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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame's Offensive Line Dominant ... Again

October 11, 2020

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams made an early mistake on Saturday night, but the Irish offense showed little signs of rust after two weekends away from action in the 42-26 win over Florida State.

"I thought we played a great game on offense,” stated Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book. “After every game, there is going to be stuff to go back and watch on film and get better at. There's never a perfect game, but the energy was good. Running the ball was obviously unbelievable. I thought it was a clean game for us on offense after an early mistake. 

Williams fumbled on Notre Dame’s first possession of the game, but quickly made up for it on the second drive. The sophomore ran 65 yards on the first play of the next drive and Ian Book found Michael Mayer for a touchdown two plays later. 

“I had to get into my groove and feel comfortable again,” Williams stated. “I just had to tell myself after the fumble to reset and play how I've always played the game of football. 

"I told myself all day that it's been the same game since second grade. I kept that mindset after I fumbled and I was able to bounce back and help the team." 

The St. Louis native finished with 19 carries for 185 yards and two touchdowns and it came in a variety of ways. Williams gashed the Florida State defense all night with physical runs, which the offensive line had to enjoy seeing. 

"Growing up, I've always played defense,” explained Williams. “My first love was defense. I don't ever shy away from contact. I embrace contact. When I'm running the ball and I have to run somebody over, I'll do that. If I have to make them miss, I'll do that." 

Notre Dame’s offensive line dominated the Seminoles and the counterplay seemed to work extremely well on Saturday.

"As you saw today on the run when Tommy (Kraemer) was pulling, he was able to get a block for me and I was able to hit the hole and explode through for a touchdown." 

Book was given plenty of time in the passing game and had his best game of the year completing 16-of-25 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

It might be even more impressive considering left tackle Liam Eichenberg left the game for several drives as he dealt with a nasty eye injury. 

“It looked like he got hit right in the face,” Book said. “He's just strong and he wants to be out there. He's tough and that's what Liam showed. He got back out there when he could - when he could see. 

"He should be good to go this week, I think." 

The good news for Notre Dame is Dillan Gibbons came in at left guard and Aaron Banks slide out to left tackle and the Irish offense didn’t miss a beat. 

"I'm truly blessed,” stated Book. “I really feel we have the best offensive line in the country. I've been with all these guys for a long time. They just lay it all on the line to protect me and to protect our running backs. They are just fun to be out there with. That's what I notice the most. I have so much fun out there. I trust all of them. 

"I really feel like we have the best line in the country and day in and day out at practice, they show that." 

The Notre Dame offensive line has drawn positive feedback all year and that will only continue after Saturday, but Williams already as a goal for next week. 

"We always trust in our offensive line and I'm excited for next week,” said Williams. “We're trying to get the offensive line the game ball next week." 

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