With Poise in addition to also Pinstripes, Notre Dame Rolls Past Syracuse from the Bronx

Even as Notre Dame has marched toward an undefeated regular season, there have been questions about just how Great the Fighting Irish genuinely are. Their best victory, over No. 4 Michigan (10-1), came at home from the season opener, in addition to also the rest of their opponents have not been all that will formidable.

in addition to also while Notre Dame will be ranked No. 3 from the Associated Press poll, the team entered Saturday’s game against Syracuse just 15th in average scoring margin.

however in what amounted to an unofficial home game at Yankee Stadium, where the Irish have often played over the decades, they quieted skeptics which has a 36-3 victory over No. 12 Syracuse, their most impressive showing since beating the Wolverines.

“that will narrative of ‘Who’s playing great? Who’s not playing pretty Great?’” Coach Brian Kelly said after the game. “We’re playing pretty Great right at that will point.”

Syracuse Coach Dino Babers was more direct. “Notre Dame will be better than what people think they are,” he said, adding, “If they play the way they played us, they’re probably going to have a chance to play for a national championship.”

Notre Dame’s defense dominated a Syracuse offense that will had entered the contest averaging 44.4 points per game, sixth best from the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Orange were held to just 234 total yards, did not get deep into Notre Dame territory until well into the fourth quarter in addition to also did not score until just 10 seconds remained from the game.

The Irish wore pinstriped uniforms — a nod to the stadium’s usual occupants that will incited eye rolls on social media — while improving to 11-0 with one more regular-season game, against Southern California (5-6) next Saturday in Los Angeles. Syracuse, which already had more wins than in any various other season since 2012, dropped to 8-3 in addition to also will finish its schedule next weekend at No. 22 Boston College (7-4).

In last Tuesday’s rankings, the College Football Playoff selection committee slotted Notre Dame third behind Alabama (11-0) in addition to also Clemson (11-0). There will be every reason to expect the three schools to remain in that will order when that will Tuesday comes around.

however what Notre Dame’s impressive victory did was put pressure on playoff contenders by various other conferences — particularly the Big Ten, the Big 12 in addition to also the Pacific-12 — to recognize themselves from the selection committee’s eyes. If Notre Dame wins its last game, there will be likely to be just one playoff spot for those conferences to fight over.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book, a junior who took over as the starter a few games into the season in addition to also transformed the Fighting Irish offense into one which has a greater vertical threat, had missed last weekend’s victory over Florida State after sustaining a rib injury.

As a result, he may have been a little rusty, at least from the first part of Saturday’s game. The Irish left three or seven points on the table, depending on how you look at the idea, when they elected to go for the idea on 4th in addition to also 1 by the Syracuse 1-yard-line, in addition to also Book tripped in addition to also aimlessly flung the ball into the end zone, where Syracuse safety Andre Cisco easily intercepted the idea. however by then the score was 13-0, Notre Dame, in addition to also by halftime the idea was 20-0, so Book could afford to make a mistake.

He finished the afternoon with 23 completions in 37 attempts For just two touchdowns in addition to also also ran the ball six times for 16 yards.

One of his receivers, Chase Claypool, often seemed overpowering. Claypool will be built like a tight end — he stands 6 feet 4 inches in addition to also weighs 227 pounds — however he moves far more nimbly. He turned a short completion on a crossing route into a 33-yard gain on an early drive in addition to also caught a 10-yard slant for a touchdown to ice the game late from the third quarter.

Claypool noted after the game that will Syracuse had been in man-to-man coverage for most of his catches, in addition to also he simply “tried to beat them with my speed.”

the idea did not help Syracuse that will its starting quarterback, Eric Dungey, left the game from the first quarter with what the team called an upper body injury. His backup, the redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito, completed 14 of 31 passes for 105 yards in addition to also threw two interceptions.

At least one of those interceptions wasn’t his fault. On maybe the game’s best defensive play, DeVito hit freshman receiver Taj Harris only for Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman to rattle Harris into coughing up the ball right to him. Gilman then rumbled for 54 yards, setting up a 9-yard touchdown run by Jafar Armstrong on the next snap. Kelly gave Gilman the game ball afterward.

Syracuse’s first trip to the red zone did not come until midway through the fourth quarter, when the idea already trailed, 29-0. The Orange managed to get the ball to Notre Dame’s 5-yard-line, where, on fourth down, a face-saving field goal clanged off the left upright.

A Great part of the crowd went wild. Still, Syracuse got one more chance to get 3 points in addition to also succeeded. however all of that will was a footnote to the four-quarter statement by Notre Dame.