Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 8, 2018*

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

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26 OCT. 8, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED IAN BOOK PASSES MAJOR TEST Even after accounting for five touchdowns and 368 yards of total offense (325 passing and 43 rushing) against Wake Forest Sept. 22, Irish ju- nior quarterback Ian Book was step- ping up in competition. In his first "true test" of the season with the Irish hosting No. 7 Stanford, Book picked up right where he left off from his performance in Winston- Salem, N.C. During the 38-17 Notre Dame win over the Cardinal, Book completed 24 of 33 passes for 278 yards with four touchdowns against a Stanford defense that had allowed just two passing scores in its first four games. He added 47 yards on the ground. A turning point for the Irish came with 2:03 remaining in the first half and the ball at their own 20. Book completed all five of his passes for 74 yards during the drive, including the go-ahead score when he scrambled out of pressure in the pocket and found junior wide receiver Chase Claypool in the back of the end zone to give the Irish a 21-14 advantage. "He has that urgency in what he does," head coach Brian Kelly noted of his signal-caller, who completed a pass to 10 different receivers for the second straight week. "There's an energy that he brings. "… He delivers the ball to a num- ber of different receivers. … A pitcher that's a groundball pitcher keeps ev- erybody in the infield alive. All those guys are crisp and running routes and looking for the football. He brings that kind of energy to the entire offense." In his first two games as the starter, Book connected on 49 of 67 throws (73.1 percent) for 603 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. FINDING A BALANCE The Notre Dame offense was able to keep the Cardinal guessing most of the night while racking up 550 total yards. Along with Ian Book's 278 yards through the air, the Irish rushed for 272 yards and a touchdown on 55 carries (4.9 yards per attempt). Stanford entered the contest ranked 38th nationally in rushing yards allowed per game (123.0). The Irish offensive line controlled the trenches, giving up just one sack and four tackles for loss while paving the way for 550 yards and 38 points offensively. Head coach Brian Kelly mentioned over the previous weeks that the of- fense was still searching for its iden- tity. Their performance against the Cardinal could be the answer mov- ing forward. "The ability to run it and throw it with great balance," Kelly said when asked if he knew the answer of the team's identity. "It certainly is a group now that is playing with a lot more confidence. "I don't think that you can walk away saying it's not a physical group. We block out on the perimeter with a physicality." DEXTER WILLIAMS SPARKS RUNNING GAME Notre Dame was beginning to find its running game heading into its top-10 showdown with Stanford. The Irish running backs accounted for 360 yards against Vanderbilt and STANFORD GAME NOTES BY COREY BODDEN Junior quarterback Ian Book completed 24 of 33 throws for 278 yards with four touchdowns in Notre Dame's 38-17 win over Stanford. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • The 5-0 start is the first for Notre Dame since the 2014 season, and 2018 marks the first time the Irish have opened 5-0 with mul- tiple wins over ranked foes (No. 7 Stanford and No. 14 Michigan) since 2012. • In 300 minutes of football action this sea- son, Notre Dame has trailed only 2:13, an early 3-0 deficit at Wake Forrest. • Senior tight end Alizé Mack's 35-yard touchdown was his first of the season and the second of his Irish career. • Notre Dame's output on offense (550 yards) was the most against a ranked foe since it put up 533 versus Stanford in 2015. • The 21-point margin of victory was the largest against a top-10 team for Notre Dame since it defeated USC 38-10 in 1995.

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