The statistics indicate that the Gold team (Offense) actually defeated the Blue team (Defense) 17-2. In reality, the score was 54-43 in favor of the Blue team. But, the fact that it was even that close was not an indicator of the how the game was played.
Notre Dame’s Offense had been touted for its improvement during the spring but that failed to show up on Saturday. The improvement surrounded around Everett Golson who had up and downs during the game. He finished 6-of-13 for 98 yards and 1 interception. In addition, Golson was sacked four times for 30 yards.
Even projected Starter George Atkinson did not look like a player who had turned the corner. Atkinson runs with high pad level and tends to run around instead of through defenders. He showed those same flaws again. Atkinson ran for 49 yards on 10 carries. But, most on one 17 yard run against the second team Defense. Without that run, Atkinson had a 3.55 yard average.
A few bright spots on Offense were CJ Prosise and Troy Niklas. Prosise caught the only touchdown of the game. Overall, he had 2 catches for 40 yards. Niklas grabbed two passes for 46 yards.
Notre Dame’s Defense has more quality depth than the Offense. That was clear throughout the game. An interesting development with the Defense is the amount of 4 down linemen that the team used during the game. This could be a trend for the rest of the season.
Notre Dame clearly needs improvement on the Offensive side of the ball but again it is just a glorified scrimmage. There is no need to panic. Reinforcements are coming in about two months.