Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Ian Book: 'This is why you come to Notre Dame'

November 4, 2019
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Notre Dame needed Ian Book to show up when the pressure was on and the senior quarterback did just that on Saturday. 

After yet another special teams mistake, Book and the Irish offense faced 99 yards of Bud Foster to start the fourth quarter. 

Notre Dame didn't score, but the 17-play, 82-yard drive might have given the Irish the confidence it needed for the game-winning 18-play, 87-yard drive a few minutes later. 

"We practice that every week," Book said of the late-game scenario. "We do two-minute drill and we got another minute and 10 seconds. We were able to go, move the ball a lot and we had some mistakes in the red zone, so we knew we could go down there and do it and really put up points on this drive. 

"So it was really just to trust in each other, keep doing what we were doing and I thought the offensive line did a great job, receivers were unbelievable and I thought the play calling was awesome too." 

The California native was quick to give credit to his offensive line and it rightfully so as the Irish had two new players on the right side for most of the game. 

Trevor Ruhland and Josh Lugg stepped in for Tommy Kraemer and Robert Hainsey, who are likely gone for the rest of 2019. 

"Extremely proud of both of them," stated Book. "Coach Kelly's been saying it since the day I got here, the next-man-in mentality. And extremely proud of Trevor and Josh Lugg to just be able to step in and do that.

"We got more games to come, I'm proud of those guys and I know they will do the job."

Book might have been proud of his offensive line for doing their job, but the Irish were proud of their quarterback. 

The last week wasn't ideal for Book as the outside noise was calling for his job and while it wasn't always pretty on Saturday, he got the job done when it mattered the most. 

"I'm just an extremely confident person, but I also just truly believe in everyone on the offense, on my whole entire team," Book said. "I knew we could do it. 

"Last week was last week. We forgot about that. We moved on. I'm just confident in all the guys. We work so hard every day and we're playing for each other and that's when you can make some pretty awesome things happen."

Book scored on seven-yard quarterback run with just 29 seconds to play. A risky call by offensive coordinator Chip Long as Notre Dame didn't have any timeouts remaining and Book couldn't just throw the ball away.

However, if he was tackled inbounds, the Irish were ready to go.

"Probably not good to throw it away and get a man downfield call," Book explained. "So it was a designed run, blocking was awesome, I was able to kind of like stem it inside and I knew could I get around the edge. So we were going to get another play after that. We were ready to run one." 

What was the feeling for Book after he scored? Well, it was a feeling most Notre Dame fans have as it's clear the senior quarterback loves Notre Dame. 

"There's no better feeling," Book said. "Talk about it all the time as a quarterback group. There's no better feeling than after a game, after a win. So you dream about nights like this and this is why you play college football. This is why you come to Notre Dame."

The play, the drive, it could all be a crucial building block for Book to get to the next level in his development as he had his quiet confidence back following the game. 

"I'm pretty calm," stated Book. "I'm extremely excited and I'm just happy for the team. This week was about us, I can't really stress that enough. Coach Kelly did a great job of kind of displaying that message. It's about us. There's a lot that's said about Notre Dame and Notre Dame's in the spotlight and when you lose some things, you hear it and it's not the best and none of that matters. 

"I was just focused on the team. Extremely confident in the guys on offense. We just played for each other and since I've been here that's the main thing about Notre Dame I've noticed. We all love each other and play so hard for each other." 

As for the negativity, Book isn't worried about it. 

"I mean you come to Notre Dame and play quarterback you're going to -- they're going to love you when you win and they're going to hate you when you lose," said Book. "That's part of growing up. 

"I only care about the guys on the team, that's it. It's about blocking the noise and playing for each other."

 
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