Freeman anticipates aggressive approach from Irish against Marshall

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 1:00 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - 16 Sports heard from Notre Dame head football coach Marcus Freeman one last time Thursday afternoon before the Irish take the field at Notre Dame Stadium for their home opener on Saturday.

After playing Ohio State last weekend, who was ranked No. 2 at the time, some fans are concerned the Irish won’t get up to play a program who barely qualified for a bowl game last season.

However, Freeman attempted to put those concerns to bed.

“Listen, I’ve been on the other side, and when you’re the underdog, you have a chip on your shoulder,” Freeman said. “But it’s the mindset of believing you can come in here and win.

“This isn’t a game that we’re going to try to ease our way in,” Freeman added. “No, we’re going to be aggressive from the start. We want to make sure that our players, this is about us performing to our standard, and that’s what I’ve been challenging them with all week is that we have a standard to the way we practice and a standard in terms of the way we perform. It has nothing to do with who we’re playing against and what week we’re on in terms of practice and preparation. It’s a challenge for our group to perform on Saturday to the standard we’ve set.”

Despite ultimately suffering a loss to one of the best teams in the country, sophomore Tyler Buchner’s first start at quarterback for the Fighting Irish went about as smoothly as one could have hoped.

Buchner completed his first eight passes as the Irish offense jumped ahead 10-7 in the first half. Ultimately, he finished with just under 180 yards passing. And while he never threw for a score, he did protect the ball—never making a costly turnover.

While that performance was encouraging, Freeman said he’s looking for the offense to open it up a bit more this week.

“I think the mindset maybe isn’t as much to just control the clock this week and limit the offensive possessions,” Freeman said. “We want to be aggressive on offense. I look forward to seeing what our offense does on Saturday. They’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to take some shots. And again, our identity starts with the running game and the ability to run the football, but we will be aggressive on offense.”

WNDU is your home for Notre Dame football, with coverage beginning at 7 a.m. on 16 News Now Saturday Morning.

Our Countdown to Kickoff Show featuring WHME Sports Director Chuck Freeby, 16 Sports Director Matt Loch, and 16 Sports Reporter Drew Sanders begins at 1:30 p.m.

Countdown to Kickoff will lead right into the game, which is set to kickoff at 2:30 p.m. And then stay tuned after the game for postgame coverage!

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