Notre Dame football vs. Cincinnati review: 3 Studs, 3 Duds in Week 5
Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees
Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees called plays with one hand tied behind his back so far this season. With an ineffective offensive line, most play calls are destined to fail. Yet, Rees succeeded in leading the Irish to a 30.0 points per game average (35.25 points overall).
However, the mismanagement of Saturday’s game-plan was confounding. It appeared that Notre Dame wanted to run the ball and had the most success spreading the field to do it. But, the Irish used a variety of formations that did not always work to the advantage of the team.
The use of three quarterbacks and the particular situations they were used also hurt the Irish – especially the use of Tyler Buchner. Buchner should not have been allowed to throw the ball on 3rd and long. He also should not have been inserted in the 3rd quarter when the team was driving with Drew Pyne at the helm.
In many ways, Kevin Austin fulfilled the hype surrounding him in some of the games this year. Against Florida State, Toledo, and Wisconsin, he made gigantic plays that helped the Notre Dame football team find the win column.
In other ways, Austin failed tremendously to play competent football. Against Purdue, he did not register a single catch. Against the Bearcats, Austin only caught one pass for 17 yards. He had a significant drop in the second half that would have lead to a huge gain.
Although these are mistakes that should never happen, it is important to remember that Austin appeared in 11 games in 2018 and 5 games this year. In other words, he is more of a sophomore than a senior.
This may sound like bitter grapes. It probably is. But, Desmond Ridder’s antics pre-game and post-game were not becoming of the Cincinnati football program. The phrase, “act like you’ve been there before” popped into many minds. In reality, Ridder and the Cincinnati football program have never been there before.
This was the first time they beat a top-10 team on the road. It is a tremendous accomplishment for the Bearcats and all group of five teams. As the Cincinnati program continues to grow and expand, they will need to make these wins and games more old hat.
Notre Dame football fans have seemed to skip the game against Cincinnati, but Bearcats fans didn't and that's an issue for the Irish.
Waving the flag up and down the end zone and throwing the ball into the stands give many the impression that this is the pinnacle for the Bearcats and not the ascent.
P.S. Everyone saw your first throw that didn’t make it into the stands.