Snap Judgment: Air Force

Sorry for the delay, loyal readers, but sometimes work gets in the way, even on Sundays. Work is what Tommy Rees did yesterday in the thin air of Colorado. In a critical win, 45-10, that preserved the Irish hopes for a BCS-berth for one more week, Notre Dame’s too-oft-maligned quarterback put up numbers that put him in some remarkable company.

Almost quietly, Tommy Rees has become Notre Dame’s third-most prolific touchdown passer, with fifty-four passing TD’s. He’s now in the company of only Brady Quinn (95) and Jimmy Clausen (60). His efficiency rating yesterday was his best and ND’s best since Jimmy Clausen’s performance agaist Nevada in 2009.

Rees spread the scores around to five different receivers, with Corey Robinson, Will Fuller, TJ Jones, Chris Brown, and Ben Koyack all seeing the love. Robinson’s grab was the first score for the Irish on the day and it came, critically, after Air Force blocked a Kyle Brindza field goal try and scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Robinson and Fuller’s scores were most impressive, though the deep ball to TJ was highlight material, as well. Though not a touchdown, Andrew Hendrix, who came in for Tommy late, hooked up deep to Fuller and ran in a score himself. Not hard to do, but Hendrix was much better than he was against USC.

Watching Air Force move the ball effectively, gashing huge runs around edges that needed sealing worse than an old pair of shoes in a rain storm, brought back horrible memories of Navy 2010. To the defense’s credit, though, the Irish responded and notched their second straight “perfect” second half, holding Air Force to 339 total yards and to zero points over the third and fourth quarters.

The defense, with Louis Nix back in the Bend rehabbing a knee injury, wore the Air Force players out over time and once the edges were sealed,  stymied any attempt by the Falcons to make a game of it. Jaylon Smith stood out with 8 tackles, five solo. He was also robbed, to my eye, of a sixty-two yard fumble return for a touchdown. Initially, the refs ruled the play an incomplete, but awarded the fumble on the review. Tuitt, who shifted inside to replace Nix, notched one solo and four combined tackles on the day.

ND’s running game was nothing to write home about. GAIII fell too easily, leaving Tarean Folston, forty-seven yards on eleven carries, and Cam McDaniel, sixty-one yards on ten carries, to pick up the slack.

Anyway, a big win for the Irish that keeps the dream of a Sugar Bowl alive. Go Irish Go!

About Bayou Irish

Featured Columnist: Notre Dame Football & Other Notre Dame Sports
Hating Hurricanes Since 1990.

Bayou Irish is a Jersey boy and Double Domer who fell under New Orleans' spell in 1995. He's been through Katrina and fourteen years in the Coast Guard, so we cut him some slack, mostly in the form of HLS-subsidized sazeracs. But, when he's not face down on the bar and communing with the ghosts of Faulkner and Capote at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone, he's our man in SEC-land, doing his best to convince everyone around him that Graduation Success Rate is a better indicator of success than the number of MNC's won in the last five years.

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  • michiana comedy

    Raise your hand if you saw this coming:

  • trey

    The inadvertent whistle was definitely a black mark on the officiating crew, but I really doubt it actually took away a TD. If the whistle hadn’t blown, Jaylon may have gotten maybe 5 more yards out of it. He had to spin to get out of a tackle, and the whistle caused pretty much every Falcon player to stop.
    My issue was, the official who whistled it dead was the L on the opposite side of the line from where the play happened and the QBs back was to the L. That is absolutely not his call, and the reason for the IW was due to this poor mechanic.

  • canuck75

    I want to join the chorus that is saying GA111 and Amir Carlysle ‘s time is up. They “won ” the Spring and Fall camp competitions, but something is clearly missing.They have had a fair chance. Now lets let the two better players play.
    I have always been a Tommy booster. Not sure why he had such a bad stretch earlier this year,but I think we saw his typical ability Sat, not a freaky good day. Could be an exciting last 5 games!