opinions, PRedictions, and more
Founder, The Sports Court
In a battle of College Football bluebloods, Notre Dame and Ohio State delivered to the sky-high expectations that were set before the game.
With College Gameday in town, all eyes were on the game between #6 Ohio State and #9 Notre Dame. The Buckeyes featured one of the most loaded teams in the country with five star recruits all around, highlighted by a potential top five pick in the draft and best wide receiver in College Football, Marvin Harrison Jr. The Fighting Irish, meanwhile, boasted a squad that competes with the best in the country, highlighted by transfer quarterback, Sam Hartman.
Coming into the game, Hartman was one of the favorites for the Heisman trophy and also cemented himself as a great of College Football, having reached up to top ten all-time in passing touchdowns.
Hartman’s right hand man, Audric Estime, also had sky-high expectations headed into Saturday Night’s showdown. Estime was at the top of all major rushing stats and stopping him was a huge part of Ohio State’s gameplan.
The game wasn’t a high-scoring shootout that some had hoped for, rather, it was an intricate battle between two evenly matched teams who patiently waited to capitalize on one another's mistakes.
Both defenses played well and the offense couldn't get much rolling.
Despite coming back from a 10-0 deficit to make it 14-10 thanks to a great rushing attack with several backs getting in work and the amazing play of Sam Hartman, Notre Dame still needed one more stop at the end of the game to secure a primetime victory.
On third and long, Kyle McCord of Ohio State connected to Emeka Egbuka to put them within striking distance of the endzone.
Henderson then punched it in for Notre Dame after a questionable timeout in which Marcus Freeman, Al Golden, and company decided to put 10 men out on the field rather than 11 to defend against the Ohio State run.
Freeman mentioned not wanting to risk a penalty in regards to why he didn’t include the eleventh man, but the call baffled most nevertheless.
McCord’s poise and football IQ was on full display as he proved himself to be an elite quarterback during the drive, and Ohio State made Notre Dame pay for the mistake.
Ohio State scored the touchdown with one second on the clock.
Notre Dame wasn’t able to capitalize on their one last final play of the game.
It was yet another heartbreaking finish in a big game for the Fighting Irish and marks the end to a five game winning streak with green jerseys on.
Although Notre Dame fought until the very last second, not being able to finish the job fully continues to be a common trend in South Bend as frustrations grow within the fanbase.
The Fighting Irish dropped to eleventh in the AP Poll while the Buckeyes sit in a CFP spot at fourth.
CHRIS’ THOUGHTS: That was by far the most heartbreaking finish to any football game ever.
To have the game in the palm of your hands and see it all slip away is just disappointing, but to have ten men on the field on the final two plays is just an insult to injury.
Sam Hartman had a great game and I’m very impressed with everything he has done for the Fighting Irish thus far but missing the screen pass on Notre Dame’s final offensive possession ultimately led to the demise of the Irish.
It was a great defensive effort - no doubt - by the Buckeyes on the play, but if Hartman floated that over the defender there was nothing but open space to attack into.
Notre Dame also had chances for interceptions on the final drive before McCord connected to Egbuka.
I am proud of how Notre Dame fought - they showed why they are a playoff contender. However, this year, I don’t know how much of a chance there is for a one loss Notre Dame to sneak into the College Football Playoffs as compared to other years.
I think it’s one of the hardest years to make the Playoffs with just how equal everyone is.
All of this makes this loss sting even more.
Onward. Forward. Love thee.
A writer who loves to learn and share.
All Editorials written by Chris Dailey