Multiple Thursday morning reports indicate No. 3 Notre Dame will be without junior quarterback Ian Book against Florida State on Saturday (7:30 ET; NBC). Book took a hit to the ribs during the 31-21 Irish victory at Northwestern, and it would seem the lingering effects are more severe than he indicated. Irish Sports Daily first reported the injury will sideline Book for at least this week.
“I don’t even know where [the hit was],” Book said immediately after the game. “It just kind of knocked the wind out of me, but I’m doing fine.”
Without Book, Notre Dame will turn back to senior Brandon Wimbush, who started the year’s first three games and 12 last season, going 12-3 as a starter. He threw for 589 yards and completed 55.3 percent of his passes in those first three games, mixing one touchdown pass with four interceptions. He also took 43 carries for 179 yards (sacks adjusted).
Irish head coach Brian Kelly then turned the offense over to Book. Kelly has since extensively credited Wimbush for how he handled the demotion.
“He’s been a great teammate to Ian Book, quite frankly,” Kelly said Tuesday. “He’s been as supportive as any player on our team that I’ve ever coached. He’s been there for him in the locker room at halftime. The first one that sits down with him and talks him through what is going on, what we need to do, is Brandon Wimbush.”
While Kelly was discussing Wimbush’s handling of the season and how he should be viewed on Senior Day, he may as well have been foreshadowing the need for the former starter to once again step forward.
“He’s got to stay ready,” Kelly said. “Who knows what happens, right? Every week we remind him. He knows that he’s one step away from going back out on the field.”