The Notre Dame football team suffered one of the worst losses in recent memory, begging the question, is the season over already?
Notre Dame football gave Ohio State all they could handle a week ago in what was a good showing for a team that had question marks all over the field. The offense, led by Tyler Buchner, was expected to show exponential improvement in the home opener against Marshall, a Group of Five opponent.
Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees spoke all week about wanting to open up the playbook for Buchner by taking more downfield shots and getting players like Braden Lenzy and Lorenzo Styles to show their big play ability. Defensively, the Irish were simply looking to build on a promising start against Ohio State.
None of that went on to happen for Notre Dame. The Irish were simply dominated in all three phases by the Thundering Herd in a 26-21 upset loss.
Offensive Woes and Defensive Issues for Notre Dame football
Notre Dame football looked flat right out of the gate, failing to score in the opening quarter. This wasn’t all too concerning early on, as the defense stood tall, not giving up any opening frame points to Marshall. Then, following two punts and a turnover on downs, Marshall led a 10-play, 79-yard scoring drive.
Notre Dame responded by way of Tyler Buchner throwing an interception. Going into the half, ND had mustered just 157 total yards and trailed 9-7. The second half showed a bit more promise, but every time Notre Dame took one step forward, they took two more steps back. A punt, a turnover on downs, and 2 interceptions (one was a pick-6 for Marshall) followed for the Irish in the second half. To make matters worse, Tyler Buchner left injured late in the fourth.
Notre Dame football finished with fewer total yards than Marshall and three more turnovers. The positive for Notre Dame was Michael Mayer, who finished with an 8-103-1 line, proving again why he is the best TE in the nation.
The defense gave up just 19 points but looked flat and generally uninspired in the loss. Marshall RB Khalan Laborn was unstoppable all day finishing with 163 rush yards (the most against ND since 2016) and a TD, and the Irish failed to stay ahead of the chains, routinely giving up 5 or 6 yards on first down all game.
Analysis for Notre Dame football: 0-2 = It’s Over
As Notre Dame falls to 0-2, hope for a college football playoff berth has completely dissipated. A New Year’s Six Bowl now hangs in the balance as ND would need to run the table, convincingly winning each game, to make that happen. Following today’s awful loss, it is hard to imagine that happening for the Irish.
Notre Dame football had a rough go of it last Saturday against Ohio State, so will they turn things around against Marshall? I think so.
This is a reality check bigger than a Notre Dame football team has seen in years. Kudos to Marshall, who came prepared and got the job done today. Now, it’s back to the drawing board for Marcus Freeman and company, who must do everything they can to save what could quickly become a lost season following this meltdown in South Bend.