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Will Pitt-Notre Dame game be a defensive struggle?

Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

All week, we've heard about Notre Dame's defense - and rightfully so since the Irish rank 2nd in the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 9.9 points a game. But one thing that's been overlooked is that the Panthers' defense has been pretty strong as well.

Pitt started off the year giving up a total of 65 points to Youngstown State and Cincinnati. But since then, they've actually played extremely well.

Over the next six games, Pitt only gave up more than 20 points one time - and that was against 8-0 Louisville. But in the remaining five, the Panthers have given up only 12.8 per contest and have been downright dominant. Part of that, of course, is that the level of competition hasn't been all that great. But there's no question that the defense has been better over those five games than the season's first two.

Pitt's defense now ranks 33rd in the nation in scoring defense. The Panthers may not win on Saturday, but don't be surprised if the defense keeps things close for a while.

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