Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 12, 2019

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

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Page 20 of 55 OCT. 12, 2019 21 BY LOU SOMOGYI A s a 45-point favorite against Bowling Green, No. 9-ranked Notre Dame's primary ob- stacle was to not lose concen- tration on the standard of play and consistency in the attitude toward competition. The 52-0 shutout of the Falcons (1-4) achieved that end, and the play- ers earned the praise of Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly for being "ex- tremely purposeful" during the week of preparation. "They handled themselves like a team that had a vision of what they wanted to accomplish today, and they went out and they did it," Kelly said of his 4-1 Irish squad. "Today went the way it should have went, and could have gone better certainly. "But given the fact that they played two very good opponents in the pre- vious two weeks and had USC on the horizon … they went out and were very businesslike in the manner that they played today." It was Notre Dame's first shut- out victory since a 31-0 whitewash of Michigan in then-Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Brian Van- Gorder 's second game on Sept. 6, 2014. He became instantly lauded as the savior of that unit before get- ting ousted at the one-third mark of the 2016 campaign. Coincidentally, VanGorder is now in his first season as defensive coordinator at Bowling Green. Bowling Green's defense opened the game by forcing a three-and-out of Notre Dame's offense — and that was the peak for the Falcons. Senior quarterback Ian Book com- pleted 16 of 20 passes for 261 yards, with all five of his touchdown tosses occurring in the first half while building a 35-0 cushion. Senior run- ning back Tony Jones Jr. eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the sec- ond week in a row with 102 yards on only seven carries while the Fighting Irish racked up 573 total yards with no turnovers. FIRST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME, 21-0 Top Moment: Notre Dame's first touchdown came on its second pos- session, an 80-yard drive that began with 13- and 18-yard runs by Jones, continued with a 23-yard back- shoulder completion to senior wide receiver Javon McKinley on third- and-one, and a play later resulted in a 17-yard slant to sophomore tight end Tommy Tremble in the end zone at the 9:32 mark. Standout Performers: Book com- pleted all eight passes he attempted for 128 yards with three touchdowns. Tight ends Tremble and junior Cole Kmet combined for four of the grabs for 54 yards, with each also crossing the goal line. Stats: Notre Dame's 16 plays net- ted 182 yards, with the three touch- down drives taking only 1:58, 0:59 and 1:20. Bowling Green managed 56 yards on 20 plays (32 rushing and 24 passing). Notes: The third Fighting Irish se- ries on offense covered three plays and 46 yards, concluding with a 21-yard touchdown to Kmet, who was uncovered up the middle on the seam … The short field was set up by a 25-yard punt return by fifth-year senior Chris Finke … On the next series, a 15-yard Finke punt return placed Notre Dame at midfield, and four plays later Book found senior wide receiver Chase Claypool in the end zone on a 34-yard post route … After going three-and-out on its first three series, Bowling Green con- cluded the quarter with a sustained drive that took it to a first down at Notre Dame's 22-yard line. SECOND QUARTER: NOTRE DAME, 35-0 Top Moment: With 8:16 left and trailing 21-0, Bowling Green quar- terback Grant Loy was stuffed for no gain on a sneak on fourth-and- one from the Notre Dame 47-yard line. Four plays later, a patient Book found a crossing Claypool for their second touchdown connection, this one from eight yards. The drive be- gan with 24- and 21-yard comple- tions to Finke and McKinley. Standout Performers: The Notre Dame offensive line gave an inordi- nate amount of time to Book in the pocket, most notably on the 25-yard touchdown pass to McKinley on third-and-16 with 1:24 remaining to make the halftime score 35-0. A 40- yard completion to junior tight end Brock Wright on a wheel route set up the score. Book finished the half 15- of-17 passing for 255 yards with five touchdowns. Stats: Notre Dame's 32 plays in the first half amassed 339 yards (10.6 per play). Bowling Green's 43 plays net- ted only 136 yards. Notes: After starting the quarter at Notre Dame's 22-yard line, the Fal- cons ended it at the Irish 48 follow- ing a false start and then an inten- tional grounding call, with the sack credited to senior drop end Julian Okwara … A "Hail Mary" pass from Notre Dame's 34-yard line by Loy into the end zone on the final play of the first half was intercepted by senior safety Jalen Elliott. THIRD QUARTER: NOTRE DAME, 45-0 Top Moment: Sophomore quarter- back Phil Jurkovec was inserted at the 4:11 mark with the Irish leading 38-0. He directed a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in 1:48, capped by a seven-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Avery Davis. The two connected for 32 yards on the previ- ous play to convert a third-and-11 situation. Jurkovec was 3 of 4 for 65 yards and also had an 11-yard scram- ble during the drive. Standout Performer: On Notre Dame's first series of the second half, Jones opened with 36- and 26-yard sweeps to the left side, which put him over the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time this season (he also had 110 at Louisville in the season opener and a career-high 131 in the previous contest versus Virginia). Stats: The Falcons had run 63 plays BOWLED OVER Notre Dame rolls past Bowling Green, 52-0 Senior quarterback Ian Book connected on 15 of 17 passes for 255 yards with five touchdowns in the first half alone. The five scores represent a new school record for one half. PHOTO BY ANDRIS VISOCKIS

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