Eat Right For A Better You!

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Eating right and following a good nutritional plan is essential for the health and welfare of mind, body, and soul. With so much advice from so many so-called experts out there, it can be hard to make healthy choices. The tips in this article stand apart from the rest. So, if you heed it, you will be on right path.

Sneak more vegetables in your breakfast to increase your vitamin intake. There are several easy ways to do this, such as adding bell peppers to your omelet or sneaking spinach and carrots to your morning smoothie. You can also blend a small mix of vegetables together and mix them in your orange juice. More plants mean a more healthy you!

Use vegetables in unconventional ways to maximize the amount your children eat. Using herbs in dishes that usually do not call for them, such as lasagna or homemade pizza, can make mealtime fun for kids because it adds a dose of variety. Eating vegetables will not be so bad if it is in the foods they love.

Eat the entire color spectrum in food! Vibrantly colored produce is often low-calorie foods with lots of nutrients. Ensure that each meal you eat has one serving at least of veggies or fruit. When their skins can be digested, it is important to eat them, because they contain lots of valuable antioxidants.

A good nutrition tip is to try to eat more alkaline based foods and avoid acid based foods. Eating a lot of acid-based foods can upset your body’s balance and make you sick. Some good alkaline based foods are nuts, artichokes and bananas, just to name a few.

Ensure that you consume adequate quantities of B vitamins every day. A diet low in vitamin B2, vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin B12 can cause dull, dry, scaly, itchy skin. Also, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6 play a significant role in maintaining sebaceous gland function. When the sebaceous glands are healthy, they produce just enough oil to keep your skin smooth and soft.

If you feel hungry before a meal, try drinking a glass of water before your meal is done. Drinking a glass of water will help prevent you from feeling so hungry, which will result in you not eating as much. When you are hungry before a meal, you will probably eat more than you need. Drinking a glass of water can prevent this.

An easy way to add a healthy snack to your diet is to pick up some blueberries. They’re easy to pack in a lunch or and you can grab a handful for a quick pick-me-up. Of course, they’re also perfect for baked treats. Best of all, they’re quite healthy, with anti-oxidant properties, and they’re loaded with vitamins like C, A, and E.

Bananas are an excellent, natural energy bar. They contain a lot of natural sugars to give you an immediate pick me up but also have potassium for stamina and recovery after a workout. Replace your high sugar, meal replacements bars or energy bars with a banana.

One of the essential fatty acids in your diet are the omega-3 fatty acids. They are imperative in preventing inflammation, which is a contributor to the constellation of disorders that result in heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. They can be found in cold water oily fish.

Greek yogurt is higher in protein than the traditional yogurts we are used to. They are much thicker and more filling too. Consider switching to a Greek yogurt for your morning smoothie, afternoon snack, or as part of a fruit and grain parfait. The added protein is of particular importance if you are a vegetarian.

One of the healthiest foods that you can consume during the day is tomatoes, in natural form. Tomatoes are very beneficial in that they contain a high vitamin C and content, which will restore the energy necessary to perform tasks at work or school. This can help put you in a great mood and lead to clear, fresh skin.

To help your body digest its food properly, make lunch or breakfast the largest meal of your day. It’s common to eat more substantial dinner, but dinner is typically consumed close to bedtime, and it’s harder for your body to break down foods while you’re asleep. A small meal, accompanied by a big lunch or breakfast, will assure that your body can use all the nutrients that you consume.

Eating the right foods is great, however, if you are not processing it correctly, much of its value is wasted. Make it a point to be more active in your daily routine. Adding a few steps here and there will add up over the week. This increased activity prompts your body to process more efficiently out of need. Also, incorporate short walks after every meal to facilitate digestion.

The best way to maximize your nutritional program is to balance your foods. For example, a good pairing for breakfast would be oatmeal, a complex carbohydrate, and eggs, which are pure protein. This combination burns in your body effectively since they two items play off of each other which maximizes their individual properties.

To get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables make them fun. Use peanut butter and dried fruit to turn celery into ants on a log. Make a butterfly using a carrot as the body and apple slices as wings, decorate it with dried fruit. Add apple and banana slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Be creative and lead by example, the possibilities are endless.

Eating well nutritionally has a lot with having the energy to accomplish your tasks for the day. Carbohydrates are the best way to achieve that sense of power. Make sure to include a lot of fruits, vegetables, and grains into your everyday diet, and you will immediately begin to feel like you can better take on your day.

So, to keep your mind, body, and soul on the right path, then you need to establish good nutrition as a foundation in your life. This can be achieved by learning about nutrition and taking the advice from articles such as this one. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Pitt Blows out Duke 56-14

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After their shocking 43-42 victory vs. then #2 Clemson, many wondered if the Pitt Panthers next game would be a ‘trap game’ meaning, that they would be in store for a letdown against a so-called lesser opponent in the Duke Blue Devils. One thing for sure, the Panthers know all too well from that Clemson win not to ever take a team for granted, regardless of the record. And after all, Duke had a huge upset of their own when they beat nationally-ranked North Carolina 28-27.

 

One thing that success breeds is confidence and not the arrogance that can lead to a letdown, and the Panthers allowed last week’s win to fuel their fire as they defeated the Blue Devils 56-14 at Heinz Field.

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The Panthers 56 points were obviously a result of their offense who had their strongest output of this 2016 season, but the defense was also stellar as they only gave up one touchdown, a week after giving up 42 and two weeks after giving up 51 to the Miami Hurricanes. The Bowl-bound Panthers are have secured their second-straight winning season with a 7-4 record and are now 4-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division.

 

Pitt strikes first with a 19-yard TD pass from QB Nate Peterman to WR Dontez Ford. 7-0 Panthers. The drive took place after the Panthers recovered a fumble recovery on Duke’s first drive. Duke Immediately struck back on a 5-play-59-yard drive that was capped with 9-yard TD pass from QB Daniel Jones to WR Chris Taylor, tying the game at 7. Then the Panthers strike back on an 8 play 64-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard TD run by RB James Conner, giving Pitt a 14-7 lead.

 

On the next drive, Duke failed to convert, and Punted the ball back to Pitt, who also failed to convert. Duke took over at their own 22. They went nowhere, punted the ball back to Pitt who extended their lead to 21-7 when WR Quadree Henderson took the snap and ran it 52 yards for the TD. Duke does nothing on their next drive as Pitt took over at their own 42.

 

Pitt then took over, but 2 dropped passes forced them to punt the ball back to Duke who took over at their own 11. Duke also failed to convert and once again punted the ball back to Pitt who took over at their own 21. On their 3rd play, Peterman made his first mistake as his pass got intercepted by Duke’s Fields who returned it 36-yards for the TD, closing Pitt’s lead to 21-14.

 

6 plays and 75 yards later, Pitt extended their lead when Peterman redeemed himself and found WR Jester Weah for a 56-yard TD extending their lead to 28-14. On the final play of the first half, Duke attemped a 31-yard FG went wide right.

 

Pitt opened the 2nd half by driving 75 yards on 5 plays ending with a 1-yard TD from Conner, his second of the game. This TD gave him 52 for his career, setting a new ACC record. After Duke failed to convert on their drive, they punted the ball to Henderson who made them pay by returning it 65 yards for the TD, extending Pitt’s lead to 42-14. On Duke’s next drive, they went nowhere and punted the ball back to Pitt who took over, failed to convert and punted the ball back to Duke who took over at their own 20.

 

Duke finished the 3rd quarter and began the 4th quarter with the ball, but ended up turning the ball over on downs. Pitt would get the ball and would score again when Peterman found TE Scott Orndoff for 48-yard TD extending Pitt’s lead to 49-14. The Panthers would get the ball back on after fumbling the ball on Duke’s kickoff return. Pitt would add another when backup RB Quadree Ollison would score from the 2 to extend Pitt’s lead to 56-14, which was the final score.

 

Peterman passed for 237 yards with 3 touchdowns and the interception. Conner rushed for 101 yards and 2 scores and Weah had 2 catches for 95 yards and a score. For the Blue Devils, Jones passed for 243 yards and a TD and WR TJ Rahming caught 10 passes for 110 yards.

 

Ray’s Take: I love games like this. I think that the opposition should be destroyed on the field of play and Pitt did just that. They scored on almost every offensive drive and did all they could to keep the Blue Devils out of the game. I like the level of confidence that Peterman is on right now. Clearly that win vs. Clemson has fueled his fire. Another impressive showing by Conner as well as he looked like Jerome Bettis out there. If you would’ve told me that Pitt’s defense would only give up 14 points, then I would’ve asked you if you needed help. The defense also looked stronger after that opening drive. And yes, I agree that Duke’s offense isn’t as sharp as the preveious teams that Pitt’s faced, but that’s not Pitt’s problem.

 

Looking Ahead: The Panthers will finish their regular season schedule next Saturday as they host the Syracuse Orange at Heinz Field.

 

 

Ray Jr. on Sports

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  1. I have a confession to make: I don’t get sports. The one time I concede defeat for one of the local sports teams and they make me out to be a liar. And you know what? I’m cool with it. I’m obviously referring to Pitt football’s stunning 43-42 upset over #2 ranked Clemson.
  2. I guess part of me wasn’t surprised because there was a feeling that Pitt had a chance to pull off that upset. I was impressed in the fact that they had zero quit in them, especially when they fell behind by 8 points. Most teams give up at that point, but Pitt did not.
  3. To pull off this type of upset, you need a team effort. The offense, defense and special teams all played a part in this victory and they should be proud. Kudos to HC Pat Narduzzi who refused to let his team give up.
  4. On offense, it was QB Nate Peterman who had his best game with Pitt as he passed for 5 touchdowns and RB James Conner who rushed for over 130 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. On defense, they had 3 interceptions (imagine that!) and an impressive 4th and 1 stop with under a minute left. What a game & what a win.
  5. The most telling stat: The Panthers gave up 583 yards to Clemson’s QB and over 200 yards to their WR-and still won the game. Wow.
  6. Thus, the Panthers (6-4, 3-3 ACC) are once again Bowl Eligible and are rumored to either play in the Pinstripe Bowl (my favorite) or a return to the Military Bowl. Either Bowl will do. A victory in either will be better.
  7. But now the Panthers will face the Duke Blue Devils 4-6, 1-5 ACC) at Heinz Field on Saturday. The Blue Devils are coming off an upset of its own. The Blue Devils beat rival North Carolina, 28-27 and Pitt knows that they are not a team to take lightly. They’ve always played Pitt tough.
  8. Quarterback Nathan Peterman was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Clemson. Peterman threw for 308 yards and five TDs against the Tigers’ rugged defense that was surrendering just 180.1 pass yards per game.
  9. James Conner is also on the verge of breaking the ACC record for career rushing touchdowns. Conner has 48, one shy of the 38-year-old ACC record held by NC State’s Ted Brown (49 from 1975-78) not a bad career for the young man.
  10. As for the rest of College Football, here are the latest College Football Playoff Poll: 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan 4. Clemson (Thanks to Pitt). I bet Ohio State wanted to give Pitt a bouquet of flowers to Pitt for knocking Clemson out of that #2 spot.
  11. As for the Top 25, the Panthers did receive votes, but not enough to crack the polls. However, Penn State and West Virginia represent the local teams in the polls at 9th and 10th, respectively.
  12. Onto the NFL as the Pittsburgh Steelers have moved on from their disappointing 35-30 loss to the Dallas Cowboys-a game that they should’ve won. Instead, they’re 4-5 and will now travel to Cleveland to take on the 0-10 Browns.
  13. Many fans feel like they could be the team who gives the Browns their first win of the season, but I don’t think so. Folks forget that the Steelers only fall so far. It’s bad, but it’s never gotten worse, being their last losing season was 6-10 in 2003. With I expect the Steelers to end their 4-game losing streak vs. the Browns.
  14. But the injures continue to mount for the Steelers as they have now lost DE Cam Heyward for the rest of the season with a severe hamstring injury. To be honest, his hamstring was never 100% to begin with as he injured it during the preseason. Of course, it hurts the defense, but they must press on.
  15. As for the AFC North, the 2nd place Steelers trail first place Baltimore (5-4) and can still win this division, but they must start winning games. This is the weakest that I’ve ever seen this division and the Steelers need to take advantage of it.
  16. As for the rest of the NFL, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones finally said that rookie QB Dak Prescott is the starter. I mean, it didn’t take Einstein to figure that out Jerry. He only led the Cowboys to an 8-1 record. To add drama to it, former starter Tony Romo tearfully gave a concession speech, giving the starting job to Prescott. Only in Dallas.
  17. As for MLB, their postseason awards are in effect and the latest are the MVP awards, with the NL Award going to the Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant and the AL Award going to the LA Angels Mike Trout.
  18. It’s the first MVP award for Bryant, who won last year’s NL Rookie of the Year award and is the 4th player in MLB history to win ROY and MVP in consecutive seasons. For Trout, it’s his 2nd MVP in 2 years and he’s the 5th position player to win 2 MVPs before the age of 25. Congrats to them both.
  19. As for the rest of MLB, the Houston Astros made a move when they acquired C Brian McCann from the NY Yankees for 2 minor leaguers. They also signed OF Josh Reddick for $25 million over 4 years. Looks like the Astros are trying to go for the AL West Division in 2017.
  20. In the NBA, the standings look like this: Cleveland and Atlanta rule the Eastern Conference with a 9-2 record and in the Western Conference, the LA Clippers lead with a 10-2 record with the now-revived Golden St. Warriors not far behind with a 9-2 record. The San Antonio Spurs are 3rd at 9-2.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

         Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Update: SMU 76 Pitt 67 MORE

Pitt Steamrolls Gardner-Webb 99-80

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Unlike the first game, there were no dramatics or overtime, for the Pitt Panthers, it was just a throwback to how they used to treat their non-conference opponents as they welcomed the Gardner-Webb Runnin’Bulldogs 99-80 in the 2016 2K Classic which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

 

The Panthers continued to benefit from new HC Kevin Stallings new offense and had five players in double-figures, led by F Mike Young (who didn’t start) and G Cameron Johnson, who each had 18 points apiece. Johnson was also the top 3-point scorer as he went 4-4 from beyond the arc.

 

F Sheldon Jeter added 14; Jamel Artis had 11 and G Chris Jones had 10 for the Panthers. Jeter also led with 13 rebounds and Artis had six assists as the Panthers start 2-0 under the new head coach.

 

“Sheldon Jeter did some good things tonight and Cameron Johnson made some good shots tonight.”-Said Stallings. When asked about Young not starting he replied “Just a minor infraction. He started in the second half. It is just one of those things.”

 

Gardner-Webb began the scoring as G Laquincy Rideau’s layup gave them a 2-0 lead. Then the Panthers responded quickly when G Cameron Johnson hit a 3-pointer to give them a 3-2 lead. The scoring would continue for the Panthers as they got baskets from F Sheldon Jeter, and Jamel Artis extending Pitt’s lead to 7-2. After Gardner-Webb had closed the lead to 7-5, the Panthers caught fire and scored 10 points, and even though the Running Bulldogs kept a slight pace, Pitt led 17-10.

 

The Panthers would continue to add to their lead as G Jonathan Milligan, F Ryan Luther and Johnson helped make it 30-14 with over 8 minutes left in the first half. Jeter, Artis, and Young would extend their lead to 40-20 with over 4 minutes left. Rideau would continue to help chip away at Pitt’s lead with added free throws and points, but the Panthers would only let them get so close. Jeter, Johnson, and Artis would help extend Pitt’s lead to 52-32 at halftime.

 

In the second half, Gardner-Webb began the scoring as Rideau added two free throws before Artis started Pitt’s scoring as they continued to add to their lead. The Panthers had led 63-40 before Gardner-Webb kept chipping away. Baskets by Rideau, G Liam O’Rielly, and F Tyrell Nelson made sure Pitt didn’t get too complacent, but the Panthers continued to pull away as Young hit a 3-pointer, then Jeter, Wilson, and Luther helped extend the Panthers lead to 72-48 with over 12 minutes left.

 

Young and Jeter would then help extend the Panthers lead to 80-59. With over 6 minutes left, the Panthers led 86-61 which made it easy for them to switch to ‘cruise control,’ but that opened the door for the Running Bulldogs to well..keep running. Baskets by Nelson and O’Rielly kept Pitt’s lead from going over 20 points. Then Jeter and Milligan helped get the Panthers to within one point of 100 as they secured the 99-80 victory.

 

For Gardner-Webb, Rideau led all scorers with 21 points and led his team with eight rebounds and six assists. G David Efianayi added 20, and O’Rielly 14 as the Running Bulldogs fall to 0-2.

 

Ray’s Take: On one hand, it was good to see Pitt blow out the opponent, but on the other hand, it looked like the players, fans were pretty bored with the game especially in the second half. But then again, I think Gardner-Webb was the only team to show interest as they kept hustling and scoring. If they had more time, they might’ve caught Pitt, who looked like they were done for the night after allowing Rideau, Nelson and the rest of Gardner-Webb in the paint for layups and jumpers. To be honest, I feel like the Panthers should’ve won this game by 30 and had over 100 points. Yes, I know that Stallings sat his starters for those who probably won’t get as much playing time the rest of the season, but that was when Pitt staggered into the 90-point range with the regulars still on the court. They have to keep this in mind: Playing like that in ACC Conference play will come back to bite them.

 

I liked the play of Johnson, who truly benefited from not being in foul trouble. He should’ve had over 20 points, but he cooled down in the second half. Young didn’t even start and almost had 20 points. He’s truly the heart and souls of this team. I also liked the fact that 300-point Rozelle Nix got in the mix as he ended up with four rebounds and a block in 4 minutes of playing time. His presence on the court gave life to an unusually quiet Oakland Zoo.

 

Looking ahead: The Panthers will now head to Madison Square Garden to finish up the 2K Classic by taking on SMU November 17th with the winner taking on the Michigan/Marquette winner in the Championship November 18th.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

Bad Decisions, Defense led to Steelers 35-30 loss to Cowboys

Have you ever heard of the expression “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”-That’s one of the definitions of insanity. And apparently, a lot of that took place on the Pittsburgh Steelers side of the field (and sideline) at Heinz Field as they took on the red-hot Dallas Cowboys before a nationally-televised audience.

Whether it was the offense, the offensive coordinator, the head coach or the players, but the Steelers tried to 4 2-point conversion attempts and failed on each of them en route to a disappointing and disheartening 35-30 loss to the Cowboys. But you can’t place all the blame on that post-TD decision, most of the blame can also be placed on defense which has let the Steelers down in each of their losses, which has now increased to 5.

In years, the past, it was the defense which was the heart and soul of the Steelers. That unit has helped this team win all 6 of their Super Bowls and at one point, was the NFL’s #1 defense for some years. This year’s version of the Steelers defense must be an embarrassment to their forefathers and the six defensive Hall of Famers who earned the rings and established a legacy.

Apparently, this isn’t your father’s Steelers defense and that fact continues to expose itself to every loss.

Despite their failed 2-point conversion attempts, the Steelers offense did everything they could to win this game. No, there were drives that they either failed to convert or score points, but each of those 30 points came from good execution and on the arm of QB Ben Roethlisberger, who had his best game since returning from a meniscus tear to his left knee four weeks ago.

Big Ben passed for a season-high 408 yards, 3 TD, and no interceptions, but it just wasn’t enough to keep the Steelers from losing their 4th game in a row and fall under .500 for the first time this season.

After the defense had recovered a Cowboys fumble on their opening drive, Big Ben and the Steelers went to work and drove down the field on an obviously disoriented Cowboys defense and scored their first TD of the game when Big Ben found RB Le’Veon Bell for a 2-yard pass TD. But then it started: The Steelers went for 2 and failed, giving them a 6-0 lead. After the Cowboys had closed the gap to 3-0 on a Dan Bailed 37-yard FG, the Steelers struck again on another impressive drive that ended in another TD, this time to rookie WR Jordan Rodgers. But once again, the Steelers tried for 2-and failed, giving them a 12-3 lead.

And then rookie QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys woke up on the next drive as they exposed a Steelers blitz when Prescott found rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott on a short pass that he took 83 yards into the end zone, closing the Steelers lead to 12-10. On the next drive, the Steelers did nothing and punted the ball back to the Cowboys who on their next drive, took their first lead of the game when Bailey nailed a 53-yard FG-the longest at Heinz Field to give the Cowboys their first lead at 13-12.

The Steelers then went on another impressive drive, but after failing three times in the Red Zone, they had to settle for a 39-yard FG, giving them back the least at 15-13. That play ended the first half.

In the second half, the Steelers once again drove the ball down the field on the Cowboys, but once again faltered at the goal line and had to settle for Boswell’s second FG of the game, extending their lead to 18-13. Another Cowboys FG closed the Steelers lead to 18-16.

And then Prescott let Heinz Field know why he’s so great as he punched the Steelers in the gut on a 3rd down when he found WR Dez Bryant on a deep pass that turned into a 50-yard TD, returning the lead to Dallas at 23-18. On that play, Steelers rookie CB Artie Burns was burned badly by Bryant.

Apparently, that TD woke Big Ben and the offense up as he led the Steelers on an impressive drive that led to a 1-yard TD run by Bell, giving the Steelers a 24-23 lead. Once again they tried the 2-point conversion and failed. But then back came the Cowboys who executed a perfect drive that helped kill the 4th quarter clock. Prescott mixed handoffs to Elliott and passes to TE Jason Witten which got them deep into Steeler territory and then Elliott then took the ball and ran it 14 yards into the end zone for a 29-24 lead.

Some may feel that the Steelers allowed Elliott to score so the clock would stop, and the Steelers offense would have another chance at getting that lead back. Whatever the reason, the Steelers offense did just that drove down the field with excellent passes by Big Ben and then the QB tried an old trick when he acted like he was going to call a timeout, which froze the Cowboys defense and found WR Antonio Brown for the 14-yard TD. And what did the Steelers try to do again? You guessed it: A 2-point conversion and once again, it failed, leaving the Steelers with a 30-29 lead.

With over a minute to play, Prescott and the Cowboys went up against that Steelers defense and beat them again. After completing two passes that got the Cowboys first downs, the Steelers made a costly penalty when rookie S Sean Davis grabbed the facemask of Witten, giving them a first down near FG range. And after Witten got the Cowboys even closer, they committed the coup-de-grace when Elliott ran the ball through the Steelers defense untouched yet again for a 31-yard TD, sealing the 35-30 win and their first 8-1 start since their Super Bowl winning seasons.

Prescott was brilliant. He passed for 319 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. Elliott was just as brilliant as he rushed for 114 yards and 2 TDs and caught two passes for 96 yards and a TD. Bryant had six passes for 116 yards and a TD.

Ray’s take-I am disappointed in the Steelers because they gift-wrapped this game to the Cowboys. They should’ve won this game, plain and simple and because of poor coaching decisions and bad defense, they lost. And don’t get me started on those failed 2-point conversions, Big Ben, O-Coordinator Todd Haley and HC Mike Tomlin got too greedy and paid for it. Points lost by one team can turn into points gained by the other, and that’s what happened in this game.

Their defense is a joke right now. They look undisciplined and lazy, not unable to make plays and that’s totally inexcusable. I do give the Cowboys credit because they’re good, and good teams always find ways to win, but they didn’t need help from this underachieving defense. Through it all, I feel that the Steelers will bounce back and win 5 of their last six games. Why? Because Tomlin won’t let this team go out like that.

The Steelers must now shake themselves off and travel to Cleveland to take on the 0-10 Browns. Here’s hoping they won’t play bad enough to give the Browns their first win of the season. But to do so, the Steelers need to stop the insanity.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

Pitt Sports Update

Pitt wins over Boston College

Pitt Overcomes 11-Point Halftime Deficit in 78-75 Win Over Marquette

 

Young Scores 19 of Career-High 30 Points After Intermission  MORE

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CLEMSON, S.C.Chris Blewitt made a 48-yard field goal with six seconds left as Pitt stunned No. 2 Clemson 43-42, spoiling a record-setting Saturday for quarterback Deshaun Watson and complicating the Tigers’ path back to the College Football Playoff.

It was the biggest win for the Panthers (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) since knocking off No. 2 West Virginia 13-9 in 2007.

Watson threw for an ACC record 580 yards and three touchdowns for Clemson (9-1, 6-1). But his third interception gave Pitt the chance to crawl back from a 42-34 deficit. After Saleem Brightwell’s pick and 70-yard return, James Conner finished the drive with a 20-yard TD run.

The Panther defense, which gave up 630 yards, rose up when it counted and stopped Wayne Gallman short on third and fourth down to take the ball with 58 seconds left. Two passes to Scott Orndoff put Pitt within range and Blewitt nailed the kick to send the Panthers into a frenzy.

“Our team had a lot of guts tonight,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said.

And a whole lot of playmakers to topple the defending ACC champs.

Nathan Peterman had a career-best five TD passes and 308 yards. Conner rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one of Peterman’s scoring throws.

Blewitt, who had a kick blocked at the end of the opening half, was steely eyed and ready. Narduzzi gave his senior a kiss on the cheek and sent him out for the winning kick.

“As soon as I saw the kick go up, I knew it was going in,” Orndoff said. “It was jubilation.”MORE

Peterman Named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week

The senior quarterback engineered the Panthers’ stunning victory at Clemson.                                                                                                                               

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior quarterback Nathan Peterman has been named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week following his incredible performance in the Panthers’ 43-42 victory over previously unbeaten Clemson.

 

In what will be remembered as one of the greatest games ever by a Pitt quarterback, Peterman threw for a career-high 308 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions on 22-of-37 passing. Entering the game, the Tigers had only surrendered five passing touchdowns the entire season.

 

Peterman threw for 242 yards and four TDs in the first half alone. His scoring strikes to James Conner (46 yards) and Scott Orndoff (55) were the longest against Clemson this season.

 

Following a fourth-down stop by the Pitt defense with 58 seconds left, Peterman led the Panthers into position for the game-winning field goal by competing two passes for 25 yards and running for another nine yards. Chris Blewitt completed the upset by nailing a 48-yard field goal with six seconds remaining.

 

(WATCH: Highlights of Pitt’s stunning upset in Death Valley)

 

With the victory, the Panthers halted the nation’s longest home winning streak at 21 games. It was also the Tigers’ first regular-season loss since 2014.

Pitt Sr. Michael Young
Pitt Sr. Michael Young

Pitt (1-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. Gardner-Webb (0-1, 0-0 Big South)

Monday, Nov. 14, 20167:00 p.m. • ACC Network Extra

Pittsburgh, Pa. • Petersen Events Center (12,508)

 

THE OPENING TIP

  • Pitt hosts Gardner-Webb Monday, Nov. 14 at the Petersen Events Center in the second regional site game of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
  • The Panthers return six of their top seven scorers, including double-figure scorers Michael Young (15.7 ppg.) and Jamel Artis (14.4 ppg.), from last year’s team that finished 21-12 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in the past 15 seasons. Those six returnees accounted for 88 of Pitt’s 93 points in the season opener.
  •  Pitt is the only team in the ACC with two returning all-conference performers. Michael Young earned third team All-ACC honors a year ago, while Jamel Artis was a third team selection in 2015. www.pittsburghpanthers.com

Alvin and The Chipmunks

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I grew up in the 80’s in what I had previously believed to be the dawn of an unprecedented phenomenon called Saturday morning cartoons. Wikipedia quickly disabused me of that notion, as it actually started in the 60’s. But who among us has not been susceptible to co-opting an idyllic time in our lives and re-writing history at large to retroactively support our bias? Look no further than Trump supporters.

One of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons was Alvin and the Chipmunks, which kids nowadays are still familiar with thanks to the recent CGI movies. I liked the show because as a kid I pretty much liked any show on Saturday morning, but also because it featured a sibling trio much like the one to which I belonged. It would not be a long shot to believe that the character of Alvin, the lead mischievous troublemaker, was based off my oldest brother. Simon, the middle child, was the smart, rational one which was definitely the middle child in our trio. And last but not least the youngest, Theodore, was pudgy and sweet. That was me to a tee.

Alvin and the Chipmunks are relevant because I have not been able to get a particular episode from the 80’s version of the cartoon out of my mind lately. In that episode, Alvin gets the itch to become a firefighter, and as with all episodes, Alvin coerces his brothers into his harebrained scheme. I can’t find the full episode online for free, so if my memory serves me correctly, the brothers do go out on a fire call with real firefighters. They then create their home fire station and the ramshackle fire truck with the intent to put out fires on their own. Anyone who has ever seen a children’s cartoon knows that this is a set-up for a lesson on fire safety, but what I remember thinking was “I’m going to do that. I’m going to make my truck and serve my community…with a bakery truck!” What can I say? Both Theodore and I were notorious for having a sweet tooth. Now, as childish, naïve and impossible as that idea sounds, had you asked me how I would go about executing my plan, I am confident that the 6-year-old me would have had immediate answers.

So where am I going with this? I miss the sense of flat out believing I can do anything; the meaning of a clear and open path for myself. Before fear and doubt had to be surmounted. Before isms had to be overcome. Before risk management and good judgment had to be added to the equation. Speaking of comparisons, like math before you learned that algebra, geometry, and calculus existed. Something so simple gets ruined by too much arbitrary and seemingly made up rules that only a few people know. As a kid, it seemed like life was simply about arranging building blocks. As an adult, it feels like life is a series of avoiding and maneuvering stumbling blocks.

Recently, I talked to two people who were very driven as children and teens to create—poetry and drawing– about picking up their craft again. They shared that they no longer create because “life” has gotten in their way: family, parenthood, jobs and other responsibilities. And that they wouldn’t even know where to start because it’s been so long since they’ve created that the process no longer comes as effortlessly as it used to. The importance of family and finances aside, once again, I have grieved that the requirement of the adult consciousness placed so many impediments in their way that they were unable to create without clear expectations of the experience and outcome.

As children age into adulthood, they become capable of increasingly sophisticated abilities and cognitive processes which allow them to navigate treacherous physical and psychological terrain. I can’t help but sometimes feel like adulthood presents as an elaborate maze which we have the ability to conquer— in fact; we are required to at least try–but stumble out having lost all ability to walk a straight line. Mazes aren’t my thing—I’d rather ride in my bakery truck down the clear and open path. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

SK Houser

Pitt edges by Eastern Michigan 93-90 (Double-Overtime)

 

Pitt wins over Boston College

Non-conference games aren’t supposed to be as challenging, and they’re certainly aren’t supposed to go into double-overtime. The favored team in those games are never expected to get a challenge or a scare from their so-called lesser opponent.

Apparently, the Pitt Panthers basketball team wanted a more challenging non-conference schedule and after welcoming the Metro Athletic Conference (MAC) favorite Eastern Michigan Eagles to the Petersen Events Center for their season-opener, the phrase “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.” comes to mind. Because the Panthers almost ‘got it’ by losing their first opening game in years.

But such an event didn’t happen as the Panthers were able to hold on and beat the Eagles 93-90, but it took double-overtime to do so as the Eagles proved to be the type of formidable non-conference foe that the Panthers were seeking.

These first games are hard.” Said new Pitt HC Kevin Stallings. “It’s not an art contest, it’s a math contest, and we added up more points tonight.”

The objective of Pitt’s new offense was to create more scoring opportunities and make it more-wide open almost like the old Paul Westhead Run-and-Shoot of Loyola Marymount. New HC Kevin Stallings ran this offense during his years at Vanderbilt and wanted to change up the flow for Pitt as they were used to the slower tempo offense that was run by former HC Jaime Dixon.

The Players were excited about it, and when they took the floor for their first regular-season College Basketball game vs. Eastern Michigan, they couldn’t wait to try it out.

Two of the players who truly benefitted from Stalling’s new offense were senior forwards Jamel Artis and Mike Young who scored over 20 points in their season debut. Artis scored a game-high 27 points which included four 3-pointers and Young scored 26 and added ten rebounds to lead Pitt to their first win of the season.

“Jamel is a terrific zone offensive player.” Stallings said of Artis “We tried to build a lot of what we did around him.”

The biggest challenge for Pitt was their defense as they struggled to put Eastern Michigan away in regulation. Several Eagles players were able to drive through the lane and make baskets uncontested and make clutch baskets.

Pitt opened the scoring with Young draining a jumper and eventually took a 6-2 lead with another Young basket and a layup from G Chris Jones. But Eastern Michigan weren’t pushovers as they stormed back to tie the game at 6. Then F Jamel Artis hit the game’s first 3-pointer, giving Pitt back the lead at 9-6. But then G Willie Magnum’s tip-in closed Pitt’s gap to 9-8. Then Pitt F Ryan Luther’s jumper extended their lead to 11-8.

With 12:52 left, Pitt extended their lead to 16-10 thanks to a layup by Brandon Johnson and another 3-pointer by Artis. Jones’ layup would extend it to 18-10 before the Eagles stormed back to close it to 18-16. But Luther inched Pitt’s lead to 20-16 with two free throws. Young and Sheldon Jeter would help extend Pitt’s lead to 26-19, but then Eastern Michigan would close it to 26-22 thanks to Magnum’s impressive 3-pointer.

With 4:29 left, Pitt led 30-24 until Young would extend it to 33-24 on a 3-pointer. Young and Jeter would extend Pitt’s lead to 40-31 to close out the first half.

In the second half, Pitt started off slow, and Eastern Michigan started off strong as they closed Pitt’s lead to 42-40. Artis would then hit a jumper to extend Pitt’s lead to 4. Then Young and Jeter would extend Pitt’s lead to 50-40 with two 3-pointers.

With 11:58 left, Young would extend Pitt’s lead to 56-48 with a free throw; then they led 61-52 with over 9 minutes left. Then Artis would hit his 3rd 3-pointer of the game as Pitt led 64-52 before a media timeout.

The score remained the same until Eastern Michigan closed Pitt’s lead to 64-56 after Pitt freshman Justice Kithcart missed two free throws. They would add two more on free throws closing Pitt’s lead to 64-58.

Pitt’s struggles would lead to the Eagles benefit as they would close the gap to 64-61 on G Ty Toney’s 3-point play. Young would extend Pitt’s lead to 66-62 with a tip-in before another Media timeout. But the Eagles would go away as they would tie the game at 66 with two free throws.

But then Johnson would return the lead to Pitt with a huge 3-pointer and then Jones would add to their lead with a layup. But then F Tim Bond would close it to 71-69 with a huge 3-pointer of his own. Pitt would commit a costly foul, sending Eastern Michigan to the line with 13.9 seconds left. G Tim Bond would make 1 of 2 free throws before Young was fouled and would make 1 of 2 free throws. Artis would miss a long 3-point attempt sending this game into overtime.

Pitt would begin the OT period with two free throws by Jones before G Ray Lee would give Eastern Michigan their first lead of the game on a 3-point play. Artis would then close the Eagles lead to 77-79 before the Eagles would extend it to 79-76. Young would then tie the game at 79 with a jumper and free throw.

Young would then give Pitt the lead on a 3-point play. But then the Eagles would immediately take the lead back with 41.7 seconds left. Artis would them tie the game after hitting 1 of 2 free throws. With 6.4 second left, Pitt would get the ball and then Jones would hit a potential game-winning 3-pointer sending the game to the second overtime.

Young would begin the 2nd OT with a missed 3-point shot, but then the Eagles would use two free throws to take an 85-83 lead. Young would then tie the game at 85 on two free throws of his own. Then Jeter would give Pitt the lead on a jumper. Jones would then extend Pitt’s lead to 89-85 with two free throws.

With 1:34 left, the Eagles would close Pitt’s lead to 89-87 before Artis would extend it to 91-87 via two free throws. But the Eagles weren’t done as they hit a 3 to close Pitt’s lead to 91-90, but then Artis would extend Pitt’s lead to 93-90 with 6.4 seconds left. The Eagles would attempt a game-tying 3-pointer, but it bounced off the rim as Pitt held onto the 93-90 victory, giving Stallings the first Pitt victory of his career.

Jeter added 12 points, and Jones 10, and Johnson 9-before is fouling out in the first OT. For Eastern Michigan, Bond led with 21 points before fouling out in the first OT; C James Thompson led with 13 rebounds and Toney led with six assists.

“I am very proud of my team.” Said Stallings. “I thought we made some gutty, big-time plays. Our guys fought hard and did a nice job.”

Ray’s Take: Pitt wanted more challenging non-conference foes, and they got what they asked for. Eastern Michigan was never a pushover, and they proved it in this game. They realized that Pitt wasn’t as aggressive on defense and they exploited it. Coach Stallings needs to get his team focused on that part of the game and quickly. On offense, the Panthers looked as formidable as the offense allowed, but it shouldn’t take a double-overtime to put away your opponent. To be honest, they looked like the football team in basketball uniforms. Very impressive games by Young and Artis, who looked like they were about to score 30 points, apiece.

Pitt wins over Boston College

Pitt’s next game will be Monday night vs. Gardner-Webb at 7 pm at the Petersen Events Center.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

 

Ray Jr on Sports

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  1. As we know, the Pitt Panthers suffered an embarrassing 51-28 beat down to the Miami Hurricanes and to be honest, I wasn’t surprised. The team still has defensive issues which will always begin with their struggling secondary. The ACC slogan should be this: “If you want to beat Pitt, just throw the ball deep on them.”
  2. To be honest with you, I think it’s starting to wear the team down; they’re now 0-2 since their impressive victory at Virginia which had them at 5-2 (2-1 ACC). After getting beat by Virginia Tech and Miami, they’re now 5-4 (2-3 ACC) and are still one win away from that elusive Bowl Eligible bid.
  3. Well, I’m afraid it doesn’t get any better for the Panthers as they will now face the 3rd ranked team in the nation as they will travel to South Carolina to face the undefeated Clemson Tigers (9-0, 6-0 ACC) the Tigers are clearly the Cream of the ACC Crop right now.
  4. This will be the first time in 40 years that Pitt has faced Clemson. The schools have played only one time, and never during the regular season. The lone meeting occurred in the 1977 Gator Bowl, a 34-3 Pitt win.
  5. The game is nationally televised which means only one thing: The entire nation will see Pitt get destroyed by this team. Sorry, I’m an optimist, but also a realist. If the Panthers couldn’t beat UNC, Va Tech, Miami and OK State, then they haven’t a chance against Clemson.
  6. Now for some good Pitt football news: College football’s most dangerous return man, Pitt sophomoreQuadree Henderson, was named the ACC Specialist of the Week for the third time this season following his Nov. 5 performance at Miami.
  7. Henderson leads the country with a school-record three kick return touchdowns this year. He has four over his last ten games, including another 100-yarder against Navy in the 2015 Military Bowl. Henderson is also the national leader in kickoff return average (33.8) and ranks second in combined kick return yards (872). And to think this kid is only a Sophomore. He’s Pitt’s only hope as a legitimate weapon against Clemson. Congrats to the young man.
  8. In other College Football news, here’s the latest College Football Playoff Poll: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson 3. Michigan 4. Washington. It’s truly no surprise that Texas A&M wouldn’t hold on that #4 spot long. I figured the Huskies would take it, and that they did.
  9. As for the AP Top 25, here are the locally ranked schools: West Virginia and Penn State are ranked 11th and 12th, respectively. And former Pitt HC Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin Badgers are ranked #7. Impressive.
  10. As the Pitt Basketball team prepares for their 2016-17 season, they’ve already suffered a loss as Sophomore guardCrisshawn Clark will miss the 2016-17 men’s basketball season after suffering a left knee injury during practice Monday, Nov. 7. Wow.
  11. Apparently, Clark has a history of injuries as he’s also missed the entire 2015-16 season at Canada College with a left knee injury. He was a Junior College transfer hoping to make an impact in new HC Kevin Stallings offense this season. Now he must wait a year. I wish the kid the best.
  12. The basketball team also made news as they’ve announced the signing ofTerrell Brown, Marcus Carr, Aaron Thompson and Jared Wilson-Frame during the early signing period. The Panthers’ four-man class is currently listed 25th overall and sixth in the ACC in 247Sports Team Rankings.
  13. Of course, the player that stands out is Brown, a 6-10 power forward from Barrington, R.I. He averaged nearly 12.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in helping BABC to the EYBL Finals at the 2016 Nike Peach Jam. He’s the type of Big Man that the Panthers has desperately needed.
  14. Now onto the NFL as that other struggling Pittsburgh football team, the Steelers are now preparing themselves to play the 7-1 Dallas Cowboys, who are the NFL’s hottest team not named the New England Patriots.
  15. After mostly beating themselves in a 21-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers are hoping to the right themselves against this rejuvenated Cowboys team. They will be close to healthy, but here’s hoping that they will be mentally ready to take on Dallas.
  16. Of course, it doesn’t help that QB Ben Roethlisberger will be the starting QB. He was very rusty in the loss to the Ravens. As we know, the team goes as Big Ben goes, here’s hoping he can get his team together.
  17. As for the Cowboys, the story is who will be their QB as they enter Heinz Field Sunday. It’ll either be rookie Dak Prescott, who’s responsible for their 7-1 start, or veteran Tony Romo.
  18. I don’t think it’s an issue. Prescott’s the one who’s got the Cowboys where they are. If owner Jerry Jones starts Sunday, it could mess up team chemistry, and the Steelers may have a better chance at winning.
  19. As for MLB, congrats to Pittsburgh Pirates LF Starling Marte on winning his 2nd straight Gold Glove, given to the MLB player who best exemplifies defensive excellence. If he could ever get his offense together, he will be an incredible player.
  20. And also: The Pirates finally revealed that they and the Washington Nationals discussed a blockbuster trade involving All-Star CF and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. If that would’ve gone down, I think some fans would’ve gone to DC with him.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

 

 

Fair and Open Testing

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The test anxiety many college-bound seniors experience may be for naught, as currently over 800 four-year colleges and universities have become “test optional,” eliminating or downgrading the weight of the SAT or ACT scores related to admissions decisions. This may very well be a complicated silver lining for minority students.

National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) is an extensive knowledge and advocacy hub on a mission to stop “high stakes testing” in all levels of academia. According to their website, “test optional” is an umbrella term, as many institutions have varying policies.   King’s College (Wilkes-Barre) is test optional in the purest sense, as freshman applicants are not required—but can if they choose– to submit standardized test scores. Students who do not submit scores suffer no disadvantage, per the policy listed on the school website, as the institution has placed an “increasing reliance” on factors such as grades, academic rigor, and extracurricular activities when making admissions decisions. Drexel University (Philadelphia) does require exam scores. However, scores are not limited to the SAT and ACT; students can submit Advanced Placement (AP), SAT II Subject Test or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores. Duquesne University (Pittsburgh) stipulates their test-optional policy for freshman applying to their Business, Liberal Arts, and Music departments. Additionally, test optional applicants must have achieved at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA “within a college preparatory curriculum” (i.e., high level, Advanced Placement or IB courses). Point Park University (Pittsburgh) requires optional test applicants to have achieved a cumulative 3.0 GPA by the end of their junior year in college prep curriculum and to submit an essay or graded paper/class project.

There is ample evidence which indicates that a student’s cumulative high school GPA is a much better predictor of early academic performance and persistence in college.  In 2008, the CollegeBoard, the testing behemoth which creates and distributes the traditional SAT Reasoning Test. SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement (AP) Curriculum and Tests and the  Practice SAT Exam (PSAT), published a report aimed at verifying the predictability of first-year college GPAs based on high school GPA and SAT scores. The study was based on an updated test first given in 2006 that introduced a writing section in addition to the traditional verbal and math sections. Data analysis from 151,316 students (over 65% identified racially as white and 93% of all students reported English as their “best” language) representing over 700 four-year colleges (with slight majority representation of private.  Northern/New England, small-mid level populations) demonstrated that the single best predictor of first-year college GPA was cumulative high school GPA. Pairing high school GPA and SAT scores did, however, increase the predictability of first-year college GPA, which the non-profit unsurprisingly recommended would be most beneficial for admissions consideration.

FairTest cites that many test-optional institutions have reaped the benefits of attracting a wider and more diverse range of qualified students who may have been intimidated by a mandatory minimum SAT or ACT score. Considering that the previously cited CollegeBoard study’s population skews heavily towards English speaking, white students, additional research focused on students of color would seem necessary. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education provides a considerable overview of the SAT scoring gap of African-Americans compared to their white counterparts, which continues to widen even after significant gains made throughout the 1980s.  Likewise, African American students are also falling behind their Latin and Native American (American Indian and Native Alaskan) counterparts. Ithaca College Director of Enrollment Planning, Yuko Mulugetta, Ph.D., published the research considerations that went into the decision to make the college test optional (no standardized exams are required for any academic departments) starting in 2013. The study sought to confirm the validity of SAT scores in predicting sixth semester (junior year) cumulative GPA in college when factors such as race, gender, GPA and AP courses were considered. Also, researchers reviewed students’ admissions documents to assign Strength of Schedule scores for students, which evaluated “how much a student has challenged him or herself in a broad array of learning at high school.” This score was assigned after a holistic review

of factors including “GPA, class rank, transcripts, the profile of high school attended, recommendations, essays, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills and evaluation from recommended admissions interviews.” The study found that high school GPA and Strength of Schedule assessment were much more predictive of the success of ALANA (African-American, Latino/an Asian and Native American) students than SAT scores, and the combination of high school GPA, AP credits, and Strength of Schedule being the best predictor of success overall. Upon instituting a test-optional policy for the Fall 2013 freshman class, Ithaca received their most diverse class in the school’s history, with 22% minority student enrollment.

 

The option to remove a biased and increasingly unnecessary standardized test from college admissions process can be viewed as a potential boon for college-bound students of color. However, disparities continue in the availability of college prep curriculum that will support academic preparedness and persistence. According to Diverse Issues in Higher Education, while the number of students of color taking the SAT reached its peak in 2013, over half were unable to achieve scores that would indicate readiness for college. The article quotes Jennifer Engle, now former vice president for policy and research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) who called on colleges to “embrace ‘adaptive learning’ and other methods and strategies that have proved successful with students who arrive on campus in need of remediation.”

Shanna K Houser

BA Human Development and Family Studies; MA Transpersonal Psychology

editor@urbanmediatoday.com