Unfortunately, an often times hectic, and unpredictable, work schedule kept me from being able to write-up a review of the Georgia game (maybe a blessing in disguise?), or the preview for the Boston College game (I would not have predicted as a blow-out, though I’m glad it was!), but thankfully I was able to carve out enough time this week to get the Game Day Review and Game Day Preview up, and hopefully my work schedule will be more considerate of my love for the Fighting Irish the remainder of the season! So, let’s get to it!
Coming off a one point loss to Georgia that bounced them out of the rankings, the Fighting Irish needed a big win against Boston College to get the season back on track. At least for the first half, though, the Irish struggled to put any distance between themselves and the Eagles, despite two sixty-plus yard runs from Josh Adams that helped set the Irish up for their first two touchdowns of the game, and a 14-10 halftime lead. Thankfully, despite a rocky start to the second half, the Irish finally pulled away with touchdowns on five of their next six possessions, for a decisive 49-20 win over Boston College.
As impressive as the final score against Boston College was, it was largely accomplished without the benefit of a passing game. But, where the passing game failed to deliver, the running game, led by Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush, exploded for 515 yards. The game marked the first time that the Irish had a pair of 200 yard rushers in a single game, as well as the most rushing yards since the Irish ran for 597 yards against Navy in 1969. So, while it may not have been a perfect game for the Irish, it was one hell of a way for the Irish to bounce back, and get a much-needed win heading into another prime time match-up with Michigan State.
Key Fighting Irish Plays
1st Quarter – Brandon Wimbush 2 yard TD run. With Boston College jumping out to a 3-0 lead, the Irish answer back four plays later with a Wimbush touchdown run that was set up by a 65 yard run from Josh Adams on 3rd and short. Irish take a 7-3 lead.
2nd Quarter – Brandon Wimbush 1 yard TD run. Josh Adams had another long run (64 yards) to set the Irish up deep in Eagle territory, and Wimbush made the most of it, capping off a 7 play 92 yard drive with a 1 yard TD run to put the Irish back in front by a score of 14-10.
2nd Quarter Brandon Wimbush interception. The Irish got the ball back with a little over a minute left to play in the first half, and a chance to add to their lead, but Wimbush sailed a pass over Equanimeous St Brown which seemed to deflect off of St. Brown’s fingertips, right to a Boston College defender who returned the ball to Notre Dame’s 44 yard line. Boston College was unable to take advantage of the turnover, and the half ended with the Irish holding onto a 14-10 lead.
4th Quarter – Brandon Wimbush 65 yard TD run. Wimbush’s fourth touchdown of the game came on an impressive 65 yard run, giving the Irish a 35-13 lead just minutes into the 4th Quarter.
4th Quarter – Anthony Brown pass intercepted by Shaun Crawford. One series after recovering a fumble, Crawford comes up with his second interception on the day.
4th Quarter – Dexter Williams 15 yard TD run. Williams gets his second rushing touchdown of the game, and caps off a 35 point second half for the Irish, and a 49-20 Notre Dame victory.
Top Fighting Irish Performers
Wimbush struggled in the passing game again this week, connecting on just 11 of his 24 passing attempts for a paltry 96 yards, but he more than made up for that in the run game as the second leading rusher for the Irish against Boston College. Wimbush ran for 207 yards on 21 carries, and had four rushing touchdowns on the day, including a 65 yard touchdown run early in the 4th Quarter to extend the Irish lead to 35-13, which, for all intents and purposes put the game out of reach for the Eagles.
You can’t mention Wimbush’s solid day on the ground without also heaping praise on Adams, as well. Adams may have been held out of the end zone again this week, but he had two huge 60+ yard runs in the first half that set the Irish up for their first two touchdowns of the game. And, despite not carrying the ball a single time in the 4th Quarter, Adams put up an impressive 229 yards on just 18 carries, for an average of 12.7 YPC.
If there’s a feel good story in the making this season, it’s definitely Crawford’s. After suffering a torn ACL in practice prior to the start of his freshman year, he ruptured his Achilles tendon in just the second game of the 2016 season. But, in just his third game back from those two season ending injuries, he’s already showing off his play-making abilities, coming up with 2 INTs and a fumble recovery against Boston College, with all three of those big possession changing plays leading to Irish touchdowns.
Next Up: Notre Dame travels to East Lansing, MI to face the Michigan St. Spartans at 8pm (5pm PST)