(Photo: Joseph Weiser)
In 2023, “home cooking” has suited the Fighting Irish, just fine.
But overall, during the 12 games played in Notre Dame stadium during the Marcus Freeman Era, there have been some mixed results.
Actually, for most of 2022 the Irish struggled to defend their home turf. Lackluster performances last year against Cal and UNLV ended in wins, but the Irish were anything but dominant in those games. And of course, the Irish put on truly bad showings in home defeats at the hands of Stanford and Marshall.
But since that loss to Stanford last season, the Irish have defended their home field quite well, thank you.
The home field roll started when ND reeled off two dominant victories at the end of last season. First it was a 35-14 win over Clemson and then a 44-0 dismantling of Boston College on a snowy Senior Day to close out the 2022 Notre Dame stadium slate.
Those two wins foreshadowed an outstanding performance at home in 2023.
The Irish built off their late season 2022 home field momentum and played very well in every home game this season and posted a 5-1 record.
Tennessee State, Central Michigan, Ohio State, USC, Pittsburgh, and last week, Wake Forest. The one blot on the record, the loss to the Buckeyes, by near any measure was nonetheless an excellent performance but with a devastating conclusion. None of the other games where even close.
In fact, since losing to Stanford in mid-October 2022. The Irish have outscored their opponents 351-85. The defense this year has given up a scant 8 touchdowns in 6 games.
That’s good football.
But the losses suffered at, Louisville and Clemson and the “by the skin of your teeth” win over Duke are painful evidence that ND’s story on the road in 2023, has not been nearly like the one at home.
ND travels to Palo Alto to close the 2023 regular season this week against 4-7 Stanford. They are hoping to build momentum into Bowl season and they are looking to duplicate some of that home field dominance, on the road.