We all feel like crap, right? Good. Let's review the important facts.
"But what about those bogus Pass Interference calls?!?!?"
FACT: The Notre Dame defense gave up 41 points.
"Those Tommy Rees interceptions cost us the game!!!"
FACT: The Notre Dame defense gave up 41 points
I was in the stands last September as an emotional Notre Dame Stadium rallied around our resilient Irish time and time again during a 13-6 slugfest that personified the 2012 Fighting Irish season. It's time for a reality check – the 2013 defense is lacking leaders and a feel for the moment. Coverages are consistently blown, 3rd downs are consistently converted, inexperienced players are being exposed … and the secondary is no longer protected by Manti Te'o. We all felt it last week against Temple, but the game in the Big House shone a bright spotlight on the missing aspect in the middle of the Irish defense.
Devin Gardner completed 64% of his passes and routinely found NOTHING in front of him when breaking contain en route to 82 yards rushing at a 6.3 Yards/Carry clip. Bennett Jackson & Keivarae Russell's performance's left much to be desired while Gardner tossed 4 TDs and averaged 9 yards per completion. Just a brutal performance by a defensive back unit that under whelmed for a second consecutive week.
It's going to be a LONG week in South Bend. Rees tossed 51 pass attempts while Amir Carlisle averaged 5.3 yards/attempt and George Atkinson III averaged 7.4 yards/attempt. They were playing from behind but not far enough behind that Notre Dame only mustered 19 rushing attempts.
We're all used to the reality that once a loss has taken place for Notre Dame that the National Championship moves into "pipe dream" mode. There is no conference to win or banner to hang. It's been a 22 months since this stared us in the face. It's not a lot of fun.