Lasting thoughts on Notre Dame’s win over Central Michigan

If you are like me, which I think you are, it was college football on Saturday, with an emphasis on Notre Dame, and the NFL on Sunday.

Now that our weekends full of football are over, it’s time to reflect back a bit on what the Irish did this weekend along with what is coming up next, Ohio State.

The buildup to that game is already starting, ESPN’s GameDay has announced they will be in South Bend this weekend. However, before we really dive deep into the top-10 matchup, there were still a few thoughts that were in my mind about Notre Dame’s win over Central Michigan.

How is Hartman?


We all held our collective breath’s when Sam Hartman was hit low, winced, and went down awkwardly. He’s stay in the game, but you could tell his was favoring his left leg. It didn’t seem too serious but we all know who is coming to town this weekend. Hopefully, it’s nothing major that Hartman has to deal with this week and can get treatment to be ready to go.

Deja vu


This weekends win against the Chips looked very much like a repeat of the Irish’s triumph against NC State. Both games were tighter than expected in the first half, the Irish came out swinging after the half, and cruised to a very solid victory. It’s not the most easy way to watch a win, but it has me thinking….

This is a second half team


As the game went on, the depth that Marcus Freeman has collected showed, which is something the previous regime just didn’t have. It’s pretty nice to have your best tackling linebacker, JD Bertrand, out for the game, only to see his running mate, Jack Kiser, pick up the slack and lead the team in tackles. Like I said last week, last year this very well could have been a loss. Night and day what a year of grown has done for the program.

Welcome back wide receivers


After not really showing up much against NC State, this unit sure did against the Chips. Chris Tyree led the team with 2 receptions for 88 yards and a score, Tobias Merriweather was not far behind with 2 catches for 81 yards also scoring. Jayden Thomas led the team with 4 catches totaling 63 yards and Rico Flores chipped in 3 receptions for 60 yards. It was an impressive effort of this group.

Audric’s usage


I am all for getting Audric Estime the ball, but did he really need to carry it 20 times ahead of playing Ohio State? The players behind him have shown that they are capable of literally carrying the load. Jadarian Price, Jeremiyah Love and Gi’Bran Payne each got 3 carries, that number should have been closer to 6. Could this have been Freeman getting Estime ready for a heavy usage night on Saturday? I’d like to find out.

Will Bertrand and Evans return?


Both contributors missed this last contest with concussions and it’s going to be interesting to see how they are handled. Everyone deals with these differently and rushing either back onto the field isn’t in their best long-term health interest. It would be great to see both return this weekend, but do what is best for the person.

It’s officially Ohio State week


The page has officially turned to Ohio State, who played their best game of the season this past weekend. They’ve picked a quarterback, Kyle McCord, and statistically their defense is one of the best in the country. This game is going to come down to who does the little things correctly, plays a clean game and wins the turnover battle. It’s going to be a fun one Saturday night.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire