Hear It From a Student - Three Things

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5649514.jpegThree things we learned ...

1.) Tommy Rees is persistent, has the intangibles ... With the way the game started, Tommy Rees could have given up. He got crushed by a first-quarter blindside hit resulting in a fumble and then proceeded to throw an interception on the next drive. At that point, he had seven turnovers in seven quarters. But Rees stuck with it, managed the game, distributed the ball and guided the Irish offense to 31 points against a defense that had given up a total of six points in two games. Rees isn't the tallest quarterback, he isn't the strongest quarterback, but he has what it takes to win at Notre Dame.

2.) Robert Blanton is a defensive stud ... Blanton had the best game of his Notre Dame career against Michigan State. The highlight of R.J.'s night was an 82-yard interception return to the Michigan State 11-yard line, which set up an Irish field goal to ice the game. Blanton also registered three pass break-ups, three tackles for a loss, one sack and six tackles. Blanton was all over the field for the Irish and made a number of big plays that helped the Irish defense hold a Spartan offense that had put up 72 points up in their first two games to only 13 points.

3.) Aaron Lynch is going to be fun to watch ... After playing very little against South Florida and then not getting into the Michigan game, Aaron Lynch dominated the Michigan State offensive line on Saturday. Lynch recorded six quarterback hurries, one sack, a forced fumble and five tackles. Lynch helped keep Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins on the run for pretty much the entire game. The remarkable part is that Aaron is only a freshman. Lynch should be a joy to watch over the course of his Irish career.

Also worth noting ...

* George Atkinson III became the first freshman to return a kickoff for a touchdown since Rocket Ismail did so against Rice in 1988.

* Michigan State had -1 yards rushing in the first quarter, a season-low for an Irish opponent in a quarter.

* Notre Dame's 75 yards rushing in the first quarter were the most in a first quarter this season.

* Notre Dame snapped its five-game losing streak in the month of September.

* Notre Dame's defense has allowed one offensive touchdown or less in six of its last seven games.

* Michigan State gained only 29 yards on the ground. That's the fewest rushing yards allowed by the Irish since Oct. 2, 2010, when the Irish held Boston College to five yards.

- Andrew Bartolini ('13)

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