Notre Dame responds to loss at Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WNDU) - The Fighting Irish football team starts this year’s campaign 0-1 after dropping its week one matchup at perennial powerhouse Ohio State.
Notre Dame took a three-point lead into halftime after holding Ohio State to a single touchdown in the first half. But after the break, the offense found themselves unable to get much going, and the defense yielded a pair of late touchdowns that sealed the team’s fate.
After the game, no one shied away from claiming at least part of the blame for the opening week loss.
“They battled the entire game, and I want to make sure that I say that,” said head coach Marcus Freeman. “We didn’t execute late in the game when we had to. We didn’t execute the way we needed to. We had a challenge to win the fourth quarter. We didn’t win the fourth quarter. They scored with 13 seconds left in third (quarter) and they scored at the end of the fourth (quarter), and we didn’t respond, and we didn’t keep them out of the end zone.
“I think they had four big rushing plays in the fourth quarter, and that is a heartbreaker for defense,” Freeman added. “If you’re giving up big plays to an offense running the ball, that kills a defense. So, we’ve got to finish. We’ve got to be able to finish and execute in the fourth quarter.”
Irish senior linebacker Jack Kiser expressed the same sentiments as his head coach.
“It all comes back to execution,” Kiser said. “They were able to run the ball, control the ball, control the time, go up-tempo. We couldn’t get off blocks, we were struggling to get the call and get our feet set and get after it. That’s on us and as players. We’ve got to be on the same page and execute and at the end of the day play football.
“We’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball back to our offense and giving them a chance, and we’re going to own that,” Kiser added. “That’s something we’ve got to work on and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Irish starting quarterback Tyler Buchner touched on what went wrong on the offensive side of the ball.
“First half, we were rolling as an offense, we were executing, we were rolling,” Buchner said. “Then in the 2nd half, Ohio State’s a really, really talented team. Their defense is awesome, and you can’t give the ball back to their offense. So, when it wasn’t clicking in the second half, that’s what killed us.”
The Irish will look to learn from the loss and bounce back this upcoming Saturday, Sept. 10, when they play in front of their home fans for the first time this season against Marshall.
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