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Holgorsen presser: A 'fun and exciting' week on tap in Morgantown

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen joined the media corps Tuesday for his weekly news conference. The 20th-ranked Mountaineers (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) host No. 10 TCU (6-1, 3-1) Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium. ESPN's College GameDay will be in town for the event.

Here's a synopsis of the presser:

• OPENING STATEMENT | "It's going to be a fun and excited one" in Morgantown this weekend. "It's ironic to see two programs as similar as they are," coming from non-power conferences, dominating there and then after identical records their first two years in the Big 12 both have six wins this year. Will be a lot of national attention on this game, but team needs to stay focused. "This is our ninth game, and four [opponents] have been in the top-10."

• TCU DEFENSE | When you think of Gary Patterson, you think defense. ... One of the best defensive minds in college footall. ... They're not trying to be tricky, they're just trying to beat you." Defense played a big part in offense scoring 82 points vs. Texas Tech last week.

• TCU OFFENSE | This is the biggest difference between 2013 and 2014. Starts with Trevone Boykin, "not probably, he is the most improved player in college football." Texted TCU coaches this week saying to move Boykin back to receiver. ... "They're running the quarterback because they're got a quarterback that can run," and he's most dangerous when he's scrambling.

• PASSING GAME | "We're going to have to play better up front in the pass game. It's not like we're not capable." TCU is "probably as sound a defensive front as I've seen." 

• LAST WEEK | Very proud of team for "figuring out" a way to win against Oklahoma State, which is very tough at home.

• COLLEGE GAMEDAY | Can't say he's an avid watcher, but it's on sometimes in the hotel room. "Those guys do a good job."

• CLINT TRICKETT | "I didn't say he was just a game manager. He's a pretty damn good quarterback, too." He's very aware of his surroundings this year, understands the mood, the reads, the pace. "He was completely unaware of his surroundings last year. Dude had no experience."

• DRAVON HENRY | "He's been getting better and better. He didn't just get player of the week because of the two picks." You worry about freshmen regressing midseason, but he refocused and has been on the incline and put two great weeks together." Would say he and Daryl Worley are "pretty similar" at this point in their careers, though Worley had to move around a bit as a freshman, going from corner to safety and back, and Henry hasn't had to.

• INJURIES | CB Terrell Chestnut is "functioning fine," but no update on his status. Anticipates he'll look fine today. Would be "incredibly disappointed" if he couldn't go vs. TCU.

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For The Battling Toms, it's the final countdown

As we kick off the final countdown to Election Day, we would give nearly anything to see The Battling Toms in a hair band video.

What we got instead is a Pittsburgh appearance by the Democratic Party's biggest rock star, a resignation from the state Supreme Court and new polling numbers.

Bill Clinton wants you to vote. W...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6355-for-the-battling-toms-it-s-the-final-countdown

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Empty Netter Assists - 10-28-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-“I know I’m going to be fine. I really haven’t been that worried about it.” - Olli Maatta on being diagnosed with a potentially cancerous tumor on his thyroid gland.

-What does Maatta's illness mean for the rest of the team?

-On Maatta the person.

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins defenseman the great Martin Skoula. A free agent signing just prior to the 2009-10 season, Skoula's Penguins career amounted to 33 games and eight points that campaign. At the 2010 trade deadline, Skoula and Luca Caputi were traded to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Alexei Ponikarovsky. Skoula currently plays for Bili Tygri Liberec of the Czech Republic's ELH.

-Happy 59th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Paul Baxter (right). A third-round pick in 1975, Baxter spent three seasons in Pittsburgh. One of the best antagonists in franchise history, Baxter made his debut with the Penguins in 1980-81. He appeared in 51 games, scored 19 points and managed to lead the team with 204 penalty minutes. The 1981 postseason saw him appear in five games and record on assist. He followed that up in 1981-82 by establishing career-highs in games (76), points (43) and led the NHL with 409 penalty minutes, a mark which remains a franchise record. During that season, five separate players were suspended for a total of 20 games due to incidents involving Baxter. In that spring's playoffs, he saw action in five games and failed to record a point. In 1982-83, Baxter played in 75 games, scored 32 points and compiled 328 penalty minutes, once again, tops on the team. In the 1983 offseason, Baxter joined the Calgary Flames as a free agent. In 202 regular season games, Baxter scored 94 points (88th-most in franchise history) and recorded 851 penalty minutes (fifth-most). In 10 postseason games, Baxter recorded one assist.

-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins forward Perry Ganchar. Acquired midway through the 1987-88 season from the Canadiens in exchange for future considerations, Ganchar spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished that campaign by appearing in 30 games for the Penguins and scoring seven points. In 1988-89, Ganchar saw action in three games and failed to record a point. He was released in the 1990 offseason. In 33 games for the Penguins, Ganchar recorded seven points.

-After the Jump: The NHL's first suspension of the season.

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Homegrown

Written by Rob Rogers on .

It is hard to believe that young people in the U.S. can be radicalized by any terrorist group when most of them can't be bothered to get off their butts to vote. 

102814 Homegrown

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WPIAL football playoff pairings

Written by Mike White on .

The top seeds for the WPIAL football playoffs are Pine-Richland (Class AAAA), Central Valley (AAA), South Fayette (AA) and Cardinal Wuerl Catholic (A).
The WPIAL announced the seedings and playoff pairings tonight at a meeting at the DoubleTree Hotell in Green Tree. The playoffs begin Friday and all first-round games are played at the home site of the higher-seeded team. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played at neutral fields and all four championship games will be at Heinz Field Nov. 21.
Below are the first-round pairings (the top eight seeds in each class are in parentheses next to the teams):
CLASS AAAA – Connellsville at Pine-Richland (1); Fox Chapel at Penn-Trafford (2); Norwin at Central Catholic (3); Plum at Penn Hills (4); Mt. Lebanon at McKeesport (5); North Hills at Woodland Hills (6); Upper St. Clair at North Allegheny (7); Bethel Park at Altoona (8).
CLASS AAA – Laurel Highlands at Central Valley (1); Moon at Thomas Jefferson (2); Knoch at West Allegheny (3); New Castle at Hampton (4); Gateway at Ringgold (5); Belle Vernon at Franklin Regional (6); Mars at Montour (7); West Mifflin at Indiana (8).
CLASS AA – Waynesburg at South Fayette (1); Kittanning at Aliquippa (2); Steel Valley at Washington (3); New Brighton at Highlands (4); McGuffey at Seton-LaSalle (5); Beaver Falls at Apollo-Ridge (6); Shady Side Academy at Mount Pleasant (7); South Park at Beaver (8).
CLASS A – Avella at North Catholic (1); Chartiers-Houston at Clairton (2); Greensburg Central Catholic at Neshannock (3); Riverside at Beth-Center (4); Mapletown at Avonworth (5); Brentwood at Jeannette (6); Springdale at Shenango (7); South Side Beaver at Frazier (8).

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