No. 24 Notre Dame (7-2) at Pittsburgh (4-4), 8 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Notre Dame by 3 ½.
Series record: Notre Dame leads 47-20-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Fighting Irish, who have won four straight, need to win out to reach 10 victories and perhaps sneak into a BCS bowl. A loss to the Panthers, however, would end that discussion quickly. Pittsburgh could use a signature victory in coach Paul Chryst's second year as tangible proof the program is headed in the right direction.
Pitt's offensive line against Notre Dame's front seven. The Panthers' offense has spent the last month slipping into mediocrity after a 58-point outburst against Duke on Sept. 21. Pitt has scored 54 points total in its last four games against FBS opponents, three of them losses. The biggest problem has been protecting quarterback Tom Savage. The Panthers have allowed 29 sacks, 118th in the country. Notre Dame has only reached the quarterback 11 times in nine games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Notre Dame: QB Tommy Rees is starting to put it together. The senior passed for five touchdowns in a rout over Air Force two weeks ago and backed it up by leading a 76-yard fourth quarter touchdown drive last week against Navy as the Irish avoided the upset.
Pittsburgh: DT Aaron Donald is coming off one of the most dominant defensive performances in program history. He recorded 11 tackles, six tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and added a sack in a 21-10 loss to Georgia Tech last week. The six TFLs are the most by an FBS player this season.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Irish have won the last three meetings, including 29-26 victory in triple overtime in South Bend last fall that kept Notre Dame undefeated on its way to a spot in the BCS title game. ... The Irish have won their last 10 games decided by a touchdown or less, tied for the second-longest streak in school history. ... Pitt freshman WR Tyler Boyd has four 100-yard receiving games this season, tied for the most by a freshman in school history. Larry Fitzgerald had four 100-yard receiving games in 2002. ... Pittsburgh's last victory over a ranked opponent came in a 35-17 dismantling of then 13th-ranked Virginia Tech on Sept. 15, 2012.