The Notre Dame football team has a very winnable game in Week 3, and here, we look at some keys to victory for them against Cal.
On Saturday, inside Notre Dame Stadium, the Notre Dame football team will look to finally notch win No. 1 on the 2022 college football season. The Irish have suffered two big losses already in 2022, one on the road against No. 2 Ohio State, and one shockingly at home against Marshall, but will look to get back on track against Cal in Week 3.
The first win has been harder to come by than expected, but the Cal matchup favors the Irish in a big way. Here, we take a look at some keys to victory as Notre dame football hits the field Saturday at home against the Golden Bears.
Notre Dame football: Keys to victory against Cal in Week 3
Let Pyne Shine
The Irish will roll with Drew Pyne at quarterback on Saturday, this after Tyler Buchner was lost for the season in the loss to Marshall this past weekend. Pyne has the experience, stepping in for Jack Coan against Wisconsin last year, and he helped will the Irish to a solid victory inside Soldier Field that day.
Now, the position is his, and he is out to prove that he can be a long-term solution at the position with a few years of eligibility remaining. There are a lot of things he does well, and while he may not be as mobile as Buchner, he can sling it, so Tommy Rees needs to take advantage of that against this Cal defense.
Put the pressure on Plummer
The Irish have to do a better job in getting pressure this weekend, as Jack Plummer is a player who can hurt you when he has time. Plummer has a strong arm and is not afraid to take shots down the field, so guys like Isaiah Foskey and Jack Kiser have to get pressure to disrupt a Cal offense that has multiple weapons on the outside.
Based on talent, the Irish defensive line should be able to have no problem getting push against the Golden Bears, making Plummer get off his mark. They were able to get to him last season when he was the starter for Purdue, holding him to his worst game of the season, and a repeat performance will be needed to pick up the win on Saturday.
Run, Baby, Run
The fact that the Notre Dame offense has not been able to get the running game going has been a big surprise, especially with three solid options in the backfield. This Saturday, the offensive line must play better, clearing lanes for the three-headed monster of Chris Tyree, Logan Diggs, and Audric Estime.
Notre Dame football takes on Cal in Week 3. Here are some offensive things to watch for in the matchup inside Notre Dame Stadium.
If they can establish the run early and often, it will lead to better protection for Pyne, enabling him to execute downfield to playmakers like Lorenzo Styles Jr. and Braden Lenzy. If the Irish cannot establish the run against this Cal defense, they have some serious problems going into a tough stretch of their season in the upcoming weeks.