Heading into the Notre Dame Irish senior day, the Irish were tending to their wounds. Following just having scraped out the win in Navy, Notre Dame were disappointed with their showing in Annapolis and looked to correct the national perspective on the team. The team that almost gave Navy the game last week, was not going to come out flat like that against their Catholic rivals.
And they did not disappoint. the Fighting Irish scored on their first 8 possessions while taking the ball away from Boston College on 4 of their first four drives. Marcus Freeman had the Fighting Irish prepped in a manner that we had yet to see this season. Tommy Rees had the offense humming and playing the best football that this unit could be playing with the limitations on our air game.
It was great to see Michael Mayer get 5 catches in this one. While not celebrating his TRUE senior day, he will not be back next season. so I was happy to see he was able to post 64 yards. Other than that, no really impressive receiving stat lines, but when they had to deliver they did. Credit to the squad that is just chomping at the bit for an arm in South Bend.
As for the run game, it was truly a clinical performance. Diggs continued to be our premier back as he was able to get 122 yards and a touchdown on the ground behind the massive holes the Notre Dame big uglies were providing. While Diggs got the most yards, Audric Estime continued to show off his brutal, rumbling, stumbling running game acquiring 2 touchdowns while averaging 6.5 a carry. The Notre Dame run game is great, no news there. What is new, is just how easy they made it look in this one. The Trojan defense will be far stouter, but I have confidence that this performance can spill over into that game.
The Notre Dame defense was truly elite in this game. Isaiah Foskey broke the sack record with 24, while Bertrand made 5 tackles leading the Irish efforts. But again, the key player for the Irish here was Benjamin Morrison. Of course it was. He hauled in 3, count ‘em 3!, interceptions off of Emmett Morehead. Speaking of Morehead he had the most hilarious rushing line of the day, with -23 yards on 8 carries. Just a stellar performance, much needed to get this team right heading into the matchup with the Trojans.
The Special Teams unit didn’t get a blocked punt. For shame!!! Not really, pretty ridiculous that Irish fans get to watch opposition punts with the level of excitement we currently do. It dawned on me how incredible the Irish special team unit is when you are not going to be shocked to see a blocked kick. If you can watch 4th and longs almost half expecting a momentous play, the game is so much more exciting to watch. Credit to the most dominant special teams unit in the country this season.
Great programs don’t play down to their opposition. They take the field and punish the enemy with extreme prejudice. It was good to see the Fighting Irish play to their form and show the Eagles they were not capable of contending in this game. Notre Dame took the field and put on an appropriately dominant display of this rosters capabilities.
Notre Dame is playing its best football right now (sure it was BC but that was dominance personified). While Notre Dame was 3 touchdown favorites entering this game they went out and more than doubled that. Heading into our biggest game of the year. The Irish have the opportunity to rain all over the Trojans season. Time to go out and bring the intensity that we know this team is capable of and hand the Trojans their CFP coffin and waltz into a significant bowl game ourselves.
What may aid the Irish in that matchup with the Trojans is the emotional battle with UCLA they have just played. I feel far more comfortable coming off of a dominant showing to an opponent we know is lesser than the Irish, than having to come off our most emotionally charged game of the year. I have full confidence that the Trojans are in for an upsetting Saturday when the Irish come to town
Thank you all for taking the time to read these thoughts of mine. Have a great week Notre Dame fans. Check back in for a preview of our matchup with the Trojans!
Play like an absolute champ,