With all the buzz surrounding Notre Dame’s recruiting success, quarterback Ian Book has sights on completing the legacy he did not last year. The 2018 campaign started off with a marquee win over Michigan and ended in disappointment as the Clemson Tigers steamrolled the Irish 30-3 in the 83rd edition of the Cotton Bowl Classic.
Now, Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish have the biggest chip on their shoulders. Irish faithful are hopeful that the 2019 seasons yields some more of the same successes, but a different end result as Ian Book looks to complete his legacy at Notre Dame.
For the 2019 season, the Irish will be led by senior quarterback Ian Book. Expectations are high after falling short once again on the big stage. Notre Dame is no stranger to stage fright in the limelight despite a 12-0 finish to the 2018 regular season. In fact, Notre Dame has not won a “New Year’s Six” bowl game since beating Texas A&M back in 1994.
Most notably, they have lost nine consecutive NY Six bowl games. Many of these losses fell on the Charlie Weiss administration during this time. Brian Kelly has now accounted for the last three on a pattern that continues to spiral in the wrong direction.
Look for Ian Book’s decision making, along with his athletic ability to be the key again for the Irish this year. Over the past several years, Notre Dame has lived and died by the play of the man under center. Look for Book’s decision making, along with his athletic ability to be the key again for the Irish this year.
Quarterback Legacy Comparisons
Looking back at some of the QB’s who had some success, Book does not draw a direct comparison to any one particular player, but some of the best attributes of them all.
Brady Quinn – 2003-2006: Poised and disciplined, but Quinn did not possess the same mobility and escapability to be a threat to run, like Book.
Jimmy Clausen – 2007-2009: Same confidence, swagger, and downfield cannon – but struggled with accuracy. Ian Book ranked sixth in the nation last season with a completion percentage of 70.4%
Tommy Rees – 2010-2013: Rees brought grit, willingness to prepare and passion, yet was not nearly as naturally talented as Book as a starting quarterback at Notre Dame.
Do not forget, Ian Book spent years backing up DeShone Kizer and Brandon Wimbush. Wimbush did not shine on the stat sheet, but always found a way to win. Kizer is a “Next Man Up” clutch-play maker as evidenced by his debut against Virginia, where he replaced the injured Malik Zaire with a 39-yard strike to Will Fuller to seal the victory. That competitiveness is a learned behavior, and Wimbush exemplified what it meant to be a QB at the University of Notre Dame despite lackluster passing statistics and turnover woes.
Perhaps Ian Book will be the QB to break this losing big game streak and complete his legacy at Notre Dame. To do so, he is faced with two daunting tasks ahead.
NOTRE DAME AT GEORGIA
The first is an early season match-up against SEC foe Georgia Bulldogs on September 23, 2019. Last time they faced off it was in South Bend, IN. Notre Dame had plenty of opportunities but just could never cash in falling to the Bulldogs 20-19.
Now in 2019, they have a shot at them again this time down south in Athens, GA. The trenches are where this game is going to be decided.
NOTRE DAME AT MICHIGAN
The second tall task comes on October 26, 2019, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It would be hard to forget the 24-17 victory, under the lights at Notre Dame to start 1-0 last season. Michigan fans have a notorious “Elitist” attitude but have a history of backing it up despite lack of performance under coaching journeyman Jim Harbaugh.
At this point in the offseason, all you can hope for is health and development of the young players as they are expected to grow into the playmakers to surround Ian Book and propel him to cement his legacy as a Notre Dame quarterback.
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