The Notre Dame football team made a lot of bad decisions against Louisville but the worst one was rotating the offensive line as often as they did.
Notre Dame football went into their game against the Louisville Cardinals with a plan that simply didn’t work on multiple fronts. There was the lack of carries by Audric Estime, there was the inability to stop the Cards’ running game, and then there was the inability to keep Sam Hartman upright.
It was the last one, Notre Dame football’s approach on the offensive line that stands out as the worst. It led to several other problems all over the field, for the Fighting Irish.
Following the game, left tackle Joe Alt shed some light on the Irish plans. Alt said that it was always in the game plan to rotate guards/center on the Irish offensive line. The problem is that it didn’t work out well at all.
In hindsight, it feels as though this could be just another reason why offensive coordinator Gerard Parker should be on the hotseat.
Rotating Joe Alt, Blake Fisher, Billy Schrauth, Rocco Spindler, Andrew Kristofic, and Zeke Correll might have seemed like a plan that would keep everyone fresh. It might have seemed like it would keep the defense guessing.
Instead, it seems the rotation just made it easier to get to Sam Hartman. Over and over.
Notre Dame football offensive line fails badly
As a group, the Irish offensive line simply didn’t hold up very well at all. According to PFF, only Alt and Spindler had what could be called “good games.” Only Alt rated a better than 80 grade.
When the smoke cleared from the Louisville game, Notre Dame football allowed 6 sacks, 2 quarterback hits and 8 quarterback hurries. It’s not hard to see why Hartman struggled against that kind of pressure.
The offensive line shifting didn’t just harm the passing game either. The Fighting Irish struggled to move the ball on the ground, finishing with just 81 yards on 22 carries (a 3.7 YPC average).
There were plenty of mistakes made by Notre Dame football on Saturday night. Here’s hoping they can learn from those mistakes come this weekend.