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It was one of several plays that the Irish got lucky on Saturday. On a fourth-and-4 play for Notre Dame early in the fourth quarter, with the ball on the Pitt 23, Everett Golson threw a pass to Tyler Eifert at the 8-yard line that was broken up by Pitt cornerback K'Waun Williams, who was called for pass interference. Replays appeared to show Williams made a good play. Golson completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to TJ Jones on the next play to cut the lead to 20-12.
It's the kind of luck Notre Dame's been having at home this season.
The Irish beat Brigham Young two weeks ago 17-14 after Riley Nelson missed a wide-open Cody Hoffman on a play that looked like a certain go-ahead touchdown. A week earlier, Note Dame beat Stanford 20-13 with a goal-line stand in overtime even though the Cardinal believed Stepfan Taylor scored on fourth down, and possibly even on third down.
The Irish also needed Tommy Rees to come off the bench to lead the Irish to a last-minute field goal to beat Purdue, and beat Michigan by just a touchdown. Notre Dame has won its five home games by a total margin of 23 points. Its average margin of victory on the road is 28 points. Kelly is at a loss to explain.
"We're really trying to figure that out. It might just be it is what it is," he said.
Kelly said he hopes the Irish learn from the narrow victory over Pitt they can't have any letdowns.
"You have to play your very, very best or all these games are going to come down to one or two plays," he said. "Hopefully they've learned from that."
Because they don't want to depend on luck.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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