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What we learned from Notre Dame, Week 11

What we learned from Notre Dame in its 27-22 loss at Pitt on Saturday:

1. Charlie Weis is on his last legs: The Irish had high hopes for this season. Some had pegged them as a potential Top 10 team, even a darkhorse BCS title contender. With the Pitt loss, Notre Dame fell to 6-4 on the season, with one challenging game (Connecticut at home this week) and one extremely difficult contest (at Stanford) remaining. There's a chance the team could have the same 6-6 record as last year, which would be inexcusable since so many upperclassmen fill the roster.

Weis now has the same career record as Bob Davie and the same winning percentage as Ty Willingham. We know what happened to both those guys. An 8-4 finish might be enough to save Weis's job just because of the financial commitment he is owed. But the tide of opinion among Notre Dame fans has turned against him, and another loss would all but seal his fate, if it hasn't been decided already.

2. The defense still can't tackle: Weis brought a pretty conservative game plan to Pitt, hoping to keep the game close early on. The problem with that strategy arises when your defense can't hold down its part. Though it played well early, the Notre Dame defense displayed extremely poor tackling on long runs by Pitt's Dion Lewis and Ray Graham that broke the game open. If the Weis coaching obituary is to be written soon, make sure that repeated defensive shortcomings are near the first paragraph.

3. Golden Tate is a winner: When the Irish were badly in need of a spark, Tate delivered with an electric 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. He also had nine catches for 118 yards and another score. He has 1,172 receiving yards on the season and should shatter the school's single-season record. He's been so good, in fact, that he likely won't be back for his senior year, especially if there's a coaching change. Enjoy him while you still can, Notre Dame fans.