Another Game, Another Irish Blowout: Notre Dame 35, NC State 14
Notre Dame roared in yet another win, and now it’s looking good enough to roll through the rest of the schedule. Can it really get into the College Football Playoff?
That wasn’t just any run defense that Notre Dame just ripped through.
NC State rolled into South Bend first in the ACC in run defense and sixth in the nation. It was able to slow down/stuff just about everyone, including Lamar Jackson – to a point – and a host of decent ground games.
Notre Dame rolled through it like tissue paper.
It took a little while to get going, but the Irish offense got yet another amazing game out of the terrific offensive line, and Josh Adams did his part with 202 yards and a score, picking up where he left off against USC.
And now, Josh Adams is in the Heisman chase. He’ll likely hit a hard ceiling because he got banged up earlier and didn’t do much against Georgia or Michigan State, but he’s stepping up as one of the players of the year.
And he’s doing it at the right time. In the run for the Heisman, that’s what matters.
But give a little bit of credit to the Notre Dame defense, too. NC State QB Ryan Finley was magnificent all season long, but he couldn’t get much of anything going, completing 17-of-37 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown with an interception – and he doesn’t throw interceptions. The Irish O kept rolling, but the D shut out the Pack in the second half.
So, really, is Josh Adams in the Heisman hunt? With Stanford’s Bryce Love and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor hurt this week, and with Saquon Barkley getting stuffed – even with two touchdowns – if the college football world ended right now, Adams would probably be fourth behind Baker Mayfield, J.T. Barrett, and Barkley. Again, come up big in the big games, and the Heisman spotlight will find you.
So now what for Notre Dame?
The Irish have to deal with a dangerous Wake Forest, and then comes the showdown at Miami, and then the dangerous date against Navy, and then a trip to Stanford. If they keep playing like this, getting through the final four shouldn’t be an issue.
So now what for NC State? The College Football Playoff dream is out, but this doesn’t necessarily change anything, at least realistically.
The Wolfpack have to beat Clemson last week. And then comes the suddenly dangerous date at Boston College, and a trip to Wake Forest before finishing up with North Carolina. Take it step-by-step, if they want to hang in the ACC chase, they have to deal with Clemson first. Lose that, and it’s then just about finding a decent bowl game.