Notre Dame football is undefeated and just one win away from a berth in the College Football Playoff after beating Syracuse 36-3 in Yankee Stadium.
A much anticipated November college football game was played in, wait for it, Yankee Stadium. Notre Dame football made a statement with a 36-3 victory over Syracuse that brought them one step closer to the College Football Playoff.
Here is how it all went down in the Big Apple.
In what was presumed to be somewhat of a shootout, both offenses were unable to make anything of their first possessions. A Khalid Kareem deflection helped force Syracuse’s first three and out.
The Irish struck first in this game – utilizing their running backs in the passing game on the scoring drive. Dexter Williams caught the short touchdown pass and drove through two Orange defenders before stretching the football over the goal line.
Notre Dame’s defense made another impact play on the ensuing Syracuse drive. Safety Jalen Elliott intercepted an Eric Dungey pass and returned it inside the red zone. The Irish were unable to capitalize on that opportunity, however, and Justin Yoon kicked a field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Orange started to put together a nice drive on their next possession, but quarterback Eric Dungey had to leave the game with some apparent back pain. Backup Tommy Devito nearly connected with a Syracuse receiver on a deep touchdown pass on the very next play, but the ball was dropped after what could have been called as pass interference.
Ian Book and the Irish moved the ball back down the field thanks to some deep passes to Chase Claypool and Alize Mack. The Notre Dame offense stalled in the red zone again after a Tony Jones Jr. touchdown run was negated by a holding penalty, and Justin Yoon converted on another field goal attempt.
Alohi Gilman intercepted a deep pass to make the turnover margin to +2 in favor of the Irish. Nothing came from the ensuing drive as the Notre Dame offense was forced to punt.
The Book Club had another trip to the red zone shortly after. They were stopped short of the goal line and elected to go for it on fourth down. Right guard Tommy Kraemer stepped on Ian Book’s foot after the snap, and Book was forced to throw up a prayer as he was falling down. The pass was intercepted by a Syracuse defensive back in the endzone.
The next drive by the Orange offense was cut short by another Alohi Gilman interception. Gilman punched the ball out of a receiver’s hands, caught it, and returned it to the Syracuse 10 yard line.
Notre Dame scored on the very next play. Ian Book faked a pitch left, and then handed the ball underneath to Jafar Armstrong heading the other direction. Armstrong had a wide open path to the endzone and scored with ease to make it a three-possession game.
The Irish pass-rush continued to bother Syracuse quarterback Tommy Devito. Notre Dame went into halftime up 20-0.
The Orange received the second half kickoff, but they were forced to punt before crossing midfield. Eric Dungey remained sidelined and was doubtful to return to the game.
The Irish followed that up with had yet another red zone trip that ended in a field goal. That field goal moved Justin Yoon into a tie with Kyle Brindza for the most made field goals in Notre Dame history.
Tommy Devito continued to compile evidence for the impending harassment lawsuit he will surely file against the Notre Dame defense.
The Book Club put together a bit of a sloppy drive on their next possession. Ian Book appeared to have the ball ripped out of his hands while still inbounds, but he was ruled out of bounds and the Irish ran another play before the officials had a chance to review it.
Notre Dame benefited from a questionable defensive pass interference call, and were forced to convert on a fourth down to keep the drive alive.
They were, however, able to finalize the drive with a touchdown. Ian Book hit Chase Claypool on a crossing route to put the Irish up 29-0. Justin Yoon, riding high on his new position in the Notre Dame record books, missed the extra point.
As the Irish lead continued to grow, the controversial Shamrock Series uniforms began to look better and better. I am unsure why that was. Anyways, back to the game.
Syracuse made their first red zone trip of the game with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth down from the five yard line, they elected to kick a field goal. The snap was high and the kick bounced off the upright to preserve the Notre Dame shutout.
Brandon Wimbush led the offense on their next drive and almost broke away for a long touchdown run before he was pushed out of bounds. The Irish found success on the ground, and Dexter Williams capped off the drive with a 32 yard touchdown run during which he threw up the deuces.
The Orange were finally able to put some points on the board as the drove down to the red zone against Notre Dame’s backups. They kicked a field goal with 15 seconds left on the clock to spoil the shutout. Final Score: Notre Dame 36, Syracuse 3.
Notre Dame improved to 11-0 with a de facto College Football Playoff play-in game next weekend against USC. My heart rate will be well over 100 bpm all week. Go Irish. Beat Trojans.