Reports: Notre Dame QB Ian Book OUT for Florida State Game

Notre Dame’s bid to keep their undefeated season alive this weekend on Senior Day against Florida State just took a massive hit as news broke that starting quarterback Ian Book will be OUT on Saturday night.  Book, Notre Dame’s starter the last seven weeks and the nation’s leader in completion percentage, reportedly suffered injuries to his midsection and will not be able to play this weekend.

Book went down early in the first half against Northwestern last weekend but after being slow to get up, he return to action and played every down the rest of the way.  It appears as though the lingering effects of that hit, however, will keep Book out against the Seminoles.   Here’s the hit that Book stayed on the ground after.

This is a huge blow for Notre Dame.  The Irish offense, despite some sluggish starts, has largely thrived under the direction of Book after he took over for Brandon Wimbush in week four.  Wimbush will be back in charge of leading the offense this weekend in place of Book.

Wimbush was Notre Dame’s starting quarterback for week one’s win over now #4 Michigan – arguably one of the best two wins on any playoff contenders resume – so it’s not as though Wimbush is an incapable backup.  He did struggle ever since that game, however, and eventually lost his starting job to Book.  He’s been relegated to sideline duty ever since.

With Wimbush in command of the offense, expect to see a much different Notre Dame attack than the one we’ve seen the last two months.  Wimbush struggles with accuracy and the kind of throws that Book thrives off of.  Instead, look for Notre Dame to utilize Wimbush’s legs.  Working in Wimbush’s favor will be playing with Dexter Williams for the first time this year.  Williams was still serving his suspension earlier this year when Wimbush guided the Irish to a 3-0 start.

Notre Dame will now have to rely on their defense even more than they did earlier this season.  Clark Lea‘s unit will have to keep the Florida State offense off the scoreboard as much as possible.  They’ve done that all season so they should be up to the task.

For Florida State, the news breaking now isn’t exactly ideal for their game planning but it’s also not the worst.  They can adjust their game plan accordingly, but just won’t have time to practice it before they travel to South Bned this weekend.  Had the news broke tomorrow night after they spent all week game planning for an Ian Book offense, Notre Dame would have had a decided advantage in deploying Wimbush in Book’s absence.

While Wimbush played well against Michigan and has shown the ability to win games like this – he is 11-3 as a starter after all (removing the Citrus Bowl vs. LSU since he was benched) – this elevates freshman Phil Jurkovec to the backup role.  He has only played in one game this year so if he would need to be called upon for any reason, he would still have two games of eligibility remaining.

As of now, reports are that the injury isn’t too serious and that there is still hope Book will be back next weekend when the Irish travel to New York to take on Syracuse in Yankee Stadium.  Expect Brian Kelly to be asked about this extensively this evening in his normal Thursday post practice press conference.

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  1. We do what always has to be done in a situation like this:
    1. The defense steps it up a notch (obviously)
    2. The offensive line steps it up a notch and a half
    We also exploit the fact that nobody on FSU has much more than a day to practice SPYING Brandon…a technique that has caused us problems in the past.

    BUT whatever we do, we must not run Brandon and Williams into an 8 or 9 man wall of defenders play after play. As someone posted, Long has to help with some creativity here, and I would add this: while still “letting Brandon be Brandon.”

    Let’s just press the “EASY” BUTTONon this one, and GO GO GO IRISH!

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. RIGHT B G C !! KELLY and LONG have pressed all the right buttons this year no reason to think they won’t now!! Wimbush just has to follow the game plan, short passes early for confidence and establishing run game!! The biggest hurdle will be BW avoiding the turnovers by forcing passes into coverage! We need the Defense to get a couple turnovers, and get an early lead!!

  2. Brandon will be fine I had been hoping to see he and Williams in the same backfield, FSU better tighten their jocks with these two coming at them.

  3. Who wrote this script? Coleman Carroll O’Brien?

    Wimbush on Senior day? Our own Lazarus!!

    This is about TEAM. There are a lot of players who owe Wimbush for the shining example he set AFTER being benched.

    This is a teaching moment.

    This is a MORAL moment.

    And this Saturday is why we are ND

    I wouldn’t have it any other way@

    Go Irish?

    1. Wow Duranko , that’s first thing that came to my mind –Coley O’Brian ! Indeed , WE ARE ND ! Onward to 10-0 ! Just to add –the CFP rankings come next tuesday will be in turmoil. Ya see my friends , no way is Clemson leaving Boston with a win. Paul Revere’s great , great , great grandson Pat Revere is riding through the streets now — whipping up a frenzy for the #17 , 7-2 , Boston College. Back to the Irish — look for Wimbush , and new game plan by Chip Long lead Irish to victory. Get big Phil Jurkovec ready too — all hands on deck. Go Irish.

  4. Not great news, but probably not catastrophic against a team like this year’s FSU. Wimbush has done well enough in the past that against a team like FSU they should still be successful.

    Against Syracuse who is trending up, yes, you’d want Book back. But if Book had to go down for a week, this is the week to have it happen.

    1. That’s a little overboard I think there Kyle. Agree they will probably tailor their defense to make Wimbush beat them with his arm but he did make some pretty good throws in the Michigan game who has the best pass defense in the nation. I realize he didn’t throw the ball well the next couple games but Wimbush can make enough throws to win the game. My main worry is Chip Long and having a good game plan for this offense with Wimbush. I hope Long actually pulls through for us here.

      1. Plus FSU has been practicing all week for Book. They basically have 2 days to practice for Wimbush who is a much different type of QB. And FSU’s defense hasn’t been very good overall this year so I’m not too worried this week (next week if Book is still out…that’s a different story).

        The only thing I might be worried about is turnovers. As long as BW protects the ball I think we’ll be ok.

        Now ST’s, that’s another story…but then that has nothing to do with BW.

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