PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the game on September 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Notre Dame Vs. Pitt: Tommy Rees' Fourth-Quarter Drive Leads Notre Dame To 15-12 Win

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Notre Dame Vs. Pitt Recap: Panthers Come Up A Few Plays Short In Three-Point Loss

Pitt’s loss to Notre Dame at Heinz Field dropped the team to 2-2 on the season. The loss can be summed up best by saying the Panthers fell a few plays short.

The defense, all in all, was pretty good. The Irish came into today’s game averaging more than 27 points per game and Pitt held them to 15. The costly play was obviously the long run by backup running back Jonas Gray who had a second quarter 79-yard score. If you need an idea of just how little regarded he is, note that this is Gray’s first career score – and he’s a senior. The frustrating thing is that the defense had him wrapped up but missed tackles allowed him to break the long run.

The other Irish touchdown came in, you guessed it, the fourth quarter on a series of passing plays. Still, Pitt had plenty of time on the clock for a final drive, but couldn’t get down the field. The defense also forced a couple of turnovers and it’s hard to ask much more from them.

Offensively, the team just didn’t make enough plays. Quarterback Tino Sunseri, again wasn’t all that bad, but was kind of a mixed bag. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, but he also took five sacks. Some of those were a product of holding the ball too long, but some simply were poor offensive line play. The problem with Tino is that he rarely will make a big play and at some point, Pitt is going to need him to do just that in order to win a close game.

The other thing that really killed Pitt today was a series of penalties, including several false starts. The Panthers had a season-high nine infractions in the game and that really slowed their momentum at various points.

Pitt’s offense really took a step back today and while they didn’t commit any turnovers, 12 points in what is supposed to be a high-scoring offense simply won’t cut it. The Panthers had averaged nearly 33 points through their first three games, but couldn’t get much going today.

The Panthers don’t have much time to improve with a home game on Thursday night, playing South Florida in their first Big East game. Regardless of the prestige of Notre Dame, the game against the Bulls’ is much more important as it’s a conference game against what may be the best team in the league.


Notre Dame Vs. Pitt Final Score: Fourth-Quarter Drive Leads To 15-12 Fighting Irish Victory

Pitt lost its matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday, 15-12, as Notre Dame completed a pass-heavy drive in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.

Jonas Gray ran for a 79-yard touchdown in the second quarter, breaking a tackle a few yards beyond the line of scrimmage and then outrunning other Pitt defenders while streaking down the sideline. Pitt also had two field goals in the first half and was down 7-6 heading into the locker room.

In the third quarter, Tino Sunseri’s three-yard touchdown pass to Hubie Graham put the Panthers up 12-7. The Panthers’ two-point conversion attempt failed.

In the fourth quarter, though, Tommy Rees led a long drive that began at the Notre Dame 15-yard-line. Rees completed passes on seven consecutive plays, the last of which was a six-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert in traffic near the end zone. The Irish then completed a two-point conversion to go up 15-12. The Panthers couldn’t muster another score, and that’s how it ended.

To commiserate with other Pitt fans, check out Cardiac Hill.


Big East Scores: Syracuse Down Against Toledo, Rutgers Leads Ohio

With West Virginia’s showdown against LSU still to come tonight, and with Pitt currently trailing Notre Dame 15-12, here’s a look at scores from around the Big East Saturday afternoon.

Syracuse is currently down 27-23 to Toledo in the fourth quarter, with quarterback Austin Duntin playing well for Toledo and Eric Page with 144 yards receiving. Antwon Bailey has 96 yards rushing for Syracuse, which is currently 2-2.

Meanwhile, Rutgers (1-1) has a 14-7 lead on Ohio in the second quarter. Chas Dodd is 9-for-14 with 94 yards passing, and Jawan Jamison has 66 yards on the ground. Mohamed Sanu has 85 yards receiving, including a 7-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Savon Huggins had Rutgers’ other touchdown.

UConn plays Buffalo at 6:00. No. 18 South Florida takes on UTEP at 7:00. The WVU game starts at 8:00.

For more on the Big East, be sure to check out Big East Coast Bias.


Notre Dame Vs. Pitt Score: Tommy Rees Passes Irish To 15-12 Lead In Fourth

Notre Dame has taken the lead late in the fourth quarter of its game against Pitt on Saturday and now is up by a score of 15-12.

Tommy Rees led a long drive beginning a few minutes into the fourth quarter, beginning from the Fighting Irish 15-yard-line. He reeled off a quick completion to Robby Toma to get to the 31-yard line.

Cierre Wood then rushed three times and picked up a first down. Then Rees completed passes on seven consecutive plays, all of them to Theo Riddick or Tyler Eifert, ending with a six-yard touchdown pass to Eifert. Rees then went to Eifert again for a two-point conversion to give the Irish a three-point lead.

Pitt got the ball back with 6:48 remaining and are currently trying to mount a drive.

We’ll have more coverage of the game, and we’ll have a recap later from Anson Whaley, who’s at the game at Heinz Field. Be sure to check out Cardiac Hill in the meantime.


Notre Dame Vs. Pitt Score: Pitt Up 12-7 In Low-Scoring Game

Early in the fourth quarter, the Pitt Panthers are winning against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 12-7.

Notre Dame was up 7-6 at the half after a 79-yard run by Jonas Gray. Pitt had two field goals by Kevin Harper.

Midway through the third quarter, Tino Sunseri threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Hubie Graham. The Panthers then went for the two-point conversion, but Trey Anderson couldn’t find the end zone.

Sunseri has mostly focused on short passes so far, going 16-for-22 but with only 122 yards and a 5.5 yard-per-carry average. Ray Graham has 88 yards rushing.

Cierre Wood has 92 yards rushing for Notre Dame, to go along with 84 for Gray.

The Panthers have benefited from two turnovers by Notre Dame. Sunseri has protected the ball so far.

For more on the Panthers, check out Cardiac Hill.

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