2022 WTE Production Lost – Pitt

With the start of spring training, I thought I would get a jump on my Way to Early (WTE) ACC team reviews. Along with Pitt, I expect all ACC teams to lose and then gain players with the start of the second TP period (May 1 -15).

We all know who Pitt lost to  expired eligibility, early NFL entrance, and the TP. But do we know what other ACC teams and OOC opponents lost? That is the point of these articles.

I would like your input on how to improve these articles. So, any feedback is appreciated. The WTE team articles will show the same format as Pitt’s.

As you are well aware, I like to use color coding. Here are the keys:

  • Green – College eligibility has expired.
  • Reddish Pink – Entered the Transfer Portal.
  • Blue – Left team with eligibility remaining.
  • Yellow – Starter on Defense.

Besides headings and names, I also use “BOLD” for what I think are important items.

As usual, I start with a comparison of team’s schedule for 2022 and 2023.

I usually travel to Pittsburgh in late September or early October to visit my brother and take in a Pitt game. It looks like the available games are UNC or Louisville. This year, my younger brother from Texas may make it three. Also, I enjoyed my last visit to Wake Forest and have targeted that as my away game.

Below are Pitt’s NCAA 2022 offensive rankings, values, and national and conference leaders.

As we are aware, Pitt was not a good let alone average passing team. But on average when we completed a pass, it went for good yardage.

The offense revolves around the QB play. The below chart shows Pitt’s 2022 QB play and the careers (by year) of our TP pickups.

Pitt now has four QB’s on scholarship including Rivals 5.3, 2-star recruit Ty Dieffenbach.

Next up is the Running Backs and Wide Receivers review.

Under the running backs review is the lost production by position and the breakdown of Pitt’s offense by passing/rushing and their respective NCAA rankings.

To shore up the immediate need for the RB and WR position, Pitt picked-up RB Derrick Davis, WR Daejon Reynolds from the TP, 2023 signee RB TJ Harvison (Rivals 5.7  3-star) and 4 WR recruits from the incoming recruiting class. Let us not forget the two redshirted freshman WR’s from the 2022 class.

The offensive line review:

When I wrote the 2022 Pitt WTE, I was not concerned with Pitt’s projected 2022 starters. I was concerned with the 2023 starters. At that time, I knew Pitt would lose four starters to eligibility. But due to injuries, the overall impact was limited to the equivalent of two starters.

Pitt’s OLine will have starting and game experience and hopefully Ryan Baer steps up to his potential.

Actually, the OLine improved as the 2022 season progressed.

For those who do not know, DT Dorian Ford has made the move to the OLine.

That wraps up the offense. On to the defense starting with NCAA defensive stats.

Pitt had another top ranked defense in 2022.

The following chart lists all defensive players who made at least one defensive stat.

Pitt lost 9 of 20 players who started at least one game. Like the BB’s and WR’s, there is a lot of lost production.

Pitt lost both starting safeties but picked up Donavan McMillion from the TP.

The defensive line needs rebuilt but I believe in coach Partridge. There is plenty of talent with experience and potential.

The linebacker group is my main concern. Kamara and Simon are returning starters and DeSheilds has plenty of game experience as a reserve.

Does Brandon George fit into the rotation after only playing in four games last season due to injuries?

There are some terrible rankings. Some? I misspoke. There are a lot. But all is well as Pitt ended top 10 in Time of Possession.

A bonus chart – Punting and kicking,

Is there going to be a full scale punting competition?

That wraps it up except for a few notes.

In early February, I authored an article on ACC team schedules and Pitt’s current scholarship count.

ACC Team Schedules – Pitt’s Current Scholarship Count (pittpov.com)

At that time, I estimated that Pitt had 82 scholarship players on the roster. That number included two time walk-on to scholarship DE Chris Maloney and 2022 TP TE Dylan Deveney. The Pitt athletic department has posted an updated spring roster and neither of them are listed.

Pitt now has five unfilled roster scholarships. Even if no one enter the TP, Pitt probably will use some for TP needs or JUCO late recruits (TE Karter Johnson was a May 2022 JUCO recruit). Pitt will probably use a few for deserving walk-ons.

So, make your list out for TP needs. I am thinking of at least one LB and WR. No matter who, I hope all 2023 TP become solid contributors like LB Tyler Wiltz.

Let me know what you think would improve these articles.

70 thoughts on “2022 WTE Production Lost – Pitt

  1. Richard, thanks for the articles you continue to turn out. I’ll need a second pot of coffee to get through all the data…awesome!
    Looking forward to seeing you and hopefully both of your brothers in the fall.


    1. You liked it so much you said it twice. Thanks.

      It was either this article or what I learned about the NCAA “NET” ranking and how it is constructed. I understand the easy part of its construction, but I am struggling with 3 of the 4 strength of schedule (SOS) the NCAA publishes.


  2. Richard I always enjoy your articles, great one to start the year.
    Lots of holes to fill but do like the transfers so far.
    Agree that we can use another LB and WR, but also think another TE and O lineman would be good, but any top notch player is always a plus.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 🤯 GREAT INFO! Always look forward to these articles and the supporting data.

    I agree on seeing LB as a potential problem. I thought Kamara looked athletic but nearly always lost or out of position. Also didn’t thing he physically looked like a linebacker – more like a hybrid safety.

    I was also surprised to read on another article that Nate Yarnell was the only QB hold over from last year. That means there were a few departures beyond the obvious.

    Excited to have these 🏈 discussions back and looking forward to a great season!

    Thanks again for kicking it all off!


    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      According to the NCAA roster for Pitt for the 2022 season, the Panthers only had six QB’s on roster. Slovis (TP), the bowl game hero Nick Patti (moving on to his life’s work), Nate Yarnell (returning), Tyler Wiltz (out of eligibility) and two walk-ons (Frantl and Kosanovich (Aliquippa’s finest) are returning.

      Pitt now has seven QB’s in total. Yarnell, Jurkovic, Veilleux, Dieffenbach, the two returning walk-ons and new walk-on David Lynch.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One small note on the punting front Pitt added a transfer walk on punter who punted at Elon last year Jeff Yurk. He averaged 44.1 yards on 53 punts and was ranked 5th nationally in punting average. In Pitt’s first practice this year he bounced one off the ceiling at the practice facility. Chris Peak at the Lair noted not many others in the past have done so.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was just going to say something about him. There was one short article I read (PSN???) saying he was going to transfer to Pitt, but he never showed up on the 24/7 or On3 TP sites.

      So, I forgot about him until I sorted the 2023 Pitt spring roster by position a few minutes ago.

      He could be just what Pitt needs in a punter.


  5. Richard, I know that I am very safe in saying that no other fan-based site has as much valuable information on a timely basis…a job exceptionally well done.

    The one thought that comes to my mind without going over every position of need is the
    huge transition we will have in talent from year to year. Although we did not have a sensational season we did manage to showcase at least 3 players who will most likely play on Sundays and possibly a few more on taxi squads.

    So, the job of preparing our team to face a very challenging schedule falls on our coaches to
    enable our newbies and former second-string players to step up and become the “MAN”.
    Coach Bates in his recent interview, when asked about the loss of outstanding players, did not miss a beat when he said that he expects the new position players to step up. His statement about Clancey being a nobody as a recruit and rising to the very top shows that he has confidence in his ability to achieve success. We would all be devastated if a great coach like Partridge left for greener $$ pastures. So, it will be extremely entertaining to see how our yung un’s develop…I believe that we will have a surprisingly good year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks.

      That is a good idea, but I don’t feel confident in my ability to make that projection.

      Maybe someone else (or a group of someone’s (Fran and Scooter)) can write an article and send it to Reed, Mike or me (if you have my email account). Then we could all dissect it.


    1. Once again someone deeply involved in our athletic programs, in this case Coach Bates, acknowledges the outstanding job that Heather Lyke is doing for our university. How anyone cannot see the great strides we have made across the board with athletic success and facility improvements is beyond me. Sure seems like her critics have a different agenda. And those who think she has not done enough, to me it would be akin to ripping Coach Fisher or Coach Vidovich for having not yet won a National Championship. Hard to take their opinions seriously.

      Liked by 6 people

  6. PittofDreams
    January 18, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    “He’s probably going to run low 4.3s, maybe 4.29-4.28 if he’s got a good start,” Pickett said of Addison’s 40-yard dash time.

    Trib Live

    I accurately predicted James Conner’s, Tyler Boyd’s, Qadree Ollison’s and Kenny Pickett’s 40 time at the Combine. NO WAY do I see Addison running in the 4.3s. My prediction HIGH 4.4s.

    But Pickett had a much closer perspective Lol.


    Addison 40 yard time… 4.49

    The streak continues.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just heard one of those so called draft gurus say that the BC WR (Flowers?) has probably jumped Addison on the draft board.

      He mentioned the 40 time but also that Addison only weighed-in in the 170s….

      Go Pitt.


  7. Wow, Richard, what a great article for transitioning back to Pitt football. Thank you. I read it quickly and will have to go back and study it more before the test.

    What I liked in looking at the offensive stats was all the room for improvement there is. I blame the Cignetti transition year more than Slovis, but we should be able to do a lot better than 10 TDs and 9 INTs.

    We really need our WRs and TEs to play much better though.

    In the portal, I’m looking for speed and quickness. I’d take another experienced TE and WR. And any fast DEs or MLBs…. Wouldn’t mind a quick RB either.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think Pickett was a senior this year. But maybe he has an extra year of eligibility from the big C.


  8. Great article Richard. Looking forward to future ones! We all appreciate the effort that goes into them.

    The Pitt women’s spring volleyball schedule has been released, finally!

    In addition to playing Kentucky in Columbus, Ohio; Pitt will also play Ohio State and James Madison at home on consecutive Saturday. The team will be a bit thin so do not expect much if you go see them play. This fall Pitt is going to be reloading with freshmen for the first time in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great article Richard!

    Pitt released their women’s volleyball spring schedule but the comment I put it in went to the Word Press twilight zone. Please retrieve it someone.


  10. In response to isnore99:

    It isn’t unusual for Pitt to put multiple players in the NFL draft. What is unusual is that most of the times the team had a mediocre record in the season before they got drafted.

    This year’s different. These kids who are going to the NFL, either as starters or backups or just roster players, played on Pitt teams that won 21 games over the last two years. That’s a difference between Narduzzi and the other head coaches we’ve had.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed, I agree with you. One of Pitt’s problems is that there has been a lack of depth in key positions. The top football teams have players who are second or even 3rd string (often 1st year) who are able to step in and play winning football. Pitt had a soft QB room, a softer wide receiver room, a lack of tight end talent, punting was an adventure, linebackers in training, etc. and the team still managed to have a very good season minus 2 abominable games. I believe that we have the makings of a good team this year, but replacing Izzy, Kancey, SVD will not be easy in the beginning weeks of the season until our
      players have had a chance to get their feet wet. The one area that shines for me is QB.
      If Jurkovec can manage to avoid serious injury, we will be light years ahead of Slovis. H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No doubt the extra covid year has benefited Pitt more than most by improving depth and of course KP’s great final year. That will disappear soon but the transfer portal is also mostly a plus for Pitt’s depth other than when a star gets poached.


        1. The only major loss this year is John Morgan who was one of the best last year. I wonder how much NIL affected his decision?

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Richard, thank you for your detailed article and your research. Only two times do I ever “shush” my cat and block out all noise…when I work on Sunday NYT Crossword and when one of your detailed color coded articles comes out.

    On the basketball front Pitt had a very good meeting w Puff Johnson. UNC It’s all about the Benjamin’s !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maybe Puff was injured and/or mis-used last season but in any case, his shooting %s are pretty bad. i think we can do better in the portal.


  12. Dan, from your sources, are you expecting any men’s basketball transfer announcements, either coming or going, from the Pitt administration soon? Has Mintz publicly stated whether or not he intends to stay at ‘Cuse?


    1. Pitt looking at the 4 position heavily for someone who is strong on defense and can play around to paint.

      I think Pitt needs an ace 3 point shooter, a tough 4, and a steal.
      Word is Mintz still considering Pitt. All about $$$

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Portal is more for depth this year so there won’t be anything too exciting, I would imagine.

    Possibly a starting PG to pair with Dior but we also have a top 100 PG coming in. I doubt they want that young of a backcourt but Dior will have a year in the system. He’s been practicing.

    Depth at PF and C. I’m guessing two wings and a big is the goal with 3 spots. If anyone leaves then I think they still focus on those two areas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Got to get a couple good percentage 3-point shooters – can’t just rely on these incoming freshmen guards. Too many misses, so to speak.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’d say a lot depends on what they think of Santos and Jeffress, who have not shown they can play at an ACC level yet, but have size. They definitely need defense, rebounding a power forward and there can’t be too many guys that can hit threes.


  15. One thing that jumped out at me from Richard’s data was the number of times Phil J. was sacked at BC. In his good year with Coach Cig, where he threw for 17 TDs and only 5 INTs, he was sacked 24 times. And last year, he only played 8 games but was sacked 25 times.

    For comparison, Pitt gave up 19 sacks last season – tied with UT and UCLA. Not bad for protecting Slovis. On the other hand, Oregon gave up 5 sacks all year. Only Duke (17) gave up fewer than Pitt in the ACC.

    I listened to a couple of interviews with the veteran Olinemen. They seem to like Phil J. Zubovic said he has “moxie” and he’s a big guy, and he hangs in and makes plays. Sounds a bit encouraging.

    Nice to have Zubovic, Kradel, Jacoby and Gonsalves back. Blake Z. walked on Senior Day but then decided the thing he wanted to do most was play football – and Kradel sounds like his best friend.

    One last thing, when asked who stood out on the Dline, Zubovic mentioned Fitzsimmon. Looking forward to seeing him play regularly – excellent quickness off the snap…. Could be our next star at DT…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BTW, sacks allowed seems like a decent indicator of how good a team is….

      Some numbers from last season:
      UNC – 40
      GT – 39
      BC – 46
      Syracuse – 43
      VT – 33
      Miami – 36
      Clemson – 28

      Pitt – 19

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. John – BC had 4 or 5 All ACC selections in both 2020 and 2021. In 2022, they were all gone except one player who missed the entire season due to injury. BC, like Virginia, had an entirely new Oline with little experience.

        You are correct in your assessment of sacks as an indicator. I would add TFL’s as another indicator. Both work in tandem.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. The Big East has been really impressive in the tournament.

    Three team in the Sweet 16 and UConn is beating Arkansas by 23 early in the 2nd half.


  17. What does the OL depth look like? It sounds like the starters are solid but injuries happen. Is there any depth or will they need to rely on incoming Freshmen?


    1. Missing from my OLine review is Ryan Jacoby, He was listed and played as a TE for the ’22 season. He did have a catch – one for three yards. I believe he played in the bowl game on the Oline.


    1. And the Pac12. The SEC has just one team left, Alabama. But they were a 1 seed. Not a word about any of this on ESPN. Remember, last year the ACC had 3 teams in the Elite 8.


  18. Just wandering if Pitt still had a pipeline to NYC players, wouldn’t it be incredible to have Markquis Noelle at point guard. We can dream.


  19. Pitt is basically a non-factor these days in Noo Yawk. Yeah, Izzy played for Lincoln HS in Coney Island, Brooklyn…but that has nothing to do with the talent in the NY area for high school basketball. These days if you have enough NIL money you can shake the talent trees for good HS talent from almost anywhere. Please read the article it brings back the days when The Big East was king (a different Big east today but still strong) and we didn’t have to suffer the outrageous Tobacco Road refs and good old boy ACC play-by-play announcers.
    Y’all come back soon you heah.



  20. Just watched the o-line interviews on the Pitt Site, outstanding stuff.
    Funny that Coach Partridge has a dog named Meatball.

    Liked by 6 people

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