For being 3-0, it was a tough week for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. There was a lot of criticism about their offense’s inability to score points, and the calls for a change at quarterback finally saw some light late in the week. It started to leak that Ian Book would be the starter this week instead of Brandon Wimbush against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Brian Kelly remained coy on the subject — even when asked right before the game by ESPN’s Holly Rowe. As it turned out, Ian did start the game, and Notre Dame blew the Demon Deacons out, 56-27.
Ian Book didn’t get off to the best start with the first three Irish possessions resulting in no points (as opposed to the Irish scoring on the first possession in each of its first three games). Notre Dame even trailed for the first time all season when Wake Forest knocked in a field goal.
Book answered that with a 6 play 75 yard drive that resulted in a 30 yard TD run from Jafar Armstrong, and the Irish never looked back.
It was a perfect day for the Irish offense in many regards. They ran a balanced offense that was extremely efficient. Notre Dame’s running backs ran hard and the receivers racked up the YAC. It was everything we hoped this offense would be before the season began.
Despite the points and yards, Notre Dame’s defense was suffocating against what was supposed to be a really good offense. The Irish defensive front was all over Sam Hartman and basically knocked him out of the game.
Book finished the game 25-34 for 325 yards and 2 TD’s. He also ran the ball 10 times for 43 yards and 3 TD’s. Helping him on the ground were Jafar Armstrong (98 yards 2 TD) Avery Davis (43 yards) and Tony Jones Jr. (39 yards). Alizé Mack had a great game with 6 catches, and Michael Young made his presence know with 1 catch for 66 yards (almost all 66 were for the YAC).
Brandon Wimbush did not see any game action, but freshman quarterback Phil Jurkovec did as he came in late in the 4th quarter.
We will have much more on this dominating performance on One Foot Down later today and throughout next week. Notre Dame is 4-0 and finally looks like a team ranked in the top 10.