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???

Wide Receivers:

Taysir Mack

  • Receiving Yards Per Game:  85.2.  28th out of 200 – 86th percentile.
  • Receptions per Game:  6.8.  12th out of 200 – 94th percentile.
  • Yards per Reception:  12.5 – Not in the top 200.
  • Receiving TD’s:  2.  144th out of 200 – 33rd percentile.

Maurice Ffrench

  • Receiving Yards per Game:  66.0.  86th out of 200 – 57th percentile.
  • Receptions per Game:  8.3.  3rd out of 200 – 99th percentile.
  • Yards per Reception:  7.9 – Not in the top 200.
  • Receiving TD’s:  2.  144th out of 200 – 33rd percentile.

Running Backs:

AJ Davis

  • Attempts:  42
  • Rush Yards per Attempt:  4.4.  Not enough to qualify but would be 117th out of 164 – 28th percentile.
  • Note that AJ Davis has also contributed 179 receiving yards on 12 receptions over four games – 14.9 Yards per Reception.

Vincent Davis

  • Attempts:  23
  • Rush Yards per Attempt:  4.2.  Would be 128th out of 164 – 22nd percentile.

Todd Sibley

  • Attempts:  44
  • Rush Yards per Attempt:  4.4 .  Not enough to qualify but would be 117th out of 164 – 28th percentile.

Tight Ends

Nakia Griffin Stewart

  • Receptions:  10
  • Yards:  92
  • YPC:  9.2
  • TD’s:  1

Will Gragg

  • Receptions:  11
  • Yards:  71
  • YPC:  6.5
  • TD’s:  0

2018 ALL TE’s

  • Receptions:  10
  • Yards:  69
  • YPC:  6.9
  • TD’s:  0

Offensive Line

  • Sacks Allowed per Game:  2.0.  60 (T) out of 130 – 54th percentile.
  • Tackles for Loss Allowed per Game:  6.0.  65th (T) out of 130 – 50th percentile.
  • Line Yards (Number of Yards the line provides to running backs on each run):  2.5.  72nd out of 130.  44th percentile.
  • Opportunity Rate (% of carries that go for at least four yards):  45.6%.  89th out of 130 – 32nd percentile.
  • Power Success Rate (% of runs on 3rd or 4th down then go for a first down):  66.7%.  83rd out of 130 – 36th percentile.
  •  Stuff Rate (% of runs that go for zero or negative yards):  19.9%.  81st out of 130 – 38th percentile.
  • Sack Rate:  4.3%.  38th out of 130 – 71st percentile.
  • Std Downs Sack Rate:  4.4%.  63rd out of 130 – 52nd percentile.
  • Pass Downs Sack Rate:  4.2%.  24th out of 130 – 82nd percentile.

57 thoughts on “Your Midseason Grades – Offense

  1. I think the offense deserves a C plus

    Defense deserves a B plus

    Special teams a C

    Defense coaching a B plus

    Offense coaching a C plus

    Overall head coaching a B minus

    How bout dem apples. 🍎

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  2. Agree with TXs grades for the most part.

    Michael’s stats confirm what we already know. We have no long ball capability and no run game. Yet. Lots of season left.

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  3. Paralysis by analysis …. OR … an indication of a flawed team? I assume the defensive analytics present a much rosier picture.

    But my response is the same as it has when Reed had presented his data. Perspective is needed,

    For example …. a defense in the Big 12 may rank low in the national average whereas that same defense would rank much higher in the Big 10. Those who follow college football would understand this.

    Another thought is the fact that Pitt may have now entered the 21 century in that its running attack has now been replaced by the short passing game …. a staple of many spread offenses.

    Despite the 4-2 record … Pitt is still finding its identity which is expected when an entire new offensive philosophy is implemented. I would hope the bye week will be very useful for the offense. We shall see.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    wwb sheds truth thankfully at the start of things, unfortunately it won’t sink in for some and before the end of the thread will be ignored/forgotten,,,although some of those posters have

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  5. Oh, grades?

    C+ overall

    KP – B with A- trajectory

    TM – B+

    Ff – B-, fall forward and you get the B

    TE’s – C+, drops and some(one) still doesn’t know where to line up often

    RB’s – C, I guess but not really sure

    O-line – pass blocking C+ near B-, run C- barely

    ST – punt B+, FG – F+, KO – B

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  6. MM – my grades failed to come through after the login in process – I guess that’s a sign I should back away –

    Keep up the good work – I’ll read but posting will be way down.

    Hope to make it to a game soon.

    Go Pitt!

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    1. Change your name to “formerly known as Erie Express” and posting will probably work. Also you can clear your browsing history

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  7. Good stuff Maestro and nice comments so far. I was getting tired of scrolling down through 500 entries, no problem on the computer, but a pain with the hand helds. Also the petty bickering was boring.

    To me the stats are a D but the results are a B so far. How you get 4 wins and two competitive losses with those offensive numbers is a little dumbfounding. Obviously the defense, and two game ending drives have a lot to do with it.

    The two INT’s and fumble are the most troublesome moving forward. I am not counting the muffed punt until Maestro analyzes special teams. In any case, when your overall offensive stats are as poor you will rarely survive turnovers. Again, when your defense generates 7 it is hard to lose. Hopefully KP returns to his less generous to the other team passing skills.

    One stat that I would be interested to see is the number of dropped passes. On face value there seems to be too many, but a comparison with other teams, would be meaningful. Some certainly have been drive killers.

    The offense must continue to get better and should, with the line leading the way.

    As WBB alludes to the comparative stats should get better since Pitt’s OOC was tougher (by a lot) than most.

    However, the competition is not going to get any easier with even the weakest ACC team capable of winning a game. Pitt should now be favored in a few more than before, but better take them one at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I give the offense a C+ overall.

    They will end up a B by the end of the year. The run game doesn’t need to be great, just good.

    OL – C. The benching of Houy doesn’t surprise me, his replacement does. Kradel is passing up many players on the OL. He must be showing off his talent in practice.

    RB – C. I think Sibley and AJ Davis are what I expected. The are playing decent. I think AJ is more talented.

    I think Whipple is still trying to find a niche for V. Carter and the FR Davis. Davis is a better RB but Carter never played RB before. He needs time to develop. Both on the field at the same time would be interesting.

    TE and WR get a C – way too many drops. Many on third downs.

    QB – B. I think Pickett is just getting started. He has the talent. Whipple is doing wonders for him. He is still dusting off the rust or should I say the Watson from last year.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. FWIW … I hope my posting above doesn’t give the impression that Maestro’s data is to be ignored. I think it can be very concerning. I’m just advising that perspective is required. The fact is that the Coastal has proven to be pretty schizophrenic thus far ….

    — VT scores 10 at home one week, and then goes to Miami and scores 42

    — UNC loses at home to Appalachian St one week, then falls one yard short of beating Clemson the next

    — Miami gives up 42 to VT one week then shuts down UVa the next

    Pitt is no different. It needs to bring its A or B game every week and hope the other team brings it C game. I do think Pitt defense will keep the team competitive, but the offense definitely needs to improve

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I give the offense a C. But in their defense, they have a brand new oline, rbs, and coordinator. I actually would say they are slightly better than I thought they would be.
    I am predicting more improvements and then getting to a b by year’s end.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. While I am still not crazy about KP running to the sideline to get each play, it is lightyear’s ahead of the incompetence of Watson, not getting the play in to KP in time to get a play off. How many infractions did he cause last year, some even after a time out?

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  12. The D at this point will only marginally improve. In fact, it could slip with injuries. Offense has the most potential. With a new playbook and line, I didnt expect to see the O start clicking until around game 6 or 7 anyway. Outside punting, special teams is a disaster and will probably cost Pitt a division title this year in a very weak Coastal.

    Dont overlook the Cuse in the Dome. Special teams will decide this game.

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  13. Thanks Michaelangelo. I give the offense a B …. Although the run game has struggled the passing game has been strengthened to P-5 standards and that says a lot from last year. This has allowed PITT the opportunity to come back in a couple games this year that may not have happened last year when the opposing team concerted their efforts to stop the running game.

    As wwb alluded to, stats are all relative to who in the heck a team has played but also and listen to this one for instance. psu played Idaho and beat the pants off them 79-0. PITT played Delaware, who are way better than Idaho but never the less, sat out their starting QB and their top two RB’s while only scoring 17 points. You think those two examples affect the offensive stats?

    BTW, I didn’t see psu’s juggernaut offense scoring 79 points last night. Football and statistics are like water and oil to me…. they just don’t mix well over a short period of time and information…. ike

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  14. I would have liked to have you as my teacher ike…grading on a curve. 🙂

    But I think a ‘B’ grade could be very appropriate given the new playbook, new line, new backs, still a young and inexperienced QB, no Kenny in 1 game and going up against stout D’s in PSU and Virginny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grading on a curve brought back memories of my “grades” post this morning that never made it to the blog.

      I was judging the 1st half based on Pitt’s ranking in the polls (37th in the AP). The equals a 71.5% which was a C- in my day of school.

      Unless the teacher graded on a curve, which may explain why some girls got better grades…

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Overall offense grade would be a C, but they get a A- from me for crunch-time performance. In the game-winning scoring drives against UCF, Delaware and Duke, Pitt’s offense made exceptional plays down the field.

    I thought before the season that the success or failure of the season depended squarely on whether Coach Borbs could find offensive tackles who could play at least average. Well, that appears to have happened with our middle-of-the-pack rankings — and we have a chance for a good season.

    One thing that bugs me is the emphasis on sideway passes. I noticed in watching some games yesterday that sideways passes are pretty popular with most teams — but are well defended by most teams.

    We need to de-emphasize the sideways passes, IMHO, and pass more to the backs in the flat or on wheel routes… And of course more down-the-field throws (that don’t get dropped).

    And the TEs continue to be a disappointment — calling all TE recruits!

    I think the grades improve in the second half of the season. With the exception of the late-game heroics, we can play better than we have played…

    Go Pitt.

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  16. This offense shoots itself in the foot more often than not. They come out in the 3rd Q looking like they just woke up from a 20 minute nap. The OL stinks as a run blocking unit. Another issue is having one of our RBs establishing themselves as Pitt’s premier running back. That’s a lot of issues.

    But you know what? This offense has ❤️! This offense doesn’t quit! This offense is learning how to win in SPITE of themselves.

    There are plenty of things this squad needs to improve, but attitude isn’t one of them. These guys are forging a reputation of being the “comeback kids”. They are starting believe that they can overcome any adversity & win no matter what. Combined with this defense, that is playing with some swagger now, & this team is a contender going into the second half of the season!

    As Carter said in his post game interview after the Duke comeback win, “we are built for this”!

    H2P! Beat Cuse, capture the Coastal!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ^^ Exactly right Doc…. This year’s team is built for so much more. Won’t get into the other reason right now. (the defense) but they are better equipped to hang with the big boys this year.

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  17. Pitt no longer receiving votes in the AP polls – but UCF at 4-2 received votes.

    Pitt did get votes in the Coaches poll and sit at #38, one spot BEHIND the team we beat in UCF.

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  18. 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.

    The offense may get a C…but Whipple gets at least a B for fitting in with what Narduzzi wants and needs him to do as far as keeping the defense fresh.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I’m actually surprised that our RBs are averaging over 4 yards per carry. While 4 might not be great, it’s better than I would have guessed, especially since we’ve broken few runs of any distance…

    Maybe Sibley helps more in the remaining games…

    Go Pitt.

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    1. I agree. Thought I’d see something around 3.5. With that being said, 4.2, 4.4 in college is not great…

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  20. ESPN has cuse favored to win at home vs Pitt (51.5% to 48.5%)

    But Vegas has Pitt favored by 2.5 points

    At 4.2 ypc you get a 1st down every 3 plays. Crush the orange with a little Sibley up the gut.

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    1. EE — I think we have to remember that people looking from the outside see a Pitt team that, except for some exceptional 4th quarter plays, could be 1 and 5.

      And our win against UCF was tarnished by their subsequent loss to Cincy, where the UCF offense looked pretty ordinary.

      We are quite hard to figure out…😊

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. One of my favorite Dave Wannstedt quotes “four yards a carry will move the chains at any level”. Of course you have to do it consistently. With 2.5 “line yards” per carry, we haven’t really been able to do it.

      Maybe Kradel will help…

      Liked by 1 person

  21. With apologies to The Steve Miller Band:
    I’m a picker;
    I’m a grinner;
    I’m a lover;
    I’m a sinner;
    I drink my KoolAid in the sun……. Cue Ike!

    These stats tell the truth, but the facts show Pitt is trending up. They are 4-2, and can come from behind in the flash of a……well, a behind!

    For that alone, the O deserves at least a B+, especially considering what was generally thought of them thru out the summer and early fall!

    Stats highlight: snuff rate – 19%; sack rate – 4.3% (somewhere, Tino is fawning!); passing down snuff rate – 4.2%! 27 completions/game.Whoda thunk??!

    I would like to see an improvement in the run game: 6 TDs via the pass tells me that we need a reliable run game when we get to the Red Zone. Work in progress?? Hope so. I think what we’ve seen thus far in the O, shows that the coaches are fashioning game plans based on what the players can do best – KP included.

    4-2 at the halfway point, and trending up! Raise your glasses, Pitt fans!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Oops – didn’t mean to include stuff (“snuff”) rate
    But it does indicate our run game needs improvement – especially Red Zone Runs.

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  23. I just got off the phone with Comcast and need to vent: Those jacka$$es still aren’t picking up ACCN, even though they admitted they have been getting some calls from irate viewers. (Also, they bundled my wife’s favorite channel TCM into a sports package for an additional $9.95). Where does it end for those money grubbing shysters?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Not only does UCF have more points in the coaches poll than Pitt, but so does Duke.

    No respect – then again, the Pitt administration gives no respect to us fans, so I guess that evens the playing field…

    What ever…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. PoD, don’t know the back story with you and Ike, but the negativity between you two is casting a pawl on this site. Your comments seem a bit rough and are not characteristic of the many posters who just want to talk about Pitt…

    Liked by 6 people

  26. The fact that Pitt doesn’t get any respect should not be a surprise and hopefully keeps the guys fired up.

    If they find a way to win the next two they will get some respect at 6-2. If they don’t they probably didn’t deserve it anyway. I am hoping for a solid win in Syracuse so we get a good homecoming crowd.

    UCF is living off their reputation and Duke has looked stronger than Pitt in most of their games.

    The respect is out there to be earned, but some will point to a weak Coastal.

    I like that most every game will be a real contest, but am waiting for Pitt to win in a blow out. Unfortunately it is just as likely that Pitt gets blown out.

    But so far Pitt has performed better than most expectations (except for Ike)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pitt’s top tacklers to date — some interesting names…

    Name/Solo/Assisted/Total

    1 Paris Ford 27 18 45
    2 Damar Hamlin 21 10 31
    3 Kylan Johnson 15 14 29
    4 Cam Bright 14. 10. 24
    5 Dane Jackson 17 6 23
    6 Phil Campbell 10. 13 23
    7 Saleem Brightwell 7 16 23
    8 Patrick Jones 11 9 20
    9 Jaylen Twyman 11 9 20
    10. Haba Baldonado 8 12 20
    11. Deslin Alexandre 6 12 18

    Note — Brightwell has only played in 4 games — everybody else has played in six.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. —What impressed me with Ford, Hamlin, and Jackson are the number of solo tackles.

      —Also impressed that Bright and Campbell have so many tackles.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

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