Bears

NIU rallies against Western Michigan, wins eighth straight

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NIU rallies against Western Michigan, wins eighth straight

Northern Illinois 48, Western Michigan 34
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Jordan Lynch threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more Saturday, leading Northern Illinois to a 48-34 victory over Western Michigan.
Lynch was 18 for 28 for 274 yards and no interceptions, and carried 21 times for 136 yards for the Huskies (8-1, 5-0 Mid-American), who have won eight in a row since losing to Iowa. Lynch threw two touchdown passes each to Tommylee Lewis and Da'Ron Brown. Martel Moore had 120 receiving yards for Northern Illinois.
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Eastern Illinois 24, Eastern Kentucky 7
RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) Jake Walker rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown to help Eastern Illinois beat Eastern Kentucky 24-7 Saturday.
Eastern Illinois (5-3, 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference) took the early lead on Walker's 1-yard run up the middle, but Eastern Kentucky answered with 25 seconds left in the second quarter when Matt Denham scored from 4 yards out for a 7-7 tie at halftime. Denham finished with 95 yards on 25 carries.
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Missouri State 42, Western Illinois 3
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) Kierra Harris threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, Mikael Cooper-Falls added 95 yards rushing and a score, and Missouri State dominated Western Illinois 42-3 on Saturday for the Bears' first three-game winning streak in eight years.
Harris completed just 13 passes and was intercepted three times, but he managed to find Dorian Buford, Trey Kelley and Cadarrius Dotson for scores. Cedric Miller added a rushing score for the Bears (3-6, 3-3 Missouri Valley), who last strung together three wins Sept. 2-18, 2004.
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North Dakota State 23, Southern Illinois 17

FARGO, N.D. (AP) John Crockett's 5-yard touchdown run with 5:23 to play gave North Dakota State a 23-17 win over Southern Illinois Saturday.

The Bison (7-1, 4-1 Missouri Valley), who suffered their only loss of the season in their last home game two weeks ago against Indiana State, trailed 17-10 entering the fourth quarter. Derrick Lang's 1-yard run with 12:38 remaining tied it and North Dakota State used a 11-play, 52-yard drive to score the winning TD.

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Illinois State 33, Northern Iowa 21

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Matt Brown threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Illinois State beat Northern Iowa 33-21 on Saturday night.

Brown was 22 of 27 for 274 yards and two touchdowns - a 76-yard pass to Tyrone Walker and a 49-yard pass to James O'Shaughnessy. Brown kept the ball and scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter.

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Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

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AP

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

There wasn’t a single game Harry Hiestand coached while at Notre Dame — 77 in total — in which he didn’t have a future top-20 pick starting at left tackle. 

Zack Martin (16th overall, 2014) was followed by Ronnie Stanley (6th overall, 2016), who gave way to Mike McGlinchey (9th overall, 2018). Hiestand also developed Quenton Nelson, who went on to be the highest interior offensive lineman drafted (6th overall, 2018) since 1986. Nelson and McGlinchey became the first pair of college offensive line teammates to be drafted in the first 10 picks since 1991, when Tennessee had tackles Charles McRae and Antone Davis go seventh and eighth. 

“It wasn’t surprising because the kind of guys they are, they absolutely did everything the right way, the way they took care of themselves, the way they trained, the teammates that they are and were,” Hiestand said. “They just did it all the way you wanted them to do it. So it was. It was a good moment.”

Hiestand said he had a sense of pride after seeing his two former players be drafted so high, even if he wasn't able to re-unite with either of them. The Bears, of course, didn’t have a chance to draft Nelson, and had conviction on using the eighth overall pick on linebacker Roquan Smith (as well as having tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie in place for the 2018 season). 

Anecdotally, one former Notre Dame player said (maybe half-jokingly) that Nelson and McGlinchey were fighting each other to see who could get drafted by the Bears to play with Hiestand again.

“There’s nobody that I’ve been around in this game that’s more passionate about what he does,” McGlinchey, now with the San Francisco 49ers, said of Hiestand at Notre Dame’s pro day in March. “There’s really only two things that are important to him, and that’s his family and then his offensive linemen. There’s a lot to be said for that. 

“In this game, everybody’s always trying to work an angle to up their own career — he doesn’t want to do anything but coach O-line, and that’s what really sticks out to us as players. He cares for us like we’re his own. Obviously he coaches extremely hard and is very demanding of his players, which I loved — he pushed me to be the player that I am.

“I’m standing in front of all you guys because of Harry Hiestand. But the amount of passion and care that he has not only for his job but his teaching abilities and his players is what sets him apart.”

Hiestand could’ve stayed as long as he wanted at Notre Dame, presumably, given how much success he had recruiting and developing players there. But six years at one spot is a long time for a position coach, especially at the college level, where the grind of recruiting is so vital to the success of a program. It’s also not like every one of the blue-chip prospects Hiestand recruited to South Bend panned out, either. 

So Hiestand knew he wanted to get back to the NFL after coaching with the Bears under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. It’s a new challenge for him now, not only to develop second-round pick James Daniels but to continue the growth of Cody Whitehair and Leno while getting the most out of Kyle Long, Massie and the rest of the group (back during his first stint with the Bears, Hiestand had the luxury of coaching experienced, more ready-made offensive lines). 

As one of the more highly-regarded offensive line coaches in the country, though, Hiestand could’ve jumped back into the NFL whenever, and nearly wherever, he wanted. And for him, coming back to the Bears was the perfect fit. 

“That’s an awesome, awesome place, a great franchise,” Hiestand said. “It was something, I always wanted to go back, I didn’t know where I would get the opportunity. So I’m just very fortunate it just happened to be back at the same place that I was before. There are a lot of things that are different but there’s also a lot that’s the same. 

“But it’s one of the — it is the greatest organization. Historically, this is where it all began, and being part of it — and the other thing, and I told those guys when I got here, when we get it done here, you guys are going to see this city like you’ve never seen it. And I remember that. That’s what we’re after.” 

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

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USA Today

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

Don't be fooled by Tarik Cohen's height. He has towering confidence and he's setting up to have a big role in coach Matt Nagy's offense in 2018.

“On a scale of 1-10, the dangerous level is probably 12,” Cohen said Wednesday at Halas Hall about the impact he can have in the Bears' new system. “Because in backyard football, it’s really anything goes, and it’s really whoever gets tired first, that’s who’s going to lose. I’m running around pretty good out here, so I feel like I’m doing a good job.”

Cohen proved last season he can thrive in space. He made an impact as a runner, receiver and return man and will have a chance at an even bigger workload this fall, assuming he can handle it.

With Jordan Howard established as the starting running back, Cohen knows his touches will come in a variety of ways.

“It might not necessarily be rushes,” he said. “But it’s going to be all over the field, and that’s what I like to do. Any way I can get the ball or make a play for my team, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”

Cohen averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry as a rookie and led all NFL running backs in the percentage of carries that went for at least 15 yards. He's a big play waiting to happen.