The 2019 season may not have ended where No. 15 Notre Dame (11-2) wanted at the beginning of the season, but the Irish ended the season on a high note with a dominating performance against Iowa State (7-6) in the Camping World Bowl. Notre Dame’s 33-9 victory over the Cyclones of the Big 12 gave the Irish the fifth bowl victory under head coach Brian Kelly and sends Notre Dame into the offseason looking for a way back into the playoff mix in 2020.
Ian Book passed for 246 yards and a touchdown and Tony Jones Jr. led the Irish running game with 135 yards and a touchdown. Chase Claypool had a stellar showing as a receiver with seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. It was Notre Dame’s defense that carried the team in the bowl game with a bend-but-don’t break performance that saw Iowa State get some chances but also saw Iowa State fail to finish drives. A pair of early turnovers by Iowa State allowed Notre Dame to take a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and Iowa State’s settling for field goals never gave Brock Purdy and company much of a chance to make up enough ground.
Notre Dame ha snow won four striaght bowl games not associated with the College Football Playoff dating back to 2013. But the Irish were in the playoff last year and will hope a win like this helps fuel the fire to get back to the big stage a year from now. That will mean moving forward after some key roster changes due to graduation and the NFL draft.
The 2020 season will begin for Notre Dame on Aug. 29, 2020 with a game against Navy in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish will open its home schedule two weeks later after a bye when they host Arkansas on sept. 12. Notre Dame has some difficult games coming up in 2020 with a game against Wisconsin in Lambeau Field in Green Bay and a home game against Clemson in early November.
Iowa State will open the 2020 season at home on Sept. 5 against South Dakota.
Notre Dame is heading to halftime in Orlando in a comfortable position against Iowa State. A 44-yard touchdown pass from Ian Book to Chase Claypool late in the second quarter put the Irish in position to take a 20-6 advantage on Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl.
Notre Dame took the early lead in the game off a turnover by the Iowa State special teams. Punt returner Tarique Milton lost the football near midfield. The Irish took a 3-0 lead three plays later on a 39-yard field goal by Jonathan Doerer. Fumble issues would continue for the Cyclones on the ensuing offensive possession when Brock Purdy lost the football while being sacked by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who recovered the loose ball at the Notre Dame 42-yard line. Ian Book finished off the drive with a 24-yard pass to Chase Claypool for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead.
Notre Dame has just one third-down conversion out of seven attempts and they have just 24 more yards of offense than Iowa State at the break. But having 10 points off Iowa State turnovers has been a major factor so far.
The first Notre Dame-Navy game between ranked opponents did not live up to the hype. No. 16 Notre Dame used three first-half fumble recoveries to build a 38-0 second quarter lead, then cruised to a 52-20 win over No. 23 Navy.
The Irish accepted the ball to open the game and rolled 75 yards in 11 plays, as Ian Book found Chase Claypool for the first of four touchdowns, this one from seven yards out. Navy then responded by pushing to a 1st-and-10 at the Notre Dame 24, but quarterback Malcolm Perry committed the first of his three first-half fumbles and Book hit Claypool for a 47-yard touchdown two plays later, giving the Irish an insurmountable 14-0 lead at the 3:11 mark of the first quarter.
Perry was sacked and fumbled on Navy’s next touch, and the short-field drive ended the same way the first two did: a scoring strike from Book to Claypool, this one just a 3-yard toss.
In all, Notre Dame (8-2) scored on its first seven possessions, six of them touchdowns. Book closed the day 14-of-20 for 284 yards and five touchdowns, which is about what you’d expect him to put up practicing against the November air in South Bend. He also led the Irish on the ground with a modest 31 yards on nine carries, as Notre Dame mustered only 105 yards on the ground on 31 total carries. Claypool hauled in seven passes for 117 yards and four touchdowns.
Perry led all runners for 117 yards on 25 carries, but his three first half fumbles washed away much of that progress. As a team, Navy (7-2) ran for 281 yards, but needed 64 carries to get there, more than a yard and a half below the Middies’ yards per carry average (6.08) this season.
After dropping three of four meetings between 2007-10, Notre Dame has now won eight of nine in this series and four straight. The Irish lead the all-time series, 77-13-1.
When the Navy offense works, the clock bleeds, the ball ticks forward and life becomes living hell for the opponent. When it doesn’t, it can get ugly for the Midshipmen.
It’s been ugly through one half in South Bend.
No. 16 Notre Dame holds a 38-3 lead over No. 21 Navy at the half. The Fighting Irish scored all six times they touched the ball in the half, as Ian Book went a practice-like 11-of-14 for 209 yards with four touchdowns, three of them coming to Chase Claypool. Claypool caught six passes for 97 yards and scores of 47, seven and three yards.
Navy hasn’t been able to get the running game going — they run for just 131 yards on 33 carries — but three fumbles by quarterback Malcolm Perry have proven catastrophic, ending Navy scoring threats and leading directly to three Irish touchdowns. The Middies finally sustained a drive with a minute to play in the half, moving 72 yards in nine snaps to set up a 27-yard Bijan Nichols field goal as time expired.
Navy will receive to open the second half.
No. 3 Georgia may have been a big favorite against No. 7 Notre Dame coming into Saturday night’s contest of unbeaten teams, but it is the Fighting Irish who reach halftime with the lead. Notre Dame leads Georgia 10-7 at halftime.
Defense has been the theme of the game so far, which makes a mistake on special teams by Georgia even more a factor. Georgia punt returner Tyler Simmons muffed a punt return deep in the Georgia end of the field in the second quarter. Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool came swooping in to recover the live ball and gave the Irish field position at the Georgia eight-yard line. But it would take a fourth-down pass from Ian Book to Cole Kmet to get on the board. Kmet didn’t appear to be the intended receiver, but Notre Dame was happy to take it.
Georgia would respond to tie the game before halftime. On the ensuing possession, the Bulldogs got their running game going against the Irish defense. D’Andre Swift finished off a 12-play drive with a short touchdown run that was upheld by a video replay. Notre Dame had a quick answer in their pockets before halftime though, as Book completed four straight passes to move from the Notre Dame 25-yard line down to the Georgia 12-yard line. The Irish settled for a field goal in the final seconds of the half to take the lead.
Georgia did lose one of their big offensive linemen in the first half. Left Guard Solomon Kindley was carted off the field as Georgia was finishing off their touchdown drive. Earlier in the game, Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes was helped off the field at the end of a play as well.
Will Notre Dame continue to hang with Georgia in the second half, or will the Bulldogs find a way to take the lead and pull away for a big win?