Inside the ropes of the mediocrity that is the Pittsburgh's schedule, Notre Dame should take solace in knowing that the Panthers haven't come close to playing against a passing offense of such force.
But it hurts knowing that the Irish defense isn’t capable of stopping my grandmother pacing slowly down the street with a baby stroller.
When Notre Dame has the ball:
Yes, they will score. And they might score a lot. But not 40 points, because as we all know it’s not in Weis’ blood to do so.
Notre Dame’s passing attack has the opportunity to keep them in this game. There’s no possible way they play as sloppy and turnover- happy like they did last week. No, this game is far more important, now that the coaches bags are halfway packed with the whites.
Pitt’s secondary has given up 433 pass yards and four Tds to Buffalo and 322 yards and another four Tds to N.C. State. Granted there were a few banged up Panthers, and Clausen has to be licking his chops. Those numbers represent vulnerability and opportunity, two things the Irish need desperately.
Balls will be traveling through the air frequently for the Irish, specifically targeted for the trusty hands of Tate and Floyd. Those boys will once again combine for over 200 yards and close to 20 catches. Pitt’s defense is leading the nation in sacks. I’m not buying however, not when their best competition has been against Rutgers.
Down on the ground, Allen Jr. says he’s ready to go. And when he’s been ready to go, he’s been stellar. Expect at least 75 yards from him.
When Pitt has the ball:
So here’s the bad news for the Irish; Bill Stull is one of the finest quarterbacks they’ll see all year. This boy can throw the hell out of the ball, just as Jimmy can. He's been maturing ever since he got to Pitt and he's saving his best for his senior season.
He throws to a plethora of weapons, just like Jimmy. Jonathan Baldwin and Dorin Dickerson are a mighty tandem for the Panthers. They’ll be way too much for Notre Dame’s secondary, that's constructed from 10-year old aged Swiss.
So their air game is good for three tds, how bout their ground game? They have a freshman named Dion Lewis, and he’s one of the top-five running backs in all of college football. He’s shiftier than a firefly, and moves with such speed through the hole that he’s off to the races before you can get a hand on him.
He’s a nasty tailback.You thought ND had problems with Navy’s fullback, just wait until you see Lewis. Ryan Williams of Virginia Tech is the only other freshman comparable to this young man. He will be up for Heisman next season and when he goes to the NFL, he'll be an all-pro. With that said, I still think I'm slighting him.
To sum it all up:
No trickery needed, no gimmick plays, just straight forward offense from the Irish, and they’ll be in this ball game. They obviously can’t rely on their defense, so Clausen and the boys will have to put up 30 points to either win or hopefully force OT.
Pitt’s offense is good. Their defense is solid, but can be busted. I’m scared to see what Lewis does to the Irish rush defense. He’s been making teams and babies cry since he playing Pee Wee leagues. Notre Dame will come up just short, but with a valiant effort. Which of course, isn't good enough for ND nation.
Prediction: Pitt 37, ND 28