The Irish saw their national championship hopes go up in flames as they lost 55-31 to Arizona State. Notre Dame was overwhelmed by the Sun Devils blitz which led to five Irish turnovers and 28 points for Arizona State. Everett Golson struggled mightily as he was under pressure most times he dropped back to pass because the Irish offensive line was absolutely dominated. The Irish also took far too long to adjust to the Sun Devils blitzes as even when they started to experience success by attacking the middle of the field, utilizing screens and moving the pocket the hole they had dug themselves was too big. The following players stood out for the Irish in defeat:
Cam McDaniel: Irish running back Cam McDaniel did a solid job taking over for Tarean Folston. McDaniel was able to pick up the blitz and allow Golson to make plays downfield, which Folston was unable to do. McDaniel also had two rushing touchdowns during the Irish comeback and exhibited hardnosed running as yards on the ground were at a premium for the Irish.
Will Fuller: Will Fuller was called out by Brian Kelly during the week leading up to the clash with the Sun Devils and he responded. Fuller had a team-high six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore was also one of the few Irish players who showed up from the start of the game.
Matthias Farley: Defensive back Matthias Farley looked very strong in a losing cause. Farley had an interception of Taylor Kelly which was the only turnover the Irish forced. The veteran also had a sack, one of the only other explosive plays the Notre Dame defense made as their blitz was late all game long. Farley had three tackles in the game, two of which were for loss.
Sheldon Day: Defensive end Sheldon Day was his normal disruptive self, putting forth another quality game. Day was one of the few Notre Dame defenders able to make plays to slow down the Sun Devils rushing attack. He had five tackles including one for loss and was critical to the defense’s run of success in the third quarter and first half of the fourth quarter.