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No. 9 Notre Dame stays hot, blasts No. 14 NC State

29 October 2017

Consider the echoes woken. However, as good as the Irish are in that regard, North Carolina State is that good at NOT giving the ball away.

Josh Adams might be too modest to toot his own horn but Notre Dame is trucking along to make sure the worthy Heisman Trophy candidate will be on the radar of voters.

- Saturday's match-up against No. 14 NC State promised a challenge for Notre Dame's sixth-rated rushing offense, and the ninth-ranked Irish proved more than up to the challenge, handling the Wolfpack rush defense in a 35-14 win at Notre Dame Stadium. Most teams might be happy to get four yards on a run up the middle, but, as Irish fans have come to expect, the seas parted and there was room for Adams to run.

The Wolfpack (6-2, 4-0 ACC) saw its six-game win streak snapped by the Fighting Irish (7-1). The run game has been dominant, averaging 317.9 yards per game.

The Wolfpack defensive pressure started early as the Pack recorded two sacks on Notre Dame's first drive.

In part because of that game, Kelly turned over his coaching staff and rededicated the Irish to running the football this season.

N.C. State has one of the top defensive line prospects in all of college football in Bradley Chubb. That's when James Smith-Williams blocked Tyler Newsom's punt.

Adams broke off a 77-yard run to extend Notre Dame's lead to 35-13 in the third quarter.

Quarterback Brandon Wimbush went 10-for-19 for 104 yards passing, while tight end Durham Smythe led the squad with 52 yards receiving and a touchdown. After an 11-yard touchdown catch that was initially called incomplete, the receiver got his foot in for the score following a review, to put Notre Dame up 21-14.

Smythe somehow managed to reel in the pass from Wimbush and stay inbounds. N.C. State's offense wasn't the same without Hines, who had rushed for at least 100 yards in the past three games. Needless to say, this was a huge play to start the game for the Wolfpack.

After notching three critical pass break-ups in the first half, Love was back at it in the second, disrupting the Wolfpack's opening drive with his second interception return for a touchdown of the season.

Slightly more than four minutes later, the Irish took the lead for good when Stepherson hauled in Wimbush's second touchdown pass with 5:30 left in the first half.

On the other side of the field, NC State junior quarterback Ryan Finley completed just 17 of his 37 passes, having been stymied by the Notre Dame defense. Germaine Pratt fell on the ball for the easy score.

"You just have to tackle", N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said.

"Just growing up in the Midwest in a Catholic home and going to Catholic church and Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, obviously Notre Dame is something that is talked about a lot", Doeren said Wednesday during the ACC's weekly teleconference.

Notre Dame, 7-1, had a seven-point lead at halftime and extended it to 14 thanks to an interception returned for a touchdown by defensive back Julian Love on a play that can only be described as awkward.

His 77-yarder came with 4:11 left in the third quarter and stood up as the game's final score.

No. 9 Notre Dame stays hot, blasts No. 14 NC State