Notre Dame Fighting Irish Vs. Pittsburgh Panthers 11/3/12 Dave’s Free College Football Pick Against the Spread
Fresh off an impressive conference win, the Pittsburgh Panthers travel to South Bend, IN to face the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Pittsburgh made surprisingly easy work of a Temple team that had been the surprise of the Big East thus far. Quarterback Tino Sunseri gave the Owls secondary fits all afternoon tossing 3 td's and 328 yards with no picks. The Panthers two headed monster at running back had their best joint effort of the season, as Ray Graham rushed for 109 yards and 2 TD’s and freshman standout Rushel Shell rushed for 79 yards and a score. Pittsburgh wideout Devin Street turned in the performance of the year for this group racking up 140 yards and a score on only 6 catches. Pitt held Temple back Montel Harris to 72 yards and a score. Pitt forced the Owls into punt situations many times and their D was about as stout as it has been all season. The Panthers will need to build on their strong offensive showing as they travel to South Bend where arguably the best defense in the nation waits for them.
The Notre Dame Fighthing Irish welcome Pitt to town after a convincing, statement win at #9 Oklahoma this past weekend. The Irish had been very impressive against average opponents and many still were unsure whether they were the real deal. Notre Dame and their super stout D did not disappoint, controlling the line of scrimmage and making huge stops when necessary in the 2nd half in route to the 30-13 win. The high powered Oklahoma offense was limited to 379 yards on the night and Irish lineback and Heisman candidate Manti Te’O made plays all over the field – racking up 11 tackles and a huge pick in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Everett Golston was extremely efficient, rushing for 64 yards and a score and threw for 177 yards as well. Cierre Wood and Theo Reedick both rushed for 74 yards and a score and Wood was untouched in the first half on a pretty 62 yard scamper. With the win, the Irish move to 8-0 and national title hopes are becoming more and more realistic.
Some trends to consider – Pitt is 4-1-1 against the spread in their previous 6 games overall and Notre Dame is 4-1 in their last 5 non-conference games against the spread.
I was one of the many skeptics of the Irish going into their game against Oklahoma. They made fairly easy work of an impressive Sooner team and their D continued its dominant ways. The Irish scored late to really widen the gap but overall they have not been blowing opponents out this season -- moreso stifiling them with their D. I think that will happen again against Pitt, but the Irish will win more in the 10-14 point range.