This is something that I’ve been late in publishing, and it’s based on the work of Richard Hefner (also knowns as Pitt-Cocks Fan on the POV).  Richard has been diligently tracking QB stats all year, and I’ll be using his research to post a weekly “QB Corner” piece going forward.  Here is a short intro and something to sink your teeth into leading up to the game later today. 

Also for those of you who have had your comments disappear when posting (seems to happen to few of you from time to time), I’ve turned off the requirements to add your name and email, so please remember to type in a username when you post.  I don’t know if this will solve the problem, but I suspect it may help.  Thanks so much.


One of our readers, Richard Hefner, has been hard at work compiling quarterback stats this season.  While I can’t hope to do the breadth of his work justice in the small amount of time I have today, I can point out of couple of conclusions he’s drawn.  One is that our quarterback still has some opportunity to grow.  While Kenny has been great at generating yardage, and he’s been clutch in three games (Penn State counts…he put us in a position to tie in the 4th Quarter), he hasn’t exactly been a statistical world-beater.  Case in point, here is a ranking of all the ACC QB’s sorted by their national rank (QB Rating) through week six.

•Jamie Newman (Wake):  17th
•Jarren Williams (Miami):  21st
•Anthony Brown (BC):  28th
•Sam Howell (UNC):  34th
•Trevor Lawrence (Clem):  45th
•Tommy DeVito (Syr):  55th
•James Blackmon (FLSt):  62nd
•Quentin Harris (Duke):  73rd
•Byrce Perkins (UVA):  81st
•Kenny Pickett (Pitt):  97th
•Matt McKay (NCSt):  100th
•Ryan Willis (VT) – Unranked
•GT QB – Unranked

Now Kenny certainly has an opportunity to improve on the second half, but right now, he’s been what I’d call  “opportunistically” good i.e. he’s not been great all the time, but he’s been good when it matters.  Here’s hoping he turns opportunity into consistency starting against the hated ‘Cuse (and their 111th ranked pass defense).

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

84 thoughts on “QB Corner

  1. —BTW, BC QB Anthony Brown is out for the season with an ACL.

    —KP’s ranking is surprisingly low to me. I mean I would have thought maybe in the 60s or 70s. Will be interesting to see if KP moves up the rankings as the second half of the season progresses.

    I expect he will as his comfort level with Coach Whip should be pretty good now, but I still expect good games and could-do-a-lot-better games in the mix…

    Go Pitt.


    1. Good comment Major Majors (John).

      I will need to change my spreadsheet to show when a QB is out for the year, Brown is now out after being hurt in week 6 game against Louisville. BC had a bye in week 7. There are others (Jawon Pass – L’ville) who started the season but are out due injury or like Ryan Willis at Va. Tech who basically wasn’t any good.

      The QB rating is a formula: ((8.4 x Total Yardage) + (330 x Touchdowns) + (100 x Completions) -( 200 x Interceptions)) / Total Attempts.

      The formula is not kind to KP, Needs to raise his completion %,, throw more TD’s & lower his TD to Interception ratio now 6/4.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Richard — thanks for the info. Seeing the rating formula is interesting…

        KP has had drops, but he’s also missed open guys. Hoping we see way more TD passes in the second half.

        Go Pitt.


  2. Not that KP doesn’t have room to improve, but I wonder how many of the other guys on that list are playing in an offense that has struggled to run the football as much as Pitt’s has. Then again, KP has gotten fairly good protection this year, apart from the UVA game, and some other guys on that list have not.


  3. First off, great job Richard. I’m wondering how you feel KP has stacked up this year despite the ranking?

    Again, the early difficult schedule should be considered as well.

    Thirdly, the easiest game to date for PITT, Kenny sat out.

    Again Richard, your diligence is very much appreciated. Sorry I missed you at the Duke game.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kenny scares me every time he drops back to pass … and he drops back to pass a lot. Haha. I’m not nearly as high on him as others. He’s played fairly well in the clutch, however. That means he has good instincts. I wish he’d trust those instincts more during the meat of the game.

    Kenny doesn’t throw what I’d call very catchable ball. I think that has a lot to do with some of the drops. Not much touch on the shorter routes and not a tight spiral on the intermediate to deep balls. As you can tell by Whipple’s reactions on the sideline, he still has a habit of not setting his feet before slinging it which leads to some of the accuracy issues. The good QB’s have a knack of clicking their feet into proper position even if it’s just for a split second when they throw it … no matter who is in their face or whether they’re on the run or not … Pickett tends to rely on his arm rather than proper throwing form.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. and btw. #21 Jarren Williams was benched. Don’t know if he’s playing again but I watched Miami’s first game this year and he was terrible. Albeit against a great Florida defense.


  6. Jeff R – I don’t think the run game has anything to do with it. Pitt’s run game is about on par with Whipple offenses historically. The breadth of short WR routes makes up for a lack of running game. A 3 or 4 yard pass is as good as a 3 or 4 yard run. Now, they can run the ball a lot better but I don’t think it is affecting Pickett much. They are running enough to keep the defense honest which is more important than yards gained in Whipple’s offense. Ideally, they’re in 3rd and 5 or shorter but I don’t really have much of an issue with the run game so far. The bigger issue is Pickett not hitting the deep routes which have been there. That’s how you know the run game is okay. The defense has to at least be honest about it and WR’s are getting open deep. Pickett is just not hitting them consistently enough.


    1. In general, I agree, but I do think the lack of success running the ball actually makes it tougher to throw the ball, too, because a) you find yourself in 3rd and long more often and b) I’ll bet DB’s are less worried about stepping up and helping in run support, since we haven’t had a running back break a long run into the secondary except maybe three times all year.


  7. Erie… you might be having a conversation with yourself on the Blather…. check back in from time to time or come to Fran’s house for some home cook’s/ tailgate…. the “ keeper of the Bev holder” is our guest celebrity…..


  8. Many good points already in this thread.

    —As ike points old, KP didn’t get to play this season’s Rice game. Remember how different the stats were in that game?

    —I imagine that the number of TD passes is a big factor in the ranking – and we have been poor in that department…

    —I think the biggest area where KP needs to improve is “touch” on the ball. Really glad he didn’t fire a bullet to V’lique on the big play against Duke… Seems to me KP did put some air under a few passes in that game – maybe it’s coming…

    —And a big thanks to Richard and to MM for the info/article!

    Go Pitt.


  9. Late to the prediction thread for tonight…

    We know Pitt’s D line should eat tonight, but what about Syracuse’s defense? It is BAD. TERRIBLE. They gave up 33 points and 557 yards to W Michigan – at home!! In other words, they’re lucky they didn’t give up 50 points in that game.

    The only way Pitt loses is if they shoot themselves in the foot to an even greater extent than they did at Duke. They won’t. Pitt wins 38-17.


  10. Also while we’re on QBs, here are some relevant stats

    QB Season rating Rating vs Pitt
    Perkins 129.4 123.0
    Rourke 135.9 110.6
    Clifford 171.0 108.8
    Gabriel 166.2 133.3
    Harris 134.1 72.5

    It’s going to be a difficult night for Tommy DeVito.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I don’t know how QB ratings are determined but I’m pretty sure the fact that KP has 6 TDs and 4 INTs may be the main reason for his low score. Note that Aaron Mathews has 1 completion in 1 attempt for 3 yards for a TD with 0 INT, and has a rating of 455 … I am not making this up!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. ERIE EXPRESS – When you get into this site, do you hit the icon on the left side where it says “visit,” or do you hit the icon for comments more on the right side?

    Might be nothing, but I used to hit the comments icon to enter the site and I’d often lose the site. After I started entering with the “visit” icon, I rarely have a problem…

    And a shout-out to Rachel! Best wishes to you both.


  13. I think we hold Kenny in higher regard because he’s led us to a couple of come from behind victories. (The Anti-Tina if you will). But there have been stretches of games where he’s been pretty bad. I’m fairness to him, he’s also had a porous offensive line at times and his receivers have had some crucial drops. Room to improve for sure, but overall a B grade from Wlat.

    Off topic, 4 star ⭐️ hoops recruit John Hughley is announcing his decision at 3:30. He’s a fairly strong lean to Pitt according to those who apparently know. But you never know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. KP also had the not-QB-friendly Watson offense for two seasons – now the rather drastic but much needed switch to Coach Whip…

      Go Pitt.


      1. So true!!! Watson did nothing for PITT, Pickett, WR’s, or tight Ends. He was a wasted two years. It was so obvious from his first game at PITT. Honest comments about his “ability” from the beginning.

        In reality this is Pickett’s first year under a real QB coach. Look at how much further along Patti is at his stage of development. Pickett is getting better each game and will be much better next year if Whipple stays.


  14. I agree Pickett lacks touch on many of his passes and ofter on a deep pass never gives his receiver a chance as the ball sails over everyone’s head. Mack one on one on a deep route I like his chances.—-But I do think he is seeing the field much better this season and I’m expecting that we will see a good deal of improvement going forward. With additional options like Shocky, Mathews, and Wayne starting tonight might be a good time for us to view that improvement.


  15. I see where Mich is a 8-9 point underdog to the nits.

    How much are they paying Harbaugh?

    Whatever it is, I hope he delivers…

    Go Pitt.


  16. All valid points. And I think, as well, that lack of passing TDs greatly affect his rating.

    As we all know, when you get in/near the Red Zone, there is less territory to defend. I wish we had, at least, a serviceable run game. It would sure make for a more accessible end zone – via ground or air.

    Last year I said KP doesn’t need to be All ACC, just good enough to keep the the LBs honest. This year, just the opposite.

    Pertaining to no air under deep passes: I think, in part, this is due to KP’s pride in low int rate. He makes a throw that either his guy, or no one, careceipts. Too often, no one! Cuts down on ints, but also recepts.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I got a nice Thank You card today from Pitt for supporting the women’s BB team.

    What made it cool was that it was signed by each of the players. A nice touch.

    Looking forward to seeing how much progress they can make this season with their 7 new players…

    Go Pitt.


  18. I was really worried about KP after the VA game, but he has improved.

    Completion percentage is very poor even though he throws a lot of screen passes.

    Drops seem to be higher than normal too.

    But I will take the winning drives over all of that, if he can keep doing it.

    There is no substitute to a QB that can drive for a TD with the game on the line.

    Hopefully last weeks two INTs were an aberration on not look into the future.

    He definitely is not a good enough QB if he starts turning the ball over with frequency.


  19. Majot – That sounds like a nice marketing ploy. Have you passed that on to Heather??

    I’ll bet if you sell those signatures, you’ll have to pay the players a royalty! If not now, probably soon


    1. savannah — you don’t think Heather is aware of this?

      The Women’s BB team is trying. They had a promo where if you bought season tics by a certain date, you get invited to attend a practice. I thought that was “neat” (to quote Paul Chryst)…

      And Coach White has been friendly and enthusiastic the couple of times I’ve talked to him… And most importantly, he and the staff seem to be recruiting their butts off…👍

      Go Pitt.


  20. MM – nice article. Richard – we are lucky to have someone here who spends the kind 9f time you do researching all things Pitt.

    What I really like about KP this year is how much better he is at stepping up into the pocked (of course, last year, he seldom had a pocket to step up into!) Also, although I can’t say his head is on a swivel, he is much better about going thru his progressions. Again, he’s got the luxury of time this year.

    I think this is the week he ups his stats – and just maybe – we get the ground game in high gear. Give the next opponents something else to worry about.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Right Savannah, KP’s stats would look a lot different if he had missed the Virginia game instead of the Delaware game. BUT…………. such is life. Meanwhile, maybe the UVA game was a lesson well taught and learned?? hmm?


  22. KPs #’s jump up if some passes are completed for TDs (oh where is Jester Weah) KP lacks touch… you know what drives me nuts? A BB player who shoots with no arc on the ball- that’s what KP’s deep ball looks like…no deep ball TDs and very few YAC On the short and I mean very short passes which are basically a running play……

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I am not surprised by Pickett’s rating or his rank. I am not a great fan of his. I think Pitt has better quarterbacks waiting in the wings, Patti and Beville. Beville especially has potential if he applies himself and bulks up a bit. Pickett is best when fully healthy and can use his feet to become a running threat. Unfortunately for Pitt he cannot take the punishment that a running qb receives. Watching the game against Duke confirmed my opinion of him. Twice he threw interceptions into coverages he had failed to read. How can you not see a defensive lineman???. Everyone was really high on Pickett for the game winning drive but there would have been no need for it if he had not helped put us in the hole in the first place.

    In the second half of the season his qb ranking should improve but that will be due mainly to the fact we are playing less accomplished defenses than we did in the first half of the season. I know that no change will occur this year in the qb position but hope next year Patti is at least given a chance to win the job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt would have never been in the hole it was last week if Ford just ran away from that punt on the 5 yard line. The Pitt D was dominating and the change in momentum on that fumble just turned the game on a dime.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Duzz made an observation the other day. He said that the winning pass to Carter was when Duke put on a blitz, and Duzz thinks he wouldn’t have made that pass last year. He is progressing but ….

      I agree Beville and possibly Patti has a better upside than TP but unless an injury, I will be surprised to see him replaced


      Liked by 1 person

  24. Two more stats, this time about the defense:

    The defense only allowed one play of 20 yards or more against Duke. That is excellent.

    I’ve read a lot of comments here and elsewhere which seem to say the defense regressed in the second half against Duke. Well, in that second half, Duke ran 53 plays for only 197 yards, an average of only 3.71 yards per play. That, too, is excellent. It’s even more impressive when you consider that our 3 turnovers forced the D to spend so much time on the field.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Good post Osborne, keep them coming. As MM originally posted on paper Pitt should dominate. But of course we know the game will be played in the dome and not on paper.


  25. I think my lapdog has come down with the “Erie Express” Wordsmith disease.

    Now having to login on every comment.

    The only difference I have observed is I the black “Wordsmith Header” that shows up when you are logged in.

    Previously there was four icons on that header. On the far left (& still there) is the wordsmith icon followed by “My Site” & another icon followed by “Reader”

    On the far right was an icon (no words but took to my profile) & another icon (shaped like a bell) that would have an orange (nothing to do with Syracuse) dot in it if someone lliked or replied to a comment you made.

    The far right icons are gone. Cleared my browser. Logged out then logged back in.after closing & reopening the POV site.

    Sorry for the explanation but more info the better in making decisions or explaining a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So the login is baffling to me because I’ve turned everything off completely as far as login or entering a name. Try a different browser and see if you have the same issue


  26. I think it’s too early to have a determination of Kenny. He sucked against uva. But Played very well against ped st. Ohio was a weird game, he got hurt against Ucf, missed an easy game and looked off against Duke-perhaps due to rust or injury.
    I really see no excuses for him from here on out though. He’s gotta get it rolling and if he does we will be 10-2 and heading to a really good bowl.


  27. If Pitt wins out and Virginia loses one ACC game, we win the costal, right? Or I guess if VA loses 2 more ACC games and Pitt loses to a team with a bad record, we still win. Tall order…


  28. Ffrench’s ego got too big in the off season. His game is (for the most part) really degrading this year. Disappointing.


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