Saturday night was stressful for every Notre Dame fan out there. There seemed to be no answers on either side of the ball for the first half. The defense just got eaten alive with underneath and short throws for most of the first half. USC has some serious athletes and that might be why the chose to have the corners play off for most of the first half. But it was ugly and took some second half adjustments to before Notre Dame changed the tide. If it wasn’t for a few USC turnovers, we could have seen the Fighting Irish fall for the first time this season.
The offense wasn’t any better in the first half as Ian Book and Dexter Williams couldn’t get going. Williams finally popped off and reminded everyone how dynamic and exciting he is.
Dexter Williams! BOOM pic.twitter.com/TrG1rgiFT2
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) November 25, 2018
The real issue was how Book seemed to struggled and even looked a bit shook at times. He was missing passes he usually makes and his completion percentage was 16% lower then his season average.
It could be his injury from two weeks prior is still causing issues or he just got caught up in the moment. I would lean towards it being the injury as he has proven he can shine in the spotlight. Syracuse and Virginia Tech were big moments that shows Book has moxie when he is challenged.
So the biggest question is why did Notre Dame come out flat? Brian Kelly has a history of struggling when they travel to USC, was this another case? It has to be a thought even with BK showing some change in 2018. He has a track record of struggling both in USC and in November. So what does this mean going forward?
Notre Dame is 12-0 and headed for the playoff which is more then enough to keep me happy for the next month. But they will most likely have a match up against Clemson and as great of a season as this is, I always want more. As badly as I want a win, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it was a close loss. Enough to show the country that Notre Dame does belong and it shows recruits that Notre Dame is so close to greatness. It is another blowout 42-14 loss that cannot happen. If Notre Dame comes out against a playoff team like they did USC, it will be a long game. This could of been a bad game that Notre Dame overlooked, but it had shades of Brian Kelly written all over it.
Let us know what you think below, is this an anomaly or more of whats to come?
Make sure to check out our friends over at HoodhatUSA for a full selection of custom hats and designs. Follow them on Instagram at HoodhatUSA.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.