Football: Panthers find luck against Notre Dame, improve to 9-1

By Jay Huerbin

Jonathan Baldwin made it look easy.

But so did Dion Lewis.

The two young stars made great plays against Notre Dame as the No. 8 Panthers escaped with a 27-22 win over the Fighting Irish tonight in front of a sold out Heinz Field.

Late in the second quarter, the 6-foot-5 sophomore receiver laid out and caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Bill Stull to give the Panthers (9-1 overall, 5-0 Big East) a 10-3 lead at halftime. Baldwin finished the game with five receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown.

The true freshman shined when he took a handoff with about two minutes into the fourth quarter and broke through the line and into the secondary. A few dekes and a couple missed tackles later and Lewis found his way into the endzone for his 13th rushing touchdown of the season.

He ended the day with 21 rushes for 151 yards and one touchdown. He also caught one pass for eight yards.

The Panthers led the Fighting Irish (6-4) for most of the game — they were up 27-9 after Lewis’ touchdown run — but Notre Dame scored 13 unanswered in the fourth quarter to make it a closer match.

Notre Dame quarterback, Jimmy Clausen, was held without a touchdown for most of the game, but he finally connected on an 18-yard pass to Golden Tate for a score with roughly nine minutes left in the game.

The Fighting Irish scored less than two minutes later when Tate returned a Dan Hutchins’ punt 87 yards for a touchdown.

The Panthers defense forced a fumble with just over two minutes remaining in the game to secure the victory.

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