sports

  1. The Pitt Panthers football team (3-2,0-1) will now resume Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play as they host Georgia Tech (3-2, 1-2 ACC) Saturday at 12:30. This game is also their Homecoming game in which the Panthers will wear their 1976 throwback unis (actually a combination of their ‘70’s and 80’s unis)
  2. The Panthers’ stingy ground defense will be challenged by Georgia Tech’s potent spread option attack. Pitt is yielding 69.8 rushing yards per game to rank first in the ACC and fourth nationally. The Yellow Jackets average 226.8 rushing yards, fifth best in the ACC and 28th in the nation.
  3. Pitt’sEjuan Price is making a strong case for All-America and ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The senior defensive end leads the entire nation in quarterback sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (11.5). Impressive. He could also be making his case for National Defensive awards as well. Too bad he’s not staying another year.
  4. As we know, although Pitt’s run defense is pretty good, it’s their pass defense that is looking pretty awful. This group of cornerbacks and safeties have failed to close out games in the past 3 weeks. Yes, they beat Marshall 43-26, but to be honest, it was because the offense scored a late TD and then CB Avonte Maddox got a garbage TD on an interception to close out the game.
  5. Pitt’s defense blew those 2 games vs. Oklahoma State and North Carolina and to think that they have to face teams like Clemson, and Miami among other ACC teams?? Wow. I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I have my doubts with this unit. It’ll be up to the offense to win games the rest of the season.
  6. I was truly impressed with the play of WR Jester Weah, who is truly turning into the playmaking WR for the team. His 176 yard-game vs. Marshall should server as his ‘coming out party’-and hopefully it will convince HC Pat Narduzzi to have QB Nate Peterman pass the ball vertically more often.
  7. As for the rest of College Football, here’s the AP Top 5 poll: 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Clemson 4. Michigan. 5. Washington. Do you see a team missing? Yep, it’s Louisville, who was #3 last week, until their loss to Clemson. But a drop to #7 isn’t so bad, which the Cardinals landed.
  8. Former Pitt HC Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin Badgers are at #11, which is very impressive and the only local ranked team is West Virginia who is at #22.
  9. In wake of Hurricane Matthew, the Southeastern Conference postponed the #18 Florida Gators/ and LSU game. Wise move. I’m hoping that other games in those areas will follow suit.
  10. As for the National Football League, I’m glad to see that the Pittsburgh Steelers redeemed themselves after being embarrassed 34-3 by the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago as they embarrassed the KC Chiefs in a 43-14 rout on Sunday.
  11. To be honest, I know they’re not perfect, but that was how I expected the Steelers to play when their heads are on straight. Their offense, led by QB Ben Roethlisberger is better than most in NFL and is capable of destroying teams-which we not only saw Sunday, but also in the season opener vs. Washington. The key is being consistent.
  12. Speaking of Big Ben, congrats on him getting the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor after his 300 yard-5 TD performance Sunday. He certainly deserved that. As long as he’s on the field, the Steelers always have a chance to win.
  13. So now the 3-1 Steelers will play the NY Jets (1-3) Sunday at Heinz Field (4:25pm) these are the games, that they need to look out for. There are many times when the Jets were horrible-and showed up to beat the Steelers in years past so the they should know better than to underestimate them. Although their offense is horrible, their defense is pretty good.
  14. But the Steelers also have other concerns as they still have several players who’re injured: CBJustin Gilbert (Knee) T Marcus Gilbert (Ankle) CB Senquez Golson (Foot) T Ryan Harris (Shin) WR Eli Rogers (Toe) LB Ryan Shazier (Knee)
    Cody Wallace (Knee). If they don’t practice Friday, they all could miss Sunday’s game vs. the Jets. Wow.
  15. As for the rest of the NFL, apparently NY Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr is ready to grow up, after his antics last against Minnesota Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes on Sunday. Beckham doesn’t know how to have fun competition, and it’s getting old. The Giants are pretty tired of it, and I don’t blame him. The team is 2-2 and in last place in the NFC East.
  16. Apparently former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been reinstated by the NFL, but let’s be real: Who’s gonna give him a chance? He won’t convince any team that he’s serious-until he convinces himself, and if he does get picked up, that contract will probably have so many incentives in it, that he’ll hardly have room to breathe.

17.  As for MLB, the postseason has begun and I’m very impressed that the two Wild Card Games ended with a Walk-Off HR, especially the Toronto Blue Jays as OF Edwin Encarnacion hit a 3-run shot to beat the Baltimore Orioles. And who was the winning pitcher? Former Pirate Francisco Liriano.

  1. Speaking of the Blue Jays, I have a soft spot for that team since they have several former Pirates: Russell Martin, JA Happ, Jose Batista, Liriano, Jason Grilli. I hope they make it to the World Series.
  2. As for the NL, I hope the Chicago Cubs make it to the World Series, but something tells me that the SF Giants may get it done. They’ve won 3 since 2010-and it’s an even-numbered year. Plus, their pitching is pretty awesome. Watch out for that team.
  3. In NBA news, kudos to the Champion Cleveland Cavaliers who will be giving a ring to former HC David Platt, who was fired after a 30-11 record and made way for Tyronn Lue. That was a very classy move by the organization, honoring the man who was LeBron James first HC upon his return to Cleveland.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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