Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 12, 2016

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

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Page 22 of 55 SEPT. 12, 2016 23 BY MATT JONES F or a while it looked like the larg- est Notre Dame comeback vic- tory in more than 30 years. When the contest was over, a 50-47 double-overtime loss to the Texas Longhorns stung just like the other 23 defeats in head coach Brian Kelly's seven years with the Irish. "There are no moral victories. Losing is losing," Kelly said. "We worked too hard, we sacrificed too much to feel good in any way about losing a football game." Imposing Texas senior backup quar- terback Tyrone Swoopes — the same player that finished just 7-of-22 passing for 93 yards against the Irish in 2015 — ran for a six-yard touchdown in the second overtime period to lift Texas to a dramatic win over 10th-ranked Notre Dame, capping a wild back-and-forth evening at Darryl K. Royal-Texas Me- morial Stadium. Not even five passing touchdowns from Notre Dame junior quarterback DeShone Kizer could lift the Irish in front of a Texas-record crowd of 102,315. Kizer split time with senior Malik Zaire in the first half, a rotation Kelly abandoned after halftime while Notre Dame gained steam. Trailing 31-14 in the third quarter, the Irish scored touch- downs on three of their next four pos- session to take a 35-31 lead. "Everybody just figured out that it's not a big deal that we're playing down here," senior left tackle Mike Mc- Glinchey said. "It's obviously a huge game and everything like that, but once you realize that it's just a football game, that's when it gets easier to start play- ing football." The Longhorns responded, and with 3:29 remaining in the game, ju- nior running back D'Onta Foreman ran for a 19-yard touchdown to give Texas a 37-35 lead. The extra point was blocked by Irish fifth-year senior defensive tackle Jarron Jones and re- turned for two points by sophomore cornerback Shaun Crawford to tie the game at 37-37. In the first overtime, Texas had pos- session first and Swoopes scored on a three-yard run to make it 44-37. It took only one play and a Justin Yoon extra point for Notre Dame to tie the contest, with sophomore slot receiver C.J. Sand- ers taking a middle screen from Kizer and navigating through the defense for a 25-yard score. Notre Dame took a 47-44 lead in the second overtime on a 39-yard Yoon field goal, but the Longhorns answered five plays later, keeping it on the ground with Swoopes on the final three plays, highlighted by an 11-yard run to the Irish 5-yard line during which he ran through several defenders. "Get Swoopes in there and let's run behind him," Texas head coach Charlie Strong said. "You see that one run; he ran over two guys." Texas' revived offense was on dis- play with true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele. After tallying just 163 yards in a 38-3 loss to the Irish last sea- son, the Longhorns outgained Notre Dame 517-444, including a 237-206 ad- vantage on the ground. Senior running back Tarean Folston ran for 88 yards on 18 carries for the Irish, while sophomore running back Josh Adams had 11 carries for 43 yards. Buechele completed 16 of 26 passes for 280 yards with two scores, and also had a rushing TD. But when the Horns were faced with critical short-yardage plays late in the game, Swoopes was a wrecking ball the Irish couldn't stop. "Swoopes is obviously very difficult to tackle. He's a big, physical player," Kelly said. "Clearly we were not in some positions to make some tackles. When we were, they ran through some tackles as well." Zaire played three series for Notre Dame and was largely ineffective, fin- ishing 2-of-5 passing for 23 yards and carrying three times for no yards. Texas took its largest lead of the Texas senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes came off the bench to rush for 53 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in the second overtime. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA STAMPEDED Longhorns run wild and stun Irish 50-47 in double overtime

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