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Football: Eifert score leads Irish to win

Andrew Owens | Saturday, September 24, 2011

Notre Dame defeated Pittsburgh 15-12 behind strong plays from its defense and a fourth-quarter Tyler Eifert touchdown catch.

“[It was] a good win for us,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “Hard-fought four quarters came down to our ability to put together a very good drive at the end of the game.”

The 85-yard game-winning drive gave Notre Dame (2-2) a lead it would not surrender. Eifert was the recipient of four Tommy Rees passes on the final drive, not including the two-point conversion to give the Irish a three-point lead.

“Tyler Eifert was huge,” Kelly said. “He went up in traffic two or three times and held on to the football.”

Notre Dame’s offense struggled throughout the contest, due in large part to Pittsburgh slowing down senior receiver Michael Floyd after the opening drive. Floyd recorded four receptions for 27 yards in the game.

Rees completed 24-of-41 passes for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the win. He turned the ball over twice to give the Irish 15 turnovers on the season, the most in the nation. In the end, however, Notre Dame gritted out a win when it mattered.

“It was a tough, blue-collar kind of day,” Kelly said. “That’s what was required of everybody, and that’s what we got from our team. It was good enough to get the win and get out of there.”