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Pitt Faces Notre Dame In Final Non-Conference Game

Pitt lines up against Notre Dame today in its final non-conference game of the season and looks to win its third consecutive game against the Irish. After a preseason of hype and expectations, the Panthers will look to get above .500 for the first time this year.

When Notre Dame has the ball, look for them to pass against a Pitt secondary that has struggled this season. The Irish's passing attack ranks 17th in the nation, averaging nearly 300 yards per game, while Pitt's pass defense is 88th overall. 

The best defense against Notre Dame might be to control the clock with a strong running game - something Pitt has in backs Ray Graham and Dion Lewis. Lewis has struggled this season, but both are capable of big runs, moving the chains, and keeping the offense on the field. QB Tino Sunseri will need to continue limiting his mistakes - something he's been able to do all season, keeping Pitt's offense moving.

Wide receiver Jon Baldwin also needs to have more balls thrown his way. After totaling ten catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games, his production has slipped drastically. Over the past two games, he's only had five catches for 40 yards and no touchdowns. In last season's matchup, Baldwin racked up five catches and 142 yards. It will be interesting to see how Notre Dame covers him in this game.

Today's game will be a good indication of how much Pitt has improved since the start of the season. While this isn't a must-win by any stretch of the imagination and is a non-conference game, it would nice for Pitt to build up a little momentum heading into its conference season.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.