Nov 30, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) throws a pass against the Stanford Cardinal during the third quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Ian Book is 20-3 as Notre Dame’s primary quarterback.
Twenty wins, three losses.
One of those wins came to Clemson in last year’s College Football Playoff. The other two came earlier this year, one a final moments loss on the road at Georgia and a blowout defeat at the hands of Michigan in The Big House.
Simply put, Book is a winner, but Iowa State will look to end his career with his fourth loss when the Cyclones and Fighting Irish square off on Dec. 28 in the Camping World Bowl.
“You’re talking about a guy that’s so similar to some of the Big 12 quarterbacks that we’ve faced where you’re talking about elite escapability. He’s got the ability when things break down, he’s the most dangerous. He’s a guy that’s got a really great understanding of when the pocket’s collapsing in on him. You see people have him and then they don’t. I think his escapability first and foremost is really impressive,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said on Wednesday. “You see great confidence in the offense they’re running. He’s a guy that knows what his answers are and has the ability to get himself into the right play. I think it’s a really good challenge for us. He’s a guy who is a veteran and has won a lot of football games in that offense. As you watch him play, not only this year but last year, you’re seeing a guy that plays with high-end confidence and he uses his mobility to help himself out and make great decisions.”
Book really emerged on the scene when he led the Fighting Irish to a win over LSU in the 2018 Citrus Bowl. He was officially installed as the program’s starting quarterback for the fourth game of the 2018 season with the team 3-0, but averaging only 23.3 points per game.
The Fighting Irish offense exploded, including beating Wake Forest 56-27 in Book’s first start, by going on to average 41.9 points per game during the regular season’s final eight contests.
Notre Dame enters this game against the Cyclones featuring an offense that is nearly as explosive, averaging 37.1 points per game during its 10-2 regular-season slate, which ranks 13th nationally. Book has been one of the primary reasons for the offense’s success, compiling 2,792 passing yards while completing 60 percent of his passes to go along with 33 touchdowns to just six interceptions, plus another 537 yards and four scores on the ground.
Even still, Irish head coach Brian Kelly relieved offensive coordinator Chip Long of his duties last week. But, do not expect to see Notre Dame’s offense look much different when they take the field to face the Cyclones in Orlando.
This system — and quarterback — have gone 20-3 after all.
“I think so much of it is a credit to the quarterback,” Campbell said. “Not to discredit any coordinator there, but you can tell that he’s got a great say in what goes on from the quarterback position right now.”