Top Ten Fighting Irish Highlights Of 2012

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5. Breakfast With The Fighting Irish 

Sep 1, 2012; Dublin, IRELAND; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Tyler Eifert (80) catches a pass for a touchdown as Navy Midshipmen cornerback Parrish Gaines (2) defends in the second quarter at Aviva Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame kicked off the season in Ireland against the Naval Academy. For fans in the Eastern timezone, the Fighting Irish started the game at 9:00 a.m. on CBS. Some started it off with eggs, sausages, pancakes and maybe even a Guinness. Notre Dame pounded Navy, 50-10. The game featured the begin of the Everett Golson era. He demonstrated efficiency passing 12 for 18 for 144 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The Irish attacked the Midshipmen mainly on the ground as they rushed for 293 yards. Notre Dame’s season

4. Te’o Becomes The Defensive Player With The Most Heisman Votes

Dec 8, 2012; New York, NY, USA

No Defensive player had ever garnered more votes for the Heisman Trophy. In the moment when Johnny Manziel walked up on stage to accept the Heisman Memorial Trophy, it was difficult to thing of the historical significance of what Te’o had done. He deserved to win. However, as time has passed, it has become apparent that Te’o should just how good he was this by getting so much of the vote and almost making history himself. He was a transcendant figure for College Football world. His contributions to football will be remembered longer than the proclaimed “Johnny Football”.

3. Notre Dame Survives in Overtime Against Pittsburgh

Nov. 3, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) celebrates after scoring the game winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the third overtime at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 29-26. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame trailed Pittsburgh by 14 points early in the 4th Quarter. With 13:40 remaining, Everett Golson found T.J. Jones on a screen to make the score 20-12 (Kyle Brindza missed the extra point). When Golson was interception with about 4 minutes to go, there were not many people who believed that Notre Dame still had a chance to win. But, after a quick stop and a deep pass to DaVaris Daniels, Everett Golson found Theo Riddick in the back of the end zone with 2:11 left. Golson then scrambled around before he found then end zone to complete the 2-point conversion. To add to the already dramatic game, Pittsburgh Kicker Kevin Harper had an attempt to beat the Fighting Irish in the Second Overtime and end their unbeaten season. But, Harper’s attempt fell wide right and Notre Dame went on to win on a Everett Golson quarterback-sneak.

2. Manti Te’o and the Notre Dame Defense Stand Up Stepfan Taylor 

Oct. 13, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor (33) attempts to dive over the goal line as Notre Dame Fighting Irish nose guard Louis Nix (9) and linebacker Manti Te’o

It is hard to select which was more exciting: Pittsburgh or Stanford. But, Stanford ended on an epic goalline stand from the Fighting Irish team. This goalline stand seemed to embody Notre Dame’s season. Notre Dame would bend but never break. It demonstrated the strength of the Notre Dame Defense, it’s red-zone defense. On 3rd Down, it was Notre Dame Standout Manti Te’o who hit Stepfan Taylor and stopped his progress short of the goalline. On 4th, it was a team effort begun by Bennett Jackson. The sheer pandaemonium that ensued in that stadium was unparalleled.

1. Notre Dame Lands in the BCS National Title Game

Nov. 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o

Notre Dame had never been ranked #1 in the BCS standings before this year. But, they finished the regular season ranked #1. They will play Alabama for the National Title. It has been 19 years since Notre Dame has been in this position. Notre Dame capped off their season with a victory against rival Southern Cal. That win was also sealed with another goalline stand by Manti Te’o and his teammates.