I’ve had sufficient time to let the last loss marinate. After enough time to console myself (as is the case following any ND loss), I am happy to have tested our metal right out the gate. These big early season non-conference matchups are our true barometer for where we as a program sit. And after letting the initial crushing feeling subside, I’m fairly happy with that last Fighting Irish performance. Of course I would have liked to march into Columbus and get out with a win against the #2 team in the country, but it just wasn’t there. I was happy to see that getting there is in reach. And I mean it is in very real reach this season. If we put one more quarter together we could have very well left Columbus burning to the ground after beating the Buckeyes. This team has got what it takes, no doubt about it.
However last week ended (yes even had they blown us out) we were still going to have a chance to be one of the four selected. But after that showing last weekend, if we show dominance here on out, there is now NO REASON WHATSOEVER that they can keep us out. Teams can do a lot of growth in the season, and evidence of the talent to hang with them is already on tape. Now we just need to develop the finish through all 4 mentality and we’ve got a real contender on our hands.
Heading into this game, I am going to have my eyes fixed on our secondary. Last game I was truly blown away by our coverage capabilities. For the less aware, Ohio State may very well be home to the most dangerous wide receiver room in the nation. Their highlight potential is unreal. And we held them and the Heisman favorite to minimal damage. Proud of our boys for that performance and excited for the crew they could become.
Ryan Day was held to the least points of his tenure as Head Coach at Ohio State. While I would have loved to have pulled out the W. I will take some pride in that for the program. While we WANT and NEED titles here, we aren’t going to get them overnight. This insignificant stat is just a tiny feather for our caps, and can be seen as us trending in the right direction. We need that win next round though.
I’m looking for a confidence boost on this one for sure, especially from our offensive line. I thought our boys would dictate the likes of even the Buckeyes on the line, I was wrong. I’m looking for massive protection from the offensive line, and even massiverer, no, the massivisiest pressure from the defensive line.
I’m looking for our highly regarded running back rotation to make up for the minuscule production last week. Taking full advantage of our lineman’s size and speed comparatively to Marshall, I’m looking for massive yards tomorrow. Absolutely no reason our boys should expect anything else from themselves.
Tyler Buchner is 19 folks. Plenty of growth for the young man to make here against the lesser competition. He’s got the skills and showed he can manage a game (for at least 3 quarters… that 4th will come) against the top competition out there. I am confident that today’s matchup against the Thundering Herd will be a great showcase game for the young man. I am hoping that our line can figure it out and give him the protection that we would expect the Notre Dame offensive line to be able to provide against Marshall’s defense.
After last week being a tough, drag out battle last weekend, I’m fully expecting a one sided touchdown marathon in South Bend for the Irish. It is nice to get a softball sent our way that we should absolutely send to the bleachers. And if you think I’m being arrogant, I should be. This is Notre Dame football, we can’t contend with teams like Ohio State only to have these dookie squads give us a game. These are supposed to be showcases. Let’s go out there and make it one.
Check in tomorrow morning for some post game thoughts. Here’s to everyone in the house tomorrow. Everyone better be coming home with some massive gains from the TD celebrations!
Play like an absolute champ,