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Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction | Lugg Out for Fiesta Bowl

December 27, 2021

It’s unfortunate that Josh Lugg’s injury will prevent him from playing in the Fiesta Bowl. This could have possibly been his final game in a Notre Dame uniform so that has to make this an extra bitter pill to swallow.

Everyone knows he struggled in the first half of the season, but he really took his game up a level as he gained confidence to close out the year. His limitations are the same as they always have been. Tommy Rees and the staff did a better job of changing the offense that played to his strengths more and his play improved greatly because of it.

The obvious next man in is Blake Fisher. The starting left tackle at the beginning of the season may not be in tip top game shape after having to recover from an injury over the last few months, but that will have to be overlooked at this point. They need him to step in now that he is back healthy.

Where he steps in, either on the right or left side, is the question.

We’ll see where his fit is in the long term, but for this game, it makes more sense that Fisher takes over that right side and Joe Alt stays on the left. Him and Andrew Kristofic have developed some decent chemistry playing there and tweaking with that now could end up weakening two spots.

It’s a tough assignment for Fisher being put in a spot where he hasn’t played in months and then has to face the best collective pass rush in college football. Oklahoma State led the nation in sacks (54) and sack rate. They have strong individual pass rushers as well as a great scheme that brings pressure from all angles.

Many Notre Dame fans have been anxiously waiting to see Fisher back on the field. Now they should get that chance. It’s unfortunate that it is coming under these circumstances, but it may just turn out to be something that works out well for the Irish. After getting back in the starting lineup, don’t expect to see him leave it until he’s gone to the NFL.

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