Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech: First-Quarter Analysis

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If you’re a betting person, putting money on Notre Dame backups receiving a lot of playing time against Georgia Tech might be a safe move. All indications are that senior day at Notre Dame Stadium will go as well as it possibly could. The only question appears to be how much the Irish will win by. That’s how confident Irish fans should be after watching the first quarter and seeing their team take a 24-0 lead.

This game has gone well from the opening kickoff, which Chris Tyree returned for 51 yards into Yellow Jackets territory. That was immediately followed by Jack Coan completing a 38-yard pass to Kevin Austin, putting the ball at the 10-yard line. However, that was as good as the drive got as Coan took sacks on two of the next three plays. Jonathan Doerer got the Irish on the board when he just barely made a 41-yard field goal that cleared the left upright.

The Yellow Jackets got into Irish territory on their first drive, but that’s when the Irish showed the strength of their defense. About to take a sack from Isaiah Foskey, Jordan Yates opted to get the rid of the ball, which was a big mistake. Jack Kiser was right there to take the interception and return the ball 50 yards for his second touchdown of the season. Sometimes, the sack is the best move.

After the Irish’s defense then forced a three-and-out, the offense went out for its second drive and was able to finish what it started this time. The drive nearly stalled out deep in Yellow Jackets territory, but Coan threw a 9-yard pass to Braden Lenzy on fourth-and-2 to get into the red zone. Two plays later, Kyren Williams ran for a 9-yard touchdown. Already, Williams has made a mark in what could be his final game in South Bend.

The Yellow Jackets managed to pick up a first down on their next drive but nothing more. Back on offense, the Irish converted on a third down to keep the game’s next possession going, and that appeared to be it for the first quarter. Instead, Coan then hit an open Michael Mayer for a 52-yard touchdown. Already, the rout is on.

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