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Notre Dame Football

ACC Roundup | Is The U Back? Jurkovec Makes His BC Debut

September 21, 2020

Miami 47, Louisville 34: If Louisville turned heads with an impressive win last week, The U grabbed the nation’s attention with a big primetime win over the Cardinals (1-1, 0-1).

The Hurricanes (2-0, 1-0) are loaded with playmakers on offense, led by D’Eriq King, the triggerman transfer from Houston. King completed 18 of 30 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns.

Tight end Brevin Jordan showed why he’s a guy people have touted as a potential gamebreaker for years, catching seven balls for 120 passes and a touchdown. Running back Cam’Ron Harris picked up 134 yards on just nine carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run while fellow back Jaylan Knight had a 75-yard touchdown catch (pictured above).

Miami has another weapon in FIU transfer kicker Jose Borregales, who converted all five extra points and all four field goal attempts he had, including one from 57 yards out.

While the Cardinals’ defense once again showed some serious vulnerabilities, the explosiveness of their offense was once again on display even against a higher caliber athlete than they faced saw in the opener against Western Kentucky.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns, completing 26 of 36 passes, but did throw an interception. Receiver Tutu Atwell had another huge game, making eight catches for 114 yards and a pair of scores. They were backed up by a rushing attack led by Javian Hawkins, who had 164 yards and a score on 27 carries.

That type of offensive firepower will be dangerous for any opponent Louisville faces this year and will put pressure on opposing offenses to play clean games and take advantage of the Cardinals’ defense.

The Irish host Louisville on Oct. 17th.

NC State 45, Wake Forest 42: It was difficult to truly understand Wake Forest’s potential after being routed in its opener 37-13 by #1 Clemson.

The Demon Deacons (0-2, 0-2) had a little bit more room to get things done this week, at least on offense, against the Wolf Pack (1-0, 1-0).

Wake Forest running back Kenneth Walker III had a monster game, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 131 yards on 27 carries. Walker’s 2-yard run in the fourth quarter gave the Demon Deacons their first lead of the game at 42-38.

But NC State’s standout running back, Ricky Person Jr., gave the Wolf Pack the lead in the end with his second touchdown of the night with six minutes to play.

Not surprisingly, Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman had a better game against NC State, completing 23 of 36 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown, but he was sacked six times, showing pass protection could be a problem for the Demon Deacons regardless of the opponent.

After serving a limited role during his first two seasons with Wake Forest, slot receiver Jaquarii Roberson could emerge as a playmaker in a spot that has been productive for the Demon Deacons in the past. Roberson caught seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Taylor Morin, who also sees time in the slot caught three passes for 52 yards after leading the Demon Deacons with nine grabs for 93 yards and a score in the opener against Clemson.

NC State used an extremely balanced attack on offense. Quarterback Bailey Hockman completed 16 of 23 pass attempts for 191 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Person Jr. split carries with running backs, combining for 23 carries for 151 yards with Knight also scoring a touchdown.

Nine Wolf Pack players caught passes, but none caught more than two. Tight end Cary Angeline led the squad with 45 receiving yards and a score on two receptions.

Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson was already bracing for this week’s game against Notre Dame during the postgame.

"These first three games, when the schedule came out, this is Murderer's Row," Clawson said. "This level of competition, we've got to make sure this makes us better."

Notre Dame plays at Wake Forest on Sept. 26th.

Phil Jurkovec looked good in his BC debut.

Boston College 26, Duke 6: Notre Dame fans will be paying close attention to BC all year, not as much in anticipation for a November meeting in Massachusetts, but to keep close tabs on Irish quarterback transfer Phil Jurkovec.

Jurkovec certainly passes his first test on Saturday, completing 17 of 23 passes for 300 yards and a pair of scores with an interception for BC (1-0, 1-0). Jurkovec had chances to keep plays alive, flashing the athleticism he’s always been known for, but it was his efficiency that was most impressive, taking advantage of openings in the Blue Devils’ defense with his arm.

Eagle receiver Zay Flowers caught five passes for 162 yards and a touchdown while tight end Hunter Long made seven catches for 93 yards and a score. The running game wasn’t quite as impressive, with lead back David Bailey managing just 51 yards on 18 carries, although he did score.

A week after struggling offensively, Duke (0-2, 0-2) was unable to get rolling against the Eagles as well. Quarterback Chase Brice was just 23-for-42 for 217 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Deon Jackson did manage 74 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Notre Dame plays at BC on Nov. 17th.

Clemson 49, The Citadel 0: The Tigers (2-0, 1-0) took care of business, putting up 49 points 10 minutes into the half before taking its foot off the pedal.

It’s what you’d expect from the #1 team in the nation against and an FCS academy, but there isn’t much to be gleaned from the performance.

Notre Dame hosts Clemson on Nov. 7th.

UCF 49, Georgia Tech 21: That season-opening victory over Florida State doesn’t look quite as impressive after being dismantled by Central Florida this weekend.

The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an immediate 7-0 lead, taking advantage of a 75-yard return on the game’s opening kickoff. But the Knights took over from there, reeling off 28 unanswered points.

Georgia Tech (1-1, 1-0) pulled to within 28-21, scoring at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, but the Knights scored three straight touchdowns to put the game away.

Yellow Jacket freshman quarterback Jeff Sims is certainly a weapon that needs to be accounted for, he threw for 244 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 82 yards and a score on 16 carries. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs is another first-year player with talent for Georgia Tech, flashing his speed on a 33-yard touchdown run.

But UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel exposed Georgia Tech’s passing defense, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns on 27-for-41 passing. Receiver Marlon Williams pulled in 10 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights while running back Otis Anderson finished with 88 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

The Yellow Jacket offense presents challenges, but their defense will likely prevent them from challenging the upper echelon of the ACC.

The Irish play at Georgia Tech on Oct. 31st.

Pittsburgh 21, Syracuse 10: It was hard to know what to make of Pitt’s 55-0 victory over Austin Peay in the opener, a game that was shortened in the second half as a sign of mercy.

It may be just as difficult to know what to take away from Pitt’s win over the Orange aside from, well, the Panthers (2-0, 1-0) better than the Orange (0-2, 0-2).

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 25 of 36 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Jared Wayne and Jordan Addison combined for 12 receptions for 116 yards and each caught a touchdown. The running game didn’t really get going as top backs Vincent Davis and AJ Davis combined for just 90 yards on 29 carries.

Syracuse’s offense continues to look disheveled. Quarterback Tommy DeVito completed 9 of 15 passes, but for only 32 yards and he was picked off before exiting the game after being banged up. Rex Culpepper replaced him and did connect on a 69-yard touchdown pass to Taj Harris, but was just 3-8 for 19 yards outside of that throw.

At this point, the Orange have to do something to get their offense going. That may not include a change at quarterback just yet, but it’s something that will likely be seriously considered if they don’t get something going soon.

The Irish play at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24th.
Notre Dame hosts Syracuse on Dec. 5th.

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