In game 11, 2022, the Irish put it all together, they did it for four quarters and they did it in a somewhat whimsical setting reminiscent of a snow globe. At least that was the look of things from high a top Notre Dame stadium in climate controlled comfort. Presumably the blustery ,snowy bitter cold day, was not exactly whimsical to those on the front lines, but witnessing a shutout victory, made the bone chilling day much more tolerable
ND’s 44-0 sampler platter included a three interception day from freshman sensation Ben Morrison. Morrison now with five thefts on the season, commented post game that “it was just a fun day”. At the rate Morrison is going, expect many more “fun” days for Notre Dame football to come.
On the day the Irish notched five turnovers. Besides Morrison’s three interceptions, they also picked up two fumbles. What suddenly had been a bordering on the bizarre drought of turnovers for much of the season, is now finally turning. In the first seven games of the season the Irish were the beneficiaries of just three turnovers. In the four games since, the Irish have been the recipients of ten.
Senior day wouldn’t be complete without a Senior setting an all time school record. That happened when defensive end extraordinaire Isiah Foskey notched the 25th sack of his Notre Dame career nudging Justin Tuck into second place. The record setting play took place on the last play of the first half allowing Foskey to celebrate his accomplishment with all of his teammates on their way to the locker room.
And senior day wouldn’t have been complete without a tribute to the “World’s Greatest College Tight End”, who happens to be a junior but will be playing on Sundays next season, not in Sputh Bend. Thanks to a little creative force feeding by the Irish offense, Michael Mayer had five catches for 57 yards and moved his career yardage total above 2,000 yards. By doing so , Mayer became just the 13th receiver in ND history to reach the milestone. The crowd roared their approval when the record was announced, and in his last game in Notre Dame stadium, Mayer had his moment.
Another senior day feel good moment came in the first quarter when Drew Pyne hit Senior Matt Salerno for the former walk on’s first ever TD. Salerno had come to Notre Dame for the academics, he will leave with a list of contributions to the football team along with a degree.
The Irish held Boston College to just 173 yards on the day and notched an impressive 437 of their own including 281 yards on the ground. Post game Marcus Freeman recalled challenging his team to run the football in the past week and making his intentions clear to his staff and team, “I don’t care what they were playing defensively. I don’t care if they brought everyone they had, similar to Navy. I said we are going to find a way to run the football.” Mission accomplished.
And it all happened on a cold, windy and by the third quarter very snowy day. For much of the half the view of Notre Dame Stadium resembled a giant snow globe, and from nine floors up through the blizzard, it became very difficult to make out the forms of the white clad Eagles. Only the red trim on their uniforms gave their locations away. The Notre Dame defense in pitching the shutout however, had no such trouble finding their prey.
And as the game became a foregone conclusion and the snow accumulated, Notre Dame Stadium turned into a giant party among the fans who had weathered the duration of the game. On the sideline the leprechaun was making a snow angel and at the edge of the student section fans displayed a banner that read, “Marcus Freeman for POTUS”.
Senior Day was a big success, and the Marcus Freeman era, after a rocky start is prospering.
Bring on Southern Cal.