The Irish started the game off with their ritualistic three and out, but on their following possession, Ian Book and the Irish drove 80 yards to finish with a 18 yard touchdown reception from Chris Finke. Notre Dame added another touchdown when Book found Chase Claypool on a 7 yard slant on third down on third down.
The Irish have had trouble on 3rd down this season, but 3 touchdowns on the night on 3rd down is a nice start in a different direction.
With the Irish up 21-0 late in the 2nd quarter, Book hit Chris Finke on a 78 yard pass that put the Irish on the 3 yard line — but it was called back because of a holding call on Trevor Ruhland. It was a terrible call, but after a little more goofiness, Jay Bramblett punted a ball a mere 22 yards. Duke took over and Quentin Harris found Aaron Young on the sideline for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 at the half.
Duke had no real answer for Notre Dame’s dominant defense in the second half.
Troy Pride Jr. got himself an interception and Notre Dame drove the ball 80 yards and ended with another Book to Finke TD (the second of the night). Jonathan Doerer added a field goal early in the 4th quarter to make it 31-7 Irish, and Duke sat Harris on the bench.
Notre Dame added another touchdown when Ian Book found George Takacs in the back of the endzone for a 2 yard TD pass. It was Takacs’ first touchdown of his career.
Book finished the game with over 135 yards rushing and 4 touchdown passes to build on his comeback win from last week — although he did throw 2 interceptions as well. . The Irish are now 7-2 on the season, and looking for more style points to end the year.
More to come on OFD.