Keep waiting, be patient, maybe Notre Dame will make a mistake. The University of Louisville falls five points short in a 12-7 loss at South Bend, hanging around until the very end, waiting for something good to happen. Problem is the Irish are not going to beat themselves.
Until proven differently, Notre Dame is one of the best college football teams in the nation. The Irish were ranked No. 4 coming into Saturday’s game, undefeated after their first four games. Louisville, loser of three straight games, a 16.5-point underdog. Little doubt the Irish would win their 23rd straight on the field adjacent to the Theodore Hesburgh Library.
Actually some good things did happen for the UofL football team. Just not enough of them to overcome a team making few, if any mistakes on its heralded home field. The Cardinals at long last may have found a secondary that will deny opposing quarterbacks the ability the move the ball at will through the passing game.
Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly came into the game hoping for a chance to sharpen his team’s confidence and accuracy against a heretofore porous defense. Kelly would be extremely disappointed, with ND quarterback Ian Book managing to complete only 11 of 19 passing attempts for a mere 106 yards through the air.
At least three of muffled passes in the end zone could have been interceptions. Kei’Trel Clark, a cornerback, breaking up at least two sure touchdown passes. Chandler Jones, a junior defensive back from Miami, knocking down another sure thing.
“As a secondary, we balled out today,” said Clark, a sophomore transfer from Liberty University. He would also contribute two solo tackles and two tackle assists.
Making another strong impression in Louisville’s best defensive effort this season was Monty Montgomery, a 5-foot-11, 225-pound linebacker from Norcross, Georgia. Those 11 solo tackles and two assisted tackles keeping the Notre Dame offense at bay most of the day. He would also contribute two quarterback sacks for minus 13 yards.
The UofL offense, unfortunately, still not getting enough time to get much going. Rushing for only 113 yards, passing for 123 for a total of 236 yards. Quarterback Malik Cunningham still a shadow of himself from last season, making good on 16 of 19 attempts while running for 51 yards.
Best news, no interceptions, no fumbles for the UofL offense for a change. None of those momentum breakers by the running backs, and that’s progress. Bad news. Another 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty by offensive lineman Renato Brown for a second game in a row.
No moral victories, but a morale booster for sure, especially for Louisville fans leery of an outright pasting after last week’s dismal performance against Georgia Tech.
“The past week was a time for our players to look themselves in the mirror and decide what kind of team they want to be,”said Coach Scott Satterfield. “Ï’m proud of how they performed today. We’re in this for the long haul, and we have to keep getting better.”