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ND thriving in close games

Jack Hefferon | Monday, November 5, 2012

Notre Dame has played 16 games decided by a touchdown or less since the arrival of third-year coach Brian Kelly. The Irish went just 2-5 in the first seven such games under Kelly, but are 8-1 since then. Saturday’s 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter is the largest the Irish have overcome under Kelly and their biggest fourth-quarter comeback since Notre Dame trailed Michigan State 37-21 and came back to win 40-37 in 2006.

Over the century mark
Over the course of Saturday’s game, Notre Dame tied the school record of 104 offensive plays. The Irish also ran that many against Iowa in 1968. The Irish also recorded their longest scoring drive of the season, but managed just a field goal to grab a 6-3 lead in the second quarter. The drive took a time of possession of 9:26, which it the program’s longest scoring drive in at least 15 seasons.

In total, the Irish ran 44 more offensive plays than Pittsburgh, who ran just 62. The imbalance led to the Irish holding an advantage in time of possession, holding the ball for 35:23 in regulation.


Contact Jack Hefferon at wheffero@nd.edu