White Sox

Wildcats rebound, take down Iowa

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Wildcats rebound, take down Iowa

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Throughout Saturday's homecoming game against Iowa, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter proved he's the real deal, leading the Wildcats to a 28-17 victory. The offense wasted no time, opening the game with an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by Colter.

"He's dynamic, an explosive athlete who can do a lot of things and do them well," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said when discussing Colter's performance. "Every time he touches the football he has a chance to make a big play happen.

"He's understanding how tough it is to play the Big Ten grind. And he's got to play smart, he's got to get himself down and avoid some contact. And of any game this year, he did that very well here today."

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was also very impressed with Colter, who rushed for 166 yards on 26 carries.

"He is just a very explosive athlete," Ferentz said. "Both him and Venric Mark, they're quick, smart and instinctive. He did a good job against us last year. I'm not totally surprised how they played it today. I don't know what their plan was going on, but they were having good success with that.

"He is a tough guy to contain. Running quarterbacks, I can think of three right now in our conference, including him. It's very, very challenging to defend."

After Colter's first touchdown of the day, Iowa retaliated with an 11-play drive covering 52 yards, but the Hawkeyes were unable to find the end zone. A 40-yard field goal from kicker Mike Meyer put the visiting team on the board, but it wasn't enough to give his team momentum to come alive in the first quarter.

"We didn't execute a lot of drives that we moved the ball well on," Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg said on keeping up with Northwestern's offense. "When you're playing a really talented offense, like they are, they're going to score points."

The Wildcats did just that, repeating their aggressive start in the second quarter as a 72-yard run from Mark brought his team to the 27 yard line where he continued to rush an additional three yards -- marking his 1,000th rushing yard on the season -- that lead to another Colter touchdown with 11:44 left on the clock.

Right after the half, Northwestern scored two more touchdowns as Colter rushed for four yards following a blocked punt by running back Tyris Jones. Less than 60 seconds later, Colter completed a 47-yard pass to wide receiver Christian Jones for a touchdown that gave the Wildcats a 28-3 lead.

"We're running the ball well and that's a key to victory," Colter said. "When you can dominate the line of scrimmage and control the clock, that's always a good thing."

Iowa scored two more touchdowns before the end of the game, sending some worry through Ryan Field, especially after Northwestern's recent defensive struggles late in the games this season, but the Wildcats held the Hawkeyes off.

Colter's explosive performance proved how dynamic of a player he can be as his battle for starting quarterback with sophomore Trevor Siemian continues. But even after today's impressive statistics, Fitzgerald said there's still no set plan for the quarterback tandem moving forward.

"I don't know, I mean, the answer is we are going to do everything we can to win... The game plan will dictate what we are going to do and what we see," Fitzgerald said. "But as far as what we are going to do and what I'm going to say, I'm going to tell you nothing and smile."

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

We asked you to ask us anything about the White Sox and you delivered in a big way. We got so many questions, we had to do two different podcasts! Among the questions here in Part 1: should the White Sox send Yoan Moncada to Triple-A? What players will be traded before the deadline? Who are some sleeper prospects in the minors? Will Jordan Stephens be called up before Michael Kopech? Should Juan Uribe be a team ambassador? What's our all-time White Sox team from 2000 to the present and many more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Michael Porter Jr.: 'I'm the perfect fit for today's NBA game'

Michael Porter Jr.: 'I'm the perfect fit for today's NBA game'

Michael Porter Jr. grabbed some attention when he remarked that he was "perfect fit for today's NBA game" during an appearance on The Will Cain Show.

The interview went a long way towards showing off the uber-confident nature of Porter, who has consistently talked about being the best player in his class throughout the draft process. Porter also remarked that he was "an immediate impact guy," and that he "doesn't want it to take long to be one of the best players in the NBA."

His hubris has been intruiging considering the mystery surrounding the prospect.

During the interview Porter added that he would be open to doing more workouts for NBA front offices ahead of Thursday's NBA Draft. The only workout he has completed so far was his pro day workout in Chicago, and multiple reports have cited that Porter did look good shooting, though he was in an isolated setting with no defenders.

The one thing Porter has not done much throughout the process is talk about his weaknesses, which is somewhat concerning seeing as he has much to improve on. The general consensus is that a healthy Porter can get buckets at will. But if he can improve his ball-handling, rebounding and passing skills, he will be much more than a go-to scorer. Tightening his ball-handling skills is likely the key, as the ability to grab the rebound and push in transition would be a huge boon for Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg's offense.

The biggest question when it comes to Porter on the Bulls is can he fit with Lauri Markkanen? Despite receiving many favorable Kevin Durant and Paul George comparisons leading up to the draft, there is a rising sentiment that his best position in the NBA may be the power forward spot. It is not yet known if he has the foot speed to stay in front of quicker wings in today's NBA. But at six-feet-ten-inches, it is easy to imagine him having a huge advantage against slower power forwards rather than wings. While Markkanen is not currently built to be a full-time center, playing him at the five with Porter at the four would present Hoiberg with a potentially devastating closing lineup.

Versatility is the name of the game in today's league, and Michael Porter Jr. may be the key to unlocking the full potential of Hoiberg's pace-and-space attack.