2021 Production Loss – Virginia Tech

Next up on Pitt’s ACC schedule is Virginia Tech. I have an affinity for Tech schools. I graduated from a “Tech” school but not as an engineer, an economist.

Brent Pry is the new head coach of the VT Hokies. He is one of the four new ACC head coaches. Only one of the four has previous head coaching experience and he is not the one.

He was born in Altoona, PA. but graduated from a high school in Lexington, Virginia. He spent three years as a graduate assistant at VT.

Virginia Tech’s 2021 results and the 2022 schedule.

The Hokies face a hard stretch in WVU, @UNC, @Pitt, and then Miami.

Here are the Rivals 5.7 and above 2022 commits. Also included are the current Transfer Portal (TP) additions

The 2022 transitional class is actually the best Hokie class since 2019. The six 5.7, 3-stars follows after the 21 class (28 commits) with only one 4-star and zero 5.7, 3-stars and the 20 class (15 commits) with one 4-star and one 5.7. Both of them entered the TP after the 2020 season. The 19 class (22 commits) had seven 4-stars (3 to the TP, 1 medical) and three 5.7’s (2 to the TP).

VT lost 14 players to the TP – Six on offense and 8 on defense. Eight of the 14 players were from either the 2020 or 2021 signing class. The 14 lost players were consistent with the 30 lost over the prior two portal classes.

The TP netted the Hokies two WR’s, two QB’s and a DE. The Temple WR is the best of the lot.

On to the stars identified as NCAA team leaders in selected stats or members of the 2021 All ACC teams. I have added a new stat Athlon’s 2022 preseason All ACC Conference four teams. I do not have Phil Steele’s ALL ACC selections. But a Hokie site named the three VT players selected.

Lots of light blue and pinkish red meaning their gone. The ones remaining made Athlon/Steeles except one. No respect for 2021 HM safety Nasir Peoples.

The  offense revolves around QB play. I have added sacked and yards lost to the QB chart. I also added career stats for the two TP QB additions.

There will be a new starting QB at Virginia Tech. It will probably not be Blumrick who started the bowl game after Burmeister entered the TP. The new starter will almost certainly be Grant Wells the Marshall TP pickup.

The new Hokie coaches see Blumrick being used in the same manner as Virginia used Keytaon Thompson. Both players were recruited as QB’s but they both are better at running or catching the ball then passing it. Like Thompson, Blumrick will line up anywhere on the field including QB at times.

Brown, the ex-Saint Francis (PA.) and South Carolina QB, will be a veteran backup. Bullock is a 2021 recruit. VT did recruit two 5.5, 3-stars in the 2022 class.

Tech running backs and receivers 2021 activity. Also returning production summary for Pitt, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech.

If you use returning yards percentage as your guideline, VT has now moved below GT. The Hokies did pickup two WR’s from the portal. A crafty veteran in his last year of eligibility and a (hopefully) promising prospect with four years of eligibility.

Can the Oline stats mitigate the loss of returning production. I added Pitt allowed sacks and tackles for loss.

Three starters gone but they have three returning players with one or more starts. They had a good Oline last year. Two players drafted and a free agent signing. I see a slight regression.

On to the defensive review.

Virginia Tech had 41 players make a defensive stat. But five of them were offense players. One was a special teams player. That leaves 35 defensive players making a stat.

The chart below strips out the non-defensive players and twelve players who did not make at least six or more tackles.

The below chart includes 23 players- eleven DB’s, nine DL’s and three LB’s making up (and I mean made up) “six+ tackles two deep.”  Yep, I lowered the number of tackles to have at least a “two deep.”

Overall, a normal returning production line buoyed by the linebacking group that has all eight players returning. The strength of the 2021 VT team was its defense but, to me, it only rated as a C minus.

I have used this chart since the Tennessee review. It is to put returning production into perspective. But there is one stat used that is different then the other eight. It has been different on all four charts. Tell me which one and why it is immaterial in its current form.

I see at least five probable wins. Another two are tossups. Throw in a rivalry win against Virginia. No way HC Pry matches Justin Fuente’s ten-win first season at VT. Beamer left players for Fuente. Fuente left Pry a few players, but I expect the majority to either lose eligibility, enter the NFL draft, or enter the TP. Pitt wins.

Next – Louisville.

The Goose is Dead

FORMER PITT FOOTBALL STANDOUT TONY SIRAGUSA PASSES AWAY

6/22/2022 4:00:00 PM

PITTSBURGH—Tony Siragusa, a standout Pitt defensive lineman from 1985-89 who went on to play 12 NFL seasons, has passed away at the age of 55.

Nicknamed “the Goose,” Siragusa arrived at Pitt as a freshman in 1985 following a decorated career at New Jersey’s David Brearley High School, where he was an all-state football player and state champion wrestler.

He burst into prominence as a sophomore in 1986, compiling 78 tackles and seven sacks. In a victory over Rutgers that season, he racked up 17 tackles, including four for losses. Hindered by injuries the next two years, Siragusa bounced back as a senior in 1989 with 60 stops, 13 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. His performance helped the Panthers to an 8-3-1 record, including a 31-28 win over Texas A&M in the Sun Bowl.

Known for his passionate play on the field and colorful quips off it, Siragusa remains one of the most popular Panthers of his era. Never one to shy away from a needle-moving quote, Siragusa once said, “If I wanted to learn a school song, I would’ve gone to Notre Dame or Penn State. I want to kill people on the football field. That’s why I came to Pitt.”

Siragusa is, perhaps, Pitt football’s greatest NFL free-agent success story. He wasn’t picked in the 12-round 1990 NFL Draft and ultimately signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Siragusa ended up playing 12 NFL seasons—seven with the Colts and his final five with the Baltimore Ravens—winning a Super Bowl in Baltimore in 2000.

Siragusa retired from the NFL following the 2001 season. He would then embark on a long and varied media career that included work as an analyst for FOX’s NFL coverage, a recurring role on HBO’s iconic series The Sopranos and hosting shows on the Discovery Channel and DIY Network.

Narduzzi on Siragusa

“Tony truly was bigger than life, on and off the field,” said Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi. “He played the game passionately and relentlessly. Despite not being drafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. His post-football life took him so many places but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to send the best recorded pep talks to our guys before our biggest games. ‘The Goose’ leaves a great legacy and he will be sorely missed. Our sympathies to his family, many loved ones and former teammates.”

https://pittsburghpanthers.com/news/2022/6/22/former-pitt-football-standout-tony-siragusa-passes-away.aspx

2021 Production Loss – Georgia Tech

We have entered Pitt’s 2022 ACC Conference opponents review. The first team is the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Geoff Collins enters his fourth season at the wheel of the Rambling Wreck and a wreck it is. In his three years at Georgia Tech, his teams have been consistent. Three straight years of 3 wins with an overall record of 9 – 25 (7-18 conference, 2-7 OOC and no bowls). The fans and blogs are getting restless. They want Collin’s head.

Georgia Tech Football Opinion Week 2022: The Outcome is Assured – From The Rumble Seat

I like the writer of the above link – Robert Binion. He not only writes opinion pieces but does an exceptionally excellent job with S&P+ analyses. More on him later.

Georgia Tech’s 2021 results and the 2022 schedule.

Are Pitt fans the only ones who complain about scheduling? No.

Opinion Week 2022: Georgia Tech football’s schedule might be the worst in program history – From The Rumble Seat

Might as well get this over with. Robert Binion’s S&P+ projected win totals for all 65 P5 teams against a Vegas betting site (Points Bet USA).

The Binion Index: Looking at Win Totals for 2022 – From The Rumble Seat

Just one more link to go but not just now.

Here are the Rivals 5.7 and above 2022 commits. Also included are the current Transfer Portal (TP) additions.

GT lost 16 players to the TP (nine on offense, seven on defense). In return, they neared the NCAA limit of 32 commits with 15 class of 2022 recruits and plucking 15 from the TP. Notice the two QB TP additions. Are they depth or a QB competition? GT lost two QB’s to the TP. The current QB Jeff Sims has not lived up to his potential.

The best of the TP entries is RB Dylan McDuffie (Buffalo) and Safety Ahmari Harvey (Auburn).

On to the stars identified as NCAA team leaders in selected stats or members of the 2021 All ACC teams. I have added a new stat Athlon’s 2022 preseason All ACC Conference four teams.

ACC Football 2022 All-Conference Team – AthlonSports.com | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews

In total, 116 individual names (120 positions) were selected. That is approximately one third of all ACC starters for the 26 positions used. I already list the 2021 All ACC selections. Athlon just gives some names to replace those who are no longer eligible. I have the “names” in Orange to identify them.

Get used to a lot of color coding losses. Jahmyr Gibbs is the major loss to the TP. He is going to Alabama to get more national attention for his overall performance. NIL money may be involved but not Addison money.

The  offense revolves around QB play. I have added sacked and yards lost to the QB chart. I also added career stats for the Sims and the two TP QB additions.

Georgia Tech running backs and receivers 2021 activity. Also returning production summary for Pitt and Georgia Tech.

GT is now leading in the lowest percentage of returning offensive production of the ten teams I have reviewed. While they picked up two RB’s from the TP, I am surprised that they did not pick up any WR’s. They did get two TE’s.

Can the Oline stats mitigate the loss of returning production. I added Pitt allowed sacks and tackles for loss.

Just to refresh your memory a “bright green” color coding means the player(s) are lost due to medical reasons.

GT lost three of their OL starters. They have added four players from the TP for potential starters (Tchio-Clemson, Quick-Alabama) and experienced backups.

Unless the OL makes a gargantuan leap in play, the Oline will not help mitigate the skill players loss.

On to the defensive review.

Georgia Tech had 46 players make a defensive stat. But nine of them were offense players. Two were special teams players. That leaves 35 defensive players making a stat.

The chart below strips out the non-defensive players and eleven players who did not make at least seven or more tackles.

The below chart includes 24 players- eleven DB’s, nine DL’s and four LB’s making up (and I mean made up) “seven+ tackles two deep.”  Yep, I lowered the number of tackles to have at least a “two deep.”

Half of my “two deep” are gone. Less than half of the total defensive production is returning. The DB position needs rebuilt. GT did pickup five defensive players from the TP. All were DB’s with P5 backgrounds.

Let us put the above in perspective – 2021 NCAA defensive stats

Georgia Tech’s 2021 defense, in my opinion, was a solid F+. Then they lose more than half of their production.

I feel sorry for Geoff Collins. He took over a team that ran the triple option and tried to convert it into a P5 offense. He signed a seven year contract.

Geoff Collins’ contract averages $3.3 million annually (ajc.com)

At least, he was able to upgrade recruiting but too little too late. He is gone. On to Virginia Tech.

2021 Production Lost – Western Michigan

The last of Pitt’s three Out of Conference (OOC) games to be reviewed – the Western Michigan Broncos.

Tim Lester enters his sixth season as head coach of the Broncos. Overall, his record is 32 – 25 (22-6 conference, 9-7 OOC, and 1–2 bowls). Obviously, last year’s 44-41 victory over Pitt is his claim to fame. He has never won his division but has finished second and tied for second two other times. The other two years they finished fourth (including last season).

After going 8-5 in 2021, WMU rewarded Lester with a two-year extension thru the 2025 season. No financial terms were announced but another eight win season will automatically add a year to his contract.

How did they do it – the 2021 schedule and results. Also, the WMU 2022 OOC schedule.

Pitt is the high lite of the WMU home schedule.

There are no 5.7, 3-stars and above. Just a few 5.6 and 5.5, 3-stars in the 2022 recruiting class. The Broncos did pick up a few (four) from the TP.

Hollenbach was a walk-on QB at Alabama. He had no stats in his three seasons in Alabama. All transfers are for positions of need.

WMU did lose 8 players to the TP – six offense, two defense.

On to the stars identified as NCAA team leaders in selected stats or members of the All MAC Conference teams.

Reminds me of all the blue (eligibility) color coding on Wake Forest’s chart.

The  offense revolves around QB play. I have added sacked and yards lost to the QB chart.

Eleby is gone. Probably made an unwise decision on entering the NFL draft with eligibility remaining. He did sign a free agent contract.

Jack Salopek from Irwin (Norwin) is the heir apparent to Eleby. Hrabowski, as you will see, is more of a running QB.

Western Michigan running backs and receivers 2021 activity. Also returning production summary for Pitt, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

The Bronco run game seems to be intact. The top three returning RB’s had nearly 2,100 yards between them.

It is the WR group that has ben devastated. Seven of the nine receivers were lost to eligibility or the TP. Maybe WMU goes with a running QB (Hrabowski-class of 2021).

WMU does return their deep ball threat in Corey Crooms.

Can the Oline stats put a damper on the returning production. I added Pitt allowed sacks and tackles for loss.

Western Michigan had a very solid Oline in 2021. That is verified in their number six ranking in tackles for loss allowed (TFL’s). But they lost three starters to eligibility. They did pick-up a player with experience from the TP. But they are now in rebuild mode.

On a side note, I had previously stated that the 2021 Oline data is from the NCAA. I also said that since the NCAA ignores the 2020 season, a freshman player can be from the class of 2019. 2020 or 2021 and be marked as a freshman. WMU is an example of this in action. Jacob Gideon (thirteen starts) and Addison West are freshmen per the NCAA. Both are from the class of 2019. We have until the end of the 2025 season before we see the end of these abnormalities.

On to the defensive review.

Western Michigan had 38 players make a defensive stat. But six of them were offense players. Two were special teams players. (The punter made 6 solo tackles and had two assists.) (Pitt’s Ben Sauls (kickoff specialist) had four tackles. Maybe Pitt needs to work on kickoff coverage.) That leaves 30  defensive players making a stat.

The chart below strips out the non-defensive players and seven players who did not make at least six or more tackles.

The below chart includes 23 players- nine DB’s, seven DL’s and seven LB’s making up (and I mean made up) “six+ tackles two deep.”  Yep, I lowered the number of tackles to have at least a “two deep.”

Per the NCAA defensive team stats, the Broncos where an average defensive team. Though they seemed to excel at limiting first downs (and the related stat – 3’rd down conversion pct).

It is my belief that Pitt will go 3-1 in OOC play (losing to Tennessee).

Up next, the conference opponents’ reviews starting with Georgia Tech.