Kane scores in OT as Hawks win opener over Senators

OTTAWA—Patrick Kane scored 38 seconds into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night in the opener for both teams.Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook also scored, and Cam Ward stopped 22 shots. Maxime Lajoie scored for Ottawa in his NHL debut, Colin White and Zack Smith added goals, and Craig Anderson made 37 saves.Seabrook tied it midway through the third period, with Kane find the defenseman alone in front for a one-timer.The teams combined for five goals in the first period.The Hawks opened the scoring when DeBrincat used Thomas Chabot as a screen before firing a shot past Anderson. Ottawa tied it when Smith’s shot deflected off Duncan Keith. The goal was Smith’s first since Feb. 21, also against the Blackhawks.The Hawks regained the lead when Toews came down the wing and fired a shot off Anderson’s shoulder.The Senators tied it in Lajoie’s one-timer, and White made it 3-2 on a power play.

NOTES—The Hawks recalled G Collin Delia after Anton Forsberg was injured during the morning skate.The Hawks are at St. Louis on Saturday night.

Bears, Trubisky blow out Bucs 48-19

From the moment they identified him as the quarterback to lift their struggling franchise, the Bears envisioned big games from Mitchell Trubisky.As breakthroughs go, this was a huge one.Trubisky threw a career-high six touchdown passes – one shy of the NFL record – and the NFC North-leading Bears pounded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-10 on Sunday.The Bears (3-1) won their third straight with Trubisky delivering the sort of performance general manager Ryan Pace envisioned when he traded up a spot to draft the prized quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick last year.He finished one TD pass short of the franchise mark set by Sid Luckman against the New York Giants in 1943. Luckman is tied with seven others in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game. The Bears also racked up 483 yards in this one, nearly matching their record of 488 in that same game, on the way to their highest point total since 51-20 victory over Tennessee in 2012.

”It’s very humbling because you know the history of the Bears and how many great players have come through this organization,” Trubisky said. ”For me, you’re just trying to create your own legacy and try to make a path.”

The defense did its part, harassing Ryan Fitzpatrick before Jameis Winston took over to start the second half. And the Bears (3-1) matched their longest win streak since a 3-0 start in 2013.Trubisky had never thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game. But he tossed five in the first half alone as the Bears grabbed a 38-3 lead. The only other player with more in a single half since 1991 was Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers with six in the first two quarters against the Bears in a romp at Lambeau Field in November 2014.Trubisky had no trouble finding wide-open receivers against a struggling secondary, completing 19 of 26 passes for 354 yards.

”Hopefully, this is a day where we look back down the road here,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said, ”and say, `Remember that day where he had that great game?’ And it helped catapult him into being a great quarterback.”

Khalil Mack had a strip-sack in the first half against Fitzpatrick. That made him the first player with a sack and forced fumble in four straight games since Robert Mathis for Indianapolis in 2005. He also appeared to tip the ball as Winston released a pass that Danny Trevathan picked off on the first drive of the second half.Coming off a tight loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night, the Buccaneers (2-2) were simply overwhelmed in this one.

”We should fire every person that was on that field today, starting with me. That was horrific,” coach Dirk Koetter said.

Tampa Bay decided to stick with Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback even though Winston was back from a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.But after becoming the first player in NFL history to top 400 yards passing in three consecutive games, Fitzpatrick was 9 of 18 for 126 yards and got sacked twice. Winston was 16 for 20 with 145 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.Tarik Cohen had a career-high 121 yards receiving and a touchdown. Taylor Gabriel had a personal-best 104 yards receiving to go with two TD catches.Trey Burton caught a 39-yard touchdown on the game’s opening drive and finished with 86 yards.Allen Robinson caught a 14-yarder late in the first quarter – his first TD since signing with the Bears in the offseason.Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks was ejected for pushing an official late in the first half.The incident occurred after Eddie Jackson intercepted a pass by Fitzpatrick. Hicks was involved in a scuffle away from the play with a Buccaneers player. Down judge Mike Carr had separated them when Hicks charged back and pushed the official, referee Jerome Boger told a pool reporter.

Book solid as Irish improve to 5-0

SOUTH BEND—Ian Book and Miles Boykin, the heroes of Notre Dame’s Citrus Bowl victory on New Year’s Day, worked their magic once again and a stifling defensive line chipped in as the No. 8 Irish broke a three-game losing streak to No. 7 Stanford with a 38-17 victory Saturday night.Book threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns, including an 8-yard TD to Boykin, who had career highs in receptions (11) and yardage (144).

”Our chemistry is coming along but he’s such a good player and I love throwing to him,” said Book, whose 55-yard touchdown pass to Boykin while replacing an ineffective Brandon Wimbush provided the Irish a 21-17 victory over LSU in Orlando last January.

Stanford coach David Shaw was impressed by Book, who hails from Northern California and was Notre Dame’s starting quarterback for the second straight week after replacing Wimbush again.

”(Notre Dame has) a quarterback right now that’s outstanding,” Shaw said. ”He’s athletic enough to get himself out of trouble. Quarterbacks like this, if you don’t get them down on the ground, it’s gonna hurt you.”

Boykin’s touchdown reception gave the Irish a 31-17 lead over the Cardinal with 8:16 remaining. After Notre Dame’s Te’von Coney intercepted Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, Book threw a 35-yard scoring pass to Alize Mack 14 seconds later to seal the victory.Book’s other touchdown passes were a 6-yarder to tight end Nic Weishar in the first quarter and a 10-yarder to Chase Claypool just before halftime.

”A great win,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. ”I like the fact that we finished the game. We started fast but we finished. When you are looking at your team, you see a resolve you’re wanting to see with your team.”

The Irish (5-0) totaled 550 yards, including 272 yards on 55 carries. Senior Dexter Williams, playing in his first game of the season after missing the first four for undisclosed disciplinary reasons, rushed for a career-high 161 yards on 21 carries, the first a 45-yard touchdown that gave Notre Dame a 7-0 lead.

”I’m really proud of his growth and maturity,” Kelly said. ”If he wasn’t growing as a young man and as a student-athlete at Notre Dame, he wouldn’t have the chance.”

The Irish limited Stanford (4-1) to 229 yards on 51 plays.Bryce Love, last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up, scored on a 39-yard TD for Stanford, but finished with just 73 yards on 17 carries before limping to the locker room with just over 11 minutes remaining.Stanford: After missing his first three passes of the game, Costello connected on his next nine before finishing with 130 first-half yards on 11-of-17 passing but was hurried by Notre Dame’s defensive front four in the second half. With Love also struggling on the ground, the Cardinal will have to address the blocking issues of their offensive line.

Cats fade in second half, lose by three to #14 Michigan

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Northwestern dominated the first half, but disappeared after halftime on offense.Facing a large early deficit on the road and struggling on both sides of the ball, Michigan appeared headed for a frustrating loss.The players, though, said they never doubted they would rally.Karan Higdon ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns, Shea Patterson threw 196 yards and No. 14 Michigan overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Northwestern 20-17 in Saturday night.Higdon gave the Wolverines (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) the lead with a 5-yard run with 4:06 remaining. Higdon averaged 3.8 yards on 30 carries, and Patterson completed 15 of 24 passes to help Michigan win its fourth straight.Michigan held Northwestern to 97 yards of total offense in the final three quarters and had six sacks for the game. Defensive end Chase Winovich had a team-high eight solo tackles and a sack.

It was Michigan’s biggest comeback since 2011 against Notre Dame (also 17 points) and Jim Harbaugh’s largest comeback as a college coach.

”I talked about it at halftime. We are being tested and it’s time to find out what we’re made of,”’ Harbaugh said. ”Our guys really responded.”

Clayton Thorson completed 16 of 27 passes for 174 yards for Northwestern (1-3, 1-1) in the Wildcats’ third straight loss.John Moten IV had 36 yards on 13 rushes and a touchdown in his first start for Northwestern. He took over for Jeremy Larkin after Larkin retired this week because of a spinal condition.Michigan has won seven straight games at Ryan Field.A 14 1/2-point underdog, NU jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter on short TD runs by Thorson and Moten and a career-high 45-yard field goal by Charlie Kuhbander.Michigan, which had minus-2 yards on its first two possessions, pulled to 17-7 on Higdon’s 4-yard run in the second quarter. The Wolverines made it 17-13 in the third on Quinn Nordin’s two field goals.Neither team could generate much offense in the fourth until Hidgon’s second TD capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive. The key play in the drive was a 22-yard pass from Patterson to Zach Gentry for first-and-goal at the 6.

”Offensively, it just seemed like the plays we made in the first half, we went 0-fer in the second half,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”I thought Michigan’s front dominated the second half, and that was the difference in the game.”
The Wolverines might have grabbed the lead earlier, but a 28-yard run by Patterson on the previous possession was called back because of a holding penalty on Higdon. After Patterson faked the handoff on a run-pass option, Higdon ran straight ahead into the line and was wrapped up by a Northwestern player.
”The whole stadium saw that the linebacker tackled our running back,” Harbaugh said. ”Phantom call.”
The sellout crowd was 47,330.

Bears used late field goal to edge Big Red 16-14

GLENDALE—Another opportunistic day by the Bears defense has them at 2-1 and alone in first place in the NFC North for the first time since late in the 2013 season.The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, have joined the parade of teams with a rookie quarterback on the field.Cody Parkey kicked his third field goal of the game, a 43-yarder with 4:31 to remaining, to rally the Bears to a 16-14 victory over the winless Cardinals on Sunday.

”It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize we are winning games because of our defense,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy said. ”They are playing fast right now.”

The Bears forced four turnovers on four consecutive Arizona possessions in the second half.Sam Bradford threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to put the Cardinals up 14-0, but was replaced by rookie Josh Rosen after fumbling the ball away deep in Bears territory late in the game.Rosen, the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft out of UCLA, drew a standing ovation from the Cardinals crowd as he jogged on the field.

”I just told him to go get the win,” Bradford said, ”be him, go out there and do what he is capable of, lead this team.”

Rosen drove Arizona past midfield, but on fourth-and-5 from the Bears 45, his pass was intercepted by Bryce Callahan with 1:10 to play.Arizona got the ball back one more time. The Bears picked off Rosen again, this time returning it for a touchdown, but an offside penalty negated the play and the game ended with Rosen sacked by Sherrick McManis, who also had one of two of Bradford’s interceptions.

”I threw a pick and almost a second pick-6,” Rosen said, ”so I’ve got a lot to work on.”
Clinging to a 14-13 lead, the Cardinals drove to the Bears 21 early in the fourth quarter but the scrambling Bradford was tackled by Khalil Mack. Bradford fumbled and Danny Trevathan recovered at the Bears 16.
”I knew he was going to have the ball in his right hand, got my head out of the way because that’s a big part of the rules nowadays, and tried to make a play,” Mack said. ”It was what we worked on all week.”

The Bears, with the help of an unnecessary roughness penalty on Tre Boston, drove downfield and got the go-ahead field goal.With a good share of the crowd cheering them on, the Bears (2-1) intercepted three passes and recovered one fumble. Arizona is 0-3 for the first time since 2004.But it was the Cardinals getting off to a fast start.Arizona’s offense, which had scored a total of six points in two lopsided losses entering the game, took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in just five plays.On third-and-4 from the Cardinals 29-yard line, Bradford connected with rookie Christian Kirk on a 30-yard play. Two plays later, Bradford found tight end Ricky Seals-Jones wide open for a 35-yard touchdown.The Bears responded with a run-oriented drive to the Arizona 13. But on third down, Bene Benwikere and Budda Baker, blitzing from each side, dropped Mitchell Trubisky for a 15-yard loss and Parkey’s 46-yard field-goal try was wide right.Arizona went three-and-out but on the next series, Robert Nkemdiche stripped the ball from Trubisky and Corey Peters recovered at the Bears 21.On the next play, Bradford threw 21 yards to David Johnson in the end zone to make it 14-0.The Bears used 5:27 on an 11-play drive that stalled on the Arizona 2 and the Visitors settled for a 20-yard field goal by Parkey to cut the lead to 14-3. The driving included roughing-the-passer calls against Nkemdiche and Markus Golden that had Wilks livid on the sideline.The Bears finally got in the end zone on Howard’s 1-yard run that cut Arizona’s lead to 14-10 with 6:16 left in the third quarter.The Bears went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Cardinals 19 and barely converted on a 1-yard shovel pass to Allen Robinson II.Tarik Cohen’s 17-yard run set up the score.Mack had another impressive day for the Bears with two sacks, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and three quarterback hits.Prince Amukamara left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.The Bears are home against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Irish overpower Wake 56-27

WINSTON-SALEM—No. 8 Notre Dame threw the Book at Wake Forest.Ian Book rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more in his first start of the season, leading the Fighting Irish past Wake Forest 56-27 on Saturday.Book replaced Brandon Wimbush in the starting lineup and was 25 of 34 for 325 yards with touchdown passes covering 3 yards to Brock Wright and 7 yards to Chase Claypool, along with three short scoring runs.

”Every week, I’ve tried to prepare like I’m the starter, and when my name’s called, I need to go in there and play at my best and make sure the offense can succeed,” Book said.

He helped the Fighting Irish (4-0) more than double their previous season high for scoring and roll up a season-best 566 total yards, surpassing the previous high midway through the third quarter.Before this one, Notre Dame hadn’t scored more than 24 in a game , and its wins over Michigan, Ball State and Vanderbilt came by a total of 20 points.Coach Brian Kelly said he made the switch because he was concerned that the offense’s struggles were starting to weigh on the other parts of the team.Jafar Armstrong had touchdown runs of 1 and 30 yards, and Tony Jones Jr. added a short scoring run for the Irish, who will ride their best start since 2015 into next week’s showdown with No. 7 Stanford.Matt Colburn had a 2-yard touchdown run and Nick Sciba kicked two field goals for Wake Forest (2-2), which has lost two straight. Freshman Sam Hartman was 12 of 24 for 110 yards before he exited after taking a hard hit midway through the third.Notre Dame: So much for that quarterback controversy . It sure looks like the job belongs to Book, whose only previous start came last season in a rout of North Carolina and who led the rally that led to a victory over LSU in the Citrus Bowl. Kelly played it coy in the days before the game, saying both of his QBs would play. But as the points and yards kept piling up for the Irish, Wimbush never saw the field and never even took off his baseball cap.

Penn State takes over in second half to blow out Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini

CHAMPAIGN—Miles Sanders burst through the hole, bounced off a defender trying to grab his ankles and sped up the right side for the go-ahead touchdown.That’s when No. 10 Penn State started to hit its stride, too.Sanders set career highs by rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, Trace McSorley threw for three TDs and ran for a personal-best 92 yards, and the Nittany Lions scored 35 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 63-24 victory over Illinois on Friday night.Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) scored the final 42 points after Illinois went up by three early in the third quarter, breaking it open after getting all it could handle from a team showing signs of a turnaround in coach Lovie Smith’s third season.Illinois (2-2, 0-1) opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Sanders answered with a 48-yard scoring run , and Penn State put this one away with two TDs in the opening minute of the fourth. It was the Nittany Lions’ third straight game with more than 50 points.McSorley threw a 16-yard TD to Juwan Johnson on the first play of the quarter. Jan Johnson intercepted Illinois’ M.J. Rivers, and McSorley hit KJ Hamler with a 21-yarder on the next play, making it 42-24.Sanders easily surpassed his previous highs of 118 yards and two TDs. He had 113 yards and two scores in the first half alone.McSorley showed why he is a Heisman Trophy hopeful, eclipsing his previous rushing high of 81 yards against Maryland in 2016. The senior also completed 12 of 19 passes for 160 yards with an interception.Ricky Slade added a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and the Nittany Lions racked up 591 yards.Rivers, a true freshman, was 17 of 28 for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his second start with AJ Bush nursing a hamstring injury.Reggie Corbin ran for 87 yards. Mike Epstein finished with 73 after back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.Sanders broke a tackle and plowed through three defenders near the goal line for a 14-yard touchdown that gave Penn State a 7-0 lead.Illinois tied it on a 2-yard run by Corbin. Then the Nittany Lions scored back-to-back touchdowns and looked ready to blow it open.Sanders scored from the 2 after the Illini’s Sydney Brown got flagged for interference on an overthrown pass intended for Hamler in the end zone. McSorley then threw a 5-yard TD to Pat Freiermuth, who skidded into the end zone as he lost his footing, to make it 21-7.But a 51-yard run by Corbin set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Ricky Smalling, after the Illini’s Daniel Barker fumbled a reception near the goal line, to make it a seven-point game midway through the second quarter.Illinois’ Delano Ware intercepted a deep pass by McSorley into double coverage with about 30 seconds left in the half when Penn State could have opted to run out the clock. That led to a 42-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin as time expired, making it 21-17.Rivers is showing he could be a major contributor for the Illini even though Smith indicated Bush will return to the lineup once he’s ready.

GROBBER’S NFL WEEK THREE PICKS

AFC: Den over BALT/JAX over Tenn, MIA over Oak
NFC:ATL over N.orl/Dal over SEAT
INT-CONF GAMES: CAR over Cin/KC over S.fran/PHIL over iNDY/NYGiants over HOUST/ LAR over LA C
THURS NIGHT:CLEV over NY Jets
MON NIGHT: TB over Pitt
NFC NORTH GAMES: G.Bay over WASH/MINN over BuffNY Giants over DET/ Bears over ARIZ
Teams in ALL CAPS are HOME TEAMS

Hawks drop Pre Season opener to Jackets 4-1

The Blackhawks started the Pre Season with a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus. They struck first just 53 seconds into the game when Alexandre Fortin took a pass from Dominik Kahun and fired a wrister through the five-hole of JF Berube. From there, the Blue Jackets took over.Columbus scored the next two goals of the opening period with Zac Dalpe redirecting a Ryan Murray slap shot at 12:13 for the equalizer. Cam Ward was screened by Boone Jenner on a power play later in the period and Alexander Wennberg’s shot fired through traffic and past the goalie’s blocker for the 2-1 lead.The fast-paced game stayed relatively even through a scoreless middle frame, but in the third, the Blue Jackets built on their lead. Cam Atkinson pulled the puck away from Philipp Kurashev in the high slot and rifled a shot past Collin Delia just 36 seconds into the third.The Blue Jackets made it 4-1 late in the third with some good work down low followed by a shot from the left-wing circle by Liam Foudy.The Blackhawks clearly wanted a good look at their 2018 eighth-overall pick because Adam Boqvist jumped right into things, leading all players – from both teams – with 7:32 time on ice in his first NHL exhibition period. There was no wading into the water in this one for the 18-year-old defenseman. He’d finish the game with more than 18 minutes of ice time. In similar news, 2017 first-round pick Henri Jokiharju was a bit of a workhorse, playing 23:03, which led all Blackhawks skaters. In the second period, Blake Hillman broke his stick on an attempted slap shot, which resulted in a rush the other way. Ward made a huge point-blank save on Murray to prevent the Blackhawks from going down by two. The veteran netminder finished his night with 13 saves on 15 shots in just under 30 minutes of action.The Hawks leader in shots came from the blueline. Erik Gustafsson fired the puck on net seven times through three periods. His defensive partner Brandon Davidson, who is in camp on a PTO, drew some praise from Joel Quenneville and some players in the dressing room.
The Hawks have their second of three Pre Season games Thursday night against the Red Wings in Detroit.

Bears OK in 4th quarter- beat Seahawks.

Khalil Mack once again put on the sort of havoc-wreaking show the Bears envisioned when they traded for the superstar pass rusher.Even better for them, they came away with the victory this time.Mack had one of six sacks against Russell Wilson, Prince Amukamara returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown and the Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-17 Monday night to give coach Matt Nagy his first career victory.Mack sprinted out of the tunnel to a neat ovation prior to his first appearance at Soldier Field since a blockbuster trade from Oakland just over two weeks ago. That deal happened after he held out the entire offseason and preseason seeking a contract extension from the Raiders rather than play under the final year of his rookie contract. The Bears gave him a six-year, $141 million extension that guarantees $90 million – the richest deal ever for an NFL defensive player.Mack also had the crowd roaring with a strip-sack in the first half, smacking the ball out of Wilson’s hand as he wound up to pass, and he consistently pressured the quarterback. It was more of the same from last week, when he had a strip-sack and interception return for a TD at Green Bay, except there was one key difference.The Bears came out on top after blowing a 20-point lead against a hobbled Aaron Rodgers in a loss to the Packers.

”That’s a great feeling,” Mack said. ”We took it over the top.”

Amukamara jumped the route on a pass intended for Rashaad Penny near midfield for his first career touchdown, making it 24-10 with 6:37 left. It was his first interception since 2015 with the New York Giants.Danny Trevathan then stripped Wilson with his second sack of the game. The Bears’ Leonard Floyd recovered the fumble, and the Bears hung on after blowing a 20-point lead in a season-opening loss to a hobbled Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

”I’m just really looking forward to the future of this team and seeing how we respond not only to tough losses like Green Bay, but how do we respond to a good win for us,” said Nagy, who replaced the fired John Fox. ”Sometimes those are just as hard.”

The Seahawks (0-2) lost for just the second time in nine Monday night games under coach Pete Carroll.Wilson has been sacked six times in each game this season. With the Bears applying constant pressure and his receivers struggling to get open, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback completed 22 of 36 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.Mitchell Trubisky was 25 of 34 for 200 yards. The No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, Trubisky threw touchdown passes to Trey Burton on the Bears first possession and rookie Anthony Miller early in the fourth quarter. But he was also intercepted two times by Shaquill Griffin – on a deep ball that was underthrown and on another throw tipped at the line.The Bears presented longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher with his Ring of Excellence for being inducted into the Hall of Fame.