Irish blow Trojans off the field in 49-14 Blowout.

SOUTH BEND—Brian Kelly expected 13th-ranked Notre Dame to win big against No. 11 Southern California. He even wrote it down on a piece of paper in the locker room before the game.

”I said if we didn’t win really big, I would be disappointed,” he said.

He wasn’t disappointed, and neither were his players who doused their coach with water following a dominating 49-14 victory over the rival Trojans on Saturday night.Brandon Wimbush passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more, Josh Adams added three touchdown runs and the Irish took advantage of three USC turnovers in what was a surprisingly easy win in the storied series that dates to 1926. It gave the Irish (6-1) their first victory against USC (6-2) when the Trojans were ranked since 1995.Wimbush credited the Irish defense with getting the offense going.

”When they take away the ball, you just get so excited, and (offensive coordinator Chip) Long wants to be aggressive and call a play, usually,” said Wimbush, who was coming back after missing a game with a right foot injury.

The turnovers came on a fumble and interception by Sam Darnold and a dropped punt by Jack Jones.

”We helped them by mistakes,” USC coach Clay Helton said.

Adams had an 84-yard touchdown run and finished with 191 yards on 19 carries. Wimbush ran for 106 yards on 14 carries as the Irish amassed 377 yards on the ground. Notre Dame led 28-0 at the half.

”The turnovers were key for us in the first half and being opportunistic, which really we’ve been all year offensively,” Kelly said.
Kelly was asked about Adams possibly not getting the attention he deserves nationally.
”He’s one of the best players in the country,” Kelly said. ”I’ll let others make that decision. Here’s what I know. We’re going to play some really good football teams the rest of the year. Maybe everyone should just wait until the end of the year and vote for the Heisman.”

It was the fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season for Adams, quickest to 2,000 rushing yards in Notre Dame history at 316 carries. It took George Gipp 323 carries to set the mark. It was the third 100-yard rushing game for Wimbush, coming back from missing a game with an injured right foot.Wimbush still wasn’t sharp passing, completing 9 of 19 passes for 120 yards. But he came up with key passes when needed.Linebacker Te’Von Coney, starting because Greer Martini injured his knee during the bye week, got the Irish going on a strip-sack of Darnold on USC’s first play from scrimmage after Darnold bobbled the snap. Wimbush threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Equanimeous St. Brown three plays later.Darnold completed 20 of 29 passes, but could not overcome the turnovers or USC being held to 76 yards rushing, including minus-4 in the first half. He threw two touchdown passes, the first cutting Notre Dame’s lead to 28-7.Kelly said beating rival USC and recapturing the Jeweled Shillelagh trophy were big, but said he expects the Irish to keep playing at this level.

”We want to be unique. Unique means this is not the crown jewel for us. We want more,” he said.

The Trojans continue to shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers, with 19 on the season. Darnold is responsible for all but three. USC can still win the Pac-12 title, but a playoff berth appears nearly impossible.

Hawks beat slumping Coyotes 4-2 in the desert

GLENDALE—The Blackhawks took a two-goal lead on a penalty shot by Tommy Wingels, only to have it erased upon review. The struggling Arizona Coyotes scored quickly after the rare play, tying the game and snatching the momentum.The Blackhawks are a veteran team, though, and kept grinding to keep the Coyotes winless. Wingels got to cap it with an empty-net goal to boot.Lance Bouma scored on a rebound with 4:24 left in the third period, Corey Crawford stopped 27 shots and the Blackhawks beat the NHL’s only winless team 4-2 Saturday night.

”We rebounded after that and found a way to get a win,” said Wingels, who also had an assist. ”The hockey gods kind of repay you, I think.”

The Coyotes have been playing better lately, but their only point is an overtime loss to Vegas the second game of the season. Arizona was aggressive and Louis Domingue made some spectacular saves against the Blackhawks after being replaced by rookie Adin Hill the past two games.The Blackhawks were just better.Patrick Kane and Richard Panik each scored and Jonathan Toews had a pair of assists for Hawks, who had lost three of four. Wingels put the game out of reach with his empty netter.

”We just stuck with it and it was a big win for us,” Bouma said.

The Coyotes made just enough mistakes in another what-could-have-been loss.Arizona failed to hold a lead for the sixth time in eight games, gave up another quick goal after scoring and allowed a breakaway goal after getting caught pinching at the blue line The Coyotes also went 0 for 4 on the power play, including two minutes of 5-on-3.Clayton Keller had his NHL rookie-best sixth goal of the season and Christian Fischer also scored for the Coyotes, who dropped to 0-7-1 with a long road trip next.

”A lot of positive things, but came up short again,” said Domingue, who stopped 25 shots. ”We’re getting close and against one of the greatest teams over the past decade, I thought we showed a lot of positive things.”

Arizona took the early lead when a shot by Fischer hit the stick of Jordan Oesterle and slipped between Crawford’s pads.No problem for the Blackhawks.The Coyotes have had a penchant for giving up goals immediately after scoring and did it again against the Hawks. Panik got this one, deflecting the puck past Domingue on a shot by Toews 1:01 after Fischer’s goal. It was the ninth time Arizona has given up a goal less than two minutes after scoring.

Arizona’s defensemen also have been caught pinching at the blue line multiple times this season, leading breakaways and odd-man rushes. That happened again, too, this time giving Kane, one of the best stick handlers in the game, a free run at Domingue. Kane beat him between the pads, using a deke to open up a forehand shot for his fourth of the season.

”We had a chance to score and it was kind of a fluke thing, and he gets a goal there,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said.

Wingels appeared to give the Blackhawks a two-goal lead by scoring on a penalty shot, but it was waived off after a review showed Domingue touched the puck before Wingels knocked it in.Arizona capitalized with a quick goal this time, with Keller backhanding a loose puck in the crease past Crawford after Wingels’ goal was negated.

NOTES—Niklas Hjalmarsson played against this former team for the first time. He spent 10 seasons with the Hawks, winning the Stanley Cup three times, before being traded to Arizona for Connor Murphy. … Blackhawks trainer Jeff Thomas worked his 1,000th NHL game. … Arizona G Antti Raanta missed his fourth straight game with an injury. … The Blackhawks have won eight straight against Arizona.The Hawks are at Vegas on Tuesday night.

Bulls 0-2 after expected loss to Sours

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The San Antonio Spurs aren’t sure when Kawhi Leonard’s season will start.Fortunately for them, there’s another All-Star forward on the roster to carry the load.LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs to an 87-77 victory over the Bulls in the Bulls’ home opener.It was his second straight double-double after signing a three-year contract extension a day before the season began.

”I’ve been in a different mindset since the summer started,” Aldridge said. ”That carried over to training camp to preseason to now. I don’t think I’ve changed after the contract. My mindset coming into the season was to try to be more dominant.Rudy Gay added 12 points for the Spurs, who have not provided a timetable for Leonard’s return from a right quadriceps injury, though Popovich said it will be ”weeks rather than months.”
In the meantime, they’ll ride Aldridge, who scored 12 points in a 22-13 run that gave the Spurs a 63-51 third-quarter lead.
”They moved the ball better than we did,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ”I thought they shared it. They got more open shots than we did. I thought they did a great job.L.A. was just a difference maker for us, the way he scored. The defense in the second half and L.A.’s offense was what got us over. I thought they actually executed better than we did.”

Robin Lopez had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Bills, also short-handed without power forwards Niko Mirotic (facial fractures, concussion) and Bobby Portis (suspension).Rookie Lauri Markkanen, thrust into the starting lineup because of an incident in practice Tuesday that ultimately sidelined both Mirotic and Portis, had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

 

Illini lose to Minnesota-still winless in Big Ten

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MINNEAPOLIS—Kobe McCrary ran for 153 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Rodney Smith added 103 yards rushing for Minnesota as the Gophers beat Illinois 24-17 victory on Saturday.Linebacker Jon Celestin returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth to provide the winning margin for Minnesota (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten). The Gophers ran for 292 yards as a team and held the Illini (2-5, 0-4) to 282 total yards.Illinois sophomore quarterback Jeff George Jr. was 18-of-23 passing for 128 yards with a late touchdown pass to freshman receiver Ricky Smalling. Freshman running back Ra’Von Bonner had 18 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown.Minnesota opened the game with a 72-yard drive for a touchdown, with 64 of the yards coming on the ground. Demry Croft finished the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Johnson.Croft earned the starting job over senior Conor Rhoda after sparking Minnesota with three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Johnson in last week’s loss to No. 18 Michigan State. The sophomore quarterback was 5-of-15 passing for 47 yards on Saturday and threw two interceptions.Both offenses would have trouble, despite the two defenses allowing the second-most and third-most rushing yards per game in the Big Ten during conference games.The Illini scored 10 points off turnovers, creating three on the day and finishing a plus-1 in turnover-margin.A big missed opportunity on Saturday leaves Illinois still looking for its first Big Ten victory and backup quarterback Cam Thomas became the 21st true freshman to play for the Illini this season. The least experienced team in college football with 14 true freshmen starters, Illinois is simply learning on the job this season.The schedule does provide a chance to get a conference win at some point, with a road game at Purdue and home games against Indiana and Northwestern. But it won’t be easy for a team so green and without an offensive identity. The up-and-down nature of the Gophers’ running game continues, but perhaps they found something to build on. Minnesota had twice been held under 100 yards rushing as a team in three Big Ten games.Despite Shannon Brooks missing the game with an injury, McCrary and Smith both rushed for over 100 yards and the Gophers had the two-headed rushing attack they had last season when they won nine games under former coach Tracy Claeys.

Cats beat Iowa 17-10 in Overtime

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EVANSTON—Quarterback Clayton Thorson scored on a 1-yard run and Northwestern rallied from a sluggish first half for a 17-10 overtime victory over Iowa on Saturday.Thorson’s score was set up by a 23-yard reception by running back Justin Jackson, who broke three tackles on the play to give the Wildcats (4-3, 2-2 in the Big Ten) a first down at the 1-yard line.

”Probably the difference in the game,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said of Jackson’s reception. ”A great player making a big-time play.”

Following Northwestern’s score, Iowa moved the ball to the 18-yard line, but Nate Stanley’s pass for Noah Fant on a fourth-and-3 play fell incomplete, ending the game.Thorson finished 21 of 36 for 192 yards. Jackson rushed for 93 yards rushing on 25 attempts and had five receptions for 38 yards. Jackson now has 4,732 career yards to pass Anthony Davis (Wisconsin) for eighth place on the Big Ten’s all-time rushing list.Stanley was 19 of 33 for 223 yards with a touchdown and an interception and Akrum Wadley rushed for 90 yards on 26 carries to lead Iowa (4-3, 1-3).Iowa, which averaged 138.7 yards rushing before Saturday, was held to 89 yards.

”We’re a better team when we can run the ball efficiently,” coach Kirk Ferentz. ”It’s always been that way. That is our plan, that’ll continue to be our plan. We’ll try to do a better job there.”

The Hawkeyes tied the score at 10 on kicker Miguel Recinos’ 48-yard field goal with 1:30 remaining in regulation. Iowa won the coin toss before overtime and decided to play defense first.

”I thought today was just a great Big Ten defensive battle,” Fitzgerald said. ”I think two really good defenses, two really physical football teams just went toe-to-toe.”

Iowa middle linebacker Josey Jewell – the conference leader in tackles entering the weekend with 70 – didn’t play because of a shoulder injury. Free safety Brandon Snyder (knee) also was held out. The Hawkeyes thrived on defense early in spite of the losses, but seemed to wear down.The Wildcats were shut out in the first half and then went three-and-out – losing 5 yards in the process – on the first offensive possession of the second half. But the game’s momentum may have swung when NU punter Hunter Niswander got off an 80-yard punt to pin Iowa back to its 3-yard line. The Hawkeyes had to punt after five plays. The Wildcats then put together 12-play, 66-yard touchdown to tie the score at 7.The Wildcats host Michigan State on Saturday.

Hawks power play bad, Oilers steal 2-1 OT win.

The Edmonton Oilers haven’t gotten off to the start they wanted – and just about everyone expected.On Thursday night, they used sharp goaltending from Cam Talbot, a more energetic effort and a late break to inch in the right direction.Mark Letestu scored on a power play with 15.8 seconds left in overtime to give Edmonton a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks that snapped a four-game losing streak.Letestu beat Anton Forsberg on the short side with a one-time shot from the left circle after taking a pass from Oscar Klefbom. Edmonton’s 4-on-3 advantage was set up after Patrick Kane was called for hooking at 3:45.

”Our goaltender was solid and our power-play got us the big goal,” Letestu said. ”(It’s) certainly nice to finally have a complete game like that and beat a team like this.”

The Oilers are 2-4 so far, after surging to 103 points and back into the playoffs last season. During the four-game slide, Edmonton was outscored 19-8.

”We’re still digging the sand off our bodies. We’ve got to keep going,” coach Todd McLellan said.

Talbot made 30 straight saves after giving up a fluke goal to Kane on the Hawks first shot.
”It wasn’t the way I wanted to start the game,” Talbot said. ”I had to settle down mentally. I felt pretty comfortable out there.”

Edmonton’s Patrick Maroon scored late in the first period.Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had two assists, including setting up Maroon with a sensational spinning move and pinpoint backhand pass. McDavid has five assists in his last four games, but last season’s MVP and leading scorer doesn’t have a goal since netting all three in Edmonton’s season-opening 3-0 victory over Calgary.Talbot, who led NHL goalies in games and minutes last season, had been pulled twice as he started Edmonton’s first four games this season. Backup Laurent Brossoit started Edmonton’s fifth contest, a 5-3 home loss to Carolina on Tuesday night.Anton Forsberg stopped 40 shots in his second start this season, but the Blackhawks lost their second straight and third in four games. No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford got the night off following a 5-2 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday night.Forsberg has hard-luck overtime losses in both of this starts. He faced 43 shots in a 4-3 defeat at Toronto on Oct. 9.

”He’s been excellent in both games,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”Got it to overtime. It would have been nice to get him a win tonight.”

The Hawks failed to convert five power plays, including a 56-second 5-on-3 advantage.

”That was a chance to get a huge goal for us on the power play,” Quenneville said. ”A lot of close looks, but no finish.”

Kane opened the scoring 7:33 in. From the right side of crease, Kane flipped a soft backhander toward Talbot, and the puck ticked off the goalie’s stick and right pad before settling into the net.Talbot bounced back to stop Jonathan Toews on a breakaway moments later and Duncan Keith’s point-blank one-timer at 9:00.Maroon’s tap-in goal, converting McDavid’s nifty pass, tied with 2:42 left in the period.McDavid moved in against Keith, shuffled and then dished across the crease to Maroon, who connected after slipping past defenseman Brent Seabrook.Talbot maintained his focus into the scoreless second and during three Hawk power plays early in the period, including the 5-on-3 Blackhawks advantage. He made several close-in stops, including on Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad and Toews. Kane clanked a shot off the crossbar during one flurry.Forsberg denied McDavid, Anton Slepyshev and Brad Malone at the doorstep late in the period to keep it tied.Both goalies made several tough saves in the third.Forsberg stopped Kailer Yamamoto point-blank three times late in the period. Talbot got a piece of Toews’ shot from the slot with 7:13 remaining, then the puck trickled just wide of the right post.Talbot and Forsberg were both sharp overtime.

Big second quarter leads Raptors past Bulls in Opener

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TORONTO—Newcomer C.J. Miles got Toronto’s bid to become a better 3-point shooting team off to a successful start.Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Miles scored 22 points in his Toronto debut and the Raptors beat the short-handed Bulls 117-101 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.Norman Powell added 15 points, Delon Wright had 13, and Kyle Lowry 12.Miles went 6 for 9 from 3-point range and had five rebounds. Half of the former Indiana Pacers player’s points came in the second quarter during a 22-2 run by Toronto’s second unit.

”I want to be able to be that spark,” Miles said, ”come in and communicate, bring energy.”

DeMar DeRozan found a lot to like in his first game with Miles as a teammate.

”It’s great to have him on our team doing it with us instead of against us,” DeRozan said.

The Raptors, who intend to boost their 3-point shooting and move the ball more this season, were 13 of 29 from long range and had 26 assists on 39 baskets. Lowry had nine assists, and DeRozan and Wright each had five.

”I loved the way the ball moved,” coach Dwane Casey. ”We’ve got to play that way.”

Playmaking proved an effective avenue for DeRozan on a night when he made just two of nine field goals and did not attempt a 3-pointer. DeRozan finished with 11 points, going 7 for 8 at the free throw line, and had six rebounds.Robin Lopez scored 18 points, rookie Lauri Markkanen had 17 points and eight rebounds in his NBA debut, and Justin Holiday scored 15.

”I thought Lauri was really good,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”For his first performance, coming out here on the road in a hostile environment, to go out and put up 17 and eight in his first NBA game is pretty impressive.”

Hoiberg said forward Nikola Mirotic is doing OK but is still sore two days after suffering facial fractures and a concussion in a practice fight with teammate Bobby Portis. The Bulls suspended Portis for eight games following the altercation. Mirotic is expected to be out from four to six weeks.With the Raptors up 25-23 after one quarter, Miles went 3 for 3 from 3-point range in Toronto’s decisive second-quarter spurt.”That was the key stretch of the game,” Hoiberg said. ”They got in the paint, spread out, his shots.”

NOTES—Zach LaVine (left knee) and G Kris Dunn (left index finger) both travelled to Toronto. Hoiberg said they are working out and participating in walk-throughs. … The Bulls were without G Cameron Payne (right foot).

GROBBER’S NFL WEEK 7 PICKS

AFC GAMES; Jax over INDY, NY Jets over MIA, Denv over LA Chargersm PITT over Cin
NFC GAMES: Ariz over LA RAMS, Dal over SF, Seat over NYG
INT-CONF GAMES: BUFF over T.Bay, Tenn over CLEVE
THUR NIGHT: K.City over OAK,
SUN NIGHT:N.ENG over Atl,
MON NIGHT PHIL over Wash
NFC NORTH GAMES: MINN over Balt, N.Orl over GB, Car over BEARS
Teams in ALL CAPS are HOME TEAMS.

Hawks flat in 5-2 loss in St.Louis

ST. LOUIS—Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday night.Schwartz has four goals and six assists this season and has at least one point in six of the Blues’ first seven games. It was his 51st career multi-point game and fourth this season.Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Jake Allen made 22 saves. The Blues snapped a two-game losing streakDuncan Keith and Ryan Hartman had late goals for Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves.Schwartz opened the scoring at 4:46 of the first period, tucking in a backhander off Tarasenko’s feed.Schwartz left the game eight minutes later after going awkwardly head-first into the boards after getting tangled with Richard Panik on a partial short-handed break.Schwartz returned in the second period, and gave the Blues a 2-0 lead at 5:59. Allen’s outlet pass off the boards created a 2-on-1 with Schwartz and Sammy Blais. It was Allen’s fourth career assist.Tarasenko made it 3-0 two minutes later, scoring his fifth of the season by stripping Artem Anisimov in front of the Blackhawk net.St. Louis outshot the Hawks 26-8 in the first two periods, including 17-4 in the second. The four shots in each of the first two periods were a season low for the Blackhawks in a period.Brodziak scored at 7:01 of the third. It was the first time this season the Blues’ third or fourth line scored.After Keith and Hartman scored for the Hawks, Schwartz completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal.

NOTES—Blackhawks television analyst Eddie Olczyk, who is battling colon cancer, received a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,752 after being recognized late in the first period. Olczyk was back in the booth for the first time since his diagnosis in August. … Blues F Alexander Steen (broken left hand) was activated from injured reserve and made his season debut. To make room, the Blues waived F Wade Megan. … Blues F Paul Stastny is one point shy of 600 for his career. … Blackhawks C Nick Schmaltz returned after missing four games…..The Blackhawks host Edmonton on Thursday night.

Bulls Mirotic & Portis get into fight during practice-Niko to miss several weeks.

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The Bulls issued a statement Tuesday acknowledging that forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis were involved in a physical altercation during practice that left Mirotic with a concussion and maxillary fractures.

“Chicago Bulls forwards Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic had a physical altercation during today’s practice. As a result of the incident, Mirotic suffered a concussion and maxillary fractures. Surgery is likely required. Mirotic is out indefinitely. The Bulls are evaluating disciplinary action. An update will be provided when applicable.”

Mirotic was briefly hospitalized following the altercation with Portis. Mirotic stayed down for several minutes after the scuffle, early estimates on the injuries sustained from the altercation will keep him sidelined “a few weeks” following surgery.

A source who spoke to Mirotic after he was released from the hospital said the forward suffered two fractures and placed an early estimate for his absence at “a few weeks, at least.” He possibly will have to wear a mask upon that return.Mirotic left European basketball in 2014 to join the Bulls and resigned with the team this offseason. He has been teammates with Portis since 2015. Portis was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Bulls. Reportably, the two players have been going at it for quite some time . This has been three years in the making, a source said. Mirotic has broken bones in his face, apparently instigated, and Portis punched him.Mirotic averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds while knocking down 41.3 percent of his shots last season. Portis averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds off the bench in his second season in the NBA. It remains to be seen if Portis or even the injured Mirotic will be suspended by the team for their disciplinary actions.