What’s next for Notre Dame after loss to Stanford?
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame’s three-game winning streak came to an end Saturday night after the Irish lost to Stanford 16-14.
After coming off a win over a ranked BYU team in Las Vegas the weekend prior, this past Saturday night was not pretty, it wasn’t fun to watch, and it certainly wasn’t Notre Dame football.
So, what the heck happened? Head Coach Marcus Freeman said it purely came down to a lack of execution, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
The offense that was averaging over 30 points per game over the last three games didn’t score once on its first seven drives. Meanwhile, the offense had three scores taken off the scoreboard by by either missed throws by quarterback Drew Pyne or penalties, including a holding call by tight end Michael Mayer that negated a touchdown.
Freeman spoke to the media on Monday about the team’s feelings after Saturday’s loss.
“There was anger after this last game because I know we’re a good football team and we did not play up to our standards, and that’s the frustrating part,” Freeman said. “When we play the way we’re supposed to play and we’re capable of playing, we can beat anybody we’re playing against. When you don’t, you’re going to lose, and you saw that on Saturday when we lost to Stanford. The messaging is ‘Let’s fix the mistakes.’ Don’t let this be a lack of confidence in who we are and how good we can be. Let’s make this about what’s the true issues of what happened on Saturday.”
Despite the tough loss, Freeman says the team is still in good spirits.
“It’s been a long 48 hours of trying to really figure out what the heck happened on Saturday and why we didn’t execute the way we have been,” Freeman said. “I think we’ve had some really productive meetings and had a really good practice yesterday. The spirits of these kids and this program are unwavering. The fight and the excitement to get a chance to play another game here in five days and to play for this university, it will never change. It will never waiver.”
So, where do the Irish go from here as they get set to host UNLV this upcoming Saturday? So far this season, we’ve seen a Notre Dame team that can beat or compete with just about anybody, and a team that can lose to just about anybody.
Freeman said it’s all part of the growing pain that comes with a brand-new head coach, and his new staff.
“Listen, nobody wants to lose a game, but this is going to build this program and our foundation to where it needs to be, and they’re encouraged,” Freeman said. “We’re going to be okay. We watched the film and evaluated and said ‘Listen, we did not play to our standard. We know that we have a good football team.’”
Kickoff against UNLV is set for 2:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be exclusively airing on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. Therefore, it will not air on WNDU.
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