Sunday, November 10, 2013
Bad Officiating and Three Turnovers Cost Notre Dame Any Chance Of BCS
Then it happened. Stephon Tuitt had a vicious hit on Panther quarterback Tom Savage. Although it was in bounds and it was Savage who lowered his head, Tuitt got a targeting penalty which got him ejected. That totally changed the game as Pittsburgh exploited that hole in a line that was already thin before the Tuitt ejection. The defense was not the same after that and could not stop a mediocre offense. Along the way there was a really bad pass interference call that led to a touchdown.
Having said all that, the defense should have been able to overcome the Tuitt ejection as he is not the only playmaker they have. Giving up three second half touchdowns to this offense who has a bad line is inexcusable.
Offensively it was another big day statistically. Rees had 318 yards passing with two touchdowns and TJ Jones had six catches for 149 yards and an 80 yard touchdown. But it was those two guys who had crucial errors that cost the Irish points. Jones had a long catch in the second quarter but fumbled inside the five. Rees just fell apart in the 4th quarter with two interceptions. One of them was in double coverage in the end zone.
Another factor in this game was that I felt the offensive game plan was poor. Tarean Folston had a breakout performance last week but he only got four carries against Pittsburgh. That is just inexcusable. The running game was completely abandoned in the second half in spite of the fact that it was working in the first half. And although that was a bad throw by Rees in the endzone, I was puzzled why they couldn't pound it in when they only needed a couple yards.
All these factors combined created a bad loss to a team they should have beaten. Now that the BCS is gone, it will be a long two weeks before BYU comes to South Bend for Senior Day. Notre Dame still needs to finish strong in hopes to get a decent bowl.