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Gunn holds down starting LB spot for Pitt

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By John Grupp
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said there will be no shuffling to find a starting spot for freshman middle linebacker Dan Mason, who earned Big East Defensive Player of the Week honors after his team-high 11-tackle, two-sack performance against Navy last Saturday. Senior Adam Gunn, if healthy, is the starting middle linebacker, and redshirt sophomores Greg Williams and Max Gruder will start outside. Gunn remains day-to-day for Saturday's game at North Carolina State.

• Wannstedt said playing time for reserve quarterback Tino Sunseri remains a game-by-game situation. Sunseri, who came off the bench late in the third quarter, was pulled after one series against Navy when the Panthers' lead was cut to 10 points with 11 minutes to play.

• Senior quarterback Bill Stull, who's completed 49 of 70 passes for 540 yards, is ranked 17th in the nation in passing efficiency at 160.23.

"I feel so much more comfortable," Stull said. "We're taking what the defense gives us. Somebody is going to be open. It's my job to go through the progression and find somebody who's open."

• Freshman tailback Dion Lewis, held to 79 yards against Navy, still ranks sixth in the nation in rushing at 132.7 yards per game. He's the only freshman in the top 10.

• Senior defensive tackle Gus Mustakas said the Panthers haven't proved anything with their first 3-0 start since 2000.

"We can't get big-headed at all," he said. "(Facing N.C. State) will be a great test for our team to see really where we are at."

• Despite its 27-14 win over Navy, Pitt dropped two spots — to No. 29 — in the "others receiving votes" in the latest AP poll. Three teams with high-profile wins — Washington, Auburn and Florida State — vaulted past the Panthers.

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