SOUTH BEND, Ind. — AJ Reed kicked a 19-yard field goal with 84 seconds left as Duke rallied 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 winner. Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who opted to go for it on fourth and 1 from the 19 early in the fourth quarter and failed, said he didn't hesitate to let Reed attempt the field goal, saying the team had confidence in him.
"That unit there, they believe in him and he's got a lot of talent. I know when it came down there at the end — the field goal — there was no doubt in my mind he was going to make it," he said.
Reed said he knew his teammates were behind him.
"They were all telling me that they had my back and that they knew I was going to get it done for them," he said.
Daniel Jones threw three touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Anthony Nash midway through the fourth quarter to tie the score as Duke beat the Irish for the second time. The first was in their first meeting, a 9-7 victory in Durham, N.C., in 1958. Jones was 24-of-32 for 290 yards, and Duke rushed for 208 yards.
"I think we were, as a team, executing at such a high level. We weren't perfect by any stretch, but overall, we were executing more consistently than we had been," Jones said.
With DeVon Edwards out with what likely is a season-ending knee injury sustained on Notre Dame's first kickoff, Shaun Wilson returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score to spark the Blue Devils 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 Irish 5 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 its past nine games. The student section chanted "Fire VanGorder," referring to defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the coaching of the defense is one of the few areas he wasn't disappointed in, saying he doesn't think it was a factor in the outcome. He said Duke was grittier and more determined than the Irish, who opened the season ranked No. 10.
"I told our guys, essentially, that we're going in the wrong direction. We're not going to continue to go in this direction. We'll have to reevaluate what we're doing, who we're doing it with, and how we're doing it," he said.
UNC 37, PITT 36: Mitch Trubisky capped a huge day by throwing a 2-yard touchdown to Bug Howard with two seconds left to help the host Tar Heels rally. Trubisky threw for career highs of 453 yards and five touchdowns for North Carolina, which never led until the final play and trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter. But Trubisky directed a 17-play, 63-yard drive that included three fourth-down conversions in a stunning finish. Ryan Switzer was the main target, tying a program record with 16 catches for 208 yards and a score.
UVA 49, C. MICH. 35: Kurt Benkert threw five touchdowns, the last two after the host Cavaliers had squandered a 28-0 lead, and Virginia gave coach Bronco Mendenhall his 100th career victory. Benkert hit Olamide Zaccheaus with a go-ahead 82-yard pass after the Cavaliers defense forced its first punt since the first quarter. Virginia forced another punt, and Benkert hit Albert Reid for a 5-yard touchdown, capping a 73-yard drive. Taquan Mizzell also scored twice for Virginia on runs of 4 and 53 yards
WAKE Forest 33, INDIANA 28: John Wolford ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, and Jessie Bates returned an interception for a score to lead the visiting Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is 4-0 for the first time in 10 years and has already surpassed the three-win totals it had each of the previous two seasons. It was coach Dave Clawson's 100th career victory.
BC 42, WAGNER 10: Quarterback Patrick Towles passed for two touchdowns and added two on the ground for the host Eagles. Jon Hilliman ran for two touchdowns for Boston College, which won its 25th straight game against a Division I-AA opponent.