After Marshall ripped our hearts out, let’s see if Drew Pyne can do better. (Short Notre Dame-California pregame thoughts)

So…

How was your week?…

Well in case you were wondering, I just got back the courage to say anything about my thoughts heading into the California game because my thoughts heading into the Marshall game were me pretty much highlighting 3 Marshall players who then proceeded to outcompete, outplay, and outperform the Irish at every given point in last Saturday’s heartbreaking (and very eye-opening defeat). Our 0-2 start has been an absolute let down for me and the rest of the Irish fans out there. 

What started with so much optimism has turned into just a bummer. But, we’ve still got a lot of football left to play, no point in feeling sorry for ourselves. Our loss to Marshall will be a joke for years to come for all of the Notre Dame haters out there. Come to terms with that Irish fans… Now let’s move on. A lot of season left to salvage something great here. And hey!, even if our hopes at a CFP season are over (barring multiple catastrophic meltdowns) we can still set ourselves up to be a team to watch heading into next season. Any of this starts with taking down California and the Golden Bears.

Time to exorcize some demons for sure. With all of the anger and frustration of one of the largest fanbases in the nation boiling under you, I’m looking for the Irish to bring a gear I don’t know these boys would know they have. While we were all hoping for a bright and historic (for the best reasons) start for Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame, it just hasn’t been the case. Here we get to see how Marcus Freeman (who recently converted to Catholicism, welcome) reacts to adversity right out of the gate. And while Tommy Rees has plenty to answer for, Marcus Freeman also has tons to answer for as well. Unfortunately every loss that comes our way Marcus Freeman’s GQ photoshoots, and all of his media profile pieces done in preparation for this season, look more and more ridiculous. If you win we won’t question stuff like this. If you lose, we have to. Question’s like why does Kirby Smart look the way he does (no offense Kirby) and you look chiseled from marble? Is he possibly putting his time in the film room while you hit the weight room? You can say that’s unfair, but I say the football we all had to sit through last Saturday was unfair! I get that having eyes on you is good for recruiting, but man let’s make sure we got a product to keep their eyes once we got them. I think Marcus Freeman’s the right man for the job, he’s got to have some time. That being said, we need to see something on Saturday. Just some semblance of an identity.

Gotta cool it with this, if you aren’t going to have an identity as a team. credit: GQ

The offense looked directionless against Marshall, and I am not expecting them to come out looking like the 2013 Denver Broncos, but I’m expecting any semblance of a gameplan to be shown. Tommy Rees has been on the spit for reporters following the offenses slow and directionless start, and rightfully so. Whatever gameplan he thought he was installing to start the season is either entirely shallow and uninspired, or there isn’t a single player on our offense looking to buy in. Either way, it’s got to be figured out.

This will be no easy task, considering it will likely take an offensive overhaul with the introduction of new QB Drew Pyne as our man under center. With Tyler needing shoulder surgery he’s gone, time to move on there too. Tyler’s last performance was utterly horrendous, no way to tip-toe around that one. A new QB could potentially bring life into an offense and I’m really hoping that Drew is just the adrenaline shot the Irish need.

Tommy Rees is already feeling the fire. He needs to get this offense going, or at least inching in the right direction.

So while I would love to sit here and breakdown where I think the California Golden Bears (0-4 against the Irish no big deal…) may look to exploit us and where we could respond. The focus of the game is not our opponent this game. Because the team I watched had to first figure out who they were before they could even worry about the opponent.

Who cares who Notre Dame plays? I’m not even demanding a win here, I’m just looking for something, anything other than what we were subjected to against Marshall.

I’m hoping we can come out and take it to California, but my confidence in the Irish has never been lower. I’ll get “Rah Rah, support them until I die!” come kickoff, somehow my better judgement never wins those game time decisions. Unfortunately, right now I just can’t be.

Thank you for taking the time to read these, the short thoughts of a very biased, and unapologetically hopeful Irish fan.

Go Irish! Beat the Bears!

Play like an absolute champ,

-Big Red

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