52-0, last week the Irish demolished South Florida.
6 rushing TDs, 281 yards rushing, no turnovers, a 35-0 halftime lead, stifling defense………run the football and play defense, that is an identity to believe in.
After two games, Tommy Rees is showing that he believes in his running game, here is last week’s evidence: Chris Tyree 8-65 yards, Kyren Williams 10- 62 yards. C’Bo Flemister 13 carries 127 yards, heck he didn’t even play last week. Ian Book got into the act with 3 short TD runs of his own. In all the Irish ran the ball 45 times at a 6.2 yard per carry clip behind a steamrolling offensive line. The fun included some devastating blocking from tight end Tommy Tremble, and a total of 281 yards rushing. Tremble himself showed up to the ground game stat party with a carry of his own good for a first down.
And the Irish believed in finishing drives. Halftime score 35-0, final 52-0. In all 7 offensive scores in 10 possessions, plus a score on special teams.
On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Clark Lea continues to make believers out of Fighting Irish fans, as his charges, delivered the shutout. Among the Covid related and non Covid missing players were the top two buck linebackers. The next man up, Sophomore Jack Kiser, played inspired football. Kiser had started the week on the scout team, went on to led the team in tackles, and was awarded the game ball for his efforts. Safety Houston Griffin stepped in for an ailing Kyle Hamilton and posted 5 tackles. Freshman cornerback Clarence Lewis belied his inexperience with a 5 tackle and 3 passes defended performance.
Overall South Florida was held to 12 of 29- 41% passing, good for just 125 yards. Those are numbers to believe in.
Freshman Jordan Botelho was a terror on special teams, with two plays on the punter including a scored touchdown off of a block.
In all the Irish were missing 9 front line players going into the game but young players stepped in and stepped up as the Irish notched a dominant victory.
This week the Irish travel to Wake Forest, and to be sure, the Irish with, weapons all over the field and showing significant depth, have the look of a team, to believe in.