Mismatch…Irish blow out Miami of Ohio 52-17

SOUTH BEND—Brandon Wimbush threw for three touchdowns and ran for another and No. 22 Notre Dame beat Miami (Ohio) 52-17 on Saturday night for the 900th victory in school history.Josh Adams added touchdown runs of 72 and 59 yards in the first half before leaving the game with an injury to his left leg. Adams, who entered the game as the No. 9 rusher in the country, still led the Irish (4-1) with 159 yards on the ground despite the short night.

”Josh could have played; his ankle was not a serious situation,” said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

Wimbush, who had his eighth rushing touchdown of the season in the first quarter, finished with 119 passing yards in three quarters and had 36 yards on 11 carries.The Irish led the RedHawks 45-14 at the half, the most first-half points scored by an Irish team under Kelly.It was only the second meeting between the Irish and the RedHawks (2-3), two teams that were coached by Hall of Famer Ara Parseghian.With its top three running backs – Adams, Tony Jones Jr. and Dexter Williams – questionable going forward, Notre Dame will need to find some healthy bodies soon. They face North Carolina next and then USC.Notre Dame forced two turnovers in the game, giving the Irish 11 (five interceptions, six fumble recoveries) for the season. The Irish have turned the 11 turnovers into 70 points while the opposition has scored just three points off five Notre Dame turnovers (two interceptions, three fumbles). The Irish take to the road for the third time in four weeks when they visit North Carolina next Saturday.

Badgers dominate second half-Beat NU 33-24

MADISON—Jonathan Taylor ran for two touchdowns to help the offense overcome a sluggish start and No. 10 Wisconsin’s defense swarmed Northwestern before holding on for a 33-24 win on Saturday.Alex Hornibrook threw for 197 yards and a touchdown, settling down after two interceptions in the first half. Garrett Dooley had three of Wisconsin’s eight sacks.Northwestern’s last drive was thwarted when quarterback Clayton Thorson couldn’t find a receiver out of his own end zone and was sacked by D’Cota Dixon for a safety.
”We knew it was going to be a hard one,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. ”There’s a lot of lessons to be learned in this one.”
Thorson was having a good quarter until getting sacked, throwing two touchdown passes in less than 2 minutes. The second to Garrett Dickerson with 2:53 left got the Wildcats within a touchdown.But Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) stood up the Wildcats (2-2, 0-1) again late to seal the win in each team’s conference opener.
”We got a little bit too lax, that was the only thing I was disappointed about,” Dixon said.
It was all Wisconsin in the second half until Northwestern’s late push in the fourth.Hornibrook hit Quintez Cephus on a 61-yard pass to the Northwestern 11 on the Badgers’ first drive of the third quarter. Taylor scored on the next play to give Wisconsin the lead for good, 14-10 with 9:16 left in the third.
”We had bad communication. The guy was (wide) open,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”Crazy concept when that happens.”
Safety Natrell Jamerson had a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown for a 31-10 lead with 9:54 left in the game, what initially looked like the final blow to Northwestern.But the Wildcats came back. Wisconsin allowed the two quick touchdowns before Dixon’s safety finally finished off Northwestern.Taylor, a freshman, finished with 80 yards on 19 carries. Dixon had a team-high 12 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.Hornibrook was 11 of 20. Thorson finished 29 of 45 for 219 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions.
”We’ve got to do a better job of protecting him,” tight end Garrett Dickerson said. ”He can sling. We’ve just got to give him more time to.”
Things looked so good for the Wildcats at halftime, up 10-7 on a Wisconsin team having trouble holding on to the ball. Momentum changed in the third quarter. The offensive line couldn’t pick up Wisconsin’s pressures. The running game was bottled up in the third for minus-10 yards on seven carries. And the defense got burned by big plays. At least Northwestern mounted a late but futile comeback on the road, two games after a blowout defeat at Duke in Week 2.Wisconsin: Coordinator Jim Leonhard spiced up his defense just in time for Big Ten play, throwing different stunts and looks at NU to get to Thorson for three sacks in the pivotal third quarter. The secondary was active all afternoon, breaking up short timing patterns.Northwestern hosts Penn State next Saturday.

Huskers wake up in Big Ten, beat Illini 28-6

 

Illinois Fighting Illini
 

CHAMPAIGN—Nebraska couldn’t win at Home against Northern Illinois,but threy had no problems with Illinois on the road. When Nebraska ended its nonconference schedule with a loss to NIU, it didn’t just drop the Cornhuskers to 1-2. It also served as an early turning point in the season and cost athletic director Shawn Eichorst his job.Life in the Big Ten has been much easier.Last week, the Cornhuskers pulled out a back-and-forth victory against Rutgers. But on Friday, they were in total control.Entering the matchup, Tanner Lee led the FBS with nine interceptions and was held to 109 yards by the Scarlet Knights. Against Illinois, he threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns, helping lead Nebraska to a 28-6 win.

”I think it’s coaching,” Lee said. ”The looks we were expecting the looks we got, the plays we were running were things we practiced all week at practice. . I’m glad that we got into a rhythm there. We just looked good.”

The Cornhuskers (3-2, 2-0) led wire to wire, scoring on their first possession, a quick 88-yard drive capped by a 45-yard touchdown pass from Lee to De’Mornay Pierson-El, and was never under pressure.Pierson-El finished the night with four receptions for 94 yards and one score. Stanley Morgan Jr. also had a big night with a career-high eight receptions for 96 yards and a score.

”I think (Lee) passed well,” Morgan Jr. said. ”He did an excellent job, just finding open receivers and getting the ball to us.”

Morgan Jr’s strong outing also moved him up the list of Cornhusker greats. He now has 84 catches and 1,152 receiving yards which are ranked 12th and 16th, respectively, in school history.Led by running back Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska also dominated Illinois on the ground. Ozigbo had 106 yards on 18 carries. His 15-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his first score of the season.Illinois (2-2, 0-1) continued to struggle behind run-first quarterback Chayce Crouch. He made several plays with his legs, including an impressive 19-yard tackle-breaking scamper just before the half, but he threw for only 99 yards. Crouch has yet to eclipse 150 passing yards this season.The Illini struggles showed after they kicked a field goal to cut the deficit to 21-6 midway through the third quarter. Patrick Nelson forced an Ozigbo fumble that was recovered by Stanley Green on the Nebraska 28. But the team lost 14 yards in three plays and was forced to punt.

Over-matched & Out Coached Bears Embarrassed by Green Bay

GROBBER’S NFL WEEK FOUR PICKS


 

AFC GAMES: NYJ over Jax,BALT over Pitt, Cin over CLEVE, HOUST over Tenn, DENV over Oak
NFC GAMES: DAL over LA Rams, TB over NY Giants, ARIZ over S Fran
INT-CONF GAMES: N.Orl over MIA(at London), N.ENG over Car, ATL over Buff, Phil over LA Chargers
SUNDAY NIGHT: SEAT over Indy
MONDAY NIGHT: KC over Wash
NFC NORTH GAMES: MINN over Det,  GB over Bears
HOME teams in ALL CAPITALS

Bears stun Steelers 23-17 on Jordan Howard’s 19 yard TD run in OT

Jordan Howard scored on a 19-yard run in overtime to lead the Bears to a 23-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.Howard’s winning score came two plays after rookie Tarik Cohen broke off an electric run for what appeared to be a 73-yard game-winning touchdown. But he was ruled out at the Pittsburgh 37. Howard took over from there, and the Bears (1-2) came away with a surprising victory.Howard had 138 of the Bears 220 yards rushing, making up for a lackluster performance by quarterback Mike Glennon.The Steelers (2-1) stayed off the sideline for the national anthem in the wake of President Donald Trump’s comments that players who kneel in protest should be fired. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva – an Army veteran – stood near the tunnel with his hand over his heart.Once the game ended, they found themselves in a familiar spot – losing to a lesser team and losing in Chicago, where they are 1-13 against the Bears.Last year, Pittsburgh won its first two games before getting beaten 34-3 by Philadelphia, which finished with a losing record. In 2015, the Steelers were surging toward a playoff spot, when they lost late in the season to a Baltimore team that finished 5-11.Despite the victory, Glennon did nothing to stop the calls for No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky, throwing for just 101 yards with a touchdown and interception.Marcus Cooper committed an inexplicable fumble after the Bears blocked a field goal in the closing seconds of the half. With a clear path to the end zone, he slowed down and had the ball poked away at the 1.But the Bears won for just the first time in nine September games over three seasons under coach John Fox.Ben Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown had 110 yards receiving and a touchdown. And Le’Veon Bell ran for 61 yards and a TD for Pittsburgh.The Steelers’ J.J. Wilcox picked off a pass thrown behind the Bears’ Zach Miller at the Bears 21, leading to a tying field goal by Chris Boswell midway through the fourth quarter.The Bears led 17-7 at halftime following a wild sequence in the closing seconds that included Cooper’s fumble after Sherrick McManis blocked a 35-yard field goal. After Cooper slowed down, the Steelers’ Vance McDonald knocked the ball out of his hands at the 1.With the ball bouncing in the end zone, holder Jordan Berry swatted it out the back with his right hand.The officials initially ruled a touchback. Bears coach John Fox argued, and after a lengthy review, the ball was placed about a half yard from the goal line.The Bears lined up to go for the touchdown but settled for a field goal after left tackle Charles Leno Jr. got flagged for a false start.Kyle Long started at right guard for the Bears after being sidelined since Nov. 13 because of a right ankle injury.Long had been taking snaps at left guard in training camp before the Bears shut him down. But he was back at his more familiar position with RG Josh Sitton sidelined by a rib injury. Cody Whitehair started at left guard, with Hroniss Grasu at center.

Irish blast Spartans 38-18 in E.Lansing

EAST LANSING—Brian Lewerke threw toward the left side of the field and Julian Love broke to the ball.Love intercepted the pass and had open field in front of him, scoring on a 59-yard return in the first quarter that gave the Irish a comfortable early lead in their 38-18 victory over Michigan State on Saturday night. Notre Dame was outgained but never trailed. The Irish took control by forcing three crucial turnovers in the first half.Brandon Wimbush threw for a touchdown and ran for one for Notre Dame, and Dexter Williams caught a touchdown pass and ran for a TD. Deon McIntosh added a scoring run for the Irish (3-1).It was the first time Michigan State (2-1) went an entire regular-season game without leading in over five years.MSU hadn’t allowed an offensive touchdown through its first two games, but Notre Dame put an end to that run by driving 78 yards in 1:55 on the game’s first possession. Wimbush opened the scoring with a 16-yard run, and then Love picked off Lewerke’s pass and ran it back to give the Irish a 14-point advantage.

”We got the pick-six and got up 14-0, then we were able to control the football a little bit,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. ”Then when you get a lead on the road, I thought that Brandon Wimbush did a really good job of controlling the offense. And then again I think like everything else, if you take care of the football, which we did today, good things happen.”

Lewerke broke free for a 52-yard run on what looked like a simple quarterback sneak on third-and-1. That set up his 4-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Stewart. But in the second quarter, Lewerke fumbled while trying to scramble out of trouble on third down, giving Notre Dame the ball at the Michigan State 24. Wimbush threw an 8-yard TD pass to Williams to make it 21-7.

 
 “The interception was just a bad decision. On the fumble I’ve got to keep the ball tucked in,” said Lewerke, who threw for 340 yards and two TDs. ”The fumble shouldn’t happen. The interception shouldn’t happen, either.”

The Spartans were still very much in the game, but they couldn’t overcome their next giveaway. LJ Scott was about to score when Notre Dame cornerback Shaun Crawford forced a fumble and recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.Williams scored on a 14-yard run to give Notre Dame a 28-7 halftime lead.Crawford intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in a win at Boston College last weekend.The last time Michigan State went a whole regular-season game without leading was Sept. 15, 2012, in a 20-3 loss to Notre Dame.The Irish rushed for 515 yards in that win over Boston College. Michigan State provided more resistance, but Notre Dame still showcased a balanced running game and avoided mistakes. It was a poised performance on the road in a tough environment.

GROBBER’S NFL WEEK THREE PICKS

 

AFC GAMES: Balt over JAX(at London), Mia over NY JETS, N.ENG over Hou, INDY over Cleve, K.City over LA CHARGERS, Denv over BUFF
NFC GAMES: PHIL over NY Giants, CAR over N.Orl
INT-CONF GAMES: Seat over TENN
THURSDAY NIGHT: SF over L.A.Rams
SUNDAY NIGHT: Oak over WASH
MONDAY NIGHT: Dal over ARIZ
NFC NORTH GAMES: T.Bay over MINN, Atl over DET, GB over Cin, Pitt over BEARS
HOME teams in ALL CAPITALS.

Bears turnovers lead to Bucs big win

 

 

 

 

TAMPA—So much for the notion that a Hurricane Irma-imposed layoff might hinder the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Bears.Jameis Winston and Co. played like a team with heightened expectations in winning their season opener 29-7 on Sunday. They also looked confident, fully capable of ending a long playoff drought.

”Complementary football at its finest,” the third-year quarterback said. ”Defense played phenomenal. Offense had great drives, eliminated the three-and-outs, and eliminated turnovers.”

Winston threw for 204 yards and one touchdown, the Bucs’ defense stymied former teammate Mike Glennon with four turnovers, and the sloppy Bears (0-2) didn’t get into the zone until Deonte Thompson scored on a 14-yard reception with 1:43 remaining.

”Basically, not a good day at the office,” Bears coach John Fox said. ”I think any time you go out and have four giveaways in the first half, it’s not good news.”

The Bucs (1-0) dominated despite having a short week of practice following the massive storm that forced postponement of the team’s scheduled season opener at Miami.The team joined the Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars in wearing ”ONE FLORIDA” decals on their helmets Sunday. First responders who’ve worked tirelessly in the aftermath of Irma were among special guests in the announced crowd of 56,640 at Raymond James Stadium.

”We had a chip on our shoulder. … We wanted to be a pick-me-up for our fans, definitely the cities around the Tampa Bay area,” Winston said. ”It was fun out there. The crowd was electric, and we tried our best.”

Winston completed 18 of 30 passes without an interception. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Mike Evans, who had seven catches for 93 yards.Glennon, who signed as a free agent last winter, was 31 of 45 for 301 yards and two interceptions in his return to the city where he played for the first four years of his career . The Bears finished with 310 yards total offense, 1 yard less than a Bucs offense that hasn’t had much work in the past month.By the time he lined up to face the Bears, Winston hadn’t taken a snap in a game in three weeks. Eight regulars, including Evans, receiver DeSean Jackson, linebacker Kwon Alexander and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, hadn’t seen game action in a month.The Bucs insisted, though, that they would not use rustiness as an excuse if they had a less-than-sharp debut. The way the Bears played, the layoff never had a chance to become an issue.After opening the season with a solid performance in a 23-17 loss to defending NFC champion Atlanta , the Bears turned over the ball four times in the opening half, helping Winston build a 26-0 halftime lead.If the Bears had an advantage entering the game, it figured to be Glennon’s knowledge of the Tampa Bay defense. The fifth-year pro faced it in practice every day the past four seasons, the last two as Winston’s backup.And while the Bears did have some success moving the ball, the barrage of turnovers was too much to overcome.Glennon’s first-half miscues led to two touchdowns. Rookie Tarik Cohen’s ill-advised decision to scoop a punt off the ground and run with it deep in Bears territory set up Tampa Bay’s first TD, Winston’s 13-yard pass to Evans.Noah Spence sacked Glennon, forcing a second-quarter fumble that led to Jacquizz Rodgers’ 1-yard TD run. Robert McClain’s interception and 46-yard return up the sideline on the Bears next possession hiked the lead to 23-0.

 

Cats bounce back, cream BGSU

EVANSTON—The blowout loss to Duke didn’t leave Northwestern reeling.Clayton Thorson threw for a career-high 370 yards and two touchdown passes, Justin Jackson rushed for three touchdowns and Northwestern beat Bowling Green 49-7 on Saturday night.After a lackluster win against Nevada in its season opener and a lopsided defeat to Duke last week, Northwestern (2-1) played like the team that many predicted to be a factor in the Big Ten West division.The team had many reasons to be down after offensive stars Thorson and Jackson could get little going, and the Duke offense totaled 538 of offense against The Wildcats’ defense.

”When I walked into the locker room I didn’t feel like I was walking into a funeral. I thought the guys attitude was like, alright we just got our fanny whooped, but everything that happened in the game we can solve, but we’re going to have to do it this week in practice,” said Fitzgerald.

The Wildcats scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions in the first half, Bennett Skowronek caught consecutive touchdown passes from Thorson in the first half and Jackson rushed for two.

”You get knocked down like that, you kind of have one or two choices. You can pout and feel sorry for yourself or you’re going to do something about it. I think they responded,” said Fitzgerald.

After only gaining 66 rushing yards as a team in a 41-17 loss at Duke, Jackson set the tone for the offense on the Wildcats’ second possession of the game with a 5-yard touchdown run. Jackson finished with 121 yards on 18 carries.Bowling Green (0-3) freshman Matt Wilcox beat the Northwestern secondary for a 33-yard reception to set up a 20-yard touchdown run for Josh Cleveland to tie the score at seven in the first quarter.BGSU quarterback James Morgan was 15 of 26 for 166 yards. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by freshman Jarret Doege. Cleveland finished with 54 rushing yards.NU took the lead at the end of the first quarter as Skowronek ran by Falcons cornerback Clint Stephens for a 58-touchdown reception. On the next offensive play from scrimmage, Thorson connected again with Skowronek for an 18-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7.Thorson didn’t let last week’s struggles carry over.

”You always go into a game thinking you’re going to do well, that’s the goal and if you go in timid you’re going to do poorly,” said Thorson.

Skowronek’s second touchdown was set up after Montre Hartage stripped Falcons wide receiver Datrin Guyton and Godwin Igwebuike returned the fumble for 45 yards.Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks saw Northwestern gain total control of the game after the fumble.

”That was huge. And we have to respond better to adversity,” said Jinks.
The Falcons, who lost seven straight games midway through the season last year, is on a familiar path. Despite the lopsided score in the first half, the Falcons did move the ball. They had 197 yards of total offense and Cleveland was effective on the ground with 64 rushing yards on 10 carries. Bowling Green lost for the first time in three games with Northwestern.The Wildcats found some much needed confidence as their next opponent is Big Ten West heavyweight No. 10 Wisconsin. … Linebacker Jango Glackin was carted off the field after appearing to injure his arm on a Bowling Green punt in the third quarter.