assists for the Clippers, who extended their winning streak over the Trail Blazers to six games, including all three last season.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points off the bench in his Portland debut and Anfernee Simons added 18 as the Trail Blazers played their first game in 12 seasons without Damian Lillard on the roster. Lillard was moved to the Milwaukee Bucks in the offseason after requesting a trade.
Hornets 116, Hawks 110
P.J. Washington scored 25 points and first-round draft pick Brandon Miller made a go-ahead 3-pointer as Charlotte defeated visiting Atlanta.
Washington made 12 of 18 shots from the field and had support from Terry Rozier’s 24 points, LaMelo Ball’s 15 points and 10 assists and Mark Williams’ 13 points and 15 rebounds. Miller had 13 points and Gordon Hayward added 10.
Trae Young provided 23 points despite horrific shooting from the floor and reserve Jalen Johnson posted 21 points for the Hawks. Atlanta, which shot 5-for-29 on 3-point attempts, received 15 points apiece from Saddiq Bey and Clint Capela, who grabbed 13 rebounds.
Pacers 143, Wizards 120
Bruce Brown drilled a career-high six 3-pointers to highlight his 24-point performance, lifting Indiana past Washington in Indianapolis.
Signed to a two-year, $45 million free agent contract in the offseason, Brown paid immediate dividends by making 8 of 11 shots from the floor, including 6 of 8 from beyond the arc. Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton collected 20 points and 11 assists in his first game since signing a five-year maximum contract extension in the summer.
Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma scored 25 points in his first game since signing a four-year, $90 million contract in the offseason.
Cavaliers 114, Nets 113
Donovan Mitchell hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 12.1 seconds left as Cleveland earned a victory over Brooklyn in New York.
Max Strus inbounded near the Brooklyn bench to Darius Garland. Garland quickly handed it off to Mitchell, who caught the Nets in a switch and calmly sank a trey from the left wing when Brooklyn’s Cameron Johnson fell down.
Strus hit seven of Cleveland’s 17 3-pointers and finished with 27 points along with 12 rebounds. Isaac Okoro added 18 and Garland contributed. Cam Thomas scored 36 points for the Nets, and Johnson added 20.
Thunder 124, Bulls 104
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recorded 31 points and 10 assists to lead Oklahoma City to a victory at Chicago.
Josh Giddey registered 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Thunder, who outscored the Bulls 45-26 over the final 15-plus minutes. Jalen Williams scored 16 points and Isaiah Joe added 14 points for the Thunder.
DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points for the Bulls. Zach LaVine scored 16 points but shot just 4-for-16, and Coby White had 15 on 4-of-14 shooting. Nikola Vucevic contributed 11 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
Kings 130, Jazz 114
Harrison Barnes scored 33 points and boosted Sacramento to a win over Utah in Salt Lake City.
Domantas Sabonis added 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while De’Aaron Fox contributed 18 points, five rebounds and six assists in the Kings’ lopsided victory. Keegan Murray chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.
Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 24 points and six assists. Lauri Markkanen added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and offseason acquisition John Collins totaled 15 points and 11 boards.
Magic 116, Rockets 86
Cole Anthony and Gary Harris combined for 31 points off the bench as Orlando christened the start of its 35th anniversary season with a blowout of visiting Houston.
Anthony paired 20 points with eight rebounds, while Harris chipped in 11 points and five rebounds. That duo shot 13-for-20 from the floor to pace a bench unit that amassed 59 points.
Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks scored 14 points apiece in their Houston debuts. Alperen Sengun posted 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Rockets, who were undone by 19 turnovers.
Heat 103, Pistons 102
Bam Adebayo blocked a Cade Cunningham runner in the lane with 1:04 to go and host Miami, after nearly blowing a 19-point lead, had to sweat out three subsequent Detroit misses to escape with a win.
Adebayo put up a team-high 22 points while Jimmy Butler recorded 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who used a 13-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to go up 94-75.
Cunningham led all scorers with 30 points in 36 minutes while also finding time for a game-high nine assists. Jalen Duren (17 points, game-high-tying 14 rebounds) and Isaiah Stewart (14 points, game-high-tying 14 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for the Pistons.
Raptors 97, Timberwolves 94
Dennis Schroder scored 22 points in his Toronto debut and the Raptors overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat visiting Minnesota.
Schroder added seven assists to help give new coach Darko Rajakovic a victory. OG Anunoby added 20 points for the Raptors.
Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 26 points and 14 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Minnesota took a one-point lead into the final period, but Toronto had a five-point lead within the first 2:30 of the quarter.
Pelicans 111, Grizzlies 104
CJ McCollum scored 24 points and all five New Orleans starters scored in double figures as the visiting Pelicans defeated Memphis.
McCollum made 8 of 16 field-goal attempts, including 6 of 11 3-point tries. Zion Williamson added 23 points, and Brandon Ingram had 19.
Desmond Bane scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Grizzlies, who played without Ja Morant as he began a 25-game suspension. Former Celtic Marcus Smart scored 17 points in his Memphis debut, and Xavier Tillman added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
NBA ALL-STAR GAME WILL DITCH THE GIMMICKS AND RETURN TO CLASSIC EAST VERSUS WEST FORMAT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NBA All-Star Game is going back to its roots, with the best of the East playing the best of the West.
Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement Wednesday, revealing this season’s All-Star Game on Feb. 18 in Indianapolis will pit the top vote-getters from the two conferences against one another. The decision means captains will no longer draft teams, though the players with the most votes in each conference will serve as captains.
The reason: Silver wants the All-Star Game to look more like traditional basketball.
“It felt like it was time,” Silver said. “I said earlier, keeping with this overall theme, it’s back to basketball this season. We heard it from our fans, I think the players recognize it, too, that last year’s All-Star Game was something no one was proud of, and I don’t think it was anyone’s fault in particular. I think, though, that we need to refocus on what this league is really about and that’s about the best basketball in the world.”
Another change – the game will be 48 minutes. Since 2020, the league added 24 points to the leading team’s score after three quarters and played the fourth quarter with only a shot clock but no game clock. The first team to hit the target score won.
And it’s no coincidence the changes are taking place in Indiana, where basketball is treated like royalty. The Pacers are hosting their first All-Star Game since 1985 – three years later than initially scheduled because the 2021 game was moved to Atlanta and played in mostly empty arena during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If there ever was a place to restore the NBA to something that seemed more classic it was an All-Star Game at Indianapolis,” Silver said. “Let’s just make it a pure 48-minute basketball game, the team that scores the most point in 48 minutes.”
The first 66 All-Star Games all featured East-West matchups. The last six have seen the leading vote-getters from each conference serving as captains and drafting teams.
LeBron James served as one captains all six years, with Giannis Antetokounmpo the other captain three times. Kevin Durant had the honor twice, with Stephen Curry doing it once. Some drafts were televised, with last year’s taking place live in Salt Lake City less than an hour before the start of the game.
Not enough people watched. Ratings plummeted for last season’s game, which wasn’t competitive. Some of the top stars, including Curry, Durant, James and Antetokounmpo either missed the game entirely or played very briefly because of injuries.
The 2023 matchup was entertaining in other ways – Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored an All-Star record 55 points. His 27 third-quarter points also were a record, but the lack of viewers and lack of buzz evidently forced the NBA into making this change.
“This last year was a travesty in terms of the effort, in terms of how it looked. It looked horrible,” NBA Players Association President CJ McCollum of the New Orleans Pelicans said last week, after Silver revealed changes were likely. “So, figuring out how to make it more competitive … maybe it’s incentives, maybe it’s the type of game style that we’re having, maybe it’s the teams that are being put together, I’m not sure. We’re working towards that. But we know it can’t go on the way it has because it’s obviously not working.”
It wasn’t just players who found it unsatisfactory.
Indiana coach Rick Carlisle, president of the NBA’s coaching association, also was consulted about the changes. Shortly before the Pacers opened the season against Washington on Wednesday, he offered his support.
“It seems like pure East-West competition makes a lot of sense,” Carlisle said. “Certainly not a surprising announcement, but none the less, I think a very good adjustment.”
Carlisle even had a suggestion for making the game more competitive: “Is there any way to increase the money for winning? That’s the obvious one.”
League officials are also considering options to possibly honor the ABA during All-Star weekend, such as using a red, white and blue ball. Indiana won three championships and was one of four teams from the now-defunct league to move to the NBA. No decisions have been made on that front.
To Silver, though, the biggest change is to bring back the elements that made the NBA All-Star Game a huge draw – pure basketball.
“I think the live draft was interesting, but I think it was a reminder to everybody at the league office that it’s ultimately about the game,” Silver said. “If the game is in order, you can do all those fun things, but they have to be ancillary to the game. It was a reminder we don’t lose focus on what’s most important and that is the game itself.”
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: TOP 25…#21 ARKANSAS
|2022-23:||22-14, 8-10 (t-9th, SEC)|
|NCAA TOURNAMENT – SWEET 16|
|Coach:||ERIC MUSSELMAN (5th season)|
|Homecourt:||BUD WALTON ARENA (19,200)|
|Key Departures:||RICKY COUNCIL (16.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 apg)|
|ANTHONY BLACK (12.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.9 apg)|
|NICK SMITH (12.5 ppg)|
|JORDAN WALSH (7.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg)|
|MAKHEL MITCHELL (3.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg)|
|Key Newcomers:||KHALIF BATTLE (transfer, Temple)|
|TRAMON MARK (transfer, Houston)|
|EL ELLIS (transfer, Louisville)|
|JEREMIAH DAVENPORT (transfer, Cincinnati)|
|CHANDLER LAWSON (transfer, Memphis)|
|DENIJAY HARRIS (transfer, Southern Miss)|
|BAYE FALL (freshman, Senegal)|
|LAYDEN BLOCKER (freshman, Sunrise Christian, AR)|
FROM THE COACH
“What we look for in players as a really high priority to us is playing hard, defending, getting to loose balls, out-reacting your opponent. What you add that up, those skills are different than programs that look specifically for shooting.”
The most consistent theme in the post-COVID era of college basketball is that Arkansas, under Eric Musselman, will spend large swaths of December and January looking like a mess before finding an answer in February and making a run in March.
The Razorbacks lost four out of five in January of 2021 before reaching the Elite Eight. They lost five out of seven in January of the following season before, again, getting within a game of the Final Four. And while the swoon lasted until March last season, Arkansas still found a way to upset top-seeded Kansas and make it to the second weekend for the third-consecutive season.
This isn’t a fluke.
This is the plan.
“Our area that we have to develop is who is our go-to player and what are our go-to sets,” Musselman said. “That, at least for us, evolves and we figure it out in November and December. In January and February, we know our go-to players and go-to plays, and then we learn what Plan B and Plan C is when Plan A is taken away.”
Muss is as good as any coach in the country at figuring out a mismatch and a way to exploit it, and he is happy to run the same set over and over and over if you can’t stop it. It’s why, in March, you’re more likely than not going to see him take his shirt off at some point.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
The biggest difference between this year’s Arkansas team and last year’s roster is age.
The Razorbacks relied heavily on a trio of highly-touted freshmen last year, and that experiment had some ups and downs. While Muss brought in a couple of quality freshmen, this year’s roster is going to be built on the strength of upperclassmen.
It will start with a pair of returners in Devo Davis and Trevon Brazile. Davis is the name that a lot of people are going to recognize. A rising senior with a year of eligibility remaining, Davis has played a prominent role in Arkansas’ March success the past three years. Davis is a tenacious defender at 6-4 whose versatility is what has made him such a valuable piece.
“He played the 4 for us as a freshman. We ran him at the 4 against Kansas [in the 2023 Tournament],” Musselman said. “But his natural position is at the 1 or 2.”
Muss is counting on Davis to continue to improve as a shooter, but he will be a linchpin for this team in the year to come.
As will Brazile, a freakishly athletic, 6-10 center who threw down what was arguably the Dunk of the Year last season. He only played nine games before tearing his ACL, but his ability to protect the rim, defend ball screens and be a perimeter weapon offensively is unique.
“He looks great,” Musselman said. “He’s going to surprise people with his shooting this year.”
The third returner that is going to play a significant role is 6-10 Makhi Mitchell, an unselfish passer who Arkansas hopes will take a major step forward in his second season in the program.
Mitchell started 31 games last year, and pairing his combination of rebounding and passing with Brazile’s shot-making gives Arkansas a frontline that will allow the coaching staff to get creative offensively. It is worth noting here that Arkansas’ best freshman, Baye Fall, profiles similarly to Brazile. He’s long, athletic, and can guard 1 through 5 on switches, but he needs to continue to develop the offensive side of his game.
Davis, Brazile and Mitchell are the known quantities, but Arkansas made noise in the portal going after a number of transfers that have the potential to be impact players in the SEC.
We’ll start with Tramon Mark, a terrific perimeter defender who transferred in from Houston. At 6-5, he’s the tough, versatile wing defender that Musselman loves. He expects both Mark and Davis to be the kind of defenders who can shut down an opponent’s best player. Khalif Battle, a transfer from Temple, plays the opposite role. He’s a terrific isolation scorer who will thrive attacking mismatches.
“He’s a tough shot creator and a tough shot maker,” Musselman said of Battle.
Musselman is also excited about what he’ll get from Jalen Graham, who is one of the best post scorers on the roster. When he’s in the game, the Razorbacks will run plays for him, but Graham needs to improve as a free-throw shooter and avoid turnovers.
El Ellis, a transfer from Louisville, will be in the mix at point guard. He put up big numbers for a bad Cardinals team a season ago, but Musselman has been impressed with his ability to do the things point guards need to do: be vocal, direct traffic, lead. Ellis and Layden Blocker, a top-35 freshman, will battle for point guard minutes.
Jeremiah Davenport is a 6-7 transfer from Cincinnati who is going to be asked to play a 3-and-D role, as is Joseph Pinion, a returning sophomore known more for the 3 than the D at this stage. Memphis transfer Chandler Lawson will also play that role.
Since the Muss Bus arrived in Fayetteville, the knock on Arkansas has been perimeter shooting. The Razorbacks have ranked outside the top 300 in 3-point shooting in each of the past two seasons and, as a team, have never shot better than 33.4% from beyond the arc in Musselman’s tenure.
The question this season is simple: Who did they land that will help them improve their perimeter shooting?
The pessimistic view: Arkansas brought in five transfers who shot a combined 33.9% from 3 on more than six attempts per game. Neither of the freshmen are really known as shooters, either, and it’s not like Davis or Mitchell are floor-spacers by trade.
On the other hand, the players that transferred into the program took all those 3s while playing different roles than they will be asked to play this season. Ellis was a gunner. Battle was a gunner. The shot selection will be different this season.
Combine all that with the fact that Brazile was a 38% 3-point shooter before his injury, and then throw in Davis’ progression from a 17% shooter as a freshman to 34% last year, and there is reason to buy in.
Brazile is the guy that makes all the difference.
He oozes potential. Few players around the SEC — or even the country — can match his athleticism at 6-10, and his combination of hitting 3s off the catch and attacking closeouts creates all kinds of matchup problems. When he’s at the 5, it changes the way teams have to defend Arkansas. Suddenly, the perimeter shooting isn’t quite as much of an issue. The space is created because the opponent’s rim protector is chasing Brazile in pick-and-pop actions.
“He’s stronger, he’s more confident, he’s a leader for us,” Musselman said. “When he got here a year ago, he was quiet and figuring his game out. He was still gaining confidence, and that has drastically changed for the positive for him and for us.”
An ACL tear is a major injury, but it’s not a career-changer — not the way that it was 30 years ago. The benefit of him suffering the injury early on last year is that he has had far more rehab time to get right for 2023-24.
If Brazile can use this summer to build on the base he established last season, he has the potential to be a first-team All-SEC player with the upside of getting picked in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft.
No one else on this roster can say the same.
It’d be foolish to bet against Arkansas with Musselman running the show, foolish to doubt the Razorbacks ascending as the season reaches March.
The truth is it takes Musselman a while to figure out how to best utilize the talent he has on his roster, but one thing that we can all agree on is that there’s quite a bit of talent to work with here.
It’s likely nobody, including anyone on the Arkansas coaching staff, can tell you exactly how it’s going to work for the Hogs in 2024. Not many would have guessed that Makhi Mitchell would have been a critical piece to a Sweet 16 team at this time last year.
But he was.
Picking Arkansas to be a top-five team in the SEC means trusting Musselman and his staff to be able to put the pieces in the right place.
Trust in Musselman figuring it out.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: BIG 10…NORTHWESTERN
|2022-23:||22-12, 12-8 (T-2nd, Big Ten)|
|NCAA Tournament – Second Round|
|Coach:||CHRIS COLLINS (11th Season)|
|Homecourt:||WELSH-RYAN ARENA (7,039)|
|Key Departures:||CHASE AUDIGE (14.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.4 spg)|
|ROBBIE BERAN (7.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.7 bpg)|
|JULIAN ROPER II (4.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 apg)|
|Key Newcomers:||RYAN LANGBORG (transfer, Princeton)|
|BLAKE PRESTON (transfer, Liberty)|
|JUSTIN MULLINS (transfer, Denver)|
|JORDAN CLAYTON (freshman, Bradford Christian)|
|BLAKE BARKLEY (freshman, Putnam Science Academy)|
FROM THE COACH
“We have a winning culture and return four of our top players. We have an elite point guard who is like having a great quarterback. That gives you a chance every night.”
Chris Collins knew he needed a huge season from his backcourt duo of Boo Buie and Chase Audige last year. The Northwestern coach had lost his two top frontcourt players, Pete Nance (North Carolina) and Ryan Young (Duke), and the outlook seemed bleak.
Most felt like the 2022-23 season would be the swan song for Collins in Evanston.
Instead, Buie and Audige responded and, along with the Wildcats stingy defense, carried the program to a surprising NCAA Tournament appearance. It didn’t matter that Northwestern lost to UCLA in the second round; the 22-12 record and the 12 league victories — including a key road win at Michigan State, a sweep of Indiana and a big home win over Purdue — were pivotal.
Audige, one of the best perimeter defenders in the country, is gone now. Thankfully for Collins, Buie opted to return for another go-around. That alone gives Northwestern a shot to make back-to-back tourney appearances.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
Buie was simply terrific last season. A second team all-league selection, he averaged 17.3 points and 4.5 assists for the Wildcats. It’s difficult to imagine the 6-2 senior taking another step, but that’s what Collins will need.
The one area where there’s significant room for improvement in Buie’s game is keeping the defense honest from distance. The same goes for Ty Berry, who started every game but shot 29% from deep.
“He’s a good shooter,” Collins said of Buie. “He and Ty had uncharacteristically bad shooting years from 3, but they are both better than they showed last season.”
Buie has also come a long way with his maturity, he’s become a quality leader and learned not to have to try and hit the home run with every play. Meanwhile, Collins is optimistic that Berry, a 6-3 senior, can increase his scoring average to a dozen points or so this season. That’ll happen if he can just get his 3-point percentage up into the mid 30s.
Brooks Barnhizer will likely move into the starting lineup after coming off the bench last season. The 6-6 sophomore guard improved significantly as the season went along, and wound up third on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) during Big Ten play, shooting 40% from 3 and also grabbing five boards per game. Barnhizer is tough, and is a difficult matchup because he’s big, strong, can shoot it, put it on the floor and drive the ball, and also post up. He’ll play the 4 in small-ball lineups.
Matthew Nicholson is a 7-foot senior who started the majority of games last season and buys into his role — which is to provide physicality and a toughness up front. Nicholson defends, rebounds, is a solid rim protector and a lob threat.
Collins and his staff brought in three transfers who are all different. Ryan Langborg averaged 12.7 points last year for a Princeton team that went to the Sweet 16. The 6-4 guard can help with much-needed perimeter shooting. Blake Preston is a 6-9 forward who won a ton of games while at Liberty, and will be an ideal backup big man.
“We added some older guys who have done it already,” Collins said. “They have both been in winning programs with winning cultures.”
The third portal addition is Justin Mullins. The 6-6 sophomore from Chicago is long and athletic, and he averaged 10 points as a freshman at Denver. Collins is also hoping that freshman Jordan Clayton, a three-star guard from Bradford Christian (MA), can provide a spark off the bench — especially on the defensive end of the floor. Northwestern also brings back sophomores Luke Hunger and Nick Martinelli, who will both provide depth up front.
Collins knows his team can’t shoot 32% as a group on 3s and expect to duplicate what it did last season — namely, making another tourney appearance.
Buie’s only clear weakness last season was his perimeter shot, and maybe it was an outlier because he had shot 35% from long range his sophomore and junior campaigns. Berry was even worse from long distance last season, but he shot 37% as a freshman and 39% his sophomore year. Collins isn’t just blowing smoke when he says both players are better shooters than they showed a year ago.
In the same vein, Langborg shot 33% last season at Princeton in 2022-23, but he was a 38% shooter from 3 his first two years in college. If these three guys all revert back to what they were prior to last season, the Wildcats could go from a terrible shooting team to an above-average one.
Northwestern was so dominant defensively last season, but Audige spearheaded the point of attack and he’s gone now. He got deflections and steals, and perhaps most importantly, he set the tone on that end of the floor.
Will the Wildcats continue Audige’s legacy? Even if this group adopts the right mentality, there are still questions about whether Northwestern has the personnel to excel on defense.
Audige’s absence also leaves Buie with a full plate on both ends of the court.
Last year, Buie could take plays off defensively knowing that Audige was an elite defender and guarded the other team’s best perimeter scorer; now, it’ll be far more difficult to do that. On the offensive end, Audige averaged 14.1 points and even though he wasn’t the most efficient player, he was a weapon and had to be accounted for by opponents. Without him around, teams can now focus even more on trying to stop, or at least contain, Buie, and force guys like Barnhizer and Berry to beat them.
Then there’s the issue of winning close games — which went from a weakness the previous season to a strength last year. Northwestern swept four games against Indiana and Wisconsin, with all four decided by a combined total of eight points.
“That was absolutely huge for us last season,” Collins said. “Those games can change your entire season.”
Northwestern’s defense last season was the No. 1 key to its success and to getting back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.
The Wildcats ranked 22nd in the country in defensive efficiency. Without Audige, the Wildcats are going to have to dig deep to keep up the grittiness and win games even when they aren’t making shots. That was the recipe for success last year.
“We have to be a really good defensive team again,” Collins said. “That’s going to be what helps define how good we are this season.”
Langborg won’t be able to replace Audige talent-wise defensively, but overall, the team should still be able to slow down the pace, make enough shots and win close games with its defense. Collins has enough guys who were a part of it last season with Buie, Berry, Barnhizer and Nicholson back. He’ll need Langborg, Preston and Mullins to buy into the defense-first mentality and grind out wins.
The Wildcats have tasted winning, but they did it with a couple of experienced guards who had terrific seasons. Now, all the pressure falls on Buie — who won’t necessarily have a running mate this season.
Buie will have to score at the same level that he did a year ago, maybe even more so, while leading at a higher level, running the team and defending. Basically, he will need to play at an All-American level this season instead of just an All-Big Ten level like last year.
When you can start with one of the best guards in the league, and maybe even the country, that gives Northwestern a chance.
Buie and Berry are both going to prove last year was a fluke and shoot it much better from beyond the arc. Barnhizer will have to show he’s a consistent double-digit scorer as well, and the transfers are going to have to help — especially Langborg.
We’ll see if last season was a one-year outlier, or whether Collins and the Wildcats can build on what they did in 2022-23. This certainly won’t be one of the most talented teams in the Big Ten, but Collins has a star guard and older guys, which might just be enough to make a return appearance come March.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: MAC…OHIO
|2022-23:||19-14, 10-8 (5th, MAC)|
|Coach:||JEFF BOALS (5th Season)|
|Homecourt:||CONVOCATION CENTER (13,080)|
|Key Departures:||DWIGHT WILSON (15.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.3 apg)|
|BEN RODERICK (5.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.6 apg)|
|DEVON BAKER (6.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3 apg)|
|Key Newcomers:||SHEREEF MITCHELL (transfer, Creighton)|
|IKE CORNISH (transfer, Maryland)|
FROM THE COACH
“Even after losing our two or three best players, I knew at some point we’d be good — I just didn’t know when. It clicked the second week of January. We were playing our best basketball down the stretch. That’s what we’re hoping to build from this season.”
Don’t rebuild, reload. That’s Jeff Boals’ mindset.
Last summer, he lost his top two players to the portal, Mark Sears to Alabama and Ben Vander Plas to Virginia, along with a program pillar in Jason Carter. Take note of the two end destination spots for Sears and Vander Plas: not exactly single-A ball there.
Back in 2020-21, when Boals and his Bobcats knocked off Virginia in the opening round as a 13 seed, Jason Preston was the standout star. Subsequently, he opted to take his talents to the highest level with two years of eligibility remaining.
Whether to power conference poachers or the siren song of pro ball, losing high-level talent is simply the cost of doing business in today’s transfer portal era. The cost, however, is markedly higher for elite mid-majors with stellar internal development programs. With Boals and Ohio, the track record speaks for itself.
This summer, the Bobcats were dealt two more blows in the personnel department. Still, most of last year’s nucleus is back, and they’re hungry for a taste of the sweet, sweet NCAA Tournament nectar they sampled in 2021.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
If Boals can sort out the frontline renovation, look out — because the backcourt is loaded. But we’ll get to the guards in the moment.
Up front, Ben Roderick and Dwight Wilson depart, gutting the Bobcats of their starting 4 and 5 men. Roderick was effective in his own right, but Wilson’s impact was seismic. Few teams could counter Wilson’s thunderous presence on the block on either end. He was an automatic bucket in the post if left one-on-one. Naturally, Boals catered to his big man baron with a steady diet of post touches.
This year, that gravitational force is absent, creating new opportunities for schematic adjustments.
“We’ll play a little differently than we have,” Boals said. “We can move AJ Clayton to the 5, where he held his own last year.”
Clayton profiles as more of a stretch-4, but he rolled his sleeves up and did the dirty work last year. He proved far more valuable than a run-of-the-mill catch-and-shoot forward, leading the team in blocks and finishing second behind Wilson in both offensive and defensive rebounds.
Despite an uncharacteristically poor shooting season, Boals believes there’s major headroom for Clayton to grow entering his junior year. The trials and tribulations of last year will serve him well, as will an additional offseason in the weight room. If he is to man the middle frequently this year, Clayton must throw his weight around.
Alternatively, former Louisville product Gabe Wiznitzer could be the antidote Boals needs in the paint. Boals sees last season as Wiznitzer’s freshman year, effectively, since he barely saw the floor at Louisville before coming to Athens. He thinks the former four-star prospect is in store for a massive leap in Year 2 in the program after getting 13 minutes a game at the end of the rotation last season.
As for the guards, there’s a dazzling array of talent and versatility. Miles Brown and Jaylin Hunter are the proven commodities, and Brown has the distinction of being the only Bobcat on the roster who played in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Hunter and Miles Brown were the steady constants last year, the former at the point and the latter as his running mate. Collectively, their ability to drill it from deep is what sets them apart. They canned 124 triples at a blistering 42% clip — you’d be hard pressed to find that precision on that volume anywhere.
They’re joined by two rising sophomore and reigning All-MAC Freshman Team honorees, Elmore James and AJ Brown. Meanwhile, 6-1 reserve Ajay Sheldon will add depth, but there’s a logjam for minutes at the 1, 2 and 3 spots.
Don’t let that production overshadow Shereef Mitchell, who might be a sleeping giant in this backcourt brigade. Mitchell once looked like a budding star in his early days at Creighton before an injury set him back. He’s a true dual-threat guard who can toggle between multiple guard spots, both on and off the ball.
Boals remembers seeing Mitchell up close in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 showdown against Creighton in 2021 and immediately took notice. It’s worth noting that in the game just before that — the Virginia upset — Vander Plas led Ohio with 17 points, which certainly put him on Tony Bennett’s radar ahead of his eventual transfer to Charlottesville. It’s funny how these things work out.
Unsurprisingly, rebounding is Boals’ chief concern for the upcoming season. There’s no magic potion to turn any of his bigs into Dwight Wilson-caliber glass cleaners. He says he’ll preach it, emphasize it and simply trust the process with his new look frontline.
Lost in the shuffle of all the prolific guards Boals has produced over the years is his longstanding success in the rebounding department. Turn back the clock to his Stony Brook days, and you’ll see the backbone of those squads was defense and rebounding. Lately, he’s adapted to the modern momentum of skill and shooting, but he hasn’t lost touch with his roots. And this year, of all years, he definitely can’t afford to do so.
After redshirting last season, IJ Ezuma is a potential building block behind Clayton and Wiznitzer. Boals believes he was ready to play last year but felt it best to wait until Wilson graduated.
The oft-forgotten part about Wilson’s arsenal was his passing and vision out of the post.
“It’ll be different because we won’t have that low post blanket,” divulged Boals. “You knew every day what you were getting. He opened up a ton of shots for us working inside out from the block.”
Per KenPom, Wilson finished with the third-highest assist rate on the team last year, right behind DeVon Baker, another key loss from last year’s unit. On paper, it looks like Hunter is the only capable facilitator left.
The counterpoint? The intrinsic chemistry embedded within this established core should quell any worries about shot competition. The stats may not depict Ohio as an assist-friendly group, but this is far from a selfish team.
Boals doubled down on that notion of selflessness when discussing this year’s X-factor.
“Our ability to stay selfless is huge. We have so many talented guys returning, so giving yourself up for the team is necessary.”
For reference, Ohio brings back seven guys with legitimate claims at starting spots. Plus, Boals added two bona fide power conference transfers: Mitchell and Maryland castaway Ike Cornish. Cornish is a bit of a mystery box at this juncture, but the former four-star recruit from Baltimore adds another bullet in the chamber.
Boals is raving about the sophomore tandem of James and AJ Brown.
James was an afterthought during nonconference play, but he exploded for 21 points off the bench against Toledo on Jan. 17. From then on, Boals couldn’t take him out of the starting lineup. In 15 starts down the stretch, James averaged 8.8 points while shooting over 40% from beyond the arc on a 56.7% true shooting percentage.
Brown is another diamond in the rough. He was banged up his freshman year but was shot out of a cannon late last season. Brown went for 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting (5-of-10 on 3s) in a win over Ball State in the Bobcats’ MAC Tournament opener.
Ohio should be on everyone’s shortlist of MAC title contenders. What many may miss, however, is just how close they were last season.
Despite a brutal virus that ran through the team at the dawn of championship week, Ohio managed to take the high-flying Toledo Rockets all the way to the wire in the semis.
Boals’ quiet confidence speaks volumes about where his team stands while heading into 2024. Adapting to a new normal without the big fella may take time, but this shapes up to be a top-three contender in the MAC title race.
CAPITALS SCORE THREE IN THIRD TO RALLY FOR 6-4 WIN OVER DEVILS
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Connor McMichael scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and Hunter Shepard made 18 saves in his NHL debut as the Washington Capitals rallied for a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.
McMichael scored his second goal of the season at 2:09 of the third to put Washington ahead 5-4 after Dylan Strome tied the contest at 4 just 18 seconds into the final period on the power-play.
Alex Ovechkin added an empty net goal at 18:25, the 824th of his NHL career.
“Our power play steps up right out of the gate to sort of set the tone for the third period,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said. “And then we did enough good things in the final 10 minutes to hang on.”
Washington scored three times in the first, then the Devils scored four goals in the second before the Capitals scored three more in the third.
According to OptaSTATS, Washington became the first team in NHL history to shut out their opponent by three or more goals in the first period, get blanked by four or more goals in the second, then shut out their opponent by three or more goals again in the third.
Devils coach Lindy Ruff simply wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive lapses.
“If we’re going to play like this, we will make it extremely hard on ourselves,” Ruff said. “I thought we got what we deserved tonight.”
After the two quick goals to start the third, Washington held on for its second win in six games as the 27-year-old Shepard – MVP of the Calder Cup playoffs last spring after leading the Hershey Bears to the AHL championship – overcame a rough second period.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” said Shepard, who won NCAA championships with Minnesota-Duluth in 2018 and 2019. “I’m excited to get out there and see my parents, pretty emotional day. To have 13 or 14 people make it here on a day’s notice from Minnesota, it’s quite the support system.”
Tyler Toffoli scored twice for New Jersey and Jack Hughes added three assists. Hughes leads the NHL in scoring with 17 points, including four goals.
Washington rolled to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Anthony Mantha, Strome and Sonny Milano.
Mantha opened the scoring at 6:37. Strome made it 2-0 at 15:52, sliding the puck past Devils netminder Akira Schmid. Milano made it a three-goal margin at 17:28, assisted by T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Vitek Vanecek replaced Schmid after the first period. Schmid had five saves and Vanecek made 14 stops.
The momentum completely shifted in New Jersey’s favor in the second as they erupted for four goals in less than six minutes.
Toffoli, who scored a hat trick in Tuesday’s 5-2 win at Montreal, put New Jersey on the board at 4:31.
Timo Meier, last season’s key trade deadline acquisition by the Devils, scored at 5:19 with assists to Jack Hughes and Toffoli before Devils captain Nico Hischier tied the game 3-3 at 6:42.
Toffoli then scored his sixth of the season at 10:01 with assists from Jack Hughes and his younger brother Luke to put New Jersey ahead 4-3.
“It was a rollercoaster game,” Meier said. “We just let that momentum swing get away from us.”
The Capitals had managed only seven goals in their first five games before notching six on Wednesday.
Devils: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Capitals: Host the Minnesota Wild on Friday.
AUTO RACING: BELL TOLLS IN FLORIDA TO EARN TITLE SHOT; TRUEX, HAMLIN NEED TO RALLY AT MARTINSVILLE
NASCAR CUP SERIES
Site: Martinsville, Virginia.
Schedule: Saturday, practice, 12:35 p.m., and qualifying, 1:20 p.m.; Sunday, race, 2 p.m. (NBC).
Race distance: 500 laps, 263 miles.
Last year: Christopher Bell won after starting 20th.
Last race: Bell took the lead with 15 laps to go and held off Ryan Blaney at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch a spot in next month’s championship finale.
Fast facts: Bell and Kyle Larson are the only drivers locked into the Championship 4 with one race left for six drivers to vie for two spots. … Bell led only 26 of 267 laps in a chaotic race that featured 25 lead changes. … Three playoff drivers — Larson, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. — did not finish. … William Byron is third in the standings, 30 points clear of the top-four cutoff, and race runner-up Blaney is 10 points clear. Tyler Reddick is fifth, Truex and Hamlin are both 17 points back and Chris Buescher is 43 points off the pace.
Next race: Nov. 5, Avondale, Arizona.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Dead On Tools 250
Site: Martinsville, Virginia.
Schedule: Friday, practice, 5 p.m., and qualifying, 5:35 p.m.; Saturday, race, 3:30 p.m. (USA).
Track: Martinsville Speedway.
Race distance: 250 laps, 131.5 miles.
Last year: Ty Gibbs won after starting fourth.
Last race: Sam Mayer held off Riley Herbst and became the first driver to claim a spot in the championship finale with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Fast facts: The victory was Mayer’s fourth of the season, all in the last 12 races, and first on an oval. … John Hunter Nemechek is second in the standings, 44 points above the cutline, with Cole Custer and Austin Hill each 13 points clear. Justin Allgaier is within three points of Custer and Hill with one race remaining to earn a berth in the Championship 4 while Sammy Smith (49 back), Chandler Smith (54 back) and Sheldon Creed (65 back) all need to win to advance.
Next race: Nov. 4, Avondale, Arizona.
NASCAR TRUCK SERIES
Last race: Carson Hocevar earned his fourth career victory — all this season — and first NASCAR Truck Series Championship appearance with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He joins regular-season champion Corey Heim, Grant Enfinger and 2021 series champion Ben Rhodes in the Championship 4.
Next race: Nov. 3, Avondale, Arizona.
Mexican Grand Prix
Site: Mexico City.
Schedule: Friday, practice, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Saturday, practice, 1:30 p.m., and qualifying, 5 p.m.; Sunday, race, 4 p.m. (ESPN).
Track: Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Race distance: 71 laps, 189.7 miles.
Last year: Max Verstappen won from the pole position.
Last race: Verstappen, already the season champion for the third consecutive year, rallied after starting sixth and held off Lewis Hamilton to earn his record-tying 15th victory of the year and the 50th of his career.
Fast facts: Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were both later disqualified for rules violations found with the skid blocks under their cars. … Verstappen is just the fifth F1 driver to win 50 races. Hamilton, a seven-time season champion, is the career leader with 103. … Verstappen has won three times this season after starting sixth or lower. … Lando Norris finished third but was moved to second when Hamilton was DQ’d.
Next race: Oct. 29, Mexico City.
Last race: Scott Dixon won at Laguna Seca, his third win of the season, all in the last four races. The six-time champion gave Chip Ganassi Racing a 1-2 finish in the standings. A week earlier, teammate Alex Palou became the first driver in 18 years to clinch the title before the final race of the season.
Next race: 2024 season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida.
NHRA DRAG RACING
Last event: Leah Pruett won in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan won in Funny car in Texas.
Next event: Oct. 26-29, Las Vegas.
WORLD OF OUTLAWS
Next events: Nov. 1-4, Concord, North Carolina.
INDIANA RELEASES/TOP HEADLINES
INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL
BROWN, PACERS MAKE MEMORABLE FIRST IMPRESSION
Bruce Brown made quite the first impression in Indiana.
It started hours before tipoff with his memorable arrival for his first regular season game as a Pacer.
Brown strolled across the tunnel connecting the Ascension St. Vincent Center practice facility to Gainbridge Fieldhouse wearing a cowboy hat and brown overalls, with no shirt underneath.
It was an image that will be seared into the brains of his teammates and even head coach Rick Carlisle for a long while, judging from their reactions.
But if Brown plays like he did on Wednesday, he can wear whatever he wants. The Pacers’ big free agency signee lived up to his billing, dropping 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 6-of-8 from 3-point range in Indiana’s 143-120 win over the Wizards.
“Different color overalls every night, man,” Carlisle quipped after Brown’s performance. “I’m in.”
Brown’s outfit may have made him stand out, but he fit right in with his new teammates, adding another weapon to an already potent offensive attack.
Eight Pacers reached double figures in the victory.
All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton had his first double-double of the season with 20 points (15 in the third quarter alone) and 11 assists.
Second-year guard Andrew Nembhard had a double-double of his own backing up Haliburton at the point with 12 points and 10 assists.
Bennedict Mathurin picked up where he left off in his standout rookie season, scoring 18 points and also dishing out five assists.
Buddy Hield knocked down four threes off the bench en route to 14 points.
Jalen Smith (13 points and eight rebounds), Myles Turner (11 points, eight boards, and three blocks), and Obi Toppin (11 points and four rebounds) all had productive nights.
It all added up to the most points ever by the Pacers in a season opener and two points shy of the franchise record for points in any NBA home game.
“It just felt like the ball was moving,” Haliburton said. “That’s what we’ve tried to preach all preseason. We know we’ve got a lot of different guys (that) it can be their night at any time. I feel like it’s a really balanced scoring attack.”
“Everybody likes to see each other succeed on this team,” Smith added. “Everybody touching the ball, we know you’re going to find the open look some time. It’s going to be there as long as you keep moving the ball and just keep moving, something’s going to open up.”
The ball found Brown in particular on Wednesday. The 6-4 guard has carved out a reputation as a versatile player and tenacious defender over five NBA seasons and was an invaluable contributor on the Nuggets team that won a title last season.
But Brown was not known as a prolific 3-point shooter. Entering Wednesday, he had never made more than four threes in an NBA game. He had five through three quarters against Washington, then added the sixth early in the fourth, knocking down a shot from the left wing off a dish from Nembhard.
He had a big smile as he turned back up the sideline, high-fiving a couple fans sitting courtside on his way back down the court.
“I think just the offense,” Brown said of what allowed him to get so many looks from beyond the arc. “We play fast. Everybody’s running. Myles one time got me an open three just because of his seal. Just our offense is so random. Anybody can score the ball that night and it was me tonight.”
“Tonight he did exactly what we signed him to do,” Carlisle said. “He was a no-frills, veteran competitor that was ready to play on night number one.”
Brown’s performance earned him an invite into the postgame press conference alongside Haliburton, where of course, he was asked about his pregame outfit.
“Y’all can get used to the cowboy fits,” Brown said. “That’s just me. That’s what I love. It’s just my love of country music so I dress like I’m from the country. That’s just my swag.”
Haliburton couldn’t help but chime in.
“The cowboy hat is cool,” he said. “But naked under the overalls is crazy.”
“The boosts (were) ostrich, though,” Brown retorted. “Y’all don’t know nothing about that.”
“My bad,” Haliburton said, dapping up his new backcourt mate.
Brown certainly has unique taste within the Pacers locker room, but Carlisle said he also brings a championship work ethic.
“I get here early every day and he’s here before me every day,” he said. “He’s an early morning guy. You walk in the gym and Luke Combs is playing and he’s shooting and he’s doing his stuff.”
Brown’s versatility shown through on Wednesday. Not only was he in the starting lineup, Carlisle often deployed him as the lone starter alongside four bench players from the second unit. That group included Nembhard and Nesmith, Indiana’s two best perimeter defenders aside from Brown.
Bringing in Brown has added to the Pacers’ depth, but it also has created a ripple-down effect on the Pacers’ rotation. Brown slid into the starting shooting guard spot that Nembhard occupied last year as a rookie. Nembhard is a natural point guard that played primarily off the ball last season in deference to Haliburton and T.J. McConnell.
Carlisle experimented with a 10-man rotation that included both McConnell and Nembhard in the second unit in Friday’s preseason finale, but ultimately determined that he would roll with just a nine-man rotation to start the regular season, with Nembhard getting all the minutes as the backup point guard. He met with McConnell on Tuesday, breaking the news to him in what he called “one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had to have with a player.”
“I was almost in tears talking to him about it,” Carlisle said. “One of the reasons was that he was just so great. He was just him. He said, ‘Hey, listen, I’m disappointed. I’ll be ready. I’ll be professional, you know that. I’ll do everything I can to set an example.’
“This is one of the great competitors really in the history of this franchise. There certainly are going to be opportunities for him to play, but heading into this game the minutes plan just didn’t shake out well for him, so we talked about it. That was tough.”
McConnell was vocal on the Pacers’ bench throughout Wednesday’s game, cheering on Nembhard and the rest of his teammates. With the game in hand, he checked in for the first time with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to a loud ovation (partially because he was subbing in for Haliburton). He was his usual energetic self, hitting both his shots and tallying four points, two assists, and two steals.
Smith was quick to praise McConnell after the game when asked about Nembhard, noting that the nine-year veteran has been “a big brother” figure for the younger point guard that has been instrumental in his development.
“One of the other great things about T.J. is he’s been a big Andrew Nembhard supporter,” Carlisle confirmed. “He’s been in his ear for the first year-plus. He’s given him little tidbits of advice to play the position better.”
Carlisle was quick to point out that it’s an 82-game season and McConnell’s services will definitely be needed over the course of the year. But for now, he is outside the rotation. And he’s not the only talented player in that position.
The rotation also doesn’t include Jarace Walker — the eighth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Nor does it include fellow first-round pick Ben Sheppard or 2021 first-round selection Isaiah Jackson. Jordan Nwora, a talented scorer who set a franchise record with a 25-point quarter last season, and Daniel Theis, who helped Germany win the FIBA World Cup this summer, are also on the outside looking in.
“We feel like we really have 11, 12, 13 guys that can be a part of the rotation,” Haliburton said. “We just feel like we’re a really deep team. That’s why training camp has been so good. We’ve just been competing, getting after it…It’s just a testament to the roster that’s been built here and the hard work that guys have put in this summer.”
That depth can lead to more tough conversations, but it also should serve the Pacers well this season in their quest to return to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
Wednesday was only one game, but they certainly made a memorable first impression.
MICHAEL PITTMAN JR. CLEARS UP POSTGAME COMMENTS
Following the Colts’ Week 7 loss to the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. – who had two catches on five targets in the game – made some comments to the Indianapolis Star he wanted to clean up on Wednesday.
Those postgame comments: “They just didn’t target me today, for whatever reason. Maybe I’m not a big part of the offense. … When I do get the ball, I feel like I always do something with it. Just know that i’m viable to break off a big one in any situation vs. any team. I’m just trying to show the coaches that I’m out there, too.”
On Wednesday, Pittman addressed those remarks in front of his locker at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
“Obviously it was a very frustrating loss the way that it happened,” Pittman said. “I’ve never been a good loser. I’m actually a very poor sport, it’s something that I’ve been working on my whole life. And it’s just hard for me sometimes when you lose your composure, you lose your head.
“I think I was a little dramatic when I said that. Obviously I am a big part of this offense — I lead the team in targets, stuff like that. It was out of frustration and I just wanted to clear up that I love playing here, I love Indy and everything we do here. I’m excited for this week coming up.”
Pittman added he probably wouldn’t have made those comments had he waited another 30 minutes Sunday evening – the sting of the Colts’ 39-38 loss was still fresh.
Pittman indeed leads the Colts in targets (65), receptions (42) and receiving yards (489) entering Week 8; he’s averaging 69.9 yards per game, which would be a career high.
FUEL FALL IN FIRST MEETING WITH K-ZOO
KALAMAZOO- The Fuel headed to Kalamazoo to take on the K-Wings in their first of fourteen meetings this season. In a rare Wednesday night matchup before meeting again this Saturday, it was the K-Wings who came out victorious, beating the Fuel 5-4.
The Kalamazoo Wings got to a quick start with a goal by Nico Blachman just 20 seconds into the game, followed by another goal 20 seconds later by Ty Glover.
At 4:36, Collin Saccoman took the game’s first penalty, an illegal check to the head call against Kalamazoo. The Fuel were able to take advantage of the power play with a goal by Ross MacDougall to cut the score in half.
At 6:53, Andrew Bellant and Kalamazoo’s Tanner Sorenson took offsetting minor penalties for embellishment and interference respectively. About four minutes after that, Chris Cameron and the K-Wings first scorer Blachman were given five minutes each for fighting after a brawl.
After trading off four more minor penalties near the end of the first frame, the Wings were able to tack on another goal by Brad Morrison after a roughing call on DJ King left the Fuel to the penalty kill.
The Fuel dominated the beginning of the second frame and tacked on a goal by defenseman DJ King to make it 3-2.
Josh Passolt extended Kalamazoo’s lead to two again with a goal at 10:38 of the second period.
It wasn’t until 16:37 that the first second period penalty took place which was Derek Daschke sitting for holding. This gave the Fuel their second power play opportunity of the game.
Despite the calm nature of the second period up to that point, that all shifted when Sorenson received a five minute major penalty and game misconduct for boarding on Kirill Chaika which former K-Wing Darby Llewellyn immediately retaliated for.
Llewellyn received two minutes for roughing after some blows to Sorenson leaving the Fuel to finish out the second period at even strength but three minutes of power play time to start the third period.
The Fuel were able to capitalize on their long power play with a goal tipped in by Jon Martin giving him his third goal in the first three games of the season to make it 4-3.
Indy’s Trevor Zins took the period’s first penalty, an interference call at 11:17. Just four seconds later, Kalamazoo’s Luke Morgan was called for hooking, forcing almost two full minutes of 4-on-4 play.
At 14:26, Luc Brown scored for the Fuel to tie the game at four each. Robert Calisti scored just fifty seconds later to make it 5-4 in favor of the K-Wings once again.
Indy pulled Mitchell Weeks from goal in favor of the extra skater but could not even the score again before time ticked down and ultimately fell to the K-Wings 5-4 in regulation.
The Indy Fuel are back in action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on October 28, 2023 for Pucks and Paws/Halloween Night against the Kalamazoo Wings.
INDIANA FALLS IN FIVE DESPITE TRIPLE-DOUBLE FROM HAWORTH
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Despite an outstanding all-around night from junior setter Camryn Haworth, the Indiana Volleyball team (16-8, 6-5) fell in five sets (24-26, 25-18, 23-25, 25-10, 10-15) at Illinois on Wednesday evening.
The Hoosiers won 15 more total points on the evening and outhit the Fighting Illini by almost 100 points but the hosts were on the better end of two deuce games and closed the fifth set on a four-point run to secure the victory.
Haworth recorded the second triple-double of her career with 50 assists, a career-high 13 kills and 10 digs while helping run an offense that hit a collective .287 on the evening. Four players had 13-or-more kills for the Hoosiers.
IU falls back to a tie for sixth place in the conference ahead of a Sunday afternoon trip to Evanston to play Northwestern (2:00 PM ET).
Stats and Notes
• IU was the better team offensively, hitting .287 with 16 more kills and one fewer error. Four players recorded 13-plus kills including a team high 15 from senior outside hitter Morgan Geddes.
• The Hoosiers had 78 digs to Illinois’ 68 with both teams producing eight total blocks. The Fighting Illini won the service battle with 10 aces to IU’s three.
• IU’s 71 kills as a team were the most since October of 2021 against Rutgers. It was the first time this season IU outhit its opponent and lost the match.
#10 Haworth, Camryn
• An outstanding all-around effort saw Haworth record the second triple-double of her career. She tallied 50 assists, a career-high 13 kills and 10 digs.
• She becomes the first IU player in the rally-era to record two triple-doubles in her career. It’s the 16th triple-double in program history and just the third during the rally-scoring era.
• Her 13 kills were the most by an IU setter in a triple-double since Kristina Sanderson’s 15 in 1998. It is the most by an IU setter in the rally-scoring system.
#32 Gary, Ramsey
• The freshman dug 25 balls across five sets, helping pace IU to 78 as a team. She now has five-straight matches with 20+ digs, the most by a Hoosier in the current scoring system (since 2008).
#18 Rammelsberg, Kaley
• The Westerville, Ohio native produced 13 kills with just one error while hitting .522 across the five-set match.
• She’s now got 946 kills across her entire career.
Set 1: Illinois 26, Indiana 24
• The Fighting Illini had a massive advantage in the serve and receive battle in the first frame, recording aces while the Hoosiers missed five serves.
• IU had 17 kills in the first set including four kills from Geddes but Illinois stole a deuce game to take the early lead at home.
• A kill from sophomore outside hitter Candela Alonso-Corcelles gave IU a 15-12 lead heading into the media timeout.
• Down 19-21, Illinois went on a 5-2 run to force the Hoosiers into a timeout on set point. IU was able to fend off one set point but a pair of points after 24-all from Illinois handed the hosts the first set.
Set 2: Indiana 25, Illinois 18
• IU hit the cover off the ball in the second set, producing a .500 clip offensively with 17 kills and just two errors.
• Geddes and sophomore opposite hitter Avry Tatum combined for nine kills on 15 swings. The Hoosiers blocked three shots in the frame while Haworth dished out 13 assists.
• Out of a timeout, the Hoosiers got a kill from Geddes before a pair of attacking errors from Illinois outside hitter Raina Terry gave the visitors a 16-10 lead.
• The Hoosiers got the lead to as many as eight at 22-14 and cruised to a set victory at 25-18 with graduate student middle blocker terminating on set point.
Set 3: Illinois 25, Indiana 23
• Another deuce game went the favor of Illinois in set three despite 12 assists from Haworth and eight digs from Gary.
• The two sides exchanged points before Illinois broke open the set with a three-point lead at 20-17. IU tied things at 23-all but the Fighting Illini scored twice out of the timeout to win the set.
Set 4: Indiana 25, Illinois 10
• A dominant set from the jump, IU hit .500 in the fourth frame with Haworth producing five kills on five swings on second contact.
• IU went down 2-4 but promptly went on a 13-1 run behind the massive serve of Tatum from the end line. The Hoosiers were the first to 20 points and closed the final three points of the set.
Set 5: Illinois 15, Indiana 10
• IU couldn’t continue the fourth-set momentum into the final frame, hitting negative while getting blocked three times by Illinois.
• The Hoosiers took an 8-7 lead as the two teams switched sides but Illinois closed on an 8-2 run including scoring the final four points of the match.
INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER
INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER RANKS NO. 21/24 IN NATIONAL POLLS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s soccer earned national rankings in the United Soccer Coaches and TopDrawerSoccer National Polls.
The Hoosiers were ranked No. 24 in the Coaches Poll making their third straight appearance in the polls. This streak ties the longest streak for IU in the polls dating back to the 2009 season.
Indiana was also ranked No. 21 in TopDrawerSoccer’s poll earning their second straight appearance in the poll.
IUWS improved to 12-2-4 on the season with a 6-2-2 conference record for 20 points to earn their best finish in the B1G. They went 1-1 on the weekend with a 2-0 shutout win against Maryland to earn the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Indiana is also ranked No. 26 in the College Soccer News poll for the third straight week.
The Hoosiers will compete against No. 5 seed Penn State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals in University Park, Pa., on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on B1G+.
INDIANA WOMEN’S GOLF
HOOSIERS FINISH THIRD ON PODIUM AT THE ALLY INVITATIONAL
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Indiana Hoosiers women’s golf team finished third at The Ally Invitational played at the Old Waverly Club from Oct. 23-25 with a 54-hole score of 875 (281-304-290; +11).
Indiana finished ahead of No. 6 LSU and No. 37 Louisville in the team standings and earned the program’s highest team finish in a tournament since winning the Courtney Cole Invitational on Oct. 5, 2021.
The Ally Invitational • Starkville, Miss.
Old Waverly Golf Club
Par 72 • 6,353 yards
Live Results: GolfStat.com
Team Standings: 3rd/10 – 875 (281-304-290; +11).
Top Indiana Players: Caroline Smith – 215 (68-77-70; -1); Caroline Craig – 215 (67-73-75; -1)
• Redshirt junior Caroline Smith finished t-fifth overall after shooting a 215 (68-77-70; -1) for the invitational. The Wake Forest transfer birdied No. 2, 6, 10, 12, and 15 in the opening round and No. 4, 10, and 17 in the second round. In the final frame, Smith continued her excellent play, recording an additional five birdies. The three-round score of 215 marks her season low.
• Graduate student Caroline Craig posted a score of 215 (67-73-75; -1) to also finish t-fifth overall. The Georgia native sank birdie putts on No. 1, 4, and 10 in the opening round, as well as an eagle on hole 9. Craig continued to shoot extremely well in the final two rounds, recording six more birdies throughout.
• Redshirt sophomore Maddie May placed t-17th with a 54-hole scorecard of 222 (71-77-74; +6). The Ole Miss transfer saw a season-high number of birdies, including No. 2, 5, 6, 9, and 15 in round one, No. 14 and 18 in round two, and No. 5, 10, and 17 in round three.
• Sophomore Faith Johnson shot a 226 (75-77-74; +10) to finish t-32nd. She converted at least two birdies in each round, starting on No. 9 and 18 in round one, No. 14 and 16 in round two, and No. 1, 6, and 15 in the final frame.
• Senior Dominika Burdová finished t-42nd. The Czech Republic native shot a 230 (80-78-72; +14), contributing solid numbers to the Hoosiers’ team score. Burdová shot birdies on holes No. 9 and 15 in round one, No. 4, 9, 10, and 16 in round two, and No. 6 and 8 in the final round.
HOOSIERS IN THE STANDINGS
t-5. Caroline Smith – 215 (68-77-70; -1)
t-5. Caroline Craig – 215 (67-73-75; -1)
t-17. Maddie May – 222 (71-77-74; +6)
t-32. Faith Johnson – 226 (75-77-74; +10)
t-42. Dominika Burdová – 230 (80-78-72; +14)
Indiana will not return to the golf course until next year, when they take on Louisville at the Pelican Bay Golf Club in Naples, Fla. on Jan. 16.
NO. 5/9 INDIANA CRUISES TO VICTORIES OVER NO. 10/18 AUBURN, NO. 20/RV MISSOURI
BLOOMINGTON – No. 5/10 Indiana swimming and diving won every event in tri-meet victories over No. 10/18 Auburn and host No. 20/RV Missouri on Wednesday inside the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
Senior Jassen Yep was dominant in his sweep of the breaststroke events. In the 100-yard event, Yep dropped a 52.78, just .78 seconds off his personal-best time set at the 2023 NCAA Championships where he placed 21st nationally. Yep went on to win the 200-yard breaststroke by seven seconds in 1:54.71, close to his 2023 NCAA time of 1:52.39 that finished 17th in the country. Both times Wednesday were well below the new NCAA B-cut standards.
In his first short-course yards meet, freshman Ahmed Hafnaoui swept the distance events. His 8:55.74 in the 1,000-yard freestyle made him the second-fastest performer in program history behind Michael Brinegar, with the sixth-fastest time overall. He earned an NCAA B-cut in the 500 free, going 4:18.62 and setting the 12th-fastest time in the IU record books.
Junior Ching Hwee Gan also swept the distance events for the women. After splitting the fastest 1,000-yard free of anyone in the country last season, her first swim of the new campaign landed at 9:46.26. She just got under the NCAA B-cut line in the 500 free, going 4:46.85.
Indiana diving saw four different Hoosiers win the men’s and women’s springboard events. Skyler Liu and Anne Fowler finished 1-2 on the 1-meter board before swapping podium positions on the 3-meter. Junior Quinn Henninger and Carson Tyler did the same thing on the men’s side. Hoosier divers recorded 12 NCAA Zone Qualifying marks during the meet.
Two-time NCAA Champion and senior Brendan Burns won all three of his events, posting NCAA B-cuts in the 100-yard backstroke (47.17), 200-yard backstroke (1:44.14) and 200-yard butterfly (1:44.80).
No. 5 Indiana 196, No. 20 Missouri 101
No. 5 Indiana 181, No. 10 Auburn 117
No. 10 Indiana 198, RV Missouri 98
No. 10 Indiana 177.5, No. 18 Auburn 118.50
Luke Barr – 200 IM (1:46.56)
Brendan Burns – 200 Medley Relay (1:26.54), 100 Backstroke (47.17), 200 Butterfly (1:44.80), 200 Backstroke (1:44.14)
Tomer Frankel – 200 Medley Relay (1:26.54), 100 Butterfly (47.20), 400 Freestyle Relay (2:52.68)
Ahmed Hafnaoui – 1,000 Freestyle (8:55.74), 500 Freestyle (4:18.62)
Quinn Henninger – 1-Meter (388.55)
Mikkel Lee – 200 Medley Relay (1:26.54), 50 Freestyle (19.86), 400 Freestyle Relay (2:52.68)
Rafael Miroslaw – 200 Freestyle (1:33.42), 100 Freestyle (43.36), 400 Freestyle Relay (2:52.68)
Carson Tyler – 3-Meter (422.70)
Gavin Wight – 400 Freestyle Relay (2:52.68)
Jassen Yep – 200 Medley Relay (1:26.54), 100 Breaststroke (52.78), 200 Breaststroke (1:54.71)
Brearna Crawford – 200 Medley Relay (1:39.69), 100 Breaststroke (1:02.31), 200 Breaststroke (2:14.70)
Anne Fowler – 3-Meter (364.20)
Anna Freed – 200 Butterfly (1:58.43), 200 IM (2:01.21)
Ching Hwee Gan – 1,000 Freestyle (9:46.26), 500 Freestyle (4:46.85)
Lily Hann – 100 Butterfly (54.00)
Skyler Liu – 1-Meter (326.50)
Kacey McKenna – 200 Medley Relay (1:39.69), 100 Backstroke (53.94)
Kristina Paegle – 50 Freestyle (22.45), 100 Freestyle (49.06), 400 Freestyle Relay (3:17.11)
Anna Peplowski – 200 Freestyle (1:46.31), 200 Backstroke (1:56.34), 400 Freestyle Relay (3:17.11)
Ella Ristic – 400 Freestyle Relay (3:17.11)
Ashley Turak – 200 Medley Relay (1:39.69), 400 Freestyle Relay (3:17.11)
Chiok Sze Yeo – 200 Medley Relay (1:39.69)
B: Brendan Burns – 100 back (47.17), 200 back (1:44.14), 200 fly (1:44.80); Anna Freed – 200 fly (1:58.43); Ching Hwee Gan – 500 free (4:46.85); Ahmed Hafnaoui – 500 free (4:18.62); Rafael Miroslaw – 100 free (43.36), 200 free (1:33.42); Kristina Paegle – 50 free (22.45), 100 free (49.06); Anna Peplowski – 200 free (1:46.31), 200 back (1:56.34); Jassen Yep – 100 breast (52.78), 200 breast (1:54.71).
NCAA ZONE QUALIFYING SCORES
1-meter: Morgan Casey (270.10), Anne Fowler (320.50), Quinn Henninger (388.55), Skyler Liu (326.50), Ella Roselli (280.80)
3-meter: Anne Fowler (364.20), Quinn Henninger (414.40), William Jansen (336.25), Skyler Liu (335.10), Ella Roselli (285.75), Carson Tyler (422.70), Lily Witte (293.40)
Indiana will head to Columbus, Ohio for its midseason meet, the Ohio State Invitational, November 16-18. The meet is IU’s target event to qualify for the NCAA Championships in March.
INDIANA FIELD HOCKEY
INDIANA FIELD HOCKEY TO CLOSE REGULAR SEASON AGAINST NO. 15 PENN STATE AND KENT STATE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –––– Indiana Field Hockey will finish out the regular season with two games at home. On Friday, Oct. 27, Indiana will host No. 15 Penn State at Deborah Tobias Field. Then, on Oct. 29, Indiana will finish the regular season by taking on Kent State and participating in Senior Day festivities.
-Last weekend the Hoosiers came up short in two tight battles.
-Indiana lost at No. 4 Rutgers, 4-2, on Friday, and came up just short at No. 9 Maryland, losing 2-1.
-With the weekend’s results, the Hoosiers’ record now stands at 5-12 on the season and 0-7 in Big Ten play.
-Against Rutgers, the Hoosiers were pressured early with the Scarlet Knights scoring twice in the fisrt quarter.
-Indiana’s Theresa Ricci would score right before the second quarter to only trail 2-1 at the half.
-Indiana would tie the game in the third quarter on a Kylie Dawson goal to make it 2-2.,
-In the fourth quarter, Rutgers earned a penalty stroke and converted, to build a 3-2 lead. The Scarlet Knights would add on one more goal to close out the game.
-Indiana junior goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge recorded seven saves on the afternoon, while Ricci and Dawson would each score their first career goals.
-At Maryland, the Terrapins took control early in the game with a goal from Margot Lawn in the 9th minute to put Maryland up 1-0.
-Indiana worked its way back into the game by creating a number of shot opportunitities and chances around the cage.
-The hard work paid off when the team got four consecutive penalty corners in the third quarter with the fourth resulting in a goal from Sofia Arrebola Garcia. WIth the score, the Hoosiers were right back in it at 1-1.
-Maryland would take the advantage again on a 39th minute score from Maci Bradfrod to go up 2-1.
-The score would hold from that point on for a 2-1 Maryland win.
-Despite the loss, Indiana led in shots taken (12-10) and in penalty corners (9-6).
-12 different Hoosiers have scored a goal this season: Sarah Charley, Inés Garcia Prado, Jemima Cookson, Yip van Wonderen, Maggie Carter, Meghan Dillon, Anna Mozeleski, Meredith Lee, Ava Winner, Sofia Arrebola Garcia, Theresa Ricci and Kylie Dawson.
-Charley leads the way with five goals while Garcia Prado is the team’s second leading goal scorer with three. Dillon and van Wonderen each have two goals, while the rest have one.
-Charley also leads the team in shots taken with 33. Twenty-three of those have been on goal. Yip van Wonderen has taken 29 shots this season with 12 of them being on goal.
-As a team, 18 Hoosiers have recorded a shot taken. 108 of the team’s 172 total shots (62.8%) have been on goal.
-Charley and Garcia Prado both lead the team in assists with four. Cookson follows with three assists. Arrebola Garcia, and Keld each have two assists, as well.
-Shannon McNally and Arabella Loveridge have both seen time in the cage this season. Loveridge has made 13 appearances this season and has 62 saves. McNally has played in nine games and has recorded 24 saves.
-Kennedy Reardon and Sarah Charley are the most experienced players on the team with each player appearing in 88 career games. Reardon has been a Hoosier her whole career while this is Charley’s first season at IU.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
-Indiana opens the weekend at home against at No. 15 Pen State. The Nittany Lions own an 8-7 record on the year with a 3-4 Big Ten mark.
-The Nittany Lions are coming off of a victory at home against No. 5 Iowa.
-Penn State boast wins over No. 7 Ohio State and No. 5 Iowa, among others. The Nittany Lions have won the last ten matchups against the Hoosiers, dating back to 2010.
-Penn States’ Sophia Gladieux currently leads the team with 18 goals on the season.
-Mackenzie Allessie and Carly Gannon are the team’s leading distributors with five and three assists, respectively.
-Penn State leads the all-time series with Indiana, 25-4. Indiana’s last win in the series came in 2009 during the Big Ten Tournament, when it won, 3-1.
-Kent State owns a 6-9 record on the year, but it has won its last three matchups.
-Kent States’ Eva Usoz currently leads the team in goals with nine for the season.
-Indiana leads the all-time series, 4-3, but Kent State has won the last three games.
-Indiana will have six seniors honored after the Kent State game as part of Senior Day festivities. Sarah Charley, Jemima Cookson, Taylor Etling, Sydney Keld, Shannon McNally, and Kennedy Reardon will all be honored.
-Indiana’s 2022 team captains of Sydney Keld and Kennedy Reardon are both team captains again in 2023. Senior Jemima Cookson was voted in as a team captain in the spring, as well.
-Indiana’s roster features three pairs of former high school teammates who are now playing together again. Maggie Carter and Javi Baeza played together at Shaker Heights High School (Ohio), Meredith Lee and Hannah Riddle played together at Assumption High School (Kentucky) and Anna Mozeleski and Maddie Olshemski played at Wyoming Seminary Prep (Pennsylvania).
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
BOILERMAKERS TO APPEAR IN 2024 RADY’S CHILDREN INVITATIONAL IN SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO – Sports San Diego officials have announced that the Purdue men’s basketball team will compete in the 2024 Rady Children’s Invitational in San Diego on Nov. 28 and 29, at LionTree Arena on the campus of UC San Diego.
The Boilermakers will be joined by Arkansas, BYU and Notre Dame in the four-team, two-game event. The first game will be played on Thanksgiving Day, with the consolation and championship games set for Black Friday.
“We are fired up to have these premier college basketball programs and institutions with amazing traditions and fan bases set to play in San Diego next year,” said Mark Neville, CEO of Sports San Diego, the organization that produces the tournament. “Together with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, FOX Sports, UC San Diego Athletics, and Global Sports & Events, we endeavor to produce one of the best early season college basketball tournaments in the country. Part of that means securing top basketball programs year after year. We are extremely proud of this 2024 field.”
The inaugural Rady Children’s Invitational tips off this year featuring Iowa, USC, Seton Hall and Oklahoma. The games will air nationally on FS1 (November 23) and FOX (November 24).
“We’re thrilled that the Rady Children’s Invitational is attracting some of the best college programs in the country to our region and shining the national spotlight on San Diego,” said Stephen Jennings, Senior Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer at Rady Children’s Hospital and Executive Director at Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Whether as a spectator or a participant, sports like basketball have the power to bring families together, and that’s what we’re all about at Rady Children’s.”
Ticket prices for the 2023 event range from $35 to $125 per day. Each day includes two games. Two-day tickets are also available. Fans wanting to purchase tickets are encouraged to visit www.RadyChildrensInvitational.com. $5 from each ticket sold will be donated to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.
The Boilermakers enter this year’s Maui Invitational having won two straight Thanksgiving week tournaments, defeating No. 18 and No. 6 Villanova in the 2021 Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic, and then West Virginia, No. 6 Gonzaga and No. 8 Duke a year ago to win the Phil Knight Legacy.
GAME 8 PREP: FRESH OFF BYE, BOILERMAKERS TREK TO NEBRASKA
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Following the bye week, Purdue Football returns to the gridiron with a Big Ten West matchup. The Boilermakers travel west to battle Nebraska, the first of back-to-back road games for Ryan Walters’ squad. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
Purdue has beaten the Cornhuskers four out of the past five times, including two straight with a 28-23 win in Lincoln (Oct. 20, 2021) and a 43-37 victory at home last season (Oct. 15, 2022).
BOUNCE BACK AFTER THE BYE
• Purdue has had recent success using the bye week to bounce back.
• The Boilermakers have won five of their past seven games coming off a bye week, dating back to the 2015 campaign.
• Starting the streak, Purdue beat Nebraska 55-45 on Halloween (Oct. 31, 2015).
• Nebraska enters Saturday’s contest with a 4-3 record (2-2 B1G) following a 17-9 win over Northwestern.
• Sophomore quarterback and Nebraska native Heinrich Haarberg has led the Cornhuskers to four wins in five games since taking over as the starter. He has thrown for 716 yards, while adding a team-best 424 yards on the ground as well.
• Nebraska has one of the best rushing defenses in the country, allowing only 76.6 ypg to rank fourth nationally.
• Matt Rhule is in his first season at Nebraska after serving as head coach for the Carolina Panthers, Baylor and Temple.
LAST YEAR’S MATCHUP
• Devin Mockobee ran for a career-high 178 yards to set a new single-game rushing record by a Purdue freshman, leading the Boilermakers to a 43-37 win over Nebraska (Oct. 15, 2022).
• The Boilermakers rushed for 217 yards, their most in a conference game since Oct. 13, 2018 (227 at Illinois).
• Quarterback Aidan O’Connell (Las Vegas Raiders) went 35-of-54 for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
• Purdue racked up 608 yards of total offense, the eighth most in school history and the most since Oct. 13, 2018 (611 at Illinois).
• TJ Sheffield caught seven passes for 70 yards, a career high at the time, which included a pair of touchdowns for the first multi-touchdown game of his career.
• Clyde Washington hauled in the first interception of his career.
LAST TIME IN LINCOLN
• The last time the Boilermakers and Cornhuskers faced off in Lincoln, Purdue forced four turnovers on the way to a 28-23 victory (Oct. 30, 2021).
• Jalen Graham (San Francisco 49ers) recorded a pair of INTs, including a pick six, while Cam Allen added one of his own.
• Kydran Jenkins made six tackles, a career high at the time for the then-sophomore, which included two tackles-for-loss and a sack.
• The win gave Purdue back-to-back wins in Memorial Stadium, following the 42-28 victory in 2018.
• Several Boilermakers that have or would have made an impact on the field suffered season-ending injuries.
• Jahmal Edrine looked to be one of Purdue’s top receiving threats after transferring from FAU. Unfortunately, an injury during fall camp has forced him to miss the entire 2023 campaign.
• Max Klare got off to a hot start through the first four weeks of the season, ranking among the nation’s best tight ends and leading all freshman tight ends in several statistical categories. He started the first five games, but an injury in Purdue’s win over Illinois ended his season early (Sept. 30).
• Defensive back Marquis Wilson also suffered a season-ending injury in the Cannon Trophy victory (Sept. 30). Wilson was leading the Big Ten in pass breakups (6) at the time.
• Marcus Mbow made 20 consecutive starts dating back to his 2022 redshirt freshman season. An injury late in the Iowa game (Oct. 7) was season-ending for Purdue’s starting right tackle.
• With Halloween around the corner, it is spooky season, and Big Ten quarterbacks definitely need to beware of two Boilermakers on both sides of Ryan Walters’ defense.
• Outside linebackers Kydran Jenkins and Nic Scourton have wreaked havoc throughout the season, combining for the most sacks (9.5) by a duo in the Big Ten.
• Jenkins ranks second in the Big Ten in sacks (5.0). With all of them being solo, Jenkins sits 13th nationally in solo sacks.
• Scourton has 4.5 sacks of his own to rank third in the conference.
• The pair of Boilermakers also have 7.0 tackles-for-loss apiece to lead the team.
BOILER UP THE MOCK TRAIN
• After rushing for a freshman record 968 yards as a walk-on last season, Devin Mockobee earned a scholarship and has led the Purdue rushing attack in 2023.
• The Boonville, Indiana, native paces the Boilermakers with 482 rushing yards, while finding the end zone in four of seven games to rank second on the team in rushing touchdowns (4).
• Averaging 68.9 rushing yards per game, Mockobee ranks fifth among Big Ten running backs.
• Mockobee is coming off his best game of the season, rushing for 110 yards on 18 carries against No. 3 Ohio State. It was the fifth career 100-yard game for Mockobee, moving him into a tie for 13th on the program’s all-time list.
• Mockobee had a career performance in last year’s victory over Nebraska, racking up 206 all-purpose yards that included a Purdue freshman record 178 rushing yards.
BOILERMAKERS SET SIGHTS ON MINNESOTA, ILLINOIS
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 16 Purdue volleyball squad (13-6, 7-3 Big Ten) is scheduled to split the week with a home contest vs. Minnesota (10-8, 6-4 Big Ten) on Thursday before a quick turnaround has the Boilermakers taking on Illinois (10-10, 5-5 Big Ten) on Saturday at Huff Hall.
Purdue’s highly anticipated matchup vs. Minnesota, a team receiving the most votes of any program not ranked, will take place at 7 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. The border-battle at Illinois is set for a 7 p.m. ET first serve on B1G+.
The Boilermakers enter the week on a three-match winning streak and a 5-1 record over the last six matches, over half of which came against teams receiving votes in the AVCA/Taraflex poll.
PURDUE AT A GLANCE
The Boilermakers moved up three spots in the poll to #16 following wins at #11 Penn State and vs. Indiana.
Purdue is 5-1 over the last six matches, over half of which against teams receiving votes in the AVCA/Taraflex Coaches’ Poll.
The match vs. Minnesota will mark Purdue’s fourth consecutive showdown vs. a team receiving votes in the poll.
Purdue is fourth in the Big Ten standings and rank as high as third in the Big Ten statistical rankings in hitting % (.251), assists (11.99 per set) and opponent blocks (1.85).
Two Boilermakers rank second in the league: Maddie Schermerhorn (4.30 digs per set) and Raven Colvin (1.40 blocks per set). Meanwhile, Eva Hudson and Chloe Chicoine are among the top offensive players in the conference, ranking 5th and 6th, respectively in kills per set and 3rd and 5th in total points.
LAST WEEK AT A GLANCE
Purdue registered a pair of 3-1 victories vs. Indiana and at #11 Penn State last week.
The Boilermakers led all Big Ten teams with a .260 hitting %.
Two Boilermakers received Big Ten weekly awards: Raven Colvin as Defensive Player of the Week and Chloe Chicoine as Freshman of the Week.
PURDUE IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: 101 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS
The program has been ranked for 101 consecutive weeks (since preseason 2017), the longest active streak by any Purdue team.
Purdue moved up three spots to #16 in the latest AVCA/Taraflex poll.
The Boilermakers’ history of excellence includes 42 of the last 55 weeks among the top-15.
Purdue jumped up from#25 to #19 in the latest NCAA RPI.
PURDUE vs. TOP-25 OPPONENTS
The Boilermakers won matches against all three teams ranked directly above them in the latest AVCA poll: #15 Kentucky (W, 3-2), #14 Kansas (W, 3-2) and #13 Penn State (3-1). Moreover, wins vs. #14 and #13 came in true road fashion.
This year, Purdue is 4-2 this season vs. top-25 teams and 7-3 vs. teams ranked or receiving votes.
SCOUTING THE MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota is 2-5 vs. top-25 opponents this season, all seven matches coming against top-15 programs and four of the team’s five losses vs. top-8 programs. Its highest-ranked victory coming in five sets vs. then-#6 Oregon (9/8).
A loaded roster includes Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Kylie Murr, Big Ten Player of the Year Taylor Landfair and two-time All-Big Ten setter Melani Shaffmaster.
McKenna Wucherer leads the team with a 3.30 kills per set this season, followed by Taylor Landfair’s (2.77 kills per set).
Murr is averaging 4.11 digs per set this season. The libero transfer from Ohio State edged out Purdue’s Maddie Schermerhorn last season with 4.69 digs per set) after the Boilermaker led the Big Ten in digs per set for the majority of the season.
Minnesota’s defense is among the top in the league, ranking #3 during league-only matches in opponent hitting % (.167%), blocks (2.51) and opponent kills (11.44).
IN RECENT MATCHES VS. MINNESOTA
The Boilermakers are 2-3 over the last five matches vs. Minnesota.
The last five matches have been some of the most competitive between the two teams, with both matches in spring 2021 going to five sets, to which Purdue responded with back-to-back victories (W, 3-1 on 11/14/21 at Minneapolis and W, 3-0 on 9/23/22 in West Lafayette).
The last time the two teams faced-off in Holloway Gymnasium, Purdue swept a #8-ranked Minnesota team in the Big Ten season-opener
SCOUTING THE ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois is led by Raina Terry, a senior who is averaging a league-leading 4.80 points per set.
The Illini are entering the week with a three-match winning streak, including back-to-back five set victories at Maryland and at Rutgers. Illinois is set to take on Indiana Wednesday night in Champaign.
Kennedy Collins leads the team with a .385 attack % and 92 total blocks (1.16 per set).
Running the offense is redshirt sophomore Brooke Mosher, who is averaging 8.94 assists per set and posted seven matches this season with 40 or more assists.
LAST TIME OUT VS ILLINOIS
Purdue swept Illinois earlier this season (25-11, 25-19, 25-16) in the team’s most decisive victory of the season.
Hudson’s match vs. Illinois was her most efficient of the season, posting 16 kills with 3 errors on 33 attempts (.394%). The Boilermaker came two digs shy of a double-double. Additionally, she saw 18 receptions in the back court, making no errors in the process.
Taylor Anderson recorded her third double-double of the season and first during Big Ten action. The freshman led the team with 11 digs, coming one shy of her career-high (set vs. #19 Kentucky).
Illinois was held to a .117 attack %, paced by senior Raina Terry’s team-leading 12 kills.
IN RECENT MATCHES VS. ILLINOIS
The Boilermakers have won the last three straight vs. the Illini and are 4-2 over the last six matches.
The two teams have gone to five sets in four of the last five matches.
Purdue’s sweep over Illinois on Oct. 4 was the first sweep by either team since April 2, 2021 (W, Purdue).
Dave Shondell is 5-5 vs. Chris Tamas at Illinois.
BUTLER WOMEN’S SOCCER
CREIGHTON IS FINAL REGULAR-SEASON TEST FOR BULLDOGS
Matchday Information – Butler vs. Creighton
DATE: Thursday, October 26 / 7PM
LOCATION: Indianapolis / Sellick Bowl
LIVE VIDEO: FloSports/BEDN
LIVE STATS: StatBroadcast
The Butler women’s soccer team hosts Creighton on Thursday evening for its final match of the regular-season. The Bulldogs (5-7-6, 1-3-5 BIG EAST) currently sit in a tie with Marquette for the eighth position in the BIG EAST standings and need to rise to the sixth spot to qualify for postseason play. A win over the Bluejays (4-8-5, 2-6-1 BIG EAST) along with a loss by Seton Hall (vs. UConn) and a loss or tie by DePaul (vs. St. John’s) are all necessary for Butler to clinch the number six position. The Bulldogs own the tiebreaker with Marquette due to the regular-season result.
Butler is coming off a 4-2 loss at Georgetown, while Creighton most recently lost to Xavier, 1-0.
(as of 10/22/23)
With eight goals, Norah Jacomen ranks second in the BIG EAST and 67th nationally, and her 17 offensive points rank third in the conference.
Talia Sommer’s six assists rank second in the BIG EAST and 65th nationally.
For the third time this season, forward Norah Jacomen was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week (10/23) after her performances vs. Seton Hall and Georgetown. Jacomen led Butler’s offense in matches in both matches last week, producing five shots against the Pirates, with two on goal, along with three more shots against the Hoyas. Her one shot on goal at Georgetown reached the back of the net for her eighth goal of the season.
Lucia Englund’s goal was her second of the season.
Norah Jacomen’s goal was her eighth of the season.
Abigail Isger’s assist was her fourth of the season and the 18th of her career. She is now tied for ninth on Butler’s all-time list for career assists.
Caitlin O’Malley’s assist was the first of her career.
Arianna Jalics’ assist was her second of the season and the fifth of her career.
Addie Marshall saw her second start of the season in goal. She matched her career high with three saves.
SERIES RECORD: Butler leads, 12-1-3
PREVIOUS MEETING: Oct. 30, 2022 – Indianapolis – BIG EAST quarterfinal – Butler 1, Creighton 1 (2OT) (Creighton advances in shootout, 6-5)
The teams tied, 1-1, in the 2022 regular-season matchup in Omaha, just three days prior to the conference tournament.
Creighton’s only win in the series (3-2, OT) was in 1993 in Omaha – the teams’ second meeting.
Previous match: vs. Xavier L, 0-1
Creighton has wins over Villanova (2-1) and Seton Hall (2-0) and tied DePaul (1-1), Minnesota (0-0), Kansas State (0-0), and Nebraska (2-2). Notable losses for the Bluejays include St. John’s (2-3), Providence (1-3), Marquette (1-3), and UConn (0-2)
Offensive standouts for Creighton include:
#23 Abigail Santana (3g, 4a)
#10 Anja Jestrovic (3g, 2a)
#9 Hannah Luke (2g, 2a)
#7 Azumi Manriki (2g, 1a)
#1 Keelan Terrell (4-6-5) is the primary keeper for the Bluejays. In 15 starts, she has allowed 25 goals (1.65 GAA) and has mad 59 saves (.702 SV%), earning four shutouts.
JAGUARS CLINCH NO. 2 TOURNEY SEED WITH 2-0 VICTORY OVER PURDUE FORT WAYNE
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s soccer team put a strong capper on the 2023 regular season on Wednesday (Oct. 25) with a 2-0 home win over Purdue Fort Wayne at Carroll Stadium. With the win, IUPUI (11-3-4, 5-1-4 HL) claimed the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament, collecting a first round bye and an automatic trip to Milwaukee. The Jaguars will next play in the #HLWSOC Tournament semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 2 in Milwaukee on ESPN+.
On Wednesday, the Jaguars struck first and struck last in an important and emphatic victory. Sam Slimak opened the scoring with her sixth strike of the year in the seventh minute and freshman Caroline Kelley added insurance with a rebound tally in the 52nd minute. IUPUI outshot the Mastodons 19-7 overall and 12-5 on target as sophomore Cailynn Junk registered five saves in her second straight shutout win.
“I like how well we played together,” freshman Emily Tobin said. “I thought we connected around and overall, we were all there for each other and talking, so it was a good team effort win.”
IUPUI came out firing, relying heavily on Emma Antoine’s speed on the right side to create space and havoc. Antoine assisted on Slimak’s score in the seventh minute, playing service from the right side into Slimak’s composed finish. After the early flurry, Purdue Fort Wayne (5-7-6, 2-4-4 HL) evened the footing, but was unable to find a marker against Junk and the Jaguars’ defense.
The second half began like the first with IUPUI taking the early momentum and eventually cashing in in the 52nd minute. Tobin put a bullet on frame from distance that was saved by PFW’s Samantha Castaneda, but Kelley pounced on the rebound and slotted it home for her team-high eighth score of the season. It marked Tobin’s fourth assist of the campaign, putting her third on the team in that category.
IUPUI continued the pressure and nearly got a third score from Slimak in the 61st minute on a shot from in close. With the two goal lead, head coach Chris Johnson was able to substitute more liberally down the stretch, shuffling in bodies in the second half. Sophomore Kailyn Smith played all 90 minutes in the defensive third while Tobin played 88 in the midfield. Slimak paced the IUPUI attack with five shot attempts while Kelley had four.
IUPUI will now await the outcomes of Sunday’s two #HLWSOC Tournament Quarterfinals to learn its opponent for next week’s semifinal match in Milwaukee.
NOTRE DAME HOCKEY
HOCKEY CLOSES OCTOBER WITH MERCYHURST
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame hockey program closes out the first month of competition with a Thursday/Friday series against the Mercyhurst Lakers, October 26-27. Puck drop for both tilts is set for 7:35 p.m.
New this season, fans can view line charts online at fightingirish.com/HKYLineCharts. Lines will be posted online approximately 90 minutes before puck drop (timing subject to change).
Opponent: Mercyhurst Lakers
Location: South Bend, Ind.| Compton Family Ice Arena
Schedule: 7:35 p.m. (Thurs.) | 7:35 p.m. (Fri.)
Live Stats: FightingIrish.com
Game Notes: Notre Dame | Mercyhurst
The Irish continue their non-conference home stand when they host Mercyhurst this Thursday and Friday, October 26-27.
The team most recently split a weekend series against No. 6/6 Boston University. Six individuals scored over the two-game series, including Ryan Siedem who net his first goal in an Irish sweater.
Siedem, along with five others recorded multiple points on the weekend.
Drew Bavaro scored his first goal of the season in Friday night’s victory before adding an assist later in the night for a two-point game. Maddox Fleming and Patrick Moynihan both tallied two assists in the win, their first multi-point games with the Irish.
Brennan Ali tallied his first collegiate point in game one of the weekend series before adding another assist late in the game Saturday to spark his first career point streak.
Grant Silianoff tallied two assists on Saturday night to bring his season total to three apples, a team best through five games played.
The Irish have played one game away from home this season, competing against RIT in their annual Brick City Game inside Blue Cross Arena, home to the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.
The Irish opened their season with a split against Clarkson inside Compton Family Ice Arena.
The first line chart of the season featured nine new faces while all 10 appeared on the ice at some point last weekend.
The new talent made an immediate impact on the Irish team with five 2023-24 additions recording their first points in an Irish sweater over the weekend.
Two Irish rookies net their first collegite goals on the weekend with Jayden Davis and Danny Nelson each finding the back of the net in Sunday night’s win.
Davis’ goal came off his first shot on goal in his NCAA debut. The goal in the second period proved to be the eventual game-winner.
With his first win of the season, Ryan Bischel picked up his eighth career shutout behind the 3-0 victory. He stopped all 22 shots faced in the contest to improve his season save percentage to .957 through two games played.
The Irish return 19 letterwinners from the 2022-23 season this year, including 2023 Big Ten Conference Goaltender of the Year, Ryan Bischel.
Classmate Trevor Janicke also returned for his fifth season with the Irish, serving as alternate captain for the second time in 2023-24.
Of those letterwinners returning, 17 saw game action last season while five appeared in all 37 games played for the Irish a season ago.
The veteran leadership consists of four graduate seniors, including new additions to the team in Patrick Moynihan (forward; Providence) and Ryan Siedem (defenseman; Harvard), and eight seniors
Ten new faces join the team this season, including eight freshmen. The new contributors consist of seven forwards and three defensemen.
The Irish are set to play nine of their 10 non-conference games inside Compton Family Ice Arena, while hosting an additional 12 conference games for a total of 21 home games this season.
The Irish concluded the 2022-23 season with a 16-16-5 record, and a fourth place finish in the Big Ten Conference regular season.
Notre Dame hosted a conference playoffs series for the third consecutive season when they hosted Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals for a best-of-three series.
NOTRE DAME vs. MERCYHURST
The two teams have met five times in program history, with the Irish owning an undefeated record against the Lakers, 4-0-1.
In their most recent meeting, the teams skated to a 6-6 tie at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa.
Thursday will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams inside Compton Family Ice Arena. The Irish last hosted the Lakers in South Bend during the 1990-91 season, claiming 7-3 and 7-6 victories over the visitors.
In five all-time meetings, the Irish have outscored the Lakers, 31-18.
The 2022-23 Big Ten Goaltender of the Year was one of two unanimous selections for 2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten Teams. He was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team ahead of the coming season.
Bischel was also a Mike Richter Award semifinalist and a Hobey Baker nominee a season ago.
Drew Bavaro made an immediate impact at the blueline last season after joining the Irish and will look to continue that success this season as a senior. He was selected to the All-Big Ten Second Team for the preseason.
Landon Slaggert also picked up preseason honors from the Big Ten when he was named an Honorable Mention heading into the season.
The 2023-24 Notre Dame roster features quite a few family connections to the program and hockey world.
Three sets of brothers are currently on the roster, including Justin and Trevor Janicke, Landon and Carter Slaggert, and Henry and Danny Nelson.
With the addition of the Nelsons this season, the Irish have had 17 sets of brothers lace up their skates together for the Irish.
Carter Slaggert also joins the Irish in 2023-24, becoming the third Slaggert brother to appear in a game for the Irish and joins his older brother Landon, who is a senior. Oldest brother Graham currently plays in the Buffalo Sabres organization and skated two years alongside Landon before graduating.
Senior forward Brady Bjork is the younger brother of former Irish All-American and current Chicago Blackhawk Anders Bjork.
Brady’s father, Kirt, played for the Irish from 1979-83 where he appeared in 141 and tallied 161 career points (76-85). When older brother Anders played for the Irish, they became the fourth set of father-son combinations within Notre Dame hockey.
The Slaggerts are part of the fifth set of father-son combinations to suit up for the Irish, joining their father and associate head coach Andy Slaggert.
Justin and Trevor Janicke are the sons of Curtis Janicke, who played for the Irish from 1989-93, appearing in 125 games while scoring 46 goals and adding 98 assists for 144 points.
Justin, Trevor and Curtis represent the sixth father-son duo to play for the Irish.
Freshman Paul Fischer is the nephew of Mike Gearan, a member of the first varsity hockey team at Notre Dame. Fischer will honor his uncle by wearing his number during his career with the Irish, No. 16.
Freshman forward Cole Knuble is the son of former NHLer Mike Knuble, who spent 16 seasons in the NHL, including stints with Detroit, New York Rangers, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington. Cole was recently drafted by the Flyers’ organization where his father played during his early childhood. He will wear No. 22 with the Irish to honor his father.
Four current Irish skaters have siblings playing at the collegiate level, away from South Bend.
Cole Knuble’s brother, Cam, is a senior at Western Michigan University.
Ryan Siedem’s brother is a freshman at the University of New Hampshire.
Jayden Davis’ brother Matthew is a junior on the Denver Pioneers’ hockey team.
Maddox Fleming’s sister Delaney is a freshman on the Ohio State University women’s hockey team.
CURRENT IRISH AND THE NHL DRAFT
The 2023-24 roster features nine NHL draftees, including Jake Boltmann (CGY ‘20), Justin Janicke (SEA ‘21), Danny Nelson (NYI ‘23), Brennan Ali (DET ‘22), Paul Fischer (STL ‘23), Patrick Moynihan (NJD ‘19), Landon Slaggert (CHI ‘20), Cole Knuble (PHI ‘23) and Trevor Janicke (ANA ‘19).
The 2023 NHL draft saw three Irish rookies selected, the most since 2020, and 15th time in program history that at least three Irish icers were selected in a single draft class.
The trio of skaters selected in 2023, Danny Nelson (2nd Rd., 49 overall), Cole Knuble (4th Rd., 103 overall) and Paul Fischer (5th Rd., 138 overall) join fellow rookie Brennan Ali (DET ‘22) as draftees in the ND freshmen class.
When D. Nelson was selected in the second round of this year’s Draft, Notre Dame extended its streak of players drafted to 21 years (2004-present).
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL
JD BERTRAND NAMED CAMPBELL AWARD FINALIST
The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the finalists for the 2023 William V. Campbell Trophy®, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award that annually recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. University of Notre Dame senior linebacker JD Bertrand was one of 16 finalists that will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2023 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments®.
JD Bertrand, LB – University of Notre Dame
3.62 GPA – Marketing
Head Coach: Marcus Freeman | Athletics Director: Jack Swarbrick
Faculty Athletics Representative: Patricia Bellia
Recipient of the James J. Campbell Scholar-Athlete Award,
Endowed by William V. Campbell
Highly intelligent, athletic and the field general of the Fighting Irish defense, JD Bertrand has led Notre Dame in tackles the last two seasons while racking up a 3.62 GPA as a marketing major. The Alpharetta, Georgia, native becomes Notre Dame’s 19th NFF National Scholar Athlete.
Having graduated last December, Bertrand is currently pursuing his master’s in business analytics. A member of the Dean’s List, Bertrand was named to the prestigious Alpha Mu Alpha national marketing honor society.
The 2022 Notre Dame Defensive Player of the Year, Bertrand tallied 82 stops in 2022 and 101 during the 2021 season, finishing as the Irish’s leading tackler both seasons. He had 8.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2022, adding to his seven TFLs and 1.5 sacks in 2021. The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Bertrand has 52 tackles this season and added 5.0 tackles for loss to his career total of 20.5. A fifth-year player, he has appeared in 45 games with 30 starts.
A two-year team captain who elevates everyone around him, Bertrand has played a key role in Notre Dame’s 30-8 record the past three seasons, including a No. 18 ranking in 2022 and a win in the Gator Bowl; a No. 8 finish in 2021 and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl; and a No. 5 ending in 2020 after an appearance in the College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl.
An Eagle Scout who was selected as a member of the 2022 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, Bertrand credits his mother for his commitment to community service. He has done extensive work with Uplifting Athletes, serving as the chapter president for two years and earning a spot on the organization’s Rare Disease Champion Team in 2022. After the pandemic, he played a role in staging multiple events for the organization, raising more than $80,000. He donates part of his scholarship check and NIL earnings to charity, and he visits the Ronald McDonald House before every home game.
The 16 finalists were selected from a record number of 201 semifinalists nationwide from among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA.
The finalists will travel to the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports.
During the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 34th Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. Click here for more information on the Awards Dinner, including options to purchase tickets online, special travel rates to the event from Delta Air Lines and room rates at the ARIA.
“We are extremely proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Campbell Trophy®,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® recipient) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives, and they represent all that is right in college football. As strong leaders in the vein of the trophy’s namesake Bill Campbell, they all serve as living examples that the ‘Future For Football’ is bright. We are excited to honor their hard work and outstanding leadership with postgraduate scholarships.”
Submitted by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the Campbell Trophy® must be either a senior player who will complete his final year of eligibility during the 2023 season or be a graduated player who has been enrolled in school at least three (3) years (even if he has remaining eligibility); must have minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale; must have outstanding football ability as a starter/significant contributor; and must have exhibited exemplary leadership on the field, in the classroom and within the community.
“The NFF Awards Committee did an excellent job in selecting this year’s National Scholar-Athletes,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Chosen from a record-breaking number of semifinalists, the finalists have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best student-athletes in the country. Each of these men is a leader on and off the field, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential.”
The trophy is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, an All-Ivy League player and the captain of Columbia’s 1961 Ivy League championship team who found his true calling after an unlikely career change at age 39 from Columbia football coach to advertising executive. His ability to recruit, develop and manage talented executives – all lessons learned on the gridiron – proved to be a critical component of his ability to inspire his business teams to the highest levels of success.
Following the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas, the recipient of the 2023 Campbell Trophy® will be honored at several other prestigious events. On Thursday, Dec. 7, he will be interviewed live during the “The Home Depot College Football Awards” on ESPN. On Sunday, Dec. 10, he will sit on the dais during the Heisman Trophy dinner. Then on Monday, Dec. 11, a reception will be held in his honor at the New York Athletic Club (NYAC), the official home of the trophy since 2013.
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments celebrate their 65th year in 2023. The awards were the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments. Since 2011, Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of workplace savings plans in higher education, has served as the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards.
BALL STATE ATHLETICS
BALL STATE ATHLETICS ANNOUNCES 2023 HALL OF FAME CLASS
MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State Athletics has announced the newest members of its hall of fame. The 2023 induction class includes individuals who competed in the NCAA championships in men’s golf and cross country, a 2007 Ray Guy Award semifinalist and first-team All-American, a 2006 all-region outfielder and MLB draft pick, the 2009 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in softball, a long-time contributor as the head athletic trainer for over 20 years for the Cardinals and a former standout men’s volleyball player in the legends category.
The seven-member class features Alicia Barkley (softball), Chris Beerman (men’s volleyball), Neal Hazen (contributor), Brad Miller (baseball), Chris Miller (football), Jill Scully (cross country/track and field) and Eric Steger (men’s golf).
The group will be inducted Friday, Jan. 19, at the Alumni Center. The class will also be honored at the Jan. 20 men’s basketball game against Miami University, at Worthen Arena.
“We are thrilled to honor these outstanding individuals as the newest members of the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Mitchell. “Each of these Cardinals exemplifies excellence, and we look forward to celebrating them at their induction ceremony in January.”
Alicia Barkley, Softball
This highly successful shortstop was named the 2009 MAC Player of the Year. Also in 2009, Barkley earned first team All-MAC honors and was named to the 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-region first team. In 2010, Barkley garnered second team All-MAC accolades, while also being named to the MAC all-tournament squad.
A powerhouse at the plate, she helped Ball State earn back-to-back MAC regular season titles (2009 & 2010), a MAC Tournament championship (2010) and a trip to the NCAA Tournament (2010). Barkley still ranks third in the Ball State softball record books in career hits (252) and runs (149).
A two-time Academic All-MAC honoree (2010, 2011), Barkley made the 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-District first team and was a CoSIDA Academic All-America third team recipient.
Chris Beerman, Men’s Volleyball
The Ball State men’s volleyball family mourned the loss of Beerman in 2021 and pays tribute to his legacy now while he is inducted into the athletics hall of fame. Beerman helped Ball State to its third straight MIVA title as a senior and its 11th appearance at the NCAA Championships. Beerman was a member of the 1990 ASICS All-America Team. Beerman earned spots on the All-MIVA Team and MIVA all-tournament team (1990, 1989). A two-time All-American, Beerman was a member of three MIVA Tournament titles and three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
As a senior he led Ball State with 579 kills while finishing atop of the record books in career kills with 1,777.
Beerman went on to a successful coaching career, including head coaching stints with the women’s volleyball programs at James Madison and Pittsburgh and as an assistant coach at Ball State, South Florida, Louisville and Kentucky. He then founded the Lexington United Volleyball Club and served as its director.
Neal Hazen, Athletic Trainer
A Ball State alumnus with 34 years of professional devotion to his alma mater, this man dedicated his life to his student-athletes, coaches and staff.
Hazen began serving Ball State in 1986 and was the head athletic trainer for over 25 years. He received the NCAA Division I Head Athletic Trainer of the Year award from the Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine (ICSM) in 2019. Hazen was presented with his award in conjunction with the 70th annual National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) convention in Las Vegas. He was selected as the year’s top head athletic trainer among nearly 350 Division I programs in the country.
Hazen oversaw the athletic training efforts for Ball State’s 19 sports, shepherding a team of 10 full-time staff members. He served as the athletic department’s liaison with team doctors and sports medicine providers.
Hazen was instrumental in the formation and leadership of Ball State’s Campus Assessment Resource Education (CARE) Team, which exists to promote student-athlete well-being and safety. The team seeks to identify, assess, and mitigate risks associated with students exhibiting concerning behaviors or thoughts.
Hazen earned his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Ball State in 1986 and added an MBA in 1994. He joined the Ball State staff as an assistant athletic trainer in 1987 and was promoted to head athletic trainer in 1996.
Hazen is a member of the Indiana Athletic Trainers’ Association (IATA) Hall of Fame (2017) and the Cardinal Sports Medicine Ring of Honor (2006). He was named the IATA College and University Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2010 and received the NATA Service Award in 2006.
Brad Miller, Baseball
This Muncie native was a talent in the infield while helping guide the Ball State baseball program to its first-ever MAC Tournament title and trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2006.
Miller earned first team All-MAC honors in 2006. He was named second team All-MAC and tabbed to the MAC All-Tournament team in 2004.
A 2006 ABCA & Rawlings NCAA All-Mideast Region recipient, Miller was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks that same year and continued to play professionally from 2006-10.
Miller is Ball State’s career leader in games played (229), games started (227), career hits (304), home runs (50) and runs batted in (228). He is also second in career at bats (886) and doubles (60).
He was also successful in the classroom garnering Academic All-MAC honors from 2004-06.
Chris Miller, Football
The punter for one of the Cardinals’ most historic seasons in program history, Miller was a member of the 2008 Ball State football team that finished the regular season with a 12-0 record and a MAC West Division title. He also helped the Cardinals reach back-to-back bowl games in 2007 (International Bowl) and 2008 (GMAC Bowl).
In 2007, Miller was a Ray Guy Award semifinalist, an AFCA All-America first team honoree and earned second team All-America accolades from The Sporting News. He was also a two-time Playboy Magazine Preseason All-American in 2007 and 2008. After graduation he was later named to the CBS Sports MAC All-Decade Team.
Miller started his career strong at Ball State while receiving the 2005 FWAA Freshman All-American award.
Miller still holds Ball State’s record for best punt average in a career at 44.8 yards per kick, and ranks third all-time for most punts with 231. He ranks second for most career punting yards with 10,342, fifth for punting yards in a season (2,977 yards in 2005), and fourth overall for most punt yards in a game – 253 yards vs. Western Michigan in 2007.
Jill Scully, Cross Country/Track and Field
A four-year letterwinner in indoor and outdoor track & field plus cross country, and a two-year captain in all three sports, Scully is a three-time MAC Outdoor Track & Field Most Outstanding Performer after successfully earning crowns in both the 10,000- and 5,000-meter runs. Her four titles over a two-year span earned first-team All-MAC accolades both seasons. Scully also reaped 2005 and 2006 MAC Indoor Track & Field Most Outstanding Performer honors after capturing league championships in the 3,000 and 5,000 both years. She was a recipient of first-team All-MAC honors both seasons in indoor track & field.
Scully is a two-time recipient of All-MAC distinction in cross country. She was runner-up at the 2004 MAC Championship, qualified for the NCAA regional meet, where she finished 10th, and then later competed in the NCAA Championships where she posted a 52nd-place finish. She was runner-up at the 2003 MAC meet, when Ball State captured its first-ever league crown.
Scully qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for two straight seasons in the 10,000 meters. She earned a 16th-place finish in the event in 2005. Her career-best time of 33:54.67 was, at the time, the fastest ever by a MAC runner.
She was named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and was a three-time Academic All-MAC selection in track and cross country.
Eric Steger, Men’s Golf
Steger becomes a part of the first father-son duo ever to be inducted in the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame as he joins his father, Scott, who was inducted in 1988. Steger was a first team All-MAC honoree and was named to the All-MAC Tournament team in 2011. He was a second team All-MAC pick in 2010.
He was a 2011 Ping Division I All-Midwest Region recipient, and received back-to-back Indiana Golf Association John K. David Player of the Year honors after his collegiate career.
Steger represented Ball State at the NCAA Regionals — tying for 49th out of 75 golfers in 2011. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 2009 and 2010, advancing to match play both times. Steger was crowned the 2010 Indiana Amateur Champion and the 2009 Indiana Public Links and IGA Match Play Champion.
After graduation, Steger went on to a successful professional career and recently won the PGA Indianapolis Open Championship in 2022.
A true Cardinal, Steger’s mother Donna, his sister Lauren and wife Natalie, along with father Scott, all graduated from Ball State University. His mother also played golf for the Cardinals.
BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WBB SET TO HOST NATIONALLY TELEVISED GAME ON CBS SPORTS AGAINST MAC RIVAL TOLEDO ON JAN. 21 IN WORTHEN
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State women’s basketball team has been chosen to host a nationally televised regular season contest for the first time ever on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 6 pm ET. The Cardinals host their Mid-American Conference rival Toledo at Worthen Arena.
This is the second-straight season the Cardinals have been picked to be on national television. Last year Ball State played on ESPN2 at Bowling Green March 1.
MAC women’s basketball has consistently been on the rise, and so have the Cardinals. Ball State head coach Brady Sallee and his staff have put together an array of challenging non-conference opponents this year. One of which is a Nov. 24 home game on Black Friday in Worthen Arena as the Cardinals host ACC foe and nationally prominent Notre Dame.
Sallee, beginning his 12th year at Ball State, returns 10 players from a record-setting squad that saw the Cardinals finish 26-9 with a 14-4 Mid-American Conference ledger.
The Cardinals’ 26 wins a season ago tied the program record for most wins in a season. Ball State advanced to the semifinals of the MAC Tournament and the second round of the postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the first time since 2018. The 20-win season also marked the sixth time in the last eight years Sallee reached the 20-win plateau.
Ball State women’s basketball has also added more of a fan experience for its contests in Worthen Arena this season with the addition of court side seating. You can call 765-285-1474 or visit tinyurl.com/bdzchs5b to get your court side seats, regular season tickets and or season tickets.
BALL STATE WOMEN’S SOCCER
SOCCER HOSTS CENTRAL MICHIGAN THURSDAY TO CLOSE REGULAR SEASON
MUNCIE, Ind. – – The Ball State soccer team closes the 2023 regular season Thursday when it hosts Central Michigan for a 3 p.m. kickoff at the Briner Sports Complex.
The Cardinals, who have already secured a berth in the upcoming six-team Mid-American Conference Women’s Soccer Championship, can also secure a home quarterfinal round match on Sunday (Oct. 29) with a victory over the Chippewas.
While Ball State trails in the all-time series by a 10-16-2 margin, it has won each of the last three meetings by scores of 2-1. Last season, the Cardinals claimed a 2-1 victory in Mount Pleasant courtesy of goals from Lexi Fraley (6′) and Delaney Caldwell (53′). The last time the teams meet in Muncie, the Cardinals scored a 2-1 win in overtime on March 26, 2020.
SEASON TO DATE:
Ball State enters Thursday’s regular season finale with a 7-7-3 (5-2-3 MAC) record after suffering a pair of last-minute setbacks last week … NIU scored in the final minute of Thursday’s match to earn a 1-0 victory, while Bowling Green did the same in a 2-1 setback at the Briner Sports Complex Sunday.
The Cardinals opened the year with a 5-1 win over Mercyhurst (Aug. 17), before facing a gauntlet which included losses at No. 3 Notre Dame (Aug. 20), at Texas Tech (Aug. 24), at Loyola (Sept. 3) and at Vanderbilt (Sept. 7). After a 3-0 home win over Austin Peay (Sept. 10), the Cardinals faced another tough opponent in Butler (Sept. 14) on the road.
Ball State opening league play with a 3-1 home victory over Miami (Sept. 21), while battling Eastern Michigan (Sept. 24) to a 1-1 draw on the road. The following week, the Cardinals scored a 2-1 home win over Toledo (Sept. 28), while battling Western Michigan (Oct. 1) to a 2-2 draw on the road.
Ball State then earned a 3-1 home win over Kent State (Oct. 5) and tallied its first road win of the season in the form of a 5-0 victory at Buffalo (Oct. 8). Following the win over the Bulls, the Cardinals earned a 2-1 win at Akron (Oct. 12) and battled Ohio (Oct. 15) to a 2-2 draw at home.
BALL STATE SOCCER QUICK KICKS:
– Despite Sunday’s setback, Ball State has made the most of its seven home matches this season, owning a 5-1-1 record at the Briner Sports Complex … In fact, the Cardinals are out-scoring opponents 19-8 on its home pitch … Ball State’s 19 goals at home are more than six league teams have scored all season.
– Tack on 12 road goals and the Cardinals rank second in the MAC and 68th nationally with 31 total goals … Ball State has netted at least one goal in 13 of its 17 matches, with its five goals in wins over Mercyhurst (Aug. 17) and at Buffalo (Oct. 8) tying as the most scored by a MAC team in a match this season … BSU is also 76th nationally in scoring offense at 1.82 goals per game.
– Senior forward Avery Fenchel enters Thursday’s match versus Central Michigan leading the team and ranked second in the MAC in both goals scored (11) and points (23) this season … She started the year with her first career hat trick in the season-opener versus Mercyhurst (Aug. 17) and added her first career assist at Loyola (Sept. 3) … Fenchel has gone on to collect the final goal in the win over Austin Peay (Sept. 10), open the scoring with her goal versus Miami (Sept. 21), net the match-winning goal versus Toledo (Sept. 28), add another match winner at Buffalo (Oct. 8) with the first of her brace in the contest, stun Akron (Oct. 12) with an 87th-minute tally for the second of her brace and provide the opening goal in the draw versus Ohio (Oct. 15).
– With 11 goals this season, Avery Fenchel remains fourth in program history with 24 career goals … Her 11 goals scored in each of the last two campaigns are the second-most goals in a single season in the BSU record book, while she scored her first two career goals as a sophomore … Fenchel is currently fifth in program history with 49 career points (24 goals / 1 assist).
– After scoring her second consecutive brace in the win at Akron (Oct. 12) and adding a goal in the draw versus Ohio (Oct. 15), Avery Fenchel was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career Tuesday.
– After scoring a pair of braces wins over Kent State (Oct. 5) and at Buffalo (Oct. 8), junior forward Lexi Fraley was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week and to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week as a forward … Throw in a goal in the draw versus Ohio (Oct. 15) and Fraley ranks third in the MAC in goals scored (8) and fourth in points (20) this season … Fraley, who ranks second among active Ball State players with 17 career goals, scored her first goal of the season at Loyola (Sept. 3), added another in the 1-1 draw at Eastern Michigan (Sept. 24) and tallied her third in the 2-2 draw at Western Michigan (Oct. 1) … Fraley has also dished out three assists on the season and ranks first in the MAC in shots (53) and second in shots on goal (26).
– Entering Thursday’s match versus Central Michigan, the Ball State offense features two of the nation’s top 70 goal scorers, with Avery Fenchel ranking 21st nationally with her 11 goals and Lexi Fraley is 69th with her eight … In addition, Fenchel is tied for 20th nationally with her four match-winning goals.
– Sophomore forward Emily Roper notched her sixth goal of the season Sunday versus Bowling Green (Oct. 22), which ranks eighth in the MAC … Roper, who scored her first career brace in the win over Austin Peay (Sept. 10) and opened the year with a goal against Mercyhurst (Aug. 17), also tallied goals versus Kent State (Oct. 5) and at Buffalo (Oct. 8) … Roper, who scored three goals as a freshman last season, is currently tied for third among BSU’s active players with nine career goals.
– Overall, seven different players have scored at least one goal for the Cardinals this season, including sophomore forward Delaney Caldwell and junior forward Kaitlyn Fraser with two goals apiece … Caldwell has scored nine goals over her Ball State career, while Fraser’s goals are the first two of her career … In addition, senior defender Ryann Locante (vs. Mercyhurst on Aug. 17) and freshman forward Annika Klauss (vs. Miami on Sept. 21) have each scored their first career goals this season.
– Ball State’s student-athletes have dished out a total of 23 assists so far this season, including four each from sophomore midfielder Tori Monaco and Delaney Caldwell which ties as the eighth-most in the MAC this season … Junior defender Maya Millis and Lexi Fraley have three assists apiece, while Emily Roper, junior defender Alex McPhee and graduate defender Maya Turner have two … Rounding out the list are Avery Fenchel, Kaitlyn Fraser and freshman forward Kaelyn Valleau with one helper each … Ball State’s 23 assists currently rank fourth in the MAC.
– Goalkeeper Bethany Moser was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 12 after leading the league in goals against average (0.56) and save percentage (.875) for the previous week … She allowed just one goal over 160:49, with it being an 88th-minute tally by Vanderbilt (Sept. 7) … Moser also combined for the shutout win over Austin Peay (Sept. 10), playing the first 70:19 of the match and stopping all three shots she faced.
– For the season, Bethany Moser ranks first in the MAC with 5.94 saves per match, having collected 101 total saves which leads all MAC goalkeepers and is a Ball State single-season record, topping the previous mark of 100 set by Alison Becker in 2004 … Her average ranks 16th nationally, while her total saves are ninth … Moser registered a career-high 14 saves at Northern Illinois (Oct. 19) which ties as the 16th-most saves in a match among all NCAA Division I goalkeepers this season.
SCOUTING CENTRAL MICHIGAN:
The Chippewas are currently 2-7-6 (1-6-3 MAC) and have been eliminated from contention for the MAC Women’s Soccer Championship … Last week, CMU suffered a 5-1 loss at Bowling Green Thursday and followed with a 1-0 home setback to Northern Illinois Sunday.
Central Michigan is ninth in the MAC with 14 goals this season, with eight coming in league play … Jenna Little leads the CMU offense with five goals, while Claudia Muessig is second on the squad with nine points on the strength of three goals and three assists … Overall, seven different players have at least one goal for the Chippewas.
Allison LaPoint has started in goal for the last 14 matches for Central Michigan, owning a 1.64 goals against average and 78 saves … She is second in the MAC in saves-per-match average, at 5.57, right behind Ball State’s Bethany Moser.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S SOCCER
CASTANEDA SETS FINAL RECORD AS MASTODON WOMEN’S SOCCER SEASON COMES TO AN END
INDIANAPOLIS – In her final game in a Mastodon uniform, Samantha Castaneda set one more record at Purdue Fort Wayne, as she became the program’s all-time leader in saves. Her record of 303 broke the previous record of 2024 Hall of Fame inductee Shannon Lynn, who recorded 294 in her time as a ‘Don. Castaneda broke the record with just one save in her first year at Purdue Fort Wayne. After her illustrious career, the 2022 Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year now holds the Mastodon saves (303), shutouts (17) and goals against average (1.13) records.
Offensive juggernaut Morgan Reitano also saw her career come to a close. She leaves the Mastodons with 15 goals and nine assists in her career, both top-10 marks in program history. Her 39 points is the fifth-most in the record book.
Wednesday’s match was also the final game of Kelsey Gallagher, Mackenzie Evans and Isabelle Wissel, who all have exhausted their eligibility.
The 2023 Purdue Fort Wayne women’s soccer season came to an end on Wednesday night (Oct. 25) with a 2-0 loss at IUPUI.
The Jaguars scored a goal quickly in each half to get the win. Sam Slimak scored in minute seven off an assist from Emma Antoine to take a 1-0 lead into the break. In minute 52, Caroline Kelley found the net off an assist from Emily Tobin.
The Mastodons had seven shots, with five of them finding the frame. Evans had two on-target strikes.
Purdue Fort Wayne’s season comes to a close at 5-7-6 and 2-4-4 in the Horizon League. IUPUI improves to 11-3-4 and 5-1-4 in the HL to earn the No. 2 seed for the upcoming league championship.
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S SOCCER
WOMEN’S SOCCER BATTLES MURRAY STATE THURSDAY IN MVC TOURNAMENT
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – After a brief hiatus from last year’s conference tournament, the University of Evansville women’s soccer team returns to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon, as the Purple Aces will battle the fifth-seeded Murray State Racers in the MVC Tournament first round at Flames Field in Chicago, Illinois. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m. and every match in the MVC Tournament can be seen live on ESPN+.
Evansville will be making its 24th all-time MVC Tournament appearance on Thursday, with the Purple Aces holding a 21-14-9 all-time record in tournament play. Evansville has advanced to the MVC Tournament final in 12 of its 24 trips to the Valley Tournament, including in its last appearance in 2021. Overall, UE has seven MVC Tournament titles.
Evansville finished eighth in the MVC regular-season standings with nine total points thanks to a 1-3-6 conference record. After not scoring in non-conference play, Evansville scored in seven of its 10 MVC regular-season matches, with eight different Purple Aces recording a goal. The only teams UE did not score against this year were the league’s top two seeds – #1 Drake (L, 1-0) and #2 Missouri State (L, 3-0) – and its opponent in the first round, Murray State.
Evansville and Murray State played to a 0-0 tie on September 24 in Murray, Kentucky, as senior goalkeeper Myia Danek recorded six saves on her way to one of her five shutouts on the year. Danek’s five shutouts are tied for the eighth-best mark in UE single-season history, and she eclipsed the 100 save mark in her UE career last time out against Missouri State. In fact, Danek will enter Thursday’s match needing just two saves to tie former Ace Liz Haines (2001-04) for tenth on the UE career saves chart with 104 career saves.
Murray State finished fifth in the MVC standings with a 5-8-5 overall record and 3-2-5 record in MVC play. The Racers offensively are led by sophomore midfielder Mary Hardy, who finished the regular-season tied for third in the MVC with seven goals, and she scored a goal in five of Murray State’s final six matches. Defensively, freshman goalkeeper Griselda Revolorio has anchored the Murray State defense for most of the year, posting a 0.73 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage in 14 matches.
All-time, Evansville leads the series over Murray State, 7-2-2. The two MVC matches between UE and Murray have ended in 0-0 ties the last two years.
SOUTHERN INDIANA CROSS COUNTRY
EAGLES SET TO RACE FOR OVC TITLES SATURDAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind.—University of Southern Indiana Men’s and Women’s Cross Country is set to toe the line at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships Saturday morning at Eagle Trace Golf Course in Morehead, Kentucky.
The men’s eight-kilometer race is scheduled for an 8 a.m. (CDT) start time, while the women’s 6k follows with a 9 a.m. start. Live results for the OVC Championships can be accessed at USIScreamingEagles.com.
USI is looking for its first-ever Division I team title after the men finished third and women finished second at the 2022 OVC Championships.
The Screaming Eagles dominated the men’s division in the Great Lakes Valley Conference prior to their move to Division I. USI captured a record 27 GLVC titles during their 43 years in Division II, including a GLVC-best 15 straight from 2015-19.
USI’s women also dominated the GLVC, winning the GLVC title for a record 14th time in 2021 and having won 11 conference championships in 14 years, including seven straight from 2011-17.
During their first year in the OVC in 2022, the Eagles did make some history as seniors Noah Hufnagel and Lauren Griewe each became the first USI student athletes to win a conference individual title at the Division I level. Hufnagel took home the men’s title in dramatic fashion, while Griewe, the 2022 OVC Female Runner of the Year, began the day with a near 20-second win in the women’s race.
Team wise, USI’s women were edged out by Eastern Illinois University by just one point, while the men finished behind Eastern Illinois and the university of Tennessee Martin.
This year, USI’s women have been undefeated against OVC teams in head-to-head competition, including a win over the defending champion EIU Panthers at the Live in Lou Classic last month.
The Eagles have been buoyed by the return of junior Cameron Hough (Olney, Illinois), who sat out the 2022 campaign due to injury, and the emergence of freshman Zoe Seward (Rochester, Indiana). Hough has three top-10 finishes under her belt this season, including a fifth-place showing at the Angel Mounds Invitational two weeks ago, while Seward has a pair of top 10 finishes and a top-20 finish under her belt.
Senior Mitchell Hopf (Santa Claus, Indiana) has been a strong number one for the men this year following a fourth-place finish at last year’s OVC Championships. He’ll be a contender for the individual title Saturday and is a big reason why the Eagles are in position to win a team title.
Hopf is coming off a fourth-place finish at the Angel Mounds Invitational, marking his second top-five finish of the year.
Red-shirt freshman Alex Nolan (Evansville, Indiana) has been a huge boost to USI’s efforts this season, with a pair of top-10 finishes to his credit in 2023.
VOLLEYBALL BRINGS WINNING STREAK HOME THIS WEEKEND
Valparaiso (15-9, 7-4 MVC)
Friday, Oct. 27 – Belmont (11-14, 5-6 MVC) – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28 – Murray State (12-8, 6-5 MVC) – 5 p.m.
Next Up For Valpo Volleyball: The Valpo volleyball team brings its longest winning streak in conference play since joining the Missouri Valley Conference home to the ARC this weekend, as the Beacons look to add to the streak in matchups with Belmont Friday night and Murray State Saturday evening.
Previously: Valpo came away with a 2-0 record for a second straight road weekend last weekend, winning at Southern Illinois in four sets before sweeping Missouri State.
Looking Ahead: It’s right back to the road next weekend for the Beacons, but a shorter trip than either of the last two weekends, as they play at Bradley next Friday and at Illinois State next Saturday.
Following the Beacons: Both of this weekend’s matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Links for the live video and stats are available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 22nd season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery is the all-time winningest head coach across all sports in the history of Valpo Athletics. She has won 486 matches (486-237, .672) at the helm of the program and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles. The program has made six postseason appearances under Avery, including three NCAA Tournament appearances, and advanced to the championship match of the 2021 NIVC. Avery has coached 60 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo, which has spanned three different conferences. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 541-261 (.675) record overall as a head coach.
Series History: Belmont – Valpo has won all three meetings in the all-time series against the Bruins, including both last season in the first matchups as conference foes – 3-2 at the ARC and 3-1 in Nashville. Emma Hickey tallied 65 digs over those two contests.
Murray State – Valpo owns a 7-1 record all-time against the Racers, including a 2-1 mark last season in their first season as conference rivals. The Beacons swept Murray State at the ARC last season in the first meeting, while the Racers got their revenge in five sets on their home court despite Mallory Januski tallying 13 blocks. The rubber match came in the opening round of the MVC Tournament and was another Valpo sweep.
Scouting the Opposition: Belmont – The Bruins enter Friday’s match with an 11-14 overall record and a 5-6 mark in MVC play after getting swept on both ends of the Iowa road trip last weekend. Ally Peterson averages a team-best 2.71 kills/set, while Kamryn Olson dishes out 9.00 assists/set. Rachel McBride tallied 4.32 digs/set as well.
Murray State – The Racers enter the weekend at 12-8 overall and 6-5 in MVC play, one match behind Valpo in the standings. Darci Metzger ranks among the MVC’s best, averaging 4.38 kills/set, while Bailey DeMier picks up 11.10 assists/set and Dahlia Miller tallies 5.41 digs/set.
Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: Valpo has been picked to finish in sixth place in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2023, according to preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. The Beacons accumulated 73 points in the polling to come in at sixth position, outpacing Illinois State by two points. UNI claimed seven of 12 first-place votes and nipped Drake by two points for the top spot in the poll.
Looking Back at Last Season: The Beacons enjoyed another successful season in 2022, finishing the campaign with a 22-11 overall record. Valpo posted a 9-9 mark in MVC play to finish in sixth place in the newly-expanded 12-team conference and won a match at the MVC Tournament for its fourth straight appearance. The Beacons earned an at-large bid to the 2022 NIVC, their third showing in the tournament in the last five seasons. After a record-setting rookie campaign, freshman libero Emma Hickey was named a Second Team All-MVC and MVC All-Freshman Team honoree.
What’s Back: Valpo returns plenty of experience from last year’s squad, as 11 letterwinners are back this year, including four starters plus the libero. In all, 98% of the assists, 89.3% of the digs, 62.7% of the blocks and 60.9% of the kills from last season are back in 2023.
Who’s New: Joining the 11 returnees on this year’s team are six players looking to make an impact in their first season as Valpo. The sextet includes four true freshmen and two transfers – one fifth-year grad transfer and one sophomore.
Top of the Charts: With Valpo’s win over Purdue Fort Wayne to close out nonconference action, head coach Carin Avery surpassed Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame member Emory Bauer for the most wins by a Valpo head coach across all sports in department history.
Bauer amassed his victories over three different sports, collecting 361 wins in 28 seasons as head coach of the baseball program, 109 victories in 22 years guiding the football team and eight wins in one season as men’s basketball head coach.
Avery’s record total, meanwhile, has obviously come all at the helm of the Valpo volleyball program. In her 22nd season as head coach, Avery’s teams have averaged better than 22 wins per year in her first 21 years guiding the program. Valpo has finished with a winning record 19 times and has posted 20 or more victories 17 times. Under Avery, Valpo has posted the six winningest seasons in program history, including a program-best 29 wins in 2004.
Five in a Row: Last weekend’s wins at Southern Illinois and at Missouri State extended Valpo’s current winning streak to five straight matches – a season best. It is the first time Valpo has won five consecutive MVC matches since joining the Valley – the program had previously won four straight conference contests three times. The last time Valpo won five or more league matches in a row was a six-match winning streak in Horizon League play in 2013.
Road Warriors: Of course, the last four of those victories over the last two weekends all came away from home, as the Beacons won at Indiana State, Evansville, SIU and Missouri State. This was the first time Valpo has played four consecutive true road matches since playing five in a row on the road in the spring 2021 season, and the first time in a “normal” season since 2017. This two-weekend stretch is the first time Valpo has played four or more true road matches in a row and won all of them since a six-match winning streak in 2008 which featured wins at Youngstown State, Cleveland State, DePaul, Loyola, UIC and Chicago State.
Road Sweeps: Two of Valpo’s four road wins in this winning streak came in straight sets, as the Beacons swept both Indiana State and Missouri State. The 3-0 win at Missouri State was especially notable, as it was the first time in program history Valpo swept the Bears on their home court and it was MSU’s first time getting swept at home since Oct. 30, 2021. Prior to these past two weekends, Valpo’s last 3-0 road win in MVC play came at Indiana State on Oct. 5, 2019.
Locking Down the Block: Valpo’s defensive performance at the net has been a big part of the reason the Beacons are on their current winning streak. At Indiana State on Friday, Valpo matched its season high with 13 rejections – tied for the program’s second-most blocks in a three-set match in the 25-point era and the team’s best effort in a sweep since 2017. Last Friday at Southern Illinois, the Beacons posted 12 rejections – the team’s fourth straight match with double-digit blocks, doing so for the first time since the 2021 team did so in five consecutive matches Nov. 13-26.
Back Row Success: The Beacons’ back line did well in both matches last weekend to keep plays alive, averaging an eye-popping 23.71 digs/set over the two victories. Against SIU, Elise Swistek racked up a season-best 28 digs – 10 more than any other player – to lead the way as the Beacons totaled 91 digs. Then, at Missouri State, it was Emma Hickey’s turn to fill up the stat sheet, as she totaled 31 of Valpo’s 75 team digs in the sweep. The 31 digs ties Hickey for second-most in a three-set match in program history, is six more than any other MVC player in a three-set match this season and gives her six 30+ dig matches for her career. The pair of stellar back-row performances last weekend bumped Valpo’s season average to 17.25 digs/set – tops in the Valley and sixth nationally.
Moan Stepping Up: For someone who had seen just nine sets of action in the Valpo uniform prior to the Beacons’ winning streak, sophomore right side Maddie Moan has been a big part of the recent success. Moan entered in the second set against Bradley – which proved to be the start of the five-match winning streak – and has totally seized her opportunity for regular playing time. Over this stretch, Moan is averaging 2.06 kills/set on .356 hitting and has been part of 10 blocks as well. She even made an impact on the back row in the win last Friday at SIU, easily eclipsing her previous career high with six digs.
Climbing the Digs Chart: Both fifth-year outside Bella Ravotto and sophomore libero Emma Hickey continue to climb the program’s career digs chart. Ravotto, who moved into the top-10 in program history for career digs early this month, moved past Karen Kulick and Lori Barton last weekend up into eighth in program history with 1,546 digs. Meanwhile, Hickey – who became the fastest player in program history and MVC history to 1,000 career digs earlier this season – now owns 1,174 career digs, has already cracked the top-20 in program history in the category and is just 115 digs away from the top-15 in Valpo history.
All-Tournament Team Honorees: Six different Valpo players made nine All-Tournament Teams in the season’s first four weekends:
Purdue Fort Wayne Invitational – Emma Hickey, Mallory Januski
Stacheville Challenge – Januski, Miranda Strongman
Popcorn Classic – Bella Ravotto (MVP), Olivia Blackketter, Januski
EIU Volleyball Invitational – Strongman, Sam Warren
Three Times the Fun: Parse the previous list and you’ll see senior middle Mallory Januski picking up a trio of All-Tournament Team honors this season. It is the first time a Valpo player has earned spots on three All-Tournament teams in the same season since Allison Ketcham did so in 2018. But, one of Ketcham’s honors came in the postseason at the MVC Tournament – Januski is the first Valpo player in the Carin Avery era to receive three All-Tournament Team spots from solely early-season, preconference tournaments.
A Balanced Attack: Last year’s Valpo team was notable for its balance on the attack, and this year’s squad has been no different. Mallory Januski’s 2.45 kills/set leads the Beacons, but ranks just 21st overall among Valley players. Five regulars are averaging between 1.90 and 2.45 kills/set.
Capturing Crowns: The Beacons’ triumph in the Popcorn Classic added yet another crown to the program’s trophy case. Valpo has now won 34 in-season tournament titles in head coach Carin Avery’s time at the helm of the program. The team has won at least one tournament in 17 of her seasons, and multiple tournaments 11 times. Those tournament titles have come in 14 different states.
Another 20-Win Campaign: It’s a milestone that has become routine for the program, yet still impressive in its totality – Valpo finished with 22 wins in 2022 and has now won 20 or more matches in 17 of Carin Avery’s 21 seasons as head coach. Even more remarkably, one of the four seasons Valpo didn’t reach 20 wins was the shortened spring 2021 campaign, when the program played just 20 matches total. The Beacons also secured their 19th winning season in Avery’s 21 seasons at the helm.
Top Half Finishes: In addition to the 20-win season, the Beacons also secured a top-half finish in the MVC standings as they finished in sixth place in the 12-team conference. Valpo has now finished in the top-half of the Valley standings in each of its six years in the conference, the only MVC program to accomplish that feat – Illinois State had finished top-half each of the last five years, but dropped out of the top-six in 2022. Going back further, Valpo has posted top-half conference finishes in 20 of Avery’s 21 seasons – as well as qualifying for the conference tournament in each of her 21 seasons – and 29 of the last 30 years overall.
Digging Deep: Valpo continued its long tradition of strong back row play last fall, finishing 10th nationally and leading the MVC with 17.27 digs/set. The program has ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 12 seasons, highlighted by the 2017 campaign in which it led the nation with 20.03 digs/set. Other top finishes include third nationally in the spring 2021 season (20.37/set), a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. Since the move to 25-point scoring, only seven teams have averaged more than 20 digs/set over the course of a season, and Valpo is the only program to have done it twice. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation with 2,613 total digs – a mark which set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era.
Hickey Sets New Standards: Emma Hickey made an immediate impact on Valpo’s backcourt and the record books in her rookie season. She set Valpo and MVC freshman record for digs in a season, finishing with 735 total digs, and led the Valley and ranked fourth nationally with 5.70 digs/set. No D-I freshman was within 200 digs of her season total, while it was tied for the second-most digs by a D-I freshman in the last 12 seasons. Her 735 digs are tied for fourth overall on Valpo’s single-season chart and rank sixth in MVC history as well.
Januski Runs the Middle: Senior middle Mallory Januski bided her time behind a pair of All-Conference middles in her first two seasons at Valpo, but given the opportunity in 2022 to run with a starting role, Januski took full advantage. She led Valpo and ranked fourth in the Valley with a .353 hitting percentage, a mark which smashed the program’s single-season record. Januski also ranked seventh in the Valley with 0.98 blocks/set, tallying 122 total blocks — seventh-most by a Valpo player in the 25-point era. That total includes a monster 13-block performance at Murray State, a program record for the 25-point era.
WRESTLING TABBED TO REPEAT AS GLVC CHAMPS
INDIANAPOLIS – The reigning Great Lakes Valley Conference Champions UIndy wrestling were voted by the seven GLVC head coaches as the favorite for the 2022-23 season. The poll featured the league’s seven wrestling schools, with the Greyhounds receiving 35 points and five first-place votes (coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team).
The Greyhounds are coming off their first-ever GLVC Championship in the 2023-23 season. The Hounds also bring back reigning GLVC Wrestler of the Year, and NCAA All-American Derek Blubaugh, alongside a slew of national qualifiers. At the helm of the Hounds is Jason Warthan, the reigning GLVC Coach of the Year, who returns for his 15th year.
“We know we have a good team on paper, so it’s nice going into the season we have high expectations for this team, but at the same time its early so you don’t put that much into that [poll],” Warthan said. “The guys know that after the last couple years you have high expectations and what comes with that is a target on your back, but we expect that.”
Last season, the Greyhounds landed seventh at the NCAA Division II National Championships behind a trio of All-Americans in Blubaugh, Logan Bailey (157) and Cale Gray (285). Alongside the trio, UIndy returns All-GLVC Second Team Selection Jackson Hoover and Third Team selections Aidan Sprague, Ray Rioux and Owen Butler.
UINDY MEN’S SOCCER
UINDY MENTIONED IN FIRST NCAA REGIONAL RANKING
INDIANAPOLIS – The first release of the NCAA DII Regional Rankings came out on Wednesday, UIndy was one the teams listed for postseason consideration. The Greyhounds was one of 12 teams mentioned in Super Region 3.
The first regional rankings was organized in alphabetical order only, actual rankings are set to be released next week. Selection day will be on Monday Nov. 3rd, 40 teams – 10 from each Super Region – will be selected to compete for the championship.
The Hounds look to compete in their fourth NCAA Tournament since 2019.
MARIAN MEN’S SOCCER
KNIGHTS SCORE SENIOR NIGHT VICTORY OVER MT. VERNON NAZARENE
INDIANAPOLIS – Backed by three different goal scorers and a pair of second half goals, the Marian men’s soccer team picked up three points in the table as they defeated Mount Vernon Nazarene 3-1. The senior night win gives Marian an 11-3-2 overall record, while the Knights are 5-3 in Crossroads League play.
Marian and Mount Vernon played much of the first half in the midfield, with neither team maintaining an offensive presence in the early stages of the half. Mt. Vernon took the first shot attempt of the night in the 18th minute, but the attempt was denied by Alvaro Rueda. The Cougars would pepper two more shots toward the goal over the following five minutes, but each look missed wide of the target.
The Knights began to build an offensive identity late in the first half, putting together positive runs in the final 10 minutes of the half. In the 39th minute, the draw was broken as Sebastian Gonzalez worked through the defense and hammered the game’s first goal, giving Marian a 1-0 lead that stood until the intermission.
In the second half, both the Knights and Cougars began owning their possession of the ball, with the Cougars taking a header five minutes into the half. Marian countered with a shot attempt by Kameron Hooker in the 53rd minute, but his bicycle attempt was easily saved by the keeper. Gonzalez and Miguel Luna gave their run at a goal in the 58th minute, but each of their shot attempts were blocked, and in the 60th minute the Cougars responded as Sam Hershey ripped a shot past Rueda to tie the match at 1-1.
Evan Dawdy subbed on after the goal and immediately looked to put Marian in the lead, blasting a pair of shots in his first five minutes of work. A header by Phillip Seifert was also denied, but Marian kept their persistent attack steady. In the 68th minute Alan Tenorio attacked from the left side of the Mount Vernon defense, and sent a pass to Dawdy, as the sophomore cleaned up his third shot attempt with the go-ahead goal.
With the 2-1 lead the pressure turned to the defense, as Rueda and his back line made three saves to keep their team in the lead. Another two shots were denied by the Cougars as they were blocked, and in the 87th minute Marian was able to leak out on a breakaway. Marian’s striker was tackled as he approached the box, giving Marian an indirect free kick from 21 yards out, with the captain Romaric Berneron burying the shot attempt to put a stamp on Marian’s 3-1 victory.
Marian ended the game being out-shot 9-14, but capitalized on their three looks on goal. Dawdy took a team-leading three shots, and Gonzalez took a pair of shots as both players scored goals. Berneron’s lone shot attempt was a goal, with each of Marian’s three goals coming from reserve players.
In goal, Rueda conceded one goal in four attempts on target, making three saves in the match.
Marian will travel to Huntington on Saturday night for their regular season finale, needing a win over Huntington to guarantee a home match in the Crossroads League Tournament. If the Knights were not to pick up all three points, they would need help from the Spring Arbor and Indiana Wesleyan match to determine the third, fourth, and fifth seeds in the tournament.
MARIAN WOMEN’S SOCCER
PARMER’S GAME-WINNER LIFTS #11 MARIAN TO 2-1 VICTORY OVER MT. VERNON NAZARENE
Mount Vernon, Ohio – The Marian women’s soccer team scored a crucial late season win Wednesday night in Crossroads League play, as Olivia Parmer’s second half goal vaulted the Knights to a 2-1 win over Mount Vernon Nazarene. The win gives Marian an 11-2-3 overall record, as they move to 4-2-2 in the league standings.
Marian’s offense came out firing with Sophie Decker and Grace Crawford firing shots on goal in the first 16 minutes of the match, as the ball moved back and forth through the midfield. In the 19th minute the offense broke through with their third shot of the game, as Katie Koger drilled an unassisted goal past the Cougars’ keeper to provide Marian with an early 1-0 lead.
Mount Vernon returned fire on the Knights in the ensuing 10 minutes with a pair of shot attempts, one that Lily Ames was able to save in goal. Ames was unable to save the Cougars’ fourth shot of the first half though, as Alexis Hoffman snuck a ball past the keeper and leveled the score in the 35th minute of the match. The score would hold at a 1-1 draw at the intermission, with each team taking one shot in the final 10 minutes of the half.
Koger and the Knights came out firing to start the second half, as she fired a pair of shots on goal in the first five minutes while Delaney Taylor followed with an attempt that was blocked. In the 62nd minute freshman Olivia Parmer subbed in, and delivered within moments as she scored in the 66th minute to push Marian in front 2-1. The goal lifted Marian to a lead, and the team continued to pester the goal as Gretchen Mallin, Crawford, and Koger ripped shots on the net.
Ames would have to withstand a short run of shot attempts by the Cougars in the second half, but nothing the freshman couldn’t handle as she kept a clean sheet in the second half. Marian’s defense prevented any Mount Vernon shot over the final 12 minutes of the match, as they clamped to their 2-1 victory.
Koger took a team-leading four shot attempts with three looks going on goal, including the first goal of the match. Parmer took three shot attempts in the game with all going on target, scoring the game-winner for the second time this season. Mallin and Crawford would finish with two shots each of Marian’s 15 total attempts. Mt. Vernon would finish the game with nine shots and just three total on goal, with Ames making the save on two of them.
Marian will look to win their third consecutive match on Saturday, as they host their senior day match at 2 p.m. against Huntington.
KNIGHTS RALLY FOR ROAD WIN OVER NO. 17 PILOTS
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – The Marian volleyball team battled on the road tonight as they completed the season sweep of No. 17 Bethel after a 3-1 victory. The Knights improve to 18-8 on the season and 12-3 in Crossroads League play, moving to third in the CL standings.
Jaymison Summers earned the first points of the game on the assists from Logan Smith before Bethel was able to gain the 5-2 advantage after a pair of service aces. Marian evened the score after a block from Averi Lanman, while Emma Lyons added back-to-back aces to put her team ahead 9-6. The Knights continued to roll, grabbing the 13-8 lead behind a kill from Mikayla Christiansen on the assist from Katie Hardegree. The two teams traded points until the Pilots went on a 8-3 run to finish off the Knights, taking the first set 25-19.
Similar to the first set, Bethel jumped out to an early lead as they pulled ahead 12-5 after five consecutive points. After a Marian timeout, the guests responded with three straight of their own to put themselves within four. The set continued to go back and forth, but it was the Pilots holding the 20-15 advantage. A kill from Christiansen ignited the Marian offense again, sparking a 4-0 run to cut the Bethel lead to 20-19 and forcing a timeout. The hosts answered back with a kill after the timeout, but it was Marian closing out the set with a six-point run capped off with three straight kills from Summers coming from Smith to take the set 25-21,
Marian opened the third set with a 5-2 lead as Khori Dryden notched back-to-back kills and an error by the Pilots. With the two teams trading points, Bethel started to find the momentum to pull in front 15-10 after a 13-5 run. The Knights got back in the point column after a Summers kill, but once again it was the Pilots answering back to take the 18-13 edge. Marian evened the score at 20-20 after Hardegree connected with Gabby Fish to spark a four-point run. The two teams went back and forth until the score was locked at 22-22, but after three consecutive points the Knights were able to close out the set 25-22 and take the 2-1 lead.
The Knights came out firing to start the fourth set, with Madison Brooks, Christiansen, and Dryden all tallying a kill to garner teh 6-2 lead. Bethel answered with a run of their own to pull within one at 9-8. Lanman and Christiansen teamed up for a block, before the Pilots were able to score in an attempt to stop the momentum from the Knights. However, kills from Fish, Christiansen, and Summers would not let that happen as they took the 16-10 lead. The Pilots were able to chip away their deficit to two, as the two teams battled it out the rest of the set. Marian took charge at 24-21, but it was Bethel not going away quite yet as they rallied for another match point before ultimately the Knights took set four 26-24 and the match 3-1.
Dryden led way with 15 kills, Christiansen notched 13 kills to go along with three blocks and an ace. Fish and Summers added 10 kills, while Lanman had a team-best four blocks. Lyons finished with game-high 13 digs and three aces, while Smith added 11 digs to go along with her 23 assists, and Hardegree added 18 assists.
The challenge to stay in the Crossroads League race increases for the Knights on Friday night, as Marian will take on No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan on the road at 7 p.m.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|American Football Conference|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Miami Dolphins||5||2||0||.714||0.0||240||187||3-0-0||2-2-0||3-1-0||1-1-0||1 L|
|Buffalo Bills||4||3||0||.571||1.0||198||118||3-1-0||1-2-0||2-3-0||1-2-0||1 L|
|New York Jets||3||3||0||.500||1.5||113||119||2-2-0||1-1-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|New England Patriots||2||5||0||.286||3.0||101||177||1-3-0||1-2-0||2-2-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||1||0||.857||0.0||178||105||3-1-0||3-0-0||4-0-0||2-0-0||6 W|
|Las Vegas Raiders||3||4||0||.429||3.0||112||161||2-1-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||1-1-0||1 L|
|Los Angeles Chargers||2||4||0||.333||3.5||144||155||1-2-0||1-2-0||1-3-0||1-1-0||2 L|
|Denver Broncos||2||5||0||.286||4.0||148||217||1-3-0||1-2-0||0-4-0||0-2-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Baltimore Ravens||5||2||0||.714||0.0||171||97||2-1-0||3-1-0||4-2-0||2-1-0||2 W|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||4||2||0||.667||0.5||103||127||2-1-0||2-1-0||3-1-0||2-0-0||2 W|
|Cleveland Browns||4||2||0||.667||0.5||134||115||3-1-0||1-1-0||3-2-0||1-2-0||2 W|
|Cincinnati Bengals||3||3||0||.500||1.5||100||127||2-1-0||1-2-0||0-3-0||0-2-0||2 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||5||2||0||.714||0.0||173||146||2-2-0||3-0-0||3-2-0||2-1-0||4 W|
|Houston Texans||3||3||0||.500||1.5||135||113||2-1-0||1-2-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|Indianapolis Colts||3||4||0||.429||2.0||178||191||1-3-0||2-1-0||3-3-0||2-2-0||2 L|
|Tennessee Titans||2||4||0||.333||2.5||104||117||2-1-0||0-3-0||2-3-0||0-1-0||2 L|
|National Football Conference|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Philadelphia Eagles||6||1||0||.857||0.0||186||141||3-0-0||3-1-0||4-0-0||1-0-0||1 W|
|Dallas Cowboys||4||2||0||.667||1.5||154||100||2-0-0||2-2-0||1-2-0||1-0-0||1 W|
|Washington Commanders||3||4||0||.429||3.0||140||190||1-2-0||2-2-0||2-3-0||0-2-0||1 L|
|New York Giants||2||5||0||.286||4.0||85||174||1-2-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||2||0||.714||0.0||201||109||3-0-0||2-2-0||4-1-0||2-0-0||2 L|
|Seattle Seahawks||4||2||0||.667||0.5||144||118||2-1-0||2-1-0||4-1-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|Los Angeles Rams||3||4||0||.429||2.0||155||141||1-3-0||2-1-0||2-2-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|Arizona Cardinals||1||6||0||.143||4.0||127||182||1-2-0||0-4-0||1-5-0||0-3-0||4 L|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Detroit Lions||5||2||0||.714||0.0||174||151||2-1-0||3-1-0||4-1-0||1-0-0||1 L|
|Minnesota Vikings||3||4||0||.429||2.0||151||152||1-3-0||2-1-0||3-2-0||1-0-0||2 W|
|Green Bay Packers||2||4||0||.333||2.5||130||132||1-1-0||1-3-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||3 L|
|Chicago Bears||2||5||0||.286||3.0||158||188||1-3-0||1-2-0||1-3-0||0-2-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Atlanta Falcons||4||3||0||.571||0.0||115||133||3-1-0||1-2-0||3-2-0||2-0-0||1 W|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||3||0||.500||0.5||103||104||1-3-0||2-0-0||3-3-0||1-1-0||2 L|
|New Orleans Saints||3||4||0||.429||1.0||133||127||1-2-0||2-2-0||1-2-0||1-1-0||2 L|
|Carolina Panthers||0||6||0||.000||3.5||112||186||0-2-0||0-4-0||0-5-0||0-2-0||6 L|
|New York||0||1||.000||1.0||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|Oklahoma City||1||0||1.000||—||–||1-0||–||–||1-0||1 W|
|LA Clippers||1||0||1.000||—||1-0||–||–||1-0||1-0||1 W|
|LA Lakers||0||1||.000||1.0||–||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|Golden State||0||1||.000||1.0||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|New Orleans||1||0||1.000||—||–||1-0||1-0||1-0||1-0||1 W|
|San Antonio||0||1||.000||1.0||0-1||–||0-1||0-1||0-1||1 L|
|Detroit Red Wings||7||5||1||1||11||5||34||20||3-0-1||2-1-0||5-1-1|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||6||4||2||0||8||3||23||20||2-1-0||2-1-0||4-2-0|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||7||3||2||2||8||3||23||24||3-0-1||0-2-1||3-2-2|
|New York Rangers||6||4||2||0||8||4||18||13||1-1-0||3-1-0||4-2-0|
|New Jersey Devils||6||3||2||1||7||3||24||23||1-2-1||2-0-0||3-2-1|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||6||3||2||1||7||3||17||19||2-2-1||1-0-0||3-2-1|
|New York Islanders||5||2||2||1||5||2||13||17||2-1-1||0-1-0||2-2-1|
|St. Louis Blues||5||2||2||1||5||1||11||15||2-1-0||0-1-1||2-2-1|
|Vegas Golden Knights||7||7||0||0||14||6||28||13||4-0-0||3-0-0||7-0-0|
|Los Angeles Kings||6||3||2||1||7||3||27||22||1-2-1||2-0-0||3-2-1|
|San Jose Sharks||6||0||5||1||1||0||8||23||0-3-1||0-2-0||0-5-1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1911 With a seven-run seventh inning in Game 6, the A’s win the World Series, coasting to an easy 13-2 victory over the Giants win the World Series. Outfielder Danny Murphy leads Philadelphia with four hits, and Chief Bender goes the distance to get the win.
1940 Tigers’ slugging left fielder Hank Greenberg (.340, 41, 150) is named the American League’s Most Valuable Player, with Indian hurler Bob Feller (27-11, 2.61) finishing second. Having won the award in 1935 as a first baseman, ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ becomes the first player to win another MVP playing a different position.
1946 Westbrook Pegler, a syndicated columnist, becomes the first to question in print the off-field association of Leo Durocher with actor George Raft and others allegedly tied to gamblers. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s expose of the Dodgers manager will start a series of events that will lead to the ‘Lip’s’ one-year suspension in 1947.
1949 The San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, infused with some major league players, complete an 11-game trip to American-occupied Japan, drawing more than half a million spectators to the games played at Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Lefty O’Doul, the team’s 52-year-old skipper, personally asked by General Douglas McArthur to organize the first post-war peacetime cultural exchanges between the two nations due to his warm relationship with the Asian country, will be enthusiastically greeted by the Japanese fans, including Emperor Hirohito and Prince Akihito.
1950 The BBWAA selects Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto (.324, 7, 66) as the American League MVP. The ‘Scooter,’ who receives 16 of 23 first-place votes, easily outpoints runner-up Boston’s Billy Goodman, the first player without a regular position to receive consideration for the prestigious award.
1950 After asking him to leave the organization, Walter O’Malley succeeds Branch Rickey as president of the Dodgers. O’Malley, who had offered to buy Rickey’s stake to become the majority owner, pays more when ‘the Mahatma’, in an act of defiance, offers shares to a friend for a million dollars, a deal the new president believes, but can’t prove, to be as “fraudulent as a four-dollar bill.”
1960 After his family operated the team in Washington since his dad, Clark Griffith, took over as manager of the club in 1912, Calvin Griffith, president of the Senators, decides to move his club to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to become the Twins. Baseball awards the District of Columbia an expansion team that will begin play next season to fill the void, placating the lawmakers who spoke of examining baseball’s anti-trust exemption should the national pastime leave the nation’s capital.
1960 In a move designed to jump ahead of the National League in the expansion race, the American League grants franchises to Washington and Los Angeles and okays the Senators’ move to Minnesota. The decision to place a new team in Washington is partly political because the owners fear the nation’s lawmakers, upset about losing the American League’s oldest club, will threaten baseball’s anti-trust exemption.
1980 Former Yankee and Tiger skipper Ralph Houk comes out of his two-year retirement to manage the Red Sox. The ‘Major’ will compile a 312-282 (.525) won-loss record, but his team will not make a postseason appearance during his four-year tenure in Boston.
1982 The Phillies’ 37-year-old southpaw Steve Carlton (23-11, 3.10) wins the Cy Young Award for an unprecedented fourth time. In one of the worst trades in baseball history, Philadelphia swapped Rick Wise for “Lefty,” also the winner of the prestigious prize hurling for Philadelphia in 1972, 1977, and 1980.
1985 In Game 6 of the World Series, Don Denkinger’s controversial ninth-inning call at first base enables the Royals to beat the Cardinals, 2-1, allowing Dane Iorg to hit a two-run walk-off single. In the Jorge Orta is called safe but appears out when first baseman Jack Clark’s throw to Todd Worrell, covering the bag, clearly beats him and extends the Fall Classic to a decisive Game 7 that Kansas City will win to capture its first World Championship.
1995 Onboard the space shuttle Columbia, Commander Ken Bowersox, throws the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series. The ceremony, transmitted from space via satellite and shown to the Indians and Braves fans at Jacobs Field, continues with an animation sequence on the scoreboard that ends with a ball that appears to fly in and land in center field.
1996 After two stunning defeats at home, 12-1 and 4-0 losses, to start the series, the Yankees win the next four games to clinch their first World Series since 1978 with a 3-2 victory in the Bronx over the defending World Champs Braves. The Fall Classic victory will be the first title of four in five years for the Bronx Bombers.
1997 With two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7, Edgar Renteria singles home Craig Counsell, giving the Florida Marlins their first World Series title with a 3-2 win over the Indians. The five-year-old Marlins become the youngest expansion team to win the Fall Classic.
1998 Potential free-agent All-Star catcher Mike Piazza signs the most lucrative contract in major league history when he agrees to terms with the Mets. The seven-year deal is worth over $91 million and includes having a suite on road trips and a luxury box for Shea Stadium’s home games.
1999 Chad Curtis leads off the tenth inning with his second home run of the game, giving the Yankees a dramatic 6-5 walk-off victory over the Braves and a commanding 3-0 lead in the World Series. The outfielder becomes the 11th player to end a Fall Classic game with a round-tripper when he goes deep off Atlanta reliever Mike Remlinger.
2000 Derek Jeter becomes the first player to win the All-Star Game and the World Series MVP honors in the same season. The Yankee shortstop hit .409, and his nine hits included two doubles, a triple, and a pair of home runs, in the Bronx Bombers’ five-game victory over the Mets in the Fall Classic.
2000 In Game 5 at Shea Stadium, the Yankees win their third consecutive World Series, the fourth title in five years, and record 26th championship by defeating the Mets, 4-2. Luis Sojo’s ninth-inning two-out, tie-breaking single off starter Al Leiter is the decisive hit.
2000 Joe Torre becomes only the fifth skipper to win four World Series championships when the Bronx Bombers beat the Mets to win the Fall Classic. The future Hall of Fame skipper joins Joe McCarthy (7), Casey Stengel (7), Connie Mack (5), and Walter Alston (4), who are all enshrined in Cooperstown.
2002 When Russ Ortiz, who is tossing a 5-0 shutout, strikes out Garret Anderson to begin the seventh inning of Game 6, the Giants appeared destined to win their first World Series since 1954. The Angels, scoring a total of six times in the seventh and eighth innings, rally from the large deficit and stage the biggest comeback for a team facing elimination in the Fall Classic, beating the Giants, 6-5.
2003 Citing disagreements with team owner George Steinbrenner, Don Zimmer resigns as the Yankees’ bench coach. ‘Popeye,’ a close friend of skipper Joe Torre, will be named Senior Baseball Advisor for the Devil Rays before the 2004 season begins.
2004 Curt Schilling becomes the first starting pitcher to win a World Series for three different teams. In addition to his Game 2 Red Sox victory over the Cardinals, his 8-2 lifetime postseason record includes wins for the Phillies (1993) and Diamondbacks (2001).
2004 Before Game 3 of the World Series, Edgar Martinez receives the Roberto Clemente Award, an honor given to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual’s contribution to his team. The Mariners designated hitter, a native of Puerto Rico like the award’s namesake, is involved in Parent Project/Muscular Dystrophy, Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
2005 Willie Harris scores the game’s only run in the eighth inning as Jermaine Dye, the series MVP, singles the pinch-hitter home, giving the White Sox a 1-0 victory over the Astros and the team its first World Championship since 1917. For the second consecutive year, an American League team sweeps its National League opponent.
2005 White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen becomes the first foreign-born manager to win a World Series as the ‘Wizards of Ozzie’ sweep the Astros in the Fall Classic. The 41-year-old Venezuelan is also the youngest pilot ever to win a World Championship.
2005 Bobby Valentine becomes the first foreign manager to win the Japan Series in the 70-year history of Japanese baseball. Former Rangers and Mets skipper leads the Chiba Lotte Marines to their first league championship in 31 years when they sweep the Hanshin Tigers.
2005 Tadahito Iguchi becomes the first Japanese native to win a World Series ring when the White Sox sweep the Astros to win their first Fall Classic in 88 years. In January, the 30-year-old Fukuoka Daiei Hawks’ second baseman signed with Chicago as a free agent.
2007 Dmitri Young is announced as the National League Comeback Player of the Year by the MLB Players Trust and Yahoo! Sports. The big first baseman, released by the Tigers early last season due to both on and off-the-field issues, joined the Nationals as a non-roster player and became an All-Star selection for Washington, finishing the season with a .320 batting average, the tenth best in the circuit.
2007 The MLB Players Trust and Yahoo! Sports announce the selection of Devil Rays’ first baseman Carlos Pena as the American League Comeback Player of the Year. After missing most of the past two seasons and being told he wouldn’t make the team this year, the first baseman went on to set Tampa Bay’s single-season records for homers, RBIs, and walks.
2008 The Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the top offensive player in each league, is presented to Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis (.312, 29, 115) and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez (.289, 27, 111). The honor was established in 1999 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame outfielder surpassing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record.
2008 In the Phillies’ 10-2 rout of the Rays in Game 4 at Citizen Bank Park, right-hander Joe Blanton hits a home run, marking only the 15th time in World Series history that a pitcher has homered. Ken Holtzman was the last hurler to accomplish the feat when he went deep off Andy Messersmith in 1974.
2009 Tony La Russa agrees to a one-year contract to return for his 15th season as manager of the Cardinals. The Redbirds have appeared in the postseason eight times under their 65-year-old skipper, including a World Championship in 2006.
2009 The Padres formally introduced 35-year-old Jed Hoyer as the team’s new general manager. The former assistant to Boston’s GM Theo Epstein replaces Kevin Towers, who held the position in San Diego for 14 seasons.
2009 Mark McGwire will join his former manager Tony La Russa on the Cardinals’ bench as the team’s hitting coach, replacing Hal McRae. The one-time single-season home run champ, who damaged his reputation by refusing to answer questions about steroids during a congressional hearing in 2005, had La Russa for his skipper in 15 of the 16 years he played in the major leagues, both in Oakland and St. Louis.
2010 The Nationals notify Jim Riggleman he will be returning as the team’s manager next year. Washington finished last in the National League East for the third consecutive season but improved by ten games in the win column, finishing with 69 victories.
2013 With runners on second and third with one out, Jon Jay’s grounder results in Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia easily throwing out Yadier Molina at the plate. After making the tag at home, Boston backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s errant throw to third base causes third baseman Will Middlebrooks to collide with Allen Craig, who had gone to third and appears out trying for to home, but an infielder’s interference call gives the Cardinals an unusual 5-4 walk-off victory in the first World Series game to ever end on an obstruction call.
2014 At AT&T Park, Madison Bumgarner hurls a complete game, blanking the Royals on four hits in Game 6 of the World Series, 5-0. The southpaw’s victory, giving the Giants a 3-2 edge, is the first shutout thrown by a starter in the Fall Classic since Josh Beckett accomplished the feat for the Marlins at Yankee Stadium in 2003, and the first for the franchise since 1962 when Jack Sanford whitewashed New York in 1962.
2014 Cardinal rookie Oscar Taveras, who participated in seven postseason games with St. Louis earlier in the month, dies in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old outfielder, who batted .320 and slugged .516 as a minor leaguer, was considered by many to be a ‘can’t miss prospect.’
2016 The Cubs’ 5-1 decision over the Indians at Progressive Field marks the team’s first World Series game victory since 1945. The Chicago win hands Cleveland’s skipper Terry Francona his first loss in ten Fall Classic contests.
2018 Game 3 of the World Series finally ends with Max Muncy walk-off home run, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory over Red Sox in the 18th inning. The seven-hour-and-twenty-minute Chavez Ravine contest establishes a new longevity record for the length of a game, tied for the longest in terms of innings, and took longer to play than the entire 1939 World Series.
WORLD SERIES HISTORY
New York Yankees (4) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (0)
Fans in 1927 witnessed the play of what many baseball historians consider to be the greatest team in the history of baseball, The 1927 New York Yankees. With an all-star lineup known as “Murderer’s Row”, New York outscored its opponents by nearly four-hundred runs and hit .307 as a team. Babe Ruth, perhaps the greatest ever, set the original single season mark with sixty homeruns which was more than any other American League team had combined. The Sultan of Swat also had plenty of help from his fellow sluggers in pinstripes. Outfield counterparts, Earle Combs in center and Bob Meusel in left, hit .356 and .337 respectively. Lou Gehrig had his first big season, batting .373 with forty-seven homers and a league leading one-hundred seventy-five RBIs. Second year man Tony Lazzeri ranked third in the loop with eighteen homers. The pitching staff boasted four men who won eighteen or more wins, led by Waite Hoyt at 22-7. Herb Pennock and Wilcy Moore gained nineteen victories apiece while Urban Shocker added eighteen. This lethal trio complemented the dominant offense by claiming the league’s three best ERAs. Moore, who pitched primarily in relief, led the way with a 2.28 mark. With a 110-44 record, the Bronx Bombers ran away with the American League pennant, winning by a staggering nineteen games.
On the National League side, the Pittsburgh Pirates had managed a pennant, but were clearly not the caliber that New York represented. Game 1 opened at Forbes Field, but the “homefield advantage” offered the Pirates little comfort in a 5-4 loss that was highlighted by several crucial fielding errors by the home team. Little changed in Game 2 as the Yankees netted another 6-2 victory off the arm of George Pipgras who beat Pittsburgh’s Vic Aldridge, Mike Cvengros and Joe Dawson.
Herb Pennock, who entered Game 3 with a 4-0 Series record, went the distance for the third outing mowing down the first twenty-two Pirates he faced – the closest thing to a perfect game in a World Series until Don Larsen in 1956. The result was an 8-1 triumph that left the Yankees one win away from sweeping the Series and reclaiming their crown.
Game 4 was anyone’s for nine innings as neither team blinked in a 3-3 stalemate. Pittsburgh manager, Donie Bush, had turned to Carmen Hill, who had peaked in 1927 as the ace of his pitching staff. Hill had never won more than three games, but in 1927 he chalked up twenty-two. New York’s Miller Huggins went with Wilcy Moore, a promising rookie who had made only twelve starts in his fifty appearances. Both had planned to go the distance, but the mental fatigue was starting to take its toll.
Pittsburgh’s John Miljus came in as relief in the seventh inning and looked strong until the ninth. Earle Combs walked and Mark Koenig beat out a bunt to advance the runner. Ruth was walked intentionally after a wild pitch advanced the runners and left first base vacant, filling the bases with no outs and Lou Gehrig coming up next. Miljus managed to strike out the next two batters, but threw a disastrous second wild pitch to Tony Lazzeri, scoring Combs and ending the game. The Yankees had won their second championship title and the crowning achievement to a magnificent season. They also became the first team ever to sweep the National League in a World Series.
Early Pro Rivalry Almost Ends Professional Football
October 26, 1906 – from profootballhof.com The two best teams in professional football were arch rivals the Canton Bulldogs and the Massillon Tigers. That season they played twice splitting the head to head meetings. The second meeting however was for the Ohio League Championship in which the Tigers secured victory. The fierce rivalry caused the two teams to overpay for talent to better themselves against the other and almost caused each club to go broke. That coupled with a betting scandal made pro football in all of Ohio have declining interest from the communities. Learn more about this in our interview with Gregg Ficery and the Massillon Tigers as well as our episode on Joe Carr with Chris Willis.
Deacons largest Upset
October 26, 1946 – Knoxville, Tennessee – They Wake Forest Demon Deacons knocked off the highest-ranked opponent in the football program’s history when they defeated the No. 4 in the nation Tennessee Volunteers 19-6. The website godeacs.com has a great recount of the game. The Wake Forest line was a block of granite against the Tennessee running attack. Bob Leonetti and Ed Royston, guards; Boyd Allen, center; and Sidney Martin, tackle, refused to let the Vol backs loose for any damaging gains. The Deacon forwards also were terrific in rushing Vol passers.
The Deacons scored first in the opening period, and then came back in the third period to register two quick touchdowns to ice the ball game after the Vols had scored their lone marker in the second period to tie the score at 6-6.
12 Sacks !!!
October 26, 1980 -Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland – The visiting St. Louis Cardinals defense got after the Baltimore Colts QB Bert Jones and sacked him an NFL record tying 12 times! According to an f64sports blog post, Card’s defensive end Curtis Greer dropped Jones an unofficial 4-½ times in the contest. It was not the first time had recorded 12 sacks in an NFL game but it was however the first time an NFL defense had sacked the same player 12 times in one game!
October 26, 2013 – In an unbelievable comeback, the University of South Carolina upset of the 5th ranked University of Missouri 27-24. The Gamecocks found themselves trailing the heavily favored Mizzou squad 17-0 in the fourth quarter. USC quarterback Connor Shaw was banged up and had flu-like symptoms according to an article in the postandcourier.com website, but he spearheaded a fierce comeback surge for South Carolina. Earlier in the week Shaw admitted to having a partial tear in his LCL and a few days prior to kick off he had the flu so head coach Steve Spurrier did not let him start the game and the team took the field with Dylan Thompson under center. After watching Dylan struggle through the first 3 quarters, Spurrier turned Shaw and asked him if he could go and the youngster responded by getting the Gamecocks to tie the Tigers and take the game into overtime. The Carolina victory came in the second OT session when Mizzou tried to tie the score once more, but their kick banged off of the upright to fall away from its mark, allowing the underdog USC team to claim victory.
October 26, 1892 – White Earth, Minnesota – Joe Guyon was Jim Thorpe’s teammate at Carlisle and from there he moved on to be an All-American tackle at Georgia Tech in 1918 and also saw a National Championship with the Jackets in 1917. In professional football though according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s bio on the great player, he was a triple threat halfback that played in the NFL for the Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Cowboys, Oorang Indians, the Rock Island Independents and the New York Football Giants. He helped the Giants claim the NFL Championship in 1927. The amazing thing is that he played on all of these teams and accomplished so much in just 8 seasons in the League. The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted Joe Guyon in the entry class of 1966.
The Passing Innovator, Sid Gillman
October 26, 1911 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Sid Gillman who played college ball at Ohio State was born. In the very first Chicago College All-Star game in 1934 legendary player Bronko Nagurski leveled Gillman and it set Sid’s mind that coaching may be the safer and wiser career option in pro football. Gillman according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is quoted as saying: “The Big plays come from the pass. God bless those runners, because they give you the first down, give you the ball control and keep your defense off of the field, but if you want to ring the cash register, you have to pass.” This summed up the Gillman coaching legacy that lasted for 18 seasons in the AFL and NFL. Sid’s LA and San Diego Chargers offense set the AFL’s offensive centric style of play apart from the 3 yards and cloud of dust mentality of the NFL in the 1960’s. The Chargers even won the 1963 AFL Championship. After the merger Gillman still had success, as he as the AFC’s 1974 Coach of the Year. The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted Sid Gillman in the entry class of 1983
October 26, 1913 – Dunbar, Nebraska – Sam Francis a fullback from the University of Nebraska came into this world. Francis was a great player, he ended up being the runner up to winning the Heisman Trophy after the 1936 season for his fine play. Earlier in 1936 Sam finished 4th in the Shot put at the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. Sam Francis was ushered into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1977. Francis was the first overall pick in the 1937 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Eagles traded his rights to the Chicago Bears soon after where he played for four seasons. Later he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Brooklyn Dodgers before attending the University of Iowa to go for his masters and also serving in the US Army during World War II.
October 26, 1929 – Graham, Texas – Marked the birth of Oklahoma tackle, Jim Weatherall. Per the biography post on Jim on footballfoundation.org, Weatherall was a consensus All- America in 1950 and a unanimous All-America in 1951. Jim had a nine- year pro career that spanned from 1954 all the way to the 1962 season playing in the CFL with Edmonton, and then the NFL with the likes of Philadelphia, Washington, and Detroit. Jim Weatherall was summoned to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
October 26, 1930 – Fresno, California – Les Richter, a former guard, kicker and linebacker from the University of California from 1949 until 1951 was born. The National Football Foundation tells us that Richter was a 6-2, 230-pound bulldozer on offense and an aggressive, single-minded scrimmage line protector on defense. His greatness was recognized with a deluge of awards that began with the team captain and included the Andy Smith Award for most time played, membership in the All-Time All-Pacific Coast Team, East-West Shrine and College All-Star games, a Most Valuable Player citation, Helms Hall of Fame and, best of all, All-America honors by United Press, Associated Press, International News Service and other recognized selectors. The NFF voted Les Richter into their College Football Hall of Fame in the year 1982.
October 26, 1963 – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Defensive tackle Tony Casillas that played for the Oklahoma Sooners came into this world. Tony was a big part of the Sooners 1985 National Championship team. The NFF’s website tells us that Tony was a two-time consensus First Team All-America selection and that Casillas became only the second Sooner ever to win the Lombardi Award after the 1985 season, which is given to the nation’s top lineman. In 2004 the National Football Foundation selected Tony Casillas to enter the exclusive club of the College Football Hall of Fame. Tony was picked in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Twice named an All-Pro, he played 13 seasons in the NFL with three different teams and won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
10 – 32 – 2 – 61 – 23
October 26, 1960 – AL approves Washington Senators move to become Minnesota Twins & announces franchises in LA & Washington, D.C. for 1961
October 26, 1968 – Striker Antal Dunai, Number 10 scored twice as Hungary outpaced Bulgaria 4-1 to take the men’s football gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
October 26, 1982 – In MLB news, Philadelphia Phillies Number 32, Steve Carlton became 1st pitcher to win 4 Cy Young awards
October 26, 1985 – Doug Harvey‘s Number 2 jersey is retired by the Montreal Canadiens
October 26, 1993 – NFL announced a new expansion team, the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte
October 26, 1997 – Baseball World Series: Florida beats Cleveland Indians, 3-2 in Game 7 at Pro Player Stadium, Miami for Marlins first-ever title; MVP: Florida pitcher Number 61, Liván Hernández
October 26, 2000 – World Series: NY Yankees beat NY Mets, 4-2 in Game 5 at Shea Stadium to win “Subway Series”; Yankees 3rd straight title; MVP was Yankees shortstop Number 2, Derek Jeter
October 26, 2005 – World Series: Chicago beats Houston, 1-0 in Game 4 at Minute Maid Park to sweep Astros and win White Sox first title in 88 years; MVP: Chicago outfielder Number 23, Jermaine Dye
October 26, 2018 – Longest Baseball World Series game by both innings and time; LA Dodgers beat Boston Red Sox, 3-2 in the 18th inning (7 hours, 20 mins) in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium with Max Muncy walk-off homer
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|Syracuse at Virginia Tech||7:30pm||ESPN|
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|Tampa Bay at Buffalo||8:15pm||AMZN|
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|UEFA Europa Conference League: Spartak Trnava vs Nordsjælland||3:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: San Lorenzo vs Platense||5:30pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Vasco da Gama vs Internacional||6:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Newell’s Old Boys vs Godoy Cruz||8:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Lanús vs Tigre||8:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Santos vs Coritiba||8:30pm||Paramount+|
|Friendly: USA vs Colombia||9:00pm||Peacock|
WHAT TO WATCH: THURSDAY, 10/26/23
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|Syracuse at Virginia Tech||7:30pm||ESPN|
Syracuse Orange leads all time series 11-8 versus Virginia Tech Hokies. Last time both teams met was in 2021 which the Orange won 41-36 on the road versus the Hokies. Virginia Tech is 6-3 at home all time versus Syracuse. The first matchup between the Orange and Hokies was in 1964 which the Syracuse won at home 20-15.
|Philadelphia at Milwaukee||7:30pm||TNT|
The Philadelphia 76ers finished third in the Eastern Conference last season with a record of 54-28. The Milwaukee Bucks finished first in the Eastern Conference in the 2022-23 season with a record of 58-24. The Bucks were 32-9 at home last season and the 76ers were 25-16 on the road. Milwaukee and Philadelphia 2022-23 regular season series was tied 2-2.
|Phoenix at LA Lakers||10:00pm||TNT|
The Phoenix Suns finished fourth in the Western Conference last season with a record of 45-37. The Los Angeles Lakers finished sixth in the Western Conference in the 2022-23 season with a record of 43-39. The Lakers were 23-18 at home last season and the Suns were 17-24 on the road. Los Angeles and Phoenix 2022-23 regular season series was tied 2-2 which both teams were 2-0 at home.
|Tampa Bay at Buffalo||8:15pm||AMZN|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers leads all time series 8-4 versus the Buffalo Bills. The Buccaneers and Bills last met in 2021 which the Buccaneers won 33-27 at home versus the Bills. The Buccaneers only played at Buffalo twice in NFL history which Tampa Bay lost both times. The last time Bills won versus the Buccaneers was in 2017 at Buffalo.
|Seattle at Carolina||7:00pm||Root Sports|
The Seattle Kraken finished fourth in the Pacific divsion last season with 100 points. The Carolina Hurricanes finished first in the Mertropolitan divsion in the 2022-23 season with 113 points. The Carolina Hurricanes leads all time series 3-1 versus the Seattle Kraken. Last season the Hurricanes were 2-0 versus the Kraken during the regular season.
|Toronto at Dallas||8:00pm||Sportsnet|
The Toronto Maple Leafs finished second in the Atlantic divsion last season with 111 points. The Dallas Stars finished second in the Central division in the 2022-23 season with 108 points.The Toronto Maple Leafs leads all time series 102-99-28 versus the Dallas Stars. Last season the Maple Leafs were 2-0 versus the Satrs during the regular season.
|NY Rangers at Edmonton||9:00pm||Sportsnet|
The New York Rangers finished third in the Metropolitan division last season with 107 points. The Edmonton Oilers finished second in the Pacific divsion in the 2022-23 season with 109 points. The Edmonton Oilers leads all time series 38-35-9 versus the New York Rangers. Last season the Rangers and Oilers 2022-23 regular season series was tied 1-1.
TV SPORTS FRIDAY
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|Florida Atlantic at Charlotte||7:30pm||ESPN2|
|COLLEGE HOCKEY||TIME ET||TV|
|Minnesota Duluth vs Cornell||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Harvard vs Dartmouth College||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Maine vs Quinnipiac||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Lake Superior State vs Clarkson||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Michigan State vs Boston College||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UMass vs Boston U||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UConn vs UMass Lowell||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Vermont vs Providence||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Mercyhurst vs Notre Dame||7:30pm||Peacock|
|Yale vs Brown||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Wiscosnin vs Minnesota||9:00pm||BTN|
|DP World: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters||4:00am||GOLF|
|LPGA: Maybank Championship||10:00pm||GOLF|
|MLB PLAYOFFS||TIME ET||TV|
|World Series Game 1: Arizona at Texas||8:00pm||FOX|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Detroit at Charlotte||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Denver at Memphis||7:00pm||ALT|
|New York at Atlanta||7:30pm||MSG|
|Miami at Boston||7:30pm||ESPN|
|Oklahoma City at Cleveland||7:30pm||Bally Sports|
|Toronto at Chicago||8:00pm||Sportsnet|
|Houston at San Antonio||8:00pm||ATTSN-SW|
|Brooklyn at Dallas||8:30pm||YES|
|LA Clippers at Utah||9:30pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Orlando at Portland||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Golden State at Sacramento||10:00pm||ESPN|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Chicago at Vegas||6:00pm||NHLN|
|San Jose at Carolina||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Buffalo at New Jersey||7:00pm||MSG-BUF|
|Minnesota at Washington||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Los Angeles at Arizona||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|St. Louis at Vancouver||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Bundesliga: Bochum vs Mainz 05||2:30pm||ESPN+|
|Serie A: Genoa vs Salernitana||2:45pm||Paramount+|
|UEFA Women’s Nations League: England vs Belgium||2:45pm||CBSSN|
|Belgium Pro League: Sint-Truiden vs RWDM||2:45pm||ESPN+|
|EPL: Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur||3:00pm||Peacock|
|La Liga: Girona vs Celta de Vigo||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|Ligue 1: Clermont vs Nice||3:00pm||beIN Sports|
|Argentina Primera División: Colón vs River Plate||5:30pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Palmeiras vs Atlético Mineiro||6:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Cruzeiro vs Flamengo||6:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Santos vs RB Bragantino||7:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Rosario Central vs Vélez Sarsfield||7:45pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Sarmiento vs Racing Club||8:00pm||Paramount+|
|SOCCER – MEN’S COLLEGE||TIME ET||TV|
|Bryant vs Binghamton||6:05pm||ESPN+|
|Trine vs Indiana||6:30pm||B1G+|
|Stony Brook vs William & Mary||7:00pm||FloSports|
|UMBC vs NJIT||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Virginia Tech vs Duke||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Charlotte vs Florida International||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Tulsa vs Temple||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Marshall vs Old Dominion||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Georgia Southern vs James Madison||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UCF vs Georgia State||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Duke vs Louisville||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Coastal Carolina vs South Carolina||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Clemson vs NC State||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|West Virginia vs Kentucky||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Drake vs Michigan State||7:00pm||B1G+|
|Syracuse vs Boston College||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|North Carolina vs Virginia||7:30pm||ACCN|
|Northern Illinois vs UIC||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|SMU vs UAB||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|South Florida vs Memphis||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|SOCCER – WOMEN’S COLLEGE||TIME ET||TV|
|New Mexico State vs Western Kentucky||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Florida International vs Middle Tennessee||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Incarnate Word vs Houston Christian||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Pepperdine vs San Diego||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai Round Robin||1:00am||TENNIS|
|Vienna-ATP & Basel-ATP Early Rounds|
WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai Round Robin
|Vienna-ATP & Basel-ATP Early Rounds|
WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai Round Robin
|WOMEN’S COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|UTSA vs Memphis||2:00pm||ESPN+|
|Tennessee Tech vs Western Illinois||4:00pm||ESPN+|
|Miami vs Eastern Michigan||4:00pm||ESPN+|
|Brown vs Pennsylvania||5:00pm||ESPN+|
|Lipscomb vs Bellarmine||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|North Florida vs Queens (NC)||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Austin Peay vs Eastern Kentucky||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|UT Martin vs Morehead State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Buffalo vs Western Michigan||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Missouri State vs Evansville||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Northern Kentucky vs Oakland||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|UNC Asheville vs Charleston Southern||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|South Carolina Upstate vs Presbyterian||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Winthrop vs Radford||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Gardner-Webb vs High Point||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Albany vs Binghamton||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Buffalo vs Western Michigan||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|The Citadel vs Mercer||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|East Tennessee State vs Chattanooga||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Colgate vs Holy Cross||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Dayton vs George Washington||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Coastal Carolina vs Marshall||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Old Dominion vs Appalachian State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Clemson vs Syracuse||6:00pm||ACCNX|
|Kent State vs Ball State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Wichita State vs Florida Atlantic||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Ohio vs Toledo||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|NC State vs Duke||6:30pm||ACCNX|
|Miami vs Notre Dame||6:30pm||ACCNX|
|Jacksonville vs Kennesaw State||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UTEP vs Middle Tennessee||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Tennessee State vs SIU Edwardsville||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Little Rock vs Lindenwood||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Southeast Missouri State vs Eastern Illinois||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Belmont vs Valparaiso||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Bradley vs Drake||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Illinois State vs Northern Iowa||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Yale vs Princeton||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Columbia vs Dartmouth||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Cornell vs Harvard||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Robert Morris vs Green Bay||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Youngstown State vs Milwaukee||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Akron vs Northern Illinois||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|American University vs Lehigh||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Navy vs Lafayette||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Loyola (MD) vs Bucknell||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|TCU vs UCF||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Charlotte vs Tulane||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|East Carolina vs Rice||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Temple vs North Texas||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|UL Monroe vs Louisiana||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Troy vs South Alabama||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Wake Forest vs Virginia||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Florida State vs Louisville||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Xavier vs St. John’s||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Duquesne vs Loyola Chicago||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Arkansas vs South Carolina||7:00pm||SECN+|
|Auburn vs Georgia||7:00pm||SECN+|
|Mississippi State vs Alabama||7:00pm||SECN+|
|Georgia Tech vs Boston College||7:00pm||ACCNX|
|Wisconsin vs Michigan State||7:00pm||B1G+|
|Rutgers vs Iowa||7:00pm||B1G+|
|Creighton vs Villanova||7:00pm||Flo Sports|
|Baylor vs Texas||8:00pm||LHN|
|Maryland vs Nebraska||8:00pm||B1G+|
|UConn vs DePaul||8:00pm||Flo Sports|
|BYU vs Kansas State||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Liberty vs Sam Houston||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|West Virginia vs Kansas||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|South Florida vs Tulsa||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Baylor vs Texas||8:00pm||LHN|
|Wofford vs Samford||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|UAB vs SMU||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Montana vs Montana State||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Hawai’i vs CSU Northridge||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|UC Santa Barbara vs UC Irvine||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Cal Poly vs Cal State Fullerton||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Kentucky vs LSU||9:00pm||SECN+|
|Providence vs Marquette||9:00pm||Flo Sports|
|Kentucky vs LSU||9:00pm||SECN|
|USC vs Colorado||9:00pm||P12LA, P12MT|
|Oregon vs Washington State||10:00pm||PAC12N|
|Oregon State vs Washington||10:00pm||PAC12N|