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Opposition round-up: Week two

Sep 10, 2012, 5:13 PM EDT

Le'Veon Bell

Let’s take a stroll across the Irish schedule and see how their past and future opponents did in week two.

NAVY — The Midshipmen had a week off before they head to Happy Valley this weekend to take on an 0-2 Penn State squad. Traditionally, this looked like one of those games that the Nittany Lions used to pencil in as an easy W against a scrappy opponent. But after watching PSU these first two weeks, who knows what’ll happen.

Trending: Constant. It’s hard to take a step forward or backwards on a bye week.

No. 10 MICHIGAN STATE — After winning a tight one over a rebuild Boise State squad, Michigan State racked up almost 500 yards of offense beating Central Michigan. A week after Le’Veon Bell threw himself into the Heisman race, he only managed to run for 70 yards on 18 carries, though he did chip in two touchdown runs. Andrew Maxwell completed 20 of 31 passes against the Chippewas, throwing for 275 and two touchdowns. William Gholston led the defense with a sack and two TFLs.

Trending: Holding steady. On paper, the Spartans took care of business, holding another opponent without an offensive touchdown.

No. 17 MICHIGAN — The Wolverines rode quarterback Denard Robinson to victory, with the senior throwing for 208 yards and running for 218 as Michigan escaped a very game Air Force team that ran for 290 yards. After returning from suspension, Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for only seven yards on eight carries as Robinson accounted for 426 yards, a telling statistical anomaly when you consider the Wolverines finished the game with 422 total yards of offense. Devin Funchess had 106 yards receiving on four catches.

Trending: Leveling out. It would’ve been panic in the Big House if the Wolverines’ defense didn’t stop Air Force’s 4th down attempt late in the fourth quarter.

MIAMI — Any forward momentum the Hurricanes had came crashing to a halt, as they were dismantled by No. 21 Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday. The Miami ground game stalled out, with the ‘Canes averaging 1.4 yards a carry. The defense was no better, giving up 288 yards on the ground. Throw in three turnovers and it was a huge step backwards for Al Golden’s team.

Trending: Way down. The Canes need to get their mojo back against Bethune-Cookman before going into a six game stretch that includes Georgia Tech, NC State, Notre Dame, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

No. 21 STANFORD — Any worries that the Stanford Cardinal had fallen off a cliff were allayed on Saturday as David Shaw’s squad rolled over Duke, a team some pundits thought could spring an upset. Not with four turnovers though, as the Cardinal capitalized as Josh Nunes completed 16 of 30 throws for 275 and three touchdowns. Stephon Taylor managed 69 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown, but Stanford didn’t break the 100 yard mark as a team, and lost the time of possession battle to Duke.

Trending: A step forward, though we’ll know much more about the Cardinal after No. 2 USC comes to Palo Alto this weekend.

No. 25 BYU — The Cougars feasted on a cupcake this weekend, cruising past Weber State 45-13. Riley Nelson threw for 244 yards in only one half of action before turning over the keys to the car with a 21-o halftime lead. Cody Hoffman had 7 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown and BYU racked up 532 yards of offense as they dominated.

Trending: Holding steady. Tough to give too much credit after a win like that. We’ll know more about BYU in the next few weeks.

No. 5 OKLAHOMA — After struggling with UTEP last weekend, the Sooners ran it up against Florida A&M, getting their money’s worth against a mediocre opponent. Landry Jones threw for two touchdowns (with one INT) and 252 yards and the Sooners’ ground game got on track, running for 349 yards on 41 carries. Junior Damien Williams put up 156 yards on just ten carries and scored four touchdowns in his Owen Field debut. Kenny Stills had 10 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Trending: Resting on their laurels until a showdown with No. 15 Kansas State this weekend. Bill Snyder’s Wildcats will give the Sooners a test.

PITTSBURGH — The Paul Chryst era has gotten off to a nightmarish start with the Panthers getting whipped again, this time at the hands of Cincinnati. Pitt’s defense gave up 464 yards to Munchie Legaux and company, and while Ray Graham ran for 103 yards and Tino Sunseri threw for 278, Pitt fell behind 17-0 at half and never recovered.

Trending: It’s looking more and more like it’s going to be a very long season for Pitt.

BOSTON COLLEGE — It took a while for the Eagles to get started against Maine, trailing 3-0 until the middle of the second quarter. But Chase Rettig picked up the sputtering BC offense, throwing for three touchdowns as the Eagles topped their hockey rivals 34-3.

Trending: Tough to gather too much from a win over Maine, but we’ll see where Frank Spaziani’s squad is this Saturday when they take on Northwestern.

WAKE FOREST — After squeaking by Liberty, Jim Grobe’s troops got a huge ACC victory, knocking off North Carolina 28-27 on a late QB sneak by Tanner Price. Price threw for 327 yards as the Wake running game was stuck in neutral, as Price teamed with Michael Campanaro for a career game, his 13 catches for 164 yards leading the Demon Deacons.

Trending: Arrow up. Huge victory for Grobe’s team, who looked mighty shaky in the opener but picked up a second win.

No. 2 USC — Matt Barkley’s Heisman campaign is off to a good start, with the senior quarterback throwing six touchdowns against Syracuse in the Trojans’ 42-29 victory. Barkley may have only thrown for 187 yards, but he set a career-high in TD passes while Marquise Lee caught three and Robert Woods caught two. Woods also sprinted 76 yards on his only carry while Silas Redd ran for over 100 yards on 15 carries. Syracuse actually outgained USC 455-445 and outscored the Trojans in the third quarter, but USC’s firepower was just too much.

Trending: The Trojans’ look the part, putting up prolific numbers with the three-headed monster of Barkley, Lee, and Woods. But the Trojans committed 12 penalties and gave up 10.7 yards a completion, exposing a few potential weaknesses.



  1. pubeman - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    While still daunting, ND’s schedule doesn’t look as apocalyptic as it did two weeks ago. I also think the game at Michigan State is the 2nd toughest on the schedule; a win on Saturday could launch the Irish to a 10 or 11 win season (and likely a BCS bowl).

    • don74 - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      only if it’s pretty

    • gtizzo - Sep 10, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Dreadful screen name “Pubeman” come on have some self respect.

  2. dudeacow - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Navy- They will have a good passing attack, and probably a winning season.

    Purdue- Underrated team, probably going to be ranked at one point in the year.

    Michigan State- Maybe Bell had a fluke game, maybe he didn’t. Either way, we can win this one is a) we effectively stop the run like last year, and b) capitalize on Maxwell’s mistakes.

    Michigan- An overrated team, but Robinson is still really good. Need to contain him to have any chance.

    Miami- Everyone was predicting upset in their game vs. KSU, but I knew they would get creamed. Easy game.

    Stanford- Capitalize on mistakes, stop the run game, contain Skov, and victory awaits the Irish.

    BYU- Good team in perfect position to upset ND. I actually don’t see us winning this game, but to do so, we have to cover Cody Hoffman and not get suffocated by their defense.

    Oklahoma- CBs need to step up, Tuitt needs to continue to be a beast, and maybe a little luck can help against this tough game in Norman.

    Pitt- Our easiest game. Pitt is terrible this year.

    BC- Bad team and ND should win, but then again, it is BC.

    Wake Forest- I would say this is a trap game, but it’s not. ND should win easily.

    USC- Beatable, but maybe only by Oregon. Need a relentless pass rush, good- no, great- CB play and our offense needs to play well too.

  3. nudeman - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Re: Purdue, one thing that not many have said is they were a pretty good looking team
    This wasn’t your daddy’s Purdue; fairly solid for a change
    ND played good football and couldn’t shake them. I could see them winning 8 or 9 games
    So maybe we shouldn’t be bitching so much about a closer than expected win

    • whodabigdog - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      nudedude dont forget tommie DID lead us to the winning points and Goody DID make a great catch

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Correct. He did and deserves credit
        But it scares me that there has now been a precedent set in Kelly’s head
        If he thinks Rees is going to go be his closer every time there’s a tight moment, then we’ve got a MASSIVE house of cards

      • irishpuma - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        He was really just reading defenses and throwing to spots…some total lobs…and he almost got picked if the db had hands. On top of that he did not get them in the endzone and we all know leaving a win up to a ND kicker is a dicey proposition.

        Now after hearing Golson was not really hurt I think it was a horrible move. I would have afforded Golson the chance to win the game. Even if we did not get the win I think it would have been better than trading a win and possibly killing the stability of the team. But thats just me. Now we have a QB controversy, a young kid who is probably mad, has shaken confidence, team unrest and more ND or should I say Brian Kelly drama.

        My opinion if he lets Golson throw without consequence like he did Rees we get even better results. Golson is afraid to make a move for fear of the wrath of Kelly.

    • 1historian - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      who’s bitching? This is a young team and a tough team that had lots of guys step up Saturday when the injuries started piling up, indicating that BK has more and more of his guys in there, which brings back his remark from last season. This in turn should help in recruiting.
      Let me say once more and then no more (quoth the raven) that this was the kind of game they would have lost last year and the year before wouldn’t even have been in.

      Slow, steady pace.

  4. gtizzo - Sep 10, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    I like the opponent updates. One small problem no team can trend up after beating Duke. During Basketball season that would be true…not during football.

  5. NotreDan - Sep 10, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Agree nude about Purdue, I think they were tough. Half of the CFB world had then upsetting ND.

    As for MSU and UM. Both highly beatable and I think we match up great.

    Keith this weekly feature is pure genius.

    Note we picked up another ranked opponent with BYU jumping. I put our schedule as most difficult in college.

    Re: TR… I was terrified. Sure glad it worked out. I do think Golson was looking winded if not banged up and a little overwhelmed. My gut is to stick with BK here. I know he knows more/better than I do.

    • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      See my post above. Rees deserves credit
      But the precedent that’s now been set is a recipe for disaster.

      • NotreDan - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        nude I don’t disagree, and it belongs in the “if/then” category until we see if there is a pattern.

      • irishpuma - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        And also in a game like that how do you not get George Atkinson III the ball???????? Kelly said he needs to work on that!!!! Ya think?? I think he literally loses his mind once the game starts.

  6. glowplugv - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Thanks Keith for another great summary. This coming week is big for ND and to find out how our schedule really shapes up.

  7. seadomer - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Agree with everyone’s assessment of Purdue, if they ended up ranking in the Top 25, our schedule with include 7 ranked opponents with no official cupcakes … sorry Pitt

  8. ndfanwabashman - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    For Notre Dame and just about every other opponent, there are a lot of question marks. About the only team we know something about is Pitt. And I’m sure that team wishes we all didn’t know what we know.

    I hope Pitt never wins again and Mark May picks against ND each week.

  9. loadofwash - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Trending; ND still sucks. Just move this joke of a university to Mexico or Europe. You can’t ever compete in or out of the classroom anymore.

    • gtizzo - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      You don’t have anything better to do? Your on an ND blog and bashing ND do you need a friend? I love ND hatters you keep ND more relevant then the people who love ND.

  10. jerseyshorendfan1 - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    I’m not so worried about Stanford anymore and I think we have a chance to slay the USC dragon if ‘Cuse can outgain them. That game promises to be a shootout….last team with the ball wins. I’m now concerned with BYU and Wake, believe it or not. I have a feeling we pummel both of the Michigan twins this year. Keith, I’m confused though. How could DRob account for 426 yards and their total offensive output was 422? Did I read that wrong?

  11. loadofwash - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    ND should start a conference with BC, vandy and duke. No that wouldn’t work ND can’t qualify academic

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      looks like you were trying to say “…can’t qualify academically.” it’s an adverb. adverbs modify verbs. adjectives modify nouns.

      don’t worry, these things are tricky. keep at it and soon you’ll be ready for prepositions and gerunds.

      make sure to log off of your dad’s computer when you’re finished.

  12. loadofwash - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    ND will most likely loose out. I do not know who is the biggest looser the ND fans drinking the koolaid for a quarter century or NBC for putting that crap on tv before the sec games. Check the ratings, they suck too.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Sep 10, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      Shouldn’t you Penn State boys being at kicking tryouts?

    • dbldmr - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      That would be “lose” not “loose,” and “loser” not “looser.” Your nodding acquaintance with the language takes some of the sting out of your insults. Work harder. C-

      • irishpuma - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        load writes like an USC student, one step below junior college.

  13. idratherbeinsouthbend - Sep 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Here’s your week three menu….fill your plate

    Thursday — Rutgers @ South Florida — 6:30pm on ESPN
    Friday — Washington St. @ UNLV — 8pm on ESPN
    Saturday — Cal @ Ohio State — 11am on ABC
    Saturday — TBD @ — 11am on ESPN
    Saturday — TBD @ — 11am on ESPNU
    Saturday — TBD @ — 11am on ESPN2
    Saturday — Charleston South. @ Illinois — 11am on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Eastern Mich. @ Purdue — 11am on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — West. Mich @ Minnesota — 11am on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — TCU @ Kansas — 11am on FX
    Saturday — Alabama @ Arkansas — 2:30pm on CBS
    Saturday — Navy @ Penn State — 2:30pm on ABC
    Saturday — Virginia @ Georgia Tech — 2:30pm on ESPNU
    Saturday — TBD @ — 2:30pm on ESPN2
    Saturday — Northern Iowa @ Iowa — 2:30pm on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Umass @ Michigan — 2:30pm on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Texas A&M @ SMU — 3:30pm on FoxSportsRegional
    Saturday — Miami (OH) @ Boise St. — 3pm on NBCSN
    Saturday — Portland St. @ Washington — 3pm on FX
    Saturday — Florida @ Tennessee — 5pm on ESPN
    Saturday — Western Kent. @ Kentucky — 6pm on ESPNU
    Saturday — Arizona State @ Missouri — 6pm on ESPN2
    Saturday — North Texas @ Kansas St. — 6pm on FoxSportsRegional
    Saturday — Notre Dame @ Michigan State — 7pm on ABC
    Saturday — Ball State @ Indiana — 7pm on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Utah State @ Wisconsin — 7pm on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Texas @ Ole Miss — 8pm on ESPN
    Saturday — BYU @ Utah — 9pm on ESPN2

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Sep 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      ***ALL TIMES CST

  14. irishdodger - Sep 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    While Purdue’s DL & CBs are impressive, they lack the offense to make a lot of noise. Sure, we hope they surprise the nation, but I’d be impressed if they got 8 regular season wins.

    Navy will struggle to be .500. I think Coach Ken’s days are numbered.

    I think MSU takes us to the woodshed.

    They should beat Michigan….it’s getting ridiculous. They have one freaking player & ND has yet to stop him for 4 quarters.

    USC & OU will embarrass ND.

    7-5 was my pre-season prediction & I’m sticking to it.

    • roughingthecenter - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      Save your season predictions for the NDNation boards. Fans that care, go into every game thinking they are gonna win or at least have a legit shot. If the players had the same attitude as you, your predictions would probably be right, but fortunately the players are gonna play their asses off because they believe they can compete with anyone on their schedule. I bet UL-Monroe players didn’t think they would be taken to the woodshed on Saturday.

      • NotreDan - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        AMEN rough.

  15. jaz1675 - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    For what its worth my nephews team played Corey Robinson’s team last Friday. Here is a write up in the local paper. It sounds like he went off and had a great game!. Although my nephew’s team is not the greatest benchmark. They do have a pretty soild team and constantly make it to the postseason.

    P.S. I have to give a shameless plug for my nephew Zane too, who had 201 rushing yards and 2 tds on the night.

  16. ndgoldandblue - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    It’s kind of funny…the tone of the different blogs. It’s like each blog has it’s own mood, or tone. On some blogs, the posters give us absolutely no chance against Michigan State. On other blogs (like this one, for instance), the posters give us much more than a puncher’s chance. I guess, I don’t know what to think, and I’m curious as to how you guys feel going into this game. I’m looking for honest opinions. Has MSU added more contributing talent to their team this year. As far as I know, they’ve only lost talent that provided significant contributions. So…that should give the Irish the upper hand, correct? Seeming as we beat them last year?

    But, I think our offense was in better shape at this point last year. In the first half of the year, our running game was very, very good, and even though we ran the ball quite well against Navy this year, our performance against Purdue was similar to how it looked at the end of the year (see USC, BC, and Stanford). That would make me think that the Irish aren’t quite as good (offensively) as last year. With key losses on the offense (Floyd and offensive line personnel), maybe ND has regressed. Personally, I think the Irish have improved defensively even though we’re without Lynch, Smith, and Blanton.

    After considering all of those factors, what is your honest gut feeling on how the MSU game will play out this Saturday? If you ask me, the Irish could win close, blow them out, lose close, or get blown out. To paraphrase Fight Club, none of those situations would surprise me.

    • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      1. Last year doesn’t matter. MSU had a poor game against Notre Dame and Notre Dame fought hard for pride after a dispiriting loss against Michigan. MSU hasn’t lost a home game in a VERY long time and earned their top-10 ranking.

      2. I think the ND O-line got full of themselves after their dominant performance against Navy. They then got smacked in the mouth by a very talented, motivated, and underrated Purdue defense. Their scheme and physicality kept ND on their heels (and backs) the entire game. I expect a pride rebound from the ND O-line this week. They are the tightest group Notre Dame has had in a generation.

      3. Golson will continue to improve. I don’t think he’ll melt under the lights and crown noise of MSU.

      4. I think we get most of our guys back from injury, but my guess is that Kelly sugar-coated the situation a bit in his press conference. I don’t know how bad Daniels’ ankle sprain is and the KLM calf injury sounds mysterious/suspicious to me.

      5. It will be good to get C Wood back. He will be motivated for redemption following his time in the woodshed.

      I think it will be a very physical, hard-fought, and close game. ND will step up and win by 3 due over an excellent MSU team.

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        Here’s the dangerous thing: Kelly got away with the Rees “closer” bullshit
        Now it’s in his head that he can pull Golson any time there’s a hiccup
        Against Purdue it was Tommy for the last drive
        Against MSU, Tommy for the last qtr?
        Against UM, 2nd half?

        There is nothing good about this. BK got his blankie back.
        Don’t expect him to give it up

      • zorichmidriff - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        @ nude: Rees’ tap to run the 2 min drill was the appropriate thing to do in that instance. Kelly knew, or at least had faith, Rees could handle the pressure and get his team into FG range. If he left Golson in there and Golson failed to get his team into FG range, they lose. Team suffers and Golson suffers.

        Kelly’s decision to tap Rees is the same thing as his decision to throw all day on Purdue. It was the appropriate thing to do in that instance. Get over it.

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        I’m not debating the Purdue decision. That’s over and done and it worked
        Let me spell out my concern as clearly as possible:
        There has been the feeling among LOTS of ND fans that Kelly has an unwarranted affinity for Tommy Rees, despite an overwhelming amt of evidence to the contrary that says this kid just can’t play

        What does THIS tell you: He brought Tommy in, and didn’t even have the balls to be candid about his reason and made up a story about Golson being injured

        So as they say, the camel’s nose is now under the tent
        We are going to see MORE of Rees, not less, and it will be increasingly earlier in games
        Might/might not happen this week. But as the season goes on, bet on it

      • zorichmidriff - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        @ nude

        Kelly didn’t “come clean” on why Rees got the nod b/c he was protecting Golson. Come on, nude. This isn’t Freudian analysis.

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        You’re probably right, but my experience as an athlete and as a coach is any player worth a sh** doesn’t respect a coach who lies about an injury to “protect” them.

        If it was me (and I bet Golson felt this way) I’d have been thinking “Man the fu** up and tell the truth”.

        Seriously, why not just say “Because of his experience, Tommy is a little quicker getting plays off and in a 2 min drill with no time outs, that is what we needed”?

        That’s a perfectly reasonable approach that EVEN I would have accepted.
        Instead he manufactures this BS about an injury. In the long run, this won’t help his relationship with Golson or the team.

        But of course his poodle Tommy will be cool with it.

      • irish4006 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        @Nude, Dude (or, Nude), I think Kelly also saw the same heave in double coverage we saw, probably 10-12 times by now, or the throw to Niklas over the top. Niklas could/should have pulled it in, but how can you miss a target that big and throw behind? He brought in Rees only to run the 2 minute drill and he said so as much. Also, I think, the fact that the game was tied and PU was jamming the box were both important factors. I have a feeling that we will see Tommy every now and then (more because AH, unfortunately, reached his not so high ceiling), but I don’t expect this to be a theme…

      • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Nude: there was no closer bullshit. The situation was simple. He needed a score in a two-minute drill with no timeouts.. His talented but inexperienced QB was having increasing trouble reading defenses, getting in plays, making plays and escaping the rush. His last two plays were disasters (sack and fumble) and he got banged up. Things didn’t look good from my vantage point (a few rows behind the ND bench).

        Kelly made a gutsy call. He decided to use the (admittedly limited) capabilities of his much maligned experienced QB to run the offense in this particular circumstance. Kelly would have been crucified had it backfired, but it didn’t.

        What I never hear discussed is this possibility: Kelly DESPERATELY wants Golson to succeed. He needs an athletic QB to run his full offense – one far more gifted than Rees. While secondary to believing that Rees provided the best chance to win in this particular circumstance, I think that another possible motivation was to protect Everett. Golson was not on a trajectory to win that game, and losing it following his sack and fumble that led directly to the tying Purdue score may have been very damaging to his confidence, the team’s confidence in him, and his progression.

        Even absent this motivation, the criticism (especially the crowd boos) are unwarranted. Kelly did the right thing, it was courageous, and it worked.

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        I agree completely with you
        Putting in Rees because it was a 2 minute situat’n w/no timeouts was understandable
        (to the extent it’s EVER understandable to play this guy)


        This is the type of disingenuous comment that Kelly seems prone too, like “my guys” last year
        It does nothing to unify the team or build confidence in Golson
        Maybe this is a tempest in a teapot; maybe his hand really was hurt (Golson says “no”)
        In the long run though, if you want to send a message to a young QB that “You’re our guy”, this was the wrong move

        Honestly, if Tommy Rees could lead them to a FG to win, while floating a couple passes that hovered above ND Stadium like the Hindenburg, do you honestly think Golson couldn’t have done so as well?

        • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM

          The Goodman pass was certainly a floater (describing it generously), but the others were thrown well. The Toma pass, in particular, hit him in stride leading to a big gain the requisite field goal position.

          Maybe Golson could have done this, but he was not trending in that direction. He was banged up from the sack and fumble, but Kelly also said that this wasn’t the only/main reason. He clearly admitted to believing that Tommy was the right guy in this particular situation.

          While Kelly certainly likes Rees – actually everyone on the team does – it is also clear that he believes that Golson is the needed starter and with the biggest upside. There is no doubt in my mind that Kelly wants Everett on the field more than you do.

          However, the decision to put in Rees had nothing to do with Kelly’s fondness for the kid. Rather, it was to win the game and maybe even to protect Golson against the possible alternative.

      • NotreDan - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        As I understood it, Golson DID have an issue and wasn’t gripping the ball properly. What BK said in the presser is that he would have pulled EG even IF he wasn’t having a physical issue.

      • ndfansince69 - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        It isn’t just Kelly making the decision to put Rees in the game. Martin had to have a say in it. Maybe they see something in practice that has them believing Golson isn’t ready for that pressure??
        I, for one, could care less if Rees makes an appearance in every game from here on out. As long as we win and Golson continues to start and log most of the minutes. He will only get better and Rees can continue to grow. (IN TO A QUALITY 2ND/3rd BACKUP) :)

        Go Irish!
        Beat MSU!

        • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM

          It wasn’t anything in practice they saw; it was the series where he was ineffective and the last two plays – sack and fumble – that were disasters. Golson was getting beat up and his effectiveness was in retreat. He wasn’t able to read the defense, Purdue was getting onto him, and we had no time outs. Kelly and Martinput Tommy in there because he was knew how to manage the clock and offense, could read defenses, and was fresh (long time since tackled by a cop).

    • zorichmidriff - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Haven’t seen MSU yet. But if they manage to stuff the run like Purdue did, I don’t see us doing so hot.

      Putting it all on Golson’s shoulders is a bit much two weeks in a row. He’s a decent passer, but he underthrew a lot of receivers, and he’s not the lightning quick scrambler a lot of folks made him out to be in the preseason. We’ve got to find a way to get WOOD, RIDDICK, and GAIII involved. They’ve got to get their yardage. And please, more NIKLAS and EIFERT. I don’t see a D out there that can cover those guys. Just crank out a few running plays and then pound MSU’s D for big gains with seams to NIKLAS/EIFERT.

      Our D looks pretty good, except for those WTF 3rd and 15 plays where the opposition looks like a world beater. Makes me remember how we made Tate FREAKIN Forcier look like Tarkenton out there. Or DRob, pop-fly passer, for that matter.

      More consistency on D. Effective running on O and get it to our TEs and I see us winning this thing. No on one of those? Then we get smacked around all night.

    • NotreDan - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      I’ve seen MSU twice (I live near Lansing and Ann Arbor). They have one outstanding d-lineman. The rest are OK. We can run the ball if we run VERTICAL. Golson’s ability to extend the play will have them on their heels..

      They have NO offense. The big running performance against Boise was a reflection of Boise, not MSU. The new QB is a noodle when you pressure him.

      I am predicting an ND win, by 10 pts.

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        Well, that’s encouraging. O sort of half-watched the Boise game so I’ll take your word for it.
        Many here, when predicting records a few weeks back, automatically chalked this up as a loss, partially because East Lansing is always a tough place to play; partially because MSU was 11-1 last year (right?), and partially because there is not complete faith in this ND team.

        The last comment about lack of faith is not a criticism of anyone. They’ve given us TONS of reasons to doubt them in the last two years. I definitely have my doubts.

        But maybe, just maybe they’ve turned a corner, and I point to turnovers as Exhibit A.
        9 or 10 after two games in 2011. 2 this year.

        I’ve spoken my piece – once again – on Tommy and will remain mute on the subject until the next time someone waves a red flag in my face on said topic.

      • NotreDan - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        Before I saw MSU versus Boise and Central, I too was thinking MSU would be the tougher of the 2 Michigan stops, but their offense had gotten SO much worse, I think it exposes them badly.

        I hear you on the TR situation bro, I really do. I was screaming like a big ahole at my TV when he came in, I never even considered the possibility of injury to EG.

        It’s funny, because I think the relief of winning that game may have quashed what just felt so wrong when TR came in. You know the other thing I find funny, is that the rest of the CFB universe isn;t giving the TR thing a second thought. Sometimes I wonder if we are too close to it.

        The other angle on the Purdue game is don’t forget… we were tied. If we didn’t score on that drive, we didn’t lose. I’ll forever wonder if we would have seen EG back in for OT because of athleticism.

      • NotreDan - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        Also, MSU’s star defensive lineman’s name IS Gholston (not Golson). Nude you’ll get that one 😉

      • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        The different ways I’ve seen EG’s name spelled has been mind numbing
        Golsen, Gholson, Gholston, Golston, Golsten, Gaddafi, Khaddafy, Qaddaffi

        Jesus … G-o-l-s-o-n

        Worse on the other board

      • 9irish - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        NotreDan, I pretty much agree with that. Oddly, ND has kind of had MSUs number lately (the game 2 years ago was blown). So we’ll see. It WILL be a circus up there though. That is one thing that most Irsih players are kind of used to, however. Every damn week is a circus.

  17. bearcatirishfan - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Remember that last year until notre dame msu had only played florida Atlantic and western Michigan I think. They were a little overconfident themselves.

    Anyone who watched that Boise state game saw that this is not a top 10 team, and are very beatable if you stop bell and the that monster of a tight end they have. They have a really good front 7 as well, if the oline isn’t better we loose. If our d line really dominates we win their QB is very young and panics when pressured.

    • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Here are the challenges:

      1. Le’Veon Bell is a complete stud and a Heisman contender. He’s big, fast and athletic – a better Jonas Gray. The Notre Dame defensive front will need to step up in the way the ’77 team did against Earl Campbell. While Bell is not in the same rarefied air as Campbell, our D-line, while it is very good, is not near the level of the ’77 NC team.

      2. The MSU D is excellent, front and back. They will load the box with 8-9 and will run blitz combinations all day long and make Golson beat them in the air. What Everett saw from Purdue is just a small taste of the hell he will face from MSU. He will need to use his athletic abilities to sidestep the rush and throw fast. I expect more screen passes. I also expect C Wood to see the most RB snaps due to his superior pass blocking. Golson will need to play the game of his life, but will still spend a lot of time on his back – hopefully not on the sideline.

      3. Eifert is key again. If MSU attacks Golson as I expect by loading the box, Eifert (and Niklas) will pose some problems for them. ND will also need to occasionally stretch vertically with Daniels, but their corners are very good.

      Purdue beat some needed humility into the Irish. MSU may be overconfident. I expect the Irish to play the game of their lives and squeak by. If they don’t, MSU will win and maybe by a lot.

      • irish4006 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        Booooo, for the “better Jonas Gray” comment. I really liked Jonas Gray last year and he was getting better every game all the way until his injury. Anyway, some very good points. Thumbs up!

        • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

          I also love Jonas, but he was never a Heisman contender. Bell is. Bell is huge, all muscle, very very fast, and very athletic. A total badass at RB. Our front 7 will need to bring their A+ game this Saturday to limit him to acceptable levels. I made the Campbell comparison because he is of a similar physical type, though no one really compares with Earl. We need our front to step up like Bob Golic did in ’77.

  18. don74 - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    ND travels well. I am expecting a close game. ND needs to keep it within 7 at the half. If so it will come down to the last 3 minutes. I wish John L was still on their sidelines.

  19. bearcatirishfan - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Roughing good point, we need a little more optimism around here, although like many here the optimism bug has bitten us all before. Unfortunately, get bitten enough times you just start to expect it. So I have learned to temper my expectations so I don’t turn into a complete a hole every time they loose and in turn make my wife’s and son’s Saturday evenings into poopy. I can’t speak for everyone else here, but I tired of being let down so I just try to realistically look at each game.

  20. oldndgrad - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Loadofdirtywash–Nobody cares about your childish attempts at smack, they’re meaningless. It’s obvious that you were not accepted to the great University of Notre Dame. Get a life, because I doubt you’ll be alive when Penn State becomes relevant again. We forgive you for the jealousy and anger you display because the truth hurts. Go Irish!

    • bernhtp - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      We also don’t care about responses to childish posts. Better to ignore them and hope that Keith ultimately deals with the gratuitous trash strewn around our fan board.

  21. irishpuma - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    My take is that Tommy was really just reading defenses and throwing to spots…some total lobs…and he almost got picked if the db had hands. On top of that he did not get them in the endzone and we all know leaving a win up to a ND kicker is a dicey proposition.

    Now after hearing Golson was not really hurt I think it was a horrible move. I would have afforded Golson the chance to win the game. Even if we did not get the win I think it would have been better than trading a win for the possibility of killing the stability of the team and the growth of a player. But thats just me. Now we have a QB controversy, a young kid who is probably mad, has shaken confidence, team unrest and more ND or should I say Brian Kelly drama. Kelly can’t seem to help himself from inserting himself into every situation to the detriment of the team and he is the definition of a micro manager.

    My opinion if he lets Golson throw without consequence like he did Rees we get even better results. Golson is afraid to make a move for fear of the wrath of Kelly. I watch the play clock more than the formation or the scoreboard and that has been consistent since Kelly started at ND. Pick a play and execute.

    Before I get too torn up on here I understand a win is a win but sometimes it might not be worth it..especially in another 8-4 season. Let Kelly stick to recruiting and questionable PR moves and get a new play caller and game manager in here.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Irish win by 10. We were winning 2 years ago when they had to resort to some last minute trickeration or strategery or whatever you want to call it. Last year we embarrassed them and I don’t see that much has changed, other than our O and D lines being better than those last two teams and we have more explosive talent at the skill positions. They don’t deserve to be ranked 10th and we will expose them to be the paper tiger that they are. If we can only block Gholston and block for Golson we should be alright. How’s that for optimism? Who’s with me oh ye of little faith? You heard it here first.

  22. mentoneirish - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I’m going to go out on a limb and predict this one comes down to the team that scores last wins.

    • nudeman - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      Like it

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