Quick Hits: No. 4 Notre Dame 29, Pitt 26 (3 OT)
The Irish come back from a 20-6 deficit in the fourth quarter to save their undefeated season.
|This questionable pass interference might help decide the national championship. (US Presswire)|
NOTRE DAME WON: But for most of the night it looked like Notre Dame's undefeated season would be coming to an end. However, thanks to one questionable call from the officials and a lot of perseverance, the Irish prevailed in triple overtime and saved their season.
Trailing 20-6 early in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame faced a fourth-and-4 at the Pitt 23. The Irish went for it but Everett Golson's pass to Tyler Eifert was incomplete. However, pass interference was called on Pitt's K'Waun Williams. Replays of the call failed to show any pass interference. Notre Dame scored one play later to cut the lead to 20-12 after a missed extra point.
Notre Dame held Pitt and scored again before tying the game with two minutes left to send it to overtime. Then things got crazier. In the second overtime, Irish running back Cierre Wood was crossing the goal line for what appeared to be a go-ahead touchdown, but instead he lost control of the ball just before crossing the plane. Pitt recovered the fumble. Unfortunately for the Panthers, kicker Kevin Harper missed a 33-yard field goal, sending the game to a third overtime.
In the third overtime, Pitt started with a field goal, but Notre Dame answered with an Everett Golson touchdown to improve to 9-0.
WHY NOTRE DAME WON: Well, it's important to point out that Notre Dame is probably never in position to win without that very questionable pass intereference call in the fourth quarter. Odds are if that penalty isn't called, the Irish aren't able to come back from 20-6. That being said, there's a difference between catching a break and taking advantage of a break.
Notre Dame took advantage of the break, and Pitt definitely played a role in wilting down the stretch with some questionable play-calling.
WHEN NOTRE DAME WON: When Kevin Harper's field goal in the second overtime missed wide right after the Cierre Wood fumble, you just kind of knew Notre Dame was destined to win. Golson scored on a quarterback sneak a few minutes later to confirm it.
WHAT NOTRE DAME WON: At the end of the day, no matter how ugly it looks, undefeated is still undefeated. The Irish looked like they would suffer the classic letdown game after beating Oklahoma last week, but they rallied and improved to 9-0 for the first time since 1993.
WHAT PITT LOST: Pitt has had a nightmare of a season that began with a loss to Youngstown State, but this win could have erased a lot of pain. Not only beating a rival, but knocking that rival out of the national championship picture is sweet. Sadly, that didn't happen for Pitt, and now the Panthers need to find two wins in their final three games to qualify for a bowl game.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Everything that happened from the start of the fourth quarter until the end of the third overtime was pretty much insane.
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