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Struggling Pitt sticking with Sunseri at QB

- Associated Press - Monday, October 17, 2011

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Struggling Pittsburgh is done experimenting at quarterback.

Coach Todd Graham said Monday the Panthers (3-4) will stick with junior Tino Sunseri heading into next week's game against Connecticut. Pitt had been using both Sunseri and freshman Trey Anderson in recent weeks, with little success.

The duo combined to complete just 9 of 30 passes for 50 yards in a 26-14 loss to Utah, a game in which Pitt's offense managed just 120 yards. The Panthers are now 96th in the country in passing offense, averaging 184.4 yards per game.

"We've had very inconsistent play at that position," Graham said. "We've had to make some decisions I wouldn't normally make. Throwing that all aside, we've not performed to where we need to be. Switching the quarterbacks in and out created more of a distraction than anything else."

While allowing there's a chance Anderson could get back on the field in some wildcat packages, Graham insisted Sunseri is the quarterback that gives the Panthers the best chance to win.

"Tino by far and away has the biggest grasp (of the offense) and we've got to get it out of him," Graham said. "I think the experience, the knowledge of what we're doing, the practice time makes Tino. We have to get it out of him. (So), we're going to go with Tino."

Graham also chastised defensive lineman Chas Alecxih for what the coach called "inappropriate" comments about Utah offensive lineman John Cullen. Alecxih claimed Cullen hit him illegally in the fourth quarter.

"That's the most angry I've ever felt in my college career," Alecxih said. "(Cullen) came up and cheap-shotted me when we were about to end the game. If I wasn't in such control of myself, I would have hit him back."

Graham understands how Alecxih could lose his temper after a loss but disagreed with Alecxih's assessment.

"He obviously regrets that comment," Graham said. "Guys get emotional. Chas is a very passionate player, but it's a comment that shouldn't have been made."

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