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Statistical Analysis: Pitt

How do the Ole Miss Rebels stack up against the Pittsburgh Panthers? (How we do this is laid out here.)

Jared Wickerham

I've got to hop in a car and drive to Birmingham in a few minutes, so I'll keep this as brief as I can. The story of the Panthers' season goes that Pitt is a very well-rounded team with an especially stout defense that just couldn't put it all together at times. How does that shake up in the numbers? And how does that compare to Ole Miss which, frankly, has a somewhat similar narrative albeit not as assertively stated?

CATEGORY Units Raw Pitt Raw OM "Betterness" Ratio Advantage:
Scoring O Points 27.4 30.9 1.13 Ole Miss
Total O Yards 400.4 426.8 1.07 Ole Miss
Scoring D Points 19.7 28.5 0.69 Pitt
Total D Yards 325.8 385 0.85 Pitt
Rush O Yards 137.4 169.7 1.24 Ole Miss
Rush D Yards 129.1 133.3 0.97 Pitt
Pass O Yards 263 257.2 0.98 Pitt
Pass D Yards 196.8 251.7 0.78 Pitt
Pass E Eff. Rating 155.87 142.65 0.92 Pitt
Pass ED Eff. Rating 112.71 137.64 0.82 Pitt
Sacks Sacks 23 34 1.48 Ole Miss
Sacks Against Sacks 34 33 1.03 Ole Miss
3rd Down Conv. Rate 41 44 1.07 Ole Miss
Opp 3rd Down Conv. Rate 45 39 1.15 Ole Miss
Penalties Yards/G 60 34.5 1.74 Ole Miss
Red Zone O Scoring Rate 82 90 1.10 Ole Miss
Red Zone D Scoring Rate 78 77 1.01 Ole Miss
Turnover Margin 12 -1 Pitt

In scoring and total offense, the Rebels do have the advantage, even if slightly. Pittsburgh does have the edge, and more significantly so, on the defensive side of the ball. Also, outside of rushing yardage, there is nothing that Ole Miss can really boast offensively against the Pitt offense unit-by-unit, and that may have as much to do with Hugh Freeze's reliance on the zone read this season more than anything. Pitt's defense also betters Ole Miss in every category involving points and yardage, but the Rebels have done a better job getting to the passer, stopping opponents on third down, and stopping opponents in the red zone.

One of Pitt's major advantages - and this would explain their yardage numbers a bit - is their stinginess with the ball. They simply don't turn it over much at all, whereas our offense can be pretty haphazard at times. Where we outplay them in the mental aspect of the sport is penalties, with the Panthers earning almost double the penalty yards per game that the Rebels do.

Graphically, that looks like this (we're red - duh):


So, if you thought that a pair of 6-6 teams would match up well, you were right. Congrats. I'll see you in Birmingham.