Fitzgerald, Northwestern aiming high


Fitzgerald, Northwestern aiming high

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald unfurled a purple football jersey onto a small table to show off the new apparel to reporters.

The coach, his players and recruits are excited about the stylish Under Armour jerseys.

But the Wildcats have loftier goals.

Northwestern (6-7) qualified for its fourth consecutive bowl game last season, setting a school record.

But the Wildcats have lost all four of those games and are hoping to take the next step and expect championships, Fitzgerald said Thursday at Big Ten Football Media Day at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

The Wildcats want more. They want to win their division, win a Big Ten title and win a bowl game for the first time since 1949.

Number one, itd be great to get that monkey off our back, Fitzgerald said. Number two, itd be great to have something else talked about before going into the offseason. For our seniors, especially our fifth-year guys who would go to their fifth straight bowl game, which will be unprecedented in our program history ... it would be spectacular.

A key to that is the defense. Last season, the Wildcats allowed 27.7 points per game, 10th in the conference. Fitzgerald wants to see his team disrupt opposing quarterbacks. Northwestern made good strides in that area this spring, he said.

Stopping the run is always a priority of any football team, Fitzgerald said. Youve got to stop the run. It always starts up front. We gave up way too many explosion plays a year ago.

Its always going to start and end up front. I feel great about the young men we have coming back up there.

On offense, the Wildcats look to athletic quarterback Kain Colter, a junior who is the teams top returner in passing, rushing and receiving. His 115 yards passing and 57 yards rushing with two touchdowns led Northwestern to an upset of Nebraska last season.

Im extremely confident in Kain as a quarterback, Fitzgerald said. Hes got a lot of experience. We got an opportunity to see his skill set a year ago, especially when you looked at the Nebraska game. Obviously, he did some very special things in that game, but also every game.

Coinciding with Thursdays media bonanza, Northwestern unveiled its new uniforms, which arrived this week. Fitzgerald noted the light fabric and the broad, black stripe wrapping across the jersey.

Our players are excited about it, he said. Ive gotten a lot of texts and emails from fans. Our recruits are just incredibly excited.

The Wildcats will tackle an imposing schedule, opening at Syracuse on Sept. 1, followed by Vanderbilt and Boston College.

As for the leading topic of the day -- the Penn State scandal and other schools recruiting its players -- Fitzgerald said Northwestern will refrain from reaching out to Nittany Lions players. Fitzgerald said his roster is already set. He called the scandal an incredible failure in leadership.

Were focused on our team, Fitzgerald said.

MLB places Addison Russell on administrative leave following new allegations

USA Today

MLB places Addison Russell on administrative leave following new allegations

Cubs infielder Addison Russell has been placed on administrative leave after new reports of domestic abuse surfaced last night: 

Late Thursday night, Melisa Reidy -- who was married to Russell for a time -- wrote in length about the disturbing details of their relationship. In the piece, she outlines years of enduring both mental and physical abuse. 

Here's the official MLB statement: 

"Major League Baseball takes all allegations of Domestic Violence seriously. When the allegations against Addison Russell became public on June 7, 2017 the Commissioner's Office's Department of Investigations immediately commenced an investigation at that time. Our investigation of this matter has remained open and we have continued our efforts to gather information.

"With the new details revealed in today's blog post by Ms. Russell, Mr. Russell has been placed on Administrative Leave in accordance with the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy. We are hopeful that this new information will allow us to complete the investigation as promptly as possible."

More to come. 

Bears vs. Cardinals Week 3: How to watch, listen and stream

Bears vs. Cardinals Week 3: How to watch, listen and stream

For the first time this season, the Bears won’t be on prime time television, and their matchup with the Arizona Cardinals is far from marquee.

Chicago will be looking to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since Week 7 of 2017. Here’s how you can tune in.

Game Information

Chicago Bears (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (0-2)
3:25 p.m. CT, Sunday, September 23
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona


Announcers: Dick Stockton and Mark Schlereth


Watch live with fuboTV — Try free trial


WBBM 780 (Chicago)

Satellite Radio

Bears feed: XM 805
Cardinals feed: XM 226

Coverage on NBC Sports Chicago

“The Warm Up” — 15 minutes prior to every Bears game this season, host Laurence Holmes, along with analysts Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte, will hold a special Facebook Live segment on NBC Sports Chicago’s official Facebook page — offering a game day preview featuring their expert commentary and predictions, plus - Bears fans will have also an opportunity to have their questions answered by submitting their game day inquiries via the “comments” section on the live stream.

“3rd Quarter Sidecast” — At the start of the third quarter of every Bears game this season, fans will also be able to interact with the Football Aftershow crew via Facebook Live ( as they watch and react to the first few series of the second half. In addition, the “3rd Quarter Sidecast” will also feature more fan interaction as fans can post their thoughts and ask their questions to Briggs, Brown, and Forte.