As the play clock struck 0:00 on Saturday against Stanford, the regular season came to an end for ND Football. Now the Fightin’ Irish it’s a sit back and wait to see what bowl game they are going to. Some discussions point to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, some also say there is an outside chance of getting to the Cotton Bowl in Arlington. Right now all the discussion is just all guessing. Where ever the Irish land, there will be bantering back and forth about the selection. For now, let’s dive into the review of yesterdays slow to start, but exciting finish of the rivalry game against the Stanford Cardinal.
Stanford started the game off in a very methodical form. The game that was drawn up was to keep Ian Book and the offense off the field. The combination of two runs and five passes seemed to catch the defense off guard. Going 5-5 passing, David Mills broke down the Irish defense as the Cardinal scored on 7 plays, 75 yards and 3:39 of clock.
The Cardinal second possession was like watching Navy run their Triple Option. This time they decided to run the ball and chew the clock. Eight rushing plays and six pass plays, the run garnered the majority of the drive. Not to be outdone, the Irish defense took a defensive stand to keep Stanford out of the end zone. Three consecutive plays, the defense kept Cameron Scarlett out of the end zone and forcing Stanford to settle for a field goal from 24 yards.
Notre Dame Possessions
For the Irish though they did not waste time on the possession on scoring, “false start” penalties continue to plague the offensive set. Book did orchestrate his own aerial attack. Going 4-5 and passing for 80 yards, two passes to Tony Jones Jr 24 yards and a touchdown pass for 16 yards. The drive lasted 5 plays, 80 yards and a mere 1:31. That would be the only scoring drive in the quarter as the Irish went three and out to end the quarter.
The key to the second quarter for the Irish was the gritty Irish defense and the Irish offense having the ability to score. The Time Of Possession was also a lot more balanced. 7:45 for Stanford and 7:15 for the Irish. The Irish defense allowed only allowed one TD which was on Stanford’s second possession possession. Three of their possession’s ended up in a punt situation. One of those punts was blocked by Isaiah Foskey who was being saved for this game. Stanford only made it passed the fifty yard line on their one scoring drive.
The Irish had two punts on two of the four possessions, The scoring possessions for the Irish were quick and furious. The first scoring possession saw the Irish capitalize on the blocked punt by Foskey and scored a passing TD from Book to Tommy Tremble from 6 yards. 3 Plays, 1 yard, 1:50
Most of the first half Chase Claypool had not been called as Stanford had tight coverage on him. That changed late in the second quarter. On a quick strike from Book to Claypool. A forty one yard bomb to Claypool quieted the those Cardinal fans in attendance. The drive 3 Plays, 76 Yards, 0:28 That was 14 unanswered points in the quarter. The momentum switched from that point forward.
The third quarter was a chance for the Irish to open the game wide open. After driving the field to the Stanford 25 yard line, Jonathan Doerer was lined up for a 43 yard field goal. It went right and was short. It appeared as he kicked the ball, a gust of wind blew and stopped its momentum and went right. Regardless the drive 11 Plays, 51 Yards, 4:15 once again kept Stanford off the field. The next two Cardinal and one Irish possession, both teams went three and out.
After the second three and out (five consecutive) by Stanford, ND would once again put points on the board. The big play was a Braden Lenzy 43 yard run to the 50 yard line. Book wanted in on the run game as well.
Book then connected with Claypool for touchdown pass. This time the connection was for eight yards.
After the Irish went three and out Bramblett’s 33 yard punt is fumbled and John Shannon is there to pounce on it.
A memorable fourth quarter for sure and it’s not what you think it is. The Irish had three scores in the fourth quarter. Two of them that were on offense and one on defense that sends a Senior out in style. The first score came on a possession that started late in the third quarter. With 13:36 left in the game, Doerer converts from 42 yards. 6 Plays, 24 Yards and 1:40.
The big play of the second scoring drive was a Lenzy 24 yard run.
C’Bo Flemister cleaned up what remained with a one yard TD rush to put the Irish further ahead. 10 Plays, 72 Yards, 5:59
Now when you are a kid playing football in the backyard, there are two things you idolize. One is being the hero QB with the winning pass, on defense it would be sacking the QB and and recovering it in the end zone. Well Adetokunbo Ogundeji got the sack, and Khalid Kareem recovers the sack fumble for a touchdown. That is how you go out in the regular season. Scoring your teams last points on fumble recovery. That score cemented a memory of a lifetime for Kareem. Your final score from “The Farm” is 45-24 for the Irish. Securing an 10-2 record on the season.
Post Game Press Conference
Coach Brian Kelly
“Well, it’s obviously a great way to finish November with our fifth win in the month. It’s hard to do that. And just, there’s so many things that we did today
that I’m really excited about. But the thing that stands out is special teams today. We needed a big day from our special teams unit and we got it. It started with the
punt block and from there we got some momentum and started to settle down a little bit offensively. We were kind of, we had a great first drive and then a couple of penalties here and there. But the special teams was outstanding today, and, when we get the fumble recovery off the punt, obviously, did a lot of really good
“So been coaching a long time. I don’t remember special teams really impacting a game so significantly in the way it did today. So great win. Great to get to that
10-win plateau for the third time, pretty significant and our guys are really excited about holding onto the Legends Cup, which is the rivalry trophy that we play for that now we have all six back again. So pretty excited about that.”
Players Press Conference
Media Question: “Stanford scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes
but just seven in the last 40. What were they doing
early on and how did you guys adjust?”
Ogundeji Response: “They made some plays, made some throws down the field on us in the first half. And then we had to adjust in the, during the halftime
and make some an adjustments. We went out there, we understood the game plan, saw our mistakes, and then went out there and played.”
Media Question: “What did the blocked punt do to energize this team?”
Ogundeji Response: “Oh, it was definitely a game changer. Special teams, we just talked about it, special teams was a big thing for us this whole game.
Foskey played a great game. John Shannon was incredible. All those guys were just balling for us, so special teams definitely got a spark for us in that first half.”
Media Question: “Cole, offensively, did you feel like it took a minute to find what was going to work tonight?”
Kmet Response: “Yeah. I think whenever we played Stanford, it’s always kind of like that. But, yeah, we obviously wore them down, I think, during the game
and we were able to start hitting stuff as the game went on, so I think we started to execute better as we continued.”
Media Question: “Cole, Ian just passed Ron Powlus for fourth all- time career for touchdown passes. Talk about his leadership on the team and what it’s like catching passes from him?”
Kmet Response: “It’s been great. I could just, to see him develop as a leader from my first day here until now is amazing and he’s great. I’ll let Ron know that. That’s
🏈🏈🏈 Chase Claypool-3 Receptions 63 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
🏈🏈 Tony Jones Jr- 14 Carries 50 Yards Rushing, 2 Receptions 40 yards 1 Touchdown
🏈 Ian Book-17-30 255 Yards Passing, 4 TD Passes, 8 Carries 29 Yards, 0 INT’s
🏈🏈🏈 Khalid Kareem- 5 Tackles 3 UA-2A, 1 Fumble Recovery for a Touchdown
🏈🏈 Adetokunbo Ogundeji- 6 Tackles 3 UA-3A, 1 Forced Fumble 1.5 Sacks. 1.5 Tackle For Loss
🏈 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah- 9 Tackles 6 UA-3A
🏈🏈🏈 Isaiah Foskey-Blocked Punt that sets up the Tommy Tremble TD
🏈🏈John Shannon-After snapping the ball to Bramblett Shannon is there to pounce on the fumble setting up the Doerer Field Goal in the fourth quarter
🏈 Jay Bramblett-6 Punts, 223 yards, Long of 45 yards and two punts inside the 20 yard line
Game 12 of the 2019 Notre Dame Football season is in the books. It was great to see the Special Teams guys make a huge difference in this game. Those plays accounted for double digit points for the Fightin’ Irish. Now the Irish sit and wait to see what their destiny is in the bowl pool. Of course everyone wants a perfect season, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. The team this year had slower starts and were not able to recover from two of them. The coming year seems to be getting brighter.
The question that remains is, will Book be back for a fifth year? That will be the topic for debate over the next several weeks. When there is news, we will let you know. So, this is not goodbye. There is a lot more coverage to bring. This just concludes the regular season coverage of Notre Dame Football.
Thank you to Sean Devine for the cover photo, Rod Ratkay for his picture of the blocked punt and Kathleen Keifer for her artwork.
Cheers and Go Irish!🍀🏈⚡