TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pitt, Syracuse see more passing and scoring

Getty Images
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib looks to pass against USC on Sept. 8, 2012, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (Getty Images)

ACC Videos

Receptive group

Pitt and Syracuse have five of the top seven pass catchers in the Big East:

Player School Rec. Yds TDs

Marcus Sales Syracuse 27 382 5

Andre Davis South Florida 24 312 3

Mike Shanahan Pitt 21 368 3

Devin Street Pitt 18 273 2

Jarrod West Syracuse 18 267 1

Tim Wright Rutgers 18 228 0

Alec Lemon Syracuse 16 170 0

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
 

Pitt coach Paul Chryst was typically unmoved when told that passing productivity and scoring are up this season in college football.

“Haven't thought about it,” he said. “I've been in a couple games where it hasn't been up.”

True, but overall numbers paint a picture of throwing and scoring proficiency that could affect Pitt's Friday game against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.

Through the first month of the season, 25 schools are averaging 300 or more passing yards per game, including Syracuse. That's a dramatic increase from the previous five seasons when there was an average of only 10.8 teams surpassing that total.

The Orange are 10th (341.8), with quarterback Ryan Nassib first in the Big East and sixth in the nation. Pitt is 26th (299.2), with quarterback Tino Sunseri second and 20th (286).

Scoring is similarly on an upward track, with 20 teams averaging 40 or more points per game. Over the past five seasons, the average is 7.4 teams, with only two hitting that mark in 2009.

Pressed on the subject, Chryst admitted the game has changed.

“If you looked at it offensively and defensively, the film would look different than 10 years ago,” he said. “The spread has had an impact. Defensively, there are probably a lot more pressures (on the quarterback).”

Chryst said Nassib's numbers have less to do with Syracuse (1-3) trying to catch up late in games and more with the three-year starter's ability to make plays.

“I imagine they are saying, ‘Who's our best player?' It's a pretty good plan. Put it in his hands, a guy who can make good decisions,” Chryst said. “He's confident in what he's doing and knows where he wants to go with the ball. I think he likes those situations (at the end of the game). He has a lot of qualities from afar that you admire, or I do.”

Aside from the quarterbacks, the game will feature five of the top seven pass catchers in the Big East — Marcus Sales, Alec Lemon and Jarrod West of Syracuse and the Panthers' Mike Shanahan and Devin Street. West and Street helped Bethlehem Liberty High defeat Bethel Park in the PIAA Class AAAA title game in 2008.

Chryst is pleased with his pair but not surprised.

“They are two guys who should be making plays,” he said. “They both are talented, both played in a lot of games. For us to be as good as we can be, they have to be big contributors.

“You are glad that's happening and appreciate the work they are doing but also expect that out of them.”

Note: Chryst said he believes defensive tackle Aaron Donald will be ready against Syracuse. Donald missed the Gardner-Webb game with a knee injury.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jdipaola@tribweb.com or 412-320-7997.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pitt

  1. Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
  2. Pitt players support Rudolph for job
  3. Pitt’s acting athletic director is deft facilitator
  4. Pitt survives Oakland’s upset bid with overtime victory
  5. Star Hayward enjoys go-to role for St. Francis (Pa.)
  6. Pitt: Football coach hire comes 1st, athletic director 2nd
  7. Assistant at Duke eyes Pitt football job
  8. Coach Chryst continues his Pitt football duties amid an uncertain future
  9. Michigan State defensive coordinator a Pitt coaching candidate
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.