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The talented Mr. Tate

Oct 7, 2009, 2:00 PM EDT

Much has already been said about Golden Tate’s miraculous game against Washington. Tate’s 244 receiving yards were the most of any receiver in college football this season, and he added 31 yards on a reverse handoff from Armando Allen to boot. Tate’s rise to lead the football team in the absence of Michael Floyd has been one of the great successes of the year so far.

Yet the way Charlie Weis incorporated Tate into the game plan was a story in and of itself. Weis befuddled the Washington coaching staff by lining Tate up all over the field. When asked why Tate was getting so open against the Husky defense, head coach Steve Sarkisian was candid.

“I think he’s a really good played, one; and they do a nice job with their scheme of moving him around to put him in spots. he does not line up to in one spot on the field. He’s all over the place — he’s in the backfield, he’s in the slot, he’s at wide receiver.

“Then I thought the second thing that played a big factor is the quarterback did a good job of buying time, and so there was designed routes for him, but then his football savvy kicked in, and then Golden Tate is wandering across the field and now coverages break down, ad when you buy that much time and a guy is back there for five, six, seven seconds, that’s how people get open.”

Take a look at the clips our video department put together of Tate in action last Saturday. Weis’ ability to scheme against  the Husky defense was evident by his creative use of Golden, lining him up as the X receiver, at halfback, and as a fullback that motions out of the backfield. Weis has been open about his concern that teams will roll coverage over the top of Tate, but with Golden lining up in so many different places, it makes it incredibly tough for a a defensive to focus on the talented athlete.

Washington’s apparent fear of the deep ball worked in the Irish’s favor. With defensive coordinator Nick Holt unwilling to give up any long balls, it was the first time in recent memory that Jimmy Clausen didn’t attempt a deep strike down the field. Instead, Weis exploited the stretched out UW secondary, and with the offensive line giving Clausen all the time he needed, Jimmy was able to pick up huge gainers on digs and crossing routes across the middle of the field.

Last week during one of Weis’ sessions with the press, a reporter questioned why the Irish hadn’t attempted to attack the middle of the field more. Weis said the plays Notre Dame ran were a response to what defenses have done to attack his offense. After watching Saturday’s game, it’s clear that Weis saw something in the Husky defensive construct that had him confident in their middle of the field passing attack.

We’ll find out next Saturday if Weis and the Irish have the same success against a defense that runs the same scheme, but with a different caliber of players.

(Special thanks to Matt Casey for the video work.)

  1. Kevin Simpson - Oct 10, 2009 at 4:16 AM

    We will beat USC. We need all of Irish Nation to stand next Saturday and cheer as loud as they can. The players will hear you and we will celebrate all around the world. I feel honored to say Im a Notre Dame Fan. When we take the field vs USC the trojans will feel like they are playing against 11 million. Go Irish!!!

  2. robertg - Oct 11, 2009 at 6:24 AM

    1.a notre dame team with a lot of talent at many positions, little at other positions,and zerodepth of talent defeated the 2005 trojans in south bend only to have the victory stolen from them by as crooked all pac 10 ref crew who failed to call 5 blatant usc penalties, including the bush push at the end of the game and added more time to the gameclock after time had expired to make certain that usc’s self proclaimed greatest college football team of all time could steal notre dame’s win.
    2. there was no tech review crew at the 2005 game because pete carroll, for obviousreasons, declined to elect to have a tech review crew, which would have come from the big 10 conference in 2005 in a season before the big 10 conference refs and tech reviewers actually had their crooked officiating scams going.
    3. we have every confidence in charlie and his staff and notre dame’s 2009 student athletes who have equal or more talent at every position and real depth of talent against a usc team with a fine defense, but a completely one dimensional offense(running only) and were already beaten by washington, the only team that usc has faced this season with both a running and passing offense.
    4. however, any real notre dame fans will be writing immediately to larry scott, the new and honest pac 10 commissioner,and to the 2 crooks who run football officiating at the pac 10, jim muldoon and dave cutaia.
    5. for this 2009 notre dame/usc game, the pac 10 conference will be providing the game refs and the big east conference the tech review crew.
    6. the big east conference does also have a history of corrupt officiating. you can find the names and addresses of the new big east commisioner and the big east conference officials in charge of football officiating at the big east website.
    7. anyone who wants to spend a few bucks at intelius. com can find the home adresses of each individual participating in the process of choosing the refs and tech reviewers for the 2009 notre dame/usc game.
    8. honest officiating crews do not guarantee a win for notre dame over usc.
    9. however, the more pressure that notre dame fans put on the key individuals at the pac 10 conference and the big east conference, the lilkelihood a a win earned on the field by notre dame in being stolen again will greatly diminish.
    10. as always, my friends and i will be doing our parts to bring economic pressure to bear in all of the right places.
    11. in case anyone missed the results of the game, washington made a huge comeback against arizona on saturaday and won and washington is in the thick of the pac 10 title race, holding the tiebreaker over usc.
    GO IRISH!!!

  3. Chuckie - Oct 11, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    If Golden Tate continues going at the rate he’s going, he should be solidly in the Heisman conversation!

  4. BFoos - Oct 12, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Robertg, you’re posts crack me up!! But anyone who watched the Michigan has to wonder just a little bit about the refs, I’ve never seen a game officiated that poorly. The Irish will finally get their signature win Saturday!! Then lookout for the BC spoilers right after SC, whoever scheduled BC right after SC clearly ignored our history with BC. Remember ’93??? That’s not the team you want to play after a huge emotional win. Go Irish!!!

  5. May Ronson - Feb 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    I saw a similar post on another web page not too long ago but didn’t really understand it. After reading your post I kind of see what they meant.

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