Notre Dame rolls on and continues their march towards a playoff spot but it didn’t come without some issues this week. Everyone should be happy that Notre Dame escaped with a win, but it also should be fine to question the spotty play. Going into this game I said Pitt scared me simply because they typically play the Irish tough and give them issues. That is what happened but it was more of the Irish playing poor and shooting themselves in the foot and sloppy play.
The Irish defense was lights out again holding the Panthers to a single touchdown. Even with zero turnovers and only one sack, the defense totally shut down the opposing offense.
Put the LID on that play!
— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) October 13, 2018
The Irish defense held Pitt under 250 total yards and held the rush average under four yards per carry. This just goes to show that the defense is still the real deal and can carry this team when they are called upon. Even when they don’t make big defensive plays or force turnovers they can still get the job done. It showed in the last few moments of the game When Book slid short of the first down and Pitt had another chance to take the lead.
This issue yesterday was the Irish offense only putting together 19 points on the day. They never really got going and were held to 80 rushing yard when they came in averaging 195 yards rushing a game. Add in the three sacks and two interceptions to see that it a team effort to struggle like they did.
My question is about what to expect looking forward. This was a team that looked like Irish of old. Thankfully Book had a little bit of magic to save the day with Boykin so the Irish could escape. Teams struggle and good teams find a way to win when they struggle. This isn’t going into panic mode but it is fair to ask some questions about the performance.
Are the Irish still the same team that plays up and down to their competition or was this just a burn the tape game. Will this be a trend the Irish continue or has Brian Kelly really turned a corner. This could be a game used for motivation or could be what we expect. The last question really comes down to what Brian Kelly does from here. It felt like he turned a corner but this felt like a game we have grown to expect in his tenure.
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.