Notre Dame beats Virginia, loses Malik Zaire for rest of season

DeShone Kizer introduced himself to college football in spectacular fashion Saturday, launching a 39-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller with 12 seconds remaining to bring Notre Dame from behind against host Virginia. The Fighting Irish held on for a 34-27 win.

Kizer was playing in relief of starting quarterback Malik Zaire, who exited in the second half with a gruesome-looking ankle injury. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said after the game that Zaire has a fractured right ankle and miss the rest of the season.

Kizer completed 8 of 12 passes for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Virginia took a 27-26 lead with 1:54 remaining on a short touchdown run by Albert Reid, but it was quarterback Matt Johns who led the Cavaliers' effort. Johns completed 26 of 38 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns against a Notre Dame defense that features some highly regarded talent, including linebacker Jaylon Smith and defensive lineman Sheldon Day.

Unless Kizer's heroics can be summoned on command, that defense might have to help carry the team with Zaire sidelined. Zaire completed just 7 of 18 passes before his injury, but had rushed for 87 yards on 10 carries. He will be missed as Notre Dame's schedule begins to toughen, with games against Georgia Tech, Clemson and USC approaching within the next five weeks.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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