BY: Jeff Schneberk
There is talk around South Bend that the Notre Dame football team could crack the Bowl season and play in a BCS playoff game this winter.
While that may not surprise anyone around the state of Indiana, it is welcome news considering how much talent the Fighting Irish lost last season thanks to the NFL draft. Gone are TE Tyler Eifert, LB Manti Te’o and QB Everett Golson, to name a few.
Now the Irish have taken what’s left and are slowly but surely rising to the top again. Of course they will never actually get there, not as long as Alabama and Oregon continue to blitz everyone they play by about 40 points per game.
But nobody outside Indiana expects the Irish to do well, except the Irish faithful.
Last night it didn’t start well though, Falcons scored first late in the first quarter.
Thanks to what ended up being a blowout win last night in Colorado against the Air Force, Notre Dame has improved to 5-2. QB Tommy Rees, whom not many people expected to see him play this year after Everett Golson made a name for himself in the US College football world, Rees came to play last night against the Falcons, and play he did…to the tune of 5 throwing touchdowns and a couple of Kyle Brindza field goals, took the flight right out of the Falcons and beat ‘em 45-10, putting up 17 points in the second quarter and another 14 in the third quarter.
Rees finished the game with 284 yards to go along with his 5 TDs.
Air Force kept up with the Irish, at least in terms of 1st downs. Notre Dame had 22, Falcons had 19. Notre Dame won the passing game though 331 yards to 49.
In fact, Rees was so good last night, he spent part of the game watching from the sidelines. It wasn’t because of a strained neck or a muscle pull, or poor performance, but because of a very very strong showing.
Rees was rested for the entire 4th quarter. That doesn’t happen very often around Notre Dame.
“I felt really good out there,” he said.
He picked apart the Falcons defense and sent them to 1-7.
Rees also became the fourth ND quarterback to throw 50 or more TDs, joining Ron Powlus, Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn.
“I’m not too in tune with all that stuff,” Rees said. “I’m sure when my career is over that I’ll look back and be appreciative of some of the things I was able to do. Right now, the focus is week in and week out finding a way to be the best quarterback for this team and try to win games.”
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was certainly impressed.
“When we needed a play, he was able to make it,” Kelly said.
The Falcons’ loss means they are ineligible for Bowl season.
“When you make mistakes against really good teams, they’re magnified even more,” said Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun.