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Notre Dame follows C.J. Prosise to victory over Georgia Tech

BY TOM COYNE

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — C.J. Prosise provided the flash for No. 8 Notre Dame with 198 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including a 91-yarder, and the defense provided the grit.

Two touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Thomas to running back Patrick Skov in the final minute — the second coming after a recovered onside kick — brought some drama before the Fighting Irish recovered a second onside kick to clinch a 30-22 victory Saturday against No. 14 Georgia Tech.

‘‘I think our defensive plan was outstanding,’’ Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. ‘‘I think our team executed it up until maybe the last couple of minutes, where we probably lost a little bit of our focus. But all in all, just a tremendous performance by our football team.’’

Prosise’s long touchdown run put the Irish (3-0) ahead 30-7, and he also scored on runs of 17 yards and one yard. He credited the offensive line for his big game.

‘‘I can’t thank them enough for how they’re getting me to the second level and getting me to the safeties untouched,’’ he said.

The Yellow Jackets (2-1) entered the game averaging 67 points and 457 yards of total offense, but they struggled to get much going until time was running out. Notre Dame held Georgia Tech to 216 yards rushing and 337 yards of total offense.

‘‘Clearly, we were disappointed with the way we played,’’ Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson said. ‘‘You have to give Notre Dame credit. Their kids showed up and played hard.’’

The game-breaking touchdown run by Prosise with 6:58 left was the second-longest by an Irish player and the longest in the history of Notre Dame Stadium. Bob Livingstone holds the school record with a 92-yarder at USC in 1947.

Will Fuller, who has five touchdown catches through three games, became the first Notre Dame player to have three consecutive 100-yard receiving games to open a season since Tom Gatewood in 1970.

Quarterback DeShone Kizer, making his first start in place of Malik Zaire (fractured ankle), was 21-for-30 for 242 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Kizer said he was happy to get the game behind him after throwing the winning touchdown pass with 12 seconds left a week earlier against Virginia.

‘‘It’s going to help me immensely going into next week and into new atmospheres like Clemson in a couple of weeks,’’ he said.

Kizer looked indecisive at times, but he played well enough to earn the victory, coming up with several big plays. With the score tied at 7, Kizer completed third-down passes of 10 yards to Chris Brown and 36 yards to Fuller on a drive that Prosise capped with his 17-yard touchdown run.

‘‘I thought he threw the deep ball very well, did some really good things in managing the offense for us,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘Cadence was a little off. That’s why we had some false starts.’’

Kelly had predicted the Irish would need to be efficient offensively because he didn’t think their defense would be able to shut down Georgia Tech, but he was wrong.

‘‘The biggest thing we’re taking from this game is our attitude,’’ Notre Dame defensive lineman Isaac Rochell said. ‘‘We knew we had to dominate up front, and we did.’’

Irish safety Drue Tranquill injured his right knee while celebrating after breaking up a pass. Kelly wasn’t sure about the severity of the injury but said he wasn’t optimistic.

Tranquill suffered a season-ending injury to his left knee last season, and Notre Dame already has lost five players to season-ending injuries this season.