5 stars: The best and worst of Notre Dame’s win over Pittsburgh

This was the kind of game Notre Dame football needed, as they blew out Pittsburgh at home 58-7.

Coming off a bye, the Irish started a bit slow, but finished with a fury scoring in the second half from all three units: offense, defense, and special teams. It was a true team win for Notre Dame who now improved to 7-2 on the year.

There was mostly good play from this team, so there were some much higher grades than normal here. There was one aspect of this game that didn’t sit well with me. So, here are the best, 5-stars, and worst, 1-star, performance’s from Notre Dame in its win over Pitt.

5 ⭐️ - The defense


Even if the shutout didn’t happen, this defense was dominant today. They collectively had four interceptions with one going back for a touchdown, 2 three-and-outs the start the game and allowed just 163 yards before garbage time. The issues with missed tackles looks to have been corrected during the bye week, a good sign for the rest of the season. All three levels were on top of their games, especially…

5 ⭐️ - Safety Xavier Watts


Well, this one is pretty easy, Watts picked off two passes in the first half. The first one was fantastic, reading the eyes of quarterback Christian Veilleux, as he started down his receiver and made a great break on an overthrow. Watts second pick wasn’t nearly as impressive, but he did put himself into the perfect position for another overthrow. If you didn’t know, the nations pick leader lives in South Bend.

4 ⭐️ - Wide receiver Chris Tyree


Another easy one, Tyree was the Irish’s offense in the first quarter. His 82-yard punt return was electric, weaving through the Pitt gunners, finding his lane and hitting the jets for the score. On top of that play, he added a three catches for 62 yards. Tyree wasn’t needed much in the second half, doing all his damage in the first which is why he lands here.

4 ⭐️ - Special teams


This unit was special today against Pitt. Tyree’s touchdown started off the fireworks, then in the third quarter M.J. Devonshire muffled a punt, Ramon Henderson jumped on the ball in the end zone for another score. Fourteen points scored by this unit, they outscored the Panthers offense by themselves. The Irish special teams once again helped win a game.

⭐️ - First half offense


This was bad, really bad. Honestly, the only complain you can have about a game like this. As I postulated prior to the game, the Irish came out very flat in the first quarter, the only points on Tyree’s punt return. Quarterback Sam Hartman threw two picks, both trying to force the ball the freshman wide receiver Rico Flores. The 4th-and-4 play in the second quarter, I like going for it, didn’t like the call to make it happen. Their fourth drive resulted in a touchdown, the only one of the half in six tries. Against a better team, the Irish might not have been able to recover from the slow start.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire