By Jeff Barnes
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish dominated the Iowa State Cyclones in their first-ever meeting in the Camping World Bowl 33 – 9. Early turnovers and miscues by the Cyclones helped the Irish jump out to an early 10-0 lead. At that point, the Irish never looked back. The Cyclones could not find the end zone, nor could they stop wide receiver Chase Claypool and running back Tony Jones. The Irish won their 11th game of the season as they have finished with at least 10 wins in four of the last five seasons. The game also would be the Irish’s first game with former Irish QB Tommy Rees calling the plays.
The Irish received the opening kickoff, but could not get started resulting in a three and out. On the ensuing punt return, Iowa State’s Tarique Milton would have the ball stripped out by Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman with Chase Claypool recovering the kick, and the Fighting Irish were in business on the Cyclones half of the field. Ian Book would scramble on 4th and 5 for a first down to extend the drive. Unfortunately for the Irish, drive would stall and they would settle for a Jonathan Doerer field goal.
On the ensuing drive, the Cyclones would start with a Breece Hall run for 23 yards. Unfortunately, this drive would also end in a turnover. On 3rd down and 5, quarterback Brock Purdy would escape the pocket looking to extend the play and would fumble the ball on a sack by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. That would lead to an Irish drive that concluded with an Ian Book 24-yard touchdown pass to game MVP Chase Claypool. The Irish lead swelled to 10-0 early in the 1st quarter.
The Cyclones could not finish drives with touchdowns to stay in this game. Their only points of the first half came on two field goals. They would add another in the second half. Those points were not enough after a quarter. The Irish cashed in on strong performances from Claypool and running back Tony Jones. Jafar Armstrong added a 1-yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. Jones started the 2nd half scoring on the Irish’s first offensive play as he broke an 84-yard run off left tackle for a touchdown. Claypool’s final numbers were 7 catches for 146 yards and 1 touchdown. He had a touchdown catch reversed after a replay showed his knee was down at the 1-yard line. Claypool also reached the 1,000 yards receiving milestone with his performance. Ian Book added 247 yards passing and a touchdown with no sacks. He also added 30 yards rushing.
Iowa State’s top performers were quarterback Brock Purdy passed for 222 yards but was sacked three times with a lost fumble. Freshman running back Breece Hall had 108 total yards from scrimmage. Receivers La’Michael Pettway and Deshaunte Jones combined for 8 catches and 99 receiving yards. The win propels the Irish to an 11-2 season while the loss drops the Cyclones to 7-6 overall on the season.