Every championship level team has to face adversity. For Notre Dame football, that adversity came against Pitt; and it took championship-level effort to end up 7-0.
There aren’t many things that are guaranteed in life. But, if there is one-thing Notre Dame football fans are used to, it’s close games that should have never been close. That story is becoming all too common versus Pitt.
The last time the Irish were undefeated and eyeing a National Championship appearance, it was Pitt who forced Notre Dame into a triple-overtime thriller.
It took a great defensive effort for Notre Dame in 2012, just as it did this time around. The Irish were held to just 19 points — a season-low at a time when Notre Dame’s offense was averaging more than 46-points over the last three games.
Points were scarce as the Irish trailed for the majority of the game -– yet another form of adversity that Notre Dame hadn’t faced yet.
When it came time to make a play, it was Julian Love who altered the game on defense.
With just over five minutes left to play in the third quarter, Kenny Pickett was met with pressure from Julian Okwara. Able to just get the ball off, Pickett attempted to hit Shocky Jacques-Louis. It was Love who broke up the pass on third-and-five on what would have been a first down.
Love forced a 47-yard field goal attempt — and with flashbacks of 2012 — the kick went wide right.
Love’s play led to Notre Dame’s first touchdown of the day and some much-needed momentum.
It wasn’t how the Irish wanted the day to go, but they showed that no matter what challenges they face, this 2018 Notre Dame football team will not fold.