For the Notre Dame football team, a running back with only five touches a year ago was the best player on the field in today’s season opening victory over Duke.
There weren’t many sure things on the field for the Notre Dame football team today, especially after safety Kyle Hamilton exited the game early in the second half.
But one of those sure things was sophomore running back Kyren Williams.
After not contributing much during the 2019 season, Williams’ hard work paid off when he won the starting running back job in the limited practices Notre Dame was able to have prior to the season. He confirmed that the coaching staff had made the correct choice today, as he lead the team in both rushing and receiving yards.
Williams contributed over 200 all-purpose yards in the 27-13 victory over the Blue Devils. He put up 112 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and two catches for 93 yards.
Things started somewhat rough for Williams and the Irish, as the team gained exactly zero yards through its first three drives. Williams had only 7 yards and a dropped third down pass through those first three possessions.
From there, though, Williams looked solid. His biggest play was a huge 75 yard reception on a screen pass that brought the Irish to the Duke 11. Unfortunately, the Irish failed to score due to an Ian Book interception.
He was also impressive blocking, picking up a blitz that lead to a 17 yard fourth quarter touchdown pass from Book to Avery Davis that put the Irish up 24-13 at the time.
If today’s game is a sign of things to come, the Irish may have to look to Williams to become “the guy” throughout the season. If that happens, Williams could become Notre Dame’s best Heisman candidate at running back since Josh Adams.