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Game Thread | Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State

December 31, 2021
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No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1) vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State (11-2)

State Farm Stadium | 1:00 p.m. ET | ESPN | Notre Dame -1.0 | O/U: 45.0

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FIESTA 

Notre Dame is back at the Fiesta Bowl and the Irish will look to get back on track in New Year’s Six games as Marcus Freeman makes his debut as head coach. 

The Irish will be without Kyren Williams and Kyle Hamilton as both are off to the NFL and starting right tackle Josh Lugg will miss the game to injury. All three are key losses, but it's something this team has fought through all season, so I wouldn’t expect Notre Dame to miss a beat. 

That said, Notre Dame will need to protect the quarterback and the Cowboys lead the country in sacks and the Irish will be starting two true freshmen at the tackle position. 

Physicality will be the name of the game in this one as both teams want to win in the trenches, which plays to Notre Dame as they've been one of the more physical teams in the country over the last five years. 


Five Players To Watch

Notre Dame OT Blake Fisher
He's suddenly thrust back into the spotlight after Josh Lugg's injury, which means Fisher will be back in the starting lineup going against several quality pass rushers. I'm sure he'll have some down moments in the game, but by the end of the Fiesta Bowl we may be talking about him a lot as a run blocker.

Oklahoma State RB Jaylen Warren
One of the toughest running backs in the country to tackle, OSU will need him to go off to not let the game rest too much on the shoulders of quarterback Spencer Sanders. If the Irish defense takes Warren away, points will be tough to come by for the Cowboys.

Notre Dame DT Kurt Hinish
In his last game in a Notre Dame uniform, expect the emotional leader of the defense to shine. OSU will be forced to play their backup center due to injury and Hinish should win the one on one matchup with their backup frequently.

Oklahoma State LB Malcolm Rodriguez
A missile as a blitzer, Rodriguez is the best player on a defense that thrives on bringing pressure. Expect to hear his name called a lot whenever the Irish are running the football.

Notre Dame RB Chris Tyree
Now with turf toe in the rearview mirror, a healthy Tyree is going to get more touches with Kyren Williams opting out. He shouldn't have a ton of room to gain yards against this defense, but if they can get him in the right matchup, he'll be someone who provides explosive plays for the Irish offense.


Quotes of the Week

Notre Dame QB Jack Coan:
“I certainly definitely want to go out with a win. You're at a place like Notre Dame, a lot of guys are used to being in the playoffs and things like that. So you might take a breath or a step back and saying you're not in the playoff; you're just in a bowl game. But for him to say that we're going to do this and this is a business trip, we're going to go out and win, it means a ton to me. It would mean everything to end my career with a win.”

Notre Dame C Jarrett Patterson:
“Really just the variety of looks they provide. It's three down, three-three, three-down joker, four-down. They do a lot. They can do all the looks. So the biggest thing is our preparation, this week especially, has to be on point. We have to be ready for all of these third-down looks and really just win those obvious situations -- third and short, third and long, red zone. All of those situations we have to win so we can help secure the Fiesta Bowl.”

Notre Dame WR Kevin Austin Jr.:
”​​​​​​​I feel like Tyler has a lot of opportunities to throw. When he does, he shows his throwing arm. I would say, obviously, I get that sometimes it seems like he's very run-heavy when he goes into the game. But at the end of the day, when he throws in the game, he has confidence and he can make throws. He makes throws in practice that I'm shocked about. So I know that he can do it in the game.”

Notre Dame DE Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa:
“I think the culture is what really puts Notre Dame on top. You come in here and you just have got to leave your own principles at the door. What you have got to understand is Notre Dame has tradition and culture that's built, that you have to take in and understand that's what makes Notre Dame successful, is there's a culture here built upon trust, upon love, and above all, about the brotherhood. You will hear us talk about the brotherhood day in and day out because that's truly what it's about. It's about playing the sport that we love for your brothers, and it's all about the team. That's really what it is.” 

Notre Dame DE Isaiah Foskey:
“​​​​​​​This is a game with just new beginnings, beginning the Coach [Marcus] Freeman era. As everyone knows, our new head coach is Coach Freeman. It just brings more of a hype to this game. This is one of Coach Freeman's first game, New Year's Six bowl game. It's just a great atmosphere. We're coming into this game to win the game.”

Notre Dame HC Marcus Freeman:
“​​​​​​​My challenge to our group is we have to match the intensity and the physicality this group (Oklahoma State) plays with. And that's something I always prided myself on as a defensive coordinator. We're going to be tough, we're going to be physical, and we're going to play hard. Then you turn on the film and you watch this offense and their defense especially play extremely hard and extremely physical, and it's a challenge. The ability to match that intensity and physicality and how hard we play will be a huge challenge. But I think our group is up to it. And that's what we're going to have to do if we want to have success tomorrow.”


For Your Nerves 

TEAM STATS Oklahoma State Notre Dame
Points Per Game 30.6 35.3
Points Allowed Per Game 16.8 18.3
Total Yards 402.9 415.8
Yards Passing 221.2 263.6
Yards Rushing 181.8 152.3
Yards Allowed 273.6 339.8
Pass Yards Allowed 184.4 212.0
Rush Yards Allowed  89.2 127.8

Game Thread | Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State

77,672 Views | 1317 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by hunt4g
ndsean44
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Horrid defense is horrid.
Rwolf101
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ND defense is absolutely gassed.
irishfan32489
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Just lack of speed in the back half of defense.
bmhend54
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Basic screen game cmon adjust elston
SWANSEA
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MattPaulND said:

LADomer said:

MattPaulND said:

Lenzy gets tackled by a soft breeze.
TBH I think this turf is crappy...Dudes are slipping all over
He isn't slipping he just gets tripped up.
bodycount32
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Bauers to slow to spy the qb
usma95
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We have no answer on either side of the ball. Very sad.
ndSlaw
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Fugly to watch
fenixc
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This defense is dog ****
MattPaulND
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Tackle.
irishdane20
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Cassin said:

Are we losing?


We're not winning, & all the momentum's wearing orange & black.
CelticIrish
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Get Bertrand off the field
Joe1976
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this is a joke....
Joe
ndsean44
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21 point lead blown.
MAS
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Need better athletes at LB by a lot
DarthFader
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Man this defense is just putrid as is the coaching
irishfan32489
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Tackling is abysmal
irishtank6900
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The talent on defense is not there
bmhend54
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Bertrand is flat awful today
sulli1697
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Wt ever loving F are they doing
Joe1976
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what a collapse...
Joe
bombbomb
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ND looks exhausted.
usma95
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Most disappointed right now in the DL. No pressure. We got one sack. We look tired and slow.
CelticIrish
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It's not like their offense is anything special either
rmirish
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What happened to our D? To be up 28-7 and now this is embarrassing. So much for the Freeman era.
Sgt Hulka
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Can they keep this ***** in the pocket? Can they get off an effing block?

This is bull****
nc2022
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If this was an Elston audition...it's not going well
Ethereum21
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Bertrand with the TD for the Cowboys.
Alaskan
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Bertrand is not able to play at this level.
mattfreeman
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Staff
Spencer Sanders hits Tay Martin for their 3rd touchdown of the game.

Irish defense not getting pressure or tackling well at the moment.

Notre Dame 28
Oklahoma State 28

2:47 | 3Q

10 plays, 89 yards in 2:22
irishfan32489
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Just lack of playmakers.
Frankbuz
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Does this feel like the FSU game all over again?
phm195
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irishtank6900 said:

The talent on defense is not there


Exactly I think we expect a little too much from them. This defense was not holding Oklahoma state to just one touchdown :/
sulli1697
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I wonder if Rees can figure anything out!
Sec26Row30
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To start this new Era.... this could be Tommy's defining moment.
 
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