By Abbey Way and Matt Popchock

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Big East play finally resumes for the Panthers (0-1, 2-2) when they take on Syracuse (0-0, 1-3) at the Carrier Dome on Friday. Last year Pitt robbed the Orange’s chances of a bowl game, and Tino Sunseri expects just as much pressure and a loud atmosphere for this one.

“Their big guys can run around, they can hit, they can fly around, and they are going to try and disrupt you, and make you think,” Sunseri said after practice Tuesday. “They look for you to make that one mess-up, and then take advantage of it and feed of of that.”

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Sunseri added, in order to capture the win, the Panthers must stay steady, keep moving the football, and, perhaps most importantly, pay special attention to the snap count.

The Carrier Dome seats 49,250, and drew over 40,000 for their 2010 meeting, in which Sunseri threw for 266 yards and four TD’s in a 45-14 rout. He and his mates prepared this week by blaring crowd noise throughout their exercises.

His counterpart, Ryan Nassib, also a fifth-year senior, leads the Big East with 1,367 and ten TD passes. Sunseri has thrown for eight touchdowns, which is already two away from equaling his 2011 total, and his 166.7 efficiency rating is among the top 15 in all of Division I.

“Last time I was up there we were able to jump on them pretty quick, so we kind of took the heart out of the crowd a little bit,” he explained. “They are pretty loud and I think their players feed off of it and we need to be able to handle it.”

Sunseri also talked about his close relationship with Syracuse linebacker Dan Vaughan, a former teammate at Pittsburgh Central Catholic:

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Friday’s game at Syracuse can be heard at 7:00 P.M., with Panther Gameday, featuring Gregg Giannotti, beginning at 4:00, on your flagship home for Pitt football, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.


In other late-breaking Pitt football news, the Panthers received word Tuesday evening that Cranford High School (Cranford, NJ) senior athlete Reggie Green has committed to their program. Ultimately Green chose Pitt over conference rival Temple, but also received formal offers from Boston College, Michigan State, North Carolina State, and Rutgers.

Green (6’3″, 205 lbs.), regarded locally as one of the better athletes in the entire state, has over 800 all-purpose yards and eight combined TD’s as a dual-purpose quarterback through four games this season, and has been commended for his play as a defensive back.

“The area is beautiful. The school, the campus, the city. The coaching staff was really great. The players I talked to were really nice, good people. It just felt like I place I felt at home at,” he told the Newark Star-Ledger. “They project me as an athlete on the offensive side of the ball.”

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Head coach Paul Chryst now has 18 total commitments from the Class of 2013.