NOTRE DAME, Ind,. (WNDU) - Heading into Saturday's game against UVA, the Irish running backs were in a bit of a rut only rushing for 70 yards the past two games. But that all changed when the Irish took the field Saturday.
Irish running backs exploded for 166 yards and four touchdowns against Virginia.
Heading into Saturday’s game Virginia was only allowing 75 rushing yards a game.
With the return of Jahmir Smith, Notre Dame was able to rotate Smith, with C’Bo Flemister and Tony Jones Jr.
Jones had a career day with 131 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
Head coach Brian Kelly says he's happy with the run game's progress but said there is still work left to do.
“We gave Tony Jones a break,” Kelly said. “So he ran hard in the second half and in particular the third and fourth quarter. When we got C'Bo in there and we got Jahmir in there, it gave him a chance to run the way he can run. And he's a hard runner. We got off the ball, we were much more physical in the third and fourth quarter, what we want to be able to do is have that as part of our offense and it had been missing.”
“I'm on top of the world to be honest,” Jones said. “I feel good. I've been grinding hard. I've been in the weight room hard. I've been practicing real hard and it's just showing out on the field now.”
Unfortunately for the Irish there were a pair of significant injuries during Saturday's game.
Kelly announced today at defensive end Daelin Hayes suffered a torn labrum and is out for the season. He said it's highly possible that Hayes will now use this year as a redshirt season and return next year as a fifth year.
Defensive back Shaun Crawford suffered yet another injury as well. Crawford dislocated his elbow and will be out 3 to 4 weeks.