Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

November 5, 2012

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Luck, opportunism helped Irish stay perfect

SOUTH BEND — Some people referred to it as the “Luck of the Irish.” Others thought it was taking advantage of an opportunity.

Whatever you want to call it, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were able to keep their undefeated season (9-0) and hopes of playing in a BCS Bowl alive on Saturday with a 29-26 come-from-behind victory in triple overtime against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium.

Pittsburgh had a chance to win the game in the second overtime after stopping the Irish by recovering an ND fumble in the end zone. The Panthers’ placekicker Kevin Harper missed a 44-yard field goal following a high snap opening the door for the Irish to win the game.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was about his thoughts as Harper was lining up to make the potential game-winning kick.

“In all those situations there is just so much going on that I can’t ever stop and think about one play,” he said.

“I’m always thinking about something else that has to happen. So I couldn’t give you a great answer other than I hope he misses, because I’d like to win this game.”

Bowl watch

Notre Dame remained No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press Poll behind Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State.

Kelly was asked after the game if he would be pulling for USC (playing Oregon), LSU (Alabama) or Oklahoma State (Kansas State) on Saturday night.

“Maybe I should say the politically correct, yes, you know,” he said. “We really hope -- I don’t really care about that. Everybody says I should care. I care about my football team. I care about getting better. We’re really just focused on ourselves. We can’t worry about all those other things. We really can’t.

“I could be politically correct and say, yeah, I care, we’re going to watch it. But to be honest with you, we’ve got a lot of work to do with our football team.”

Defensive leader

Six-six (303) defensive end Stephon Tuitt record 1 1/2 sacks Saturday, giving him 10 on the season and tying him with Bert Barry (1996) and Mike Gann (1984) for the third most in a single season in school history. Justin Tuck is the leader with 13 1/2 in 2003 followed by Victor Abiamiri 10 1/2 (2006).

Tuitt and 6-4 (3-0) defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore combined on a sack in the fourth period. He also combined with 6-2 (255) middle linebacker Mati Te’o on one in the fourth quarter and with 6-3 (326) defensive tackle Louis Nix III in the third overtime.

Irish effort

Six-one (206) sophomore safety Matthias Farley had a tackle and two assists on Saturday despite having surgery during the week.

“Matthias was operated on Tuesday, he was out cold on an operating table on Tuesday,” Kelly said. “They put two plates and six screws in his hand, put a cast on him, he came back and practiced Wednesday and Thursday you know, did the best he could. We had to call on Nick Baratti to come in and help us as well as Elijah Shumate coming in.”

Baratti is a 6-1 (206) freshman, Shumate a 6-0 (198) freshman and 5-11 (182) freshman KeiVarae Russell is a freshman starting cornerback.

“You’ve got four youngsters in the back end of that defense contributing really big,” Kelly said.

Great starts

Notre Dame is off to a 9-0 start for the seventh time in the last 60 years and the 16th time in school history. The last time it happened was in 1993, when the Irish opened with 10 consecutive victories before dropping a 41-39 decision to Boston College.

Next Saturday’s game at Boston College will have an 8 p.m. kickoff and will be televised by ABC.

The 15 previous 9-0 starts have resulted in nine undefeated seasons, eight national championships and six bowl berths (6-0 record).

Kelly joins Irish legends

Third-year coach Brian Kelly is the fifth Notre Dame coach to begin a season with a 9-0 record. Knute Rockne did it five times, Frank Leahy four, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz both three.

Kelly’s process

Kelly often refers to the “process” of building a football program and for the veteran coach things begin taking shape in the third season. Kelly was 3-9 in his second season at Central Michigan before going 9-4 in the third. He was 7-5 at Cincinnati before going 12-0 and was 6-6 last year at Notre Dame.

Pittsburgh series

Saturday was the 68th meeting between Notre Dame and the Panthers with the Irish now holding a 47-20-1 advantage.

Overtime record

The win over Pittsburgh on Saturday improved Notre Dame’s all-time record in overtime games to 5-8. All five of the Irish victories have been at home (Air Force in 2000, Washington State in 2003, Washington in 2009 and Stanford in 2012).

It’s the third time in school history the Irish have played multiple overtime games in one season (2000 and 2009).

The Irish and Panthers have played one previous overtime game with Pittsburgh winning 36-33 in four overtimes in 2009.

Down to the wire

Notre Dame fans should be used to close finishes by now as the Irish have been involved in 26 games decided by seven points or less since the start of the 2009 season. Fifteen of the last 21 losses for the Irish have been decided by a touchdown or less, including seven by a field goal or less.

Notre Dame has played in 60 games in the 125-year history of the program where the winning points have occurred in overtime or in the final minute of regulation. Incredibly, 15 have been in the past five seasons.

The Irish have played 16 games decided by a touchdown or less since the arrival of third-year head coach Brian Kelly. Notre Dame was 2-5 in the first seven, but have since gone 8-1.

The Irish have already won five games this season by a touchdown or less. The school record for a single season is six by the 1939 club that had a 6-1 mark in games decided by seven points or less.

Long drives

The Irish registered their longest scoring drive in terms of plays (18) and time of possession (9:26) of the season, but Notre Dame only managed a 20-yard field by sophomore Kyle Brindza for a 6-3 lead at 9:26 of the second period. Notre Dame has not had a longer scoring drive in terms of plays since Oct. 21, 2006 when the Irish had a 20-play drive against UCLA that also resulted in a field goal.

Ball control offense

The Irish dominated time of possession, churning up 35:23 off the game clock compared to 24:37 for Pittsburgh. In the first period, Notre Dame has the ball for 11:32 of the 15:00.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • GN140418 bulls playoff push NBA: Bulls ready to start playoff push against Wizards CHICAGO -- Lose a franchise player, trade away another star. Snag home-court advantage for at least one round in the playoffs? It's not the way the Chicago Bulls mapped it out at the start of the season. But here they are, holding the fourth seed and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140418 ghs wawa nr btrk 01 PREP BOYS TRACK AND FIELD: Warriors triumph GOSHEN -- The Wawasee Warriors showcased a couple of very talented athletes in an NLC meet with the Goshen Redskins and the Northridge Raiders Thursday night at Foreman Field. Juniors Clayton Cook and JJ Gilmer were involved in six first places finis

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140418 bglf goshen hartsough PREP BOYS GOLF: Goshen easily downs Central in 2014 opener ELKHART -- Sometimes, the third time really is the charm. After the first two scheduled meets of the season were postponed due to inclement weather earlier this week, the Goshen High School boys golf team was finally able to start the 2014 season Th

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 26

    April 17, 2014

  • Pacers Magic Basketball -3 [Duplicate] NBA: Pacers rest 3 starters, cruise past Magic ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as the Indiana Pacers rested their key players and cruised to a 101-86 victory over the Orlando Magic in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Eastern Conference's top se

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140417 soft ghs jim 11 Hot start by Jimtown dooms Goshen, 12-7 GOSHEN -- The Jimtown Jimmies had one of those starts that about all Goshen High School baseball coach Josh Keister could do was shrug his shoulders. Jimtown scored six runs in the top of the first inning with only two of their six hits leaving the i

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140417 soft ghs ec 03 PREP SOFTBALL: Goshen struggling GOSHEN -- For the first four innings of Wednesday's nonconference softball contest, things were looking pretty good for the Goshen Redskins. On a chilly, windy spring day at Shanklin Park, Goshen led Elkhart Central, 2-0 heading into the top of the f

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hammons says he'll stay at Purdue

    A.J. Hammons says he'll return for another season with Purdue

    April 16, 2014

  • GN140416 gc baseball practice COLLEGE BASEBALL: Leaf nine battle injuries, seek consistency GOSHEN -- The 2014 season so far has been one of struggles for the Goshen College baseball team. With a few weeks left in the season, the Maple Leafs are 6-28. Goshen snapped an eight-game losing streak last Sunday with an 18-14 win at home over Wr

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results