SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame took all of the drama out of its Senior Day matchup with Georgia Tech, racing away from the hapless Yellow Jackets and putting the game away before halftime.
The No. 6 Irish won 55-0 this afternoon behind a huge day from quarterback Jack Coan, who went 15 of 20 for 285 yards and two touchdowns in front of an announced crowd of 70,011 in what he said will be his final game at Notre Dame Stadium.
The victory kept Notre Dame's hopes for a College Football Playoff berth alive and sent the Irish (10-1) to a fifth 10-win season in a row, extending the longest streak in the history of the program.
The win was also the 41st in a row for the Irish in games against unranked opponents. That's the longest active streak in the country. Though Notre Dame has struggled against the nation's very best teams (as almost everyone does), it remains extremely impressive that the Irish have not taken what could be considered a "bad loss" in five full seasons.
Here is everything else to know from the Irish victory:
- The margin of victory was the largest for the Irish since they beat Rutgers 62-0 on Nov. 23, 1996, the final year of the Lou Holtz Era.
- The first Notre Dame touchdown was a defensive score that saw defensive end Isaiah Foskey put pressure on Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates. As Foskey leveled Yates, the quarterback tried to throw the ball away, but he instead threw it directly to linebacker Jack Kiser, who returned it 50 yards for his second pick-six of the season. In the third quarter, Foskey again pummeled Yates, this time jarring the ball loose himself, and defensive end Myron Tagaovailoa-Amosa returned the fumble 70 yards for another score.
- The Irish pressured Yates relentlessly, sacking him six times and hurrying him on 10 more occasions. Yates started in place of usual Georgia Tech first-stringer Jeff Sims, who missed his second straight game with a foot injury.
- Notre Dame spread the offensive wealth in the first half, with three different players scoring its five offensive touchdowns before the break. Kyren Williams made it 17-0 with an outstanding 9-yard run through the left side of the line, Michael Mayer caught a wide-open deep post for a 52-yard touchdown late in the first quarter and Logan Diggs made it 31-0 with a 5-yard power run early in the second period. Williams and Diggs added another touchdown apiece before halftime, when it was 45-0.
- Williams had 11 carries for 56 yards and two scores and added four pass receptions for 31 yards. His four catches led the Irish, who had 10 players make at least one reception.
- Notre Dame outgained the Yellow Jackets 514-224. The Irish have not given up a touchdown in their last three games, the first time they've accomplished that feat since a three-game stretch in 2012. The shutout was their first since a 52-0 win over South Florida in September 2020.
- Notre Dame inserted backup quarterback Tyler Buchner into the game early in the third quarter. The true freshman's first play was a quarterback pin and pull that completely fooled the Tech defense and left Buchner running free for a 68-yard gain. Two plays later, however, Buchner dropped a snap. On another series, he was strip-sacked after standing in the pocket for too long and then desperately trying to throw the ball away instead of eating a sack. He had three carries for 79 yards (not including the dropped snap and the sack) and went 3 for 6 for 17 yards through the air, but he remains obviously a freshman.
- Notre Dame defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, who holds the all-time Notre Dame record with 59 games played, took part in his final home game this afternoon.
- Notre Dame will be back in action next Saturday when it faces Stanford (3-7) in the regular-season finale for both teams at Stanford Stadium in California. Kickoff and broadcast information will be announced this week. The Cardinal boast a win over No. 4 Oregon, the Ducks' only defeat this season, but have lost five in a row since that win, including a 52-7 and 35-14 defeats at the hands of Utah and Oregon State the last two weeks. Stanford plays rival California tonight.