Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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Page 24 of 55 NOV. 26, 2022 25 NOTRE DAME REGAINS RUNNING GAME DOMINANCE Logan Diggs saw nothing but green turf. Boston College put nine players in the box on the first play from scrimmage. It didn't matter. The Notre Dame offen- sive line moved them out of the way with ease, and Diggs darted by them. See ya. Two defensive backs dove at Diggs, but it takes more than a leap and an un- answered, sprawling prayer to bring him down. He stiff-armed another DB at the 50 and took him for a 20-yard ride. An- other DB finally brought him down in- side Boston College's 25-yard line. Fifty-one yards later, Diggs put the Irish in prime scoring position seconds into the game. A sign of things to come? Absolutely. He had 122 yards rushing and a touchdown on 15 carries. Notre Dame had 281 rushing yards as a team. Even head coach Marcus Freeman was taken aback by that number when he found it out in his postgame press conference. "That's pretty good," Freeman said through a wide smile. Not just pretty good. Very good. Es- pecially considering the circumstances. Notre Dame had a season-low 66 yards rushing last week versus Navy. The Midshipmen boast a sturdy rushing de- fense, but it was still far from a banner day for the Irish ground game. Before facing Navy, the Irish ran for at least 200 yards in five of six games. They got back to being themselves against Boston College, and Diggs did his part from the very start. "Like five people this past week told me, 'Logan, I feel like you're going to have a big one; you're going to rip a big one,'" Diggs said. "I was just like, 'Man, I hope so.' "First play of the game, they blocked it up well. I had the perfect opportunity to go in. When I was running, I was just like, 'Man, I don't want to go down. I want to score this one." He didn't, but he got in on another physical rush later in the first quarter. It was only from 1 yard out, but he would not have crossed the goal line if not for a stellar second effort. That's the magnum opus for this Notre Dame offense. It not only says it will outwork the opposition. It actually goes on the field and plays it into existence more weeks than not. It helps to have future first-round NFL Draft picks paving the way, too. "Being able to go out and put up a number like that for our seniors, espe- cially our senior offensive linemen, to send them out on the right foot at Notre Dame Stadium, it was so much fun for us as a group," sophomore left tackle Joe Alt said. "And I think it was even better for those seniors." Alt likely won't ever have a senior day. He'll be good enough to leave for the NFL after his junior season. But for as long as Notre Dame has him, and as long as the Irish have no-nonsense bulldozers for running backs like Diggs and fellow sophomore Audric Estime, the Irish will be just fine in the running game. Outputs like the one against Navy will be the anomalies. Totals like the one ver- sus Boston College will be the norm. "Every week we want to improve," Diggs said. "We want to fix what we didn't do well last week. I felt like today we went out there and we did it. And going into this week, we've got to do the same thing. The job's never finished un- til the season's done. But I felt like today we all played as one." BENJAMIN MORRISON'S INTERCEPTION TRIFECTA HELPS DEFENSE PITCH SHUTOUT Quarterback Emmett Morehead lit the arrow and let it fly in Notre Dame cornerback Benjamin Morrison's direc- tion on Boston College's first snap. Bold decision. Morrison, step-for-step with Eagles receiver Joseph Griffin Jr. on a go route, never gave Griffin a chance to catch Morehead's throw. That play didn't reg- ister on the stat sheet, not even as a pass broken up, but ignited the fuse on a tour de force of a game. "When you get the first play and the ball is thrown at you, it's a [one-on-one], it's fun," Morrison said. "I love those mo- ments. I thrive for those moments. So, when that ball was thrown, I was just, I don't know, it's a fun feeling. I love it." The good vibes lasted all afternoon for everyone on Notre Dame's sideline, but especially Morrison. That first snap was just his opening act. Two plays later, he intercepted Morehead. Morrison had 3 interceptions in Notre Dame's 44-0 win over Boston College, becoming the first Irish player to ac- complish the feat since safety Harrison BOSTON COLLEGE GAME NOTES BY TYLER HORKA AND PATRICK ENGEL Sophomore running back Logan Diggs led the way for Notre Dame's rushing attack against Boston College, racking up a team-high 122 yards with 1 touchdown on 15 carries (8.1 yards per attempt). PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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