Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Eye on the Enemy

Oct. 6, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Each week the FANSzine will take a look at Notre Dame’s opponent and feature one of the key players in Saturday’s game. This week Notre Dame faces Stanford. The key player in this week’s matchup is fifth-year senior DeRonnie Pitts. The wide receiver emerged from the shadow of former Stanford standout Troy Walters to become of Stanford’s biggest threats this year.

Notre Dame’s defensive backs will have a tough assignment on Saturday in DeRonnie Pitts.

The fifth-year senior no longer shares the limelight with former Stanford star Troy Walters. The likes of The Sporting News as well as Lindy’s named him as one of the top receivers in the nation.

“Offensively, they are still a team that concerns you with the wide receivers,” Irish head coach Bob Davie said. “They have got several wide receivers. Obviously, DeRonnie Pitts is their go-to guy.”

Pitts is exactly that as he accounts for 39 percent of the team’s receptions. Of the 64 passes thrown, his hands have been on 25 of them. He is averaging right around six catches per game for a gain of 12 yards. He is ranked 13th in the nation in terms of receptions.

What perhaps is the most dangerous aspect of Pitts is his ability to perform under pressure. The Michigan native scored the game-winning touchdown to knockoff fifth-ranked Texas at the time. His 15-yard reception gave the team the lead with just over a minute left in the game.

Currently, Pitts ranks third on Stanford’s all-time receiving touchdowns list. Already this year, he has caught four passes for touchdowns and his all-time count stands at 20.

While many noticed the play of wide receiver Troy Walters, many could not help but notice the play of the guy waiting in the wings, Pitts. He now is on pace to come close to a majority of the receiving records which Walters holds.

Keeping that in mind, watch for Notre Dame’s defensive backs to keep a watchful eye on Stanford’s No. 2. Not only does Pitts bring experience to the Cardinal’s receivers, he carries with that speed and playmaking ability.