Panthers looking for consistency down the stretch


Panthers looking for consistency down the stretch

PITTSBURGH (AP) Paul Chryst acknowledges Pitt remains very much a work in progress.

Still, there's at least one thing Chryst believes the Panthers should do every week, no matter the opponent, no matter the circumstances: Run the ball.

It was the backbone of the high-powered offenses Chryst put together while calling the plays at Wisconsin. It provided the thump the Panthers used to knock off Virginia Tech in September.

And yet there are long stretches where senior Ray Graham and freshman Rushel Shell have struggled to get it rolling.

``I think it's been inconsistent,'' Chryst said. ``There have been times where it's been good and times where it kind of (lulled) a bit.''

Last weekend's 20-6 win over Buffalo was one of those times.

On a raw day that made throwing the ball hazardous, the Panthers intended to line up and just run over the struggling Bulls. It didn't happen. Pitt needed 42 carries to muster 126 rushing yards as neither Graham nor Shell could bust loose.

The Panthers had a number of short yardage situations with a chance to create some breathing room only to get stuffed. For Pitt (3-4, 0-3 Big East) to find its footing over the final games of the season, Chryst knows the holes need to be there.

``You all have to play together,'' he said. ``If 10 guys are good, but the one guy doesn't get it done on that play it affects the whole, not just the unit, but the whole team.''

Pitt needs to catch fire down the stretch if it wants to reach a bowl game for the fifth straight season. The Panthers host Temple (3-3, 2-1) on Saturday knowing they're running out of time.

``It's something we're aware of but we're not trying to talk about it too much,'' wide receiver Mike Shanahan said. ``We know we pretty much have to win out to make it to a bowl game, but we can only do that if we get a win this week.''

The last time Pitt started 0-3 in the Big East came in 2001. That team rallied to win its final five games and post a win over N.C. State in the Tangerine Bowl. The road will be difficult to duplicate. In addition to Temple, the Panthers play No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 18 Rutgers.

Chryst refuses to look too far ahead. He's emphasizing the present knowing the future will take care of itself. All he knows is the Panthers need to shore up the mistakes and get things going on the ground or there's no use wondering who - or even if - Pitt's season will extend beyond Dec. 1.

``I think all three phases have areas we can clean up,'' he said, ``and need to clean up.''

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Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-2) head to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada after an overtime/shootout loss against the Florida Panthers last Friday. 

The Caps are determined to avoid the devastation they felt in the first period when they gave away four goals to the Panthers. They will need to focus in the power plays and avoid penalties at all costs.

Many fans were looking forward to the reunion with former player Jay Beagle, who is now centerman for the Canucks, but he is unfortunately out on injury. However you can look out for Caps Nic Dowd, who will have his own homecoming game against his former team. 

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Canucks which takes place at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.


What: Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 8 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

When: Monday, October 22 at 10:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Canucks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Canucks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM


9:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
9:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
10:00 PM: Capitals vs. Canucks
12:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live


Lars Eller, F, Capitals: In his last game, he had a three-point night with three assists. He is a messaive help and shined within the trio of Vrana and Connoly on Friday.

Tim Schaller, F, Canucks: He was struggling in the preseason but came back with a vengeance. He assisted with a penatly kill and is a key component in fourth line. 


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Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).

After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.


What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM


8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)


Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None


Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.

Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?

Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. 


Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017