The BC Eagles and Notre Dame rivalry runs deep. You are probably asking, why do you say that? On Friday, a friend of mine Bill Ordozzi and his wife MaryBeth are checking into the hotel and this exchange with occurred with a priest checking in at the same time. Bill said this to the priest,”Father, I know the Lord will be cheering for both sides, but I’m pretty sure his Mother will be rooting for ND.” The priest responded with a laugh, as he got a kick out of it. That’s the fun part of a rivalry. There is no “bad blood” between these teams, it’s just good old football between the two Catholic universities.
Senior day is a day full of emotions. It’s potentially your last player walk, the last time you go to the 50 yard line if you are a defensive player in the pre-game prayer, the last time you go out and participate in warm-ups, last tine you slap the “Play Like A Champion Sign”, last time you run onto the field with your teammates, last time you play in Notre Dame Stadium with your teammates. The last of all of the post game Alma Mater and finishing with “Love The Notre Dame” and pointing to the sky. Senior Day is all about emotion and then you have to play a football game.
With all the emotion previously mentioned, there was no surprise as to the way the quarter played out. There was five total possessions between both teams. In scenarios like this, you must take the points put in front of you versus chasing them. On the opening drive for the Irish, Book connected with Chris Finke for 21 yards, a pass to Tony Jones Jr for six yards, and a six yard pass to Chase Claypool. The drive was stalled on the BC29, and Jonathan Doerer was called on to make a 47 yard Field Goal.
The defense played stingy as well. They forced a three and out that included a sack by Alohi Gilman that included a six yard loss. The Irish Defense allowed a total 16 yards to the Eagles, the Irish Offense garnered 132 yards of offense. The Irish lead after one quarter 3-0.
The Irish open a drive starting in the first quarter. The play of the drive was a 26 yard reception by Cole Kmet that occurred in the first quarter. Once again the drive stalls at the BC11. Doerer is once again called on to make a field goal. This time Doerer’s attempt is good from 29 yards.
The Eagles changed things up a bit. With the Irish defense playing stingy, and A.J. Dillon not being effective rushing the ball, the Eagles change the mode of operation. David Bailey stepped in as the Running Back for the Eagles, and it worked. Bailey accounted for 30 yards of the offense of the Eagles on the drive. Dennis Grosel runs the QB keeper and scores from one yard out. This ends up being the best drive of the entire game for BC. The Eagles go up 7-6.
After the last drive by the Eagles, Book was not going to allow BC to win on Senior Day. Book completes 8-12 passes including a six yard TD pass (really a snag out of the air) to who else but Chase Claypool. After the Doerer P.A.T. The Irish take the lead 13-7.
The next possession by the Eagles was not very effective. Adetokunbo Ogundeji comes up with his own sack that forces the Eagles into a punt situation.
Just because the quarter is coming to an end, don’t think the Irish are going to leave points on the field and head to the locker room. No, they are going to drive again. After a combination of passes and rushes, Doerer is called on once again to put points on the board. With 0:01 on the clock Doerer hits from 45 yards out to put the Irish up 16-7 to end the half.
The third quarter could not start any worse for the Eagles. Their first two possessions of the second ended in two three and out drives. Helping out again was Ogundeji getting his second sack of the day.
On the Irish second drive, Book to the air once again. Hitting Finke and Kmet to get them to the BC19, Doerer was called on yet again for another Field Goal. This time a 37 yard attempt.
The Irish Defense once again dominates the Eagles offensive line. After the Bailey rush for a first down, Khalid Kareem forces a fumble and Drew White is there for the recovery.
Another turnover leads to more Irish points. This time its Book to Cole Kmet for an eleven yard TD reception.
The next scoring opportunity was a long run once again by Braden Lenzy. Another 61 yard run stunned the Eagles. The wheels this guy has is just amazing.
The fourth quarter is all about the Irish Defense and Offense again. Kyle Hamilton this time is defensive player making an impact. He intercepts Grosel at the BC29.
Now with the ball, Book wants to get another TD pass. Book finds Chris Finke for a six yard TD pass. What a way to send out the former walk-on and Grad Student. One more Book-Finke connection in Notre Dame Stadium. That TD would be the last score of the game. The Irish may have started slow, but the completely dominated the Eagles on both sides of the ball.
The Irish offense put up a total of 501 yards of total offense compared to the Eagles 191. The Irish had 252 Rushing Yards and 249 Passing Yards.
Post Game Press Conference
Coach Brian Kelly
“Just so pleased for our seniors. I think that’s where we start. This class in particular, maybe didn’t start off their career the way they wanted, but,boy, they sure have finished it in an incredible fashion.They still have another game to play, which is a very important game. But to now have 30 regular season wins over the last three years, undefeated at home the last two years, just those are things that have not been done for decades. So pretty special class of players. We talk about failure. Failure is not fatal. And it’s the ability to come back from those times, and this group has certainly, has learned that and understands how it’s that group that gets back up and goes to work and perseveres and shows grit and they’re just great life lessons. And so proud of them, emotional after the game for them and it was a great moment to spend with our seniors in this last home game for them. So again, just so pleased for them. So questions.”
Shake Down The Thunder Sports Question: “Who got the game ball?”
Coach Kelly Response: “Asmar Bilal”
Shake Down The Thunder Sports Question: “And second question would be about Jonathan Doerer. There was some concern coming into this season with his length of getting the field goals. He gave you a 47- and 45-yard shot tonight. How does that talk to his maturation over the season?”
Coach Kelly Response: “Yeah, I wasn’t concerned about his length. He has always exhibited leg strength. It was consistency. It was really the mental performance end of things. And I’m so proud of him and his ability to really change his mindset and the way he’s gone about it. This is all on Jon Doerer. 100 percent. I think Brian Polian has done a great job with him too. Because he coaches him every day and that relationship has to be really solid, there’s got to be trust there. But this is Jon Doerer really getting into a good space of consistency and you saw that today.”
Our interview with Cole Kmet
🏈🏈🏈 Ian Book 26-40 239 Yards Passing, 3 TD Passes, 12 Rushes 66 Yards Net, QB Rating 139.9
🏈🏈 Cole Kmet 7 Completions 78 Yards, 1 TD
🏈 Chris Finke 7 Completions 71 Yards, 1 TD
🏈🏈🏈 Asmar Bilal 8 Total Tackles, 4 Solo, 1 Tackle For Loss, 1 Break Up *Coach Kelly gave Bilal the “Game Ball”
🏈🏈 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 7 Total Tackles, 4 Solo, 1 Tackle For Loss, 1 QB Hurry
🏈 Alohi Gilman 7 Total Tackles, 5 Solo, 1 Tackle For Loss, 1 Sack
🏈🏈🏈 Jonathan Doerer Field Goals of 47, 29, 45, 37
Next up for the Fightin’ Irish is the Stanford Cardinal. The game will at Stanford, will be aired on Fox at 4 PM EST
Cheers and Go Irish!