They’ll bounce back. The kids are resilient. Kelly expressed pride in his Irish players, who, he said, “never got to the point where they didn’t believe they could win”.
The Irish were ranked second in Ohio during Kizer’s senior season, which ended in a 42-41 loss in the Division III state quarterfinals.
So what do we know about Freshman Quarterback DeShone Kizer?
“He said he trusted me”, Kizer said of the message Smith delivered to him. “It was in our strike zone area where we could run it”.
At 0-2 on the season, Virginia must regroup before William & Mary visits next Saturday. The Cavaliers were out-gained 154 yards to 28 by Notre Dame, while only picking up one first down compared to nine for the Irish.
The Cavaliers’ defense would finish the game flawless on third down – stopping the Fighting Irish on third down 10 times. Drew Hare threw four touchdowns as Northern Illinois beat Murray State 57-26.
Notre Dame squandered a 26-14 lead and fell behind when Virginia (0-2) scored with 1:54 remaining. “We’ll do some things a little bit differently with (Kizer) than we did with Malik”. “But it’s correctable things”.
It depends on who you talked to as to how the defense broke down on the final play. Zaire will miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle, making it the second consecutive week that a player expected to help carry the offense went down and his replacement stepped in and starred. Against the Yellow Jackets’ clock-gobbling option offense next weekend, he can’t afford any hiccups or the Irish may not see the ball for an entire quarter.
Notre Dame has accumulated several season-ending injuries including DT Jarron Jones, CB Shaun Crawford, RB Tarean Folston and now QB Malik Zaire. Despite those injuries, Kelly says the Irish still have the depth to continue to pursue their goals. Cornerback Demetrious Nicholson was especially effective, breaking up three passes, and Zaire went 7-of-18 for 115 yards before fracturing his ankle in the third quarter.
Kelly said he wants to work with Kizer on mechanics and build his confidence by highlighting his strengths.
“Those are hard injuries”. And from there, South Bend’s newest savior played more like a capable replacement than the inexperienced young signal-caller that he really is. DeShone doesnt have to win it himself.. “He has a lot of weapons around him and we saw that tonight”.
Kelly said Kizer is “pretty deep” into the playbook and showed good composure and pocket presence. There’s no reason why we can’t win with (now starting running back) C.J. Prosise.
After regaining possession, the Cavaliers marched 75 yards on seven plays for their second touchdown of the game.
“At this point I feel like I can do anything in the position”, Prosise said regarding his transition from slot receiver. “I was very pleased with the progress from game one to game two”. “It is unfortunate, but it is what it is, and we will find a way to put it together, so we can win games with DeShone Kizer as our starting quarterback”. Two possessions later, he found sophomore receiver Ryan Santoro on third-and-15 for a 34-yard strike that set Virginia up at the Notre Dame two-yard line.
On fourth-and-2, with just over a minute left, Kizer barreled for 4 yards. With 12 seconds left in the game, Deshone Keyser fired a 39 yard bomb to Will Fuller who caught the ball in stride and got 1 foot in bounds.
“I’ve been ready for a while now”, Kizer said in Charlottesville, per Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson.