Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 12, 2019

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

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Page 28 of 55 OCT. 12, 2019 29 NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY … On senior quarterback Ian Book's five touchdowns and almost tying the all-time single-game record of six: "We weren't going to throw it unless there were the right opportunities ... they had one series [in the second half], he knew he had five. "I told [offensive coordinator] Chip [Long], 'You've got one series with him. If it works, fine; if it doesn't, no big deal.' Because it's tying the record. As I told him, tying the record is 'meh.' "If you're going to break the record, then maybe we'll do something about it." On what is on his mind as something to work on: "There are some things that we have to tighten up in cov- erage. Obviously, we're going to play elite receivers next week. We can't do some of the things we did today. Our guys know that. "We're going to have to tighten some things up. I wasn't particularly pleased with some of the things that hap- pened today and some particular instances on third down, so we'll clean those things up." NOTRE DAME SENIOR DEFENSIVE END JULIAN OKWARA … On what point in the game he thought they could shut Bowling Green out: "When the clock hits zero in the fourth quarter. Obviously, anything can happen. They can get a fumble, pick it up and run. "You don't stop playing until the last down when the clock [hits] zero." On what it does for the team's confidence to get a shutout: "We come out here every day to work our best and just work our hardest to be the best defense in the country. So, I think just coming out here and having that mindset every day. "I think everybody was pretty confident, just going out [to execute] the game plan. We had probably one of our best weeks of practice coming into it, and we were locked in." On senior defensive end Jamir Jones moving into a full-time backup role: "Jamir is another guy who came in last game and a guy we can count on. We were pretty confident in what he can do, and he did a great job, goes out there and does his job all the time, plays hard. "It's [not] a surprise. He does it every day in practice. It's just the next-man-in mindset, and he's the definition of that." NOTRE DAME SENIOR QUARTERBACK IAN BOOK … On how important "chunk" plays are: "My job is to get the ball out there on the perimeter. We've got some really skilled guys out there. It's my job to get the ball to them, and I was definitely happy with the way the O-line protected today. They did a great job. I had a lot of time. "I was able to push the ball downfield, and Coach Long talks about it all the time, great players make big plays, and that's what we needed. We had a few of those tonight. We're going to need it for the rest of the season." On getting so many different players in- volved offensively: "We have a lot of great players and we want to get everyone in as much as we can, and it was great to see. "Like I said earlier, guys stepping up, mak- ing big plays, big 'chunk' plays." On what it's like to see his backup, Phil Jurkovec, get in the game: "Well, first, it was awesome to see him. You can tell he had so much fun out there. He works hard day in and day out in practice, so it's great to see him go out there and have success, lead the offense and just have total command. "That's what we're asked to do at the quar- terback position. But then to see him have a great run, too. He's really athletic; he's faster than people think." On the aspects of his game he focused on at practice during the week: "Getting through all my progressions. That's really what I wanted to work on is first, second, third reads. "We have these designed plays, they're going to work. I've just got to get through my progression and get the ball to the guys." — Andrew Mentock and Vince DeDario FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Senior defensive end Julian Okwara (No. 42) contributed three total stops, two tackles for loss and one sack. PHOTO BY ANDRIS VISOCKIS

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