Notre Dame football defensive takeaways.
Defensive coordinator Al Golden seemed involved in a game of “anything you can do, I can do better” with Gerad Parker. Notre Dame Football’s defense was aggressive and trusted his corners in man coverage despite Benjamin Morrison being out on Saturday. Fellow cornerback Cam Hart missed the second half of the game with a shoulder injury.
Injuries in the secondary did not stop Golden and the Irish defense from being aggressive. They sent five rushers nearly every down. Although they sacked Pitt quarterback Christain Veilleux just twice, they forced four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
The special teams were outstanding as well on Saturday. In addition to Chris Tyree’s punt return for a touchdown, Ramon Henderson recovered a muffed punt in the endzone for a touchdown.
The numbers tell the story: Pitt was 1-11 on third down. They averaged 4.5 yards per play and were held under 300 total yards. The Panthers’ only score came in garbage time.
It seemed like everything the Irish threw at the Pitt offense confused Veilleux. The pass rush consistently knocked him off his spot. It was not an excellent homecoming for C’Bo Flemister, who had 24 yards rushing.