Greg McElroy reacts to ND-Duke ending, being 'sick to my stomach' for Riley Leonard
Greg McElroy thoroughly enjoyed the dramatic showdown between Notre Dame and Duke in Durham. It was one of the biggest football games ever for Duke’s program, but one aspect of the ending left the broadcaster sick.
In his review of Week 5, McElroy noted he expected Notre Dame to pull away with how the first half went. Ultimately, Duke rallied and took a lead in the second half.
“The second half rolls around and Duke puts a drive together… Then they put another drive together and get a TD to take the lead and it’s like ‘Boy this thing flipped fast,'” said McElroy.
Notre Dame eventually took the lead for good with a clutch drive and touchdown run by Audric Estime. McElroy noted he would have liked Estime to kneel the ball at the goal line instead of scoring in order to run the clock out, but it ultimately paid off for the Irish.
“The play at the end where Estime takes the distance to score the touchdown at the end of the game,” McElroy said. “Just as a coaching thought process, would not have hated for him to take a knee at the one-yard line and extinguish the rest of the clock and kick a field goal to win it, even though I know if you never want to trust field goal kickers.”
As for the injury to Duke’s star quarterback, McElroy was left feeling sick at the incident and Leonard leaving the field on crutches. It’s a massive blow for the Blue Devils and for Leonard, a player in the middle of a strong season.
“I’m sick to my stomach about the Riley Leonhard injury. Absolutely sick to my stomach,” McElroy explained. “Was leaving the game on crutches… but I’m sick to my stomach. He’s a great kid, had a great start to the year. I’m just really hopeful that it’s not something that could be a season-ender or have him miss extended time.”
The good news for Leonard is a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel labeled the injury as a high-ankle sprain. He’s expected to miss multiple weeks but could return by the end of October per that report.