SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman lastly bought his first victory. It wasn’t simple.
Drew Pyne handed for 2 touchdowns and 150 yards in his first profession begin and Notre Dame overcame quite a few errors to carry on to beat California 24-17 Saturday.
Freeman was requested what was going by his thoughts when two probably game-clinching turnovers have been overturned, one on a concentrating on penalty and one other when Cal quarterback Jack Plummer was dominated down earlier than he fumbled.
“It was a dialog between me and God, and a dialog between me and myself to give attention to what issues,” Freeman mentioned.
The way in which the Irish have performed this season has a whole lot of Irish followers praying and speaking to themselves.
The Irish (1-2) outscored Cal (2-1) 10-0 within the fourth quarter to keep away from turning into simply the third Notre Dame squad to start out a season 0-3. The Irish, who began the season ranked No. 5, had blown leads 3 times, made positive there was no second-half letdown this time.
“Discovered a method to end,” Freeman mentioned. “I am pleased with these guys. You realize what, it’s laborious to win soccer video games. It is laborious. You have seen it within the first three video games. It is laborious.”
It wasn’t over till the final play as officers overturned two performs that gave the impression to be game-clinching turnovers for the Irish, giving the Bears a last-second shot. On fourth-and-13 from the Notre Dame 35, Cal’s Jack Plummer threw the ball into the top zone. The ball bounced off a number of gamers and Bears receiver Jeremiah Hunter almost pulled it in, however the ball landed on the grass.
It was a well-known feeling for the Bears, who had 5 losses by seven factors or much less final season.
“It is gut-wrenching. We had possibilities to win. Too many errors. One or two extra performs,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox mentioned.
Notre Dame tailback Chris Tyree mentioned it was laborious to observe.
“They nearly gave me a coronary heart assault on the market, man,” he mentioned. “It is actually thrilling soccer to observe, particularly when it goes right down to the wire like that. That is going to be a second we’ll always remember.”
Defensive lineman Jacob Lacey, who completed with 5 tackles and two sacks, mentioned the Irish protection was centered on ending within the fourth quarter.
“It is all the pieces we work for. It is one in all our keys to victory, ending within the fourth quarter. We discuss it each week. We fell quick a few instances, however now we’re heading in the right direction.”
The Irish opened a 24-17 lead with 9:16 remaining on a 6-yard go from Pyne to Michael Mayer, simply Mayer’s second catch of the day. The landing was arrange when Pyne threw a brief go to tailback Audric Esitime, and he sprinted for a 36-yard achieve earlier than tripping on the 6-yard line.
The Bears drove to the Notre Dame 22 halfway by the fourth quarter however could not get any nearer. Plummer threw three straight incompletions, then was sacked by Isaiah Foskey for a 10-yard loss with 6:30 left.
Cal bought the ball once more on their very own 7-yard line, however on third-and-10 Jack Plummer was sacked for a 5-yard loss. It regarded as if Notre Dame had put the sport away when cornerback Clarence Lewis picked off a go from Plummer, however the Bears bought yet another likelihood when J.D. Bertrand was referred to as for concentrating on.
Pyne, enjoying as a result of Tyler Buchner sustained a season-ending shoulder harm final week, was 17-of-23 passing. Along with the scoring go to Mayer, Pyne threw a 21-yard TD go to Tyree. Tyree, who had solely 12 touches by the primary two video games, rushed for 64 yards on 17 carries and had 5 catches for 44 yards. Estime added a 1-yard run and 76 yards speeding on 18 carries
Plummer was 16 of 37 for 184 yards passing, together with an 18-yard TD go to J. Michael Sturdivant. Jaydn Ott was held to 33 yards on 13 carries.
Pyne struggled some early on. His first go to Tyree was quick, and he overthrew a number of receivers and had receivers drop some passes. A snap struck Pyne within the facemask, however he recovered and handed off to Estime for a 7-yard achieve. On one other play, he was signaling for a again to maneuver when the ball was snapped.
Freeman mentioned he’d take a second to savor the win.
“When you do not take a minute to take pleasure in this stuff, you are going to remorse it,” he mentioned. “That is what I maintain reminding myself is benefit from the victory.”
GOING FOR THE WIN
Plummer mentioned the Bears would have gone for two-points and the win if the final go had been caught.
“If we scored there we have been going for 2, making an attempt to get out of there,” he mentioned.
Irish followers booed Notre Dame twice late within the second quarter when the errors have been piling up. A loud cheer of “California!” could possibly be heard, marking the second straight week the guests bought a loud chant going.
Cal: Plummer, a switch from Purdue who misplaced his starter’s job with the Boilermakers final season following a 27-13 loss to Notre Dame, confirmed the Bears he could make massive performs, however not fairly sufficient for the upset.
Notre Dame: The Irish have to cutdown on errors if they’ll be aggressive. Receiver Braden Lenzy had a false begin on third-and-1, resulting in Pyne being sacked on the following play. Proper deal with Blake Fisher additionally was referred to as for a false begin on third-and-3. Late within the second quarter, when the Irish drove into Cal territory, linemen Jarrett Patterson and Zeke Correll have been referred to as for false begins on back-to-back performs to stall out the drive.
Cal: The Bears open the Pac-12 season on Saturday at dwelling towards Arizona.