After a very difficult loss, it will be tough for Notre Dame to get ready for the next game with Navy. It is always difficult for the defense to prepare for the Navy offense. But prepare they must, because the playoffs are stay in play for the Fighting Irish, but they must win all their remaining games. There is one good point for the team, in that they did not have any major injuries.
This week’s post game press conference started with Brian Kelly announcing that offensive guard Quenton Nelson has a sprained ankle. Coach said that Nelson was wearing a boot and that it was too early to say whether or not he will play this Saturday.
One of the problems for the Fighting Irish offense, according to Kelly, was the amount of drops by the receivers. He estimated that the Irish left about 125 yards on the field. And, some of the drops came in critical situations. The Irish missed some of the opportunities to get the ball to receivers who were in single coverage. A Clemson reporter was quoted as saying the Irish offensive line gave away running plays by their hand and foot placement. Kelly disagreed with this comment, explaining the offensive line changes its stances on both running and passing plays. On obvious pass plays, the offensive line kept Kizer upright.
DeShone Kizer impressed everyone with his poise. He led the team on a great comeback on the road against a great opponent in adverse weather conditions. DeShone is a quarterback who can lead Notre Dame to a championship. What he needs is a better run game and better support by his receivers. Kelly summed up the team captains role which is “have to continue to work towards their goals and what their mission is for this football team. They can’t let an opportunity like this ever slip through their hands again!”
In an attempt to tie in the final moments, the Fighting Irish attempted a running play for a two-point conversion. Notre Dame’s blocking was poor and the Clemson defense double-teamed the three wide receivers resulting in a failed conversion.
As difficult as the loss was, Notre Dame still has a chance to make the playoffs. They were not defeated by three or four touchdowns as Ole Miss was. They also have big games remaining with Southern Cal and Stanford. Hopefully the team will grow from this defeat and if they do, this can still be a great season.