Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 27, 2020

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

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Page 21 of 55

22 NOV. 27, 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED TURNING POINT After taking a 13-10 lead with 12:41 left until halftime, Boston College remained aggressive by trying an onside kick that it recovered — but it was overruled because of an illegal block by the Eagles during the play, similar to Louisville when it went ahead 7-6 at Notre Dame on Oct. 17. Following the re-kick, Boston College nearly sacked fifth-year senior quarterback Ian Book on second-and-10 for what could have been a 10- to 15-yard loss before he evaded the pressure and threw the ball away. On the next play, third-and-10 from midfield, a well-protected and patient Book fired a 48-yard strike to senior slot receiver Avery Davis. That set up junior running back C'Bo Flemister's score from two yards out with 10:24 left until the inter- mission. It was the sequence that gave the Irish the lead for good just when it seemed the Eagles could continue their momentum. STATS OF THE GAME A 28-3 run by Notre Dame from the 10:24 mark of the second quarter to 6:34 into the third quar- ter sealed the outcome. That period of 18:50 took the Fighting Irish from a 13-10 deficit to a 38-16 advantage and in complete command. An initial strong surge from Boston College was to be expected in their sa- cred Red Bandana Game that honors fallen hero Welles Crowther, while maybe some hangover from the win over No. 1 Clemson might have been still lingering for Notre Dame. However, that middle section of the game is where the Irish asserted control in a result that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. Also, racking up 283 passing yards and 278 rushing yards against the Eagles deserves at least some honorable mention because eclipsing the 250 mark in both categories in a single game is a rarity. BYE WEEK COMES AT IDEAL TIME When a team is on a roll and rhythm like No. 2-ranked Notre Dame has been over the past month, a feeling might emanate where one doesn't want it disrupted with a bye week and fall out of the routine. However, because this is such a unique year with the pandemic and there will be likely three December games for the Irish for the first time in their history, the Nov. 21 bye after first-semester final exams are held Nov. 16-20 probably couldn't have been slotted at a better time. Talk about the stars aligning just right! As Brian Kelly notes in From The Locker Room (page 29), the 8-0 Irish already have played a full Big Ten schedule, and more than a 2020 Pac-12 slate. Re-charging physically and mentally should bode well, but the College Football Playoff com- mittee also needs to think about extra credit for playing 11 or 12 games. THREE OBSERVATIONS BY LOU SOMOGYI OFFENSE: WR BEN SKOWRONEK This was Ian Book's game and we should call it the "Ian Book Offense Award," but want to spread the wealth to others as well. After missing time earlier in the season due to a ham- string injury, the fifth-year senior wide receiver has be- come an important weapon for the Notre Dame offense. The 6-3, 220-pounder finished with five catches for 63 yards and used his size to haul in three touchdowns (10, 13 and seven yards) in the red zone. His first came on a play during which defensive pass interference was called. Despite having a defender draped all over him, he was able to make an impressive catch. Skowronek's one blemish was a fumble in the third quarter after he made a 26-yard reception. DEFENSE: S SHAUN CRAWFORD The sixth-year senior continues to excel at the safety position after playing cornerback and nickel during his first five years at Notre Dame. Against Boston College, Crawford led all Fighting Irish defenders with a career-high nine tackles. He also notched the game's lone sack and finished with 1.5 tackles for loss while helping harass former teammate and current Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec into 18-of 40 passing (just a 45.0-percent completion rate). SPECIAL TEAMS: RB CHRIS TYREE In a game where Notre Dame did not need to punt and senior kicker Jonathan Doerer went 1 of 2 on field goals, there was no clear choice for special teams player of the game. However, the freshman running back did have a solid performance as the return man on kickoffs. Tyree returned four kickoffs for a total of 84 yards, an average of 21.0 yards per return. TOP PLAYERS OF THE GAME BY ANDREW MENTOCK Freshman running back Chris Tyree (17 carries for 74 yards) also had a strong day on special teams, averaging 21.0 yards per return on four kickoffs. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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