Dominant 'D' performance, 'teams' keep Texans in check

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Dominant 'D' performance, 'teams' keep Texans in check

Another dominant "D" performance, "teams" keep Texans in check

The Houston Texans came to Soldier Field averaging 29.6 points per game, second in the NFL. They left with a win on just 13 and a season-low 215 yardsbecause of individual and collective performances in all position groups.

Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson had three catches in the first quarter, one in the second and none in the second half. Running back Arian Foster had 85 yards in the first half, 17 in the second. The Bears had eight tackles for loss, sacked unsackable Matt Schaub and kept the Bears in a game that the offense was unable to be part of.

DEFENSIVE LINE A-

Against one of the most proficient offenses in the NFL, the front Julius Peppers collected a fourth-quarter sack of Schaub, only the 11th time all year he has been sacked. Peppers, Henry Melton, Nate Collins and Israel Idonije all had at least one tackle for loss. Melton had six tackles total, Idonije five and Peppers four.

Corey Wootton, who had a quarterback hit, played heavy minutes with Shea McClellin gone after one series with a concussion.

LINEBACKERS A-

Brian Urlachers tackle for loss late in the second quarter and quick call for time out gave a chance for a last Bears possession of a very bad half. His pursuit on wide plays was in the style of his early years and had a second tackle for loss among his team-high eight tackles, seven solo.

Lance Briggs (four tackles) and Nick Roach (two) were instrumental in controlling Foster, maintaining gap integrity and picking through Houstons zone blocking to disrupt run plays. Roach played 84 percent of the snaps, with the Texans using an extra lineman in a number of base offense packages and limited use of nickel groups, and added 16 special teams plays.

SECONDARY A

The Bears locked down on Andre Johnson as the game went on zero catches in the second half. Schaub missed on only eight of his passes: two were Tim Jennings interceptions and five were broken up by the two corners

Jennings saved the Bears from a first-half rout with two interceptions, giving him a Pro Bowl eight (never hurts to do that on the national NBC game).

Charles Tillman had six solo tackles and two pass breakups, while Jennings added three breakups to his INTs.

Major Wright had five solo tackles, one for loss, and Chris Conte had four.

COACHING A

Personnel groupings and matchups were adjusted well on the fly against a balanced offense with firepower in both run and pass. Adjustments were made in run defense and the coverage on Johnson varied enough to take him out of the game in the second half.

SPECIAL TEAMS

A one-score game was one return away from being evened but Houston was able to prevent Devin Hester from getting loose. Coverage units allowed the Texans little field position, the second half beginning with Houston starting at its 3-, 16- and 11-yard lines.

KICKING B

Robbie Gould gave the Bears a big boost with a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter when the offense was doing little with the turnovers from Tim Jennings. He added another from 24 yards but hit the left upright from 48 yards early in the fourth quarter. A creditable performance with horrendous footing because of rain.

Adam Podlesh punted five times for a 38.8-yard average, placing two inside the 20.

COVERAGE A-

The Texans had zero return yardage on the five Podlesh punts. Keyshawn Martin returned three kickoffs for an average of 22 yards, none longer than 23 yards. Zackary Bowman forced a fumble that was recovered by Blake Costanzo but overturned on booth review.

RETURNS B

Devin Hester provided a spark (wasted by a subsequent turnover) with a 24-yard return of Houstons punt after a three-and-out. The Texans allowed him just seven yards on two other returns and kicked away from him to blunt that threat.

COACHING A-

Houstons return game was controlled with no runback longer than the 23 yards on Martins one kickoff return. The Texans schemed to stop Hester.

Northwestern to play home basketball games at Allstate Arena in 2017-18

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Northwestern to play home basketball games at Allstate Arena in 2017-18

While Welsh-Ryan Arena undergoes a complete facelift, the Wildcats needed somewhere to play during the 2017-18 season.

That home location was announced Tuesday. Northwestern will play its home schedule at Allstate Arena in Rosemont during the 2017-18 campaign.

The previously announced renovation of Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017 and finish up in the fall of 2018, ready for the 2018-19 season.

“We are excited to partner with Allstate Arena to host Northwestern men’s basketball games during the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena is undergoing its renovation,” Northwestern athletics director Jim Phillips said in the announcement. “The venue has a rich college basketball tradition in the Chicagoland area. I know that our fans will enjoy cheering on our team at Allstate Arena during what will be an exciting season.”

Certainly Allstate Arena is no stranger to college hoops. It's served as the home court for DePaul for decades and famously hosted the NCAA tournament Midwest Regional in 2005, when Illinois scored a remarkable win over Arizona to advance to the Final Four.

The renovation to Welsh-Ryan Arena promises a radically transformed venue for Northwestern hoops. Announced back in June, the renovation's details include new chair-back seating throughout the arena, new locker rooms and offices for the men's and women's basketball teams, new restrooms and concession areas for fans, as well as an expanded concourse, a new ticket office, an expanded lobby and an expansion of the N-Club, plus the retention of the recently installed video boards.

Spartans linebacker Jon Reschke to miss 'significant time' with ankle sprain

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Spartans linebacker Jon Reschke to miss 'significant time' with ankle sprain

The bad news keeps coming for the Michigan State linebacking corps.

A few days after Riley Bullough surprisingly sat out of the Spartans' big game against Wisconsin with an injury, fellow starter Jon Reschke will miss "significant time" with an ankle sprain, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio told reporters Tuesday.

There is better news on Bullough, who Dantonio said is day-to-day. Bullough was listed on the team's depth chart for this week's game against Indiana, though he was not listed as a starter.

Bullough surprised by walking out of the tunnel in street clothes just prior to kickoff against Wisconsin. Big Ten Network reported during the broadcast that Bullough sustained his injury even prior to Michigan State's Week 3 win over Notre Dame and that it could keep him sidelined for multiple weeks.

It remains to be seen how that will play out, but certainly the Spartans could've used him against the Badgers, who behind a first-time starting quarterback in Alex Hornibrook had a stellar performance in a 30-6 win.

Bullough and Reschke have combined for 25 tackles and three tackles for loss, with Bullough playing in the first two games of the season and Reschke appearing in the first three. Reschke also has an interception and a forced fumble to his name.

Being without Reschke for a significant amount of time will be tough for the Spartans — Dantonio said Tuesday he's optimistic that the injury isn't season-ending — though that's made much tougher the longer Bullough stays on the sideline.

Plus, Michigan State is still working Ed Davis back into action. The senior had to wait until after the start of the season to learn if he'd receive an additional season of eligibility. Davis has played just very briefly this season, though he is listed on the depth chart. His return to form could be a big help, as Dantonio mentioned.