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(Don't) Bet the Farm: Pitt vs. Virginia Tech Predictions

The Cardiac Hill staff give their picks for a game that could come to define Pitt's season

Pitt's hopes for a Coastal are very much alive, and Pitt still somewhat controls its destiny a bit if they were to somehow win out.

The first step, however, starts tonight with Virginia Tech coming to Heinz Field. This is a really really big game. I think all of you know that already. History has been very kind to Pitt when it comes to playing Virginia Tech at Heinz Field. Virginia Tech has never won there, and the last time they beat Pitt in Pittsburgh was 1999. Since 2012, Pitt is 3-1 against Virginia Tech. If Frank Beamer hadn't left at the end of last season, I would have a hard time picking against Pitt in this game.

But Frank Beamer did leave, and new coach Justin Fuente was smart and didn't even touch the defensive side of the staff with Bud Foster. He's taken a boring, ineffective Virginia Tech offense from last year and turned it into something pretty formidable. The run game isn't the best, but QB Jerod Evans picks up that slack. He is only 51 yards rushing behind Virginia Tech's leading rusher Travon McMillian.

Evans is great through the air as well, with 19 touchdowns to 2 interceptions to go along with 3 rushing touchdowns. In my opinion, he's tied with Mitch Trubisky for the 3rd best QB in the ACC.

That dual-threat combo scares the hell out of me with Pitt's defense. Sure, Pitt's run defense has been more than solid, but elusive QBs have always troubled Pitt through the years. The pass defense also remains the hottest of dumpster fires (though, I liked the impact Mitchell seemed to have at safety in the second half of the Virginia game)

Bottom line: I like Pitt's offense in this game, but Virginia Tech has a great defense as well. If you even those out, Virginia's offense is  better than Pitt's defense, and I think that's where the game will probably be decided.

Don't think I'm too negative. I very much believe Pitt could win this game, but I just have a bad feeling, so I'll take Virginia Tech 31-28. If I'm wrong, I don't think many of us will care with what the win means for Pitt.

Corey - Virginia Tech (7-0)

Anson - Pitt (6-1)

Chris - Pitt (6-1)

JD - Virginia Tech (6-1)

Jim - Pitt (6-1)

Aron - Pitt (5-2)

Stephen - Pitt (5-2)

Pitt-Virginia Tech Game Day Information

Pitt takes on Virginia Tech tonight as they try to stay on a roll. The Panthers will look to win their fourth straight game and it won't be easy against the Hokies and their Top 15 defense. While Pitt was off last week, Virginia Tech is fresh off a big 37-16 win over Miami last Thursday.

Virginia Tech looks strong, but has been vulnerable at times this year. They were outmatched by Tennessee earlier this season in a 21-point loss and lost by two touchdowns on the road against Syracuse a few weeks ago.

If you're not heading down to the stadium tonight, you'll be able to watch on ESPN as it's a nationally-telecast game.

Here are the game details for today's contest:

Date: October 27, 2016

Records: Pitt (5-2) vs. Virginia Tech (5-2)

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Heinz Field)


Radio: 93.7 FM The Fan

Last Time: Pitt defeated Virginia Tech on the road, 17-13, in 2015

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

WATCH: Seahawks' Richard Sherman dresses as Harry Potter to talk football, Quidditch

In true Halloween spirit, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman wore his Harry Potter costume, with wand in hand, to Wednesday’s news conference.

>> Watch the full press conference here

SB Nation reports that it was actually Sherman’s son's idea for his dad to dress up. But there's no doubt that Sherman is a legitimate Harry Potter fan:

  • Sherman says “Order of the Phoenix” is his favorite book.
  • He says that Quidditch is pretty tough compared to five quarters of football.
  • He considers himself a Gryffindor and not a Hufflepuff.
  • According to a New York Times article, he went to midnight screenings for the movies.

>> Read more trending stories

The Seahawks got first their first tie in franchise history Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. 

>> Click here or scroll down to see some of the highlights from the press conference

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/watch-seahawks-richard-sherman-dresses-as-harry-po/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/watch-seahawks-richard-sherman-dresses-as-harry-po.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "WATCH: Seahawks' Richard Sherman dresses as Harry Potter to talk football, Quidditch" on Storify]

>> Check out other great celebrity Halloween costumes here

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/celebs-celebrate-halloween/embed?header=none&amp;border=false&amp;template=slideshow" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/celebs-celebrate-halloween.js?header=none&amp;border=false&amp;template=slideshow"></script> [View the story "Celebs celebrate Halloween" on Storify]

Youngest Cleveland, Chicago fans cheer on their Indians, Cubs

Cleveland Clinic is making sure that its new arrivals have the love of the Indians written in their DNA.

Newborns at the famous hospital are now getting red, white and blue knit caps and "World Series Baby" onesies while the Tribe try to fulfill their destiny as World Series champs.

>> Read more trending stories  

The photos were posted on the hospital's Twitter and YouTube accounts.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wsaBTXLwqzs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

In a press release the hospital said, "The smallest (and cutest) Cleveland Indians fans have been warming up in the bullpen for 9 months, and their call has finally arrived."

Not to be outdone, Advocate Health Care in Chicago has also dressed its new babies in Cubs onesies with the phrase "Born to fly the W."

One of the health system's hospitals is blocks away from Wrigley Field, CNN reported.

MLB's Cubs and Indians fight on Twitter over weather delays

After the Cleveland Indians won Game 1 of the World Series 6-0 against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, MLB announced Wednesday’s Game 2 would be moved up to 7 p.m. due to weather considerations.

Questions lingered during the day about the weather, which led to that time-honored traditional Twitter fight between the National League and American League champs.

Actually, there is no time-honored tradition, but Cubs employees were obviously frustrated with last night’s loss.

According to MLB.com’s Cut 4, Cubs fans began bombarding the Indians Twitter account with info on the whether the game would be delayed or played. During the postseason, the MLB decides if games are playable. That isn’t the case in the regular season, which has led to fireworks between rivals like the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.

The Indians were quick to respond and made a change to thier Twitter bio in the commotion. A line says, "We don't control the weather or rain delay decisions, Cubs fans. #RallyTogether."

Twitter accounts for pro sports and college teams have often had colorful, funny and sometimes ugly relations with fans, media and other teams.

The standard for Twitter mic-dropping excellence still belongs to the Columbus Blue Jackets for this shot it took at ESPN’s Twitter account in 2014.

New to the Zoo: Marcus Carr commits to Pitt

Pitt lands their third recruit for the 2017 class

Pitt received some good basketball recruiting news today, as Marcus Carr has committed to the program. Matt Steinbrink of Panther-lair.com was the first to break the story on the commitment.

Pitt basketball also got good news this morning. It is on the site and article coming soon.— Matthew Steinbrink (@MattSteinbrink) October 26, 2016

Marcus Carr is a 6’2” 170 pound guard originally from Canada. He will be playing for Florida prep powerhouse, Montverde Academy this season. Montverde is among the top five high school basketball programs in the country. Carr checks in as a four-star by Scout.com, and is a three star by the likes of Rivals, ESPN, and 247.

Carr chose Pitt over offers from other programs such as Baylor, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech. He becomes the third player of Kevin Stallings first recruiting class joining point guard Aaron Thompson and power forward Terrell Brown. There are still two open scholarships to fill in this recruiting class.

Carr is similar to Aaron Thompson in stature, but their games are a little different. Carr appears to be more of a “combo-guard” and is capable of playing off the ball, and that is likely the role he will play here at Pitt.

There has been much talk about this recruiting class, and for good reason, it’s an important one. Basketball season is right around the corner, and it’s pretty well known this team will be carried by their senior class. This recruiting class will have to usher in a new era of Pitt basketball once these seniors graduate.

There have been some disappointments surrounding this recruiting class, as they have missed out on some of their top prospects. Still, they have managed to grab solid three-star prospects. A concern would be the class lacks “star power” but these prospects are program players that Stallings can at least build with for now.

Still, the class is drawing some praise from some national writers today.

Impressed with the guards Kevin Stallings has headed his way in 2017. Marcus Carr & Aaron Thompson are tough dudes. Fit what he wants.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 26, 2016 Aaron Thompson/Marcus Carr 2017 tandem will bring excellent toughness & defensive skills to Pitt; strong pick-up https://t.co/DsqrZqBr4d— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) October 26, 2016

As mentioned above, there are two spots still left to fill. It has been reported a few prospects will be taking their official visits to Pitt this weekend, and perhaps another commitment or two could be on the way.

Could one season of youth football affect a child's brain?

Millions of children suit up every year to play youth football, but a new study raised concerns about the impact on their brains after playing a single season.

>> Read more trending stories  

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center analyzed the number of hits to the head that a player likely received over the course of a season. They suited up 25 players with helmets with sensors inside to measure the frequency and severity of the impacts.

The researchers recorded every hit at every practice and in every game, monitoring to make sure they were contact hits and not players dropping a helmet.

Researchers analyzed brain images before and after the season.

Dr. Chris Whitlow, an associate professor and chief of neuroradiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the study's lead author, said there were changes in the brain’s white matter, which he defined as "the different wires that connect the different parts of the brain for function to take place."

The more hits the head took, the more change doctors said they saw.

"These are not changes you would be able to see with your naked eye," Whitlow said. "These are very, very subtle changes."

Whitlow said there are still many unanswered questions and parents shouldn't be alarmed.

"There's a lot of things we don't know," Whitlow said. "We don't know if they persist. We don't know if they go away after the season. We don't know if there are even more changes if people play multiple seasons."

Those answers could be years away. Researchers say more information is needed to understand whether the changes could lead to negative long-term health issues.

No one kneeled during World Series game 1, internet noticed

Protesting the National Anthem has been a focus on this year’s football season, but at the first game of World Series baseball game Tuesday night, the scene was different.

Singer Rachel Platten, famous for her song “Fight Song,” sang the opening National Anthem, and all players appeared to stand during the ceremony.

The World Series tournament is between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland won round one of the series.

>> Read more trending stories  

People on Twitter noticed the lack of protest during the singing of the National Anthem.

San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick started the National Anthem controversy when he chose to sit during the song at a preseason game in protest to the country’s social and racial injustices. Fellow teammates as well as other football teams and athletes and across the country have joined his protest.

Many viewers feel that the protest is disrespectful to veterans who have sacrificed for the country, symbolized through the flag. NFL ratings are down this season, and many are speculating it could have something to do with the sport becoming a platform for protest.

Man dies after falling from railing at Denver Broncos game

A man who fell 60 feet from a railing Monday night during a Denver Broncos game at the city's Sports Authority Field at Mile High has died, police said Tuesday.

>> Read more trending stories

Jason Coy, 36, died of blunt-force trauma, according to a report from the Denver Medical Examiner's Office obtained by The Denver Post.

Police are investigating Coy's death as a non-traffic accident, in line with standard procedure in similar cases. Investigators believe that Coy was sitting on a railing when he lost his balance and fell into a stairwell.

A Denver Fire Department spokesman told The Post that Coy fell around 9:45 p.m., after the game against the Houston Texans ended.

Witnesses and emergency personnel responded after Coy fell, according to police, and he was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. He was later pronounced dead.

The Broncos offered condolences to Coy's family in a statement released Tuesday.

"The Denver Broncos are extremely saddened to learn that Jason Coy, the fan who fell over a stairwell railing at Monday night's game, has passed away," the statement said. "Along with Stadium Management Co., we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends.

"Providing a safe, enjoyable environment for guests at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is the top priority for the Broncos and SMC. We're reviewing this tragic incident and will continue to maintain all necessary safety measures for our fans."

Police are investigating to determine what led to the fall.

Pat Signal: Charles Reeves Picks Pitt

Pitt snags their third TE commit of the 2017 class

Pitt is in desperate need of talent and depth at the tight end position and it shows in the upcoming recruiting class. The Panthers already had two commits at the position. Things got even better this morning, as Steubenville, OH tight end, Charles Reeves committed to Pat Narduzzi and Pitt.

pic.twitter.com/sz8q5yjr5a— Charles Reeves Jr©®™ (@munchhiie_17) October 26, 2016

The announcement ends an interesting recruiting story, as Reeves was originally committed to Kentucky, but opened back up and then ended it this morning. Reeves is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247, but a four-star on Scout. His tight end ratings, in the same order, are 27th, 13th, and all the way up to number five on Scout.

The Panthers beat out a slew of other big-time programs for Reeves’ services. Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Nebraska were among his top choices, according to Rivals. Scout also credits him as having offers from Alabama and Tennessee. Reeves is the 16th commit in the class and the third tight end for 2017. The decision follows a couple of delayed announcements by the big prospect. He had originally said he would announce two previous times and then said later on this month, before deciding on Pitt this morning.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh

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