Redskins

Pitt crushes DePaul 93-55 to win 4th straight

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Pitt crushes DePaul 93-55 to win 4th straight

PITTSBURGH (AP) Trey Zeigler scored a season-high 18 points and Pittsburgh crushed DePaul 93-55 on Saturday night for its fourth straight victory.

Lamar Patterson added 15 points, Steven Adams added nine points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Panthers (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who climbed into a tie for third in the muddled Big East after dominating the reeling Blue Demons.

The 38-point margin of victory was the highest ever by Pitt in a Big East game, eclipsing a 36-point romp over West Virginia in 2003.

Brandon Young led DePaul (10-9, 1-5) with 13 points and Moses Morgan chipped in 11, but the Blue Demons were never in it while losing for the sixth time in seven games. DePaul shot just 27 percent (18 of 65) and was outrebounded 58-34 while suffering its worst loss in nearly two years.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was concerned about how his team would handle DePaul's full-court pressure and early on the Blue Demons were able to rattle the Panthers into uncharacteristic mistakes. Pitt came in leading the country in assist/turnover ratio but threw it away six times in the first 10 minutes.

That allowed DePaul to hang around, but only for a bit. Once the Panthers settled down, they were able to get wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Woodall and Patterson led a 23-5 push midway through the first half to take control.

The Blue Demons simply couldn't keep up. If they weren't missing shots - DePaul went just 9 of 33 (27 percent) from the floor in the first half - then they were giving the ball away in transition or getting dominated on the glass.

Pitt's size and ability to stay under control once it got comfortable playing at the up-tempo pace the Blue Demons prefer eventually made DePaul's defense ineffective.

The result was a 53-30 halftime lead, the Panthers' highest scoring half of the season. The 23-point edge tied for the second-largest halftime advantage ever by the Panthers against a Big East rival, a record that would have been broken if Morgan hadn't hit a high arcing 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of the 7-foot Adams at the horn.

While Pitt has struggled at times putting two solid halves together this season, there were no such issues against the overmatched Blue Demons. Pitt scored three quick buckets to open the second half, allowing the Panthers to look ahead to the most pivotal week of the season.

Pitt plays at No. 5 Louisville on Monday and hosts No. 3 Syracuse next Saturday.

The mismatch allowed Dixon to experiment with his lineup in the second half. Pitt's bench actually outscored its starters 52-41, with Zeigler leading the way. The junior transfer from Central Michigan is starting to settle into his new role coming off the bench. He knocked down 7 of 12 shots and added five rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.

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So what does Josh Norman want from Redskins fans? 'Pandemonium'

So what does Josh Norman want from Redskins fans? 'Pandemonium'

Josh Norman made headlines last week when he called out a subset of Redskins fans for booing the home team and others for not showing up to FedEx Field.

Some fans took exception to Norman's comments, but on Wednesday, the star cornerback made clear exactly what he wanted from fans. 

"You want to see an atmosphere full with raving Redskins Nation fans and pandemonium," Norman said during an interview with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. 

"That's what you want to see."

Norman's request seems more than fair, especially considering the 6-3 Redskins will take on the 6-3 Texans. Both teams are in first place in their division, and while Washington is coming off a solid road win in Tampa, Houston travels to FedEx Field winners of six-straight. 

"It’s big, because the other team is coming in at 6-3," Norman said. 

6-3 is the best Redskins record this late in the season since 2008, and Norman recognizes his team is trying to turn mediocre tide of recent years and that fans might need a reminder.

"To change that from the culture where it was to now coming around, come on man, we need your support."

For decades, the Redskins fan base was considered among the NFL's best. Venerable RFK Stadium had arguably the best home-field advantage in the league. Norman remembered that.

"This is a signature storied franchise," Norman said. "I grew up with it knowing the Washington Redskins and knowing how big it was. Down in Carolina that was our team. The Washington Redskins was the team of the South. Everybody was about that."

Times change.

The 'Skins left RFK more than 20 years ago and now Carolina roots for the Panthers. 

Still, for Norman and many players, the challenge is out there for the fans to fill up FedEx Field and make it a hostile atmosphere for the Texans.

"From the inside of the stands to the outside of it, all Redskins Nation going in there live, pumping us up. We feeding off of them, we giving them something to cheer for and they giving us back something to be excited for," Norman said. "Those big 3rd downs. As long as we need them, we hear those decibels. We need it up to 105. Literally just blow it off the roof, those decibels, just shoot them up. That’s what we need."

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of life changing moments. 

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, being drafted by the Ravens in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and come Sunday, possibly his first NFL start.

With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9, the 21-year-old could be leading the Ravens for a full 60 minutes against division rival Cincinnati Bengals in what could be a defining moment of their season.

"I'm just going into it like any other week," Jackson said Wednesday. "Just preparing for whatever."

While Jackson has appeared in all nine games going 7-for-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown, he is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 draft that has yet to start this season. 

When asked how he would feel if his name is called Sunday, Jackson said he would have "butterflies" at first but added once the ball is snapped, "it's on."

Through the Ravens' first half of the season, how and when Jackson is utilized at either quarterback or receiver, has lacked consistency. Add in the lack of highlight reel passes from him and many are concerned he's not ready for an NFL start. 

The fast style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something Jackson admittedly struggled with throughout the preseason. But with nine regular season games under his belt, Jackson feels that is the area where he's taken the biggest strides. 

"Calling the plays," Jackson said. "Before I'd have to ask coach a hundred times, 'say it again, say it again,' but now he says it one time to me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if [the call] is long or whatever I have to ask [coach to] say it again, but other than that I'm getting better with that."

Head coach John Harbaugh offered no insight on who would be their starting quarterback on Sunday and it can be expected he'll keep hush up until the last moment. Flacco was not on the practice field during media availability Wednesday, either. 

But let's not forget the other veteran quarterback on their roster; Robert Griffin III

For the first time since 2009, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for this very reason.

After sitting out of football for a year, RGIII was given a second chance in Baltimore, but has been a gameday inactive since the start of the season. If the week progresses and neither Flacco or Jackson seem ready, it could be the comeback of the once Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday on if he feels prepared to possibly start. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Both RGIII and Jackson said that it would be "awesome" if they were named the starting QB on Sunday, but that no matter who it ends up being they're all here for one another.

"I'm going to continue to help [Lamar] just like I have all season because we're about the Ravens here," Griffin III said. "It's not about individuals. We've got a pretty daunting task ahead with this Bengals team and then just with the rest of our schedule, so we've got to make sure we make the most of every opportunity."

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