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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Panthers: Advanced Stats Preview

This should prove to be a low scoring game

Pittsburgh v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Georgia Tech Offense vs. Pittsburgh Defense

Stats courtesy of Sports Source Analytics. Data Visualization courtesy of Zane Murfitt (Coug Center).

Well, that doesn’t look good. Pitt’s defense is a lot better than I thought it would be before I looked at the data. Pat Narduzzi has done a great job building that defense over the last several years. They are particularly good at causing havoc, which is not good for Tech’s offensive line which, despite playing better against Miami, has struggled mightily this season.

In that same vein, James Graham has also done a decent job trying to escape pressure and get the ball out before he gets sacked, so I’m curious to see how he plays against this defense.

Georgia Tech Offensive Explosiveness vs. Pittsburgh Defense

Stats courtesy of Sports Source Analytics. Data Visualization courtesy of Zane Murfitt (Coug Center).

Georgia Tech’s offense has mostly made a living this season with explosive plays. Graham has been able to hit some nice deep passes, and Jordan Mason has been something magical with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately, Pitt’s defense has been decent at stopping those plays. I still think this will be Tech’s easiest path to victory. I don’t think they should just go shot after shot, but keep those plays in your back pocket, so you can break them out as needed.

Georgia Tech Defense vs. Pittsburgh Offense

Stats courtesy of Sports Source Analytics. Data Visualization courtesy of Zane Murfitt (Coug Center).

And here’s why I think Tech can stay in this game. As good as Pitt’s defense has been this season, it’s offense has been almost as bad. The run game has been nothing special, and when the Panthers’ offense is moving, it’s behind the arm of Kenny Pickett. When Pickett plays well, the offense moves, but he’s been pretty erratic this season, completing just under 60 percent of his passes and throwing six interceptions.

Georgia Tech Defense vs. Pittsburgh Offensive Explosiveness

Stats courtesy of Sports Source Analytics. Data Visualization courtesy of Zane Murfitt (Coug Center).

Oh good, another area where Tech is at an advantage. In addition to not being remotely explosive, the Panthers are also bad at finishing drives, which bodes well for Tech. First and second down success rate probably have a lot to do with that. Tech will need to watch out on third downs (a bit of an Achilles heel for Tech all season).

Conclusions

This is a very winnable game for both teams. The tl;dr version of this is Georgia Tech O > Pitt O and Pitt D > Georgia Tech D. I think this game will probably come down to who can get a couple turnovers. The Yellow Jackets did a great job of not turning the ball over against Miami, so here’s hoping they keep it up against Pitt while also forcing a couple Kenny Pickett mistakes.