SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Drew Pyne passed for two touchdowns and 150 yards in his first career start and Notre Dame overcame numerous mistakes to beat California 24-17 Saturday to give Fighting Irish coach Marcus Freeman his first victory.
The Irish (1-2) outscored Cal (2-1) 10-0 in the fourth quarter to avoid becoming just the third Notre Dame squad to start a season 0-3.
Notre Dame, which started the season ranked No. 5, had blown leads three times, made sure there was no second-half letdown this time. But it wasn't over until the last play.
On fourth-and-13 from the Notre Dame 35, Cal's Jack Plummer threw the ball into the end zone. The ball bounced off several players and Bears receiver Jeremiah Hunter nearly pulled it in, but the ball landed on the grass.