Everett Golson has been a turnover machine since Notre Dame's win over Syracuse at the Meadowlands.
Sitting here in mid-November, it did not get any better for Golson. It got worse the past two weeks, and it wasn't just Golson committing turnovers the past two weeks. His teammates helped fumble the game away this past Saturday.
There are several areas that can be criticized here.
Brian Kelly's coaching, the defense giving up 30 or more points in the last five games are on the table as well and special teams. Don't get any Irish fan started about Kyle Brindza, Hunter Smith and Malik Zaire. But lets focus on the offense.
The turnovers were damning in the loss to Arizona State.
Golson's five turnovers (four interceptions and one fumble lost) were damning as the Irish got down 34-10 at halftime. Despite a comeback attempt, it was stopped short as Golson's last interception was a pick-six that put the Sun Devils up 48-31.
Saturday's loss to Northwestern is the worst in Brian Kelly's tenure at Notre Dame. His worst game before the lost to the Wildcats came against Tulsa at home in 2010. A week that was darkened by the death of Declan Sullivan.
Kelly's decision-making is on the table in this loss against the Wildcats, but the offensive turnovers were not just coming from Golson.
Of course, Golson throws a terrible pass that is deflected and intercepted, has a third quarter fumble, Justin Brown's fumble at the Northwestern one-yard line took away a possible six points for the Irish, and then after Northwestern was flagged for defensive pass interference with less than two minutes to go, Notre Dame has a chance to escape an upset.
The scenario is set for the Irish to run the ball, kill the clock and get out with a 40-37 win. That was until senior running back Cam McDaniel, who is also a captain, fumbles at the Northwestern 31-yard line on the next play. It gives the Wildcats one last chance to tie it with a field goal.
You know the rest. They tie it, there's overtime, Kyle Brindza misses a field goal for the Irish, and Northwestern kicks a field goal to win. From the first whistle, it spelled disaster for Notre Dame.
The Irish went from winning a horribly-played game, to being upset at home in one, simple play. One that should cement a win for the Irish.
So it wasn't just Golson turning the ball over on Saturday. Now his fellow teammates on the offensive side of the ball are doing it. Turnovers have resulted in two straight losses for Notre Dame. The loss over Northwestern was team effort in the turnover department.
Turnovers (which mainly came from Golson) were not determining outcomes before the Irish played Arizona State. Golson was able to outweigh his bad play with good play against team like Syracuse and North Carolina and he played well in the loss against Florida State. Turnovers finally caught up to Golson in Tempe two weeks ago. The lesson was not learned going into their game against Northwestern. Golson was guilty of two turnovers, but his teammates acquired the bad habit at the worst time and contributed to bring the total to four.
As stated earlier, there are several aspects of Notre Dame's game that can be scrutinized after the loss to Northwestern. The most glimmering problem has buried the Irish. Their playoff hopes were destroyed because of turnovers against Arizona State, and a spot in the Top 25 is gone after their loss to the Wildcats.