The stage was set. Undefeated 4-0 #7 Stanford rolled into South Bend to take on undefeated 4-0 #8 Notre Dame… On Primetime in the Cathedral of College Football.
The perfect setting for ND QB Ian Book to make his first home start. If you read my preview I said I was confident but nervous going into this game… I thought that was fair.
As the game started I couldn’t believe for once the Irish would start on defense… I was pumped, love getting the ball second half. The defense was flying around the ball from the first snap and forced a quick 3 and out.
After a few back and forth drives the Irish finally cashed in. Dexter Williams. The ND speed RB, who had been suspended the first four games of the season finally touched the ball…
What did he do? He took the rock 45 yards for a TD to give the Irish an early 7-0 lead. Stanford answered with their superstar RB Bryce Love and a 39 yard TD run of his own, to the tie the game.
Right before the end of the first qtr, Ian Book connected with TE Nick Wisher on a 6 yard TD pass to reclaim the lead for ND. But, early in the second Stanford would again answer when KJ Costello connected with WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside to tie the game at 14.
With 39 seconds left in the fist half, Ian Book threw his second touchdown of the game. He connected with WR Chase Claypool on a 10 yard TD to send the Irish to the locker room with a 21-14 lead.
During the 3rd quarter the two teams swapped field goals. The Irish struck first to make it 24-14, but again Stanford answered to cut the lead to one score, 24-17.
But then… The Irish opened the flood gates.
Ian Book had two 4th quarter TD passes. An 18 yarder to Myles Boykin to make the game 31-17. Then to seal the game he connected with Alize Mack on a 35 yard TD pass. That touchdown would be the final score of the game, and the Irish would win 38-17.
Ian Book was awesome again. He was 24-33 for 278 yards, 4 touchdowns and no turnovers, as well as 15 rushes for 47 yards. In his two starts Book has accounted for 9 touchdowns and 0 turnovers. Leading his offense to 94 points in two games. It is safe to say coach Kelly made the right call.
Dexter Williams pounded the rock, especially after Tony Jones Jr left the game with an ankle injury. Williams ran for 161 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. The offense welcomed him back with open arms.
Myles Boykin had his best game of the season. He looked almost unstoppable all night. Boykin caught 11 balls for 145 yards and a score. He has emerged as the real leader of the receiving Corp.
Yes, the offense was great, but the defense was excellent! Led by senior defensive lineman Jerry Tillery. If you remember from my preview, I said knocking around Costello would he key.. Tillery and the D must have read my article because…
The defense had 5 sacks… FOUR coming from Tillery. He also had 6 total tackles, only Te’von Coney had more, with 7. The defense was flying around the ball all night playing fast and physical.
They held Costello to 174 passing yards as well as Coney picking him off late in the 4th qtr. The defense contained star RB Bryce Love, holding him to 73 yards on the ground before he exited with an injury.
The Irish didn’t get out of the game unscathed on the injury side themselves. Already without RB Jafar Armstrong (who could miss a few weeks) RB Tony Jones Jr exited the game with an ankle injury and did not return.
We learned after the game that do it all LB Drue Tranquil broke his hand on the first series of the game. But didn’t miss a snap. Nothing has been said about his status going forward.
Then it went from bad to worse. The anchor of the offensive line… Captain Alex Bars went down with a knee injury. After an MRI on Sunday it was determined Bars will miss the remainder of the season… A terrible blow.
Next Saturday night Notre Dame will compete in another prime time game. The now #6 Fighting Irish will head to Blacksburg Virginia to take on a tough 3-1 Virginia Tech team.
I love this Quarterback. I love this defense. I love this team. I can’t wait for Saturday night!
Love thee Notre Dame!
-Kevin “That Guy”
Yup... I’m that guy