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Panthers regrouping after near miss at Notre Dame

Panthers regrouping after near miss at Notre Dame

PITTSBURGH (AP) Joe Trebitz needed to turn the TV off and forget about football for awhile.

The Pitt senior linebacker just couldn't quite stomach watching the highlights of a season-making victory slip away. The final moments of the Panthers' 29-26 triple-overtime loss to Notre Dame last Saturday will replay in his head for years to come, no need to rub it in.

``I just kind of relaxed and had some recovery time,'' Trebitz said.

Time's up.

Less than 48 hours after a gut-wrenching collapse in which the Panthers squandered a 14-point fourth-quarter lead on the road against the unbeaten Fighting Irish, the Panthers were back at work on Monday getting ready for Friday night's game at Connecticut.

``You can't go back,'' cornerback K'Waun Williams said. ``You've just got to let it be the past.''

This one, though, might take a little bit to get over. The Panthers (4-5) had several opportunities to give first-year coach Paul Chryst a signature victory in an up-and-down season. Instead, Chryst found himself playing both consoler and motivator when Notre Dame escaped.

``Guys will come back,'' Chryst said. ``We've all got a choice and what do we do with that choice. You throw on the film, you know UConn's a good football team. I think in this case, a shorter week is maybe a good thing. I think maybe we all are looking forward to getting back and going. You turn the page. We already have really. You have to.''

Quarterback Tino Sunseri included. The senior made pointed comments about placekicker Kevin Harper, who missed a 33-yard field goal attempt in the second overtime period that would have won the game.

``We missed a field goal,'' Sunseri said in the aftermath. ``That's why we lost the game. It came down to a special teams play. We didn't make the play.''

Chryst chastised Sunseri for the outburst and pointed out there is plenty of blame to go around.

``A lot of guys made plays to put us in position to win that game and we all did some things that led to us not winning,'' Chryst said. ``It doesn't fall on one guy.''

Though watching film on Sunday was a solemn affair, Chryst believes the moping was kept to a minimum. If he needs to get his team's attention, he need only point to the standings. Pitt needs to win two of its final three games to earn a bowl bid for the fifth straight season.

Chryst spends most of the time preaching a ``one play at a time'' ethos but admitted this is the point in the season when it's time to look at the big picture.

``We'll talk about that stuff and yet you can still keep your focus on the task at hand,'' he said.

For the Panthers that includes trying to end their time in the Big East on an up note. It's something they know they can do with ease if they play like they did in South Bend.

The problem is, they haven't always done that this year. Pitt's schedule includes a romp over then 13th-ranked Virginia Tech, a tough 10-point loss to unbeaten Louisville and a thriller against the Irish.

That same slate, however, also features a loss to Youngstown State, a one-point defeat at Syracuse and uninspired victory against overmatched Buffalo.

Chryst understands it's difficult to duplicate the unique opportunity that comes with playing at Notre Dame. Things won't be nearly as electric in Connecticut. Yet the game counts just as much in the standings, and for a team that is looking to play beyond the regular season finale against South Florida on Dec. 1, there's all the incentive in the world to bounce back quickly.

``I want to be around this group of guys as long as I can,'' said Trebitz, who had a team-high 13 tackles against the Fighting Irish in his first career start. ``They're my family. You want to be around them as much as possible. There's three games left. We want to make it four.''

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Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

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All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

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USA Today Sports

All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

There is inclement weather in the forecast for Tuesday evening both before and during the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.

The rain could, theoretically, force the game to be delayed or even postponed, but the forecast shows the skies clearing up as first pitch nears.

Bad weather and MLB All-Star Games share a history in Washington.

The last time Washington hosted the MLB All-Star Game, in 1969, a bad rainstorm forced the game to be postponed from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon.

Even if the weather does let up and the game is able to start on time, there are sure to be problems with D.C.'s already-dense traffic. Roads are flooding and with more people on them than usual, getting to the game will surely be an issue.

All-Star Game Forecast

The worst of the weather seems to have already happened on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the evening forecast calls for a slight chance of precipitation, with mostly cloudy skies and, naturally, a lot of humidity.

The issue, if there is any, would likely be with the All-Star Game getting started on time. That said, there's obviously still the chance for delays during the game.

Luckily, a full postponement seems unlikely at this point.

All-Star Game Traffic

There's hardly a worse place to drive in the United States during rush hour than in, around or through Washington. With the All-Star Game in town, there are already significantly more cars on the road than there usually are. Add rain and flooded roads into that equation and things get extra messy.

The George Washington Parkway, a main thoroughfare in the area, has already flooded.

One road in Alexandria, Virginia, is flooded and has cars scattered about.

Public transportation would seem to be the way to go, but even the Capitol South Metro Station in Southeast D.C. is flooding.


A brief history of weather and the All-Star Game

The first and only time the MLB All-Star Game was ever postponed because of rain was in 1969, the last time Washington was the host.

Three other times, the game has either been shortened or delayed because of rain, most recently in 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That game was delayed for over an hour but was still played.

All signs point to the game being played Tuesday night, but Nationals Park has definitely felt the wrath of this storm already.

On the bright side, if it's light enough when the game starts, there will probably be a rainbow somewhere in-view from the stadium, which should make for some pretty cool pictures for those in attendance.

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How's the knee? Trent Williams looks beyond ready in workout videos

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USA TODAY Sports

How's the knee? Trent Williams looks beyond ready in workout videos

Trent Williams went under the knife for his first-ever knee surgery about seven months ago.

Plenty of Redskins fans worried that the Pro Bowl left tackle might not be ready to go when the 2018 season starts.

Worry no more. 

Yes, that is Williams working out with veteran running back Adrian Peterson. And by the looks of it, Williams' knee looks just fine. 

Williams tore his right patella tendon last fall, but continued to play through the pain while the Redskins chances of a playoff bid remained. Once that window got firmly closed after an ugly Thursday night loss in Dallas, Williams contemplated sitting out, but other injuries on the line had already decimated the Redskins. Eventually, Williams shut down his season after a blowout loss in Los Angeles to open December. 

This offseason, Williams got the knee repaired. Washington coach Jay Gruden said repeatedly during the offseason that he expected Williams ready to go for training camp, and the workout videos suggest that to be the case.

This is great news for the Redskins offense, and for new quarterback Alex Smith. Expect Washington to be cautious with Williams, particularly in the early going of training camp in Richmond, but like Trent tweeted, "the walk says it all."

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