SOUTH BEND—Notre Dame’s defense got going after stuffing Nevada on a fourth-and-1 from the 17 on Nevada’s first possession. The offense didn’t get going until the second quarter.Nevada (1-1) was no match for the 18th-ranked Fighting Irish once they got both sides going, overpowering the Wolf Pack 39-10 on Saturday. DeShone Kizer threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, Josh Adams rushed for 106 yards on 10 carries and Notre Dame’s defense rebounded from a disappointing performance a week ago at Texas.Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was pleased with the defensive effort.
”We needed some confidence, so that fourth down was definitely a confidence-builder for our defense. I think that gave us some momentum going into the next couple of drives,” he said.
Linebacker James Onwualu said it was a stop the Irish (1-1) desperately needed.
”We never had a drive where the defense had any momentum in the Texas game,” he said.
Defensive lineman Jarron Jones also set up a touchdown with an interception at the 8-yard line.Kizer was 15 of 18 for 156 yards with one interception and Equanimeous St. Brown led Irish receivers with six catches for 85 yards with Torii Hunter Jr. out with a concussion sustained against Texas.Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Kizer showed more patience looking for receivers.
”The other thing is he’s taking what’s available to him instead of trying to do too much,” Kelly said.
Nevada coach Brian Polian, a former Notre Dame assistant under Charlie Weis, said he had no doubt about going for it on fourth down.
”Because field goals were not going to keep us in this game,” he said.
The Wolf Pack avoided the shutout when Wyatt Demps caught a 44-yard pass from Stewart in the third quarter to set up a 27-yard field goal by Brent Zuzo. Jaxson Kincaide added a 6-yard TD run against Notre Dame’s reserves late in the fourth quarter. Stewart was 10 of 23 passing for 113 yards and James Butler, who rushed for 1,342 yards last season, was held to 50 yards on 17 carries.