SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Pitt has played two quarterbacks, and neither has been effective, but the Panthers used another blocked kick to force a 3-3 tie after the first quarter this afternoon at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame opened with a 10-play, 62-yard drive that saw the Fighting Irish stall at the Pitt 21 and settle for a Brandon Walker 39-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 9:38 remaining in the first quarter.
Pitt started Pat Bostick at quarterback in place of Bill Stull, who suffered a concussion and stinger against Rutgers last week. The Panthers were called for a false start on first down, saw LeSean McCoy run twice for 2 yards and a third-down pass fall incomplete before punting.
Notre Dame outgained Pitt, 128-6, in the first quarter, but a key turnover kept the game close.
Freshman safety Andrew Taglianetti blocked Eric Maust’s punt, and linebacker Nate Nix recovered at the Notre Dame 20 at 7:25 of the first quarter. It was the seventh blocked kick of the season for the Panthers, the second for Taglianetti, who also partially blocked a punt against Iowa.
Redshirt sophomore Kevan Smith replaced Bostick on the second series, but his first pass was broken up and the Panthers ran McCoy out of the Wildcat on second down. Smith was sacked, and Pitt turned to Conor Lee for a 35-yard field goal that tied the score at 3-3 with 5:58 remaining.