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Notre Dame struggles against Louisville, but overcame it all for a road win

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An 18 point win is still an 18 point win when winning is hard.

Notre Dame v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

There were a lot of early struggles for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in their season opener against the Louisville Cardinals. Early struggles that stuck with them throughout the course of the game in one fashion or another. It’s easy to point out every mistake (and there were a lot) but it’s harder to causes that aren’t just another excuse.

We all knew back in spring that replacing Jerry Tillery, Drue Tranquill, and Te’von Coney was going to be difficult — we knew it. Still though, the Irish have a lot of talent on the team and the feeling was that they would grow into their roles. As rough as it looked at times, I really think some of these guys started to do just that. They allowed just 3 points the entire second half because of adjustments and those roles being filled — whether it was the two pass break-ups from Kyle Hamilton or the 10 tackles from Alohi Gilman. The speed option killed them early, and they adjusted.

Notre Dame v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Sounds exactly like what usually happens in the first game of the season.

As far as the offense and Ian Book is concerned — there was just an incredible amount of “newness” that was hard to get in a rhythm. With Cole Kmet, Michael Young, and now Jafar Armstrong off of the field, Book had more fresh faces than he’s ever seen. Tommy Tremble stepped up, and Lawrence Keys III made a few receptions — but he needed Chase Claypool and Chris Finke to help him out too often.

Book had some serious problems on Saturday night, and you have to wonder if he would have been more efficient with the injured players out on the field with healthy bodies. You don’t really have to wonder because that’s incredibly likely.

There’s no way to really shake the sloppiness of this game out of your brain. With a week and a half before the New Mexico Lobos come to town, they have plenty of time and plenty of motivation for redemption.

So much of what we thought this team would be, didn’t show up in Louisville — but that doesn’t mean they are lost. Notre Dame won a game on the road playing sloppy ball with a bunch of new guys. The spread was around 18 points and they beat the Cardinals by 18 points.

Post game thoughts on Notre Dame Football.

Posted by One Foot Down - For Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans on Monday, September 2, 2019