The GIST: The Bears snapped their six-game losing streak with a 36–7 beatdown of the Houston Texans, and the Northwestern Wildcats took on the U of I Fighting Illini in college rivalry week. Finally, a great weekend to be a Chicago football fan!
NFL: Starting with running back David Montgomery’s 80-yard touchdown run on the opening drive, Da Bears put on an offensive show yesterday. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky went off, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Something to prove?
- The Bears defense also looked like their league-leading selves. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack stole the show with a safety, forced fumble and fumble recovery. While their playoff chances are still looking bleak, we’re honestly just happy they won.
College football: As expected, the Wildcats bested the Illini 28–10 on Saturday. The No. 14 ’Cats will now face the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Conference Championship, and a win could mean a shot at the CFP. The Illini will also participate in Champions Week with a game against Penn State, but one key team member will be missing: a head coach.
- The U of I athletic director announced the release of head coach Lovie Smith yesterday. Smith has been at U of I for five seasons, and his time ends with an overall losing record and no significant signs of improvement.
- With Smith out of the picture, offensive coordinator Rod Smith will lead the Illini in their final game on Saturday. Sigh.