For the Notre Dame football team, having a backup quarterback with the pedigree of Brandon Wimbush is a luxury that the Irish will exploit Saturday night.
Ian Book suffered an injury in last Saturday’s game against Northwestern that reportedly will hold him out of this week’s game with the Florida State Seminoles. And while many–including those of us at Slap the Sign–have weighed in on this issue, I’m adding a different stance.
Book’s absence means that Brandon Wimbush will quarterback the Irish on Saturday. With Wimbush at the helm, the Irish will be fine. Check that, I expect that they’ll be more than fine.
Even though Book has proved himself as the rightful starter after Wimbush started the first three games of the season, I don’t expect the Irish to struggle offensively on Saturday. In fact, even though Book ultimately is best for the Irish, his absence Saturday might end up being a positive for the Irish.
With Book out, the Irish will have to put a renewed emphasis on the running game, which has been a weak spot in the Irish offense the past few weeks. Now, with the success of the offense relying on the legs of Wimbush and Dexter Williams and the blocking of the offensive line, there is a renewed sense of urgency in the running game.
In addition, despite the fact that Book is clearly the better passer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wimbush find success through the air — perhaps more success than he had when he was the starter.
Coaches and teachers often find that experience and modeling is the best way to inform players and students the best way to perform tasks. For Brandon Wimbush, watching the success that Ian Book has found over the past few weeks may well have allowed him the opportunity to perceive the offense in a way he wasn’t able to do before losing the starting job to Book.
While it’s not fair to expect Wimbush to be the same player that Book has been, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Wimbush put up his most efficient passing numbers of the season.
Injuries are never good for any team, but in Notre Dame’s case, the way the respond could be the spark the Irish need to propel the team toward the College Football Playoff.