Hear It From a Student - Three Things

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5711797.jpeg Three things we learned ...

1.) The Irish offense continues to be prolific ... The Irish offense put on a clinic Saturday on how to run an offense. The offense caused Notre Dame media relations' Brian Hardin and Michael Bertsch to break open a number of binders and start looking at box scores from decades ago in order to find the last time Notre Dame had put on that kind of display.

I could list a number of the records, but to put it plainly, the Irish dominated Air Force's defense. Everything Brian Kelly called worked and the attack was spread out as seven different Irish players scored a touchdown. This was the offense that everyone expected from Kelly after his success at Cincinnati and in year two at Notre Dame, Kelly's offense has exploded. We can only hope the Irish keep shaking down the thunder against the USC defense in two weeks.

2.) Andrew Hendrix is a perfect change-of-pace-QB ... When Andrew Hendrix took the field it shocked many of us. Things didn't start off very well for Hendrix as his first pass went for negative three yards (even Michael Floyd couldn't do anything on that play).

Hendrix then trotted to the sideline as Kelly quickly put Rees back in the game. However, Hendrix came back into the game a couple of plays later and started executing his playbook to perfection. He didn't run the whole offense, but he ran his sets and ran them well. The only thing he needs to work on is his endurance because he definitely doesn't want to get caught from behind again. That said, give him credit for totaling the most rushing yards on the day of any Irish player (and that is with two stud running backs on his team).

3.) The defense can slow down an option attack ... When the Irish starting defense was in the game, the Falcons only scored 19 points. The Irish went with the bend-but-don't-break philosophy against Air Force and it worked out rather well for the first-string unit. Yes, the Irish gave up a lot of yards, but they forced turnovers and limited the scoring. They forced Air Force to kick field goals instead of score touchdowns for the most part and if the Irish could have covered the fake punt - among other things - the unit may have surrendered zero touchdowns.

The score may have indicated a shootout but for the majority of the game it was anything but. The Falcons posted their scores towards the end on an inexperienced Notre Dame second-team defense, but at the end of the day, the Irish handled the usual "nightmare" that is the Air Force offense.

Not many teams can shut down the Air Force attack. Against offenses like Air Force, the defense has to manage the game and not give up big plays - and for the most part, that is exactly what the Irish did.

Also Worth Noting ...

* Notre Dame now has a winning percentage of .800 in the month of October. The Irish are 375-91-8 all-time during the month.

* Notre Dame had seven different players register a touchdown against Air Force. The last time the Irish had at least seven different players score touchdowns - Oct. 9, 1999 against Arizona State.

* The 59 points for the Irish were the most since Nov. 23, 1996, when Notre Dame shutout Rutgers, 62-0, in Lou Holtz's last game as head coach at Notre Dame Stadium.

* The 92 combined points are the most in Notre Dame Stadium history. The previous mark was 90 combined points, which happened on two different occasions. The Irish knocked off SMU, 61-29, in 1986 and Navy bested Notre Dame, 46-44, in three overtimes in 2007.

* Notre Dame scored 42 points in the first half. The 42 points in today's opening half are the most for the Irish in any half since Nov. 3, 1990, when Notre Dame registered 42 points in the second half against Navy (52-31).

* Rees became the fourth Irish quarterback in school history with multiple games of at least four touchdown passes. Rees joined Brady Quinn (seven), Jimmy Clausen (three) and Ron Powlus (three).

* Notre Dame totaled 560 yards of total offense. The Irish have now registered 500 yards or more of total offense in back-to-back weeks. It was the most yards for Notre Dame since Oct. 31, 2009, when Notre Dame had 592 against Washington State.

* Rees has thrown a touchdown pass in 11 straight games, which ranks as third-longest streak in school history. Brady Quinn holds the school record with a touchdown pass in 16 straight games (2004- 05).

* Jonas Gray collected a pair of touchdown runs in a single-game for the first time in his career.

* Hendrix was the first Irish quarterback to run for 100 yards since Carlyle Holiday on Oct. 27, 2001, at Boston College.

* Hendrix's 78-yard run was the second-longest in school history by a Notre Dame quarterback. Bill Eder had a 79-yard touchdown run against Navy on Nov. 1, 1969.

- Andrew Bartolini ('13)

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