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Utah loss adds a new dimension to Saturday’s game

Nov 8, 2010, 2:22 PM EDT

Heading into the bye week, Notre Dame took a few extra days to prepare for Utah, the highest-ranked team on a Notre Dame schedule since the Irish faced Pete Carroll’s 2008 USC Trojans, who were also ranked fifth in the country when they destroyed the Irish 38-3.

But Kyle Whittingham’s Utes got exposed in their match-up with the third-rated TCU Horned Frogs, getting absolutely destroyed 47-7, with TCU sprinting to a 20-0 lead after one quarter and a 40-0 fourth quarter lead, shocking the home crowd and the college football world with the surgical destruction of a Utah team that always seems to fare well in the big games. Maybe the best thing to happen to the Utes Saturday afternoon was the embarrassing lack of television coverage, with a lot of the country unable to even find the game on television.

It’s not hard to do the simple math. Notre Dame needs a win over either Utah or USC, along with a victory over Army in Yankee Stadium, to qualify for a bowl game. Thanks to TCU’s resounding win over Utah, Irish fans have to be feeling at least a little bit better about their chances than they did just 48 hours ago.

This week, we’ll try to figure out who this Utah team is. Are they the squad that had fought its way into a top five ranking or is it the squad that beat up on an absolute cream-puff schedule and finally ran into a team it couldn’t bowl over?

As we pointed out earlier, the Irish certainly won’t be walking into Saturday’s game with all hands on deck, and freshman quarterback Tommy Rees will be facing a much better defense than the one he faced against Tulsa. Still, this is the kind of game that Notre Dame brought Brian Kelly in to win. After watching Utah on Saturday, the Irish have to at least feel better about their chances.

Onward to Utah…

  1. tlndma - Nov 8, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    I think we Irish fans might have a bit more confidence if we hadn’t witnessed the last two games and the last two Novembers. Personally I’ve lowered my expectations. I still think Kelly is the man to do the job but, I think the job is bigger than I thought. Add in all the injuries and keeping the score close should be all we can hope for. At least until kickoff.

  2. brendanunderscoreg - Nov 8, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    this news actually makes me feel worse. before the loss i had hoped utah would come into the game a little cocky. don’t think that will happen now.

  3. 9irish - Nov 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    You must be kidding….you never want to be on your heels and go in to face a previously undefeated team that just got humilitated. If the Irish win this game, that will be a true test of their character. Don’t forget, Urban Meyer (former ND WR coach, by the way) INVENTED Utah. They were completely off the map before.

    • domer77 - Nov 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM

      Really? Urban Meyer once coached at ND? Whatever happened to him? Is he still in the profession? 9Irish, you are indeed a source of all knowledge. Keep it flowing.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Nov 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

        Such unwarranted sarcasm from someone I can only assume is a person pretending like they are an ND alumn by using the screen name “domer” is not needed on a message board. 9irisih doesn’t deserve your meaningless banter anymore than the button down collared shirts he undoubtedly wears while “running.”

        So in the true spirit of ND and of an ND grad, please refer to my screen name…

  4. jennifer419 - Nov 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    A long time ago I made a promise to hold off judgment of Coach Kelly until after the bye-week, (tough to do after the last call of the last game.) I’m rooting hard for him and this team.

    Keith- must admit I had to re-read the redshirt article a few times to absorb all the info. Really good stuff, and much appreciated…

  5. jimbasil - Nov 9, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    I think ND fans underestimate how good TCU really is. ND will have to show up and be spectacular to beat this Utah Utes team. This should be a blowout by the Utes. If ND scores more than 17 I’d be surprised. Even 17 would be much. If the Utes don’t put more than 35 on ND I’d be surprised.

    • txbeej - Nov 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

      Agreed completely.

  6. jerseyshorendfan1 - Nov 10, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    This Saturday should be an ugly game for the Irish, especially if the team has mentally given up and already written off this season.

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