The win over the Hokies on Saturday puts Notre Dame football in the driver’s seat on the road to the College Football Playoff.
It wasn’t pretty, nor was it as easy as the score indicated — but Notre Dame football got its sixth win of the 2018 season on Saturday night.
Aside from a second quarter that saw the Irish offense uncharacteristically sputter, Notre Dame looked every bit the part of a national championship contender.
Ian Book led the way on offense as usual, going 25 of 35 for 271 yards and two scores through the air. He did display his first sign of mortality when he threw his first interception of the season. But as great teams do, the Irish were able limit the damage on the scoreboard as a result of the turnover.
The rest of the Irish offense gave fans plenty to cheer and be excited about. Miles Boykin had another dominant performance, catching eight balls for 117 yards and two scores. Chris Finke came through with three catches for 71 yards — most of that coming on a 56-yard bomb in the first quarter that set up a Justin Yoon field goal.
Dexter Williams was magnificent yet again, rushing for 178 yards and three scores. His 96-yard touchdown run in the third quarter changed the momentum of the game permanently — not to mention padded his yard-per-carry average. Even without that scoring jaunt, Williams still averaged over 4.8 yards per touch.
As usual in 2018, The Notre Dame defense came up big in this one. Sure, there were some mistakes, but they were all aggressive mistakes necessary to put pressure on an offense like the one Virginia Tech has. From strip sacks, scoop and scores, interceptions and physical hits that knocked Hokies out of the game, the Irish defense continued to have the look of a champion. You could say Clark Lea’s unit was in seek-and-destroy mode all night.
Going off the eye test, Notre Dame was the more talented team and it wasn’t really close. Sad but true for the Hokies. On top of that, Virginia Tech shot themselves in the foot too many times, and they were unforgiven by the football Gods.
On a night that began with Metallica’s Enter Sandman, Notre Dame was victorious as the scoreboard would fade to black. It was just one win for the Irish, but right now, nothing else matters.
All Notre Dame needs to do is keep winning if they want to get to the College Football Playoff. They will be favorites in every game they play from here on out, and they are the only contender who won’t have to play in a conference championship game before the playoff committee makes its final selection.
That should be enough to fuel this team for the remainder of the season.