ND-Pitt live blog: Things you need to know before kickoff

Published 3:25 pm Saturday, October 9, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Pittsburgh and Notre Dame meet for the 66th time today with the Fighting Irish holding a 44-20-1 advantage in the series.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt are no strangers to each other having met three times as BIG EAST Conference rivals. Kelly was 2-1 against the Panthers while at Cincinnati, including last year’s thrilling 45-44 victory that gave the Bearcats the conference championship.

Here are some other items you need to know before kickoff:

* The Fighting Irish defense has allowed just one run of more than 10 yards in its last two games after allowing 21 of them in its first three contests this season.

* The Sagarin Ratings have Notre Dame’s schedule ranked eighth toughest among Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

* Irish senior kicker David Ruffer, a walk-on, has tied one field goal record already this season and is one kick away from another. Ruffer’s 13 straight field goals to start has career ties him with Mike Johnston’s mark. He is one shy of teammate Nick Tausch’s 14 consecutive field goals set last year.

*A win today would be the first for Notre Dame against Pittsburgh since 2005 and its first at Notre Dame Stadium since 2002.

* Pittsburgh is looking for its third consecutive win over the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. The Panthers have won three of the last four meetings between the two schools.

* Pittsburgh is 22-9 in its last 31 games dating back to the regular season finale of 2007. Its the best mark for the Panthers since they were 23-8 over the 2001-03 seasons.

* Today marks the first pregame flyover of the season. The 394th Combat Training Squadron, with support from the 509th Bom Wing of Whiteman (Mo.) Air Force Base, will provide the flyover.

* The Goodyear blimp makes its appearance over Notre Dame Stadium for the first time in a while.