The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were en route to the first monumental victory of the Marcus Freeman era, leading the Ohio State Buckeyes 14-10 with less than five seconds left. The victory wouldn’t be, however, as Buckeye RB Chip Trayanum scored as the clock hit zero to give the Buckeyes the victory.
However, we have to go to the film of the snap to really understand how Notre Dame bottled the end of that game, because for the last TWO PLAYS of the game, the Fighting Irish lined up with only 10 players on the field.
Yes, you’re seeing that correctly. The Fighting Irish lined up with only ten players on the field for the final two plays of the game. Keep in mind, this is also after a timeout. Notre Dame came OUT OF TIMEOUT with ten players on the field for the biggest moments of the game. Jesus might be with you, but you can’t count on him to set the edge.
Freeman spoke about the play and only having 10 players on the field after the game, but I’m not sure if it made things better.
“We were trying to get a 4th D-lineman on the field, and I told him just stay off… I didn’t have any timeouts, right? So we couldn’t afford a penalty there.”
– Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman on having only 10 players on the field for final play pic.twitter.com/Fqtp7oqz0Z
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 24, 2023
Ohio State was on the one yard line and it was a first down with three seconds left. It’s fine to eat the penalty there and have all 11 players on the field because the ball is only moving up an inch or two.
If Notre Dame ends up missing out on a major opportunity to crash the CFP this year, we can point back to this game, and that moment, as why. An inexcusably dumb thing to happen.