Why Stanford Will Win The Hyundai Sun Bowl
– Pitt is naughty way too often. Stanford led the Pac-12 with the fewest penalty yards, getting flagged a mere 66 times for 507 yards. Throw in the paltry 15 turnovers, and the team just doesn’t beat itself. And then there are the Panthers, who got hit with 95 flags on the season including 28 over the last three games, 14 in the loss to Penn State, and 11 in the clunker against UCF.
– Stanford was fine at pushing the ball down the field last season, but it didn’t have the most efficient or consistent of attacks. It didn’t need to when Bryce Love was being all Bryce Love. This season, KJ Costello and the offense are bombing away, averaging 8.5 yards per pass as a team and taking deep shot after deep shot. Pitt isn’t great at coming up with picks on a regular basis, failing to get one in five of its last six games. It’s going to need at least one against Costello.
– There’s just no downfield passing game in the Panther offense. Kenny Pickett had a few fantastic performances against Virginia Tech and Wake Forest when he opened it up, and then came the Miami game – a whole lot of dinking and dunking. The 130-yard day was special compared to the ACC Championship against Clemson, completing just 4-of-16 passes for eight yards with a pick. Pitt averages just 10.8 yards per catch. Considering the secondary has been a weak spot at times for the Cardinal, they’re getting a break.