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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NFL.com thinks that Matt Nagy is a very average head coach

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USA Today

NFL.com thinks that Matt Nagy is a very average head coach

NFL.com recently ranked all of the league's head coaches, because the football season may end but creating content never will. 

The top tier consists of all the usual suspects ... except for the guy that literally won the league's award for best coach last season

Matt Nagy came in at 14 on this list, and not even the highest-ranked NFC North coach. The reasoning is a tad suspect; here's what they had to say

Matt Nagy more than delivered in his first year as the Bears' head coach, taking Chicago to the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. What's interesting about Nagy is that his side of the ball is offense, and prior to getting hired by the Bears, he was known for his work with quarterbacks in Kansas City. Yet, it was Vic Fangio's defense that did most of the heavy lifting to get Chicago to the playoffs. A head coach does much more than run one side of the ball, though. In fact, some of them don't do that at all. They run the office, in some respects. Nagy clearly set a tone in the building, so to speak, which should not be taken lightly. Nor should Nagy's work with Mitch Trubisky, who showed improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Why is Reich ahead of Rivera but not Nagy? Well, Nagy has yet to achieve postseason success and had stronger personnel than Reich did in 2018.

Is this fair? Probably not! But is this important? Definitely not! Still - give your incumbent COY some more love, NFL. Club Dub! Yelling boom! The visors! 

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.