Notre Dame football: Did the Irish find the winning formula vs Cal?

The Notre Dame football team finally picked up a win for the 2022 season, but did they find the winning formula they need the rest of the way?

The Notre Dame football team took on Cal inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, and for a while, it looked like they were headed towards loss No. 3. That would mark only the third time in program history that a Notre Dame football team started out a season 0-3, but luckily for them, they outscored Cal 10-0 in the fourth to win the game.

Of course, it was not without drama, as two game-winning plays were called back on the final drive due to a targeting call, and a reversal of a scoop-and-score. In the end, the Irish won 24-17, giving Marcus Freeman his first victory as head coach of the storied program.

They beat Cal, but did they find the winning formula to win games the rest of the way?

Notre Dame football needs to cut down on the mistakes

Notre Dame got great play from their defensive line on Saturday, a unit that was supposed to lead this defense going into the season. They played well against Ohio State, but were downright bad against Marshall, so seeing them get the push up front was a strong sign on Saturday.

The Irish also figured out a way to run the football, as they ran it 41 times, averaged nearly four yards per carry, and saw both Audric Estime and Chris Tyree carry the ball over 15 times. That is a good balance in the backfield, and going against the likes of Clemson and USC down the stretch, they will have to have a strong run game to keep those offenses off the field.

The defense finished the game with six sacks but did not force a turnover, something that will be needed going forward. They had seemingly two turnovers in the final drive alone, but they were called back, so the talent is certainly there to flip the field when needed.

Notre Dame was a big favorite in this game, and they were supposed to beat Cal in front of the home fans. Did they find a winning formula the rest of the way? That remains to be seen, but if they can control the line of scrimmage, run the football, and get mistake-free play from Drew Pyne, they should be fine.