EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Notre Dame will count this as progress after a week of upheaval and adjustments for a beleaguered defense. They might have been only leprechaun-sized steps forward, but the Fighting Irish will take it.Notre Dame tightened up its tackling and held Syracuse to seven points in the second half, and DeShone Kizer made up for most of the Irishs ills with one of the best passing games in school history.Kizer threw for a career-best 471 yards and the Fighting Irish snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating Syracuse 50-33 Saturday.In the first game since coach Brian Kelly fired coordinator Brian VanGorder, the Irish (2-3) allowed more than 30 points for the fourth time this season and 489 yards to Syracuses up-tempo spread offense.I wasnt crazy about going against this offense. I much rather have been going against something a little bit different because of their tempo and how they spread you out and with all the freshman DBs that (we) play. Thats not always the greatest matchup, Kelly said. But I felt like the morale was really good on Wednesday and thats what I was looking to get back. The morale.The tackling on punt coverage still needs work. Syracuses Brisly Estime had a 74-yard return late in the first half that setup a touchdown and left Kelly fuming on the sideline. Estime added a 38-yard return.Kizer made it all OK for Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium.He connected on three touchdown passes -- two to Equanimeous St. Brown -- that covered at least 54 yards each and ran for a score. Kizer hit a rough patch at end of the first half when he took a 17-yard sack that knocked the Irish out of field goal range and threw an interception.Kelly said he told Kizer at halftime to stop trying to force big plays.When we went back out, relaxed up, took his words and ran with it, said Kizer, who threw for more yards in a victory than any quarterback in Notre Dame history.Eric Dungey passed for 363 yards and two touchdowns and ran for three scores for Syracuse (2-3).THE TAKEAWAYSyracuse: The Orange defense has already been shredded by Lamar Jackson and Louisville and now Kizer and Notre Dame. An in-season fix seems unlikely. The middle of the field always seems to be open against the Orange secondary.That is a very, very young defense, first-year Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. You have to give them time to grow up.FYI: Clemson and Deshaun Watson play the Orange on Nov. 5.Notre Dame: Kelly elevated Greg Hudson from analyst to coordinator and got more involved in the defense this week. Kelly kept his pledge to play more defensive players and make tweaks. The Irish mixed in some 3-4 alignments and their defensive backs changed techniques to better guard deep routes. Cornerback Luke Cole was moved to nickelback, lining up inside instead of out.There is still work to be done. The secondary, at times playing four freshmen, was porous and the front got little pressure. Positives: The Orange ran for only 3.4 yards per carry and the Irish did a solid job of tackling after the catch. Syracuse had 266 yards in the last three quarters.We need to continue to improve on tackling, defensive lineman Isaac Rochell said. I would say we did better, but we still left a lot out there.ONE FOR THE NEW GUYThe players picked Hudson to lead the singing of the alma mater after the win. They did it acapella since the band didnt make the trip.He put a lot of power in the position coaches hands and he put a lot of power in our hands as player and said, `Lets just come together as a family, safety Drue Tranquill said.TOUCHDOWN PER MINUTEThe first five minutes produced five touchdowns, one for each possession. Plus, Notre Dame had its second blocked PAT returned for a 2-point defensive conversion this season. The Irish did it against Texas, too. Jarron Jones got the block again and this time Cole picked up the bouncing ball and scored.Add it all up and it was 23-13 Irish with 10:06 left in the first quarter.They have a dynamic offense and when they come out its a big splash, Babers said.UP NEXTNotre Dame: The Fighting Irish make their first trip to North Carolina State.Syracuse: The Orange play at Wake Forest.---Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP---AP college football coverage at www.collegefootball.ap.org Custom Drazen Petrovic Jersey .875,000, avoiding arbitration. Clippards deal Monday means all eight Nationals players who filed for arbitration wound up settling before a hearing. Cheap Custom Nets Jersey . -- PGA TOUR Canada member Steve Saunders took a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Web. http://www.customnetsjersey.com/ . Meanwhile, there were huge victories for Sunderland and West Ham over fellow relegation rivals, leaving the battle to avoid the drop up for grabs with the bottom 11 teams separated by just six points. Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres scored second-half goals to seal a fourth straight victory for Chelsea, which climbed above Arsenal and Manchester City in the standings ahead of their games on Monday and Sunday respectively. Authentic Custom Nets Jersey . That left plenty of energy for pitching books and swatting away free agency questions. Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds, and the Knicks avenged an embarrassing home loss with a rout of their own, beating the Boston Celtics 114-88 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory. Custom Nets Jerseys .C. -- When North Carolina freshman Ryan Switzer reported to training camp in August he was a little miffed to learn he was third on the depth chart at punt returner.ARLINGTON, Texas -- Two big swings from Adrian Beltre helped the Texas Rangers snap out of their offensive funk. The All-Star slugger went deep twice and the Rangers used a four-run seventh inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-4 on Thursday night. Texas hadnt scored more than four runs in the last six games and was outscored 13-4 in losing the first two of the series against the Mariners. Beltre hit a solo shot in the second and another in the seventh for his 24th career multihomer game. He finished with three hits and two RBIs. "I think the last couple of days we havent been able to get the big hit," he said. "Obviously, thats what youre looking for when you hit in the middle of the lineup. Today was a better day, even though it was late." With Texas trailing 3-1, Beltre led off the seventh with a drive to centre against Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4). A.J. Pierzynski then singled and Lance Berkman walked before Mitch Moreland bounced a tying single up the middle against Charlie Furbush. Elvis Andrus came up with a go-ahead sacrifice fly and Ian Kinsler capped the big inning with an RBI single. Texas manager Ron Washington said before the game that he hoped his team would improve with runners in scoring position. He eventually got his wish. "Thats exciting when you can run the bases," Washington said. Josh Lindblom (1-2) recorded the final two outs of the seventh to pick up his first win since Aug. 31. Raul Ibanez homered for the Mariners, belting a tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh. It was his 12th homer in his last 28 games, lifting the total for the 41-year-old slugger to 21 for the year. Iwakuma, who came in leading the AL in ERA, allowed four runs and five hits in six innings. The Japanese right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.54 ERA in his last four starts. Ibanez wennt 4 for 5 with three RBIs and Kyle Seager added three hits for the Mariners, who were trying for their first series sweep at Texas since 2002.dddddddddddd The Mariners had 14 hits, but went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 13 on base. "Weve got to do better with guys on base," said Ibanez, who had his first four-hit game since June 8, 2010. "This is a place where you feel no lead is safe. When youre playing against them, you know they are going to score runs." Ibanez hit an RBI single off Tanner Scheppers in the eighth to get Seattle within one, but Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 28th save in 29 chances. Beltre led off the second with his first home run since June 9. "(Beltre) shows up every day and he not only comes to do his job, he comes to beat the opponent," Washington said. "He battles every single day and he makes everyone around him better." The Mariners tied it with an unearned run in the sixth. Seager and Justin Smoak singled leading off the inning, and Seager scored on a throwing error by second baseman Kinsler, snapping Martin Perezs scoreless stretch at 16 2-3 innings. Perez allowed an unearned run in 5 1-3 innings. The 22-year-old rookie gave up eight hits, struck out four and walked two in his fourth start of the season. NOTES: Andrus was dropped to the eighth spot in the lineup. The All-Star shortstop is batting .196 since June 1. "Im still in the lineup and Ill do my best to help the team win," Andrus said. . Seattle manager Eric Wedge said that OF Michael Saunders (right finger) will start Friday when the Mariners play the Cincinnati Reds. Saunders was out of the starting lineup for a sixth straight game. ... Beltre passed Joe DiMaggio for 75th on the career list with 362 home runs. ' ' '