Notre Dame fans were in heaven watching the Irish in the first half of the Fiesta Bowl. Then Marcus Freeman’s debut was spoiled by a second-half collapse.
Life comes at you fast. Marcus Freeman can attest to that.
One day, you’re an up-and-coming defensive coordinator. The next day you’re the head coach of one of the blue blood programs in college football.
One quarter, you have a 21-point lead in the Fiesta Bowl. The next, you’ve blown it and fall to Oklahoma State 37-35.
Freeman was taught a harsh lesson to start 2022, but Notre Dame fans seemed willing to let him work through some growing pains.
Notre Dame football fans react to Marcus Freeman’s debut
The most concerning thing about Notre Dame’s performance was giving up 605 yards including 234 yards on the ground. Since Freeman was the defensive coordinator, he has to own that performance.
Still, bowl games are never a perfect gauge of the direction of a program, especially after a coaching change.
Irish fans will have a better idea about the coach tapped to lead their team once he has an offseason to sort out his approach.
He won’t have to wait long for the next big test. Notre Dame will open the 2022 season on the road against Ohio State.
Fans should extend him patience in his first season but the clock is going to have to start ticking sooner than later.