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August 20, 2012

Sack City?

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Players — Reed @ 11:34 am

It might be a good and timely idea to review exactly what transpired last season between the OL play and the QB play given that every PITT fan is deathly afraid that we’ll have a repeat of 2011’s 64 sacks allowed, with 422 yards lost by them, debacle.  Hey, I can’t remember anytime in the past where PITT led the nation in sacks given up.  That one issue, perhaps more than any other, was responsible for our offense not being consistent enough to win more games.

It wasn’t just that we lost any old down on those plays.  I’m not going to go through the 2011 season in minute detail but it’s safe to say that the majority of those sacks came on third down passing plays.  You know what that did?  Put us at #109 nationally in 3rd down conversion percentage at 37%.  You can’t score touchdowns if you can’t get 1st downs. Plain and simple.  On top of that each sack moved us backwards 6.6 yards. Playing football while going backwards isn’t the best formula for success as everyone but Todd Graham knows.

In addition, here’s another hidden negative result of those sacks;  Sunseri did very well at running with the football when a play was either called for the QB run or when he exercised the QB option that Todd Graham liked so well.  On the season Sunseri had, excluding sacks, 510 yards on 90 carries for a 5.7 average.  That was on 90 carries folks, not just a scramble here and there like most QBs do but purposefully moving the ball forward using the QB’s legs.  Take away 422 of those yards because of the sacks and that is a big benefit we had washed down the drain.

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