I am Back but first a POV Public Service Announcement.
Michaelangelo (Mike) has asked me to announce that the Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Soccer and Men’s Soccer schedules are now on the POV. Those schedules are located on the left-hand side of the latest current posted article.
Speaking of Mike, I want to thank him for picking up the “Up Next” series during my nearly one-month absence. Now back to the article.
Both Pitt and Louisville are going into week eight of the college football season off byes. Based on ACC standings, Pitt currently stands tied for third (w/Miami) in the Coastal Division with an overall record of 4 – 2 (1-1 ACC, 3-1 OOC). Louisville sits at 3 – 3 (1-3 ACC, 2-0 OOC) and is tied for sixth place (w/BC) in the Atlantic.
I am now in color coding mode. Red is for Transfer Portal (TP) entries. Green is for season ending injuries. Names highlighted in yellow are defensive players starters. (Games started are next to players names.)
On to the review, starting with NCAA team stats through October 15”th games. There are 131 FBS teams this year with the move of James Madison to the Sun Belt Conference. I am using a new NCAA stat list. The new list includes all 47 statistics that the NCAA tracks at a team level. The old one only had 25. Besides national FBS ranking, the new chart adds conference rankings. I also sorted the stats by type so that offense, defense. and miscellaneous stats are grouped.
Here are the NCAA offensive stats comparison after week 7 action:
Make of it what you want but North Carolina is THE ACC juggernaut on offense. But that is for next week. Louisville and Pitt are currently middle of the pack teams.
The offense revolves around QB play. Below are the numbers for Louisville and Pitt’s QB’s after six games.
Cunningham (under concussion protocol) sat out the last game Louisville played. His replacement, Brock Domann, filled in and led Louisville to the win over Virginia. His stats in that game were better than Cunningham’s Y-T-D numbers except for completion percentage.
RB’s and WR comparison.
As a true passing QB, Cunningham’s stats are unimpressive. As a dual threat QB, he moves up in the QB pecking order. His net rushing total of 457 yards leads not only Louisville but all ACC QB’s in rushing. Combined with backup Domann, Louisville’s QB’s passing and rushing yardage combines for 1,866 yards of Louisville’s 2,623 total yards (71.1%). Pitt’s three QB’s combined rushing/passing yards (1,360) are only 52.7% of Pitts total yardage of 2,583 yards. The same is true for TD’s – Louisville 70% (14 of 20), Pitt 29.2% (7 of24).
Louisville’s RBs seems to be interchangeable. Evans, the leading rusher, is a Tennessee transfer. Jordan is a transfer from Syracuse. Cooley is the only home-grown RB. By now, everyone knows who Pitts bell cow is.
On paper, the receiving core for both teams seem a tossup. But that does not consider the entry of Jaden Bradley into the TP.
Maybe a slight offset but I read on the SBNation site – Card Chronicle that that the second leading WR Ahmari Huggins-Bruce tweeted that he is out for the next two games. He later deleted his tweet. Louisville HC Scott Satterfield was asked about his status in his Monday press conference.
You will need to wade thru a lot of news and notes before finding.
On to the offensive lines. Chart includes players with game experience, TFL’s and sacks allowed statistics and a breakdown of pass/run/sacks ratios.
I think Jacoby’s starts are for playing the tight end position. Probably true because Bartholomew has only started three games and Johnson one.
No doubt about it but Louisville’s Oline does a better job at protecting the QB and opening holes for the running backs.
The season ending injury to Warren Carter is a blow to Pitt’s Oline but does give plenty of game day experience to next year’s starters.
Love the use of snap counts in these linked PSN articles. I would love to have that data.
That ends the Offensive review. On to the defense. I am starting with NCAA defensive stats.
ACC wise, I am surprised that Clemson only leads in two categories while Syracuse leads with four.
Louisville is better in eight of the 15 stats.
Let us take a look at the individual defense stats. I am only showing those defensive players with five or more total tackles. Starting with Louisville.
Louisville has 28 players making a defensive stat. I am showing the stats of 21 players. The summary total statistics are for the 21 players listed, all 28 players stats by designated position group, and the stats of the 15 listed starters.
Based on starts, they play a base 3-3-5 defense. Injuries have been limited as four of the total 15 starters have only one start each. For those who counted the starts by position groups, the DB group is short one start. Chandler Jones has played in all six games and started one but has no defensive stats
On to the Pitt defensive players statistics.
Pitt has 32 players making a defensive stat. I am showing the stats of 25 players. The summary statistics are for the 25 players listed, all 32 players stats by designated position group, and the stats of the 15 listed starters.
Based on starts, Pitt plays a base 4-3-4 defense. While the number of starters for both teams is 15, injuries have taken a toll. Only two players have one start – DT Danielson and DE Brima. The only player who has started all six games is Kancey.
With all the injuries to DE’s leading to missing games, who amongst us expected Bam Brima to get a start this year? Good thing it was against Rhode Island. My money would have been on Abbeville, South Carolina finest – Nate Temple. But he is also injured and has not played since the Western Michigan game.
Next is the NCAA miscellaneous stats:
Hallelujah, Pitt leads the ACC and is top 10 in Time of Possession.
Pitt is still committing penalties. Punter Sam Vander Haar and the punting team needs to work on their skills. Pitt needs to create more turnovers. I am not happy with our turnover margin. One reason we lost to Georgia Tech is because GT forced three turnovers while Pitt was limited to one.
That wraps it up.
The key to this game is controlling Louisville’s rushing attack. Hopefully, a fully healthy defensive front seven starts their trek to a top 20 rush defense. If that happens, I believe Pitt wins comfortably. If not, Pitt wins in a close game. While both teams are coming off a bye week, I think Pitt is helped more by the extra week of rest. I assume Hammond will be back and a healthy rush attack will result. The starting defensive line will be back to the presumed preseason starters for only the fourth time this season. Slovis only needs to hit his season average of 259 yards (over 4.5 games).