NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In a show of offensive efficiency and defensive domination, ninth-ranked Notre Dame shut out visiting Bowling Green 52-0 Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
It was the first shutout by an Irish team since 2014 when the Irish defeated Michigan 31-0. Notre Dame (4-1) outgained the Falcons (1-4) 575-228 and scored six passing touchdowns,
Quarterback Ian Book finished 16-of-20 for 261 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Chase Claypool snagged two of those scores and recorded 61 yards on three catches, while Javon McKinley finished with a career-high 104 receiving yards and touchdown. Tommy Tremble, Cole Kmet and Avery Davis also scored for the Irish.
Running back Tony Jones recorded his second straight 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 102 yards to lead the Irish rushing attack.
Safety Jalen Elliott led the defense with six total tackles and an interception, while defensive end Jamir Jones had four tackles, including two for loss, and sack. Defensive end Julian Okwara added three tackles (two TFL), a sack and a blocked field goal.
How It Happened
After trading three-and-outs with the Falcons to start the game, an efficient Irish offense began to emerge. On its second drive, Notre Dame needed just six plays and 1:58 to go 80 yards, with Jones Jr. rushing four times for 40 yards before Tommy Tremble capped the possession with a 17-yard touchdown catch from Book.
Another Bowling Green punt preceded Book’s second touchdown pass of the day, this one a 21-yard connection with Cole Kmet to cap a three-play, 46-yard drive with 6:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Before the period was out, the Irish went up 21-0 on a 34-yard touchdown reception by Chase Claypool. The senior receiver added a second touchdown catch with 6:49 left in the half, an eight-yard snag to put the Irish up 28-0.
Book capped the half with his fifth touchdown pass — a program record for a half — when he hit Javon McKinley from 35 yards to give the Irish a 35-0 advantage at intermission. Book finished with 255 yards on 15-of-17 passing in the game’s first 30 minutes.
The Irish opened the second half with a defensive stand, as Julian Okwara preserved the shutout by blocking Falcon kicker Nate Needham’s 40-yard field goal attempt on Bowling Green’s opening drive. It was the first blocked field goal of Okwara’s career.
In answer, the Irish converted on their own field goal attempt — a 27-yarder by Jonathan Doerer — to take a 38-0 lead at the 7:12 mark of the third quarter.
With Phil Jurkovec in the game in relief of Book, the Irish found the end zone again with under three minutes remaining in the third when he connected with Avery Davis on a 7-yard score. The play capped a six-play, 75-yard drive that also featured a 26-yard completion to McKinley and a 32-yard catch by Davis.
Jurkovec finished 5-of-7 passing for 79 yards and the touchdown to Davis.
C’Bo Flemister cracked Notre Dame’s 50-point mark with just under seven minutes left in the game with a one-yard dive for the team’s first rushing scoring of the day. In going up 52-0, the Irish scored at least 50 points in two games in a season for the first time since 1996, when they did so in four games.
- With the win the Irish have won 14 straight home games, which is the third-longest streak in school history.
- For the first time in Notre Dame history, an Irish team recorded six touchdown passes in two games during the same season.
- With 52 total points, it marked the second time this season the Irish recorded at least 50 points. The last time Notre Dame reached that plateau in multiple games in a season was in 2011 when the Irish did it twice (vs. Air Force and vs. Navy).
- Notre Dame’s 35-0 halftime lead was the largest since opening a 35-0 halftime margin over Rutgers in 1996.
- The Irish went 8-for-8 inside the red zone Saturday, continuing a season-long streak of red zone perfection (18 total touchdowns).
- Brian Kelly is the first Irish coach to post three or more shutouts in his Notre Dame career since Lou Holtz.
- The last Irish shutout took place in 2014 vs. Michigan (31-0).
- TE Tommy Tremble caught his second career touchdown pass on Notre Dame’s first scoring drive, which was fueled by four consecutive rushes (40 yards) from RB Tony Jones Jr.
- DL Jamir Jones notched his first sack of the game, his second of the season, midway through the first quarter.
- DE Julian Okwara recorded a sack in the second quarter, his fourth of the season (14.5 sacks total on his career).
- Okwara also blocked a Bowling Green field goal attempt, his first career block. The last time an Irish player blocked a field goal attempt was in the 2014 Music City Bowl vs. LSU (Isaac Rochell).
- TE Cole Kmet recorded his second touchdown catch of the season on a 21-yard pass from Book in the first quarter.
- WR Chase Claypool recorded his third touchdown reception of the season on a 34-yard Book pass in the first quarter and his fourth on an eight-yard toss in the second.
- WR Javon McKinley added another receiving touchdown in the final two minutes of the first half, his third of the season. McKinley posted 104 receiving yards on the day, the first 100-yard receiving performance of his career.
- S Jalen Elliott notched an interception on the final play of the first half to halt the Falcons on fourth down.
- RB Avery Davis recorded his second touchdown of the season on a seven-yard reception from Phil Jurkovec in the third quarter. Davis finished with 39 yards on three catches.
- RB C’Bo Flemister notched Notre Dame’s only rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was Flemister’s second career touchdown.
- RB Tony Jones Jr. surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark (102), posting his third consecutive performance with more than 100 yards.
- Book opened the game with nine consecutive completions and recorded nine passes of 15 yards or more in the first half.
- Book threw five touchdown passes in the first half, matching his career high (vs. New Mexico, 2019) and marking the first time in program history an Irish QB recorded five touchdown passes in a half.
- Brady Quinn, Tommy Rees, Jimmy Clausen, Ron Powlus and Ian Book are the only quarterbacks in Notre Dame history to record four or more touchdown passes in three games in their career.
- Book’s 36 career touchdown passes move him into eighth place in Irish history (passed Jarious Jackson, 34).