Notre Dame lost in heartbreaking fashion to Ohio State Saturday night, and it was made all the worse with the college football world pointing out a glaring mistake made by the Fighting Irish on the most important play of the game.
The No. 6 Buckeyes were down 14–10 on the final drive, and with just 10 seconds left, wide receiver Emeka Egbuka caught a pass on the 1-yard line to set up a Chip Trayanum game-winning rushing touchdown. Upon further review of the plays, there were only 10 Notre Dame players on both sequences.
After the game, Fighting Irish coach Marcus Freeman addressed the costly mistake.
Notre Dame had only 10 men on the field for the final two plays 👀 pic.twitter.com/mVnL87yrxV— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 24, 2023
“We were trying to get a fourth d-lineman on the field and I told him just stay off because we can’t afford a penalty. I didn’t have any timeouts,” Freeman said. “We couldn’t afford a penalty there. It’s on us. We gotta be 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."— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 24, 2023
- Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman on having only 10 players on the field for final play pic.twitter.com/Fqtp7oqz0Z
It’s worth noting that when the No. 9 Fighting Irish only had 10 men on the field for the Egbuka completion, the Buckeyes spiked the ball to stop the clock, leaving time for Notre Dame to fill in the gap with a d-lineman. But it never happened and it led to Trayanum’s game-winning rush that won his team the game by centimeters.
"TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. THEY WALK IT OFF AT NOTRE DAME STADIUM."— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 24, 2023
Ohio State's Chip Trayanum scores on a one-yard run to give the Buckeyes a victory against Notre Dame. pic.twitter.com/DpCgbBuRvk