3rd Quarter "Jailbreak" leads to Victory
By Phil Houk of Fighting Irish Preview
Pregame Virginia and one of the more perplexing storylines was: where is the Notre Dame pass rush? Through 3 games a rightfully hyped and experienced group of defensive ends led by All- American candidate Julian Okwara, had just 3 sacks…… and of those 3, Julian Okawara had none.
And then came halftime against Virginia and there were 3 story lines: first of all 12 point favorite Notre Dame was trailing 17-14, secondly Cavalier quarterback Bryce Perkins was having the game of his life 22-25, 235 yards and 2 touchdowns and three, Notre Dame had already doubled their season sack output with 3 takedowns of Perkins in the first 2 quarters.
In fact Bryce Perkins in the first 30 minutes had been under relentless pressure from the Notre Dame pass rush, but he still had managed, on play after play, just in time, pinpoint passes that gave Virginia a half time advantage.
And then the 3rd quarter happened.
Julian Okwara, Kalid Kareem, Ade Ogundeji , Jamir Jones and finally, three games of pent up energy and frustration was unleashed and Bryce Perkins found out what it was like to get in the way of a full scale Jailbreak.
Okwara SACK, loss of 7!
Jones Sack, loss, forced fumble, Taglovailoa 48 yard scoop and scamper!
Kareem Sack, loss of 4!
Ogundeji TFL of 3!
Okwara Sack, forced fumble, Ogundeji 28 yard scoop and score!
Kareem Sack, loss of 6!
1 quarter: 5 sacks, 1 other tackle for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 1 defensive touchdown and an Okwara, Kareem, Ogundeji and Jones, “Jailbreak” had turned the tide of the football game.
The Irish went on to take full control of the game and even asserted themselves on the ground with Tony Jones rushing for just under 100 yards in the 4th quarter alone, en route to a 35-20 victory over 18th ranked Virginia.
Next Saturday the Irish take on 1-3 Bowling Green. Notre Dame opened as a 45 point favorite.