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  • 22 Aug
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Starting guard Jacob Bailey understands how big this weekend could be for the Indiana Hoosiers.They havent started 2-1 in Big Ten play since 2007, havent won back-to-back home conference games since 2006 and havent beaten two ranked teams in the same season since 2004.Bailey, an Indianapolis native, wants to help change all that Saturday against No. 10 Nebraska (5-0, 2-0) .Thats obviously in the back of our heads a little bit, but thats not our goal, the fifth-year senior said when asked about pulling a second upset in three weeks. Our goal is to win one game at a time. It just so happens the next game is against Nebraska and its a highly-ranked team.After ending a seven-year bowl drought last season, the Hoosiers (3-2, 1-1) are three wins away from becoming bowl eligible for a second straight season. It would be the first time in a quarter-century Indiana has achieved that feat. After upsetting No. 17 Michigan State in overtime two weeks ago and giving No. 2 Ohio State its first serious challenge before falling 38-17 last weekend in Columbus, the Hoosiers certainly look like they will be in the mix Saturday.I knew that I wanted to be a part of an Indiana program that kind of turned this program around, Bailey said. Were not there yet. We still have a ways to go. But I think definitely, in the last five years, youve seen constant and consistent improvement. Thats really been our mantra since I got here.Theres no doubt the Hoosiers are playing better.In Wilsons first five seasons, the Hoosiers allowed 40 or more points in 28 games including five times last season. This year, under new defensive coordinator Tom Allen, the Hoosiers still havent allowed 40 and despite giving up 290 yards rushing to the Buckeyes, trailed by only one score in the third quarter.The Hoosiers even deferred after winning the coin toss, quite a change for a team that has built its reputation on scoring points and winning shootouts. Thats not necessarily the case anymore.I think thats already being spread around, linebacker Tegray Scales said after his third straight game with 10 or more tackles.But the high-scoring Cornhuskers pose a different kind of challenge for a revamped defense that has primarily used its nickel package as the base defense. Nebraska brings the nations No. 23 rushing offense (234.2 yards).Wilson has seen all this before.He matched wits with Nebraska multiple times in his last previous stop, at Oklahoma, and still believes Nebraska is one of the nations premier programs, and he hopes that a big, boisterous crowd will give the Hoosiers a boost as they try to pull off another signature win.Bailey cant wait.Thats every week playing in the Big Ten East, he said when asked about playing a third consecutive ranked foe. With this team on the rise, playing another team thats probably going to be top 10 in the country, its a great opportunity to see where were at.Note: Wilson continues to say All-American guard Dan Feeney (concussion) is making progress and could return this week. Feeney has already missed three games.---Online:APs college football website: Eduardo Escobar Jersey . Zvonareva, who won the tournament in 2009 and 10, couldnt handle her opponents big groundstrokes in only her third event back after 17 months out with a shoulder injury. Zvonareva made her comeback in January in Shenzhen and played in the Australian Open but lost her first matches at both tournaments. Curt Schilling Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. . In taking its goal tally to 99 in all competitions already this season, City delivered another demonstration of its lethal firepower at Etihad Stadium to set up a fourth-round match at home to another second-tier team -- Watford. Abraham Almonte Diamondbacks Jersey . "Four now," Carl Gunnarsson told the Leaf Report proudly following a 5-2 victory over New York on Tuesday night, the clubs fifth straight at home. Adam Jones Jersey . The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday that the veteran forward will return to the teams line-up on Saturday night when the Habs visit the Nashville Predators. PITTSBURGH -- Its one of those meaningful series in September with playoff implications that the baseball world will be watching.But when the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game set with a Labor Day matinee against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, neither team will exactly come steaming into the game.St. Louis, at least, will be coming off a win. The Cardinals had lost three in a row but avoided a sweep at Cincinnati with a 5-2 win Sunday.Pittsburgh has lost a season-worst six games in a row and has been shut out in three of those games, including a 10-0 loss at home Sunday against Milwaukee, which swept a weekend series.The Cardinals (71-64) hold the second wild-card spot in the National League, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates.Asked if his club could shake off the six losses and give the Cardinals a series, Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle managed a smile.Oh, my goodness, yes, he said. This is what lifes all about. Do you just fold up your bag and go home? Thats not an option. You get to play a meaningful game in September because theyve earned it.The Pirates fell to .500, at 67-67, Sunday. They were outscored 18-4 by the Brewers in the three weekend games.It magnifies everything else when you dont score runs, Hurdle said. We got shut out two out of three games. We carved a little offense out of the in-between game.Weve got to fight to get the leadoff hitter on base. Thats No. 1. And then the at-bats, it becomes that battle in the box, getting a strike, getting that pitch you want to hit and hitting it hard somewhere. That is it. Thats all we need to focus on.The Pirates have been getting good starts lately from their pitching, even if the bullpen has been shaky at times.Rookie Chad Kuhl ((3-2, 3.70 ERA) will be maaking his 10th major league start Monday, first against St.dddddddddddd Louis. He has lost his past two decisions but has given up just 12 runs over his past six starts.At the other end of the spectrum is St. Louis scheduled starter, veteran Adam Wainwright (9-8, 4.53 ERA), who this season has been trying to prove hes still effective.He has not earned a win in his past eight starts, although Tuesday at Milwaukee, he allowed just one run on three hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks in a no-decision on his 35th birthday.Going into the game, I tried to forget about everything thats gone on this year, Wainwright told I watched only 13 and 14 film of me. I wanted to remember that guy. Not this other fellow whos been pitching this year.Offensively, the Cardinals have been going heavy on the long ball. They have hit a homer in a franchise-record 23 games in a row.They are just 12-11 in those games, but manager Mike Matheny isnt looking to rein in the power.Ill take home runs, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this weekend. Home runs are a good way to produce offense. Its been helping us all year long. And it will continue to.Its not like were sitting there striking out 20 times a game and popping up all day long. There were some good defensive plays made against us all day long.Hurdle, meanwhile, is hoping for some runs by any means from the Pirates.Were just not meeting the demands of the game, he said. The preparation is there. The focus is there. ... At the end of the day, theres no runs on the board two out of three games (over the weekend). That makes it hard. ' ' '