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October 31, 2011

Sunseri named Player of the Week

Pitt redshirt junior quarterback Tino Sunseri put in a record-setting performance against Connecticut last Wednesday, and on Monday he was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week.

Sunseri completed 29-of-42 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns in Pitt's 35-20 win over the Huskies at Heinz Field Wednesday night. The yardage total set a new Heinz Field record for passing yards by a collegiate quarterback.

Sunseri's 419-yard performance was also the third-highest passing total by a Big East quarterback this season and the most by a Pitt quarterback since Rod Rutherford threw for the same amount in a 2003 loss to West Virginia.

The game also represents a bounce-back for Sunseri after a pair of sub-standard performances. In losses against Rutgers and Utah, the Central Catholic product completed 18-of-39 passes (46.2%) for 165 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions.

He easily set career highs for completions and passing yards in the win over Connecticut, and his performance helped Pitt gain 529 yards of total offense, the team's biggest total since 2000 when Pitt gained 584 yards in a win over Boston College.

The announcement on Monday marked Sunseri's first Big East Offensive Player of the Week recognition. This week marks the third time in the 2011 season that a Pitt player has earned Big East weekly honors. Junior tailback Ray Graham was twice named Offensive Player of the Week earlier this year.

This week is just the fourth time since 2004 that a Pitt quarterback has been named Big East Offensive Player of the Week. Sunseri is the first Pitt quarterback to take the honors since Bill Stull in October of 2009. Tyler Palko was also named player of the week once in 2006 and once in 2004.


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