It’s quickly developing into a special season in South Bend. The last time the Notre Dame Fighting Irish eked by the Stanford Cardinal it became a precursor to Brian Kelly‘s squad eventually playing for a national championship.
Could Notre Dame be a team of fate again this season?
RELATED: Watch a full replay of the game
With their backs against the wall and trailing 14-10, the Fighting Irish faced a 4th-and-11 situation from Stanford’s 23-yard line. Golson dropped back to pass as the clock neared one minute remaining. No receiver was open as Golson worked thorugh his initial progressions. The quarterback rolled to his left after feeling pressure. Golson spotted tight end Ben Koyack wide open in the corner of the end zone. The quarterback unleashed the most critical pass of the season and connected with the big target for the game-winning touchdown.
Notre Dame faced the nation’s No. 1 defense and still came away with a 17-14 victory. Even on a rain-soaked field and multiple mistakes couldn’t stop the Fighting Irish offense from amassing 370 total yards against David Shaw‘s defense.
Kelly can now look toward the future with two concerns despite a 5-0 start.
While Golson eventually became the hero of Saturday’s contest, he could have easily been the goat. Six turnovers in two games generally equates to losing football. The talent around Golson continues to pick the him up, but there are talented programs still on Notre Dame’s schedule which will eventually take advantage of the quarterback’s mistakes.
The upcoming schedule is certainly daunting.
The Cardinal were ranked 14th in the nation, but Stanford isn’t playing at the same level as the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles, who Notre Dame faces in two weeks. Also the other team to beat Stanford, the USC Trojans, are also on the Fighting Irish’s schedule.
Notre Dame prides itself on a tough schedule, and this year’s version will be difficult to navigate.
But like the 2012 team, Notre Dame can hang its hat on a strong defense and a quarterback that makes clutch plays at key moments. It also helps that four of the nation’s Top 6 teams lost this weekend too.