The Notre Dame football team dropped their third game of the season. Despite losing, the Irish won the statistical battle against Stanford. However, two interceptions by Brandon Wimbush doomed Notre Dame on Saturday night. Here are the grades for the Fighting Irish offense against Stanford.
Wimbush completed less than 50% of his passes again. His ineffectiveness late in the season cost Notre Dame an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff or in a New Year’s Six Bowl game.
Wimbush threw for 249 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He added 61 yards on the ground. His play up until the 4th Quarter was decent enough to keep the Irish in the contest. However, his attempt to throw the ball to Tight End Durham Smythe which was intercepted changed the complexion of the entire game.
Until he can throw the ball better, the Notre Dame offense will continue to falter.
Junior Running Back Josh Adams failed to break loose against the Cardinal. Adams is clearly worn down or injured. Teams are also keying more on Adams than before. With Wimbush’s trouble throwing the ball, teams can stack the box against Irish.
Adams finished the game with 49 yards on 20 carries. This is a season-low average of 2.45 yards per attempt.
Dexter Williams added 21 yards on 3 rushes. Despite a solid average, Williams only received a few carries. WIth Adams slowed, Williams needs more attempts.
Despite a lack of offensive production, the Irish receivers played one of their best games. Kevin Stepherson and Equanimeous St. Brown combined for 75-yard plus touchdowns.
Stepherson finished the game with 3 catches for 112 yards with a touchdown. St. Brown chipped in with 5 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.
The Notre Dame Tight Ends failed to make an impact on the game. In the passing game, their lack of production was amusing. Senior Nic Weishar caught a pass for 2 yards. This was the only catch by a Tight End.
Their support in the running game as not much better. Notre Dame’s gameplan featured overloading two Tight Ends to one side. Typically, it was Smythe and Weishar. However, these two players failed to produce the blocks need to spark a strong Irish rushing attack.
Mental mistakes and errors plagued the Irish Offensive Line on Saturday. For example, following the great punt return by Chris Finke. The Irish had two procedure penalties. One of the penalties was caused by the Offensive Line.
Even Quenton Nelson, perhaps Notre Dame’s best player, met his match with Defensive Tackle Harrison Phillips. Nelson along with his other fellow Offensive Linemen failed to open up enough holes for an injured Adams.
The Irish generated 415 yards of total offense. They ran the ball for 154 yards. Notre Dame threw the football for 261 yards. Normally, without turnovers, these numbers might be good enough for Notre Dame to win. However, the three 4th Quarter turnovers, the Irish had no opportunity to win the football game.