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Cale's Corner Archives for 2020-10

La Russa named Manager for White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have found their replacement for Ricky Renteria, the manager who was let go earlier this month. 


Tony La Russa will be at the helm of next year's team, and there is a lot of speculation as to what will happen in his return to baseball. La Russa ranks third in all-time manager wins with 2,728, falling behind Connie Mack(3,731) and John McGraw(2,763). La Russa has won 6 pennants in his time as a skipper with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, and St. Louis Cardinals which earned him a spot in Cooperstown in 2014. La Russa first started his managerial career on the South Side in 1979 and retired in 2011. 


Illini vs Badgers-- Halftime update

The Illini have been abysmal to start the season. Blowing coverages, allowing Badgers to run straight up the middle field and score. Rod Smith's offense has also gone three and out on multiple occasions. In the keys to the game, I talked about the time of possession battle that the Badgers are currently winning. The current score at half is 28-7 Badgers. Here are the halftime stats: 




Brandon Peters: 5-12 passing for 30 yards. 4 rushes for 52 yards. 


Mike Epstein: 4 carries 28 yards. 


Josh BheBhe: 3 catches 26 yards. 


Illinois with a total of 122 yards of offense. 




Graham Mertz: 14-14 190 yards for 4 touchdowns.


Nakia Watson: 8 carries for 22 yards. 


Jake Ferguson: 6 catches for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns. 


Wisconsin with a total of 252 yards. 


Illini vs Wisconsin Live Blog

Kickoff is 45 minutes away, be sure to tune in here for all of the action! 


Tonights Starters have been announced: 

Offense-- Vederian Lowe, Alex Palczewski, Doug Kramer, Kendric Green, Brandon Peters, Mike Epstien, Josh BheBhe, Casey Washington, Donny Navarro, Daniel Barker


Defense-- Owen Carney, Rodrick Perry, Jamal Woods, Marc Mondsier, Khalan Tolson, Jake Hansen, Delano Ware, Nate Hobbs, Tondy Adams, Sydney Brown, Derrick Smith




The Illini get the ball to start the Big Ten season. 1st and 10 at their own 18. 


The first drive of the Illini season results in a big first pass, first down from Peters to BheBhe, then on the next play Mike Epstein fumbles Wisconsin ball at the Illini 35. 


The Badgers attack early on that turnover. 6 plays for 33 yards from Grahm Mertz to the fullback. 7-0 Badgers early. 


I missed an Illini offensive drive, but the defense including Jamal Woods got in on that 7-yard sack for the Illini. That forced a 2nd and 17 for Wisconsin which resulted in a punt. Illini Ball.


The Illini ended the first quarter down by a score. The main concern out of the 1Q is Senior Linebacker Jake Hansen, who looked like he just lost his footing when he emerged from the bottom of the pile on the 4th and 1, but had to be held up by teammates and helped off the field. Very concerned for Hansen.




Jake Hansen walked to the locker room under his own power. 


A 14 play 88-yard drive for the Badgers results in a touchdown. 5-yard pass from Mertz to Ferguson. The total time of possession for the Badgers on that scoring drive was over 8 minutes. One of the keys to the game was the time of possession battle. 


It is now confirmed(by me) that Brandon Peters has wheels. Peters now has 61 rush yards for the game. 


Tarique Barns in on a massive tackle at the line of scrimmage, on 3rd and 8, Mertz was tackled at the line of scrimmage to force a Wisc. punt. 


To start the drive Mike Epstein took the ball 20 yards, need a lot of that from him this season. 4th and 1 for the Illini, being down two scores you have to go for it. 


The Illini did indeed go for it but elected to throw it, and the result was an incomplete pass from Peters to Josh BheBhe. Turnover on downs. 


And on the play for the Badgers, there was a forced fumble recovered by Tarique Barns, the whistle never blew and Barns took it to the house for 6? It looked like a touchdown to me, there was no whistle blown on the initial fumble recovery, I don't see how they overturn it. 


That play was indeed a touchdown. Barns with a 39-yard scoop and score for the Illini defense. Lovie talks about getting three take-a-ways each game, there is number one. 


Wisconsin takes it down the field on their next drive to immediately put the Illini back down by two scores. Mertz is 13-13 for 137 for 3 TD's. I think there will be a QB controversy in Madison. 


I'm not even sure what to say on that offensive drive for the Illini. Needed points especially with the Badgers getting the ball back to open the second half and Peters get's sacked twice and throws an incompletion to Josh BheBhe. 


One play, a deep ball, and another Badger touchdown. 28-7 Badgers lead and there are still 28 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. 


We have finally made it to half time. Illini down 28-7 the Illini can't keep blowing coverages and going three and out. Halftime update with stats coming up next. 




Milo Eifler has entered the game for his first snaps of the 2020 season, fresh off the targeting suspension of the Cal bowl game last year. The Illini need a key stop and sustain an offensive drive. 


Jake Hansen has officially been ruled out for the remainder of the game. I'm assuming he was undergoing concussion protocol with how wobbly he was after that play in the first quarter. 


The Brandon Peters wheels are back, two consecutive rushes for 75 yards. Peters rushes again after a pass incompletion to Casey Washington. Looked to me that Peters got the touchdown, and had enough. But they didn't review it. 


Barnes has really stepped into this role filling in for Hansen. Flying all around the field making tackles. Mertz has also thrown his first incompletion of the game. 


Brandon Peters gets popped on that deep ball to Josh BheBhe, draws a fourth and 1 Miami Transfer Biran Hightower called for a false start, the offense is in shambles through three quarters. 


Illini are back on defense. Committing a lot of penalties in the season opener. poor execution on offense. 


Nobody scored for either squad in the 3rd quarter. 28-7 Badgers. 



Wisconsin starts the 4th with the ball, and it has turned into the four-minute drill in keeping the ball on the ground. 


Wisconsin scores another Touchdown. 35-7 Badgers 12:23 left in the contest. 


One bright spot out of this game is that Blake Hayes is still the best punter in college football. 


Jake Ferguson is left wide open in the endzone again Mertz has tallied 5 touchdowns in his debut, and three of those have been thrown to Ferguson who has been wide open in the endzone on at least two of those. 42-7 Badgers 4:53 left in the contest. 


I didn't think that it could get worse than it already is at 42-7 but on the third play, Wiliams comes in at QB and throws into triple coverage and throws a pick. I'm assuming that the Badgers will score another TD or field goal to end the game. 


I was right on the prediction of scoring(you knew it would happen since the Badgers were on the Illini 25 yard line) and add 3 more to the blowout. 45-7 Badgers with 38 seconds left in the contest. 


The final score: Badgers 45 Illini 7. Postgame blog will be published tonight. 













Inavcitves for Illini tonight

The Illini will be without some players for tonight's matchup against the Badgers:  


DL- Isaiah Gay 

DB-Michael Marchese

WR- Trevon Sidney 

DB- Devon Witherspoon 

OL- Blake Jeresaty(season) 



Illini Pregame

The University of Illinois, as well as the Big Ten, will be kicking off in just over an hour. What is it going to take for an Illini win? 


The main key(out of the several) is take-aways. The Illini capitalized in the upset in Champaign last season over Wisconsin. There will be no Milo Eifler in the first half due to the targeting penalty that he drew in the bowl game against Cal last season. Coach Lovie Smith has emphasized takeaways all season, and it has been rebranded in Champaign to "Lovie Ball" 


The second key to the game, win the time of possession battle. Wisconsin is known for holding on to the ball a lot longer than anyone else in the Big Ten, but when you have players on your squad like Melvin Gordan, and most recently Jonathan Taylor, you can pound the rock hard. Jake Hansen has caused a lot of havoc at the line of scrimmage in his tenure at Illinois, he will have to punch a few lose tonight. 


The last and final key, the offense has to execute. This is Rod Smiths' time to shine with a primarily veteran offense. The offense is returning a Big Ten caliber QB in Branden Peters, the return of a healthy Mike Epstien, Josh Bhebe, and you add Luke Ford and Daniel BheBhe to an already stacked Tight End room with Daniel Barker who proved a lot last season. Keep the chains moving, convert on third down, and have long sustained drives that result in 7 points and not 3. 


Stay tuned on and WPXN's Twitter page for constant updates throughout the game.  



JUST IN: Pat Chambers out at Penn State

In a release sent out by the Penn State Nittany Lions, Men's Basketball Head Coach Pat Chambers has resigned this afternoon. Chambers's resignation comes after an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by Chambers. The allegations came to light after The Undefeated article was published, and a review was conducted by Penn State Affirmative Action and Athletics Integrity Office. 


Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour named Jim Ferry as the interim coach for the upcoming season. Ferry has 30 years of collegiate coaching experience. 


Chambers served as Penn State's coach for nine seasons with a total record of 148-150. Chambers lead the way to the NIT Championship in 2017-2018. Penn State finished with a record of 21-10 under Chambers last season, which qualified them for the NCAA Tournament, which was canceled due to COVID-19. 

Quick Hits-Big Ten Football

With the Big Ten return of Big Ten Football this week, Friday to be exact there are a few notes that every one that is a fan of the Big Ten team should remember: 


  • This is the 125th season of Big Ten Football. Illinois will open the season this Friday against Wisconson, you can hear the action starting at 6 pm on WPXN. 
  • The 2020 season will feature an eight-game Conference-only schedule, plus a ninth game for all 14 teams during the big Ten Champions Week, which falls on the weekend of December 19. 
  • There are two new Head Coaches in the Big Ten this season. Michigan State's Mel Tucker and Rutgers' Greg Schiano. 
    • Mel Tucker has more than 23 years of coaching experience, which started under Nick Saban at Michigan State. 
    • Schiano is back after leading Rutgers from 2001-11, who led the Scarlet Knights to six bowl appearances and coached 83 students-athletes to NFL contracts. 
  • There were six teams ranked in the Top 25, the most since 2015. 
  • Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin are looking to repeat as division champions this season. 
    • Buckeyes 9-0 2019
    • Badgers, Golden Gophers both 7-2 


Stay tuned thoughout the week for updates to the Big Ten, and for Fighitng Illini stories. 

NFL Coaching Spotlight-There will be another coaching carousel,

There has been a head coaching change in the NFL as we enter week 5. Bill O'Brien has been fired as GM/Coach of the Houston Texans. This comes after an 0-4 start when we know it has more to do with the fact that O'Brien traded their best skill player in Deandre Hopkins and one of their best defensive players in Jadavion Clowney. The firing comes just 3 months after the trade of Hopkins to Arizona. We knew that was going to happen in the offseason so it isn't much of a surprise. 


On the other side of the spectrum, there is still a surprise in the NFL, two in fact. Number one, how does Dan Quinn still have a job? He and the Falcons have blown multiple fourth-quarter leads, can't convert in "do-or-die" situations, or to put it all together just can't win. How he still has a job with the Falcons is amazing to me, even with the injuries. 


Matt Patrica with the Detroit Lions. The Lions have lost six consecutive leads in the fourth quarter, and yet Patrica says "there was a lot of work to do when I got here" taking a direct shot a Jim Caldwell. This is also the guy that lost the locker-room in his first season with the Lions. Patrica's seat is red hot. 





Bears a 3-1, What Happens Next?

The Bears looked like they are not on the same page, the offense looks broken, the amount of dysfunction that occurred in this game on that side of the ball was insanity, the defense not being able to stop Jonathon Taylor, and more. What happens now? Matt Nagy's security blanket(to deflect blame) is not there in Mitch Trubisky. How can Nagy blame someone else other than himself for this loss?


The Colts have the best defense in the NFL, they lead the league in almost every defensive statistic there is, but there is no excuse for only scoring 3 points until the Colts moved into prevent defense. The 3-1 Chicago Bears don't have any positive momentum heading into a short week. Nick Foles missed a lot of throws, some deep, some short. 


Back to who to blame. The Bears completely abandoned the run game, passing the ball 42 times when the Colts secondary where all over the Bears skill players. Is it the game plan that is broken, or the scheme that doesn't work, or is it just bad play calls in certain spots of the game? I can recall a specific play on a third and long, where Nagy called a 4 yard outright, whereas promised wasn't going anywhere; If you have any answers please tell me. 


The Bears have a short week heading into Week 5 against Tampa Bay, who looks like they aren't firing on all cylinders, but are still winning games. Thursday Night will come too fast, and  I have a feeling of disappointment. 

Bears vs Colts-- Live Blog

Follow along here for the latest on all the Bears scoring drives, bad or good plays, and the first start in the Nick Foles era! Game time is at 3:25, which is just over 5 minutes from now. 




The first drive for the Bears didn't go far, Foles was able to draw the defense into the neutral zone with a hard count but other than a few yards gained from Patterson runs, and an Allen Robinson first down, there was not much offense in the first drive of the game. The Bears are on defense now and will have to hold up against Phillip Rivers and the firepower the Colts offense has. Not to mention a blocked punt. 



The Colts first drive ends in a Colts TD, Phil Rivers threw a 16-yard touchdown to Colts TE Alie-Cox in 6 plays for a total of 53 yards.  Blankenship knocks the PAT through. 7-0 Colts. 


The Colts defense put up another solid stand on against the Bears offense. The Bears have not moved the ball well to start the game, that is going to have to change quickly. 


Khalil Mack dropped the easiest pick of his life on the Bears stand. However, the Bears put pressure on Rivers and were able to hold off their offense. Bears ball out of the media timeout. 


The Bears once again did not move the ball on offense, making it easy for the Colts to establish drives. Foles looks like he doesn't have the "chemistry" with his receivers, or there might be nerves involved. Overthrowing receivers, underthrowing them, and making throws when guys arent looking. 


The first quarter has concluded and the Colts have a 7-0 lead over the Bears. 






Phil Rivers tried to pull some trickery on 4th & 1 to try and get the Bears to jump offsides to end the drive. 


The Bears put together a solid drive for their first possession of the second quarter. Getting to the red-zone, but not couldn't convert. The issues that the Bears had last week in the red-zone are looming once again. 


Smith was out of bounds on that interception, which gave the Colts an opportunity to score yet another touchdown. Rivers Pass to Hilton was too high, on the third-down play in the end zone. Blankenship knocks an FG through. 10-3 Colts, the Bears have a chance to tie it up before halftime. 














Cam Newton out this Sunday -- EDIT-- Game Postponed

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton has been ruled out his Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Newton, in his first season with the Pats tested postive for COVID-19 today, just before the team's depatrue this afternoon. 

Newton's news comes after the Tennesee Titans have already postponed thier match-up with the Steelers tomorrow afternoon with multiple players, and personel testing positive for the coronavirus. There still has not been a decison made on the fate of the Patriots vs Chiefs tomorrow afternoon, as soon as that decsion is made, you can find it here on Cale's Corner on be sure to follow us on Twitter @1049wpxn and like us on Facebook. 




Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the game between New England and Kansas City has been postponed, the game could be made up Monday or Tuesday Night pending test results from each team. 


2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-05 | 2020-04

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