Off to their best start in almost two decades the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish face the Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame Stadium.
The No. 4 Irish earned their fourth win over a Top 25 team by outscoring Oklahoma 20-7 in the fourth quarter, en route to a 30-13 victory.
Notre Dame controlled the clock by rushing for 215 yards, with touchdowns by running backs Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood, and another by quarterback Everett Golson.
Golson went 13-for-25 for 177 yards, with Wood and Riddick tallying 74 yards apiece.
No other team has more wins against Top 25 opponents that Notre Dame, and it held the Sooners to their fewest points this season when they were averaging more than 44 per game.
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The Irish and their second ranked defense start their final stretch of the season against a Pittsburgh squad fresh off their best offensive game in more than a decade.
The 4-4 Panthers crushed Temple 44-17, with quarterback Tino Sunseri passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior running back Ray Graham caught one of those touchdowns, and rushed for two more and 109 yards, his second 100-yard rushing game.
Graham was one of three Panthers’ charged with assault earlier this week, along with leading receiver Devin Street and kick-returner Lafayette Pitts. Though all three will play Saturday.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series with a 46-20-1 record, but their margin of victory has been just four points in the last four games.
The contest begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by NBC.
Prediction: Notre Dame has one more game against a ranked opponent this season, and have the opportunity to improve their standing in the BCS by blowing away their next four opponents. The Panthers will step up in this match-up, but ultimately the Irish defense will carry them to victory.
Betting Odds: Notre Dame is favored by 17 points
Over/Under: 45 points
Predicted Score: Notre Dame 27 , Pittsburgh 10