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  • Montini knows the way to Champaign Nov 25, 2014 10:04 PM
    As the last football team standing in DuPage County, Montini has the honor of taking the trek down I-57 to Champaign’s Memorial Stadium to play in Saturday’s Class 5A state title game. It’ll be the Broncos’ seventh overall appearance and sixth straight as the program vies for its sixth championship. The biggest weekend on the IHSA schedule is jam-packed with great matchups. Eyes on Five takes a look at some of what we have to look forward to in Champaign.

     
  • Lions’ defense a big challenge for Bears Nov 26, 2014 5:52 AM
    The strength of the Lions' elite defense is a front four that has dominated for much of the season, which isn't a pleasant Thanksgiving Day sight for a Bears offense that has struggled to get going early in games for much of the season.

     
  • Hard-working Paea using his smarts, strength Nov 25, 2014 7:28 PM
    In his fourth season, nose tackle Stephen Paea already has 6 sacks, doubling his career total, which includes 2 last week against the Bucs.

     
  • Bama, FSU, Oregon, Miss St keep playoff rankings Nov 25, 2014 6:37 PM
    The top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings are unchanged — Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State — heading into a weekend when just about all the contenders are facing challenging rivals.

     
  • After Michigan, Ohio State has big game waiting Nov 25, 2014 4:26 PM
    The seventh-ranked Buckeyes meet archrival Michigan this week, a game that’s always a physical, demanding contest. Moments after that showdown ends, they’ve got to begin gearing up for the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis against the Saturday’s winner of the Minnesota at Wisconsin game.

     
  • Notre Dame defense short-handed for USC game Nov 25, 2014 5:17 PM
    Notre Dame fans might need a flip card to keep track of who is playing on defense when the Fighting Irish face Southern California on Saturday. Heck, the coaches might need to keep a list available to know who is still available.

     
  • Huskers’ Pelini says he’s doing all he can to win Nov 24, 2014 5:49 PM
    Nebraska coach Bo Pelini had to know he would be peppered with questions about the state of his program following a second straight loss characterized by another embarrassing defensive performance.

     
  • Hoosiers eager to win the bucket vs. Purdue Nov 24, 2014 6:09 PM
    With rival Purdue coming to town Saturday for the Old Oaken Bucket game, an actual win is the only type Indiana’s players want to taste. “There’s no such thing as a morale victory in this game,” center Collin Rahrig said.

     
  • Hoke’s job security underlying current in The Game Nov 24, 2014 6:05 PM
    Brady Hoke refuses to contribute to the speculation about his job security. Hoke batted aside questions about his future with the Wolverines on Monday and instead spoke mainly about his team’s preparation for its upcoming annual grudge match with Ohio State.

     
  • Could Saturday’s game be Gordon’s last with Badgers? Nov 24, 2014 6:15 PM
    Saturday is Senior Day for the 14th-ranked Badgers, who also might be sending junior running back Melvin Gordon off into the NFL sunset.

     
  • Wisconsin tries to get better grip on axe postgame Nov 24, 2014 6:17 PM
    If the ceremonial Paul Bunyan axe exchanges hands in the Wisconsin-Minnesota game, the winning team typically sprinted to the opposing side to take possession. Badgers coach Gary Andersen said the axe will no longer be on the sideline after the teams exchanged shoves last year at Minnesota.

     
  • Manziel’s entourage involved in hotel fight Nov 24, 2014 5:51 PM
    A Browns fan who says he wanted to give Johnny Manziel “a hug” was struck by the rookie quarterback’s entourage at a downtown hotel and was left with a swollen eye and lip, police said.

     
  • Hall of Fame Libertyville High School coach dies Nov 24, 2014 5:44 PM
    Although Robert “Bob” Tunnicliff retired from Libertyville High School after a distinguished career as a football coach and the first athletic director in 1986, he never really went away. “He still, after retirement, loved Libertyville High School athletics,” said current Athletic Director Briant Kelly.

     
  • Bears’ Mariani exactly where he wants to be Nov 24, 2014 8:56 PM
    Marc Mariani's first game as a Bear was pretty uneventful for the kick returner, but it was still special for him since he was back doing what he loves after missing the previous two seasons with injuries.

     
  • Imrem: The best football is closer than you think Nov 24, 2014 8:49 PM
    The best televised football game over the weekend wasn't in the NFL or NCAA. It was played by high-school teams in the state semifinals.

     
  • Big questions ahead of Illini-Northwestern game Nov 24, 2014 5:47 PM
    Big questions face Illinois as it gets ready for something it hasn’t faced since 2011: a big game to close the regular season with a potential bowl bid on the line. The first: Who starts at quarterback Saturday at Northwestern after backup Reilly O’Toole came off the bench and engineered a win against Penn State? The second: Does coach Tim Beckman have to win to keep his job?

     
  • Forsett leads Ravens past Saints Nov 24, 2014 11:11 PM
    Justin Forsett ripped off one long run after another, and the Baltimore Ravens battered Drew Brees into a very costly mistake. Forsett rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and Baltimore beat New Orleans 34-27 on Monday night to hand the Saints their third consecutive loss. Will Hill had a 44-yard interception return for a go-ahead score for Baltimore in the third quarter. Steve Smith caught four passes for 89 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown catch for the Ravens (7-4), who improved to 4-0 against the NFC South and remained within a half-game of AFC North leader Cincinnati (7-3-1). Brees passed for 420 yards and three touchdowns for New Orleans (4-7), which remained tied for first in its anemic division with Atlanta, which lost to Cleveland a day earlier. Now New Orleans and Atlanta have the dubious distinction of being the first teams in NFL history to occupy first place in a division while three games under .500. Jimmy Graham had two TD catches for the Saints, who had won 14 straight home night games. Brees was sacked four times, and his pivotal interception came as he threw under pressure from Terrell Suggs. The pass was behind Graham, allowing Hill to snag it with nothing but open field in front of him. The play broke a 17-all tie and New Orleans never recovered. By the end of the game, the chants of “Who-Dat,” for which Saints fans are known were replaced by the opening rift to the White Stripes song, “Seven Nation Army,” which Ravens fans also sang in the Superdome after their 2013 Super Bowl triumph over San Francisco. The Saints carried a 17-14 lead into halftime on Brees’ 26-yard scoring pass to Marques Colston, who brought it in while leaping between two defensive backs. The Ravens tied the game on Justin Tucker’s 31-yard field goal in the third quarter. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was 18 for 24 for 243 yards and one touchdown. Forsett’s scoring runs went for 13 yards in the second quarter and 20 yards late in the fourth quarter to seal it. Smith and Forsett gave the Saints fits throughout the game. Smith caught four passes for 89 yards, and his first-down catch in the third quarter also precipitated a scuffle for which Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro was assessed a personal foul. Forsett, whose 5.4 yards per carry coming into the game led all NFL running backs, averaged 8.3 yards per rush. Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil had two sacks. Brees’ first scoring pass went for 10 yards to Graham. Joe Morgan, who struggled to crack New Orleans’ lineup earlier this season and then was suspended two games for undisclosed team violations, broke loose for two plays longer than 60 yards the first two times he touched the ball. He gained 67 yards on a running play on New Orleans’ opening drive, and then caught a 62-yard pass on the Saints’ third series, setting up Graham’s TD. The Saints were in position to take an early lead after Morgan’s long gain on an end-around. It took defensive back Lardarius Webb’s horse-collar tackle at the 2 to prevent Morgan from scoring. The play gave New Orleans first-and-goal on the 1, but the Ravens stopped two runs by Mark Ingram and a scramble by Brees before stuffing Ingram again — this time for a loss of 2 yards — on fourth-and-goal. Taking over at its 3, Baltimore needed just one play to break out of the shadow of its own end zone. Forsett burst through the middle of the line and scampered 38 yards to the 41. Then it was time for Smith, a long-time Saints nemesis from his 13 seasons with Carolina, to torment Saints fans a little more. He had a clutch third-down catch to sustain the drive, which culminated with his touchdown catch as he crashed down backward at the left edge of the end zone. That gave Smith 11 career touchdown catches against New Orleans, more than he has against any other team.

     
  • Are Bears getting Lions at the right time? Nov 24, 2014 8:51 PM
    The Bears are still two games behind the second-place Lions in the division, but they could be catching their NFC North foes at the right time in the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. The 5-6 Bears have won two games in a row, while the 7-4 Lions have dropped two straight for the first time this season.

     
  • Rozner: Bears’ Forte takes pounding, keeps grinding Nov 24, 2014 8:52 PM
    The Bears’ offense has been dreadful in 2014, but they’ve managed to win five games because of the heavy load carried by Matt Forte. He somehow manages to stay on the field despite a beating every week.

     
  • IHSA moving to next step with football proposal Nov 24, 2014 4:58 PM
    The Illinois High School Association’s Legislative Commission voted Monday to refer six proposals to amend the IHSA constitution and bylaws to a vote of the general membership, including. the proposal that would require the IHSA to schedule regular-season games for all football-playing schools after placing them into regions based on enrollment.

     
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