Fighting Irish bedeviled by visiting Duke on way to stunning loss

Duke wide receiver T.J. Rahming (3) heads downfield past three Notre Dame defenders after catching a pass from quarterback Daniel Jones during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — AJ Reed kicked a 19-yard field goal with 84 seconds left as Duke rallied back from an early two-touchdown deficit to beat Notre Dame 38-35 on Saturday.

Reed had missed all three of his field goal attempts this season before kicking the game winner.

Daniel Jones threw for three touchdowns, including a 64-yard scoring pass to Anthony Nash midway through the fourth quarter to tie the score. Shaun Wilson returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score to spark the Blue Devils (2-2) after they fell behind 14-0. The Duke defense set up the final touchdown when it sacked DeShone Kizer for a 7-yard loss at the 5-yard line and Deondre Singleton intercepted a pass at the Notre Dame 45.

The Irish defense continued to struggle, giving up 30 or more points against Power Five teams for the seventh time in their last nine games. The student section chanted “Fire VanGorder,” referring to defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

Jones was 24 of 32 passing for 290 yards. Nash had six catches for 123 yards. Jela Duncan ran for 121 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.

Kizer was 22 of 37 passing for 381 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a fumble to lead the Irish (1-3). Kizer threw a 12-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter that put Notre Dame ahead for the first time since squandering a 14-0 lead, but the Irish couldn’t hang on.

The Blue Devils, who managed a total of 27 points in losses to Wake Forest and Duke, scored 28 in the first half against the Irish. Duke scored three straight touchdowns after falling behind 14-0.


Duke: The Blue Devils defense continued to struggle to stop big plays, allowing 10 passes of 20 yards or more. But they came up with the big plays when they had to, forcing three turnovers while allowing one.

Notre Dame: The Irish came out with the sense of urgency coach Brian Kelly preached all week after falling behind by double digits in losses to Texas and Michigan State, jumping to a 14-0 lead. But they couldn’t keep the momentum going, and struggled to do anything consistently well.


Duke: After back-to-back trips to the Midwest, the Blue Devils return home to face Virginia, a team it has beaten in six of their last eight meetings.

Notre Dame: The Irish travel to East Rutherford, New Jersey, to play Syracuse, the first of three neutral-site games they will play this season.

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