Pitt’s defense isn’t just good, they’re top 10 in the country good. That’s the big takeaway from yesterday’s win over Georgia Tech. The other takeaway is that the offense is one of the worst in the Power Five and their special teams isn’t much better. But that defense. It’s good enough to overcome the deficiencies of the other units, at least against a team like Georgia Tech, who came in ranked as one of the worst in the nation.
Georgia Tech’s only touchdown came after a Pitt turnover, a common theme on the season. GT’s other score? A field goal after a blocked punt in which the Yellow Jackets went 4 plays for -1 yards.
The Panthers held a 362-194 advantage in yardage and a 35:17-24:43 advantage in time of possession. The defense only had two sacks on the day, well below their season average but Paris Ford had another pick.
On the season, the Pitt defense is 7th in the country allowing only 4.1 yards per play and 10th in total yards. They’re now tied for 1st in the nation in sacks with SMU and are 1st in sack yards.
The Pitt defense may not be enough to win the ACC Coastal, but the team is bowl eligible and a division title isn’t out of the question with a little help.
THE FINAL SCORE
THE PUNDITS SPEAK
- Northam: Five takeaways
- Peak: Pitt defense carries the day
- McGonigal: Observations from Pitt’s win
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: GT offense still holding them back
THE NUMBERS SAY…
Pitt finally broke into the top 50, clocking in at #48 in Bill Connelly’s latest rankings. That’s good enough for fourth in the ACC after Clemson, Miami and Wake Forest. Pitt now boasts a top 10 defense in the nation but the 115th ranked offense (out of 130 teams). It should be noted that the offense finished 71st in the nation under the same criteria in 2018.
In ESPN’s FPI, the Panthers neither gain or lose ground, staying at #54. They are slight favorites (51.8% win probability) in their next game against UNC at home, although UNC is ranked #45. Pitt remains favorites the following week at Virginia Tech (52%) and in their final game at home against Boston College (66.9%).
Pitt is #33 if you extend the Top 25 to teams also receiving votes.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 3, 2019
Bye #2. Pat Narduzzi and company will have two whole weeks to figure out how to finally beat UNC. A team that Narduzzi has never beaten, as every Panthers fan knows.
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The biggest news out of the ACC this weekend was the firing of Florida State head coach Willie Taggert. FSU was 4-5 on the season after going 5-7 last season and being ranked as high as #19 in the preseason. … Virginia Tech squandered a chance for ACC respectability by allowing Notre Dame to score in the final minute.
Boston College 58 – Syracuse 27
Notre Dame 21 – Virginia Tech 20
Miami 27 – Florida State 10
Clemson 59 – Wofford 14
Virginia 38 – UNC 31
Wake Forest 44 – NC State 10
ONE FOR THE ROAD
Narduzzi vs. his mentor on a bitter cold December afternoon in New York City? Offense not included.