Notre Dame Opponent Recap: Week Eight

A look at how Notre Dame's 2020 opponents fared in week eight of the college football season
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It was a strong weekend for the opponents on the Notre Dame 2020 schedule. There were two wins from Irish opponents over ranked foes, and the nine opponents who played this weekend (not including Pitt) went 5-4. There were a number of impressive blowout wins this week from past and future Irish opponents, and not just over other Irish opponents.

Notre Dame’s opponents are currently 29-36 on the season. The five teams that Notre Dame defeated are 9-22, and the six remaining opponents are 20-14.

Here’s a recap of how Noter Dame’s opponents fared this weekend:


Result: Tulsa beat South Florida by a 42-13 score

A rough initial season for first-year head coach Jeff Scott got worse after the Bulls were spanked at home by Tulsa. It was South Florida’s fifth straight loss, and four have come by at least 20 points.

Tulsa got the scoring rolling with a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Smith. After a pair of USF field goals, the Golden Hurricanes scored on back-to-back drives to end the firs half with a 21-6 lead. South Florida scored on its first possession of the third quarter, but Tulsa answered with a 3-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its own. That was followed by a pick six that broke the game open.

Tulsa out-gained USF by a 462-305 margin and became the fourth team to rush for at least 200 yards against the Bulls.


Result: Louisville beat Florida State by a 48-16 score

Louisville scored just seven points against Notre Dame and rushed for just 96 yards. The Cardinals quickly bounced back and jumped on the Seminoles early. Florida State took it opening’s drive quickly down the field and jumped to a 7-0 lead. That would be the end of the good vibes for Florida State.

Louisville responded with 28 straight points and took a 31-14 lead into halftime. Any hope Florida State had was quickly dashed, as the Cardinals went 78 yards on nine plays for a touchdown on their second possession of the third quarter.

Louisville out-gained Florida State by a 569-406 margin. The Cardinals rushed for 291 yards and passed for 278 more. Florida State’s bright spot was a 265-yard performance on the ground. Louisville running back Javian Hawkins rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Wideout Tutu Atwell caught three passes for 129 yards and a 58-yard score.


Result: Boston College beat Georgia Tech by a 48-27 score

Boston College bounced back from its road loss to Virginia Tech with a convincing victory over Georgia Tech. The Eagles got off to a fast start, scoring twice in the opening quarter and then 20 more points in quarter number two to take a 34-14 lead into the half.

Boston College has been carried by the arm of quarterback Phil Jurkovec all season, but against the Yellow Jackets they finally got their ground game going. BC didn’t top 100 yards on the ground once during its 3-2 start, but against Georgia Tech it pounded out 264 yards and three scores.

Jurkovec went 13-21 for 145 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and he led the Eagle ground attack with 94 yards. David Bailey had his best game of the season, rushing for 83 yards and two scores on just 13 carries. BC’s standout wideout Zay Flowers had just one catch for 11 yards, but CJ Lewis stepped up and caught four passes for 58 yards and a pair of scores.

Georgia Tech has given up 121 points and 1,080 yards in its last two games.


Result: Clemson beat Syracuse by a 47-21 score

I don’t know what it is about Syracuse, but no matter how bad they are they seem to always give Clemson a game. This contest was much closer than the final score for quite some time. Clemson scored the final 20 points of the game to break it open, but at one point late in the third quarter it was a 27-21 game, and the Orange had the ball with a chance to take the lead.

Clemson started well, jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter after scoring on three of its first four possessions. A blocked punt set up Syracuse’s first touchdown, which was just a 20-yard drive. Clemson seemed to be back on track for a blowout, but quarterback Trevor Lawrence had a seam pass picked off and ran back for a touchdown.

An 83-yard touchdown pass from Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper to Nykeim Johnson made it a 27-21 game in the third quarter. Clemson punted on its next two possessions, but Culpepper fumbled after being sacked late in the third quarter and cornerback Andrew Booth ran it back for a 21-yard touchdown, ending any hope for the Syracuse upset.


Result: North Carolina beat NC State by a 48-21 score

North Carolina didn’t sulk after losing to Florida State last weekend. The Tar Heels took their frustration out on in-state rival NC State to get back on track.

The Tar Heels took a 17-7 lead into halftime, but after picking off NC State quarterback Ben Finley in the third quarter, North Carolina got hot and steam rolled the Wolfpack. North Carolina went onto score touchdowns on its next four possessions, and the fifth ended with a field goal, breaking the game up and giving the Tar Heels a 48-14 lead.

North Carolina out-gained NC State by a 578-392 margin and racked up 34 first downs. UNC’s ground attack remained on fire, rushing for 326 yards, with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter going over 100 yards each for the second time this season. Wide receiver Dyami Brown hauled in seven passes for 105 yards.


Result: Wake Forest beat Virginia Tech by a 23-16 score

Wake Forest has been a pleasant surprise this season, and its 23-16 defensive battle against #19 Virginia Tech was impressive. Wake Forest scored first when quarterback Sam Hartman capped off a 92-yard drive with a 9-yard scoring run.

The Deacons would never trail in this game, but Virginia Tech tied it at 10-10 in the second quarter. Wake Forest responded with a methodical 17-play, 75-yard drive that took 7:09 off the clock. It ended with running back Kenneth Walker III scoring from six yards out. Wake Forest extended the lead to 20-10 with a field goal to start the third quarter.

Virginia Tech drew within seven (20-13) late in the third quarter, but once again the Deacons responded with a score of their own, a third made field goal by place kicker Nick Sciba.

The Hokies out-gained Wake Forest 433-316, but the Deacons forced three turnovers and protected the ball on offense. That proved to be the difference in the contest. Wake Forest running back Christian Beal-Smith rushed for 129 yards on 13 carries.

Duke was off this weekend.


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