Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2020

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

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Page 14 of 47 FEBRUARY 2020 15 installed as merely a 3.5-point favor- ite against a scrappy Cyclones team that lost its five games by a total of only 21 points. Reports also surfaced in Florida of the Notre Dame players staying out too late on the first day in order to "sow their oats," as Kelly put it, and some sluggish workouts thereafter. "They used that as another form of motivation to show people wrong," Kelly said. "You just read this team wrong, and it's just so satisfying that this group has been rewarded with 11 wins because they have thought only about their teammates and how they can work to get better each and every day." Two Iowa State turnovers and a Notre Dame fourth-down stop in Cy- clones territory set up three scores for a 20-6 Fighting Irish halftime lead. Then on Notre Dame's first play on offense in the second half, an 84-yard touchdown romp by senior running back Tony Jones Jr. (11 carries for 135 yards) continued the assertive per- formance from start to finish. Earning Player of the Game hon- ors was senior wideout Chase Clay- pool, who nabbed seven passes for 146 yards and the game's first touch- down on a leaping 24-yard touch- down catch on third-and-12. Junior rover Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah paced a superb overall defensive effort that limited the Cy- clones to 272 total yards. He recorded a team-high nine stops, four tackles for loss and three sacks, plus forced and recovered a fumble, and had a quarterback hurry. Senior safety Alohi Gilman re- ceived the game ball from Kelly, as his forced fumble on a punt set up the game's first score. Junior kicker Jonathan Doerer converted all four of his field goal attempts — from 39, 51, 19 and 39 yards — to aid the performance. "All three phases were outstand- ing today," Kelly said of the offense, defense and special teams. For the first time since 1988-89, Notre Dame finished with at least 11 victories in back-to-back seasons. FIRST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME, 10-0 Top Moment: With 3:20 left in the quarter and facing third-and-12 at the Iowa State 24-yard line, senior quarterback Ian Book found a leap- ing Claypool down the right sideline and in the end zone for a touchdown and a 10-0 advantage. The 58-yard drive was set up by Owusu-Koramoah forcing and re- covering a fumble by Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, and the march began with Jones scampering for a 26-yard gain. Feature Performer: Claypool set up Notre Dame's first score, a field goal, by recovering a fumbled punt and made the crucial grab on third-and-12 for the game's initial touchdown. Stats: Notre Dame's 18 plays net- ted 101 yards, with 12 rushes for 56 yards and 4-of-6 passing for 45 yards. Iowa State totaled 69 yards on 11 plays. Purdy was 4-of-5 passing for 49 yards, and the Cyclones had six carries for 20 yards. Notes: After a three-and-out on the game's opening series by Notre Dame, Gilman stripped the ball from Iowa State punt return man Tarique Milton that Claypool pounced on at the Cyclones' 42-yard line … The drive ended with a 39-yard field goal by Doerer with 9:34 left. SECOND QUARTER: NOTRE DAME, 20-6 Top Moment: Trailing 13-3, Iowa State opted to go for it on fourth-and- inches at its 45-yard line. Junior defen- sive tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa knifed through to throw running back Breece Hall down for no gain. On the next play, a 43-yard pass from Book to Claypool took the ball down to the 1-yard line, leading to a touchdown sweep by junior running back Jafar Armstrong to build the cushion to 20-3 with 2:25 left. Feature Performer: Notre Dame's defense, led by fifth-year senior Buck linebacker Asmar Bilal (five tackles, three solo), forced Purdy into 1-of-6 passing at one point and made the crucial stop on fourth down to set up a touchdown. Then, when Iowa State drove to first-and-goal at the Irish 3-yard line late in the half, it could only produce a field goal. Stats: Notre Dame's 33 plays in the first half netted 207 yards (132 passing and 75 rushing), while Iowa State's 32 plays totaled 204 yards. The crucial difference was the Cy- clones had two turnovers to zero for the Irish, and Iowa State also turned the ball over on downs, setting up 17 of Notre Dame's 20 points. Notes: Iowa State cut its deficit to 10-3 on a 41-yard field goal by Con- nor Assalley at the 9:27 mark … The 43-yard drive was sparked by a 29- yard screen pass to Hall on the first play … Notre Dame answered with a 32-yard completion from Book to Claypool on its ensuing initial play after the ISU score, and it set up a 51-yard field goal by Doerer at 7:23 for a 13-3 advantage … Assalley's second field goal, from 25 yards out, Senior wide receiver Chase Claypool reeled in seven receptions for 146 yards and scored the game's first touchdown on a leaping 24-yard catch on third-and-12. PHOTO BY JAMES GILBERT

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