Heading into tonight’s matchup against USC, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 5-1 and ranked No. 13 in the nation. But following last year’s season that saw the program make their second College Football Playoff in three years, the 2021 squad has some notable uncertainties.
During today’s edition of College GameDay, ESPN host Kirk Herbstreit discussed the loss of several offensive starters from last year’s roster.
“Notre Dame is still — I think this year’s Notre Dame team is still a bit of a mystery,” Herbstreit said. “You know they have eight players off of last year’s offense that are currently on NFL rosters? Just on the offensive line. So you’re breaking in, especially, a new offensive line. It’s like they’re putting a Band-Aid, in the 2021 season, on that offensive line, trying to do whatever they can.”
Though the Fighting Irish only have one loss on the year to now-No. 2 ranked Cincinnati, they haven’t exactly looked convincing in some of their other contests.
In the program’s season opener, the Irish narrowly squeaked by Florida State in overtime. And in the following week, they took down Toledo by just three points.
Herbstreit feels the Notre Dame squad will need to make some on-the-fly adjustments against the Trojans defensive front today.
“If the offensive line becomes an issue and they can’t protect, then you’ve got to go to 12 and he’s got to come out because his mobility and it helps the run game.,” Herbstreit said. “So I think it’s kind of a feel for Notre Dame against that USC front.”
Tonight’s game in Notre Dame Stadium will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET.