Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Malik Zaire suffered a fractured ankle in today’s game against Virginia and will miss the rest of the 2015 season. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly made the announcement, which was reported on Twitter by Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune.
#NotreDame coach Brian Kelly said Malik Zaire has a fractured right ankle and is out for season.
— Eric Hansen (@EHansenNDI) September 12, 2015
Zaire was caught under a Virginia defender in the third quarter and video showed his ankle getting rolled up pretty badly. Notre Dame was up 19-14 at the time, and the team had to fight and claw its way back to a 34-27 win.
https://t.co/aQTkQPOGYd Starting quarterback Malik Zaire taken out of the game after injury.
— ABC57 News (@ABC57News) September 12, 2015
Zaire finished the game having completed 7 of 18 pass attempts for 115 yards and a touchdown and was replaced by DeShone Kizer, who completed a 39-yard Hail Mary pass to Will Fuller with mere seconds remaining to have the Fighting Irish retake the lead.
Notre Dame lost their QB, but backup DeShone Kizer made this incredible TD pass with 18 seconds left to top Virginia. http://t.co/V7f7tKhh4S
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 12, 2015
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Zaire is a unique talent, and is a tremendous and potentially devastating loss for Notre Dame. Even if Kizer performs well over the rest of the season, Notre Dame now getting into the College Football Playoff is an extreme uphill battle.
Notre Dame’s next game comes against Georgia Tech next Saturday.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports