The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now 11-0 after beating the Syracuse Orange, 36-3. This could easily be called the best performance of the season. Other than settling for field goals in the red zone, it was a pretty much flawless game. It was an impressive beatdown of the 12th-ranked team in the country. Syracuse had absolutely no answer for Notre Dame in any phase of the game. It was rather easy for me to pick three players to highlight.
The biggest play of the game was made by Alohi Gilman. He broke up a Syracuse pass and intercepted the ball, returning it to the 10-yard line. Gilman also intercepted another pass, but it was the one that he almost returned for a touchdown that swung the game. Notre Dame went up 20-0 shortly after the big play and never looked back. It is amazing to see a safety on Notre Dame making big time plays. Alohi Gilman is a game changer. That simple.
I cannot state enough how much having Dexter Williams in the lineup helps the offense. I remember there were people saying that Notre Dame did not need Williams because the running game was already good. I have news for everyone: Dexter Williams is by far and away the best running back on team. I am not sure how he only had 13 carries because he averaged almost 6 yards per carry. Williams is a home run waiting to happen and the offense works better the more he touches the football.
How about someone I have not talked about all year? Yes, we know how good Jerry Tillery has been this year. He dominates the point of attack and disrupts the running game for every opponent. The player who flashed behind Tillery was Kurt Hinish. The defensive line has taken a huge jump forward. Part of that is because of reserve players like Hinish who come in and contribute, instead of just giving the starters a rest. Kurt Hinish finished with 1.5 sacks and seems to be improving each game.
Notre Dame will look to go 12-0 for the second time in the last six years. The team that stands in their way is the 5-6 USC Trojans who are coming off a loss to 3-8 UCLA. To put it mildly, USC is not a good football team. A focused Irish team wins easily and goes undefeated in 2018.
One more game.