Trubisky leads Bears to 31-24 win over Cowboys.

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Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score in the Bears‘ 31-24 victory over Dak Prescott and the slumping Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.In a matchup between disappointing teams that made the playoffs last season, the Bears (7-6) came away with their fourth win in five games. The Cowboys (6-7) have lost seven of 10 since a 3-0 start.Trubisky shook off an early interception near the goal line to complete 23 of 31 passes for 244 yards. He matched a season high for touchdown passes and scored on a 23-yard run early in the fourth quarter, making it 31-14.Allen Robinson caught two TD passes, and Anthony Miller had one as the Bears tied a season scoring high. Khalil Mack had a sack. Linebacker Roquan Smith left the game with a pectoral injury on the opening drive. But the Bears took out the NFC East leaders after beating the struggling Detroit Lions twice and New York Giants in recent weeks.Facing a top 10 defense for the third week in a row, the Cowboys once again couldn’t get their high-powered offense going.NFL passing leader Prescott was 27 of 49 for 334 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 81 yards – his fifth straight game under 100 – and two scores.Michael Gallup had 109 yards receiving. Amari Cooper caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, but the Cowboys lost their third straight. They lead Philadelphia by a half-game in the division.Kept out of the end zone in a 13-9 loss at New England two weeks ago and then held to two touchdowns in falling 26-15 to Buffalo on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys went 75 yards for a score on the game’s opening possession. Elliott lunged in from the 2 to cap a 17-play drive.Dallas’ Jourdan Lewis then intercepted Trubisky’s pass with a neat play near the left pylon, dragging his left foot. He was initially ruled out, but the call was overturned by a replay review.But it was all Bears after that.

The Bears tied it early in the second quarter when Trubisky hit Robinson with a 5-yard pass and took a 10-7 lead on a 36-yard field goal by Eddy Pineiro. Dallas’ Brett Maher then missed a 42-yarder wide right. They added to the lead in the closing seconds of the half with Trubisky’s 8-yard pass to Robinson, and Miller’s 14-yarder on a screen in the third made it 24-7.

Javon Wims (knee) walked off gingerly in the closing seconds of the first half after an awkward landing as he tried to make a leaping catch in the end zone. … CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) was inactive after being listed as doubtful. … WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion), TE Ben Braunecker (concussion) and RT Bobby Massie (ankle) all missed their second straight game.

Bears rally past Lions 24-20.

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DETROIT—Mitchell Trubisky started and closed strong to overcome some shaky decisions and plays in between to keep the Bears in the NFC playoff picture.Trubisky threw a go-ahead, 3-yard touchdown pass to David Montgomery with 2:17 left, lifting the Bears to a 24-20 win over the slumping Detroit Lions on Thursday.The Bears took the lead on the nine-play, 90-yard drive in which Trubisky converted a pair of third downs with 35- and 32-yard passes Anthony Miller.”He made special throws at special times,” coach Matt Nagy said.

The Bears sealed the victory on the ensuing possession with Eddie Jackson’s interception.Rookie quarterback David Blough led Detroit’s last drive to the Bears 26 in the final minute before losing 13 yards on a sack to leave a desperation pass as the only option and Jackson picked off his heave.The Bears (6-6) have won three of four games after losing four in a row, keeping their postseason hopes alive.

”We put ourselves in a good position to have another big game next week,” Trubisky said.

The Lions (3-8-1) have lost five straight for the first time under second-year coach Matt Patricia.

Detroit led for much of the game despite starting a quarterback it acquired from Cleveland for a swap of seventh-round picks after training camp.

”Watch that team fight and rally behind somebody like that, I think you can tell how much all those men in that room care about each other,” Patricia said.

Matthew Stafford was out for a fourth straight game with back and hip injuries and his backup, Jeff Driskel, was limited by a hamstring injury.Blough, an undrafted player from Purdue, threw a 75-yard TD on his first completion to Kenny Golladay to pull the Lions into a 7-all tie. Blough threw an 8-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones late in the first quarter to put Detroit ahead 14-7.Trubisky had an 18-yard TD pass to rookie tight end Jesper Horsted to make it 17-all late in the third quarter.Trubisky finished 29 of 38 with three TDs, matching a season high he also equaled in a win over Detroit earlier this month, for 338 yards and an interception. He got off to a strong start with a 10-yard pass to Allen Robinson and closed the game well enough for Chicago to score more than 20 points for the first time in more than a month.Blough was 22 of 38 for 280 yards with two TDs and an interception.

”This is what you dream about as a kid,” Blough said. ”I’m thankful for it all, all the ups and downs.”

Kyle Fuller may have prevented Detroit from scoring a tiebreaking TD early in the fourth quarter when he stopped J.D. McKissic in the open field on third-and-1.

Bears beat Giants in battle of awful teams.

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Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd, left, and safety Eddie Jackson tackle Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Khalil Mack gave the Bears the lift they needed with the type of big play he had not been delivering.Mack set up a touchdown with a strip-sack, Allen Robinson had a season-high 131 yards receiving and the Bears beat the struggling New York Giants 19-14 on Sunday.Trying to salvage something from a disappointing season, the Bears (5-6) bounced back from a loss to the Los Angeles Rams to win for the second time in three games. The Giants (2-9) dropped their seventh straight and clinched their third losing season in a row.Mack broke through in the third quarter for just his second sack in seven games. Held without a tackle at Los Angeles, the three-time All-Pro nailed Jones deep in New York territory, and Nick Williams recovered at the 3. That led to a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to make it 19-7.

”Turnovers are huge, especially down the stretch,” Mack said. ”No surprise that that one was a huge play down the stretch. That’s what we needed to win the game.”

New York cut the lead to five with 4:10 left in the game when Golden Tate hauled in a 23-yard pass on fourth-and-18. The Bears then went three-and-out before Pat O’Donnell pinned the Giants at the 6 with a 61-yard punt, and the Bears hung on from there.Trubisky threw for a season-high 278 yards, including a touchdown to Robinson, and two interceptions after missing the final drive the previous week because of a right hip pointer. Robinson had six catches, and the defending NFC North champions gave their frustrated fans something to cheer.

”I’m happy we won, but it’s not good enough, not really good enough,” Trubisky said

Minnesota clinches tie for Big Ten West Title with 38-22 win over Northwestern

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Minnesota was eager to get back on the field – and it showed.Tanner Morgan led No. 11 Minnesota to scores on its first three possessions and finished with four touchdown passes, and the Gophers bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 38-22 win over Northwestern on Saturday.The Gophers (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) clinched a share of the West Division title along with their first 10-win season since 2003 and sixth in the program’s 138-year history. They’ll play No. 14 Wisconsin at home next Saturday with a spot in the conference championship game at stake.Following the loss to the Hawkeyes, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said his team ”wanted to get that taste out of their mouth so bad.”

The Gophers wasted no time.

”The word of the week was `respond,’ ” Fleck said. ”We needed to, and they responded. That was a clear message from the beginning, that we had to start fast.”That’s what championship football looks like – come out of the gate and put 21 points on the board like that.”

Morgan, the Big Ten’s leading passer, was sharp following a week in the concussion protocol after absorbing back-to-back sacks by the Hawkeyes. The redshirt sophomore, listed as questionable until Saturday morning, has thrown 26 touchdown passes this season to set a school record.

”We knew we had to come out fast, come out firing,” Morgan said. ”We always talk about starting fast, accelerating in the middle and finishing strong.”Fleck said Morgan was almost his old self, despite an abbreviated week of practice.

”Got to give him credit with the limited amount of reps he had to be able to play like he did,” Fleck said. ”There were some things he was just a little off on today.”

Morgan threw three TD passes to Rashod Bateman and one to Tyler Johnson against Northwestern (2-9, 0-8). Bateman finished with 78 receiving yards and Johnson had 125, giving Minnesota its first pair of 1,000-yard receivers in season.Rodney Smith finished with 77 rushing yards to give him 1,063 for the season.Morgan zipped a 19-yard TD pass to Bateman in the corner of the end zone to end a 10-play, 56-yard drive on Minnesota’s first possession.

Bears beat Lions as Stafford sits out game.

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Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears finally gave their frustrated fans something to celebrate.The defending NFC North champions got their offense in gear, snapped their four-game losing streak and let loose afterward.Trubisky tied a season high with three touchdown passes, and the Bears withstood a late charge by Detroit with Jeff Driskel filling in for injured quarterback Matthew Stafford, beating the Lions 20-13 on Sunday.Detroit ruled out the 31-year-old Stafford hours before kickoff because of hip and back injuries, ending his streak of 136 consecutive starts. It was the first time he missed a regular-season game since 2010.The Bears (4-5) quieted the boos by getting its struggling offense going late in the first half, scored two touchdowns early in the third quarter and hung on to win for the first time since beating Minnesota in Week 4. Detroit (3-5-1) lost for the fifth time in six games.

”Four games is a long time,” Matt Nagy said. ”I just sat back. Just to be able to watch the guys (in the postgame celebration). … They ended up doing some one-on-one dancing, which is pretty neat. It’s exciting. We enjoy it. It brings you together.”

HANGING ON

It comes at a time when the Bears looked as if they were falling apart. With soaring expectations after going from worst to first in Nagy’s first season last year, little has gone right this season. And the Bears nearly gave away a 14-point lead, with Driskel orchestrating the late push.He threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay to cut it to 20-13 with 5:53 remaining. And he led Detroit from its 10 to the Bears 25 on the game’s final drive. But with the ball on 25, he overthrew Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone as time expired on a play that would not have counted because of an illegal forward pass penalty.

”I want to look at our team and say, wow, we really came out and fought really hard,” coach Matt Patricia said. ”Everything else that everyone is going to try to pile on the situation. Those guys just played really hard for 60 minutes. They tried to do everything they can do to win.”

BOUNCING BACK

Trubisky completed 16 of 23 passes for 173 yards in another solid outing against Detroit. It wasn’t as good as his performance against the Lions last year in a win at Soldier Field, when the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns.Trubisky got sacked five times. But overall, this was a positive step for the struggling quarterback.Taylor Gabriel, Tarik Cohen and Ben Braunecker each caught touchdowns. Nick Kwiatkoski set up a TD with his first career interception .

”I think when you go through a stretch like we did, it’s tough,” Trubisky said. ”And I think days like today you appreciate just a little bit more, just getting back to it and getting back to that good feeling of winning.”

STAFFORD SITS

Patricia said the Lions decided Sunday not to play Stafford. He described his quarterback as ”day by day, week by week” and wouldn’t get into specifics about the injury.Driskel performed rather well in his sixth career start, going 27 of 46 for 269 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also got some help from Stafford.

”He’s the unquestioned leader of this team and one of the toughest dudes I’ve ever been around, most competitive people I’ve ever been around,” Driskel said. ”So yeah, having his presence there was huge, not just for me but for the whole team.”

Matt Prater kicked two field goals for the Lions, who dropped their third straight against the Bears after winning nine of 10.Held to 9 yards in the first half against Philadelphia the previous week, the Bears punted on their first four possessions before breaking through late in the half. They went 80 yards, with Trubisky hitting Braunecker on the right side of the end zone from the 18 to make it 7-6 with 25 seconds remaining.The Bears added touchdowns on their first two drives of the third.Cohen caught a 9-yard swing pass for a touchdown after Darius Slay got called for interference trying to defend Allen Robinson. Kwiatkoski then intercepted Driskel at the Detroit 29, leading to Gabriel’s 18-yard TD catch . And Eddy Pineiro nailed the extra point after missing his previous attempt to make it 20-6.

Bears horrible first half leads them to fourth straight loss.

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PHILADELPHIA—When they needed it most, the Philadelphia Eagles made all the plays.Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards and one touchdown, Jordan Howard ran for 82 yards and a score and the Eagles held on for a 22-14 victory over the Bears on Sunday.The Bears had just 9 yards in the first half and trailed 19-0 before David Montgomery had a pair of 1-yard TD runs to make it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter.But Philadelphia put it away with 16-play, 69-yard drive capped by Jake Elliott’s 38-yard field goal. Wentz completed all four of his third-down passes on the drive for first downs, and the Eagles held the ball for 8:14. ”We stayed on the field,” Wentz said. ”Those third downs were huge for us.” Dallas Goedert turned a screen on third-and-9 into a 16-yard gain. Miles Sanders had a 15-yard reception on third-and-12 and Alshon Jeffery bounced back from two big drops to make a 13-yard catch on third-and-3.The Eagles (5-4) have won two in a row after a pair of lopsided losses.The Bears (3-5) have lost four straight.Mitchell Trubisky was 10 of 21 for 125 yards and was sacked three times.The Bears went three-and-out on their first five possessions, gaining minus-10 yards. They didn’t get a first down until the final minute of the first half. ”The score felt a lot worse than it was,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. ”We just couldn’t get going and it snowballed. One thing after the next.” Wentz connected with Zach Ertz over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 12-0 lead in the second quarter. Elliott missed the extra point wide right.Howard ran up the middle 13 yards for a TD on the opening drive of the third quarter, extending the lead to 19-0. ”I saw a big hole and tried to hit it as fast as I could,” said Howard, who was nearly untouched. The Bears finally got going when Trubisky connected with Taylor Gabriel on a 53-yard pass to the Eagles 9 and Montgomery ran in from the 1. He leaped in from the 1 early in the fourth quarter. ”Losing sucks and you can tell we don’t like it,” Trubisky said. ”On the sideline, you’re trying to find solutions to how to spark this offense to get going. It could just be getting back to the simpler things. Go fast and let our guys roll.” The Eagles had a first down at the Bears 5 on their opening drive, but settled for a 28-yard field goal by Elliott after Eddie Goldman sacked Wentz.Elliott kicked another 28-yarder on the next drive to make it 6-0.Wentz has thrown a TD pass in 12 straight games, tied with Seattle’s Russell Wilson for longest active streak. … Eagles have won 11 of last 15 against the Bears. LB Khalil Mack had four tackles, including two for loss, one quarterback hit and one pass knockdown. … Eagles DT Genard Avery had a half-sack in his debut with his new team.Howard averaged 4.3 yards per carry in his first game against his former team. Jeffery had four receptions for 36 yards and at least two drops. ”I did a lot more talking than I usually do,” Howard said. ”There was a lot more back-and-forth with the guys.”

Pineiro misses 41 yard Field Goal, Bears lose to Chargers 17-16.

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Well, the Bears didn’t need Cody Parkey to lose this one. In this situation, it was Eddie Pineiro who was wide left from 41 yards out–his second miss of the game, the the hapless Los Angeles Chargers(3-5) escaped with a 17-16 win over the sinking Bears(3-4). The Bears only got three field goals from Piniero in the first half, including a 19 yarder as time expired for halftime, but even though that gave the Bears a 9-7 lead at the break, the Crowd of 53,973 that showed up, booed loudly as the teams headed off the field.
The Bears came out as if they would take command in the third quarter, going 75 yards in 11 plays, and with David Montgomery crashing in from the 4 yard line for the Bears only touchdown of the day,and a 16-7 lead. Mitchell Trubisky had two key turnovers, one on an interception and on his own fumble that led to a 20 yard field goal by former Fighting Illini Chase McLaughlin. Not quite midway through the fourth quarter, the Chargers took advantage of Trubisky’s fumble,and went 26 yards after Melvin Ingram III fell on it at the Bears 26. After a face mask penalty on Leonard Floyd put the ball on the Bears 11, Phillip Rivers then found Austin Ekeler for the go ahead, and winning TD. Trubisky drove the Bears to the Charger 22, and with both teams out of time outs, Pineiro pulled his kick wide left as 0:00 appeared on the clock.

NOTES—Trubiskey was 23-35 for 253 yards, and a QB rating of 75.1….Rivers was 19-29 for 201 yards, 2 TD’s, and a rating of 82.7…..Montgomery had a career high 135 yards rushing on 27 carries.


LES

Michigan finally beats ranked team as Irish are creamed in Big House.

ANN ARBOR—Jim Harbaugh desperately needed a significant victory to change the conversation, at least temporarily, about the job he’s doing at Michigan.The Wolverines delivered.Zach Charbonnet ran for two touchdowns in the first half and Shea Patterson threw for two scores in the second half, helping No. 19 Michigan rout No. 8 Notre Dame 45-14 in driving rain Saturday night.The Wolverines (6-2) ended an eight-game losing streak against top-10 teams under Harbaugh, who needed a signature win in his fifth season that likely won’t end with the Big Ten title he and college football’s winningest program desperately covet.

”Some of the tests that the team has gone through, you can make a lot of growth from it,” Harbaugh said. With the lopsided loss, the Fighting Irish (5-2) knocked themselves out of the College Football Playoff picture on the rain-filled night that seemed to affect them much more than Michigan.

”Clearly a very disappointing night for Notre Dame,” coach Brian Kelly acknowledged.

The Irish took advantage of a questionable call on pass interference to set up Ian Book’s 7-yard TD pass to Cole Kmet to pull within 10 points late in the third quarter.Michigan responded with Patterson’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones on the ensuing drive, which got off to a good start with Hassan Haskins’ 49-yard run. The former linebacker finished with career-high 149 yards on 20 carries.Charbonnet had 74 yards rushing on 15 carries, giving Michigan a tandem of running backs to control the game behind an offensive line that created huge holes.Patterson threw his second TD early in the fourth quarter.

Listless Cats blanked by Iowa

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—For Iowa’s defense, the goal is the same every week – dominate.The 20th-ranked Hawkeyes accomplished their mission on Saturday, allowing just 202 yards in a 20-0 rout of Northwestern. The Wildcats’ deepest advance into Iowa territory was the 28-yard line late in the third quarter.Iowa, which entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring defense and 10th in total defense, earned its second shutout of the season and fourth since the beginning of last season.
”A few weeks ago, I said you can beat any team if they don’t score,” defensive end Chauncey Golston said. ”Practice this week, it was something crazy. The tempo was great, everybody was flying around, and we did the same thing today.”
When asked when he started thinking about a shutout, Golston said: ”Before we even got off the bus. We think that every game.”
The offense did enough. Nate Stanley had 179 yards passing with a touchdown, Mekhi Sargent had a rushing touchdown and Tyler Goodson added 58 yards rushing on 11 carries as Iowa (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) won its second straight.Aidan Smith completed 18 of 32 passes for 138 yards with an interception for Northwestern (1-6, 0-5), which dropped its fifth straight.
”I think we’re going to watch the tape and be disappointed,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”There were some opportunities there to make some plays. We’ve got to be more efficient at that position.”
Iowa took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to wide receiver Tyrone Tracy. Tracy caught the ball at about the 30-yard line over the middle, broke a tackle with a spin move and raced down the sideline into the end zone.Keith Duncan hit a 40-yard field goal early in the second quarter for a 10-0 halftime lead. The Hawkeyes stretched the lead to 17-0 on a 1-yard run by Sargent with 5:23 left in the third.Duncan added a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth to close out the scoring.
”Rarely is anything easy in conference play, and there’s certainly nothing automatic,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. ”A lot of good things out there, and probably the most important thing was playing clean football. We protected the football.What can I say about the defense? Obviously, I’m very, very pleased with what they did.”
Stanley’s touchdown pass was the 62nd of his career, breaking a tie with Drew Tate and moving him into second place on Iowa’s all-time list. Chuck Long leads the list with 74.Leading 10-0 with just under a minute left in the first half, Iowa faced a fourth-and-1 from the Northwestern 45. Ferentz was tempted to go for it but decided not to because the defense was playing so well.
”There was nothing to be gained there,” he said.
In the third quarter, facing a fourth-and-8 at the Northwestern 30, the coach did go for it. Stanley completed an 11-yard pass to tight end Shaun Beyer to set up Sargent’s touchdown.A year after winning the Big Ten West, Northwestern is struggling mightily and the fan base is expressing its frustration.
”I get it,” Fitzgerald said. ”I’m a fan first and I graduated from here. We have high expectations and we should have high expectations. We aren’t living up to them. I would prefer people instead of being negative just continue to support our guys. They can be negative with me all they want.”

Bears stink the joint out against Saints.

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The New Orleans Saints insisted they were ready for the challenge once Drew Brees went down. All they’ve done since is back up their words with wins.Teddy Bridgewater threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints improved to 5-0 without their injured star quarterback by beating the Bears 36-25 on Sunday.

The Saints (6-1) again showed why they still see themselves as Super Bowl contenders even though their star quarterback is out indefinitely because of a torn ligament in his right thumb.Bridgewater completed 23 of 38 passes, Michael Thomas had nine receptions for 131 yards, and Latavius Murray ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

”I think Teddy’s just playing the way he knows how to play,” Murray said. ”I don’t think he’s trying to replace Drew. He’s just come in and been himself. That’s all you can ask because Teddy’s had success before. This is nothing new to him. He’s been a successful quarterback at this level. He’s done a heck of a job, obviously, and he’s been undefeated.”

Besides Brees, New Orleans had to get by without top running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) and top receiving tight end Jared Cook (ankle). Both players were ruled out Friday, but that didn’t stop the NFC South leaders from taking down the Monsters of the Midway.

”You look at us overall – offensively, defensively, the kicking game – we’re playing elite football right now,” Bridgewater said. ”Of course, it’s not as pretty as we’d like it to be. But it’s working for us.”

STRUGGLING BEARS

The Bears (3-3) lost their second straight, with Mitchell Trubisky struggling after missing a game because of a shoulder injury.They were hoping their prized quarterback would build on a solid showing in Week 3 against Washington, when he threw for three touchdowns. Instead, he was erratic, made poor decisions and heard it from the crowd.Trubisky finished 34 of 54 with 251 yards and two late touchdowns in his first appearance since he was hurt early against Minnesota on Sept. 29. He said his shoulder was fine, but the offense sure is not.The run game was once again an afterthought, with the Bears setting a franchise low with seven carries. And the 17 yards rushing were by far the fewest this season.

”We just have no rhythm,” Trubisky said. ”It’s not about pointing fingers. We’re struggling as an offense.”

About all the fans had to cheer for was a 102-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson in the first quarter that matched the second-longest in franchise history.But after losing at Oakland in London two weeks ago, it was another rough outing for the Bears. They gave up a season-high 424 yards while being held to 252 and managed just four first downs through the first three quarters. It added up to their fifth straight loss to the Saints, and a 1-2 record at Soldier Field this season.With a 12-10 halftime lead, the Saints drove 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter. A wide open Ted Ginn Jr. hauled in a 45-yard pass and Murray ran it in from the 3 on the next play.New Orleans then wasted a big opportunity after Chicago’s David Montgomery lost a fumble on the next drive. The Saints took over at the Bears 29, only to have Wil Lutz come up short on a 52-yard field goal – his second miss of the day after he made 13 of 14 in the first six games.But Taysom Hill caught a 4-yard touchdown with just under three minutes remaining in the third to make it 26-10. And the Saints stayed in control the rest of the way.