Notre Dame, Malik Zaire back up hype with flawless performance vs. Texas


Notre Dame looks like a legit national title contender and Malik Zaire looks like an upgrade over Everett Golson after the Irish steamrolled a rebuilding Texas team.

The preseason polls always love Notre Dame but this year their No. 11 ranking in the AP and Coaches Poll may actually have slighted the Fighting Irish after they looked like a national title contender in their 38-3 romp over a rebuilding Texas team.

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Malik Zaire was almost perfect as he made his first career regular season start and completed 19-of-22 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns and perhaps most importantly, didn’t commit any turnovers. Zaire’s predecessor, Everett Golson who is now at Florida State, struggled with ball security and efficiency, but Zaire had as many incompletions as he had touchdowns in a convincing performance.

The lefty signal-caller wasn’t the only bright spot for the Irish as Will Fuller looks poised for an All-American season after hauling in seven receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns, including a 66-yard score when Zaire delivered a dart to the record-breaking receiver.

Tarean Folston was injured early but C.J. Prosise filled in admirably with 98 yards on 20 carries as the lead back.

Defensively, the Irish were dominant, which could be a combination of Texas’ offense being so bad and Brian Vangorder’s unit playing well, but Texas only had 103 yards passing, 60 yards rushing and were an abysmal 2-14 on third downs.

Many times Notre Dame has been overrated and fallen flat on their faces and while they only achieved one win tonight, it feels like the tone was set and the belief is there that this team is going to be in the Playoff picture all year.

The caveat will be the state of the backfield with Folston injured and Greg Bryant academically ineligible, but with the way Zaire looked and the way Jaylon Smith-led defense played, I’m buying into the hype and you should too.

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