By Matt Popchock

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Fifth-year quarterback Tino Sunseri has been called a lot of names. Home or away, he doesn’t care if “Big East Offensive Player Of The Week” isn’t one of them.

He received that honor after leading Pitt (0-1, 2-2) o a 35-17 upset of then 13th-ranked Virginia Tech, and, last Saturday, followed it up with another impressive performance at Heinz Field in a 55-10 rout of FCS Gardner-Webb.

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Now, after rolling to 627 yards and six TD’s against just one interception on a 71.2 completion percentage in those two victories, Sunseri is looking forward to the resumption of regular season and Big East play at the Carrier Dome next Friday.

“I always like when the fans boo you. I like everyone wanting you to fail,” he said, reflecting upon his last trip to Syracuse’s (0-0, 1-3) storied home venue. “I like being the underdog in the building. I think that really brings out the best in your competitiveness.

“It gets loud in that building, let me tell you.”

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Embracing the hostility seemed to work well for him as a sophomore. On Oct. 16, 2010, Pitt’s last visit to the Dome, Sunseri racked up 266 yards and four scores on 17-of-24 passing to lead the Panthers to a 45-14 romp over the Orange in front of over 40,000 fans.

Meanwhile, he likes how the current offense is coming along after a slow start.

“We have good tempo, in and out of the huddle. I feel like we’re getting open downfield, and that the offensive line is doing a good job up front. We’ve just got to continue getting better each week,” he said.

Sunseri also discussed why the analytical skills of Paul Chryst have made him fond of his new head coach:

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Next Friday’s game can be heard at 7:00 P.M. on your flagship home for Pitt football, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.