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The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

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The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

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Steelers Surge to Sneaky Win in Los Angeles

Recap of Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Rams (10/22)
Sarah Seader
Weekly Professional Football Recap

Coming off of a bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were set to travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams as one of the evening games on Sunday, with both teams sitting at three wins each.  The Rams, without having their bye week yet, had one more loss, sitting at 3-3.

The main headlines coming into the game centered mostly around the status of multiple playmakers on both teams. For the Steelers, it was wide receiver Dionte Johnson returning to the lineup following a four-game stint being on injured reserve, a big addition to a somewhat struggling offense. The Steelers would be without third-year tight end Pat Friermuth, as he was placed on IR (injured reserve) following a hamstring injury that happened back in week 4. This is the same injury that kept him from playing in the game against the Ravens in week 5. Friermuth planned to return to practice during the bye week; however, he aggravated his injury once again. He will be out for a minimum of four weeks.

For the Rams, they would be without their up-and-coming, starting running back, Kyren Williams, after he was also placed on IR following an injury to his ankle that occurred in the game against the Arizona Cardinals last week. Derrell Henderson, who was just signed this week, and Royce Freeman carried the workload for Los Angeles going up against the Steelers.

The game itself started out slow, as both offenses came to a halt on their first few drives of the game, followed by an early missed field goal by Rams’ kicker, Brett Maher, who affected this game in a way no kicker ever hoped to. The Steelers would go on to capitalize on the missed field goal by putting one on the board themselves, jumping out to a 3-0 lead to start the second quarter.

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However, following the early field goal, Pittsburgh went on to accumulate only eight more yards in three possessions before halftime. Meanwhile, the Rams began to find their rhythm on offense, making a field goal and eventually scoring a touchdown on a jump ball to receiver Tutu Atwell with less than 20 seconds left in the first half. Luckily for the Steelers, the Rams’ kicker mis-hit the point after, and the kick was no good.  Going into halftime, the score was 9-3 in favor of the Rams.

Coming out of the locker room, the Rams were set to receive the ball first, looking to add to their lead.  Things took a quick turn; however, when the first offensive play of the game was a pass across the middle by Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford, which was intercepted by T.J. Watt, and brought back inside the 10-yard line to set up a first and goal for the Steelers, just 15 seconds into the second half. Kenny Pickett was able to run it in himself three plays later, giving the Steelers a one-point lead, 10-9.

The following possession was a big one for the Rams, as they looked to bounce back from the game-changing interception, and they did exactly that. In just under five minutes and nine plays from the line of scrimmage, they were able to march 75 yards down the field and score a touchdown on a run up the middle by Darrell Henderson in his first game of the season. Being that made it a five point game before the point after, the Rams decided to go for two to make it a seven-point game, equivalent to a touchdown. Stafford stepped back and found his favorite receiver, Cooper Kupp in the endzone. 17-10, Rams.

The Steelers would run three plays on their next drive and fail to even gain a single yard, and punted it back to the Rams. They managed to run 11 plays and get within field goal range, when kicker Brett Maher missed yet another field goal, this one from 51 yards. Mahar finished 1-3 in field goals, and 0-1 in point after attempts.

The Steelers found themselves in good field position following the miss by Mahar, and took advantage by going 59 yards in just over two minutes, capping off their drive with a 13-yard run up the middle by Jaylen Warren for the touchdown. This was the Steelers first rushing touchdown by a running back this season. The game was now tied at 17 a piece.

The defense of the Steelers stepped up when it counted most, as they forced a quick three-and-out, which gave the offense an opportunity to get the ball back early in the fourth quarter, with a chance to take the lead and apply the pressure on the road. Matthew Stafford had a hard time dealing with pressure all night, as he ranks in the bottom three in yards, efficiency, and QBR when facing pressure.

The Steelers continued to make big plays that gave fans all around the city a reason to celebrate. The drive consisted of great throws by Kenny Pickett, receivers like George Pickens and Dionte Johnson actually getting open, and the run game looking unstoppable with the combination of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren.  They really seemed to be firing on all cylinders in the fourth quarter, as they were able to top off the impressive drive with a five-yard touchdown run by Najee Harris to give the Steelers the lead, 24-17, with just over seven minutes left in the game.

The defense came through once again on the following drive, as Matthew Stafford threw three straight incompletions, forcing the Rams to punt the ball back to the Steelers with just over five minutes to play, and a chance to run the clock out. The Steelers were successful in doing so up until right before the 2-minute warning, when they faced a 4th and 1 from the 39-yard line, just on the border of field goal range. Being up seven points, the mindset was to get the first down and call it a day, as the Rams used all of their timeouts prior to the crucial play. Pickett set up under center, put Connor Heyward in motion, and called hut, pushing himself forward in efforts to get the first down via QB sneak, and it looked as though he was short of the line to gain. However, when officials brought the “chain gang” out, it revealed that where they spotted the ball was indeed ahead of the sticks, first down Steelers.

Now because it was just outside of the 2-minute warning, and the Rams did not have any timeouts, they were not able to challenge the call, and the booth would not review it unless it was within the final two minutes, so Pittsburgh lucked out of any controversy. They would go on to knee it three times, and close out the game. Final score, 24-17, Steelers on top.

Kenny Pickett ended the game 17/25 (68%), 230 yards, and a rushing touchdown. Both Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren found the end zone as well, while also combining for 85 yards rushing. George Pickens racked up his third 100-yard game of the season as he hauled in 5 passes for 107 yards, and Dionte Johnson recorded 5 catches for 79 yards in his return to action. The Steelers (4-2) will come home to host the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m.

The Rams fall to 3-4 on the season and travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys (4-2) next Sunday at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Andrew White
Andrew White, Sports Editor

Andrew White is the Sports Editor and serves as a staff writer for the CalTimes.  He has a deeply engraved passion for sports and loves to inform the community about the local teams, both on and off campus. He is a Senior here at PennWest California, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Management.

Growing up in Brownsville, PA, Andrew is a die-hard Yinzer and will always have a place in his heart for the city of Pittsburgh and where he came from.  He serves as a play-by-play commentator for California’s basketball teams and hopes to land a career in Broadcasting, Public Relations, or Media Writing down the line, with his main goal being finding success as a play-by-play commentator.

Andrew is involved in CUTV, WCAL, CalTimes, and dips his hands in some graphic design work as well. He will be graduating in May and looks forward to his next steps of his career past PennWest California. He is the son of Tami and Stephen White of Brownsville, PA.

Sarah Seader
Sarah Seader, Editor-in-Chief

Sarah Seader is the Editor-in-Chief and a Staff Writer for the CalTimes and a Senior Honors Student at PennWest California, pursuing two degrees in Business Administration Management and Management Information Systems with a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as a Data Science Certificate. Sarah serves as the PennWest California Student Trustee.

Sarah is involved serving as the President of the SAI Board of Directors, President of DECA, President of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), Student Government Executive Board serving as Vice President, Vice President of Finance Club, Accounting Club Treasurer, and serves as the Treasurer on the Student Honors Advisory Board (SHAB).

Sarah is also a member of Women United, CUTV, WCAL, New Life, STAND, American Sign Language (ASL) Club, American Marketing Association (AMA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Student Activities Board (SAB), Vulcan Gaming Club, President's Leadership Academy (PLA), The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and serves as a Peer Mentor and Honors Coach.

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