On an overcast day in South Bend the tenth ranked Irish battled it out against the eighteenth ranked Virginia Cavaliers. For the second weekend in a row Notre Dame played an opponent ranked in the top twenty. After a loss last week to Georgia this would be a big game for Notre Dame as they try to prove themselves worthy of a spot in the College Football Playoff. As for Virginia a win for them would prove that their top twenty ranking was no fluke.
It didn’t take long for Virginia to get on the scoreboard, scoring a passing touchdown in the first five minutes of the game. Notre Dame responded quickly. A Tony Jones Jr. rushing touchdown, a Virginia fumble, then a rushing touchdown from C’Bo Flemister and the Irish led 14-7. Virginia took the lead back with a field goal and touchdown late in the second quarter to go up 14-17 at half.
Virginia used their first half momentum to catch the Irish by surprise and started the second half with an onside kick. However, Virginia was unable to capitalize. Momentum shifted back to Notre Dame after a huge fumble recovery by Myron Tagovailola-Amosa which led to Tony Jones Jr.’s second rushing touchdown of the game giving the Irish a 21-17 lead. Fumbles continued to be a problem for Virginia, Adetokunbo Ogundeji took his fumble recovery to the house extending the Notre Dame lead to 28-17.
Besides the onside kick by Virginia, the second half was controlled by the Irish. The Notre Dame defense forced four turnovers in the second half alone. Notre Dame dominated this one on the ground as well. Tony Jones Jr. finished the game with three rushing touchdowns, including a 30 yard run late in the second half to seal the deal for the Irish.
Notre Dame improves to 3-1 on the season with the 35-20 win over Virginia. The Irish are back at home next week against Bowling Green.