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Posted on: September 25, 2011 8:37 am
 

Steelers vs. Colts Preview

It’s a football night in Indianapolis! Tonight the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Peyton-Manning-less Indianapolis Colts on their own turf on prime time television with an 8:20 start on NBC. Both teams have a rich history of winning, and the names to prove it. They have seen each other before and the match ups have been amazing. It should be high intensity from start to finish!

The Steelers (1-1) are coming off of a shutout home win from last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Both sides of the ball proved that they were able to bounce back from their devastating loss in week one against their arch rival, the Baltimore Ravens.

The Colts (0-2) are starting off struggling this year, trying to show everyone that they don’t need Peyton to be relevant. Losing both of their first two games to the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns didn’t help their cause. Until now, Peyton Manning hasn’t missed a single game since being picked first overall in the 1998 draft. Peyton recently had surgery on his neck and has been suffering setbacks from the surgery. He has yet to take a snap this season, and it looks as if he won’t take one at all. At season start Indianapolis employed, and entrusted their team in the hands of 38 year old veteran Kerry Collins, which at the time seemed like the right move. It has turned out to be everything but that. Two sloppy starts later Collins has shown that he may not be the answer after all.

The Colt’s rushing attack ranks among one of the worst in the league with only an average of 86 yards per game. Indianapolis Colts’ running back Joseph Addai is showing he may not be the dynamic rusher everyone thought he would be when he was selected in the first round out of LSU in 2006. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are their two wide receivers who stand out, and could cause some problems for Pittsburgh, who only has one good cornerback. Steelers corner Ike Taylor will probably be taking turns shadowing both of them. In both games this season the receivers Taylor’s covered have been virtually blanketed. This will be a true test for the defense to see what they can do when a team has more passing threats than they have talent to cover them.

That being said, Pittsburgh has more talent than Indianapolis, including a functioning quarterback. This will make the difference for the Steelers and will propel them past the Colts to add another check in the win column. Last week’s prediction for the Steelers vs. Seahawks was 27-10, which was pretty close. It will be a defensive battle for both teams, but the Steelers come out victorious with a score of 31-13. Tune in Monday for my recap of the game. That’s all for today folks! Leave your predictions and thoughts; I want to know what you guys think! Steelers vs. Colts Recap Tomorrow, stay tuned!

 

--JT

Posted on: September 24, 2011 11:36 pm
 

Pitt vs. Notre Dame Recap

Just as we all expected, a high intensity game was played today at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Panthers hit the grid iron against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University. Only one team could walk away victorious, and unfortunately for Pitt that team would not be them. The Panthers lost 15-12 dropping their record to 2-2.

 The fourth quarter defense did the Panthers in for the fourth straight game, allowing Notre Dame Quarterback Tommy Rees to pass for 8 completions on 8 attempts, driving the Irish down the field 70 yards on a six-yard Tyler Eifert touchdown. This score would put The Irish up 3 after a successful two-point conversion. Tommy Rees finished the game with 24 of his 41 passes being completions, and throwing for 209 yards a touchdown, and an interception. Notre Dame’s best option at receiver, Michael Floyd was held to 4 receptions for 26 yards, 20 of those yards on 3 receptions coming in the first quarter. Floyd failed to make a reception in 67 straight plays afterward until finally catching a 6 yard pass in the fourth quarter.

 Pittsburgh Panthers Quarterback Tino Sunseri had yet again a less-than-stellar performance. He completed 22 of his 30 passes for only 165 yards and a touchdown. He was having trouble getting rid of the ball, which cost them some much needed yardage in the fourth quarter. He was sacked twice in the same drive when the Panthers were trying to drive down the field to make a comeback in the fourth quarter.

 Pitt Head Coach Todd Graham can’t possibly believe that he is going to be able to ride the whole season on performances like this. He says time after time “Tino gives us the best chance to win.” How can that be, when your quarterback is only throwing for 165 yards? He preaches this “high octane” offense and “speed, speed, speed”. Only throwing for 165 yards is not high octane, and you’re not going to fool anyone any longer. They need to bench Tino for one game, at least. Give freshman Quarterback Trey Anderson his chance to lead the team, and show what he has to offer. If this move doesn’t work then hopefully benching Tino gives him the determination he needs to get better, because this is clearly not working.

 Panther’s junior running back Ray Graham had a solid outing today with 132 total yards. Of those, 89 were on the ground, and 43 through the air. It was a pretty good outing for Graham, but could have been better. Redshirt junior tight end Mike Shanahan was the leading receiver today pulling in 6 catches for 64 yards. However, Pitt’s only touchdown came from another redshirt junior tight end; Hubie Graham caught a 3-yard pass in the third quarter to take the lead 12-7.

 This week will be a short week for the Panthers as they take on a big test on Thursday night. They open up Big East Conference play with theUniversityofSouth Florida Bulls(3-0). This game is absolutely crucial forPittsburgh, and they have to win this game. The USF Bulls are having immediate success under new Head Coach Skip Holtz, and aren’t going to have any problem handling the Panthers if they don’t go in there and give it their all. I look forward to seeing what Pitt will display on Thursday night, and who they will have under center. This will be a nationally televised game, so the potential to turn nationwide criticism around is on the table. Tune in Wednesday to read my Pitt vs. USF Preview! Peace, Love and Football

--JT

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 23, 2011 9:28 pm
 

Pitt vs. Notre Dame Preview

The smell of college football is in the air! The temperature is starting to cool down, and the intensity is starting to rise. This can only mean one thing... Pitt vs. Notre Dame. Tomorrow at noon the University of Pittsburgh's Panthers will take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame here in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Both teams are currently struggling but possess greater talent to be the power house they once were.

These two teams are very familiar with each other being as the rivalry dates back to 1909. The two teams are regulars on each other’s schedules only going two years at the most without playing each other. The history of this rivalry has favored Notre Dame with a series record of 44-20-1.

Starting with Pitt’s offense we see Pittsburgh QB Tino Sunseri starting in his fourth game this season. With a shaky start to his season, Sunseri looks to turn things around and get a win for the Panthers. He showed some signs of improvement last week completing 23 of his 33 passes for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. Seven of those catches were thrown to Devin Street who hauled them in for a season best 138 yards and a touchdown. Tino’s turnover problem cost them though, losing one fumble and throwing two interceptions, one ending the chance of a comeback late in the fourth quarter.  Ray Graham, Pitt’s standout running back, only rushed for 97 yards on 22 attempts. It wasn’t his best performance, but still had a very productive outing.

Pitt’s defense has been less than stellar this year giving up 41 points in the fourth quarter. This has caused them to lose one game and make two other games closer than they should have been. They have shut out teams in the first quarter in all three games this season but seem to lose the fire after halftime. Pitt Head Coach Todd Graham seemed to be at a loss for words at his press conference when asked about the woes they are experiencing in the fourth quarter. The defense needs to pull together and finish this week as they won’t get any easy breaks from Notre Dame’s quarterback Tommy Rees, who can be inconsistent at times, but can also make teams pay with his arm. His go-to-guy is his wide receiver Michael Floyd, who is closing in on 400 yards already on the year for Notre Dame.

Don’t let the 1-2 record fool you, the Fighting Irish will be a tough challenge for Pitt. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame’s Head Coach, is very familiar with Pitt already having coached the University of Cincinnati before leaving for his new university. Kelly has struggled to make Notre Dame relevant in college football, and is beginning to see a hot seat form around him. This season could be pivotal for the coach if he wants to continue on as the Fighting Irish’s head guy.

Only one team can walk away a winner, and tomorrow I think that team will be Pitt. Turnovers are what kill a team, and Notre Dame gives up more turnovers than any other team in the country. Pittsburgh will capitalize off of those turnovers and will finally finish a game defensively. The running game will be most important in this game, as Tino will have a poor game throwing the ball. My prediction is Pitt over Notre Dame 38-34. There will be tons of running, turnovers, and a solid defensive outing from both teams.

Feel free to leave comments and predictions! That’s why I write these entries! Tune in tomorrow night for my recap! Night Football Folks!

--JT

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:11 am
 

PITT to the ACC!

The University of Pittsburgh made headlines late last week when they announced that they, along with Syracuse, applied to join the Atlantic Coastal Conference. It seemed to me it would be a long shot for Pitt to be accepted considering all of the other teams available. Both universities were accepted expanding the ACC to 14 teams.

At first when I heard this I was on the fence about Pitt moving to the conference, then I came to the conclusion this could be good for both the football and basketball programs.

The University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University ecruiters will see a tremendous increase in talent, skill, and variation of style.

The type of offense that Pitt Head Coach Todd Graham wants to run -or is desperately trying to run- will fit nicely in the ACC, and could potentially cause some serious competition for the other 13 teams.  

After all, who wouldn't want to see Pitt battle against Duke or North Carolina every year in basketball; They will be match ups made in heaven.

We all knew realignment was an issue that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. I give credit to Pitt officials and Steve Pederson for making a move ahead of all the other Big East teams.

The quick move was great, and the resulting conference was even better. More money, more television time, more competion, what's not to like?

Unfortunately, in most cases, following every positive is a negative. West Virginia University also applied to the Atlantic Coastal Conference, in addition to the Southeastern Conference. The school's applications were immediately denied by both conferences. You might ask why, considering West Virginia's football and basketball programs have had a proven track record recently. Believe it or not, in this instance academics played a role in the conference's decisions. I mean really think about it, West Virginia University has nothing to offer academically to the ACC. There also has been a ton of bad press lately surrounding the University. Head coaches in waiting, beer sales, student and fan riotings, and the constant troubled players. I'm more surprised that they actually didn't see this coming.

The way this all has turned out has upset WVU, and has probably put a strain on the relationship between the two schools. This puts the Backyard Brawl in jeopardy, and the school could decide they don't want to further a series with Pitt. I for one would want to continue this rivalry. It only makes it stronger, WVU feeling spurned by the University of Pittsburgh and wanting to get back at them. If Oliver Luck is at all a smart man he'll put his bright idea of alcohol sales in the stadium aside, and start worrying about the direction of the University and where they stand with their relationship with Pitt.

The two week notice that Pittsburgh and Syracuse have to give is a 27 month sentence, and Big East commisioner John Marinatto won't let up on that. All of the surviving members have gone public saying they want them out sooner than that. Well, so does Pitt but I dont see that happening. 
 
With Pitt and Syracuse moving to the ACC they quickly become the best basketball league in the collegiate land. The Big East is still strong but two of its top three teams have moved to the ACC, and with realignment questions surrounding Notre Dame and their possible move to the Big Ten the Big East could quickly become second best to the ACC. 

The SEC and Pac-12 are still the cream of the crop in college football, but this move just helped out the ACC climb up the totem pole. In the University of Pittsburgh's quest for greatness they have taken their first step. Hopefully it's a step in the right direction.

That's all for tonight folks! Tune in tomorrow for my preview of Notre Dame vs. Pitt!

--JT
Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:58 am
 

Steelers vs. Seahawks Recap

Just a week after all of the speculation came that the defense was aging, and the offense was not disciplined, the Steelers answered back and made a statement for this year. Pittsburgh dominated on both sides of the ball shutting out Seattle and handing them their second loss of the season. The final score was 24-0 with scoring plays to Mendenhall, Redman, Wallace, and a 20 yd field goal by Suisham. A scary moment for Ben when his leg would be rolled on, and had to leave the game for a couple of plays. He would come back to finish the game completing 22 of his 30 passes for 298 yards and 1 touchdown.

The defense went from displaying their worst defensive stand in years to one of the best in years. The Seahawks failed to make it to the Steelers side of the field until the 4th quarter, and only totaled 190 total yards the whole game. Tarvaris Jackson completed 20 of his 29 passes but failed to throw a touchdown, or score at all. They gained only 31 yards on the ground, which is about 140 yards better than last week. Pittsburgh failed to force turnovers, but still had a solid outing this week.

The Steelers set out to rest everyones worries about the team this year, and even showed how dominant they can be. I still view this team as a SuperBowl contender, and think they can make a deep run to get back to the promise land and make an attempt for redemption. Next week the team plays a shaky Manningless Colts team who is still trying to find their identity, and a win, on Sunday night football. Tune in later this week for my Colts vs Steelers Preview.

That's all for now folks!
--JT
Posted on: September 18, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Shaky Start or Sudden Doom?

Last week we watched the Baltimore Ravens take the field on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The only problem is, the Steelers didn't take the field with them. Not one phase of the complete team performed anywhere near satisfactory. The offensive line looked sloppy, the run game was poor. Turnovers are what really did the team in though, giving up the ball as many times as scored points. Seven turnovers are never good, especially when your defense is aging. The defense is still dominant, and one of the best in the league. That being said, they need breaks. They can't come off the field get a sip of water and have to go back in the game due to a turnover. The offense needs to force longer drives and more points so that this team can get the rest they need in between series. 

This week Pittsburgh takes on an old superbowl foe in the Seahawks. A completely different team now as they only have two starters from the 2005 superbowl. Pete Carrol has taken over since and is looking to turn things around in his second year. Starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson had a less than average game last week giving up two fumbles, and 1 interception in a loss to the 49ers. Also, a stat worth mentioning, in 8 east coast games the Seahawks have gone 0-8 and have turned over the ball 11 times. Hopefully this gives the advantage to Pittsburgh and they can get their season back on track.

My prediction: Steelers over the Seahawks 27-10 

Whats your prediction?


--JT
Posted on: April 28, 2010 2:39 pm
 

Football Talk Anyone?

http://football-talk.groups.cbsspor
ts.com


The URL up above is a group I have just created. Everyone go join please!!!!! I want to get that group growing. It's a very simple group, just talking football. What we do best, anything you want to talk about. Professional, Collegiate, Highschool. ANYTHING!!!!!


Please join because I don't want to be the only one in the group!!!


-JT
Posted on: April 19, 2010 3:53 am
 

Big Ben Trade Scenario!

   I was laying in bed tonight with my beautiful fiancee, going over different trades that have been offered and made, when an idea came to mind. I was recalling the Philadelphia Eagles'-Washington Redskins' Donovan McNabb (QB) trade. I was so excited that I had to get out of bed and throw this one out to everyone via blog. 

   The Oakland Raiders were said to be very interested in acquiring the then Eagles now Redskins QB, even willing to throw Nnamdi Asomugha (CB) in a trade for McNabb. This is where my thought scenario comes into play. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been said to be looking for two first-round picks for Ben. What if Pittsburgh were to give Ben Roethelisburger (QB) for Oakland's CB and their 8th pick in the first round of the draft. Keep in mind Asomugha is a 1st round talent at CB. That scenario, paired with the Steelers' own 18th pick, provides Pittsburgh with two solid spots in the first round. 

   Furthermore, picking up Asomugha would take care of the Steelers' CB need, allowing them to draft Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen (QB) with their 8th pick. Pittsburgh would then be left with their 18th pick, which would best be used for offense line. Idaho's Mike Iupati (G/T) and the University of Florida's Maurkice Pouncey (C/G) are good offensive prospects. Another idea would be for the Steelers to trade their 8th and 18th picks for the St. Louis Ram's first pick. Spicing up the trade a little by throwing in a 3rd or 4th rounder would make it very tempting for St. Louis to accept. Pittsburgh's first pick would be Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (QB), who is projected as the best QB in this draft. Bradford is the closest thing to a franchise QB you will have in a long time, and would eliminate any concern of off-the-field-problems.



That's all the football talk for tonight, take care. 
   -JT
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com