Tune in at 3:30 PM ET as Pittsburgh takes on Notre Dame. Rob Sturney will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
I'm Rob Sturney here with The Score's continuing coverage of NCAA football. Today we have a Notre Dame team that is - some think - "up where they belong". The Fighting Irish are the BCS #3 team and they'll host the Pittsburgh Panthers today.
The Irish have a very stingy defense and are a decent rushing team, while Pittsburgh has more of an effective passing game with Sunseri at its helm. The Panthers will want to force turnovers and take advantage of every offensive opportunity.
The Irish also are the only team in the country with four wins versus Top 25 teams. They gave up their first rushing touchdown of the season to Oklahoma last week, but still held the Sooners to 15 rushing yards.
The Panthers are coming off a confidence-boosting 47-17 win over Temple last week. Their next game is at Connecticut. The Irish travel to Boston College next.
Some of you may have heard that Panther running back Ray Graham, wide receiver Street and defensive back/kick returner Pitts were all charged with assault this week for an on-campus confrontation. They are not suspended by Pittsburgh for this game.
If the Irish win today, they'll go 9-0 for the first time since 1993. Wouldn't Brian Kelly love that?
Some are touting Irish linebacker Te'o as a Heisman candidate. The man from Hawaii is averaging 10 tackles per game. Last week he had 11 tackles and an interception.
Sunseri is 162 for 234 on the season for 2199 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He's also has the nation's eighth best pass rating. The O-line will want to protect him; he's been sacked five times in three games.
Both teams have had a couple of big losses through injury: the Panthers are without linebackers Mason and Williams. The Irish have been without defensive backs Slaughter and Lo Woods via Achilles injuries.
It's believed that Notre Dame's next challenge comes at USC, but they cannot discount Pittsburgh and Boston College. They will rue taking the Panthers and Golden Eagles lightly.
Golson has been in and out at quarterback this season, as Rees gets his reps. Golson went 13 for 25 and 177 yards last week, along with 11 rushes for 64 yards and a touchdown. On the season he's 92 for 160 while accumulating 1145 yards and 4 touchdowns. Notre Dame is 97th in the nation in passing yards.
Golson's favourite targets are wide receiver Jones and tight end Eifert. Riddick, Woods and Atkinson get the carries out of the backfield.
Kutter, I had to explain in great detail to someone yesterday that Pittsburgh wasn't the Steelers!
We're not too far from the kickoff in South Bend, Indiana.
TCU just scored a touchdown against West Virginia and lead 6-0.
I understand that people in downtown Manhattan can watch the game today. Good to have EVERYONE with us today.
The Irish fans have been marching band-ed into a frenzy. It's heady days of campus this year.
Not that this really has much of a bearing on the game, but the Irish are .500 in their games that I've liveblogged.
Which is a much better record than that of the Red Sox. I pretty much jinx them with my liveblogs.
I like the fact that Te'o and Golson are both #5. That's a big team.
The Irish are in their traditional gold pants and dark navy jerseys with a glittering gold helmet. And, as my dad used to say, Pittsburgh is kind of dressed like Purdue - white jerseys, navy pants and a much duller gold on their helmets.
We're ready to roll, JJ. Enjoy the game.
Everyone is jumping in South Bend as Dropkick Murphys pounds out of the PA system. Harper will kick off for Pittsburgh. Atkinson makes it to the 20.
Notre Dame will be attacking from right to left on your mental screen in the first quarter.
ND 1st and 10: Golson tosses to Toma on the first play and the receiver picks up seven yards.
ND 2nd and 3: Wood gets the call on the second play and picks up the first down. On the first down, Golson hooks up with Eifert on the left sideline for 8 yards.
Notre Dame is rolling. Daniels makes the reception on a bubble screen. They're working fast. Riddick gets a handful over the right side.
ND 2nd and 7 (ND 42): Atkinson pounds forward for five yards. FLAG. Five players in the backfield for ND.
ND 2nd and 12: Let's see if that checks their momentum. Trebitz stops a back after three or four.
ND 3rd and 10: Golson out of the shotgun reaches Eifert on the right sideline for a gain of 12. First down Irish.
ND 1st and 10 (Pitt 30): Riddick grinds out five. He's getting lots of the ball so far.
ND 2nd and 5: This time it's Riddick who can't spin to the first down, but gets four.
ND 3rd and 1: Short real estate=Riddick who plows behind Golic and picks up two.
ND 1st and 10: Golson had to scramble and the then hurl the ball out of bounds.
ND 2nd and 10 (Pittsburgh 18): Wood dances to a gain of three or four.
ND 3rd and 7: Here's a big third down in the red zone. Golson is in the shotgun. FLAG.
Lombard moved early for the Irish.
ND 3rd and 12: This will make things trickier. Golson again in the gun, he finds his pass knocked down by the Panther Murphy.
Brindza will try a 37-yard FG. GOOD.
It was a fine opening drive, but it ran into penalty trouble once it penetrated Panther territory.