Notre Dame’s kicking game fails again, fall to No. 24 Louisville 31-28


An already thin defense for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish became almost transparent as Jarron Jones and Cody Riggs joined the list of injured players in the first half. In the end it was a Kyle Brindza kick that sailed wide right that was the difference between overtime and the third straight loss as the Irish lost to No. 24 Louisville 31-28.

For the second game in a row, a missed Brindza kick cost the Irish (7-4) at least a chance to end their losing skid. Brian Kelly‘s frustrations with the kicking game was apparent.

"“We’ve lost back-to-back games because we couldn’t put down a ball and kick it 32 yards,” Notre Dame coach Kelly said."

The Cardinals (8-3) quarterback Reggie Bonnafon didn’t have a stellar game throwing the ball, but did account for three scores (two rushing, one passing) to keep Louisville’s hopes for a third straight 10 win season alive. The Irish on the other hand, after starting 6-0 and reaching No. 5, have lost four of five and three straight; the longest losing streak under Kelly.

For the sixth straight game, the Irish surrendered 30 points, a first in the school’s long history. Before the game was over, it was nearly a full squad of freshmen playing defense, and they battled to the very end.

"“We played a lot of freshmen in there and a lot of young guys. They battled as best they could,” Kelly said."

Everett Golson threw for two scores, but also threw his 13th interception of the season. He did however help rally the Irish to get within three, but took a critical sack before an incomplete pass set up Brindza’s ill-fated kick.

William Fuller continued to shine, collecting five catches for 109 yards, including a tipped pass off Corey Robinson for a score.

After starting the season with a carousel of running backs, Tarean Folston has emerged as the feature back. He carried the ball 18 times for 134 yards and a touchdown. Folston has eclipsed 100 yards in four of his last five games. The exception being the Arizona State loss as the Irish were forced to go to the air down big.

In what many see as a “lost” season, there is a silver lining in the amount of game time these freshmen on defense are seeing. Combine that with the fact the Irish won’t be losing many starters next season and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately that light won’t come till the Blue & Gold game next season.