Notre Dame football: 3 takeaways from blowout win at NC State

Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman leads players out to the field before playing against the Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman leads players out to the field before playing against the Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Notre Dame football
Sep 9, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack receiver Porter Rooks (4) drops a pass during the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Notre Dame football’s defense stuffed NC State’s offense

Notre Dame defenders look significantly more comfortable in year two of defensive coordinator Al Golden’s offense. The Wolfpack struggled to find a rhythm offensively all game. Notre Dame was outstanding at the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong was on the move all game long, trying to find space and time to throw the football.

The Wolfpack struggled to run as much as they did to throw, averaging a meager 2.8 yards per rush attempt. Notre Dame had just three tackles for loss, but they did a good job tackling NC State’s running backs and not allowing them to run through contact. How well they covered was just as impressive as their ability to tackle Wolfpack runners.

Armstrong found himself on the run so often because of the Notre Dame secondary. The Irish covered well for four quarters. They showed tremendous eye discipline, not allowing NC State’s formation variance or motion. The Irish defensive backs broke up eight passes and intercepted Armstrong three times.

Notre Dame’s secondary is deep and talented; both attributes were on full display this afternoon. Like the rest of the team, the secondary tackled well.