Notre Dame should have been penalized for overtime jersey gaffe vs. Pitt

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

A technicality should have negated Pittsburgh's missed field goal in the second overtime Saturday, allowing the Panthers another chance to win the game.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat the Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday thanks to a furious comeback and a heroic effort from quarterback Everett Golson, but it could have all been for naught due to a technicality in the second overtime.

As Pittsburgh kicker Kevin Harper lined up for a 33-yard field goal in the second overtime which would have won the game, Notre Dame had two No. 2's on the field -- Bennett Jackson and Chris Brown. The referees did not notice.

Harper missed the field goal, the game went to a third overtime and Notre Dame eventually won, but had the referees noticed the jersey gaffe, the game could have swung the other way. The penalty on Notre Dame would have negated the missed field goal and given Pittsburgh a first down.

According to Matt Fortuna of ESPN Chicago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly did not notice the error until after the play, but took full responsibility for the mistake.

"No exception to [the rule]," coach Brian Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference. "It was a coaching mistake. ... We've got to do a better job -- an oversight that can't happen."

As it stands, the penalty was not called and Notre Dame's perfect season continues.

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