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Pitt notebook: Shuffle on offensive line continues

Jerry DiPaola
| Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, 7:45 p.m.
Pitt quarterbacks have been sacked 16 times this season. The Panthers gave up 10 all last season.
Chaz Palla
Pitt quarterbacks have been sacked 16 times this season. The Panthers gave up 10 all last season.

No statistic exposes the difference between this year's Pitt team and the one from 2016 more than the number of sacks allowed.You're almost inclined to consider it a typographical error in the Pitt media guide.

In 13 games, Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman was sacked only 10 times. Off to the NFL went Adam Bisnowaty and Dorian Johnson and, coincidence or not, Max Browne has been sacked 11 times, backup Ben DiNucci six more in only five games.

In hopes of fixing the problem, coach Pat Narduzzi moved Alex Bookser — probably his best offensive lineman after Brian O'Neill — from right guard to right tackle.

“He did a good job of protecting Max last week, and that's critical,” Narduzzi said.

Also, he has given Mike Herndon and Connor Dintino more time at right guard and center with Brandon Hodges and Jimmy Morrissey, respectively.Nonetheless, Browne was sacked three times by Rice, the third time this season an opponent reached that number against him.

Recognition for Browne

Browne was named ACC offensive back of the week and also received two national weekly honors. He was recognized as one of the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award's “Great 8” performers and was named one of the Manning Award's eight “Stars of the Week.”

Browne's 71.7 percent accuracy rate (81 of 113) is 10th in the nation and second in the ACC to N.C. State's Ryan Finley. He also has thrown for 836 yards (71st in the nation), nearly the equal of Wisconsin's Alex Hornibrook (68th, 898 yards, 67.5 percent), who was committed to Pitt in 2014 before Paul Chryst left.

Another noon kickoff

Pitt's Homecoming game against N.C. State on Oct. 14 will begin at noon and will be televised locally by AT&T SportsNet.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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