Fortuna Files: Questions mount for Notre Dame entering rivalry week with USC
Where does Notre Dame go from here? Plus, Red River delivers (again), the ACC has gotten interesting, Washington has a new AD and much more from Week 6
Notre Dame could blame its schedule for losing at Louisville.
Notre Dame could blame its preparation for losing at Louisville.
Heck, Notre Dame could probably blame its comical offseason offensive coordinator search for losing at Louisville.
The troubling part, especially with USC on deck? Every bit of it contains at least some truth, a troubling sign for an Irish team that looks lost for answers with just five games remaining in the regular season.
Where do we start?
Louisville averaged 4.6 yards per carry to Notre Dame’s 1.6, a staggering disparity that even the most optimistic Cardinals fan could not have seen coming on Saturday.
The Irish changed up the interior of their offensive line early, including rotating centers in the first half — a perplexing move seven games into the season. They gave up five sacks and looked disjointed all night, losing yardage in every single third-and-short situation, per Pete Sampson.
This was supposed to be an offensive- and defensive line-driven program. Right now, the O-line looks lost, and it has compromised the entire offensive operation, which is all the more troubling when the receiving corps is approaching Iowa-like levels of anonymity.
Sam Hartman left Wake Forest for this? The Demon Deacons have three wide receivers this season who are averaging at least 48 yards per game. The Irish have none. And that’s after Wake lost Donavan Greene to injury and A.T. Perry to the NFL.
ACC coach after ACC coach had insisted to me since the summer that there would be at least one game for Hartman where it all comes undone, just like there had been in each of his previous three seasons.
No way, I told them, thinking that, at the very least, Notre Dame’s offense was not built to put Hartman in such a vulnerable position.
And yet, there the sixth-year senior was Saturday night, turning the ball over five times at Louisville one year after turning it over six times in the same building.
His stat line before Notre Dame recovered an onside kick for its final drive was remarkably similar to his last outing against the Cards: