Notre Dame’s defense held Ohio State for most of the night, but Irish fall – Inside the Irish

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If Hollywood had written the beginnings of the Marcus Freeman era at Notre Dame, it would have deemed the script too misleading, too unfulfilling, and too painful for a typical sports movie. The fifth-ranked Irish held the lead at Freeman’s alma mater for most of Saturday night, but a dynamic Ohio State offense finally broke through late in the third quarter to quell the upset 21-10.

Until then, Notre Dame (0-1) has been following the exact script Freeman wrote earlier in the week, though his outcome was clearly not the same as his second loss in two games as Notre Dame head coach. .

“There is no moral victory,” he said. “We didn’t execute. … We had to be able to do it when it mattered the most. That ended up costing us.”

The 36-year-old first-time manager said this week that he expects the Irishman to get off to a fast start. A 54-yard finish to the start of the game fits the tone. The father of six said he wants Notre Dame to slow down the game to minimize the impact of the Buckeyes offense. Ohio State, ranked second (1-0), had just 5 possessions in the first half and 10 in the game, rewarded for controlling-commanding-the-game.

“We knew we weren’t going to try to outscore them,” Freeman said. “We’re going to have a plan to try to control the ball, run the ball, keep the clock running and limit their offensive possessions.”

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Buchner’s opener finish against sophomore Lorenzo Styles was the only successful game for Notre Dame’s first drive, but the Irishman still started with a 33-yard field goal from Arkansas transfer Blake Grupe Break the scoreboard. Buchner’s first career start began with eight consecutive 128 yards, including an acrobatics from former Pacer Matt Salerno, with a tip-to-tip catch, but then Buchner slumped and went 2-for-10 Medium 49.

The Salerno-inspired game ended with a one-yard touchdown by second-year running back Odric Estem, who lined up as a guard in a traditional I formation. That gave Notre Dame a 10-7 lead that would hold it deep into the third quarter before heralding the Buckeyes’ offense finally taking hold.

Heisman Finals quarterback CJ Stroud struggled to match up with star receiver Jaxson Smith-Njiba after an apparent leg injury on Ohio State’s second tee off for most of the game. The remaining goals in the frontcourt connected until he hit Xavier Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown. 3 and 11 in the last minute of the third quarter. Stroud finished for 223 yards and 24 passes for 24 touchdowns, relatively good stats for what would normally be considered a frustrating performance for him.

“Hail to him,” Freeman said. “There’s a reason he’s a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He’s a very good footballer and they have a very good team.”

Ireland’s attacking plan is based on not having to chase multiple Stroud scores. When the Buckeyes scored before the fourth quarter, Notre Dame needed to respond to avoid being trailed by multiple points. Buchner found fifth-year catcher Braden Renzi for 32 yards, but the Irish fell back from there.

“Can’t give the ball back to their offense,” Buchner said.

That could also be a game.

“We performed until we had to get into the passing game and [went] Three in and one out,” Freeman said. “We just didn’t get it done the way we wanted. “

Stroud & Co. then moved on, adding a long touchdown that not only extended the lead but ate up most of the fourth quarter. Seven minutes of possession spoiled Freeman’s script, but unlike the similar frustrations of the second half on New Year’s Day, Notre Dame didn’t have to wait nine months to write a better ending.

“We can learn a lot from this game,” Freeman said. “The beauty of this thing is that we don’t have to wait 245 days. We still have seven days to wait for another opportunity, so we have to go back to work.”

game state
Notre Dame held the lead for most of the game, with 32:40 on the scoreboard and Ohio State with 23:53.Of course none of that matters, but it underscores the purpose of Freeman’s game plan – Shortening the game with a long tee extended Ireland – The literal nature of the collapse, the Buckeyes took the lead at the final 15:17 and by then deployed essentially the same plan as Notre Dame, which was not there before the kick-off that one can expect.

“We have to stop running,” Freeman said. “Later in the game, we know they have the ball and we can’t stop it. That’s where we have to improve.”

Quotes of the night
After the game, Notre Dame asked Buchner and senior linebacker Jack Kiser to speak to the media. Both tried to take responsibility for the shortcomings of the opposing ball. Ohio State scored 14 points in the second half? Buchner’s above comment “can’t give the ball back to their offense.”

The Irish did not score in the second half? Kiser pointed out that the Buckeyes had possession at 19:34 of the second half.

“We have to do a better job of getting the ball back into our offense and giving them a chance,” he said. “We will have it.

“It’s something we have to work on and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Rating Summary
the first season
12:13 – Notre Dame has a field goal. Blake Group 33 yards. Notre Dame 3, Ohio State 0. (5 games, 71 yards, 2:42)
5:32 — Ohio State touchdown. CJ Stroud’s Emeka Egbuka 31-yard pass. Noah Ruggles PAT is good. Ohio State 7, Notre Dame 3. (4 games, 54 yards, 1:34)

11:56 — Notre Dame touchdown. Audric Estime 1 yard dash. Grupe PAT is good. Notre Dame 10, Ohio State 7. (10 games, 87 yards, 5:10)

the third quater
0:17 — Ohio State touchdown. Xavier Johnson makes a 24-yard pass from Stroud. Ruggles PAT is good. Ohio State 14, Notre Dame 10. (10 games, 70 yards, 4:33)

fourth quarter
4:51 — Ohio State touchdown. Mian Williams rushes for 2 yards. Ruggles PAT is good. Ohio State University No. 21, Notre Dame No. 10. (14 games, 95 yards, 7:06)

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