How does Drew Pyne factor into the Notre Dame football QB situation?


Irish Illustrated 13 September, 2021 - 08:02pm 29 views

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Who won the Notre Dame game today?

No. 8 Notre Dame survived a massive scare from upset-minded Toledo on Saturday afternoon in South Bend in a 32-29 win. CBSSports.comNotre Dame vs. Toledo score: Fighting Irish overcome turnovers and late scare to survive and advance

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No. 7 Notre Dame scores with 1:09 remaining to hold off Toledo's upset bid, 32-29

USA TODAY 14 September, 2021 - 06:00am

The Fighting Irish, who struggled to put away Florida State in overtime in Week 1, need a late touchdown to beat the Rockets in South Bend.

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Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Michael Mayer with 1:09 remaining as the Fighting Irish held off Toledo 32-29 in a lackluster performance, a week after outlasting Florida State in overtime. 

After Irish running back Kyren Williams fumbled at the Toledo 30-yard-line with three minutes remaining, the Rockets marched 73 yards in 1:51 to take the lead when Dequan Finn ran 26 yards with 1:56 remaining as the Rockets took a 29-24 lead.

But the Irish took less than 30 seconds to pull ahead, aided by two Toledo penalties and Coan's 34-yard completion to Kevin Austin. 

Notre Dame received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field, cashing in on a 4-yard pass from Coan to Mayer and took a 14-6 lead when Williams took a handoff and sprinted to the right, running untouched to the end zone to give the Irish a 14-6 advantage.

Coan threw for 239 yards with two touchdowns and one interception and was sacked four times.

Toledo continually snuffed Irish scoring chances in the first half and when Notre Dame got the ball back with less than a minute on their 23, its attempt at running a two-minute offense backfired as Toledo cornerback Chris McDonald picked off an errant pass from Coan and waltzed in 27 yards for a touchdown with :46 left before halftime.

Notre Dame (2-0) used two 55-yard drives in the fourth quarter to take the lead, one on a 48-yard field goal from Jonathan Doerer and on their next possession, taking one play to extend the lead when backup quarterback Tyler Buchner found an open Chris Tyree down the left sideline and Tyree went in untouched to give the Irish a 24-16 lead. 

But Toledo (1-1) would not go away.

Bryant Kobach broke free for a 67-yard run to get the Rockets out of the shadow of the Irish end zone and scored five plays later from eight yards out to cut the lead to two. The subsequent 2-point conversion attempt failed. 

Notre Dame closes out the month at home taking on two Big Ten opponents: Purdue next Saturday and Wisconsin on Sept. 25.

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You Pod to Win the Game

Sep 11, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws as Toledo Rockets linebacker Terrance Taylor (56) pressures in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

We know that Coan is not super mobile, but Buchner is. As we know the offensive line currently is having issues and it’s much easier for a quarterback who is mobile to keep the offense moving. Coan isn’t that guy, he’s more of a pocket passer. Although he can run, currently he has negative yards rushing, 27, for the year. Yes, sacks are included there, but the less mobile quarterback with a iffy offensive line is a sitting duck in the pocket. Buchner’s mobility erases some of the lines current inadequacies.

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Jack Coan #17 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish throws the ball during the first half against the Toledo Rockets at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2021 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Quarterback need plenty of it, especially young ones. Coan has tons of it and we know exactly what kind of player he is, solid but not spectacular. Sure, he looked great against Florida State, but after their loss this past weekend to Jacksonville State, that win isn’t nearly as impressive. Buchner needs the reps and after Purdue this weekend, it’s a Top-20 opponents with Cincinnati first then Wisconsin. If the Irish want to put out their best chance to win getting Buchner the much needed experience ahead of those games would be paramount.

Sep 11, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) stiff arms Toledo Rockets linebacker Dyontae Johnson (2) in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Against Toledo, Buchner started 3 drives, and two of those resulted in scores. One was a 5-play, 96-yard drive, the other was nifty zone-read fake and pass to Chris Tyree for a one play, 55-yard score. The other drive Buchner switched with Coan in the middle. The freshman accounted for 78-yard through the air and 68 more on the ground for a total of 146-yards. Coan had 239 through the air and -24-yard on the ground, totaling 215-yards with many more snaps. Buchner was much more efficient with his time and shows a whole lot more upside for the offense.

Sep 11, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) carries in the second quarter against the Toledo Rockets at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

We all know Coan won’t be back next year, but as this team continues as the season progresses, we all know it’s most likely Buchner that will take over the reigns in 2022. Yes, it was just one game and most likely there will be some lumps ahead, but if there was a year to get this it’s this one. The defense is going through a transition, as well as the offensive line, so why not at quarterback. Buchner gives the Irish the

A look at what the media is saying after Notre Dame’s 32-29 victory against Toledo on Saturday. Or, in his unique case, fitting for a head coach still sorting out why his Notre Dame team that has reeled off four straight 10-win seasons needed a go-ahead touchdown in the final 90 seconds to sidestep disaster against a Mid-American Conference opponent.

Notre Dame true freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner entering the game against Toledo, temporarily relieving a healthy graduate student Jack Coan and being a main contributor in the Irish's narrow 32-29 victory couldn’t have been on many Fighting Irish home-opener Bingo cards. Coan was coming off a 366-yard, four-touchdown performance in Notre Dame’s 41-38 season-opening victory over Florida State after all. When Buchner ran onto the field for the first time, Notre Dame had -1 rushing yard.

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Jack Coan or Tyler Buchner? That's the question that has invaded and pervaded the minds of Notre Dame football fans ever since Buchner, a true freshman quarterback, lit a charge through his Fighting Irish teammates in last Saturday's 32-29 victory over Toledo.

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Notre Dame Football: W.I.N. (What’s Important Now) — Purdue Week

One Foot Down 13 September, 2021 - 09:39am

Not sure what’s more worrying: the ND offensive line, or Little Caesars hitting Big Pizza with that PEPPERONI AMBUSH

Yep, sorry — just send me a follow-up email with any major talking points I missed, and we can circle back as needed. We need to set up another call to discuss anyway. Okay great, thanks everyone, talk soon!

*clicks “End Call” and lets out an exasperated sigh*

I cannot believe it’s not even noon yet, this is the Monday from hell. Jesus, okay, collect yourself, you gotta hop into the weekly call now.

Helloooo everyone, my apologies for being late.

Yeah I wish it was because I overslept after a weekend of beer and football, Tim. I was actually on another meeting with the Big Pizza team, they were trying to figure out their next move ever since Little Caesars hit ‘em with that Pepperoni Ambush. Yeah, that was ROUGH, we definitely don’t know what to do about it yet.

Anyway, since we’re already a bit behind, let’s dive right in to our Project W.I.N. weekly call...plenty happened last week that we need to discuss, because I have a steering committee meeting later this week and they’ll be expecting some answers.

Yeah, I know — should be a fun week.

Okay, so if everyone can see my screen...??

However, there were still some promising accomplishments I want to highlight, because we should always celebrate successes, no matter how small. The Irish offensive skill guys continue to look fantastic, with Michael Mayer looking every bit the All-American he’s going to be by season’s end and Kevin Austin continuing to look like a true WR1.

Bellyman and Chris Tyree also continue to positively impact the offense and make big plays despite having nowhere to run, and the secondary receivers — Lenzy, Wilkins, and Davis — continue to find little ways to chip in. I mean how fun was Davis’s reverse pass for the two-point conversion??

Insane 2pt conversion by Notre Dame

Oh, and then I’m sure y’all noticed the QB play. Sure, Jack Coan ended up having a fine game and managed to throw the game-winner seconds after having his finger popped back into place on the sideline (which was awesome and badass), but blue-chip frosh Tyler Buchner had himself a DEBUT and may bring the mobile dimension at QB that this offense desperately needs, considering the line’s many issues protecting the quarterback.

Add in some solid performances from MTA, Foskey, and Bertrand, and there’s still enough here to at least say we enjoy watching this team, even if it can be maddening/frustrating/depressingly pathetic at times.

Okay, time to take a quick look at our scorecard — as you can see, we’ve got a few more reds and yellows popping up.

Shout out to Mike Bean for successfully and efficiently popping Coan’s finger back into place, that was an unforeseen complication that he quickly dealt with, so hats off to him for being agile and adaptable under pressure!

Also, big shout-outs to the Irish QBs, Michael Mayer, and the running backs for their contributions and hitting some goals this week. I’m confident that Tommy will continue to find ways for all of you to hit your numbers.

Finally, I want to recognize the Little Caesars team for the perfect execution on their Pepperoni Ambush of Big Pizza — it was very well done, unexpected, and honestly something I didn’t fully understand the first 10 times I saw the commercial because I kept not paying attention until the very end.

But after finally watching the whole thing, hats off to that crew — they sure threw a wrench into things on the Big Pizza side, it was really a genius move by the competition!

Be sure to head to the appendix of the deck I send out, I’ve got a special Venn Diagram regarding Big Pizza, Little Caesars, and what they both can and cannot do.

Okay, it’s time for our favorite part of these meetings — Team Members of the Week!!!!

I can’t imagine any of these are a surprise...

Tyler Buchner, considered THE FUTURE for the Irish, came into a wild and rough game and provided an undeniable spark with his legs and even a little bit with his arm, forcing Toledo to respect another mobile threat in the backfield and really opening up the offense. Coan played well enough to likely keep his starting job, but it’s clear this team needs Buchner as at least a partial contributor to make this offense really work, considering the offensive line’s many flaws and limitations.

Finally, big shout-outs are in store for MTA and Bertrand, who both played very strong games. Bertrand’s earned him the game ball from Coach Kelly thanks to his 11 tackles (3 for loss), 1 sack, and game-clinching fumble recovery.

Meanwhile, MTA had 2 of the Irish’s 5 sacks, including the game-clinching one that forced the fumble Bertrand recovered. It was an especially heavy and emotional day for MTA, whose heroics happened on the day of his father’s funeral, which he subsequently virtually attended after the game — talk about a dedicated, hard-working young man to do all that on such a tough day for him and his family. Hopefully the service was a beautiful celebration of a wonderful life.

You betcha, this is somewhat of a career award for his hard work on all the different Notre Dame football projects over the years, especially considering the various roles he played on each project team and his willingness to literally do it all in order to get the job done.

Avery Davis, congrats on your Swiss Army Knife Award — there’s a Chipotle gift card heading to your inbox shortly!!!

Okay, now let’s dive a little deeper — what should we know about this Purdue team, specifically?

First is David Bell, who’s one of the best wide receivers in the country and almost certainly the best wideout the Irish will face this season. Freeman HAS to make some adjustments this week to limit his big plays, because he’ll have one or two regardless. Giving him the same opportunities as the Toledo and FSU players had will be BAD for the Irish.

Part of limiting Bell will hopefully be sending a very aggressive pass rush at Purdue QB Jack Plummer, who has played very efficient and clean football to-date but who also has only faced Oregon State and UConn to-date. Throwing him off his game/rhythm will go a long way to keeping the ball out of Bell’s hands.

On the other side of the ball, George Karlaftis is the big name to know. He hasn’t had to do too much yet in Purdue’s first two games, but he’s a future NFL DE (potentially a 1st/2nd rounder in 2022) who could give ND fits, considering the lack of good tackles — especially on the left side. This will be a similar test to Jermaine Johnson II of FSU, who had a bit of a field day in pressuring Jack Coan.

Finally, please note that one of Purdue’s top two rushers is named King Doerue, and that is a really awesome name.

Okay, we’ve only got two minutes, so really quick, here’s What’s Important Now for this week:

Furthermore, Buchner should continue to get reps to throw off the defense and provide that extra running threat in the backfield, and it wouldn’t hurt to get the freshmen receivers a handful of reps too — Lorenzo Styles and Deion Colzie can both contribute out there.

Defensively, Marcus Freeman has gotta find a way to contain David Bell while also dialing up lots of pressure to throw Plummer off his very comfortable game he’s got going on right now. The DBs CANNOT let Bell get behind them very often — he and Plummer are both quite capable of making the Irish pay handsomely for doing so.

Alright, well it looks like we’re at time — does anyone have any questions?

Alright, well I will go ahead and send you all the link to this week’s deck — definitely be sure to review the appendix slide and let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything!

Alright, hope you all have a great week — let’s be better than we were a week ago!!!!

Who are we kidding? We just almost lost to Toledo at home after needing overtime to beat a team who lost to Jacksonville State.

Time for Coffee #3 of the day, well before we even hit noon!!!

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