Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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26 NOV. 26, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED Smith in the 2010 Sun Bowl. Those were 3 of Notre Dame's 5 takeaways — just three fewer than its total through the first 10 games. His 5 interceptions are the most by a Notre Dame cornerback in a season since Cole Luke notched 4 in 2014. All of them have come in the last three games, a stretch that has elevated Mor- rison from head-turning freshman to defensive linchpin. Maybe it's fitting he was the Irish's defensive headliner on Senior Day, even though he's a freshman by designation. He's the furthest along of the Irish's first-year players. He has given Notre Dame the steadiness of a senior in recent weeks. His as- similation into a veteran Notre Dame defense that starts 10 seniors or graduate students when at full health has con- tained few noticeable or en- during hiccups. "To have a game with all the seniors — not even talking about my performance, a day like that, it felt like I was a kid out there around a bunch of other grown kids," Morrison said. "It was just a fun day." A productive one, too. Morehead tested Morrison again down the field later in the first quarter, lobbing up another ball for Griffin on a go route. Morrison read the throw and tracked its flight better than Griffin did while the two were running step for step. Morrison timed his jump and snatched the ball before Griffin could even get a hand on it. One interception and another blan- keted deep shot didn't scare Morehead from trying again. That's OK by Mor- rison, who expects the frequent poking in coverage. "Every single play we have a mindset in the DB room that the ball is coming your way," Morrison said. "So no matter what, I'm always prepared, so when I do get my opportunities I'll be able to take advan- tage of them. I don't get too surprised because I haven't done anything yet, and I just have to keep working." Morehead couldn't avoid Morrison even when he wasn't throwing at him. The third interception was on a tipped pass to running back Alex Broome, a screen play thwarted when Morehead threw too high. The ball deflected off Broome's hands and into the air, giv- ing Morrison enough time to break on it from behind the play and corral it before it hit the ground. It was Notre Dame's fifth and final turnover forced in the win. Morrison has 5 of the Irish's 9 interceptions this year, which are coming in more frequent supply the last few weeks after a first half of the season with barely any passes defended. NOTRE DAME VS. BOSTON COLLEGE QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 11:42 7:15 6:16 5:47 18:57 12:03 31:00 Third-Down Conversions 3-5 1-2 4-5 0-1 4-7 4-6 8-13 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-1 Average Field Position ND-36 BC -45 ND-48 ND-29 ND-44 ND-41 ND-43 Boston College 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 3:18 7:45 8:44 9:13 11:03 17:57 29:00 Third-Down Conversions 1-3 2-4 2-4 1-3 3-7 3-7 6-14 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-1 1-1 0-0 1-2 1-2 Average Field Position BC -27 BC -27 BC -33 BC -17 BC -27 BC -26 BC -27 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Yards ND BC Nega ve 5 7 0-5 32 40 6-9 10 6 10-19 9 2 20-29 6 0 30-39 0 2 40-49 0 0 50 or more 1 0 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score Notre Dame 7 5 1 1 Boston College 1 0 0 1 BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) Notre Dame • 1-10 ND25 Diggs run for 51 yards to the BC24 • 1-10 BC43 Pyne pass to Diggs for 28 yards to the BC15 • 2-7 BC39 Diggs run for 26 yards to the BC13 • 1-10 BC49 Tyree run for 26 yards to the BC 23 Boston College • 3-8 BC36 Morehead pass to Flowers for 39 yards to the ND25 • 3-9 BC40 Morehead pass to Johnson for 32 yards to the ND28 Morrison leads Notre Dame with 5 interceptions this season. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • Notre Dame honored 25 seniors before the game: graduate student defensive lineman Jayson Ademilola, senior defensive lineman Justin Ademilola, graduate student linebacker Bo Bauer, graduate student cornerback TaRiq Bracy, graduate student safety DJ Brown, graduate student wide receiver Avery Davis, senior defensive lineman Osita Ekwonu, se- nior defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey, graduate student safety Michael Graves, graduate stu- dent safety Houston Griffith, graduate student kicker Blake Grupe, senior cornerback Cam Hart, senior defensive lineman Zane Heem- soth, senior safety Brandon Joseph, graduate student wide receiver Braden Lenzy, graduate student offensive lineman Josh Lugg, gradu- ate student wide receiver Greg Mailey, se- nior linebacker Christian Opperman, graduate student offensive lineman Jarrett Patterson, senior wide receiver Conor Ratigan, graduate student wide receiver Matt Salerno, graduate student defensive lineman Chris Smith, gradu- ate student punter Jon Sot, senior offensive lineman Hunter Spears and graduate student long snapper Michael Vinson. • Notre Dame is now 4-2 against Boston College on its Senior Day, with victories in the four most recent instances in 2022, 2019, 2011 and 2000. The Eagles earned wins in 1999 and 1993.

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