This one had to hurt. Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was trying to throw the football away when he accidentally nailed a Louisville cheerleader right in the face. No one was harmed, but it sure looked painful.
Book’s pass fell incomplete and the young lady looked fine as she reached down and picked up her pom-poms. Notre Dame got the 35-17 win Monday night in a game that was much closer than it should have been for the Fighting Irish after a sloppy first half. The score was tied 14-14 late in the second quarter and featured back-to-back fumbles. Book finished 14-of-23 for 193 yards with one touchdown through the air and another one on the ground.
The highlight — or lowlight — came late in the fourth quarter when Book aired one out toward the sideline on a broken play. His intention was to just get rid of the ball before taking a sack, but he chucked it deep and it drilled the unexpecting Louisville cheerleader in the head.
The Twitter reactions were fast and furious with many fans asking why there wasn’t intentional grounding called. There were quite a few “Brady Bunch” reference, too, as a classic shot of Marcia Brady getting pelted in the nose with a football started making the rounds.
Rough Start to Season for Notre Dame
It wasn’t the start Notre Dame wanted for a proud program that has national championship aspirations. After getting a lucky break Monday night on a Louisville fumble, the team gave the ball right back when quarterback Ian Book ran into his own offensive lineman and fumbled it. Still, Notre Dame’s defense allowed just a field goal in the final three-and-a-half quarters and walked out with the victory.
“Obviously it didn’t start the way we wanted it to,” said Book, via Tom Loy. “But I’m really proud of this team. Louisville is a great football team, respect them, but I’m glad we were able to put that first half behind us, score some more points and at the end of the day be 1-0. That’s what we wanted.”
Ian Book’s First Year as Irish Starter
Ian Book entered the year as a redshirt junior after starting 10 games for the Fighting Irish last season. He threw for 2,628 yards with 19 touchdowns against seven interceptions and earned the starting job with a gritty training camp in South Bend. The expectations are high for Book as evidenced by the school naming him as one of their seven team captains. According to the Chicago Tribune, Book is the first quarterback captain since Jimmy Clausen in 2009.
“I want to be a leader on this team,” Book said. “I want to lead these guys week by week and keep winning games. I feel honored to be able to be a leader on this team.”
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has Book ranked as the No. 11 quarterback prospect for the 2020 draft. Jeremiah compares Book to former Penn State quarterback Trace McSorely noting the Notre Dame player lacks the ideal size for the next level.