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OFD Readers Say Marshall Destroys Confidence, Place Blame on OC Rees

Your reaction from the Irish’s 0-2 start from SB Nation’s Reacts

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 23 Notre Dame Spring Game Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.

On Tuesday, we asked One Foot Down readers to give us their assessments of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team following its worrying 26-21 loss to the Marshall Thundering Herd.

The answers were brutal, but a good snapshot of the sentiment in the early days of Marcus Freeman’s rocky first season.

(Before we get into your responses, a quick word that this segment is sponsored by DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.)

While One Foot Down did not quantify it in an official Reacts poll, fan sentiment about Notre Dame football was high following two playoff appearances in four years and at least 10 wins in each season dating back to 2017.

Now, with the team sitting at 0-2, a third of you say you are “not confident at all” in the direction of the program.

While those of us on the OFD pod picked 11-1 or 12-0 regular seasons before the year commenced, we have had to readjust our calculations. It appears you all have too, with 40 percent saying the Irish are now doomed to a .500 or worse finish.

Oh, how the pundits roared this week: “The honeymoon is over for new Irish head coach Marcus Freeman!” More than a third of you remain “somewhat confident” in the rookie leader’s ability, but almost a third are now doubtful he’s the long-term answer.

Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees told the assembled media Wednesday, “I will take every ounce of frickin’ blame for all of it [the struggles], because I’m in charge of the offense.” It appears our readers agreed, with more than half of you saying Rees was the position coach most to blame for an inexcusable loss.

The final two questions are forward-looking, with an immediate emphasis on Saturday’s game against the Cal Golden Bears. More than 70 percent of our readers believe the Irish will prevail and give Freeman his first win as a head coach, although more than half anticipate an anxiety-ridden afternoon.

As the Irish continue to chase high four and five-star prospects, it’s worth asking the question: Does this loss — and what it means for a potential “down” year — hurt 2023 recruiting? Yes, said almost two-thirds of respondents.

Here are some results from the national survey, sent to all SBN Reacts participants:

What was the most surprising upset from week 2?

  • Marshall over ND 49 percent
  • App State over Texas A&M 38 percent
  • WSU over Wisconsin 8 percent
  • Georgia Southern over Nebraska 4 percent
  • All others 1 percent

Was it the right decision for ESPN’s “Gameday” to go to App State?

  • Yes, more entertaining 46 percent
  • Yes, only because it’s funny 38 percent
  • No, Miami vs. Texas A&M is better 16 percent

What is the most interesting game of the week?

  • Miami at Texas A&M 31 percent
  • BYU at Oregon 21 percent
  • Penn State at Auburn 19 percent
  • Michigan State at Washington 17 percent
  • Other 12 percent

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