ORLANDO, FL – A crowd of 46,948 — the highest for the bowl since 2016 — gathered on a humid, rainy Saturday in Orlando to watch the No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2) defeat the Iowa State Cyclones (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) 33-9 in the 30th annual Camping World Bowl.
In the first-ever matchup between the two teams, the Irish — who notched back-to-back 11-2 seasons, the first time for the team since 1988-89 — were able to hold Iowa State to just nine points without a single touchdown. Notre Dame’s offensive combo of quarterback Ian Book (20-28, 247 yds and 1 TD pass) and game MVP wide reciever Chase Claypool (7 recs,146 yds, and 1 TD) proved to be too much for Iowa State’s defense.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly entered the game with three wins over ranked teams by 25 points or more — behind only Lou Holtz and Frank Leahy among Notre Dame head coaches.
“I’m just so proud of our football team, our staff and coaches,” Kelly said. “2019 will be one that I will always remember for a group of guys who just loved to play the game. They had such a strong brotherhood — they did not listen to what the naysayers had to say about them. All they cared about was playing the game.”
Iowa State, who has an all-time record of 4-11 in bowl games, came out of the locker room swinging, holding Notre Dame to a three-and-out on the first drive, but a fumble by Iowa State’s Milton Tarique on the ensuing punt gave possession back to Notre Dame.
The following Notre Dame drive put the Irish on the board first with a field goal.
Again, Iowa State came out swinging, with a 23-yard rush by running back Breece Hall (17 carries, with a net gain of 55 yards), but with another first-quarter fumble on a sack by Iowa quarterback Brock Purdy (17-30, 222 yards, 3 sacks) the Cyclones were unable to make anything happen in the first quarter.
A 24-yard touchdown pass to Claypool put Notre Dame up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, and the Cycles were not able to recover.
Missed opportunities in the second quarter, including a just-out-of-his-fingertips missed catch by wide receiver La’Michael Pettway, kept the Cyclones from wresting momentum back from Notre Dame.
The skies opened shortly before halftime, and wet conditions dampened Iowa State’s hopes of heading into the offseason with a bowl win.
On their first possession in the third quarter, Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. (11 carries for a gain of 135 yds) broke the Camping World Bowl record for longest run with an 84-yard touchdown run, surpassing Baylor’s running back Johnny Jefferson, who had an 80-yard run in 2015 against North Carolina.
Though the Cyclones had 139 fourth-quarter points this season — the third-most in the FBS — they were held scoreless in the fourth quarter. A failed 4th-and-1 attempt, ending in a sack by Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owasu-Koromoah (7 tackles, 3 sacks for a loss of 20 yds), gave Notre Dame possession back with 8:44 left in the game, sealing the deal for Iowa State.
Notre Dame’s Claypool was named the game MVP in his final game with the team. Claypool also surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season.
“For a long time, something like this was a dream,” Claypool said. “It’s something that was a dream that couldn’t be reached, but I hope that I’m a living example of someone who, you just keep on dreaming and it will come true.”