SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Kyren Williams ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns in his first start, grad quarterback Ian Book threw for 263 yards and No. 10 Notre Dame beat Duke 27-13 on Saturday at rainy Notre Dame Stadium in the season and Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

The speedy Williams, who saw limited action last season as a freshman, had 19 carries and also was Notre Dame’s leading receiver with two receptions for 93 yards, one a 75-yarder in the first half.

The victory was Notre Dame’s 19th straight at home and the first for the Fighting Irish in a conference after 132 years as an independent. Because of COVID-19, the Irish are playing this season as a member of the ACC. The school announced a crowd of 10,097, 90% of them students, attended the game in the 77,622-seat stadium where fans were wearing masks and socially distanced because of the pandemic.

The triumph also came on a day when the school announced a four-year contract extension for Coach Brian Kelly, who is now 9-2 in openers at Notre Dame.

Book outdueled Duke grad quarterback Chase Brice, who threw for 259 yards on 20-of-37 passing and rushed for a touchdown in his debut for Coach David Cutcliffe after transferring in from Clemson.

Bookl, who rushed for 139 yards and passed for 181 yards and four touchdowns last season in Notre Dame’s 38-7 victory at Duke, completed 19 of 31 passes, one a 17-yard TD pass to Avery Davis early in the fourth quarter that increased the Irish lead to 24-13. He rushed for just 12 yards on nine carries.

The Irish, who were outgained 151-13 in the first quarter as the Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead on the first of Charlie Ham’s two field goals, took a 10-6 halftime lead when Jonathan Doerer nailed a 48-yard field goal, his first of two successful field goals, as time expired.

Notre Dame finished with a 439-334 edge in total offense, including a 176-75 advantage on the ground.

North Carolina’s Michael Carter breaks away from Syracuse’s Geoff Cantin-Arku during the Tar Heels’ 31-6 win Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Robert Willett/The News & Observer via the Associated Press

(18) NORTH CAROLINA 31, SYRACUSE 6: Javonte Williams ran for three fourth-quarter touchdowns and the Tar Heels overcame a mistake-filled performance to beat the Orange in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the season opener for both teams.

Michael Carter added 138 yards of total offense for the Tar Heels (1-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won in an empty home stadium after the school opted to open with no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tar Heels opened with a touchdown drive only to sputter well into the third quarter in a performance plagued by turnovers and penalties. But they gradually settled into a rhythm, looking much more like the team expected to be a contender in the ACC race.

By the fourth quarter, they were rolling, with Williams scoring from 1 yard out on the first play of the period followed by a 6-yard score on the next drive. And by the time he bounced off a tackler and scored on another 6-yard run, the Tar Heels had turned a 10-6 lead into a 25-point margin.

Syracuse’s offense did little well, generating little from its running game unless it came on quarterback Tommy DeVito scrambling to keep plays alive. But DeVito completed just 13 of 31 passes for 112 yards while taking seven sacks, as the Orange (0-1, 0-1) finished with 202 total yards.

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 24, (23) IOWA STATE 14: The Ragin’ Cajuns  got kick and punt returns for touchdowns to help secure one of their biggest wins in program history, beating the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa.

On a day when both offenses seemed overmatched, the Ragin’ Cajuns were ignited by Chris Smith’s 95-yard kickoff return in the second quarter and Eric Garror’s 83-yard punt return in the third.

Levi Lewis also threw a 78-yard scoring pass to Peter LeBlanc to give Louisiana-Lafayette a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter.

Louisiana-Lafayette beat a Top 25 opponent for the first time, having gone 0-26 against ranked foes away from home. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ only other win over a Top 25 team was in 1996 at home against Texas A&M.

The Ragin’ Cajuns limited Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy to 16-of-35 passing for 145 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. It was ISU’s fewest passing yards in two years.

WEST VIRGINIA 56, EASTERN KENTUCKY 10: Jarrett Doege threw three touchdown passes, Leddie Brown and Alec Sinkfield gave West Virginia’s running game a lift it hadn’t seen in quite some time, and the Mountaineers beat Eastern Kentucky in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Brown and Sinkfield both finished with career highs of 123 yards and two rushing TDs in the Mountaineers’ season opener. It marked the first time that two West Virginia players went over 100 yards in the same game since the 2017 season.

West Virginia did not have a single 100-yard rusher last season and averaged just 73 yards per game as a team, the third worst in the Bowl Subdivision.

West Virginia overcame the suspension earlier in the day of 11 players for reasons that were undisclosed and not related to the coronavirus pandemic. Ten of those players were on offense, including starters at wide receiver and on the offensive line.

APPALCHAIN STATE 35, CHARLOTTE 20: Thomas Hennigan caught a 51-yard touchdown pass, Daetrich Harrington added two fourth-quarter scoring runs and Appalachian State beat Charlotte 35-20 in both teams’ season opener on a rainy day in Boone, North Carolina.

The teams exchanged big plays in the final two minutes of the third quarter. Hennigan scored down the right side after a defender slipped on the wet field. Aaron McAllister returned the ensuing kickoff a school-record 97 yards, breaking a tackle on the left sideline to get Charlotte within a point, 21-20.

Harrington went up the middle for a 4-yard score to extend the Mountaineers’ lead to 28-20 early in the fourth quarter. After a Charlotte fumble recovery, the Mountaineers held the 49ers to no yards at the Appalachian State 20 and Harrington added a 15-yard score with 1:15 remaining.

ARKANSAS STATE 35,  KANSAS STATE 31: Jonathan Adams Jr. caught three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 38 seconds remaining, and the Red Wolves defeated the Wildcats in Manhattan, Kansas.

Layne Hatcher threw a 17-yard pass to Adams for the winning score after the Wildcats (0-1) had taken a 31-28 lead on a Blake Lynch 35-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining.

Arkansas State (1-1) faked a punt that led to a pass interference call, keeping a drive alive and leading to a 5-yard TD pass to Adams from Logan Bonner for a 28-21 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

NOTES

BIG TEN: Big Ten university presidents will meet Sunday to hear a presentation about playing a fall football season after all — maybe as soon as late October — amid sharp pressure from parents, players, coaches and even the president to kick off.

A person familiar with direct knowledge of the situation said the Big Ten’s Return to Competition Task Force met Saturday, with the medical subcommittee making a presentation to a subgroup of of presidents and chancellors. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Big Ten was not planning to make any announcements about its efforts to return to play, said it was a “positive meeting” that led to the scheduling of a presentation to the full group of presidents and chancellors.

The presentation with include, medical, television and scheduling for football, the person said, but a vote to start a season is not guaranteed to happen Sunday.

The Big Ten postponed its fall season Aug. 11 because of concerns about playing through the COVID-19 pandemic, with presidents voting 11-3 in favor. The conference has faced push back from inside and outside the conference ever since. On the first Saturday of the football season that included Power Five teams playing, Big Ten teams were idle while athletic directors and university leaders were working on ways to possibly salvage a fall football season.

If things move quickly, the Big Ten could start a season in about a month, but for now there is no timetable for a vote to move forward.

VIRGINIA TECH: The pandemic disrupted college sports again Saturday, with Virginia and Virginia Tech postponing their Sept. 19 football opener because of COVID-19 issues at Virginia Tech.

The schools said this was a mutual agreement. No makeup date was announced for the game that had been set for Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium. Virginia Tech also will not hold football practice for four days.

The postponement is the second for the Hokies since the Atlantic Coast Conference released a revised schedule. Their original opening game, slated for Sept. 12 against North Carolina State, was pushed back two weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak at N.C. State.

Virginia, suddenly faced with not opening its season until Oct. 3 at No. 1 Clemson, announced it has moved its home game against Duke to Sept. 26. The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 14.

On its web page, Virginia Tech reported Friday it has had 219 positive tests for the coronavirus in the previous seven days, putting its total infections at 633 since testing began Aug. 3. The numbers have risen steadily since students returned Aug. 24.

AUBURN: Coach Gus Malzahn said No. 11 Auburn had five starters out of practice this week because of COVID-19-related issues.

Malzahn said Saturday the Tigers had two new positive tests this week and 10 total players are sidelined from practice because of the virus or close contact. He didn’t identify the players and declined to say if a particular position group had been hit hardest.

Auburn opens the season Sept. 26 against Kentucky and is set to begin specific game preparation on Sunday.

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