Notre Dame: Will Fuller 16-yard TD pass from Malik Zaire (Justin Yoon PAT), 6:29 left
The drive: 7 plays, 55 yards, 3:28
Key play: Tarean Folston’s 15-yard run sparked a series of nice gains. It also was his last run; he was injured for the play, then ruled out for the game soon after.
Notre Dame: Josh Adams 14-yard run (Yoon PAT), 1:02
The drive: 9 plays, 95 yards, 3:50
Key play: Naashon Hughes’ 15-yard horse collar penalty coming off a nice gain set the Irish up at the 14. Adams scored on the next play.
Notre Dame 14, Texas 0: An up-tempo system works best when yards are gained. The Longhorns stayed true to their promise of moving quickly, but the pace appeared to cause confusion. More than once, Marcus Johnson threw up his hands and motioned to the sideline. Texas gained one first down and 28 total yards in the quarter. Two Tyrone Swoopes-led possessions produced nothing, so Jerrod Heard got a crack right before the quarter ended. Tackling was poor. And Texas didn’t get off blocks. Bad combination. Still, it was an impressive debut for Malik Jefferson. He had two tackles on the opening drive, both coming near the line of scrimmage.
Notre Dame: Yoon 38-yard field goal, 7:53
The drive: 4 plays, 29 yards, 1:29
Key play: Avery Sebastian’s 10-yard run set up the field goal, taking it to the 24-yard line.
Halftime — Notre Dame 17, Texas 0: We were promised an improved offensive line. Uh, care to explain, Joe Wickline? Texas’ front five was overpowered. Armanti Foreman lost 10 yards, though the loss was nullified by a Notre Dame penalty. Heard, under pressure, ran into Johnathan Gray and was dropped at Texas’ 1-yard line. Later, Taylor Doyle blew a block and Swoopes was sacked. Nick Rose was 2 for 3 on the same field goal attempt from 52 yards. Rose drilled the first two, but each time Irish coach Brian Kelly called a timeout to ice him. Had either counted, Rose would’ve had a new career-long kick (51 is his standard). The third time was a charm for Kelly; Rose’s third attempt went wide left right before halftime.
Texas: Nick Rose 41-yard field goal, 8:36
The drive: 5 plays, 49 yards, 1:29
Key play: Texas went vertical when Tyrone Swoopes hit John Burt for a 48-yard pass downfield on a post pattern.
Notre Dame: Fuller 66-yard TD pass from Zaire (Yoon kick), 5:50
The drive: 5 plays, 90 yards, 2:46
Key play: C.J. Prosise’s 12-yard run required a handful of Longhorns to take him down.
Notre Dame: Adams 25-yard TD run (Yoon kick), 2:00
The drive: 5 plays, 56 yards, 2:18
Key play: The Irish converted a third-and-5 from Texas’ 36, as Zaire hit Torii Hunter Jr. for an 11-yard gain down to Texas’ 25. Adams scored on the next play.
Notre Dame 31, Texas 3: The Longhorns got on the board with Rose’s 41-yard field goal, but it came only after Swoopes threw high for Armanti Foreman on third down. Burt’s 48-yard catch was his only one of the game. A big question coming into the night was who would defend Notre Dame receiver Will Fuller. Turns out no one was up for the challenge. He blew past cornerback Duke Thomas, who received no deep help from safety Dylan Haines, and the result was a 66-yard score. Tensions started brewing on the Texas sideline. After a Daje Johnson jetsweep went nowhere on third down, Gray pointed forward and implored coaches to run up the middle. At the time, he had five carries for 26 yards. Frustration continued after the play when left guard Sedrick Flowers was penalized for throwing a punch.
Notre Dame: Chris Brown 6-yard TD pass from Zaire (Yoon kick), 11:46
The drive: 8 plays, 60 yards, 3:30
Key play: Zaire, facing a third-and-15, hit Corey Robinson — the son of Spurs great David Robinson — for a 20-yard gain over the middle that brought the Irish into field goal range.
Final — Notre Dame 38, Texas 3: Zaire was superb all night, with three TD passes and three incompletions. He exited the game with 10:55 to go, and sophomore backup DeShone Kizer attempted only one pass as the Irish melted the clock. Breckyn Hager’s debut will live in infamy; the freshman linebacker was pulled from the game after he stood over and taunted a Notre Dame ball carrier. Linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary was furious. And there was a bad sign for Texas’ receiving corps — Marcus Johnson missed the entire second half with an ankle injury, and was seen leaving the field wearing a protective boot.
Texas: Tyrone Swoopes 7-22-93; Jerrod Heard 1-1-10
Notre Dame: Malik Zaire 19-22-313, 3/0; DeShone Kizer 0-1-0
Texas: Johnathan Gray 8-40, Swoopes 10-17, D’Onta Foreman 3-5, Daje Johnson 2-4, Chris Warren III 3-4, Armanti Foreman 1-2, Heard 2-(12)
Notre Dame: C.J. Prosise 20-98, Josh Adams 5-49-2, Dexter Williams 7-24, Tarean Folston 3-19, Zaire 9-16, Kizer 2-10, Torii Hunter Jr. 1-2, Josh Anderson 2-0, Amir Carlisle 1-(-1)
Texas: John Burt 1-48, Johnson 6-45, Andrew Beck 1-10
Notre Dame: Will Fuller 7-142-2, Carlisle 3-55, Chris Brown 3-38-1, Corey Robinson 2-35, Hunter 2-31, Prosise 1-6, Durham Smythe 1-6
UP NEXT FOR TEXAS
Texas (0-1) vs. Rice (1-0), 7 p.m. Saturday, DKR — The Owls beat Wagner on Saturday, 56-16.