Brindza's bid to trim the margin just before halftime failed when his 43-yard field goal try went wide right.
Notre Dame held Pitt to 308 yards, and the defense was extremely effective in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Irish held Pitt to two yards rushing on 14 carries, 19 yards passing and one first down.
"They out-executed us," Chryst said. "I don't feel like they did a lot of things different, but I though we didn't get it done and they did."
NOTES: Pitt's most recent win at Notre Dame Stadium was a 36-33 come-from-behind triumph in 2008. ... The Irish are now 418-133-15 (.752) when ranked in the Top 25 and 82-20-2 (.798) when ranked among the nation's Top 5. ... The Panthers became only the third team this season to score on the Irish in the opening quarter. Miami and Oklahoma also had first quarter field goals but no foe has managed a touchdown during the first 15 minutes. ... Manti Te'o ran his consecutive start streak to a team-high 44 with Saturday's ninth of the season. ... Graham's 55-yard first quarter run was the longest by an Irish opponent this season. ... Saturday's flag presentation at Notre Dame Stadium featured 12 present and former Irish athletes who participated in the 2012 London Olympics. ... Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's career record against Pitt improved to 5-1 while it was the first meeting for the Panthers' Paul Chryst.