Monday, October 29, 2012

Has Pitt improved this season?

I took out out the games against Youngstown State and Gardner-Webb because games against lower division programs skew the numbers.  That leaves six major college opponents.  This is how Pitt has faired if those six were divided in half:


First three games averages:

432.7 total offense
139.3 rushing offense
293.3 passing offense
19.3 ppg
4.0 sacks given up per game

364.7 total defense
146.0 rushing defense
218.3 passing defense
21.7 ppg
1.7 sacks/game


Last three games averages:

387.3 total offense
142.0 rushing offense
244.3 passing offense
34.0 ppg
2.3 sacks given up per game

372.7 total defense
151.3 rushing defense
221.3 passing defense
22.7 ppg
2.7 sacks/game


Obviously there are some good things.  Sacks on defense are up and sacks on offense are down.  The most impressive good news is that the scoring has gone up from 19.3 ppg to 34.0 ppg.

But I think what would surprise many is that the offense and defense production are both down, and in some cases virtually the same.  And this is coming against weaker opponents.  While Louisville is obviously a very good team, both Buffalo and Temple are not.  The first three major opponents on the season- Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse- are much better as a whole, yet Pitt did basically the same against them as with their weaker opponents.

What this tells me is that Pitt may not be improving as much as many think- at least overtly.  Rather, it looks like a team that has some good parts, and some bad parts, and that causes them to be very sporadic in their play.  The big turning point may not come this season.  It looks to be a team that it just trying to get by week by week, and with any team that's half good and half bad, you never know which side is going to win out in any given week.

70 comments:

  1. How far apart are ND and Pitt in terms of talent and coaching ability?

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  2. I can answer that - FAR on both.

    I mean come on, - Kelly has had great success at Western Michigan, Cincinati and now at ND.

    Chryst in his 1st year as a HC.

    Talent - forget the star ratings where ND is in a galaxy compared to Pitt - all you have to do is watch ND play and compare that to Pitt.

    Like I said, huge gap both.

    If Chris responds ANY differently then, I stand corrected.

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    1. I think it's pretty obvious that Notre Dame is well above Pitt at this point. If Pitt comes within 17 points I'd consider a job well done.

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    2. Pitt is 17 pt dogs in Vegas.
      KRF

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    3. Glad to see some realistic analysis of our chances against Notre Dame. Completely agree with Chris that if we stay within about two touchdowns or so it will be OK. Rutgers may be another matter. If they can rattle Nova, Pitt may have a chance. That is assuming Shane Gordon gets healthy enough to play.

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  3. Bad weather game in Buffalo, an undefeated 8th ranked Louisville... these factors would seem to distort the stats a bit.

    The eyeball test tells you the team that took the field against Temple is a solid improvement over what the team was earlier in the season.

    Problem is Mason is gone, Williams is gone, Schleper is gone and Hubie Graham looks to be out.

    The loss of these players present challenges, expecially Mason who made it clear just how average the inside linebacker play has been this year and how big of an impact a playmaker in the middle can have on the entire defense.

    PittofDreams

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    1. You can't use that weather excuse. Buffalo played in the same weather and did better than their averages.

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    2. Chris,

      Buffalo's quarterback was horrible as far as the passing game goes. He was less than 5 yards-per-attempt, which is less than his 6 plus YPA for the season.

      Pitt with Sunseri is obviously a much more potent passing attack and thus would seem to have more to lose by being impacted by the poor weather.

      PittofDreams

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    3. I guess that's one way to manipulate the facts. Bottom line, you can't say weather was a factor in a game when your opponent ends up with more total yards than their average.

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    4. Not to belabor the point, but to belabor the point...

      Against Buffalo, Sunseri threw 17 times for a 128 yards.

      Buffalo averages giving up 189 passing yards a game.

      Given that Sunseri and Pitt averages 281 passing yards a game, something would seem to be amiss.

      By the way Buffalo's quarterback threw the ball 41 times which seems to be a really bad choice by Buffalo given that their runningback was averaging 5.2 yards a carry.

      Admittedly, Pitt had trouble running the ball in Buffalo.

      Bottom line, had the weather been fair to good, my guess is that Pitt would have passed a heck of a lot more and likely scored more too.

      PittofDreams

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    5. Pitt UB
      FIRST DOWNS................... 13 22
      NET YARDS RUSHING............. 126 169
      NET YARDS PASSING............. 128 165
      TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS........... 254 334

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    6. OK?

      So how does that refute the fact that weather played a part in limiting Pitt's passing offense?

      PittofDreams

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    7. It didn't hurt Buffalo.

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    8. Did you notice that the Buffalo quarterback threw the ball 41 times with a 4.02 YPA?

      Guess not.

      PittofDreams

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    9. If the weather was so bad then how could they throw it so much? Buffalo had better stats than normal.Pitt had worse. Weather should have made Buffalo's worse than normal if that is the excuse you are giving for Pitt.
      What is your point?

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  4. Great assembly of stats and it is dead on. I have been saying that this team 's improvement is marginal at best.

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  5. They are just inconsistent. Pitt was like this last year in their first year under Graham, too. Second year makes a big difference, but Pitt needs a serious upgrade at LB and OL. I think they'll be fine at QB and Chryst knows how to use his weapons well enough. Seeing Robert Foster at WR would help.

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    Replies
    1. They are inconsistent because they aren't good enough yet was what I wrote.

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    2. Exactly, Chris. I think the fact that you say "yet" is evidence that you haven't dismissed the existing regime. They deserve to be indicted for quite a few things, most of which were somewhat predictable, but I do think it's unfair for some to accuse you of being hypercritical.

      I will say this - the offense with some improvement in weapons will be great under Chryst. No doubt in my mind. The line will likely get exposed this week, but I can't complain about the offense considering the lack of weapons. I think we'll see more consistency with better talent and more weapons, but that's natural. Now if Chryst can't recruit better weapons for his offense, Pitt has a MUCH bigger problem.

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  6. Hi Chris,

    Have any Pitt recruits blown up this season?

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    1. I wouldn't say any have blown up, but all have done good. Many times a kid commits before his senior year then lays an egg. Pitt hasn't had that.

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  7. I would expect the biggest improvement to occur in the beginning of next season, as it will be the first time in 2 seasons that the team actually has stability and the same scheme.

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  8. I'm not a big fan of looking at the yardages. You always have to dig deeper (which, I admit, Im too lazy). But if they defense started playing better the last three games, and they had better starting position on the drives. Then they would not need to have as many yards.

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  9. Football is a game of many individual matchups on every play. Pitt won the majority of the individual matchups versus Temple. Pitt lost individual matchups against YSU. The numbers provide for good fodder amongst friends and each can use the numbers to craft whatever story one wishes to tell.

    Saturday's game, like most college football games, will be won by the team with the fewest turnovers and mental mistakes. Pitt needs to create turnovers in this game. A minimum of three turnovers in my opinion will be required for an upset.

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  10. HS rating doesn't translate to college success? When you have 3 star players committing to your program you get exactly that - 3-star talent. There are reason that Manti T'eo and Trent Richardson were rated number 2 at their positions coming out of high school. Obviously you'll get that rare late bloomer who achieves greater success than previous noted.

    Great example with Pitt is Rushel Shell. Highest rated player coming out of high school from the 2012 recruiting class. By far best freshman this year. With Pitt signing all these 2 and 3 star players be sure that it will likely translate on the field.

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    1. The NFL is full of late bloomers.

      PittofDreams

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    2. Except it is full of mainly 4-5 star bloomers. Top teams get the top players. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

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    3. The NFL may be full of late bloomers but that doesn't change the fact that top recruits turn out to be the top players. Pitt isn't getting these players right now. If Pitt lands D. Johnson, R. Foster and Boyd then maybe the future will brighten up. Right now, expect more of the same.

      On a side note, who is the best QB to come out of Pitt? Rod Rutherford?

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    4. Are you kidding? Does the name Dan Marino ring a bell!

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    5. Cavanaugh had a longer pro career than Rutherford, as did Alex Van Pelt.

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    6. I meant who is the last solid QB prospect to come out of Pitt. Sorry for the confusion.

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    7. The answer to the question would be Joe Flacco.

      As to "late bloomers" making it to the NFL...

      Not so long ago read some research that showed a surprising number of players making to the NFL who were not 5 stars coming out of high school.

      You might want to start with NFL players out of the MAC which is not exactly known for recruiting a heavy proportion 5 stars.

      PittofDreams

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  11. If Voytik doesn't win the 2013 qb job, does he transfer?

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    1. Have never been a big supporter of the idea that Voytik was the future of Pitt football.

      The harsh reality is with Savage available next year and Chapman coming in, it's possible Voytik may never see the field.

      However, my guess would be he stays and rides it out given how he and his family are such big Pitt fans.

      PittofDreams

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    2. My guess is he'll get some time next year, maybe even beat Savage out, but starting 2014, he's the starter for the forseeable future. Chapman is a fun guy to watch and has some talent, but I really believe Voytik is the real deal.

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    3. Next yr will be Snavage starting and Voytik to backup.

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  12. Pitt better have more consistent and better offensive line play because the QB will be running for their life next season.

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  13. Has anyone ever made the trip out to south bend? I'm thinking about going in 2 years? Is it worth it?

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    1. KRF- it's going to be a long time until we play ND again with this new ACC deal.

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    2. I believe they are keeping the existing scheduled agreements with ND through 2016.

      All the more reason to get out there soon.

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    3. I'll be going to the game there for the first time. Anyone recommend any places I should see/go?

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    4. A trip to ND is a great experience.... it is the type of atmosphere we all would love to have at Pitt but our urban university setting precludes that. Find some ND fans (they really are good hosts) and have them take you to see the Grotto, the player walk from the Basilica (also worth touring the Basilica itself), I can't remember the building, but your ND hosts will know, and watch the Irish band perform their pregame pep routines. The pageantry is fun ... but ... Let's Go Pitt!!

      The Turk

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    5. The only grotto around Oakland would be the Allegheny County Jail. It's a miserable thug-like urban atmosphere.

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    6. Maybe compared to Fox Chapel.

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  14. the Notre Dame campus alone is worth the trip

    recommend

    and the stadium is a great place to watch a football game



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  15. This analysis is a bit of a reach. Two three game data sets are not enough to draw any conclusions. When you're able to take one data point out and totally change the result, you know your sample size is not good enough.

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    1. It's enough to know that Pitt has not improved yet this year. Of course I have my eyes to tell me that but I thought I would back it up with hard data.

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    2. Chris,

      Did you erase my post above detailing the reasons why your analysis is a bit of a reach?

      Hope not.

      But if you did, it would be nice if you would explain why?

      PittofDreams

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    3. Pitt has obviously improved over last year, and from the beginning of this year as well. The data analysis is skewed to fit preconceptions, omitting the first 2 games this year, then comparing rushing and passing statistics against completely different opponents. If we're going to jump to conclusions based a small sampling of data, then after Pitt's performance against Buffalo, we had no business beating Temple, let alone blowing them out.

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  16. Don't know if I'll see the ND game.. I'll be volunteering at a shelter for those who lost their homes, etc..
    Got my power, internet... Thursday evening.
    now I see the damage... wow.. just plain wow...
    From Seaside Heights to Point Pleasant Beach.. 15 min away..

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    1. We missed you Joe D. Hope all is as well as it can be.

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    2. ND will hang 70 points on this hapless Pitt team.

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    3. Watch the upset you douche bag!

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    4. Yo, are you watching it?

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    5. Hapless and they'll score 70. Please I hope you're wathcing this!

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  17. What's the deal with commit Anthony Covington? I see he is no longer listed as a commit per Rivals. Some of you debated his speed but he was one of the few players who had big offers.

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  18. Just saw on Scout that Clement has committed to Wisconsin.

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    1. Yeah that's been expected for a few weeks now. Good choice for him. He's obsessed with Montee Ball and wants to be just like him.

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    2. Now you tell us.

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    3. It was well known. He tweeted out pictures of himself with Ball and saying he wanted to be just like him. It was not a secret and in fact was reported many times by many people.

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  19. Anyone know what the story is for the three players who allegedly assualted a guy in October in Oakland? Will they play or will Coach suspend them and send a strong message to others on the team that this kind of behavior won't be tolerated? Very disappointed in Ray Graham, a senior leader.

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    1. Yeah, and what's the racial slur about? I don't understand the motive here.

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    2. I could name names here of former Pitt players in the past who used to throw their weight around Oakland in their free time. They were bullies who thought the rules didn't apply to them and often used racial slurs no matter what race a person was. It's a revolving door at Pitt and I don't think they have many athletes that are thinking about applying to Pitt's Med School after they're done with athletics.

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  20. Graham, Street and Lafayette may improve their character behind bars if they don't wise up. Same old PITT inner-city thug campus mentality. It's a wonder why no self respecting scholarly student-athlete would seriously consider going to Pitt. This has been going on for years and more or less ramped up during the mid-70's and glory days at Pitt and hasn't changed since. Your chances are greater on any given night of being assaulted by a Pitt football player vs a career criminal at an Oakland McDonald's or at the "O" while waiting in line for your food.

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  21. ND band plays on the steps of the building with the Golden Dome...Then the band marches while playing down a sidewalk that leads direclly into the stadium. The crowd follows direcly behind the band. It is a fantastic atmosphere with the classiest fan base in college football.

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    1. I think you mean the most arrogant fan base in college football, correct?

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    2. Actually, from someone who went to the 2004 game, Notre Dame alum and fans from the South Bend area are generally hospitable.

      It's the Notre Dame fans who have never been farther west of the Allegheny mountains that are arrogant and useless.

      Though, as a recent troll has shown, not as useless as your typical PSU branch campus dummy.

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  22. We will see if Pitt has made any progress, if they play competitive football today then I would say they have made progress since the beginning of the season but if they lay an egg today then same old Pitt, a chance to shine on the national stage but another opportunity lost, we shall see

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  23. Hopefully everyone realizes Chryst has no idea what he is doing. This 4th Q and OT are embarrassments.

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