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Golson wills Notre Dame to 3OT win over Pittsburgh

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Golson wills Notre Dame to 3OT win over Pittsburgh

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Facing the most dire circumstances he's faced in his short career at Notre Dame, Everett Golson looked his best. And in the process, the first-year starter kept his team's title hopes alive with a 29-26 triple-overtime win over Pittsburgh Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
Down 20-12 with just over three minutes remaining, Golson heaved a 45-yard completion to DaVaris Daniels, hit Theo Riddick for a five-yard touchdown and rushed in the game-tying two-point conversion.
Then, in the third overtime period, Golson ran for the final eight years Notre Dame needed to eke out a win over a Pittsburgh team that gave the Irish more than they expected on the first Saturday in November.
"I thought he competed his butt off," coach Brian Kelly said of Golson. "He's not perfect, but the boy competes. And man, he just kept competing in the second half and found a way for us to get points on the board, so he got the game ball."
Notre Dame needed a massive break, though, to have the chance to beat a team that was more than a two-touchdown underdog in the game. After Cierre Wood's fumble was recovered in the end zone by Pitt in the second overtime period, the Panthers had a 33-yard attempt to win the game. But kicker Kevin Harper pushed the kick wide right, yet another miraculous twist for the 9-0 Irish.
"We definitely get a sigh of relief from seeing the refs waive their hands left and right," Daniels said. "You gotta quickly calm down because we gotta go back on the field and make a play ourselves."
Golson and Notre Dame did just that. Golson found Riddick for an 11-yard pass, after which Riddick rushed the ball to the seven. Golson rushed for about six and a half on the next play, then won the game with a dive into the end zone.
"I'm proud of how passionate both our offense and defense were," Golson explained. "The defense with their backs up against the wall, and Cierre fumbled, and just to have all the adversity and even through that we had guys on the sidelines saying, 'stay up, keep doing what you're doing, we're going to be good' and stuff like that. I'm just proud of the character we have."
While Golson showed a level of poise and confidence he hadn't previously displayed last week in Oklahoma, on Saturday, he showed a level of resiliency not seen since he took the reigns of Notre Dame's starting quarterback job in August.
Golson's day didn't start off with any major adversity, but two promising drives that sputtered into field goals in the first half were part of Kelly's decision to pull his starter from the game with 32 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter. Tommy Rees came in for that series and the first of the third quarter, which ended when he threw an interception.
After Rees' pick, Golson took the reigns back and led Notre Dame into the end zone on the second drive after his benching. On that drive, Golson either rushed or passed on the final 11 plays, including an 11-yard touchdown toss to T.J. Jones to cap it off.
While it wasn't the first time Golson had been pulled this year, this one irked him. Kelly said Golson was coming back to the sidelines and identifying what he was doing wrong, as opposed to the Michigan game in which Golson was in over his head.
"To be honest, I was a little upset just because the competitor in me wanted to be out there," Golson said. "But I think it was good for me that I actually saw it this time. I think previously in the beginning of the year, I would come out and they would end up telling me, but I think that just comes from a lot film study with coaches -- you know, actually seeing my mistakes and seeing it on the sidelines and seeing what they were doing kind of helped me come back and lead."
But it looked like Golson had thrown the game away late in the fourth quarter when his pass toward Troy Niklas in the end zone was intercepted. That killed what could've been a heroic 98-yard touchdown drive, and at the time it looked like it might've killed Notre Dame's title hopes.
"It was a horrible read," Golson said, adding earlier that it wasn't a good throw, either. "I think even with the read I made, if I get that ball up a little bit, it's a touchdown in the end zone."
That's something Golson may not have identified a month ago. Golson's improvements weren't confined to Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where he turned in the best game of his career last week. On Saturday, Golson turned in his best stretch of play this season, with that coming in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"He's been growing every week," offensive lineman and captain Zack Martin said. "And for him to come out there and drive the ball down, get benched, then come back in and win the game for us, it just shows his character and how much he's grown as a football player."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Bulls use Lauri Markkanen as centerpiece of a trade to bring in a superstar?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Bulls use Lauri Markkanen as centerpiece of a trade to bring in a superstar?

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly), Danny Parkins (670 The Score) and Lauren Comitor (The Athletic) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Manny Machado Mania continues in Chicago. Do the Cubs even need to trade for him to win the World Series this year?

Ricky Renteria has to bench another player for not hustling. Is this becoming a problem on the South Side?

Plus, Lauri Markkanen is named to the All-Rookie team. Could he be the centerpiece of a trade if the Bulls want to acquire a superstar or move up in the draft? 

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Marlon Byrd discusses his suspensions for PED use and Ozzie Guillen offers a solution to the PED problem

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NBC Sports Chicago

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Marlon Byrd discusses his suspensions for PED use and Ozzie Guillen offers a solution to the PED problem

Ozzie Guillen explains why he thinks Manny Machado is a better fit for the Cubs than the White Sox. Plus, Guillen and Marlon Byrd react to 19-year-old Juan Soto hitting a homer in his first at-bat with the Nationals.

Later in the show the guys debate who had the better rants in front of the media: Guillen or Byrd?

Finally, Byrd opens up about his PED suspensions, relates to the guys caught using PEDs now and Guillen offers up a solution to rid baseball of PEDs entirely.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: