Senior Day games have a tendency to see a slow start, and although the Irish didn’t score a touchdown on their first drive of the game (a Jonathan Doerer field goal) it didn’t take long to catch fire.
For the fifth season in a row, Notre Dame has 10+ wins for the year. It’s a remarkable feat for sure, and two of those seasons saw undefeated regular seasons and berths to the college football playoff. While critics will quickly point out the losses in the playoffs and a couple of regular season stinkers... the Irish have been remarkably consistent and at a level not seen in South Bend for decades.
Kyren Williams needed somewhere around 120 yards entering Saturday’s game to reach 1000 yards rushing. Williams didn’t reach that mark as he carried the ball only 11 times for 56 yards — which also included two touchdowns. Of course, in a game like this, there was no way of really justifying Kyren getting many more carries than what he received — and he still probably played too much.
THE NO TOUCHDOWN POLICY
For the third game in a row, the Irish defense didn’t allow the other team to score a touchdown. It was a dominant effort by the Irish defense against GT. There were no cowardly Bronco Mendenhall field goals to taint the score — although GT tried, and the kick was blocked. The Irish defense scored 14 points themselves (Jack Kiser INT return for TD and MTA fumble return for TD). Marcus Freeman has this unit really playing well — and that’s without Kyle Hamilton.
ISAIAH FOSKEY AS A TERRORIST
Isaiah Foskey has been tremendous all season, and on Saturday he was all over Tech quarterback Jordan Yates. Foskey had 3 tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles on the day — and one of those fumbles was a gorgeous strip sack that ended with a 70 yard touchdown return by senior Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa.
Perhaps it’s been a bit streaky for Irish tight end Michael Mayer, but he is the Notre Dame leader in receptions and he is second on the team in touchdown receptions. Against the Yellow Jackets, Mayer caught 3 balls for 86 yards and a touchdown. The score was a 52 yarder down the seam in which Mayer was wide open by about 15 yards.
Notre Dame’s freshmen running backs had themselves a great day. Logan Diggs only had 6 yards on two carries, but he scored on one of those carries — and then he scored on a 20 yard touchdown reception. Audric Estime finally got those late game carries and didn’t disappoint as he quickly racked up 61 yards on 6 carries. Notre Dame’s future is happening right in front of us.
Notre Dame’s win was just total dominance from start to finish. How much will this mean to the college football playoff committee? Well... it won’t hurt, and at least it shows (or should show) that this is a football team that is much better than the version we saw in September. There’s one game left, and we should expect more (again) from this improving football team.