Notre Dame remains Shamrock Series perfect
Tommy Rees threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns, and Notre Dame made it 5 for 5 in the traveling Shamrock Series with a 37-34 victory against No. 22 Arizona State on Saturday night.
Kyle Brindza kicked three second-half field goals, the go-ahead kick from 25 yards with 3:03 remaining. He tied a Notre Dame record with a 53-yarder that matched the longest in a college game at the $1.2 billion home of the Dallas Cowboys.
It was the second win in Texas in the five-year Shamrock run of home games on the road for the Irish (4-2), starting with a victory over Washington State in San Antonio in 2009.
Taylor Kelly threw for 362 yards and three scores for the Sun Devils (3-2), who missed on a chance to become the first team to beat Southern California and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks.
T.J. Jones had eight catches for 135 yards, including a pair of first-down catches on the drive to the winning field goal. Cam McDaniel, went to school in nearby Coppell, had four straight carries for 32 yards to get Notre Dame in field goal range.
The Irish clinched the win when Dan Fox, who recovered a fumble to set up a touchdown, returned Kelly’s second interception 14 yards for a touchdown with 1:08 remaining.
The Sun Devils pulled within 37-24 on Kelly’s third TD — a 16-yarder to Marion Grice with 11 seconds left — but Jones recovered an onside kick.
Notre Dame, one of the best in the country at rushing the passer last year but statistically one of the worst this year, found its form. The Irish pressured Kelly throughout, and Prince Shembo had a key sack on the first play after Notre Dame went ahead.
The Irish led 24-13 after Rees’ 21-yard touchdown on a jump ball to 6-foot-7 tight end Troy Niklas.