Instant Observations: Notre Dame finally shows off its ceiling in Senior Day smackdown

Eric Hansen
ND Insider

► Scoring summary:No. 6 Notre Dame 55, Georgia Tech 0

Bottom Line

The surreal final series unfolded with senior walk-on Cole Capen taking his first career snaps at quarterback and handing off to freshman Audric Estime, who ended up outrushing every player except Notre Dame freshman QB Tyler Buchner.

He ended up with six carries — his first six of the season — and 61 yards as ND flexed its depth and honored its outgoing players.

Call it a Senior Day smackdown.

AP No. 6/CFP No. 8 Notre Dame overwhelmed Georgia Tech from start to finish Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium in its most complete game of the season in a 55-0 romp that pushes the Irish to 10-1 heading into its regular-season finale next Saturday.

The Irish scored 24 first-quarter points after scoring 35 combined over their first 10 games. The defense chipped in six sacks, held Georgia Tech to 224 total yards and extended to three games its streak of holding its opponents without a touchdown.

Big Picture

Notre Dame can clinch a spot in the New Year’s Six Bowl lineup and keeps itself in position to sneak into the College Football Playoff field next Saturday night at Stanford.

Questions Answered

The Irish showed what their ceiling might look like after showing fragmented pieces of their potential in the 10 games leading up to Saturday, … The defense is showing it not only can survive without All-America safety Kyle Hamilton, it can improve in his absence. 

Questions Lingering

None this week.

My Game Balls Go To

Notre Dame’s Jack Coan (17) hands off to Kyren Williams (23) during the Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Offense: Jack Coan: The grad senior quarterback had his best pass-efficiency rating by far in a Notre Dame uniform (227.7). He completed 15 of 20 passes for 285 yards and 2 TDs before giving way to freshman Tyler Buchner on the second Irish offensive series of the second half.

Notre Dame’s Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (95) celebrates scoring as Jayson Ademilola (57) runs behind him during the Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Defense: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Isaiah Foskey. Tagovailoa-Amosa, a senior defensive end, blocked a field goal, recorded two QB hurries and scored on a 70-yard fumble return. Foskey, a junior defensive end, forced two fumbles, including the one Tagovailoa-Amosa scored on. He also has a sack among his three tackles, giving him 10 for the season. That pulls him into a tie for fourth place with Bertrand Berry and Mike Gann on the ND single-season sacks record list.

Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey (7) celebrates during the Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

The Road Ahead

Notre Dame closes the regular season next Saturday at Stanford.