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  • Why you can’t call Cutler an elite quarterback Sep 19, 2014 5:18 AM
    While Jay Cutler had a very good game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, Mike North can’t rate him up there with the elite quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers.

     
  • ‘Exhausted’ Kershaw captures 20th victory Sep 19, 2014 8:39 PM
    Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson would love the kind of non-quality start the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw had Friday. Kershaw lasted "only" 5 innings, but he got plenty of run support as the Dodgers routed the Cubs 14-5 at Wrigley Field. It was Kershaw's 20th win of the season.

     
  • Kershaw wins No. 20 as Dodgers rout Cubs Sep 19, 2014 4:59 PM
    Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw became the first pitcher in major leagues to reach 20 victories as his team routed the CUbs 14-5 at Wrigley Field. Kershaw lasted just 5 innings, but he got plenty of run support. It was another rough outing for Cubs starter Edwin Jackson, who came off the disabled list but could not get out of the first inning.

     
  • Hawks’ second line impressive on first day of camp Sep 19, 2014 8:00 PM
    It was only the first day of training-camp, two scrimmages and a narrow window in a long season, but it didn’t take long for the Blackhawks’ new second line to open some

     
  • llinois looks for slow-start fix against Bobcats Sep 19, 2014 11:17 PM
    Illinois has been a strong second-half team this season. The Illini (2-1) have scored 56 points on eight touchdowns in those six quarters, including three long strikes from quarterback Wes Lunt. But in those first halves? Illinois has been outscored 61-33 and trailed at halftime in all three games. “It comes down to what are you doing in the first half, and we’re not being successful in the first half,” Illini coach Tim Beckman said.

     
  • White Sox eliminate Rays from playoff contention Sep 19, 2014 11:08 PM
    Jose Quintana pitched into the eighth inning and Avisail Garcia had a two-run double to lead the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday night, eliminating the Rays from playoff contention. Chicago rookie Jose Abreu also had a run-scoring single during a four-run fifth, giving him 104 RBIs for the season.

     
  • Only one goal on Hossa’s mind Sep 19, 2014 10:04 PM
    Marian Hossa, 35, said he’s feeling good after getting a full off-season of training. A year ago, a back injury incurred during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final flared up early in camp and caused him to miss most of the preseason. “Last year in the beginning of training camp I felt it wasn’t still good,” Hossa said. “I had an extra shot in my back at the beginning of last training camp, so I missed a few days because of that. So far, it’s been good. No complaints. Hopefully, it’s going to stay that way.”

     
  • Soler continues to impress Sep 19, 2014 8:41 PM
    Rookie right fielder Jorge Soler continued his good production for the Cubs in Friday's 14-5 loss to the Dodgers. He had an RBI triple. Manager Rick Renteria cited a mature approach at the plate and Soler's natural talent for the fast start to his major-league career.

     
  • Fitzgerald: No time to panic with Wildcats 0-2 Sep 19, 2014 6:17 PM
    Northwestern vowed this would be a rebound season, a chance to re-establish itself after struggling down the stretch last year. Two games in, things aren’t looking so good. The Wildcats take a 0-2 record into Saturday’s meeting with Western Illinois, certainly not what they expected headed into their final tuneup for Big Ten play. “We’ve lost two games by one score,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “I know there’s people jumping off the boat, but it’s not on fire. So chill out. But at the same time, we’ve got to win games.” The roster took several big hits before the start of the season, with running back Venric Mark getting suspended for the first two games and then transferring. Receiver Christian Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury in a preseason practice, and things just haven’t gone the Wildcats’ way since then. Northwestern opened with a 31-24 loss to California, coming up short after a second-half rally. The result was no better the following week against Northern Illinois. The Wildcats dropped that game 23-15 despite racking up 394 yards on offense. The problem was drives kept getting stalled by mistakes, be it a dropped pass, penalty or sack. It didn’t help, either, that quarterback Trevor Siemian left the game with an injury to his lower right leg, although he has said it wasn’t too serious. Defensive lineman C.J. Robbins also got ejected in the fourth quarter and was suspended for this week’s game by the Big Ten. The conference issued a public reprimand of him. It has all added up to the worst start in Fitzgerald’s nine seasons, certainly not what the Wildcats were planning after going 5-7. They’ve dropped nine of 10 since winning the first four a year ago. And after a week off, they have one final tuneup before opening conference play at Penn State. With that in mind, here are some things to look for as the Wildcats take on Western Illinois (2-1). TAKE IT AWAY: Fitzgerald came into this season harping on takeaways after an uneven performance by the Wildcats in that area last season. They led the conference with 19 interceptions but tied for a league low with four fumble recoveries. And now? The tally so far is two interceptions, zero fumble recoveries. “We haven’t been very successful around here when we don’t create turnovers,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s kind of a recipe for disaster.” GETTING IN GEAR: Takeaways aren’t the only issue at the moment for Northwestern. There are a few on offense, too. The Wildcats are averaging 19.5 points, 2.5 yards per rush and 374 yards, and that’s turned some attention toward Trevor Siemian. With Kain Colter gone, the Wildcats don’t have a running quarterback. But Fitzgerald said this week he’s not considering going back to a two-man rotation at QB. He also pointed out that Northwestern’s offense has succeeded in the past without a running quarterback. RUN FOR IT: The losses of Colter and Mark help explain the low rushing numbers to some extent. One bright spot — Justin Jackson. A true freshman, he has carried 20 times for a team-high 92 yards and is averaging 4.6 per carry. He figures to be tested by a team that held one of the nation’s top running backs — Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon — to 38 yards two weeks ago. ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS: Western Illinois lost 37-3 to Wisconsin two weeks ago after hanging in for two quarters. The Fighting Leathernecks trailed by six at halftime before Badgers quarterback Tanner McEvoy took over, shaking off a slow start to throw for three touchdowns and run for another. Against Drake last week, Trenton Norvell threw for 205 yards and J.C. Baker ran for 130 in a 38-13 victory. The Leathernecks also registered seven sacks, the most for them since 2002. CATCHING ‘CATS: The Wildcats are missing their top two receivers from last year, with Christian Jones out for the season and Tony Jones (lower body injury) missing his second straight game. Senior Kyle Prater helped fill the void against Northern Illinois, recording career highs with seven catches and 87 yards.

     
  • Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’ Sep 19, 2014 6:02 PM
    More defiant than contrite, Roger Goodell announced no sweeping changes in his first public statements in more than a week of turmoil surrounding the NFL's handling of players accused of crimes. The commissioner was definitive about one thing: He has not considered resigning. Goodell was short on specifics Friday as he discussed how he would address the rash of domestic violence incidents in the league. He said the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl.

     
  • Bulls sign guard E’Twaun Moore Sep 18, 2014 4:34 PM
    The Bulls officially signed 6-4 guard E'Twaun Moore on Thursday, bringing the number of players under contract to 13. The former Purdue star averaged 21 minutes per game for Orlando during the past two seasons.

     
  • Dodgers rally past sloppy Cubs Sep 18, 2014 11:10 PM
    The Los Angeles Dodgers scored 5 runs in the top of the seventh inning Thursday night to rally past the Cubs 8-4 at Wrigley Field in the opener of a four-game series. An error by rookie second baseman Logan Watkins opened the floodgates in the seventh.

     
  • Constable: TV can offer escape, but NFL sadly reflects reality for shelters Sep 18, 2014 8:27 AM
    Television can offer a respite from reality. But for the women and children victims of abuse seeking haven in suburban shelters, the NFL's "Thursday Night Football" broadcast offers plenty of news about the violence that they are trying to escape. “Like the entire nation, we've engaged in conversations about the NFL and football,” says Maureen Manning-Rosenfeld, of Community Crisis Center in Elgin.

     
  • Mike North video: Goodell’s credibility is shot Sep 18, 2014 10:59 AM
    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seems to have disappeared under the scrutiny of the NFL while fans and the media are wondering what to expect next.

     
  • Trio of ex-White Sox players look forward to October baseball Sep 18, 2014 4:36 PM
    The White Sox are going to miss the playoffs for the sixth straight season but three recent players - Alejandro De Aza, Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn - are looking forward to playing baseball in October after being traded in August.

     
  • Cubs leaving Kane County Cougars for South Bend Sep 19, 2014 5:05 AM
    After two seasons, the Chicago Cubs are changing Class A Midwest League affiliations, leaving the Kane County Cougars for South Bend, Indiana. One of the primary reasons behind the move is South Bend's commitment to building a training facility similar to what the Cubs have in Mesa, Arizona.

     
  • Cubs prove to be their own worst enemy Sep 19, 2014 12:11 AM
    The Cubs couldn’t seem to get out of their own way Thursday night, and it cost them against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

     
  • Teravainen looking to earn a roster spot with Hawks Sep 18, 2014 11:12 PM
    The Blackhawks are taking a wait-and-see approach with top prospect Teuvo Teravainen during this training camp. Teravainen, who recently turned 20, spent this summer in Chicago to train with Blackhawks strength coach Paul Goodman. Teravainen said during prospects’ camp his goal is to make the NHL roster, but general manager Stan Bowman said nothing is guaranteed.

     
  • Devin Hester sets NFL record with 20th TD return Sep 18, 2014 10:11 PM
    Devin Hester has set an NFL record with his 20th return for a touchdown, breaking the mark he shared with Deion Sanders.

     
  • Salary cap issue hovers as Hawks open camp Sep 18, 2014 11:12 PM
    With the first practices of training camp to begin Friday morning at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena, the Blackhawks know something must be done before the regular season starts Oct. 9 in Dallas. They are $2.2 million over the NHL’s salary cap, and a trade is the most likely solution.

     
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