ND offense looking to find more ways to get Mayer involved

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 1:38 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Notre Dame offense started to find their rhythm during the 24-17 win over Cal last weekend, and they did it without production from one of their top offensive players.

Tight end Michael Mayer finished the game on Saturday with just five targets, with four of them coming in the first quarter. He wasn’t thrown to again until his go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The All-American ended the game with two catches for 10 yards and one touchdown.

Head Coach Marcus Freeman said the game plan eventually had to be switched up, despite Mayer’s talents.

“The fifth series is when we said, ‘Alright man, we need to start running the ball,” Freeman said. “And so, we kind of went away from the passing mindset early in the game and said ‘Okay, let’s start establishing the run game,’ and that’s probably why his targets went down.

“When it mattered the most, everybody knew who we were going to, and he was able to execute, but we need to find ways to get the ball in Michael Mayer’s hands,” Freeman continued. “We understand that, and we tried to earlier. (We) didn’t execute the way we wanted, so we had to kind of board a little to establish this run game and adjust our plan. But every week, one of the main plans will be to get the ball to Michael Mayer.”

Notre Dame hits the road this upcoming Saturday to take on the undefeated North Carolina Tar Heels. Kickoff at Kenan Memorial Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m.