The Vanderbilt Commodores (2-0), led by quarterback Kyle Shurmur, meet the No. 8 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0), led by quarterback Brandon Wimbush, in an NCAA football game on September 15, 2018 (9/15/18) at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.
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Here is the AP recap of the game:
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jalen Elliott knocked the ball loose from Vanderbilt receiver Kalija Lipscomb with 1:07 remaining to give Notre Dame a fourth-down stop.
Kyle Shurmur threw for 326 yards and a touchdown for Vanderbilt (2-1), rallying his team from a 16-3 halftime deficit. His fourth-and-4 pass from the Notre Dame 31 to Lipscomb, who caught 11 passes, was nicely thrown and the receiver almost made a reaching catch at the 11. But Elliott, with some help from the ground, knocked the ball loose and incomplete.
Tony Jones Jr. finished with 118 yards on 17 carries for Notre Dame (3-0). He also caught two passes from quarterback Brandon Wimbush for 56 yards.
Wimbush, who had 297 passing yards but three interceptions in the 24-16 victory against Ball State, threw for 122 yards and added 84 yards on the ground, including a 13-yard scramble for a touchdown as Notre Dame took an early 10-0 lead late in the first quarter. But despite a 2-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Ian Book to tight end Nic Weishar early in the fourth quarter for a 22-10 lead, the Irish struggled over the last three quarters and had to hold on.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: NCAA football
Where: Notre Dame Stadium
When: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018
Time: 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Livestream: NBC Sports Live
Line: Notre Dame -14.5
Derek Mason and his Vanderbilt Commodores believe they have learned how to better handle a good start to the season and the challenge of facing a tough opponent.
A year ago, Vanderbilt had opened with a 3-0 start that included an upset of a Top 25 team in Kansas State . Then the Commodores hosted top-ranked Alabama.
The Crimson Tide routed Vanderbilt 59-0, sending the Commodores on a five-game skid that helped cost them a second straight bowl berth.
Now the Commodores (2-0) are coming off big wins to open the season, and their first road game comes Saturday at No. 8 Notre Dame. Mason is confident they’re in a better position now.
“We’re going to take the best team I believe that I’ve had in my tenure, go to Notre Dame and try to get a win,” Mason said Tuesday. “We’re confident enough to work hard in practice but respectful enough to understand who they are and what they’ve done to know it’s no easy task.”
Part of that confidence stems from the painful lessons learned a year ago on the need to focus on the task at hand. Don’t get too high, or too low. Mason said the key is staying composed and not letting the venue, opponent or atmosphere take his Commodores out of their game.
Mason sees his Commodores being eager to play well, knowing that Notre Dame (2-0) is good enough to expose their weaknesses.
“The bottom line is can we overcome that adversity to play well?” Mason said. “Great teams have been able to expose what we don’t do well, and what we have to do is make sure that we minimize we minimize that and maximize our opportunities. So that’s what we planned on doing on Saturday. So I look forward to seeing this team play.”
Vanderbilt is coming off big wins over Middle Tennessee and Nevada. The Commodores have allowed an average of 8.5 points over each of those games.
Notre Dame won the only two games between these programs in the mid-1990s. Mason has coached with his defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver, at Notre Dame before, so he plans on taking the Commodores to South Bend, Indiana, on Friday. Mason wants his Commodores to appreciate the Fighting Irish’s history, then focus on the game itself.
“We’re playing a team that’s very similar to us with probably better history and better pedigree all the way around,” Mason said.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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