Notre Dame's defense ended the first quarter with a 15-10 lead.
The Irish used quarterbacks Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson in the quarter, but not Gunner Kiel.
Rees completed 3 of 7 passes for 20 yards but was intercepted once. Hendrix was 1 for 4 for 25 yards and completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert. Golson was 5 for 8 for 60 yards and led the offense to a field goal.
Hendrix guided the Irish's second series after Rees went three-and-out on the first series. Cierre Wood broke off two 20-yard runs on the scoring drive as the offense took a 7-4 lead on Eifert's touchdown.
The defense started racking up points after the touchdown as the offense has a pair of miscues.
A hike bounce off Theo Riddick when he was in motion and the ball was recovered by Ishaq Williams for 3 points, and Tommy Rees' pass was intercepted by Mathias Farley for 3 points and a 10-7 lead.
The two turnovers were exactly what coach Brian Kelly wanted his offense to avoid during Saturday's scrimmage.
Rees' interception was the biggest of the two miscues. He wasn't close to the tight end he was targeting when the pass was picked off.
The defense then stopped the offense, which was being led by Hendrix, at the 50 for 4 more points and a 14-7 lead with 7:30 to play.
Golson led the offense to a 22-yard field goal by Nick Tausch on the next series, giving the defense 1 point and a 15-7 lead.