- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Update: SMU 76 Pitt 67 MORE