Notre Dame survived a big shot from Virginia Tech today in South Bend, taking home a 21-20 win. Quarterback Ian Book called his own number, running for the game-winning touchdown with under a minute left.
It was a pretty big statistical day for Book, who led the team in both passing and rushing, with 341 yards and two scores through the air, and 50 yards on the ground, along with that game-winning score. Book has been up-and-down this season, so he could certainly use a moment like this.
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) November 2, 2019
Since taking over as starter early last year, Book has been a steadying presence for the Fighting Irish. There are questions if he has the arm and ability to really take Notre Dame to the next level, though.
After the game, head coach Brian Kelly discussed Book’s score, and made a surprising admission about his quarterback. He said that this is the first time Book had scored during a two-minute drill throughout the entire season, including practice.
Brian Kelly said today was the first time Ian Book scored in a two-minute drive all year. He said that includes practice.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 2, 2019
Considering the team has probably taken hundreds of two-minute drill snaps since August, that is…surprising. It also might not quiet the criticism of Book down the road, even though that is exactly what he tried to do elsewhere in his press conference.
Kelly on Book noise: “It was way overblown. If you played for the New York Giants, you wouldn’t get as much.”
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 2, 2019
Notre Dame should be happy to bounce back from last week’s blowout loss to Michigan, where Ian Book had a brutal day. On the year, he is averaging 228.5 yards per game, averaging a pretty mediocre 58-percent of his throws.
He is pretty safe with the football, with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year, but he won’t dazzle you with the huge throws of people like Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa.
Based on everything Brian Kelly has said, I wouldn’t expect anyone else to get meaningful snaps under center this season, for better or worse.