Angeli Leads Blue to 28-21 Victory in 2024 Notre Dame Blue-Gold Game

Notre Dame's spring game showcased Angeli's late-game drive and solid defense. Coach Freeman's optimism for the upcoming season shines through in his insightful commentary

The first-string Blue squad beat the Gold team 28-21 with a late fourth-quarter drive led by rising junior quarterback Steve Angeli and senior transfer wide receiver Kris Mitchell, who hauled in a 62-yard bomb laid perfectly in his bread basket after a double-move about ten yards out from the line of scrimmage. 

“They’ve been progressing all spring,” head coach Marcus Freeman said in the quarterback room of rising junior Steve Angeli, sophomore Kenny Minchey, early-enrollee CJ Carr, and graduate transfer Riley Leonard. However, Leonard has missed time after foot surgery to treat a stress fracture. Angeli wore the red jersey and was not allowed to be hit, while Minchey and Carr took hits and sacks when the Irish’s front seven rushed the passer and showed why it is one of the potential top units in the country in 2024.

Junior defensive lineman Jason Onye and graduate transfer defensive lineman RJ Oben looked dominant at times against a developing Irish offensive line that lost both Joe Alt and Blake Fisher to the NFL draft. The defensive lines recorded seven sacks. 

Junior tight end Eli Raridon, who has overcome injuries early in his career, caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Angeli and had three catches on the first two drives. Senior wide receiver Deion Colzie caught seven passes for 58 yards. 

Young, talented linebackers impressed Freeman on the defensive side of the ball. 

“(Freshman) Kyngstonn (Viliamu-Asa) is gonna be a really good football player. We thought that when he came in,” Freeman said. 

“He validated that throughout these 15 practices; he’s gonna be a really great football player and do some great things for us right away.” 

“(Jaylen) Sneed and Jaiden Ausberry are two super athletic players. (Sneed) is really starting to come into his own, understanding what he’s doing, playing faster. He brings a really deep and unique skillset. Ausberry, we gotta find ways to not take him off the field. That’s a reflection of his athleticism and his skillset.” 

Early-enrollee running back Aneyas Williams rushed 10 times for 40 yards and a touchdown and was impressive, strong, and quick. Angeli finished 17-25 passing for 228 yards and two touchdowns, with a long of 62 yards to transfer wide receiver Kris Mitchell. True sophomore Jeremiyah Love, who will likely be the feature back in the fall, rushed seven times for 36 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 40 yards and a long of 32 out of the backfield. Freshman wide receiver Micah Gilbert caught two touchdown passes and looks ready to contribute despite a deep and fast wide receiver corps of veterans, freshmen, and transfers. Freshman five-start wide receiver Cam Williams was out with a hamstring injury. 

Despite the limited play call options, the offense showed glimpses of new offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock’s quick influence (his LSU offense last season led the nation in most major offensive categories and produced the Heisman Trophy winner in Jayden Daniels). Carr looked polished and smooth, throwing 8-13 for 99 yards and one touchdown. While Leonard may have the starting job locked up, Carr will give Minchey and Angeli a run for the backup job, though both Minchey and Angeli were also solid. This is the deepest quarterback room of Freeman’s three-year tenure. 

The offense was without sophomore running back Jadarian Price, who strained his hamstring returning a kickoff in practice earlier this week. Fellow sophomore running back Gi’Bran Payne added five inches to his vertical in winter conditioning and has, as a result, added an extra burst as he hits the hole; he had 10 carries for 59 yards. The offensive units were also without wide receiver Jordan Faison, who is with the lacrosse team. 

In a week that revealed the 2024 “The Shirt,” with a gold background and the Four Horsemen donning the front, the Irish may have a new Four Horsemen in Love, Price, Payne, and Williams. The receiving corps is deep. Sophomores Jaden Greathouse and KK Smith also had six catches apiece. 

The only missteps of the day were an interception and fumble by Minchey and a 50-yard missed field goal by graduate transfer Rino Monteforte, which fell just short. 

With much of 2025’s #1 class in attendance, including top quarterback recruit Deuce Knight, the Irish showed on both offense and defense they can be explosive this fall. After the game, Freeman stated, “I believe this probably is, I want to say, one of the most talented rosters we’ve had since I’ve been here, right? Now it’s our job is to build that talent and mold that talent and make sure we teach that talent to get to where we want to go.” 

Overall, Freeman is pleased with the returning talent, the young players that have entered the program, and the transfers that have added depth and filled gaps. He’s also happy with the overall state of the program, as the Notre Dame administration announced this week the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art, on-campus football facility. 

“If we’ve ever lost a recruit because of the facility, then that probably isn’t a loss, right? So, I want to make sure I answer that first. Our facility has never been a recruiting disadvantage for us, but what it [the new facility] does is it shows the recruits that you have and your current players, the vision you have for the future,” Freeman said. 

“We’re getting state-of-the-art with everything. State-of-the-art just in terms of how can we truly provide our players with every possible opportunity for development? In what ways can we develop?… It’s about giving the current players and future players every possibility to really develop and reach their full potential, and that’s the vision behind it.” 

There’s a long way to go until the first fall practice, but the pieces for 2024 are coming together, and Freeman couldn’t be more pleased. 

You may also like


  1. A good spring scrimmage game. It looks to be Freeman’s best team at this point. Though a strong QB room, I will not be surprised if 1 or even 2 of those hit the portal for more playing time versus sitting on the bench. I wish ND would have passed on Riley and looked “in-house” but it’s how it is. Good optimism for the fall to come. Go Irish!

    1. So true there was no need for Leonard, give your guys who commited to you a chance to play & promote from within

  2. Looks like it should be an intense QB competition: Carr, Leonard or Angelli. All 3 have their positives and negatives..
    The OL appears to be the achilles heel if there is one.

    Defense appears solid all the way around.

    I’m looking for an 11-1 highly touted playoff team!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button