WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Flynn to start for Packers against Dallas
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers are planning to start Matt Flynn at quarterback on Sunday at Dallas.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that Aaron Rodgers quote, "has hurdles to go over and medically, he's not cleared." The coach said Rodgers would step up his rehab work today, and he needs to get stronger and more comfortable. On Wednesday, Rodgers will again have his broken left collarbone examined to see if it's strong enough for him to play. The quarterback says the big concern now is being able to take the hits on his left shoulder, where he landed when he broke the collarbone on a sack November fourth. McCarthy also said the Packers were expecting to run the ball more than they in Sunday's one-point home win over Atlanta. Flynn ended up throwing 32 times, completing 75-percent of his passes for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The Chicago Bears crushed Dallas 45-28 in a cold Monday Night game at Soldier Field. The Bears moved back into a share of first place with Detroit in the NFC North Division, both at 7-6 -- but the Lions have the tie-breaker after going 2-0 against Chicago this season. Green Bay is third, a half-game back at 6-6-1. Bears' quarterback Josh McCown threw four touchdown passes and had a rushing score, as he completed 27-of-36 for 348 yards. Matt Forte ran for 102 yards, plus had seven catches for 73 yards and a TD. Dallas quarterback and Burlington native Tony Romo threw for 104 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys ended a two-game winning streak and dropped into second place behind Philadelphia in the NFC East. Dallas also fell to 11-16 in December under Romo, as it now prepares to host Green Bay on Sunday.
Some fans may be wondering why the Packers were patient with kicker Mason Crosby, and not with kick returner Jeremy Ross. Special teams' coach Shaun Slocum tells the Green Bay Press-Gazette that Crosby was able to focus on improving at one position, while Ross had several to deal with -- and he made mistakes over four games which resulted in his release. Crosby agreed to take one-third of his two-point-four million dollar salary for this year, and earn back the rest only if his performance improved -- which it has. Ross, on the other hand, was cut by the Packers after he dropped two important kicks in a playoff loss to San Francisco last season, and a Week-Three loss at Cincinnati. He's gotten a lot better with Detroit, as he returned both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in a heavy snowstorm last Sunday at Philadelphia. Ross had 243 return yards that day. Slocum said players sometimes just need a change of scenery to improve their mind-set. The Packer players are off today, while the coaches finalize their game-plan for Sunday's contest at Dallas.
University of Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis won the Burlsworth Trophy yesterday as the nation's top player who started as a walk-on. The senior from Wautoma beat out Trey Watts of Tulsa and Max Copeland of Missouri for the honor. Abbrederis has 73 catches for 1,051 yards and seven touchdowns going into the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day against South Carolina. He was an all-Big Ten first team pick for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, the Badgers' younger players took part in a developmental practice yesterday. Safety Tanner McEvoy spent a little time at the position where he started the season -- at quarterback. Third-stringer Bart Houston took some snaps as well. Freshman tight end T.J. Watt left practice early with a leg injury.
The University of Wisconsin football team is looking forward to a New Year’s Day matchup with South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl. Players are calling it a “measuring stick” and a chance to measure up and see what the big-time conferences are like against each other. Head coach Gary Andersen says it’s a tremendous matchup of two team with nine and ten win record. The Gamecocks’ defense is anchored by juniors Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles who combine for 12-and-a-half sacks and 24 tackles for loss. It will be the first meeting between the teams.
It will be the battle of unbeaten teams this coming Saturday, when UW-Whitewater faces Mary Hardin-Baylor for the Division III football semifinals in Texas. The Warhawks advanced to the semis with a 28-17 win over Linfield on Saturday, in a game where they came back from a 17-0 deficit. The Warhawks have won all four previous meetings with Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball jumped several spots in the latest AP and USA Today polls, released today. The Badgers (10-0) are up four spots to fourth in the AP Top 25, and up three spots to sixth in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Badgers capped the week with wins over Virginia (48-38) and in-state rival Marquette (70-64). The Badgers are in the middle of a four-game home stand, with UW-Milwaukee coming to town on Wednesday night.
Matt Ferris of Appleton Xavier has been named the Wisconsin Associated Press high school football player-of-the-year. And Clint Peters of Winneconne is the coach-of-the-year. Ferris, a senior quarterback, broke state records this season with 3,949 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. Ferris averaged just over 300 yards a game. His season-high was 420 yards and eight scoring passes -- a state single-game record -- in a 64-14 rout of Ripon. Peters coached a Winneconne team that started the year at 2-5, and recovered to win the state Division 4 championship. They beat Platteville 28-14 to become the first team with five losses ever to win a state title.
Milwaukee Bucks' center Larry Sanders has had pins removed from his injured right thumb. The thumb is now in a splint, and Sanders will be checked again soon. The Bucks' leading shot-blocker tore a ligament in early November during a fight at a downtown Milwaukee night club. He's expected to return to the line-up before the end of December. The Bucks also said yesterday that center Zaza Pachulia will be out for at least four weeks with a broken bone in his right foot. An exam revealed the fracture, after Pachulia was hurt in last Wednesday night's loss to Detroit. Also, coach Larry Drew said yesterday that forward Caron Butler would be out for another 7-to-10 days with his swollen left knee. Butler, a Racine native, has missed six games after the knee became swollen at Charlotte. In addition, back-up guard Gary Neal did not practice yesterday due to a nagging left foot injury. He did not make the trip to Chicago where the Bucks will play the Bulls tonight. Milwaukee is 4-16. Chicago is 8-10 without its star Derrick Rose.
Keifer Sykes of UW-Green Bay is the Horizon League men's basketball player-of-the-week for the third time this season. Sykes, a junior guard, has scored 20-or-more points in his last six games. He had 21 points and 10 assists on Saturday, when the Phoenix knocked off Virginia at home. Through Sunday, Sykes was one of just three players in the country averaging over 20 points and five assists per game. Green Bay is now 5-2, and will play at Eastern Michigan tonight.
UW-Stevens Point is the new No. 1 team in the NCAA Division III men's college basketball poll from D3hoops.com. The Pointers are 5-0 after beating UW-Eau Claire on Saturday night, 74-55. The previous No. 1, Amherst of Massachusetts, dropped to seventh, after losing to Emerson 90-79 to fall to 5-1. UW-Whitewater dropped from fourth place to eighth after losing its first game of the season to Stout by five points. Stout was rewarded with its first ranking this fall, at No. 19. Whitewater will play at Point tomorrow night. Saint Norbert of De Pere moved up two spots to 16th in the new poll. In the D3hoops.com women's poll, Whitewater remains ninth. Carthage of Kenosha moved up one place to 15th. Stevens Point moved up three places to 19th. Oshkosh is newly-ranked this week at No. 22. Saint Norbert and Concordia-Wisconsin received votes. DePauw remains the women's No. 1.
The latest USCHO.com Division I poll shows the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team climbed two spots to 15th, while the women remain unchanged at number two. The men (6-5-1) swept its first Big Ten series with Penn State over the weekend, while the women (14-2-2) dominated a two-game weekend series with Bemidji State. Minnesota is No. 1 in both polls again for this week. The Saint Norbert men's hockey team dropped one place to third in the new Division III poll from U.S .College Hockey Online. The Green Knights are 10-2. UW-Stevens Point remains at No. 4. Eau Claire is 10th, dropping three places from last week with a mark of 5-3-1. River Falls is newly-ranked this week at No. 15. In the Division III women's poll, UW-Stevens Point moved up one place to sixth with an overall mark of 9-1-1. Superior dropped two spots to eighth at 5-2-3. River Falls is newly-ranked this week at No. 10. Plattsburgh of New York State is No. 1 in both the men's-and-women's D-III polls.
It's Day-Two of Baseball's Winter Meetings near Orlando -- and the Milwaukee Brewers continue their search for a first baseman and perhaps a reliever. General manager Doug Melvin met yesterday with Brewers' free agent Corey Hart -- and both sides are said to be interested in having the 31-year-old first baseman re-up with the Crew. Melvin said he and Hart's agent did not talk about money, and they expect further discussions. Agent Jeff Berry said a number of teams have expressed an interest in Hart, and he'll talk to all of them. However, Berry said he and Hart have a "tremendous relationship" with the Brewers. Hart never played in 2013 after having surgeries on both his knees. In the meantime, Melvin is looking at other possible free agents in the event that Hart leaves. They include Miami's Logan Morrison and Ike Davis of the New York Mets. However, Melvin says everything is quote, "just conversation" right now. The Brewers also are looking for an experienced reliever to go with Jim Henderson. Melvin emphasized there is no talk about bringing back John Axford or Francisco Rodriguez.
Major League managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa were unanimously elected to Baseball's Hall-of-Fame under the Expansion Era ballot. All three will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 27th. Torre also excelled in an 18-year playing career as a catcher, including his first six seasons with the old Milwaukee Braves. Torre went on have 23-hundred-26 managerial victories with Atlanta, Saint Louis, and the New York Mets and Yankees -- the fifth-highest total in big league history. Torre is now an executive vice president for Major League Baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig said all three skippers not only led great teams, they instilled quote, "a brand of class and professionalism that baseball fans admired." La Russa was a skipper for 33 years with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland, and Saint Louis. He managed a lot of memorable games for the Cardinals against the Milwaukee Brewers, including the 2011 National League Championship Series in which his Cards beat the Brewers four-games-to-two, and went on to the World Series just before La Russa retired. Cox led Atlanta to 14 straight National League East titles and four World Series.
Scores: In the NFC North... Chicago 45, Dallas 28
In men's college basketball...
Carthage 68, Silver Lake 56
In women's college basketball...
UW-Eau Claire 72, Minnesota-Morris 53
Wisconsin boys' high school basketball...
Albany 46, Potosi 34
Amherst 49, Marion 31
Antigo 47, Crandon 31
Barneveld 47, Darlington 44
Bayfield 80, Lac Courte Oreilles 33
Bessemer, Michigan 74, Butternut 32
Boyceville 38, Cornell 36
Crivitz 65, Niagara 58
Drummond 56, Winter 28
East Troy 88, Milwaukee North 73
Fennimore 59, River Ridge 47
Gillett 52, Suring 40
Highland 59, Benton 49
Hurley 67, Chequamegon 57, OT
Marathon 61,Edgar 30
Markesan 44, Lake Country Lutheran 35
Medford 66, Ashland 52
Mondovi 67, Plum City 33
Wausau Newman 63, Pittsville 44
Green Bay Notre Dame 56, Pulaski 46
Peshtigo 86, Lena 24
Reedsville 64, New Holstein 56
Sauk Prairie 51, River Valley 47
Shullsburg 43, Lancaster 41, OT
Solon Springs 66, Birchwood 43
Spring Valley 65, Glenwood City 55
Turtle Lake 81, Shell Lake 45
Two Rivers 65, Manitowoc Lutheran 58
Wausaukee 74, Coleman 40
Wild Rose 47, Plainfield Tri-County 20
Girls' high school basketball...
Athens 46, Greenwood 40
La Crosse Aquinas 31, Adams-Friendship 26
Augusta 50, Eleva-Strum 32
Bessemer Michigan 45, Butternut 11
Boscobel 39, Wauzeka-Steuben 32
Chequamegon 41, Gilman 38
Columbus 46, New Glarus 44, OT
Cuba City 40, Prairie du Chien 27
Durand 52, Barron 38
Fall Creek 41, Elk Mound 36
Fall River 51, Deerfield 31
Fox Valley Lutheran 58, Waupaca 27
Freedom 43, Berlin 34
Gibraltar 69, Oneida Nation 36
Mequon Homestead 45, Menomonee Falls 31
Horicon 43, Williams Bay 28
Hustisford 48, Dodgeland 31
Kee-Lansing, Iowa 52, De Soto 40
Kettle Moraine Lutheran 54, West Bend East 27
Lakeside Lutheran 78, Wisconsin Heights 50
Oshkosh Lourdes 48, Randolph 30
Marathon 67, Prentice 30
Markesan 46, Pardeeville 22
Greendale Martin Luther 40, Brookfield Academy 30
Menomonie 58, Altoona 41
Milwaukee School of Languages 65, Kenosha Reuther 9
Mishicot 41, Kewaunee 39
Monticello 61, Princeton/Green Lake 13
Neillsville 54, Auburndale 26
Nekoosa 48, Poynette 45, OT
Port Edwards 41, Almond-Bancroft 17
Eau Claire Regis 65, Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran 15
Rio 48, Madison Abundant Life 44
River Valley 41, Lodi 29
Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs 56, Howards Grove 40
Seneca 32, Wonewoc-Center 19
Solon Springs 36, Birchwood 15
South Shore 70, Minong Northwood 42
Waterloo 55, Johnson Creek 47
West Allis Hale 78, Milwaukee Lutheran 43
Weston 48, Cassville 35
Weyauwega-Fremont 34, Omro 32
Winter 46, Drummond 27
Wittenberg-Birnamwood 34, Clintonville 25
Appleton Xavier 49, Little Chute 42