Chris Graham: UVa.-Pitt Notes, Commentary
Watford was 15-for-36 passing for 122 yards at Pitt. A first-quarter fumble recovered by the Panthers at the UVa. 18 set up an easy Pitt score. The one-time phenom spent most of the afternoon running out of the pocket into the Pitt defensive front.
Take out his stats from the 49-0 win last week against an overmatched VMI squad, and Watford is completing 56.3 percent of his passes (62-for-110) for 398 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions.
Even including his VMI numbers, Watford is throwing for 120 yards per game and 4.91 yards per attempt.
Watford’s 105.4 passer rating has him ranked 104th of the 122 I-A quarterbacks with enough pass attempts to qualify.
(Note: Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas is 106th.)
Go For It, Go For It, Go For It Again: Coach Mike London decided to go for fourth downs three times in Pitt territory – twice in the second quarter (at the Pitt 27, at the Pitt 28) – and in the fourth quarter (at the Pitt 2).
Virginia failed to convert on any of the three.
Placekicker Ian Frye did connect on a 35-yard field-goal attempt with 1:23 to go in the third to get the Cavs on the board.
Frye’s long on the season is 53 yards (in the win over BYU in Week 1).
The fourth-quarter decision was particularly vexing. A chip-shot field goal would have made it a one-score game with 3:30 to go. At that point in the game, UVa. needed two scores – a field goal and a touchdown with a two-point conversion – to send the game to overtime. The order of those scores really wouldn’t matter.
Any Other Wins on the Schedule? If you think it’s Ball State (next Saturday, noon), don’t sleep on the Cardinals, who are 3-1 (as of this writing) in 2013 after a 9-4 2012.
After Ball State … it’s Maryland (who ate West Virginia for lunch last week), Duke (who scored 55 against the same Pitt team that just shut out the ‘Hoos), Georgia Tech, #3 Clemson, at North Carolina, at #15 Miami, Virginia Tech at home.
Another 4-8 season might be a reach at this point. That would mean getting two more wins.
And assuming that is possible, a 4-8 season in a season with eight home games? If Mike London keeps his job after going 4-8 for a third time in four seasons, with eight home games in the third 4-8 season, then the University of Virginia just doesn’t care what it’s getting from its $2 million-a-year football coach.