First, what you're probably looking for -- the GIF of Stepfan Taylor coming very, very, very close to scoring the tying touchdown in overtime. He was ruled down both before and after review, with a forward progress call essentially deciding the game (here's a video version):
Okay. Now the recap. For the first time all year, Notre Dame trailed. And for the first time in four years, Notre Dame has beaten Stanford. The No. 7 Irish survived a brutal game in breezy rain, topping their US News & World Report rivals in overtime, 20-13, on a controversial final call.
Stanford took a 13-10 lead with six minutes left in the fourth on a field goal after a 16-play, 68-yard bruiser of a drive. The way Stanford's defense had contained the Irish attack to that point (under 250 yards on the day), that might've done it.
But young Everett Golson piloted the Irish near midfield, then a late hit flag on a scramble sent the ball into Cardinal territory. Tommy Rees, who'd already pulled off two late-game miracles so far this year, came on. The ice cold junior, an on-again, off-again starter over the past calendar year, found a completion and another flag before Cierre Wood powered inside the five. A couple of safe play calls, and to overtime we went.
Rees found T.J. Jones for a seven-yard score in OT, and a huge goal line stand in the rain against one of college football's best power offenses sealed the win, twice stuffing big Stepfan Taylor at the line. He appeared to come extremely close to crossing the line after a third effort, but the call stood.
Box Score Hero: We'd go with the Stanford front seven for its pass rush, which posted three sacks, 14 hurries, and a strip-sack touchdown of Golson by Chase Thomas. But Stanford lost. As it is, we'll go with Manti Te'o's 11 tackles and ...
There is a certain irony that Notre Dame has to use a quarterback named "T. Rees" to beat Stanford.— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) October 13, 2012
He didn't play for very long, but he did the one thing he's very good at. He went four-for-four for 44 yards and the game-winning touchdown. What more do you want?
Rankings Ramifications: With West Virginia and possibly South Carolina losing, No. 7 Notre Dame could arrive in the Top 5. No. 17 Stanford now has two losses, but they're both competitive road losses -- sticking around the bottom of the Top 25 wouldn't be out of the question.
But Did They Cover? Notre Dame was favored by a full touchdown.
Next Week's Schedule: Stanford gears up for the Game against Cal, which takes on Washington State later Saturday night. The Irish welcome fellow independent BYU, currently locked in a battle with No. 10 Oregon State.
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