The Notre Dame Fighting Irish went on the rare road trip for this season and absolutely dominated the Virginia Cavaliers with a 28-3 win to improve to 9-1 on the season. Virginia’s quarterback situation was a big question mark this week as Brennan Armstrong was dealing with an injury to his ribs. Armstrong couldn’t go, and UVA went with freshman Jay Woolfolk.
It really didn’t go well for UVA, and their #1 offense could barely function for most of the game. In the first half, Virginia only managed 92 yards of offense — which is the least amount of yards given up by the Irish in a first half since Boston College in 2015.
Notre Dame started the game with a 12 play drive that took up five minutes and resulted in zero points after a failed 4th and one attempt. It didn’t matter much as the Irish forced a three and out on UVA and got a shanked punt for their troubles.
Six plays later, Jack Coan found Michael Mayer for a six yard touchdown pass to go up 7-0.
Notre Dame scored touchdowns on their next two drives. The first one was a short touchdown pass to Braden Lenzy to finish a 60 yard drive. The second score went 80 yards on 9 plays and was finished by Kyren Williams with a 22 yard touchdown run.
Notre Dame went into halftime up 21-0 with a big reason being the stellar play by Bo Bauer at linebacker. Bauer wreaked havoc all night, and was making tackles all over — as well as putting a ton of pressure on Woolfolk when blitzing.
It was a much quieter second half for Notre Dame.
Jack Coan threw a deep interception on Notre Dame’s first possession of the third quarter, and then the Irish were forced to punt on a three and out on the next possession. The “messing around” finally came to an end with a quick 61 yard drive that ended with a Jack Coan touchdown pass to Kevin Austin. It was Coan’s third of the night, and it was a gorgeous pass that hit Austin in stride in the endzone.
Notre Dame finally gave up some points to Virginia as they finished a 10 play 59 yard drive with a Dino Babers like field goal to make it 28-3 early in the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame answered the field goal with a very pretty 85 yard drive that ended terribly. Tyler Buchner and Logan Diggs mishandled the mesh point and fumbled the ball inside the 10 yard line. The Irish forced a three and out after the fumble, but the next drive was pretty sloppy, and Notre Dame turned it over on downs after a failed 4th down.
The Hoos moved the ball a little bit more, but after Notre Dame’s 7th sack of the night, D.J. Brown intercepted a pass in the endzone to bring out the victory formation.
More to come on OFD.