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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Pitt Panthers Week 11 Betting Predictions & Preview

Notre Dame vs Pittsburgh NCAA Football Handicapping

The 23rd-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been winning plenty of close games of late, and one of their most tightly contested games on last season’s run to a perfect regular season came against the Pittsburgh Panthers, who they will again meet this weekend.

23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2) at Pittsburgh Panthers (4-4)
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Venue: Heinz Field
City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
O/U Odds: 51
Spread: Notre Dame -4
Money Line: Notre Dame -180, Pittsburgh +160

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While Notre Dame has won the last three meetings between these teams, they have not exactly done it in decisive fashion, with those wins coming by a total of 12 points.

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Last week’s meeting was another close game for the Irish, who trailed Navy by three points at the half before closing out a 38-34 win. Tommy Rees was surprisingly ineffective in the game. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 242 yards and a pair of scores with two interceptions. He leaned heavily on receiver T.J. Jones, who brought in four balls for 111 yards and a touchdown. The team’s ground game was a different story. Tarean Folston had the best day out of the backfield, turning 18 carries into 140 yards and a score. George Atkinson III carried the ball only seven times but made the most of those opportunities, gaining 74 yards and a touchdown. Cam McDaniel was also able to gain 52 yards and a touchdown. In total, the team gained 264 yards on the ground, and 506 total yards of offense against the Midshipmen.
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As for the Notre Dame defense, they looked lost most of the day against the potent Navy rushing attacked. The Midshipmen churned out 331 yards on the ground, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. They had success when taking to the air as well, as Keenan Reynolds completed six of nine passes for 88 yards and a score.

Pittsburgh was thoroughly outclassed in their last game, a 21-10 loss to Georgia Tech. Tom Savage was under pressure all day, but when he did get the ball away he was able to complete 25 of 37 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown with an interception. His favorite target was Tyler Boyd, who hauled in 11 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. The team’s rushing attack was dreadful, as the team accounted negative-5 rushing yards in the game.

The Panther defense had a ton of trouble with the Yellow Jackets’ rushing attack, allowing Georgia Tech to push out 276 rushing yards with an average of 5.2 yards per carry. Lead back David Sims led the way, turning 18 carries into 94 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers have played the Irish tight in recent years, but four points just isn’t enough to move the needle in this one. Expect Notre Dame to put forth a better effort than they did in last year’s meetings.

The road team is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between these teams.

The play: Notre Dame -4


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