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PITT @ #14 NOTRE DAME GAME PREVIEW




The Pitt Panthers (2-5 1-3 ACC) will travel to South Bend, IN, to take on the #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6-2).


BROADCAST INFORMATION:


- 3:30 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on The Peacock Network

- On the call Jac Collinsworth and Jason Garrett for The Peacock Network and Zora Stephenson (sideline)

- On the Pitt side the radio broadcast will be on FM 93.7 and AM 1340. On the Notre Dame side, the radio broadcast will be on FM 101.5 and AM 960.


WHAT’S AT STAKE:

The Pitt Panthers are coming off a rough loss at Wake Forest where the Panthers led 17-14 with 1:01 remaining when quarterback Christian Veilleux rushed for what would have been a first down to end the game, but Veilleux slid just shy of the first down marker on 3rd Down, forcing a Pitt punt. Six plays and 0:33 seconds later saw the Demon Deacons find paydirt for the game-winning touchdown. The Panthers desperately need a win if they want to make it to a bowl game this season. The Irish, on the other hand, had a bye last week after crushing rival USC 48-20. Notre Dame is looking to extend their win streak against the Panthers to four games. The Pitt offense has struggled this season averaging only 320.9 yards per game and 23.1 points per game. The Panther defense has not lived up to the standard set by head coach Pat Narduzzi, giving up 323.0 yards per game and 24.6 points per game. The Notre Dame offense has done well, gaining 414.5 yards per game with 165.3 rushing. The Irish defense only surrendered 282.3 yards per game with 129.1 on the ground.


KEY PLAYERS - Pittsburgh

QB Christian Veilleux – Pitt: 53.1% passes completed, 647 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT

WR Konata Mumpfield – Pitt: 30 receptions for 347 yards and 3 TD


KEY PLAYERS - Notre Dame

QB Sam Hartman – Notre Dame: 64.5% passes completed, 1,838 yards, 18 TD, 3 INT

RB Audric Estime – Notre Dame: 787 yards, 9 TD


KEY MATCHUPS:


Can the Pitt run game get going against a stingy Notre Dame defense? C’Bo Flemister leads the Panthers with 282 rushing yards while Rodney Hammond, Jr. is second with 247 yards. The run game will need to get going to allow the passing game to open up.


The Notre Dame passing attack, led by Sam Hartman, needs to establish dominance early to put the Pitt defense on its heels. The Panthers are tied for 15th in the nation with 22 sacks. The ability to back off the Pitt front seven will be critical for Notre Dame to have success passing.


PREDICTION:


The bye week came at a good time for Notre Dame as the Irish have had a roller coaster four-week stretch. Being in the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium should provide an advantage for the Irish. The Pitt defense has not been as strong this season as they were expected to be, which could be a result of the poor performance of the offense all year long. Look for a tight game in the first half and then Notre Dame to pull away in the second half.


Notre Dame 34 Pitt 16

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