Notre Dame Football: Young defensive back was unsung hero vs. South Florida

Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame football turned to a young defensive back to help fill a void on Saturday. The decision paid off as the Irish routed South Florida, 52-0.

Notre Dame football doesn’t usually get a lot of fun and stress free games. On Saturday, however, the Irish were able to bully South Florida from start to finish, winning 52-0. The team played an all around great game for four quarters. Yes, it’s only USF and we all would love to see that against better opponents consistently, but it’s also only week 2 and it was nice to see the Irish dominate an inferior opponent as they should every time they step on the field.

Offensively, it was a huge day on the ground. The offensive line was solid, tight ends were dominate, running backs were great, and Book didn’t make many mistakes at all.

As for the defense, there was a lot of work for the young guys and they stepped up in a big way. Several starters were out for “unspecified reasons” but the young bucks came ready to play and a lot of names overall stood out on the team Saturday.

Overall, Jack Kiser, Tommy Tremble, Kyren Williams and Jordan Botelho stood out, just to name a few.

There’s one guy though that flew under the radar a little that had his first career start and made some really nice plays we haven’t been accustom to on a consistent basis for a Notre Dame secondary. The unsung hero against South Florida goes to freshman cornerback Clarence Lewis.

With Tariq Bracy out of the lineup, Notre Dame had to rely on Lewis to step in for the first time and contribute in a big way to the secondary. He did just that. He was extremely aggressive and played with a chip on his shoulder all game. He was under appreciated in his run support and really made some strides in the run game, getting through blocks and making plays. On the stat sheet, he had five solo tackles, a tackle for loss and three pass break ups, which was the most of anyone in the secondary. He also was very close to adding an interception to his performance as well.

There was a few times he misplayed a couple balls, but for me, that’s honestly expected from someone who was making his first career start. His poise was easily seen through the TV screen though and you have to love seeing that from a true freshman. It’s just another reason why Clarence Lewis was the unsung hero in Saturday’s match up.

Next. Who was offensive player of the game against USF?. dark

Next week the Irish head to Wake Forest, where I’d expect Lewis to get a ton more work with the up-tempo offense the Demon Deacon’s run. Nobody is really sure when starter Tariq Bracy will return but Lewis will definitely have a chance to add more to his resume and possibly even make a move for a permitted starting role.