Next up on Pitt’s ACC schedule is Louisville.
Scott Satterfield enters his fourth year directing the Cardinals. In 2019, he was the talk of the ACC. Taking over a prior year 2 – 10 team, he shocked the ACC with an 8 – 5 season. He was named the ACC Coach of the year. The next two years were not as kind: 4 – 7, 6 – 7. Overall, he is 18 – 19 (12 – 14 ACC, 5 – 4, OOC and 1 – 1 Bowls).
Louisville’s 2021 results and the 2022 schedule.
For some strange reason, Louisville scheduled James Madison as this years FCS opponent. In a chain reaction to Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC, James Madison will be transitioning to the FBS Sun Belt conference this year.
Over the prior two seasons, Louisville has been involved in nine one score games. They have lost eight of them (2021 – 1W, 4L, 2020 – 4L).
In comparison, Pitt engaged in seven one score games in the same time period. Pitt is 3 – 4 in those games (2021 – 2W, 2L, 2020 – 1W, 2L).
Why do I mention this? Because when I read or listen to commentors, they usually mention one score games and Louisville record.
Here are the Rivals 5.7 and above 2022 commits. Also included are the current Transfer Portal (TP) additions.
In my Georgia Tech review, I introduced the Athlon (name(s) in Gold) preseason ACC teams. In the Virginia Tech review, I added Phil Steele’s (if available) teams (a darker light blue). For preseason selections I only color code the names and not any stats. This week brings our first names (three) of incoming TP pickups who have made a preseason all ACC team(s).
Thirteen TP pickups in total. The emphasis was on defense – eight in total. The emphasis was on DB’s with six. Also included are two WR’s, one RB, one DL, one LB and a kicker and long snapper.
Louisville’s 2022 recruiting class is the best of Satterfield’s three true classes. Williams (161) and Mortimer (237) were Rivals 250 members.
Louisville lost 16 players to the TP.
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’s four teams. I do not have Phil Steele’s ALL ACC selections. But the Louisville 24/7 site named the ten players selected.
I am a fan of “ALL” selections be they pre, post season and first thru fourth / honorable mention teams. They give me an idea of who was a “star” either actual (post) or potentially (pre) in their conference.
It is the post season accolades that make a player a “superstar.” Last year, Kancey, Addison, and Pickett were “superstars” with their accomplishments and accolades. They were all more than good. I will admit that fourth / HM teams are sometimes rewards for players on winning teams. But sometimes they put a spotlight on “up and comers” (see Addison’s 2020 HM All ACC selection as a true freshman).
The offense revolves around QB play. I have added sacked and yards lost to the QB chart.
Cunningham may not be Lamar Jackson but he is close in the excitement he creates.. Nearly 3,000 yards passing and 19 touchdowns. In total, 3,972 yards and 39 touchdowns combined net rushing and passing stats.
The problem is that his totals only placed him fifth in combined yardage and fourth in TD’s. Even with the loss of Pickett and Howell, Cunningham is still considered only the fifth best QB in the ACC behind Armstrong, Hartman, Leary, and Van Dyke.
Only Evan Conley and the 5.7, 3-star in the class of 2022 are the only scholarship QB’s.
Tech running backs and receivers 2021 activity. Also returning production summary for Pitt, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Louisville.
At this time, Louisville has the best overall returning production. But it is all due to the returning rushing attack. Louisville lost three of their top five receivers, including a WR that averaged 29.1 yads per reception. He is with Alabama now. That is why Louisville picked up a potential star WR from the TP.
What does the Oline stats tell us? I added Pitt allowed sacks and tackles for loss.
Only one starter lost but there is a backup with starter experience. They did an excellent job in keeping Cunningham protected. But was it his elusiveness or good blocking? All in all, not a bad returning Oline.
On to the defensive review.
Louisville had 49 players make a defensive stat. But eight of them were offense players. One was a special teams player. That leaves 40 defensive players making a stat.
The chart below strips out the non-defensive players and 18 players who did not make at least 10 or more tackles.
The below chart includes 22 players- seven DB’s, five DL’s and ten LB’s making up (and I mean made up) “10 tackles two deep.” I did not have to lower my goal of ten tackles to make a “two deep.”
As a reminder, bright green means a medical problem. LB Montgomery was injured in the third game of the 21 season. He is back. Which is a good thing for the Cardinals, as they lost their top two LB tacklers. Extending his production to and additional 10 games would result in 73 tackles.
Overall, Louisville returning production is one of three teams with less than 60% returning production (based on tackles).
I believe the six DB pickups from the TP were for current and future depth. Of the three top returnees, one is in his last year of eligibility and the other two can go pro.
To help put all of the defensive data into perspective, here are the NCAA Louisville stats.
Overall, in my down and dirty grading, I give Louisville’s 2021 defense a C minus.
In the VT review, I asked what NCAA defensive stat in the chart above was different from the rest and why. Only one person responded. The answer is “First Downs Defense.”
The first five in above are “Per Game” averages. The next four are Decimals (Percentages). The last one is a “Total” where Pitt was tied for 99’th. If you divide 279 by 14 the per game average is 19.93. I did have time and the data to put in the ACC rankings. Pitt’s ACC’s ranking for 279 was # 9 but moved to # 5 on a per game basis. What was surprising to me was the teams that finished third and fourth (BC and Syracuse) behind Clemson and NC State.
After I decided to let the
FrankCam, FrankCan/Frankcan golf outing article go a day longer, I looked at the NCAA stats for First Downs Defense. Pitt would have been 56’th overall. Took only 20 minutes including a smoke break.
Before I started the Louisville review, I expected a tossup game. I now think it is a Pitt win by more than one score.