Again Pitt fought back, this time for a 47-yard field goal to make it 17-16; then, with 8:09 left in the game and the ball on the Irish 24, Pinkett was called on once more. He ran a sprint draw to the left and then broke into the secondary as he cut back across the middle. "I saw two guys outside me waiting for me to run their way," he said. "Instead, I concentrated on going north and south to get through. I saw a little funnel, a vacuum, a void, a bubble, a gap, and I tried to get through it as quick as I could." He did, for 76 yards to make it 24-16. On the Irish's next possession Pinkett sealed the Panthers' fate, scoring his second TD of the day on a seven-yard plunge.
Pinkett pronounces his name to rhyme with "trinket," but after his 129 yards rushing against Navy and 112 at Pitt, Notre Dame Publicist Roger Valdiserri, who mangled the pronunciation of the 1970 Irish quarterback's name to coin the slogan "Theismann as in Heisman," was wondering whether it will soon be Pin-KETT as in...well, Pitt knows who.
All told, Marino completed 26 of 42 passes for 314 yards; it was one of the best statistical games of his career, if one of the least satisfying. "We bent," said Linebacker Mark Zavagnin, the Irish's leading tackler with 16, "we really bent." Indeed, Pitt had 25 first downs to 10 for Notre Dame, but Zavagnin and his cohorts never broke. And now "Pitt '82" can be added to the roll call of illustrious echoes that are there to be awakened in future years.