Notre Dame’s Week 1 loss to Texas was a sign that Brian Kelly had overthought his quarterback battle. He decided afterward to give the more effective DeShone Kizer the full-time starting job, so things were going to be better again.
But after a second September loss, to Michigan State, tensions were so high that Kelly had to issue a statement about a social media call to fire his defensive coordinator, which his Twitter account had “liked.” But still ... things could be corrected!
And then 1-2 Duke came to town as a 20.5-point underdog and walked away with a 38-35 win.
Per @ESPNStatsInfo: If Duke beats Notre Dame, the upset will be tied for the biggest upset in the past 20 years for the Irish.— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) September 24, 2016
Kizer threw for 381 yards (and threw a gut-punch of an interception), but the loss can’t exactly be pinned on the offense, even with two additional turnovers. Notre Dame should have the talent advantage to overcome a couple extra turnovers, no matter how well-coached David Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils are.
This one will again fall on the defense, with Duke’s 498 yards standing as more than the Blue Devils put on Wake Forest or Northwestern.
Still on the schedule for the 1-3 Irish: a list of potent offenses that includes Miami, Stanford, and USC. A bowl trip is not exactly guaranteed for the Irish, and the defense has to get fixed immediately.
Let’s check in on a former ND lineman: