The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are going to have to outscore their opponents this year with big offensive showings. That will get more difficult as the season wears on and they work their way through a brutal schedule, but on Saturday they met little resistance as they scored big and cruised past the Rice Owls by a final score of 48-17.
Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson was the talk of this game going into it, coming into the game after a season lost to academic suspension, and he is the talk of the game afterwards. He beat Rice with his arm and with his legs in this one, showing every sign of the quarterback that Notre Dame was missing last season.
In the air he went 14-for-22 for 295 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground he ran for another 41 yards and three touchdowns, showing a nose for the goal line when the Fighting Irish were in the red zone. It was the kind of day where he earned the privilege of an early exit and some rest late in the game.
Besides the Notre Dame blowout, the aesthetics of this game were interesting and worth considering.
This was the first game of the artificial surface, or “grass-tro-turf,” in South Bend. Between that and the now-customary Under Armour logo on the Irish jerseys, it just felt a little different. Not better or worse, because that is the world we live in. It was just different for a team that many watch to tap into the traditions of college football.
Notre Dame will need big offense like this all season; they will try to keep that up next week against the Michigan Wolverines.
As for Rice, they were unable to come through with the upset and will now set their sights on a schedule that doesn’t get any easier with a road date with Texas A&M next week.