One thing we have learned from watching Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-1) football this year is make sure you get to not miss the early part of the game. Yesterday was no different as running back Josh Adams dashed down the middle of the field for a 73 yard touchdown run and an 7-0 early first quarter lead.
Brian Kelly and his offense didn’t let up on the gas as they went off for 45 points in the first half, the most ever for a Kelly led team in the first half. Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush tossed three passing touchdowns on 7 of 18 passing for 119 yards and added his eighth rushing TD on the season en route to a 52-17 throttling of the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (2-3).
Adams is showing the country that he deserves to be in the Heisman Trophy talk as he led the Irish with 159 yards on the ground on just 8 carries. Adams night was cut short after he twisted his ankle while being tackled and was held out the rest of the contest to give some other running backs more work in an already lopsided score.
As Kelly stated after the game about Adams “He’s a stud. I mean, look, Barkley is a great back at Penn State, but you know, Josh has got to start to get some kind of national recognition for the kind of season that he’s having. He is a load. He’s a big, physical runner who gets in the open and then runs away from people. So this is a special back who’s having a special year.”
The Irish finished the game with it’s third 300+ rushing game during this 2017 campaign. All of Kelly’s previous Irish teams mustered up just two 300+ rushing games.
“Maybe I just woke up one morning, hit my head and came to my senses and said let’s go to our strengths.” Kelly stated. “We got really good players I want to feature. I wanted to change the focus to being a much more physical team and running the football.”
The matchup with the RedHawks was only the second meeting between the two schools but both schools had the distinction to have been coached by Hall of Famer Ara Parseghian. Parseghian was honored before and during the game with video montages of his career.
The Irish defense stepped up once again and forced two turnovers, one being an interception by Greer Martini off of RedHawks QB Gus Ragland and Jay Hayes scooped up a fumble for a defensive recovery. The Irish have 11 takeaways on the season and have converted that into 70 points while the opposition has scored just three points off five Notre Dame turnovers.
The Irish defense did give up 377 yards of total offense to the RedHawks but most of that was in the second half when the game was out of reach.
I’m not one to brag, who am i kidding, but I did predict another blow out and even the Irish scoring 52 points in the contest. I also predicted 300+ rushing yards and the two turnovers by the Irish on the day. The take on this is the fact that Notre Dame is off to a 4-1 start and even the one point loss to Georgia in week 2 is now a quality loss to a good SEC team. Their 4 wins on the season already match their win total from all of last season.
Looking ahead, the Irish hit the road again for a date in Chapel Hill, NC against the North Carolina Tar Heels before they have their bye week before their yearly showdown with Southern Cal at Notre Dame Stadium on October 21.