UVa Vs. Pitt Scouting Report: Pitt Defense

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Rashawn Jackson and the running backs could play leading roles this week.

The Pittsburgh defense has not been sending a ton of thank you cards to the offense the last two weeks. According to Virginia’s Al Groh, close to 75% of the points the Panthers have allowed over the last few games have come as a result of offensive turnovers. That will get you thrown off the Christmas list in a hurry. Despite the recent philanthropy on the part of the offense, Pitt enters this game with a defense that is among the top 25 nationally in seven defensive categories. In other words, UVa’s offense is in for a test.

After giving up 335 yards last season to Michigan State, the Panthers bottled up the Spartans’ offense holding MSU to 2.8 YPC on the ground, while MSU quarterback Brian Hoyer went just 14 of 28 for 183 yards. The Pitt pass rush generated six sacks in the game.

Connecticut fared no better, rushing for just 115 yards and throwing for 174 but the Huskies put together three 60-yard plus drives, scoring on all three. The Hoos will look to do the same as they face a formidable defensive foe for the second week in row.

Statistics

  • The Panthers have allowed just 10 second half points this season, an average of 2.5 points per game in the second half.
  • Pitt has not allowed a pass play of more than 32 yards all season. The longest running play against the Panthers has been 25 yards.
  • A key to Pitt’s No. 11 ranking in total defense (250 YPG) has been its ability to limit long scoring drives. The Panthers have allowed just six drives of more than 36 yards all season.

Coach Groh Says …

“Their defense is playing admirably; they’re in the top 25 in many categories this year including, I think, 11th in total defense. The defense is playing very well but it is being put into some very difficult circumstances by turnovers. You can’t waste a down on them offensively because if you do you are going to have

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