Notre Dame football might be on the outside looking in at the playoff scenario at the moment, but the Fighting Irish are attempting to make their case as the season goes on. Notre Dame football is going to have to win games against teams like the Navy Midshipmen in a more commanding fashion if they want to move up the ranks. After initially going up 28-7 over Navy, the Notre Dame football team looked like their march to the playoffs was over, blowing that lead and eventually trailing 31-28.
As has been the case almost all season long, head coach Brian Kelly’s team eventually showed just enough fight to win the game, rallying for a 49-39 victory. The sixth ranked golden domers were again led by their star quarterback, Everett Golson, who ran for three touchdowns and threw for three more. According to the Sun Times, Kelly knew this particular contest was going to be one the Notre Dame football team was needing to fight until the end.
“We knew this was going to be a challenge,” Kelly said. “We played a lot of young guys on defense. We were going to have to outscore them. And that’s what it ended up being.”
Golson’s performance ended up being the first time any Irish quarterback accounted for those kinds of numbers. It seems likely the team is going to need more performances like Golson’s, considering they are still ranked 10th in the official College Football Playoffs poll.
One week after losing to Florida State, the Notre Dame football team knows that the win wasn’t impressive, but it at least kept them as one of the many one-loss teams that will be vying for a playoff spot. This year is the first for the playoff system in the NCAA. When the smoke clears on this season, the top four ranked teams will enter that playoff system, while the rest of the teams will play in bowl games like normal.
At the moment, the top four spots look like a tough nut to crack, with Florida State and Mississippi State both still undefeated and third ranked Auburn strengthening its claim with a win over Ole Miss on Saturday. Mississippi did likely open up one spot in the top four with its second loss of the season last night. At the moment, it looks like Oregon will snatch the spot, but movement is good news for everyone. The loss at least gives Notre Dame football fans a ray of hope.