Pitt +5 5.5% NCAAF POD
Duke off a huge win over Virginia Tech as a dog on national TV last Friday, and Pitt just got by Delaware 17-14, but that was expected after beating UCF the week before, benching their starting QB, and half of their starters to get healthy for this game. Pitt has faced a tougher schedule by far with 3 quality opponents compared to Duke’s 1 quality opponent. I think these offenses are about even, but Pitt is stronger defensively ranking 32nd in YPP allowed against an average offense ranking 45th, compared to Duke’s 57th ranking, and 69th opponent average offense. Duke’s defense weakness is Pitt’s offensive strength, and Duke’s offensive strength is Pitt’s defensive strength.
Pitt has owned the series and Narduzzi has owned Cutcliffe. Pitt is a different style team this year, and it actually lines up better in the matchups for them. Duke’s weakness and inexperience is in the secondary. They really have not been tested, but Pitt features a new offense led by OC Mark Whipple, and the top passing duo in FBS with Maruice French and Taysir Mack. I honestly think Pitt can be more balanced here than Duke can. Quentin Harris has been great, but he can’t stretch the field, and against top defenses like Pitt who can stop the run, and stop the pass Duke tends to struggle to put up points. Harris is Duke’s offense he leads the team in rushing yards, and attempts, and they go up against the 25th ranked rushing defense, and a defense that is second in the country with 24 sacks, and has a 23.5% havoc rate. Duke also starts two red shirt freshman at the tackle position, and they’ve played well so far protecting the QB, but on average they have faced #81.6 sack % defense, and Pitt ranks 4th.
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