Notre Dame rides an all-around ef­fort to a 33-9 vic­tory against Iowa State in the Camp­ing World Bowl for its 11th win.

ND closes out 11-win sea­son, brings mo­men­tum to 2020

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGO SPORTS - By Fred Goodall

ORLANDO, Fla. — So much for the no­tion that No. 15 Notre Dame didn’t have any­thing to play for in the Camp­ing World Bowl.

A year re­moved from an ap­pear­ance in the CFP na­tional semi­fi­nals, the Fight­ing Ir­ish closed out another dou­ble-digit-win sea­son with ar­guably their best all-around per­for­mance in a 33-9 vic­tory over Iowa State on Satur­day.

“I’m just so proud of our football team,” coach Brian Kelly said. “2019 will be one that I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber, for a group of guys that just loved to play the game. They had such a strong broth­er­hood.

“They did not lis­ten to what the naysay­ers had to say about them. The neg­a­tive tone, the neg­a­tive peo­ple out there. All they cared about was play­ing the game. It was clean. It was about com­pet­ing. Al­ways looking to bet­ter them­selves.”

Ian Book threw for 247 yards and a touch­down, Tony Jones Jr. scored on an 84-yard run and game MVP Chase Clay­pool had seven re­cep­tions for 146 yards and a touch­down for the Ir­ish (11-2), who fin­ished with a six-game winning streak af­ter los­ing to Michigan to tum­ble out of con­tention for a play­off berth.

Notre Dame also lost to Ge­or­gia in Septem­ber. But Kelly said the team re­mained fo­cused.

“Even this week (we heard) ‘Notre Dame is not ready to play,’” he said. “(We) used that as another form of mo­ti­va­tion to show peo­ple wrong. They just read this team wrong. It’s just so sat­is­fy­ing that this group has been re­warded with 11 wins. They over­came ad­ver­sity, lived the life lessons of it. They’re not per­fect. They never pre­tended to be per­fect and never wanted to be but al­ways strived for ex­cel­lence.”

Book com­pleted 20 of 28 passes with­out an in­ter­cep­tion, in­clud­ing a 27-yard touch­down throw to Clay­pool, who went over 1,000 re­ceiv­ing yards for the sea­son and re­cov­ered a fum­ble on spe­cial teams to set up an early field goal.

Iowa State (7-6) lost to four ranked teams — Iowa, Oklahoma, Bay­lor and Oklahoma State — by a com­bined 11 points and was hop­ing to end its fourth sea­son un­der Matt Camp­bell with a sig­na­ture win for a once-down­trod­den pro­gram.

“When we got here there wasn’t even a thought that we could com­pete with teams like this,” Camp­bell said. “There was no thought that we could com­pete with the best teams in our con­fer­ence. And to be quite hon­est with you, I don’t know if there were a lot of peo­ple that thought we could com­pete with our ri­val in our own state.”

Brock Purdy was 17 of 30 for 222 yards and no in­ter­cep­tions for the Cy­clones, but he was un­able to get his team into the end zone af­ter throw­ing for a school sin­gle­sea­son record 27 touch­downs. The sopho­more quar­ter­back left the game in the clos­ing min­utes with what Camp­bell de­scribed as a high an­kle sprain.

Connor As­sal­ley kicked field goals of 41, 26 and 42 yards.

“I think why you’re so dis­ap­pointed is be­cause you feel how close you re­ally are to where you want to be,” Camp­bell said. “Get­ting over that hump, tak­ing that next step, that’s a great chal­lenge.”

The Ir­ish, who won 10-plus games in three con­sec­u­tive sea­sons for the first time since 1991-93, out­rushed the Cy­clones 208-45.

Penn State 53, Mem­phis 39: All-Amer­ica line­backer Micah Par­sons led the big blitz for Penn State, and he had Brady White all wrapped up when the Mem­phis quar­ter­back sud­denly flipped away the ball — right into the hands of Gar­rett Tay­lor.

On a day when the Nit­tany Lions’ de­fense gave up its most points and yards all sea­son, Tay­lor turned that gift into a 15-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a touch­down on Satur­day in Ar­ling­ton, Texas, in the high­estscor­ing Cot­ton Bowl ever.

“A huge mo­men­tum shift,” Tay­lor said. Jour­ney Brown ran for 202 yards with two long touch­downs, but the Par­son­scre­ated pick six came three plays af­ter Brown was stopped short on a fourth-and-1. Tay­lor put the 10th-ranked Nit­tany Lions (11-2) up 45-36 go­ing into the fourth quar­ter.


Notre Dame run­ning back Tony Jones Jr. is knocked out of bounds by Iowa State line­backer Mike Rose on Satur­day.

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