This past Saturday the No. 3 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish extended their undefeated record and playoff campaign with a 36-3 victory over the No.12 ranked Syracuse Orange at Yankee Stadium.
As I mentioned in my previous article previewing this game, these are my two favorite teams. Given both, I like the Irish more and they had much more to lose than Cuse, I wanted them to win. However, I was kinda hoping it would still be a close game, or at least not an absolute blow out.
Now I gotta say, having been following both these teams all season I definitely felt pretty comfortable about the chances of a Notre Dame victory.
I just did not think Syracuse’s rush defense was gonna be able to contain the Irish running game, particularly running back Dexter Williams (13 rushes for 74 yards, 1 TD).
Also, after witnessing Syracuse give up 473 passing yards against North Carolina State in-person, I had no confidence in the Orange defensive backs being able to contain Notre Dame’s solid passing offense which included the most efficient quarterback in the country going into the game in Ian Book.
Ironically, Book did actually have his worst game so far completion percentage wise going 23-for-37 (62.2%), which is still pretty good, nothing to complain about. He also fell just 8 yards short of having his third consecutive 300-yard passing game.
Fighting Irish receivers Miles Boykin (7 rec 76 yards) and Chase Claypool (6 rec 98 yards 1 TD) each put up some respectable numbers on the day.
Prior to the game, ESPN’s College Gameday Analyst Kirk Herbstreit said the key to Syracuse pulling off an upset was the play of their starting quarterback Eric Dungey.
Of course, Dungey ended up going down with an upper-body injury in the first quarter.
This led to the Orange having to turn to freshman backup Tommy DeVito. The Irish defense went on to really expose the young quarterback as he performed less than ideal (14-31 105 yards 2 INTs)
With Cuse still being my second favorite team, I very much hope to see Dungey back on the field for their final regular season game against Boston College.