Quarterback Ian Book will miss Notre Dame’s game with Florida State: Report

EVANSTON, IL - NOVEMBER 03: Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) looks to pass during a college football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Northwestern Wildcats on November 03, 2018, at Ryan Field in Evanston, IL. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SOUTH BEND – Before he stepped into the starting role, many were wondering if Notre Dame’s offense would be able to reach their potential in a season that offered a path to a National Championship.

Ian Book answered that question.

After taking over for Brandon Wimbush in Week 4, the Irish offense has scored over 30 points in five of their six contests. It’s a big reason why Brian Kelly’s team is sitting just three wins away from a likely College Football Playoff berth.

But as the Irish approach their final game at Notre Dame Stadium in 2018, it appears they’ll have to do without the quarterback who helped add a charge to their season.

Per multiple reports on Thursday morning, Book will miss Saturday’s game with Florida State in South Bend due to a rib injury suffered in a 31-21 win over Northwestern last weekend. The quarterback didn’t leave Saturday’s game at Ryan Field despite suffering the injury, going 22-of-34 passing for 323 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 56 yards on 11 carries, including the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter to secure a 31-21 victory.

Book’s proven to be an effective leader for the Irish offense in a number of ways since taking over against Wake Forest in the fourth game of the year for the Irish. He’s completed 74.5 percent of his passes while protecting the football, throwing just four interceptions in 204 attempts. Book’s 15 touchdown throws and 1,824 yards passing coupled with his 281 yards rushing along with four scores are a big reason the Irish are averaging 33.7 points per game.

For this week, however, it’s Wimbush that will step into the starting role that was his to start the season and in the 2017 campaign. While the Irish won the three games he started, the signal caller was inconsistent as he was intercepted four times with just one throwing score while completing just 55.3 percent of his passes. Since then, Wimbush only played in the Virginia Tech game in the fourth quarter when the Irish already had the game in hand.

Before the status of Book was known, Kelly praised Wimbush for his handling of the demotion since September and his continued preparation to stay ready in case he was needed.

“He’s been great. He’s handled himself great. He’s been a great teammate to Ian Book, quite frankly. He’s been as supportive as any player on our team that I’ve ever coached,” said Kelly of Wimbush on Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “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’s going on, what we need to do, is Brandon Wimbush.

“He’s been such a big part of our success this year. He’s got to stay ready. 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.”

That appears to be Saturday.