Notre Dame Football


by Omar Ureña

ACC media

Like the legendary four horsemen of the 1924 Notre Dame team led by Knute Rockne, personified by Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden, this 2020 the four new horsemen emerged on the gridiron to face the University of South Florida Bulls, the powerful runners who sped through Notre Dame Stadium are C’Bo Flemister, Chris Tyree, Kyren Williams and Jafar Armstrong. The fifth rider was Captain Ian Book who opened the score with a 4-yard run down the right side, in the second quarter Ian Book again entered the end zone, this time in a one-yard dive through the middle, with the extra points by Jonathan Doerer the score was 14-0 in favor of the No. 7 seed. Unlike the first week against Duke, the first two quarters of Notre Dame’s offense against South Florida were impressive, tackle Robert Hainsey and the rest of the Fighting Irish offensive line looked flawless against a Bulls defense that was being beaten down by offensive coordinator Tommy Rees’s system.

The Irish defense came out on fire from the start, each one of the brave players were close to the ball, they gave no respite to the Bulls who found no rhythm and experienced stage fright even though there were only 10,085 people in the iconic stadium. Rookie defensive tackle Alexander Ehrensberger was furious, battling his adrenaline pumping because every play he gave it all. South Florida quarterback Jahmar Armstrong knew it would be a long fall afternoon in South Bend.

Notre Dame’s offense entered the field once again. Irish freshman running back Chris Tyree scored his first touchdown carrying the ball on a one-yard run. In the second quarter C’Bo Flemister ran for 26 yards to make the score 28-0. Notre Dame’s offense was executing a glorious bullfight episode, the Irish were playing perfectly. At halftime, coach Kelly reminded his players that they were going for the shutout. At the start of the second half it seemed as if the Toros offense had experienced fear in the tunnel on their way to the bull ring. For Notre Dame the special teams came out with a thirst for glory, Osita Ekwonu blocked a punt and the ball was recovered by the freshman from Hawaii, Jordan Botelho, to score his first touchdown wearing the Notre Dame jersey. The score was 35-0.

Alexander Ehrensberger made his first Irish sack in the third quarter, Isaiah Foskey, M. Tagovailoa-Amosa and Adetokunbo Ogundeji were playing with intensity, South Florida’s offensive line was slow to bear the onslaught, passive, like horses ridden by bull slashers. It was an afternoon when Notre Dame’s defensive line stopped the Bulls’ best running backs, Johny Ford was stopped and Kell Joiner Jr. would finish the game with just 11 yards on eight carries.

The blue and gold offense remained determined to score points in every drive. Coach Brian Kelly warned they would use three tight ends this season and did so against South Florida. With amazing performances from Tommy Tremble, freshman Michael Mayer and Brock Wright, the Irish offense was tearing the USF Bulls apart in the third quarter. Mayer, who started his first game, continued to show his blocking power, and Tommy Tremble was versatile in blocking, running as fullback and catching the ball, recording 61 yards on three catches. We saw the return of WR Lenzy Braden who had three catches for 34 yards. The Notre Dame horsemen did not stop advancing yards, in the last quarter C’Bo Flemister managed to escape 31 yards in an explosive way and finally Jahmar Armstrong lunged at the Bulls scoring a touchdown on a 5-yard run. The Notre Dame backfield added a total of 281 yards running the ball. C’Bo Flemister ran 127 yards on 13 carries, the Irish had 429 total yards.

Notre Dame’s defense was impressive and they finished strong just as coach Kelly wanted it to happen, without any distraction from the pandemic. Alexander Ehrensberger had a spectacular afternoon, he did not stop trying to bring down Jordan McCloud who only completed 8 passes of 14 throws, Isaiah Foske and Ehrensberger got one sack each. The revelation on defense was linebacker Jack Kiser who started for the first time to record 8 tackles, followed by corner Houston Griffith with 5 tackles and freshman safety Clarence Lewis, who debuted today due to Kyle Hamilton’s injury, tackled 5 times. The impact of the Notre Dame defense has been overwhelming, limiting 27 of 28 opponents to 30 points or less with coach Clark Lea as defensive coordinator. The blue and gold defense have allowed only one touchdown in the last three games.

After beating USF Notre Dame has extended its winning streak at home to 20 games, breaking the longest streak in the school’s history in modern times; 19 consecutive wins from 1987 to 1990. Brian Kelly is the first Notre Dame head coach since Lou Holtz to record four or more shutouts in his career, the most memorable was a 31-0 win over Michigan in 2014. The Fighting Irish riddled the Bulls 52-0.

Notre Dame Remains In Contention for Four-Star LB Prince Kollie

by Tom Loy (247 Sports)

Jonesborough (Tenn.) David Crockett four-star linebacker Prince Kollie is a recent offer for Notre Dame, but it’s clear the Fighting Irish are going to be a major player in this recruitment. Despite many other schools pushing hard for him for much longer, Notre Dame is going to be a top contender, which was evident when the talented prospect narrowed his list to 10 schools and the Irish remained in the hunt.

Prince Kollie (Joe Avento/Timesnews)

Kollie’s Top 10, in alphabetical order, includes Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wake Forest. As of today, there are no 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions in favor of any school. This race seems fairly wide open, but there is surely some optimism inside the Gug that Notre Dame will be able to pull this one off with a good visit, whenever time comes where he can get to South Bend for an unofficial or official visit.

The 6-1, 200-pounder, who is listed as the No. 230 overall player in the country, No. 16 outside linebacker nationally and No. 6 prospect in Tennessee from the 2021 class according to 247Sports, was offered by Notre Dame on May 17, but Irish defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Clark Lea has been recruiting and evaluating Kollie for much longer than just a week or two ago.

One of the bigger ones for sure,” Kollie said to 247Sports National Director of Scouting Steve Wiltfong. “They are in a class of their own when you combine, prestige, academics, athletics and a national brand and most importantly a tremendous fan base.”

247Sports gave a well-deserved bump to the nasty, aggressive, violent linebacker. In addition, Kollie received an invitation last month to play in the 2021 Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla. A four-star recruit per the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Kollie is also a four-star recruit, the No. 302 overall talent nationally, No. 21 target at his position in the country and No. 8 recruit in Tennessee this cycle.

As a junior Kollie racked up 78 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception with 1,085 yards receiving and nine scores. “This is an East Tennessee kid playing very average competition but his film is outstanding,” 247Sports National Director of Scouting Barton Simmons said. “He makes plays on both sides of the ball in a lot of different ways and his physicality and natural strength is eye-catching. He’s seen his stock rise of late with college staffs too.”




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