Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditSunday, October 2, 2022

Articles tagged: Notre Dame Football

Report: ACC suspends referee who made bad call in Cal-Notre Dame game

A look at a field goal lineup

The ACC suspended one if its officials for making a terrible call last weekend in the Cal-Notre Dame game.

Notre Dame beat Cal 24-17 in the game. The Golden Bears were up 7-0 in the second quarter against Notre Dame, and the Irish were setting up for 45-yard field goal attempt.

Notre Dame missed the kick, but they were bailed out by an offsides penalty on Cal.

Here’s a look at the play:

Nobody was even close to offsides for Cal, which is why they were livid.

Thanks to the call, Notre Dame got a new set of downs. They scored a touchdown two plays later to tie the game.

A week after the game, Cal alum Roxy Bernstein, who is also an announcer, said that the ACC had suspended the side judge responsible for the brutal call.

Oddly, Bernstein said the ACC apologized to Cal for the missed call but did not plan to make a public statement.

The bad call helped Notre Dame get seven points. That play was a big swing for what was a one-score game.

Manti Te’o has emotional reaction to Notre Dame return

Manti Te'o before an NFL game

Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te’o (50) warms up before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Manti Te’o was welcomed back to Notre Dame on Saturday and got quite the response from the home fans.

Te’o on Saturday made his first public appearance at a Notre Dame game since 2012, when he last played for the Fighting Irish. He was welcomed back to present the colors prior to the team’s game against California, and was warmly greeted by fans.

The reception was even more rousing inside the stadium when he was introduced. Te’o was given an enormous reception, and appeared to be wiping away tears over the crowd’s reaction.

Te’o was a star linebacker for Notre Dame from 2009 to 2012, and was the anchor of the 2012 team that played in the National Championship game. Ultimately, the end of his career was overshadowed by the infamous fake girlfriend hoax that he was still hearing about years later. A recent Netflix documentary about the hoax revived interest in the story, however, and painted a more sympathetic picture of Te’o’s role in the fiasco.

Notre Dame is off to an 0-2 start, so perhaps Te’o’s return will help get the team moving in the right direction.

Notre Dame will have a new starting QB against Cal

Drew Pyne in a helmet

Nov 27, 2021; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne (10) jogs on the field before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The struggling Notre Dame Fighting Irish will have a new quarterback leading the team next week.

Tyler Buchner, who was named the team’s starter to begin the season, suffered a sprain in his AC joint in his non-throwing shoulder on Saturday. He will undergo surgery that will end his season. A sophomore from the San Diego, Calif. area, Buchner struggled as a passer this season. He threw for 378 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He had rushed for 62 yards and two scores.

Backup quarterback Drew Pyne will now take over for the Fighting Irish as their starter.

Pyne went 3/6 for 20 yards with a touchdown and interception in relief of Buchner during Saturday’s loss to Marshall. The New Canaan, Conn. product is in his third year with the Irish football team. He has passed for 256 yards, three touchdowns and an interception during his college career.

After losing games to Ohio State and Marshall to begin 0-2, Notre Dame will face Cal next weekend at home. They are scheduled to visit North Carolina the following week, and then they will have a bye before a tough home game against BYU.

In addition to their games against ranked Ohio State and BYU, Notre Dame plays Clemson later this season, and they close the regular season on the road at USC on Nov. 26. Things will remain difficult for Marcus Freeman, who is looking for his first win as the program’s head football coach.

Marshall got paid big money to come beat Notre Dame

Charles Huff has a bucket dumped on him

The worst part about Notre Dame’s home loss to Marshall on Saturday is that they paid good money for the privilege of being beaten.

The Fighting Irish lost 26-21 at home against the Thundering Herd at Notre Dame Stadium. Schools like Notre Dame typically have to pay a lesser opponent good money to entice them to come play a tough road game that will likely result in a loss.

In this case, Notre Dame paid Marshall $1.25 million to come play the game. And then they got beat. That’s a big double whammy.

Notre Dame’s quarterback play was a big problem in the game.

Starting QB Tyler Buchner threw two interceptions. Backup Drew Pyne threw for a touchdown and an interception. The real backbreaker was Buchner’s second interception, which was a pick-six with just over four minutes left. Pyne followed with an interception on the ensuing series.

New head coach Marcus Freeman is now 0-3 at Notre Dame. By comparison, Brian Kelly had only lost three games total over his final two seasons before bolting for LSU.

The Fighting Irish’s loss at Ohio State in their opener was more than understandable. The loss against Marshall looks really bad.

The big issue for Notre Dame is their inability to score.

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.

Notre Dame has big motivational tactic ahead of Ohio State game

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

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are clear underdogs for their season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes, but they are apparently going to seize on that.

The Buckeyes are favored by 17.5 points for Saturday’s game at Ohio Stadium, suggesting that oddsmakers do not envision Notre Dame making things terribly competitive. That apparently works for Irish head coach Marcus Freeman, who made clear Monday that he’ll be using the spread as fodder to motivate his team.

Whether this tactic works or not is an open question. After all, Notre Dame probably does not need extra motivation to face Ohio State. If the underdog role provides a bit of extra fuel, so be it.

Freeman has not been shy about his Ohio State criticism in the offseason leading up to the game. There’s the risk that this all could backfire, but using the point spread as motivation probably won’t do any harm.

New Big Ten deal means 2 things for Notre Dame

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

The Big Ten is in the process of finalizing a media rights deals with NBC, and it appears Notre Dame will be one of the big winners from the new agreement.

There had been some talk that Notre Dame could join the Big Ten now that there has been major conference realignment, but that is unlikely to happen. Notre Dame has its own rights deal with NBC that runs through 2025 and pays the school $25 million annually. Now that NBC and the Big Ten are entering into a partnership, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal expects two things to happen for Notre Dame — the Fighting Irish will remain independent and renew their rivalry with Michigan.

Sources told Ourand that Notre Dame should be able to secure a new deal worth around $60 million per year with NBC when the current contract expires in 2025. That would mean the school remains independent and unaffiliated with a conference. However, Notre Dame would have a much easier time scheduling Big Ten opponents — like Michigan — now that NBC has rights to Big Ten games.

The Big Ten’s current media rights deal with ESPN will end after 2023. NBC, FOX and CBS are all expected to reach agreements with the conference to carry Big Ten games. One thought was that Notre Dame could join the Big Ten to coincide with NBC landing a Saturday night package for Big Ten games, but there is really no need for that from Notre Dame’s perspective. They should get premier Big Ten games while also having their own rights agreement with NBC.

Notre Dame announces their starting quarterback for Week 1

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

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have made their quarterback decision with a big season opener against Ohio State looming.

In a hype video posted to the football team’s Twitter account Saturday, the Irish announced that sophomore Tyler Buchner would get the nod for the team’s first game at Ohio State on Sept. 3. Buchner will start ahead of junior Drew Pyne, who had been the other competitor for the job.

Buchner, a highly-touted dual-threat quarterback, was a consensus four-star recruit upon his arrival in South Bend for the 2021 season. He completed 21 of 35 passes for 298 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions in limited duty backing up Jack Coan last year. He was mostly used as a runner out of the backfield, tallying 336 yards and three touchdowns on 46 carries.

Buchner is younger than Pyne, but neither player has a lot of experience at the college level. With that as a non-factor, Pyne’s struggles during the spring helped serve as a tiebreaker between the pair.

The Fighting Irish are trying to keep momentum going in their first full campaign under new coach Marcus Freeman after an 11-2 year in 2021. The Buckeyes are the highest-ranked team on Notre Dame’s schedule, so Buchner will be facing some pressure to perform well immediately.

Notre Dame AD rips NIL system for being ‘mess’

Jack Swarbrick at a game

Mar 3, 2019; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish athletics director Jack Swarbrick looks on after a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Name, Image and Likeness rules have become a touchy issue in college sports.

Originally introduced to allow players to capitalize off the fame and value they create while in college, the intent of the program has often been violated. Some schools are using the rules as a way to entice players to sign with their school with de facto signing bonuses.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is one of the people lamenting what’s happened with the NIL rules. He spoke about the subject Wednesday while conducting a YouTube livestream for Notre Dame.

“It’s a mess. We as college athletics have completely screwed this up. The intention, and we were the first university to speak out in favor of Name, Image and Likeness ideas, the intention was to put student-athletes in a position that every other student at Notre Dame enjoys. Which is, they can benefit from their Name, Image, Likeness and ideas,” Swarbrick said, via Football Scoop.

“What we never anticipated was that it would come online with no regulation and that it would come online coupled with the unlimited right to transfer. It’s created an untenable situation, frankly, that most of what’s going on has nothing to do with Name, Image and Likeness. They are not commercial transactions where I am rewarding you for something great you’ve built or the fact you’ve got 5 million followers on your social media Web site. They are talent-acquisition fees, where I’m paying you to come to our school.”

Swarbrick is not the first person to speak out against what’s become of the system. Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher were in a public spat after Saban accused Texas A&M of paying recruits to come play for them. Lane Kiffin has been railing against the system as well.

The NCAA is seemingly concerned about creating rules and regulations surrounding NIL because they fear an antitrust lawsuit. Schools are waiting around and waiting for some rules to be applied, but who will do that? If the NCAA is fearful to act, then that leaves congress to create federal rules, or conferences to creat their own.

Don’t bank on changes happening any time soon.

Would Notre Dame bring Pac-12 team in package deal if they join Big Ten?

Marcus Freeman smiling

Dec 6, 2021; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head football coach Marcus Freeman speaks during his formal introduction on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame is reportedly being pursued by the Big Ten as the conference expands. If the independent school chose to join the Big Ten, they reportedly are expected to bring a Pac-12 school with them.

Stanford’s athletic director spoke Friday during the Pac-12’s media event ahead of the college football season. Athletic director Bernard Muir said the school had not received a formal overture from another conference.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel said in a tweet about the subject that if Notre Dame joined the Big Ten, Stanford would go with them.

Stanford and Notre Dame both have strong academic reputations and many good athletic teams. The two schools have also played annually in football since 1997.

Notre Dame’s other traditional Pac-12 opponent is USC, which has already joined the Big Ten. The Fighting Irish would likely want to keep tradition alive by continuing to face many of the same schools.

The Big Ten reportedly is considering six schools if they are to expand. Stanford is on their list. Notre Dame is the school they reportedly want the most.