Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 16, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY ANDREW OWENS F or the first time in 10 years, a Notre Dame win over Pitts‑ burgh came relatively easily. Sophomore quarterback De‑ Shone Kizer threw five touchdown passes, three to junior wide receiver Will Fuller, and the Irish (8‑1) notched a 42‑30 victory over the Panthers (6‑3) at Heinz Field. On the first drive of the game, Notre Dame traveled 75 yards in three plays to go ahead 7‑0. A 19‑yard pass from Kizer to C.J. Prosise and then a nine‑ yard rush by the senior running back set up a 47‑yard bomb to Fuller. Pittsburgh head coach and former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi allowed his cornerbacks to go one‑on‑one with Fuller most of the afternoon, which resulted in a pair of first‑half scoring receptions. The sec‑ ond came with 1:35 left in the second quarter on a 46‑yard toss to extend the Irish lead to 21‑3 before halftime. "It gets us comfortable and allowed us to set our identity against Pitt, and it also helps us out with understand‑ ing the game plan," Kizer said of find‑ ing Fuller for the long scores. "As a team, we saw exactly what we needed to see early. We had two big runs right away, and then right off to Will Fuller in a corner route in the end zone. "When things are rolling early, trusting your game plan allows you to have some mojo moving for‑ ward." At the end of the first quarter with the Irish leading 7‑3, Prosise left the game with an undisclosed upper‑body injury. He walked off slowly with a trainer and did not return, but head coach Brian Kelly expressed optimism that the senior would be available the following week. Prosise had rushed for 28 yards on five carries and caught a pair of passes for 29 yards. He entered the game with 947 rushing yards, 262 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns. In his place, freshman running back Josh Adams rushed 20 times for 147 yards and scored on a five‑yard reception. In the second half, Pitt needed eight plays to go 77 yards and score on a 10‑yard run by true freshman safety Jordan Whitehead, who was making a cameo on offense, to cut the deficit to 21‑10. Notre Dame answered with a touch‑ down of its own. An eight‑play, 75‑ yard drive culminated in a Kizer fade to Fuller for a 14‑yard score on third down. "I would definitely put Will up there as somebody that is very, very difficult to defend," Kelly said. "If you double NO SWEAT The Irish pull away from the Panthers for a 42-30 win

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