Bulls, Bears & Panthers: Analyzing Week 7

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The Panthers' stock continues to fall as they come off a second straight loss.

I really thought Pitt was going to show up for Saturday's game. We all know the Panthers tend to play to the level of their opponent, so with a ranked team, at home, on the heels of an embarrassing loss, I expected Pitt to look fired up and come away with the win. Unfortunately, the usually sound defense seemed to doze off at halftime and never wake back up. Inconsistent continues to be most accurate descriptor of this team, and inconsistency causes stock prices to fall.

Bull (upward trending): Quarterback Tino Sunseri

The offense did its part to win on Saturday, putting up 35 points. Sunseri continued to shine with another solid game, finishing 28 of 37 for 287 yards and two touchdowns. People still love to rag on the guy, but Tino is the furthest reason for why this team is 2-4. In fact, statistically, Sunseri is one of the best passers in the nation, the Trib's Jerry DiPaola points out.

Senior quarterback Tino Sunseri ranks seventh in completion percentage and eighth in passing efficiency in Division I FBS, but coach Paul Chryst still believes there’s room for improvement.

[snip]

Sunseri has matched his touchdown total (10) from last season while throwing only two interceptions in 189 attempts. Over the 2010 and ’11 seasons, he threw 20 interceptions.

Sure, he's continued to make some occasional decisions that seem questionable, but Tino has shown vast improvement this year. The numbers prove it. His value has been on the rise all year and, after another solid game, continues to climb.

Bear (downward trending): The Defense

This pick is pretty obvious. Heading into Louisville, I felt good about the defense and thought they'd be plenty capable of limiting Teddy Bridgewater to a reasonable game. But, in uncharacteristic fashion, this didn't happen as Sam Werner of the PG writes.

The unit that had allowed just two offensive touchdowns in its previous 12 quarters gave up six against Louisville in the Cardinals' 45-35 win.

The 45 points allowed are the most Pitt has given up since the 2009 regular-season finale, a memorable 45-44 loss to Cincinnati at Heinz Field.

Ouch. Any reference to that game is a bad thing.

I thought the defense was Pitt's strength. After this game, with more ranked opponents coming on the schedule, I'm not so sure. The slide continues, and until they get a win, the Panthers' stock falls further.

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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