Notre Dame football’s top-tiered defense was on display against Virginia Tech, including a noteworthy performance by Khalid Kareem.
At 6-0, there is a lot going for Notre Dame football. With three wins over ranked opponents, the team looks better and better each week — and the Irish are favorites in every game for the rest of the season.
After beating Virginia Tech, Notre Dame controls its own their destiny. The luck of the Irish shined when the Hokies slipped right back into the rankings after a shocking loss to Old Dominion dropped them out the previous week. While it will go down as Virginia Tech being ranked No. 24 when the Irish defeated them, it’s hard to say the Hokies are not a top 20 team even though that may not be the case in the polls.
While the score doesn’t reflect it, the Hokies ran with the Irish for a while. You could even make the argument that if Virginia Tech turns a couple of their initial field goals into touchdowns, they could have changed the game. But, you have to make the same argument for Notre Dame. If Ian Book didn’t overthrow three or four wide-open receivers, it was never a game.
We can speculate what could have happened, or we can talk about what did.
While everyone will talk about how well Ian Book did, or what kind of game Miles Boykin had, there’s a play that defined how Notre Dame wins games.
Julian Love came away with a scoop and score that gave Notre Dame some momentum and confidence. But, it wasn’t Love that created the play — he just reaped the benefits.
Khalid Kareem demonstrated exactly what it takes to be a championship team in one play. After beating the left tackle, he initially missed a sack on Ryan Willis. Kareem got back up after Willis scrambled forward and hit the quarterback one more time, knocking the ball loose. He provided Love with the easy touchdown.
Even with Virginia Tech having the quick answer, Notre Dame looked different after that play. The Irish dominated the second half.
Three of Kareem’s five tackles were for losses, taking away 17 yards from the Hokies offense.
Khalid Kareem was instrumental in beating Virginia Tech, and he deserves to be recognized for it.