Teams & Conferences

Notre Dame 50, Syracuse 33: What Really Matters

Notre Dame 50, Syracuse 33. What Really Matters

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Notre Dame 50, Syracuse 33

Notre Dame’s defense was able to clamp down in the second half, holding Syracuse to just six points after an awful first half, but one thing’s for sure …

It wasn’t Brian VanGorder.

The former Notre Dame defensive coordinator was a sacrificial lamb after the inexplicable loss to a Duke team that followed it up with a loss to Virginia, but he was just a part of the overall problem with a secondary that had problems before the season started.

Syracuse can throw on anyone – that’s all it can do – but it was still too rough a performance against Syracuse QB Eric Dungey, who threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns and ran for three more.

It doesn’t really matter since the Fighting Irish already have three losses and are out of the running for just about everything important, but the effort was there. The team seemed like it was trying, hustling, and playing with the energy Brian Kelly was begging for in his post-Blue Devil rant.

Fortunately, DeShone Kizer is still special, and he didn’t have any problems against the horrendous Orange defense, throwing for 471 yards and three scores, and the offense kept up the pace to put it away in the third before taking the foot off the gas.

It wasn’t exactly the bounceback, fired up, perfect performance the team needed after last week, but the Irish got a win. At this point, sadly, that’s good enough.

What Really Matters?


Getting this win was a really, really big deal for perception. If the Irish lost, then it would be disaster time considering what’s coming over the next few weeks.

Now things start to get fun for the Irish. Syracuse was the easy part of the slate, and now it’s off to NC State for a dangerous game against a Wolfpack team searching to make a big national statement of some sort. But that’s the one true dangerous road game left before finishing up at USC – the real battles come with Stanford and Miami to follow at home.