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Halftime analysis: Notre Dame 17, Pitt 3

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Quick halftime review from Notre Dame Stadium, where Notre Dame leads Pittsburgh 17-3:

Turning point: Pittsburgh's inability to get points in the red zone is the reason why Notre Dame has a two-touchdown lead. Twice, the Panthers marched to the Irish 10-yard line. They came away with three points and one missed field goal. At the end of the half, Pitt marched to the red zone again but botched a field goal try when holder Andrew Janocko fumbled the snap. Pittsburgh never punted but has only three points.

Stat of the half: Pitt has 10 more total yards and only one fewer first down but has 14 fewer points.

Best player in the half: Irish quarterback Dayne Crist is running the spread offense with efficiency and expertise, delivering the ball quickly and utilizing short route to neutralize the Pitt pass rush. Crist completed 12 straight passes at one point and hit six different receivers.

Best call: One play after Notre Dame's Harrison Smith intercepted Tino Sunseri -- thanks in large part to receiver Mike Shanahan falling down on his route -- the Irish went deep. T.J. Jones made a brilliant diving catch to set up Notre Dame at the Pittsburgh 8. The Irish wound up with a field goal.