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Fiesta Bowl Loss is Good for the Soul of Notre Dame Football

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

By Ian Neff


After coming off a tough loss in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl, many fans amongst Notre Dame nation wonder how it will affect the 2022 season. It was heartbreaking to see an exceptional senior class leave the field on a loss, as they will not get a chance to redeem themselves in blue and gold. Yet, more players are returning than not, who need to chew on that loss all offseason. That Fiesta Bowl loss should be a key motivating factor for the players returning next year. I mean, it was Notre Dame’s most legendary coach who said one loss is good for the soul.

The start of the 2022 season will give Marcus Freeman more time to prepare as a head coach compared to the Fiesta Bowl. The first thing Coach Freeman should focus on changing, was the poor defense at the end of the first half and the start of the second half. Impromptu defensive coordinator Mike Elston – the previous defensive line coach – was not putting his players in the best positions to make plays, especially in the second half. This should all change by next season when Coach Freeman has his staff in place.

Marcus Freeman has already begun building an impressive staff this offseason, with additions like Harry Hiestand as offensive line coach, and Chansi Stuckey as wide receivers coach, which should give this team boosts in those positions. Coach Freeman still has a big-time hire to make, with a vacant Defensive Coordinator position. As Coach Freeman continues to work this offseason to put together his staff, it is becoming more clear that the Fiesta Bowl shouldn’t reflect poorly on Marcus as a coach. With taking over the reins of the program the month before the bowl game, Coach Freeman had to heavily improvise his first head coaching experience. By the time his staff is all set for next season, Coach should have a better grasp of this team and his position as head coach.

One promising aspect about the 2022 season is the roster turnover from last season. The 2022 defense has the potential to be one of the best in the nation because of players like Isaiah Foskey and the Ademiola brothers returning. Fans should almost be grateful we lost in the Fiesta Bowl, as no one knows if Notre Dame beat Oklahoma State if that could have been enough for some of these players to opt-out of coming back. The loss was enough to motivate these players to come back for more. These players believe in their brotherhood, and their ability to win a National Championship.

By the time Notre Dame rolls into Ohio State in September, the players will have months to ponder the loss in the Fiesta Bowl. From top to bottom, the program should be planning how they can’t allow another loss to start their season. Even more than the players, Marcus Freeman wants nothing more than to avoid being 0-2 to start his career. After all, one loss is good for the soul but too many isn’t good for the coach.





Photo by One Foot Down -

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