1. Not only did the Pitt Panthers football team continued to bask in their 37-34 victory over Georgia Tech, but the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) did as well as they recognized several players with individual honors. One being K Chris Blewitt who kicked the game-winning FG and OT Brian O’Neill.
  2. Blewitt was named ACC Special Teams Player of the Week and O’Neil Offensive Lineman of the Week after he took a lateral from QB Nate Peterman and ran it 24 yards for the first TD of the game. He was also effective in the trenches as well. Congrats to both. Much deserved, especially Blewitt, who beat the Yellow jackets as time expired for the 2nd year in a row.
  3. Another star in Pitt’s win got recognized nationally as TE Scott Orndoff was added to the Mackey award Midseason Watch List, which honors the nation’s Tight End. He caught a critical 74-yard TD pass in Saturday’s game that not only tied the game, but it was tipped by a defender and fell into Orndoff hands. In my opinion, a pretty Immaculate play.
  4. But as we know, the Panthers need to put their attention to their next opponent, the Virginia Cavaliers (2-3,1-0 ACC) who welcome the Panthers to Charlottesville Saturday at 12:30pm. Pitt hopes to win its 5th game of the season and their 2nd game in ACC Play. Although the Panthers beat Virginia last season, they haven’t won vs. them on the road since 1953. Wow.
  5. Virginia’s QB is Kurt Benkert, who leads the team with 13 TD passes, Albert Reid leads team RBs with 324 yards and 4 TDs and Olamide Zaccheaus who leads the WRs with 324 yards and 4 TDs. Despite Virginia’s record, I feel that Pitt knows better than to underestimate this team especially since they still have concerns of their own-and of course, that means the defense.
  6. As impressive as their Saturday win was, it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if Pitt’s defense could keep the Yellow jackets out of the end zone. Pitt was up 21-10 at one point, but allowed Ga. Tech back in the game. In fact, they trailed 34-27 before Orndoff TD. I’m not sure what they have to do, but they still have to face ranked teams like Clemson, Miami and Georgia Tech-who know how to score.
  7. With that being said, I feel that the Panthers will win Saturday because they’re more talented and diverse on offense. I mean, I have never seen a deeper group of RBs and the fact that HC Pat Narduzzi’s finally letting Peterman throw the ball vertically makes the difference. I’ll give it a 24-16 Pitt win.
  8. Pitt DE Ejuan Price continues to get more national attention as well as he leads the nation with 8.5 sacks and he’s gotten a sack in every Now folks are comparing him to former Panther Aaron Donald, who dominated college football in 2013. He’s locked up the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, but like Donald, he could end up with some National awards as well. Stay tuned.
  9. And here’s the AP Top 5 rankings: Of course, Alabama and Ohio State remain at 1 & 2, followed by Clemson at #3, Michigan and #4 and Washington at #5. In addition, Louisville is #8 and Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin Badgers is #9. The other ACC ranked teams are Miami (#16) and Virginia Tech (#17). West Virginia is the only local team who is ranked #20.
  10. If there was a College Football team that has surprised me, it would be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who is 2-4. It doesn’t take Einstein to know that record is far below that school’s standards. To be honest, that team hasn’t had it right since former HC Lou Holtz was still there. Current HC Brian Kelly needs to be careful.
  11. As for the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) find themselves in first place in the AFC North, something that they haven’t been since the end of the 2014 season. As we all know, they key to their success is their offense which has averaged at least 30 point a game in all of their games. QB Ben Roethlisberger is looking like the NFL MVP at this point.
  12. Net up for the Steelers are the 1-4 Miami Dolphins, which will take place Sunday in Miami at 1pm. If the Steelers keep playing like they have been of late, they shouldn’t have any problems beating the Dolphins. But they still know better than to underestimate this team, especially at their stadium.
  13. The obvious concerns for the Steelers are on defense as they still have several players who’re out: DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring) S Shamarko Thomas (groin) and LB Ryan Shazier (knee), although he practiced on a limited basis on Thursday. On offense, T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), C Cody Wallace (knee), and WRs Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton also didn’t practice. Here’s hoping most of them will play Sunday.
  14. I can honestly say that the Steelers backups have been doing a good job filling in for the injured starters. T Chris Hubbard has filled in admirably for Gilbert and LB Vince Williams continues to get it done in Shazier’s absence.
  15. And at TE, Jesse James is truly getting it done as he has 3 TDs, so they’ve truly not missed LaDarius Green, who’s been out up to this point recovering from injury. But the news reports state that Green will start practicing next week, but he still has to work his way into game-shape as he didn’t practice at training camp or play in the preseason.
  16. The Steelers also announced that they’ve signed RB Karlos Williams to their practice squad. He’s the brother of LB Vince Williams and he will not be on the practice squad long, that’s for sure. He scored 7 TDs last season for the Buffalo Bills. Watch out for him.
  17. As for the rest of the NFL, shame on Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who states that QB Tony Romo will resume his duties as starter-never mind with rookie Dak Prescott has done in leading his team to a 4-1 record.
  18. Yes, it is said that starters should never lose their job to injury, but there’s an exception when the replacement is leading his team to wins. Can you imagine if former Steelers HC Bill Cowher would’ve given the starting QB job back to Tommy Maddox despite Roethlisberger’s success in 2004? Come on Jerry, keep Prescott in there.
  19. And I don’t think anybody has noticed the Minnesota Vikings 5-0 start. Remember, this is happening despite the absence of QB Teddy Bridgewater and All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson, who’re out with injuries. Impressive. But can they keep it going? Time will tell.
  20. As for MLB, the ALCS is set with the Toronto Blue Jays vs. the Cleveland Indians. I like the Blue Jays, but the Indians stunned the Boston Red Sox in a sweep in the NLDS and their pitching looks pretty good. And as we know, that’s what it will take to win it all. Time will tell.

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