PITTSBURGH — Pitt stopped a three-game losing streak with a 42-10 romp over Rice on Saturday at Heinz Field.
The Panthers were favored by nearly three touchdowns and if anything, exceeded expectations, particularly on offense, with Max Browne who threw four touchdown passes and connected for 410 yards in his best performance as a Panther.
When the Pitt offensive line was able to give Browne time, he looked comfortable and poised in the pocket and delivered more downfield strikes than he had in the first four games combined.
Browne hit Chawntez Moss and Jester Weah on long touchdown passes and also showed some touch underneath, with short touchdown passes to Darrin Hall and Chris Clark to put the game away in the fourth quarter.
The Pitt offense still struggled to run the ball, as the Panthers running backs Moss and Qadree Ollison averaged 1.6 and 2.8 yards per carry.
They each contributed short rushing touchdowns. Moss fumbled at the 1-yard line in the second quarter to take away a score.
Against a mostly toothless Rice offense, the Panthers defense didn’t allow a point in the first half and didn’t relent until the game was out of hand late.
After four takeaways against Georgia Tech last week, Pitt intercepted Rice quarterback Jackson Tyner three times on Saturday.