Notebook: Josh Adams evades tacklers, questions about his Notre Dame future

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — After running over and away from Navy defenders Saturday, Notre Dame running back Josh Adams juked the media when questions arose about his football future.

Have you considered if this was your last game in this stadium?

“I owe this team too much to bring the focus on myself,” Adams said following AP No. 9 Notre Dame’s 24-17 outlasting of Navy on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium. “We’ve worked too hard in the offseason and leading up to this point for anybody on this team to get selfish.

“We still have a lot we want to accomplish. We’re not going to let anybody take us away from the goal that we have set for ourselves. We hold each and every guy in that room accountable. We’re going to stay focused on the goal that we have as a team.

“I owe those guys too much to even think about something like that right now. We’re going to continue to try to win games. We’re going to focus on Stanford for next week.”

Adams is considered by most draft analysts as a second-round pick if he were to forgo his senior season and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. lists the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder was the sixth-best running back prospect, with all five players ahead of him also underclassmen.

The Irish (9-2) finish the regular season next Saturday at 20th-ranked Stanford (8-3). Adams, the nation’s No. 10 rusher coming into this weekend’s games, will share the stage with the nation’s No. 1 rusher, Stanford junior Bryce Love in an 8 p.m. EST national game of ABC.

On Saturday, Adams rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries, giving him 1,337 in 2017. That moved him up three spots, to No. 4, on the ND single-season rushing list. The three players ahead of him are now all within 100 yards — No 3 Reggie Brooks (1,343 in 1992), No. 2 Allen Pinkett (1,394 in 1983) and record-holder Vagas Ferguson (1,437 in 1979).

For his career, Adams stands fifth on the Irish all-time list at 3,105 yards. Darius Walker is No. 4 at 3,249.

Three NFL teams had scouts at the game: the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Personnel matters

Junior wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown left the game in the first quarter after being undercut on a high throw, then flipping in the air and hitting his head on the turf.

Kelly said St. Brown was being evaluated for a head injury.

• Quarterback Brandon Wimbush said his left hand, injured Nov. 4 against Wake Forest, is still a little swollen.

“I’m rehabbing it, but it's good,” he said. “It's not an issue.”

• Junior cornerback Shaun Crawford and senior defensive end Andrew Trumbetti each made their first starts of the season on Saturday. Crawford finished with a career-high seven tackles. Trumbetti collected four tackles.

• Sophomore cornerback Julian Love started at safety, instead of Nick Coleman, and also played some cornerback Saturday. He recorded a career-high 14 tackles.

By the numbers

Despite Navy running 80 plays (to ND’s 49) and possessing the ball for 42:42 (to ND’s 17:18), the Mids were held to a season-low in points (17) by the Irish defense and their second-lowest total offense showing of the season (318 yards).

• Navy QB Zach Abey came into the game as the nation’s fifth-leading rusher at 150.3 yards per game. The Irish held him to 87 yards on 29 carries. That’s 3.0 yards a carry, compared to his 5.2 average coming in.

• Notre Dame’s three penalties were a season low.

• After committing four turnovers last week against Miami, the Irish offense was turnover-free against the Mids. ND did have a turnover on special teams. Chris Finke fumbled a punt in the second quarter, which Navy recovered on the Irish 39-yard line and cashed in 11 plays later on an Abey one-yard run.

• Notre Dame ran for 163 yards on 31 carries Saturday, bringing its season total to 3,195 yards. The school record is 3,502 held by the 1973 Irish national championship team.

ehansen@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @EHansenNDI

Notre Dame’s Josh Adams (33) exits the field following Notre Dame's 24-17 win over Navy in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN
Notre Dame’s Josh Adams (33) gets caught between Navy’s Elijah Merchant (14) and Sean Williams (6) during the Notre Dame-Navy NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN