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Key moments from Notre Dame’s 17-14 loss to Ohio State

| Sunday, September 24, 2023

Notre Dame receiver Tobias MerriweatherMary Voltava
The ball bounces at sophomore wide receiver Tobias Merriweather’s feet after an incomplete pass.

The Notre Dame football team played like champions for 59 minutes and 59 seconds Saturday night at home before falling to Ohio State 17-14 after Buckeyes running back Chip Trayanum managed a game-winning one-yard touchdown on the ground with just a single second remaining on the clock.

Here is how it happened.

1. A quiet first half

The team from Ohio and the squad from Indiana combined for three points during the opening two quarters. The only score came on a 31-yard Buckeye field goal with less than a minute remaining until halftime. Notre Dame achieved eight first downs, averaged 5.7 yards per play and held onto the football for more than 14 minutes during the first half without converting any points. The Irish attempted and missed one field goal during the whole game: a 47-yard kick early in the second quarter.

2. Defensive excitement on fourth down

Neither Midwestern powerhouse snagged an interception or recovered a fumble all night. However, both defenses did stand firm on fourth down. The Blue and Gold were successful on neither of their fourth-down efforts, and the Scarlet and Gray stayed alive on just one of their three fourth-down ventures. Those fourth-down stops were a big part of the game turning into a low-scoring, defensive struggle.

3. Notre Dame fans show up

Although the face-off between No. 6 Ohio State and No. 9 Notre Dame took place on the Autumn Equinox, Notre Dame Stadium was adorned in Christmas colors. Matching the green jerseys and pants of the home team’s student athletes, Irish fans in green wearing LED wristbands proudly populated the stands. The emerald canvas of the arena was splattered with red all around, but two sections seemed to forget the Christmas memo. The Notre Dame band sporting blue uniforms and the Notre Dame students donning no shirts (toward the end of the game) created an interesting color scheme among the crowd. The collage of Irish fans, who, after a long day of tailgating, crawled out of the multicolored tents of the stadium lot up into the stands for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, funneled noise all night long around the bowl of seats.

4. The final drives

With eight minutes and 22 seconds left in the final quarter, Hartman completed a two-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Rico Flores Jr. in the end zone to put the Irish ahead 14-10. Ohio State would get the ball back, but the Buckeyes turned it over on downs with just over four minutes remaining. The Irish ate up about three minutes of clock and punted back to the Buckeyes who drove down the field in less than 90 seconds to score the game-winning touchdown. When the pressure was on, Ohio State performed.

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About Peter Breen

Peter Breen is an associate news editor for The Observer. He can be reached at [email protected]. Breen grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and is a senior majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies.

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