Notre Dame Football: Doerer was unsung hero in opening week win over Duke

Jonathan Doerer #39 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Jonathan Doerer #39 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame football opened its season with a 27-13 win over Duke. The heroes of the game were obvious, but who was Notre Dame’s unsung hero?

For the Notre Dame football team, game one is in the books. It wasn’t certainly wasn’t a pretty one, but all that matters is the Irish got their first ACC win, knocking off Duke 27-13. To a certain extent, you probably should have expected a little sloppy play with the offseason (or lack thereof) that unfolded.

Defensively, it looked like the Irish started off overly excited and then eventually turned it on and settled in the rest of the game. Offensively, I don’t really know what to think, if I’m being honest. It was the first game, so I guess we can’t overreact too much.

Kyren Williams was easily the best guy on the field today and earned the game ball, as well as the player of the game for Slap the Sign.

As for the unsung hero, it has to be the special teams and especially Jonathan Doerer. We know we have been fortunate to be able to rely on him, but he made some timely kicks when needed to keep momentum and the lead on the Notre Dame side. He also did a solid job of limiting kickoff returns and forcing three touchbacks in the game, which halted some momentum as well.

Doerer had a 48-yard field goal to end the half that was desperately needed for Notre Dame to carry some mojo into the locker room. A 10-6 lead is clearly better than a one point game against the Blue Devils at home.

Next. Grading the Irish offense against Duke. dark

In the fourth quarter, he closed the game out with a 34-yarder to give the Irish a two touchdown lead and ice the game. Irish fans have been sort of spoiled with kickers recently but they do get moved to the side quite often and Doerer absolutely helped keep this game at a distance just enough, which was a big reason he was the unsung hero for week one. And now we’re on to South Florida next Saturday afternoon.