Brian Kelly said that Saturday would be season-defining for the Notre Dame football team. For the Irish offense, let’s hope that’s not true.
There’s a lot to be happy about when it comes to the Notre Dame football team. After all, the Irish were able to win a game against another top-25 team by two scores when its offense didn’t have its best showing. After trailing at halftime, the Irish showed just how physically dominant they could be against an upstart and unbeaten Virginia team.
But however physically dominant the Irish happen to be, for some reason, the Irish offense struggles to find the right recipe to assert that dominance on their opponents.
It’s no secret that the Irish are struggling to move the football, but what’s less obvious is where the blame should be cast.
Watching this Notre Dame offense, it’s hard to find one thing that they do particularly well. It’s hard to decipher a baseline. It’s hard to find an identity.
The Irish certainly aren’t the power running team that was advertised when Chip Long was first hired. The two-tight-end, physical brand of football hasn’t been present for the Irish, at least not since the Irish had its most talented offensive line that featured Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey two seasons ago.
Notre Dame doesn’t have an air raid or spread offense. They tried the all-out passing attack against Georgia–it didn’t go particularly well. The Irish need to find their identity, and they need to find it on the ground.
When the Irish have found success on offense this season, they’ve done so after finding a way to run down hill. Why the Irish haven’t made a more concerted effort to jump start their rushing attack is a question worth asking.
Going forward, the way to fix this Notre Dame offense is to let them be physical. Establish an identity on the ground and the rest will follow.