Ian Book will throw a career-high 325+ yards
Ian Book has officially taken over. There’s no more reason to ask Kelly who the starter will be. He has finally grown tired of having the same interaction each week with the media and has listed Book as the starter on the depth chart.
When it comes to Virginia Tech’s defense, they do a great job at defending the run. Old Dominion is the only team to have rushed for over 100 yards on the Hokies. Where they struggle is in the secondary.
This is a game where Book should already be smelling blood.
The one-on-one matchups favor the Irish. With Miles Boykin coming off of a huge 144-yard game, Alize Mack continuing to make more of an impact, Chase Claypool’s size and Chris Finke always able to find a way to get things done, it should be no problem for Book to be able to spread the love.
He has the targets, he has the arm, and he especially has the accuracy. In the red zone this season, Book has completed 11-of-13 passes for six touchdowns and has rushed for three.
Last week contained some horrible news for the Irish. Team captain and leader of the offensive line, Alex Bars went down and tore his ACL and MCL.
Trevor Ruhland did everything he was asked of as he stepped in for the injured Bars, just one game after getting his first start. While he steps deeper into this role, there’s no question that the offensive line is comfortable with Ruhland beside them.
With this still being quite the blow to the line, Book may see more pressure. We could get a good look at how creative Book can be.
So far when facing pressure Book likes to step with his front foot then spin around his back shoulder to escape. He has also stopped the hearts of the entire coaching staff when his hole up the middle closed so the quarterback peeled off to his left and somehow completed a shovel pass.
This game may well come down to Book’s ability to pass the ball effectively against a defense that has struggled against the pass. If Notre Dame can move the ball effectively early on, it make take some of the air out of Lane Stadium and allow the Irish to come away with the victory.