Pitt is coming off an overtime win against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Without rehashing the game details, my mental/emotional state started with anxiety. Moved to the joy of a blowout game. Later changed to “what is happening”. Then concern over “what is happening”. Then the stark realization that we could blow this game and stomping off to get another beer. Praying for a stop and the sheer exuberance of a win and the joy of it all cascading throughout me. Pitt now stands alone at the top of the Coastal division.
This Saturdays opponent, the Virginia Cavaliers (VA, Cavs) is the stumbling block on the way to a Pitt Coastal division title. Playing without their starting QB (Brennan Armstrong), the Cavs lost 28 – 3 to Notre Dame.
ACC standings and Duke and Pitt’s year to date schedules.
Currently Duke and Georgia Tech will be spending the holidays at home. Of the remaining twelve ACC teams six teams are bowl eligible (minimum six wins – .500 record). Without checking the remaining schedule of each team, the other six could be bowl eligible. BTW, here is the link to the ACC bowl affiliations for 2021. 2021 ACC Bowl Affiliations – Atlantic Coast Conference (theacc.com) . Some new ones. Lost some old ones.
If you want to make comparisons of common opponents, go ahead. The problem is that there is only three- Georgia Tech, Miami, and Duke.
Here are the NCAA stats for team and individual comparison. Those highlighted in yellow are what I consider are Virginia advantages.
I believe this stat comparison has the fewest among of highlighted advantages. Virginia has a great offense but Pitt is better. Defensively, both teams wish they could be better but overall Pitt has an advantage.
On to the individual stats. Of course, starting with the QB’s I have shorted the list by only showing the individual game stats for the expected or (in Virginia’s case, their fingers crossed) starters – Kenny Pickett and Brennan Armstrong. For all others, I am using a summary line combining all the QB’s and trick play gunners.
I will be highlighting transfer portal entries in green and those who have entered the portal in light orange.
The ever popular running backs/receiver category. ESPN stats and if needed adjusted to NCAA totals.
Keyaon Thompson is listed as a QB but lines up as a running back, wide receiver, and as a (direct snap) wildcat QB. On the Virginia athletic department football roster, he is listed as a “FP” – Football Player.
Devin Darrington is a Grad transfer from Harvard. He was a 1’st team Ivy league selection in 2019. The Ivy league did not play in 2020. Dontavious Wicks is the Cav’s Jordan Addison.
Games played and started for offensive linemen.
I am assuming the last three players listed on the Pitt side are walk-ons that played in the Duke game. Good for them. They have a memory and story to tell of their college football experience.
How are they protecting the QB and opening holes for the running backs?
IMO, Pitt’s Oline is better.
Some defensive individual stats. From ESPN team stats and compared to NCAA statistics for accuracy.
I used the top 17 in tackles for both Pitt and Virginia. Why, you ask?’ Because the Cav’s only have 17 players who broke double digits. The 18’th Virginia player only has seven tackles. In total, Pitt now has 45 and Virginia 48 players who made at least one tackle (solo or assisted)/sack/pass defended (PD)/interception/forced fumble(FF)/ fumble recovered(FR).
I did add some stats to compare the “chosen seventeen” to Team totals.
Of the 48 Virginia players with at least one defensive stat, 11 were identified as an offensive player (QB, RB, WR, TE or OLinemen). Pitt had 5 offense player make at least one defensive play. This finally makes senses to me if you look at the turnover margins.
In last Fridays South Carolina High School football playoff results, Nate Temple’s Abbeville won 49 – 34. Abbeville is on track to win their 8’th state championship in the last nine years. Of the other game of note, Davis Beville’s Greenville High beat defending state champions A.C. Flora 27 – 26. My brother and I were in attendance to watch my grandson’s high school football career end on a low note.
PITT Beats Virginia
The question is the score. If the Cavaliers start and play Brennan Armstrong 48 – 34. If Armstrong cannot play 42 – 13. H2P