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Foskey and Diggs Propel the Irish to Victory


📷 credit: @ndfootball on Instagram

Despite winning by a large margin on Saturday, Notre Dame continues to find itself needing to improve in many areas of the game. For the first time all season, the Irish dominated the first half of Saturday’s game against UNLV, scoring 23 points in large part because of two blocked punts by Isaiah Foskey. Special Teams Coordinator Brian Mason has turned a poor special teams unit under former coach Brian Kelly, into one of the biggest strengths of this football team. Notre Dame leaned heavily on the running game for the remainder of the game, winning 44-21. Coach Freeman had this to say at his press conference on Monday…


“It's obviously a better feeling being up here after a win. Going back and evaluating the game, I was really pleased with the big picture of the game. There are so many plays in the game we have to be better at and we have to be more consistent in what we're doing. But the big emphasis this week was starting with a sense of urgency and I think we did that. We were able to jump out to a pretty good lead. The challenge for our group is to come out in the second half with the same consistency and urgency that we had in the first half.”


Notre Dame needs to figure out a way to play with the same emotion, attitude, and competitive spirit for an entire game if it hopes to have success against upcoming opponents. Syracuse, Clemson, USC, and Boston College will present many challenges for this football team to overcome. Playing more consistent football on defense and being more creative on offense will help this football team take the steps they need to be successful.



Players of the Game

Logan Diggs

130 rushing yards


Joe Alt


Isaiah Foskey

5 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hurry, 2 blocked punts


Clarence Lewis

5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries



Areas of Concern

Red Zone Defense

Coach Freeman had this to say about his red zone defense on Monday…


“It's frustrating because it isn't like we do a whole bunch of different things in the red zone. As you look at the UNLV game, a couple of self-inflicted wounds in terms of mistakes that we shouldn't make. I would hope it's not confusing, but you got to look at yourself as a coach and look at the players and say, Okay, where's the miscommunication coming from? This is what we want you to do and you're not doing it. Is it a teaching error, or an understanding of the execution error? We got to make sure that we know exactly what we want to do. If they beat us doing what we want to do then take your hat off to them. But we can't have unforced errors in the red zone, especially with the simplicity that we pride ourselves in and what we do in the red zone."


Estime Fumbles

Coach Freeman had this to say about Audric on Monday…


“He's tough on himself, as we are on him. He has high expectations for himself. He understands the reality of how important it is to make sure we have that ball when we have the chance to have it in our hands. He understands the importance of that. But at the same time, we got to find ways to make sure that doesn't happen."


Quarterback Struggles

Coach Freeman had this to say about Drew Pyne’s recent struggles…


“I think some can be decision-making. Every pass play has a progression and sometimes you come off your progression too fast. There are very few times I see him going incorrectly through his progression, but sometimes he comes off the progression or he stays on a progression too long. Another part of that is we got to help him. We got to protect him. We got to make sure that if he throws a catchable ball, we got to catch it. All those things are going to help him have confidence. We got to call plays that help him have easy completions and success like we started the game off with. Drew Pyne is a warrior and he's done a really good job. He takes a lot of heat and he gets a lot of praise. That comes with the position."



Final Take

With Syracuse, Clemson, Navy, Boston College, and USC still on the schedule, the Irish need to find answers to these questions sooner rather than later. If Coach Freeman can see progress in these areas, then this football team will make the kind of strides to be more competitive down the stretch. When asked about his goals this week, Coach Freeman said this…


“Urgency. As I told them, it's not urgency to start the game now but it's urgency throughout the entirety of a game. A sign of a dominant football team is a team where no matter what the series is, or what the score is, you're able to be effective in what you're doing. We have to continue to be a mature football team and progress towards improvement and being a dominant football team. That comes from the top down in making sure that every critical thing we looked at last week, the sense of urgency we had, we got to increase that, we got to enhance that. That starts with me. That's my message to the team this week.”


Go Irish!


📷 credit: @ndfootball on Instagram


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