It was a brutal day for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Virginia Tech Hokies came to South Bend as 17 point underdogs, but as the minutes ticked off of the clock, it became more and more evident that the Irish weren’t good enough to pull off a big point win.
Take your pick for the reasons Notre Dame struggled all day. Penalties and offensive miscues were the most obvious, but the Irish failed to live up to any respectable standard in every phase of the game.
It was the 3 terrible turnovers that ultimately killed Notre Dame. Ian Book threw a redzone interception, and one that Divine Deablo picked off in the endzone — but the Jafar Armstrong fumble from the 2 yard line that Deablo returned for a touchdown was the toughest to swallow.
The fumble return that Deablo scored on made the game 14-14 with 9 seconds left in the first half. Notre Dame held a 244-85 yard advantage over Virginia Tech at that point.
Notre Dame’s second half was filled with even more miscues which allowed Virginia Tech to kick in a couple of field goals to make it 20-14. Notre Dame threatened halfway through the 4th to score a TD but penalties forced them to kick a 25 yard field goal that Jonathan Doerer missed wide right.
With 3:29 left in the game, the Irish forced Virginia Tech to punt from their 41 yard line. Notre Dame took over at their 13 yard line. The Irish drove the ball down to the VT 33 yard line, and then Ian Book hit Chase Claypool on 4th down to get it to the 7 yard line. Three plays later, Ian Book runs it into the endzone on a designed QB run. A bad extra point attempt still made it through the goalposts, and the Irish were up 21-20 with 29 seconds left.
They closed the game out for the win via a Kyle Hamilton interception — but oh my lord it was close. Stay tuned to OFD for more.