The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame rolled to a 4-2 record and a much needed bye week with a huge win against the nations best footballing service academy, Air Force, on Saturday. The Irish offense exploded for a first half lead of 42-16 behind some outstanding play.
Rees and company scored on all 6 first half possession's, and ended the game 23/32 261 yards and 4 TD’s. Both teams combined for over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns on a day in which both defenses would like to forget.
It was also the second game in a row in which the Irish offense had not turned the ball over, an issue that Notre Dame had to address as mistakes in games versus the University of South Florida and Michigan cost them dearly by way of losses.< ">With such a huge difference in the scoreline at the half, the Irish, for really the only time this season, where able to get some of their much hyped Freshmen and Sophomore players in for much needed game time in the second half
Andrew Hendrix did not fail to shine. Hendrix, the 6-2 220lbs Sophomore QB from Cincinnati, excelled in Brian Kellys spread offense. He was perfect in limited action, 4/4 33 yards and added 111 yards on the ground on only 6 carries, including a 78 yard scamper in the 4th QTR which saw him tripped up just shy of the goal line. Freshman running backs Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson III also saw playing time in the 4th.
Defensive standouts included Safety Harrison Smith, Cornerback Robert Blanton and MLB Manti Te’o.. Each recorded over 10 tackles, with Smith leading the way with 12. Freshman DE Aaron Lynch also saw his first start of the season, while fellow Frosh Stephon Tuitt was kept busy and chipped in with 5 tackles.
On A Point Of Order
Many Irish fans were found pointing fingers at the the defense after the win. The Irish surrendered a total of 565 yards against the number 3 run offense in the land. People need to give the Air Force academy a lot more credit for not given up and always playing full-on until the final gun.
Every team that the Irish have faced so far, probably with the exception of Purdue, are in my opinion, bowl bound. It also needs to be pointed out that the game was over as a contest at half time, and the fact that 141 of the Falcons yards totals came against the Notre Dames second & third string defense, at a time when game, at that stage, registered 59-19 on the score boards.
When you consider the extremely tough schedule that the Irish faced in September, Big East Co-favorites USF and Pittsburgh, Big Ten title Contenders in Michigan and Big Ten Co-Champions Michigan State, the Irish are very unfortunate indeed not to be undefeated thus far!
Next up for the Irish ? A bye week and some time for the guys to tend to their aches & pains in preparing for their annual heated rivalry with the Trojans of Southern California, under the lights and at home in South Bend.