Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 1, 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 55 OCT. 1, 2018 21 BY LOU SOMOGYI N ew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick lives by the axiom "what is inevitable must become immediate." Head coach Brian Kelly made that difficult decision while his 3-0 and No. 8-ranked Fighting Irish prepared for Wake Forest. After failing to eclipse 24 points in each of the previous seven games dat- ing back to last season, Kelly opted to start junior quarterback Ian Book — who helped rally Notre Dame to vic- tory in the fourth quarter of last sea- son's Citrus Bowl versus LSU — over incumbent senior Brandon Wimbush. The move paid off immensely with a 56-27 romp over the Demon Dea- cons, highlighted by converting a re- markable seven touchdowns in seven red-zone opportunities. Book led the detonation by completing 25 of 34 passes for 325 yards with two touch- downs, and running for 43 yards and three short scores on 10 attempts. "Our offense played to the level I thought it was capable," Kelly sum- marized of the output that included 241 rushing yards, with a career-high 98 from sophomore running back Ja- far Armstrong. Relying way too much on defense this season, Kelly and offensive co- ordinator Chip Long sought a spark, resulting in Book's second career start. "We weren't winning at a level that was going to allow us to continue to win," Kelly said. "We were putting too much stress on other parts, par- ticularly the defense. We played 97 snaps on defense against Ball State. "It was going to break, so it needed to get fixed now. It had nothing to do with Brandon in particular, as much as the offense needed to be much more effective." Wimbush's mobility and play-mak- ing skills were needed for the green offense in the opener against Michigan — and still might be down the road. When asked if Book is now the offi- cial starter, Kelly maintained his stance that both Book and Wimbush will be needed this year to achieve team goals. "It would be absolutely foolish of me to sit here in front of you and go, 'We've got one QB and one QB only,'" he said. "We've got two really good quarterbacks, and I'm going to reserve the right to decide every week who's the best guy for that week to win. "Without trying to trick or be guarded, we're going to play the guy that we think is going to help us win this game." FIRST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME 7, WAKE FOREST 3 Top Moment: After falling behind for the first time (3-0) this year with 5:19 left, Notre Dame instantly answered with a 75-yard drive on six plays, capped by Armstrong rushing for a 30-yard touchdown at the 3:06 mark. Standout Performer: Senior tight end Alizé Mack, who entered the game with six catches for 74 yards, nabbed four for 53 yards in this quar- ter alone, with three in a row for 41 yards during the scoring drive. Stats: Wake Forest ran 28 plays for 102 yards, with 18 carries for 77 yards and 4-of-10 passing for 25 yards. Notre Dame's 18 plays netted 122 yards, with Book connecting on 7 of 10 throws for 66 yards, while the eight running plays totaled 56 yards. Items: Notre Dame did not score on its opening possession for the first time in four games this season … With 6:33 left, Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba's 37-yard field goal at- tempt hit the left upright to keep the game scoreless. … Notre Dame fell behind after sophomore wide re- ceiver Michael Young fumbled on a jet sweep at the 6:00 mark … Nasir Greer forced the fumble that Ryan Smenda Jr. returned to the Irish 13- yard line, resulting in the field goal. SECOND QUARTER: NOTRE DAME 28, WAKE FOREST 13 Top Moment: After Wake Forest cut the deficit to 21-13, Notre Dame faced third-and-eight at its 32. A quick screen from Book to Young resulted in a 66-yard catch-and- run thanks to blocks near the line of scrimmage by Mack and Arm- strong that sprang him loose. Book then scored from the 2-yard line for a 28-13 lead with 5:24 remaining. Standout Performer: Book finished the first half 16-of-24 passing for 189 yards while connecting with nine dif- ferent pass catchers. Defensively, fifth-year senior line- backer Drue Tranquill, who recorded a sack, and junior North Carolina native and drop end Julian Okwara led the charge. Wake Forest running back Cade Carney's 12 carries netted 79 yards in the first half. Stats: Wake Forest ran 56 plays for 225 yards (129 rushing and 96 on 10-of-22 passing). Notre Dame's 39 plays racked up 298 yards, including 15 carries for 109 yards. Items: On the opening play of the quarter, Sciba converted his second field goal, this one from 39 yards, to cut the score to 7-6 at the 14:56 mark … After the field goal, Notre Dame responded with another touchdown, an 80-yard drive in 10 plays and 3:31, capped with a three-yard touchdown pass from Book to sophomore tight end Brock Wright on fourth-and-one … Senior wide receiver Chris Finke's career long 52-yard punt return to Wake Forest's 4-yard line set up Tony Jones Jr.'s four-yard tally two plays later and a 21-6 lead with 9:19 remain- ing … Wake Forest scored on a 75- yard march that was kept alive by two Irish penalties on third down, first a roughing the passer call on senior lineman Jonathan Bonner and then pass interference in the end zone on senior nickel Nick Coleman … Matt Colburn scored from two yards with 6:26 left to make it 21-13 … On the last play of the half, Sciba's 42- and 37- yard yard field attempts — the second after an Irish penalty — both missed. THIRD QUARTER: NOTRE DAME 49, WAKE FOREST 20 Top Moment: After the Irish de- fense forced a three-and-out on the opening series of the second half, the Book Value A changing of the guard at quarterback sparks Notre Dame in 56-27 romp at Wake Forest Junior quarterback Ian Book accounted for 368 yards of total offense and five touchdowns to lead the Fighting Irish to a 56-27 win at Wake Forest. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct. 1, 2018