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South’s defense stopped Notre Dame on the next possession, the Gators using timeouts to preserve the clock. But on their first play back on offense, Notre Dame’s Jimmy Murphy picked off Gorken, giving the Irish the ball inside Gators territory.
South’s defense jumped offside on fourth-and-5 from the 27-yard line with 32 seconds to go in the half.
“We just weren’t clicking tonight,” Keegan said. “We didn’t bring it. We’re better than that. We know we are. It’s a kick in the butt, but it was a great season.”
Immediately following the penalty, Notre Dame QB Anthony Sayles connected with Ty Gavin over the middle for a 22-yard touchdown pass to put the Irish up, 7-0, at half.
“It was a great read by our quarterback,” Notre Dame coach Mike Hennessey said. “That wasn’t what we called. We were calling for just a flat hitch and reverse. It was a great read by Anthony.”