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Williams runs No. 6 Irish past No. 24 Hokies, 45-23

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Dexter Williams burst through the line, suddenly saw nothing but green in front of him and was gone.

In a span of seconds, fans of No. 24 Virginia Tech went from roaring with certainty that the Hokies were about to make the kind of defensive play that can change a game to watching it flip in the other direction as Williams sprinted 97 yards down their sideline.

And soon, a tight game was no more, the No. 6 Fighting Irish pulling away for a 45-23 victory on Saturday night.

''I was looking at the Jumbotron the whole time,'' Williams said, ''to make sure I didn't get caught.''

The Fighting Irish (6-0) had minus-5 rushing yards and were facing second-and-12 from their 3 when Williams broke into the clear early in the third quarter, putting Notre Dame ahead 24-16. Williams had just been thrown for a 2-yard loss, prompting the crowd's excitement.

Instead, it was Williams who made the big play.

''We had a couple of plays that we felt comfortable we could run down there,'' coach Brian Kelly said of Williams, who ran for 161 yards in his first action of the season last week in a victory against No. 15 Stanford. ''He's got great speed. He's able to hit it.''

Virginia Tech responded by driving to the Notre Dame 30, but Brian Johnson missed a 47-yard field goal try.

''After that we kind of self-destructed a little bit,'' Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster said.

Williams finished with 178 yards on 17 carries. He added TD runs of 1 and 31 yards.

The Irish's defense was stout, too. Khalid Kareem stripped quarterback Ryan Willis on a scramble and Julian Love was in perfect position to scoop up the bouncing fumble and take it 42 yards for a touchdown, giving Notre Dame a 17-9 lead late in the second quarter. Before breaking the game open, Notre Dame also sacked Willis for 11 yards after Virginia Tech (3-2) drove to the 19, and stopped the Hokies on three tries from the 1 yard-line. Both of those drives ended with the hosts settling for field goals by Johnson.

''It was a good battle there for a while,'' Hokies coach Justin Fuente said.

Ian Book started fast and then struggled, but delivered the back-breaker for the Irish. Flushed left and surrounded by three closing defenders, he tossed a short pass just beyond them to Miles Boykin, whose 40-yard touchdown made it 31-16 late in the third quarter. The pair later connected for a 5-yard TD as the Irish scored the first 21 points of the second half.

Book finished 25 for 35 for 271 yards in his third consecutive start. Willis was 31 for 52 for 309 yards with two TDs and one interception for the Hokies.

THE TAKEAWAY

Notre Dame: Book was perfect on the opening drive, completing all seven of his throws for 58 yards. He also hit Chris Finke for 58 yards on the first play of Notre Dame's second possession, but was far less effective throwing the ball downfield the rest of the way. He badly overthrew Finke twice, including once when Finke was well behind Tyree Rodgers and could have coasted into the end zone.

''I told him don't worry about it,'' Williams said of Book. ''He's a great quarterback and he has to continue to step up.''

Virginia Tech: The Hokies' lack of defensive depth is catching up with them. They were without starting free safety Divine Deablo, who Foster said tweaked a hamstring in practice on Wednesday, forcing Rodgers into extended action. The Hokies have had to replace eight starters, plus Deablo, since last season.

RECORD BOOK

Williams' run was the second-longest in Notre Dame history, the longest in Lane Stadium history and matched the longest the Hokies have ever allowed. ... Damon Hazelton caught a TD pass for the Hokies for the fifth straight game, tying Isaiah Ford's school record.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Irish enhanced their playoff aspirations by winning in a difficult place while No. 5 LSU, No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 8 Auburn all lost. Virginia Tech is likely to drop out of the rankings again, but could well figure in the ACC's Coastal Division mix before the season is over.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame returns home next Saturday to face another ACC opponent, Pittsburgh.

The Hokies are at North Carolina next Saturday before playing four of their last five at home.

---

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:50
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
45
23
Touchdown 4:58
2-D.Williams runs 31 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
65
yds
00:42
pos
44
23
Point After TD 5:40
93-B.Johnson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
38
23
Touchdown 5:40
5-R.Willis complete to 83-E.Kumah. 83-E.Kumah runs 15 yards for a touchdown.
15
plays
65
yds
03:32
pos
38
22
Point After TD 9:12
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
38
16
Touchdown 9:12
12-I.Book complete to 81-M.Boykin. 81-M.Boykin runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
64
yds
04:44
pos
37
16
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:59
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
31
16
Touchdown 5:09
12-I.Book complete to 81-M.Boykin. 81-M.Boykin runs 40 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
70
yds
03:28
pos
30
16
Point After TD 12:03
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
24
16
Touchdown 12:03
2-D.Williams runs 97 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
95
yds
00:32
pos
23
16
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:12
93-B.Johnson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
16
Touchdown 0:16
5-R.Willis complete to 14-D.Hazelton. 14-D.Hazelton runs 3 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
56
yds
00:52
pos
17
15
Point After TD 1:08
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
9
Touchdown 1:21
5-R.Willis sacked at VT 42 for -10 yards FUMBLES (53-K.Kareem). 27-J.Love runs 42 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
48
yds
0:00
pos
16
9
Field Goal 3:53
93-B.Johnson 22 yards Field Goal is Good.
5
plays
37
yds
02:05
pos
10
9
Field Goal 10:36
93-B.Johnson 43 yards Field Goal is Good.
7
plays
22
yds
02:45
pos
10
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 1:30
93-B.Johnson 39 yards Field Goal is Good.
16
plays
58
yds
05:32
pos
10
3
Field Goal 7:06
19-J.Yoon 31 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
59
yds
01:08
pos
10
0
Point After TD 9:24
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 9:27
2-D.Williams runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
15
plays
86
yds
05:33
pos
6
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 19 25
Rushing 6 6
Passing 12 18
Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Conv 9-16 10-21
4th Down Conv 1-3 1-1
Total Net Yards 427 436
Total Plays 67 85
Avg Gain 6.4 5.1
Net Yards Rushing 167 132
Rush Attempts 32 33
Avg Rush Yards 5.2 4.0
Net Yards Passing 260 304
Comp. - Att. 25-35 31-52
Yards Per Pass 7.4 5.8
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-11 1-5
Penalties - Yards 5-19 6-41
Touchdowns 6 2
Rushing TDs 3 0
Passing TDs 2 2
Other 1 0
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 2-1
Int. Thrown 1 1
Punts - Avg 3-47.7 4-42.0
Return Yards 4 131
Punts - Returns 0-0 3-27
Kickoffs - Returns 0-0 5-99
Int. - Returns 1-4 1-5
Kicking 7/7 5/7
Extra Points 6/6 2/2
Field Goals 1/1 3/5
Safeties 0 0
1234T
6 Notre Dame 6-0 107141445
24 Virginia Tech 3-2 3130723
260 PASS YDS 304
167 RUSH YDS 132
427 TOTAL YDS 436
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
I. Book 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
71.4% 271 2 1 149.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
73.3% 887 9 1 170.7
I. Book 25/35 271 2 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Williams 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 178 3
SEASON ATT YDS TD
38 339 4
D. Williams 17 178 3 97
B. Wimbush 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
52 144 1
B. Wimbush 3 8 0 7
A. Davis 3 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
18 60 0
A. Davis 1 5 0 5
C. Flemister 20 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
C. Flemister 1 0 0 0
T. Jones Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
58 302 3
T. Jones Jr. 2 -1 0 2
I. Book 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 -6 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
32 81 3
I. Book 6 -6 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Boykin 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
8 117 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
28 428 3
M. Boykin 8 117 2 40
C. Finke 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 71 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
19 243 1
C. Finke 3 71 0 56
A. Mack 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 39 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
19 209 1
A. Mack 6 39 0 16
C. Claypool 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 26 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 200 2
C. Claypool 4 26 0 11
C. Kmet 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 54 0
C. Kmet 3 18 0 11
M. Young 87 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 63 0
M. Young 1 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
K. Kareem 53 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.5
K. Kareem 1-1 1.5 0
J. Love 27 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
J. Love 0-0 0.0 1
J. Okwara 42 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 1 0.5
J. Okwara 0-1 0.5 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Yoon 19 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 6/6
SEASON FG XP
7/10 26/26
J. Yoon 1/1 31 6/6 9
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. Newsome 85 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 47.7 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
26 46.3 1
T. Newsome 3 47.7 1 58
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Claypool 83 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
C. Claypool 1 0.0 0 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
R. Willis 5 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
59.6% 309 2 1 118.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
58.7% 836 6 1 143.3
R. Willis 31/52 309 2 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
S. Peoples 32 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 64 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
64 366 5
S. Peoples 9 64 0 41
D. McClease 33 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 33 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
51 247 1
D. McClease 6 33 0 12
R. Willis 5 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
25 58 1
R. Willis 11 16 0 11
J. Holston 13 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
16 65 0
J. Holston 3 9 0 7
H. Grimsley 6 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 26 0
H. Grimsley 1 8 0 8
S. Savoy 15 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
5 9 0
S. Savoy 1 4 0 4
E. Kumah 83 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
E. Kumah 1 0 0 0
T. Wheatley 24 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
12 83 1
T. Wheatley 1 -2 0 -2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Hazelton 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
12 131 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
27 479 5
D. Hazelton 12 131 1 19
E. Kumah 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 48 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 259 2
E. Kumah 4 48 1 24
S. Savoy 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 46 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 95 1
S. Savoy 4 46 0 22
H. Grimsley 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 37 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 204 0
H. Grimsley 4 37 0 16
S. Peoples 32 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 28 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 73 0
S. Peoples 3 28 0 20
T. Turner 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 95 0
T. Turner 2 21 0 12
J. Holston 13 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 -1 0
J. Holston 1 2 0 2
C. Cunningham 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 31 1
C. Cunningham 0 0 0 0
P. Patterson 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 73 1
P. Patterson 0 0 0 0
T. Wheatley 24 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
T. Wheatley 0 0 0 0
J. Mitchell 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
J. Mitchell 0 0 0 0
D. McClease 33 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 -2 0
D. McClease 1 -4 0 -4
Defense T-A SACK INT
K. Ladler 9 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
K. Ladler 1-0 1.0 0
J. Quillen 26 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
J. Quillen 1-0 1.0 0
R. Floyd 21 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 2 0.0
R. Floyd 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
B. Johnson 93 K
IN-GAME FG XP
3/5 2/2
SEASON FG XP
7/9 20/20
B. Johnson 3/5 43 2/2 11
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
O. Bradburn 91 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 42.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
26 42.7 1
O. Bradburn 4 42.0 1 45
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Wheatley 24 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
5 19.8 25 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 25.5 25 0
T. Wheatley 5 19.8 25 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Carroll 86 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 9.0 20 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 6.8 20 0
C. Carroll 3 9.0 20 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 VATECH 35 5:33 15 75 TD
8:14 ND 27 1:08 4 59 FG
0:58 VATECH 35 0:37 9 8 Downs
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:10 VATECH 35 2:42 8 12 Fumble
6:04 ND 37 0:00 1 63 INT
3:23 VATECH 35 0:43 4 -2 Punt
0:12 VATECH 35 0:00 2 -11 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:35 ND 5 0:32 2 95 TD
8:37 ND 30 3:28 9 70 TD
2:00 ND 20 0:50 3 -3 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:56 ND 36 4:44 11 64 TD
5:40 VATECH 35 0:42 3 65 TD
4:04 VATECH 38 1:34 5 2 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:24 ND 35 0:43 4 -7 Punt
7:02 ND 35 5:32 16 53 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:21 ND 43 2:45 7 17 FG
7:21 VATECH 8 1:12 5 13 Punt
5:58 ND 42 2:05 5 37 FG
2:30 VATECH 39 1:02 4 3 TD
1:08 ND 35 0:52 11 75 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:12 ND 35 0:00 6 23 Punt
12:03 ND 35 3:22 9 35 FG Miss
4:59 ND 35 2:56 7 21 Punt
0:30 VATECH 50 0:09 4 15 FG Miss
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:12 ND 35 3:32 15 80 TD
4:50 ND 35 0:19 4 27 INT
1:46 VATECH 35 0:36 3 9