Notre Dame Football surprised the college football world by starting their backup, Ian Book. As a result, the Irish flew past Wake Forest.
Notre Dame football shook things up on Saturday, starting Ian Book in lieu of Brandon Wimbush. On the day, Book helped move the Irish offense, passing for 325 yards on 25 completions on 34 attempts and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed the ball 10 times for 43 yards and 3 scores.
But it wasn’t a fast start for the Irish offense. Notre Dame’s first drive resulted in a punt after an ineligible man downfield negated a third down conversion. After a turnover on downs and a fumble cost the Irish on the next two drives, Notre Dame finally got on the board. Book lead the Irish down the field, connecting on 4 straight passes–3 of which when to Alize Mack–and Jafar Armstrong eventually scampered for a 30-yard score.
From there, the Irish offense was rolling. They scored on a Book pass to Brock Wright on 4th and 1 and then used a big punt return by Chris Finke to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Tony Jones, Jr. to go up 21-6.
But Wake Forest didn’t back down. On Wake’s ensuing offensive drive, Notre Dame was called for penalties on 3rd down twice. One of those was a roughing the passer penalty by Jonathan Bonner. Nick Coleman was flagged for pass inter fence in the endzone later in the drive, which set up a 2-yard score for Wake running back Matt Colburn.
But the Irish weren’t done, either. Ian Book hit Michael Young on a screen pass that the sophomore receiver took 66 yards to the Irish 2 yard-line. Book kept the ball on the next play and put the Irish up 28-13 and the Irish headed to halftime with a 15-point lead.
In the 3rd quarter, the Irish came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 21 third-quarter points to put game in the bag.
Notre Dame’s defense was able to withstand a high-powered and fast-paced offensive attack from the Demon Deacons. While this likely wasn’t the most dominant performance Notre Dame’s defense will put forth this season, their ability to hold steady while the Irish offense got its footing was more than enough on this day.
Notre Dame doesn’t have time to rest on its laurels, however. The Irish host the Stanford Cardinal next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM on NBC.