No. 14 Notre Dame looks for fourth straight win over Pitt

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Pittsburgh (2-5) at Notre Dame (6-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Line: Notre Dame by 20 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Notre Dame leads 50-21-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Notre Dame is seeking its fourth straight win in the series though the teams haven't met since 2020. The Irish would like to make history by becoming the first two-loss team to make the playoffs, but it's more likely they're playing for a New Year's Day bowl game — if they continue to win. Pitt enters the game with four losses in five games and trying to get coach Pat Narduzzi his first win in the sereis after starting his Panthers career with three straight losses to the Irish.

KEY MATCHUP

Pitt defense vs. Irish QB Sam Hartman. The Wake Forest transfer is considered one of the nation’s top passers. He's completing a career-high 64.5% of his throws with 1,838 yards, 18 TDs and three interceptions. itt may be experiencing a down season, but the Panthers still have a stout defense that allows 317.9 yards (26th in the FBS).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Pitt: RB C’Bo Flemister. The former Irish runner is Pitt's top rusher with 68 carries, 282 yards and two TDs. He also has five receptions for 92 yards and another score. He left Notre Dame following the 2021 season after four seasons in South Bend, Indiana, and is now in his sixth and final college season.

Notre Dame: S Xavier Watts. He leads the Irish with four interceptions (tied for fourth nationally) and is coming off maybe his best college game. He picked off defending Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams twice, forced a fumble and scored on a fumble recovery as the Irish ended Southern Califorina's unbeaen season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Saturday will be the 73rd meeting between the two rivals. The first meeting came in 1909. … The Irish are 21-10 against Pitt at Notre Dame Stadium. … Pittsburgh is one of six programs to schedule 11 power conference opponents this season, which includes this matchup. ... While Hartman runs the Notre Dame offense, RB Audric Estimé does the heavy-lifting. He has 787 yards rushing (11th in FBS) and nine TDs (tied for seventh). ... The Panthers run defense is ranked No. 45 nationally, allowing 126.4 yards per game.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football