Notre Dame moved to 8-1 on the season with a 42-30 victory over Pitt. The Irish offense was explosive all day long with both the run and the pass and overcame C.J. Prosise leaving the game with a shoulder injury. The Irish defense also had a strong effort, particularly in the first half when Elijah Shumate was out do to a targeting suspension. The following players led the way for the Irish in a convincing victory:
Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer had no trouble shredding the Panthers defense. Kizer spread the ball around, with seven different receivers catching a pass. The Ohio native was 19-26 passing for 262 yards and five touchdowns. Kizer also rushed for a touchdown to ice the game in the fourth quarter. The first-year starting quarterback was nearly flawless with his only glaring mistakes being missing a wide open Will Fuller on multiple occasions.
Will Fuller’s dominance was on full display versus Pitt. The Panthers decided to cover Fuller one on one with Avonte Maddox, who was simply no match for the junior receiver. Fuller beat Maddox deep all day long catching seven passes for 152 yards and three scores. Fuller was also effective in the screen game, an aspect of the passing game he will likely continue to be utilized in.
Senior defensive lineman Romeo Okwara is starting to become a very dangerous pass rusher for the Irish. Okwara followed up an excellent effort versus Temple with another solid performance, recording four tackles and a team-high two sacks versus the Panthers. Okwara got after the quarterback all day long and his disruptiveness was a big part of the Panthers first half struggles offensively.
One of Notre Dame’s team-leaders came up big in a critical road game. With Elijah Shumate being suspended for the first half the Irish needed a big game from Mathias Farley. Farley delivered with likely his best game of the season. The fifth-year senior was tied for the team-lead with seven tackles, including some excellent tackles on special teams and also had a critical interception to deny the Panthers a touchdown.