Why is it that these last few days before the first Notre Dame game of the season always seem to be the longest? My car is packed, food and beverages have been bought, and now I’ve just got to get through this week. Time to tackle the first Throwback Thursday post of the 2019 Notre Dame Football Season ... Notre Dame vs. Louisville.
Prior to Monday night’s game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Louisville Cardinals, the two teams have only played each other once before, on November 22, 2014, at Notre Dame Stadium on Senior Day. It, however, was not the game the seniors were hoping for as their last game in Notre Dame Stadium, as the Irish fell to the Cardinals 31-28. The loss to the Cardinals was also the Irish’s third straight loss that season. So what went wrong?
For starters, the Notre Dame offense did not score a single touchdown in the first half. And when Notre Dame is matching Louisville’s touchdowns with field goals, the game very quickly becomes an uphill battle. As far as the rushing game went, Tarean Folston had a decent running day, with 134 yards, but when you account for Everett Golson’s six carries for -48 yards, that stings a bit. And as far as the passing game went, Will Fuller had a pretty good day as well, with 5 catches for 109 yards. But nobody else besides Folston and Fuller could get the ball moving against Louisville. At the end of the second quarter, the score was Notre Dame 6 - Louisville 17.
In the second half, the Notre Dame offense did start to show some signs of life, but as the outcome would show, it was too little too late. With the addition of two more Louisville touchdowns in the second half, the three touchdowns that Notre Dame scored just weren’t enough to pull them into the lead. A missed 32 yard field goal by Kyle Brindza, with 51 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, was a crushing end to this senior day game.
Here’s a look at the game’s stats from ESPN.com:
If you take a big picture look at the game, Notre Dame had 16 first downs to Louisville’s 23. By-the-numbers, Notre Dame had 335 total yards to Louisville’s 409 total yards. This broke down into 236 yards of passing and 99 yards of rushing for Notre Dame, and 180 yards of passing and 229 yards of rushing for Louisville.
Not that you want to watch any highlights from this game, but here they are, just in case. (Yep, Monday cannot get here soon enough!)
I myself am very excited about heading to Louisville for the weekend of festivities and the game on Monday. I’ve never been to Churchill Downs, and I’ve never seen a game in Louisville, so it’s a lot of firsts for me. Who else is going to Louisville? Hit me up on Sunday ... I’ll be signing copies of the new book at 4th Street Live, at the traveling Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore (where the pep rally is going to be) on Sunday afternoon from 3-5 pm. Stop by and say HI!
Onward to Monday ... GO IRISH! BEAT CARDINALS.