Cordell Mitchell #32

Two more games added to Pitt-Penn State series


In June of 2011, Penn State and Pittsburgh announced that in 2016 the two football programs would renew an in-state rivalry that had been dormant for over a decade.

A year and a half later, the rivalry has added a couple of additional dates on top of the original home-and-home series.

Penn State and Pitt, the schools announced via a press release, have reached an agreement on a two-year extension of the original pact for 2018 and 2019.  The Panthers will host the Nittany Lions at Heinz Field September 8, 2018, with Pitt traveling to Beaver Stadium September 14, 2019.

“It would be hard to find a college football fan anywhere who is not excited about this announcement,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “As one of the greatest rivalries in college football history, a further extension of the Pitt-Penn State series is special. I am very appreciative of Dave Joyner’s interest in getting this done and I have really enjoyed our conversations on this and other matters. This is a great day for the players, for the fans and for the entire state.”

The previously announced home-and-home dates are set as well: September 10, 2016 (Pitt) and September 16, 2017 (PSU).

The two schools have met in football 92 times, with the last coming in September of 2000.  Penn State holds a 50-42-4 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1893.

“We are thrilled to have the University of Pittsburgh back on the schedule for several consecutive years,” said PSU head coach Bill O’Brien. “Regional rivalries in college football are special.  I have been involved in a few as a coach. Penn State versus Pitt is a rivalry rich with history and tradition.  We have a great deal of respect for Paul Chryst and the Pitt Panther football program and we are looking forward to competing against them on the gridiron.”

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah