top of page

Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? Gauging the Morale of the Fighting Irish Nation

By Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter @LiamFarrell_IT

Via NBC Sports


With half the season in the books, Notre Dame fans have been on quite the rollercoaster. From early season dominance to a couple of heart attack filled games, the ride for Fighting Irish has sure hasn't been easy. This piece will look on whether or not Notre Dame is in a good enough position to make a playoff birth, and commentate on how the year has gone so far. Let's take a deep dive, and be retrospective about what has happened to the 2023 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.


Early Season Dominance

Via Notre Dame Athletics


Notre Dame started off the year hot with blowout wins against Navy, Tennessee State, NC State, and Central Michigan to start out the year. Sam Hartman had the offense rolling, and I even wrote an article about whether Hartman is the best Irish QB of the 21st century. While this may have led to overreactions, the Fighting Irish found themselves in an unusual position: they were being nationally liked. Typically, within major media outlets like ESPN, Notre Dame is not explicitly liked and or portrayed in a good light. College Football commentators, such as Paul Finebaum or Rece Davis, often drag the Irish in any possible opportunity they have. However, with Sam Hartman at the realm, Notre Dame was actually liked by the media. Going into the biggest game of the season so far, most people were pulling for the Fighting Irish to upset the Buckeyes. While this may not have happened, it was the first time, in a long time, that Notre Dame was being painted in a positive way.


Back-to-Back Thrillers

Via Notre Dame Athletics


Let's face it: the Ohio State loss was a Mike Tyson knockout punch to the morale of the team, and especially the fans. In a game that Notre Dame dominates, they still manage to lose in the big, primetime national spotlighted game. This team could've easily gone downhill and crawled their way to the end of the season. Some Twitter analysts already said that Notre Dame is out of playoff contention with one loss (which is completely wrong and irrelevant, but I will come back to this topic). How does Notre Dame respond? Well, down by 1 and having to go 97-yards downfield, the Irish gave a Buster Douglas uppercut to finish the Blue Devils. Hartman has his 4th and 16 run that will be played for centuries on end, and then Audric Estime puts the nail in the coffin with a 30-yard dagger. Under the bright lights and their season on the line, Notre Dame came back from the dead to get the job done.


So What Now?


Via Notre Dame Athletics


Notre Dame is in a very weird position right now. As a fan, I am obviously still dejected after the Ohio State game, but am optimistic about the future that the season possesses. In my head and on Saturdays, I am trying to map out the path for Notre Dame to make the playoff in my head; hoping and praying that a top seeded team will slip up in conference play. Nonetheless, I come back to this realization: we need to handle business. Louisville will be no cakewalk under the lights of a program that is back on the way up. Then, the next week, we face our arch rivals in a should be Top 10 game under the lights in your own home. By losing to Ohio State, the Irish can no longer control their own destiny, but it would be absolutely foolish to say the Irish have no shot at making the playoff. Just go back to 2017 where Notre Dame lost a painfully close game to Georgia at home, on the last drive of the game. For the first three weeks of the college football playoff committee rankings, the Irish were ranked 3rd even with one loss. Then, the Irish got trounced later by Miami, but that is not the point. The point is, the season is nowhere close to being over. Notre Dame can definitely, without a doubt, make the playoff with one-loss. The Irish just need to be careful, take each game with the utmost concentration, and finish their season a near perfect 11-1.

1 Comment


Guest
Oct 04, 2023

Defense is solid not giving up many points. Offense is solid at qb, rb,te,offensive line looks like it's being held back do to young athletic recievers !!! The more the recievers learn and get more space the better the Offense will get through the year !

Special teams has got to get better and they got to be making field goals when needed don't care if he kicks a mile make them and i think we can get the rematch with the buckeyes later this year !! Half full go Irish!!!

Like
Like Our Content?
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
The Irish Tribune
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
The Irish Tribune
bottom of page