The Notre Dame football team takes on UNLV on Saturday, and here are some things on offense to keep an eye on in the matchup.
After a terrible loss to Stanford in primetime on Saturday night, the Notre Dame football team will look to regroup against a bad UNLV team this weekend. The Rebels go into this game as major underdogs against the Irish inside Notre Dame Stadium in a game Notre Dame football needs to get back on track.
Against Stanford, the Irish offense struggled in a big way, as a combination of bad playcalling, and terrible individual play did them in. Against UNLV, they should find it a bit easier to move the ball, and hopefully, they can look more like the team they showed to be against UNC and BYU.
These are some offensive keys for the Irish on Saturday afternoon.
Notre Dame football vs UNLV: Offensive things to watch for
After a few weeks of establishing himself as one of the more effective quarterbacks in the country, Drew Pyne took a massive step backward against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night. He struggled to get anything going, focused too much on Michael Mayer, and in the end, the Irish were able to score only 14 points against a bad Stanford defense.
Against UNLV, Pyne needs to go back to doing what he does best, and that is taking care of the football, leaning on his running backs, and only taking shots when necessary. If he can do that, the Irish should win this game going away.
A massive game for Michael Mayer
When it comes to the UNLV defense, no player can handle Michael Mayer, a tight end who continues to bolster his first-round status from week to week. Mayer has been one of the few bright spots for this Irish offense all season long, and on Saturday, I believe he could be in for the best game of his collegiate career.
Look for Pyne to go Mayer’s way early and often as he tries to shake the blues off from the loss against Stanford, and connect with his star tight end for a few scores. In the end, Mayer could end up with ten-plus catches for over 150 yards and a couple of touchdowns in an Irish rout.
Pound the Rebels on the ground
Running the ball on Saturday will prove to be the difference in this matchup, as the Irish have three capable running backs who could go off at any time. Audric Estime, Chris Tyree, and Logan Diggs all bring their own special abilities to this offense, and with the Irish offensive line getting major push all game long, the Rebels’ defense could be in for a long afternoon inside Notre Dame Stadium.
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The game plan should be simple for Marcus Freeman, and that is to get the running backs going early, and then attack with Pyne and the intermediate passing game. UNLV is nowhere near the Irish in terms of talent level, and on Saturday, this Irish offense is going to prove that.