Buchner accounts for 5 TDs, Notre Dame wins Gator Bowl 45-38

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 8:29 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP/WNDU) - Tyler Buchner accounted for five touchdowns to help offset two interceptions returned for touchdowns, and No. 21 Notre Dame beat 19th-ranked South Carolina 45-38 in a wild TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

The highest-scoring game in Gator Bowl history was filled with big plays and memorable moments. But Buchner delivered the knockout blow when he found tight end Mitchell Evans wide open for a 16-yard touchdown on a third-and-7 play with 1:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Buchner, who regained the starting job after Drew Pyne entered the transfer portal following the regular season, earned MVP honors after throwing for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 61 yards and two scores.

On the flip side, Buchner also threw three interceptions — two of which were returned for touchdowns by the Gamecocks defense, as mentioned earlier.

Logan Diggs scored two touchdowns — one of which was a 75-yard reception, while the other was a 39-yard run. He had 89 yards on 13 carries.

Audric Estime was also a big part of Notre Dame’s rushing attack, picking up 95 yards on 14 carries. Buchner, Diggs, and Estime rushed for a combined 245 yards.

Braden Lenzy also scored a touchdown for the Irish on a 44-yard reception.

The victory marked Marcus Freeman’s first bowl win as a head coach. It was also Notre Dame’s first bowl win since 2019 when the Irish defeated Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl.

The Irish finish the season with a 9-4 record, while South Carolina ends its 2022 campaign with an 8-5 record.