November 4, 2012 in Sports

No. 4 Notre Dame beats Pitt in triple OT


Notre Dame rallies to beat Pittsburgh in triple overtime

 Down 20-6 in the fourth quarter Saturday, Notre Dame was going to need some big plays and a little luck to stay undefeated and keep its national title hopes alive.

 It got just enough of both.

 Everett Golson scored on a quarterback sneak in the third overtime and the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish came back from a 14-point deficit to beat Pittsburgh 29-26 in South Bend, Ind.

  “We overcame a lot tonight. We overcame some uncharacteristic mistakes,” coach Brian Kelly said. “Last year that would have been a loss. But our team kept fighting, kept playing.”

 Notre Dame (9-0) is off to its best start since 1993, when it finished the season ranked No. 2. Pitt (4-5) missed a potential game-winning field goal in overtime.

 Kelly pulled Golson late in the second quarter because he was missing reads and progressions. But the coach put Golson back in after backup Tommy Rees threw an interception and the Irish fell behind by two touchdowns.

 Golson threw an 11-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter as Notre Dame cut Pitt’s lead to 20-12. Notre Dame’s chances for a comeback appeared to end when Pitt cornerback K’Waun Williams intercepted a pass by Golson in the end zone.

 But the Irish defense held, and Golson completed a 45-yard pass to DaVaris Daniels to the Pitt 5. Golson then threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick and ran in for the two-point conversion to tie the game.

 Kelly gave the game ball to Golson.

  “I think I did a great job of leading the team coming down the stretch. Coming out today we came out a little flat. As far as me personally, I missed a couple reads I should have had. Instead of putting three points on the board you put six,” Golson said. “But I feel like in the stretch we really came together.”

 Notre Dame avoided the fate of the 2002 team, the last Irish team to start a season 8-0, which was upset by Boston College 14-7. A victory seemed unlikely when they fell behind 20-6 late in the third quarter, again when Williams intercepted Golson’s pass in the end zone and yet again when running back Cierre lost a fumble as he attempted to dive into the end zone for the winning score in the second overtime.

 But the Irish kept finding life, the last time when Kevin Harper missed a 33-yard field goal after Wood’s fumble.

 Golson was 23 of 42 passing for 227 yards and rushed for 74 yards. The Irish needed his big plays to overcome a stellar performance from Pitt’s Ray Graham, who rushing for 172 yards, including runs of 55 and 48 yards.

(3) Kansas State 44, Oklahoma State 30: Collin Klein scored his 50th career rushing TD and piled up more than 300 yards of offense before leaving in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury, and the Wildcats (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) topped the Cowboys (5-3, 3-2) in Manhattan, Kan.

(6) Ohio State 52, Illinois 22: Carlos Hyde rushed for 137 yards and three TDs and Braxton Miller passed for two TDs and ran for another to lead the Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) past the Illini (2-7, 0-5) in Columbus, Ohio.

(7) Georgia 37, Mississippi 10: Aaron Murray threw four TD passes and the Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1 SEC) rallied from a 10-0 deficit to beat the Rebels (5-4, 2-3) in Athens, Ga., and move one win away from a spot in the SEC championship game.

(8) Florida 14, Missouri 7: Mike Gillislee took a screen pass and went 45 yards for a TD early in the fourth quarter, and the Gators (8-1, 7-1 SEC) survived a scare to beat the Tigers (4-5, 1-5) in Gainesville, Fla.

(10) Clemson 56, Duke 20: Tajh Boyd threw for 344 yards and tied a school record with five TD passes for the second straight week to spark the Tigers (8-1, 5-1 ACC) to a win over the Blue Devils (6-4, 3-3) in Durham, N.C.

(12) Louisville 45, Temple 17: Teddy Bridgewater threw a career-high five TD passes and the Cardinals (9-0, 4-0 Big East) beat the Owls (3-5, 2-3) in Louisville, Ky.

(14) Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 20: Landry Jones threw for 405 yards and a season-high four TDs and the Sooners (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) beat the Cyclones (5-4, 2-4) in Ames, Iowa, and moved coach Bob Stoops into a second-place tie with Bud Wilkinson on the school’s career win list. Stoops posted his 145th victory with Oklahoma. He is 12 wins shy of tying Barry Switzer for the most in school history.

(16) Texas A&M 38, (17) Mississippi State 13: Johnny Manziel threw for 311 yards and ran for 129 yards and two TDs, leading the Aggies (7-2, 4-2 SEC) to an easy win over the Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2) in Starkville, Miss.

Texas 31, (20) Texas Tech 21: David Ash threw three TD passes, Mike Davis had four catches for 165 yards and a score and the Longhorns (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) defeated the Red Raiders (6-3, 3-3) in Lubbock, Texas.

(21) Nebraska 28, Michigan State 24: Taylor Martinez threw a 5-yard TD pass to Jamal Turner with 6 seconds left, capping a rally from a 10-point deficit in the final 7:02, and the Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) beat the Spartans (5-5, 2-4) in East Lansing, Mich., to keep pace with Michigan atop the Legends Division.

(22) Louisiana Tech 51, Texas-San Antonio 27: Kenneth Dixon rushed for 72 yards and three TDs and the Bulldogs (8-1, 3-0) defeated the Roadrunners (5-4, 1-3) in Ruston, La.

TCU 39, (23) West Virginia 38 (2OT): Corey Fuller caught a 25-yard TD pass and Trevone Boykin threw to Josh Boyce for the 2-point conversion, lifting the Horned Frogs (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) to a double overtime win over the Mountaineers (5-3, 2-3) in Morgantown, W.Va.

Army 41, Air Force 21: Trent Steelman rushed for 101 yards and scored twice to power the Black Knights (2-7) to a victory over the Falcons (5-4) in West Point, N.Y., snapping a six-game losing streak in the series.

Penn State 34, Purdue 9: Matt McGloin passed for 321 yards and two TDs to lead the Nittany Lions (6-3, 4-1 Big Ten) over the Boilermakers (3-6, 0-5) in West Lafayette, Ind.

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