Golson falls shy of record in leading Irish past Orange

golsonIt was the best of games and worst of games for Myrtle Beach native and Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who just missed the FBS record with 25 consecutive pass completions but also made his first three turnovers of the season in leading the No. 8 Fighting Irish to a 31-15 victory over Syracuse on Saturday.

Golson established career bests with 363 yards through the air and four touchdown passes. His final scoring pass of the evening, which put him one short of the completion mark, was a 13-yarder to Torii Hunter Jr. that made the score 28-9 with 10:19 to play. Hunter, son of the major league baseball player by the same name, was making his collegiate debut, and the touchdown reception was his first catch.

Two second-quarter touchdown passes from Golson to sophomore wide receiver Will Fuller on as many plays from scrimmage gave Notre Dame a 14-3 halftime lead.

A 23-yard connection between Golson and Fuller with 10:56 remaining in the half opened the scoring. After the Orange went three-and-out, the pair struck again when Golson looked deep for Fuller, who outraced corner Corey Winfield to the ball for a 72-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 8:31 to play.

Fuller finished the game with six catches for 119 yards.

On the ensuing possession Syracuse managed to get on the board when Cole Murphy nailed a 38-yard field goal.

The Irish turned the ball over twice in the first quarter, but the Orange was unable to take advantage.

The half ended on an odd note.

With 11 seconds remaining and Notre Dame at the Syracuse 15-yard line, Golson went to spike the ball but never had control. The Orange’s Julian Whigham picked up the loose ball and went the distance, but it was ruled an incomplete pass by the officials. A review overturned the ruling, with Syracuse taking possession at the 25-yard line and running out the final 13 seconds.

Notre Dame pushed the lead to 21-3 in the third quarter on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Golson to sophomore wide receiver Corey Robinson.

Notre Dame was driving on its next possession when Greg Bryant fumbled at the Orange 28. Syracuse responded by driving 72 yards on seven plays, cutting the deficit to 21-9 when quarterback Terrell Hunt scored from seven yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. The extra point was blocked.

Syracuse cut the deficit to 28-15 with 5:09 to play when junior safety Durell Eskridge returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown. The Orange failed on a two-point conversion.

The interception by Golson was his third turnover of the game (he threw two interceptions) and Notre Dame’s fifth.

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