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September 2013 Archives

Today marks the first day of practice for Pitt women's basketball and head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. Re-visit her mic'd up segment with Pitt Live Wire.

Football Postgame Coverage: Virginia

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On Pitt Live Wire, we bring you recaps, highlights and behind-the-scenes coverage you can't see anywhere else. In addition, we'll now bring you those jaw-dropping plays that make you elbow the person next to you and say "Did you see that??."

This week's may not be flashy in the traditional sense, but could be one of the most spectacular defensive plays we've ever seen. Take a look at Aaron Donald vs. Duke.


Super Saturday is upon us and in addition to getting yourself packed up for the trip to the North Shore, Pitt Live Wire wants to get you mentally ready for the day as well!

Start off your day with a little Morning Madness with the Pitt men's basketball team. And, of course, Jamie Dixon!



Then, meet us at Heinz Field for a big ACC matchup between your Panthers and the Virginia Cavaliers on Homecoming! 

ACC Football This Weekend

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Pitt is set to host Virginia on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Heinz Field for Homecoming weekend. For those of you not able to attend, the game can be seen across the nation on regional sports networks and on ROOT Sports locally.

Sept. 26-28 Games, Time, TV (Satellite Radio)

Sept. 26
Virginia Tech 17, Georgia Tech 10

Sept. 28
Miami at USF, Noon, ESPNU/WatchESPN (136 Sirius/191 XM)
East Carolina at North Carolina, 12:30 p.m., ACC Network/TheACC.com (135 Sirius/196 XM)
Virginia at Pitt, 12:30 p.m., ESPN3/Regional Sports Networks (93 Sirius/198 XM)
Troy at Duke, 3 p.m., ESPN3/Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/Bright House Sports Network (Regionally) (132 Sirius/195 XM)
Central Michigan at NC State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3/Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/Bright House Sports Network (Regionally) (113 Sirius/194 XM)
Florida State at Boston College, 3:30 p.m., WatchESPN/ABC/ESPN2 (85 Sirius/85 XM)
Wake Forest at Clemson, 3:30 p.m., WatchESPN/ESPNU (136 Sirius/191 XM)

Standings

ATLANTIC DIVISION

1.

Clemson

(3-0, 1-0)

2.

Florida State

(3-0, 1-0)

3.

Boston College

(2-1, 1-0)

4.

Maryland

(4-0, 0-0)

5.

Syracuse

(2-2, 0-0)

6.

NC State

(2-1, 0-1)

7.

Wake Forest

(2-2, 0-1)

COASTAL DIVISION

1.

Virginia Tech

(4-1, 1-0)

2.

Georgia Tech

(3-1, 2-1)

3.

Pitt

(2-1, 1-1)

4.

Miami

(3-0, 0-0)

5.

Virginia

(2-1, 0-0)

6.

North Carolina

(3-1, 0-1)

7.

Duke

(2-2, 0-2)

 

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Pitt hosts Virginia on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Heinz Field on Homecoming. In addition to the game there are numerous other activities for Pitt fans and alums on this Super Saturday.

The most anticipated pregame event is Morning Madness when fans will get their first glimpse of the 2013-14 men's basketball team at Stage AE. The event tips off at 10:30 a.m. with gates opening to this free event at 9:30 a.m.

For continuous updates and behind the scenes coverage, follow the @GoPittFootball account on Twitter and Instagram, @HailToPittHoops on Twitter or Pitt Panthers Facebook page.

A schedule of gameday events, as well as some reminders are below. Please remember that the new bag policy is in effect and pay special consideration to the section on seat cushions. We will not have representatives providing clear bags in the parking lots from this point moving forward so please make plans in advance. Additionally, you will need to have a paper ticket for admission to Heinz Field.

Great Lawn Student Tailgate: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
World's Largest Family Tailgate: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Stage AE - All Fans Welcome: 9:30 a.m.
Morning Madness (Stage AE): 10:30 a.m.
Pitt Band Pregame Concert (Gate A)10:30 a.m.
March To Victory Parade: 11:30 a.m.
PantherVision Intro Video: 12:22 p.m.
Kickoff, Pitt vs. Virginia: 12:30 p.m.
Game Broadcast: Regional Networks (ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh)

Check links here for directions to Heinz Field, information on parking and the student shuttle. Parking lots will open five hours prior to kickoff. Also, continue to check traffic updates for Saturday.

Pitt's digital ticketing system comes with a multitude of capabilities. One important component is that fans are able to share their tickets if they are unable to attend a game. Fans can share tickets with friends and family, sell their tickets online, or donate to a charity. For more information, visit the ticket center.

Will Call will open three hours prior to kickoff this season at Gate A. Walk-up ticket sales will take place at Gate B.

Pitt fans are asked to arrive early to the stadium due to enhanced security measures, which includes a handheld metal detector. The detector will replace pat-downs. Express lanes will be available for fans that are not carrying items into Heinz Field.

For additional information on the game this weekend, visit Game Day Central.

Pitt Basketball Media Day Coverage

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1963 team (cropped).jpg


By Bob Smizik


Where do you start with the 1963 Pitt football team? How do you explain a different time when the game was the same -- blocking and tackling -- but also radically different from what we see today. How do you bring back a time when football was king, but not King. When the NFL was the dream of a small percentage of the players and graduate school a goal for just as many.

The 1963 Pitt football team that is being honored at Saturday's game is special in so many ways. They were student-athletes in the truest sense long before that phrase was coined. They were 9-1 -- yes, once upon a time teams played only 10 games a season -- and uninvited to a bowl game, but walked away from the disappointment without acting like their lives had been shattered. The student body didn't protest, it simply went on with its academic and social life. It was another era. Football was important, just not that important.

Let's begin with how football was so different back then. Yes, it was blocking and tackling and, yes, speed, size and a tight spiral still mattered. But for a brief period of time, the people in charge believed the young men who played the college game should be football players in the truest sense; that they should be throwbacks to a bygone era. And so it was, for a brief period of time, one-platoon football was instituted. Rules were put in place so a team could not make wholesale substitutions when the ball changes hands.

Which meant there was no position of defensive end, just end (the terms wide receiver and tight end had not yet been invented). There were no nose tackles, just tackles. No cornerbacks, just halfbacks. When the ball changed sides, 22 men did not leave the field. Almost all of them stayed and assumed different roles. There were loopholes. One player could be replaced and that would be the quarterback. The rest, regardless of an obvious strength on one side of the ball, mostly played both ways.

That's not to say they played 60 minutes. They didn't. There was a second 11-man unit that replaced them and those, too, for the most part, stayed on the field after the ball had been punted.

Here's another way to explain how different that game was compared to today's. Pitt's two starting tackles in 1963, Ernie Borghetti and John Maczuzak, were just about the biggest men on the team. Both weighed 235 pounds. That's not a typo -- they weighed 235, not 335. Injuries thwarted Borghetti's NFL career. He enrolled in the Pitt dental school and went back home to his native Youngstown, Ohio area to practice his profession. After a brief fling with the Kansas City Chiefs, Maczuzak became a captain of industry -- CEO of National Steel.

All-America running back Paul Martha was a first-round draft choice of the Steelers. He later became a lawyer. Starting fullback Rick Leeson became a dentist. Dazzling quarterback Fred Mazurek an attorney. End Bob Long a minister. Team captain -- there was only one -- Al Grigaliunas went into business. I could go on and on about the off-the field success of this team and if you detect a touch of pride in my words it's because these men were my classmates, in the truest sense of that word, at Pitt.

But on to that special season. Not much was expected from Coach John Michelosen's 1963 Panthers. They had been 3-7 in 1961 and 5-5 in 1962.

Pitt opened at UCLA, always a strong team, and came away from the Los Angeles Coliseum with an impressive 20-0 win. Bruins coach Bill Barnes liked what he saw. "Pitt's a real fine team," Barnes said. "One of the best in the United States. And what speed they have. That Martha and [Eric] Crabtree can really fly."

Crabtree, a sophomore, was a second-team halfback and -- in perhaps the greatest change over the eras -- one of two African-Americans on the team.

Something was in the works, but no one quite analyzed college football the way it is today. There was no ESPN, no 24-hour sports talk and, in fact, no sports talk. Most news was conveyed by what is today the dying institution known as newspapers.

Back home at Pitt Stadium, the Panthers continued to feast on West Coast opponents, beating Washington, 13-6, and California, quarterbacked by Craig Morton, 35-15.

The California coach, Marv Levy, today enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of  Fame, said, in reference to Crabtree, "Pitt is so deep that their best back is on the second team." Even then, Levy had an eye for pro-caliber talent. Crabtree went on to play six seasons in the NFL.

West Virginia, not surprisingly, did not fall so easily. The Mountaineers outplayed Pitt but Martha, with his brother Richie, on the other team, ran 45-yards for the game-winning touchdown in a 13-10 victory.

And, then, the game. Pitt vs. Navy, two nationally ranked teams, at Annapolis. Pitt had the superb backfield depth of Mazurek, Martha, Leeson, Crabtree and Bill Bodle. Navy had legend-in-the-making Roger Staubach. In a game that would have far-reaching implications at the end of the season, Staubach completed 14-of-19 passes, dazzled and befuddled Pitt with his elusiveness, and led the Midshipmen to a 24-12 win.

The postseason stage had been set. As far as the East was concerned, Navy was No. 1, Pitt No. 2. Both teams stayed that way the remainder of the season as neither lost.

The traditional season-ending game against Penn State was delayed a week because of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and that, too, would affect the bowl picture. Finally, on a Saturday that the late Beano Cook would call the greatest day in Pitt sports history, the Panthers beat Penn State, 22-21, in the afternoon and Duquesne, then a fierce archrival, 69-67, that night in basketball to win the Steel Bowl championship.

The basketball team would eventually be invited to the NCAA Tournament. There was no postseason for the football team, despite a 9-1 record and a No. 3 ranking in the nation.

Everything about a bowl invitation seemed to break against Pitt but nothing larger than the assassination of the President. If the game had been played on its original date, and Pitt won, there would have been an invitation for the Panthers. But the bowls were far more selective in those days. There were only a handful, not dozens. They could not wait for the outcome of the Penn State game. If Pitt lost -- imagine this -- the bowls did not want an 8-2 team from the East.

There were last-minute rumors of a Sun Bowl bid, but it went to Oregon, which had lost to two teams Pitt beat, Washington and Penn State. In yet another sign of a different time, athletic director Frank Carver said, "It is doubtful if we would have accepted if a bid was offered."

Disappointment shook the Pitt campus -- for about 12 hours. Then life went on. It was another time. Football was important, just not as important as it is today.


Bob Smizik is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and former sports editor of The Pitt News who covered the 1963 Panthers. He enjoyed a long career with the Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette and now writes the online sports column "Smizik on Sports" for post-gazette.com.  

 

On Wednesday afternoon, freshman RB James Conner made an appearance on Trib Live Radio to talk about his success thus far and his adjustment to collegiate football. Conner was named the Athlon Sports National Co-Freshman of the Week along with teammate Tyler Boyd. Conner lead the Panthers and is second in the ACC in rushing (27th nationally) with an average of 108.7 yards rushing per game. 

Tom Savage Graphic.jpg

Pitt's impressive 58-point performance against Duke on the road on Saturday has brought in numerous awards and honors for the Panthers. A complete list of these honors is below. Be sure to vote for senior QB Tom Savage in the Davey O'Brien Award Fan Vote, as well as the Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week. 

Tom Savage (Senior, QB)
ACC Offensive Back of the Week
Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week
Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week (VOTE NOW)
Nominated for the Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week (VOTE NOW)
Manning Award Stars of the Week (VOTE NOW)

Devin Street (Senior, WR)
ACC Receiver of the Week

Tyler Boyd (Freshman, WR)
ACC Rookie of the Week
247Sports National True Freshman of the Week
Athlon Sports National Co-Freshman of the Week

James Conner (Freshman, RB)
Athlon Sports National Co-Freshman of the Week

Live Wire Field Pass -- Duke

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Football Postgame Coverage: Duke

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It's Gameday!

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Get ready for today's game by watching the best of Aaron Donald and Tyler Boyd highlights from last weekend.


ACC Football This Weekend

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Your Panthers travel to Duke on Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. contest at Wallace Wade Stadium. For those of you not traveling, the game can be seen on 88 affiliates throughout the nation.

Sept. 19-21 Games, Time, TV (Satellite Radio)

Sept. 19
Clemson 26, N.C. State 14

Sept. 21
Marshall at Virginia Tech, Noon, ESPNU (197 XM, 136 Sirius)
North Carolina at Georgia Tech, Noon, ESPN (91 XM, 91 Sirius)
Wake Forest at Army, Noon, CBSSN (195 XM, 138 Sirius)
Pitt at Duke, 12:30 p.m., The ACC Network (190 XM, 112 Sirius)
Tulane at Syracuse, 12:30 p.m., ESPN3, RSN (198 XM, 132 Sirius)
West Virginia at Maryland, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU (202 XM, 117 Sirius)
VMI at Virginia, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3/Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/Bright House Sports Network (195 XM, 138 Sirius)
Bethune-Cookman at Florida State, 6 p.m., ESPN3/Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/Bright House Sports Network (190 XM, 112 Sirius)
Savannah State at Miami, 7 p.m., ESPN3/Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/Bright House Sports Network (197 XM, 136 Sirius)


ATLANTIC DIVISION

SCHOOL OVERALL/AC

1.

Clemson

(3-0, 1-0)

2.

Florida State

(2-0, 1-0)

3.

Boston College

(2-1, 1-0)

4.

Maryland

(3-0, 0-0)

5.

NC State

(2-1, 0-1)

6.

Syracuse

(1-2, 0-0)

7.

Wake Forest

(1-2, 0-1)

 

COASTAL DIVISION

SCHOOL OVERALL/ACC

1.

Georgia Tech

(2-0, 1-0)

2.

Miami

(2-0, 0-0)

3.

Virginia Tech

(1-1, 0-0)

4.

North Carolina

(1-1, 0-0)

5.

Virginia

(1-1, 0-0)

6.

Duke

(2-1, 0-1)

7.

Pitt

(1-1, 0-1)

 

We're just over 24 hours to kickoff in our first road ACC football game. The Panthers and Blue Devils kick off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Wallace Wade Stadium. If you aren't traveling, you don't have to miss out on the action. The game will be carried live in Pittsburgh on WTAE-TV with coverage beginning at noon. The ACC Network contest can also be seen on nearly 90 other affiliates throughout the country. Check here to see if the game is shown in your area

In honor of this renewed series, Pitt Live Wire brings you highlights from the last time these two teams met on the field -- 1976. Enjoy the highlights -- and of course the music!


In today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sam Werner highlights the fact that WR Tyler Boyd's success has taken some pressure off of senior WR Devin Street.

Featured in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jerry DiPaola writes about the Pitt linebackers and how their size and ability measures up with opponents. 

Pitt linebackers measuring up -- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Freshman running back James Conner spoke with the KDKA Radio morning show's Larry Richert and John Shumway on Tuesday morning and discussed the untimely death of his best friend Alyssa Josephine O'Neill and the #AJO Pay It Forward phenomenon that has come about. Conner dedicated a touchdown to his friend in Saturday's win against New Mexico. 

Coach Chryst Weekly Press Conference - September 16, 2013

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Head Coach Paul Chryst met with the media today for his weekly press conference. The entire video can be found on Panthers All-Access.

Additionally, OL Artie Rowell, DB Jason Hendricks and WR Tyler Boyd spoke with the media briefly following Coach Chryst:

Happy Birthday, Dan Marino!

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In honor of Pitt legend and Hall of Famer Dan Marino's birthday, Pitt Live Wire brings you his College Football Hall of Fame induction speech. Happy birthday, Dan and Hail to Pitt!


Football Postgame Coverage: New Mexico

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Pitt Leads the Way

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ACC Football This Weekend

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Thumbnail image for ACC logo.jpeg

Your Panthers host New Mexico in a 12:30 p.m. game Saturday at Heinz Field. If you are unable to make it in person, the ACC Network has listed its 85 affiliates which will be carrying the game. Those areas not listed will be able to watch the game on ESPN Gameplan. 

Since we're all new to the ACC, we want to keep you up to date on the league's games and standings heading into the weekend so you can follow along. Each week, Pitt Live Wire will bring you a rundown of each ACC football game and where you can tune in.

Hail to Pitt!

Sept. 14 Games, Time, TV (Satellite Radio)

Virginia Tech at East Carolina, Noon, FSN (XM 190)
Louisiana Monroe at Wake Forest, 12:30 p.m., ESPN3, RSN (XM 204)
New Mexico at Pitt, 12:30 p.m., ACC Network, WTAE in Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan, XM 195)
Boston College at USC, 3 p.m., PAC 12 Network (XM 202)
Georgia Tech at Duke, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU (XM 190)
Nevada at Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN (XM 192)
Wagner at Syracuse, 4 p.m., ESPN3 (XM 195)
Maryland at UConn, 7:30 p.m., ESPN3 (XM 190)

ATLANTIC DIVISION

1.

Boston College

(2-0, 1-0)

2.

Florida State

(1-0, 1-0)

3.

Clemson

(2-0, 0-0)

4.

Maryland

(2-0, 0-0)

5.

NC State

(2-0, 0-0)

6.

Wake Forest

(1-1, 0-1)

7.

Syracuse

(0-2, 0-0)

COASTAL DIVISION

1.

Duke

(2-0, 0-0)

2.

Miami

(2-0, 0-0)

3.

Georgia Tech

(1-0, 0-0)

4.

North Carolina

(1-1, 0-0)

5.

Virginia

(1-1, 0-0)

6.

Virginia Tech

(1-1, 0-0)

7.

Pitt

(0-1, 0-1)

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Pitt hosts New Mexico Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Heinz Field for Hail To Our Heroes Day. Approximately 2,000 military personnel will join us and we will take time to salute our heroes throughout the game. If you have someone in the military you would like for us to honor with a photo on the video board in-game, please send it to our @GoPittFootball account or Pitt Panthers Facebook page using #HailToOurHeroes.

A schedule of gameday events, as well as some reminders are below. Please remember that the new bag policy is in effect and pay special consideration to the section on seat cushions. Additionally, you will need to have a paper ticket for admission to Heinz Field.

Great Lawn Student Tailgate: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
World's Largest Family Tailgate: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Stage AE - All Fans Welcome: 9:30 a.m.
Pitt Band Pregame Concert (Gate A)10:30 a.m.
March To Victory Parade: 11:30 a.m.
PantherVision Intro Video: 12:22 p.m.
Kickoff, Pitt vs. New Mexico: 12:30 p.m.
Game Broadcast: ACC Network (WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh)

PDF Listing of Gameday Events

Check links here for directions to Heinz Field, information on parking and the student shuttle. Parking lots will open five hours prior to kickoff. Also, continue to check traffic updates for Saturday.

Pitt's digital ticketing system comes with a multitude of capabilities. One important component is that fans are able to share their tickets if they are unable to attend a game. Fans can share tickets with friends and family, sell their tickets online, or donate to a charity. For more information, visit the ticket center.

Will Call will open three hours prior to kickoff this season at Gate A. Walk-up ticket sales will take place at Gate B.

Pitt fans are asked to arrive early to the stadium due to enhanced security measures, which includes a handheld metal detector. The detector will replace pat-downs. Express lanes will be available for fans that are not carrying items into Heinz Field.

For additional information on the game this weekend, visit Game Day Central.

 

Head Coach Paul Chryst met with the media today for his weekly press conference. The entire video can be found on Panthers All-Access.

Additionally, OL Matt Rotheram and TE Manasseh Garner spoke with the media briefly following Coach Chryst:

LaRod Stephens-Howling - Pitt Man

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LaRod Stephens-Howling will play 4 Pittsburgh again this weekend at Heinz Field! Welcome back! @Steelers #PittMan #HereWeGo

Pitt Student-Athletes in ACC Uniform

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student athlete acc jersey

Check out these great photos of our student-athletes wearing their ACC uniforms: Click here

Football Postgame Coverage: Florida State

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Bonfire and Pep Rally

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Head football coach Paul Chryst spoke with our own Pat Bostick this week for WTAE's "The Last Word with Coach Chryst" -- Florida State edition. There is just one more day until Pitt officially kicks off its inaugural season in the ACC with an 8 p.m. meeting with No. 11-ranked Florida State. 

 
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