SOUTH BEND, Indiana — One final yard. One yard was a difference-maker for Ohio State when it was 4th-and-goal and Ohio State was stuffed on third down then threw an incompletion on fourth down — and again when Notre Dame led Ohio State 14-10 with 1:26 remaining and the Buckeyes had the ball back, needing a touchdown to win the game.
Ohio State struggled in short yardage situations through the entire game, even failing to convert on what could have been a touchdown in a game of solid defense but missed opportunities, and close calls on offense. But Ohio State got the one yard that it needed the most.
Ohio State went 65 yards on 15 plays, and punched it one final yard to take the 17-14 lead over Notre Dame at 0:01, as the clock expired in Notre Dame Stadium.
“This team right here showed toughness, they showed grit, they didn’t give up, and they found a way to get that last yard,” head coach Ryan Day said following the win. “I’m sick over those short yardages that we didn’t finish, but that’s the game, and the last matchup game we were in we were one play short, and this one we finished it the right way and I’m really proud of this team.”
Quarterback Kyle McCord overcame 3rd-and-19, 4th-and-7 and 3rd-and-10 to have third string running back Chip Trayanum punch in a 1-yard touchdown for the Buckeye win. McCord completed a 25-yard pass to Emeka Egbuka but was faced with 4th-and-7 and completed a 7-yard pass to receiver Julian Fleming. McCord followed that up with a 19-yard pass to Marvin Harrison Jr.
On the next set of downs, on 3rd-and-19, McCord found Egbuka again for 21 yards. After a few incompletions, on 3rd-and-1, Trayanum ran it in 1-yard for the touchdown.
McCord completed a career-high 21 passes on a career-high 37 attempts for 240 yards.
Ohio State’s defense kept Ohio State in the game long enough for its offense to find pockets of plays. The Buckeyes didn’t score a touchdown until an hour into the game, when TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 61 yards to the end zone. The Ohio State offense never fully got in a groove, had mistakes and penalties, but made the right plays when it needed to.
Henderson led all rushers with 104 yards on 14 attempts and one touchdown. It was his sixth 100-yard game of his career and his first of the season. Egbuka had seven receptions and led all receivers with 96 yards.