PITTSBURGH (AP) — Max Browne returned at starting quarterback and threw four touchdown passes in Pittsburgh’s 42-10 rout of the Rice on Saturday.
Pitt’s offense was rolling from the start, scoring on its first three possessions. Chawntez Moss and Jester Weah hauled in touchdown passes of 48 and 55 yards and Qadree Ollison added a 10-yard touchdown run.
Browne, a redshirt senior transfer from Southern Cal, came out of training camp as Pittsburgh’s starter, but lost the job to redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci after three games.
DiNucci started against Georgia Tech a week ago, but couldn’t stop the slide as Pitt (2-3) lost its third game in a row.
That gave Browne another opportunity and he responded by completing his first nine passes on the way to a 28-for-32 afternoon, with a career-high 410 yards and four touchdowns.
Rice quarterback Jackson Tyner hit Austin Walter for a 70-yard touchdown as the Owls (1-4) pulled it to 28-10 in the third quarter. Tyner finished 15 of 32 for 222 yards, but also threw three interceptions.
Browne connected on short touchdown passes to Darrin Hall and Chris Clark in the fourth quarter as the Panthers pulled away.
RICE: The Owls offense continued to struggle. Rice has scored more than one touchdown just once this season.
PITT: The Panthers offense set seasons highs in points and passing yards with Browne under center, but Pitt struggled to run the ball for the second week in a row. After recording 37 yards rushing against Georgia Tech last week, the Panthers managed just 69 yards on 33 carries.
RICE: The Owls will complete their non-conference schedule wth a trip to Army West Point on Saturday. Rice lost at Army 31-14 last season.
PITT: The Panthers return to Atlantic Coast Conference play with a visit to Syracuse on Saturday. Pitt has won four straight and 11 of 12 against the Orange.
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)