NOTRE DAME 40, BOSTON COLLEGE 7
Ian Book was coy after throwing three touchdown passes in No. 15 Notre Dame’s 40-7 victory over Boston College Saturday whether it would be his final game at Notre Dame Stadium.
“We’ll see – you never know what can happen,” Book said after being introduced to fans before leading the Irish to a fourth straight victory.
Notre Dame (9-2, No. 15 CFP) completed a second straight unbeaten season (7-0) in Notre Dame Stadium, where the Irish have now won 18 straight.
Book completed 26 of 40 passes for 239 yards and led the Irish with 66 yards on 12 carries. His three touchdown passes give him 29 for the season, 14 in the last four games.
“We haven’t sat down and talked about it,” Kelly said about the future of Book, who has another season remaining because of a redshirt season in 2016.
What Kelly did want to talk about was his defense’s play in corralling star running back AJ Dillon of the Eagles (5-6). Dillon was held to 56 yards on 14 carries and Boston College managed just 128 yards on 41 runs.
“It’s (about) controlling the line of scrimmage,” Kelly said. “It’s not one guy. Our guys have bought into our scheme. They’re very disciplined. We were a little uneven early on. To go undefeated at home two years in a row says everything about what these seniors mean to this program.”
A total of 29 players, some with eligibility remaining, were introduced before the final home game. The group is 31-6 in three seasons since a 4-8 freshman year in 2016.
But for the second straight week, Notre Dame Stadium was not filled after a streak of 273 sellouts since 1973. The announced crowd of 71,827 was 5,795 short of capacity.
Leading 16-7 at halftime thanks to Jonathan Doerer’s field goals of 47, 20 and 45 yards, the Irish scored 17 points in the third quarter to ground the Eagles.
“I felt great about it at halftime, but we just had a poor third quarter,” said BC coach Steve Addazio, who was an assistant under former Irish coach Bob Davie. “I think it was an execution letdown. We did not execute in the third quarter.”
Book’s second touchdown pass, an 11-yarder to Cole Kmet, followed a fumble recovery by linebacker Drew White. On Notre Dame’s next possession, wideout Braden Lenzy zipped 61 yards on a jet sweep to put the Irish in command, 33-7.
Book also connected with Chase Claypool on a 6-yard TD in the second quarter and Chris Finke for a 6-yard score in the final quarter that was set up by freshman safety Kyle Hamilton’s team-leading fourth interception. Claypool and Finke have used up their eligibility.
“We wanted to be all seniors in the end zone on Senior Night,” Book said. “To be able to get those two in there is awesome.”
Boston College’s only touchdown came in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Dennis Grosel, who managed just 63 yards on 9-of-20 passing and was sacked four times by the Irish, twice by defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji.
WISCONSIN 45, PURDUE 24
Jonathan Taylor will have a major decision to make in a few weeks: To stay or not to stay.
In the meantime, the junior All-America running back is taking the time to appreciate every remaining moment he has in a Wisconsin uniform.
Taylor ran for 222 yards – the 12th time he’s eclipsed the 200-yard mark in his career – and a touchdown and No. 14 Wisconsin beat Purdue 45-24 on Saturday in the Badgers’ final home game of the season.
After the victory, Taylor walked around Camp Randall Stadium and thanked the home fans for their support.
”It was something special, especially because you don’t know. You don’t know if you’re going to be here again,” Taylor said. ”So I think that’s the biggest thing is just being appreciative of that opportunity.”
Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 12 CFP) has won 14 in a row over the Boilermakers.
Taylor, now with 5,856 career yards, the most by any player in FBS history through their junior season, will have to decide following the season if he’ll declare for 2020 NFL draft. Taylor said all he’s thinking about is beating Minnesota next week and winning the Big Ten West.
”Next week, we wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” Taylor said. ”Big Ten West on the line, rivalry game, (Paul Bunyan’s) Axe, I mean, this is why you come to Wisconsin, for these kind of moments. I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a great week of preparation in order to bring our A game.
Jack Coan completed 15 of 19 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns against one interception for the Badgers.
The Boilermakers (4-7, 3-5) dropped their seventh straight at Camp Randall Stadium and failed to qualify for a bowl game.
Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell finished with a career-high 289 yards passing with two scores.
”I think Aidan has done a very good job,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. ”… If we give him some time to make throws, he’s going to make them. I thought he did a good job.”
It took the Badgers just over 3 minutes to get on the scoreboard. Aron Cruickshank took a direct snap out of the wildcat formation and capped an eight-play, 75-yard opening drive with a 27-yard rushing touchdown.
After a 28-yard field goal by Purdue’s J.D. Dellinger, Taylor scored from 51 yards out for his FBS-leading 22nd TD of the season.
”We had our hands full but we showed some fight early on,” Brohm said. ”We found a way to score some points and take the lead in the second quarter.
Purdue shredded the Wisconsin defense on the ensuing drive for a 27-yard run by Zander Horvath and a 38-yard completion to Milton Wright. The two set up a 7-yard touchdown from O’Connell to Brycen Hopkins that cut it to 14-10 with 14:53 left in the second quarter.
After a fumble by Wisconsin’s A.J. Taylor on the next drive, Hopkins put Purdue ahead 17-14 on a 37-yard completion from receiver Milton Wright on a double-pass play.
”He put it right on the money, maybe a little over my shoulder,” said Hopkins, who had eight catches for 127 yards. ”But I got in, I wasn’t downed at the 1-yard line this time. So it was a great job by him.”
The scoring affair continued when Coan hit Jack Dunn for an 18-yard score to put the Badgers back on top for good, 21-17, with 4:18 remaining in the half. Coan later connected with Quintez Cephus for a 29-yard score.
After the Coan-Dunn TD, Jonathan Taylor coughed it up on the following drive, and Derrick Barnes recovered for the Boilermakers, setting up first-and-10 at the Purdue 29. But the Boilermakers failed to capitalize and went three-and-out. Taylor lost another fumble on the day, bringing his season total to four and his career total to 14.
”I got to make sure that when you’re going low, taking on contact, you got the ball high and tight, even though you’re going low, as well,” he said.
Zach Hintze booted a school-record 62-yard field goal to give the Badgers a 24-17 lead at halftime. Hintze missed the only other field goal attempt of his career, a 62-yarder against Northwestern last season.
”It was surreal,” Hintze said. ”I can’t explain it in words, at that moment, how that felt. It was a lot of chaos, a lot of people jumping on me. It was insane.”
MICHIGAN 39, INDIANA 14
Shea Patterson needed almost two full seasons to find his groove at Michigan.
Now, he’s hard to beat.
Patterson threw for 366 yards and five touchdowns, leading the 12th-ranked Wolverines to their fourth straight victory — 39-14 over Indiana on Saturday.
“We’re riding him,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “His play has just been outstanding and he’s really seeing the field well. He’s taking care of the football at all times and really playing good, disciplined football.”
Over the past two weeks, Patterson has thrown nine touchdowns passes. Over the last three games, he has 12 touchdown passes and one interception.
And the resurgent Wolverines (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) are making it look easy, too. They’ve won seven of eight, the last four by margins of 25 or more, and extended their winning streak over the Hoosiers to 24 games.
But as well as Patterson has played recently, he couldn’t do it without some help from his receivers.
Nico Collins turned three of his six receptions into scores, a career high, and had a career-best 165 yards. Donovan Peoples-Jones had five catches for 73 yards and scored on a spectacular, spinning 11-yard TD catch in the first half. Giles Jackson’s only catch went for 50 yards and Ronnie Bell caught a 6-yard TD catch, the first of his career.
It was that kind of day for the Wolverines.
“They’ve got size and a lot of speed to go along with that,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “But we’ve got to win some of those one-on-one match-ups. They were just better than us today.”
Michigan’s defense was just as impressive.
After giving up 1-yard touchdown runs in the first half to Steve Scott III and Peyton Ramsey, the Wolverines didn’t allow another score.
The Hoosiers (7-4, 4-4) weren’t the same after Ramsey appeared to take a hard shot to the midsection. He stayed down on the field for several minutes before walking off, returned on the next series and led the Hoosiers to their second score but never got Indiana close again. The Hoosiers have lost two straight since clinching their first winning season in 12 years.
“He got hit pretty hard, but he’s a tough old kid now, so I don’t think it affected him,” Allen said. “If it didn’t he never said anything. He’s going to be fine.”
After Scott opened the game with his 1-yard scoring run, Patterson hooked up with Ronnie Bell for a 6-yard TD pass to tie the score. Donovan Peoples-Jones tied it at 14 with a spectacular, spinning 11-yard TD catch.
Then Patterson gave Michigan its first lead with a perfect 24-yard scoring strike to Nico Collins with 5:33 left in the first half, Quinn Nordin’s 24-yard field goal made it 24-14 and the Wolverines sealed the victory with a 76-yard TD pass from Patterson to Collins and Dylan McCaffrey’s conversion run midway through the third.
Collins tacked on the final score on a 19-yard catch with 1:39 left in the third to make it 39-14. He had six receptions for a career high 165 yards.
Ramsey was 17 of 29 with 217 yards and one interception while Scott ran 13 times for 54 yards.
KENT STATE 41, BALL STATE 38
Dustin Crum passed for 369 yards and ran for another 101, Matthew Trickett kicked a 22-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining and Kent State defeated Ball State 41-38 on Saturday.
After Ball State’s Caleb Huntley scored on a 42-yard run to tie the game at 38 with 4:14 remaining, the Golden Flashes (5-6, 4-3 Mid-American) drove 67 yards in 11 plays to set up Trickett, last season’s All-MAC placekicker.
Crum was 18-of-26 passing with three touchdowns to Isaiah McKoy (6 receptions, 159 yards) and Crum added another touchdown on the ground. Mike Carrigan had eight catches for 178 yards, including a 64-yard non-scoring play.
Ball State’s MAC-leading rushing game piled up 330 yards and four touchdowns with Huntley gaining 192 yards on 30 carries with two touchdowns. Walter Fletcher added 90 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Drew Plitt had the other rushing touchdown. Plitt passed for 208 yards and one touchdown for the Cardinals (4-7, 3-4).
The teams combined for 1,173 yards of offense.