Panthers defeat the Temple Owls in renewal of intrastate rivalry

Ray Graham beginning to look like his old self. - Justin K. Aller

For the first time in nearly a decade, Pitt and Temple faced off on the football field. The 47-17 Pitt victory is what we all expected from the Panthers and the Owls based on past history.

Mark it down, October 27th, 2012. Today the Pitt Panthers recorded their first win in 2012 BIG EAST play by routing the Temple Owls 47-17...and man, did they do it in style.

Tino Sunseri, who finished the game 20 of 28 for 321 yards and three touchdowns, led the Panthers on scoring drives of 80, 90, and 98 yards. However, his most impressive drive of the day was a six-play, 62 yard drive in just over a minute in the first half. Sunseri accounted for all 62 yards of that drive, 60 in the air and two on the ground, ending with a four yard toss to Ray Graham with 0:01 remaining on the clock. He continued his mistake-free game management, 842 yards shy of passing Tyler Palko for third on the all-time passing yards list. Yes, if that occurs within the four games remaining, we will have to start the #TinoFacts hashtag on Twitter.

Changing up the game plan from previous weeks, Ray Graham received the bulk of the carries over Rushel Shell, putting up 109 yards on 19 carries and a pair of touchdowns. He added 71 yards receiving and another touchdown. Shell, after relieving Graham in a goal line package on the first drive of the game, only touched the ball six times for 41 yards until the final ten minutes of the game. Shell finished the day with 79 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

Kevin Harper appears to have righted the ship as well. He went 2 for 2 today with field goals of 32 and 38 yards. He is now 4 for his last 5 and the only miss was his 50-yard attempt against the Louisville Cardinals two weeks ago.

Other items of note on the day, Mike Shanahan moved into 7th on the all-time receiving yards list and Ray Graham moved into 10th on the all-time scoring list. Referee John McDaid also used the phrase "He used his weight to drive him into the ground and punish him" when describing a roughing the passer penalty.

The Panthers are now 4-4 on the season, with #5 Notre Dame on the horizon. I don't know about you, but I'm pulling for the Irish tonight against Oklahoma...I want a piece of an undefeated, top 5 team. Can you imagine how red Brian Kelly's face will get when Tino Sunseri throws for 500 yards and five touchdowns against his defense?

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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