Notre Dame wears down NC State
SOUTH BEND, Ind.
Julian Love returned his second interception of the season for a touchdown and running back Josh Adams had another big day, rushing for 202 yards, to help No. 9 Notre Dame beat 14th-ranked North Carolina State 35-14 on a blustery Saturday.
The sixth straight victory by Brian Kelly’s Irish, now 7-1, avenged a 10-3 loss at N.C. State last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. N.C. State (6-2) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end.
“Our guys were up to the task,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “They continually come out with energy and a mindset to get after the opponent.”
Love’s 69-yard return behind a convey of his defensive mates with 12:05 left in the third quarter ended N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley’s streak of consecutive passes without throwing an interception at 339. Love, who also broke up three other Finley attempts, had a 50-yard interception return for a TD in Notre Dame’s 38-18 victory at Michigan State.
A little less than eight minutes after Love’s theft, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Adams, who earlier in the game became the quickest back in school history to go over 1,000 yards in a season on his 110th attempt, broke up the middle for a 77-yard touchdown run that provided further breathing room. Adams had his second 200-yard rushing game of the season and his sixth game over 100 yards this year.
Brandon Wimbush added three first-half touchdowns, his 11th rushing TD of the season and two scoring passes of 25 yards to Durham Smythe and 11 yards to Kevin Stepherson. The scoring pass to Smythe came after Germaine Pratt of N.C. State fell on a blocked Irish punt to put the Wolfpack up 7-0.