Bears

CSN to carry live coverage of the 2012 IHSA Football Championships Nov. 23 and 24

CSN to carry live coverage of the 2012 IHSA Football Championships Nov. 23 and 24

Network to televise LIVE coverage of this weekends Class 1A-8A IHSA Football Championships from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL

For the first time in IHSA Football Championship history EVERY game will be telecast in HD!

CSNChicago.com to air highlight packages of all games throughout the weekend;

CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv to live stream every post-game press conference

Chicago, IL (November 19, 2012) -- For the second-straight year, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will be airing LIVE coverage of the 2012 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football Championships on Friday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24 from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL. Illinois preps football fans can look forward to seeing every action-packed championship battle starting with the Class 1A contest on Friday morning at 10:00 AM, leading up to Class 8As highly-anticipated match-up between Glenbard North and Mt. Carmel on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. Plus for the first time in IHSA history EVERY championship game will be telecast in High Definition (HD). The 2012 IHSA Football Championships will be produced by the IHSA & PlayOn! Sports.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.coms special Comcast SportsNet Channel Location section (csnchicago.comzipcode) or IHSA.com for complete channel location details throughout the state.

Fans are also strongly urged to interact via Twitter throughout the entire weekend by utilizing the hashtag IHSA to share their comments and showcase their school spirit for their favorite teams.

CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv will also be providing fans with a live stream of every IHSA Football championship post-game press conference. In addition, CSNChicago.com will have a special IHSA page set up that will feature highlight packages from all games throughout the weekend, along with week-long coverage & scouting reports from veteran Illinois preps sports writer Taylor Bell and a Twitter module aggregating all IHSA tweets. Plus Comcast SportsNet viewers can look forward to special IHSA Championship editions of High School Lites on both Friday, Nov. 23 & Saturday, Nov. 24 live at 10:30 PM for a complete rundown of all games, including expanded highlights and playercoaches interviews.

IHSA TV veterans Dave Bernhard and Lee Hall return in 2012 to bring viewers play-by-play, while three newcomers with Illinois ties join another longtime IHSA TV contributor in Jack McInerney as analysts on the broadcasts. Glenbard West graduateCSNChicago.com contributor Matt Bowen will provide analysis for the 7A and 8A title games, while the pride of Canton, James Boomer Grigsby, will be the analyst for the 3A and 4A games. Former University of Illinois gridiron standout Michael Young will provide insight on the 1A and 2A games, while McInerney serves as the analyst for the 5A and 6A games. Matt Rodewald joins the IHSA football broadcast team for the first time after serving as the studio host and sideline reporter for the IHSAs March Madness tournament telecasts the past two years and will serve in the same role in Champaign. In addition, CSN Chicago anchorreporter Susannah Collins and FS Wisconsin social media reporter Sophia Minnaert will rotate as sideline reporters throughout the weekend.

The following schedule details Comcast SportsNets coverage of the 2012 IHSA Football Championships airing this Thanksgiving weekend (play-by-playcolor analystsideline reporting teams are in parentheses):

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23
10:00 AM Class 1A: STOCKTON vs. MAROA-FORSYTH (Maroa) (Lee HallMichael YoungMatt Rodewald & Sophia Minnaert)
1:00 PM Class 2A: MERCER COUNTY (Aledo) vs. ALTHOFF CATHOLIC (Belleville) (Lee HallMichael YoungMatt Rodewald & Sophia Minnaert)
4:00 PM Class 3A: AURORA CHRISTIAN (Aurora) vs. UNITY (Tolono) (Dave BernhardJames Boomer GrigsbyMatt Rodewald & Susannah Collins)
7:00 PM Class 4A: ALLEMAN (Rock Island) vs. ROCHESTER (Dave BernhardJames Boomer GrigsbyMatt Rodewald & Susannah Collins)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24
10:00 AM Class 5A: MONTINI (Lombard) vs. MORRIS (Lee HallJack McInerneyMatt Rodewald & Sophia Minnaert)
1:00 PM Class 6A: CARY-GROVE (Cary) vs. CRETE-MONEE (Crete) (Lee HallJack McInerneyMatt Rodewald & Sophia Minnaert)
4:00 PM Class 7A: GLENBARD WEST (Glen Ellyn) vs. LINCOLN-WAY EAST (Frankfort) (Dave BernhardMatt BowenMatt Rodewald & Susannah Collins)
7:00 PM Class 8A: GLENBARD NORTH (Carol Stream) vs. MT. CARMEL (Chicago) (Dave BernhardMatt BowenMatt Rodewald & Susannah Collins)

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 13 local networks that deliver more than 2,400 sporting events annually, along with breaking news and comprehensive analysis, to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Houston, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, CSS and SNY. NBC Sports Regional Networks also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nations largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, visit CSNChicago.com or ComcastSportsNet.com.

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Everything changed for the Bears after going up 17-3 last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Mitchell Trubisky’s 27-yard touchdown to Dion Sims was immediately followed by Bobby Rainey running a kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown, then the offense was bogged down with three fumbles (two lost) on three consecutive possessions. 

But Adrian Amos seemed to seal the game with his 90-yard pick six — that is, until Michael Campanaro ran Pat O’Donnell’s punt back 77 yards for what wound up being a game-tying touchdown after a two-point conversion.

The point is the Bears should’ve cruised to a comfortable win last week; a few critical mistakes didn’t allow that to happen. The Bears haven’t led at the end of the fourth quarter this year, a pretty strong indicator they haven’t played a complete game yet despite having two wins. 

The Carolina Panthers have road wins over the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots this year, and only lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by five points last week (despite Cam Newton throwing three interceptions). The bet here is the Bears keep things close on the backs of a strong defense, but either can’t make enough plays or make too many mistakes to win. 

Prediction: Panthers 20, Bears 16

Three and out: What Ron Rivera likes about Mitchell Trubisky played out this week

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USA TODAY

Three and out: What Ron Rivera likes about Mitchell Trubisky played out this week

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera saw a lot of Mitchell Trubisky last year, with the North Carolina quarterback on TV quite a bit in the Charlotte area. The Panthers, set with Cam Newton, weren’t in the market for a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft, but Trubisky nonetheless stood out to the seventh-year Carolina coach and former Super Bowl-winning Bears linebacker. 

For Rivera, more than Trubisky’s arm strength and athleticism jumped off the screen. 

“Leadership,” Rivera pointed to. “When you watch him when he was playing — I love watching guys that either get on their teammates when they’re not doing it or they take accountability when they make a mistake. And you saw that with him.

“… We think the young man has got what it takes. We like who’s he’s gonna become. We do. We think the future can be bright for him. We are big fans here.”

Trubisky took accountability for both of his turnovers against the Minnesota Vikings: The interception Harrison Smith baited him into was certainly his fault, but his sack-strip fumble was more the result of Everson Griffen jumping the snap and blowing past left tackle Charles Leno. Against the Baltimore Ravens, Trubisky also lost a fumble on a sack-strip when cornerback Lardarius Webb hit him and dislodged the ball.

Trubisky’s explanation of that fumble was that he moved off his first read too quickly, causing him to miss Webb making a beeline for him in the backfield. But according to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, that fumble wasn’t the quarterback’s fault. 

“That’s because he’s a stud,” Loggains said of Trubisky taking responsibility for it. “We screwed the protection up. We should have been sliding to the guy. The guy should not have been coming free. That’s Mitch taking a bullet that he doesn’t need to take. The reality is he saw the guy coming and tried to get over to the check down quickly but we got to do a better job up front protecting him.”

But that Trubisky was willing to say he was at fault for that fumble plays into why he quickly gained the respect of the Bears’ the locker room. That’s what a quarterback should be doing when speaking to the media after the game — accepting responsibility and deflecting off his teammates, even if he’s not at fault. That kind of stuff doesn’t go unnoticed. 

Stopping Superman

Pernell McPhee offered this goal up for his fellow defensive teammates this week: Make sure Newton stays as Clark Kent on Sunday. 

“He’s a very talented guy, but the only thing I told the defense is let's make him be Cam Newton, not Superman,” McPhee said, referring to Newton’s signature touchdown move. “We don't want him opening up the cape.”

So how does a defense stop Newton from being Superman?

“He’s a very versatile quarterback,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “Obviously his running the ball, whether it be through his improvising with scrambling on called pass plays, or the called running plays they do have for him, that’s a strength for him. We can’t just focus on stopping that. We’ve gotta stop Cam Newton the passer and the runner. They’ve got good running backs they’re handing it off to and receivers and running backs he’s throwing it to, so you’ve got a total offense to stop.”

One point to note here: Newton threw three interceptions last week against the Philadelphia Eagles and had been picked off eight times this year. A Bears secondary that intercepted Joe Flacco twice last week could have some more shots at takeaways on Sunday. 

High praise

Sunday will mark Thomas Davis’ 156th game in the NFL, with the linebacker playing every one of those with the Carolina Panthers. He played for John Fox from 2005-2010. But where we’re going here is what he had to say about how the Bears run their offense with a rookie quarterback:

“I think this is probably the best running game that we’ve seen from an offense with a rookie quarterback,” Davis said. “You look at some of the other rookies that come in. Teams want to run the ball. But when you look at the physicality and the style of play that this team plays with, I think that really makes the job a lot easier for a young quarterback. So I definitely feel like that physicality in their running game is definitely going to help him out.”

The Bears ran the ball 50 times against a Baltimore Ravens defense that played a lot more Cover-2 than expected. With star linebacker Luke Kuechly out for Sunday, the Bears may try to use a similar strategy, even if Carolina loads the box more than Baltimore did (a little more than once one every three runs by Jordan Howard). 

But if the Bears’ offense is going to have success, it’s going to be behind Howard, Tarik Cohen and an improving offensive line. Maybe Davis’ comments are hyperbole, but he’s also played a lot more football than you and me.