Irish make it four straight

An interception at the goalline and a 55-yard touchdown run by Tony Fisher sealed Notre Dame's 34-24 win Saturday in South Bend.

West Virginia (2-4, 0-2 Big East) played well and was tied 24-24 before allowing a 16-play, 47-yard drive for a field goal and then the back-to-back big plays.

The Mountaineers managed to drive from their own 35 yard line to Notre Dame's 36 before Lewis threw a high, errant pass than went over A. J. Nastasi's outstretched arms. It was picked by free safety Justin Smith and brought back to the Irish 45-yard line.

Fisher, running a simple off-tackle play, broke a tackle and slipped into the open field. He was not hit again until he got inside the five. For the Fighting Irish (2-4), the run put them over 323 ground yards. For WVU it deflated an already spent team and virtually sealed the second non-bowl season in three years.

The Mountaineers ran the spread offense well and managed more than 250 yards of offense. They also punched the ball in when they were in the red zone and completed enough passes to stay in the game. The defense was also solid, though it consistently bent under the ND rushing attack.

But, like the previous three times the school's have met, Notre Dame came up with bigger plays at better times to win, again.

Julius Jones scored twice, as did Fisher, and Setta was a two of two on field goals. Notre Dame was also able to limit Avon Cobourne -- who did rip off a scoring run of 60 yards -- at key times, and picked up three fourth down conversions and an on-side kick, though that was early in the first half and did not directly lead to points.

Nastasi caught a 12-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 17 and tight end Tory Johnson had two huge catches, including an eight yarder for a score, on another drive that put WVU ahead 24-17.

Notre Dame tied the score at 24-24 at the end of the third, however, then finished off the Mountaineers with 10 more points to bring the tally to 17 unanswered points.

West Virginia has a week of before facing Miami in the Orange Bowl on a Thursday. Notre Dame plays host to Southern Cal.

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