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CJ Carr Absolutely Shines In Notre Dame's Blue & Gold Game

Marcus Freeman

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish's annual "Blue and Gold Game" was held on Saturday and the hype did not disappoint. Marcus Freeman is primed and ready for his third full season as the head football coach for the Irish, currently holding a head coaching record of 19-8. The announced crowd in attendance was 37,138. Fans watched as The Blue Team rose victorious over the Gold Team in a close battle, 28-21. Players that fans have been eager to see stepped onto the field and some showed out.


Blue Comes Out Hot

Steve Angeli, a 2022 3-star quarterback, was named the starter for the Blue Team. The Blue team came out firing as they struck first in the first quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Steve Angeli to Eli Raridon. The catch was bobbled as he was still running until he maintained possession and found pay-dirt. Raridon is heading into his junior season as a tight end for the Irish. Next, Blue extended their lead to 14-0 when Aneyas Williams found the end-zone on a 7-yard touchdown. However, The Gold team started to show some fight after the deficit the blue team created seemed to apply some pressure.


Gold Fights Back

Kenny Minchey, the Gold Teams' starting quarterback, responded with emphasis. Down 14-0, Minchey led the Gold team down inside the 10-yard line on a methodical touchdown drive capped off by himself when he scampered into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown rush.

Minchey got an opportunity to tie the game at 14 and capitalized. In the third quarter, he found wideout Micah Gilbert for a 26-yard touchdown. Minchey comes with a lot of excitement for Irish fans since he was a 4-star recruit out of Tennessee (#2 ranked player in the state per 247Sports) in the 2023 class.


Blue Team Takes Control

The Blue team would quickly respond to Gilbert's touchdown reception fairly quickly as they marched down the field and capped off their drive with a 6-yard touchdown rush by Jeremiyah Love. Love, a 4-star running back in the class of 2023, is poised to be the starting running back for the Irish this season as a redshirt freshman. Love will take over for the now departed Audric Estime who is currently set off for his NFL journey. Love brings solid size to the table standing at 6-foot even and roughly 200 pounds. Love looks to join Riley Leonard, the potential starting quarterback for the Irish, in the backfield as a threat in the rushing game. Leonard transferred from the Duke Blue Devils this past off-season and exhibits great skill as a ball carrier along with his ability to sling it.

Marcus Freeman
© Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


Blue Emerges Victorious Despite CJ Carr's Surge

CJ Carr, an early enrollee and 4-star quarterback in the class of 2023 took over under center for the Gold Team in the fourth quarter. Carr, a Michigan man, was a highly coveted prospect that Irish fans have been eager to see display his ability.

Carr connected with Gilbert on a 29-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 21. Carr's performance gave Irish fans reason to rejoice as he finished with 165 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions. Nonetheless, the Blue team maintained control of the game when Angeli found transfer wideout Kris Mitchell for a 62-yard bomb. This gave the Blue Team a 28-21 lead that would stay put as the final score.

CJ Carr
© Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


Takeaways From The Game

Marcus Freeman expressed his pleasure to the media regarding the performance we saw from all the quarterbacks on Saturday. While Riley Leonard did not take the field, he was spotted showing laser focus by taking mental reps on the side. Angeli also put on a great performance, leading all passers with 228 yards and two touchdowns. Minchey, despite a fumble and the only interception in the game, held the only rushing touchdown from the quarterbacks. C.J. Carr also added to the excitement with his performance, as mentioned earlier. Freeman noted "I loved the decision-making just from being back there and watching them. They've been progressing all spring" Other key performances included Gilberts. He hauled in 5 receptions for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mitchell led the Blue Team in receiving with 69 yards, 62 of which were on the late touchdown that sealed the game.


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