Vikings aren't trusting what they saw from Bears on MNF


Vikings aren't trusting what they saw from Bears on MNF

The last time the Bears saw the Minnesota Vikings, defensive end Jared Allen was embarrassing left tackle JMarcus Webb in Game 16 and the Vikings' pass rush was assaulting quarterback Josh McCown with seven sacks.

Kind of like what Aldon Smith and the San Francisco 49ers did to Webb, Gabe Carimi and the Bears offense overall last Monday.

But Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier also remembers that the Vikings lost that final game last season. And he and Allen are ostensibly more interested in what the Bears were doing before that disaster last Monday.

You try to take a look and see what created the struggle for sure and kind of take it with a grain of salt though when its a team like the Bears and the success that theyve had throughout the season, Frazier said. You have to be very careful about reading much into it and you also have to look at the opponent they were playing. San Franciscos a very good team with some very talented players.

So you look at a lot of different things but you dont want to take what happened on Monday night and say OK, thats the blueprint for success, because not all teams have some of the players that San Francisco has.

Actually, the Vikings are one of those teams.

Allen has seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 24 quarterback hits, according to Vikings stats. Left end Brian Robison has 5.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hits.

The Vikings rank 12th in sacks per pass play as well as eighth in average per rushing attempt.

The Bears have dropped to 14th in rushing average offensively.

That Bears offensive line, I think theyre going to be all right, Frazier said. Tough night against San Francisco but every game is different and Im sure itll be a different bus on Sunday.

Not everyone is, however.

Hawkeyes going to Outback Bowl for fifth time, taking on Florida


Hawkeyes going to Outback Bowl for fifth time, taking on Florida

Iowa is going back to the Outback Bowl.

Yes, for the fifth time in the last 13 seasons, the Hawkeyes will wrap their campaign with a trip to Tampa and an appearance in the Outback Bowl. And for the third time, their opponent there will be the Florida Gators. That game kicks at noon on Jan. 2.

Iowa and Florida met in the Outback Bowl to conclude the 2003 and 2005 seasons, splitting those two matchups.

This time around, the Hawkeyes are coming off an 8-4 regular season, a disappointing follow up to their 12-2 campaign a season ago that started off a perfect 12-0 before postseason losses in the Big Ten title game and the Rose Bowl.

Kirk Ferentz has led his team to a bowl appearance in 14 of his 18 seasons, though Iowa has lost the last four of those games, without a bowl win since taking down Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl.

Iowa is 2-2 in its four previous Outback Bowl appearances, beating Florida, losing to Florida, beating South Carolina and losing to LSU.

As for the Gators, they own an 8-4 record, as well, after falling to Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game. Florida is known for its sluggish offense, one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country.

Start spreadin' the news: Northwestern to face Pitt in Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium


Start spreadin' the news: Northwestern to face Pitt in Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium

Start spreadin' the news.

Northwestern is heading to New York for its bowl game this season, specifically the Bronx, where it will battle Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Though it isn't your typically warm bowl destination, the baseball-stadium setting should be pretty fantastic. The game will be played at 1 p.m. on Dec. 28.

The Wildcats reached bowl eligibility with their sixth win in the regular-season finale against Illinois. Northwestern is heading to back-to-back bowl games after missing out on the postseason in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014.

This is just the 13th-ever bowl trip for the Cats, though it's their seventh in 11 seasons under Pat Fitzgerald. Northwestern has a 1-5 record under Fitzgerald in the previous six bowl games, though that win is one of just two all-time bowl victories by the program.

This season started slowly for the Cats, who lost upsetting home games to Illinois State and Western Michigan and started 1-3. But Northwestern turned things around with back-to-back road wins over Iowa and Michigan State and finished 6-6. The Cats' offense has been particularly effective this season compared to seasons past. Wide receiver Austin Carr took home Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors and is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award after leading the conference in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. Running back Justin Jackson was the league's leading rusher until getting surpassed by just a couple yards by both Wisconsin's Corey Clement and Penn State's Saquon Barkley, who both competed in Saturday night's Big Ten Championship Game, adding to their respective rushing totals.

Pitt has had a pretty noteworthy season. Despite having four losses, it beat two teams that finished ranked in the top five of the College Football Playoff rankings: No. 2 Clemson and No. 5 Penn State. The Panthers are coached by former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.