Friday, September 11, 2009
My ND opinions
Well since everybody ELSE seems to be previewing the ND game, I might as well have a few bullet points.
Notre Dame's rushing offense is meh. Their offensive line is meh. Their intermediate passing game is meh. Their deep game is HOLYGODWARPDRIVEAWESOME. Since they can only really hurt us one way (the big play), there are two keys to our success defensively. One is that we get pressure on Clausen with our defensive line and via blitzing. Best case scenario is that Brandon Graham eats Clausen. Realistically we didn't get a stellar amount of penetration against WMU, so I hope that we can improve on that.
The second key to victory is DB play. Floyd and G. Tate are both stellar receivers in the deep game, and have great hands. Even if we cover them well, they may still come down with it, which is why Clausen hucks it up all game. ND got most of their big plays off play action against Nevada (and against us last year), so our safeties must be cognizant of this and STAY HOME. If Obi Ezeh and co can handle Armando Allen and the rest of the intermediate passing game, that will allow our safeties to play back a bit in softer coverage, which may mask our inexperience back there. Expect Clausen to go deep early and often; he throws an absolutely beautiful deep ball. With Tate and Floyd on the receiving end, it behooves them to either try to draw a PI call (Looking at you, Donovan), or to let their 'ceivers do what they do best. Either way, this should be a nice test for our improved D. I have the utmost confidence that with Greg Robinson at the helm, we should be fully prepared for anything that ND will throw at us (pun INtended).
Look for Craig Roh to have another big game covering the second tight end in a 2 TE set and/or rushing the passer. Keep an eye out for Stevie Brown making some big plays as well against the rush and against their big TE Kyle Rudolph.
Though I think the key to our victory against ND lies in how our D plays, if our offense is as explosive as it was in the first half of the WMU game, we should be in good shape. If it looks like it did in the second half against WMU, we're in trouble. Then again, Coner was playing in the second half and we closed up the playbook, so no big deal. Notre Dame's rush defense was also meh against Nevada, allowing Nevada to gain something like 5 ypc. That's sad, especially against a middling WAC team. As my faithful readers may know (ha!), I want to see more from the RBs in the running game. Hopefully we'll pound it a bit more this week. Hemingway being out maybe means Mathews is the #1 receiver, maybe we'll see some of Roy Roundtree (oh please, oh please, oh please)? Eh, maybe not, but a guy can dream, can't he?! Maybe Stonum will spontaneously play up to his potential? Doubtful. It will be interesting to see who Tate goes for deep in this game (please not James Rogers).
Look for Denard to leave a vapor trail. Look for Minor to smash somebody, then get injured if he indeed plays. Look for my favorite running back Mike Shaw to rush for 1,000,000 yards!
Further proof that Charlie Weis is an arrogant asshole: when asked in his press conference about opposing QB Tate Forcier he said "It was interesting -- I haven't thought about him for a while." You haven't thought about the QB you're about to face in awhile!? Is Tate not a freshman sensation, or are all the pundits wrong? I want Tate to throw for 300 yards again to give Charlie Cheeseburger something to chew on that's not pork gristle. One thing is for sure, he'll keep a little further away from the sideline this year, lest those knees begin to ache. Maybe he'll just stay on the golf cart that takes him from the tunnel to the sideline. He then goes on to talk about how they looked at Tate for recruiting, but Tate was simply not the right fit at Notre Dame, for "what we do", which apparently is getting beaten by a bottom-dwelling Big East team. Oh, I burn with rage.
BEAT THE FAT MAN. BEAT THE IRISH. GO BLUE!