NC State blocked a punt for a TD against Notre Dame. Again

Sunday, 29 Oct, 2017

Consider the echoes woken.

It is the first time that North Carolina State has made the trip to South Bend. Here are three things learned from today's game between North Carolina State and Notre Dame.

- 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. A seven-point loss to SC in the opener may come back to haunt the Wolfpack, but NC State has since reeled off six straight wins including triumphs over Louisville and Florida State. Adams broke off a 35-yard run, then Brandon Wimbush found Durham Smythe for a 25-yard score. NC State finished with 24 carries for 50 yards.

Notre Dame would respond, but NC State certainly stole a quick seven points to start the game with effective special teams.

One of the big reasons for that is what Notre Dame did to one of the best rush defenses in college football. ND is putting up an impressive 41.3 points and 475 yards per game right now.

At 1:30 p.m., Brian Kelly looks back on the USC win on Inside Notre Dame Football.

Notre Dame's third-quarter defensive heroics shifted the complexion of a game after the Fighting Irish led 21-14 at halftime. In the third quarter, he sprinted for 77 yards and an Irish touchdown.

With the defense focused on Adams, Wimbush had some room to throw the ball downfield.

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph and West Virginia quarterback Will Grier have combined to throw 45 touchdown passes this season, so it's no wonder the over-under for the Cowboys-Mountaineers game sits at a healthy 73.5 as of this writing.

Wimbush completed 10 of 19 passes. Malik Zaire entered the game in mop up duty and got the Gators on the board, rushing and passing for 66 yards on a 71-yard drive that culminated in a 1-yard Mark Thompson touchdown plunge with 2:42 remaining, narrowly avoiding Florida's first shutout since 1988.

Penalties cost the Wolfpack, too. Wolfpack running back Nyheim Hines left the game in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury after rushing twice for 6 yards. 49-20 against the Boston College Eagles, 38-18 against the Michigan State Spartans, 52-17 against the Miami (OH) Redhawks, and 33-10 against the North Carolina Tar Heels, before finally beating the Trojans.

One by one, Notre Dame is picking off playoff contenders from Power 5 conferences and, in the process, possibly clearing a spot for itself in the final four.

It's the second straight year N.C. State has scored on a blocked punt against the Irish.