Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2019

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

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26 NOV. 9, 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED "I can't say enough about Josh Lugg," he said. "I have been in his situation, obviously. It's the hardest position to be in — the next guy in. You have to prepare as a starter. "He did a fantastic job and he showed so much grit; he is such a warrior. I can't give him enough credit for how he played." By the end of the game, there was enough confidence in the recon- structed offensive line and the quar- terback to loosen up and get the job done on the final drive. "It's something they are going to write about," Ruhland added. "It's going to be a legendary drive, it wasn't pretty but never a doubt in our minds that we would get it done." TURNOVER MARGIN IS FLIPPED Coming into the game, Notre Dame ranked seventh in the coun- try in turnover margin at plus-1.14, while Virginia Tech was 117th at mi- nus-0.71. It was assumed that once again this would be a huge advan- tage in favor of the Fighting Irish, but that's not how it played out. Notre Dame lost the turnover battle to Virginia Tech 3-2, with two inter- ceptions and a goal-line fumble by junior running back Jafar Armstrong that was returned for a 98-yard touch- down by the Hokies at the end of the first half. This was the first lost fum- ble by a Notre Dame running back in 1,274 carries dating back to Nov. 21, 2015 during a 19-16 victory versus Boston College in Fenway Park. Book's first interception came in the red zone, which was the first time the Irish hadn't converted on an offensive possession inside the opponents' 20- yard line all season. The second pick came on an end zone shot into dou- ble coverage to senior wide receiver Chase Claypool, who was actually open, but the ball was underthrown. The turnover margin actually could have been much worse. In the fourth quarter, Book was picked off again on a ball thrown to the middle of the field, but Virginia Tech was flagged with a roughing the passer penalty that was so late that it likely had no impact on the throw. Plus, the Hokies' second turnover of the game came on an inter- ception picked off by safety Kyle Ham- ilton and was thrown in desperation with seconds remaining in the game. ✦ NOTRE DAME VS. VIRGINIA TECH QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 7:12 9:35 5:07 9:24 16:47 14:31 31:18 Third-Down Conversions 0-4 3-6 1-2 4-8 3-10 5-10 8-20 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-0 3-3 0-0 3-3 3-3 Average Field Position ND-29 ND-39 ND-25 ND-26 ND-33 ND-25 ND-30 Virginia Tech 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 7:48 5:25 9:53 5:36 13:13 15:29 28:42 Third-Down Conversions 1-6 1-3 1-3 1-4 2-9 2-7 4-16 Fourth-Down Conversions 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1-1 0-0 1-1 Average Field Position VT-33 VT-19 VT-14 VT-15 VT-28 VT-14 VT-23 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Yards ND VT Nega ve 6 5 0-5 53 44 6-9 15 7 10-19 11 5 20-29 5 2 30-39 1 0 40-49 0 0 50 or more 0 1 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score Notre Dame 6 3 0 3 Virginia Tech 2 1 1 0 BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) Notre Dame • 2-11 ND22 Book pass complete to Claypool for 30 yards to the VT48 • 1-10 VT48 Book pass complete to McKinley For 26 yards to the VT22 • 2-10 VT30 Book pass complete to Armstrong for 26 yards to the VT4 • 4-10 VT33 Book pass complete to Claypool for 26 yards to the VT7 Virginia Tech • 2-11 VT24 Pa erson pass complete to Hazelton for 28 yards to the ND48 • 3-3 VT38 Pa erson pass complete to Turner for 50 yards to the ND12 MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • With the 21-20 victory versus Virginia Tech, Notre Dame has now won 16 straight home games, which is the third-longest streak in school history. • Junior tight end Cole Kmet's eight-yard touchdown reception was his fifth of the sea- son despite the fact he missed the first two games. The five scores put Kmet second on the all-time list for touchdown receptions in a season by an Irish tight end. Ken MacAfee currently holds the record with six in 1977. • Junior rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah recovered a fumble in the second quarter against Virginia Tech. It marked the first fum- ble recovery of his career. Freshman safety Kyle Hamilton picked off a desperation heave to thwart Virginia Tech's final drive with time running out, but the Irish still lost the turnover battle 3-2. PHOTO BY ANDRIS VISOCKIS

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