10 Things that will define the 2021 Notre Dame football season
6. Factors Outside of Notre Dame’s Control
You can practice and train year-round. You can eat, breathe, and dream about your job and responsibilities. You can come in with a perfect game plan. Then, you can lose. It may not be your fault. It may not be to your opponent’s credit.
Sometimes, things just happen that are out of your control and cost you a game. That one game, especially at Notre Dame where you need to go unbeaten to make the College Football Playoff, can be devastating.
These factors out of your control can be seen as an ‘Act of God,’ or maybe they’re just the failures of an official. Think about the Bush Push. That’s a game taken out of Notre Dame’s hands, but one that altered the course of both Notre Dame and USC’s seasons.
These calls by officials happen every game, which can shape an outcome. Do they throw a flag on that borderline hold? Where is a ball spotted on third down?
It’s not just the officials who can take the game out of a team’s hands, though. Pure luck can too. If a running back fumbles, and it goes out the back of the end zone, it’s a touchback. If it goes out on the one, the offense keeps the ball, but if it bounces to a defender it’s going to be the defense’s ball where they recover it.
All this change in the course of the game, due to the luck of a bouncing oval. The glare in your eyes or the wind blowing the ball of course on a punt. All of this can cost a team a game, a chance at the Playoff or a New Year’s Six bowl, and more.