According to Brian Kelly, “We’re not good enough.”
That’s right. Good teams don’t beat themselves. Notre Dame has done it twice in two weeks.
I’m still having a hard time grasping how things fell apart so quickly for Notre Dame down the stretch in Ann Arbor. For three quarters, Notre Dame made Michigan look more like a MAC team, than the winningest program in college football. So how did it all go wrong?
The better question, may be why?
For all of Notre Dame’s positives two games into the season (and they are plentiful), the impression that stands out, is that this is a team that doesn’t know how to win.
How else do you explain a team ranked 13th in the country in total offense, but 74th in scoring? Turnovers, certainly…especially red zone turnovers, have been devastating.
This is a team that’s less than the sum of its parts right now…not greater, as the saying typically goes.
A balanced attack that nets over 500 yards of total offense should be enough to win a football game. A 17-point 4th quarter lead should be enough to win a football game. And ANY lead, with the opponent 80 yards away and 30 seconds left on the clock should be enough to win a football game.
Notre Dame was in position to win at the Big House, for most of the night. And they never took advantage.
They lacked the final knockout punch, even though Michigan had its guard down most of the night. They never showed the ability to put the game away early, to avoid losing late. This team hasn’t learned how to win.
And it’s not gonna get any easier. Michigan State is one of, if not the toughest teams on their schedule. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Notre Dame is their own toughest opponent right now.
Until they learn how to win, they’ll continue to find ways to lose.