With success, will Pitt rely more on the passing game

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

Heading into this season, there were (and understandably so) tons of questions about Pitt's passing. Those concerns coupled with Paul Chryst's philosophy and the presence of Ray Graham, Rushel Shell, and Isaac Bennett was enough to make most of us think we'd see a run-heavy offense.

But five games into the season it may be time to rethink that strategy.

Now, I'm not saying the Panthers should start slinging the ball all over the field. But it may be time to add a few more passing plays into the offensive playcalling. Much of that is because quarterback Tino Sunseri is playing far better than last season.

For one thing, Sunseri is simply taking care of the ball better. He's not taking nearly as many sacks and is also making fewer mistakes throwing the ball. Sunseri averaged ten interceptions a year each of the past two seasons, but with only two picks so far this season, he's on pace for less than half of that. In addition, he's more accurate than he's ever been, completing just under 70% of his passes and even completing longer passes as evidenced by his career high 9.63 yards per attempt.

Simply put, Sunseri is having a solid season and with the running game struggling so much against Syracuse last week, it may be time for Pitt to start passing a bit more. This isn't to say that he's without mistakes and as the Cincinnati and Syracuse games proved, he's not always doing a great job making decisions. But his mistakes are limited and this season he's been more of an asset than a liability.

With so much talent in the backfield, Pitt would be foolish to become a pass-heavy team. But with the success the team has had, it may be time to throw the ball a bit more.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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