Pitt bracing fans for parking issues thanks to meaningless MLB afternoon game

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The Pitt Panthers are hosting in-state rival Penn State this Saturday night for a primetime showdown on national television. It is the most anticipated game on the Pitt home schedule this season and Will Likely draw the biggest crowd of the year for the Panthers. With all of the buzz and excitement for the third in a four-year revival in the rivalry series with the Nittany Lions, Pitt and Heinz Field are bracing fans showing up for the game to be patient with regard to parking because there is an afternoon baseball game going on that day.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are hosting the Miami Marlins at 1 PM on Saturday, and fans attending the baseball game will have priority status for parking spots before Pitt and Penn State fans start filling the lots. Fans attending the 8 PM football game are being asked not to arrive for the game until 5 PM, and no tailgating will be allowed in the lots from 1:30 to 5:00 PM. That sounds like an absolute disaster.

It seems as though Major League Baseball could have thrown Pitt a bone here by having the Pirates on the road this weekend. Scheduling in baseball can be tricky at times, but the Pitt home game against Penn State was scheduled years before the MLB schedule for the 2018 season was organized. And you know MLB would never dream of having the Pirates at home on the same day the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing at home. MLB does try to take into account concerns like that in multi-sport cities when it can avoid the hassles for their teams and their fans. If this were any other Pitt home game, considering the typical attendance, it may not have been a major problem. But the Penn State game is different because it will draw a nearly-packed Heinz Field crowd to the stadium. This attendance will be as close to resembling a Steelers home crowd as Pitt will get this season, and all fans attending the game will now be inconvenienced because MLB either didn’t care to or think to work around the college football schedule in Pittsburgh.

Fans will still be able to find other parking options in the city, of course, although those lots will not be maintained by Heinz Field and the city of Pittsburgh and it may require a little bit of a walk to the stadium. Fortunately, it’s not a bad walk to the stadium if you are up for it.

In short, college football fans attending the most anticipated home game on the Pitt schedule will have to take a back seat to fans attending a September game against two baseball teams playing below .500 baseball and a combined 38 games out of first place this Saturday.

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.