Saturday marked yet another game in which the Notre Dame Irish needed overtime to decide the outcome of their contest, and it marked yet another time this season they came out on the right end. After fighting hard against Pittsburgh and twice seeing the Panthers go up in overtime, the Irish used an Everett Golson touchdown to move to 9-0 on the season and keep their championship dreams alive.
It wasn’t looking good for the Irish for most of the afternoon as the Panthers scored three consecutive touchdowns to take a commanding 20-6 lead in South Bend.
But as it has been all year long, a loss just wasn’t in the cards for the Irish but the win wasn’t easy. After scoring their first touchdown of the game with 13:40 left, kicker Kyle Brindza missed the extra point meaning the Irish would not only have to score once more, but also convert the two points needed to make the game tied.
With a little over 2:00 left in the game, Golson hooked up with TJ Jones, and then ran the ball in himself on the ensuing two-point try to tie the ballgame up at 20-20. If you thought Manti Te’o and that defense was about to lose the game, you obviously have been watching a different Notre Dame team all year long.
Twice in overtime the Panthers kicked field goals to take the lead and put the Irish against the wall and their title hopes in danger. But twice Golson led Notre Dame down the field with the last of the two drives ending in a touchdown to win the game.
Notre Dame now has just three games left on their schedule, with the season finale against USC looking more and more like one of the best games we will see all year long. But before the showdown with the Trojans, the Irish still have games against Boston College and Wake Forrest, two games they could easily lose. Twice they’ve magically won in overtime, but Stanford and Pittsburgh took them there — two drastically different and seemingly inferior teams.
On paper it looks like Notre Dame will breeze to their matchup with USC, as neither Boston College or Wake Forrest have beaten any of the ranked opponents they’ve faced this year. But this is college football and all it takes is one bad quarter to ruin your season.
We’ve now seemingly heard that Notre Dame alma mater song more than the National Anthem, and if the Irish continue playing this way, we won’t be hearing it end anytime soon.