Pitt-Notre Dame pregame ponderables

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Greetings from Notre Dame Stadium, where the weather is postcard perfect: 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky.

This should be a good matchup between two teams who appear fairly even. I want to see if Pittsburgh's revamped offensive line can handle a step up in competition from last week's win over FIU. In particularly, I'm wondering if new starting right tackle Jordan Gibbs can stave off the pass rush from Kapron Lewis-Moore, Kerry Neal and perhaps Darius Fleming. I bet Notre Dame will test him early.

Obviously, Tino Sunseri has to play his best game of the year for Pitt to win. On the flip side, Dayne Crist needs to be more consistent for the Irish, and opportunities should be there for Theo Riddick and Kyle Rudolph against the Panthers linebackers.

For Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, he needs to get the Irish over the hump against teams from his former league. The Big East has won four straight over the Irish, including Pitt twice, UConn last year and Syracuse two years ago.

Lots and lots of interesting battles today, and I haven't even gotten to the Dion Lewis/Ray Graham situation and Notre Dame's improved rush defense.