Notre Dame entrance

The Irish run onto the field before the Notre Dame-Virginia game in Notre Dame Stadium.

Twitter can be a fun (or depressing) and brutally honest (or unreasonable) place during Notre Dame football games. That's why we open up this space for the #NDInsider Twitter Chatter following games.

During the game, readers are encouraged to send their thoughts and observations with the #NDInsider hashtag to be considered for our postgame fan recap. They joined us with their 280-character takes during the game.

The game started with a twist as Notre Dame won the toss but elected to defer. Head coach Brian Kelly typically takes the ball when the Irish have the choice.

The move backfired when Virginia went right down the field and scored a touchdown on its first drive. But Notre Dame responded with a long scoring drive of its own capped by a five-yard touchdown run by Tony Jones Jr.

Notre Dame led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter with running back C'Bo Flemister giving the Irish the lead on an 11-yard touchdown run. The drive was set up by defensive end Julian Okwara's strip sack of Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins.

The second quarter favored Virginia. Perkins continued to connect with his receivers to move the ball against Notre Dame's defense. A field goal and a touchdown pass to Hasise Dubois in the final minute of the half gave the Cavaliers a 17-14 halftime lead.

Notre Dame fans submitted GIFs to express their reactions.

Virginia caught the Irish off guard to start the second half with a successful onside kick. Notre Dame's defense prevented the missed possession from becoming too costly. 

But the start of the third quarter included cornerback Shaun Crawford suffering a gruesome elbow injury and the offense continuing to struggle.

Notre Dame's defensive line helped flip the momentum in its favor. Okwara forced another Perkins fumble which defensive tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa returned 48 yards. He couldn't quite score, but Jones took care of the rest with a two-yard touchdown run.

The defense came up big again when defensive end Jamir Jones forced a Perkins fumble, which defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji returned 23 yards for a touchdown.

While the offense found little success in the third quarter, Notre Dame still built a 28-17 lead.

The defensive dominance continued with an interception by safety Alohi Gilman. That left Notre Dame fans feeling pretty confident the Irish will close the game out with a victory.

Notre Dame secured a 35-20 victory and successfully bounced back against a talented Virginia team a week after the tough loss at Georgia. The win put the Irish on track to potentially win all eight of its remaining regular season games, but there were still many questions left to be addressed concerning the trajectory of this team.

tjames@ndinsider.com

574-235-6214

Twitter: @TJamesNDI

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