Notre Dame was held back by penalties in the first quarter as it finished the opening 15 minutes tied at 3 with Pittsburgh.
The No. 4 Irish, who committed only one penalty last week against Oklahoma, committed five infractions, costing 41 yards, in the first quarter.
The Irish did move to the Panthers' 26 at the end of the first, and if they clean up their penalty issue should go ahead early in the second quarter.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh exchanged field goals after two different opening drives.
The Irish opened the game with a steady, methodical drive that got derailed by a pair of penalties on the Panthers' side of the field. Quarterback Everett Golson completed his first four passes as Notre Dame got to Pitt's 20 before the Irish settled for a 37-yard field goal from Kyle Brindza for a 3-0 lead with 8:28 to play in the first.
Notre Dame's drive covered 60 yards on 14 plays and used 6:32.
The Panthers struck quickly on their first play as Ray Graham broke loose for a 55-yard gain to Notre Dame's 32. It was the longest offensive play against Notre Dame this season.
But the Panthers couldn't get much farther after Graham's run, and Irish defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore sacked Tino Sunseri on third-and-5 from the 13 to force Pitt to settle for a 40-yard field goal from Kevin Harper to tie the game at 3 with 5:00 left in the first.
Pitt's drive covered 52 yards on seven plays and only used3:28of game clock.
Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III didn't start and likely will not play much, if at all today. The university announced the junior is battling the flu bug that kept running back George Atkinson III out of last week's game.