SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Even with a 49-20 win at Boston College and a handful of rushing records to go with it, most of the talk about Notre Dame immediately after the game focused on what went wrong.
On the ground, quarterback Brandon Wimbush was historically brilliant, breaking a 48-year-old, single-game record for an Irish quarterback with 207 rushing yards. Wimbush also added four rushing touchdowns, the most scored by any Irish player since running back Emmett Mosley ran for four scores in 1994.
“You’ve just got to find a way to find something that’s working for you,” said Wimbush, who averaged 9.9 yards on his 21 carries. “And it happened to be my feet during this game.”
Through the air was a different story. Wimbush completed just 11 of his 24 passes for 96 yards with an interception and at least six overthrown incompletions.
“Under a hundred yards throwing and you’re a quarterback? It’s not ideal,” Wimbush said afterward. “As a quarterback, (passing) is the first thing you do, right, so it troubles me a little bit.”
Coach Brian Kelly was asked repeatedly this week what went wrong with his first-year starting quarterback and what could be done to improve accuracy with a visit to Michigan State (2-0) coming up on Saturday. Kelly didn’t seem worried.
“We can’t appease people in terms of what looks good as much as what we’re going to be good at,” Kelly said Tuesday. “If running the football is what is going to be the common denominator for wins, then that’s what we’re doing.”
After three games, Notre Dame ranks fifth in the country in rushing at 330.7 yards per game. But through the air, the Irish (2-1) rank only 114th in passing yards with 163.3 per game and a woeful 124th in passing efficiency out of 129 rated FBS teams.
“Clearly we have to work on our weaknesses, right?” Kelly said. “But we’re going to do what we’re good at, and that’s what this offense does moving forward.”