SOUTH BEND—Ian Book threw a career-high five touchdown passes and Notre Dame‘s defense came up with three first-half interceptions as the seventh-ranked Fighting Irish rolled past New Mexico 66-14 on Saturday in the final tuneup for a showdown at No. 3 Georgia.The senior quarterback rebounded from a lackluster opening performance in a victory at Louisville to complete 15 of 24 passes for 360 yards. Book finished with another 46 yards rushing yards and a 1-yard TD. He sat the final 1 1/2 quarters.
”It felt good getting the confidence up for everybody,” Book said. ”To come in here and get the win that we wanted felt really good. We’ll enjoy it tonight and once tomorrow hits it’s Georgia week and everyone knows that.”
Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish (2-0) had their way with the Lobos (1-1), who were without head coach Bob Davie. Saga Tuitele acted as head coach for Davie, the former Irish head coach from 1997-2001 who was hospitalized following New Mexico’s opening victory Aug. 31 against Sam Houston State and did not make the trip.Notre Dame finished with 591 total yards to 363 by New Mexico, which got touchdown runs by Bryson Carroll (47 yards) and Bobby Cole (37). The Lobos outrushed the Irish 212-157.