Trap game, fiddlesticks.
Notre Dame came out sharp on both sides of the ball, and if not for an unfortunate fumble that was returned for a touchdown, Notre Dame would have locked up their game against the Wramblin Wreck of Georgia Tech much sooner. Nevermind, though, it’s a three touchdown victory all the same and the Irish take their undefeated record into one of the most anticipated games of the season, in all of college football.
The Irish continued to be strong in the areas they’ve been strong all season. They converted another five out of six third and short running opportunities, moving them to second nationally in such situations this season in total first downs gained.
The defense also continued to not give up points. Through their first six games, Notre Dame has given up a total of six touchdowns defensively, excluding the fumble return for a touchdown. To put that in perspective, the football team in Ann Arbor, Michigan has given up the same number of touchdowns this year, in four less games.
The running game is strong and the defense doesn’t give up points (4th nationally in points allowed, and the top two teams have played one and two games respectively). It’s just like old times.
Rees Got Creative With Chris Tyree
It was noted in the lead up to the game true freshman Chris Tyree had hit a bit of a rough patch of his first season, and hadn’t been able to get much going on the ground. Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees solved that problem by shooting two birds with one stone: putting Tyree at the receiver position and allowing him to run Braden Lenzy‘s plays.
Tyree finished the game with five carries for 47 yards, with another long run on the opening drive called back because of a penalty. They didn’t use Tyree exclusively on the outside, he also ran some plays from the backfield, but in getting him out in space and in a different position, they opened up a world of possibilities for the running game and the use of Notre Dame’s best and most explosive weapons. Should be exciting to see how Notre Dame can build off of this as the season continues, and especially next week.
Kyle Hamilton Shows Out
So far this season Hamilton has been good in ways that are obvious, but not spectacular. He gives up no catches, he makes tackles when they are there, he’s generally a physical menace. Georgia Tech tried a novel approach at times though, they actually went at him. They were punished severely for their efforts.
Hamilton led the team in tackles, registered two tackles for loss (and that doesn’t include his tackle for loss on the two point conversion attempt), and broke up another pass when they inexplicably tried a jump ball on him. Hamilton showed his versatility in the way he can effect the game, as all but one of those highlight plays actually came defending a pass in the air.
His two point conversion stop was especially out of this world, as the play was designed to go away from where he was stationed and also to get him flowing away from where the ball would ultimately go. Not only did that not work, but Hamilton beat all of his other teammates to the play, and you can see Houston Griffith gearing up to spring to the corner, only for Hamilton to fly by him and end the play in an instance. Super star level stuff.
This is the problem Hamilton can present. If you run at him, he blows it up. If you run away from him, he chases it down and blows it up. If you throw at him, he breaks it up or he picks it off. For his career he’s given up around 1.7 yards per pass attempt. He allows nothing, and you get nothing. Good luck with that.
Daelin Hayes Raises His Level
Of all the things that have occurred this season with the Notre Dame football team, nothing deserves the phrase “big, if true” than the breakout performance of Daelin Hayes rushing the passer against Georgia Tech. Hayes has always been one of those guys who obviously had the physical tools, but when it came to playmaking it simply hasn’t been there. Not only was it there against Tech, it was genuine game wrecker level. Hayes would not allow himself to be blocked. He registered two sacks. including the strip sack that led to the recovered fumble by Myron Tagovailoa Amosa, that led to the touchdown drive that essentially sealed the game for the Irish. He was quick, he was explosive, and he finished, a combination we have not seen from him so far.
If this is the Hayes we get for the rest of the season, then the ceiling of the defense raises even higher than it has been so far this season.