Notre Dame Football: 3 Things Learned From Irish-Spartans

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Chase Claypool /

Notre Dame defeated the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night, 38-18. The Irish, now 3-1 on the season, dominated for the majority of the game. With 21 points off turnovers, Notre Dame capitalized on every single Michigan State mistake. Here are 3 things we learned about the Notre Dame football team on Saturday night:

Brandon Wimbush CAN Throw

The entire week, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly received questions about whether or not his Junior Quarterback could throw the football effectively. Wimbush answered those questions in the affirmative on Saturday night. He did not set the world on fire. However, he efficiently threw the football against the Spartans. Wimbush completed 14 of 20 passes for 173 yards and 1 touchdown. On the first drive of the game, he found Equanimeous St. Brown for a 40-yard gain.

It was clear by Offensive Coordinator Chip Long’s play calling that they wanted to get the Notre Dame Quarterback on track. Wimbush completed 70% of those passes.

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Chase Claypool Catching On

Since training camp, Notre Dame has been trying to find a compliment to Equanimeous St. Brown. Graduate transfer Cam Smith failed to demonstrate that he could be that player.

Last week, Notre Dame started Sophomore Wide Receiver Chase Claypool. Although Claypool did not play exceptionally well against Boston College, he did this week. The Sophomore from British Columbia caught 4 passes for 56 yards including an impressive catch on a 27 yard pass from Wimbush.

Claypool appears to be ascending to the No. 2 Wide Receiver spot alongside St. Brown.

Notre Dame Defense Completely Changed

Thus far, the Notre Dame defense allowed 20 points or less in every game this season. The Irish yielded 16, 20, 20 and 18 points to begin the season respectively. The Irish frustrated the Spartans all night long.

It began immediately. Sophomore Cornerback Julian Love returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown. Notre Dame forced 2 fumbles, which they turned into touchdowns.

The defense yielded a lot of yards against the Spartans, 496 yards. However, they made plays when needed. The majority of those yards came at the end of the game when Notre Dame substituted their 2nd and 3rd team players.