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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, October 28, 2017 5:50 pm

Halftime thoughts: Notre Dame 21, North Carolina State 14

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

SOUTH BEND — There was a feeling-out process Notre Dame went through in the first quarter, which ended 7-7, but the Irish outgained North Carolina State 135-62 in the second quarter to take control.

Quick thoughts from intermission at Notre Dame Stadium:

Brandon's best: Brandon Wimbush has completed 8-of-12 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns, including an 11-yarder to Kevin Stepherson, who made his first start of the season. Tight end Durham Smythe has been the main man, though, with three catches for 52 yards and a score. The bottom line is that Notre Dame's pass-catchers have made plays for Wimbush, allowing him to put together arguably his best half in the passing game. Of course, Wimbush wouldn't be Wimbush without using his legs. He had a 3-yard TD run to make it 14-14 early in the second quarter.

33 trucking: That's the hashtag (#33trucking) Notre Dame's official account is using to launch a campaign for Josh Adams to win the Heisman Trophy. He was used heavily in the first half today and produced 102 yards on 18 carries.

Defense playing well: North Carolina State's backs have been limited to 24 yards on nine carries. Neither side has committed a turnover, but Notre Dame's defense shut down most everything the Wolfpack wanted to do in the second quarter. If not for Kelvin Harmon's 15-yard TD catch against Irish strong safety Jalen Elliott, the visitors' offense wouldn't have anything on the board in this game.

Special-teams woes: A blocked punt for a touchdown put North Carolina State up 7-0. Tyler Newsome was punting from Notre Dame's 11-yard line when the kick was blocked by James Smith-Williams and recovered in the end zone by Germaine Pratt. Daelin Hayes failed to sustain his block against Smith-Williams.