Well, this is something. Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush has spent most of the week in a walking boot after injuring his foot in last Saturday’s win against Miami (OH). While testing showed no structural damage of any kind, Brian Kelly won’t go ahead and name him the starter definitively for this Saturday’s game against 1-4 UNC.
If I’m Brian Kelly, I don’t play him unless absolutely necessary. The Irish are looking really good as of late, and at this point, Wimbush has a good grip on the playbook. With guys like Josh Adams and Dexter Williams healthy, this UNC matchup is a game that should be in hand. Sitting Wimbush now, with a bye week to follow, gives him a lot of recovery time before USC comes to South Bend.
So, supposing Kelly decides to go this route, let’s get to know QB2, Ian Book. The 6’1″ sophomore quarterback from El Dorado Hills, California threw for 70 career touchdowns in high school, while totaling over 7,600 passing yards as a three year starter. He is a former 3-star recruit, regarded as more of a pro-style quarterback.
Book saw his first extended action on Saturday, where he went 3 for 5 passing with 51 yards. He also rushed 3 times for 37 yards. If you turn back the calendar to this year’s spring game, Book really shined – he was 17 for 22, with over 200 yards passing and a touchdown. He’s basically been immersed in Chip Long’s playbook, and all accounts say he has a good grasp of it. His reps have crept upward, and don’t be surprised if you see more coming his way in preparation for the game Saturday.
Kelly has had to make spot starts at the quarterback position before. According to ND Insiders, his teams are 7-1 when his team needs to call on QB2.
I’m really at ease. Obviously you don’t want to take any team lightly, but this UNC team could be the worst team the Irish have faced thus far. It’ll be tough if Book has to make his first career start on the road, but that’s life, kid.
Cover photo from Rivals.