It was a game of second chances for Golson, who was yanked during the second quarter before returning in the second half to help keep Notre Dame undefeated with a scintillating 29-26 comeback victory over Pittsburgh in three overtimes Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
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Not a bad rebound for a guy who was standing on the sideline late in the second quarter after being pulled for several misreads on passes.
"At that point I didn't know I would get a chance," Golson said. "To be honest, I was a little upset. Just because of the competitor in me; I just wanted to be out there. (But) actually seeing my mistakes and kind of seeing it from the sideline and seeing what they were doing really helped me come back in and lead us to the victory."
Golson finished 23 of 42 for 227 yards and an interception and rushed for 74 yards on 15 carries.
"He missed a number of things we thought he needed to have down by this time," Kelly explained of the benching. "We brought Tommy in (and) he had an untimely turnover, and we went back to Everett. He's not perfect but (he) competes. He just kept competing in the second half and found a way for us to get enough points on the board."
Included in those points was the winning touchdown after Pitt kicker Kevin Harper pushed a 33-yard attempt wide to keep the Irish alive. Golson finished things off with his 1-yard score.
Golson's teammates had confidence the QB would turn his game around and spark a comeback.
"Everett came back in, no one thought twice about it," tackle Zack Martin said. "We knew he was going to lead us down the field for a couple of drives and win a game for us."
Added tailback Theo Riddick: "He's growing up on the scene. Everybody saw that (Saturday), him being taken out quite early, and just coming back and being completely awesome."