The Notre Dame football team looked solid on offense early on but struggled after halftime against the Ohio State Buckeyes in a 21-10 loss.
During the first half of their crucial matchup against Ohio State, the Notre Dame football team looked very good on both sides of the ball. True sophomore starting quarterback Tyler Buchner navigated a few long drives, the defense stymied CJ Stroud for the most part, and they went into the locker room with a 10-7 lead.
However, in the second half, the Buckeyes came to play, shutting down the Irish offense, and cruising to a 21-10 victory.
Notre Dame football: The offense sputters in the second half vs Ohio State
Irish struggle on offense after the break
After starting the game 8-of-8 passing, Buchner struggled the rest of the way, as he was under duress for most of the second half. Buchner was also dealing with some kind of ankle injury, as he rolled it going out of bounds during the third quarter, so that hindered his ability to use one of his more valuable weapons, his legs.
After the strong start, Buchner went 2-of-10 the rest of the way, and his struggles led to the Irish being shut out on offense in the second half. In fact, the offense did not threaten Ohio State much in the final two frames, and while they did not turn the ball over, they were never able to get anything going.
Notre Dame is solid on defense throughout
The Ohio State Buckeyes were without star wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba for most of this game, but they ran the ball well and got strong play from sophomore wideout Emeka Egbuka. Despite a strong rushing attack in the second half, and some incredible plays by CJ Stroud, the defense actually was solid throughout against arguably the toughest offense they will see this season.
Allowing only 21 points to the Buckeyes was a tremendous feat, and they kept the game close long enough for the offense to do some damage. Unfortunately, the offense sputtered in a big way during the second half, and even the 1986 Chicago Bears would not be able to overcome that.
While it has been two straight losses for head coach Marcus Freeman, one against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, and now against No. 2 Ohio State, wins are on the horizon. Notre Dame football gets a cupcake next weekend against Marshall, and has two winnable games after that against both North Carolina and Cal.
The Notre Dame football team will take on Ohio State tonight in the Horseshoe, and here are some bold predictions for the matchup.
The Marshall contest will be the home opener, and Notre Dame Stadium should be rocking for that one. Notre Dame football may have lost this one, but we will see how the rest of the season plays out, because if they can run the table, a one-loss Irish team could clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff.