Notre Dame v. Temple ’15: Shamrock Stickers

Deshone Kizer - Notre Dame QB v. Temple
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty but the Irish kept their playoff hopes alive with a 24-20 victory versus Temple. The Owls rose to the occasion in the biggest game of their program history, but Notre Dame made plays late in the game to win. The Irish struggled to run the ball at times and turned the ball over in critical red zone situations, which almost cost them the game. The following players stepped up for the Irish and led them to a hard-fought victory:

DeShone Kizer

Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer came up clutch to lead his team to victory. Kizer did a very good job running the zone read as the Owls chose to eliminate C.J. Prosise from the game. The Irish quarterback ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns, including a highlight reel 79 yard scamper for a score. The Ohio native also led the game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, looking calm and efficient throughout. Kizer was also only one passing yard short of becoming the first Irish signal-caller ever to throw for 300 yards and rush for over 100 in a game.

Isaac Rochell

Irish defensive lineman Isaac Rochell was close to impossible for the Owls to block for much of the game. Rochell was disruptive, especially early on in the run game and was a big part of limiting the success of Temple running back Jahad Thomas. The Georgia native had six tackles including a half tackle for loss as well as a pass breakup.

Romeo Okwara

Another member of the Irish defensive line that had a huge game was Romeo Okwara. Okwara like Rochell was very disruptive, constantly getting into the Owls backfield. The North Carolina native was second on the team with seven tackles, while also recording a team-high three tackles for loss and a sack.

Will Fuller

Irish receiver Will Fuller made his second season-saving touchdown catch in the Notre Dame victory. The junior was a top priority for the Owls defense, yet he still managed the game-winning score and a total of five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Fuller also drew multiple holding and pass interference penalties as he was constantly being grabbed by Temple defenders.

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  1. David sounds a little bitter, but does make some good points. I, for one, am glad that Kiser ran so much against the Owls. Why, oh why, are we not mixing things up more with Torii Hunter, Adams at RB, and St. Brown at WR? Good to see Alize Jones getting more involved. The D needs a kick in the butt and more speed/better tackling at middle linebacker. Why can’t the Irish put together four good quarters?

  2. @ David…lots of tongue in cheek, but i agree with most of your comments. I understand Kizer keeping the ball in the read option, but Kelly running Kizer, his only QB, in the last series to kill the clock?

    But, i’m one of those delusionals who needs a NC, so i’ll keep looking at all the possibilities that could get us to the 4th spot. Maybe by then we’ll have found a way to defend in a game.

  3. @NDfanCanada…agreed, red zone play calling was very predictable, in fact the TD pass to Fuller was a check down by Kizer, Kelly called for a running play. Calling a run, considering how well that went all night, was pure Kelly genius. Defense? Only the 4 down DL’s played well. I’d give a C- to the LB’s and a D to the DB’s. Yet we won. Let’s hope we don’t run outta miracles.

  4. 45 YF is right; defense played well. Offensive play calling was okay but too predictable in the red zone until the final drive. Way too slow to make the offensive play calling adjustments.

  5. Yes that whole defensive front played fast and aggressive. Got caught out of position a few times, but really liked the attacking attitude and speed. They were getting pressure with Temple’s QB throwing quickly. Running plays they controlled scrimmage line and rallied to the ball.

  6. We are all delusional to think that this team is a playoff team. The “O” line is terrible overrated. We cannot tackle and our play calling leaves a lot to be desired. and yes, for good measure, the D backs do not know how to turn around towards the ball. I was at the Temple game and if we tackled as hard and fundamentally as Temple we would be undefeated.

  7. 1) Red Zone. Words fail.

    In fact, please do not pick ND for the playoffs, as that would enable a much more delusionally optimistic offseason here.

    2) Temple figured that stopping the ND run amounted to bottling up Prosise, which they did remarkably well. They had no idea that any team in the precariously thin situation at QB as ND would dare risk running an inexperienced runner like Kizer into their very violent, hard-hitting defense. They obviously didn’t know who they were game planning against.

    3) Temple also figured that the risk and cost of PI calls was worth it. Better to give up 15 yards than the 40, 50 or TDs, which is what ND has been doing to teams. Risk getting called (lots were not), let ’em march those yards off right down the field, and then shut ND down inside the 25 yard line (see point 1) ……Pitt, you’re welcome.

    4) Screw being able to run down a clock and end a game in the victory formation. How about this new “Victory be Damned” formation, the most exciting and creative offensive play of the Kelly era ?

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