Syracuse Preview

Syracuse Preview

On paper, Pitt should dominate this one.

Syracuse hasn’t beaten a power five opponent this season. They also haven’t scored more than twenty points against a power five opponent.

And while you can say what you want about people in glass houses not throwing stones (Pitt has only scored more than twenty points against P5 once this year) at least Pitt has a semi-compent offensive line.  Syracuse’s clearly does not.  They’ve surrendered 26 sacks in six games, including eight last week to NC State.  They also gave up four to Maryland, and another eight to Clemson.  That’s 20 sacks surrendered against three power five opponents – nearly seven per game. Continue reading “Syracuse Preview”

Midseason Grades – Special Teams and Everything Else

Midseason Grades – Special Teams and Everything Else

For the last edition of our slightly-too-late midseason grades series (it really should have been published last week), I’ll be reporting on special teams and coaching.  Anybody wondering why we aren’t in the top 25 with a 4-2 record against a top-20 schedule?  Look no further than coaching and the third phase.  sigh

  • Fewest Penalties per Game:  8.83.  124th out of 130 – 5th Percentile.  The good news is that the only two power five teams lower than Pitt are Miami (9.0) and Syracuse (9.17).  Also for some sand in the craw, #21 Cincinnati is 129th (10.17)
  • Fewest Penalty Yards per Game:  83.17 – 127th out of 130 – 2nd Percentile.  Oklahoma is the only P5 team lower than Pitt.  (89.33).

 

Continue reading “Midseason Grades – Special Teams and Everything Else”

Midseason Grades – The Defense

Midseason Grades – The Defense

We looked at the offensive stats yesterday, and I asked you to weigh in.  Here are the defensive stats.  I’ve also added a little analysis today since I have some more time.

It’s clear that the strength of this team is the defensive line and the pass rush.  I am grading them an A, although you could argue for an A+.  They sack the quarterback better than 98% of teams in college football, and have more TFL’s than 92% of teams.  They are a big part of Pitt’s top-20 ranking against the run.  Average all three and hey, there’s your A.  Continue reading “Midseason Grades – The Defense”

Your Midseason Grades – Offense

Your Midseason Grades – Offense

There have been several “midseason grades” articles published over the last week, and most of them say pretty much the same thing.  Passing game is good.  Running game is bad.  Receivers are playing well.  As such, I’m going to avoid adding to the noise, but I’d like to give you a chance to weigh in with some more detailed opinions.  I’ve provided all the relevant statistics below.

One thing I will add:  Pitt is 31st in Time of Possession.  That is better than 76 percent of college teams out there.  Not something you see everyday with a pass-first offense.

Note:  “Percentile” is a measure of percentage rank.  Higher is better.  I.e. if you are in the 38th percentile you are better than 37% of the population.  If you are in the 99th percentile, you are better than 98% of the population.  

Most stats from NCAA.com

Offensive Line stats are from FootballOutsiders.com

Quarterback:

Kenny Pickett

  • Completion %:  60.7% 74th out of 120 – 38th percentile
  • Completions per Game:  27.2.  2nd out of 100 – 98th percentile
  • Passing Efficiency:  117.4.  103rd out of 120 – 14th percentile
  • Passing TD:  6.  81st (T) out of 120 – 33rd percentile
  • Passing Yards per Game:  274.  18th out of 120 – 85th percentile
  • Passing Yards per Completion:  10.07.  109th out of 120 – 9th percentile
  • Yards per Pass Attempt:  6.12.  105th out of 120 – 15th percentile
  • 4th quarter game winning drives against P5 opponents:  2.  1st out of 120? – 99th percentile???

Continue reading “Your Midseason Grades – Offense”

MMQB -Pitt at Duke

MMQB -Pitt at Duke

On the way back to the tailgate on Saturday, one of the POV’ers suggested I rename this piece “the cardiac kids.”  I don’t disagree.  Over the past three games Pitt has a displayed a unique talent for dominating the first half of play, making just enough mistakes to let their opponent take a small lead in the fourth quarter, and then rallying for a last second win.

Is it maddening?  Yes.  Is it entertaining?  Absolutely.

It’s also unsustainable.

But lets not worry about that right now.  We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat (after we had nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory…) on Saturday and now Pitt sits at 4-2 at the midpoint of the season.

Here are my goods, bads and uglies from the game. Continue reading “MMQB -Pitt at Duke”

Duke Prediction Thread

Duke Prediction Thread

Despite last week’s weak showing against Delaware, optimism is running high that we can beat Duke.  Perhaps that is because six starters were sidelined last week, including Kenny Pickett.  Perhaps that was because we believe that 13 penalties are an anomaly.  Perhaps that’s because we know that Pitt tends to play down to lesser competition, and we know that Duke isn’t lesser competition.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve won five of the last six games against the Blue Devils.

Well, whatever the reason, we all know a little optimism can be a dangerous thing.  It’s much safer to keep your expectations low.  Not that the Pitt Sports Information Department is doing anything to help.

In all seriousness though, September was a great month for Twyman.  He is living up to expectations, and he needs to keep it going.  Morrissey gets credit too.  He has done what he’s done against two of the better pass rushes in the country…UVA and Penn State.  Not bad for a former walk on.

Continue reading “Duke Prediction Thread”