14th ranked Western plays at Kent State tonight.   The Broncos are a three touchdown favorite.   One of five unbeaten teams in the Top 25, the Broncos (9-0) jumped three spots in the poll this week and have risen steadily despite minimal national attention. They will get a chance to showcase what they're all about on tonight at 7:30 on ESPN2.

The oddsmakers might give the Broncos an even bigger advantage, as Kent State has indefinitely suspended star senior safety Nate Holley.  School spokesman Eric Mansfield confirmed the punishment on Monday, but did not provide any details.  Holley is the Golden Flashes' top defensive player, averaging 12.3 tackles per game. He leads the nation with 8.9 tackles per game.  Holley's twin brother, Nick, took over as Kent State's starting quarterback earlier this season following injuries to two other QBs.

A victory would give the Broncos their first 10-win season in school history, extend their winning streak to 12 — only top-ranked Alabama has a longer one — and keep them in line for a major bowl bid.  If Western Michigan wins its final three regular-season games and the MAC championship game, it would be in line to go to the Cotton Bowl, which reserves a spot for the highest-ranked, non-Power Five conference team.

Pistons

The Pistons were blown out by the Clippers in L.A. last night 114-80.   It was the Clippers’ 11th consecutive victory against Detroit. Chris Paul scored 24 points and made five of the Clippers' season-high 13 3-pointers.   Andre Drummond had 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Detroit, which shot 37 percent and made just 4 of 12 3-point attempts.  Detroit plays at Phoenix on Wednesday.  The Suns are 2-5.

Red Wings

The Red Wings play in Philadelphia tonight.  Detroit put winger Thomas Vanek on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.  He’ll miss at least four more games.   The 32-year-old Vanek, signed July 1 as a free agent, had eight points in seven games.  He helped the Red Wings start the season 6-2. Without him, they have lost five straight.   The Red Wings recalled 21-year-old winger Tyler Bertuzzi from the Grand Rapids Griffins.  The nephew of former NHL player Todd Bertuzzi has four points in nine games this season.

Verlander and two ex-Tigers are Cy Young Finalists

The Major League Baseball Writers' Association of America has announced the finalists for this year's individual awards.  The AL Cy Young Award is between Cleveland's Corey Kluber, Boston's Rick Porcello and Detroit's Justin Verlander, while the NL finalists are Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs and Washington's Max Scherzer.

For the MVP awards, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy of Washington and Corey Seager of the Dodgers are up for NL, while Jose Altuve of Houston, Boston's Mookie Betts and Mike Trout of the Angels are the AL finalists.

Volleyball

Six Battle Creek area volleyball teams hope to move on to the 'Sweet 16' following tonight's regional semifinal matchups.

  • St. Philip plays Mendon at Bellevue.
  • Athens plays St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran at Bellevue
  • Harper Creek plays Buchanan at Coloma.
  • Gull Lake will play DeWitt at Coldwater.
  • Olivet plays Lake Odessa Lakewood at Fowlerville.
  • Bronson takes on Bridgman at Lawton.

KCC Volleyball

It wasn’t a great season for the KCC Volleyball team, but two first-year players are being honored by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.   Post season awards include Marshall’s Emily Delmotte, and Harper Creek grad Kimberly Kusler.

High School Football Playoffs

Climax-Scotts plays at Ottawa Lake Whiteford in a Region 4 matchup this weekend. Since there’s significant travel time to Friday’s game, Climax-Scotts will release elementary students and hour early at 2:41on Friday to board buses or to be picked up from the elementary.

 KCC Basketball

KCC’s Men’s basketball team, 0-2 on the season, will play U of M Dearborn today.

Monday Night Football

Seattle beat Buffalo 31-25 for their 11th straight win on Monday Night Football.  Jimmy Graham made a pair of one-handed touchdown receptions in the second quarter and had eight catches for 103 yards.   Russell Wilson completed 20 of his 26 passes for 282 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.  The Bills reached the Seattle 10 in the closing seconds before the Seahawks stopped Buffalo on downs to improve to 5-2-1.

The Bills got cheated out of a field goal at the end of the first half.  Richard Sherman ran into the Bills kicker on a field goal attempt, but he was offside.  So instead of a 15-yard penalty for roughing the kicker, the Seahawks got a 5-yard penalty.  But since the trainers came out to give medical assistance to the kicker, he had to come off the field for a play.  So the Bills had to spike the ball and send him back o0ut.  Then he actually made the field goal . . . but the officials called a delay of game penalty, which moved the ball back again.  And then he missed on the third attempt, from 53 yards away.  Sherman blamed kicker Dan Carpenter for trying to kick the ball when it was clearly going to be an off-side penalty.

Lions Football

The 5-4 Lions are a half-game out of first place in the NFC North as they head into their bye week. It's a far cry from where Detroit was during its open date last season, which came after the Lions got off to a 1-7 start.   The Detroit Lions play the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 20 at Ford Field.