- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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If there were a checklist for an ideal performance for a quarterback, Tom Savage might have checked off each item one by one while dismantling Duke's defense this week in a thrilling 58-55 Pittsburgh win.
• Savage connected on six touchdown throws without an interception. He was the first Pitt QB to throw six touchdowns in a game since Pete Gonzalaez threw a school-record seven TDs against Rutgers.
• The six touchdown throws matched an ACC record, last accomplished in 1999.
• Savage threw for 424 yards in the game, just the eighth Pitt QB to top the 400-yard plateau. The yardage total was the most by a Pitt QB since 1994.
• Savage compiled a 95.6 total QBR for the game, fifth among all quarterbacks from AQ conferences and second among QBs facing opposition from an AQ school.
• Savage helped Pitt to nearly 500 yards of offense by halftime en route to earning Walter Camp national offensive player of the week honors.
The win was huge for Pittsburgh, too. After an early loss to Florida State, Pitt couldn't afford to open its first ACC season with an 0-2 record in conference, and Duke had no intentions of going down quietly. But for each of Duke's quick strikes -- Blue Devils' QB Brandon Connette accounted for six TDs (four passing, two rushing), too -- Savage had an answer. Both Boyd and Street eclipsed 150 yards receiving and hauled in five of Savage's six scores.
The win was Pitt's first as a member of the ACC.
In his first year with the Panthers, Savage has acquitted himself nicely, connecting with a dynamic pair of receivers in Devin Street and Tyler Boyd to give Pitt one of the most prolific passing attacks in the country through the first four weeks of 2013.
For the season, Savage leads the ACC in passing yards per game (287) and is second in pass efficiency (185.9) and total offense (274.7). His 16.9 yards per completion ranks sixth nationally, and he's among the top 20 QBs in the nation in pass efficiency, touchdowns, yards per game and Total QBR.
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