Notre Dame football: Players to watch vs. Louisville

Notre Dame football

Notre Dame football is back again this weekend with a visit from the Louisville Cardinals. After a not so smooth win against Florida State, it is time the Irish begin to view every game as an opportunity to display their finest talents. Notre Dame moved up in the AP Top 25 once again, grabbing the fourth spot this week. While the Irish have only moved up in the rankings, they need to start dominating teams that are either not ranked or generally a weak football program. When the Big Ten and Pac 12 start to play later this month, the Irish are going to have even more competition when it comes to maintaining a spot in the poll.

The Cardinals

Taking a quick look at the upcoming competition, Louisville football does not present strong threat to the Irish. Currently holding a record of 1-3, the Cardinals are not off to a great start. Their defense has a lot of work to do and the offense lacks consistency. Quarterback Malik Cunningham seemed to have a great start in the beginning of the season but has flown off the radar in recent games. Consistent overthrown passes and the lack of accuracy with receivers has been the most notable regressions for Cunningham. If Louisville continues to play the way it has been the last two games, the Irish should have no problem securing a victory.

Kevin Austin vs. Javon McKinley

Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Austin has recently been cleared to play again after dealing with a broken foot and undergoing surgery in late July. It was unknown at the start of the season whether Austin would be back, but this recent news should be exciting for Notre Dame football. As well as bringing great talent to the field, Austin enters a competitive show that will be entertaining for many Irish fans to watch.

Austin’s competitor, Javon McKinley, has stepped up and performed well while Austin was out. Against Florida State, McKinley worked well with Ian Book, finishing with 107 yards on five catches. Because McKinley is playing well at the moment, it is going to be fun to watch Austin try and compete for the top wide receiver position.

Kyren Williams

Kyren Williams has been explosive for the Irish. He rushed two touchdowns against FSU and rushed 185 yards overall. He has the speed and endurance to evolve into an incredible running back. Notre Dame fans are going to want to continue to watch Williams grow over the remainder of the season. As a sophomore, this is his time to make his mark on the field and help the Irish continue towards a playoff spot.

Kyle Hamilton

Safety Kyle Hamilton returned to the field against FSU and offered promising talent. Coming off an ankle sprain, it was expected it would take a while to adjust to action on the field. Nonetheless, Hamilton put great pressure on Jordan Travis and showed ability to lock down when the Irish needed to stop the offense. His size allows him to complete tackles and he also has a great eye on the field. Irish fans should be sure to watch his performance on Saturday against the Cardinals, as well as the rest of the season.

This game is important for the Irish. At this point Notre Dame should see every game as an audition for the college playoffs.

Photo by Notre Dame Athletics | The Observer