PITTSBURGH — This wasn't a shellacking of the reigning Big Ten champs, but it was enough to move the Irish to .500. Here, we reward those who played big roles in the win.
Tyler Eifert: Game-highs of eight catches and 75 yards will get you credit, as will four catches on the go-ahead drive, including the touchdown and two-point conversion receptions. On a day Notre Dame's biggest threat couldn't get anything going, Eifert stepped up in a big way.
Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray: This wasn't the way the Irish drew it up, but it was successful nonetheless. Wood, the starter, was a force throughout, carrying it 23 times for 94 yards. Gray, who was supposed to wear defenses down, carried just three times for 84 yards, with his 79-yard touchdown proving huge in a close, low-scoring game.
Manti Te'o: Te'o once again paced the defense, recording a game-high 10 tackles, notching one of the Irish's five sacks and accounting for one of their four quarterback hurries. Tino Sunseri had to earn every yard he got in what turned into an old-fashioned brawl at Heinz Field.
Darius Fleming: Fleming had two of Notre Dame's five sacks and recorded three tackles for loss, pressuring Sunseri all afternoon. He had one quarterback hurry, too, and is elevating his status after Brian Kelly's "good not great" comment about his performance two short weeks ago.