Bring on the Pitt Panthers

Posted: November 6, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

I first want to thank Brian Beckman for leaving the stadium last year after the Irish fell behind at halftime.

The Pitt Panthers bring a 4-4 record to the 8pm ABC telecast against the Irish. Over the last 5 games against Pitt, the Irish have kept this game too close for comfort. The Irish won 29-26 last year, won 15-12 in 2011, won 23-17 in 2010, lost 22-27 in 2009, and lost 33-36 in 2008. Here are my 5 points to look at for the upcoming game:

1) DL starters Day and Nix have been practicing with the first unit this week. This is huge because the Irish are thin on the DL because of injuries. The Irish will hope to have Nix, Tuitt, Day, Smith, Calabrese, Fox, and Shembo ready for the first play on Saturday night.

2.) Pitt’s OL is not very good. They have average 40 yards per game over the last 4 games. They are ranked #102 in rushing with 122 yards per game for a 3.60 average. Pitt has allowed 29 sacks this year in 8 games. Look for Tuitt and Shembo to have big games.

Aaron-Donald

3.) The Pitt Panthers have a stud in DL Aaron Donald. He has 19.5 tackles for loss this year but he will be going against an Irish OL that has only allowed 7 sacks all year.

4.) Pitt brings into this game their best WR duo…ever!!!  Tyler Boyd and Devin Street both have height and pretty good speed. The problem is that they can’t get the ball on a consistent basis due to shaky line play and poor execution from their QB Tom Savage. Savage is a transfer from Rutgers that has the body and the arm, but lacks production.

5.) Notre Dame is 8-1 in the last 9 regular season games away from home during prime time.

utopo

Conclusion– Pitt doesn’t run the ball well and they can’t pass protect. Notre Dame is banged up, so they will need to mend the pieces together so the starters will be able to take a breather. DL Isaac Rochell, DL Jarron Jones, DL Justin Utopo, and OLB Romeo Okwara will need to play meaningful minutes and be productive. I think Notre Dame mixes up the pass and run and will be able to move the ball on Pitt. Hopefully ND will stay healthy during the game, because I think they can slow down the Pitt defense. If you see Nix and Day leave the game early, all bets are off. I think Tarean Folston gets his 2nd 100 yard game and the Irish prevail with a 31-20 victory.

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