Pittsburgh kicker Kevin Harper (39) and holder Matt Yoklic react after Harper missed what would have been the game-winning field goal in the second overtime period against Notre Dame in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Notre Dame defeated Pittsburgh 29-26 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Coach Brian Kelly concedes Notre Dame got lucky when officials didn't notice the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish used two players wearing the No. 2 when Pittsburgh missed a 33-yard field goal in the second overtime on Saturday.
The Irish (9-0) won 29-26 in the third overtime, but Pitt kicker Kevin Harper should have been given a second chance because Irish cornerback Bennett Jackson and wide receiver Chris Brown were both on the field wearing the same number. Kelly said Sunday it was a coaching mistake. He says he became aware of it after the play.
It was one of several lucky breaks the Irish got in keeping alive their national championship hopes. Kelly says he doesn't believe teams are lucky. Instead, they are fortunate to find ways to win.