Tyler Buchner solid in debut as starting QB for Irish
Head Coach Marcus Freeman pleased with sophomore’s performance
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WNDU) - Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner made his first collegiate start in front of 106,000 fans at Ohio Stadium Saturday night.
Even though the No. 5 Irish couldn’t pull off the upset of the No. 2 Buckeyes, Buchner showed that the moment wasn’t too big.
Buchner began the night 8-for-8 on pass attempts and did enough offensively to give the Irish a 10-7 lead at halftime. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t get much going to match Ohio State’s defensive adjustments in the second half, and the offense was held scoreless the rest of the way.
“At the end of the day, the field’s 53 and 1/3 by 120, and luckily I have a great support staff around me, awesome teammates who played awesome tonight,” Buchner said. “So, having that confidence that the guys around me are going to execute and do their job certainly helps. At the end of the day, it sort of comes down to execution and the little things. And in that last stretch of the game, we didn’t execute, and we didn’t do the things at the standard which we hold ourselves to.
“I think me and all the young receiving core feel pretty good,” Buchner added. “That’s just how games work. If they’re in the right spot, run the right route versus certain coverage. That’s what happens.”
At the end of the game, only Michael Mayer had more than one reception, but Buchner did take care of the football, as the Irish committed no turnovers on offense or special teams.
Despite failing to score in the second half, Notre Dame Head Coach Marcus Freeman was pleased with Buchner’s performance. Freeman touched on another aspect to Buchner’s game that convinced him he is the guy for the Irish offense.
“I was really pleased, and the other thing is zero turnovers,” Freeman said. “The plays he was able to make with his legs, and we knew going into that game we were going to have to run Tyler Buchner. That’s not our plan every week, but we knew that in order to try to establish some sort of run game, we were going to have to run him a little bit, and he continued to get up and keep going.
“And they said on the sidelines that he was the leader, he was getting guys going and positive,” Freeman added. “We’ve got ourselves a quarterback, and there’s a strong belief in what he can do for this football program.”
Notre Dame’s focus now shifts to playing Marshall in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 10. The Thundering Herd are 1-0 after dismantling Norfolk State this past Saturday 55-3.
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