Notre Dame Football: Syracuse Game Grades: Offense


Despite coming away with a 16-point win, the Fighting Irish are going to have to work at improving every aspect of their offense in order to compete well against Stanford Saturday.

Notre Dame are still unbeaten after beating Syracuse 31-15 leaving them in the discussion for the College Playoffs. However, if they play the way they did Saturday against their upcoming schedule, they won’t be talked about as much. Against Syracuse, the Irish committed five turnovers. Usually, the team with the most turnovers loses the game, but thanks to the stifling Irish defense, the Orange weren’t able to capitalize on them. Now don’t get me wrong, Notre Dame offense played exceptional football outside of their turnovers, but the offense needs to realize that they probably won’t win another game where they turn the ball over five times.

Offensive line: A-

The line played a pretty impressive all-around game against Syracuse conceiving just one sack. They basically eliminated Syracuse’s sack-machine Corey Lynch, which helped with Everett Golson’s Notre Dame record for most consecutive completed passes. The line also pushed Notre Dame to rush for 161 yards on four yards per carry, which was 26 more yards than Syracuse’s 25th rank rushing attack. The Irish made the necessary adjustments on the line during the bye week to ensure that Golson was protected better and the running game was a legitimate threat to opposing defenses.

Protecting Golson is going to be more crucial than ever in the next part of the season. If they can keep him in the pocket limiting his chances of fumbling the ball or throwing a bad pass, Notre Dame’s offense is going to be pretty tough to stop.

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Running backs: A- 

Although Notre Dame’s running backs failed to score a touchdown and fumbled the ball once, they provided the offense a balanced attack carrying the ball effectively whenever their numbers were called. Greg Bryant, Tarean Folston and Cam McDaniel all helped the offense pick up over 100 yards rushing, and each of them had over four yards per carry, which goes to show how each back carries the ball with intentions of picking up as many yards as possible regardless of how tough the opposing defense is pressuring the run game. Folston and McDaniel also helped out in the passing attack catching five passes for 54 yards.

Receivers: A 

Six different receivers made a reception against Syracuse to go along with William Fuller and Corey Robinson’s top-notch performances. Fuller caught six passes for 119 yards and a pair of flashy touchdowns cementing himself as Golson’s number one receiver. Robinson also made a breakout performance catching eight passes for 91 yards and an outstanding box-out touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone in the third quarter. Torii Hunter Jr. Also made an impressive debut rushing the ball as well as catching a pass for a touchdown. If Davaris Daniels is reinstated to the active roster this season, Notre Dame will have arguably the best receiving corp in the country.

Quarterback: B+

I can’t be mad at Evertt Golson. As a student at Notre Dame, you can’t hate the guy that has been leading your team to being relevant among the talks of possibly obtaining national championship glory. However, I can’t give him anything higher than a B for his performance because of his multiple turnovers. Giving the ball away is such an offensive momentum killer, and we can’t have that against Stanford. Besides turning the ball over, Golson passed for a career-high 362 passing yards to go along with four touchdowns. Those are numbers I would love to see against the Cardinal. We also have to give him credit for standing in the pocket and delivering the football with ease 25 consecutive times setting a new school record.

All I ask of you Golson is that you keep the turnovers at a minimum from here on out. If Notre Dame can continue to score points and capitalize on every opportunity given by the opposing team, we have an excellent chance of beating Stanford, and yes, even Florida State.