No. 18 Virginia falls to No. 10 Notre Dame 35-20

Fighting Irish score 28 points off of five turnovers

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Senior wide receiver Hasise Dubois had nine receptions for a career-high 143 yards and one touchdown.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Virginia lost its first game of the season to Notre Dame, 35-20, in South Bend, Ind., Saturday afternoon.

The No. 18 Cavaliers (4-1, 2-0 ACC) were up 17-14 at halftime, but the No. 10 Fighting Irish (3-1) scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to stymie Virginia’s upset bid.

The Cavaliers had just five fewer total yards than Notre Dame and moved the ball well on offense, especially in the first half. Senior quarterback Bryce Perkins finished 30-43 with 334 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Senior wide receivers Hasise Dubois and Joe Reed also stood out with nine receptions apiece for 143 and 107 yards, respectively.

Turnovers and quarterback pressure hurt the Cavaliers the most. Notre Dame had 8 sacks and 28 points off of turnovers.

Virginia got off to a fast start. Perkins led the Cavaliers on a touchdown drive in which Reed played a crucial role. Reed had the 6-yard touchdown reception to put Virginia up 7-0 and the 43-yard catch to set it up.

Notre Dame had the answer, however, going on a long drive to tie things up at seven. Notre Dame senior quarterback Ian Book benefitted from good pass protection to extend the drive, and Fighting Irish senior running back Tony Jones Jr. punched it in for the score.

On the subsequent drive, a Perkins fumble led to more points for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame marched down the field to go up 14-7 with the help of some Virginia penalties and missed tackles.

The Cavaliers made it 14-10 on a 32-yard field goal from junior kicker Brian Delaney, and the Fighting Irish failed to extend their lead, missing a 47-yard field goal. 

After two consecutive three-and-outs, Virginia retook the lead 17-14. Dubois had a great drive, catching a 39-yard pass to get the ball into Notre Dame territory and coming up with the touchdown reception. Perkins floated the ball to give his receiver a chance, and Dubois grabbed it over the cornerback in the end zone to send the Cavaliers into halftime with the lead.

Virginia kept its momentum out of the break with Delaney’s successful onside kick, but the Fighting Irish took it back, as Perkins was stripped on the Cavaliers’ second drive. The fumble put Notre Dame within striking distance, and Jones finished it off to put the Fighting Irish up 21-17.

The Cavaliers struggled to move the ball offensively in the second half, unable to establish a ground game and maintain their success in the passing game. Notre Dame stripped Perkins again and took the ball in for the score to go up 28-17 after the extra point heading into the fourth quarter.

Virginia’s offensive line struggled to block for Perkins throughout the game. The pressure forced Perkins into throwing an interception on the Cavaliers’ first drive of the fourth quarter, and the Fighting Irish capitalized on the turnover to go up 35-17.

Virginia added a field goal in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to take down Notre Dame.

The Cavaliers now have a bye week before traveling to face Miami Friday, Oct. 11, at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

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