Eastern gives Northern a huge scare,but Huskies escape 43-39

DEKALB—Jordan Lynch accounted for 424 yards of offense in the air and on the ground as Northern Illinois overcame six touchdown passes by Jimmy Garoppolo to pull out a 43-39 victory on Saturday night.Garoppolo, with 450 yards on 34-of-49 passing, tied Tony Romo’s school career record of 85 TD throws.Garoppolo’s pass to Erik Lora, who had 198 yards receiving, put the Panthers ahead 39-36 with 9:53 remaining.NIU’s Keith Harris Jr., who scored twice, rushed 8 yards for a 43-39 lead with 8:25 left. The NIU defense then stiffened and the Huskies ran out the final 5:01.The Panthers (3-1) had a 20-0 first-quarter lead on three Garoppolo TD passes. The Huskies rallied, taking the lead at 23-20 just before halftime. Cameron Stingily rushed for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns for NIU (3-0), which won its 22nd straight home game, best in the nation.

Toews’ Shootout goal lifts Hawks past Caps 5-4. Now 2-0-1 in Pre Season

WASHINGTON—Jonathan Toews scored the only goal in the shootout, and the  Blackhawks beat the Washington Capitals 5-4 in an NHL preseason game Friday night. Toews played his first preseason game after being sidelined by an injury that the NHL won’t allow discloure.Alex Ovechkin’s first goal of the preseason, a power-play tally at 8:17 of the third period, lifted the Capitals into a 4-4 tie.Dylan Olsen had a goal and an assist for the Haswks who also got goals from Jeremy Morin, Brad Winchester and Brandon Bollig. Antti Raanta made 26 saves through overtime.Niklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals. Marcus Johansson had two assists.Michael Neuvirth played the first 30:01 for Washington, allowing three goals on 17 shots. David Leggio stopping 16 of 17 shots in relief.

Pens edge Hawks in a Shootout.

Beau Bennet scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the Pittsburgh Penguins rebounded after giving up a two-goal lead to beat the Blackhawks 4-3 Thursday night.Sidney Crosby, Derrick Pouliot and Joe Vitale scored in regulation for Pittsburgh (1-1-1).Brandon Bollig shoveled in a rebound from a scrum in front of the net with 6:53 left in the third to tie it at 3 and send it to overtime. Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith both scored for the second straight game for the Blackhawks (1-1-0).Crosby, whose career has been punctuated by games lost to concussions, was struck by the stick of Adam Clendening in the final minute of overtime and dropped to the ice. He got up slowly, then skated to the bench on his own.Crosby was Pittburgh’s second shooter in the shootout and missed on a backhand attempt.The Blackhawks were 0-6 on the Power Play.

Crawford turns in shuout as Hawks open Pre Season with 2-0 win over FORMER Division Rival Red Wings.

Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith scored 1:09 apart late in the second period, Corey Crawford made 19 saves, and the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks opened the preseason with a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Crawford, who played every minute of the Blackhawks playoff run, stayed in for the entire game.Detroit’s Jonas Gustavsson, expected to back up Jimmy Howard this season, stopped 21 of 23 shots in two periods. Jared Coreau turned aside all 11 Hawk shots in the third.The Hawks lineup included 14 members of the championship team, but captain Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa both sat out.
Red Wings forward Johan Franzen had been scheduled to play on a line with newcomers Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, but missed the game due to a sore hip flexor.Sharp opened the scoring with 3:23 left in the second on a quick wrist shot from the slot. Smith made it 2-0 on a deflection of Jimmy Hayes’ long shot.

NOTES—The Blackhawks host Pittsburgh Thursday night…..Two Red Wings, Teemu Pulkkinen and Mitch Callahan received 5 minute Boarding penalties and the automatic Game Misconduct that goes with it. The Hawks Power Plays came up empty as they did so often last season.

Late Cutler to Martellus Bennett TD pass allows Bears to clip Vikes 31-30

Jay Cutler came through just in time again.
Cutler threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds left to lead the  Bears to a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Minnesota’s Blair Walsh had just kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3:15 remaining when the Bears took over at its 34. Cutler, who led the Bears back from an 11-point deficit in a season-opening win over Cincinnati, struck again. A 23-yard pass to Bennett along the sideline put the ball on the 16. Cutler then spiked the ball before connecting with Bennett in the front corner of the end zone. Robbie Gould kicked the game winning extra point and the Bears (2-0) remained unbeaten under new coach Marc Trestman despite committing four turnovers. Cutler completed 28 of 39 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. But he was also intercepted twice and got stripped by Jared Allen on a sack, leading to a 61-yard touchdown return for Brian Robison in the second quarter.
Devin Hester returned five kickoffs for a Bears-record 249 yards – including a 76-yarder and an 80-yarder.
Bennett had 76 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Matt Forte chipped in with 71 yards receiving and 90 yards rushing.
Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 105 yards to tie a club record. Christian Ponder threw for 227 yards, a touchdown and an interception after getting picked off three times in a season-opening loss to Detroit. Adrian Peterson ran for 100 yards, but the Vikings (0-2) remained winless at Soldier Field since 2007.
They looked as if they might pull this one out after two 13-play drives led to 28-yard field goals by Walsh, turning a 24-21 halftime deficit into a 27-24 advantage in the fourth quarter.
The first came after Isaiah Frey recovered a fumble by Jarius Wright in the end zone, only to have it overturned on a replay review. Harrison Smith set up the second when he intercepted a long pass from Cutler to Marshall at the 12 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Peterson kept the drive going with a 4-yard run to the 14 on fourth-and-1, only to be hit with a 13-yard loss on the next play, and Walsh booted the go-ahead field goal with just over 8 minutes left.
Letroy Guion stripped Forte of the ball near midfield on the Bears next possession. That led to Walsh’s 22-yarder that made it a six-point game, but Cutler and the Bears had one more rally in them.
The late theatrics capped a game that featured no shortage of big plays in the early going.
Patterson got this one off to an explosive start with that huge return to start the game, taking advantage of some big holes and sprinting past a lunging Gould on the way to the end zone. The 105-yarder matched the club record set by Percy Harvin last year and was the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a Bears opponent since 2007.
After Patterson’s big return, Hester returned the kickoff 76 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the 32. That led to a 1-yard TD catch for Bennett.

NU wakes up from early slumber and beats Western Michigan 38-17

EVANSTON—For much of the first half, #17 Northwestern played like they had their heads where the “Sun don’t shine”. But they were playing a team that they had way more talent then, and lucky for them, they don’t face Ohio State,Michigan,or Wisconsin until weeks down they line,because until midway through the second quarter, the Cats frankly played like crap!                                                                                              BUT… Treyvon Green made his case to be moved up on the depth chart for NU. Green rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns, quarterback Kain Colter ran for 106 yards and a score and passed for another, and the Wildcats beat Western Michigan 38-17on Saturday night.With starter Venric Mark, who missed his second straight game with an undisclosed(ala the NHL) injury, sidelined, Northwestern was just as explosive with Green — who is the Wildcat’s No. 3 running back.

“I think it speaks to our depth,” Colter said. “We have guys behind some of the starters that can play. When they get an opportunity like Treyvon did, they take advantage of it. Honestly, the competition makes the whole team better.

“Trey’s made an argument that when (Mark) comes back, he should be in that starting role.”

Northwestern had 474 yards of total offense — including 335 on the ground — to extend its winning streak in non-conference home games to 15. The Wildcats (3-0) averaged 46 points and better than 500 yards in their first two games against California and Syracuse.Western Michigan (0-3) was led by quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen, who was 16 of 41 for 202 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.Despite starting its first three drives in WMU territory, Northwestern trailed 3-0 following the first quarter and couldn’t get much going offensively.

“We have to get more consistent,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “We can’t have games where we take 15 minutes off.”

The Wildcats finally got going when safety Ibraheim Campbell intercepted Van Tubbergen at the Northwestern 43 — his fifth straight game with pick.NU needed just seven plays to cover the 57 yards, with Colter running the ball in from four yards out to give the Wildcats a 7-3 lead.Western Michigan needed only one play to retake the lead at 10-7 when Van Tubbergen and freshman wide receiver Corey Davis hooked up on a 75-yard scoring pass. Davis made a cut as if he were running an out and then turned the route up field, fooling cornerback Dwight White. That play did little to quell the offensive rhythm Northwestern established on the previous series. After starting their next drive on their own 35, the Wildcats covered 65 yards in six plays, culminating in Colter’s six-yard touchdown pass to Christian Jones. That score kicked off a stretch in which Northwestern scored 24 consecutive points. The Wildcats reached the end zone on their final four possessions of the first half.A four-yard dash by running back Mike Trumpy made it 21-10 with 2:15 remaining in the half before Northwestern got the ball back with 51 seconds remaining before the break and moved downfield to set up Jeff Budzien’s 35-yard field goal and 24-10 lead. The Wildcats kept at it in the third quarter with an 87-yard, 14-play drive that ended with the first of Green’s two touchdowns — a one-yard run that gave Northwestern a 31-10 lead. Western Michigan finally snapped its scoreless string when Van Tubbergen and receiver Josh Schaffer hooked up on a 25-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to make it 31-17.NU answered on its next possession when Green had a 42-yard touchdown run to restore the three-TD lead. For Green, a junior, it was a long road to get to that point where he’s busting through with big scoring runs.

ND overcomes slow start to beat Purdue 31-24

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

WEST LAFAYETTE—DaVaris Daniels made touchdown catches on two successive Notre Dame plays in the fourth quarter, and Bennett Jackson followed that flurry with a 34-yard interception return to lead No. 21 Notre Dame past Purdue  31-24 on Saturday night. The Fighting Irish (2-1) have won six straight in a series that has been played every year since 1946. Without Daniels and Jackson, it might not have happened. Daniels outleaped one Purdue defender for a 9-yard TD pass to tie the score at 17 with 14:47 left. And when Notre Dame got the ball back, Tommy Rees hooked up with Daniels again, this time on an 82-yard catch-and-run to make it 24-17. Three plays after that, Jackson undercut a receiver, picked off Purdue’s Rob Henry and sprinted to the end zone. The Boilermakers (1-2) led the entire game until Daniels made his second    TD catch.

Washington uses huge second quarter, hands Illini first loss in their first Soldier Field appearence since 1994

Keith Price wasn’t quite ready to celebrate, nor were his teammates. Even though No. 19 Washington came away with a rare road win to remain unbeaten, this was hardly a perfect game. Price threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, Bishop Sankey ran for a career-high 208 yards and the Huskies held off Illinois 34-24 at Soldier Field on Saturday. Josh Shirley added three sacks, and the Huskies came out on top after dropping seven of nine away from home. They hadn’t won on the road outside the Pac-12 since beating Syracuse in 2007, but as good as all that sounds, they were hardly content. Washington (2-0) collected 615 yards in this one after racking up 592 and keeping high-powered Boise State without a touchdown in a 38-6 rout two weeks ago. But the Huskies had to hang on down the stretch.

They saw a 21-point lead in the third quarter dwindle to seven in the fourth, before sending Illinois (2-1) to its sixth straight loss against ranked opponents.

“In every department there should be improvement,” Shirley said. “The sky’s the limit for this team. We just have to go back to the drawing board on Monday and fix the corrections next week.”

The Illini cut it to 31-24 on Aaron Bailey’s 10-yard run with 9:10 remaining, but Washington’s Travis Coons kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it a 10-point game with 4:44 left. Gregory Ducre then picked off a deep pass by Nathan Scheelhaase, sealing the win. Price completed 28 of 35 passes without an interception. Kevin Smith caught five passes for 104 yards. Jesse Callier had a 39-yard touchdown run, and Sankey carried 35 times in this one after running for 161 yards in the opener. He scored a 31-yard touchdown on a screen in the first half and on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter, capping a 75-yard drive in which Washington did not attempt a pass. The defense sacked Scheelhaase four times with Shirley leading the way, and the Huskies won despite committing 12 penalties for 104 yards.Illinois couldn’t keep the momentum going after blowing out Cincinnati last weekend. “We gave up over 600 yards of offense,” coach Tim Beckman said. “Their running game, I don’t think we really stopped it either. We faced a very good quarterback, a senior quarterback. We have to get better if we’re going to be contenders, no question.”

With Hall of Famer and Chicago native Dick Butkus watching his alma mater play in the stadium where he starred for the Bears(his last three years after they moved from Wrigley Field), the Illini couldn’t get much going. Scheelhaase, off to his best start in four years as the No. 1 quarterback, was just 9 of 25 with 156 yards. He did connect on a 72-yard touchdown to Ryan Lankford right when the Huskies looked like they were ready to pull away, but that was the lone bright spot for him.

“I thought I could have pressed the tempo a little more,” Scheelhaase said. “I could have done a better job of that. As a quarterback any time you walk off the field without a win, I definitely want to go back and you feel you’re unsatisfied.”

The long touchdown came on the first play from scrimmage after Jaydon Mickens scored on a 9-yard pass, slipping past two defenders and diving into the end zone to boost Washington’s lead to 31-10. Instead of a blowout, Scheelhaase then hit Lankford for that TD, and things got real interesting after a trick play by Illinois in the fourth. Bailey took the snap and faked a handoff before pitching to Miles Osei, who then hit Matt LaCosse for a 35-yard pass. That led to a 10-yard touchdown run by Bailey, cutting it to 31-24 with 9:10 remaining only to have Coons kick an insurance score for the Huskies a few minutes later.

NIU overcomes slow start, puts away Idaho in fourth quarter

MOSCOW—Perhaps it was the long plane flight,and having long bus rides from Hotel to Stadium, but after a slow start, Jordan Lynch threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more as heavily-favored Northern Illinois held off Idaho 45-35 on Saturday.The Vandals (0-3), outscored 82-16 in their first two games, twice led the Huskies (2-0) by two touchdowns in the first half and tied the game at 35 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on James Baker’s second touchdown.Lynch had 154 yards for his fifteenth career 100-yard game, including a 61-yard scoring burst to make it 35-28, but it was his third TD pass that finally did in the Vandals. After a 49-yard field goal by Matthew Sims broke the last tie, Lynch found Luke Eakes for a 16-yard score.The Huskies finished with 505 yards. Wide receiver Tommylee Lewis had 111 rushing on six carries and 52 yards on seven receptions.Dezmon Epps had 10 catches for 112 yards for Idaho, which had 448 yards.

Rose says he’s 100% ready to play.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head 

It has been 17 months since Derrick Rose stepped onto an NBA court during a regulation game. It has been seven months since he was cleared by doctors to return. There have been slow updates of progress, days and days of “day-to-day” consideration, and snippets of video showing him dunking. But no games.Rose insisted he wasn’t going to return until he was “110 percent.” That may be unrealistic since, you know, it’s impossible, but at least he’s at 100 percent.

“I think I am a 100 percent,” Rose said. “I’m doing almost everything. I’m squatting, running, lifting almost every other day, just being back on the court after you have an ACL injury, you’re kind of hesitant at first about how you step, what way you should step, learning how to run, accelerate, accelerate while you run and while you’re slowing down. For me, I’m reacting right now where all I have to think about is if I have to get to a spot, I’m going to get there no matter what. It kind of feels good having that feeling again.”

Rose said he was 100 percent in July, so the big news here is really in context. It’s one thing to say it in July as teams continue to try and sell tickets. But training camp is two weeks away. This is “for real,” so to speak.

There will be skepticism about Rose actually returning to the floor until we see him lace them up, after the constant delays last year. But all we have are signs to interpret and right now, all the signs point to Rose being ready for October 29th in Miami. We’ll see how preseason goes, his first real test. The Bulls‘ first preseason game is on October 5th at Indianapolis against the Pacers.