"That's the best first half of football he's had this year."
Those were Pat Narduzzi's words at halftime when Pitt held a 28-0 lead against Rice. That lead eventually turned into a 42-10 victory on Saturday.
Fact is, it was by far the best half he'd played in his entire career.
Despite being a senior, Max Browne had very little experience. He barely played in his first two years, attempting only 19 passes, and played only a few games last season before being replaced by phenom Sam Darnold at USC. Prior to today, Browne had never thrown a completion beyond 38 yards or thrown for even 200 yards in a game. But on Saturday against Rice, Browne obliterated those marks.
He had touchdown passes of 55 and 48 yards and also had 410 passing yards overall. His four touchdown passes exceeded the three career scores he'd had coming into today.
I'm interested to see where this goes from here. I don't know that Browne is as bad as he's looked before today but he's surely not as good as he was against Rice, either. But he proved that if he's given time to throw, he can be accurate. His biggest problem will be mobility and he took another four sacks today. Hopefully, though, the passing success at least gave him a bit of a spark and some confidence going forward.