Notre Dame’s Ian Book Has Another Chance to Rewrite His Story

Last weekend in the early fourth quarter, it looked like the next chapter in the book of Ian as Notre Dame quarterback was going to end similarly to how many others had before – close but just not quite good enough. As Book fumbled into the Clemson endzone, it looked bleak for Book and the Irish. We all know what happened next. Well, this weekend, the Irish gunslinger has another opportunity to rewrite his story when he faces off against his former understudy, Phil Jurkovec.

When Phil Jurkovec transferred to Boston College in the spring, Notre Dame fans’ eyes looked towards a future showdown between Jurkovec and Notre Dame. The upheaval of the 2020 schedule because of the COVID-19 crisis, however, accelerated that matchup to this Saturday. In the process, the schedule shuffling allowed Notre Dame fans to see the quarterback they have vs. the quarterback they thought they’d have for the next few years.

By his standards, Ian Book struggled to start the season while Jurkovec had moments that showed why he was so highly rated as a recruit a few years ago. The chatter on Twitter and forums began. Why did Notre Dame let Phil Jurkovec leave just to keep Ian Book?

That chatter only intensified as Jurkovec turned in a few solid performances. A 358 yard, 3-touchdown performance in an overtime win against Pitt. A near-upset of Clemson two weeks ago had that chatter reach a roar. Now, there have been bumps on the road for Jurkovec as well. Against Virginia Tech, he tossed two interceptions and two touchdowns in a 40-14 loss on the road.

Ian Book isn’t putting up the same passing totals he did a year ago when he tossed 33 touchdowns to just six interceptions on the season. Still, he changed the trajectory of his season – and his Notre Dame career – last weekend with one 91-yard drive in the final 90 seconds of regulation. That is the drive that Notre Dame fans will now think of when they think of Ian Bok in the future.

Despite the heroics last week, there will still be fans who undoubtedly will complain if Jurkovec’s stats look better than Book’s this weekend or if the Irish struggle at all against their former backup quarterback. Book has the chance to silence those doubters once again this weekend, though, by outperforming Jurkovec and making sure the Irish don’t suffer the same fate of previous undefeated Notre Dame teams who have fallen to lesser-talent Boston College teams in the past.

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Book doesn’t need to throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns this weekend, but if he leads Notre Dame to a comfortable win while throwing the ball as he did against Clemson, the subsection of fans still pinning for Jurkovec should die down even more.

Last year against Boston College, Book tossed three touchdowns with 239 yards while adding another 66 yards rushing. After what we saw against Clemson, there is no reason to think that Book couldn’t improve on those numbers even with a wide receiving corps that is still banged up. Braden Lenzy will miss his third consecutive game tomorrow with a hamstring injury that he reaggravated against Pittsburgh last month. After what Book pulled last weekend, part of me hopes that Tommy Ress dials up a few more passes than maybe he would usually this weekend to make sure his quarterback has himself a day. The coaching staff and players have said all the right things this week, but Rees knows the narrative that exists of Book squaring off against his former backup.

After beating Clemson last weekend, Ian Book doesn’t have to throw for 400+ yards and 5 touchdowns this weekend to prove anything to anyone. If Book is merely solid and Notre Dame wins easily, that’s all the Irish need to keep marching towards their goal. Considering some of the adversity that Book’s overcome, anyone rooting for Ian Book has to be hoping that another outburst from him like we saw against Clemson or Pitt.

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6 Comments

  1. Most of the fans and Brian Kelly, keep expecting Ian Book to be the quarterback that THEY think he should be…which is…a guy who stretches the field vertically. This is not Ian Book. Maybe we should all let Ian be the qb he is, and capitalize on his God given talent. He is fairly accurate at short to medium throws. He has good running abilities, and he doesn’t commit a lot of turn overs. Those traits, along with solid defense and offensive line, and a slew of awesome tight ends is a recipe for success! Trying to make him into something he isn’t, is exactly what has ruined every other qb that Brian Kelly has had at ND.

  2. Re-watch that last drive. After Book scrambled for nine yards and got out of bounds to stop the clock, ND faced a 2nd and 1. Book then threw to the TE in double coverage and almost had it picked. He had a few check downs for an easy first down or could’ve taken off for a few yards and got out of bounds. Now, then end result was the Clemson DB dropped the INT. That allowed Book and the Irish O to ger a big run and catch to set up the tying touchdown at the end.

    We should, however, not overlook the bad read and throw by Book. It didn’t affect the end result against Clemson. At some point if Book continues to ignore the safe throw for a contested one that will come back to haunt him and the team.

    Perhaps the best throw by Book was in the first OT when he got outside the pocket and made a great throw to Myer on the sideline. It was a real fast ball, thrown between the numbers, and low so no one else could’ve made the catch. Perfect pitch and catch!

    GO IRISH!

    BEAT BC!

  3. That headline is utter, pathetic, self-absorbed tripe.
    Ian Book isn’t writing this massive dump of “stories” every week. UHND is.
    And also unlike Book, making money doing it.
    Jumping on and off the fence is good fodder for more articles….as long as no one notices what opportunistic hypocrisy it is.

  4. Bat breath kills! Wear your MASK .
    Kelly will do what we do best if they let us. Rees will take what they.give us. Thus comes Ian Book .

    BGC 77 82

    1. And rightfully so!

      But the final score is all that matter. If this game is close, and Ohio St. has its weekly rout, then don’t bitch when the Irish get bumped down to three or four.

      Playing down to weaker opponents won’t help the ND cause.

      Time to do to BC what the Irish did to PItt.

      GO IRISH!

      BEAT BC!

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