Virginia hung tough with the #9 team in the country, and took a 27-26 lead with under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. A long Matt Johns pass to WR Ryan Santoro set up Albert Reid for what was, at the time, the go-ahead score.
But Notre Dame's backup quarterback—playing after all-world QB Malik Zaire was carted off with an ankle injury—hit Will Fuller on a 39-yard bomb with 12 seconds left. The defensive line got pressure on DeShone Kizer and forced the play to break down. Kizer scrambled to his left and the Virginia secondary appeared to lose sight of Fuller for just long enough. The long throw fell right into Fuller's hands and he walked into the end zone, just past the outstretched arms of a diving Maurice Canady.
Johns was 26-38 passing, with 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. His favorite target was roommate Canaan Severin, who routinely went up and took passes out of the air above smaller Notre Dame defenders. Severin finished the day with 153 yards receiving on 11 receptions. Smoke Mizzell added 66 yards on 18 carries.
We'll have more detailed analysis up soon. For now, like you, we're going to drown our sorrows from that heartbreaking loss after a very well-played game out of Virginia.