You see that baby?? It’s not quite the Orange Bowl, but oranges are most definitely a citrus fruit so I’ll fuckin’ take it!
This win was so unlikely for so many reasons. Sure, I took ND outright as 3 point underdogs, but it was only due to a great value in a somewhat coin flip game. Coach O can barely put a sentence together, but he’s always good to get his guys up for any game and play some smash football. Conversely, Notre Dame under Brian Kelly is a team that historically lays down in big spots. We saw it this year in their last three games: a loss to Stanford, a horrible loss to Miami, and a win they squeaked out against Navy. Couple that with the fact that Josh Adams and Brian Wimbush would be subbed out? If I had to bet a toe or something, I’d need find a new bookie but best believe I’d be screaming “Geaux Tigers.”
The game wasn’t pretty, and there were definitely some concerning moments. The fact that Wimbush and Adams played so poorly not only in this game, but the last three games of the year is disheartening. I hope they were injured, or maybe there’s circumstances outside of football that are distracting them, but the difference between the backfield’s play between the first two thirds of the season and the final third was horrific.
That being said, the good moments far outweighed the bad for me today. Ian Book is a somewhat legit QB, that has looked progressively better with every game played. 14 of 19 for 164 yards, 2TD’s and 1 pick is a really solid day for a true sophomore backup. As soon as the game ended word spread that the starting QB job is up for grabs this Spring, and I’m honestly very okay with that. Let’s see what Book can do now that he’s fighting for the job.
Then, of course, there was the play of the day. Nay, the year. NAY, the millennium.
Miles Boykin, who entered the day win under 200 receiving yards on the year, goes up with one hand, trucks a CB, jukes out another, and sprints slower than anyone I’ve ever seen into the endzone. It was un.be.lievable. I jumped off of my couch and just put my hands on my head without saying a word. We realistically will probably never see a Notre Dame player make a play like that in the fourth quarter for a win over an SEC team, let alone just make a play like that ever again. Miles Boykin became a legend in South Bend yesterday; he’ll never have to pay the $5 cover for keg access ever again.
What a game, what a win, and honestly, what a year. Looking at Notre Dame’s schedule this year, I saw a 6-6 year. But time and again, this team proved that Notre Dame football is still very much relevant. Double digit win at Michigan State, double digit win against USC, dominating the NC State D-Line. If before this season I told you the Irish would go 10-3 with wins over Michigan State, USC, and LSU, and that their three losses would be against a Miami team who played in the ACC Championship, a Stanford team who played in the Pac 12 Championship, and a Georgia team who won the SEC and is playing for the National Championship, would you take that? I know I absolutely would.
So as we close the book (pun unintended) on the Notre Dame 2017 campaign, I’ll leave you with something I didn’t think I’d be saying at the end of this season.