It was 1975 and Notre Dame was playing Georgia Tech when Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger took the field for the final play. Almost 50 years later, Notre Dame’s matchup against Georgia Tech ended in another win for the Fighting Irish.
The Fighting Irish dominated against the Yellow Jackets in a 55-0 win on a particularly sunny day in November. At the time of the game, Georgia Tech had a record of 3-7 while Notre Dame was ranked No. 6 with a record of 9-1. The afternoon game began with a Jonathan Doerer field goal on the tail of a 25-yard opening drive. The Fighting Irish increased their lead to 10-0 less than five minutes into the game with a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Jack Kiser.
As the final home game of the 2021 season, Nov. 20 marked the annual “Senior Game” that celebrates both the players and the students that will be graduating in the coming months. Ushers were on the lookout for stashed marshmallows, as the student halftime tradition for the senior game is a marshmallow fight.
Quarterback Jack Coan threw for a total of 285 yards. Coan was responsible for two touchdown passes to Michael Mayer and Logan Diggs, respectively. True freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner entered the game for one series during the third quarter. Despite only having 17 yards passing on his limited snaps, Buchner flashed his athleticism with a 68-yard run on his first play in the game.
Kevin Austin Jr. was the game’s leading receiver with 89 yards, while Michael Mayer was close behind with a total of 86 receiving yards. Mayer’s 52-yard touchdown catch to end the first quarter had the Notre Dame fans on their feet. Both Kyren Williams and freshman Logan Diggs rushed for two touchdowns in the first half as Notre Dame led the Yellow Jackets 45-0 heading into the locker room.
In the third quarter, Notre Dame added an additional 10 points that would round out the scoring. Isaiah Foskey was responsible for a strip sack that Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa recovered and ran back for a 70-yard touchdown return.
Neither team managed a point in the game’s final quarter which led to a dominant 55-point victory for the Fighting Irish. Unbeknownst to everyone, it would be the last game in Notre Dame Stadium in which Brian Kelly would be the head coach. This win delivered Notre Dame their 10th victory of the season.
Notre Dame’s defense was dominant, only allowing Georgia Tech a total of 224 offensive yards gained over the course of the entire game. The Fighting Irish had six sacks and forced two fumbles, not allowing Georgia Tech to score a point.
In accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols, the Notre Dame players were provided with time to take photos with their families on the field. The students in the stands were offered hot chocolate in the concourse while the players celebrated their season on the field.
Then, as per Senior Day tradition, the Class of 2022 was invited down from the stands and onto the field to take pictures and celebrate their last home game as current students. The blowout victory was observed with glee.