Time of Possession Effect; Myth or Truth?

Time of Possession Effect; Myth or Truth?

The two teams battling in a football match always try to control the play clock.

They do that for a variety of reasons but the main ones are that if you have the ball the other team can’t score and the longer you hold onto possession of the ball the better chance you get to score. Pretty basic stuff.

Another is the more tired the opponent’s defense gets by being on the field for so long makes the odds for catching them in a mental or physical mistake thus taking advantage of that for quick scores and points on the board.

That is the theory anyway. I suppose it works that way but I’m just not sure that helps get a “W” in the win column any more than striking into the end zone quickly and often to garner more points than the other guy does.

Time of Possession, or TOP,  is easily the most misunderstood statistic in football I think.  Since our 2016 season ended I have read many Pitt fans say that our defense was on the field too much and got too tired to be effective. Thus the imbalance in TOP was responsible for the large amount of points per game our defense gave up.  Hmmm…

I wondered if that is true so I did some digging.  My findings are this – I really can’t tell if TOP is all that much of an indicator in the outcome of a game.  I know that sounds very wishy-washy but hold on. Here are some facts to think about first.

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POV Sunday Podcast; Saturday Edition

POV Sunday Podcast; Saturday Edition

As promised we rolled out the POV Round Table series last evening with a two-man show – myself and our long time commenter PittFan28 (Brian Ashcom).  The result was great and we had a good time talking about ourselves, our opinions of and our relationships with Pitt football.

Take a listen above – we came in just a bit over 35 minutes but truth be told we could have gone on for an hour at least.  I think the technical work is OK, I used Skype for the communications bit (I’ll reprint Skype instructions below) and then used a program called Audacity for the actual recording. 

You’ll hear that it came through pretty clearly but with some scratchy bits from Brian’s end, but nothing that really detracts from the content.

As we do this more often, and it was fun, we’ll smooth out any rough spots and with more callers I’ll do a lot less talking. 

Here is how I envision the POV regular season to shake out:

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Football Bits & Pieces

Football Bits & Pieces

NOTE: I’m wondering if I got ‘punked’ at the LOI Day event. The guy I talked to there looked exactly like our old DL position coach Inoke Brecterfield… and when I asked him if he was Coach Brecterfield he said “yes”  I introduced myself and we started talking about things we had in common (Pacific Islands) and about our current DL Jeremiah Taleni (who Brecterfield recruited and coached).  7511380

But the point was brought up on here that Brecterfield was almost sure to have been in Wisconsin on Wednesday for their LOI Day. gig.  I have been researching to see if Brecterfield was indeed in Madison, WI and can’t verify it.

In the interest of accuracy and honesty I’ll say that now I’m not sure at all it actually was him – but if not it was a very strange thing for someone to do.  And if it was that is strange in other ways also.

Watching the Super Bowl last night made me remember the best comeback I never saw.  Back in 1970 my oldest brother and I wpitt-stadium-pittsburgh-pennsylvaniaent to all the Pitt home games like we had ever since we were born.

The year before in ’69 Pitt was 4-6 under Carl DePasqua and had lost to West Virginia 46-19.  In ’70 we were sitting at a surprising 3-1 and had a three game winning streak against Baylor, Kent State and Navy when WVU came into Pitt stadium. They were 4-1 and nationally ranked at the time.

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POV Sunday Podcast: 2016 Season Wrap-Up

POV Sunday Podcast: 2016 Season Wrap-Up

Now that the 2016 football season is over we can talk about the ups and downs, good and bad, positive and negatives and who did well and who fell short of what we expected of them.  I’ll have a few controversial thoughts about this team and I’m sure we will have time to talk about it, but I’ll try not to repeat too much of what we’ve already written and discussed.

It is 60 minutes long but it’s Sunday and what else do you have to do?  Especially because it’s cloudy and cold in Pittsburgh.

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Getting to the Top…

Getting to the Top…

NOTE: this is an article I wrote back in the beginning of September of 2016 and never posted it but it’s something to read that it might be a bit timely now also

I like Chris Dokish’s work on The Panther’s Prey blog he writes. Aside from the fact that he’s pretty much an unmitigated homer it is enjoyable to read and I learn something every time I visit.

He puts a ton of research into what he does and because I don’t follow recruiting much I tend to use his info (attributed). Because of the ‘defection’ of DT Donovan Jeter, a HS star player who Pat Narduzzi had slobbered over for a year, and who spurned Pitt for a quick verbal to Notre Dame, Dokish felt it was time to post an article he had been working on for some time.

It is titled Why Pitt football recruits at the level they do and is very well written.  He mirrors what I have been saying for over five years now in that Pitt is not an “elite” football program.  That isn’t rocket science as anyone with half a football brain can see that we are presently a bit above average program at best. Notice we are talking about the football program here and not a specific team for any year.

We haven’t been in the upper echelons of college ball in over 44 years – since Dan Marino and his 1982 teammates played their way to #10 in the AP poll.

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Monday Morning QB: Northwestern

Monday Morning QB: Northwestern

Well, we’ve had over 775 comments during the bowl game and describing our feelings regarding the loss afterward so I’m not sure there is a whole lot more to say about the specifics of the game itself, that is how the game was actually played out on the field.

Suffice to say two main things happened, at least to my eyes.  Everybody associated with Pitt from the Chancellor through the AD and coaching staff, through the players and into the fan base, were way too overconfident about facing Northwestern.  They just didn’t see a loss coming and I didn’t either.

I felt that we’d use our experienced and bigger OL to establish the ground game.  We’d use Narduzzi’s “take away the run or else” philosophy to hinder their running game then by default let them throw all over the field until we outscored them at the end.

Number two was a funny thing happened on the way to Yankee Stadium.

No one told the Northwestern people that was how it was supposed to be.  Instead they thumbed their collective noses at our vaunted #9 rushing defense, shut down our vaunted #26 rushing game and finished with more points on the board than we did. Whaaaa? Continue reading “Monday Morning QB: Northwestern”

Bowl Eve Recap & Game Thread

OK then. Let’s go down a recall list for the revelers and submit an after action report.

Left my hotel at 6pm and got to the Pitt HQ hotel, the Sheraton Times Square, a bit after.  On the way there I walked up to  Pat Narduzzi standing on the street corner looking up at the street signs and trying to figure out where he was with the phone in his hand.

It was kind of a nice scene because he was in his all Pitt blue and gold sweats and had two packages of shopping in his hands so he looked like a regular tourist but in full Pitt regalia.

Once I got into the hotel I walked up to the bar and saw two guys in Pitt gear so I sat down in the middle and began to speak with them. On my left was Brandon Ford’s father Richard and it was a real pleasure being with him; on my right was another rabid Pitt fan whose Name Escapes Me Now but we sat and talked for about an hour on everything that has to do with the Pitt football program.

Brandon’s Father had a lot of insights into the recruitment of his son, basically from the middle of Penn State territory as that’s where they grew up. He thinks the world of the coaching staff now but really had glowing respect for Paul Chryst and Joe Huber who began recruiting Brandon in his junior year of high school.

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