Pittsburgh nearly derailed No. 4 Notre Dame's hopes for a national championship. Instead, the Panthers were left with a loss that is sure to sting for a while.
Ray Graham had a stellar performance, rushing for 172 yards on 24 carries and the Panthers had several chances to put the unbeaten Fighting Irish away, but just couldn't pull it off. Everett Golson scored on a quarterback sneak in the third overtime to give Notre Dame a 29-26 victory after Pitt squandered a 14-point lead.
''We had opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them enough,'' Pitt coach Paul Chryst said. ''That's what this game comes down to.''
The Panthers (4-6) went ahead 17-6 after Pitt linebacker Eric Williams intercepted Irish backup quarterback Tommy Rees at midfield. Tino Sunseri then threw a 43-yard pass to J.P. Holtz, then threw a 9-yard TD pass to Holtz. The Panthers made it 20-6 on a 21-yard field goal by Kevin Harper.
The Panthers were hoping to follow in the footsteps of the 2007 Pitt team, whi...