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Notre Dame Cashes Out in Vegas - Stock Up/Stock Down

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Written by Nick Kremer, Editor for the Irish Tribune


Notre Dame traveled to Las Vegas to take on BYU for it's annual Shamrock Series game. The game had everything you would imagine for a game in Las Vegas; new uniforms, a nightclub in the end zone, green Vegas sign, an incredible stadium and a game that came down to the very end. In the city of lights, Notre Dame shined bright on Saturday beating BYU 28-20.


☘️


Stock Up 📈


Drew Pyne/Michael Mayer

Pyne continues to build on his confidence from the previous game against UNC. Pyne finished 22 of 28 for 262 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. His connection with Michael Mayer continues to grow, as Mayer finished the day catching half of Pyne's completions. "Drew Pyne has found a special connection with tight end Michael Mayer. Mayer continues the tradition that Notre Dame is Tight End U." (God Country Irish)


Pyne is starting to get that swagger back that he had last year when he came in the game against Wisconsin, and when Pyne has that swagger, look out. The accuracy, decision making, and leadership that he showed against BYU was a game changer. Drew Pyne seems to have "it" when he is playing with confidence, so look for his game to continue to get better and better.


OL

The legend of Harry Hiestand continues at Notre Dame. After a slow start to the season, the Irish offensive line has continued to improve each week. The Irish were able to rush for 234 yards and pass for 262 yards behind the Oline. Pass protection was elite as Pyne had all day to make his reads.


Atmosphere/Vegas

As I walked down the strip of Las Vegas the day before the game, I swear it seemed like every other person was wearing their Notre Dame gear and hitting me with a "go Irish" as they walked by. There was a different energy in the air in the desert this weekend as Notre Dame nation seemed to take over the town.


This game set the college football attendance record at Allegiant Stadium with a sellout attendance of 62,742; the previous record at 56,511 for the 2021 Pac 12 championship game. I have been in quite a few venues for football games through the years, and this was the loudest I have ever heard a crowd.


Luciano Antonini, the creator of The Irish Tribune, got to experience the game on the sidelines, and here is what he had to say about the atmosphere at Allegiant Stadium. "I've never felt so immersed in a game before. You could hear fans pounding on the cushioned walls behind you, chants roaring across the stadium. I've never seen so many fans screaming at the top of their lungs before. We had communication set up between me and the guys in the press box, and we struggled to hear each other the entire time; headphones in, covering our ears to block out the sound, but it was just too loud. My apple watch kept buzzing me, warning me about the noise level. My watch said the noise level peaked at 105 decibels at one point, and consistently stayed between the high 90's and 100's the entire game."


☘️


Stock Down📉


Tackling

Watching the game from the press box, and then re-watching the game, one major concern for me is our tackling on defense. The Irish defense is littered with veterans, but missed tackles continue to be a problem. The main example is when the Irish had BYU at 3rd and long, missed tackles allowed them to rush for the first down. If this team wants to continue to improve and be an elite defense, their tackling has to improve across the board.


Brandon Joseph led the team in tackles with 6, followed by Justin Ademiola and JD Bertrand with 5.



Big Plays

The Irish defense continue to give up big plays at inopportune times. We saw another busted coverage where Jaden Mickey was expecting help over the top that was not there, resulting in a big pass play for a touchdown for the Cougars.


The bigger concern for me was the BYU running game. Multiple times throughout the game BYU showed the ability to run the ball almost at will. It is a relief that BYU did not stick to that run game even more in the second half because it could have ended negatively for the Irish.


Linebackers

Unfortunately, this has become a trend from week to week. What was expected to be a strength for this team has turned into one of its biggest weaknesses. The veterans who have played well in years past seem to be regressing.


God Country Irish, a writer for the Irish Tribune, had this to say about the linebacker play. "Despite the defense playing better this year, linebacker play has not been a bright spot. Specifically, Bertrand and Kiser have been liabilities and it might be time for some younger players to get some playing time." I would add Marist Liufau in their as well as he seems lost at times with his reads.


It is clear that the linebacker play has to improve, and it would not surprise me if we start to see some younger players getting involved over Bertrand, Kiser, and Liufau.


☘️


All in all, the Irish came into the city of bright lights and shined. Marcus Freeman got his first win over a ranked opponent, and got his third win in a row since the disaster against Marshall. The Irish cashed out in Vegas, and look to continue their winning trend as they head back to South Bend to take on Stanford.





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