Kyren Williams runs wild as No. 11 Notre Dame tops UNC
Kyren Williams ran for 199 yards on 22 carries Saturday night as No. 11 Notre Dame used its highest-scoring game of the year to hold off Sam Howell and North Carolina 44-34 in South Bend, Ind.
Williams got nearly half his yardage on one play, an electrifying 91-yard touchdown run that saw him avoid a 5-yard loss and then race down the left side with 14:27 left in the game for a 38-27 lead.
After Howell’s only major mistake, an interception, led to a Fighting Irish field goal, he drew the Tar Heels (4-4) within seven on a 31-yard scoring jaunt. But Notre Dame (7-1) sealed the outcome with a drive of nearly six minutes that resulted in Jonathan Doerer’s third field goal, a 21-yarder with 1:37 remaining.
Howell completed 24 of 31 passes for 341 yards with a touchdown while adding 101 yards on 18 rushes. Josh Downs was his favorite target, catching 10 balls for 142 yards.
Irish quarterback Jack Coan was 16 of 24 for 213 yards with a touchdown. The teams combined for 1,087 total yards.
Notre Dame opened scoring at the 3:25 mark of the first quarter when backup quarterback Tyler Buchner found Avery Davis with a 7-yard touchdown pass. North Carolina answered on the second quarter’s first play on Ty Chandler’s 3-yard scoring run.
After the teams swapped field goals, the Irish grabbed a 17-10 lead on Coan’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Austin with 1:23 left in the half. The Tar Heels lashed together a two-minute drill and got a 26-yard field goal from Grayson Atkins to draw within 17-13 at halftime.
Chandler sped 53 yards on the fifth play of the second half to give North Carolina a brief lead, but Notre Dame got a 21-yard touchdown run from Coan and a 1-yard plunge from Logan Diggs for a 31-20 advantage with 4:56 left in the third quarter. Howell lofted a 33-yard scoring strike to Antoine Green just over two minutes later to slice the margin to four.
–Field Level Media