Notre Dame punter Tyler Newsome pinned back Massachusetts, and returner C.J. Sanders got the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish going.
After Newsome placed a 52-yard punt on the Massachusetts 1, the Fighting Irish defense held the Minutemen to a yard on three plays and Sanders answered with a 50-yard punt return that helped spark Notre Dame to the 62-27 victory Saturday.
Sanders cut at the 35 to avoid two Minutemen and made another cut at the 10 before racing into the end zone with 3:21 left in the first half to give the Irish a 28-20 lead.
"The special team work was outstanding," said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, pointing out Sanders especially. "He's a very...