Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame football had Ohio State on the ropes during their highly-anticipated showdown on Saturday. Notre Dame football held a precarious four-point lead in the waning moments. They were just one second away from avenging their loss to Ohio State last year. Unfortunately, Ohio State scored on a last-second touchdown to stun Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame football, 17-14.
Notre Dame football had just 10 men on the field in the game's last two downs. Marcus Freeman took the blame for the crucial loss. He also gave credit to Ohio State for executing better down the stretch, per ESPN's Heather Dinich (via The Spun's Daniel Bates).
“We tell our players, every play you can't be distracted by the things that don't matter. You have to do your job. The same thing applies to coaches. We can't get caught watching the game and not do our job,” Freeman said.
“Great teams execute when it matters most, and we didn't do that Saturday – Ohio State did. Credit to them and their coaching staff. Fourth and 1 – twice. We don't execute. We miss a field goal. Defensively, the last drive, 3rd and 7 – the last two plays you have 10 guys on the field…That's a lack of execution when it matters the most,” Freeman added.
“It hurts. I forgot the pain of losing. It's a physical pain that takes time to get through. You get through it. Time heals everything. Monday, we're ready to go,” Freeman concluded.
Notre Dame football aims to get back on track against No. 17 Duke on Saturday. Some college football experts such as Paul Finebaum have counted them out for the College Football Playoff. If Notre Dame football gets their act together, they can prove the naysayers wrong.