Thursday, September 22, 2011
What to Watch: Week 4 at Pitt
By Matt Fortuna
Here are a few things to keep an eye on Saturday when Notre Dame invades Pitt:
An opening-drive score: Notre Dame has been nearly flawless on its opening drives so far. Of course, that one flaw ended up costing the Fighting Irish six points the other way. Regardless, the Irish have been efficient in the early going, scoring opening-drive touchdowns in their past two games and coming a yard shy in their first game before a goal-line fumble. Expect more of the same against a suspect Pitt secondary.
A few faces returning punts: We've seen Theo Riddick and John Goodman before, and we will likely see them in some capacity once again. But Brian Kelly said Robby Toma has been seeing action on the punt return team this week, and he even threw out Harrison Smith's name, as well, though it's likely that Smith would be used deep in Irish territory to guard against a fake.
Heinz Field packed for something other than the Steelers: Pitt is expecting its sixth sellout since moving into Heinz Field in 2001. Three of the previous five have been against Notre Dame. A building that's lacked some buzz through two Saturdays this season should resemble its rocking Sunday atmosphere a little bit more with the Irish in town.