Pittsburgh won the coin toss and elected to defer. Notre Dame will receive and the Panthers will defend the North end zone.
LONG DAY AT THE STADIUM
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh played the longest game in Irish history this afternoon. Notre Dame had never seen a game enter the fourth overtime. The Irish dropped a three-overtime game to Navy in 2007. In fact, the Irish have dropped their last three games that have entered overtime.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh combined for 160 total plays in the game (the Panthers ran 77, while the Irish ran 83).
The 83 plays for Notre Dame are the most this season and most since the Irish ran 90 last year against Navy.
Notre Dame has now opened each of its last four games with a scoring drive on its opening possession of the game (three touchdowns and today's field goal). In fact, the Irish have scored on their opening drive five times this season.
CHARLIE AND THE IRISH OFFENSIVE FACTORY
Fourth-year head coach Charlie Weis came to Notre Dame with a tremendous reputation as one of the premier offensive minds in all of the NFL. The Irish saw immediate results in 2005, setting 11 school records, including passing yards (3,963), touchdown passes (32, bested in 2007), total offense yards (5,728) and total points (440). Notre Dame has surpassed the 40-point barrier on 11 different occasions in Weis' 45 games as head coach. Prior to his arrival, Notre Dame had eclipsed 40 points just nine times in its previous 97 contests. In addition, the Irish had 83 separate 100-yard receiving games over its first 116 seasons of football, but Notre Dame has had 27 the past four years under Weis. To put those numbers in perspective, Notre Dame averaged a 100-yard receiving effort every 13 games. Under Weis, the Irish is recording a 100-yard receiving effort every other game.
Freshman WR Michael Floyd and sophomore WR Golden Tate each surpassed 100 yards receiving today. They are the first Irish tandem to eclipse 100 yards receiving in the same game since Jeff Samardzija and John Carlson both eclipsed the century mark against Michigan State in 2006.
Floyd's 10 receptions are the most for a Notre Dame player this season and most since Rhema McKnight had 10 catches against Army in 2006.
MORE, MORE BIG PLAYS
Sophomore QB Jimmy Clausen completed four more passes of over 20 yards this afternoon.
Clausen now has 31 completions of over 20 yards on the season. He connected on just 13 in 10 games as a freshman a year ago.
The Irish had six passing plays of over 30 yards in the entire 2007 season. Sophomore WR Golden Tate has more by himself (10) and Notre Dame has 17 as team though eight games.
Notre Dame played a total of nine true freshmen and 10 sophomores in the game.
Notre Dame's freshmen duo of WR Michael Floyd and TE Kyle Rudolph each established new school records for receptions by first year players at their respective positions. Floyd's total is also a record for any position.
The Irish have scored 27 touchdowns already this season and 23 have come from either freshmen or sophomores, including all three scores in today's game. The only touchdowns scored this season by upper classmen were junior RB James Aldridge (3) and senior WR David Grimes (2).
The 23 of 27 touchdowns by under classmen does not include sophomore QB Jimmy Clausen, who has tossed 18 touchdown passes this season.
IRISH ON THE DEFENSE
Over the entire Washington game and today's opening quarter, Notre Dame's first team defense allowed 61 total yards on 47 plays - good for an average of 1.3 yard per play. In fact, the Irish forced eight three-and-outs on defense in 12 opponent drives.
Pittsburgh did not convert a first down until the 11:50 of the second quarter.
The Panthers had 11 possessions this afternoon in regulation. Notre Dame forced Pittsburgh into a trio of three-and-outs before overtime. The Irish have now forced 11 three-and-outs in their opponents last 20 drives in regulation.
Drops Notre Dame to 5-3 on the season.
Drops Notre Dame to 2-3 (.400) this season and 17-5 (.818) under Weis coming off a victory.
Gives the Irish a loss to Pittsburgh for the second time in the past three meetings.
Drops the Irish to 4-1 (.800) this season inside Notre Dame Stadium.
Snaps Notre Dame's five-game home winning streak, falling one victory shy of the longest streak since the Irish ripped off 10 straight home games over the 1997-98 seasons.
Gives Notre Dame a defeat against Pittsburgh for the second time in the last six meetings and third time in the last 14.
Gives Pittsburgh a victory for the second time in the last eight meetings in Notre Dame Stadium (victories in each of its last two trips).
Drops Notre Dame to 44-19-1 (.695) in the all-time series with Pittsburgh.
Drops the Irish to 19-10 (.655) in the all-time series with the Panthers in Notre Dame Stadium.
Drops an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 16-9 (.640) all-time against Pittsburgh (snap their winning streak at three games in such meetings).
Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 6-5 (.545) all-time against Pittsburgh in Notre Dame Stadium.
Drops Notre Dame to 12-6 (.667) all-time against the Panthers when both teams are unranked.
Drops Notre Dame to 5-3 (.625) all-time against Pittsburgh in Notre Dame Stadium when both teams are unranked.
Drops Notre Dame to 56-21-1 (.724) all-time against the current makeup of the BIG EAST Conference.
Drops Notre Dame to 63-28-1 (.690) all-time against BIG EAST Conference opponents at the time of the game (includes Boston College before its move to the ACC).
Drops Notre Dame to 25-10 (.714) all-time against the current makeup of the BIG EAST Conference.
Drops Notre Dame to 30-14 (.682) all-time at home against BIG EAST Conference opponents at the time of the game (includes Boston College before its move to the ACC).
Drops Weis' record to 27-18 overall (.600), 1-1 (.500) against Pittsburgh and 2-2 (.500) against the BIG EAST Conference.
Drops Weis' overall home record to 15-10 (.600) and his home record against the BIG EAST Conference to 1-2 (.333).
Drops Weis' record to 10-4 (.714) in November games.
Drops Weis' record to 21-15 (.583) in afternoon games.
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record to 829-281-42 (.738).
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 301-97-5 (.753).
Clausen now has 31 completions of over 20 yards this season. He connected on just 13 in 10 games as a freshman a year ago.
Connected on 60.9% of his passes (14-of-23) for 173 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.
On Notre Dame's 91-yard touchdown march (the longest scoring drive of the season for the Irish), Clausen was 4-of-5 for 89 yards, including three passes to freshman WR Michael Floyd for 42 yards.
With his three touchdown passes this afternoon, Clausen has now thrown 18 touchdown passes this season, which moved into a tie for fourth place on the Irish single-season touchdown list (Rick Mirer, 1991). He also moved into 10th place all-time in career TD passes with 25.
With his 44 pass attempts this afternoon, Clausen moved into seventh place on the Notre Dame single-season pass attempts list with 289. He also moved into eighth place on the Irish career list in the same category with 534.
With his 23 pass completions this afternoon, Clausen moved into sixth place on the Notre Dame single-season pass completions list with 172. He also moved into fifth place on the Irish career list in the same category with 310.
With his 271 passing yards this afternoon, Clausen moved into eighth place on the Notre Dame single-season passing yards list with 2,103.
After Notre Dame stumbled over most of the third and early fourth quarter, Clausen guided a 75-yard, 12 play touchdown drive to give the Irish a 24-17 lead with 5:38 to go in the game. He went 4-of-6 for 55 yards on the drive.
Has thrown for three or more touchdown passes four times in 2008 and six times in his career.
With his second reception of the afternoon, Floyd established a new school record for receptions by a Notre Dame freshman. He broke current sophomore WR Duval Kamara's record of 32 catches in 2007.
Floyd hauled in touchdown passes of 18 and 4 yards in the second quarter to give the Irish a 17-3 lead at halftime.
With seven touchdown receptions this season, Floyd (who already owns the record for most TD receptions by a freshman) moves into a tie for ninth place on the Irish single-season list (Tom Gatewood, 1970).
Equaled his career-high and Irish season-high with seven receptions in the opening 30 minutes alone.
Surpassed 100 receiving yards for the fourth time in Notre Dame's last five games.
Finished the game with 10 receptions for 100 yards, which is the most catches by an Irish player since Rhema McKnight had 10 receptions against Army in 2006.
With his first reception of the afternoon, Rudolph established a new school record for receptions by a Notre Dame freshman tight end. He broke Ken McAfee's record of 14 catches in 1974.
Here is how Rudolph's season already compares to final numbers for three other outstanding Notre Dame rookies tight ends (Brown and McAfee each were named first team All-Americans later in their career).