Final Thoughts: Notre Dame Rolls Tar Heels

It wasn’t always pretty, but Notre Dame did what they were supposed to do: win. The Irish lead only 16-7 at halftime, but by the end of the game, the Irish were in complete control. Eventually, the Irish won the game 33-10, improving their record to 5-1. Here are 13 final thoughts for 13 Josh Adams carries.

  1. Overall, the game was a frustrating one to watch. Each team had 10 penalties, for a total of 184 penalty yards. The game lacked the flow of a really good college football game.
  2. Ian Book got the start for the Irish. The redshirt sophomore performed admirably in his first start. The Irish offense wasn’t perfect by any stretch but they were certainly good enough to win in this one.
  3. Book started hot, completing 9 of his first 12 passes of the game. He ended the game 17-for-31 for 146 yards, with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.
  4. One of Book’s interceptions came with the Irish up 26-7 and driving in the redzone. It was the first time all season the Irish failed to convert a redzone opportunity. They had converted 24-of-24 opportunities prior to the pick.
  5. Many will wonder if Ian Book should get more playing time going forward. While Book played well, it probably wasn’t well enough to unseat the incumbent starter, Brandon Wimbush. Getting Book some meaningful playing time can only help in the long run.
  6. Offensively, the Irish have an embarrassment of riches in the backfield. Josh Adams (12 carries, 118 yards) and Deon McIntosh (12 carries, 124 yards) carried the load for the Irish in this one. Add Tony Jones, Jr. and Dexter Williams into that equation, and the Irish are really really deep.
  7. Freshman CJ Holmes got a few garbage-time carries for the Irish. He carried the ball 8 times for 32 yards.
  8. Defensively, the Irish flustered the Tar Heels all day. The Irish were able to get in the face of North Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt all day. Surratt was only able to complete 19 out of 42 passes on the day.
  9. The Irish were able to build on something they’ve done really well this season: take the ball away. Julian Okwara started the festivities by deflected and intercepting a pass in the 3rd quarter. Drue Tranquill capped the game by ripping the ball out of the hands of a North Carolina receiver in the 4th.
  10. The Irish defense also recorded a safety. With less than a minute left in the first half, punter Tyler Newsome pinned the Tar Heels deep on their own 1. After attempting a deep pass on 1st down, the Tar Heels attempted running the ball on 2nd down. Nearly the entire Irish defensive line combined to stop the North Carolina ball carrier 2 yards deep in the endzone. It wasn’t even close.
  11. The Irish reached their bye week with a 5-1 record. Before the season, had you told me that this would be the case, I would have told you “I’ll take it.”
  12. The bye week comes at a perfect time for the Irish. The Irish are a little banged up at quarterback and running back. Starting offensive guard Alex Bars also had to leave the game with an injury, while Nyles Morgan went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury late in the game. Notre Dame has one priority this bye week: Get healthy.
  13. Notre Dame awaits the USC Trojans’ arrival in South Bend on October 21st. USC beat Oregon State handily today and have a prime-time matchup with 20th-ranked Utah next week. The game will air on ABC.

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