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Pregame six pack: War with the Wolverines

Sep 21, 2012, 2:35 AM EST

denard+robinson+notre-dame1

There’s no doubt about it. This is a defining Saturday for Notre Dame football. A victory over No. 18 Michigan should propel the No. 11 Fighting Irish into the top 10, thrust right into the middle of BCS bedlam as they enjoy a bye week and take a deep breath before starting another harrowing portion of the schedule.

But more importantly, it’ll be another significant data point that Brian Kelly‘s restoration plan is working. Following a process he and athletic director Jack Swarbrick laid out, Kelly has the chance to run the Irish record to 4-0 for the first time in a decade, propelled by a dominant defensive front, a physical football team, and a young offense built around a group of young skill players.

But to do that, they need to beat Michigan. A school that’s taken wonderful pleasure in gutting the Irish even when things were hardly going the Wolverines’ way. Under Rich Rodriguez, Michigan sunk the Irish twice. Add in the dagger Denard Robinson put in Irish fans’ hearts during the improbable 2011 comeback, and even if the Irish aren’t saying it, vengeance is on the mind.

With a primetime audience on NBC and the hype meter already spiked after dominating Michigan State last Saturday night, this is the game that either propels the Irish onward or pokes a pin into one of the more exciting Septembers in recent memory.

As No. 11 Notre Dame prepares to battle No. 18 Michigan on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET here on NBC, here are six fun facts, tidbits, leftovers, or miscellaneous musings to get you prepped.

***

The tale of the tape might end up telling the story.

On paper, you can almost get a feel for how this game could turn out. Of course, when these two teams play it’s hardly worth the exercise, but we’ll go through it anyway. Offense vs. Offense, the Wolverines match-up favorably with the Irish under Everett Golson‘s direction. A quick glance at a few major offensive categories shows a slight edge going to Michigan.

OFFENSIVE STATS

Scoring Average:
U-M: 36
ND: 30

Total Yards:
U-M: 425.3
ND: 388.7

Rushing Offense:
U-M: 192.3
ND: 155.7

Passing Offense:
U-M: 233
ND: 233

Red Zone TD Efficiency:
U-M: 89%
ND: 80%

Turnover Margin
U-M: -3
ND: +5

Where the story really starts to be told is with the defensive stats. Put quite simply, Michigan’s numbers are pretty ugly.

Scoring Average:
U-M: 26
ND: 10

Total Yards:
U-M: 369
ND: 288.7

Rushing Offense:
U-M: 211.3
ND: 96.3

Passing Offense:
U-M: 157.7
ND: 192.3

First Downs Allowed:
U-M: 61
ND: 49

Sacks
U-M: 3
ND: 11

That the Wolverines are giving up 211 yards a game on the ground is a fairly staggering number, and one that makes you believe Cierre Wood (we’ll get to him later), Theo Riddick and George Atkinson will make quite a difference on Saturday. You also need to wonder how Greg Mattison will dial up pressure on Golson, with Michigan only getting three sacks so far this season.

***

He played well last year, but expect Cierre Wood to make his presence felt against the Wolverines on Saturday.

It was an afterthought, but Cierre Wood put together a strong game against Michigan, running for 134 yards and a touchdown last year in the loss. But after missing the season’s opening two games after being suspended for violating team rules, expect the senior running back to try and make up for lost time.

Made available for the first time this season to the media, Wood talked about how tough it was to sit at home and watch his teammates play in Dublin.

“It was terrible,” Wood told CSNChicago.com. “I was cheering on my teammates, being a great team player, and stuff like that. But just not playing was terrible. You practice all summer, put in so much work and so much time, and to not play those first two games was heartbreaking, especially for me. But I remain positive, my teammates kept me up and I just cheered them on from afar.”

Worked slowly back into the rotation, it was Wood who carried the ball for the Irish down the stretch, icing the victory against Michigan State with some clutch carries. Wood talked about the benefits of having three top-shelf runners after forming a pretty dynamic duo with senior Jonas Gray last season.

“The way we come in and come out, it’s basically fresh legs on the field at all times, so it’s like nobody never really came out as far as the running backs go,” Wood said. “All three of us have a great amount of talent, so them putting us around different positions on the field is going to make our team that much better.”

It should be a bigger Saturday for the Irish running game, who can do damage by making plays, and keeping Denard Robinson off the field.

***

It may not be the bonanza last year’s night game was, but this weekend will be a recruiting showcase.

It’s not the all-in affair that last season’s USC contest was, but this weekend is shaping up to be a big recruiting weekend for the Fighting Irish. In addition to trying to beat Michigan, the Irish will try to impress a large contingent of 2013 and 2014 recruits that’ll be in town for the game this weekend.

In total, ten recruits will be taking an official visit this weekend:

Michael Deeb, LB — Committed
Mike Heuerman, TE — Committed
Jamel James, RB — Committed
Corey Robinson, WR — Committed
Corey Clement, RB — Offered (Committed to Pitt)
Torii Hunter Jr., WR — Offered
Cole Luke, CB — Offered
L.J. Moore, CB — Offered
Khalfani Muhammad, RB — Offered
Juwaan Williams, WR — Offered

In addition, the following Irish commits will also be in town for an unofficial visit:

Hunter Bivin, OL — Committed
Steve Elmer, OL — Committed
Jacob Matuska, DE — Committed
Colin McGovern, OL — Committed
James Onwualu, WR — Committed
Doug Randolph, LB — Committed
Isaac Rochell, DE — Committed
Jaylon Smith, OLB — Committed
Justin Brent, WR — Committed (2014)

Tyler James of the South Bend Tribune has a nice update on several more potential prospects in town, so if that sort of thing interests you, definitely give it a look.

The Irish will have to impress on the field this weekend, because it doesn’t look like the weather will be all that enjoyable. With cool weather heading through South Bend and intermittent rain in the forecast for Saturday afternoon, the product on the field will have to do the talking.

***

With their most daunting task to date, the focus will be on the young Irish secondary.

If there’s been a pleasant surprise this year, it’s been the solid play of the Irish secondary. Gutted by injury, Bob Diaco, Kerry Cooks, and Bob Elliott haven’t had the chance to go with Plan A, and now are on to Plan C or D after just three games. With starting jobs handed to Jamoris Slaughter and Lo Wood, and a significant role waiting for Austin Collinsworth, Notre Dame will now trot out three freshmen (eligibility wise, of course) to take their place.

No bigger spotlight will be on a defender than Matthias Farley. The soccer player-turned wide receiver-turned safety leapfrogged Danny McCarthy in the safety rotation before the season opener and has been a valuable contributor down in the box against Navy, Purdue and Michigan State, chipping in six tackles. Now he’ll be asked to fill Slaughter’s shoes against one of college football’s most electric ball carriers. Kelly thinks Farley’s up for the task.

“You know, he’s got 140-some snaps,” Kelly said of Farley’s contributions thus far. “That’s a lot of football. It’s not a guy that’s getting the first time out there on the field. He responded really well in practice this week. Now, he wasn’t put in the same position that he’s going to be put in this week. So he’s going to be asked to do a lot more. But he’s s smart kid, he’s athletic, he’s sneaky fast. He can run well. I think the most important thing is he’s played 140 snaps and he’s starting to feel more comfortable in the position.”

Also pushed into action at the nickel back is Elijah Shumate, who is already tied for the team lead with three pass break-ups. While he tried to contain his enthusiasm, Shumate’s potential has Kelly really excited, and the freshman is primed to take on a more prominent role in the Irish defense.

“We think he’s a very special player,” Kelly said of Shumate. “We’re going to continue to work with him. We’ll have more time over the bye week to spend some more time with him and continue to work with him both at that nickel and corner positions and allow us even more flexibility in the secondary.”

If you’re expecting Farley and the other youngsters to feel overwhelmed, don’t.

“Everybody has settled into the roles they have,” Farley said this week. “Maybe they didn’t start, they didn’t come in doing the roles they’re doing, but everyone’s been working real hard, and I feel like the fruit of everyone’s labor is being seen as far as the play goes.”

We’ll get a true status report tomorrow night.

***

If the Irish want to neutralize Denard Robinson, they’ll need to keep bringing the heat up front.

Worried that Denard Robinson is going to beat you with the deep downfield throws? Don’t give him enough time to make them. That recipe worked just fine against Michigan State, when the Irish pass rush bombarded the Spartans’ offensive line and quarterback Andrew Maxwell, making it near impossible to get the downfield passing game on track.

When the Irish lost Aaron Lynch in the middle of spring drills, many thought Kelly was paying lip service to the defensive line when he openly said he expected the front four to be the strength of this football team. Through three games, that strength is apparent. Notre Dame’s defense is getting to the quarterback better than it has in recent memory, finally adding a pass rush component to the Irish defense thanks to Stephon Tuitt and company.

Tuitt leads all underclassmen in the country in sacks and is third in the FBS with five. Even more impressive, the defensive line has nine of the team’s 11 sacks (T-8 in the country), with Louis Nix tallying 1.5 and freshmen Sheldon Day and Tony Springmann notching one each, and Kapron Lewis-Moore and Kona Schwenke each chipping in a half-sack. With Prince Shembo playing his best game in an Irish uniform last week, the Irish should take dead aim at Robinson in the pocket and overpower the Michigan offensive line.

Interestingly, that wasn’t the strategy Kelly and Diaco employed last season, keeping Lynch and Tuitt on the sideline in favor of Ethan Johnson and Lewis-Moore. With Sean Cwynar missing the game last season with a hand injury, the Irish played solid defense at the point of attack with a limited cast of characters.

With a full allotment of weapons, except to see the Irish getting a great surge at the line of scrimmage.

***

Hold onto the football, win the football game.

To call the Irish victimized by turnovers last season would be doing disservice to victims everywhere. Notre Dame imploded their own season last year by self-inflicted errors, turning the ball over more times in the first three games — 13 times — than any Notre Dame team since 1977.

But through three games this year, the Irish have turned things around. Notre Dame hasn’t had fewer turnovers through three Saturdays since 1993. Tied for 11th in the country in turnover margin, the stats seem to favor Brian Kelly’s team when they manage to simply hold onto the football.

Last year, the Irish were 3-0 when they didn’t turn the ball over. Kelly’s Irish squads are 7-0 when they’re unblemished with the football. Against a Michigan team that has plenty of problems at the line of scrimmage, the Irish don’t have to have a perfect performance. But they just can’t give the ball away. Thanks to a stingy defense and some offensive firepower, the Irish can beat another talented team from the state of Michigan by following the blueprint it used last week.

“Third down conversions are great.  You want third down conversions,” Kelly said, recapping the keys to last week’s victory. “But we were managing the game. We had a great kicking performance.  If we can kick that way, third down conversions are not going to impact the football game.  The turnovers.  It’s short fields.  And it’s the big chunk plays. I know you’ve heard this ad nauseam, but the fact of the matter is, the completion percentage will continue to get better.  The third downs will continue to get better.  We just need to take care of the football and keep our defense on the long field.”

It’ll be harder to do that against one of college football’s most explosive weapons. But if the Irish are going to make it to 4-0 for the first time since 2002, they’ll need Everett Golson to continue playing football wiser than his years.

 

  1. mountunionirish51 - Sep 21, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Great insight. I cannot wait for this game. Almost bought some last minute tickets off of my buddies friend but missed out. I will be watching comfortable in my house with a cold one or twelve logged into the live blog. Go Irish. Beat the piss out of Michigan

  2. footballleprechaun - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    The Irish as imagined have had this game circled on the calendar since last year’s gut wrenching debacle. This year (even though most programs have an unexplained letdown after an inspired victory) our guys will intensely exact and inflict the bitter dose of revenge on an overrated Michigan this year, to wit: • We’ll have plenty time to regroup and “rest (letdown) during our bye.• The”lei” factor to demonstrate the love and support for Manti – and keep our DEFENSE in an agressive frenzied state-of-mind. • This game BK cuts the embilical cord with EG and turns him and the most explosive offense loose!!! NOTRE DAME ^^^ (way up ) for the task at hand.

  3. ndfanindervaterland - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    Hi gents, ladies,
    Long-time reader, first-time poster.
    I’m not an alumnus. I lived in SB as a kid and was lucky enough to catch several games a year with a buddy and his dad (alum) through the years of 85(ish) to 1990. Very memorable moments, indeed. Finest campus I’ve ever stepped foot on.
    First, Keith – thank you for your professionalism, inisght and thoughtfulness.
    While I appreciate all the stats that get flung about here as much as the next guy, I want to point something out that might get lost in the overanalyzing. I don’t give a damn that ND were 1 for 13(?) on 3rd downs vs MSU. I don’t care if Eifert didn’t catch a pass. Here’s the key: It never struck me as odd while watching the game (at 4 in the morning, mind you – I’m on Central European Time). It still flowed. Reason being – the team and coaching staff had a solid game plan laid out and were executing. And we have seen a different team each week (in a good way). That shows that this team can adapt to the opponent where necessary. It shows depth and talent all over the place. At this point in the season, albeit a very young one thus far, I am not waiting for the wheels to come off each game the way I did last year or previous years. They seem much more disciplined and poised thus far. It’s a good feeling thinking ND can compete with anyone on their schedule. Anyone. I’m not getting ahead of myself. I don’t predict games. I’m simply stating that the team is solidifying and there is real substance to start building the next level on.
    Best of all, it appears to me Kelly has really taken the right approach to actually building something with a foundation. CW was in it to make an immediate splash with absolutely nothing behind it. All style and no substance. Look, there’s nothing wrong with style. I love style. But you better have some serious muscle under that zoot suit or you ain’t got a thing. What I see for the beloved Blue and Gold is a very bright future. I have taken years of fanabuse from my buddies for my loyalty to ND and all that is good about it. I think it’s about time for us all to enjoy Saturday afteroons a little more.

    • ibleedirish - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      Agree agree agree. Third down conversions? Relax people. That was a ball control, field position, defensive game. We proved we can win that way. Thats a good thing. Why are people so concerned that Eifert didn’t catch a pass? MSUs D is very good, the keyed on him, shut him down, and Everret looked elsewhere rather than force it into double coverage (see enough of that last year everbody?). Thats what good QBs do. I thought it was very telling that after the one missed bomb to Chris Brown, Kelly realized we didnt need him or Davonte Neal on the field to win that game and promptly sat them on the sideline and SAVED them. I predict a couple huge plays from both of them early Saturday. Seriously, how many teams can say they are 3-0 against BCS opponents and haven’t even used their biggest offensive weapons to this point in the season?

    • Keith Arnold - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      Thanks for checking in. Feel free to come back more often.

      -KA

  4. NotreDan - Sep 21, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    In the words of BK “Go TAKE IT boys”.

    Based on the match-ups, thus game is ND’s for the taking. Do your job, play with passion, have fun.

    GO IRISH!!!

  5. mannydomer61 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    I must say as a longtime ND fan this has been one of the most exciting starts to a season in a very long time. This team does have a different look and feel to it.
    Now to compliment the progress this football program has made it has to continue recent success with recruiting efforts and player development, something CW had no clue about.
    I love what I see so far and pray we can continue to improve, am so excited to be in the stands for this game tomorrow night. Let’s continue to WAKE UP THE ECHOES!!!!!!!!!

  6. irish2011 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Thank you Keith for this site! It has been a true blessing to have a site like this. Now on to the game, I’m sure I am not the only one that cringes when last years game is brought up. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves here people, this is no shoe in for a game. UM has owned us the last two years, along with Mr. Robinson, so let’s just hope for another dominant D performance and the O takes a step forward. All that said GO IRISH!

  7. boatclubprez - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    My prediction:

    In the stadium energy is higher than Rick James on a Friday night, loudest since ’88, the Teo love is flowing. Irish Offense comes out pass heavy just like last week to defeat 7-8 Skunkbear defenders in the box . Defense goes Freddy Krueger on Michigan’s ass only allowing 2 field goals in the first half. ND scores 3 touchdowns going into the half with a 21-6 lead. (Fuck) Michigan scores a touchdown in the 3rd Quarter. ND’s Defense shuts them down the rest of the game. Offense goes rush heavy to end the game and scores touchdown in the 3rd and field goal in the 4th for a 31-13 WIN!!! Everyone gets Laid!!!

    GO IRISH!!!!!!!! POUND MICHIGAN!!!!!!!

  8. runners00 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Given that they’ve surrendered some serious yardage the two FBS teams on their schedule, I have to think that we should be able to move the ball this week. But,it’s Michigan. They have Big 10 athletes – big guys up front on both sides of the ball and these big guys are pretty athletic. That said, it seems that we have both the line play and the athletes to win this game handily.

    But it’s Michigan. They won’t go down without a serious fight. Michigan rarely does.Since 1988, we’ve beaten Michigan just twice by more than 14 points (1998 and 2008). In that same span, Michigan has beaten us by more than 14 points three times (2003, 2006, 2007) and those three games were essentially blowouts. There is something in this rivalry that makes Michigan work especially hard to pull out a victory. Sure, we’ve won our share (in the 39 games we’ve played, we’ve won 15 times). But recently, Michigan has done very well against us. Robinson hasn’t lost a game to ND.

    It’s payback time. We need to come out like our butts are on fire and we need to push them around all night long. All. Night. Long. On defense, we need to get to Robinson and force him to run for his life for most of the night. A pick or two will happen if we force Robinson out of the pocket but contain him at the line. On offense, Riddick, Wood and Atkinson need to hold onto the football and we’ll move through their line and into their secondary. And, like State last week, we need to force Michigan to go the length of the football field to score on us. No big plays. No turnovers in the red zone and certainly no turnovers in their red zone. A boring, ball control offense led by our stout offensive line (which has to play as well or better than it did last week), should lead to some real yards — and a lot of points.

    Kick some effing Wolverine tail, Irish!

  9. fredshaheen - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I’ve attached an interesting story that was written shortly after the 1988 game with Michigan, in which Reggie Ho propelled the Irish to a win with his four field goals!

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1067781/index.htm

  10. marmardouglas - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    The Michigan/Notre Dame game has been pretty one-sided the past few years, but it’s time for the Fighting Irish to win! I’ll be using my Hopper’s Game Finder app to see what else is on before the primetime game. The transparent overlay on the screen makes it easy for me to flip to other games and see live scores without missing out on what’s going on TV. A coworker at DISH told me about this feature and it helps me know when Notre Dame is on. I’ve loved Fighting Irish football since Rocket Ismail took two returns back for touchdowns against Michigan, and tomorrow Notre Dame will prove they belong in the national title debates!

  11. bigboi30 - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    One thing and one thing only, when these 2 teams meet stats, past, future, injuries, none of it matters. These teams go to war. One game, along with Ohio state and MSU, are three games i never miss. I nasty not be an Irish fan, and i have taken a few hits from bad Irish fans, but any fan of the Irish and Michigan know thus is a game where warriors go to battle on a battle ground in an epic way. Hold luck to the Irish, but i stay true to my heart.

    Go Michigan, beat the Irish. Let the war begin

    • fitz79 - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Yea. I’m sure Te’o is just quaking in his boots. NOT! Bring it on. True Irish fans have no fear of and no regard for Michigan!

  12. oldestguard - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Balance is key. Balance good – tackling good, everything is good

    Sweep the leg

    Fear does not exist in this dojo

    Banzai !!

    postgame Denard = http://www.manlyweb.com/sports/injuries/yatittle-photo.htm

  13. ndfaithful - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Awesome article. I can’t wait for this game!

    “To call the Irish victimized by turnovers last season would be doing disservice to victims everywhere.”

    I’m going to use that line a few times. With many props to KA, of course.

    I like how ndfanindervaterland pointed out that we have been a different team each week and it has been a GOOD thing. It makes me wonder what the gameplan and approach will be this week. Will BK turn the dogs loose? or be more conservative with the DL to contain DR?

    Will we line up to run the ball with a purpose? or will he spread the field? It seems like BK’s willing and confident to surprise us all with a new look based on the opponent. I can’t wait to see what the plan is and see the Irish rock and roll again.

    Also – it occured to me that with each win, each week will be a ‘defining moment’ or ‘signature game’ for this team. This week to beat a rival that the ND fanbase wants to give payback. Two weeks from now, if ND is 4-0 it will be “Can the Irish win a game against an old rival that they ‘should’ beat.”. After that it will be the next ‘Biggest game of the year’ when we take on Stanford and threaten the top in the polls. If we keep winning, it will go on and on. Here’s hoping… (!) Not to get carried away, but other teams are going to start looking at us with some fear instead of phrases like ‘irrelevant’.

    I still think this team is special. Finally – I’m not usually into score predictions, but I think the Irish will take care of business and get some revenge this year. They’re primed and ready.

    Irish 42
    U-M 17

    GO IRISH!

  14. onebigloadofcrap - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    i will just say what everyone here is thinking, i hope we beat these fuckers by 30

  15. sinister23 - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    This app is.SO OBVIOUSLY BIASED!! The early half of a college season is always difficult to read…and heres a great example.
    1. Alabama would have EMBARRASSED the Irish worse than they did Michigan…PERIOD..dont try to convince me otherwise!
    2. Irish edged Michigan State. MS was #10, BUT, State edged BOISE…who nearly lost to BYU LAST NIGHT!
    In conclusion…Michigan State was GROSSLY over rated coming into the season. That fact alone is why everybody is so GASED UP FOR ND.

    IM CALLING IT… 35-24 MICHIGAN….better luck next year irish

    • fitz79 - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      I’m not arguing with ya that Michigan State was a tad overrated. But guess what other Michigan school was grossly overrated? I’ll give you a clue. It’s not Central Michigan! Go Irish, cut this Michigan squad down to size!

      • runners00 - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Love the comment. A top 5 team? Michigan? And losing by several dozen in Dallas?

        Puh-lease. Y’all don’t know a think about what’s overrated.

    • roughingthecenter - Sep 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      Wow “sinister” imagine that, the comments on “irish.nbcsports.com” are mostly irish fans.  You’re point #2 is completely invalid. Guess what, in 2007 ND beat Stanford and Stanford beat USC. We were horrible that year, worst ND team ever. You just said the early season is tough to read but then you say “in conclusion”, why make a conclusion if its so hard to read. We beat MSU last year who shit all over you guys last year. Anything can happen in any week. But since you’re a skunkbear fan we know that Michigan never actually gets beat, they only beat themselves right? The fact is ND is a much better team overall in the trenches than Michigan and for you to win you basically need to get lucky when Denard throws up his typical jump balls again. The guys is an amazing athlete, but our redshirt sophomore QB in his fourth start is already a more polished passer than your future NFL receiver playing QB. 

      P.S. Even if MSU is overrated they are still better than Michigan this year, and they will be ranked ahead of you again after this weekend.

    • madmick69 - Sep 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      @sinister23, thanks for stopping by. With that said, you’re a twit, obviously it’s going to be biased, it’s called “Inside the Irish” and Keith covers Notre Dame Football. What? Did you come here hoping to find a good article about UofM?

      As to Alabama embarrassing ND, only way to know is to play the game.

      Irish edged MSU? Did you watch the game? ND dominated MSU…and what does the MSU vs Boise State game or the BYU Boise State game have to do with the game tomorrow. Nice bit of 7th grade logic, my team beat your team and your team beat the number 1 team so my team can beat the number 1 team.

      So in conclusion, BOTH MSU and UofM were overrated. It could also be said that ND was underrated. But you probably don’t see it that way since you’re astonished that what Keith wrote was so absurdly biased.

      Keith by the way, nice article.

      Slainte!

      GO IRISH!!!

    • Keith Arnold - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

      Does that logic mean Air Force is a top 15 team?

    • nudeman - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      I hereby nominate sinister’s post as dumbest of the year.

      1. OK, won’t try to convince you otherwise. Go quietly into the night, son.

      2. “A beat B, and B beat C, and C beat A” is meaningless. It’s how you – yes, specifically YOU – end up concluding Maryland is better than USC. Go Terps

      • ndfaithful - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        Nude,

        Your post deserved more attention. I noticed that sinister’s been back with more idiotic, lame posts.

        So – i hereby SECOND the nomination that he’s got the dumbest post of the year.
        Closely followed by the second dumbest post of the year with his retort. Then he just kept going.

        In never occurred to me that this site was mostly ND fans….

        duh.

    • papadec - Sep 22, 2012 at 1:40 AM

      sinis – Alabama may very well get their chance to embarrass ND – in the BCS Championship game. OR, maybe ND will embarrass Alabama? We shall see, what we shall see. By the way, ND beat msu 20-3. If you call that edging – no wonder you’re a Blue fan. You’ve lost touch with reality.

  16. fitz79 - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Hey Keith, it’s only called a “war” when two relatively equal opponents wage battle against each other. When one team out and out dominates (as I think the Irish will over Michigan) then it’s called a “massacre!” Go Irish! Let the Michigan Massacre commence!

  17. madmick69 - Sep 21, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Keith,

    Nice article, appreciate your coverage of the Irish. I just have a quick question for you. Is there anyway to ensure that people are taking their meds before they post? Just asking.

    Slainte!

    GO IRISH!!!

  18. derekfoster87 - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I will be going to the game this weekend for the first time since the Weis era. Needless to say I am pretty excited. Last time I went, I was only 17 and couldn’t consume (legally) any alcohol. Where’s the closest/best place to eat/drink around the stadium?

  19. jgater1981 - Sep 21, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    @derekfoster87 The parking lot! Tailgate, man! Irish fans are the best. I’m sure if you find a nice group and throw some bucks down, people would be glad to have you.

  20. sinister23 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Really?? My simple…basic logic DIDNT prove MSU was overratted?? Ok…BAMA proved MICHIGAN was overrated…which you all seem to agree with…but since u guys beat MSU im crazy…hahaha…35-24…cant wait to log in after the game tommorrow!!!

    • roughingthecenter - Sep 22, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      Sinister, Our logic for why Michigan is not a great team is that their run defense blows and they got outplayed by both opponents they played (Umass is still a 1AA team talent wise so i’m disregarding them). We can’t wait for you to log in after the game either. You’ll be making excuses for why Michigan is the better team but still lost. You’re score prediction of 35-24 might be right, but I don’t think Michigan will score 24. Go Irish !

  21. irishking - Sep 22, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Ball control, first downs, ball control and more first downs. Control the game without any turnovers and contain Denard. Irish will win!

  22. mannydomer61 - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Sinister you must be the biggest idiot ever to come to an Irish blog site and say it is biased. EDGED MSU! You must have been watching the Miami vs Bethune cook man game. Don’t know about you but the ND game I watched last sat night was one of the most dominating performances of a top ten team on their turf in a longtime.
    If you are going to come onto this site and talk your LAME ASS Mich. Trash bring it a lot stronger and with some better insight.
    GO IRISH ND 31 Mich 14

  23. schaffershokai - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    The guys on Notre Dame are better THUGS than they are players: http://youtu.be/UOeoiY9X848

  24. sinister23 - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Yes, being biased is a bad thing….if you COVER a team, that doesnt give full consent to be malatious and fictional…be realistic….35-24…the irish suck…they will always suck…cant wait till there out of the B1G…DENARD ROBINSON IS THE MOST ELECTRIFYING, GAME CHANGING PLAYER THE NCAA HAS EVER SEEN!!!! I will say tho, NDs QB is gonna be a special player…just not today!

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