Notre Dame 45 Pitt 3
[Pittsburgh, PA] Coming off a 3-game losing streak, it did not take Einstein to figure out that the Pitt Panther’s next opponent was going to be the toughest of the 2020 season not named the Clemson Tigers. And the third ranked Golden Domes of Notre Dame were as advertised as they rolled into Heinz Field and over the Panthers in a 45-3 rout.
“First off, Notre Dame’s got a great football team. They played like the No. 3 team in the country today.”Said Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi.
“They made plays on the ball. We had three interceptions. We lost the field position war big time. You’re never going to win a game; you’re probably going to lose big when you throw three interceptions. Joey didn’t have a great day. But like I said, you’ve got to give their offense and their defense and their special teams credit. They made plays and we didn’t. But time of possession, 40 to 20, we couldn’t sustain drives offensively and put our defense in tough situations and when you do that against the No. 3 team in the country you’re going to have problems winning football games.”
In front of a limited Heinz Field crowd (due to COVID-19 protocol), the Panthers were outmatched, outmuscled, and outplayed by the Fighting Irish, especially in the first half when they stormed to a 28-3 lead. Quarterback Ian Book led the way as he passed for 312 yards, and 3 TDs. Wide Receiver Ben Skowronek caught 2 of Book’s TD passes to go with 107 yards receiving. WR Michael Mayer Caught the other TD pass to go with 73 yards.
Notre Dame rushed for 78 yards as a team with Book leading with 40 yards. Running Backs Kyren Williams and C’Bo Flemsiter each rushed for a TD.
It wasn’t an easy day for freshman QB Joey Yellen, who made his second consecutive start in place of Injured Senior Kenny Pickett. Yellen passed for 101 yards and his 3 interceptions were truly costly as the Fighting Irish capitalized on each one with touchdowns.Yellen was eventually replaced with backup quarterbacks Davis Beville and Nick Patti to finish out the game.
“Not easy. You know, it’s not easy juggling quarterbacks, but we’ll look at the tape and see where we are with the quarterback.” Said Narduzzi. “But it’s not easy when you have your backup in there and, again, against a really good defense.”
When asked if he expects Pickett to play again this season, Narduzzi responded “Absolutely. Absolutely. Hopefully sooner than later. He was out there today, and he had a good week, he’s doing really well. We’ll see. Might be a stretch for Florida State, I don’t know, but we’ll see.”
Unfortunately, the Panthers running game was non-existent as they managed 49 yards after only -6 yards in the first half. Starter Vincent Davis ran for 28. And the receiving game wasn’t as successful as WR Jordan Addison led with 40 yards.
Pitt’s only points came on a 45-yard Field Goal by Kicker Alex Kessman.
After a 3-0 start, Pitt is now 3-4 (2-4 ACC) and the best thing that could happen to them is a bye as they’re off next week before taking on Florida State November 7th. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish (5-0, 3-0 ACC) will continue to solidify their ACC Championship Game hopes as they travel to Atlanta to take on Florida State.
“So, we’ll look. We will re-evaluate. We will regroup. I think we need an open week.” Said Narduzzi. “I think there’s only two Power 5 teams in the country that played 7 games, or 6 games for that matter, and we just got to regroup and find ourselves.”
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