What can we say. Another great come from behind win for Notre Dame! DeShone Kizer kept a cool head and lead the Fighting Irish to a thrilling 24-20 victory over a very tough Temple team.
Kizer’s touchdown pass to Will Fuller was placed perfectly and showed the touch Kizer has with the ball.
At his press conference, Brian Kelly said that DeShone got the game ball. He showed great poise and leadership and made up for his two interceptions in the red zone in the first half. Concerning Temple, Kelly said he and the coaching staff expected a tough game and they got it. Temple’s defense was in formations to stop Notre Dame’s ground game. They put extra players and the box and that dictated that Notre Dame had to pass more often than it ran.
When looking at this Temple team versus the one Notre Dame beat three years ago, Kelly admitted they clearly had a lot more speed and athleticism on defense. Temple’s defense has played together for three years.
Oct 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Temple Owls during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Kelly praised Sheldon Day for playing the best football of his career. Day dominated the entire game. Jaylon Smith was recognized for being all over the field during the Temple game, playing at a high level. Day and Smith are leading the Notre Dame defense. The Fighting Irish defense is playing harder and tougher and Kelly expects that to continue to the end of the season.
Kelly did not agree with the targeting call on Elijah Shumate as he felt Shumate did not intend to injure the opposing wide receiver. Shumate’s loss hurt the team, especially on the touchdown run when his replacement, Nick Baratti, missed the tackle that allowed the Temple back to score.
Kelly called Temple’s defense a cover two at the time of Notre Dame’s winning drive. Kizer’s touchdown pass to Will Fuller was placed perfectly and showed the touch Kizer has with the ball.
As we look over the last few games the Fighting Irish have played, including the Clemson game, we can see that this team has a demeanor of never giving up. The team has developed mental toughness that last year’s team did not have.
As the Fighting Irish prepare for their last four games, I believe we will see the Irish continue to play mentally tough collectively. This mental toughness will be needed because three of the last four games will be played on the road, with the last being played against Stanford. Should both teams run the table, the winner of that game should make the playoffs.
Notre Dame seems primed both mentally and physically to make the end of the season a glorious one.