5 stars: The best and worst of Notre Dame’s loss to Marshall

·3 min read

There was not much to like about the Irish’s performance today. In a game they should have handily won, they got upset at home, preventing Marcus Freeman from getting what is turning out to be a very elusive first win. Honestly, this was mostly bad, as you will find out below, the best, 5-stars, and worst, 1-star, performances of Notre Dame’s loss to Marshall.

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5 ⭐️ – No one

When you have your home opener and come out flat like the Irish did all game, no one deserves to be singled out. Yes, lots of emotions heading into this game, but that doesn’t matter when you look over at who the opponent is. During his pregame interview, Marcus Freeman wanted to come out fast, his team did not. It was a rough game, a very ugly loss, one where next Saturday can’t get here soon enough to wash this bad taste from our mouths.

4 ⭐️ – The secondary

Ramon Henderson, Tariq Bracey, and Brandon Joseph all made impact plays during this game but not where you would think they would. Each of them made big plays coming up on run support, something that you love to see from your secondary. This unit so far this year has been the best Notre Dame has to offer.

2 ⭐️ – Second half performance

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 10: Henry Colombi #3 of the Marshall Thundering Herd celebrates a touchdown by Khalan Laborn #8 (not pictured) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium on September 10, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

In every game that Marcus Freeman has coached, his team has crumbled in the second half, eventually losing every contest he has coached. This was not what many thought would happen, but here we are. Things will need to change between now and next week. There might be a quarterback chance depending on the availability of Tyler Buchner. The mentality needs to change. No one envisioned Freeman becoming the first Notre Dame head coach ever to start their career 0-3.

2 ⭐️ – Quarterback Tyler Buchner’s accuracy

This is really starting to be a massive detractor in his game. Multiple times has Buchner overshot a receiver, thrown a ball where he doesn’t even give them a chance or just straight missed. Too many times he stares down one receiver and doesn’t go to his second or third reads. The end of the first half deep shot to Braden Lenzy is a microcosm of the problem. He needs to be better in this department in order for the Irish offense to take their play to the next level.

1 ⭐️ – Tommy Rees play-calling

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 10: Tyler Buchner #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish directs the offense against the Marshall Thundering Herd during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium on September 10, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

What he’s doing is just not working this year. Buchner’s biggest strength at this moment is is running ability and to try and make him a pocket passer doesn’t make much sense to me. More short passes, screens, misdirection and motion while the ball is being snapped is needed. The defense has easy reads when every receiver is still, even if they motion prior to the snap. After two games, the Irish have scored just 31 points. That is not getting it done.

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire