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Learn From It and Move On

Photo Credit: @ndfootball on Instagram

After a disappointing loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes last Saturday, Notre Dame fans are filled with questions, concerns, and overreactions. Scoring ten points in modern college football will not be enough to challenge the likes of Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson respectively. Irish fans expected more out of an offense that features players like Tyler Buchner, Michael Mayer, Chris Tyree, and Lorenzo Styles. The Irish have playmakers, but for a variety of reasons, we did not see plays being made against the Buckeyes. During his weekly press conference on Monday, September 5, Freeman said:

Photo Credit: @ndfootball

“We didn't accomplish the goal that we had. The goal was to win and we didn't do that. As I said after the game, there's no moral victories around here. The expectation for us and this football program is to win every game we play, including playing the number two team in the country. But, again, as I'll tell them in our team meeting today, this hopefully is the floor. This is the foundation of what we have to build off of.”

Beyond the two scoring drives, the Irish offense never seemed to find a rhythm. Outside of Audric Estime and Michael Mayer, fans would be hard-pressed to identify players who stepped up to the moment last Saturday night. I believe this starts with the offensive line stepping up and playing at a higher level. The talent is there, but they must embrace the “I want to dominate every snap” type of attitude that players like Quentin Nelson, Mike McGlinchy, Alex Bars, Robert Hainsey, Ronnie Stanley, and Zach Martin showed while playing at Notre Dame in years past. If the line can play better, it should allow the run game to establish itself and take the pressure off of Tyler Buchner.

On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame fans should be very excited about what they saw on defense Saturday night. There are areas to improve, but many of the weaknesses from last year were strengths on Saturday night. This begins with the improved play from the secondary. Brandon Joseph and the safeties played much better as a unit. Along with two impressive freshmen performances from Mikey and Morrison, Clarence Lewis had a much improved bounce-back game as well. There are not many freshmen corners that can handle Ohio State’s receivers in all of college football. Linebacker play was improved over last year, but they still need to improve their tackling. The defense was clearly a bright spot for the night and should prove to be the strength of the team once again.

Photo Credit: Irish Sports Daily

Final Take-

So what does Notre Dame do now? Again, Freeman stated at his press conference:

“I think you got to look at the game and learn from all those different opportunities that you had to execute. Now we have to use that same motivation when we get ready for Marshall. We aren't looking at the spread but we are looking at the opportunity. We get 12 guaranteed opportunities. 12. We understand that we work 300 days a year for 12 guaranteed opportunities so for us to waste an opportunity in Notre Dame Stadium, it would be a shame. We'll have them motivated to practice. We got to practice with intensity, physicality and an attention to detail and the execution we're looking for.”

This team must learn from their mistakes and move on. Yes, that is easier said than done, but that is what the best teams do. If this team hopes to finish strong this season, they must now focus on Marshall and establishing themselves as legit title contenders.

Go Irish!


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