I’m going to preface this by saying I am just a biased fan writing about a team I love to follow. Very unprofessional opinions to follow.
So the woes of Notre Dame football continued on Saturday with that crushing loss to a less than impressive Stanford side. Crushing losses are what the Fighting Irish do this year and unfortunately it doesn’t appear that many in the locker room have the viable answers to saving Notre Dame’s sinking season.
Just when I thought the most tormenting of demons have been exorcized by the Fighting Irish, they show up with a performance like they had against Stanford. This Notre Dame team is currently as frustrating as it gets for the Irish Faithful. Our offense looked out of their depth Saturday, revealing their inadequacies in execution all over the place. While also revealing coaching decisions that have been suspect to say the least.
While “force the ball to Mayer” is a great strategy that can cripple the weaker teams throughout the country, we need another game plan option that is as reliable if not at least respectable. No receiver on the Notre Dame offensive side has stepped up to make himself THE BACKUP PLAN should teams commit everything to Mayer. Lorenzo Styles, Jayden Thomas, or Braden Lenzy. No way to get around the fact that if we can’t gameplan and execute to get one of these 3 open consistently, hoping Mayer can truck 4 on the way to the end zone is the only air option we’ve got. Notre Dame is a running oriented team this year, but we still need SOME threat on the outside. Tobias Merriweather needs snaps. At this point Notre Dame needs to get him geared up for the future.
We’ve got athletes, some of the greatest in the nation. That’s why it’s embarrassing to see Notre Dame’s game look like a 1970s offense. Just looking to outmuscle the opponent 4 yards at a time. Notre Dames got the funding and recruiting resources to address these problems. It just doesn’t make sense to this unprofessional writer that Notre Dame has been unable to adapt to the uptempo air game so many top teams have adopted. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Actually, what do I know? Maybe this team doesn’t have nearly the talent necessary to beat the elite teams in the nation. I just have to say I may be blind to the true nature of the team, my lens is definitely biased.
So while our coaches look on the hot seat, I just can’t bring myself to call for their heads. I think whoever the coach is they need the time to bring in the guys they want to fill out their roster with. This is still Kelly’s team. A team he deserted, possibly seeing the writing on the wall that we are all currently witnessing. While the pass plays short the 1st down line, on fourth downs where first down are needed are enough to drive me mad, Marcus Freeman needs the time, for better or worse, to fill out a roster as he sees fit and is able to.
Marcus Freeman has been looking like a battered puppy after these losses. UNLV is an absolute must win. This guy doesn’t like losing. He wants to win as bad as you and I want the Irish to. While the product we are witnessing is truly nausea inducing for many of the most loyal fans in the country, we must allow for Freeman to have time to overhaul the program as he sees fit, he got the job, he gets the shot. (I say that knowing full well our record last year, and understanding that this probably isn’t the case).
This tenure has been hard to watch but I can’t give a guy a fair shake unless he has the guys around him that he recruited. That may be blind loyalty to the brand, but I just don’t think that continuous changeover is ever the answer. All of the most upsetting football programs in the country are revolving doors. That can not be the case in South Bend.
As for Tommy Rees, I don’t see how Marcus Freeman doesn’t offer his head towards the end of the season in order to buy himself some more time. As far as I’m concerned that’s just alright. This abysmal offense has been unreliable, unpredictable, and have lacked execution at every aspect of the offense. While we can not begin a revolving door at Head Coach. This is unacceptable from a coordinator, and our head coach needs to show us it’s also unacceptable in his eyes.
Maybe ultimately, Marcus Freeman isn’t the man for the job? Only time will tell. But in this Notre Dame fan’s humble opinion, Marcus Freeman is owed that at the least. I am as disappointed in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as much as anyone else. But, I’m going to go ahead and in ignorant bliss chock it up to growing pains. Every program (save Ohio State) is going to have their down years with a changing in leadership. Let’s just hope the resulting team from Freeman’s initial struggles is worth all of this headache. Can’t just a coach honestly without a few years of recruiting his guys under his belt.
Play like an absolute champ,