On Sunday, the Texas Longhorns and Notre Dame Fighting Irish took center stage in the college football world in one of the marquee match ups of opening weekend.
The No. 10-ranked Fighting Irish and unranked Longhorns, who were led by true freshman Shane Buechele, fought until the very end for the victory.
When the final whistle blew, it was the Longhorns who came away with the big upset in a thriller to take the win, 50-47.
It was clear from the beginning that both teams came out looking to make a statement. Notre Dame quarterback Deshone Kizer and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown were firing on all cylinders, while Buechele was proving the moment was not too big for him and the Longhorns.
Buechele tossed a beautiful pass for his first career touchdown pass, while St. Brown pulled off one of the most impressive touchdowns of the weekend for his second score of the half.
At the half, it was Charlie Strong’s team which held a 21-14 lead.
Things then got a bit concerning for the Fighting Irish.
The Longhorns came out of the second half firing on all cylinders and were able to extend their lead to 31-14 after a 25-yard field goal from LSU transfer kicker Trent Domingue.
That served as the wake up call Notre Dame needed.
The Fighting Irish then hauled off three straight touchdowns — two touchdown passes and a scoring run from Kizer — to take a 35-31 lead midway through the fourth and final quarter. It put the pressure back on Texas and their true freshman signal-caller.
And the moment was not too big.
Buechele gutted the Fighting Irish defense on an eight-play, 68-yard drive that begin on the Longhorns’ 32. The drive began with four straight completions from Buechele, before running back D’Onta Foreman scampered 19 yards for the go-ahead score.
However, the unthinkable happened and Notre Dame blocked the ensuing extra point attempt to tie the ball game at 37.
After failed possessions from both teams, the game headed off to overtime.
Texas was on offense to start the first overtime period. Buechele began leading the offense, but once the ball was inside of the ten yardline the Longhorns called on Tyrone Swoopes and the 18-wheeler package. Swoopes punched the ball in for his second score of the game to give Texas the advantage, 44-37.
Notre Dame wasted no time answering, as Kizer found C.J. Sanders for a touchdown on the very first play to force a second overtime with the score knotted at 44.
The Fighting Irish went right back on offense to start the second overtime period, but the Longhorns defense was able to come up with a big stand to force the field goal. Notre Dame held the 47-44 edge, with Texas needing an answer.
Texas continued to bring Swoopes in on short yardage and it was paying off. With his fresh legs, Swoopes was able to rush for a first down on third-and-one and rumbled deep into Fighting Irish territory leaving the bodies of defenders in the dust.
Just a few plays later, Swoopes again gashed the Notre Dame defense and found the endzone to give Texas a 50-47 win.
It is only Week 1, but it’s going to be tough to top this game this year.
Enjoy life at the top, Longhorns.
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