Game recaps, thoughts and what mattered in the Week 10 games of the Big Ten college football season?
Notre Dame 31, Northwestern 21
What Happened: Ian Book was too sharp and too good. The Irish got up 24-7 and were coasting after two Book touchdown passes in the third quarter, but Northwestern fought back with two scoring drives – the second off a blocked punt – to pull within three on a Clayton Thorson fourth down quarterback sneak. But the Irish went to work, rolling for a ten play, 89-yard drive finishing off with a 23-yard Book run around the left side untouched for a score.
What Mattered: Book completed 22-of-34 passes for 343 yards and two scores, and he tied for the team lead with 56 rushing yards and a score. Dexter Williams matched him was 56 yards an a touchdown – Northwestern keyed on the star RB and made Book win this.
– Thorson completed 16-of-29 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown with two touchdown runs. Isaiah Bowser ran 23 times for 93 yards. Northwestern didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t commit a penalty.
– The Wildcats were able to slow things down and control the clock, but the Irish came up with 464 yards to 249. Notre Dame converted on all three of its third down tries.
What It All Means: Northwestern still has to get bowl eligible. The more important games are coming up with road games at Iowa and Minnesota before hosting Illinois. Win those three game, and go to the Big Ten Championship. Lose those three, and miss out on a swag bag.
– The Irish keep on going. They’re still looking beatable, but now it’s a three game run to the College Football Playoff with Florida State in the final home game of the year before going to Yankee Stadium to face Syracuse and traveling to USC.
NEXT: Illinois 55, Minnesota 31