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Williams' 91-yard TD run key play as No. 11 Notre Dame beats NC 44-34

Notre Dame had touchdown passes from quarterbacks Jack Coan and Tyler Buchner to move to 7-1.
Credit: AP
Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams (23) rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina , Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Kyren Williams raced 91 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter as No. 11 Notre Dame stayed a step ahead of quarterback Sam Howell and upset-minded North Carolina 44-34 on Saturday night in a game that featured over 1,000 yards in offense. 

Williams ran for a career-high 199 yards on 22 carries to help the Fighting Irish improve to 7-1 with their third straight victory. His score came after one of the few defensive stops made by the Irish defense on the night, and give Notre Dame a two-score lead at 38-27.

The Irish won despite being outgained by the Tar Heels (4-4) in total yardage, 554-523. But the Irish outrushed the Tar Heels 293-223. 

Notre Dame trailed only briefly in the third quarter after Howell led North Carolina on a touchdown drive on their first possession of the second half to make the score 20-17 on Ty Chandler's 53 yard run.

Three plays later, Notre Dame graduate transfer quarterback Jack Coan capped a three-play, 75-yard drive with a 21 yard touchdown run to put Notre Dame ahead for good 24-20.

Howell, who became the Tar Heels’ first quarterback with over 10,000 passing yards, finished with 341 yards on 24-of-31 passing with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for 101 yards on 18 carries, one a 31-yard touchdown run to pull North Carolina within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, 41-34.

Notre Dame, which had touchdown passes from Coan and freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner, was able to milk the clock as they drove for a clinching field goal with 1:37 left.

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