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3 Things From the Notre Dame Nailbiter Victory over Virginia Tech

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Game-winning drives get me all excited

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Book tongue out celly is a BIG MOOD

Wow. What a time to be alive. It sure is interesting, and that game on Saturday was about as interesting as it gets. I mean that came very close to being the disaster that we all have seen and come to know multiple times within the past 10-15 years. But, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish came away with the victory over a gritty, but not great, Virginia Tech Hokies team. In lieu of recent events with the team and some of the performances, I thought of some things for all of us to consider.

3 Thoughts After the Game Against Va Tech

Ian Book is and should be QB1.

I told you all last week that I wasn’t having the crowd yelling, “START PHIL! IT CAN’T BE ANY WORSE.” Now, I’m also not naive to recognize that Book was definitely struggling throughout the last few weeks and relatively all season. But, it is clear that Ian Book should be the starting QB. And this take is not just from the awesome game winning drive that he led. This is from his ability to hang tough in the pocket. I had no idea why he was scrambling so much before scanning the field when the Irish played Michigan, but I could tell he was more comfortable. True, he did throw a few ridiculous interceptions, but he was more patient in the pocket. That happened, so he worked more on that. I thought he had way more poise, especially in the end of the game. That drive was awesome, and the execution was pretty damn good. Plus, I loved how he really needed to lead that drive and be the one to score the winning TD. I’m hoping that puts some fire back into his play as there still is a lot to play for this season.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The defense got back to its old ways

And that is a great thing. Now, I know that Troy Pride missed that coverage on the 50 yard pass play. I also know that Virginia Tech’s offense really was not that good. But, if you take away that ridiculous fumble return, the defense only allowed 1 TD. The yardage that VT got overall in the game was pretty abysmal. In a game last week when the defense got shellacked, they stepped up in a pretty big way. It’s not their fault the fumble return happened or that the offense stalled for most of the second half. They did their job, and that was awesome to see.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t tell me that the players have cashed it in.

They haven’t even come close to that. Part of the reason why I still find a lot of positives with the program is because clearly the players have the success in mind always. They have a culture of building each other back up. In the 4th quarter, even when the offense couldn’t get going, the defense and the guys on the bench would be keeping the energy up. They always knew they had the will to win the game, so they were urging their brothers to execute. Additionally, the guys got a boost from the stadium DJ. Right before VT took the ball before the Irish’s game winning drive, the DJ played “Swag Surfin” by FLY (Fast Life Yungstaz), a song from the late 2000s that has become a hype song for the team.

The team CLEARLY got into it, and I think that hype helped to get them to the defensive stop and then let the offense ride that momentum to win the game. They play together, and I can clearly see that.