Notre Dame (11-0) defeated Syracuse (8-3) in Yankee Stadium 36-3 in a dominant defensive performance to prove their status as the elite in college football.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish proved their doubters wrong when they quieted the Syracuse fans in the Bronx, decimating the Orange 36-3, donning their New York Yankees inspired pinstripe uniforms.
The Irish dominated every aspect of the game from start to finish. It did not help Syracuse’s cause when starting quarterback Eric Dungey left the game in the first quarter after what looked like a serious back injury. I do not think it mattered if it was Dungey or backup Tommy Devito (no, not related to Danny Devito), the Irish were going to win either way.
The highly regarded Notre Dame defense showed out Saturday, only surrendering 234 total yards of offense to Syracuse. The Irish forced three turnovers, all interceptions, and essentially won the game for the team. Senior linebacker Te’von Coney led the Irish with 12 total tackles and half a sack. Notre Dame recorded six total sacks on Saturday, with linebacker Drue Tranquill leading the way with 2.5 sacks.
The offense played efficiently, but nothing special. Ian Book played a decent game of football, throwing 23/37 for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The Irish’ run game was not what it normally was, with a stout Syracuse front seven holding running back Dexter Williams to only 74 yards. Junior wide receiver Chase Claypool led the team in receiving with 6 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. The offense did not need to be great with how the defense was playing; it just needed to be good enough – and that is exactly what it was.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat a very good Syracuse team like it was nothing, and it should shut up the doubters and solidify themselves as a playoff team. The Irish finish out the season on the road in Southern California to take on the USC Trojans (5-6) who will be looking for a win to put them in bowl contention. This could be a tough game for the Irish.