First, some good news.  Pitt wresting is ranked #10 in the country.  This is the first time they’ve cracked the top 10 since 2015.

Pitt moved into the top ten be defeating previous #7 Lehigh this past week:

And yet somehow, two ACC schools are in front of us.  One of them is the hated Virginia Tech.

Also, just as a reminder, Pitt Women’s volleyball won their third ACC championship this season.

Annie!

So there is your feel good Pitt sports post of the week.  Wresting and Volleyball baby.  Hail to Pitt.

And now on to the quarterbacks. 

First, in order to balance out the good news with some less-than-good news, we’ll recap Kenny Pickett against Virginia Tech.  Coming off of Kenny’s very strong performance against North Carolina, expectations (or at least hopes) were high.  Those hopes were not long lived.  A combination of Virginia Tech’s “lunchpail” defense, terrible weather and what appeared to be a completely unfocused Pitt offense brought things back into equilibrium all too quickly, and Pickett posted his worst statistical game of the year.  Since I pride myself in finding the silver lining in all dark clouds, I’ll point out the two brights spots from last Saturday.  1)  Pickett did not throw any interceptions.  2) Pickett averaged above 10 yards per completion.  It’s only fair to mention he fumbled on his own 20 when he was outside the tackle box and he only threw ten passes.  Silver linings indeed…

Here is Pickett’s updated game log:

Kenny Pickett Passing Stats 2019_wk 11.png
Stats courtesy of Richard Hefner

If you looked at the stats, you’ll see that Kenny has had his highs and lows this season.  And so….which Kenny should we expect on Saturday?  Actually I think we will see the good one, if only because Boston College’s pass defense is absolutely terrible.  Statistically they are perhaps the worst pass defense we’ve faced all year.  Case in point, BC is 122nd in passing efficiency defense and 123rd in passing yards allowed.   That’s out of 130 teams, people.  BC’s pass rush is not exactly overwhelming either.  They are 121st in sacks.

So what I’m saying is that as long as long as all 11 guys can manage to line up in the correct formation, and as long as Pitt’s offensive line can stay set until the ball is snapped, Pickett should rebound nicely (assuming his receivers catch the ball).  Of course this is Pitt, so neither of those things is a given.

Still, hope springs eternal.

Speaking of hope springs eternal, this below tweet and stat lines should give all you optimists hope for next year.

DiNucci

Okay, on to Boston College’s current starting Quarterback, Dennis Grosel.

Grosel started the season as the backup to redshirt Jr starter Anthony Brown.  Brown went down just seven pass attempts into the Louisville game (week six) and Grosel has been starting ever since.  While Brown was pretty good (154.5 rating in 137 attempts), Grosel, a redhshirt sophomore who doesn’t even have a Rivals.com profile, has…struggled, especially against better defenses.  He posted a 97.7 rating against NC state.  53.2 against Clemson and 61.5 against our Lady of Notre Dame.

And so you’d like to think that if Pitt’s defense brings its “A” game on Saturday, Grosel could post single digit completions for the sixth time in seven games.  Heck, even if Pitt’s defense brings their B game, Grosel may not complete ten passes.  But again, this is Pitt we are talking about, and  I don’t think anybody wants to get over their skis with predictions.

Here is Grosel’s game log this season:

Dennis Grosel Game Log.png
Stats courtesy of Richard Hefner

Regardless of Pitt’s propensity to Pitt, the stats don’t lie, and Grosel has not done much to prove that he’s an FBS talent (Well other than carve up Florida State, but I’m not sure that counts in this day and age).  I’d also wager that the BC passing playbook has been slimmed down significantly based on what he can and can’t do.  Two things Grosel does have going for him, are 1) He’s managed to limit his interceptions, and 2) He’s playing behind a very good offensive line.  Grosel has been sacked only seven times in seven games.  Even though his dropbacks have been limited, that’s still outstanding.

They key for Pitt, as always, is to stay focused.  Can we stay focused?  Can we refocus?  It’s senior day.  We have some seniors on our defense.  A couple of them will even be starting.  After last week’s debacle the optimist in me wants to think that the team will get it together.  On the other hand, BC will be playing for Bowl eligibility.  Pitt will be playing for each other, and for a chance to be the first team in ten years to win nine games.  You decide who will want it more.

Pitt’s defense needs to not allow Grosel to throw a touchdown, and they need to hold his completion percentage under 50%.   These are realistic goals against this BC team.  If Pitt can do this (and stop the running game…more on that Thursday), there is every chance that Pitt will win the game, regardless of whether Kenny Pickett posts a passer rating of 150 or 115.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

69 thoughts on “QB Corner – Previewing BC’s Dennis Grosel

  1. Mike – nice write up. He’s 58/118. Not exactly a large sample from which to draw conclusions. I’m sure he is handing off most snaps. 3 ints /8 tds. I’d say he’s passing enough to try to keep the D from packing the box – don’t know if that is working or not.

    I’m guessing we won’t need to pack the box to stop the run — but, then again, we ARE Pitt, so who knows.

    His sack rate – 7 sacks in 118 attempts is 1 in every 17 attempts. So we don’t pad our sack stats this week. Let’s hope we get our fill of TFLs.

    Main concern is not THEIR O, but OURS. Do we go 0 for 8 (quarters)? Hopefully, Kenny’s throws and receivers hands are in sync Saturday. We really need W #8!

    Note: if I was Kenny, I’d consider transferring to JMU! “What a difference a year can make!” But then again, Ben is getting sacked once in every 15 attempts. Payin’ the price!

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  2. I, your typical Pitt pessimist, believe we will win this game. We will not win it easily because that is just not our way under Narduzzi but we will come out on top at the end. Based on your analysis our passing game should be adequate enough given the opposition’s defense as well as Pickett once again reverting to his mean. This time reverting to his mean will require he play better than his last game. After the win Pitt faithful will dream of a 9-4 season ending. As you can tell my optimism shows no bounds!

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  3. MM — Good article.

    Only saw a bit of BC playing last week, but their RBs are real horses. Ollison-like guys… They will carry our LBs and DBs for a yard or two after contact — we will need to get back to tackling well.

    Based on the weather forecast, I’m forecasting lots of yellow seats…

    Go Pitt.

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  4. The Pitt run defense can be exposed this week particularly with Ford out in the 1st half. So many times last week Ford came up with the speed of light to lay a lick on the VT runners and we won’t have that in the first half. Pitt is also vulnerable to a big QB that can run with the ball, If BC doesn’t have that in Grosel then that’s in our favor.—If the Pitt offense cannot control the clock and keep the BC offense off the field we can in for another 4th Q nail biter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. PSN reporting that Kwantel Raines leaving WVU “immediately” and wants to come back home and has contacted Pitt. New coaches at WVCC want to move him from safety to LB (215 lbs).

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  6. @jrnpitt I agree it’s up to the offense to properly manage their drives, control the ball and not give the game away.

    The Pitt defense can handle the BC offense but if BC can grind it out and control the ball the Pitt defense might have a few issues later in the game.

    Again it comes down to Mr Whipple and Pickett can they be consistent in play calling and limiting turnovers?

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  7. Pitt’s defense can’t be on the field the entire game or they lose. The time of possession has to end up at lest even. That killed Pitt last week.
    I think Stocker, Ford’s replacement for the first half, is a better tackler than cover guy. So he should be fine in run defense.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING POVers!

    NRS

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  8. It would be nice to see Raines come back to Pitt. It still has to be a good fit. Were his grades good? Just speculation, but sounds like he was possibly too slow for safety because some reported WVU wanted him at LB. Hope it works out and he is still the stud player everyone thought he was in high school.

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    1. Possibly OPF but he is saying he’s dealing with family issues as the reason for wanting to move back closer to home. He could receive a waiver in that case.

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  9. Also a hats off to Richard “the number guy” for his continued contributions.

    This BC QB is averaging a little over 7 completions a game. That seems to set up well for this PITT defense. Plus BC needs a win to become bowl eligible but PITT needs win to keep the natives from becoming more restless. My early side prediction? Reed will be too busy this weekend to watch this game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ike.

      To offset Grosel’s passing is his running ability.

      I thought Hooker would be the best runner Pitt faced but adjusted for sacks (10 for -70 yards) the most amazing man in the world averages 4.15yards/carry. (80 adj. carries – 332adj yards – 4TD’s).

      Grosel (once again adjusted for sacks 7 for -51 yards) is averaging 6.55 yards/carry. (31 adj. carries – 203 adj. yards – 2 TD’s.

      In comparison, KP is averaging 4.91yards/carry. 58 carries for 285 yards with 2TD’s. Also been sacked 23 times for -155 yards.

      Leaving for Columbia in a few minutes. Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Hey, I’m feeling back to my SOP self but wasn’t it great to feel “that special something” like we belong for a couple of days…damn it’s a rough landing when we come back to earth….

    Not much time to comment as I have to wrap up my work before we begin our “over the river and through the woods” Thanksgiving trek to Penn’s Woods….won’t be able to make the game as I need to be with me aging Mom and JeanieB’s sister who continues to decline (ALS) I will find a TV to help cheer on our boys but that can’t compare being in the same section as Scooter, Annie and Fran…I will guarantee this,,,this is not a guaranteed victory and PITT will keep you on the edge of your seat…

    Happy Thanksgiving to all and safe travels if you are traveling over the week-end…HAIL to PITT

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BigB finding a TV won’t do you any good if their cable connection doesn’t have the ACC Network come this Saturday. You had better bring a laptop with a subscription to ACCN if you want to watch this game.

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  11. It will probably be difficult to get a waiver based on geography. Pitt is probably 40 minutes to home and wv high school is about an our or so. Pleae don’t google map me, I was just making a point about geography. It’s not like he is getting severral hours closer by asking for waiver.

    That said, he could use the Tate Martel approved waiver and say that the change in coaching staff (who did not recruit him), led to his leaving and if he wants to emphasize that, he needs to leave before the season ends to have maximum impact on the waiver. Just sayin. Pitt needs to put a plan together IF Pitt is the final resting spot for Raines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yes the old “emotional hardship” waiver. Yes I agree that riding the pine in Coral Gables is much less emotionally taxing that riding the pine in Columbus!

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  12. One more thing with regard to the stats on Pickett. If you look at his TD’s, we lost every game wherein he did NOT throw a TD. Our other loss, he did throw a TD, but had multiple interceptions.

    1 Anthony Gordon Washington St. Sr. 11 games 45 TD’s
    2 Joe Burrow LSU Sr. 11 games 41 TD’s
    3 Justin Fields Ohio St. So. 11 33
    – Tua Tagovailoa Alabama Jr. 9 33

    48 Jayden Daniels Arizona St. Fr. 10 17

    The top 50 QB’s have at least 17 TD’s. Ours has 10. That is not a good statistic and really shows how inept we are at finishing drives through the air…or just generally. We can’t blame his experience either.

    94 Logan Bonner Arkansas St. Jr. QB 5 10
    – Hendon Hooker Virginia Tech So. QB 9 10
    – Adrian Martinez Nebraska So. QB 9 10
    – Michael Penix Jr. Indiana Fr. QB 6 10
    – Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Jr. QB 10 10
    – Peyton Ramsey Indiana Jr. QB 9 10
    – Ty Storey Western Ky. Sr. QB 9 10

    Our guy comes in at 100. Should we start blaming the OC, the OL, Talent or lack thereof generally, Steeler Stadium, the strength of the ACC football powerhouses (lol, i can’t believe i typed that), or what. How did we get so inept or have we been that way for the last 35 years?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KP’s lack of forward progress this season has, no doubt, been a major disappointment. I was expecting him to come on strong in the second half of the season. Bummer.

      On the other hand, if KP can throw for 30 TDs in the next two games, he’ll be right there with the elites! 😊

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. In total we have been outscored by our opponents this year and we have seven wins… That says a lot when it comes to scoring – a lot of games it could’ve went either way… Makes sense when you have average running backs, quarterbacks, young offense of line and average receivers… Defense plays very aggressive and can give up quick scores… At playing much better than

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Huff, we have 7 wins and have been out scored by our opponents… very mediocre O in all aspects of the game…Couple that with a defense that can give up some long runs or a sudden pass for a TD/ very few D scores and even a low number of turnovers…. Mental mistakes by players and coaches… And kick return game which seems to be be on the endangered species list ( don’t see many balls being returned,) It all makes perfect sense

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I read somewhere where Pitt was originally recruiting Raines as a linebacker – sounds like he wants to play safety. Course, after two years, I guess Pitt would need to re-evaluate and see how his body has developed.

    I imagine a big factor in whether Pitt wants him now would be his speed — because that has become the hallmark of the Pitt defense…

    Go Pitt.

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  14. Huff the Third, I thought of that. There isn’t much of a mileage distant between Morgantown and Aliquippa from Oakland Pa. Maybe 30 miles tops?

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    1. Yes but he can take the bus from Oakland to downtown & transfer to the 17B Aliquippa Flyer. Doesn’t need a car like he does from Morgantown. Pleading poverty would help with the transfer waiver.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. BUT! Maybe Robert Foster can pick him up with the Escalade he got for going to Alabama? WVU probably only shelled out a Schwinn 10 speed for Raines. I think the NCAA may have a case?

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  15. Pitt wrestling is solid. And, I like the ranking. I’m not complaining… But, honestly, it is a little too high. We are struggling a little at 4 of the 10 weight classes. Need to solidify those and hope that the injury bug doesn’t bite us as there is a big drop off in five of the weight classes from our starters to the second team.

    VT and NCST, both ranked above us, are really good. We defeated NCST and lost to VT last season. We are good enough to pull an upset of either of those two teams, but are also capable of loosing to UNC who is ranked down around 20th.

    Let’s end the regular football season with a decisive win over BC.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Will we ever go undefeated in POVember Fran… ?? that is the question… two years in a row just when I was starting to feel that we were ready for prime time feeling was flowing through my veins then came the month of POVember….. Reminds me of that song “do you remember “

      Liked by 1 person

  16. BC seems to be a good matchup on paper. Their strength of running the ball is against our strength stopping the run. They have a poor pass defense and we like to air it out. Two potential problems though: 1. Rain in the forecast 2. SOP.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. BigB – I don’t know if it would help Kenny’s ability to hit OUR receiver’s hands or not, but I sure would love to see a strong run game (would Whip use it?). If nothing else, it would greatly reduce KP’s attempts, make it easier for receivers to get a step on DBs, (can-ny hit open guys any better?), and improve our Red Zone Experiences.

    Maybe also reduce the amt of time our D spends out there grabbing and targeting!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I finally got over the VT nausea enough to post. So, we might beat up a weak BC team? Nothing is a given with this team, even with a 9 point spread.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all POV-ers and remember to Shut Up About Politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. LastRow, with Pitt we don’t get decisive wins. Too many penalties kill too many drives. I wonder how many possessions actually produced points this year, compared to other ACC teams. The good defense helps, but cannot compensate for getting behind early and needing a lot of second half scoring to recover.

    Also, not having a top 50 QB will likely hurt the bowl opportunities for Pitt. The networks like to hype their bowl match ups with scoring plays and potential, and that is what gets the eyeballs on the screen. Pitt may not be a rel attractive match up against tams with similar records.

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  20. I’ve been tough on KP all year, but he wasn’t the cause of last week’s debacle. Narduzzi needs to play hardball and sit kids who drop passes. No excuse for it.
    As for Grosel, I just hope the announcers don’t devote half their spiel to him like they did Hooker and his family, neighbors and the third grade teacher that claimed he’d be president.
    Pitt wins big this weekend!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Gasman, Guys have been dropping passes all year.

    Mack had a terrible night so who do you replace him with?

    I don’t think they threw to the tight ends all night.

    Shocky dropped at least one too.

    While I agree it is a huge problem, not sure how to correct it.

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  22. I wonder what the locker room and chemistry is like with Pickett and the receivers now. Tge drops and spotty qb play has to affect things.

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      1. You are setting yourself up for a fall. What happened to VT after Michigan St?

        Hoping that the improved inside game continues.

        Best we have seen in a while.

        The one thing our out of control guards do well is generate foul shots.

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  23. With our outside shooting, or lack of it, be tough to win any game against a half-decent opponent in a blowout, IMHO…

    But we can hope…

    I’ll be happy with a one-point win!

    Go Pitt.

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  24. Listening to the Coach Duzz radio show. They ran down the list of seniors and as you would expect, Coach gave glowing comments on each of them.

    —Coach said Hamlin is the best cover safety he has ever coached! Yikes. Said he’s an NFL safety.

    —Coach said Ulizio was the Pitt Lineman-of-the-Week against UNC. Interesting.

    —Coach said that 9 of the 14 seniors already have their degrees. Hail to Pitt!

    Go Pitt!

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  25. I would give Shocky another chance but Mack has been so erratic catching the ball this year that maybe its time for a message to be sent. This game doesn’t mean anything except to us diehards who actually care about 8 vs 7 wins. They have some true freshmen (i.e., Will Gipson) who have been in the film room and on the sidelines for 11 games, give them a chance and lets see what we have.

    Wright a true Frosh TE could also be given a chance, honestly could he be any worse than the two bumbling idiots with hooks for hands that we got out of the portal?

    Sorry, but last week has really soured my mood, but Happy Tgiving to All!!

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      1. Right on Fran and Greg you are both right, it was a trick question to separate us Yinzers from the pretenders. Stanley P Kachowski and Ben Klingston “the mall guard” also answered correctly.

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  26. Random mid-week thoughts…

    —Not to imply anything, but I figure the ACC would like BC to win on Saturday to get them bowl eligible… 🤔

    —Is the BC coach really interested in the Rutgers job? 🤔

    —Does anyone else feel like Coach Salem is going all over the country trying to interest any recruit with TE after their name, but for whatever reason we don’t seem to be able to get a nibble from any big-time candidates? 🤔

    —Will Coach Duzz want to make any changes to his staff after this season? 🤔

    Go Pitt.

    Like

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