The Cardinal offense lined up on 4th and goal only a few inches shy of the goal line and the tying score they'd need to push the game into a second overtime period. Quarterback Josh Nunes took the snap, turned towards the backfield, and handed the ball to Stepfan Taylor for his fifth consecutive carry. Taylor took the ball and ran directly into the line behind the right guard, but he was immediately met by the surging Notre Dame defense.
The crowd erupted and a few Irish defenders began celebrating, but Taylor's legs kept churning and his body kept twisting. He appeared to be stopped a second time, but since he was still atop the pile, the play was still alive. Finally, even as the announcers were proclaiming a Notre Dame victory, Taylor somehow managed to spin clear of the pile and reach the ball towards the goal line.
As the Notre Dame defense raced upfield in apparent victory, the referees gathered, keeping hope alive for the Cardinal. Had Taylor actually scored? Was Stanford an extra point away from a second overtime? The NBC cameras -- the same cameras providing the replay footage for the officials in the review booth -- showed several different angles of the play, and most of them seemed to confirm that Taylor had, indeed, pushed the ball across the plane before his knee touched the turf.