BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Northwestern looked like it was playing a video game Saturday.The Wildcats scored on nine of their first 10 possessions, piled up 616 total yards and ended a five-game losing streak with a 59-38 rout of Indiana that looked even easier than the score indicated.The only time Northwestern (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) failed to score before the fourth quarter was when it took a knee on the final two plays of the first half. And the only reason it failed to break the school’s Big Ten scoring record was because the Wildcats finished the game with three straight kneeldowns inside the Hoosiers 20.Dan Persa was 16 of 20 for 261 yards with three touchdowns before being pulled in the fourth quarter. Both of Kain Colter’s completions went for scores, giving the Wildcats a record-tying five TD passes in the game. Colter also caught six passes for 115 yards and is believed to be the first 100-yard receiver with two touchdown passes in school history.Tight end Drake Dunsmore broke the school’s career record for yards receiving by a tight end with his second of a single-game record four scores. Three players had caught three TD passes before Saturday’s game, the most recent being Jeremy Ebert, who did it against Illinois on Oct. 1.How ugly was it? Northwestern had 405 total yards, nine plays of 15 yards or more and ran 28 plays in Indiana territory, with Persa and Dunsmore hooking up for three scores – just in the first half.The Wildcats finished with 616 yards, short of the school record of 674 set in 2005 against Wisconsin.Both defenses lived up to their reputations as two of the league’s worst.Indiana (1-8, 0-5) scored three first-half touchdowns on drives that consumed a total of 14 plays. The Hoosiers have now lost six straight and have allowed more than 40 points in four straight games for the first time since the end of the 2005 season, when they did it five games in a row.Part of the explanation for Indiana’s implosion was that it started seven freshmen on defense, the most of any Football Bowl Subdivision team all season.It showed.After Indiana opened the scoring with a 12-yard TD run from Tre Roberson, Northwestern answered with 24 straight points – a 37-yard field goal, a 29-yard TD pass from Colter to Ebert, a 1-yard TD run from Treyvon Green and a 22-yard TD pass from Persa to Dunsmore. That made it 24-7 just 34 seconds into the second quarter.Things were about to get even worse for the Hoosiers.D’Angelo Roberts made a nifty inside-out cut on a 26-yard TD run for Indiana to make it 24-14. But Persa fired right back with the 10-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Dunsmore.Roberson took advantage when Northwestern fumbled a punt, hooking up with Duwyce Wilson on a 26-yard scoring strike on the next play to make it 31-21.Persa then threw his third TD pass of the half to Dunsmore, a 6-yarder with 1:46 left to make it 38-21.Not much changed in the second half. Colter opened the third quarter with the record-breaking 9-yard TD pass to Dunsmore, putting the Wildcats up by 45-21.Northwestern’s Jacob Schmidt ran 15 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while Dunsmore caught seven passes for 112 yards. making his second career start, was 14 of 26 for 169 yards and one score and he ran 22 times for 121 yards and a TD. Stephen Houston ran 19 times for 151 yards and two scores.
STATE COLLEGE—Joe Paterno broke Eddie Robinson‘s record for victories by a Division I coach with No. 409 in Penn State’s sloppy 10-7 win against Illinois on Saturday.The 21st-ranked Nittany Lions (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) overcame six fumbles with Silas Redd’s 3-yard touchdown run with 1:08 to go. Illinois (6-3, 2-3) drove from its 17 to the Penn State 25, but Derek Dimke’s 42-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright as time expired.Redd had a career-high 30 carries for 137 yards for Penn State, none bigger than his late run set up after Illinois corner Justin Green was whistled for pass interference after breaking up a fourth-down pass for Derek Moye in the end zone.Among all coaches, Paterno now only trails John Gagliardi, still active at Division III St. John’s, Minn., with 481 victories.
“It really is something I’ve very proud of, to be associated with Eddie Robinson,” Paterno said in a brief postgame ceremony in the media room broadcast to fans still waiting in the stands 10 minutes later. “Something like this means a lot to me, an awful lot. But there’s a lot of other people I’ve got to thank.”
The Nittany Lions’ 84-year-old leader coached the game itself from the press box on a snowy Saturday in Happy Valley that had fans bundled up in winter parkas and hoodies. Paterno’s right leg and shoulder are still sore after an accidental hit in practice in the preseason.The fourth-quarter flurry surely brought a smile to his face.After struggling most of the afternoon, quarterback Matt McGloin drove Penn State from their own 20 to the Illini 32 on three long completions before the pass interference call gave the Nittany Lions a second chance.Redd capitalized four plays later by barreling into the end zone, the crowd erupting in delight.Jason Ford rushed for 100 yards on 24 carries but Illinois couldn’t capitalize on a slew of Penn State mistakes in a defensive slugfest. The Illini’s offense wasn’t much better than Penn State, but they got just got enough in the third quarter from scrambling quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to scratch out a 10-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Harris for a 7-0 lead. Illinois’ defense held firm from there until Penn State’s late TD drive. Moye, back after missing two games because of a left foot injury, dropped a third-down pass to groans from the crowd on the winning drive. McGloin went for Moye on fourth down with 1:31 left, and the ball bounced off the receiver’s hands in the end zone – but there was contact bbefore the pass hit hits mark and the interference penalty gave Penn State another chance.Illinois coach Ron Zook could only wince on the sideline as a once-quiet Penn State crowd burst back to life. Illinois’ struggling offense couldn’t get untracked again early, going scoreless in the first half for a third straight game. They wasted opportunities deep in Penn State territory following fumbles by Redd at his own 37 in the first half, and quarterback Rob Bolden at the 29 late in the second half. On that drive, Illinois receiver Ryan Lankford made a pretty tiptoe catch along the sideline from backup quarterback Riley O’Toole for a 12-yard gain to the 12. The play was upheld by replay – and fans in the student section showed their displeasure by tossing snowballs on the field. The snowballs missed the players – much like most of the passes at Beaver Stadium on Saturday. McGloin was 9 of 24 for 98 yards, while Bolden missed all four of his pass attempts, all in the second quarter.Illinois still couldn’t take advantage after driving to the 4. An illegal procedure penalty pushed them back to the 9, then holder Tim Russell mishandled the snap on a 26-yard field goal attempt and threw a wobbly pass intercepted by Penn State defensive end Sean Stanley to preserve a scoreless first half.Scheelhaase finished 9 of 16 for 63 yards, and ran 14 times for 89 yards
RALEIGH—Here’s a scene that would strike fear in just about any goalie: Jonathan Toews flying down the ice on a breakaway.Cam Ward stopped him — and everything else for the Carolina Hurricanes.Ward made 30 saves in his first shutout of the season and Carolina snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Toews and the Blackhawks 3-0 on Friday night.Tim Brent scored on a deflection and Brandon Sutter and Jiri Tlusty added third-period goals for the Hurricanes, who claimed their first win since Oct. 18 at Boston.Corey Crawford stopped 30 shots for the Blackhawks, who were beaten in regulation for the first time since opening night. They entered with a two-point lead in the Central Division but were shut out for the first time this season and remained winless at the RBC Center, which opened in 1999.Carolina entered in fourth place in the Southeast Division, five points behind Washington, and is hoping to make some progress in the standings during a stretch in which they play nine of 14 games at home.Ward earned his first shutout since he blanked Detroit last April and the 17th of his career, improving to 3-0-1 against the Blackhawks. Perhaps his most impressive save came when he stopped the 2010 Conn Smythe Trophy winner’s breakaway chance in the second.The Hurricanes gave him all the offense he’d need just more than three minutes in, when Brent was credited with his second goal with Carolina. He won a draw to send the puck behind the circle to Tim Gleason, who unloaded a slap shot from near the boards that clipped Brent’s stick on its way past Crawford.Eric Staal could’ve put the Hurricanes up by two late in the second when he was awarded a penalty shot after he stole the puck from Brent Seabrook near the blue line and was hooked as he skated in on Crawford. The Carolina captain went back and forth with the puck in front of Crawford before the goalie stuffed his quick attempt to his stick side.Sutter put Carolina up 2-0 roughly 5½ minutes into the third — and 6 seconds after the expiration of his 2-minute penalty for tripping Patrick Sharp. Sutter shot out of the penalty box and down the ice, took a long pass from Jussi Jokinen and snapped the puck past Crawford for his third goal.Tlusty then made it a three-goal game when he scored from point-blank range with 4:53 left.
NOTES—The Hurricanes received a scare late in the first when Staal left early after taking a stick in the face from Daniel Carcillo. Staal spent the last 5 minutes of the period in the dressing room but returned to the ice early in the second….Carolina D Tomas Kaberle rang the post midway through the third…. This was the only regular-season meeting between the teams.
GROBBER’S WEEK EIGHT NFL PICKS
BALTIMORE over Arizona
NEW ORLEANS over St.Louis
BUFFALO over Washington
TENNESSEE over Indianapolis
NY GIANTS over Miami
HOUSTON over Jacksonville
New England over PITTSBURGH
SAN FRANCISCO over Cleveland
SEATTLE over Cincinnati
PHILADELPHIA over Dallas(Sun Night)
San Diego over KANSAS CITY(Mon Night)
NFC NORTH GAMES:
CAROLINA over Minnesota
DENVER over Detroit
Last week: 7-6 Season through 7 weeks: 71-33
This time, Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks did just fine in the shootout. Kane scored the winning goal in the tiebreaker and had two assists in regulation, lifting the Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.The Blackhawks dropped their first two shootout games this season, both at home, and failed to convert a single chance. But coach Joel Quenneville made a few changes before this one, altering how the Blackhawks prepare for the tiebreaker and deciding to go second in each round. The subtle tweaks paid off. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp scored in regulation for the Blackhawks, who have won three of four and recorded at least one point in seven of their eight games. Hossa has a goal in each of his last five games.Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist for the Ducks in Randy Carlyle’s 500th game as Anaheim’s head coach. Ryan Getzlaf also scored in the opener of a seven-game road trip, but the Ducks still dropped their third consecutive game.
“I think we played way better, obviously,” said Selanne, who tied Dave Andreychuk for 13th with 640 career goals. “I still think we had too many turnovers in the middle zone. I think we can play better, but we gave ourselves a chance to win tonight and that’s a good sign.”
Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks in front in the first round of the shootout, but Selanne tied it at 1 in the second round. Corey Crawford then denied Getzlaf to set up Kane’s winning backhander. “Jon’s goal was beautiful, the way he put it upstairs,” Kane said. “I tried to do something different. He’s an opposite-hand goalie, so his stick wouldn’t be there when I came across. It worked out, I guess.”
The Ducks led 2-1 before Sharp’s blistering slap shot from the high slot tied it at 5:57 in the third. Sharp sent a pass from Kane into the left side of the net from about 35 feet away.Hossa shot off the right post as the horn sounded in overtime, sending the chippy game to the tiebreaker. Anaheim went in front just 58 seconds into the second period, beating the Hawks stingy penalty-killing unit. Perry skated up the left side of the ice and sent a perfect pass across the middle to Getzlaf, who beat Crawford with a shot into the upper right corner. Perry’s pass slid just past defenseman Sean O’Donnell and right to Getzlaf’s stick, setting up his third goal. It was the first power-play goal against the Blackhawks since the third period of their 5-2 victory over Dallas in their second game of the season on October 8. But that was Anaheim’s only score in six power-play chances on the night.
“The first thing is we’re not executing,” Carlyle said. “We have some design things we like to do against some penalty-killing units as every team does and we didn’t execute with the power play. We were slapping the puck around and had chances to get ourselves the extra point and we didn’t deliver in a critical situation on the road.”
The Blackhawks responded with their own highlight-reel score at 10:16 in the second. Kane made a strong spin move to wrap around defenseman Toni Lydman, then sent the puck across the ice to Hossa, who just had to guide it into the open left side of the net. It was Hossa’s fifth goal of the season and his team-high 15th in 24 career games against the Ducks.
“He saw me all the way, and Danny Carcillo did an excellent job taking two guys with him,” Hossa said. “It opened up for the easiest goal I could get. It was a beautiful pass by Patrick. That’s his kind of game when he can do stuff like that.” The glow from Kane’s assist of the season didn’t last very long.Kane had the puck near the Blackhawks’ net with about four minutes left in the second when he tried to pass to Duncan Keith and Selanne picked it off. The 41-year-old Selanne, still a dangerous scorer, then skated in on Crawford and converted a stick-side backhander to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead.
NOTES—Hiller finished with 33 saves, and Crawford had 29. Ducks F Devante Smith-Pelly was sidelined with the flu…..The Hawks killed 16 of their opponents’ 17 power-play opportunities in the first seven games of the season…..Anaheim’s seven-game trip is tied for the third-longest in club history.
LONDON,England(Just kidding, I didn’t make this trip)—The Bears are now 2-0 in Regular Season games played outside the United State.Last year they beat Buffalo in Toronto. The Bears also are now 2-0 in London including theirn17-6 win over Dallas in a Pre Season American Bowl in 1986 at Wembley Stadium. The two touchdowns the Bears scored in that “Friendly” were by the late Dave Dureson(who picked up a Tony Hill fumble and scored),and The Fridge(Williams Perry)who have the Brits a big thrill by crashing over from the 3 yard line.
***Other than this years game being for real, other differences from 25 years ago included the English Fans understanding the NFL game more than they did then, and the Bears spent an entire week in England then as opposed to this time in which Lovie Smith brought his team over seas for just the weekend, and it worked.
***So it’s now time for a Bye Week,then two weeks from tonight the Bears have their fourth straight night game(yes,the London game kicked off at 6pm England time)as they will face the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
***The Lions lost their second straight,this time to the Falcons.And Green Bay got a scare from Minnesota,but their 20-0 edge in the third quarter got the Packers over the top. I still think someone will beat Green Bay at some point and they will not go 16-0.
WEMBLEY, England—On both sides of the Atlantic, Matt Forte is carrying the offense for the Bears.Forte ran for 145 yards and a touchdown and the Bears held on to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18 on Sunday in the fifth annual NFL regular season game at Wembley Stadium.Jay Cutler threw for 226 yards and a touchdown and the Bears (4-3) intercepted Josh Freeman four times for their second win in a row. The Buccaneers (4-3) lost for the second time in three years in London.Freeman threw two TD passes in the fourth quarter to pull the Bucs within three points with just over 7 minutes left. But, after a 25-yard field goal by Robbie Gould, Freeman was picked off for the fourth time with 37 seconds left by D.J. Moore to end the threat.Tampa Bay’s loss completed a miserable day for the Glazer family, owners of the Bucs and Manchester United. Earlier, the Glazers were on hand at Old Trafford as the English Premier League champions were thrashed 6-1 by crosstown rival Manchester City. The Glazers came straight down to London for the NFL game and ended up 0-2 for the day. The Bucs lost to New England, 35-7, in London two years ago.Attendance was 76,981, short of a sellout in the 82,000-capacity Wembley. It’s the first time since the NFL began playing regular season games here five years ago that tickets haven’t sold out. Organizers blamed the NFL lockout, which meant the game wasn’t officially confirmed and tickets put on sale until a few months ago — rather than at the beginning of the year as in the past.Still, the game provided plenty of action, as well as plenty of turnovers, penalties and some unusual moments — including when a male fan ran onto the field, ripped off his shirt and high-fived players before being tackled by security guards.Forte, who came to London with a league-leading 908 yards running and receiving, went over the 1,000 yard mark after seven games.He was already over 100 yards for the game with 8:39 left in the first half. He broke through the right side of the Bucs defense and cut back across the field for a weaving 32-yard TD run that put the Bears ahead in the first quarter. He also had a 22-yard run on the same drive.Forte also ended up in his own end zone a few minutes later, tackled for a safety by Ronde Barber. That capped a quirky sequence of back-to back interceptions. First, Tanard Jackson picked off a ball that went through Marion Barber’s hands and returned it 42 yards to the Bears 21. On the next play, Freeman hit Mike Williams over the middle at the goal line, but Chris Conte wrestled the ball out of his arms for a takeaway.Freeman finished 29 of 51 for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Cutler was 17 of 32 for 226 yards and two interceptions.The Bucs had to rely on the pass after losing running back Earnest Graham in the first quarter to a right ankle injury. He was starting for the second straight week in place of LeGarrette Blount, who was out with a knee injury.Cutler found Roy Williams for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 7:49 to go in the half to put the Bears up 14-2. The score was set up by a 29-yard run by Marion Barber on third and 1.Freeman and the Bucs offense looked out of synch for most of the first half. One Tampa possession early in the second quarter included four penalties in a row and five in all – three against the Bucs and two against the Bears.The Bucs didn’t pick up a first down until just over three minutes left in first quarter and had five first downs in the half. Freeman finally got the offense moving late in the first half, leading a 77-yard-drive on 10 plays with a mix of short and medium-range throws, but the Bucs had to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Connor Barth as time expired.After an interception by Corey Lynch, Freeman hit Kellen Winslow for a 2-yard TD with 12:18 left in the game to pull within 21-11. The Bucs went for a 2-point conversion but Freeman’s quick slant to Mario Williams fell incomplete.After the Bears went three-and-out, Freeman led the Bucs on a 53-yard scoring drive, capped by a 24-yard throw to Dezmon Briscoe with 7:17 to play to close to 21-18.But the Bears drove 64 yards in 12 plays, with Gould’s field goal with 1:55 left putting the Bears back up by six.
EVANSTON—Northwestern continued it’s disappointing path to a no Bowl season while Joe Paterno joined another legend Eddie Robinson with 408 career Coaching wins. NU’s defense was bad in the first half,and by the time they adjusted in the third quarter,so did Penn State,and the Nittany Lions won 34-24.This one started as if it would be as high scoring as the 54-50 Northwestern win over Michigan in 2000. Penn State’s Chaz Powell fumled the game’s opening kickoff and NU’s Jeravin Williams fell on it at the PSU 34. Seven plays later on a fourth down, Dan Persa’s quarterback sneak opened the scoring. This time Powell returned the kickoff 54 yards to the Wildcats 44,and after driving his team to the four yard line,Matt McGloin found Justin Brown for the game tying score. The Cats were then forced to punt after Persa was sacked twice and Brandon Williams kick was fair caught at the NU 45,from where McGloin hit a wide open Devon Smith in the front of the end zone. The Cats responded,going 87 yards in ten plays with Persa hitting backup QB Kain Colter with an 11 yard TD pass to tie the game 14-14 after one quarter. The second period saw PSU got 56 yards,but have to settle for a 37 yard field goal by Anthony Fera. The Wildcats started at their 25 and with Colter mostly at QB, he scrambled for a 46 yard gain to the Nittany Lions 7, Two plays later Colter ran off right tackle and scored to put Northwestern(2-5, 0-4) back in front 21-17.Penn State answered,but with a Fera 33 yard field goal to close to within 21-20.The Wildcats continued to move the ball on the PSU defense. On a third and long, Persa hit Jeremy Ebert with a 54 yard bomb to the PSU 15, the Nittanly Lions held and Jeff Budzien kicked a 25 yarder with :47 left in the half. But NU’s porous defense couldn’t stop Penn State(7-1, 4-0) as the Nittany Lions went 63 yards in 7 plays and Stephon Green bowled over from the one with :07 left as the visitors took a 27-24 lead into the locker room.
Northwestern started the third quarter and drove to the Penn State 18,but then disaster struck when Persa had a pass deflected and it was picked off by Gerald Hodges who returned it 63 yards to the NU 18,and on the next play,Silas Redd burst up the middle,untouched for a touchdown and the first two possession lead of the night 34-24 for PSU which is how the third quarter and the game ended as the fourth quarter was scoreless.
WEST LAFAYETTE— The Purdue Boilermakers (4-3, 2-1 Big Ten) finally got the quality win they needed with a 21-14 victory over No. 23 Illinois on Saturday — Purdue’s first win over a ranked team since beating then-No. 7 Ohio State in 2009. Now, Purdue — not Illinois — is near the top of the Leaders Division and talking about making a run at the Big Ten title.The Boilermakers had steadily improved in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s game. After the 38-10 loss to Notre Dame, the Boilermakers rallied for a 45-17 win over Minnesota the next week and a spirited effort in a 23-18 loss at Penn State. Hope said in the days after the loss at Penn State that Purdue was on the verge of becoming a good football team. That process just accelerated. Illinois (6-2, 2-2) lost its second straight. Just two weeks ago, the Fighting Illini were undefeated and looked like solid contenders who might hang with Wisconsin and Penn State in the division. Then, the Illini stumbled through a mistake-filled 17-7 home loss to Ohio State and lost to Purdue after falling behind 21-0.Raheem Mostert ran for a touchdown and tackled the punter on a play that led to another score for the Boilermakers.Hope stuck with quarterback Caleb TerBush throughout instead of rotating him with Robert Marve as he had in previous weeks, and TerBush passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns.The Illini scored on a 16-yard run by Jason Ford with 8:12 remaining, and a 2-yard run by Scheelhaase cut Purdue’s lead to 21-14 with 54 seconds to play. But Purdue’s Justin Siller recovered the onside kick, and the Boilermakers ran out the clock.Purdue did a much better job of containing Scheelhaase this year. Last season, Scheelhaase passed for four touchdowns and ran for a game-high 118 yards to lead the Illini to a 44-10 win. This year, he passed for 217 yards, but ran for just 16 on 13 carries. He was sacked four times and was under constant pressure. Defensive tackle Kawann Short led Purdue with two sacks.Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins, who led the nation in yards receiving, finished with eight catches for 92 yards. He never broke anything big, though, as Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen got the best of their matchup.Purdue’s offensive line protected TerBush from Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, who led the nation with 10 sacks and was tied for the lead with five forced fumbles. Mercilus was held without a sack.Illinois’ defense, ranked 12th nationally in yards allowed per game coming in, gave up 304 yards, including 229 in the first half. Purdue squandered an early opportunity when Antavian Edison fumbled after the Boilermakers moved into Illinois territory. But the Boilermakers got it going again on their next possession. TerBush rolled right to avoid the rush and found Siller downfield for a 32-yard gain. TerBush and Siller later connected again for a 6-yard touchdown that gave Purdue a 7-0 lead with 3:25 left in the first quarter. Mostert scored early in the second quarter on a 21-yard run to give Purdue a 14-0 lead with 11:41 left. Illinois went three-and-out on its next possession, and Mostert tackled Illini punter Justin DuVernois at the Illinois 14. TerBush found Jared Crank in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown pass to put the Boilermakers up 21-0 with 7:48 left in the half.Illinois tried to get Jenkins involved, and backup quarterback Reilly O’Toole fired deep to him late in the first half, but Allen intercepted inside the Purdue 10-yard line. Purdue held the Fighting Illini to 128 yards in the first half.
GROBBER’S FRIDAY THOUGHTS—Oct 21,2011
Les’s NFL PICKS Week 7:
CAROLINA over Washington
CLEVELAND over Seattle
Denver over MIAMI
San Diego over NY JETS
TENNESSEE over Houston
Pittsburgh over ARIZONA
OAKLAND over Kansas City
DALLAS over St.Louis
NEW ORLEANS over Indianapolis(Sun Night)
Baltimore over JACKSONVILLE(Mon Night)
NFC NORTH GAMES:
DETROIT over Atlanta
Green Bay over MINNESOTA
TAMPA BAY over Bears @ London
Last week:9-4(Total through six weeks: 64-27)
Teams in all CAPITALS are Home team including Tampa Bay which is the Home team at Wembley Stadium, London,UK.