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Pitt Evens Record With Win Over Gardner-Webb

Ray Graham and the resurgent Pitt Panthers evened their record with a 55-10 victory over Gardner-Webb.
Ray Graham and the resurgent Pitt Panthers evened their record with a 55-10 victory over Gardner-Webb.

After an 0-2 start, the Pittsburgh Panthers have climbed to .500 on the season with another dominant performance. The Panthers dispatched the (FCS) Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs 55-10 with 626 yards of total offense Sept. 22 before 36,452 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Reining Big East Player of the Week (quarterback) Tino Sunseri completed 18 of 24 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns and Ray Graham ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on eight carries to lead the effort. Isaac Bennett and Rushel Shell each added a touchdown for the Panthers.

Paul Chryst's pro-style, run-first offense seems to have hit stride after a slow start. Pitt lost at home to (FCS) Youngstown St. 31-17 in week one and just five days later opened their Big East conference schedule with a 34-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. Last week the Panthers surprised then-13th ranked Virginia Tech 35-17, also at Heinz Field.

Given the Panthers resurgence, the timing of next week’s bye may be inopportune. Pitt resumes play Friday, Oct. 5, against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome.