Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh That Irish Luck; Notre Dame Still Undefeated

For three and a half quarters Saturday Notre Dame was beaten by the Pittsburgh Panthers.

The trouble for Pitt came in those final minutes and subsequent overtimes when the Irish defense stiffened and the offense suddenly remembered what they were doing.

The results were a 29-26 3OT thriller in South Bend ending with a Notre Dame comeback sparked by a phantom pass interference call.

The comeback was very impressive, no doubt, but the unsuccessful 4th down play that might have otherwise ended ND's chances should never have seen a flag.

My apologies for a lack of angles, but this is clearly the best one. Even the reverse view looked questionable but this one is just brutal. 

Everett Golson struggled much of the game until after head coach Brian Kelly briefly inserted Tommy Rees into the game.

Following an awful interception thrown by Rees, Golson returned with renewed vigor eventually scoring the winning touchdown on a QB sneak. I don't like playing musical chairs with your quarterbacks, but in this case Brian Kelly played that game quite well.

Golson took a step back from his coming out party against Oklahoma, but he's clearly still the only thing that makes the Irish offense go.

Rees is a wonderful safety blanket, but he shouldn't really see the field. This is Golson's team and even when he struggles he gives ND the best chance to win.

The Irish defense is a treat to watch when they're playing well, and even when Pitt was controlling the game, the defense never gave them much.

The Panthers' Ray Graham is a special back, so his 172 rushing yards are nothing to be overly concerned with. He does that to just about everyone.

The passing game for Pitt was pedestrian as well accounting for just 164 yards and a touchdown. When the game was on the line late, the Irish D put heavy pressure on Panther QB Tino Sunseri and he was rendered ineffective both in regulation and overtime.

Next up for Notre Dame is a rivalry clash with the miserable Boston College Eagles.

I get that it's a rival and emotions will be running high, but there are zero excuses for struggling in this game.

BC has a solid quarterback in Chase Rettig accounting for their No. 27 passing offense, but their rushing offense is No. 122, scoring is 98th and scoring defense is 87th.

Head coach Frank Spaziani has exactly three games before he is unceremoniously fired.

Unless the Irish hasten that process come Saturday, which is entirely possible.

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