Blue/Gold Spring game
Blue and Gold Review
There was a palpable sense of excitement in the air as the 2022 Irish football team took the field this past Saturday for the annual Blue and Gold Spring Game! Ever since Marcus Freeman was named the head coach for the Notre Dame Football Team, fans have been waiting to see this newest edition of Irish football. By the looks of the stands, this spring game appeared to be one of the most highly attended in recent history. How different would a Coach Freeman team look in comparison to the Kelly years?
There were quite a few things Irish fans were hoping to see on Saturday, most notably, the quarterback competition between Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne. During the spring practices that we were able to observe and review, both quarterbacks played well. The chemistry between the quarterbacks and their receivers was definitely there. When interviewed, the players emphasized that they had trust in both Buchner and Pyne. Whichever quarterback was behind center, they said, they knew would bring about a successful season for the team. However, during the draft on Wednesday, quarterback Tyler Buchner walked in with a brace on his ankle. Coach Freeman announced during his press conference that Buchner had suffered a non-football related ankle sprain. On Tuesday night, after a meeting of the quarterbacks, Buchner tripped on the stairs and sprained his right ankle. It’s believed that if it was during the season, and Buchner had been named the starter, he would have played, but why risk worsening the injury just for the spring game? It was decided that Drew Pyne would play for both the Blue and Gold squads during the first half of the game.
As expected, once the game started, Drew Pyne did play for both the Blue and Gold squads. As the quarterback for the Gold Squad, Pyne threw for a total of 129 yards on 23 attempts. He had 13 completions, along with 2 interceptions. He was also sacked once and had no touchdowns. As the Blue Squad quarterback, Pyne had 10 attempts with 9 completions for a total of 56 yards and one touchdown.
The surprise performance of the day was from freshman, Steve Angeli as the Gold squad quarterback. While he also played quarterback along with Pyne and Ron Powlus III for the Blue squad, it was his rushing touchdown at the end of the game that resulted in the Gold squad victory of 13-10 as the clock ticked down to zero!
It remains to be seen who will be behind center as the Irish head into Columbus, Ohio on Labor Day weekend to take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State to kick off the 2022 ND Football Season.
There were some unexpected bright spots that were seen during the Blue and Gold Game:
Freshman RB, Jadarian Price showed that he is destined to be a bright spot for the Fighting Irish this fall. He had a total of 12 rushing yards, and 104 receiving yards, and one touchdown for the Gold team. Senior WR, Conor Ratigan had a total of 71 receiving yards. Veteran WR, Braden Lenzy had one rush for 11 yards, and a total of 33 receiving yards. Finally, Sophomore RB, Audric Estime averaged 2.5 yards per carry with a net 59 yards rushing, with his longest carry going for 25 yards.
A truly amazing event that occurred on Saturday was that almost 300 former players attended the game. These men were invited back to campus, along with many others, by Head Coach Marcus Freeman, in a celebration organized by former Irish OL and current Director of Player Development, Hunter Bivin. Coach Freeman has been extremely vocal about former players coming back to be around the team and the football program, saying “They come back because they love this place. That is powerful. I want them back at their home. They built this place.” We can only look forward to even more players coming back “home” to the Golden Dome during the Freeman Era!