Book, No. 7 Notre Dame run by USF 52-0 to extend home streak

SOUTH BEND (AP) — Ian Book ran for three first-half touchdowns and No. 7 Notre Dame won its 20th straight home game 52-0 against South Florida on Saturday.

The Fighting Irish (2-0) led 35-0 at halftime and for the second year in a row posted a 52-point shutout.

Book capped the opening drive with 4-yard touchdown run and freshman Chris Tyree scored from a yard out about five minutes later.

It never got better for the first-year coach Jeff Scott’s Bulls (1-1), who were a late add to Notre Dame’s schedule after the Irish joined the Atlantic Coast Conference for this off season in a pandemic.

C’Bo Flemister ran for a career-best 127 yards for Notre Dame as the Irish spread the touches around between starter Kyren Williams (62 yards on 10 carries) and Tyree (65 on eight).

Book is the first quarterback in Notre Dame’s modern era to run for three touchdowns in one half. He added 143 yards on 12-of-19 passing before exiting with 2:21 left in the third quarter as freshman Drew Pyne took over.

Jafar Armstrong added a 5-yard TD run to close out the scoring for the Irish.

Meanwhile, the Irish defense limited USF to 65 yards in the first half and 231 total while breaking in three new starters.

The Irish special teams got into the act in the third quarter with the help of a high snap over the head of USF punter Trent Schneider. When the Australian picked it up 36 yards behind the line of scrimmage, Osita Ekwonu blocked Schneider’s kick and freshman Jordan Botelho recovered the ball as it was going into the end zone for a 45-0 lead with 3:23 left in the third quarter.

The Irish beat Bowling Green 52-0 last season.

THE TAKEAWAY

South Florida: The Bulls couldn’t muster anything on offense in offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr.’s homecoming of sorts. He son of the former Notre Dame coach who was replaced by Brian Kelly, used two quarterbacks in the first half. USF started Jordan McCloud and replaced him with Noah Johnson but Weis, sitting in the press box, got little from either. Even wide receiver Jah’Quez Evans lined up to take a snap on a fourth-down fake punt that lost nine yards when Irish defensive end Isaiah Foskey sniffed the play out.

Notre Dame: The Irish had touchdowns on five of their six possessions in the first half, while outgaining USF 279-65 in the first half. Book completed 10 of 14 passes for 107 yards in the first 30 minutes as the Irish used eight different rushers in the game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Irish, who rose to seventh in last week’s Associated Press Top 25, should be about the same this week.

UP NEXT

South Florida visits Florida Atlantic on Saturday to play former coach Willie Taggert (2013-16) and the Owls, who have yet to play a game because of a COVID-19-related postponement.

Notre Dame returns to ACC action Saturday at Wake Forest.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

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