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: Wisconsin at Iowa, 11 a.m. Saturday, ABC
Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz (Johnsburg graduate) had the game-winning touchdown against Northwestern in overtime last weekend.
“Actually, we practiced that exact play, with that exact coverage this whole week,” Fiedorowicz said in a recent Des Moines Register story. “We knew as a wide receiver unit we needed to make a play.”
The Hawkeyes (5-3) are only one victory away from being bowl-eligible.
Jon Budmayr, a Marian Central graduate, is a student coach for Wisconsin this season.
College football: Illinois at Penn State, 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN
The Illini have to shore up the defense. Nothing new here. They gave up 42 points in a loss to Michigan State last weekend and 56 to Wisconsin, the weekend before that. But only three points in a loss to the Spartans? Just plain ugly.
McHenry graduate Jake Howe has started all seven games on the defensive line this season for the Illini. The Illini have lost 17 straight conference games. 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 first season as a graduate assistant coach on offense for the Illini.
College football: Northern Illinois at UMass, 11 a.m. Saturday, WPWR
The undefeated Huskies (8-0) get another easy opponent this week in UMass (1-7), after blowing out Eastern Michigan, 59-20.
Prairie Ridge graduate and NIU freshman linebacker Sean Folliard has played as a true freshman for the Huskies. Folliard led the Huskies last weekend with six total tackles, including three solo tackles and one tackle for a loss.
College football: Northern Iowa at Illinois State, 1 p.m. Saturday, CSN
Illinois State quarterback Adam Pittser (Richmond-Burton graduate) saw his first action in an Illinois State uniform and went 2 for 6 for 14 yards in a loss at Youngstown State on Oct 12. His longest pass was a 7-yard completion to Cameron Hunt.
Illinois State senior and Huntley graduate Jordan Neukirch is a fullback on the ISU roster. Neukirch has played in all eight games and has nine receptions for 67 yards (7.4 average) with no touchdowns.
NHL: Pittsburgh at Columbus, 6 p.m. Saturday, NHLN
Crystal Lake native Jared Boll plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fighting: Bellator 106, 8 p.m. Saturday, SPIKE
Featherweight champion Pat Curran (19-4 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) looks to defend his title against Daniels Straus (21-4 MMA, 7-1 BMMA). Curran trains out of Crystal Lake-based Team Curran MMA.
College football: Northwestern at Nebraska, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, BTN
Hayden Baker and Quinn Baker (Cary-Grove graduates) play for the Wildcats.
NFL: Vikings at Cowboys, noon Sunday, Fox
Paige Elaine of West Dundee is in her first season with the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleading squad.
Women’s college volleyball: Florida at Texas A&m, 1 p.m. Sunday, ESPNU
Florida senior setter Taylor Brauneis (Prairie Ridge graduate) looks to push the Gators toward a Southeastern Conference title.
The Gators trailed only Missouri entering the weekend. Brauneis had 38 assists and six digs in the Gators’ win over Tennessee. Brauneis became a member of the 4,000 assist club and now has 4,331 assists in her career in that match.
College soccer: men’s, Wisconsin at Northwestern, 2 p.m. Sunday, BTN
Cary-Grove graduate and Wisconsin sophomore midfielder Drew Conner leads the Badgers in assists this season. He’s looking to help the Badgers pick up their third Big 10 win this season.
Pro basketball: Bulls at Philadelphia, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, WGN, NBATV
For the first time this season, the Bulls will play a team that didn’t qualify for last year’s playoffs.
SET THE DVR
NHL: Calgary at Blackhawks, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, CSN
This game is third back-to-back game. The Hawks won their first back-to-back game earlier this season against Buffalo.
CATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS LATER
College football: Miami (Fla.) at Florida State, 7 p.m. Saturday, ABC
Florida State opened as a 21-point favorite this week. Yikes. And the Hurricanes barely edged Wake Forest last week. Expect the “tomahawk chop” early and often.
• Agree? Disagree? Is someone from the Northwest Herald coverage area going to be on TV? Let Kevin Murphy know at email@example.com.