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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Notre Dame linebacker Te'von Coney tackles Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis during the first half of Saturday night's game.

Sunday, October 07, 2018 1:00 am

Notre Dame 45, Virginia Tech 23

97-yard run helps Irish pull away

Notre Dame at 6-0 thanks to Williams' big night

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

For the first time since the undefeated regular season of 2012, Notre Dame is 6-0.

The No. 6 Irish went to Blacksburg, Virginia, and weathered a raucous Virginia Tech crowd, getting a second straight huge game from Dexter Williams to pull away from the No. 24 Hokies and emerge with a 45-23 victory Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 65,632.

Notre Dame led 17-16 at halftime after a back-and-forth first half, but owned the second half, just as it did against Stanford a week earlier.

Arguably the biggest play of the game came early in the third quarter. The Irish took over at their 5-yard line, leading by just a point. Williams lost 2 yards on first down, but on second down he burst through a huge hole in the left side of the line and outraced everyone 97 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-16.

The running back tallied his second 100-yard game in a row after sitting out the first four games because of a suspension. He finished with 182 yards on 17 carries, while scoring three times.

The next time Notre Dame got the ball after Williams' touchdown run, the Irish moved the ball into Virginia Tech territory. From the 40, Ian Book was flushed out of the pocket and rolled to his left. Miles Boykin saw his quarterback scrambling and re-routed himself into open space behind the defense, where Book found him for a touchdown and a 15-point lead.

Boykin was Notre Dame's most prolific receiver, hauling in eight catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. It was his second straight 100-yard game and fourth of his career.

The Irish jumped out to a 10-0 lead barely nine minutes into the game after moving the ball with ease. Virginia Tech (3-2) closed the gap, but Khalid Kareem strip-sacked Hokies quarterback Ryan Willis and cornerback Julian Love scooped up the loose ball for a 42-yard touchdown that preserved the lead at halftime.

With the extra point on a fourth-quarter touchdown, kicker Justin Yoon passed All-American running back Allen Pinkett as the all-time leading scorer in Irish football history. He scored eight points in the game and has 321 in his career.