Leaders take charge in big win

Tyler Palko became the first quarterback to throw for five touchdowns against Notre Dame as Pittsburgh handed the Irish a 41-38 loss in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday.

Josh Cummings connected on a 32-yard field goal with one second remaining to lift the unranked Panthers past No. 24 Notre Dame. The win was Pittsburgh's first in South Bend since 1986.

Improving by the week, Palko completed 26 of 42 passes for 334 yards. He threaded a 20-yard scoring pass to Steve Buches, giving Pittsburgh a 28-21 lead with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter. But Irish quarterback Brady Quinn responded with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rashon Powers-Neal 37 seconds into the fourth.

Palko added a 9-yard touchdown pass to Erik Gill for a 38-35 lead with 2:24 left and, after the Irish connected on a tying 45-yard field goal, led Pittsburgh on a six-play, 55-yard drive in the final minute to set up the game-winning kick for Cummings.

Pittsburgh rebounded after dropping a double-overtime decision at Syracuse on Nov. 6. The Panthers have won four of their last five games and are tied for third place in the Big East standings with Syracuse.


Pittsburgh (6-3) will host No. 21 West Virginia (8-2) on Nov. 25 and travel to South Florida on Dec. 4.

Tyler Palko -- The junior completed 28 of 42 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns in Saturday's 41-38 win at Notre Dame. Palko became the first quarterback to throw for five scores in a game against the Irish.

WR Greg Lee -- The Big East's leading receiver reeled in five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.

"That's not me. That was me kind of losing my composure a little bit after a big win, I guess. Everybody who's been in front of a camera maybe wishes they could take back something they said once or twice. By all means, I wish I could take that back, but I just wanted to start off by issuing an apology -- and I mean that. It's not me, and I feel very bad about it." -- Pittsburgh's Palko, in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, regarding the expletive he uttered during a post-game interview with NBC.

Pittsburgh's passing attack continues to improve as the season progresses. Seven days after quarterback Tyler Palko passed for 342 yards at Syracuse, he managed 334 at Notre Dame.

The Panthers' ground attack clearly needs a boost. Pittsburgh failed to reach the 100-yard mark against Notre Dame, with FB Tim Murphy leading the Panthers with 35 yards on 12 carries.

No significant injuries or moves.

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