Notre Dame may be on its way to a 2-0 start to the season, but the future of quarterback Malik Zaire may be in question following a third-quarter injury. Zaire was helped off the field with a right ankle injury late in the third quarter.
Zaire’s right ankle was caught under a couple of bodies while being tackled late in the third quarter. The instant replay was pretty tough to watch, leaving us now to only speculate that Zaire will be out of action for quite some time. The extent of the injury is not yet known, but it did not look promising. He was taken off the sideline on a cart for further examination.
With Zaire out, Notre Dame will go with DeShone Kizer at quarterback. Kizer is a dual-threat quarterback in his redshirt freshman season. The Irish wasted no time in striking on offense upon his insertion as the quarterback. C.J. Prossise ran 24 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to give the Irish a 26-14 lead just before the fourth quarter.
Zaire left the game having completed seven of 18 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed 10 times for 87 yards.
Halloween candy is starting to be sold in the stores, which may be why both Notre Dame and Virginia got in the early trick or treat fun this afternoon. Notre Dame jumped out to a 12-0 lead on its first three possessions of the game, but Virginia is taking a 14-12 lead into the halftime break at home.
Notre Dame took the opening drive of the game all the way down to the Virginia seven-yard line before Virginia’s defense came up with a stop. The Irish, though, would not leave the field without putting some points on the scoreboard. On a trick field goal play, DeShone Kizer tossed a pass to Durham Smythe for a seven-yard score that took the Cavaliers by surprise. Feeling a little hyped to take advantage of the situation, Brian Kelly opted to go for a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead, but Notre Dame was unable to punch it in on the conversion attempt.
Virginia would have some fun of its own later in the first half. From around midfield, Virginia put the ball in the hands of two different Virginia players before getting it in the hands of quarterback Matt Johns, who lined up at receiver on the play. Johns then found a wide open Canaan Severin down the middle of the field for a 42-yard touchdown that gave Virginia a 14-12 lead. Johns has thrown two touchdowns and has completed 10 of 11 pass attempts for 139 yards.
Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire has completed five of 13 passes for 38 yards so far against a defense that gave up 351 yards and three touchdowns to Josh Rosen and UCLA in Week 1. Irish running back C.J. Prossise leads all players with 107 rushing yards at the half. Notre Dame has yet to complete a third down conversion (0-for-5).