Big Lead Sports Bar

9/11/2010

Sunseri, Graham Star in 38-16 Pitt Win



After watching West Virginia get a major scare last night against Marshall, Pitt fans weren't in the mood for any sort of drama against FCS powerhouse New Hampshire. Thankfully, things were mostly drama-free for the Heinz Field crowd of 50,120 on Saturday afternoon.

Playing without starters Greg Romeus and Dom DeCicco, the Panthers downed the Wildcats by a final of 38-16 behind the passing of Tino Sunseri (275 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) and the rushing of Ray Graham (115 yards, 2 TD on 9 carries, including a 64-yarder in the fourth quarter).

The early-season sophomore slump of RB Dion Lewis continued, as he rushed for just 27 yards on 10 carries. He did score the game's first touchdown, but he's run for just 102 yards on 35 carries so far in the 2010 season as his Heisman hopes seem to be vanishing before our very eyes.

The Wildcats played with the Panthers for a good portion of the first half on the scoreboard, facing only a seven-point hole until Sunseri hit Cam Saddler with a late TD pass to increase the Pitt lead to 17-3 at the half. A 56-yard scoring strike to Jon Baldwin early in the third really opened things up for the Panthers, extending the lead to 24-3 and making a comeback all but impossible for UNH.

Pitt's offense was able to rack up 445 yards on the afternoon, with 276 through the air and another 169 on the ground. New Hampshire's passing game generated a respectable 225 yards but the rushing game was bottled up with just 73 yards on 35 carries - a solid effort by the Panthers sans two defensive starters.

While this was a nice bounce-back effort after the Utah loss last week, the Panthers will need to raise their game another level if they want to beat #12 Miami on September 23. Dion Lewis needs to get on track, the offensive line needs to do a better job of opening holes, and the pass defense needs to improve on their current average of 255 yards passing allowed per game.

I did like the increased focus on Jon Baldwin this week, and it was nice to see Ray Graham back in the lineup and contributing. If Romeus and DeCicco can get healthy and some of these other issues I've outlined can be worked out with the 12 days until the Miami game, Pitt should be just fine. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc): twitter.com/mondesishouse
Email: mondesishouse@gmail.com

2 comments:

The Abiding Dude said...

Sunseri just looks terrible. I doubt he knows what a hot route is. He stares down whatever receiver he is going to be throwing to and there is no other option in his mind. It's going to be a tough season if that continues...Sunseri is just looking tuhrrible.

How fricking good is Baldwin? What a beast...just throw it to him every down.

Lewis would be fine if the passing game were to take off a little more, but I have no problem with the dual attack Pitt could be using. Graham is a monster and Lewis can't carry this team the way they were running him. He could, but again with the passing game needing to be better for that to happen.

Joe said...

I would not say Sunseri looks terrible, he just needs more game experience.

If you look at the last few starting Pitt QB's maturation (Palko, Stull, Sunseri) Sunseri seems to be ahead, give him some time.

QB is the least of Pitt's worries right now.