There’s still plenty left to talk about after the thrilling victory over Purdue Saturday night. Yet I don’t want to get too bogged down looking in the rear-view mirror when Notre Dame faces their stiffest test of the year on Saturday when the Washington Huskies come to South Bend.
Before we turn the page though, here are a few leftovers that I found interesting from the weekend that was.
* Weis admitted to adjusting his two-minute offense, making sure Jimmy Clausen was throwing to a veteran in the clutch moment as opposed to a freshman.
“In the last couple weeks we’ve thrown the ball to Shaq on the sideline, we’ve thrown the ball to Goody
on the sideline, and we got into two minute in this situation. We were
concerned with the same thing that anyone else would be concerned with,
that if you had a nuance throw, a nuance throw, not a speed throw or
route, because we have total confidence in those other guys, we wanted
to go with a burly veteran in that situation. So that’s why he was in
there and it ended up paying off.”
I harped on this subject after both the Michigan and Michigan State games, and I’m glad Weis made the adjustment. I’m confident that Shaq Evans and John Goodman will have nice careers at Notre Dame, but if I’m throwing a 15-yard comeback when the pressure is on, I don’t want a guy who is still getting a feel for college football getting that throw. Robby Parris is a total gamer, and he’s a guy that may not wow you with his raw skills, but certainly makes you admire him with his moxie.
* Weis also hinted that we might be seeing a lot more Manti Te’o.
“I think one thing we need to do both in practice and in games is
just play him more. The only thing, when you have a young linebacker
you’ll go through some growing pains, but I think that you’ll see him
just playing more. We talked about that today. I think as the year goes
on, you’ll see his playing time just increase more and more.”
To me, this is also an admission that the defense will be playing more Cover 2 in the coming weeks, which should help against a mobile quarterback like Jake Locker. I think it also means that coaches Tenuta and Brown will have to figure out what they can use Toryan Smith for, whose forte is stopping the run, and not pass coverage or blitzing.
* The Irish dodged a bullet. While Notre Dame would never admit it, I think there was plenty of strategy involved in trying to get through this game and let some key guys keep getting healthy. The bye week is just around the corner, and you’ve got to think that the coaching staff thought it had a chance to still win the game and let Armando Allen and Jimmy heal, resting Armando all together and use Jimmy only when needed. While there are plenty of fans who are upset with the nature of the victory, let me invoke the words of Colorado coach Dan Hawkins.
“This is D-1 football!”