MURPH'S 'MOTE: Local grads prepare for conference play

Northwest Herald sports copy editor Kevin Murphy picks his top sporting events to watch on TV this weekend with a spotlight on local graduates:


College football: Illinois at Nebraska, 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPNU

McHenry East graduate Jake Howe has started all four games on the defensive line this season for the Illini, who begin Big Ten Conference play.

Tim Clary, a Richmond-Burton graduate and sophomore fullback for the Illini, is also on the roster.

Drew Nystrom, a Prairie Ridge graduate, is in his first season as a graduate assistant coach on offense for the Illini.

College football: Michigan State at Iowa, 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN2

Iowa senior tight end and Johnsburg graduate C.J. Fiedorowicz has the Hawkeyes on the right track.

College football: Western Illinois at Illinois State, 2 p.m. Saturday, CSN

Crystal Lake South graduate and Western Illinois redshirt freshman Eddie Atkinson was the Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year for the Leathernecks last season. Atkinson played in the season opener for the Leathernecks. Also, Dundee-Crown’s RJ Schmidt is on the WIU roster.

Illinois State senior and Huntley graduate Jordan Neukirch is a fullback on the roster. Illinois State sophomore and Richmond-Burton graduate Adam Pittser is a quarterback for the Redbirds.

Neukirch is listed as the No. 1 fullback on this week’s depth chart and has been the starter the past four games.

College football: Ohio State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. Saturday, ABC

ESPN’s “College GameDay” comes to Evanston. Hayden Baker and Quinn Baker (Cary-Grove graduates) play for the Wildcats.

Pro football: Broncos at Cowboys, 3:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS

Paige Elaine of West Dundee is in her first season with the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleading squad.


Pro hockey: Tampa Bay at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. Saturday, CSN

Six goals in the opener for the Hawks? I’ll take that. I’d rather not see the other team score four goals every night. Is it too early to start counting down when the Hawks can clinch the Presidents’ Trophy?


Pro football: Saints at Bears, noon Sunday, Fox

This could be a shootout, or this game with Drew Brees’ arm could get ugly, real quick. I’m not saying the Bears won’t win, but the Saints are a lot better than the Lions.


NBA: Preseason, Bulls at Indiana, 6 p.m. Saturday, WGN

Yes, we all want to see Derrick Rose play. How long have we been saying that? I’m not getting my hopes up. I’ll wait until the regular season starts.

• Agree? Disagree? Is someone from the Northwest Herald coverage area going to be on TV? Let Kevin Murphy know at

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