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#pounditSunday, December 4, 2022

Marcus Freeman makes unwanted Notre Dame history with latest loss

Marcus Freeman looking ahead

Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman is making history in his new job, but not the type he would want to be making.

The Fighting Irish lost their home opener 26-21 to Marshall on Saturday, a shocking defeat that dropped the team to 0-2 on the season. The defeat also dropped Freeman to 0-3 in his first three games as Notre Dame’s head coach, as he was in charge of the team’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State in January.

That mark gives Freeman an unwanted record, as he becomes the first coach in Fighting Irish history to start his tenure 0-3.

This definitely counts as a surprise. Notre Dame was competitive at Ohio State last Saturday, though they faded late. There was absolutely no reason to think they would not get their first win against Marshall, but quarterback Tyler Buchner and the Fighting Irish offense played poorly all day. Backup Drew Pyne did not fare much better when he came in late in the fourth quarter after Buchner got hurt, though Pyne did throw Notre Dame’s lone touchdown pass of the day.

While it’s hard to believe now, there was some talk during his first game that Freeman’s promotion from defensive coordinator actually led to a renaissance for the Notre Dame offense. Nobody is saying that now, and Freeman will have some very difficult questions to answer following a defeat like this.

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