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Notre Dame Football is Buying Into Marcus Freeman's Vision

Updated: Oct 12, 2022


📷 Credit: @ndfootball on Instagram

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels last Saturday with a dominating performance. After giving up a touchdown to North Carolina on the opening drive, Notre Dame’s defense responded by forcing three straight punts. The Irish offense found its groove during the second quarter and put up points on the following six drives. They later added three more scores to win the game 45-32. Coach Marcus Freeman had this to say following the game…

“Well, obviously, extremely happy for our group of guys and our coaching staff to go out and play the entirety of a game and they played really, really well. We played really well. And the beauty of it is there's always room to get better. We can go and we can learn from a lot of situations that happened in the game. They're playing better, they're practicing better. And that's the challenge. Continue to get better. And it was good to see the performance today.”


Even though North Carolina’s defense was not very good, Irish fans should walk away from this game encouraged by the identity this offense is starting to show on Saturdays. Quarterback Drew Pyne appears to have found his role in this offense and was the clear leader of this team last Saturday. This football team has to feel good about a 2-2 record going into the bye week.


Players of the Game


📷 Credit: @ndfootball on Instagram

Michael Mayer

Michael Mayer is Drew Pyne’s favorite target as he caught seven passes for eighty-eight yards and a touchdown. After failing to score in the first quarter, Mayer provided the spark that this team needed to get this offense going. Coach Freeman had this to say about his All-American tight end…


“He's a beast, man. 87 is a heck of a football player. And you're a fool if you don't find ways to get the ball in his hands, and we found unique ways. I think we ran him on a jet sweep today. And you wouldn't think 87's getting the ball on a jet sweep. It's going to make a DB think twice about coming in there and tackling him. But he's a guy that can do so many different things for you. He sets the standard for how we prepare. He's a captain. He's a leader who raises the play of those guys in his room. That's why what you'll see is you'll see those young guys step up because Michael Mayer is the one making sure that you know everybody's going to perform to a standard. Everybody's got a standard and everybody's going to have to learn. And so, this is good to see his leadership capabilities.”



Running Backs

Christ Tyree, Audric Estime, and Logan Diggs formed a three-headed running back monster last Saturday against the Tar Heels. Memory suggests that Notre Dame has not had a running back trio this talented since Theo Riddick, Cierre Wood, and Josh Adams played several years ago. All three running backs bring unique skills to the offense and it showed against North Carolina. Even though Michael Mayer provided the spark, Tyree (104 yards), Estime (134 yards), and Diggs (115 yards) fueled the offensive production last Saturday. Both Tyree and Diggs had one touchdown and Estime contributed two more scores on the ground, despite a late-game fumble at the goal line. After the game, Coach Freeman had this to say about the running backs…


“I think more so (it was) the rhythm of the game, and it was good to have Logan (Diggs) back. He had a good week of practice, but your ability to use those three in different ways. Listen, when we lost Kevin (Bauman) this week, we knew we were going to have to be kind of strategic in terms of what personnel we were going to use. And to have a guy like Chris Tyree that you can use in the backfield, use in the slot, do some different things with, it really opens up things for our offense. And so, again, they were just going on a roll. You know, credit to coach (Deland) McCullough who's done a great job with that group, the unselfishness of that group, it was really good to see today.”


📷 Credit: @ndfootball on Instagram


Final Take

The game against North Carolina showed that this team is starting to buy into Marcus Freeman’s vision for this football team. Irish fans must hope that the coaching staff will use this during the bye week to correct areas of concern and continue this winning momentum moving forward. If so, this team has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for the remainder of the college football season.


Go Irish!


📷 Credit: @ndfootball on Instagram

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