Sept. 4, 2016
The 10th-ranked University of Notre Dame football team (0-1) rallied from a second-half 17-point deficit, but fell in double overtime to Texas (1-0), 50-47, at Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
It was a back and forth battle all evening in front of a Texas record crowd of 102,315. Notre Dame began the scoring on its first drive of the game, a 13-yard touchdown pass from DeShone Kizer to Equanimeous St. Brown at 12:28 in the first quarter.
Texas answered with two long touchdown drives of 75 and 88 yards, respectively, before another Kizer-St. Brown hook up tied the game at 14-14 with 3:44 left in the first half. The tie would not last long, however, as Texas marched 80 yards in seven plays to earn a 21-14 lead at halftime.
The Longhorns maintained their momentum early in the second half, scoring on a 72-yard touchdown pass on their second play from scrimmage. After tacking on a field goal to build to a 31-14 lead at 9:14 in the third quarter, Notre Dame rallied with 21 unanswered points – two Kizer touchdown throws and one run by the junior signal caller – to take a 35-31 early in the fourth quarter.
The Longhorns came back again with another long scoring drive (eight plays, 68 yards), capped by a 19-yard scoring rush from D’Onta Foreman. Notre Dame’s Jarron Jones blocked the point after attempt, however, and it was returned for two points by sophomore Shaun Crawford to tie the game at 37-37 and set the stage for overtime.
Texas struck first in extra time on a Tyrone Swoopes three-yard scoring run, but Notre Dame immediately answered with a 25-yard scoring strike to C.J. Sanders on the first play of its overtime possession.
The home team’s defense held Notre Dame to a 39-yard field goal to start the second overtime and Texas scored in five plays – the final a six-yard game-winning touchdown run from Swoopes to cap both a thrilling game and thrilling first week of college football action.
The Irish will return home to face Nevada in Notre Dame Stadium on Sept. 10, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
There were plenty of candidates for `the play of the game’ in a two-overtime thriller. Kizer’s 29-yard touchdown run, his drop-in-a-bucket 17-yard touchdown pass to Josh Adams to put the Irish ahead 35-31, or Isaac Rochell’s key tackle-for-a-loss on third down a 14:02 in the fourth quarter to get the Irish the ball to set the stage for the Kizer-to-Adams hook up, but there is little doubt as to the definitive play of the game:
Shaun Crawford’s 98-yard blocked point-after-touchdown return for two points to tie the game at 37-37.
Texas was poised to to take a three-point lead with 3:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. Longhorn place kicker Trent Domingue lined up for the point-after-attempt, but graduate student Jarron Jones rose up, swatted the ball to the turf (his fifth career blocked kick) and it was scooped up by Crawford, who out-raced the field to score two points and tie the game 37-37.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
Offense: DeShone Kizer – 15-24 passing for 215 yards and five touchdowns, plus 77 yards rushing and one touchdown.
Defense: Isaac Rochell – Nine tackles, five solo, 2.5 TFL and one quarterback hurry.
STAT OF THE GAME:
No turnovers for Notre Dame.
The Irish did not turn the ball over against the Longhorns, a traditional indicator of a positive outcome for Notre Dame. Notre Dame had won all previous 19 games under Brian Kelly when they did not turn the ball over. The game marks the fourth straight season opener the Irish have not turned the ball over.
Shaun Crawford’s interception and 22-yard return at 6:20 in the third quarter.
Notre Dame had just broken the Texas scoring streak, which allowed the home team to build a 31-14 advantage, with a 29-yard touchdown run by DeShone Kizer. With Texas feeling a bit of pressure, Shane Buechele overthrew his intended receiver, Crawford made the interception and returned it to the Texas six yard line. Kizer eventually hit Torii Hunter Jr. with a five-yard touchdown pass to cut the Longhorn lead to three points.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 4, 2016