Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 25, 2017

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

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26 SEPT. 25, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED TURNING POINT Leading only 14-10 at halftime, Notre Dame had an inauspicious start to the second half when on the open- ing series junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush lost a fumble at the Irish 32 to set up a Boston College field goal. After a three-and-out and an Irish punt on their second series, the Ea- gles then faced fourth-and-one at Notre Dame's 30 and eschewed the field goal attempt that, if converted, would have given them the lead. Freshman defensive tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa had excellent penetration that led to Jon Hilliman getting stopped for no gain. On the turnaround, a 46-yard scramble by Wimbush on third-and-10 to Bos- ton College's 9-yard line set up sophomore Tony Jones Jr.'s one-yard touchdown run with 5:04 left in the third quarter and gave Notre Dame a 21-13 lead. The Irish scored again 2:26 later, and the floodgates opened. STAT OF THE GAME The 515 rushing yards by Notre Dame were the most since Nov. 1, 1969, when the Irish set the mod- ern-day school record of 597 dur- ing a 47-0 victory against Navy. The overall mark of 629 was set on Oct. 17, 1931, during a 63-0 crushing of Drake. However, the 10.09 yards per carry — 51 for 515 yards — edged out by 0.09 the previous single- game record of 10.0 with 250 yards on 25 carries on Dec. 5, 1942, a 13-13 deadlock with World War II service team Great Lakes. Notre Dame almost eclipsed that standard in the opener against Tem- ple, a 49-16 win, when the 44 rush- ing attempts netted 422 yards, a 9.6 average, which is now third on the all-time Irish chart. Yet sandwiched in between is the dreadful 55-yard rushing effort in the loss to Georgia. OVERDUE FOR A WINNING STREAK It might have been under the ra- dar, but the 49-20 victory at Boston College marked the 17th consecu- tive game that Notre Dame has not had back-to-back victories. That is a school record that bested the 13 straight such contests during the 2006 (last two games) and 2007 (first 11 games) campaigns under head coach Charlie Weis. A victory at Michigan State this Saturday would prevent the Irish from adding to the school record and potentially generate the much- craved momentum after recording only a 3-10 mark the past 13 games against Power Five teams, and 21-20 overall since 2013. Not until hosting USC Oct. 21 with a 5-1 record — and winning — would belief on the outside start to emerge that the Irish can be a factor again this season. THREE OBSERVATIONS BY LOU SOMOGYI OFFENSE: RB JOSH ADAMS Notre Dame's offense rolled up some impressive numbers, but there were a lot of moments early where the unit struggled to get going. The junior running back provided a major spark early and finished with 229 yards on 18 carries. Adams ripped off a 65-yard run on Notre Dame's second series, setting up the first Irish touchdown. With Notre Dame trailing 10-7 late in the second quarter and backed up at the 8-yard line, Adams went 11 yards to give the offense breathing room. Two plays later, he sprinted 64 yards, which set up the second Irish touchdown. DEFENSE: LB NYLES MORGAN AND LB TE'VON CONEY Boston College bent Notre Dame back early, rushing for 117 yards in the first half. The Irish defense buckled down and held the Eagles to just 68 yards in the second half, and the two linebackers were a major factor in the improvement. Coney, a junior, led the defense with a career-high 13 tackles, and Morgan, a senior, was third with nine stops. With Notre Dame leading 14-13 in the third quarter, Morgan and Coney brought down Boston College running back Jon Hilliman short of the sticks on a fourth-and-one play in Irish territory. Notre Dame went on to outscore Boston College 35-7 the rest of the way. SPECIAL TEAMS: P TYLER NEWSOME The senior punter was a bit inconsistent in the game, and two of his punts went for just 38 yards and gave Boston College good field position. Overall, though, he had good numbers and had some big kicks. Newsome had 51- and 52-yard punts on back-to-back possessions, which helped flip the field for Notre Dame. With the Irish up 35- 20 and Boston College attempting to make a comeback, Newsome drilled a 57-yard punt to pin the Eagles at their own 9-yard line. TOP PLAYERS OF THE GAME BY BRYAN DRISKELL Junior linebacker Te'von Coney registered a team-best and career-high 13 tackles against Boston College. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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