Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 18, 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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20 SEPT. 18, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TYLER HORKA N o. 8 Notre Dame didn't need a miracle. It just needed a Mayer. With the Fighting Irish down five points to underdog Toledo with less than two minutes remaining, graduate student quarterback Jack Coan had to put the ball in the hands of the team's best playmakers. And that's ex- actly what he did. Coan found senior wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. for a gain of 34 yards on the first play of the two-minute drill. Then he hit sophomore tight end Michael Mayer for six more. Two penalties pushed the ball to the Toledo 18-yard line. Coan hit Mayer for the game-win- ning touchdown from there. After a de- fensive stand that ended with a forced fumble and recovery, the ball was back in Coan's hands for a kneel down. No miracle necessary. Just a Mayer. Notre Dame turned the ball over three times. Toledo (1-1) scored 17 points off those giveaways. In many ways, Notre Dame was fortunate to escape with a 32-29 victory and push its record to 2-0 to start the 2021 season. "You don't usually survive those games and win when you do that, that's number one," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. "And number two, we gave up big plays on defense." Toledo recorded plays of 66 and 67 yards. Kelly said the Notre Dame de- UPSET AVERTED Notre Dame rallies late for 32-29 victory versus Toledo

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