Former USF linebacker Kawika Mitchell made his first NFL start Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs in their 27-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
Mitchell, who had played in three games for Kansas City’s special teams unit before Sunday, made four tackles against the Raiders after posting just one in his first three games. He got the opportunity to start because Kansas City’s starting middle linebacker, Mike Maslowski, was out with a knee injury.
The Chiefs, who improved to 10-1 with the victory, have the best record in the NFL and are being picked by some experts to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. If the Chiefs get there, Mitchell would become the fourth former USF player to have played on a Super Bowl team. Scott McCready and Kenyatta Jones won Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots after the 2001 season and Ryan Benjamin won one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.
Mitchell was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft as the 47th overall selection, the highest selection ever for a former USF player. He is USF’s all-time tackles leader with 367, and as a senior in 2002 had a school-record 117 tackles.
Maslowski’s status for the Chiefs’ game next week at the San Diego Chargers is unknown, but if he is out, Mitchell will likely start again.
General to compete in NCAA championships
Bente General competes in Cedar Falls, Iowa today as USF’s lone representative at the NCAA cross country championships.
General took fourth at the NCAA South Regional on Nov. 15 to earn a spot in the championships. Two other women, Jessica Hellender and 2002 All-American Christa Benton, finished in the top 20 for USF, but failed to earn a bid.
“Obviously, I wish some of my teammates made it to the championships as well, and I was kind of surprised I was the only one, but I just have to keep going, I guess,” General said. “I knew, going into the season and the Regional, that I had a chance and Christa had a chance, but I was the only one who made it. Everyone worked really hard all season, though.”
General said the week before the meet was not filled with extra last minute workouts to prepare, but was instead relaxed.
“(The week) has actually been pretty easy,” she said. “I haven’t done much beyond my regular weekly workouts, and I have felt pretty good this week.”
USF women’s basketball team splits first two games
The Bulls opened the weekend with a 64-48 victory over Wagner on Friday. The win did not give the team any momentum, though, as USF lost to Army 63-59 on Sunday.
Against Wagner, freshman forward Jessica Dickson, playing the first game of her career, led all scorers with 27 points in the game.
Also making their first starts for USF were forwards Andrea Armstrong, Nalini Miller and Rae Rae Sayles. Armstrong made three of four shots from the field for five points, Miller added six points and Sayles was second on the team with four assists.
In the loss to Army, five USF players scored in double figures, led by Dickson’s 18, but the Bulls shot just 31 percent from the field.
“We need to be more careful on the floor,” USF coach Jose Fernandez said. “We were in foul trouble the entire game, and on top of that we are not going to beat anybody when we make only 22 of 78 shots.”
Miller blocked four shots, tying for sixth best in team history. Guard Anedra Gilmore started in place of Sayles and led the team with four assists.
Sayles did not play against Army due to a coaches decision, and played just 18 minutes against Wagner. The team will host Miami on Tuesday night in its home opener before hosting the Best Western Roundball Classic this weekend.