Sweeping up after Irish win over Pitt
PITTSBURGH --- It was more sweet redemption for Jonas Gray.
Jonas Gray's 79-yard run early in the second quarter not only gave Notre Dame a 7-3 lead but was the first touchdown of the senior's career. Even better, it was the longest run from scrimmage for Notre Dame since Terrance Howard went 80 yards against West Virginia in 2000.
"Coach [Brian] Kelly made a great call," Gray said. "I could see pre-snap that I had to beat it with speed and there was going to be one person I had to beat and I could do the rest with my legs."
Gray broke four tackles on the run after Kelly was critical of him going down too easily against Michigan State last week.
Notre Dame continues to be one of the most penalized teams in the country after drawing eight flags for 85 yards against Pittsburgh. A roughing the punter infraction by Austin Collinsworth on fourth-and-20 gave Pittsburgh a first down on their only touchdown drive. An illegal hands to the face flag on junior tackle Zack Martin negated a 23-yard completion to tight end Tyler Eifert.
"We won't do anything different," Kelly said. "We'll keep coaching our guys. We'll demand attention to detail. We do not accept penalties as part of the game. We demand our guys pay attention to those things. We'll go back and reiterate the same things over and over again and hope it turns out better next time."
Freshman continue to make their presence felt. Aaron Lynch had a key sack and Stephon Tuitt was at noseguard during Pittsburgh's final drive.
"It's just another move toward getting those guys on the field," Kelly said of the 6-foot-6, 295-pound Tuitt. "We feel comfortable with him at the nose because if you drop one of the guards down to double him it frees up two guys. If you don't double Tuitt inside as a pass rusher you're in trouble. Normally, noseguards aren't great pass rushers. Tuitt is big enough to play the position every down and he gives you a great pass rush."
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