Hey, can someone help me pick my jaw up from the floor? Because it is still there. I’m just in awe of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish performance against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night. I was confident the Irish would win; I did not realize we would demolish them and more than double them up in points and yards. It was awesome.
I quite honestly have zero things to complain about from the Irish team’s performance. I thought all facets of the game were great, including never trailing in a game (yet again). Within that, though, I have a few things we should think about going forward.
3 Things to Take Away From the ND Win Over Stanford
There is enough of a sample size now.
I will admit this yet again, because I will do this when I am wrong: Ian Book is the guy — QB1. I had told you a few weeks back that even with Brandon Wimbush’s struggles, I did not believe that Ian Book had given us enough playing time to show that he could start and play well against good competition. However, he showed us that in spades, particularly on Saturday. His poise in and out of the pocket, his mobility and his passes are all crisp and on point. I was watching the Thursday Night NFL game last week, and Jared Goff was dropping dimes to his receivers, seemingly threading the needle with pinpoint throws. To be honest, I saw shades of that with Ian Book on Saturday night. The guy can handle pressure and make big-time plays. He is the real deal.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what becomes of Brandon Wimbush for this season. I’m sure he will stick around at least to be the backup. (I don’t think he is as close to petty as Kelly Bryant is). But, maybe we see him graduate and then transfer somewhere for next year. Again, he cannot use the 4-game transfer rule as he has already had a redshirt year. We’ll see, but with Dexter Williams back (and boy, is he back), there isn’t much use for Brandon in the offense, unfortunately.
Defense wins championships (but actually).
Our defense seems to be the real deal. I haven’t seen our defense this good in at least a few years. It just seems like a complete unit. The line causes so much havoc for other offensive lines. The linebackers are helping with that pressure and preventing too many yards on runs (minus the Bryce Love TD run), and the secondary is causing so many problems for receivers. They can break up passes and keep on receivers like I haven’t seen in a while. The whole defense is giving up only 18.8 points per game, and the only time they gave up more than 17 in a game this season was against Wake Forest when a lot of the backups were playing (and the offense already had 56 points). It is absolutely awesome to see them be the real deal.
This year could be special.
I am leaving a caveat here, but it is time for a mindset change. A few weeks ago, we were all lamenting how the games were too close against lesser-than opponents. We were all prepping for doomsday, including myself. I was always too nervous for my own good in these games. After the game on Saturday night, my friend mentioned that it did not seem like we were watching Notre Dame football, meaning the dominance and lack of something going wrong on Saturday was different than we are used to. With everything we have seen, there are few reasons not to be confident in this team in every game that is left.
There is a tough test this coming week going into Blacksburg at night, but I’m still confident in the team’s ability to beat just about anybody. I’m hoping most have this switch in mindset that I need to have, because this team’s completeness is fun to watch.