Junior running back Tony Jones Jr. had 18 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 10 Notre Dame showcased an opportune defense in a 35-20 win over No. 18 Virginia on Saturday evening in South Bend, Ind.
The Fighting Irish (3-1) outscored the Cavaliers 21-3 in the second half after trailing by three points at the break. Notre Dame forced five turnovers, recorded eight sacks and allowed only 4 rushing yards.
Bryce Perkins completed 30 of 43 passes for 334 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Virginia (4-1). His top receiving targets were Hasise Dubois (nine catches, 143 yards, one TD) and Joe Reed (nine catches, 107 yards, one TD).
Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book completed 17 of 25 passes for 165 yards.
Virginia opened the scoring with 10:58 to go in the first quarter, as Perkins found Reed for a 6-yard touchdown.
Notre Dame pulled even on a 5-yard touchdown run by Jones with 4:35 left in the quarter.
An 11-yard touchdown run by C’Bo Flemister put Notre Dame on top 14-7 in the final minute of the first quarter, before Virginia rallied for 10 unanswered points before halftime.
The first three came on a 32-yard field goal by Brian Delaney seven minutes into the second, then Perkins hit Dubois for a 16-yard touchdown to put the Cavaliers up 17-14 with 43 seconds left in the half.
The Fighting Irish did not trail for long, however, running off 21 straight points to build a comfortable lead.
Jones started the outburst with a 2-yard run with 9:20 left in the third quarter.
Notre Dame’s defense sparked the next touchdown, as defensive end Julian Okwara notched a sack and a forced fumble, which teammate Ade Ogundeji scooped up before sprinting 23 yards into the end zone.
The Fighting Irish pulled ahead 35-17 on Jones’ third touchdown of the game with 10:28 to go in the fourth quarter. He weaved through the line of scrimmage and dodged an attempted open-field tackle for the 30-yard score.
Virginia pulled within 35-20 on a 27-yard field goal by Delaney with 6:28 remaining.
Alohi Gilman and Kyle Hamilton had one interception apiece for Notre Dame.
—Field Level Media