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#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Pittsburgh Panthers: Staff Picks

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Go into the bye week with a blowout (please).

Mike Miller/One Foot Down

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will look to continue its perfect season against the Pittsburgh Panthers at 2:30 on Saturday in South Bend. There has been a common theme this week when it comes to the Irish, and it’s all about blowing Pitt out of the water.

This season, instead of everyone picking five or six games with little to no explanation, the staff will pick the Notre Dame game AND one other team they have each chosen to follow this season, and will give predictions for that game as well.

I highly encourage you (our loyal readers) to do the same. In the comments below, give your prediction for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish AND take another team to follow and predict. Maybe you watch the Colorado Buffalos on the side, or the Buffalo Bulls or the Memphis Tigers — whoever. Join in and expand your love of Notre Dame Football into college football as a whole.

Here we go...

Jessica Smetana

Notre Dame 45 Pitt 17

Notre Dame has scored a ton of points in their last couple games against better teams than Pitt. Hopefully after this weeks debacle, the offense comes out swinging. Pitt can actually get in the end zone and will score a couple times in the 1st half and then fizzle out. (I HOPE)

Clemson Tigers have a bye WEEEE

Austin Gallagher

Notre Dame 42, Pitt 14

Coming off a couple of huge wins - and entering midterm-week - this Irish team is in a prime position to look sluggish. I’m anticipating this to be a close first half and a relatively mistake-heavy game for Notre Dame, but Pitt is just awful in comparison to the Irish. The Panthers might hang around for a while, but by the end of the game it won’t eveb be close.

Washington Huskies 30, Oregon Ducks 28

The Washington Huskies are hard to predict at this juncture, having looked very impressive and very underwhelming multiple times this season already. Oregon, on the other hand, has looked very solid outside of the Standard meltdown. This is a matchup of two well-coached and talented teams, but I’m going to give the slight edge to Washington. Many of these Huskies players have faced a top-level of competition before that gives them an intangible edge in a big-time matchup like this, and I expect them to pull out a victory in this one.

Wes Sweigert

Notre Dame 41, Pitt 14

Brian Kelly has passing marks on his mid-term report card for the first half of the regular season, and the Irish appear to have the offense finally figured out. I expect Notre Dame to start flexing their playoff resume muscle, with another 40+ point performance and a dismantling of a garbage Pitt team.

Temple Owls 31, Navy Midshipmen 17

Navy just doesn’t have it this year, and will be lucky if they can even get bowl eligible the way things are trending. What’s worse, is now that they are in a conference, many teams have multiple years facing them and Temple is one such team who has shut down the option before.

Lino Garcia

Notre Dame 44, Pitt 14

Another nice win for the Irish last week. It’s clear to see the wide receivers have looked a lot better since Ian Book has taken over at quarterback. This Saturday, in the final day game at Notre Dame Stadium in 2018, I see Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool hauling in a pair of touchdowns each in a dominant victory for Notre Dame.

Eastern Michigan Eagles 16 Toledo Rockets 18

The more I bring up how frustrating it is that the Eagles keep losing by one score, the more it happens. In what will be the game I’m most looking forward to that will be played in Washtenaw County, Michigan, I see the Eagles losing a battle of special teams. Shaq Vann will punch it for the Eagles with the game’s only touchdown, but the Rockets escape Rynearson with a victory.

Jeff Czerniakowski

Notre Dame 45, Pitt 27

I would expect a sluggish start after a huge win last week. Once halftime hits and the Irish refocus, I expect a beatdown of a lesser opponent. A late, meaningless touchdown covers the 21 point spread for Pittsburgh.

Toledo Rockets 40, Eastern Michigan Eagles 38

Shootout! The Rocket defense can’t stop anyone and the offense can’t be stopped. This game is a toss up to me but I’ll take my chances picking Toledo on the road in Ypsilanti.

Martin Sweigert

Notre Dame 49, Pitt 23

Pittsburgh has pushed Notre Dame into some epic OT-flavored games in the past. This year, it’s just not in the cards for the Panthers. Book and Williams Co. stock is rising each week, and Pitt is 99th in the country in scoring defense. Oh, and their quarterback’s name is Kenny Pickett. C’mon, people. His name is literally “can he pick it”!

Texas Longhorns 24, Baylor Bears 21

Touche, Texas. I’ll shut up for a week, and you do whatever you want.

Matt Greene

Notre Dame 38, Pitt 20

I predict a slow start, as there has to be some form of frustration every time that the Irish play Pitt. I could see Pitt taking a 13-7 or even a 20-17 lead some time in the first half. And then, the Irish turn on the jets. The Irish will not cover (another slight frustration to add to the mix), but the team wins handily. Pitt will want to play up, but the home game and the way better overall talent give the Irish the strong advantage here. Ia Book continues to show dominance, and the defensive line continues to get a lot of pressure. Same things we have seen in the last 3 games.

Ball State Cardinals 31, Central Michigan Chippewas 27

Yeah, The Chips are driving the struggle bus this season. I’m hoping for some reverse psychology here. Ball State played the Irish tough, but clearly were over-matched. Here, the Chips just don’t have the team to beat even other teams in the MAC. The struggle continues. The score is close as it is a home game, but Ball State gets through this one.

Brad Wechter

Notre Dame 44, Pitt 17

The college football world is giddy at the prospect of a Pitt upset over a title-contending Notre Dame team. How happy would they be if Pitt “exposed” Notre Dame? With Ian Book at QB, however, I don’t see that happening. Even when Notre Dame was squeaking by Ball State and Vanderbilt, they weren’t “playing down to their competition”. They were just bad on offense with a defense good enough to win games. With Book behind center, they are better in both phases of the game. Irish win big, and someone at the SBNation offices will cry.

Miami-Ohio Redhawks 38, Kent State Golden Flashes 31

Miami has proven that on offense, they can put up numbers. It’s closing games out that has cost the RedHawks. I know I all but buried Chuck Martin earlier this year, but now I’m in “wait and see” mode when it comes to the rest of the season and whether Chuck is the guy in Oxford. This one is at Miami and the students are on break, so I expect the RedHawks to go up big and nearly blow it in front of 25 fans.

If you get a chance, though, check this game out. The RedHawks are wearing multiple different helmet styles for cancer awareness, and I think it’s pretty great. Each player gets to chose a helmet representing a form of cancer that has affected their lives in one way or another.

Jude Seymour

Notre Dame 51, Pitt 17

After Tim Prister popped the proverbial balloon after Justin Yoon’s scoring record celebration, I decided I needed to change my pick to ensure Yoon would recapture the all-time scoring title at Notre Dame. He’s 16 points behind Allen Pinkett, so let’s give Yoon four field goals and five extra points for this game.

California Golden Bears 30, UCLA Bruins 21

Did you know the Bruins were picked to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference’s preseason media poll, while Cal was tabbed to finish 11th? Oh, hold on. That was basketball. Well, UCLA is really more of a basketball school anyways. They play Notre Dame at the Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 8 this year.

Pat Sullivan

Notre Dame 43, Pitt 17

Let down game? Maybe in the first few minutes. But the ND defense will take over early on, and Book and co. will step on their throats. 7-0 heading into the bye, folks.

Florida Atlantic Owls 48, Marshall Thundering Herd 27

Time for Joey Freshwater and the boys to take control of their season. No Byron Leftwich or Chad Pennington to save the Thundering Herd in this one. Roll, Owls, roll.

Philip Gough

Notre Dame 48, Pitt 21

A deflated Pitt team shows up with a lot of heart and battles with the Irish for a quarter and a half before they get worn down. Ian Book hits a couple of the elusive deep balls after the Irish running game gets going early.

Holy Cross 7, Harvard 28

I had some horrible experiences playing at Harvard. Those nerds in the stands would throw insults at me that I couldn’t really comprehend...We also got horribly blown out there twice, though I did have 2 pass breakups in the endzone again current NFL players Cameron Brate and Kyle Juszcyk, for the smallest silver lining.

Joe Londergan

Notre Dame 42, Pitt 20

Pitt hasn’t played well against ranked teams this year, so that makes me pretty confident in this prediction. Plus, not to jinx anything, but Book and that offense are playing like a playoff team right now. The Irish are going to put up a lot of points very quickly against this team.

Oregon State Beavers are on a bye this week.

Lisa Kelly

Notre Dame 49, Pitt 31

I am not overly worried about Notre Dame‘s ability to take care of business this weekend against Pitt, however, there is always that nagging feeling that this week is the trap game. Knowing that we are undefeated and halfway through season, everyone will be looking to ruin our perfect record. Let’s hope there are no surprises on Saturday. Go Irish! Beat Pitt!

Arkansas Razorbacks 38, Ole Miss Rebels 0

Last week I was expecting Alabama to blowout Arkansas, but somehow Arkansas manage to put 31 points on the board. Now what exactly does that mean? Does that mean Alabama’s defense really has that many holes, or is Arkansas’s offense improving at a record pace? I guess that still remains to be seen, but I think that Arkansas is on a very good track in the rebuilding process, and will shock everyone by beating Ole Miss this Saturday. The students may be on fall break, but the team is going to put on quite a show this Saturday. Woo Pig!

Billy Gorman

Notre Dame 41, Pitt 24

I know the history Notre Dame has with Pitt, and Pitt’s history of upsets, but I just don’t see that happening this weekend. Notre Dame is a class above and they’ll show it on Saturday before heading into a bye. Garbage time may make this game look closer than it actually is.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 35, New Mexico State Aggies 31

ULL has looked like two different teams this year based on their opponent. They’ve been competitive or even dominant in most games, and then completely outclassed by two SEC opponents. I think the competitive ULL team shows up this weekend against New Mexico State, with a slight edge to the Ragin’ Cajuns in their home stadium.

Joshua Vowles

Notre Dame 48, Pitt 13

After I plugged all of the scenarios of what could happen in this game... I just can’t come up with anything legitimate that ISN’T a blowout. Notre Dame is rolling, and despite Pitt’s win over Syracuse last week — they are not rolling. Irish win big and dominate all 3 phases of the game.

Wyoming Cowboys 10, Fresno State Bulldogs 31

Wyoming is having a tough, tough year. They won’t be able to do much more than what they have done over the last few weeks (which is nothing good). The offense stays stale, while Fresno State mixes in the spice.