- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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So which Big East player will transform tomorrow with a big performance in Week 9?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. Tino Sunseri.
You can hold your applause.
For those who are just tuning in, Sunseri is having the best season of his career, ranking No. 2 in the Big East in passing yards per game (268.3) and No. 2 in pass efficiency with a rating of 159.6. After throwing more interceptions than touchdowns a year ago, he has 10 touchdown passes to only two interceptions -- the fewest INTs of any Big East starting quarterback.
He faces a favorable matchup at home Saturday against Temple. You figure the Owls are going to be keyed in to stopping the run with Ray Graham and Rushel Shell having productive seasons. Temple has the worst pass defense in the Big East, so Pitt may be able to take advantage there, with Devin Street and Mike Shanahan having excellent seasons of their own. They are the top two Big East receivers when it comes to receiving yards per game (Shanahan averages 80.6 ypg; Street averages 79.3 ypg).
Then consider how Gary Nova won his matchup last week against the Owls. After trailing 10-0 at halftime, Nova threw four touchdown passes in the second half and Rutgers went on to win 35-10. Nova was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.