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Irish Report Card: Louisville 33, Notre Dame 20

Written By: Phil Kowalis|Writer|Twitter: @PhilKowalisIT

Photo by ESPN

Notre Dame's dreams of reaching the College Football Playoff were left shattered in pieces on the turf of L&M Stadium after the Louisville Cardinals dominated the Irish in every phase of the game on the way to a 33-20 victory. Jawhar Jordan ran through the Irish defense the entire second half and finished the game rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to the win. The Notre Dame offense was almost nonexistent as the Irish were held to a season low 44 yards rushing and turned the ball over five times. The Irish defense did not play poorly and held the team in the game for three periods as Notre Dame trailed only 17-13 entering the final quarter. The Irish defense would wear down in the final quarter as the Irish offense could not sustain any drives to let the defense get any rest.

Let's take a look at the grades the Irish received after suffering their second loss of the season.

Photo By: Timothy D Easley / AP


Offensive Line/Tight Ends: Grade F

The Notre Dame offensive line was dominated by the front seven of the Cardinals defense from the opening snap. Louisville held the Irish to only 44 yards rushing on 28 carries for a 1.6 yard per carry average, all of which were season low totals. The Irish offensive line struggles were not limited to the rushing game as the O-line could not protect Sam Hartman in the pass game either as the Cardinals recorded five sacks of the Irish quarterback.

Mitchell Evans continued his strong play as he caught four passes for 71 yards and a touchdown leading all Irish receivers for the game.

Quarterback/Running backs: Grade F

To say that Sam Hartman had a bad game would be putting it nicely.

Hartman was intercepted three times and fumbled twice accounting for all five of the Irish turnovers on the night. The Irish running backs were not much better in a game that saw the Irish all but abandon the running game in the second half. Jeremiyah Love led the Irish in rushing with 37 yards on only five carries. Leading rusher Audric Estime was held to 20 yards on 10 carries as the Irish were never able to get the running game going.

Wide Receivers: Grade F

The Notre Dame Wide Receivers continue to struggle to make any contribution to the Irish offense. The Irish receiving corps caught 11 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown but most of the contribution came in garbage time with the Irish trailing by 20 points and Louisville playing a soft zone defense. The best wide receiver on the field for the Irish was walk-on Jordan Faison who caught two passes for 48 yards including hauling in a 36-yard touchdown pass from Hartman that tied the score at 7-7 late in the second quarter. Tobias Merriweather continues to struggle as he was held without a catch until late in the fourth quarter.

Photo By: Timothy D Easley/ AP


Defensive Line: Grade B-

The Notre Dame defensive line put in a strong effort for three quarters before wearing down in the fourth as the Cardinals pulled away for the victory. Howard Cross turned in another strong effort once again leading the Irish front in tackles with seven and being credited with making 1.5 tackles for loss. Javontae Jean Baptiste and Rylie Mills each recorded five tackles on the night for the Irish.

Linebackers: Grade C

Much the same as the defensive line the Notre Dame linebackers turned in a solid effort for three quarters before getting caught out of position on Jawhar Jordan's two touchdown runs.

JD Bertrand led the Irish linebackers in tackles with nine five of which were solo tackles Bertrand also added a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Marist Liufau and Jack Kiser each added 6 tackles for the Notre Dame defense. Liufau was also on the wrong end of what may have been the biggest play of the night as he was flagged for a face mask penalty well away from the play to keep a Louisville drive alive that led to Jordan's second touchdown that put Louisville ahead 24-13.

Secondary: Grade B

The Notre Dame secondary had another solid game holding Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer to only 145 yards passing. DJ Brown had nine tackles to lead the secondary and tie Bertrand for the team high. Benjamin Morrison had five tackles on the night and continues to provide lockdown pass coverage.

Special Teams: Grade B

Spencer Shrader was one of the few bright spots on the evening for Notre Dame, making both of his field goal attempts on the evening. Jadarian Price made an impact in the kick return game ripping off a 37-yard kickoff return to give the Irish good field position.

Bryce McFerson had another solid punting game kicking four times for a 42.5-yard average.


The Irish picked a very bad time to produce their worst effort of the season, as they were soundly beaten by a Louisville team that was clearly out to show that their 5-0 record was no fluke.

The Cardinals defense dominated the Irish offensive line all night on the way to the blow-out victory.

Notre Dame has little time to get their offensive woes figured out as they return home to face undefeated USC, and their Heisman contender quarterback Caleb Williams.


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