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Sept. 22, 2012

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Pitt Football Postgame Notes
Gardner-Webb Game (Heinz Field)
Sept. 22, 2012

With today’s 55-10 win over Gardner-Webb, Pitt improved to 2-2 on the season and 11-1 all-time against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents.

Pitt compiled 626 yards in total offense (397 passing, 229 rushing), its highest single-game production since 1997, when it had 645 yards (470 passing, 175 rushing) in a double-overtime victory at Rutgers (55-48). Today was Pitt’s highest total offense in a regulation game since it compiled a school-record 648 (333 passing, 315 rushing) in a 66-30 win over Eastern Michigan in 1995.

Pitt has produced consecutive games with more than 500 yards in total offense (626 vs. Gardner-Webb and 537 vs. Virginia Tech). The last time Pitt accomplished that feat was the 1992 season when it had three consecutive 500-yard games (558 vs. Rutgers, 596 vs. Minnesota and 552 vs. Maryland).

Pitt’s 55 points against Gardner-Webb marks its highest single-game output since the 1999 season when the Panthers defeated Temple, 55-24, in Pitt Stadium.

Pitt’s 45-point victory margin is its highest since defeating UCF, 52-7, on Oct. 13, 2006. Pitt had two 45-point victories during the 2006 season, also defeating The Citadel, 51-6, on Sept. 23 of that year.

Senior quarterback Tino Sunseri compiled 340 yards in total offense today (344 passing and minus-4 rushing). Sunseri now has 6,616 yards in career total offense to rank fifth all-time at Pitt. He surpassed quarterback John Congemi (6,351 yards from 1983-86) and running back Tony Dorsett (6,526 from 1973-76) to reach fifth place.

Tino Sunseri’s 344-yard passing performance gives him 6,446 passing yards for his career, sixth all-time at Pitt. He trails No. 5 John Congemi by 21 yards. Congemi threw for 6,467 yards from 1983-86.

Tino Sunseri’s 344 yards passing are the second highest of his career. His career best was a 419-yard performance against Connecticut last year.

Senior receiver Mike Shanahan had a career-high 144 receiving yards (on five catches) today. It is his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game. Last week against Virginia Tech, Shanahan had the first 100-yard receiving game of his career with 111 yards on five catches.

Mike Shanahan’s 77-yard touchdown reception today was a career long. He had two touchdown catches on the day (77 and 4 yards), the second two-TD game of his career (Connecticut, 2011).

Mike Shanahan now has 118 receptions for his career, moving him into 12th all-time at Pitt. He surpassed Steve Moyer, who had 117 catches from 1969-71.

Junior safety Jason Hendricks’ interception in the third quarter was his team-leading third of the season. He had two interceptions in last week’s 35-17 victory over No. 13 Virginia Tech.

Junior linebacker Dan Mason saw his first game action today since suffering a serious right knee injury against the University of Miami on Sept. 23, 2010.

True freshman defensive tackle Darryl Render made his first career start today. Render replaced junior Aaron Donald (knee) in the lineup and had three tackles, 1.5 TFLs and one pass breakup.

Offensively, sophomore fullback Adam Lazenga made his first career start. Lazenga replaced sophomore Mark Giubilato (knee) in the lineup.

Senior tailback Ray Graham’s 78-yard touchdown run in the first quarter is the second longest run of his career. Graham had a 79-yard TD run against Florida International in 2010.

Freshman Rushel Shell’s one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter marked the first TD of his collegiate career.

Gardner-Webb senior cornerback Kamar Morrison had a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter. It is the first time a Pitt opponent has scored off a fumble since the 2005 season when Louisville’s Deon Palmer recovered a Panther fumble in the end zone. (Louisville won the game, 42-20.)

Pitt’s game captains for the Gardner-Webb contest were senior guard Chris Jacobson (offense), junior linebacker Shane Gordon (defense) and senior safety Andrew Taglianetti (special teams).



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