Notebook: A happy homecoming for C.J. Prosise
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — C.J. Prosise didn’t ask for ice, talk about how sore he’ll be tomorrow or wonder about his long-term durability.
And it wasn’t just because the senior from Virginia had his brightest college football moment back home in his home state.
The converted wide receiver rushed for 155 yards on 17 carries and a TD in his second game as a full-time running back in helping ninth-ranked Notre Dame rally past Virginia, 34-27, Saturday at Scott Stadium.
That’s the highest rushing total by an ND back since Cierre Wood amassed 191 yards against Purdue four seasons ago.
“I think I left some yards on the table,” said Prosise, who bartered with teammates to get 30 tickets for family and friends. “But I feel like I played pretty well for the most part.”
As a team, the Irish ran for 253 yards on 34 carries. Freshman Josh Adams was the only other running back to carry the ball in the game, and he had just three touches for 10 yards.
Prosise’s mind wasn’t on statistics, but trying to help redshirt freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer adjust once he relieved starter Malik Zaire later in the third quarter.
Zaire suffered a broken right ankle and will be lost for the season.
“I didn’t have to say a lot to DeShone, especially on that last drive,” Prosise said. “When were started the drive, I was about to tell him, let’s keep cool and go down and score, and he beat me to it.”
One of the first people to track down Zaire after the game was linebacker Joe Schmidt, one of ND’s five captains.
Schmidt’s 2014 season came to an end in game 8 last Nov. 1 against Navy, the result of a similar lower leg injury.
“Obviously, I’ve been there,” Schmidt said. “So I just told him anything he needs I’m there for him. We all love Malik He’s got a heart of gold and he’s going to continue to lead.
“And I told him that’s what we need him to do. We need him to be an emotional leader and we need him to coach up DeShone.”
Eleven scholarship freshmen and walk-on Jeff Riney made the 70-man travel squad.
The 11 in Charlottesville comprised running backs Josh Adams and Dexter Williams, cornerback Nick Coleman, linebacker Te’von Coney, safety Nicco Fertitta, tight end Alizé Jones, wide receivers C.J. Sanders and Equanimeous St. Brown, defensive lineman Jerry Tillery, quarterback Brandon Wimbush and kicker Justin Yoon.
All but Wimbush among the 11 made their collegiate debuts last Saturday against Texas.
• Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said the cast ND safety Max Redfield was wearing Saturday is one he’ll have to keep on for another four weeks.
With Notre Dame knocking Virginia off the never-played there checklist, 14 states remain that have yet to host the Irish in football — Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming.
Kentucky will leave that group in 2019, when the Irish play at Louisville on Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2019.
• Notre Dame rallied from a halftime deficit to win a game for the first time since coming back to beat Navy, 38-34, in 2013.
• Saturday’s victory improved Kelly’s ND road record to 12-9 and snapped a five-game losing streak in true road games. Kelly is 11-3 in neutral-site games.
• Notre Dame under Kelly has won 13 of its last 15 games played in the month of September. He started 1-5 in September in his first six such games with the Irish.