Saturday provided a very interesting experience for Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans. I won’t go into detail about how that was unexpected, but I do want to give you all some things to think about as we head forward into the rest of the season. Every week, I will give you my three takreaways, and this week shall be no different. After that game with the Ball State Cardinals this past Saturday, everyone has thoughts. Here are three of mine.
3 Things to Take Away
- In a game that provided not many positives, the defense gave us some good things to hang our hats on. Yes, I know we played Ball State. However, we needed some positives from Saturday. The secondary play was a lot better as well. Jalen Elliott had some quality interceptions after some pressure from the defensive line and some quality tackles from Drue Tranquill, as always. They can continue to get better and cause more problems for offenses. I would love them to average 16.5 points per game given up.
2. People Should Not Panic. I repeat: people should not panic.
Yes, the play especially by the offense was very frustrating. I am also not wanting you to think I’m trying not to criticize the team. Clearly, there were issues. Brandon Wimbush showed shades of the 2017 Miami and Stanford games on Saturday. He is a great athlete and a decent quarterback and game manager. However, he needes to work on connecting to his offense with a consistent scheme. No one prepared well enough on offense for that game.
Again, I’m not defending the way Wimbush played. However, I personally don’t hate not taking him out of that game. Switching quarterbacks back and forth when the play gets shoddy is not the good way to run an offense. I know that some of you will disagree with me. If Brandon plays even remotely that way this coming Saturday against another team the Irish should beat at home, then bring in Ian. I am just not going to be all about bringing in someone new at the slightest sign of trouble. Saturday was troubling, but September 1 was not.
3. We won the game, and you should support the team if you’re a fan.
The Irish did not move down from that Number 8 spot in the polls. I would bet, with the way that the Top 7 played this past weekend, that even a blowout win that everyone would’ve been happy about wouldn’t have put us above 8 or 7. So, if the Irish keep winning games, this falls by the wayside. You can be critical of the way the offense played, and that is justified. I am critical as well. But, we won. Think back to 2010 Tulsa, 2011 USF, 2011 Michigan, etc. It might not be great, but I still felt better about Saturday’s game than those three. Why? We’re 2-0. If play of the team continues like it did, then there is a bigger issue.
To the second point of my takeaway, continue to support the team because I heard some people in the stands on Saturday that obviously don’t completely get it. At halftime and after Wimbush had one of his interceptions in the second half, I heard Irish fans booing the team. Keep in mind we were not losing, and we never fell behind to Ball State. Do not boo 18-22 year old kids because you think they are underperforming. It is an awful look. Be a fan, and you can still respecfully criticize. Again to my point, we won. It could’ve been (and has been in the past) a lot worse.