Bears blanked by Seahawks, now 0-3

SEATTLE—After the Seahawks sleepwalked for a half, Tyler Lockett provided a jolt.From there Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham and a defense that was whole again after the return of safety Kam Chancellor took over.Lockett returned the second-half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown, Wilson and Graham connected on a 30-yard TD in the third quarter, and the Seahawks routed the undermanned Bears 26-0 on Sunday.Seattle led just 6-0 at halftime after an offensive performance that led to a cascade of boos. That changed when Lockett started a huge second half running untouched on a perfectly executed return, the longest in franchise history.It was Lockett’s second touchdown return of the season, taking a punt back 57 yards in the opener.

”We know we have a great weapon in him and we just hope we’ll continue to find ways to spring him and be a factor,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Later in the quarter, Wilson found Graham across the middle for his second touchdown catch of the season and Steven Hauschka added four field goals as the Seahawks started the process of erasing an 0-2 start.Not all went well for Seattle. Starting running back Marshawn Lynch capped a strange day by leaving at halftime with a hamstring injury. Lynch finished with 14 yards on five carries and spent half of the first quarter in the locker room before coming to the Seahawks bench. Lynch was questionable entering the game with a calf injury.

Carroll said Lynch could not get loose before the game, but tried to play. The hamstring was checked and ”it’s nothing to be alarmed by,” Carroll said.

Starting defensive tackle Brandon Mebane also suffered a groin injury in the first quarter and did not return. There was no update on Mebane’s prognosis.Bears (0-3) was shut out for the first time since 2002 and the fourth time since 1990. Jimmy Clausen started at quarterback in place of Jay Cutler and was 9 of 17 for 63 yards. With sacks included, the Bears finished with 48 net yards passing, the second time since 1990 they finished with less than 50 net yards through the air.The Bears punted on all 10 of its possessions. Matt Forte was held to 74 yards on 20 carries and the Bears finished with just 37 yards in the second half.Only one Bear drive finished in Seattle territory, and the Bears ran just three plays on the Seahawks’ half of the field.

”We didn’t protect real well, we didn’t execute real well in the passing game whether it was routes protection or delivery of the ball,” Chicago coach John Fox said.

Seattle’s offensive line had a forgettable first half. Wilson was sacked twice by a Bear defense that had zero entering the game. Seattle punted three times and failed on all six third-down attempts.That changed in the third quarter. Wilson was 5 of 5 for 110 yards in the quarter and Seattle outgained the Bears 162-24. Seattle finally converted a third-down when Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for 22 yards midway through the period and the Seahawks capped the drive with Graham’s first touchdown at home. Wilson was protected long enough to find Graham coming open across the middle, watching the big tight end step away from Brock Vereen for the TD.

”I’m definitely not the first option there, but it was just a great pitch and catch,” Graham said.

Wilson finished 20 of 30 for 235 yards, while Graham had seven catches for 83 yards a week after getting just one catch. Lynch’s replacement became undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls, who flashed by rushing for 104 yards, 98 in the second half.Even before Lockett’s return, Seattle used a bit of trickery on special teams. Running the same misdirected punt return that St. Louis used against them last season for a touchdown, the Seahawks caught the Bears napping. Instead of Lockett catching the punt near the Bear sideline, it was Richard Sherman catching it on the sideline in front of the Seattle bench and returning it 64 yards to set up Hauschka’s first field goal.

”I think they trusted by ability and my savvy to go out there and execute it during the game,” Sherman said.

NOTES—Seattle’s last shutout was Dec. 15, 2013 at the New York Giants, a 23-0 victory. … Chancellor started at strong safety but was occasionally subbed for backup DeShawn Shead. Chancellor received mostly loud ovations when introduced during pregame. … Last time Bears were shut out was Week 17 of 2002 season, a 15-0 loss to Tampa Bay. … Seahawks set franchise record with crowd of 69,002 made possible through small stadium expansion in offseason.


CLEVE ovs OAK,Cin over BALT,TENN over Indy,N.ENG over Jax,MIA over Buff
CAR over N.Orl,Atl over DAL, ARZ over S.Fran
HOU over T.Bay, Pitt over STL, NYJ over Phil
NYG over Wash
MINN over S.Diego, Denv over DET(Sun Nite), GB over K.City(Mon Night),SEAT over Bears
Home teams listed in ALL CAPS.
Last wek: LES 6-10, Producers 7-9. Through two weeks LES 18-14, Producers 16-16

Big Red smoke Bears 48-23 as Cutler hurts Hammy. Seahawks next

As long as Carson Palmer is in the lineup, the Arizona Cardinals believe they can beat anybody. And they will be tough to knock off if he keeps playing like this.Palmer threw for four touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 48-23 victory over the Bears, who lost Jay Cutler to a pulled hamstring Sunday.Palmer connected with Larry Fitzgerald for three of his TDs, giving the quarterback seven in two games after returning last week against New Orleans from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cut short his season after just six games a year ago.

”I’ve never been around this deep of a team,” Fitzgerald said. ”I was around Hall of Famers in Anquan (Boldin) and Edgerrin James and Kurt Warner, but besides that, on the offensive side of the ball I’ve got some guys that really can play over there.”

Palmer was 17 of 24 with 185 yards to improve to 15-2 in his last 17 starts. Fitzgerald had 112 yards, and with those three TDs, he matched a career high he set against Philadelphia in the conference final seven years ago.David Johnson returned the opening kickoff a club-record 108 yards and added a rushing TD, becoming the first player in NFL history with a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown in his first two games to begin a career.Chris Johnson ran for 72 yards with Andre Ellington sidelined by a sprained right knee for the Cardinals (2-0). And, coach Bruce Arians gained a measure of revenge after the Bears hired Marc Trestman over him in January 2013.

”I think the running game is so much better,” Palmer said. ”It just gives us another dimension. I think last year, teams were a little less aggressive and kind of sitting back waiting for the pass.”

Cutler walked to the locker room after he was stiff-armed trying to tackle Tony Jefferson on a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the first half.That was the biggest development in a game that included several big plays and ended with the Bears (0-2) remaining winless under new coach John Fox. The seven touchdowns allowed tied the franchise record for the Bears, who had never given up 48 points in a home game. They also tied a club record with 170 penalty yards.Cutler completed his first eight passes for 120 yards before getting picked off. He threw a 48-yard touchdown to Josh Bellamy. But the injury on Jefferson’s interception return was another big blow for a team that was already missing its top receiver with Alshon Jeffery out because of a hamstring problem.Cutler was not available for comment afterward, and Fox would not say if he expects his quarterback to return this season.

”It takes a while to run tests,” Fox said. ”Our medical people will inform me and then I will inform you.”

Now, the Bears could be missing their quarterback when they visit defending NFC champion Seattle. That would likely mean a start for Jimmy Clausen, who was 14 of 23 for 121 yards after Cutler went down.

”You’ve just got to keep pushing forward,” Clausen said. ”I felt the air was deflated a little bit, but guys did a great job just trying to (say) `let’s go, let’s go, let’s go’ and pick up the tempo a little bit, try to move the chains.”

Clausen’s long pass on the opening drive of the second half got picked off by Patrick Peterson, leading to a 28-yard touchdown catch by Fitzgerald that made it 35-20. David Johnson added a 13-yard scoring run to make it a 22-point game, sending Arizona to a lopsided victory after a wild first half.Along with Johnson’s team-record return on the game’s opening kickoff, there were two long pass interference penalties by Kyle Fuller and Alan Ball that led to touchdowns for the Cardinals. The Bears also got a pair of field goals in the final minute of the half, thanks to a fumble recovery on a punt and an interception by Jared Allen.All that was overshadowed by Cutler’s injury.Arizona had just grabbed a 21-14 lead when he threw a pass behind Martellus Bennett, resulting in an easy interception for Jefferson. As he tried to make a tackle, Cutler got stiff-armed and landed on his right shoulder. But the Bears said he injured his hamstring.
NOTES—Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson left with a shoulder injury. LB LaMarr Woodley also hurt his shoulder, but returned. … Bellamy’s TD was also his first career reception. He is in his fourth year in the league. … Bears rookie Jeremy Langford scored his first TD on a 1-yard run.

Prosise rushes #8 ND past #14 Ga.Tech

SOUTH BEND—C.J. Prosise ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, including one for 91 yards, and No. 8 Notre Dame shut down Georgia Tech’s high-powered offense in a 30-22 win over the 14th-ranked Yellow Jackets on Saturday.Patrick Skov scored on a 24-yard run and a 15-yard catch in the final minute after the Yellow Jackets recovered an onside kick, but Notre Dame’s Torii Hunter Jr. recovered a second onside kick with 21 seconds left to clinch the victory.Georgia Tech entered the game averaging 67 points and 457 yards rushing per game, but struggled to get much going until the final minute. The Fighting Irish held the Yellow Jackets to 216 yards rushing.Notre Dame is 3-0 for the third time in the past four seasons. Georgia Tech (2-1) fell to 0-11-1 against Notre Dame teams ranked in the top 10.

NIU Puts Scare into #1 OSU

Northern Illinois Huskies (2001 - Pres)

COLUMBUS—Darron Lee returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown and the Ohio State defense bailed out its struggling, two-quarterback offense as the top-ranked Buckeyes beat Northern Illinois 20-13 on Saturday.Cardale Jones started for the Buckeyes (3-0) and J.T. Barrett finished, but for the second straight week neither was particularly effective against an opponent Ohio State was expected to blow out.Jones threw two interceptions and went to the bench in the second quarter. Barrett threw a touchdown pass and a pick. Ohio State had five turnovers in all but still managed to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 games.Last week, the Buckeyes shook free of Hawaii in the second half, but they couldn’t do the same with Northern Illinois (2-1).The Huskies cut the lead to 20-13 on a field goal with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter, and got the ball back when Marlon Moore forced a fumble by Curtis Samuel and NIU recovered at its own 25 with 4:05 left in the game.The Buckeyes clamped down again with Joey Bosa and Sam Hubbard crunching Drew Hare for a sack on third-and-long. In need of one first down to wrap it up, Ohio State came up short.NIU’s last drive started at its 20 with 1:34 left, but Hare threw four incomplete passes under duress and Ohio State could finally take a knee.The big question heading into the season for Ohio State was who would start at quarterback: The Big Ten player of the year (Barrett) or the guy who led the Buckeyes to the national championship (Jones).The answer turned out to be Jones, but coach Urban Meyer insisted both guys would play and they did in the first two games.The next question was: What would happen if Jones struggled? How much patience would Meyer have with his starter? The answer appears to be: Not all that much.Jones misfired on his first pass of the game and appeared upset with receiver Jalin Marshall. Jones’ next throw was too high to an open Braxton Miller and picked off by Shawn Lurry, who returned it to the Buckeyes 22.Three plays later Aregeros Turner swept around right end for a touchdown that made it 7-0.Ezekiel Elliott fumbled the ball away on a fourth-and-short on Ohio State’s next possession, but Eli Apple intercepted right back for the Buckeyes and they turned it into a field goal.Lurry snagged another pass from Jones, this time one he was trying to squeeze in between defenders when he had an open receiver underneath, in the second quarter. That led to a Huskies field goal and got Barrett warming up on the sideline.Barrett’s first possession was a three-and-out, but on his second he connected with Michael Thomas on a 23-yeard touchdown pass to tie the game at 10 with 8:21 left in the second quarter.NIU had beaten the last three Big Ten teams it has faced. The Buckeyes were a big step up from Iowa, Purdue and Northwestern – or at least it seemed that way.The defending Mid-American Conference champions hung tough with the defending national champions, despite generating only 190 yards and 10 first downs.Barrett started the second half and led a steady drive that stalled in the red zone, but Jack Willoughby booted a 23-yard field goal to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the day at 13-10.The Ohio State defense finally took matters upon themselves. Lee jumped a quick pass to the sideline, picked it off, stiff-armed one Huskie and then ran away from another he outweighs by about 60 pounds. The linebacker’s touchdown made it 20-10 with 1:44 left in the third. The nervous tension at Ohio State was released – temporarily.

NU 3-0 after 19-10 win at Duke

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

DURHAM—Warren Long ran 55 yards for a touchdown and recovered a fumbled punt return late to help No. 23 Northwestern beat Duke 19-10 on Saturday.Solomon Vault returned the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards for the touchdown that put the Wildcats (3-0) ahead to stay.NU forced three turnovers and opened a season with three victories for the first time since 2013 – also the last time the Wildcats were ranked.Thomas Sirk had a 5-yard touchdown run for Duke (2-1), which trailed 12-10 early in the fourth quarter but forced Northwestern into a third-and-1 at its own 45.Long took a handoff, burst untouched through the line and sprinted to the end zone to put the Wildcats up by nine with 12:31 remaining.Duke failed to cross midfield on its next two possessions, but forced a punt with about six minutes remaining. Ryan Smith called for a fair catch at midfield but the ball bounced off his pads and Long pounced on it at the Duke 49.The Blue Devils finished with 327 total yards to 271 for Northwestern, but had just 152 in the second half.Sirk finished 24 of 39 for 150 yards with an interception for Duke.Ross Martin kicked a 38-yard field goal for the Blue Devils, while Jack Mitchell had field goals of 37 and 44 yards for the Wildcats.Clayton Thorson was 9 of 23 for 70 yards in his first road start with two interceptions for Northwestern.The Wildcats took control of this game late in the first half by forcing two turnovers. A third – Dean Lowry’s scoop-and-score of a deflected screen pass – was overturned after a review determined it was a forward pass.Vault then gave the Wildcats the lead with his big return, though Kyler Brown kept it 9-7 by blocking the extra point.And Northwestern went up by five on Mitchell’s long field goal on its next possession before Martin pulled Duke back within two with his kick on the second play of the fourth quarter.The Wildcats entered having allowed a total of two field goals all season, but gave up their first touchdown on Duke’s second possession: Sirk’s scoring run came five plays after DeVon Edwards brought an interception back to the NU 26.The teams then combined for 11 straight punts before the Wildcats started forcing turnovers, turning one – Shaun Wilson’s fumble at the Duke 40 – into Mitchell’s shorter field goal with 1:23 left that made it 7-3.

Illini come back to Earth as N.Carolina wins 48-14

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

CHAPEL HILL—Marquise Williams threw three touchdown passes and also ran for 105 yards to help North Carolina beat Illinois 48-14 on Saturday.Williams led a big offensive performance for the Tar Heels (2-1), who had plenty to feel good about in a rout of a Power-Five nonconference opponent. The overhauled defense continued its improved play by surrendering just one touchdown through the first three quarters, Ryan Switzer had two big punt returns after a frustrating drought and kicker Nick Weiler hit two more field goals to stay perfect on the season.It was the kind of solid across-the-board performance UNC coach Larry Fedora has been hoping to see, one that has eluded his team for four straight games dating to last season.Josh Ferguson ran for 133 yards and a touchdown for the Fighting Illini (2-1), who had outscored their first two opponents 96-3 under interim coach Bill Cubit.But the Tar Heels dominated this one after halftime, rolling to their most lopsided win against a power-conference opponent in five years.Williams shook off an early interception and threw for 203 yards before exiting with the Tar Heels up big early in the fourth.Then there was Switzer. He tied an NCAA single-season record with five punt returns for touchdowns as a freshman, but didn’t manage any last year and had largely been bottled up since his last TD return in the Belk Bowl against Cincinnati to the end the 2013 season.On Saturday, he had a 71-yard return early in the second quarter to set up a short field goal, then broke free for an 85-yard touchdown in the fourth. The junior finished with 168 punt-return yards to set a UNC single-game record that had stood since 1951, and he also made amends for dropping a sure long TD pass with a 34-yard scoring catch late in the third from Williams.Elijah Hood also ran for 129 yards and a touchdown, giving the Tar Heels two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since 2010.And Weiler, who couldn’t make a kick longer than 23 yards last season, connected on an early 48-yarder and stands at 5-for-5 on the season.UNC led 20-7 at halftime, then scored 28 straight points to turn the game into a rout. Illinois’ first drive stalled at the UNC 2 before ending with a fourth-down incompletion. And after Ferguson’s 1-yard score in the second, Illinois didn’t find the end zone until a meaningless touchdown in the final minute.UNC’s Quinshad Davis had a 9-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, setting the school’s career TD receiving mark with 22.


AFC: Tenn over CLEVE, N.Eng over BUFF, CIN over S.Diego,Balt over OAK, Mia over JAX
NFC: Stl over WASH, NY Giants over Atl, N.ORL over T.Bay, PHIL over Dal
INT CONF: CAR over Houst, PITT over S.Fran
THUR NITE: KC over Denv
NFC NORTH GAMES: Sun Nite: Seat over GB, Sun Aft: MINN over Det, Arz over BEARS
HOME teams listed in CALL CAPS.

Bears find out you can’t keep trading TD’s for Field goals, lose as expected in opener to Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers saw James Jones go up for a one-handed touchdown catch and experienced a few flashbacks.Like they had stepped back in time.Rodgers threw for three touchdowns, two to Jones, and the Green Bay Packers beat the Bears 31-23 to spoil John Fox’s debut as coach Sunday afternoon.The Packers got all they could handle from the rebuilding Bears but took control down the stretch to beat them for the 10th time in 11 games, including the postseason.Rodgers improved to 13-3 lifetime against the Bears. The 2014 MVP completed 18 of 23 passes for 189 yards.Jones, who spent seven seasons in Green Bay before signing with Oakland last year, caught four passes for 51 yards. That included a one-handed grab on a 13-yard score late in the first quarter that left Rodgers flashing back to 2012, when Jones led the league with 14 TD catches.He added a 1-yarder in the third – a good start after being released by the Raiders in the spring and by the New York Giants on the final roster cut. With Jordy Nelson (knee) out for the season, the Packers were quick to bring back Jones.

”No disrespect to James, but I don’t think it was that out of character,” Rodgers said. ”Like many other guys that have gone elsewhere and come back, there is a comfort in this offense for guys who have flourished in it at times. And I think that Jones is one of those guys that really feels comfortable on offense.”

Randall Cobb, hampered late in the preseason by a sprained right shoulder, had 38 yards receiving. He caught a 5-yard touchdown that made it 24-16 early in the fourth quarter, and Clay Matthews sealed the win by intercepting Jay Cutler at the Green Bay 20 and returning it 48 yards.Eddie Lacy ran for 85 yards and a late touchdown. Former Bear Julius Peppers chipped in with 1 1/2 sacks for the four-time defending NFC North champions.

”This is our starting point. This is who we are as a team today,” coach Mike McCarthy said. ”A lot of good things to go off of, a lot of things we can learn from.”

The Bears, essentially starting over under Fox and new general manager Ryan Pace after a five-win season, kept this one close though Cutler had a rough afternoon. He was 18 of 36 for 225 yards, with that late interception by Matthews. He also threw a 24-yard touchdown to Martellus Bennett with 34 seconds left, but Green Bay recovered the onside kick.

”Green Bay is a pretty good football team,” Fox said. ”We were going to have to be near flawless to beat them and we didn’t quite reach that. I think there was a lot of positive things that we’ll be able to build on as a football team moving forward as we get ready for Arizona.”

Matt Forte ran for 141 yards – 105 in the first half – and a touchdown. Alshon Jeffery caught five passes for 78 yards after missing the preseason because of a left calf injury. Robbie Gould kicked three field goals to give him 246 to surpass Kevin Butler as the Bears all-time leader.Green Bay, which outscored the Bears 93-31 over two games last season and beat them at Soldier Field for their 700th win, trailed 13-10 at the half. Rodgers finished a third-quarter drive with a 1-yard slant to Jones and Gould answered with a 44-yard field goal, cutting it to 17-16.Rodgers made it 24-16 early in the fourth when he hit Cobb with a 5-yard pass, capping a 16-play drive.But the Bears stalled at the 2 after Cutler’s 50-yard pass to Marquess Wilson. Cutler overthrew Eddie Royal in the end zone on fourth down after the Bears opted not to try a field goal.

”This was one game,” Cutler said. ”We’ve got 15 more. So we’ve got a lot of opportunities left to go out there and do it the right way and keep improving on where we are right now.”

NOTES—The Bears started two-time Pro Bowl RG Kyle Long at right tackle – a move that many saw coming after Jordan Mills got released a week earlier. Vladimir Ducasse started at right guard. … This was Forte’s fourth game with at least 141 yards and his highest output since he ran for 145 against Tampa Bay on Oct. 23, 2011. … Packers LB Sam Barrington sat out the second half because of an ankle injury.

NU routs overmatched EIU 41-0

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)Related image

EVANSTON—In the opening week of the season, Clayton Thorson showed he could run.In the second week, Northwestern’s redshirt freshman quarterback showed he can throw the ball, too.Thorson threw his first career touchdown pass and ran one in himself for the second straight game to lead Northwestern to a 41-0 rout of Eastern Illinois on Saturday.Justin Jackson and Warren Long also rushed for scores as the Wildcats (2-0) had their way on the ground and in the air against the Panthers (0-2) and rolled up their biggest margin of victory in a shutout since 1970.Thorson completed 11 of 16 passes for 152 yards, including a throw to Austin Carr who ran in his first collegiate touchdown off a pass to complete a 44-yard play early in the second half. ”Something you want to do is establish the running game,” Thorson said. ”When that happens, it opens a lot of other things with the passing game and I think that’s what we did today.” The Wildcats ran up 496 yards, including 344 on the ground, with Thorson distributing the ball effectively to several teammates. ”It is nice to know you can hand off the ball and run for 344 yards,” Thorson said. ”It’s great. The guys up front (offensive line) did a good job and those running backs obviously did a great job.” Coach Pat Fitzgerald thought Thorson showed he can make smart, effective choices. ”There’s a lot of things we need to improve on offensively, and one them is throwing the ball,” Fitzgerald said. ”But what I though was most impressive today about Clayton was when he did get out of the pocket, his decision-making was excellent.He didn’t try to force anything.” Matthew Harris intercepted Eastern Illinois’ Jalen Whitlow twice. His second pick, with 1:08 left in the third quarter, resulted in a wide-open 71-yard touchdown return.Jake Mitchell added a pair of field goals as Northwestern followed up on a tight 16-6 upset of then No. 21 Stanford last week by limiting Eastern Illinois to 138 total yards and 70 on the ground. The Panthers never advanced deeper than Northwestern’s 28-yard-line and were held to eight first downs as the Wildcats held an opponent without a touchdown for a second straight game for the first time since 1958. ”It was ugly trying to run the ball and trying to throw the ball at that defense,” Eastern Illinois coach Kim Dameron said. ”Their athleticism on defense is much improved from what I can just remember Northwestern defenses being.It was a totally frustrating day.” Jackson, a sophomore who led Northwestern in rushing last year, finished with 78 yards on 22 carries. Long had 72 yards on 12.Eastern Illinois was drubbed again after opening with a 33-5 loss at Western Illinois. The Panthers have never beat a Big Ten program; their closest game against a team from the conference was a 42-21 loss at Ryan Field in 2011.Eastern Illinois was held without a touchdown for the second straight game after its streak of 65 games with a touchdown ended against Western Illinois.Northwestern led 27-0 at the half on touchdown runs by Jackson, Long and Thorson. Mitchell added a pair of field goals as Northwestern rolled up 265 total yards in the opening 30 minutes to 43 for Eastern Illinois.Northwestern marched down the field on the first possession, gaining 53 of 56 yards on the ground in 14 plays before getting stopped at the 5 and settling for a field goal.Eastern Illinois advanced as far the Wildcats 40-yard-line the first time they had the ball.Whitlow’s wobbly pass was picked off at midfield by Matthew Harris and returned 28 yards with 2:32 left in the half. That set up Northwestern’s third touchdown, scored by Thorson who danced into the end zone.Zack Oliver replaced Thorson to start the fourth quarter with Northwestern ahead 41-0.NU’s Adam DePietro had to be helped from the field in the first quarter after suffering a lower body injury and did not return. Fitzgerald said he put every eligible player in the game, including 32-year-old linebacker Tom Hruby, an active Navy SEAL.Hruby played offense in the final minutes while the Wildcats were deep in the Panthers’ zone. He got the ball eight times and rushed for 25 yards, but was stopped just short of scoring a touchdown. ”We weren’t trying to run it up out there,” Fitzgerald said. ”We had Tom Hruby in the backfield. As you know he’s our hero and he’s a special man.” The Stanley Cup made a pre-game appearance on the field along with the top brass from the defending champion Blackhawks, including team owner and Northwestern grad Rocky Wirtz