I've seen Tino Sunseri play in two very different situations. I've seen him win twice.

The first was in the Class AAAA PIAA State Football Championship in 2007. His Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings took a beating on my alma mater, the Parkland High School Trojans, posting the first shutout in Class AAAA championship games, 21-0. He was 11 for 15 for 128 yards with one touchdown.

The second was a Pittsburgh Panther 44-17 rout of Florida International last fall. Sunseri was 15 for 23 for 169 yards with one touchdown. In addtion to Sunseri's solid statistical performance, running back Ray Graham amassed 277 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns.

Yesterday's Panther win over Buffalo looked eerily familiar. Pitt wins 35-16. Sunseri has another good statistical game, 16 for 28, 179 yards, one touchdown. Graham repeats his stellar performance with 29 carries, 201 yards, and three touchdowns. The only thing that's different between the two games is the coach, the coach that has promised a "high-octane" offense, the coach that watched from the sideline as that high-powered offense only scored seven points in the first half. That coach is Todd Graham, and he knows Pitt will have to play a lot better if they want to be contenders at the end of the season. And that motivation to practice harder and perform better starts under the leadership of Tino Sunseri.

Now more than ever it's "Tino Time!" With a full year of starting experience under his belt, Sunseri has to play stronger than ever. He needs to avoid turnovers (nine interceptions last year and a fumble yesterday) and throw a better long ball. In addition, he must recognize the talent the team has with Ray Graham and accept that handing the ball off will be an essential key to success.

Next weekend, the Panthers take on Maine. This should be a great opportunity to come back after a week of practice and showcase the offense fans have been waiting to see since Todd Graham announced it last spring- 5 touchdowns in at least 80 plays, right coach? And an artful 50-yard touchdown pass from Sunseri would nice too.

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