Marcus Freeman has led Notre Dame to back-to-back victories since its stunning loss to Stanford earlier this season.

Saturday’s win over No. 16 Syracuse was a clear step in the right direction for a program that has struggled to find its footing so far this year.

Notre Dame’s rushing offense and defense were on full display against the Orange in this contest. But for Freeman, the biggest improvements have come finding a greater “sense of urgency.”

“I think it’s just the urgency we have as a program to improve,” Freeman said in his postgame press conference, via 247Sports. “It’s not stay the course. It’s fix the course, right? And fix the mistakes that we’re seeing in practice and we’re seeing in games. There has to be a sense of urgency from the top down to make sure that we’re correcting everything that we’re seeing on film.

“Any mistakes we’re seeing in practice, we’ve got to correct them and make sure that the players understand the sense of urgency we all have. And so, we’ve got to continue to improve. How do you do that? You look at and you evaluate the film, you find different areas where you’re not executing the way you want, and you attack it in practice. And (you) hope during the game that it’s a reflection of that.”

Notre Dame is now 5-3 on the season and is just one win away from bowl eligibility. Even just two weeks ago, that looked like it might not be a sure thing in Freeman’s first season at the helm.

The Irish have a tough schedule remaining with matchups vs. Clemson and USC still on the docket. However, Notre Dame has proven it can play with elite teams if it plays well.

Notre Dame hosts No. 5 Clemson next Saturday.