With their starting quarterback going down in the third quarter of last week’s game against Virginia with a broken ankle, backup Deshone Kizer was able to come in and lift the Irish to a comeback victory with a last minute touchdown pass to receiver Will Fuller. Head Coach Brian Kelly reiterates that Kizer fits the system and that is what they will run against Georgia Tech. And that’s what they did. Kizer was effective didn’t make too many mistakes that would hurt the Irish going 21 of 30 with 242 yards in the air.
Kizer started the game with a lot of confidence and it seemed to grow when he hit big play receiver Will fuller for a 46 yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Fuller made a great adjustment to the ball to run it in for the score. He was unleashed in the first half with four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Kizer showed signs of inexperience in his first official start, all parts of young quarterback struggles. An example of this was him trying to hit receiver Corey Robinson in the end zone, overthrowing Robinson (possible lack of communication) and P.J. White intercepted the pass and stop Irish from putting points on the board.
The “Rambling Wreck” of Georgia Tech stayed true to their name behind the running of Broderick Snoddy, runs of 17 and 48 yards to get the Yellow Jackets in striking distance. Throw in the Personal Foul called which added to the end of the play, B-back (Fullback) Patrick Skov bullied his way through the line for a five yard touchdown run to even the score at 7.
While Kizer played efficiently throughout the game, the Irish leaned on their running game to keep the Georgia Tech defense honest. Specifically C.J. Prosise, who pounded the Tech defense for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns of 17, 1 and a nail in the coffin 91 yard scamper.
Georgia Tech was able to get a couple of touchdown passes from Justin Thomas to Patrick Skov in the last minute, but it was entirely too late.
The key of the game was the Irish’s ability to contain the rushing attack of Justin Thomas and the Yellow Jackets. A team who averages over 400 yards on the ground was held to 216 yards. The Yellow Jackets were also insufficient in the air, especially in the 1st half; no passing yards and 0/6 on 3rd downs They couldn’t take advantage of a turnover just before the end of the 1st half to get the score closer and break the momentum of Notre Dame.
Missed opportunities and the inability to run the ball against the Irish defense proved to be too much for the Jackets to overcome losing 30-22.