Notre Dame rallies past Virginia Tech: The Morning After

·4 min read

Last night was crazy for Notre Dame fans as the Irish came back from down eight with under five minutes to play to rally and tie Virginia Tech before winning in the final seconds thanks to kicker Jonathan Doerer’s heroics.

I had initial thoughts from the game last night but have more I felt the need to share on this Sunday morning as 5-1 Notre Dame now heads to their bye week before taking on USC to start the season’s second half.

Related: Saturday was one of the best days of college football I’ve seen

Here are a few morning after thoughts about what happened last night…

Quarterback strangeness

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I don’t know who the heck Notre Dame’s quarterback is going to be when they take on USC in two weeks but I’m ready to be done guessing. Notre Dame doesn’t win last night if Jack Coan isn’t benched when he was. They also don’t win if Tyler Buchner isn’t forced out of the game after injuring his ankle in the fourth quarter.

I don’t know a time I remember that being the case with two quarterbacks who didn’t appear to be setup to split reps entering a contest.

Drew Pyne?

Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Last week at this time I was one of many calling for sophomore Drew Pyne to get the start at Virginia Tech. Not only did he not start, he didn’t see the field after Coan was benched or after Buchner’s injury. I don’t know if Pyne is just the worst practice player of all-time or what but I was stunned by not seeing him get a chance at all against Virginia Tech but again, props to Buchner for providing a second quarter spark and Coan for his fantastic final two drives.

Missed Tackles Still Angering

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Far too much of Saturday night’s game felt like the final 20 minutes or so of regulation at Florida State. Notre Dame’s defensive line, especially Isaiah Foskey, would create pressure, but nobody would make a tackle on first contact.

I don’t know if this team is headed for the Peach Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl, or for something else, but that is just as frustrating the morning after nearly costing the Irish the game,

Offensive Line Deserves More Praise

Notre Dame’s offensive line has been problematic at best for a large chunk of this year and have heard the critics. When they perform well they deserve to hear the praises.

Last night wasn’t perfect by any stretch but it was easily the best this unit has played to date.

Kyren Williams Appreciation

Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t his biggest game at Notre Dame and the stats were far from his greatest for a single game but Kyren Williams is the most complete running back the Irish have had in a very long time.

Williams finished with 74 rushing yards, 26 receiving yards, and a touchdown in each category. His touchdown run was incredible and he continued to do the little things throughout.

I don’t know if you call it his best game in a Notre Dame uniform but his talents were on complete display and needed that much more on a night the Irish were missing one of their other offensive stars in Michael Mayer.

One game at a time, please...

Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With the craziness that happened all day in college football Saturday I shouldn’t be surprised by some Notre Dame fans wanting to think the College Football Playoff is back in the picture.

OK, if things get as crazy as they did nationally in 2007 then maybe there is a tiny chance at it happening. I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath, however.

I sound like a coach at this point but it’s true for Notre Dame in this year of all years.

One game at a time. Seriously.

The margin for error with this team is so small that even with a favorable remaining schedule there will be more than a couple more games that come down to the final possession. Keep figuring out how to finish with just a point more than the opponent and the rest will figure itself out.

More Notre Dame-Virginia Tech Reaction

Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Fighting Irish Wire Notre Dame-Virginia Tech Reaction Links:

Notre Dame comes back to stun Virginia Tech: 5 instant takeaways

5 stars: the best and worst from Notre Dame’s win at Virginia Tech

Doerer gets praise after kicking Irish to win at Virginia Tech

Tyler Buchner pulls off a first in Notre Dame football history

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