Nov 6, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT
The Irish won another thriller on Saturday, a 29-26 triple-overtime victory over Pittsburgh that featured late game heroics on both sides of the ball. After falling behind 20-6, the Irish outgained the Panthers 223 to 21 in yardage over the course of the fourth quarter and overtime. Everett Golson led two late touchdown drives highlighted by a two-play, 50-yard drive and two-point conversion to tie the game with less than a minute to go in regulation.
The defense gave up a pair of touchdowns and several big rushing plays earlier in the game, but tightened up in critical situations in the second half. Trailing 17-6, Notre Dame faced another Pittsburgh scoring threat — first and goal at the Irish 2-yard line. ND held Pitt to a field goal on that possession, keeping the game within two scores.
From that first-and-goal forward, Pitt ran 29 plays from scrimmage and gained only 16 total yards of field position and one first down. Pittsburgh could not convert a first down on any of its final six possessions of the game (three in regulation, three in overtime).
The Irish defensive dominance down the stretch is illustrated in the charts above. On the season, Notre Dame has given up 4.6 yards per play, ranking 13th nationally. On the first nine possessions faced per game this year, opponents have averaged 4.7 yards per play. From the tenth possession forward against ND, the Irish have surrendered only 2.8 yards per play.
Brian Fremeau (’99) is a college football writer, stats analyst, and data visualization designer. His work regularly appears at ESPN Insider, ESPN the Magazine, Football Outsiders, and on his own site, BCF Toys. He develops and publishes numerous possession-based statistics including the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a college football rating system based on opponent-adjusted drive efficiency. Follow Brian on Twitter.
About Strong and True
ND Football on YouTube
- RT @CoachBrianKelly: #WeAreND 1 hour ago
- Not a bad day when an NFL All-Pro alum comes back to talk with your guys. Keep doin' your thing with the… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 5 hours ago
- Burst. Hops. Heart. Cole Luke showed out at our Pro Day prior to the 2017 NFL Draft. #NDintheNFL https://t.co/RXVSuqe8qj 1 day ago
- RT @NDFootball: 24 Reps at 225lbs. 36" Vert. No Linebacker accomplished both those feats at the NFL Combine. James Onwualu did at our Pro… 1 day ago
- RT @dalex3333: We can never have enough great players take the field on game day. Recruiting never stops! We want the best of the best. Who… 1 day ago
- Track. Aragon Finishes Seventh at Raleigh Relays
- Baseball. Sunday Brunch: Nussbaum Still Makes Plays
- Swimming & Diving. No. 19 Notre Dame Earns Highest NCAA Championship Point Total, Finish in School History
- M. Lacrosse. Replay: Irish Roll Past Buckeyes
- Fencing. Notre Dame Strengthens Lead After Day 3 At NCAA Fencing Championships
- Fencing. Irish Increase Lead At NCAA Championship
- Baseball. Bass Strong As Irish Fall To Seminoles
- Softball. Irish Fire On All Cylinders To VT Series Sweep
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish Rally Past No. 1 Seed Minnesota, 3-2
- M. Lacrosse. Irish Hand Buckeyes First Defeat Of Season In 12-7 Victory