ND-Pitt live blog: Irish hold on for 23-17 win over Panthers
Published 6:57 pm Saturday, October 9, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It wasn’t pretty, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish gut out a 23-17 victory over Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon.
The win squares the Irish record at 3-3 heading into next week’s home contest with Western Michigan University.
- The Irish offense continues to struggle in the second half with consistency. The Irish haven’t seen the Pittsburgh side of the field much in the final 30 minutes.
- Notre Dame appeared to have a game-clinching touchdown to Michael Floyd, but an illegal pick brought the play back and one incomplete pass later, the Irish are forced to put with 4:45 remaining in the game.
- The Fighting Irish turn the game over to the defense. Notre Dame responds with a three and out with 3:22 remaining in the contest.
- Although they haven’t gotten a lot of work in the game, both punters have performed well for Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. Ben Turk has averaged 51 yards, while the Panther’s Camero Saddler had a 44 and a 51 yard punt to his credit.
- With 3:15 to play, Notre Dame gets the ball back. The offense needs to run out the clock and preserve the victory. After picking up an initial first down, the Irish are forced to punt with 1:47 showing on the game clock.
- Although it hurt his average, Turk places the ensuing punt inside the Pittsburgh 10-yard line. The Panthers will need to go 93 yards if it wants to defeat the Fighting Irish.
- Back-to-back challenges go Pittsburgh’s way and keeps the Panther’s hopes alive.
- Notre Dame’s defense comes up big as Gary Gray breaks up the fourth-and-four pass with 1:07 to play.
- The win gives Notre Dame its first win over Pittsburgh since 2005 and its first win at Notre Dame Stadium over the Panthers since 2002.
- Both teams ran 70 offensive plays with Pittsburgh holding a 382-329 advantage in total offense.