Winning Plays - Pittsburgh | Syracusefan.com

Winning Plays - Pittsburgh

SWC75

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This season I will once again be charting Syracuse’s games in terms of “winning plays”. I look at the results of each play and decide which team got the minimum they wanted out of the play. Rather than making instinctive judgments, I use a formula:

- On first down, the offensive team wants to get at least a third of the way to a new first down: they will have two more plays before they might have to surrender the ball and if they gain that same amount of yards on each of those two plays, they’ll get the first down. If they don’t make it a third of the way to a new first down, the defense won the play.
- On second down, the offense wants to get at least halfway to a new first down by the same logic.
- On third and fourth down, they want to get the first down.
- Penalties, if added onto a play by the referees, are added on to the results above. If the offense gains 5 yards on first down but there was holding and they lost yardage instead, the defense won the play. If a running back made a 20 yard run on first and ten and the holding was 15 yards downfield, turning it into a 5 yard gain, that’s still a win for the offense. If the defense is penalized and it’s tacked on, again the net result is what is evaluated. The penalties I’ve listed negated the play entirely and are a “loss” for the penalized team and thus a win for their opponent. .
- If a penalty was not tacked onto a play, it’s a lost play for the team being penalized. I'll count them separate from the other plays from scrimmage because I don't know if the intended play before the penalty would have been a run or a pass - so i wouldn't know where to put it in the chart below.
- A turnover is, obviously, a win for the team that wound up with the ball.
- On a kick-off a touchback brings the ball out to the 25 yard line. Teams still seem to be trying to kick the ball into the end zone and avoid a runback if they can, so any kick-off that results in the receiving team starting between their goal line and their 25 is a win for the kicking team. Beyond that, the receiving team wins.
- On a punt, a touchback takes the ball out of the 20. So any punt that results in the other team taking over from their goal line to their 20 is a win for the punting team. If the next change in field position is at least 40 yards, the punting tam has also won the play.
- A successful place kick is, obviously, a win for the kicking team.
- Any play that results in a touchdown is, obviously, a win for that team that scores it.
- A “victory play” where a team accepts a loss just to let the clock run out, is a win for the offensive team.

I will indicate in parenthesis how many yards there were to go to get a new first down, (if other than 10), unless it was for no gain or negative yardage. If it was a touchdown, (“TD)” a scramble/sack (“S”) a victory play (“V”) or involved a penalty (P). I’ll treat a scramble or a sack as a passing play as the Cuse.com play by play now tells you when it’s either of those two. 1R means first down running plays. 1P means first down passing plays, etc.

I have decided to list the “Big Plays” at the bottom of each team’s summary. A big play is a play from scrimmage of over 20 yards, (or 20+ yards lost), kickoff returns of +25 yards, punt returns of +20, blocked kicks and turnovers on fumbles, interceptions and downs.

When Syracuse had the ball:

Drive Starts: S25, S43, S29, S36, S25, S15, S16, S19, S25, S21, S5, S12 Average: 271/12 = S23 with a total of 929 to go.

KO: 50, P35, P25
Total: Syracuse 1 Pittsburgh 2
P: 37 to P18, 45 to P14, 36 to P25, 42 to S48, 44 to P36, 45 to P27, 21 to S25
Total: Syracuse 5 Pittsburgh 2
FG: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 0
XP: Good, Good
Total: Syracuse 2 Pittsburgh 0
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 8 Pittsburgh 4

1r: 5, 4, 3, -2, -2, 10, 7, -2, 2, 5, 2, 0, -2v, -1, 2, 6
Total: Syracuse 7 Pittsburgh 9
1p: I, 19, 4, 30, -3(s), 8, 30
Total: Syracuse 5 Pittsburgh 1
First Down Total: Syracuse 12 Pittsburgh 10
2r: 5(6), 0, 3(12), 0, 4(12), 0, 3(2)
Total: Syracuse 2 Pittsburgh 5
2p: 10(5), 17(7), 5(12), Fumble, I, 9(11), I, 15(13), I, -6(s)
Total: Syracuse 4 Pittsburgh 6
Second Down Total: Syracuse 6 Pittsburgh 11
3r: 3(1), 2(16), 0, 14
Total: Syracuse 2 Pittsburgh 2
3p: 9(12), 9TD, -8(s), -12(s), I, 9, I, 14(6), I
Total: Syracuse 2 Pittsburgh 7
Third Down Total: Syracuse 4 Pittsburgh 9
4r: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 0
4p: 8(3), -10(s)
Total: Syracuse 1 Pittsburgh 1
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 1 Pittsburgh 1

Total on running plays: Syracuse 11 Pittsburgh 16
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 12 Pittsburgh 15
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 23 Pittsburgh 31

Penalties not tacked on to plays: +13, -8, -5, -5, -5, -3, +15 Syracuse 2 Pittsburgh 5

Game total when Syracuse had the ball: Syracuse 33 Pittsburgh 40

Big Plays:30 yard pass, 30 yard pass


When Pittsburgh had the ball:

Drive Starts: 50, P18, P14, P25, S45, S48, P36, P35, P27, P25, S25, P38 Average: 450/12 = P37.5 with 750 to go.

KO: S25, S15, S25, S 21, S12
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 5
P: 46 to S29, 43 to S40, 51 to S16, 36 to S19
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 4
FG: Good from 26
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 1
XP: Good, Good, Good
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 3
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 13

1r: 7, 7, 9, 3, 1, 9, 1, 6, 22, 4, 3, 6, 9, 4, 7, 0, 0
Total: Syracuse 6 Pittsburgh 11
1p: 9, 7, 15TD, 5, 7, I, 0, 3, 10, I, 8, Interception
Total: Syracuse 5 Pittsburgh 7
First Down Total: Syracuse 11 Pittsburgh 18
2r: 7(17), 5(1), 2(3), 1(13), 7, 1(4), 1(1), 7(4), 2, 2
Total: Syracuse 5 Pittsburgh 5
2p: -2, 1(3), 18(7), 7(9), I, I, 11(s), I, I, 7(4), 7(6), 5, 4TD, 5(2), 2(6)
Total: Syracuse 8 Pittsburgh 7
Second Down Total: Syracuse Pittsburgh
3r: 392), 5(10, 8(37), 7(30, 0, -4v
Total: Syracuse 2 Pittsburgh 5
3p: I, 0, 6(5), 25TD, I, 25(12), 20(3), 4(3), 3(4)
Total: Syracuse 4 Pittsburgh 5
Third Down Total: Syracuse 6 Pittsburgh 10
4r: 6(1)
Total: Syracuse 0 Pittsburgh 1
4p: I
Total: Syracuse 1 Pittsburgh 0
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 1 Pittsburgh 1

Total on running plays: Syracuse 13 Pittsburgh 22
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 18 Pittsburgh 19
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 31 Pittsburgh 41

Penalties not tacked on to plays: -5, -15, -5, +7 Syracuse 3 Pittsburgh 1

Game total when Pittsburgh had the ball: Syracuse 34 Pittsburgh 55

Big Plays: 25 yard TD pass, 22 yard run, 22 yard pass, 20 yard pass

Overall game total: Syracuse 67 Pittsburgh 95

Comments: Pittsburgh kicked the ball 13 times and got what they wanted out of it each time.

We attempted one first down pass in the first half. It was incomplete. Our lack of success on third down passes continued: 9 of them produced two successful plays and a net 21 yards. It did produced 1 touchdown.

We finally got a takeover after 5 straight games without one – and it did no good. And excited Duce Chestnut tried to run it out of the end zone, got tackled at the 5. A 2 yard run, two incomplete passes and a 27 yard punt return set up a field goal for the other guys. This encapsulated the season perfectly.

67-95 is -28 plays. Here are the games in the Dino Babers Era that were closest to that:
2016 Syracuse 99 Louisville 132 = -33 We lost 28-62
2016 Syracuse 72 Wake Forest 101 = -29 We lost 9-28
2016 Syracuse 71 North Carolina State 103 = -32 We lost 20-35
2017 Syracuse 80 Louisiana State 103 = -23 We lost 26-35
2017 Syracuse 86 Miami 119 = -33 We lost 19-27
2018 Syracuse 109 Connecticut 83 = +26 We won 31-24
2019 Syracuse 82 Maryland 112 = -30 We lost 20-63
2020 Syracuse 76 Wake Forest 99 = -23 We lost 14-38
2020 Syracuse 68 Boston College 96 = -28 We lost 13-16
2020 Syracuse 76 North Carolina State 108 = -32 We lost 29-38
2021 Syracuse 65 North Carolina State 88 = -23 We lost 17-41
Big plays are exciting but if you can’t keep up with the other team on a play-by-play basis. It’s hard to win.
 

SWC75

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GAME BY GAME and TOTALS FOR THE YEAR

When SYRACUSE had the ball:

Drive Starts: 261/9 = S29, 292/13 = S22, 540/14 = S39, 322/12 = S27, 498/14 = S36, 283/13 = SU22, 194/12 = SU 16, 310/11 = SU 28, 302/12 = S25, 271/12 = S23 Season: 3,272/122 = S27 with 8,928 yards to go

KO: 3-3 + 2-0 + 10-0 + 4-0 + 5-1 + 5-1 + 3-0 + 4-2 + 4-0 + 1-1 + 1-3 + 1-2 = 43-13
P: 2-0 + 4-4 + 0-1 + 5-2 + 1-5 + 1-5 + 5-2 + 3-3 + 3-2 + 0-6 + 4-3 + 5-2 = 33-35
FG: 2-0 + 0-1 + 2-0 + 1-1 + 1-0 + 1-1 + 2-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 = 11-4
XP: 3-0 + 1-0 + 8-0 + 3-0 + 3-1 + 3-1 + 0-1 + 4-1 + 3-0 + 0-0 + 2-0 + 2-0 = 32-4
Kicking plays total: 10-3 + 7-5 + 20-1 + 13-3 + 10-7 + 10-8 + 10-3 + 11-7 + 10-2 + 2-7 + 8-6 + 8-4 = 119-56

1r: 16-8 + 5-9 + 12-12 + 15-12 + 13-9 + 15-10 + 10-11 + 8-11+ 14-10 + 7-8 + 7-12 + 7-9 = 129-121
1p: 5-1 + 4-8 + 5-4 + 1-2 + 5-3 + 6-6 + 3-5 + 8-7 + 2-1 + 3-4 + 1-4 + 5-1 = 48-46
First Down Total: 21-9 + 9-17 + 17-16 + 16-14 + 18-12 + 21-16 + 13-16 + 16-18 + 11-11 + 10-12 + 8-16 + 12-10 = 177-167
2r: 10-4 + 3-5 + 8-5 + 13-4 + 5-9 + 15-3 + 2-3 + 10-1 + 8-5 + 7-4 + 4-3 + 2-5 = 87-51
2p: 4-3 + 6-5 + 6-3 + 4-3 + 1-2 + 4-4 + 4-12 + 4-9 + 2-5 + 3-5 + 1-11 + 4-6 = 43-68
Second Down Total: 14-7 + 9-10 + 14-8 + 17-7 + 6-11 + 19-7 + 6-15 + 14-10 + 10-10 + 10-9 + 5-14 + 6-11 = 130-119
3r: 6-0 + 1-1 + 1-1 + 3-4 + 0-2 + 4-2 + 1-1 + 6-2 + 5-2 + 3-5 + 2-0 + 2-2 = 34-22
3p: 2-4 + 2-11 + 3-3 + 1-5 + 2-8 + 2-5 + 5-8 + 2-6 + 1-4 + 0-6 + 1-9 + 2-7 = 23-76
Third Down Total: 8-4 + 3-12 + 4-4 + 4-9 + 2-10 + 6-7 + 6-9 + 8-8 + 6-6 + 3-11 + 3-9 + 4-9 = 57-98
4r: 0-0 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 + 0-2 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 3-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 = 5-4
4p: 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 0-2 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 1-1 = 4-5
Fourth Down Total: 0-0 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 + 0-3 + 0-0 + 1-1 + 4-0 + 0-2 + 0-2 + 1-0 + 1-1 = 9-9

Total on running plays: 32-12 + 10-15 + 22-18 + 31-20 + 18-22 + 34-15 + 13-16 + 27-14 + 27-17 + 17-18 + 13-15 + 11-16 = 255-198
Total on passing plays: 11-8 + 12-24 + 14-10 + 6-10 + 8-14 + 12-15 + 13-25 + 15-22 + 5-12 + 6-16 + 4-24 + 12-15 = 118-195
Total on plays from scrimmage: 43-20 + 22-39 + 36-28 + 37-30 + 26-36 + 46-30 + 26-41 + 42-36 + 32-29 + 23-34 + 17-39 +23-31 = 373-393

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 0-0 + 0-3 + 1-8 + 1-2 + 0-0 + 0-1+ 1-3 + 0-5 + 1-4 + 2-4 + 3-4 + 2-5 = 11-39

Game total when SYRACUSE had the ball: 53-23 + 29-47 + 57-37 + 51-35 + 36-43 + 56-39 + 37-47 + 53-48 + 43-35 + 27-45 + 28-49 + 33-40 = 503-488


When OPPONENT had the ball:

Drive Starts: 139/8 = O17, 573/14 = 41, 391/14 = O28, 289/12 = O24, 378/13 = O29, 469/14 = O34, 436/12 = O36, 382/10 = O38, 288/10 = O29, 450/12 = 37.5 Total: 3,795/119 = O32 with 8,105 yards to go

KO: 4-1 + 0-3 + 3-2 + 0-4 + 4-2 + 1-5 + 0-4 + 1-5 + 0-3 + 2-5 + 3-3 + 0-5 = 18-42
P: 1-0 + 0-6 + 5-4 + 0-5 + 2-4 + 2-3 + 3-5 + 2-2 + 3-6 + 1-2 + 1-2 + 0-4 = 20-43
FG: 1-3 + 1-1 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 0-2 + 0-2 + 0-1 + 0-2 + 0-2 + 0-2 + 0-2 + 0-1 = 3-19
XP: 0-0 + 0-2 + 0-3 + 0-3 + 1-3 + 1-2 + 0-2 + 0-5 + 0-0 + 0-5 + 0-5 + 0-3 = 2-33
Kicking plays total: 6-4 + 1-12 + 8-10 + 1-12 + 7-11 + 4-12 + 3-12 + 3-14 + 3-11 + 3-14 + 4-12 + 0-13 = 43-137

1r: 7-9 + 5-12 + 9-3 + 7-8 + 7-10 + 15-9 + 7-12 + 11-11 + 5-10 + 8-10 + 11-6 + 6-11 = 98-111
1p: 5-5 + 5-6 + 7-5 + 6-9 + 8-7 + 4-7 + 5-7 + 5-4 + 7-5 + 3-4 + 5-4 + 5-7 = 65-70
First Down Total: 12-14 + 10-18 + 16-8 + 13-17 + 15-17 + 19-16 + 12-19 + 16-15 + 12-15 + 11-14 + 16-10 + 11-18 = 163-181
2r: 3-9 + 6-6 + 5-1 + 3-9 + 5-4 + 7-7 + 3-9 + 8-6 + 5-9 + 2-6 + 2-5 + 5-5 = 54-76
2p: 5-5 + 3-9 + 7-4 + 3-4 + 6-5 + 4-8 + 10-5 + 3-3 + 8-2 + 6-4 + 5-6 + 8-7 = 68-62
Second Down Total: 8-14 + 9-15 + 12-5 + 6-13 + 11-9 + 11-15 + 13-14 + 11-9 + 13-11 + 8-10 + 7-11 + 13-12= 122-138
3r: 2-3 + 5-3 + 4-1 + 1-5 + 5-4 + 0-4 + 2-1 + 4-2 + 4-2 + 4-2 + 1-2 + 2-5 = 34-34
3p: 4-3 + 7-0 + 4-4 + 5-0 + 4-2 + 8-4 + 7-5 + 1-5 + 9-3 + 2-3 + 3-4 + 4-5 = 58-38
Third Down Total: 6-6 + 12-3 + 8-5 + 6-5 + 9-6 + 8-8 + 9-6 + 5-7 + 13-5 + 6-5 + 4-6 + 6-10 = 92-72
4r: 0-1 + 1-3 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-1 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 0-1 = 4-8
4p: 1-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 = 4-3
Fourth Down Total: 1-1 + 1-3 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-2 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 1-2 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 1-1 = 8-11

Total on running plays: 12-22 + 17-24 + 18-5 + 12-22 + 17-19 + 22-20 + 12-22 + 23-19 + 15-22 + 14-19 + 15-13 + 13-22 = 190-229
Total on passing plays: 15-13 + 15-15 + 18-13 + 14-13 + 18-15 + 16-20 + 23-17 + 10-12 + 24-11 + 11-11 + 13-14 + 18-19 = 195-173
Total on plays from scrimmage: 27-35 + 32-39 + 36-18 + 26-35 + 35-34 + 38-39 + 35-39 + 33-31 + 39-33 + 25-30 + 28-27 + 31-41 = 385-402

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 0-1 + 2-3 + 2-4 + 1-1 + 1-2 + 4-1 + 4-1 + 1-1 + 1-0 + 1-2 + 5-0 + 3-1 = 25-17

Game total when OPPONENT had the ball: 33-40 + 35-54 + 46-32 + 28-48 + 41-47 + 46-53 + 42-52 + 37-46 + 43-44 + 29-46 + 37-39 + 34-55 = 453-556

Overall game total: 86-63 + 64-101 + 103-69 + 79-83 + 79-90 + 102-92 + 79-99 + 90-94 + 86-79 + 56-91 + 65-88 + 67-95 = 956-1,044

Comments: We were +57 (503-488) when we had the ball and -103 (453-556) when our opponents had the ball. I think we are better on defense than offense but maybe it’s just better to have the ball than to not have it. Defensively, we were pretty good on 3rd and 4th down, (especially third down passes: 58-38), but give up too much on 1st and 2nd down. We also just had 7 takeovers in 12 games after 31, 25 and 24, (total: 80), in the last three years (36 games) and are -5 for the year.

We are now a dreadful 23-76 on third down passes. We and our opposition have gained first downs or touchdowns 61 times from 195 third down passes, (31.3%)

The opposition has won 43 of their 63 punting plays, (68%). We are just 33-35 (49%) on ours.

Conspiracy time! 39 of the 50, (78%) penalties called when we have the ball, (that were not tack-ons) have been called against us. 25 of 42 (60%) called when they had the ball have been called on them.
 

SWC75

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HISTORICAL WINNING PLAYS (Babers Era – game totals only)

2016
Syracuse 101 Colgate 74 = +27
Syracuse 99 Louisville 132 = -33
Syracuse 95 South Florida 116 = -21
Syracuse 91 Connecticut 99 = -8
Syracuse 98 Notre Dame 111 = -13
Syracuse 72 Wake Forest 101 = -29
Syracuse 103 Virginia Tech 104 = -1
Syracuse 93 Boston College 84 = +9
Syracuse 74 Clemson 120 = -46
Syracuse 71 North Carolina State 103 = -32
Syracuse 71 Florida State 120 = -49
Syracuse 107 Pittsburgh 118 = -11
TOTAL: Syracuse 1075 Opponent 1282 = -207 We 'won' 2 of 12 games.

2017
Syracuse 132 Central Connecticut 65 = +67
Syracuse 104 Middle Tennessee 98 = +6
Syracuse 107 Central Michigan 100 = +7
Syracuse 80 Louisiana State 103 = -23
Syracuse 93 North Carolina State 112 = -19
Syracuse 97 Pittsburgh 96 = +1
Syracuse 95 Clemson 97= -2
Syracuse 86 Miami 119 = -33
Syracuse 90 Florida State 108 = -18
Syracuse 120 Wake Forest 125 = -5
Syracuse 96 Louisville 100 = -4
Syracuse 77 Boston College 87 = -10
TOTAL: Syracuse 1177 Opponents 1210 = -33 We ‘won’ 4 of12 games

2018
Syracuse 109 Western Michigan 96 = +13
Syracuse 139 Wagner 65 = +74
Syracuse 113 Florida State 77 = +36
Syracuse 109 Connecticut 83 = +26
Syracuse 86 Clemson 102= -16
Syracuse 99 Pittsburgh 97 = +2
Syracuse 113 North Carolina 115 = -2
Syracuse 113 North Carolina State 96 = +17
Syracuse 117 Wake Forest 107 = +10
Syracuse 124 Louisville 83 = +41
Syracuse 86 Notre Dame 99 = -13
Syracuse 110 Boston College 96 = +14
Syracuse 116 West Virginia 79 +37
TOTAL: Syracuse 1434 Opponents 1195 = +239 We ‘won’ 10 of 13 games

2019
Syracuse 104 Liberty 84 = +20
Syracuse 82 Maryland 112 = -30
Syracuse 77 Clemson 113 = -36
Syracuse 113 Western Michigan 99 =+14
Syracuse 110 Holy Cross 67 = +43
Syracuse 78 North Carolina State 100 = -22
Syracuse 92 Pittsburgh 114 = -22
Syracuse 96 Florida State 115 = -19
Syracuse 76 Boston College 119 = -43
Syracuse 107 Duke 78 = +29
Syracuse 85 Louisville 104 = -19
Syracuse 118 Wake Forest 111 = +7
TOTAL: Syracuse 1138 Opponents 1216 = -78 We ‘won’ 5 of 12 games

2020
Syracuse 70 North Carolina 114 = -44
Syracuse 78 Pittsburgh 89 = -11
Syracuse 108 Georgia Tech 102 = +6
Syracuse 79 Duke 114 = -35
Syracuse 77 Liberty 93 = -16
Syracuse 72 Clemson 112 = -40
Syracuse 76 Wake Forest 99 = -23
Syracuse 68 Boston College 96 = -28
Syracuse 76 Louisville 81 = -5
Syracuse 76 North Carolina State 108 = -32
Syracuse 82 Notre Dame 100 = -18
TOTAL: Syracuse 862 Opponents 1108 = -248 We ‘won’ 1 of 11 games

2021
Syracuse 86 Ohio U. 63 = +23
Syracuse 64 Rutgers 101 = -37
Syracuse 103 Albany 69 = +34
Syracuse 79 Liberty 83 = -4
Syracuse 79 Florida State 90 = -11
Syracuse 102 Wake Forest 92 = +10
Syracuse 79 Clemson 99 = -20
Syracuse 90 Virginia Tech 94 = -4
Syracuse 86 Boston College 79 = +7
Syracuse 56 Louisville 91 = -35
Syracuse 65 North Carolina State 88 = -23
Syracuse 67 Pittsburgh 95 = -28
TOTAL: Syracuse 956-1044 = -88 We’ve won 4 of 12 games

Totals since 2016: Syracuse has won 6,642 plays, (48.5%) and 25 games, (34.7%). The opposition has won 7,055 plays and 47 games. They’ve obtained their goals on 413 more plays than we have in 72 games, an average of 5.7 plays a game.
 

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