EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — DeShone Kizer threw for a career-best 471 yards to help Notre Dame overcome another shaky performance by its defense and special teams and beat Syracuse 50-33 Saturday.
The Irish snapped a two-game losing streak, but did not show much defensive improvement in the first game since Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly fired coordinator Brian VanGorder. The Irish (2-3) allowed more than 30 points for the fourth time this season.
The tackling on punt coverage might have been even more concerning. Syracuse’s Brisly Estime had a 74-yard return late in the first half that setup a touchdown for the Orange and left Kelly fuming on the sideline.
Kizer and the offense made it all OK. He connected on three touchdown passes — two to Equanimeous St. Brown — that covered at least 54 yards each and ran for a score. Dexter Williams reversed field on a 59-yard touchdown run that made it 47-27 midway through the third quarter.
Eric Dungey passed for 363 yards and two touchdowns and ran for three scores for Syracuse (2-3).