It was a rough weekend for Notre Dame’s 2020 opponents, at least those that played. Three Irish opponents had scheduled bye weeks, and the game between Pitt and Georgia Tech was postponed. Notre Dame’s remaining opponents went just 1-4 on the weekend, not including Boston College, who lost to the Irish.
Notre Dame’s 11 regular season opponents currently have a combined 36-51 record, and 36-43 in games opponents other than the Irish.
Let’s look at how Notre Dame’s opponents fared this weekend.
SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS (1-7) at HOUSTON COUGARS (3-3)
Result: Houston beat USF by a 56-21 score
This game was over relatively quickly, as head coach Jeff Scott’s first season at South Florida continued to be a struggle.
Houston reached the end zone in less than a minute into the contest, and by halftime it was a 28-0 game. By the time South Florida got on the board it was already down 42-0. Houston out-gained USF by a 505-359 margin, which included 319-136 yards on the ground. It marked the fifth time in eight games that South Florida gave up at least 200 yards on the ground.
USF turned the ball over twice, and the Bulls now have 15 turnovers this season.
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (2-6) at NC STATE WOLFPACK (5-3)
Result: NC State beat Florida State by a 38-22 score
Florida State started true freshman Chubba Purdy at quarterback. The first-year signal caller went 15-23 for 181 yards and two scores and added 54 rushing yards in the start. Purdy is the younger brother Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy.
Purdy is the fourth different quarterback to start a game for the Seminoles this season.
NC State jumped out to a 14-0 lead and Florida State never really challenged the Wolfpack. At one point the Seminoles trailed 35-9 in the game, but Purdy made the score look a bit closer by leading Florida State to touchdowns on its final two drives of the game.
Florida State is now 2-8 in its last 10 games.
LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (2-6) at VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (3-4)
Result: Virginia beat Louisville by a 31-17 score
This game was postponed a week ago, but both squads had bye weeks so they were able to reschedule to this weekend.
Louisville’s disappointing season continued, as the Cardinals trailed almost the entire game. Louisville took its first drive deep into Virginia territory, but quarterback Malik Cunningham was picked off by Noah Taylor, who ran it back 85 yards for a touchdown. Louisville bounced back to take the lead on a 19-yard scoring run by Cunningham early in the second quarter, but Virginia answered right back with a score of its own.
The Cardinals cut it to four (21-17) late in the third quarter, but they were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter to fall to 2-6 on the season.
Louisville outgained Virginia by over 100 yards (478-368) and rushed for 317 yards despite not having injured running back Javian Hawkins. Louisville was also without wide receiver Tutu Atwell. The issue is Louisville turned the ball over three times and had two more drives stopped on fourth down.
Louisville has now turned the ball over 18 times in eight games. Notre Dame is the only team to not force Louisville into a turnover.
WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS (4-3) at NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (6-2)
Result: North Carolina beat Wake Forest by a 59-53 score.
This was without a doubt the most entertaining game of the weekend. The two teams combined for 112 points and 1,348 total yards, which included 979 yards through the air.
It was a competitive game throughout the first half as the two teams traded scores. North Carolina went up 24-21 early in the second quarter, but the final two touchdowns of the half were from Wake Forest. The Deacons scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to take a 45-24 lead.
That is when North Carolina got hot, and the Tar Heels scored five straight touchdowns in just 17 minutes to take a 59-45 lead. Wake Forest scored a touchdown late to make it close, but the Tar Heels dominated the final 20 minutes of the game.
Quarterback Sam Howell was named the Walter Camp offensive player of the week after throwing for a career-high 550 yards and six touchdowns. Running back Javonte Williams rushed for 101 yards and a score, and both Dazz Newsome (10 catches, 189 yards, 2 TD) and Dyami Brown (8 caches, 163 yards, 2 TD) topped 100 yards receiving.
Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 429 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Christian Beal-Smith rushed for 120 yards, and both Donavon Greene (8 catches, 170 yards, 2 TD) and Jaquarii Roberson (12 catches, 167 yards, 2 TD) topped 100 receiving yards.
Clemson, Duke and Syracuse all had scheduled bye weeks.
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