A statistical analysis of the Pitt Panthers scrimmage.

Paul SieversAnalyst IAugust 20, 2009

EL PASO, TX - DECEMBER 31:  Quarterback Bill Stull #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers looks to pass during the Brut Sun Bowl on December 31, 2008 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It's hard for me to have strong opinions on an inner-squad scrimmage that I didn't watch. Especially when you consider that seven guys on the two deep depth chart sat out. Plus, so much can change in the 16 days until opening kickoff right?

By all accounts, Bill Stull struggled again, Tino Sunseri looked good again (all though he was sacked the most of the three QBs), and the defense was ahead of the offense.

But just how far ahead was the defense?

The scrimmage featured 2.2 rushing yards per carry, 4.4 yards per pass attempt, and 3.1 yards per play. Those numbers were far above what the offense was gaining last season (3.7/6.9/5.1), and far below what the defense gave up last year (3.6/6.3/4.9).

The frequency of sacks and interceptions did not deviate greatly from either units 2008 stats.

So what does this mean? Is the defense that much improved or has the offense regressed that much without Shady McCoy? Or was it neither or both?

The answer is probably both, and neither at the same time.

First of all, the offense was a far more injury depleted unit during this scrimmage. The offense was missing their top two tight ends and a starting tackle.

Considering the basic play calling at this point in training camp, the defense had a huge advantage, since the offense had fewer able bodies to battle in the trenches. This probably skewed the numbers in favor of the defense.

That advantage for the defense aside, its hard to look at those numbers without being optimistic about one unit and pessimistic about the other.

Even with the losses of Scott McKillop and Rashaad Duncan, Pitt's defense should be better than last years; which is a good thing, because it may have to carry the offense through the first few weeks of the season until they can finally find a rhythm.

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