Notre Dame had not trailed in its first five games of the season. In their sixth versus Stanford, they needed to overcome multiple deficits to continue their undefeated season. They overcame in dramatic fashion in regulation and overtime.
Notre Dame and Everett Golson moved down the field to tie the game on a 24 yard touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert. At that point, the Irish tied the game up at 10-10. Stanford then marched down the field and kicked a 27 yard field goal to retake the lead.
When Golson suffered a head-to-head hit on the ensuing driving, the closer Tommy Rees entered the game. Against Purdue and Michigan, Rees led the Fighting Irish to victory. Stanford would not be different. First, Rees led Notre Dame down the field for a Kyle Brindza 22 yard field goal with 0:20 seconds remaining in regulation. Second, Rees passed his way to a touchdown on the first possession of overtime. The drive was capped by a seven yard reception by TJ Jones.
If that was not dramatic enough, the Defense was prepared to turn Notre Dame Stadium in pandemonium. After Stanford had moved to the 4 yard line, the Fighting Irish defense tightened up. After moving the ball inside the 1-yard line, Stanford Running Back Stepfan Taylor was stood up the Notre Dame defensive line and standout Manti Te’o. Then, Notre Dame did something that will be talked about for a long time. They stopped Taylor again.
Controversy has ensued from the call. Many fans and pundits believe that Taylor actually got the ball over. However, one of the issues what happened during the play was the fact that the Referees had blown the ball dead. This made the Irish players think that the play was over. Therefore, the defenders on the play quit playing when Stepfan Taylor kept trying. Ultimately, it is this fact that lead to Notre Dame’s goal line stand.
Golson suffered a mild concussion on the head to head hit. But according to Head Coach Brian Kelly, Golson should be cleared for Saturday’s game against BYU. It is possible that serious questions need to be asked now about the direction of the Quarterback position going forward. Kelly said that he was proud of how Golson performed on Saturday and that it would be great moving forward. However, if Notre Dame wants to win and manage the game now, Rees may be the best choice according to some analysts.
Notre Dame’s defense has not allowed a touchdown since Purdue scored late against the Fighting Irish. Since that point, the Fighting Irish have allowed 4.5 points per game. Overall, the Fighting Irish defense is 2nd in the country with 8.7 points per game. They only trail Alabama who is allowing 7.5 points per game.
Following the game, Notre Dame Stadium erupted into a wild mass of people. The students rushed the field and nearly everyone was still in the stadium as the alma mater was sung. The drama for this weekend’s game was unbelievable. College GameDay, multiple come backs and a goal line stand. That’s a full weekend.