For the second week in a row, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish went on the road and dominated an ACC opponent. Neither the Pittsburgh Panthers or Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are good football teams, but with the mounting pressure that is being applied to the Irish — inside and outside of the program — staying undefeated going into the game against the Clemson Tigers is all that really matters.
After today’s 31-13 win over GT, Brian Kelly looked and sounded about as annoyed as I can remember after a win. Granted, he had to answer more Clemson questions than about the game they just played (according to my unofficial count) but he clearly did not like some of the things he saw out there today.
A few of those things were actually quite frustrating:
- Kyren Williams fumbled the ball on the 7 and Zamari Walton returned it 93 yards for a touchdown.
- Marist Liufau ejected for targeting and will miss the first half against Clemson.
- Ian Book overthrowing a wide open Tommy Tremble for what would have been a sure touchdown.
- Georgia Tech recovered an onside kick.
Outside of those things — it was a typical Notre Dame performance that we have seen over and over again... winning. It’s not the winning that needed a bunch of help, it’s the winning that leans on an opponent and the opponent dies. It’s not nearly as sexy as ripping multiple heads off and tossing them down a mountain, but the end result is the same — a win that is never in doubt.
Still, this team does need improvement in a number of areas, and Brian Kelly’s visible annoyance mirrors that need.
Notre Dame racked up 426 yards and 31 points on 62 plays while possessing the ball for almost 37 minutes. It was more than enough, but it wasn’t 73-7 so it leaves doubt in the heart even with an absolute lack of doubt on the field — and once again the defense is being overlooked.
The defense only allowed 6 points on the day and absolutely owned Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets only gained 238 yards on the day, and 97 of those yards came in the 4th quarter when Notre Dame began sending in the depth chart. Tech only reached the redzone two times and one of those times they were sacked out of the redzone and missed a field goal.
It was pure domination whether it was 24-13 or 31-13 or 73-7 or whatever. It wasn’t a flashy win, and will probably be one of the most forgettable games of the season, but it was certainly worthy of the #4 team in the country.
Bring on Clemson.