Notre Dame defeats Virginia Tech, 32-29 on late field goal

College Sports

Virginia Tech safety Tae Daley (17) tackles Notre Dame wide receiver Avery Davis, right, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Gentry)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR/AP) – Jonathan Doerer’s 48-yard field goal with 17 seconds left made the difference as Notre Dame rallied to defeat Virginia Tech, 32-29, at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg on Saturday.

The Fighting Irish improve to 5-1 while the Hokies fall to 3-2 on the season.

The Hokies (3-2) had taken command with an interception return for a touchdown by Jermaine Waller and another touchdown drive started by an interception and finished with a 19-yard run by Braxton Burmeister, who suffered an upper body injury earlier in the game, with 3:55 to play, but Jack Coan returned after playing just the first quarter to lead the comeback.

The Irish rallied from behind, scoring quickly on a seven-play, 1:29 drive that ended with Coan connecting with Avery Davis for a four-yard score followed by a two-point conversion completion to Kevin Austin with 2:26 left to tie the game.

The Hokies went three-and-out on the ensuing drive before punting, setting up the Irish for their game-winning drive that ended in Doerer’s field goal, sparing the Fighting Irish a second straight loss.

Freshman Tyler Buchner ran for a touchdown and threw for another for Notre Dame (4-2) after replacing Coan to start the second quarter, but his two second half interceptions both turned into Virginia Tech touchdowns.

Kyren Williams ran for 81 yards and one touchdown and caught an 8-yard pass from Buchner for another score the Irish.

Raheem Blackshear also ran for a touchdown for the Hokies and John Parker Romo kicked three field goals.

Buchner likely earned himself more playing time among the three QBs the Irish have used this season. Notre Dame ran 13 plays and managed just 27 yards with Coan behind center in the first quarter. Buchner led a 75-yard touchdown drive in is first series in the second quarter.

Connor Blumrick replaced Burmeister in the fourth quarter after Burmeister appeared to hurt his throwing hand late in the third quarter. Burmeister was able to throw on the sideline. Blumrick’s second pass attempt was intercepted when the Hokies tried for a two-point conversion. Blumrick later got hurt on a running play and Burmeister returned to the game.

The Irish head into a bye week while the Hokies resume their ACC schedule beginning with a home contest against Pitt on Saturday.

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