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Irish get sixth win

The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Kyren Williams and No. 13 Notre Dame’s offensive line took a big step forward Saturday night, withstanding Southern California’s fourth-quarter rally for a 31-16 victory.

With fellow running back Chris Tyree sidelined by turf toe, Williams had two short touchdown runs and a season-high 138 yards on 25 carries for coach Brian Kelly’s 6-1 team, and after the game saluted his offensive linemen for his performance.

“Shootout to the O-linemen for working hard and making it possible,” Williams said about the rebuilt line that lost four starters from last season. “I just had to have the mindset to dominate and not be stopped by anybody.”

Williams, a preseason Associated Press All-American who rushed for 1,175 yards last season but entered Saturday’s game with the Trojans with just 370 yards. He also gained another 42 yards with a team-high six receptions.

Williams scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter while helping the Irish to a 17-3 halftime lead and then added a 1-yard run late in the third quarter to put the Irish up 24-3 en route to their fourth straight victory in the 92-game series.

“Kyren ran with an attitude that was just pervasive throughout the entire offense.,” Kelly said. “We needed to see our offense mature, and tonight the offense began to come together the way we wanted. We played faster. We put Jack (Coan) in position where the ball came out quick. It gave us the kind of offensive flow we’ve been looking for.”

Grad quarterback Coan completed 20 of 28 passes for 189 yards and one TD, a 4-yard scoring pass to Avery Davis that put the Irish up 7-0 in the first quarter. Jonathan Doerer had a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter.

WVU wins on road

FORT WORTH, Texas — Leddie Brown ran for three touchdowns, and West Virginia overcame Derius Davis’ 100-yard return for a score on the opening kickoff in a 29-17 victory over TCU on Saturday night.

Brown’s 1-yard plunge put the Mountaineers (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) ahead for good in the second quarter and helped them avoid matching their worst start in Big 12 play since joining the league nine years ago.

Max Duggan threw two interceptions — equaling his total from the first six games — as the Horned Frogs (3-4, 1-3) lost for the fourth time in five games. Three of the losses have been at home. TCU also lost a fumble to end any hopes of a late rally.

Two weeks after getting blown out at Baylor, West Virginia was behind right away in a second consecutive game in Texas after Davis took off from the goal line, veered left around the TCU 35 and outran Sean Mahone down the left sideline.

The Mountaineers, who coach Neal Brown said got a boost mentally from the week off, had an answer.

Jarret Doege threw for 257 yards. Brown had 111 yards on 24 carries as the Mountaineers finished with 229 yards on the ground.

Elsewhere:

n Juniata College fell to 1-6 with a 56-16 loss at Muhlenberg,which came into the game ranked No. 18 in NCAA Division III play. The Eagles, down 7-6 after one quarter, were outscored 35-3 in a decisive second quarter. Juniata got its first touchdown on a 74-yard fumble return for a score by Logan Peachey, and a 12-yard run by Hunter Wolfley in the second half. The Mules improved to 6-1.

n The fifth-ranked California, Pa. Vulcans scored 21 fourth-quarter points, including the game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds left, as the 23rd-ranked IUP football team lost 38-34 in the 12th annual Coal Bowl. The big fourth quarter completed a second half comeback for Cal U, which remained undefeated on the year and improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the PSAC West. With the Crimson Hawks (5-2, 4-1) leading 31-17 after an early fourth-quarter touchdown, the Vulcans scored touchdowns on three straight drives over the final 11 minutes.

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