Drew Pyne is the future at Notre Dame. No make that Tyler Buchner! Cancel that, it’s Jack Coan again.
In a crazy game that was back and forth all night, Notre Dame beat Virginia Tech 32-29 in thrilling fashion. Jack Coan started in a surprise, especially for those Irish fans expecting to see Drew Pyne all week. But when Jack Coan struggled again, Tyler Buchner came in and rallied the troops but then he was knocked out.
The Irish were forced to go back to Coan to lead them again. Trailing by eight with 3:55 left, Jack Coan and the Irish scored 11 unanswered points and sealed the win with a 48-yard field goal from Jonathan Doerer with 17 seconds left.
The Hokies built an early 10-point lead after the first 20 minutes of play, as they scored on a seven-yard touchdown rush from Raheem Blackshear late in the first quarter and then tacked on a field goal early in the second quarter.
Buchner entered the game with 10:35 left in the first half and gave the Irish offense an immediate spark. Notre Dame marched down the field with a seven play, 75-yard drive which was capped off by a three-yard touchdown scamper from Buchner to cut the host’s lead to 10-7.
After the two sides traded punts the Irish went back to work, putting together a nine-play, 80-yard drive that took just 59 seconds to put Notre Dame in front for the first time at 14-10 with 32 seconds left in the half. Buchner connected with Avery Davis for 37 yards to spark the scoring drive and then found Kyren Williams in the endzone for the eight-yard touchdown completion.
The 32 seconds were just enough time for Virginia Tech to connect on a 52-yard field goal as time expired to trim the Irish lead to 14-13 heading into the halftime break.
Virginia Tech managed to retake the lead on the opening drive of the second half, going 61 yards over 11 plays, ending with a 26-yard field goal to make the score 16-14.
After the Irish offense was unable to respond on the ensuing drive, the defense came up with a huge play to give Notre Dame a short field. Cornerback TaRiq Bracy jumped a route and made the first interception of his career to give the Irish the ball on the VT 29-yard line.
Notre Dame cashed the turnover in, scoring a touchdown on a highlight-reel 10-yard run from Williams to give the Irish the lead at 21-16 with 4:27 remaining in the third quarter.
The see-saw battle continued with the Hokies going back on top after returning an interception for a touchdown with less than a minute left in the third. Notre Dame’s Bo Bauer intercepted the two-point attempt to keep the Virginia Tech lead at 22-21.
The Hokies added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 29-21 with just 3:55 remaining.
Coan re-entered the game for the Irish and drove them right down the field for a touchdown. He finished the seven-play drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Avery Davis. On the two-point conversion, Coan connected with Austin Jr. to tie the game at 29 with 2:26 left in the fourth.
Notre Dame was able to force a quick three and out by the Hokies, they got the ball back and drove it about 40-50 yards down the field to set up the game-winning field goal.
Notre Dame is off next week on their bye.
Virginia Tech is scheduled to play Pittsburgh at 3:30 p.m. eastern in Blacksburg.
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