Dec 5, 2020; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) runs as Syracuse Orange wide receiver Sharod Johnson (8) pursues in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Book (5 TDs) fuels No. 2 Notre Dame in rout of Syracuse

Ian Book recorded five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) to help No. 2 Notre Dame pull away for a 45-21 win over visiting Syracuse on Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.

Book completed 24 of 37 passes for 285 yards. Wide receiver Javon McKinley caught all three of his touchdown throws to highlight his seven-catch, 111-yard performance.

Notre Dame (10-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) completed a perfect regular season and will head to the ACC championship game scheduled for Dec. 19.

Rex Culpepper completed 18 of 29 passes for 185 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Orange. Syracuse (1-10, 1-9) lost its eighth game in a row and gave up 30-plus points for the seventh time during that skid.

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season following his 20-carry, 110-yard performance.

The Fighting Irish got off to a slow start, falling behind 7-3 early in the second quarter following an 18-yard touchdown pass from Culpepper to Anthony Queeley. The play capped a 10-play, 62-yard drive to give Syracuse brief hope for an upset.

Notre Dame regrouped late in the first half, reeling off three touchdowns in the final 3:18 to build a 24-7 advantage.

Book started the scoring binge with a 28-yard rushing touchdown. He dropped back in the pocket and scanned the field before deciding to keep the ball for a sprint down the right sideline and plunging across the goal line.

The Fighting Irish signal-caller followed his rushing touchdown with a pair of passing scores to McKinley. The two connected for a 21-yard touchdown with 1:30 left in the first half and a 28-yard touchdown with six seconds remaining.

Syracuse struck first after halftime on a 40-yard touchdown run by Sean Tucker to trim the deficit to 24-14.

Notre Dame answered with a 21-0 run to seize a 45-14 lead.

Book kept the ball again for a 17-yard rushing score with 6:32 to go in the third quarter. He then found McKinley for a third time — this one for a 26-yard score — with 1:07 remaining in the frame.

Chris Tyree punctuated Notre Dame’s high-scoring day with a 94-yard rushing touchdown with 6:25 to go in the fourth quarter.

Syracuse capped the scoring with an 80-yard touchdown from Cooper Lutz with 5:33 to go.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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