Notre Dame got the win against Pittsburgh, but it sure wasn't pretty. In a game marred by poor decisions, bad penalties and turnovers, the Fighting Irish were lucky to get a road win against the Panthers today.
Looking at the scoreboard, you might think that the Irish played hard and well enough to get a tough road win. But if you watched the game, the Irish should have won by 30, instead of squeaking out a 15-12 victory.
This game was a microcosm of what the Irish have done all year. You'd think after four weeks of football that they would have sorted through and worked out the stupid football, but it looks like they need a few more weeks to keep working out the kinks.
In a play that epitomized the day, the Irish had Pittsburgh back up on their own five yard line. On a 4th and 20, the Panthers were forced to punt, assuring the Irish would have good field position. But instead, the Irish were called for roughing the punter, a 15-yard penalty and automatic first down.
Then, later in the third, a 30-yard first down pass was nullified on an illegal hands-to-the-face call. There were so many mistakes (as well as an interception and lost fumble by quarterback Tommy Rees) put made this win much harder than it needed to be.
And just one of these types of games wouldn't be a big deal. But the Irish technically should be 4-0, instead of the 2-2 they are after this win.
They have outplayed each of their opponents, but they continue to make these stupid plays and mistakes that show a lack of attention to detail. No team is ever perfect. But while most football teams seem to make a handful of mistakes each game, the Irish manage to make a bucketful.
They weren't able to get the ball to their playmaking wide receiver Michael Floyd, who finished the day with only four catches for 27 yards. Floyd should be a guy who's worked into the Notre Dame offense much more if they want to be the dynamic unit they think they can be.
If this team can ever get their act together, they could beat anyone in the nation. Today's mistakes mainly came from the offense and special teams. Their defense looks strong and did a good job of covering up for the sins of the other groups.
All the mistakes put them in with their backs to the wall more than a few times, but they held Pitt to only two field goals and one touchdown (the Panthers went for two and didn't make it.)