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Irish Insights

  • Irish get more watch list honors
    Three more Notre Dame players were named to watch lists.
  • Brindza on Lou Groza watch list
    Notre Dame's Kyle Brindza was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Lou Groza Award. The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the nation's best placekicker.
  • Two more Irish land on watch lists
    Notre Dame center Nick Martin was placed on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's best player at that position.

Notre Dame-Pitt preview

Notre Dame will attempt to improve to 9-0 for the first time since 1993 as the No. 4 Irish play host to Pittsburgh (4-4) today.

Here are three key matchups to watch:

Notre Dame's offense line vs. Pittsburgh's front seven: The Irish line is coming off a game in which it paved the way 215 rushing yards in a 30-13 road win over Oklahoma. The line could set up the Irish's running backs for another big day today against a Panthers team that is giving up 141 yards per games.

Notre Dame's front seven vs. Pittsburgh's running backs: The Irish will try to followup last week's performance, when it held Oklahoma to only 15 rushing yards, by stopping two diverse Pitt running backs. Ray Graham and Rushel Shell bring two distinct styles to the running game. Graham is the quicker of the backs and leads the Panthers with 622 rushing yards with seven touchdowns. Shell is the more powerful of the backs and has run for 41 yards with four touchdowns. Notre Dame hasn't let many teams get a running game going this year, holding opponents to 95.3 rushing yards per game.

Notre Dame's secondary vs. Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri: The Irish have proven to have a very good defensive backfield, despite its inexperience in the secondary. Cornerback Bennett Jackson has four interceptions, and cornerback KeiVarae Russell and safety Mathias Farley each have one. Safety Zeke Motta, the only experienced player in the backfield, has two pass breakups. Sunseri has grown into being a very accurate passer, completing 69.2 percent of his passes with only two interceptions. The senior has thrown for 2,199 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Pittsburgh 3