Notre Dame starters Drew White, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa sidelined with illnesses

Tyler James
ND Insider
Notre Dame’s Drew White (40) during the Notre Dame vs. Navy NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — No. 7 Notre Dame (8-1) will be without two defensive starters Saturday night at Virginia (6-3). Defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and linebacker Drew White, both graduate seniors, weren’t dressed as the Irish went through warmups. 

A Notre Dame spokesperson said both were sidelined with illnesses, but not COVID-19. 

Both White and Tagovaloa-Amosa started all nine games for the Irish this season prior to Saturday. White played in last week’s Navy game just days after tearing the PCL in his left knee. 

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White entered the game third on Notre Dame’s roster with 40 tackles. Three of those tackles were for losses including one sack. White also intercepted a pass for a 48-yard touchdown against Wisconsin and recovered a fumble against Cincinnati. 

Tagovailoa-Amosa led the Irish with eight quarterback hurries in the first nine games. He recorded 20 tackles, six tackles for a loss and two sacks.

Senior Bo Bauer (26 tackles) and junior NaNa Osafo-Mensah (8 tackles, 2 sacks) should start in place of White and Tagovailoa-Amosa, respectively.

Notre Dame’s Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (95) celebrates during the Notre Dame vs. Purdue NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Virginia’s offense will look a bit different Saturday night in Charlottesville’s Scott Stadium as well. Starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong did not take part in Virginia’s pregame warmups. Armstrong suffered an apparent rib injury in a 66-49 loss to BYU on Oct. 30. 

“It literally is day-to-day and we’re going to give him every minute, right until the ball is kicked off, to be our quarterback,” Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall told reporters Monday. “The team knows that, I know that, he knows that and he’s earned that chance.” 

Armstrong entered the week leading the FBS in total offense with 425.3 yards per game. His 395.2 passing yards per game ranked second in the country behind Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe (412.6).  

Through nine games, Armstrong completed 261 of his 408 passes (64.3%) for 27 touchdowns with eight interceptions. Armstrong also rushed 81 times for 271 yards and seven touchdowns. 

Armstrong threw several soft passes without pads on more than an hour before kickoff. But when his fellow quarterbacks started throwing to wide receivers running routes, Armstrong appeared to head toward the locker room. 

Freshman quarterback Jay Woolfolk took pregame reps with Virginia’s starting offense in warmups. He finished the BYU game 2-of-5 passing for 35 yards after Armstrong exited it. He also threw an incomplete pass against Illinois. Woolfolk’s seven carries for 44 yards this season came against Duke and BYU. 

The Cavaliers may also use Keytaon Thompson, who is listed as a “football player” on the depth chart, at quarterback. He played the position at Mississippi State before transferring to Virginia. Redshirt freshman Ira Armstead from South Bend is also on Virginia’s quarterback depth chart. 

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.