Notre Dame football fans think that the Fighting Irish defensive coordinator has been maligned incorrectly of late and think some need to issue mea culpas.
Al Golden hasn’t always been loved in South Bend. Especially when the defensive line has had problems getting a pass rush going. However, after a blowout of USC led by the Golden Domers’ defense, Golden is drawing quite a bit of praise on social media on Sunday.
It’s hard not see a gameplan that worked to perfection for Notre Dame football. Caleb Williams was picked off three times in one half (and one game) for the first time in his college career. The Trojans turned it over five times.
Golden’s unit scored a touchdown of its own, as well as allowed Notre Dame football’s offense to have scoring drives of just 9 yards, 2 yards and 12 yards on Saturday night.
There’s an argument to be made that Golden’s unit was so effective that he covered up for some problems that Gerard Parker’s offense still has moving the ball consistently. With all that in mind, it should come as no surprise that quite a few Irish fans were even talking about how the defensive coordinator should basically be able to stick around South Bend as long as he wants.
Notre Dame football defensive coordinator owed an apology?
In addition to forcing the turnovers, the Notre Dame football defense held Caleb Williams to just 199 yards passing. That’s the Trojans’ quarterback’s lowest yardage total since October of 2022, in a game against Washington State. USC still won that game, by the way.
Notre Dame also recorded six sacks. Williams has only been sacked that many times two other times in his college football career. He was sacked seven times by Utah last November and he was sacked six times back in November of 2021 by Oklahoma State when the quarterback was still a Sooner.
While not everyone agrees that Al Golden has totally vindicated himself:
It is clear that on Saturday night, the Notre Dame football defense brought a lot of smiles back to South Bend after a week of wondering where the program was headed.