PITTSBURGH (AP) - Max Browne returned at starting quarterback and threw four touchdown passes in Pittsburgh's 42-10 rout of the Rice on Saturday.
Pitt's offense was rolling from the start, scoring on its first three possessions. Chawntez Moss and Jester Weah hauled in touchdown passes of 48 and 55 yards and Qadree Ollison added a 10-yard touchdown run.
Browne, a redshirt senior transfer from Southern Cal, came out of training camp as Pittsburgh's starter, but lost the job to redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci after three games.
DiNucci started against Georgia Tech a week ago, but couldn't stop the slide as Pitt (2-3) lost its third game in a row.
That gave Browne another opportunity and he responded by completing his first nine passes on the way to a 28-for-32 afternoon, with a career-high 410 yards and four touchdowns.
Rice quarterback Jackson Tyner hit Austin Walter for a 70-yard touchdown as the Owls (1-4) pulled it to 28-10 in the third quarter. Tyner finished 15 of 32 for 222 yards, but also threw three interceptions.
Browne connected on short touchdown passes to Darrin Hall and Chris Clark in the fourth quarter as the Panthers pulled away.