Greg’s Grades 2019: Pittsburgh

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit
The first grades of the season are out after Virginia's win.
Brenton Nelson and the UVA defense slowed down Pitt for most of the night. ~ Photo courtesy Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

It may have been eight months since the Virginia football team’s 28-0 blowout of South Carolina in the Belk Bowl, but the Hoos picked up right where they left off. The Cavalier defense provided another dominant performance, the offense efficiently took advantage of every opportunity, and special teams played at a very high level in UVA’s 30-14 victory Saturday. The grades show a solid effort all around.

Except for a missed assignment on a pass play that led to a 59-yard gain and a Pitt touchdown four plays later, the Cavalier defense bottled up the Panther offense. Pitt averaged just 3.7 yards per play, averaged 2.6 yards on 27 first down plays, and netted a mere 15 first downs.

One area where the defense stood out was on havoc plays. Havoc plays are things like sacks, run stuffs, quarterback hurries, forced fumbles, etc. Sabre Editor Kris Wright highlighted the importance this area of defensive play in a “50 Thoughts” article during the preseason. Unofficially, I charted Virginia with 45 havoc plays out of 71 total plays – that’s 63% of Pitt’s plays being disrupted!

The one blemish on the evening for the defense was third down efficiency. Kris also