Notre Dame falls to Ohio State
Notre Dame fell behind early and never could catch up with powerful Ohio State.
The result was yet another major bowl defeat for the Irish, 44-28 to the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl on Friday.
Ohio State (12-1) scored touchdowns the first two times they had the ball.
The game started at 11 a.m., local time, and the Irish were slow to wake up. They were scoreless in the first quarter for the first time all season.
“Obviously their first series was outstanding. They ran the ball effectively right down the field,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. “So I just think that they executed very well early on. It was the difference in the game really, those 14 points early. We had to play catch-up from there.”
The score reached 28-7 but No. 8 Notre Dame (10-3) climbed back into it with a touchdown late in the first half and another in the third quarter, a 4-yard scoring pass from DeShone Kizer to Chris Brown to cut seventh-ranked Ohio State's lead to 28-21 with 8:58 still to go.
Ezekiel Elliott ended that threat by running up the middle on a 47-yard touchdown run, one of his four TDs for the day, and the Irish never got it to single digits again.
Notre Dame, for all its national football notoriety, has gone 22 years without a major bowl victory. The Irish are 0-7 in those big games since beating Texas A&M in the 1993 Cotton Bowl.
Notre Dame gave up 82 points in its two losses this season - to Stanford and Ohio State. The 44 allowed Friday were the most they gave up all season.
Kelly, though, said his team in headed in the right direction.
“I like where we are,” he said. “We're going to keep banging at the door. Keep playing Ohio State, keep playing Florida State, keep playing Alabama, keep playing these teams in these kinds of venues, in these kinds of games.”