(Updated) State sports briefs: Packers protest penalty which proved costly in Sunday's gameThe Packers’ special teams coach showed pictures to reporters yesterday to make his case that the officials blew a major call in Green Bay’s loss to Miami.
GREEN BAY - The Packers’ special teams coach showed pictures to reporters yesterday to make his case that the officials blew a major call in Green Bay’s loss to Miami.
Referee Ed Hochuli waited until after a TV time-out to call a penalty on linebacker Robert Francois, for lining up illegally over the long snapper on a Miami punt. It gave the Dolphins the ball back, and they scored a touchdown on their ensuing drive in the fourth quarter. Packer fans loudly booed the delayed enforcement of the new rule, which was adopted last off-season to give the snapper more protection. It states that a player must be outside the snapper’s shoulders, or more than a yard off the line of scrimmage. Slocum said his photos clearly showed Francois one-and-a-half to two yards off the line of scrimmage. He said it was taken just before the ball was snapped. Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy said he also believed Francois was lined up legally. Francois was playing in his first game since being called up from the practice squad last week – and Slocum said he reminded Francois of the rule before he took the field. Francois also said he made sure to line up correctly. Hochuli says it takes more than one official to physically see the violation, so they had to huddle after Tramon Williams made a fair catch and a T-V time-out began. The referee said no part of a defender’s body can be within the prohibited area. And it’s possible that Francois might have been leaning in.
Brett Favre says he’ll let the NFL’s investigation into his alleged lewd text messages “take its course.” The Vikings’ quarterback is scheduled to meet tomorrow in Minnesota with NFL investigators about his conduct in 2008, when he was with the New York Jets. Favre, who won a Super Bowl and three league MVP titles with the Packers, is accused of sending inappropriate photos to former Jets’ employee Jenn Sterger. Two other women also reported getting racy texts from Favre as well. Yesterday, the 41-year-old Favre threw for 118 yards and a touchdown in a three-point Minnesota victory over Dallas. Favre said his elbow tendinitis felt great, because he had a cortisone shot and two days of rest. He says it will be too soon to take another shot as he gets ready to play the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday night. So he plans to practice as much as possible and be smart about it. Favre says he needs to get timing up to snuff – and he’s got some new receivers he’ll need to coordinate with. Favre has been limited in recent practices because of the elbow. He has also been fighting ankle problems.
The Wisconsin football players and coaches didn’t take much time to celebrate their 31-18 upset of Ohio State on Saturday night. Coach Bret Bielema said it took less than a half-hour to start thinking about the Badgers’ next match-up at Iowa on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are 2-0 in the Big Ten, while the Badgers come in at 2-1. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst said he celebrated on Saturday night – but yesterday, he already started his preparation for the Hawkeyes. Chryst says he’ll warn his players about an emotional let-down at Iowa City. He says it probably won’t be an issue, but he won’t take it for granted. Several players said their win over top-ranked Ohio State would be diminished if they lost to Iowa the following week. Safety Jay Valai said the players have a closer rivalry with Iowa than with Minnesota, because many of the Badgers were recruited from the Hawkeye State. Quarterback Scott Tolzien says the seniors will make sure everyone has the same focus and intensity for Iowa that they did for Ohio State.
The Marquette women’s soccer team is now 9-0 in the Big East Conference, after beating Louisville 4-3 at home yesterday. Kerry McBride scored the game-winner in the 91st minute, as the Golden Eagles came back from a two-goal deficit and improved to 12-3-2 overall.
In other women’s soccer, Wisconsin has won only its second game ever against Penn State, with a 3-2 victory at Happy Valley. Kodee Williams broke a 2-2 tie with a goal in the 79th minute. It gave the Badgers their first win over the Nittany Lions since November of 1995. Wisconsin is now 4-1-2 in the Big Ten, and 7-4-4 overall. UW-Milwaukee moved into first place in the Horizon League with a 2-1 victory at Loyola. Sarah Hagen scored both goals for the Panthers, who improved to 5-1 in the Horizon League and 9-5-2 overall.
The Wisconsin men’s soccer team has lost three straight, after getting blanked at No. 21 Michigan State yesterday 3-0. Aaron Nichols’ had the Badgers’ only shot on goal, as they fell to 0-2-1 in the Big Ten and 1-9-2 overall. The 21st-ranked Spartans are 10-3 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
The Wisconsin volleyball team has ended a seven-match losing streak with home victory over Purdue in four sets. The Badgers won their first Big Ten match yesterday against seven defeats, and they’re now 12-7 overall. Elise Walch had 14 kills for Wisconsin, and Allison Wack had a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs. The Badgers had .204 hitting percentage to Purdue’s .131. The Boilermakers dropped to 4-4 in the league, and 13-6 overall.
UW-Whitewater remains at the top of the new national small college poll from D3football.com. The Warhawks improved to 6-0 with a 45-0 rout of Eau Claire, which was in the Top-25 until a couple weeks ago. Second-place Mount Union received only two of the 25 first-place votes. Whitewater got the rest. No other Wisconsin team is in the Top-25. Stevens Point received votes.
Grinnell College won five-of-the-six singles’ titles yesterday at the Midwest Conference women’s tennis championships in Madison. Lake Forest had the other title, as Wisconsin schools were shut out. Lawrence of Appleton took home the top doubles’ championship on Saturday, as Jennifer Roesch and Elizabeth Larson had a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Nonie Carson and Melika Celebic of Lake Forest. Grinnell won the team title, 5-2 over Lake Forest. Saint Norbert finished third.
The UW-Green Bay's women’s basketball team is not expected to have senior guard Heather Golden available for the start of the season next month. The 5-11 Golden is recovering from micro-fracture surgery in her right knee, after she got hurting during a pick-up game in the spring. Golden says she’s been watching her teammates all summer – and it’s especially hard now that practices have begun. But she’s been working hard with her trainer, and she promises to return as soon as she’s ready. Golden had similar surgery on her opposite left knee as a sophomore two years ago. She missed Green Bay’s final four regular season games, and was limited in the Horizon League tournament that spring. Golden started all but six games last season. She averaged six-and-a-half points and just over two rebounds a game.
In hockey, Milwaukee forward Nick Spaling was called back up today to the Admirals’ parent NHL club in Nashville. Spaling, a forward, had one goal and one assist in his first four games for Milwaukee this season. The move comes a day after Nashville sent goal-tender Mark Dekanich back to Milwaukee. Dekanich backed up rookie goal-tender Andres Lindback for three games at Nashville. At Milwaukee, he has a 1-0 record with a .951 save percentage and a one-point-two-two goals-against-average.
Former Wisconsin distance runner Gwen Jorgensen has taken second place at the Pan American Triathlon Championships. Jorgensen, a Waukesha native, finished 30 seconds behind first-place Carla Moreno of Brazil in the women’s division. The finals were held yesterday in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. Jorgensen became a multi-sport athlete after an All-American distance running career at Madison. She took part in her first triathlon in March. And Jorgensen took eighth last month in the U-S-A Triathlon Elite National Championships.