Notre Dame hands No. 16 Syracuse 2nd loss in a row, 41-24

Brandon Joseph returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game,

 tailback Audric Estimé rushed for 123 yards and scored twice in the fourth quarter to thwart a Syracuse rally,

and Notre Dame defeated the No. 16 Orange 41-24 on Saturday.

“It was huge. To start the game on defense and the very first play to get a pick-six, that’s how you want to start if you can,

” Notre Dame first-year coach Marcus Freeman said. “It was a huge momentum builder for everybody.”

And the momentum lasted, even after Syracuse marched right down the field and scored to tie it.

Notre Dame (5-3) has won five of six since opening the season with losses at Ohio State and at home to Marshall.

The Irish have won 26 consecutive regular-season games against ACC opponents,

 and they’ve played some of their best football on the road, including a 45-32 win at No. 21 North Carolina.

“Just the urgency we have as a program to improve,” Freeman said. “Not to stay the course.

 it’s fix the course. Fix the mistakes. There has to be a sense of urgency from the top down to fix the mistakes.”

blowing an 11-point halftime lead and falling 27-21. Star tailback Sean Tucker only had five carries

 in that game and coach Dino Babers vowed that would not happen again. It didn’t.

5 stars: The best and worst from Notre Dame’s win over Syracuse 

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