Despite early struggles, Notre Dame sticks with Golson


Despite early struggles, Notre Dame sticks with Golson

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Everett Golson had to sit on the sidelines and watch as Notre Dame pulled off a thrilling overtime win over Stanford on Saturday. But it wasn't for the reason he was yanked in two previous games.

As time ran down with Notre Dame needing three points to tie in the fourth, Golson was knocked out of the game on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Stanford defensive back Usua Amanam.

"Blow to the head and his vision was blurred," coach Brian Kelly said of Golson's injury. "And he wanted to get back in, and our medical personnel would not clear him."

The long-term diagnosis for Golson isn't clear, although if he suffered a concussion it could keep him on the sidelines for at least the near future. If that's the case, any missed time will come on the heels of what may have been a turning point for the young quarterback's confidence.

"What I was really proud of, and I hope you'll take notice of this, Everett hit a point there where his dauber was down a little bit, his confidence was a bit shaken, and he came back with a great drive and did some really good things," Kelly said. "Whereas, when he had that situation against Michigan, we really had to move in another direction. He fought through that and made a big step today. He made some plays, he helped us win this football game."

At the half, Golson had completed six of 16 passes for 61 yards. More importantly, though, he held on to the ball too long in the end zone on a third-and-16 and was sacked, resulting in a fumble Stanford recovered in Notre Dame's end zone for its only touchdown of the day.

"If I had a chance, I'd take that one back," Kelly said of the play call to have Golson pass. "If I had to do it all over again, I would have taken that one back."

After that fumble, Golson led Notre Dame into field goal range, but didn't get any points out of it when Jordan Cowart's snap sailed high through holder Ben Turk's hands.

"He responded great," Tommy Rees, who entered the game after Golson was hurt in the fourth, said. "He's got a good head on his shoulders, he put it behind him in short-term memory and found a way to keep it in the offense."

It wasn't until late in the third quarter when Golson really took off, though. He capped a 52-yard scoring drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert that tied things up at 10, the first touchdown he's thrown to the All-American tight end since Week 1.

"He was feeling more comfortable with the rush," Kelly said. "Obviously he's learning about a pressure situation where they are just four down, where you have to slide in the pocket. I was really proud of him today. He grew up. I know it wasn't as clean and the numbers, you can analyze them and say well, he didn't play well.

"All I can tell you is that in his growth, he did some things for me as a head coach that allow us to keep progressing with Everett."

Crosstown class: White Sox congratulate Cubs on World Series berth

Crosstown class: White Sox congratulate Cubs on World Series berth

The Cubs are headed to the World Series for the first time since 1945. 

The White Sox took to Twitter to congratulate their Crosstown rival on their World Series berth.

Classy move by the South Side, which won the World Series in 2005.

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

This Five Things was headed for a lot of negativity before the final three minutes of regulation. But thanks to the Blackhawks’ third-period comeback, this one won’t sting as much as Friday’s installment.

So while you all celebrate the Cubs going to a World Series, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-4 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1. Waking up just in time. The Maple Leafs haven’t played their best hockey in third periods – entering Saturday’s game, they’d been outscored 6-1 in that frame. But for 17-plus minutes of the third it didn’t look like the Blackhawks were going to take advantage of that stat. But they would, salvaging a point out of nowhere with two goals within a minute (Artem Anisimov at 17:32 and Richard Panik at 18:32). Better late than never.

2. The Richard Panik show continues. The forward said he doesn’t think about Toronto anymore, that it’s all about the team he’s with now. But looking at his celebration on his game-tying goal late in the third period, there had to be a little motivation to score against the Leafs, right? The Blackhawks don’t care who the opponent is, and Panik now has six goals to start the season.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Power play fizzles. Ah, thought we were going to talk about the other special teams? In a second. The bigger problem on Saturday was the Blackhawks’ advantage, on which they went 0-for-6. It took until overtime, when their fifth power play was a 4-on-3 for them to really generate anything against the Leafs.

4. Late-period goals hurt. The Blackhawks looked set to enter first intermission with a 1-0 lead but Tyler Bozak scored with just 14 seconds remaining. They could’ve had a 2-2 tie entering the second intermission but James van Riemsdyk scored with 1:44 remaining in the second. Again, the Blackhawks overcame that. But coach Joel Quenneville talked about the loss of momentum in games, and here are two examples of it.

5. The Auston Matthews show. The Leafs phenom didn’t score a goal on Saturday but there’s no doubt he had his effect. His speed was especially on display on William Nylander’s goal; Matthews drew several Blackhawks and Nylander had a rather open net on the rebound.