The 2019 version of the Camping World Bowl would showcase the talents of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Iowa State Cyclones. Notre Dame would eventually pull away in this game and win 33-9. The two schools have never met on the football field in their school’s history. However, Notre Dame proved their dominance in this game with offensive prowess and a stout defense. This is the first time since the 1980s that Notre Dame has had back-to-back 11-win seasons. This is just what the Fighting Irish needed as they attempt to jump start their program in hopes of bringing them back to prominence.
Camping World Bowl Recap
Notre Dame seemed to dominate just about every aspect of this game. The Fighting Irish got off to a hot start. They scored their first points on a field goal with nine minutes left in the first half after they forced a fumble on a punt. This gave Notre Dame all the confidence they needed to continue their dominance. Two minutes later the Irish defense forced another fumble which they would soon convert into a touchdown. Notre Dame had scored 20 points by the end of the half, 10 of which were off of two Iowa State fumbles. The Notre Dame defense only allowed Iowa State to get two field goals in the first half. However, what was most troubling for the Hawkeyes is that they had 204 yards of total offense in the first two quarters but were unable to reach pay dirt.
The second half was the same as the first. Notre Dame’s defense held the Cyclones to only a field goal in the last two quarters. Notre Dame controlled the ball the entire game and only seemed to tighten up their defense as the game went on. It was by and far one of the most complete games of football the Fighting Irish have played all year and it resulted in a win.
Ian Book’s Continued Dominance
Ian Book has been the face of the Notre Dame offense all year. For the lack of a better term, he is consistently consistent. He helped will the Fighting Irish to a win in this game and delivered another 11-win season. He completed 20 of his 28 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown. While many people are accustomed to Book’s multi-touchdown performances, he did more than he needed to in this game. Over a third of his completions went to Chase Claypool. Claypool caught seven passes for 146 and one score. This game was thought to be won through the air and with defensive stops and that’s exactly what happened. The defense stepped up and the offense produced.
Book also had some much-needed help in the rushing department. Notre Dame is primarily a passing team; however, the running backs showed their worth. Tony Jones Jr. had 11 carries for 135 yards. This included an 84-yard touchdown run at the start of the third quarter. The Irish also got help from Jafar Armstrong who had eight rushing yards, but one touchdown as well. While Book will get a lot of the praise for the win, the backs are what sealed the game for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame’s Crushing Defense
Both Notre Dame and Iowa State’s defenses had a great season. However, Notre Dame looked like a different beast in this game. They were incredible in the first half and many believed that they could not keep it up. However, they only continued to apply the pressure. The Irish forced two fumbles and capitalized on both. Without these two turnovers, Iowa State would have had a chance. However, Iowa State beat themselves and were outplayed. Notre Dame did allow 227 passing yards, however, they only allowed 45 rushing yards. This forced the Cyclones to become one-dimensional and almost completely abandon the run.
Iowa State’s Inability To Finish Drives
The demise of Iowa State was that they were unable to finish their drives. They would get in a hole on first down and could not recover. This was due in part to the play of Brock Purdy, who unfortunately left the game with an apparent ankle injury in the middle of the fourth quarter. Purdy completed 17 of his 30 passing attempts for 222 yards and no touchdowns. This game was poised to be a well-contested match-up and a game that would feature two great teams. However, the Iowa State offense was troubled by the Notre Dame defense.
Iowa State had opportunities to win this game and put pressure on the Irish. However, they beat themselves. Notre Dame took advantage of every Cyclone mistake and made them pay. This victory is huge for Notre Dame. It is a trend in the right direction after having gone backward for so many years. The Irish will enjoy this victory and get prepared for next season in hopes of making the College Football Playoffs.
ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 28: Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly accepts the winners trophy during the award ceremony of the Camping World Bowl between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Iowa State Cyclones on December 28, 2019, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)