If you’re on Twitter, most Notre Dame fans were melting down during the Notre Dame vs Louisville game. It was warranted as the Fighting Irish looked rough for portions of the game. As time has passed, I think we can all take a breath and realize it wasn’t as bad as we thought.
Louisville was a team that totally quit and had two wins last season. Now they have a new coach and had to open with Notre Dame at home. Not an ideal opener for a team like that. But they performed well and kept it competitive for a good portion of the game. Most will point to a new coach and a bad 2018 season for Louisville being a bad team. But maybe they are more talented than we originally thought.
Louisville played Eastern Kentucky in week two and I would hardly consider them a true contender. But it is still worth noting how well they played this week. Louisville won 42-0 and ran for 322 yards and 8.5 yards per carry. That is an impressive stat line and looks even better when they pair that with over 200 yards passing.
Louisville isn’t deep or have great line play, but they have athletes. Scott Satterfield is also a quality coach and Louisville could steal a few wins this season. Writing them off because of the Bobby Petrino season would be unfair to them.
Cleaning Up The Mistakes
I also don’t want to pretend that Notre Dame didn’t look worse than I hoped. Ian Book missed reads and was taking off quickly after his first read wasn’t there. They had problems, but they are fixable.
The linebackers were shuffled around and we saw some great plays from Drew White and Shayne Simon.
But they also missed reads and tackles as well. White took a bad angle a few times and it resulted in big plays for Louisville. All things that need to be cleaned up and sorted before they head to Athens. But it isn’t seeming as dire as we thought.
It is also worth noting that Notre Dame looked real bad last year against Vandy and Ball State. An ugly week one isn’t the end of the season while Notre Dame tries to play without three major offensive weapons.
While Armstrong is likely out until November, Kmet and Young will be back in the coming weeks. Ian Book getting two more weapons back and Finke moving back to his normal position will be a big plus. The defense is also a work in progress but expecting them to be perfect after losing the leaders of their defense is probably unfair. The linebackers are young and Jerry Tillery isn’t terrorizing offensive linemen anymore to pick up the slack.
Most important is taking a look around the country. Tennessee and Florida State are losing, Michigan and Nebraska are barely making it out alive. Notre Dame went on the road week one against a Power Five school. Louisville also averaged 8.5 wins from 2014-2017. This is a team that has some actual talent that just fell apart last year. Questions still linger for Notre Dame, but that 18 point week one win isn’t looking nearly as bad as it once did.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.