Drive Chart
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NWEST

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Book leads No. 3 Notre Dame over Northwestern, 31-21

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) No. 3 Notre Dame looked as if it was running away with another victory, leading by 17 points early in the fourth quarter.

It turned out the Fighting Irish needed one more big dash to secure it.

Ian Book threw two touchdown passes and ran 23 yards for a score in the closing minutes to lead Notre Dame to a 31-21 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish (9-0, No. 4 CFP) remained in line for a playoff spot and continued to build on their best start since the 2012 team went undefeated before losing to Alabama in the BCS championship game. The Wildcats (5-4) had won four in a row to grab the Big Ten West lead and they stayed in this one when it looked like Notre Dame was ready to pull away.

Book threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Miles Boykin in the corner of the end zone and a 47-yarder to Michael Young in the third to put the Irish ahead a 21-7. He sealed it in the closing minutes with that 23-yard run untouched up the left side, after a 17-point lead early in the fourth shrank to three.

''It's a pretty awesome feeling,'' Book said. ''It's hard to win in November. We're in such a good situation, and we know that, but I think this team does such a good job of focusing one week at a time. Everyone's excited, but everyone's just ready for Florida State (next week).''

The Irish were in a similar spot last season, only to stumble down the stretch. They were No. 3 in the first two playoff rankings en route to an 8-1 start, only to go 2-2 the rest of the way - beginning with a blowout loss to Miami.

''We didn't do a good job of just staying focused,'' linebacker Te'Von Coney said. ''We looked too far ahead and it cost us. This year, we have to stay in the moment; that's the key.''

It was 24-7 early in the fourth when Northwestern's Clayton Thorson threw a 27-yard touchdown to Riley Lees. Cameron Ruiz then blocked a punt by Tyler Newsome, giving the Wildcats possession on the Notre Dame 17. That led to a 1-yard sneak by Thorson, cutting it to 24-21 with 7:05 left.

''I could say we relaxed a little bit, but I think it was just Northwestern throwing their last punch,'' defensive end Julian Okwara said.

Either way, Notre Dame didn't get rattled.

''They've been like that all year,'' coach Brian Kelly said. ''They just play one play at a time. They don't get too high, they don't get too low. They knew in the second half they needed to play much better football, especially offensively.''

Book improved to 6-0 as the starter, going 22 of 34 for 343 yards. Chase Claypool had eight receptions for 130 yards, and Dexter Williams ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

The Wildcats haven't beaten a top-five opponent since 1959, when Ara Parseghian was their coach. Though they are 0-3 in nonconference games, they still lead their division.

Thorson was 16 of 29 for 141 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for two TDs. Isaiah Bowser added 93 yards rushing on 23 attempts after back-to-back 100-yard games.

''Best atmosphere I've ever played in at Ryan Field,'' right guard Tommy Doles said. ''We were really excited about this game so it's very disappointing. But all our goals are ahead of us. We set out to win the West and that's what we plan to do.''

EARLY CHANCES

Both teams missed some big scoring opportunities in the first half. The Irish were also hurt by penalties.

Northwestern blew a big chance after linebacker Blake Gallagher recovered a fumble by Book on the game's opening possession. The Wildcats took over at the Notre Dame 35, only to come away empty-handed when Charlie Kuhbander missed a 39-yard field goal wide right.

The Irish then went 79 yards, with Williams plowing in from the 1 to give them a 7-0 lead and delight the fans in blue and gold. But they also missed a big chance late in the quarter. Two penalties helped drive them back from the Northwestern 5 to the 27 before Justin Yoon's 44-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.

Northwestern tied it midway through the second quarter when Thorson scored from the 1. Bennett Skowronek kept the drive going with a one-handed grab on fourth-and-5 at the Notre Dame 21, and the Irish's Jalen Elliott got flagged for interference breaking up a pass intended for Cameron Green in the end zone.

THE TAKEAWAY

Notre Dame: The Irish remained in the playoff hunt even though this wasn't an easy game.

Northwestern: The Wildcats hung with one of the nation's best teams, only to come up short. The loss doesn't impact the division standings.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: Hosts Florida State on Nov. 10.

Northwestern: Visits Iowa on Nov. 10.

---

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Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 2:45
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
31
21
Touchdown 2:52
12-I.Book runs 23 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
80
yds
04:13
pos
30
21
Point After TD 7:05
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
24
21
Touchdown 7:09
18-C.Thorson runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
5
plays
17
yds
01:56
pos
24
20
Point After TD 11:16
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
24
14
Touchdown 11:23
18-C.Thorson complete to 19-R.Lees. 19-R.Lees runs 27 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
105
yds
01:48
pos
24
13
Field Goal 13:55
19-J.Yoon 43 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
29
yds
00:19
pos
24
7
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 2:33
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
21
7
Touchdown 2:42
12-I.Book complete to 87-M.Young. 87-M.Young runs 47 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
98
yds
02:12
pos
20
7
Point After TD 7:28
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
7
Touchdown 7:37
12-I.Book complete to 81-M.Boykin. 81-M.Boykin runs 20 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
85
yds
03:51
pos
13
7
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 8:04
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
7
Touchdown 8:09
18-C.Thorson runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
19
plays
81
yds
00:59
pos
7
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 6:28
19-J.Yoon extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 6:33
2-D.Williams runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
15
plays
84
yds
05:33
pos
6
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 25 16
Rushing 7 5
Passing 18 10
Penalty 0 1
3rd Down Conv 5-14 5-15
4th Down Conv 3-3 2-4
Total Net Yards 464 224
Total Plays 74 69
Avg Gain 6.3 3.2
Net Yards Rushing 121 108
Rush Attempts 40 40
Avg Rush Yards 3.0 2.7
Net Yards Passing 343 116
Comp. - Att. 22-34 16-29
Yards Per Pass 10.1 4.0
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 5-25
Penalties - Yards 8-58 0-0
Touchdowns 4 3
Rushing TDs 2 2
Passing TDs 2 1
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 0
Fumbles - Lost 1-1 1-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 3-40.0 5-43.4
Return Yards 87 27
Punts - Returns 3-35 2-27
Kickoffs - Returns 3-52 0-0
Int. - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kicking 5/6 3/4
Extra Points 4/4 3/3
Field Goals 1/2 0/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
4 Notre Dame 9-0 70141031
Northwestern 5-4 0701421
343 PASS YDS 116
121 RUSH YDS 108
464 TOTAL YDS 224
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
I. Book 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.7% 343 2 0 168.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
74.5% 1824 15 4 170.0
I. Book 22/34 343 2 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Williams 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
19 56 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
93 568 8
D. Williams 19 56 1 19
I. Book 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 56 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
65 218 4
I. Book 11 56 1 23
J. Armstrong 8 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
60 315 6
J. Armstrong 4 18 0 10
T. Jones Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
68 328 3
T. Jones Jr. 3 2 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Claypool 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
8 130 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
36 448 3
C. Claypool 8 130 0 31
M. Young 87 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 60 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 138 1
M. Young 2 60 1 47
M. Boykin 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 54 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
40 624 7
M. Boykin 4 54 1 20
C. Finke 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 45 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
32 383 1
C. Finke 5 45 0 26
C. Kmet 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 41 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 134 0
C. Kmet 2 41 0 24
D. Williams 2 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 13 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 41 0
D. Williams 1 13 0 13
Defense T-A SACK INT
T. Coney 4 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 1 2.0
T. Coney 7-2 2.0 0
D. Hayes 9 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 2.0
D. Hayes 7-0 2.0 0
J. Okwara 42 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 1.0
J. Okwara 6-0 1.0 0
J. Love 27 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
J. Love 6-0 0.0 0
D. Tranquill 23 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
D. Tranquill 5-0 0.0 0
J. Elliott 21 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 3 0.0
J. Elliott 5-0 0.0 0
J. Genmark Heath 2 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
J. Genmark Heath 4-2 0.0 0
J. Tillery 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
J. Tillery 2-1 0.0 0
A. Gilman 11 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
A. Gilman 2-1 0.0 0
A. Ogundeji 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
A. Ogundeji 2-0 0.0 0
J. Bonner 55 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Bonner 1-0 0.0 0
A. Bilal 22 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
A. Bilal 1-0 0.0 0
K. Kareem 53 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Kareem 1-0 0.0 0
D. White 40 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
D. White 1-1 0.0 0
D. Vaughn 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Vaughn 1-0 0.0 0
Ju. Ademilola 19 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
Ju. Ademilola 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Yoon 19 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 4/4
SEASON FG XP
10/14 31/31
J. Yoon 1/2 43 4/4 7
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. Newsome 85 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 40.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
35 45.2 1
T. Newsome 3 40.0 1 45
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Young 87 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 17.3 20 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
9 21.2 20 0
M. Young 3 17.3 20 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Finke 10 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 11.7 19 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
15 9.2 19 0
C. Finke 3 11.7 19 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.2% 141 1 0 107.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
60.2% 2213 11 10 118.5
C. Thorson 16/29 141 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
I. Bowser 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
23 93 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
83 320 3
I. Bowser 23 93 0 20
S. Vault 4 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 14 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
31 54 0
S. Vault 2 14 0 10
C. Hanaoka 1 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 44 0
C. Hanaoka 2 8 0 5
F. Nagel 2 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 2 0
F. Nagel 1 2 0 2
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 11 0
R. Lees 1 1 0 1
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 -10 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
56 -90 6
C. Thorson 11 -10 2 5
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Green 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 35 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
39 350 3
C. Green 3 35 0 13
F. Nagel 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 33 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
63 744 2
F. Nagel 4 33 0 15
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 31 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 123 1
R. Lees 2 31 1 27
K. McGowan 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 179 2
K. McGowan 1 9 0 9
C. Fessler 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 53 0
C. Fessler 1 9 0 9
J. Prather 44 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 23 0
J. Prather 1 9 0 9
B. Skowronek 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
34 417 1
B. Skowronek 1 7 0 7
C. Hanaoka 1 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 44 0
C. Hanaoka 2 7 0 5
S. Vault 4 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 8 0
S. Vault 1 1 0 1
B. Holman 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 11 0
B. Holman 0 0 0 0
R. Chiaokhiao-Bowman 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 110 0
R. Chiaokhiao-Bowman 0 0 0 0
I. Bowser 25 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 6 0
I. Bowser 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Hall 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-0 1 0.0
N. Hall 9-0 0.0 0
B. Gallagher 51 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
B. Gallagher 6-1 0.0 0
M. Hartage 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
M. Hartage 6-0 0.0 0
P. Fisher 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
P. Fisher 6-2 0.0 0
T. Whillock 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
T. Whillock 5-2 0.0 0
J. Pace 13 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 3 0.0
J. Pace 5-1 0.0 0
F. Wyatt 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
F. Wyatt 3-3 0.0 0
J. Thompson 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
J. Thompson 3-1 0.0 0
J. Gaziano 97 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
J. Gaziano 2-1 0.0 0
T. Williams 3 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
T. Williams 2-0 0.0 0
C. Ruiz 18 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
C. Ruiz 2-1 0.0 0
R. Campbell 9 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
R. Campbell 1-0 0.0 0
J. McGee 41 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
J. McGee 1-0 0.0 0
T. Goens 83 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
T. Goens 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
C. Kuhbander 14 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/1 3/3
SEASON FG XP
3/7 21/21
C. Kuhbander 0/1 0 3/3 3
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Collins 49 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 43.4 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
48 39.9 2
J. Collins 5 43.4 2 50
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 12.0 12 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 5.8 12 0
R. Lees 1 12.0 12 0
C. Ruiz 18 DB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 0 0
C. Ruiz 1 15.0 0 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 NWEST 35 0:45 5 0 Fumble
12:06 ND 21 5:33 15 79 TD
5:43 ND 42 3:17 12 31 FG Miss
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
8:04 NWEST 35 1:50 6 -1 Punt
2:19 ND 9 0:46 3 9 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:28 ND 20 3:51 12 80 TD
4:54 ND 2 2:12 6 98 TD
0:41 ND 45 0:19 4 29 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:16 NWEST 35 2:05 6 -3 Punt
7:05 NWEST 35 4:13 12 89 TD
1:20 NWEST 34 0:15 3 -11 Punt
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:52 ND 35 1:41 5 14 FG Miss
6:28 ND 35 0:11 4 -8 Punt
1:46 NWEST 27 0:59 19 73 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
6:09 NWEST 21 3:03 7 35 Punt
1:27 ND 46 0:44 4 -8 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:03 ND 35 0:00 9 10 Punt
7:28 ND 35 1:35 6 13 Punt
2:33 ND 35 1:15 4 -11 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:11 ND 35 1:48 7 70 TD
9:05 ND 17 1:56 5 17 TD
2:45 ND 35 0:57 6 7 Downs
0:20 NWEST 10 0:00 1 5