65 Yards in 85 Seconds: An Anatomy of Ohio State’s Thrilling Game-Winning Drive to Beat Notre Dame in South Bend

By Josh Poloha on September 24, 2023 at 1:48 am
Kyle McCord

When Ohio State needed them the most, Kyle McCord and his offense stepped up in a major way to finish the quarterback's fifth start of his career.

After their previous two drives concluded with a punt and not being able to convert a first down on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1, the Buckeyes' offense put that behind them and redeemed themselves Saturday night, giving Ohio State a 17-14 win over No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend Saturday night.

With 1:25 remaining, Ryan Day's offense needed to drive 65 yards down the field and score a touchdown while having only one timeout in their pocket. We take a look at each of the 15 plays on Ohio State's game-winning drive that led to the Buckeyes coming away with a huge top-10 win over the Fighting Irish:

1:26 - 1st-and-10 at OSU 35: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

Following an 8-yard punt return by Emeka Egbuka, McCord's pass is tipped at the line and doesn't make it to TreVeyon Henderson in the flat.

1:22 - 2nd-and-10 at OSU 35: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

McCord overthrows Henderson coming out of the backfield. The running back would have had plenty of room to run if the pass was completed.

1:18 - 3rd-and-10 at OSU 35: Emeka Egbuka 38-yard catch

Egbuka beats his man off the line of scrimmage, and McCord finds him 20-plus yards downfield near the left hash mark for a first down, keeping the drive alive.

1:07 - 1st-and-10 at ND 42: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

McCord throws into double coverage just outside the 10-yard line, and Julian Fleming is forced to play some defense to prevent an interception.

1:01 - 2nd-and-10 at ND 42: Cade Stover 3-yard reception

McCord gets pressured and connects with Stover near the sideline for a short three-yard completion.

0:56 - 3rd-and-7 at ND 39: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

McCord's pocket collapses quickly, and he throws an incomplete pass while getting hit.

0:51 - 4th-and-7 at ND 39: Julian Fleming 7-yard reception

Fleming gets some open space while running across the field and barely gets the first down after catching the ball three yards in front of the sticks.

0:41 - 1st-and-10 at ND 32: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

Stover is wide open in the middle of the field, but McCord is a little late with the pass, and it's nearly intercepted by Notre Dame, barely out of reach of Fighting Irish safety DJ Brown's hands.

0:37 - 2nd-and-10 at ND 32: Marvin Harrison 19-yard catch

Harrison gets open on a post route nearly 20 yards down the field and makes a diving catch to put the Buckeyes inside the 15-yard line with less than 25 seconds remaining.

0:27 - 1st-and-10 at ND 13: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

McCord underthrows Harrison in the end zone on a play that would have been a very tough completion to make as a Notre Dame cornerback blanketed the receiver.

0:22 - 2nd-and-10 at ND 13: Kyle McCord called for intentional grounding

McCord nearly gets sacked, and to prevent that (and from Ohio State needing to waste its final timeout), he tries to throw the ball away with a Notre Dame player hanging on him. The problem: There wasn't a Buckeye close to the pass, leading to intentional grounding. To prevent a 10-second runoff, Ohio State is forced to use its last timeout.

0:15 - 3rd-and-19 at ND 22: Emeka Egbuka 21-yard reception

Egbuka finds an open space in the zone just in front of two Notre Dame defensive backs and catches a 21-yard pass just in front of the goal line to put the Buckeyes on the brink of a touchdown.

0:08 - 1st-and-goal at ND 1: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

McCord spikes the ball to stop the clock.

0:07 - 2nd-and-goal at ND 1: Kyle McCord pass incomplete

McCord rolls out to his right and overthrows Harrison in the front corner of the end zone.

0:03 - 3rd-and-goal at ND 1: Chip Trayanum 1-yard touchdown run

With Notre Dame only having 10 players on the field and no down lineman on the left side (just like the last play), McCord lines up in the shotgun and hands the ball to Trayanum, who barely makes it over the goal line, giving Ohio State a 17-14 lead with one second remaining in the game. The touchdown capped off a drive that included McCord completing a pass for a first down on 3rd-and-10, 4th-and-7 and 3rd-and-19.

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