Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 24, 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 52 of 114

IN THE TRENCHES ANDREW OWENS "W hy aren't they all on Gol- son?" Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly asked a reporter after the 55-31 loss at Arizona State Nov. 8, implying that all five Irish turnovers fell on the shoulders of senior quarterback Everett Golson. Fast forward one week and it is not unfair for Irish fans to ask, "Why is it not all on Kelly?" Just as Kelly backtracked some a few days later and spread the blame to other players as well for the Arizona State loss, there clearly were other is- sues at hand in Notre Dame's 43-40 loss to Northwestern as well. However, a pair of decisions cost the Irish and turned an ugly win into a de- flating loss — the third in four games for the program that began the month in playoff conversation. With 10:34 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Irish leading 40-29, Kelly opted to go for a two-point conversion rather than kick the extra point. A 41-29 advantage would have required the Wildcats to score two touchdowns, rather than settling for one (with a successful two-point con- version of their own) and a field goal. There's a world of difference be- tween margins of 11 and 12 points, but little between 12 and 13 as Notre Dame later learned. Coaching Decisions Hurt Irish Head coach Brian Kelly made a pair of calls that came back to haunt the Irish in their unsettling defeat at the hands of Northwestern. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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