Pittsburgh vs Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

The offense has been bad for two straight weeks against not-so-great defenses. I respect that Brent Pry wants to instill his culture but he also has to find a way to make the offense work. In the first half, the Hokies put together a couple of nice drives (see the video tweets below). Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up that level of consistency throughout the game. But you can see glimpses of an offense that is maybe starting to put things together.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 87th
Offense: 118th
Defense: 35th
Special Teams: 30th

Pittsburgh

Overall: 45th
Offense: 22nd
Defense: 76th
Special Teams: 121st

Pittsburgh has an efficient offense. Not as good as WVU or UNC’s but still pretty solid. Like those two teams, they are well balanced running and passing the ball. They have a running back to can pick up big chunk plays and a quarterback who doesn’t make many mistakes. A lot like WVU, this is an offense that can nickle and dime you all the way downfield. The Hokies defense will need to find ways to get off the field on third down. They held up well for three quarters against West Virginia. Now, they’ll to find a way to do it for 60 minutes — with a little help from the offense.

This looks like a traditional Pitt defense. Good not great. They are good at defending the pass and not as good at defending the run. With VT’s run blocking I’m not sure that matters much. Teams with good offenses have had success against this defense. Even Georgia Tech’s putrid offense was able to put up 26 points on Pitt. That might be an outlier but still, this defense has it’s weaknesses. It’s all a matter of if the Hokies can exploit any of them.

I’ve started to go into how-many-points-will-Tech-lose-by mode. For me, it’s less about wins and losses this year and more about showing improvement week-to-week. The defense is about what I expected. The offense is far worse than I expected. But teams rarely stay exactly the same all year long. There are ebbs and flows. I’m hoping as the weeks go by, we start seeing some more life from this offense. Until then, I’m in wait-and-see mode. I’m not going to pick Tech to score more than 10 points in a P5 game until they prove they can.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 33, Virginia Tech 10

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