Until I can get home and do up a podcast for today let’s chip in with our Pittsburgh Panthers Football MVP for 2016. You can list one overall; one on offense and one on defense or anything your little heart desires.
Looking at the season objectively I feel the MVP has to come from the offensive side of the ball for obvious reasons. One being we had no defense to speak of. I think QBs are always the most important guy out there because it all starts with the snap and the ball being put into play.
Peterman had a great year as we talked about yesterday. He didn’t light the world on fire from game one until game 13 but he got steadily better as the season unfolded and, perhaps most importantly, didn’t have many turnovers that kept us from scoring points. Seven INTs on the year is darn good especially stacked up against 237 TD passes.
But that’s the easy pick. I supposed you could point to James Conner as the romantic choice given it was his comeback year but truth be told his production doesn’t jump off the page at you.
So I’ll go with a kid who was maddeningly inconsistent at times but made big plays when needed – WR Jester Weah. Here is what he did this year:
You can see that when he touched the ball he did something with it. That 24.2 average per catch is outstanding and he seemed to hook up on the deeper passes just when our offense needed a boost.
Ten TDs isn’t bad either (Boyd as comparison had six last year) and in the last two games of the regular season – versus Duke and SYR he had only six catches but they went for 194 yards and three TDs… that is an average of 32.3 yards per catch.
In addition he gave us something that we had been sorely missing over the past few years and that is a legitimate and consistent deep threat. I know Tyler Boyd put up some big yardage in his time here but he was much more of a possession receiver.
Boyd had 3,361 (!) yards while at Pitt but that came with 254 receptions and averaged out at 13.2 yards per which is about the median average for a good D1 WR. 24.2 is pretty much untouchable especially when it came on a goodly amount of receptions at 36.
Weah was a legit deep threat all year. He had six plays of over 55 yards – 60, 55, 75, 56, 59 and 69 were his individual game bests and I might have missed one or two there. That really opened up the short and intermediate passing routes and helped Peterman have that good passing year he had. Peterman averaged almost 200 yards per game and these deep plays really helped with that.
Second on my list would have to be our Offensive Line collectively – Left Tackle specifically. Our QB was only sacked 10 times all year and when that guy can remain upright good things can happen.
How about your choices and why?