Notre Dame football: 3 things we learned from the Week 1 win over FSU
The defense gave up way too many big plays
Notre Dame’s defense was dominating early in the game until Jashaun Corbin of Florida State broke an 89-yard run to the house to put the Seminoles on the board. Later, it would seem like the defense had things under control, when Florida State’s Ja’khi Douglas burnt Houston Griffith for a sixty-yard touchdown pass.
These plays threw momentum towards Florida State and helped the Seminoles come to life. It can’t keep happening this frequently.
The Notre Dame defense did a lot of great things despite the score. However, it’s clear that they struggled to control the edge on rushing plays, which when Florida State ran counter with pulling linemen became a major issue. Houston Griffith got beat in man coverage.
These are mistakes you need to clean up but do happen.
A lot of defenses live with big plays. It’s a result of trying to create chaos. Blitzes, for instance, leave corners on islands. This leaves them vulnerable. Defensive backs jumping routes sometimes miss, and big plays spring from there. It’s all about risk-reward.
Don’t forget that sacks and three interceptions were major deciding factors in this game.
Now, Freeman’s defense isn’t going to get out of the 3-man front any time soon. That’s his defense and it’s what he was hired to bring to Notre Dame. The Irish are also going to continue to play man coverage. If they want to stop these big plays, you can’t get beat in man coverage. You also need to avoid losing control of the edge on counter plays and tackle better. It’s easier said than done.