On Saturday afternoon, college football will return with The Pittsburgh Panthers traveling to Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, to face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Pittsburgh stands at 2-5 after falling 21-17 against Wake Forest. Meanwhile, Notre Dame comes in off beating USC 48-20 last weekend for an impressive 48-20 victory, improving to 6-2 overall. The Irish have played four straight games against top 25 competition.
Sam Hartman has had a solid season, throwing for 1883 yards with 18 TDs and just three INTs, but still, more was expected. Notre Dame was outgained 302-251 against the Trojans, but they won the turnover battle 5-0, which was the difference in the game. Notre Dame has one of the best secondary in the nation, and they picked off Caleb Williams three times in the contest. They will look to have similar success against Veilleux, who has looked good the last two weeks. The Irish are 11th in total yards allowed 51st against the run, 3rd against the pass, and 14th in points allowed, giving up just 16.4 ppg. The defense, with a week off, should be well-rested for this one.
This year has been challenging for the Panthers on offense as they rank 115th in total yards, 113th in rushing, and 93rd in passing while only scoring 21.7 ppg against FBS opponents. Phil Jurkovec started at QB but has struggled, so Christian Veilleux has taken over since midseason. Veilleux has amassed 502 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions over his last two games but will have difficulty against the tough Irish secondary. This year’s defense saw just five starters return and has played chiefly well, ranking 26th in total yards allowed, 52nd against run opponents, and 27th against passing offenses; they allowed 27.5 points per game against FBS opponents but will face tough opposition when playing Notre Dame this Saturday.
This is a big spread, but with Notre Dame’s defense the Panthers will be hard-pressed to break 14 points. The Irish will win this going away and cover the spread. Notre Dame 41 Pitt 10.
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