Notre Dame receiver Chase Claypool after a key fourth-down catch against Virginia Tech.

The No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish emerged with a 21-20 home win against the Virginia Tech Hokies Saturday thanks to a remarkable series of late events. Virginia Tech trailed early, but tied the game before half on a 98-yard fumble return, then took the lead and extended it to 20-14 early in the fourth quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Brian Johnson. Notre Dame’s Jonathan Doerer then missed a 35-yard field goal attempt after an 82-yard drive. But the Hokies wound up punting on their next drive, and the Irish got the ball back with 3:19 left. Quarterback Ian Book then put together an 18-play, 87-yard touchdown drive, which included this incredible catch from Chase Claypool:

That drive also featured two fourth-down conversions, including this 4th and 10 pass to Claypool (seen above signalling for a first down afterwards) from the Virginia Tech 33:

And Book then finished the drive off himself, rushing for seven yards on third and goal:

That only tied the game, though, and the Irish still needed an extra point to win it. And that almost didn’t happen thanks to a bad snap. But holder Jay Bramblett recovered and set the ball up for Doerer, who drove it through:

An interception on the next series then sealed it for Notre Dame. That’s a pretty narrow escape for the Irish, but they’ll certainly take it. It leaves them 6-2 (with road losses to then-No. 3 Georgia and then-No. 19 Michigan), and while that may not be what they hoped for after a season where they made the College Football Playoff, it’s certainly not the worst place to be.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.