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:
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.
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.
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.
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.