Following Flynt - A Great Day to Be Irish

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5709809.jpegWhat a day. From the weather to the final score, Saturday was nothing short of excellent. It felt more like mid-July than early October when the Irish took the field for their third home game of the season.

Notre Dame scored on each of its first six possessions, getting on the board early with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Rees to Michael Floyd. Rees also threw three more touchdowns, finishing 23-of-32 for 261 yards.

In all, the Irish amassed eight touchdowns while getting scores from seven different players - Floyd, Eifert, Toma, Gray, Wood, Riddick and Atkinson. After overcoming the adversity of an opening-week fumble, gameday captain Jonas Gray continued his strong play, scoring twice and finding the end zone for the third consecutive week.

Saturday's game also introduced the long awaited and much anticipated quarterback mix-up. Many wondered if Everett Golson would fill this role, but sophomore Andrew Hendrix got the nod. Hendrix completed all four of his passes and carried the ball six times for 111 yards, including a 78-yard dash in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, the Irish did have some difficulty stopping the Air Force running game. The Falcons piled up 363 yards on the ground, but only managed 16 points through the first three quarters. They scored twice in the final five minutes of the game, but it was not nearly enough to overcome Notre Dame's 40-point lead.

The Irish still have some work to do, but after starting the season 0-2, they have got to be pleased with where they stand at the midway point of the season. The focus now turns to midterm exams and USC.

Notre Dame has a bye next week, meaning it will have two weeks to prepare for the showdown with one of its biggest rivals in the first night game in 21 years at Notre Dame Stadium.

The upcoming fall break should also give the students an opportunity to rest up. While the Irish take the season one week at a time, USC has been circled on fans' calendars since the University announced it would be a night game several months ago.

As head coach Brian Kelly stated in his post-game press conference, his team has not "arrived." However, there is much to be excited about in South Bend. The Irish have come a long way since dropping their first two games and have set themselves up nicely for the second half of the season.

Get excited because it's sure to be a thrilling ride. The fun all starts again two weeks from tonight.

- Josh Flynt ('11)

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