Once again, I am back for what I do and enjoy. But I enjoy visits to the mountains of western North Carolina more and not for fly fishing. Even though there is a on property stream where visitors do fly fish for trout.
Pitt won last week’s game over Virginia 37-7. In my last articles(s), I ranted about turnovers both good ones and bad ones. Last week was all good. It is a good thing I had my Sirius radio, rocker and beer in hand or I would have missed the fireworks.
Pitt is now 6 – 4 (3-3 Conf, 3-1 OOC) and is tied with Miami for third place in the Coastal.
The Duke Blue Devils have now won three games in a row. The latest was a home victory over Virginia Tech 24-7. Overall, they are 7 – 3 (4-2 Conf, 3-1 OOC). They are in second place in the Coastal.
Below is the schedule for both teams.
Duke lost to that terrible team (Georgia Tech) the week after Pitt lost. I think four of the five teams that fired their HC early in the 2022 season won their next game. GT and at least one other won their second game.
Here are the NCAA offensive stats comparison after week 9 action:
The offense revolves around QB play. Like the last article, I am showing some of the ACC QB stats I update weekly. I use ESPN game stats for my individual team stats but always verify with NCAA stats.
Except for Yards per Attempt (YPA) and Yards per Completion (YAC), Leonard is the better QB. But his passing is not what makes him pass the “old eye test.”
RB’s and WR comparison:
Another QB leading his team in rushing yards, and he is good at it. Top Ten in all the ACC rushing stats – Yards per Attempt (second), Rushing TD’s (tenth). Rush Yards (fifth) and Rush Yards per Game (sixth). This is where Leonard passes the eye test. BTW, Leonard has 3 rushes of greater than 50 yards (56, 60, and 74 yards). Without those 3 rushes, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry.
No RB had a 50+ long rush. Of the other 4 RB’s, Jaquez Moore has numerous 15-to-40-yard runs.
The Duke wide receivers are nothing special. Jalon Calhoun is the best of the group, but he is no Jared Wayne.
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, average offense plays per games, True TFL’s Allowed as a percentage of Adjusted run plays and average offensive plays per game.
Yes, I know Ryan Jacoby is playing as a blocking TE. Yes, I know at least four Pitt Linemen will be gone next season but plenty of reserves are getting gameday action including starts.
Duke’s OLine seems to be more stable injury wise compared to Pitt.
Duke’s OLine does a better job of protecting the QB and opening holes for the RB’s. Is it the offensive scheme or Leonard scrambling or short passing throws at the first sign of duress?
Did you notice the simple Pass/Run ratio for Duke and Pitt? Duke 42.4%P / 57.6%R. Pitt 41.4%P / 58.6%R. Actually, after the Syracuse game, Pitt’s P/R ratio was 42.4%/57.6%. The 1% swing was due to the Virginia game 33.3%P (24 Attps.) / 66.7%R (48 Attps.) ratio.
That ends the Offensive review. On to the defense. I am starting with NCAA defensive stats.
A clear tilt to Pitt on defensive stats except turnovers.
Let us take a look at the individual defense stats for Duke. I am only showing those defensive players with five or more total tackles. For Pitt, I will only be showing the summary. As fans, we should know the starters and backups.
I think Duke plays a 4-2-5 defense with a safety taking on a role of a LB. I also believe that person is DB Brandon Johnson based on his 5.5 sacks (leading Duke sacks master). But it could also be DB Darius Joiner. I really do not know. I am just typing to get my word count up.
Khan Heyward is the SirVocea Dennis of the Duke defense. The LB position seems to be the only group with injury/personnel changes.
Below are the summary lines for Pitt’s defense and my attempt at duplicating a S&P+ statistic – Havoc Defense.
Miscellaneous NCAA stats:
Overall, Duke wins the NCAA Miscellaneous stats category. Pitt is still horrid in penalties and punting but the turnover margin is getting better.
On the bright side, Pitt is back in the NCAA top ten (#9) in TOP. Duke is a minute and 26 behind. Put TOP, my attempt at seconds per offensive plays (see bottom of rushing/receiver chart), and the closeness of the Pass/Rush ratio and you will find two long time defensive coordinators now head coaches. This game boils down to Riley Leonard. Can Pitt control him. The Pitt defense seems to have regained its mojo. Pitt wins.