Five Answers: Pittsburgh

Saturday's escape from Pittsburgh has many scratching their heads regarding the direction of Notre Dame's football program. We asked five questions going into the game against the Panthers; now we have the answers.

The excitement of last week's win disappeared despite Notre Dame winning on the road against Pittsburgh.

While Tommy Rees proved to be clutch, many fans question if the sophomore quarterback should have been in the game at all.

Here are the answers to the five questions/points we brought up before the game.

Question One: The Irish are coming off an impressive win over Michigan State. Will there be a letdown in Pittsburgh?

Answer One: Yes & No! The Irish defense came ready to play and held the Panthers to two field goals during the first half of play and a touchdown in the third quarter. The offense didn't really get started until an 11 play 85 yard drive in the fourth quarter giving the Irish their final points and enough for the victory.

Question Two: Can the Irish play a complete game without having a turnover?


Tommy Rees Fumbles
Matt Cashore, US Presswire
Answer Two: No! Tommy Rees had a fumble in the first quarter on Notre Dame's 23-yard line. He then followed with an interception in the second quarter on the Panthers 24 yard line. Questions continue on just how many mistakes Brian Kelly will allow Rees to make during a game despite his abilities to be clutch with the game on the line.

Question Three: Will Notre Dame's special teams play continue to improve?

No & Yes! A bad snap in the second quarter on a field goal hurt the Irish on the scoreboard while a roughing the punter penalty gave the Panthers a second chance they converted into points. However, Ben Turk had four punts with a long of 47-yards and three of them placed inside the twenty while George Atkinson III had two kickoff returns for 60-yards. Work still needed overall but some improvement seen.

Question Four: Will Pitt head coach Todd Graham's success against Notre Dame in 2010 help the Panthers knock off the favored Irish?

No! The Irish escaped Pittsburgh with the win despite the solid effort of Graham's Panthers.

Question Five: Will Notre Dame's freshmen continue to prove their worth against the Panthers?

Yes! While not the impact seen against Michigan State, Aaron Lynch posted a sack and two solo tackles while Stephon Tuitt posted a tackle. Both players continue to improve and will give opposing teams troubles in future games.


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