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Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction | Notre Dame 55 Georgia Tech 0

November 20, 2021

Team “Always Defer” took a hit today. I’m a member so I have to admit I was surprised that it did.

Notre Dame’s offense, which was one of the worst at putting up points in the first quarter all season, finally started out strong with a drive that fizzled with a couple of sacks, but ended up with a field goal.

The floodgates opened from there.

The next nine drives went like this:

Notre Dame pick-six touchdown

Georgia Tech three-and-out

Notre Dame touchdown

Georgia Tech five plays for 15 yards

Notre Dame touchdown

Georgia Tech three-and-out

Notre Dame touchdown

Georgia Tech three-and-out

Notre Dame touchdown

It was pure domination from the Irish who for the second straight game never once felt threatened to potentially lose at any point in the game. I don’t know what more anyone could ask for. It was a perfect way for the Irish to close out their home schedule and for the seniors to enjoy their final game in Notre Dame Stadium.

- The last offensive touchdown that was scored against the Notre Dame defense was against North Carolina. That was back in October.

The Irish defensive line again dominated up front and Marcus Freeman made quarterback Jordan Yates uncomfortable on almost every drop back with constant pressure. Six sacks on the day takes it up to 38 on the season, the most in any single season during the Brian Kelly era.

A 27% Havoc Rate, two defensive touchdowns, and they held Jahmyr Gibbs to a long of 17-yards and zero receptions.

Notre Dame is going to be top-5 in yards per play given up in the month of November after this result.

All of this without their best player? What a run for the defense.

- Virginia decides to double team Isaiah Foskey all game and he has a quiet day. Georgia Tech tries to block him with a tight end on the first drive and it leads to a pick six for Jack Kiser.

Foskey was very noticeable with pressures in this game as well as the great job he did forcing the fumble that Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa scooped and scored on. His block down the field on the quarterback shouldn’t be overlooked in being the key to it being a house call either.

- I guess we know why Georgia Tech’s defense was ranked 127th in EPA per pass before this game. They were atrocious giving up 11.6 yards per attempt and leaving Michael Mayer, who has to be the most bracketed tight end in the country, wide open for a 52-yard touchdown.

- Tommy Rees was in his bag in this game. He had his finger on the pulse of Georgia Tech’s defense on so many calls that were well executed by his players. That screen call for the Logan Diggs touchdown couldn’t have been timed more perfectly.

- Kiser hurting his ankle is a bit concerning for Notre Dame because he had just become a bigger part of their 3rd down package in addition to playing Rover. But if he’s out, it’s probably for only one game and it also probably means we’ll see a lot more of Jordan Botelho.

Botelho seems to have moved full-time to Rover the last couple of weeks. He doesn’t look out of place there, which says a lot about the type of athlete he is at his size.

- It was great to see Audric Estime get some run at the end of the game and I bet he surprised some people with his footwork for a guy his size. The hurdle might have been a bit much, but his talent is undeniable. The Irish backfield is loaded and will be next year as well.

- I think everyone just wants to see the seniors go out with a win, but to do it the way they did in this game is special.

For MTA to have the field goal block and the scoop and score is something he’ll never forget for the rest of his life. For several walk-ons to get involved, even if it’s just one play, means so much for individuals who have put in thousands of hours of practice during their time at Notre Dame without any opportunities.

Senior Day is always a great day for everyone, but it’s different when the result is like this and the season is another one where they win 10-games. MTA, Kurt Hinish, Avery Davis, and Drew White have been on the team since 2017. They have never experienced not winning at least 10-games.

That’s the legacy they’ll leave behind and is likely to be carried forward. They’ll leave with a lot of great memories and it’s fantastic that a dominating Senior Day can be included with that.

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