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.
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:
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.
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:
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