Notre Dame returned to action on Saturday night against the upstart and undefeated Temple Owls. Most teams struggle following a week hiatus. However, Notre Dame jumped on the Owls early. Notre Dame went 12 plays and 74 yards to make the score 7-0.
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But, Temple regained the initiative to make tonight’s contest a hard fought battle between both teams. Here are 5 keys to Notre Dame’s (result):
In this type of game between an upstart team and a front-running unit, it is critical that the upstart and underdog team not believe they can win. Although Temple definitely believed in themselves, Notre Dame scored early and often enough to leave doubt in the mind of the Owls.
Kizer’s Legs (And Arm)
DeShone Kizer produced the majority of Notre Dame’s offense on a night when CJ Prosise was held in check. Kizer threw for 299 yards and ran for 143 yards with 3 total touchdowns.
Kizer led the Irish down the field and tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Philadelphia native Will Fuller.
Just Enough Defense
Notre Dame’s defense held the Temple Owls 20 points. Although that is a decent effort, the Irish defense still gave up several big plays. But, Notre Dame’s defense came up strong in several spots.
First, out of halftime, the Irish stopped the Owls immediately. This, like the score at the beginning of the game, helped Notre Dame temper the confidence of Temple .
Second, Senior Cornerback KeiVarae Russell intercepted the P.J. Walker pass to effectively end the game. It is Russell’s second interception in as many weeks.
Game Defining Drive
Kizer must have ice water running through his veins. After leading the Irish to a late victory over the Virginia Cavaliers, the redshirt Freshman signal caller led Notre Dame on a 6-play, 75 yard touchdown drive. The drive ended in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Kizer to Fuller.
Temple offered about as much intensity and grit that one team could put out. However, Notre Dame was simply more talented than the Owls. Sometimes, it is not how much someone wants it.
Notre Dame takes the field again against the Pitt Panthers on Saturday, November 7th at 12:00 p.m.