Nov 042014
 
Pitt-PSU-WVU logos

Well, I think it’s safe to say that my ‘middle-ground’ CFB predictions for the local college football teams shall not come to pass. Pitt sits at 4-5 and so they could still make it to 7-5, which was my pessimistic prediction and even that would be optimistic at the moment. This is a typically mediocre yet schizoid Pitt team. All bets are off at this point. WVU sits at 6-3 and should get to 8-4 at the least with the way they’re playing. Free drinks for Holgorsen at any bar in the Granite State! Penn State, at 4-4, has been just as awful as Pitt since opening up at 4-0, maybe more so. Losing to Ohio State and even to Michigan is one thing. Losing to Northwestern and Maryland though. No Penn State team should ever have that happen. That’s Pitt’s job to succumb to tragically mediocre competition, damnit.

Looking at the offensive statistics for the three teams confirms our picture of the team’s overall records. (I’ll do defense in another article). Pitt runs the ball well. WVU is explosive through the air. Penn State neither passes nor runs particularly well.

WestVirginiaMountaineers2

Quarterbacks:

CMP ATT TDS PCT YPA TD INT SACKS QBR
WVU – Clint Trickett 233 345 2925 67.5 8.48 18 7 20 151.9
PITT – Chad Voytik 125 204 1470 61.3 7.21 11 6 17 133.7
PSU – Christian Hackenberg 183 318 2038 57.5 6.41 7 10 30 112.4
Rushing
ATT YDS AVG TD
WVU – Clint Trickett 34 -84 -2.5 1
PITT – Chad Voytik 83 355 4.3 2
PSU – Christian Hackenberg 64 -49 -0.8 0

 

WVU’s Clint Trickett was bound to succeed in Morgantown eventually, if for no other reason than a guy named Clint Trickett just belongs at a school like West Virginia. Well, that and Holgorsen. I hope Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg is paying attention in class and taking his education seriously because his numbers this year are not up to par for an elite QB. Pitt’s Chad Voytik is the only first year signal caller out of the three and it’s showed for most of the season; overall a mixed bag but I’m still optimistic about him.

Penn-State-Logo

Next, Receiving:

 

Receiving REC YDS AVG TD
WVU 236 2932 12.4 18
Penn State 189 2095 11.1 8
Pitt 137 1654 12.1 12
Top Two Receivers REC YDS AVG TD
WVU – Kevin White & Mario Alford 123 1754 14.26 15
PSU – Geno Lewis & DaeSean Hamilton 100 1305 13.05 2
PITT – Tyler Boyd & Manasseh Garner 69 992 14.38 7

 

Just about what you might expect given the QB stats. West Virginia is excelling through the air as one needs to do in the Big XII. Penn State’s receivers have done well, considering, but have just two touchdowns. And Pitt probably the most talent individually-talented wideout in Tyler Boyd but, well, see next category.

Pitt Script logo

Finally, Rushing:

Rushing CAR YDS AVG TD
Pitt 417 2229 5.3 23
WVU 415 1642 4 15
Penn State 269 617 2.3 8
Top Two Rushers CAR YDS AVG TD
PITT – James Conner & Chad Voytik 303 1697 5.60 19
WVU – Rushel Shell & Wendell Smallwood 237 1078 4.55 7
PSU – Bill Belton & Akeel Lynch 137 518 3.78 5

 

No surprise here. Pitt leads the bunch in all measures. West Virginia is also very adept at running the ball and Holgorsen’s offense, especially in a conference like the Big XII, lends itself to running lots of plays. No comment on Penn State’s rushing attack or lack thereof.

What really surprises me about these numbers is not that WVU leads in passing/receiving or that Pitt leads in rushing. It’s that Penn State’s offense plain ol’ sucks. Hackenberg is a talented QB with a year under his belt and Franklin has masterminded good offenses in the past. I asked a Penn State friend of mine about it and his answer was succinct – “Our offensive line sucks and Franklin’s play-calling has been suspect.”

One quick note. I know someone will bring up strength of schedule to wish away one weakness or another. By most measures, WVU has had the toughest schedule out of the three schools, followed by Pitt and then Penn State.

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