NC State got through the rain, the horrible conditions, and the problems to slop its way to a 10-3 win over Notre Dame. What does it all mean?
NC State 10, Notre Dame 3: What Does It All Mean?
Look, it’s going to be easy to rip on Brian Kelly up and down for a variety of reasons in this loss.
Did Notre Dame try too many downfield throws in the insane conditions? Maybe a few.
Did the running game do next to nothing compared to what NC State did, even though the Irish have two NFL starters on the O line and didn’t pound away well enough, and did it take way, way, way too long to figure out that getting physical was how this was going to be won? Yup.
Did the Malik Zaire thing seem weird to throw him into the mix late in the game? The Irish had to try something to mix things up.
But to not keep grinding with the running game, and to stop feeding the running backs in game like this was inexcusable. NC State was able to crank up over 100 yards from Matthew Dayes – blowing off the passing attack when that obviously wasn’t going to work – and it simply found a way to get the one big play needed on the punt return for the score to survive.
It doesn’t matter if Notre Dame is 2-4 or 3-3 – the season is being played for fun at this point, anyway, but this was the last true road game until the season finale against USC. Even with superior talent, a better O line, the No. 1 pick in the draft and the one big weakness – the secondary – not a problem considering the weather, this was an utterly disastrous loss.
And now comes Stanford and Miami? Uh oh.
And for NC State, who cares how this looks? Who cares if it was sloppy, messy, and ugly.
You just beat Notre Dame to go to 4-1, NC State. With road games at Clemson and Louisville coming up, you needed this, and you found a way to get it.