It won’t win any accolades for being particularly lovely, stunning, or even noteworthy necessarily, but it will be remembered as the play that at least halted the bleeding as Notre Dame defeated Cal 24-17 on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
Drew Pyne’s first career start resulted in the victory, and given some of his early errors and misses, it seemed appropriate that he was sporting green. However, he was able to relieve the tension a little bit, as he went 17-of-23 for 150 yards and two touchdowns on the day.
Chris Tyree, who appeared underused in the first two games, surprised everyone by scoring on a 21-yard touchdown reception early in the game. While Audric Estime led all rushers with 76 yards, the junior speedster finished with 108 total yards. In addition, he caught three passes for a total of 43 yards.
Only two receptions were made by Michael Mayer on the day, but the second one was crucial since it gave Notre Dame a 24-17 lead with a six-yard touchdown catch.
The victory is Marcus Freeman’s first as the head coach of Notre Dame and a cornerstone. The Hail Mary for Cal was not answered as time ran out, so Fighting Irish Wire will have plenty of postgame commentary.