Notre Dame was able to travel to No. 16 Syracuse and walk out with exactly what they needed
as they get to come back home to prepare for an undefeated Clemson team fresh
off a ranked road victory as the Irish delivered Saturday.
Was it a perfectly executed masterpiece? No, but it didn’t have to be as it was enough to get the job done.
The Irish squeezed the juice out of the Orange and added some to this week’s marque matchup game with a strong win, that’s for sure.
There are plenty of obvious big-picture positives to take away from this game.
I wanted to highlight some more under-the-radar aspects of this win that caught my attention.
1. Audric Estime's Usage It’s no secret that sophomore running back Audric Estime has had an issue with fumbles,
and extremely poorly timed ones recently, to the tune of three of them.
But rather than place him in the “doghouse”, the Irish staff leaned on him for 20 carries, 123 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
2. New Names Flashed It’s no secret that Notre Dame’s wide receiver production hasn’t lit the world on fire.
Any spark has been a welcomed one. In that regard, it was terrific seeing sophomore
wide receiver Deion Colzie catch three passes for 44 yards. That’s genuine progress!
3. Homes Away From Home Notre Dame truly does play well away from home. Significantly and noticeably better than at home.
All of their best wins and most impressive offensive outputs have been away from South Bend.
4. Refreshing Special Teams Play Let’s cut to the chase. Brian Mason has been a clear upgrade as Special Team’s Coordinator over Brian Polian.
Whether it’s decent punt return yardage gained or a blocked kick or two,
this group plays winning football and makes big plays every week.