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Notre Dame leads Arizona State at halftime, 14-13

Matthew DeFranks | Saturday, October 5, 2013

Notre Dame led No. 22 Arizona State 14-13 going into halftime Saturday night during the Shamrock Series game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Before the half ended, senior quarterback Tommy Rees threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver TJ Jones. The score came with just 10 seconds left in the half and gave Notre Dame the lead again.

Jones finished the half with five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Earlier, Rees found junior tight end Ben Koyack on a 19-yard touchdown reception with 3:35 left in the second quarter to give Notre Dame its first lead of the game, 7-6. Koyack found space in the middle of the field and dove into the end zone for his first career touchdown.

The catch finished a seven-play, 72-yard drive for Notre Dame.

Arizona State answered Notre Dame quickly with a seven-play, 78-yard march in less than two minutes. Sun Devils redshirt junior quarterback Taylor Kelly connected with redshirt sophomore receiver Jaelen Strong for a 36-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-four. Strong was matched up with senior safety Austin Collinsworth and ran past him for the scoring snag and a 13-7 lead.

At halftime, Notre Dame had 245 total yards to Arizona State’s 209. Rees was 13 of 24 for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Neither team turned the ball over.

Notre Dame covered 59 yards on 13 plays on its opening drive but came away without points when junior kicker Kyle Brindza missed a 38-yard field goal. The Irish had the ball for 8:08 and converted once on third down and once on fourth down.

The drive was the longest march of the season for Notre Dame, time-wise. It tied for the longest of the year, play-wise. The Irish also notched a 13-play drive against Purdue.

Senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix made his first appearance of the game on fourth-and-one from the Notre Dame 49-yard line. Out of the shotgun, he ran left and picked up the first down for the Irish.

Rees was three-for-three on the drive and Notre Dame rolled up 34 yards on the ground.

Notre Dame forced Arizona State into a quick three-and-out on its first possession after stuffing running back Marion Grice on a third down run up the middle.

In the first quarter, Notre Dame had the ball for 10:18 and 19 plays while the Sun Devils mustered just 13 plays in 4:42.

Arizona State broke the scoreless tie with a field goal with 14:03 left in the second quarter. Freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez’s 40-yard make capped a 12-play, 58-yard drive by the Sun Devils. The kick matched Gonzalez’s career-high.

Kelly was 6-for-7 on the drive for 40 yards. He also ran the ball for 16 yards on three tries.

On the next Arizona State drive, Kelly sprinted for a 16-yard gain and two plays later found Strong down the sideline for a 27-yard gain. The Sun Devils had a first down at the Notre Dame 11-yard line but could not punch it in to the end zone.

Later in the quarter, the Sun Devils marched 13 yards in 79 plays, scoring on a 27-yard field goal by Gonzalez to grab a 6-0 lead.

Irish senior receiver Daniel Smith was carted off the field in the first quarter with what appeared to be a leg injury. Junior linebacker Jarrett Grace was also carted off midway through the second quarter.