This wasn’t the best Ian Book game; it wasn’t even near.
His passes traveled at moments, including one that supposedly led the cheerleader of Louisville, Elizabeth Scott, to have a broken nose.
Uncharacteristically, Notre Dame’s senior quarterback flung himself behind his coaches and jumped out of the pocket at the first sign of difficulty.
Ian Book finished the first half with only 63 passing yards, three sacks and a pair of fumbles, including one that they lost after he ran up the back of the tight end of Brock Wright. That left a dropped Ian book to punch the front of his gilded helmet into a plastic turf with clear anger.
It took him 24 snaps to discover the 6-4 Chase Claypool, the most hazardous weapon at his disposal, as Louisville fell into Cover Two. To be sure, “rusty,” Ian Book ended with as many completions (14) as waves, not the run-pass equilibrium offensive coordinator Chip Long was looking for.
And yet, after his ninth-ranked Fighting Irish skated with a 35-17 victory in front of a record audience at Cardinal Stadium, coach Brian Kelly came simple on his return player.
Kelly has a gentle version
“He understands he will be happier,” Kelly said. “We will not hit him with a shoe.” And you doubted that kinder, gentler version of Kelly?
“It’s one match, I mean,” Kelly said. “He requires to be better off. He understands that, and he will be superior. He’s clever. He’s athletic, man. You saw the first ride he had (a 37-yard scramble). He altered his body.” Ian Book lamented the ”messy football” he aided orchestrate in the first quarter, when Notre Dame dropped into a 14-7 place against a 20-point underdog coming out of a 2-10 nightmare and a coaching shift. But when they had to take throws down the slope, Ian Book produced them.
Throughout the game
On consecutive plays midway through the third quarter, he found Claypool on a shallow cross for 31 yards, and Tommy Tremble on a straight red shirt for 26 yards and a touchdown. That burst pushed a weak lead to two touchdowns.
After a Louisville field goal made it a two-score game early in the fourth, Ian Book designed a 12-play, 75-yard scored drive that included three straight third-down conversions. The first two were on the passes to Tremble and the red shirt freshman Lawrence Keys III, and Ian Book later scrambled for exactly 4 yards on the third and 4 yards before hitting Claypool for 34 more.
Before the game-clinching run, Ian Book (10-1 as the driver) had a few stuffs to say to his colleagues.
“He’s a leader on the sidelines, and he’s been emphasizing that,” Claypool said. “Being a captain now, he’s placing his foot forward and stating, Let’s go, let’s retaliate, let’s go down the field and play straight back. That’s precisely what we did when he said it.”
Already without a tight end Cole Kmet and third receiver Michael Young, both out following a clavicle surgery, Notre Dame lost versatile driving back Jafar Armstrong to a probable injury after three consecutive strokes (for 26 yards) on a game-opening touchdown run. Tony Jones Jr. (112 yards of rush) gave up the reins, but Ian Book had to adapt to Armstrong’s failure and to deal with a remarkably pesky Louisville pass rush.
Statements at the end of the game
Sometimes it was simple to remember that the Cardinals gave up 44.1 points per match a year earlier, third among the 130 FBS clubs. Only Oregon State and Connecticut were easier to cuff around.
“There was some uncharacteristic flushing out of the pocket we hadn’t seen from (Ian Book),” Kelly said. “I just believe it was a little faster to get out of stuff because there was some uncertainty. Perhaps thinking a little too much. He’s just got to trust it, and that’s coming. “
Ian Book, who took another 130 yards to pass after the break, ended with 81 yards of rush. He said he was “happy to go home, watch the film and move on,” stating how thrilled he was by the amount of new people that came forward to create offensive plays.
The same thing happened in protection, where Clark Lea’s team shut down to allow 88-and 75-metre touchdowns on its first two episodes. From Myron Tagavailoa-Amosa and Ade Ogundeji up front to middle linebacker Drew White to teenage cornerbacks TaRiq Bracy and Houston Griffith to freshman safety Kyle Hamilton (two pass breakups), the children were all correct this weekend.
It was trembling, in reality, who got the ball of the match after having three shots for 49 yards.
Kelly praises the youth
“Our youthful teams have appeared tonight,” Kelly said. “We truly need our seniors to move up another level of their game, which I’m sure they will do. The excellent news for me tonight as head coach is that the older teams have shown themselves to be. Now, with all of them going forward together, this can be a good football squad. “
They’ll have 12 days to get prepared for house opener against lowly New Mexico and almost three weeks to prepare for a journey to third-ranked Georgia. If the Irish get the job done, Kelly will spare the shoe.
“It was a messy victory for us,” said Safety Alohi Gilman. “But as time goes on, we will still get better. We’re just trying to fight. We are an incomplete item.”
Source: Indy Star