This was not the day Irish fans expected. The first cold Saturday of the 2018 season, your Fighting Irish come away with a hard-fought win. It’s great to win by a lot, but a close hard-fought win builds character. When a team finds a different way to win, that is what a team has to pull from in the future. The offense is not coming out and scoring on the opening possession. The Defense is bending a bit more, in the end it’s about finding a way to win.
Pitt is a blue-collar, punch you in the mouth team. That discussion was covered in our prognostication picks. Today, Pitt did just that. They controlled the clock like they needed to in the first quarter. That kept Book of the field. When Book was on the field they made him scramble and lose composure That’s what a team coming into Notre Dame does. They play you like it’s their National Championship.
The second quarter saw the Irish take back the time of possession. and even put some points on the board courtesy of Justin Yoon. As a matter of fact he was 2-2 on field goal attempts. As part of the time of possession, the defense was only on the field for nine plays. That’s great if you are a big defensemen. The Irish went into the locker room down 7-6.
The third quarter started in a flash as Pitt returned the ball 99 yards and just like the Irish are down 14-6. talk about adversity. It was not known at the time but that would be the last time Pitt would score. The defense hunkered down and the offense went to work.The Irish built a drive and then Book is intercepted. The ensuing drive by Pitt leads to a missed field goal.
Book gets the ball after a missed field goal by Pitt. The rest is history. Claypool catches a 21 yard pass that starts and then ends the drive with a touchdown catch for 16 yards. The Irish never looked from that point. To start the fourth quarter the Irish defense bent and didn’t break. The Pitt offense left another t. Three points on the board, as another three points missed to Pitt’s favor. That’s a six point swing.
Halfway through the fourth quarter the Irish find a bucket of gold in the end zone. This time Miles Boykin is on the receiving end of a Book 35 yard pass. The defense would stand stout and not let Pitt move the ball much at all after that. The Irish come on top 19-14, and 7-0.
Remember being an Irish fan is about faith. The Irish have a much-needed bye week and then it’s onto the West Coast to play Navy at a neutral site. Navy will the home team in that one. As discussed earlier this week, the road does not get easier through the end of the season. It’s actually a very tough road to navigate.
Cheers and Go Irish!! ⚡🏈☘