By JOHN FINERAN, Associated Press
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – On a day when Notre Dame No.6 did little harm in a 55-0 shutout against besieged Georgia Tech on Saturday, coach Brian Kelly made a pitch for his team’s playoff aspirations during college football qualifiers. .
“It’s a team that is improving and continuing to do the little things the right way,” said Kelly.
Jack Coan threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns in just over the half and the Fighting Irish (CFP No. 8) had two defensive touchdowns for the second time this season, winning their sixth straight game since a loss of 24- 13 at home against No.3 Cincinnati on October 2.
Coan, a transfer graduate from Wisconsin, completed 15 of 20 assists. He netted 52-yard first-half touchdowns to Michael Mayer and 20 yards to Logan Diggs as the Irish took a 45-0 halftime. Coan came out after a streak in the third quarter and was replaced by real freshman Tyler Buchner, who pulled off a 68-yard rush on his first play.
With Coan leading the Irish offense and defense stalking Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates all afternoon, Notre Dame improved to 10-1, reaching the level of 10 wins for the fifth straight season in ahead of the Yellow Jackets of coach Geoff Collins (3-8) by a margin of 514-224 meters.
“They are a very good football team,” said Collins. “We were trained, executed and trained throughout the game.”
The shutout was the first at Notre Dame for first-year defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and the first by the Irish since a 52-0 shutout from South Florida on September 19 of last season when the Irish reached the football playoffs university for the second time in three seasons. The Irish have now played three games without allowing a touchdown.
“We control the games,” Kelly said. “The quarterback is efficient and pushes the ball down the field, we have one of the best tight ends in college football and an improving running game. They are a very good football team. “
Linebacker Jack Kiser hit a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown to give the Irish a 10-0 lead after Jonathan Doerer’s first of two field goals. The Irish then added a 9-yard touchdown from Kyren Williams, his first of two rushing touchdowns, and a touchdown pass from Coan to Mayer for a 24-0 lead after the first quarter. First-year running back Logan Diggs scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, the second on a reception from Coan, as Notre Dame opened up a 45-0 halftime lead.
Graduated defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa returned Yates’ fumble caused by defensive end Isaiah Foskey for 70 yards in the third quarter as the Irish led 55-0 after three quarters. Notre Dame recorded two interception returns for touchdowns in a 41-13 win over Wisconsin earlier this season.
Yates threw for 96 yards on 14 of 28 passes as Foskey and his company had six sacks, nine quarterbacks and forced two fumbles.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets couldn’t get by in the first half, totaling just 117 yards as Notre Dame harassed Yates and limited freshman Jahmyr Gibbs, who finished second nationally in general-purpose yards at 168 coming the game, just 40 rushing yards in the first half. He finished with 58 rushing yards and 122 all-purpose yards.
“Obviously this is a team that hurts in there,” Collins said. “It’s not the kind of football we’ve been playing in recent weeks. We have to be better and it starts with me. We have to find We have the No. 1 team in the country (Georgia) coming to town next Saturday . “
Notre Dame: The Irish couldn’t have played better than in the first half, scoring on their six offensive possessions and adding the 43-yard intercept return from Kiser, who had one of two interception returns for touchdowns against Wisconsin. Kiser, however, left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury that Kelly didn’t think was serious.
The 45 points in the first half were the Irishman’s strongest since scoring 45 points against their visit to Miami, Ohio in a 52-17 win in 2017. The Irish defensive line had seven of his quarters in a hurry at halftime.
“Defense love shutouts,” Foskey said after Notre Dame’s third straight game without relinquishing a touchdown. Navy had two field goals and Virginia one in previous games. “After the last two weeks it was great to see a zero on the board.”
Defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa was one of many players who missed out on the 28-3 victory at Virginia due to a flu outbreak on the Notre Dame campus. But he wasn’t going to miss his Notre Dame’s final home game, and he came out in style with his 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“The whole defensive line jumped out of their seats immediately,” said defensive tackle Howard Cross III. “He’s a great model. “
Mayer was one of 11 players to host. His three receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown give him 55 catches for 663 yards and five touchdowns. The Irish finished with 514 yards on total offense, 302 in the air and 212 on rushing as Buchner led the way with 67 yards rushing, running back Audric Estime had 61 yards and Williams finished 56 yards rushing and had added 31 receiving yards and 33 more yards on punt returns.
“I think we’ve definitely found our identity,” said the 6-foot 4-1 / 2, 251-pound second. “Coan threw the ball well. Kyren handled the ball very well. … Our attack is really coming together.
Depending on the outcome of subsequent games, Notre Dame likely consolidated its No.6 ranking in the Associated Press rankings and would likely earn a spot in the college football rankings on Tuesday with Ohio State’s 56-7 loss to the No. 7 Michigan State.
Georgia Tech: Host Georgia # 1 Saturday.
Notre-Dame: at Stanford on Saturday.
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