It’s been quite a week in the stratosphere of Fightin’ Irish social media circles. Some fan’s up in arms about he lack of air assault by the Irish. Some fan’s understand the season is young and that there is still time to improve. Saturday afternoon at Heinz Stadium, the Fightin’ Irish put the Panther’s deep in the mustard and they couldn’t ketchup (sorry for the Heinz reference lol). The Offense, Defense and Special teams took their turn in dealing Pitt a tough loss at home.
There is nothing bad to say about the Fightin’ Irish defense against Pitt. The Irish defense was very stout on Saturday afternoon. The closest Pitt came to being in the Red Zone was the ND27 and that was on their first drive of the of the game.
In the first half, the Fightin’ Irish defended on seven possessions. The allowed the initial field goal, forced three consecutive punts, an interception by Bo Bauer, another punt and then the half.
The defense allowed at total of ninety seven yards, ninety five pass and two rushing on thirty plays. The Irish also got a sack from Myron Tagovailia-Amosa in the first quarter. Along with the other amazing stats from the defense, they accounted for two three and outs. While only allowing Pitt to have the ball for 10:53.
The second half was quite similar to the first half. Pitt was actually held to fewer total yards than the first. Sixty five total yards of offense was allowed. Forty two rushing yards and twenty three passing. Pitt only ran twenty three plays in the half as well. That is just devastating to a team.
In the third quarter Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah got his hands on an INT. The next possession by Pitt, Nick McCloud got his hands on an INT as well. On Pitt’s last possession of the third quarter, Isaiah Foskey and Ovie Oghuofo teamed up to split a sack as well. Pitt didn’t help themselves in the penalty department. They chalked up ten penalties for sixty six yards. That is just devastating to a team.
The Fightin’ Irish defense did all that it could to keep the ball in the hands of their offense.
The Fightin’ Irish offense had plenty to prove on Saturday. With the defense keeping the ball in the offenses hands on Saturday, it gave Ian Book a chance to work on the aerial attack. Scoring on seven of it’s twelve possessions (six touchdowns and a FG), the offense did the needful to secure a victory of another in conference team.
The first half numbers had a surprise in it. Book through for one hundred and eighty two yards, of the two hundred and fifty five total yards. Going 9-18 passing in the half.
The first half saw Book connect with Ben Skowronek on a pass for thirty four yard touchdown pass that was caught over the head of Paris Ford. Skowronek a 6′-2″ WR was clearly against Ford who is listed at 6′-0″ on the Panther’s roster. Book was once again reunited with Skowronek in the second quarter with his second TD pass of the day, this time for seventy three yards. Once again, Skowronek went up for it and puts the Irish up 14-3.
After the INT by Bo Bauer, Kyren Williams stepped to the plate. After three rushes totaling twenty three yards, and Book rushing for eight yards on two attempts, Williams from two yards out puts the Irish up-21-3 over Pitt.
As the half was wrapping up, Pitt was struggling to figure out how not to give the ball back to the Irish. The plan didn’t work and it didn’t involve the offense. Isaiah Foskey blocked the punt, chased the ball into the end zone and scored the touchdown, putting the Irish up 28-3 at the half.
The second half picked up where the first left off. The big play of the first drive was a forty one yard pass from Book to Javon McKinley. The first drive of the quarter was stalled by Pitt with a pseudo goal line stand at the UP3. Jonathan Doerer converted on a twenty one yard field goal. The Irish go up 31-3. After the Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah INT at the UP49, Book hit Michael Mayer for a twenty three yard pass and three plays later, Book hit Mayer again for a fourteen yard TD pass to put the Irish up 38-3.
The offense was not done just yet. After the INT by McCloud, Book completed a twenty one yard pass to Avery Davis that sets up the C’Bo Flemister two yard TD run to get the Irish to 45-3 over Pitt.
This week it was very difficult to choose our Game Ball Winner’s. So here we go.
🏈🏈🏈-Special Teams-Isaiah Foskey Punt Block/TD, Jay Bramblett 5 Punts, 212 yards, Avg 42.4 Yards, Long 49 Yards
🏈🏈-Irish Offense-Ben Skowronek 2 TDS (34 yards and 73 yards), 434 Total Yards, 115 Yards Rushing, 319 Pass Yards, T.O.P. 40:59
🏈-Irish Defense-Nick McCloud, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Bo Bauer 1 INT each, allowed 162 Total Yards, 53 Plays for a T.O.P of 19:01, 6 Fumbles Caused, Myron Tagovailoa Amosa and Isaiah Pryor 1 Sack each, Isaiah Foskey and Ovie Oghoufo each .5 Sack
The Wrap Up
After a game like last week. I would not have wanted to be next on the schedule. After the game Coach Kelly summed it up “So there’s this understanding with this group. Now that everything they do now has bearings on who we are as a football team. Later in the season and and we needed to elevate our compete level and they certainly did that today.”
“We needed to play fearless. We needed to play with great energy and we need to play makers and we saw those three things today and this is a very good glimpse of what this football team is capable of.”
The Irish travel again next weekend. The Fightin’ Irish will play Georgia Tech on Saturday 3:30 PM on ABC.
Cheers and Go Irish!