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Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction | Notre Dame 45 Boston College 31

November 14, 2020

Remember when the line swung towards Boston College yesterday and some Notre Dame fans got nervous because “Vegas knows”?

Vegas did not know. They didn’t know that Notre Dame was going to lose three fumbles and still win comfortably after an uncomfortable start to the game.

Things settled in and the offense took over with another stellar performance by Ian Book. He wasn’t playing one on one against Phil Jurkovec, but Book had the kind of day that Jurkovec dreamed of having against his former team.

10.5 yards per attempt, 8.5 yards per carry, and four total touchdowns. Jurkovec made a couple of fantastic plays, but completed less than 50% of his throws and was erratic most of the day. He looked like the guy he had been in practices at Notre Dame rather than the guy he has played like at BC this fall. (After the game Jeff Hafley said Jurkovec was playing with a separated shoulder)

The deep balls hit a few times. They missed way more.

- I’m sure there was a “Here we go again” vibe for most Notre Dame fans after Book sailed a throw to Michael Mayer on the first red zone possession of the day.

They scored six touchdowns on the next six red zone opportunities before garbage time. The story of the day was Ben Skowronek being a 50/50 beast, but it was all clicking in a way that it hadn’t this season.

On the other side of things, BC scored touchdowns on only two of six red zone opportunities before garbage time. Clark Lea’s defense wasn’t sharp all day, but again they played great situational defense including a big 4th and short stop inside the 10-yard line. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa wrecked the play and that flipped the game for good.

- If Notre Dame finishes on Jurkovec a couple of times rushing the passer, the defensive performance would have looked a lot different. The pressure was pretty consistent, though.

That was a positive on the day. And it’s worth noting that Kyle Hamilton had an interception taken off the board on a phantom facemask call made on Bo Bauer. Hamilton also dropped what would have been a pick six. Those two plays were big.

- Notre Dame backs in the passing game had 5 five catches for 64 yards (12.8 per reception). The Irish were able to exploit the matchup with BC’s linebackers, including a big play after the catch by C’Bo Flemister.

He ran like a monster today before he left the game with a leg injury. (Brian Kelly said after the game that it is not serious)

- Ian Book ran for the same amount of yards that BC did as a team. So everyone can relax with the “I’m worried about the defense” posts. They finished with a 21.5% Havoc Rate.

They do need a refresh and the bye will help. It was encouraging to see Clarence Lewis play pretty well. He got the start today and made a great play in coverage against BC’s best receiver.

- The lowkey biggest play of the day was Book throwing it away after escaping a certain sack on 2nd and 10 the play before he hit Avery Davis for a 48-yards on 3rd and long. The most encouraging sign for the offense is that Notre Dame ran for 278 (5.9 per carry) and normally that would be the story. The production from the receivers without big days from Mayer or Javon McKinley was the most important thing that happened.

- I almost felt bad for Jurkovec as the broadcast team hyped up how much he wanted to win this game and how he felt he deserved more of a shot at Notre Dame. It became the topic everyone had to weigh in on and dominated way too much of the conversation before and even during the game.

Now we can all move on from it.

Notre Dame goes into the bye week 8-0 with some time to rest up and get ready for North Carolina. They also go into this week knowing that they have a quarterback who has elevated his game. That’s a good feeling to have for the stretch run.

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