The Irish have really spoiled me the past few weeks… damn, I never thought I’d say that. Jokes aside though, they roll into BC week as healthy as they can be and with some confidence. No, Wake Forest is not a great opponent, and no, the Irish did not annihilate the Demon Deacons the way that they probably should have. But like I said, I’m not concerned about scores at this point. I’m concerned about wins.
And win they did. It wasn’t a bad day out of DeShone Kizer, but it certainly wasn’t his best passing performance. He only attempted to throw 19 times, and he completed 13 of them for 111 yards. He spread the ball out pretty well, so no receiver really dominated the stat sheets. On the ground, however, the Irish showed that they have a capable attack. Though they’re a measly 3-7, Wake Forest has a pretty solid defense. Kizer also gained 30 yards on the ground, with a pair of touchdowns. However, it was freshman Josh Adams who stole the show. He rushed for his second straight 100-yard game, totaling 141 yards again. This is including a 98-yard touchdown run. Obviously, there’s going to be Debby Downers with everything- take away that score, and Adams only ran for 43 yards on 16 carries (less than 3 yards per carry). Yeah, that’s not the greatest output, but I’m not worried due to his style of running. Adams is a north-south, one-cut runner. And couple him with CJ Prosise, who sat out senior day but could return this week against Boston College, and you have a formidable one-two punch.
Defensively the Irish looked good. Again, Wake Forest isn’t good at football, like, at all. ND played them like they were a bad offensive team, though. If the Irish gave up 20+ points, then everyone would be talking about how bad the defense is. But they didn’t, they played well and held a bad team to a low score, proving their capability. After all, you can only play the teams on your schedule, right? The biggest blow is losing linebacker James Onwualu, who sprained his MCL. It’s not the most opportune time for an injury to a defense that really needs all hands on deck (as if there ever is an opportune time for an injury in the first place), but I’m okay with that. Next up is BC, who isn’t good on the offensive side of the ball, and Stanford, who doesn’t impress me offensively either. If Onwualu can recover quick enough, or if the sprain isn’t too bad, maybe he’s around for the playoffs or bowl game.
As far as outside help, the Irish got a lot of it. Down went LSU, Baylor, and Stanford, who were three of the Irish’s biggest competitors for that fourth seed in the playoff. For all intents and purposes, all three teams are eliminated. The biggest threats remaining are Iowa, who remains to be undefeated, and Oklahoma State, who also hasn’t lost, though they escaped by the skin of their teeth against lowly Iowa State. I’m knocking on wood as I type this, but the chips are falling Notre Dame’s way. All they can do is focus on BC at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. Wow, I wish I was going to be home for that game.