I’m not happy with that game at all. I get the whole “a win is a win” argument; I know it all goes down the same in the win column. But the playoff selection committee looks into the quality of the wins, and needed a late touchdown to beat Temple is not quality. It was an outside shot at making the playoff to begin with, but with that bad win, it can’t help Notre Dame.
And I know what I wrote on Friday. I know how bad I said Temple is. And guess what? I haven’t changed my mind. TEMPLE UNIVERSITY IS NOT GOOD AT FOOTBALL! ND played very poorly in most facets of the game, Temple didn’t capitalize. It shows how they can’t even beat ND on their worst game of the year.
CJ Prosise couldn’t get any traction, and couldn’t break off any of his signature long carries. I didn’t like a lot of the playcalling. Throughout the entirety of the game, it was either a questionable decision or predictable. One or the other. Too many penalties for my liking. Only one of Kizer’s interceptions was his fault, but it was bad period. The play kind of blew up in their face. It was still a bad throw, but Chris Brown didn’t really make the best effort at getting a hand on it, and it’s not like it was really far out of reach. Even if Brown reels it in, he probably doesn’t get the first down or into the endzone. The Irish would’ve had to settle for a field goal.
Two bright spots though. The first is obvious, and it’s the play of DeShone Kizer. It wasn’t his best passing performance, with two interceptions. He still ended the day a shade below 300 yards passing. He didn’t get much from Will Fuller, who only had 5 catches for 46 yards (despite his game winning TD catch), but he spread the ball around. And he showed he can really carry the ball. He’s a big guy who’s hard to tackle. Kizer isn’t quick, but he is fast, and as he showed on his 76-yard touchdown, he will leave you in the dust if he gets going. I actually didn’t get to see his last drive live (it was Halloween, cut me some slack), but watching it this morning, it was the stuff of a champion. I think Malik Zaire officially lost his starting job, which is really unfortunate. But three more years of Kizer as my signal caller really makes me smile. I think ND will be a playoff team a couple of times in his tenure in South Bend.
The other is the defense. Temple doesn’t have a good offense, don’t get me wrong. But any time you limit a team to under 300 yards of offense is a good day. KeiVarae Russell came down with a turnover. I liked the pass rush, they got to PJ Walker all night long. They made up for the offense missing plays left and right.
This week ND has Pittsburgh. Pitt just lost, and probably won’t be ranked. But that doesn’t mean much to me. Pitt is still a really good team, and going away for a second straight week will be tough. They can’t play like they did in Philly again.