Doerer’s late FG caps Notre Dame comeback over VaTech, 32-29

Published 12:27 am Sunday, October 10, 2021

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Jonathan Doerer kicked a 48-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining, capping a dramatic rally to give No. 14 Notre Dame a 32-29 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday night.

“I’ve been in a lot of games, coached in a lot of games, but I don’t know that I’ve ever coached a group of guys that had such resolve and mental toughness, that regardless of the situation, they just kept playing,” Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “Unfazed by the circumstances.”

The Fighting Irish (5-1) tied it at 29 on Jack Coan’s 4-yard pass to Avery Davis and a two-point conversion completion to Kevin Austin with 2:26 left. After forcing the Hokies to punt, Coan drove them 45 yards in seven plays, and Doerer split the uprights, sparing the Fighting Irish a second straight loss.

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Coan, who was pulled after an ineffective first quarter, “prepared himself mentally to go back in the game and lead two drives,” Kelly said. “You guys should be thinking about great things to write about that guy because that doesn’t happen very often.”

The Hokies (3-2) had taken command with an interception return for a touchdown by Jermaine Waller and another touchdown drive started by an interception that finished with a 19-yard run by Braxton Burmeister with 3:55 to play.

“Obviously, that’s a tough locker room. What a football game,” Hokies coach Justin Fuente said. “It’s a tough one, obviously, to swallow.”

Freshman Tyler Buchner ran for a touchdown and threw for another for Notre Dame (4-2) after replacing Coan to start the second quarter, but his two second half interceptions both turned into Virginia Tech touchdowns.

Kyren Williams ran for 81 yards and one touchdown and caught an 8-yard pass from Buchner for another score the Irish.

Raheem Blackshear also ran for a touchdown for the Hokies and John Parker Romo kicked three field goals.


Notre Dame: Buchner likely earned himself more playing time among the three QBs the Irish have used this season. Notre Dame ran 13 plays and managed just 27 yards with Coan behind center in the first quarter. Buchner led a 75-yard touchdown drive in is first series in the second quarter.

“He did some nice things like you saw, he’s young. He’s going to be really good,” Kelly said.

Virginia Tech: Connor Blumrick replaced Burmeister in the fourth quarter after Burmeister appeared to hurt his throwing hand late in the third quarter. Burmeister was able to throw on the sideline. Blumrick’s second pass attempt was intercepted when the Hokies tried for a two-point conversion. Blumrick later got hurt on a running play and Burmeister returned to the game.


The Fighting Irish have a week of before facing Southern California in South Bend.

The Hokies face Pittsburgh in their third of four straight home games.

Notre Dame 0 14 7 11 = 32
Virginia Tech 7 6 9 7 = 29

First Quarter

VT–Blackshear 7 run (Romo kick), 3:21.

Second Quarter

VT–FG Romo 19, 10:35.

ND–Buchner 3 run (Doerer kick), 6:51.

ND–K.Williams 8 pass from Buchner (Doerer kick), :32.

VT–FG Romo 52, :00.

Third Quarter

VT–FG Romo 26, 8:53.

ND–K.Williams 10 run (Doerer kick), 4:29.

VT–Waller 26 interception return (pass failed), :50.

Fourth Quarter

VT–Burmeister 19 run (Romo kick), 3:55.

ND–Davis 4 pass from Coan (Austin pass from Coan), 2:26.

ND–FG Doerer 48, :17.


First downs 21 21
Total Net Yards 392 328
Rushes-yards 43-171 37-134
Passing 221 194
Punt Returns 1-0 3-15
Kickoff Returns 0-0 6-137
Interceptions Ret. 1-0 2-40
Comp-Att-Int 15-25-2 17-34-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-12 1-10
Punts 6-48.833 6-49.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 7-70 5-40
Time of Possession 28:25 31:35



RUSHING–Notre Dame, Williams 19-72, Buchner 12-67, Diggs 6-29, Tyree 3-14, Coan 3-(minus 11). Virginia Tech, Burmeister 10-49, Blackshear 8-35, Blumrick 5-29, Turner 2-10, King 4-8, Thomas 3-4, Holston 5-(minus 1).

PASSING–Notre Dame, Buchner 6-14-2-113, Coan 9-11-0-108. Virginia Tech, Burmeister 16-31-1-188, Blumrick 1-3-0-6.

RECEIVING–Notre Dame, Williams 5-26, Austin 3-70, Davis 3-64, Lenzy 2-31, Diggs 1-15, Takacs 1-15. Virginia Tech, Turner 6-80, T.Robinson 5-53, Blackshear 2-22, Gallo 2-20, K.Smith 2-19.