Thoughts From The Press Box: Breaking Down Notre Dame’s Bowl Victory
Click here to check out Blue & Gold Illustrated Football Analyst Vince DeDario's thoughts from the press box concerning Notre Dame's 52-20 victory over Navy.
Here's a sampling:
Notre Dame came firing on defense and special teams and the offense eventually found their footing as the Irish roll past Iowa State 33-9 in the 2019 edition of the Camping World Bowl. So many questions surrounding this team going into the game whether it had to do with the vacant offensive coordinator position to who will play in this game to whether Notre Dame would be motivated in this game. I think a lot of those questions were answered, at least in the short term, with this victory today.
- Notre Dame was able to rack up 455 yards of total offense with 208 on the ground and 247 through the air. There was a concerted effort to run the football the entire game even when it seemed like they were getting nowhere with it. Finishing the game with a 5.6 yard average is a testament to the offensive line as well as the commitment to the rush attack. Credit Tommy Rees for keeping that commitment and calling a very good game throughout. When you have a weapon like Chase Claypool and you are a rookie play-caller, you get him involved and he did that. Kudos to Rees for understanding that and not outsmarting himself.
- Senior wide receiver Chase Claypool walked away with Camping World Bowl MVP honors and rightfully so. He dominated today not only with his route running and catch-ability but his body control was so effective today. Elite players can at times take plays off when the ball is not coming their way but Claypool would work and work to get open regardless of how the play started. That is how he was able to get open on the touchdown that wasn’t. He was bracketed at the beginning of the play with a corner and a safety over the top and the action was to the opposite side of the field but he continued to work his way across the field and eventually found himself wide open and Ian Book made a nice throw to find him for the big pick up.
- Senior quarterback Ian Book played a solid game all day. He escaped pressure when he needed to and kept his eyes down the field looking to make plays with his arm. He did not leave the pocket too early and did not have the happy feet he has been prone to have in the past. He used his athleticism to keep plays alive and made decisive throws. There were a couple throws I am sure he would want back but even poorly placed balls look good when you are throwing to Chase Claypool. The throw he made for the touchdown was perfectly placed to Claypool where only Claypool could catch it. Let me repeat, only Claypool could catch that ball.