It has been a magical season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as they finished the season undefeated and were voted into the College Football Playoff.
The Notre Dame football team was never the flashiest team on the field this season. They did not get the national attention or have a Heisman candidate like the other three playoff teams. They were the “boring” team. But this “boring” team has had some incredible moments this season.
Join us as we discuss the three best moments of the Irish’ 2018 campaign thus far!
3. Tony Jones Jr. 51-yard touchdown to seal the undefeated season
Notre Dame faced a very pivotal third and six up by seven points with just over three minutes left in the game in Southern California with a perfect season and a CFP bid on the line. Instead of running the ball, like I expected them to do, and trusting their defense to make a stop, Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish went for the dagger.
Ian Book took the shotgun snap, recognized the blitz, and lobbed a swing pass to a wide open Jones Jr. out of the backfield, who took it to the house from midfield to stab a dagger in the heart of the Trojans and preserve their perfect season.
In a high-profile, high-emotion game which reignited a long, traditional rivalry, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened up the season at home versus the 14th ranked Wolverines. The Irish raced out to a 24-10, but Michigan had cut it to a 7-point game with just over a minute to go.
With the Wolverines mounting a drive all the way to midfield with less than a minute to go, the Irish came up with a huge takeaway. Jerry Tillery knocked the ball loose from Michigan quarerback Patterson’s grips and the ball bounced for a couple seconds before Te’von Coney scooped the ball up and ended the game for the Irish to start the season with a bang.
1. Miles Boykin saves the season for the Irish against Pitt
Notre Dame had finally broken into the top five in the country and played host to an unranked Pitt team. In a sloppy performance that could have derailed the Irish’ season, Pitt led almost the entire game, including a 14-6 lead after Pitt returned the second half kickoff to the house.
Late in the fourth quarter, after the Irish could not muster anything on offense for the entirety of the game, some Ian Book magic happened. Down 14-12 with just over five minutes left in the game, Ian Book found Miles Boykin behind the Pitt safety for a 35-yard touchdown to slam the door on the Pitt upset and keep their season on the right track.
Notre Dame looks to add on to their memorable season when they next take on the Clemson Tigers in the Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal match up on December 29th.