Know The Enemy; U of Virginia

On Saturday the Panthers will play their seventh game down in Charlottesville, VA carrying with us a 4-2 record to date. We have played two previous ACC matches – a loss to North Carolina and a win last week in Heinz Field against Georgia Tech.

Virginia started off slowly with three straight losses. First to the Richmond Spiders on a surprise upset by the score of 37-20.  The next week they played #24 Oregon up in the Great Northwest and dropped that one 44-26

Then they played an old BE opponent and blew one to UCONN in a close 13-10 match.

But in the last two weeks they righted the ship somewhat – even if it was against weaker opponents; at home they beat Central Michigan 49-35 then went to Duke and beat the Blue Devils 31-20 for their one ACC win.

So what is the Cavalier team all about?  here is the listing of standings as far as nation rank in the play categories – ranked ascending:

Virginia Team Stats – Through games 10/12/2016
Stat Rank Value
Net Punting 18 41.30
Passing Offense 28 291.4
Kickoff Returns 41 23.00
Red Zone Offense 44 0.889
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 46 0.500
Turnover Margin 56 0.00
Team Passing Efficiency 59 135.96
3rd Down Conversion Pct 60 0.414
First Downs Defense 62 114
Fewest Penalties Per Game 64 6.20
Total Offense 70 411.2
Rushing Defense 71 162.0
Scoring Offense 75 27.8
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 78 59.40
Punt Returns 82 6.30
First Downs Offense 85 109
Scoring Defense 85 29.8
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 93 138.48
Time of Possession 100    27:15
4th Down Conversion Pct 106 0.375
Total Defense 112 471.6
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 115 0.474
Red Zone Defense 117 0.947
Rushing Offense 118 119.8
Passing Yards Allowed 126 309.6

So you can see that an area of concern that pops out right away is the fact that they have been passing well. This is obviously a main area of concern for Pitt fans as well it should be.  Currently we sit at this in the major categories:

Pitt Team Stats – Through games 10/12/2016
Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 53 430.0
Rushing Offense 19 244.2
Passing Offense 102 185.8
Team Passing Efficiency 36 148.83
Scoring Offense 34 37.3
Total Defense 67 400.7
Rushing Defense 10 98.3
Passing Yards Allowed 124 302.3
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 121 154.57
Scoring Defense 91 31.5

But this is old hat stuff and we have already discussed it.  So then, what will we do in our running game against them? As it stands their rushing defense is giving up a lot of yards at 162 ypg and allowing other teams to score at a rate of 29.8.

The fact that they can’t run the ball very well helps also.  When you can only generate 119.8 ypg on the ground and are going against a team (Pitt) that only allows 98.3 ypg (and that may be inflated due to the GT game) it has to be worrisome.

Here are U Virginia’s individual leaders:

Individual Leaders
Stat Player Value
APY Taquan Mizzell 463
FGM Alex Furbank 1
Int Juan Thornhill 3
Kurt Benkert 136.74
Points Albert Reid 30
Punt Avg Nicholas Conte 226.8
Punt Ret Yds Daniel Hamm 63
Rec Keeon Johnson 26
Olamide Zaccheaus 340
Net Yards
Albert Reid 318
Sacks Micah Kiser 3.5
Tackles Micah Kiser 58
Tot Off Kurt Benkert 1,409

Prediction thread tomorrow.





41 thoughts on “Know The Enemy; U of Virginia

  1. Final thought on defense. At Cincy Nard’s 2004 to 2006 teams gave up between 190 and 220 yds per game in the air. At MSU the best years were 2011-13 at about 170 yds per game in the air.


  2. Can someone help a less intelligent member of the POV? What does the “value” mean at the right of the stats? Higher better, worse, what’s good? Help.


  3. Their QB, Benkert, has played ‘out of his mind the last 2 games. Like 8 TD passes and almost 800 yards of passing.

    Oy vey just in time for their game with Pitt.

    We need some new blitz packages (maybe several dozen), of this kid will pick us apart. No help from the weather on Saturday, supposed to be 68 and Sunny in Hootersville.

    This Benkert kid is a big one too. 6’4″ and 230 lbs. Sheesh he’s bigger than most of our LB’s.


  4. If you threw out the D2 game against Nova, Pitt drops to #111 in Scoring defense at 36.4 ppg.

    I knew everyone would want to know that. Also this one.

    Pitt’s opponents have entered the RedZone 19 times and come away with points 18 times. So again one of the worst in the country. Of the 18 scores, opponents have scored TD’s 15 times.

    This is the Bend AND Break Defense !


  5. What does Pitt’s scoring offense rank when tossing aside Nova? Just curious as it would go up given they only scored 28 in that one.


  6. The good news is that UVa is 112th in total defense. Bad news is that they are 28th in passing offense, although some of that may be because they were playing from behind in many of the games. Looking like another nail-biter


  7. Scoring average goes up by 1.9 ppg Johnny, So we would be tied with Louisiana Tech at #27.

    The problem isn’t with the offense though. Same as 2014.


  8. I was reading through the comments on the last thread and I get the angst regarding our pass D. But one thing that hasn’t been mentioned – at least I haven’t seen it – is the total collapse happening at MSU this year. Could some of it be attributed to Narduzzi being gone? Who knows. But a lot of MSU fans seem to think he has a big part in it.


  9. You may remember that MSU had a big lead at Notre Dame, and then ND mounted a fierce 4th quarter comeback (sound familiar?) … and since that, MSU has spiraled downward losing 3 straight


  10. As usual there is more than meets the eye here at the “Pitt Point of View”

    Uconn has allowed 1788 yards through the air this year. That’s just 26 fewer than Pitt, which means U Conn’s pass defense is just about as bad as ours. (And one of their games was against Navy, so don’t use the Georgia Tech excuse)

    And yet they held the Cavs to 241 yards through the air.

    If you look at the stats though, the YPA against UConn is lower and so is the TD’s. I’d guess the employ more of a zone, while we are getting torched for big gainers.

    I just hope that the Nard-Dog swallows his pride and adjusts his scheme…



  11. Why do we even discuss our opponents’ running statistics? It is a given now that when you play Pitt, you base your entire offense around a passing offense. Completely agree with Atlanta Panther, it is time for Narduzzi to install a zone passing defense at least part of the time. Hopefully he will do this during the extra time between the Virginia and Virginia Tech games.


  12. The Cavs had a different QB at the helm when they played U Conn. The new guy they have in there the last couple of games has lit up the opposition pass defenses. I’m expecting the see a repeat performance against Pitt this week. I think our offense will need to put up another 40 plus game for us to in it in the 4th Q.


  13. I think what might have happened at Storrs, was UVA had played at Oregon the week before and then had to go to Connecticut. Jet lag on the approx. 6000 mile roundtrip. Then another 350 mile trip to Uconn.

    These guys have been sitting in Hooterville waiting for our arrival for 2 weeks.


  14. jrnpitt… Did you mean to say Benkert went through a metamorphosis since that game v. UConn? Or, a different player was in? It’s definitely the same QB for the Cavs.


  15. UVA stinks on the Road as well. They have lost 17 straight on the road, oy vey. Hope they break that before they come to Ketchup Bottle next year.


  16. Oh, man. So many excuses for UVa isn’t great started horribly. They pass a lot so they will score but it seems any team with a pulse on O that doesn’t turn it over 6 times – hell, Duke still had 20 points with 6 turnovers – scores a ton on ’em. Oregon ain’t even that good this year.


  17. I think our passing defense has everyone jittery and overly negative but good lord UVA is not all of a sudden some juggernaut. Granted they are probably slowly improving as the new head coach gets his system in place but let’s not go crazy saying they are going to score at will on Pitt and run roughshod on them. They have not played even one remotely really good team (Oregon is a train wreck this year, Uconn is meh, Duke is all over the place, CMU the same). Meanwhile Pitt just went through a stretch where they played 4 teams that are way better than any of those teams on UVAs schedule. Pitt will certainly do the things they do to keep games close and give the fans heart attacks but if Pitt limits their mistakes and plays offense like they have been it will be a W.


  18. A couple of good restaurants for you POVers heading to Charlottesville…The Ivy House..and Fleurie (sounds like a Burgh thing but excellent French food)
    UPitt says take our opponent to cover and the over… There are barn-burners (word reminds of dear ole Keith Jackson) but we get heart-burners…so many close games…Hey Duzz “Break out a con of Whoop-ass!!)


  19. More great restaurants. On the Downtown Mall, Petit Pois (the less expensive more informal sister French restaurant owned by Fleurie) and Red Pump Kitchen (Italian stuff). And. in the Barracks Road shopping area, Peter Chang’s. He has a second restaurant north of C’ville on US 29, Taste of China. Both fabulous.

    Bodo’s has great bagels. Almost as good as Bageland in Squirrel Hill. And, morning baked good at Marie Bette.



  20. BTW, my house in Savannah is intact from the onslaught of Hurricane Matthew. Not so much for four trees on and around my property though. Thankfully none feel on my house. Over two thousand trees down on our Skidaway Island, the place is a mess. Finished the last tree at my place, with my new chainsaw purchased in Charlotte, NC where we evacuated to, this afternoon. I’m getting way too old for this manual labor BS. Tired.


  21. Dr Tom… I wondered where you have been.

    You are correct about the Boar’s Head Inn. Great place to spend the night.

    I see 350 yards at least and three TDs by the air… by them. We’ll have our prediction thread tomorrow.



  22. Hey Dr Tom good to hear from you .. We have a couple of big trees down in a our yard.. could we hire you while we go to the Pitt game… will have the fridge fully stocked for ya…


  23. Reed – I will be tied up these next few days helping my son and his family move, so I will place my prediction here and circle back on your new thread to post it there when I can (in case I don’t circle back).

    Pitt wins 41-27 with a late 4th qtr TD to seal the victory.

    The D gives up 3 TD’s through the air, as Reed also predicted last night, but they also snag 2 INT’s from the uva QB.

    Ejuan Price has 2 sacks and is a disruptive force all 4 qtrs in the uva backfield.

    R.Blair and J.Whitehead each have a sack.

    Our Canadian O directed by OC O’Canada lights up the scoreboard with 5 TD’s from 5 different players, with a mix of rushing and passing.

    SR Chris Blewitt is 2 for 2 on FG’s, 5 for 5 with extra points and booms 6 KO’s for touch backs to have a perfect game.

    The game ball goes to the Canadian…



  24. Reed, hopefully you’ll pick the mighty Cavaliers to win? I think Pitt’s record is whatever-and-0 when you pick them to lose… (smile).


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