It looked to be a gloomy season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after losing Everett Golson to suspension for the season, but the Irish have proven some people wrong. Starting the season 7-2, the Irish are nowhere near as solid as they were a season ago when they went to the BCS title game, but they can still be a BCS bowl contender.
On the other side of the field, the Pittsburgh Panthers are 4-4 and 2-3 in the extremely top-heavy ACC this season. Pitt might not be in contention for an ACC title this year, but that doesn’t mean they can’t give the Fighting Irish some fits as the Navy Midshipmen did a week ago.
Notre Dame has to be considered a team that no one wants to play this time of year because they are just getting stronger as the season progresses. Senior quarterback Tommy Rees has passed for 2,186 yards and 22 touchdowns in place of the suspended sophomore, Golson; Rees has shown some serious leadership and the ability to lead. The passing offense ranks 56th in the nation behind Rees with his favorite target TJ Jones who has 48 catches for 742 yards and seven touchdowns. The run game is nowhere near where it should be, ranking 88th in the nation.
Pittsburgh’s offense is nothing compared to other teams in the ACC. The Panthers aren’t considered a threat on offense as the 70th-ranked passing offense is led by senior and first-year starter Tom Savage. The senior has 1,779 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season to go along with seven interceptions. Devin Street is the team’s leading receiver with 40 catches for 690 yards and four touchdowns. Tyler Boyd is not too far behind, catching 45 passes for 644 yards and six touchdowns.
Defensively, Notre Dame ranks 40th in the nation in points allowed and 32nd in yards allowed per contest. They consistently rank as one of the top teams in the nation in defense. Pittsburgh ranks 67th in points against and 22nd in yards allowed per contest.
Notre Dame will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 9. The game will be broadcasted on ABC.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 27, Pitt 21