Notre Dame Quarterback DeShone Kizer on taking Zaire's spot
After the devastating blow Notre Dame took in the second half when they lost their starting quarterback Malik Zaire to an injury, it all came down to the next man in to finish the job.
It only took a few words of encouragement from team captain Jaylon Smith to red-shirt freshman DeShone Kizer to get the Irish back on track for the win.
Smith’s message was simple: I trust you, go out and win this football game.
“Jaylon’s words really stuck with me. Jaylon came up to me and said he trusted me. Right when the ball was snapped I peeked up and noticed there was 20 seconds left, and at that point in time, it was like alright we’ve got to make something happen,” said Kizer.
Kizer rose to the challenge.
“Coach Kelly always talks about the next man in. Since day one, which started way back in June, I’ve been preparing as if I was going to be the guy,” said Kizer.
He made it happen with a 39-yard touchdown pass to will Fuller to earn the win.
“Before the drive I told him. I went up to him and I looked him in the eye and I told him that I trust you, I believe in you, go get the job done. He ran with it and I’m so proud of him,” said Smith.
Although Kizer has big shoes to fill, the back-up Saturday night gave the starting quarterback a sigh of relief and the Irish went home with a win.
Next Saturday, Notre Dame takes on Georgia Tech at Notre Dame Stadium.