Notre Dame Football: Best Rushing Team in the Country, Period

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josh adams

When the first college football playoff rankings came out last Tuesday, we saw this Notre Dame football team ranked #3, and hypothetically matched-up with #2 Alabama in a rematch of the 2012 National Championship game. It naturally evoked memories of what Bama did to to the Fighting Irish that fateful night- really run roughshod right over ’em.

That’s also exactly what this current Notre Dame football team is doing to everybody; period.

The Fighting Irish will run at, through, over and around you. Trust try and stop them. Even if you somehow know what they’re doing, just try and stop it.

brandon wimbush

Committing to this running game is one of the major reasons why ND has made such a drastic turnaround so quickly. Here’s a link to more on some of the other factors.

They are the most physical running team in the nation (sixth in total yards per game rushing entering the weekend formally), and they do it behind perhaps the country’s best offensive line. The left side, with guard Quenton Nelson and tackle Mike McGlinchey, is stocked with blue chip NFL first round level talent. Coach Brian Kelly had an epiphany about the running game earlier this season, and it has paid off handsomely.

A very solid Wake Forest team came to South Bend today, and knocked ND’s Heisman Trophy candidate Josh Adams out of the game very early with an injury.

He finished with just 22 yards on five carries, but wasn’t hurt too seriously, as he was seen warming up on the sideline later.

After the game, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said they were holding Adams out just to be conservative and cautious.

Kelly also added that Adams simply wasn’t feeling himself, not feeling quite right and a bit run down overall this week. There was no reason to push him in this contest, so they didn’t.

No Adams, no problem, as the Irish kept running wild anyway, going over 300 yards rushing (380 in total on 8.3 yards per carry), for the seventh time in nine games this season, and their fifth 3 bills plus in a row.

The result was a 48-37 victory, and that final score was not indicative of how the game truly went as the Demon Deacons were able to do some garbage time stat padding.

notre dame football

Irish Quarterback Brandon Wimbush busted out a 50 yard run in the first half, marking the 11th time that a Notre Dame rusher had at least half the century mark or more on one carry.

Wimbush, already the record holder for most rushing TDs by a QB in a single season in Notre Dame football history, continued moving up the charts today.

He’s now tied for 7th all time with Everett Golson and Joe Montana for quarterback career rushing touchdowns. Did we mention this is just his ninth career start?

Wimbush added another rushing touchdown, and then finished with 110 yards rushing on 12 carries.

brandon wimbush

“I think there is a lot of points that we left up on the board, and it’s scary and I say that every week, but I think one of these weeks we will connect and everything will be clicking, but I’m not worried about those guys dropping balls,” said Wimbush.

“I’ve got to continue to give them opportunities to go make plays because those guys are playmakers.”

Five different Notre Dame football players had over 40 yards rushing, and four Irish ball-carriers were 50+.

At least five Irish rushers registered a carry that went over 32 yards. Wimbush added 280 yards passing, completing 15 of 30 attempts, one touchdown and no interceptions.

If not for a few drops by his receivers, Wimbush would have topped the 300 yard passing mark. He left the game at halftime with a contusion to his left hand, but x-rays were negative and he returned in the second half. Today’s offensive effort, 720 yards, tied the Notre Dame football single game yardage mark, set in 1969 against Navy.

brian kelly notre dame

“Our tempo was good, our perimeter game was good, we got the ball out quickly on the perimeter, we’re able to stretch teams vertically,” said Kelly.

“It was difficult to — we had a lot of answers tonight. When Brandon is able to throw the ball and push the ball down the field, you have to think about playing a lot more two-safety looks, and we got those tonight, which opened up some things for us.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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