A political group campaigning for Tom Wolf is using 2010 fundraisers to try to draw former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell's corruption convictions into the Pennsylvania governor's race.
It has become obvious as the week has progressed that the dislocated finger Tyler Boyd suffered in the season opener against Delaware is a decidedly minor injury, and won't keep him out in any way against Boston College tomorrow night. Pitt coach Paul Chryst said Wednesday that there will probably be some discomfort and pain tolerance for Boyd, but that it wasn't something he anticipated being a big deal.
"It's going to be inconvenient I think for him," Chryst said. "But he'll deal with it."
Chryst went on to confirm that Boyd will, in fact, continue to return punts against the Eagles tomorrow night. There's obviously a risk there (considering he got hurt on a punt return last week) but Chryst feels strongly that Pitt's best chances to score points generally come when Boyd has the ball in his hands (he's not wrong) and punt returns are one more chance to give him the ball and let him try to do something special. Here are a few other notes as Pitt prepares for tomorrow night's ACC opener against the Eagles...
- One of the biggest challenges Pitt will face defensively tomorrow will be containing Boston College dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy. Murphy, a Florida transfer, led the Eagles in passing (173 yards) and rushing (118) in their season-opening win against Massachusetts last week. One guy I think will be key to that effort on defense is linebacker Bam Bradley. Bradley isn't listed as a starter on the depth chart, but is one of the two linebackers in Pitt's first-team nickel package, which will see a lot of action when the Eagles spread things out tomorrow. Under Steve Addazio, Boston College isn't a "spread" team, per se, but facing a quarterback like Murphy means the defense will likely need as much speed on the field as it can get, and that will likely include a healthy amount of Bradley.
"I think he'd be important no matter who we're playing," Chryst said of Bradley. "I think he did some good things. Bam is one of those guys where when he knows what he's doing — which takes a little bit of time, he's still young — he's a good football player. I hope he's good versus the spread and I hope he's good when they're not in the spread."
- The running back carries were split dead even, 14/14/14, between James Conner, Chris James and Rachid Ibrahim last week. In what figures to be a closer game tomorrow night, I would expect the carries to skew a little bit more towards Conner.
"I think we'll see how things go," Chryst said. "We were pretty fortunate to be able to get a lot of guys really quality reps. You have to see how the game goes."
- In case you missed it, we had two Pitt pieces in today's Post-Gazette. First, my story on the depth and experience that is allowing the Panthers to move things around on the offensive line. And, secondly, my colleague Gene Collier sat down with new Pitt chancellor Patrick Gallagher and talked with him about what role athletics play within the landscape of a university.
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This is the start of the fall planting season and it's a great time to plant shrubs. I'm often asked what to plant, well here are some of my favorite easy to grow plants. I got them all from Hahn Nursery in Ross.
Here's the segment from KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live. Watch Jon Burnett try to eat an azalea!
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It's the end of the week, so it's time for ...
A dozen predictions to go
Here are picks for 12 top games around the district this week:
Last week's record: 8-4
Pine-Richland at North Allegheny - North Allegheny could have - and maybe should have - lost last week to Seneca Valley, but didn't. Pine-Richland has a truckload of starters back from last year and certainly plenty of potential. Beating North Allegheny would definitely prove the Rams are one of the top five teams in Class AAAA. But until they prove it ... Winner: North Allegheny.
This is certainly not a good week for top games in Class AAAA. It's hard to find meetings between two 1-0 teams. Heck, you have to look at non-conference games. So here goes: North Hills over Plum and Mt. Lebanon over Moon.
Thomas Jefferson at Belle Vernon - Ringgold was supposed to be a possible challenger to Thomas Jefferson in the Big Nine this year, but TJ drilled the Rams in Week 1. Now comes a Belle Vernon team that also could challenge for the top of the conference. This one won't be as lopsided as last week, but it will still be Jaguars on top. Austin Kemp (pictured) and Thomas Jefferson's running game will be the difference. Winner: Thomas Jefferson.
Knoch at Greensburg Salem - Greensburg Salem didn't give up an offensive touchdown last week. But Knoch's offense is pretty good. With Mars and Franklin Regional losing last week, Knoch just might be the team to beat in the Greater Allegheny after this week. Winner: Knoch.
Indiana at Hampton - Indiana had a big win last week, but it was against a Mars team without star RB Josh Schultheis for much of the game. Hampton scored 55 points last week, but c'mon it was Albert Gallatin. So I'm still not sure about either of these teams. The coin is in the air, and the winner is ... Winner: Indiana.
Gateway at West Mifflin - It's a non-conference game. Could Gateway really be 0-2? Yes. Winner: West Mifflin.
Valley at Apollo-Ridge - Valley held Burrell scoreless last week. Will Charles Fitzgerald Tipton (ooops, I mean Tre Tipton) lead Apollo-Ridge to a big win after moving up from Class A this season? Winner: Valley.
Also, New Brighton over Ellwood City.
Brentwood at Fort Cherry - Brentwood struggled to beat upstart Vincentian last week while Fort Cherry squeezed by OLSH. This one will be close also. Winner: Brentwood.
Also, Frazier over Jefferson-Morgan, and Greensburg Central Catholic over Beth-Center.
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-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins forward Tomas Sandstrom (right). Acquired late in the 1993-94 season along with Shawn McEachern in a deal which sent Marty McSorley and Jim Paek to the Kings, Sandstrom spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1993-94 by appearing in 27 games for the Penguins and scoring 17 points. In six postseason games that spring, he failed to score a point. Sandstrom played in 47 games in 1994-95 and compiled 44 points, third-most on the team. He saw action in all 12 of the Penguins' postseason games that season and contributed six points. Despite being limited to 58 games in 1995-96, Sandstrom hit the 30-goal plateau by netting 35 goals and 70 points. He played in 18 postseason games that spring and contributed six points. After 40 goals and 24 points in 1996-97, Sandstrom was traded midway through the season in a deal which brought Greg Johnson from the Red Wings. In 172 games with the Penguins, Sandstrom, one of 14 natives of Finland to play for for the Penguins, scored 155 points, 53rd-most in franchise history.
-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins forward Alex Hicks. Acquired early in the 1996-97 season along with Fredrik Olausson in a deal which sent Shawn Antoski and Dmitri Mironov to the Mighty Ducks, Hicks spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1996-97 by appearing in 55 games for the Penguins and scoring 20 points. He appeared in five postseason games that spring and contributed one assist. In 1997-98, Hicks played in 58 games and once again netted 20 points. In six playoff games that spring, he failed to record a point. In the 1998 offseason, he joined the Sharks as a free agent. In 113 regular season games for the Penguins, Hicks recorded 40 points. He is currently a coach for the Desert Youth Hockey Association in Phoenix.
(Photo: Robert Laberge/Allsport/Getty Images)