After defeating USC by 28 points in week 8, the Fighting Irish responded with another impressive victory last weekend. The defense and special teams of Notre Dame looked tremendous in this blowout win at home. A Chris Tyree 82-yard punt return touchdown got Notre Dame on the board in the first quarter. In the second quarter junior running back Audric Estime scored his first of three touchdowns on the day. Following Estime’s 15-yard rushing touchdown, kicker Spencer Shrader made a 23-yard field goal to make the score 17-0 before the half.
The second half was completely controlled by Notre Dame, who outscored Pitt 41-7 in the final two quarters. The Pittsburgh offense was held to only 53 yards rushing on the day and had trouble moving the ball downfield through the contest. The Fighting Irish defense forced five turnovers Saturday. ND Quarterback Sam Hartman also uncharacteristically turned the ball over twice against Pitt and has now thrown five interceptions in his last three games.
Offensively Notre Dame compiled 535 total yards in this matchup. 114 of those yards were contributed by star running back Audric Estime on the ground. Estime is nearing the 1,000-yard mark on the season for rushing and has an impressive 6.2 yards per carry. With 12 touchdowns on the season, Estime has been a key part of the team’s success on offense.
Following the win Irish Head Coach Marcus Freeman talked with the media about next week's opponent Clemson “I view Clemson as one of the premier programs in college football. And what Coach Swinney has done with that program over the course of his time there has been second to no other program in college football. It’s extremely impressive
This crushing victory for the Irish will help build confidence heading into a road matchup with ACC opponent Clemson (4-4) this weekend. Last year ND defeated the Tigers 35-14, but Head Coach Dabo Swinney and Clemson will always be a formidable opponent.