DURHAM, N.C. — On a night of explosive offense, No. 15 Notre Dame came away with a 38-7 win over Duke on Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The Irish (7-2) controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides, outgaining the Blue Devils (4-5) 469-197, including 288-95 yards rushing. The Irish recorded nine offensive plays of at least 15 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per play while limiting Duke to just 3.2 yards per play.
Senior quarterback Ian Book went 18-of-32 for 181 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to a career-best 139 rushing yards. His four-score performance made him one of just two Notre Dame quarterbacks to throw at least four touchdown passes on four occasions, joining Brady Quinn, who accomplished the feat seven times.
Senior receiver Chris Finke led the Irish with two touchdown receptions and 100 all-purpose yards, including a 46-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. Senior wideout Chase Claypool added 97 yards and a touchdown. Tight end George Takacs and running back C’Bo Flemister also added touchdowns for the Irish.
Linebacker Drew White led the Irish with seven tackles while cornerback Troy Pride Jr., linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, safety Jalen Elliott and safety Alohi Gilman each recorded six tackles.
How It Happened
The Irish got on the board first when Book found Finke on an 18-yard touchdown strike just seven minutes into the game. The play capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive after the Irish defense forced a punt on the Blue Devils’ first possession.
Book connected with Claypool on the next drive for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Irish a 14-0 lead. The Irish went 65 yards in five plays, including a career-long 40-yard rush from Jahmir Smith that jump-started the possession.
Midway through the second quarter, the Irish added to their lead after Book broke off a 12-yard rush followed immediately by a career-long 45-yard scamper to the Duke five before a pass interference penalty put the ball at the two. From there, Flemister flushed it home with his fourth touchdown of the season and his career to make it 21-0 in favor of Notre Dame.
After a holding penalty wiped out a 78-yard Finke reception with less than five minutes left in the half, the Irish punted to give Duke possession at their 39-yard-line. Two plays later, the Blue Devils found the end zone when Quentin Harris hit Aaron Young for a 29-yard touchdown.
The Irish took the 21-7 lead into the half when Duke missed a field goal attempt as time expired in the second quarter.
Duke took possession to start the second half, but after the Blue Devils looked to extend their opening drive after a penalty erased an incompletion on fourth down, the Irish took over on the next play when a Troy Pride Jr. interception gave the Irish the ball at their own 30.
Consecutive completions of 23 and 35 yards to Claypool moved Notre Dame deep into Duke territory and Finke’s second touchdown grab of the night — a six-yard snag from Book — extended the lead to 28-7. The score marked Finke’s first career multi-score game.
A 34-yard Jonathan Doerer field goal made it 31-7 two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Five minutes later, Finke added to his already career night with a career-best 46-yard punt return, setting the Irish up at the Duke 13-yard-line. The drive ended with a two-yard pass from Book to Takacs for the latter’s first career touchdown, making it 38-7.
- QB Ian Book joins Brady Quinn as the only two Notre Dame signal-callers to throw four or more touchdown passes in a game on four occasions in their career (Quinn accomplished this feat seven times).
- With the second score in the first quarter, Book reached 42 career touchdown passes (finished the game with 44 for his career) – moving him into sixth all-time in program history (passed Everett Golson and Rick Mirer; 41)
- Book posted two career-high rushes, the first for 45 yards in the second quarter and the second for 53 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter.
- Book totaled 149 rushing yards, leading the Irish. The last Notre Dame quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards was Brandon Wimbush vs. Wake Forest in 2017 (110).
- WR Chris Finke put up the first points of the night on an 18-yard touchdown catch from QB Ian Book. The score came following a 10-play, 85-yard drive, which included a 30-yard contested snag by WR Chase Claypool. With the win tonight, the Irish are 5-1 (this stat is entering tonight) this season when scoring first.
- Finke recorded his second touchdown of the game on a six-yard pass from Ian Book on Notre Dame’s first drive in the third quarter. The two scores mark Finke’s first career multi-TD game. He also recorded a career-long 46-yard punt return.
- Claypool caught a seven-yard pass for a touchdown from Book in the first quarter, his fifth touchdown catch of the season and 11th of his career. It was Claypool’s first score since his two receiving touchdowns vs. Bowling Green.
- Claypool finished the night with ___ receptions for ____ yards, marking the fifth-highest single-game total of his career.
- RB C’Bo Flemister rushed two yards for Notre Dame’s third touchdown of the night and Flemister’s fourth of the season and career.
- TE George Takacs recorded his first career reception on a touchdown pass from Ian Book in the fourth quarter.
- On the opening drive of the second half, CB Troy Pride Jr. snagged an interception, returning it 39 yards. The interception marked the fourth of his career and first of the season.
- CB TaRiq Bracy recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter to give the Irish possession at the Duke 29-yard line.
- RB Jahmir Smith posted a career-long 40-yard rush in the first quarter, topping his previous high of 24 yards vs. Louisville this season.