When we read the novel of Ian Book’s Career, the first few pages were written on Saturday against North Carolina.
The Redshirt Freshman QB received his 1st start last Saturday and despite many critics, looked good. I was hesitant to hear of the young pocket-passer starting in midst of arguably the Irish’s biggest season in the last 5 years, but what I saw was a Freshman looking more like a Sophomore or Junior.
He was 17-31 (I like that!) for 146 yards, with 1 touchdown and 2 INTs. Not a bad stat line for a guy and his 1st start in the Blue and Gold. What helped him is the continued success of the rush game and the stable of RBS the Irish have at their disposal.
The perfect situation this season was for Book to start against North Carolina. UNC, a team decimated by injuries this season, didn’t stand a chance against ND. So for Book to start this game, it gives the Irish ease of mind going forward as well as a meaningful game that really isn’t so meaningful over the course of the season for Book to get acclimated.
The rush game has been BY FAR the biggest surprise and backbone of this ND team this year. Josh Adams, who ran for 118 yards on 13 carries and 1 touchdown, has been seeing 100+ yard games multiple times this season. The one who I was not expecting? Deon McIntosh! The Freshman has stormed onto the scene in the last two weeks, as he exploded for 124 yards on 12 rushes along with 2 touchdowns this week. The week prior he had a touchdown as well with 50 yards. For a running back crew that is as deep as any in the country, nobody was expecting Deon to get these amount of carries this early.
One thing I’m curious about is what has Dexter Williams done? He must have really pissed off Kelly or his staff to not be getting more touches each game. Every time I have seen him in the game, he makes things happen much like Deon and Adams. Not sure what happened, but the young guns aren’t missing out on this opportunity to perform in the spotlight.
Funny thing is, I truly believe the rest of this season the Irish can win each of their games. What’s even better? 5 out of their 6 final games are against ranked opponents. This team lost to now No. 5 Georgia by 1. Georgia just beat Tennessee 41-0!! I’m not going to break down each game the rest of the year, that’s coming next week on the bye week.
What I can tell you is that USC is next. Every year, no matter record, this rivalry is a toss up. Expect the Notre Dame defense look to shut down the Trojan offense like they have the rest of the schedule up to this point. Good news? The CFP committee will REALLY respect this schedule going into the end of the year. Bad news? This schedule can be just as brutal as it is appealing (with all the ranked teams).
Nobody will bat an eye at letting this team in should they win out. Am I predicting this already? You’re dame right I am. Could it turn out totally different? Yes it can. But I do assure you that the analysts and people that say this team won’t win more than 2 of these final games are LOST.
USC VS NOTRE DAME
Look for a close one. Not too many points, but enough to win us this ball game. Wimbush back and the offense in full swing , a 28-24 game is not out of the question. I’ll be tuned in, so I expect you to.
We’ll be back next week. Stay tuned and fire up the popcorn.