Stull Big East Offensive Player Of Week

Pitt's Bill Stull has turned some doubters after his performances so far this season, and now the fifth-year senior quarterback has started to turn heads.

With his stellar effort in the 35-10 Pittsburgh win Friday night at Louisville, Bill Stull was named the Big East Conference offensive player of the week.

Stull completed 69 percent of his passes (16 of 23) for 242 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He sparked the Panthers' offense to 28 unanswered points in the second half, as Pitt beat the Cardinals on the road for the first time since 1983 (a three-game stretch).

"These types of awards are nice, and it's an honor to be selected by the Big East,'' Stull said. "But I couldn't have those numbers or get these awards without the help from a lot of other guys. We've had a lot of guys make big plays this year. And the most important thing is that we won the game.''

With Pitt facing a 10-7 deficit at halftime, Stull responded by throwing touchdown passes of 37 and 71 yards, respectively, during a five-minute span during the third quarter. Under his direction, the Panthers went on to reach the end zone on four of their first five possessions in the second half.

Stull ranks fifth nationally and first in the Big East in pass efficiency with an impressive 167.49 rating. He is 18th nationally in points responsible for at 14.40 points per game. Through five games this season, Stull has completed 77 of 116 passes (66.4 percent) for 988 yards, 11 touchdowns and only one interception.

And it's that last stat that pleases Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt the most.

"This may sound too simple, but the No. 1 thing that he's doing well is not throwing interceptions,'' Wannstedt said. "Billy always has had a capable arm. He can make any of throws. He can throw from hash to hash, and he can throw the deep ball pretty accurate and make the underneath throws.

"That part of it has never been a problem. But I think there are two things (this year). One, Bill is more in tune to what we're doing now. Now that he wasn't before, but it's structured now where we're trying to eliminate the over-thinking. In other words, here's the play. Look for this one thing, and if it's not there then throw it here.

"So, that part has really helped him,'' Wannstedt added. "And the competition that we've had here in the spring and training camp has helped. He wants to keep the starting job and knows that if he goes out there and plays poorly and turns it over he's not going to start. So, that's a great motivation to him, too.''

The Panthers (4-1, 1-0 Big East) continue Big East play against Connecticut (3-1, 0-0) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Heinz Field.

The game will be regionally televised by ABC-TV (WTAE, channel 4, in Pittsburgh) and will also be available in select markets on ESPN.

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