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Opposition round-up: Week Six

Oct 8, 2012, 3:04 PM EDT

Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley

It was an up-and-down weekend for Notre Dame opponents. A few big wins. A few shocking losses. And a few close shaves. Overall, the Irish schedule went 7-5 (including the Miami loss), with Michigan laying it on Purdue and Boston College loses in shocking fashion to Army.

Let’s take a spin across the Notre Dame slate.

NAVY — Navy slid by Air Force in overtime on Saturday, winning on a fumble recovery in the end zone after backup quarterback Keenan Reynolds fumbled the snap into the end zone. The Midshipmen clinched the win when the defense knocked down an Air Force pass, giving them the inside track to win the Commander-in-Chief Trophy.

Trending: The Midshipmen are still just 2-3, but hope to build some momentum into a string of winnable games for Navy. Next up a Friday night test against Central Michigan.

PURDUE — The Boilermakers once again no-showed for a marquee game, getting drubbed by Michigan 44-13 at home. It was a hugely disappointing effort for Danny Hope’s squad, who let Denard Robinson run wild for 235 yards as the Wolverines did most of their damage on the ground. Purdue was held to just 15 first downs and 213 total yards and turned the ball over four times.

Trending: Epic fail for a Purdue team that thought itself a Big Ten darkhorse. They’ll have a shot at redemption against a Wisconsin team that looks like a shadow of its former self.

MICHIGAN STATE — Sparty erased a 17-point lead and roared back to beat Indiana 31-27, averting a potential crisis of faith for a team that still considers itself in the race for the Big Ten title. Andrew Maxwell threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns and Le’Veon Bell trudged his way to 121 yards on 37 carries and scored two touchdowns as the Spartans withstood eight penalties for 115 yards and scored 17 second half points to escape Bloomington.

Trending: Color me unimpressed by the win, especially when the Spartans offensive line is struggling to open holes for Bell, who ran for a pedistrian 3.3 yards per carry. A win is a win, but right now there isn’t a Big Ten team ranked in the Coaches Poll. That’s telling.

MICHIGAN — The Wolverines got back to winning on Saturday, with Denard Robinson putting his cape back on and gashing another Big Ten opponent. Michigan only threw for 105 yards, but played stingy defense and took care of business, reminding the college football world that not all two-loss teams are created equal.

Trending: Upwards. The Wolverines play Illinois before battling Michigan State. We’ll see if they can solve the Spartans before we decide if they are ready to make a run at the Big Ten title.

No. 17 STANFORD — It took all Stanford had to outlast Arizona last weekend, winning a shootout in overtime against Rich Rodriguez’s upstart offense. The good news for the Irish? Stanford’s defense finally looked to have some weaknesses. The bad news? Quarterback Josh Nunes got on track, and the Cardinal offense exploded for a season-best performance.

Trending: Holding steady. Two straight tight games for the Cardinal. Pulling out a victory after being down 48-34 in the fourth quarter is clutch.

BYU — It certainly wouldn’t have won a beauty pageant, but the Cougars beat Utah State 6-3 on Friday night, out-gutting the Aggies in a defensive battle. With Riley Nelson still sitting out with a back injury, freshman quarterback Taysom Hill threw for 235 yards and one touchdown. BYU’s defense has now held opponents out of the endzone for 13 straight quarters, one-upping Notre Dame’s performance. Something to watch: The Cougars’ kicking problems. They have been brutal this year.

Trending: With a young, mobile quarterback and a stout defense, BYU looks flawed, but tough.

No. 13 OKLAHOMA — The Sooners bounced back after their loss to Kansas State and vanquished some Texas Tech demons along the way beating the Red Raiders 41-20 in Lubbock. Landry Jones completed 25 of 40 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns, and the Sooners had three interceptions as they ran away from Texas Tech in the second half.

Trending: We’ll find out after the Red River Shootout, a game that’ll like define either Texas or Oklahoma’s seasons this weekend. There wasn’t much explosiveness in Oklahoma’s offense this weekend.

PITTSBURGH — The Panthers lost a tight game to Syracuse on Friday night, falling 14-13 in the Carrier Dome. Pitt fought back from a 14-0 hole and pulled to within one point in the third quarter, but was unable to score in the fourth quarter. The Pitt offensive line struggled with protection all evening and Ray Graham was held to just 57 yards on 24 carries. (Meanwhile, freshman stud Rushel Shell only got one carry.)

Trending: It’s going to be a long season in Pittsburgh this year, with the offensive line a mess and the team in transition after some serious instability at head coach. Pitt now has to face the class of the Big East in No. 18 Louisville on Saturday.

BOSTON COLLEGE — There’s chaos in Chestnut Hill, as the end of the Frank Spaziani era looks near as the Eagles dropped to 1-4 after losing to Army 34-31 on Saturday. Army ran for a staggering 516 yards as they controlled the playclock and pulled off the huge upset when Trent Steelman ran for a 29-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left.

Trending: There isn’t a hotter seat in college football than Frank Spaziani. With AD Gene DeFilippo retired, it’ll be interesting to see when a change comes at head coach.

WAKE FOREST — The Demon Deacons fell to 3-3 on the season when Maryland edged past them on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of freshman Stefon Diggs’ 63-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter. Tanner Price completed just 13 of 38 throws for 170 yards, but two of them were touchdowns. Without top receiver Michael Campanaro, the Deacs offense was stuck in neutral.

Trending: Not much to worry about here, though you know Jim Grobe’s team will continue to improve.

No. 11 USC — The Trojans spotted Utah 14 points before erupting offensively, scoring 38 points with a downfield passing attack that has the Trojans looking like the team many thought they were. There are still issues — namely on the offensive line — but USC is back to No. 11 after a loss to Stanford.

Trending: This team could go either way. They’ve got no injury leeway, but if they stay healthy they’ll be Notre Dame’s toughest opponent on the schedule.

  1. jcarrillo7828 - Oct 8, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. dickasman - Oct 8, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Talk about turning the table, before season started it looked like it was the toughest schedule. What the schedule didn’t show was where we would ranked. We are ranked ahead of all of them! Life works in mysterious ways. To me if our record is better than 8-3(which was my highest expectation) and win the bowl game, it’s equivalent to winning the national championship. I never thunk it. Goooooo meeeeeeee! Oh and sometimes Irish.

  3. kgirish - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    This Saturday seems to me to be the best look at how good we are.So far..Navy/Miami…both terrible.
    The big 10 sucks this yr….MSU was way overrated. Purdue…not very good, Michigan…so so. A nice 7-10 pt win would be HUGE!

    • bernhtp - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

      We’ve heard the same thing every week since Navy. So far, the Irish have stepped up to the challenge.

      Stanford defense seems really strong up the middle, but suspect around the edge. We need to get the ball out to the edge to our speedy playmakers like GA3.

    • c4evr - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:43 AM

      You have some good points, and ND could very well lose any one of the 3 marquee games left on the schedule. But this is a different team from a year ago for 3 reasons: Fewer penalties, fewer turnovers, more ugly wins. They are grinding out games that, aside from the late game victory over UCLA back in ’06, usually end up in a loss. And it seems that there are only a few teams (namely, those currently ranked ahead of the Irish) playing to win it all. Almost all the names that made the 2012 schedule so daunting have suffered letdowns this year, so why not make a charge for the championship and set the stage for another Irish/Tide classic. Heck, I’d even settle for a West Virginia redux. Even if ND gets no higher than 7th, no one can say this hasn’t been a bold statement for the future.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:37 AM

        West Virginia is a mirage…my grandma and her knitting club scrimmaged them yesterday and put up 57 points. They lost by a touchdown, but that’s because West Virginia had the ball last.

        When i watch West Virginia play, i see Texas Tech (in the pirate coaching days) or Kansas back in the Mangino days.

        They will need EVERY bounce to go their way in order to stay unbeaten.

    • 1historian - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:48 AM

      not to mention the drubbing 2 years ago @ ND stadium while jimmy the jerk egged them on

  4. ndgoldandblue - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    BYU has won in the sloppiest of fashions, and their offense is horrible. If the Irish score a touchdown on their first possession of the BYU game, they could take a knee on every offensive play after that and still win.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:38 AM

      i’ve seen 3 BYU games this year and i still can’t figure out how they won ANY of them. And you’re right, we could score one touchdown and take a knee the rest of the game, but that just sounds like something Lane Kiffin would do, doesn’t it?

      • alsatiannd - Oct 9, 2012 at 7:32 AM

        Lane Kiffin is a schmuck.

  5. chisports14 - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Tommy Rees as 2012 starter: 1-0

    A couple things on the game experience…

    There are two jumbotrons at Soldier Field, but the stadium was very quiet. Especially compared to Michigan.

    I thought the helmets looked a lot better at the game then on TV. When at the stadium the shine of the helmets and the fact that they’re more gold than blue makes the helmets look pretty much all gold under the lights.

  6. kiopta1 - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I think if we can keep getting great blocking on the outside from Eifert and Hercules our run game will burn Stanford. As always ball security and be ready to be tested deep by Stanford’s O.

  7. loadofwash - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    These softies have about as much chance as anyone caring about a ND degree….NONE

  8. smurphdoggy29 - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    I would like the young men from the University of Notre Dame to sweep away the facade that is Stanford. Harbaugh built that team in his image and he managed it. Harbaugh was the engine that made it go. The people he left behind got the benefit of Andrew Luck and some of his Senior contemporaries last season. No more. Varsity put an end to the Tree.

    Once the offense gets on track Saturday the Stanford Defense will have few answers.

    On defense I believe Diaco and company are fully prepared to play the run first, then contain the Tight End(s). They needed the Hurricanes to continue to evolve as a defense which will aid them moving forward.

    I don’t believe either Stanford or BYU has the collective intestinal fortitude to subdue the Irish, unless we have a collective letdown. Going into Norman full steam will be a great benefit.

    Unless I am completely off kilter here (Dickasman will correct me) we should have a doozy setting up for the 27th

    GO Irish !
    Cut down the Tree !
    God Speed Jamoris !
    Keep the Faith !

  9. loadofwash - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    ND is far too little and weak. FYI, Stanford students are a hell of a lot smarter too. Their degree is by far superior and their alum are well respected. Something for the Irish to aspire to…… NOT a chance. Ha Ha Ha.

    • NotreDan - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

      Load of I-didn’t-know-they-could-stack-shit-that-high…

      I know when you came here… I know you are that faggot blogger douche-nozzle from “theonlycolors” that I goaded into banning me 3 times from your homo sparty website.

      I’m glad you’re here, shows just how deep I cut into the pussy tissue

  10. alumnidawg - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    As silly as Loadofwash is, your comment is embarrassing. I hope you are not actually a Notre Dame alum. Either way try a different tactic and word choice next time.

    • NotreDan - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      Lol. Another “first time” poster. Just enough time to create another account. We both know its you… wearing your sparty skirt. I OWN YOU. Smoke a fat pipe bitch.

      • NotreDan - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        I wonder how long before you come back and complain through “official channels” about how you got owned on your own blog after getting blasted about the junk you posted on this one. Lmao.

  11. alumnidawg - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I come on this blog everyday and enjoy the articles and comments. As a ND grad and fan it is a blast to have a resource like this. I created the account because I thought your post was uncalled for. That is all. If you feel the need to spew hate please do it somewhere else. This blog is always fun to read, even the troll comments like Sinister, try not to ruin it with hate.

    • NotreDan - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      Lol. I can hear the pedals going backwards. You state girls aren’t too quick

      • NotreDan - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        Dont you wish you could ban me here too? Ahhhh hahahahahahaha

    • NotreDan - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      To “create” an account just to respond to one of my posts means you understood it. The only way you understood it is if you really are the jack-wagon from that sparty chick site. Bahhhhhh hahahahaha. Lol. Yessir, cut right into the vulva I did.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:41 AM

        Comments i never though i’d read on a Notre Dame Football Blog…

        “…Cut right into the vulva”

      • nudeman - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        We don’t see a lot of vulva references here
        NotreDan … entertaining effort this a.m., but maybe decaf for the rest of the day?

  12. norcalirish - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    Man, there’s some strangeass people on here…just ignore the trolls folks. By responding you give THEM the power (snl reference anyone?).

    Go Irish.

  13. yaketyyacc - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    Beware the non “premier” opponents. The tendency to almst laugh at the menton of their name, can cause Notre Dame to be off sync and rythum, and unable to get straightened out.
    Our immediate focus is Stanford. Our full attention and increased intensity must be towards them. If we lose, then what difference will it make, of what caliber the rest of our remaining opponents are. An eight year old with a gun can kill you just as well as an adult. Focus: Stanford! aim: moving on UP!

  14. 1historian - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    notredan & the other guy – get a room

  15. 1historian - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:46 AM

    2 years ago Stanford kicked the shit out of us at ND Stadium and rubbed our nose in it, to the delight of their jerk of a coach Jim Harbaugh.

    Harbaugh is both a jerk and a very good coach.

    Now it’s payback time.

    That’s all

  16. phillyj - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    ND and Stanford appear to be pretty similar. Two good schools with quality kids. Both have physical, tough front sevens, and some lingering questions on offense. Should be a great test for ND.

    Go Irish.

  17. oldestguard - Oct 9, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Yeah, Stanford will be a good test, as will the rest of the season be.

    Focus will not be a problem with this coach, set of captains and team mindset.

    Ah, the relevancy of a winning team – Gameday, Top Ten Ratings, SI Covers, infestation of Trolls…gotta love it !!!

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