Final hurdle cleared, Golson ready to go

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Final hurdle cleared, Golson ready to go

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Everett Golson did full exertion cardio session on Monday and has been deemed ready to go for Saturday's showdown in Norman.

"He's good, 100 percent and he'll start for us in Oklahoma on Saturday," coach Brian Kelly said. Golson is back at practice and will have a full week of preparation this week.

Kelly said after Notre Dame's win over BYU he expected Golson to be at 100 percent for Oklahoma, but said Sunday he wanted Golson to undergo a full physical workout before he would definitively say the sophomore would start. Golson was held out of Notre Dame's 17-14 win over BYU as he continued to deal with the aftereffects of a concussion suffered Oct. 13 against Stanford.

Golson has started five of Notre Dame's seven games, throwing for 968 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Plenty of that production has come away from Notre Dame Stadium, though -- three of Golson's best four games came in Dublin, East Lansing and Chicago. Part of that probably has to do with the opponents -- Navy and Miami, in particular, don't have very good defenses.

But regardless of the opponent, Kelly thinks those experiences away from South Bend will help Golson in Norman.

"I just think that he's a lot more confident having the Michigan State game, going through the tough time against Michigan," Kelly said. "I just think he's a more confident player, played well against Miami. I couldn't really put my finger on it home vs away. I know this, he's excited about playing against Oklahoma, and we expect him to play well."

Notes from the rewatch: Nemanja Nikolic unable to beat Bill Hamid

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USA TODAY

Notes from the rewatch: Nemanja Nikolic unable to beat Bill Hamid

Two recent trends with the Chicago Fire got flipped in Saturday's win at D.C. United, not even counting that it was the Fire's first road win of the season.

Nemanja Nikolic entered Saturday's game at D.C. United as arguably the hottest striker in Major League Soccer. He had plenty of scoring chances, most of them good ones, but couldn't convert after being very efficient in recent games.

Also, D.C. is a team struggling offensively and entered without its top playmaker in Luciano Acosta, out serving a red card suspension, so it relied on set pieces and long throws to create scoring opportunities. That's something the Fire have had troubles with this year, notably in the LA game a few weeks ago. However, the defense held strong to survive the onslaught of balls into the box.

Here's more on those two things, plus Bastian Schweinsteiger's near assist of the year.

Defending set pieces

Without Acosta, D.C. found itself relying even more on free kicks, crosses and long throws to get the ball in the box. After recent struggles defending set pieces, this could have been a problem on paper for the Fire.

D.C. completed just three of 16 crosses and only one of those three led to a shot. Of D.C.'s three corner kicks, none first went to a D.C. player.

There were five more long throws, four from the left by Taylor Kemp and one from the right by Chris Korb. D.C. won flick headers on a pair of those, but nothing came from those chances. The best chance was when a ball fell to Patrick Mullins in the box following a deflection. He slid for an open shot in the box, but shot over the bar.

Overall, the Fire did well to handle the barrage of balls flung into the box from distance.

Nikolic's missed scoring opportunities

Nikolic still has the league lead in goals, even after not scoring in this one. His 10 goals are more than D.C. and the Fire's previous opponent, Colorado, have scored as teams.

He had seven shots, more than twice the amount of any other player on the field, and put four on target. No other player had more than one shot on target. Despite these numbers, Nikolic did not score.

Matt Polster gave him a good chance in the 29th minute. Nikolic's first-touch shot from 10 yards out was blocked. He hit it well, but it was a good block.

David Accam crossed to Nikolic on the back post just before halftime. Nikolic put the header on target, but didn't get enough on it to get it past goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

In the final 10 minutes things really picked up for Nikolic. He tried to round Hamid in the 81st minute, but couldn't get around the big man and then his shot from a tight angle was saved. Three minutes later Hamid made his best save with a diving stop to deny a streaking Nikolic, who was coming in from the right side.

Hamid gets credit for these stops, but Nikolic's best chance came in added time after Schweinsteiger set him up on a platter.

Schweinsteiger robbed of assist of the year

The biggest of Nikolic’s blown chances was Schweinsteiger’s elusive dribbling at the end line in added time. If Nikolic finished the open shot, it would have been one of the best assists you’d see in any league around the world this season. Instead the viral clips of the play were either truncated before Nikolic’s shoots over the bar or included the somewhat comedic finish to a highlight-reel play.

Schweinsteiger got a bit of the last laugh after suffering four fouls, no player was fouled more during the match, against a physical team.

This play got the most attention from Schweinsteiger's game and it could have really blown up had Nikolic finished it off. Don't forget that Schweinsteiger nearly gave D.C. a goal by turning the ball over with a lateral pass right to Lloyd Sam at the edge of the penalty box a few minutes after the Fire took the lead. That certainly would have flipped the prevailing view of Schweinsteiger's performance as well.

95 Days to Kickoff: St. Joseph Chargers

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95 Days to Kickoff: St. Joseph Chargers

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: St. Joseph

Head coach: Rich Petroski

Assistant Coaches:   Tewan Brown, Chris Bridgett, Rich Sible, Alex Puente, Adam Polak, Pierre Walters, Chris Ricca, Lavar Steptor,

How they fared in 2016: 7-3 (2-0 Chicago Catholic League Red).

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 26 –@ Elmwood Park

Sept. 2 – @ South Beloit

Sept. 8 – vs Catalys Maria

Sept. 15 - vs Chicago Hope

Sept. 22 - @ St. Ignatius

Sept. 29 – @ DePaul

Oct. 6 - vs Brother Rice

Oct. 13 - vs Leo

Oct. 20 - @ Aurora Christian

Biggest storyline: Can the Chargers make a return visit to the IHSA state playoff in 20o17?

Names to watch this season: Senior WR/S Zach Ford Senior OL/DL Shamar Bishop-McDade

Biggest holes to fill: The Chargers welcome back just three starters on offense from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: The Chargers and then first year head coach Rich Petroski led the program to it's first state playoff appearance in school history in 2016. While St. Joe's will need to reload in some key spots, they have a chance to make another run at a state playoff spot again in 2017.