Only my dry cleaner knows for sure how that game went. Regardless, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish came away with a victory on Saturday. The Pittsburgh Panthers gave the Irish their all, but once again the Irish determination and overall talent showed to be the difference in the game. I’m VERY happy to take a 7-0 record into the long-awaited bye week. Now that a bit of the dust has settled, let’s take a dive into my thoughts about the game as we pass into the 48 hours past the game.
3 Things to Takeaway from the ND-Pitt Game
The panic that we have seen in past seasons (particularly last season) is gone.
I’ve seen it all with ND games. Scenarios of wins and losses across the board in how the games are won or lost. No matter what happens, the team this year keeps its composure in ways that I haven’t seen. Sometimes, a team needs to win a 19-14 game against less-than competition. You can call it embracing chaos, throwing in crowd noise and soccer balls, or just plain discipline — whatever you want to call it, the Irish have it. Poise and control of the offense and then the defense pretty much shutting down an average team led the Irish to victory. Sometimes, not to our liking, it takes a full, four quarters to get all of that together. Just win the games in the time allotted. With the way the season is shaping up in regards to other teams in the CFP hunt, I’m good with no self-destruction if it leads to victories once the clocks hit triple zeros.
This season is beginning to feel like the standard.
The Irish are obviously 7-0 going into the bye week. This, to me, is absolutely amazing. I grew up in a time (late 90s through the 2000s) when there was any given day that the Irish could lose to anybody. So this notion of being undefeated through almost two months of play is almost unfathomable. However, I’m very happy to say that I’m not that amazed by it. I now understand what people mean when they talk about this is how it always was with the Irish. Now, I’m happy we keep getting the wins, but I have expected the Irish to win. In the back of mind on Saturday, I still believed the Irish would take the lead to get the job done. I just am less fazed than I used to be. This is a good thing, as the standard has been set and raised significantly. The times have changed, and I’m thrilled not to have to live in fear every single week. Big boy football has finally come back to Notre Dame, and I am ABSOLUTELY here for it. People will say what they will about Brian Kelly and the coaching over the years, but this expecation was not met for a long time. It’s awesome to see.
At the end of the day, this game is played by young men still developing as people.
I want to thank the boss man, Joshua, for helping me to spearhead more elaboration on something I thought of during the third quarter.
I really enjoy our photos we get from @MillerPhoto9 for OFD, but I probably love the family photos the best. These aren't robots out there for your amusement. They're young adults with all the passion and complexities of their age. pic.twitter.com/awLO4Wow6E— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) October 14, 2018
These guys on the field are young men. They are human. Their own self-worth is overall not based on what they produce for stats or what they provide to get to a certain win-loss record. The game they play begets mistakes and the signs of fatigue because they are young human beings. It is great to see that they have the resilience, but that is why I don’t really fret about the score of the game from Saturday. The media sensationalized it too much, I admit, but you cannot shove to the side the idea about midterms and being ready with no fatigue. It just does not happen. You can’t expect exact perfection every week because it won’t be there, and that is ok. I desparately want to see the Irish win a national championship because of the recognition and history but also because it can show that even through everything tough at a high-level institution (both academically and athletically), they can succeed. But again, these are people, not robots. Sorry to sound preachy, but I wanted to back up Josh’s point. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time, and I’m glad for these college kids, they can rest up in a necessary way to take care of business in the next 5 games.