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Marshall stuns No. 8 Notre Dame with late pick-six

Sep 10, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Marshall Thundering Herd defensive back Micah Abraham (6) celebrates as he leaves the field after the Thundering Herd beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 26-21 at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Colombi’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Devin Miller on third-and-goal vaulted the visiting Marshall Thundering Herd to a 26-21 upset of heavily favored No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Khalan Laborn rushed for 163 yards and a score for Marshall (2-0), and Colombi completed 16 of 21 passes for 145 yards and the one touchdown. The scoring toss to Miller capped an 11-play, 94-yard drive with 5:16 left to play.

The Herd’s Steven Gilmore iced the win with a 37-yard interception return with 4:35 left to play, the second pick of the game thrown by Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner.

Backup quarterback Drew Pyne also threw an interception, this one to Owen Porter, as Notre Dame tried to stage a rally with three minutes left in the game.

The Irish had another chance to pull off a comeback after Bo Bauer blocked a punt with 1:56 to play, and they scored on Michael Mayer’s 5-yard reception from Pyne to trim the deficit to 26-21 with 14 seconds to play. Pyne was buried in the backfield before he could attempt a throw for the conversion.

Marshall recovered the onside kick to end the game.

The Fighting Irish, who were three-touchdown favorites, took a 13-12 lead on Buchner’s second 1-yard scoring run of the game with 14:57 left in the game. He then ran for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 15-12.

Buchner threw for 201 yards on 18-of-32 passing, and also led Notre Dame’s struggling offense with 44 yards rushing.

Marshall led in total yardage (364-351) and Notre Dame had one more first down (22-21), the near equity showing the difference the turnovers made in the first meeting between the two schools.

Mayer led the Irish with eight receptions for 103 yards, including back-to-back receptions that set up Notre Dame’s first score, which came late in the second quarter. That touchdown also ended a run of 11 straight drives without points for the Irish, dating to last week’s loss to Ohio State.

The run ended when Buchner scored from a yard out with three minutes left for a 7-3 lead.

The Herd bounced back to take the lead in the closing seconds of the half, taking advantage of a facemask penalty against the Irish and going 74 yards on 12 plays, capped by Rece Verhoff’s 21-yard field goal for a 9-7 lead with 15 seconds left. Verhoff added a 20-yarder in the third quarter.

— Field Level Media