No. 2 Ohio State wears down No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WNDU) - CJ Stroud threw two touchdown passes and Ohio State’s revamped defense gave its vaunted offense time to find its groove as the second-ranked Buckeyes beat No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10.
Sophomore Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner made his first collegiate start, and performed admirably completing over 50 percent of his passes and throwing no interceptions.
Sophomore Irish running back Audric Estime received the most carries out of the Irish backs, and also scored the team’s lone touchdown in the 2nd quarter to give them a 10-7 lead that they’d take into halftime. It was also Estime’s first collegiate career touchdown.
Notre Dame’s defense held one of the most impressive offenses in the country to just seven points in the first half, but ultimately the theme of execution, or lack thereof in the second half, led the Buckeyes to the 21-10 win over Notre Dame to start the Marcus Freeman era.
“Not the result that we came here for, and there’s no such thing as a moral victory,” Freeman said. “We didn’t win. We didn’t finish the game. We didn’t execute.”
Linebacker Jack Kiser agreed.
“We were able to execute early on, and something happened, and we just weren’t executing at the level we wanted to late in the game,” Kiser said. “And late in the game against a really good team, it doesn’t matter where the momentum is. Make sure you make those plays and execute at the standard we have, and that just didn’t happen in those certain situations.”
The top-five matchup was a homecoming for first-year Notre Dame coach Freeman, the former Buckeyes linebacker who has made a meteoric rise to lead the Fighting Irish at 36 years old. Freeman is now 0-2 as a head coach after losing the Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma State just weeks after being named Brian Kelly’s successor.
“I thought they played really well until those last two series,” Freeman said. “The last series in the third (quarter), and the touchdown series in the fourth (quarter). I thought they played really well. To hold that offense to seven points until the end of the third quarter is a huge accomplishment, but we’re not here for moral victories, man.”
However, Freeman did have some words of encouragement regarding his team.
“I think we found out we have a pretty good football team,” Freeman said.
The Irish now get ready to play Marshall in their home opener next Saturday, Sept. 10.
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