Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 17, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 55

26 SEPT. 17, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BRANDON WIMBUSH HAS ROLLER-COASTER DAY Much of the talk when an offense struggles against what appears to be an inferior opponent typically cen- ters on the play of the quarterback, and Notre Dame senior signal-caller Brandon Wimbush had an up-and- down performance in his second start of the 2018 campaign. Wimbush completed 17 of 31 throws for a career-high 297 yards, but he also made his share of mis- takes. The New Jersey product threw three interceptions in the 24-16 win, including one that was deflected and then went through the hands of se- nior wide receiver Miles Boykin in the third quarter. "Three picks, so I don't give myself an A or anything," Wimbush said of his performance post-game. "Prob- ably a D or a D+. "You can't throw three intercep- tions and win games that are going to be vital to the team's success. We have to clean it up on all parts." Wimbush insisted that his perfor- mance won't impact his psyche mov- ing forward. "I'm not going to lack confidence," he said. "But I have to be better." Despite Wimbush shouldering some of the blame with his turn- overs, head coach Brian Kelly wants his quarterback to remember there are 10 other players on the unit each play. "He's always been first in line to take accountability and responsibil- ity," Kelly said. "He's just that kind of kid. "What really needs to be said is that the ineffectiveness of our offense doesn't always revolve around Bran- don Wimbush, nor does the success. I think we're all going to jump to the quarterback. It's everybody else. "He jumps on the sword. But we won the football game. He's got a lot to learn. He's got to grow, but he will. That's the great thing about it. When you work with kids like that, he'll be anxious and eager to come in to get better." The Irish are working deeper throws into the offense for Wimbush in 2018, which is new territory in comparison to last season. "Decision making needs to get bet- ter," Kelly said. "We have to coach him through those, too, as well. He's experiencing some things that he didn't experience last year because we didn't throw the ball down the field into some coverages. In some instances, these were some things that he didn't experience last year. "We'll make progress off of to- day with Brandon. There was one he hung up there that we'd like to have back. On the RPO [run-pass op- tion] that got deflected for a pick, I thought it was really good timing. The ball came out the way it's sup- posed to. He threw a couple of seams that were really deliberate, things he hadn't done before. "All in all, you don't want your quarterback to throw three inter- ceptions. But I look at it that we're anxious to go back to work because we're seeing some signs that we like." OFFENSIVE LINE STRUGGLES Despite facing a smaller Ball State defensive line, the Notre Dame of- fensive line had its fair share of struggles. The Cardinals recorded 10 tackles for loss in the game, including four sacks. On the flip side, Notre Dame finished with seven tackles for loss and one sack. The Cardinals recorded six of the 10 tackles for loss and half of their sack total during the final 30 minutes of play. On one series in the third quarter, Ball State forced three tack- les for loss, including a sack, on con- secutive plays. "Clearly we were coming off some blocks on the offensive line," head coach Brian Kelly said of the group's efforts against the Cardinals. "We were missing some fits. I've got to take a look at that before I can get into it in depth." Fifth-year senior guard Alex Bars and the group will hit the film room quickly in an effort to avoid a repeat against Vanderbilt Sept. 15. "Obviously, our preparation didn't match how we played," Bars stated. BALL STATE GAME NOTES BY COREY BODDEN Senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush threw for a career-high 297 yards against Ball State, but three interceptions were part of an up-and-down day. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Sept. 17, 2018