November 3, 2012 - It almost all comes apart

Returning back home wearing the 2002 monkey on their back, the team looked to break the curse Boston College left after ending the 2002 team's winning streak while donning green jerseys. Today, wearing blue, the team looked to continue its conquest by beating Pitt. Coming off an emotional win at Oklahoma the week prior, and with a bug going around the team (notably Louis Nix would not be 100%), how would the team respond?

On the first two drives of the game, Notre Dame and then Pitt would each score a field goal and that is the type of day it would become. On Notre Dame's next drive, which went into the second quarter, the offense made it all the way to the five yard line but had to settle for a field goal once again. A series of punts set Pittsburgh up with a shorter field and three big passes followed by a long run gave the Panthers the lead. Golson would lose his helmet on a rush and Rees would come in to relieve him (due to the new NCAA rule this year). On the last drive of the half, Rees would come back out and successfully led the team into field goal range but Kyle Brindza missed the field goal as time expired. For the third consecutive home game, Notre Dame trailed going into the locker room.

When Notre Dame got the ball back in the third quarter, once again Rees was out there slinging the ball. Rees would throw an interception and two passes later Pitt had themselves a second touchdown. Given the INT and perhaps enough time for his head to clear, Golson came back out to lead the offense. But again, this led to a punt and Pitt scored another field goal to gain a 14 point lead heading into the fourth. Golson collected himself and on the next possession moved the team on a series of quarterback draws and passes to score an 11-yard touchdown pass to TJ Jones. To add to the drama, the extra point would be missed; not only did Notre Dame need a second touchdown, they would need a two-point conversion. The Irish defense forced Pitt off the field and Golson was back in control. A balanced rush-pass led the team to 1st-and-goal, where Golson then threw an interception in the end zone. 4:00 minutes remained and the team just turned the ball over. The defense once again forced a punt and on the very next play Golson found DaVaris Daniels for a 45-yard gain after a broken play. The very next play was a 5-yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick. Golson would scramble and score the tying two-point conversion. After a couple punts (not without a near fumble by Davonte Neal), the game went to overtime.

Pitt would start on offense and kick a field goal. Notre Dame would match. In the second overtime, Notre Dame would start with the ball and after two first downs found themselves with a first and goal. Cierre Wood would rush the ball and leap over the pile into the end zone! But then the whistles blow and Pitt comes out with the ball. While in the air, Wood fumbled the ball and Pitt recovered. Now all they had to do was kick the field goal. As they line up and kick, the ball flies through the air and a large cheer erupts. "Wow, there are a lot of Pitt fans in the North end zone" was our thought in the stands. NO! He missed it wide right. The Irish had an extra life, two lives it would seem since on the field goal block both Chris Brown and Bennett Jackson would be on the field at the same time. This is most noteworthy since they both wear #2 and it went unnoticed by the referees. Pitt would get a field goal in the third overtime and Golson rushed for the eventual winning touchdown. This would be their fifth win by seven points or less and third come from behind win at home in a row.

         1  2  3  4 OT 2OT 3OT   F
   Pitt  3  7 10  0  3   0   3  26
#4 ND    3  3  0 14  3   0   6  29

Despite being favored by 16 points, Notre Dame would win with a few breaks going their way to improve to (9-0) for the first time since 1993 and 16th time overall. No longer would we have to hear about 2002 being the last time that fill in the blank occurred.

Keywords: football, pittsburgh, boston college, green jerseys, everett golson, kyle brindza, oklahoma, louis nix, tj jones, theo riddick, davaris daniels, davonte neal, cierre wood, chris brown, bennett jackson

Posted On: 2013-01-30 06:47:44 by IrishTrpt07


      Were you there? Have more to add? Leave a comment and let us know!

   Posted By: Seņor Chops at 2013-01-30 07:29:38[#1]
If there was any game this season that encapsulates the "luck of the Irish," this was it. What a nailbiter.
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