Apr 9, 2013, 5:36 PM EDT
With the Irish getting some scrimmage time in earlier this week, there’s a very good chance Brian Kelly and his staff are getting to know the type of football team that they have on their hands. In the case of Everett Golson, that might be a player that’s advanced leaps and bounds.
While we all tend to focus on the new players breaking in or the back-ups ascending to starting roles, no player should take a bigger step forward than Golson, who enters his first spring practice as the unquestioned starter.
After playing a sneakily impressive second half in a losing effort against Alabama, expect the Irish offense to really evolve behind Golson this season, as the rising junior has an opportunity to put up scary numbers this season, especially as his knowledge base continues to grow.
Let’s take a look at the tape, and continue our habit of over-analysis.
0:08 — That’s Everett Golson taking charge of the huddle. Now he’s just got to get used to being mic’d up at practice. Some nice edit work by Alan and the boys.
0:22 — This looks to be a little ones-versus-ones, eleven-on-eleven. While it’s hard to see if Golson had anything open while just isolating on him — the rising junior still looks mighty athletic. (Speaking of athletic, how about big Louis Nix, now sporting No. 1, giving chase…)
0:35 — You’re certainly not going to marvel at the footwork, but great job checking down by Golson, finding his tight end open in the middle of the field. Troy Niklas (#85) looks as imposing as ever.
0:40 — Even freeze framing it, I can’t tell who made the nifty catch in the end zone. The candidates:
- Alex Welch (#82.) But where’s the knee brace?
- Ben Koyack (#18)
- James Onwualu (#17)
- Joey Brooks (#81)
Anybody have a clue?
0:45 — Nicely blocked and George Atkinson runs hard around the right edge before Matthias Farley cleans him out on the sideline.
0:47 — That’s Alex Welch getting a check down from Golson, then rumbling forward.
0:52 — That’s Jarrett Grace (#59) getting a hand up and knocking down a pass from Andrew Hendrix (#12).
0:56 — Almost too many questions here. That’s TJ Jones (#7) wide open for a big gainer. He’s got KeiVarae Russell (#6) beaten badly, but did he expect safety help? Is it as windy as Golson mentioned in the first frames, and that’s why this pass is severely underthrown? Still — a 30+ yard gain is one the offense will take any day. (Now the defense…)
1:02 — I’m in favor of giving Ben Koyack a fresh start. Last season got off on the wrong foot, and it had to have been hard for Koyack to keep his confidence, getting lost in the shuffle after some early drops.
Here’s Koyack working at slot receiver making a nice catch. Sure, he’s only there because the depth chart needs filling, but Koyack’s not a guy you should give up on yet.
1:07 — Heckuva catch, Danny Smith (#87).
1:12 — Heckuva tackle, Jarrett Grace. (Listen carefully, do you hear Bob Diaco howling at the moon?)
1:18 — Another impressive catch by Smith, who goes up and wins a one-on-one battle down field.
1:21 — Smith doesn’t come down with probably the easiest of the throws we’ve seen, though you’ve got to give some credit to Lo Wood (#23).
1:26 — That’s Cam McDaniel (#33) on the loose. That’s a heckuva job by Ishaq Williams (#11), fighting off the block by Welch and then making a big hit on McDaniel.
1:31 — Tommy Rees (#11) playing pitch and catch with James Onwualu (#17).
1:35 — Brian Kelly, high above his perch. Looks like a pleasant South Bend spring day!
1:44 — Nice play by Lo Wood, dropping the boom on Corey Robinson (#88).
1:49 — Onwualu beats Wood on a well placed fade throw, fighting off Josh Atkinson (#24) and making a tough catch. Good ball placement by Rees, who hasn’t always had that strength.
1:52 — That’s Elijah Shumate (#22) crashing down into the box and making a tackle.
1:58 — Before the musical transition, I have expected Ryan Gosling to show up wearing racing gloves.
2:01 — Now we’re just getting downright artistic. Some great slo-mo looks at the offensive line. Nice kick step by Zack Martin (#70) while Chris Watt (#66) holds up Tony Springman (#69).
2:17 — Not bad, Nick Martin. Big Lou is more than a handful.
2:25 — That spin move won’t beat Zack Martin, Sheldon Day (#91). Not that you should feel badly. Not many beat Martin.
2:30 — Oh boy. Nix turned the younger Martin into a turnstile there…
2:35 — This might be our first isolated look at freshman Steve Elmer (#79) who looks like a GIANT as he blocks Prince Shembo (#55). That’s a big kid.
2:40 — Martin handles Ishaq as well.
2:50 — The left side of the line handles a stunt more than capably.
Oct 30, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
With a little over 48 hours until Notre Dame and Navy play, the final pieces of installation around going in before the chess match between two coaching staffs take place. For the Irish, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gets his first chance at stopping the triple-option in over a decade.
Oct 29, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 29, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
For a man that’s had more success against Notre Dame than any of his predecessors over the past two generations, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo certainly doesn’t think he’s figured out the Irish. In fact, for his Midshipmen team to win, Niumatalolo acknowledges that it takes more than just his team playing near-perfect football. He needs Notre Dame’s help as well.
Oct 29, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
With last night’s announcement had all eyes on the first announcement of the College Football Playoff rankings, the immediate concern is Navy. While we can spend the next five weeks worrying about the view from 30,000 feet, credit Brian Kelly for understanding that the Midshipmen present the most clear and present danger.
Oct 28, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT
The first College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday evening. And Notre Dame has some work to do. The selection committee’s first ballot has the Irish slotted in at 10th in the country, a middle-of-the-pack one-loss team according to the 12-person voting panel.
Oct 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
With a week off between Florida State and Navy, Brian Kelly and his coaching staff had an extra week of preparation for Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option attack. Allowing his team to leave campus during the university’s fall break, Kelly afforded his players a chance to recharge their batteries after being on campus since June.
Oct 27, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Among the many reasons Charlie Weis lost his dream job coaching Notre Dame was the Irish’s stumbles in November. Even with a guaranteed 10-year contract, Jack Swarbrick couldn’t watch Notre Dame melt down in November for another year, with Weis’ final two seasons ending with Notre Dame going 1-9 after Halloween. That’s a scary movie franchise that needed killing, no matter the expense.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
Before we have an Irish-free Saturday, let’s get to some questions. For those of you wondering what you should do on a day usually committed to football, the world is your oyster. Or you could watch some of Notre Dame’s opponents do battle.
Oct 24, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
When Brian VanGorder’s name surfaced as Notre Dame looked for a new defensive coordinator, there wasn’t necessarily a lot of buzz behind the hire. While VanGorder fit many of the criteria that went along with a Brian Kelly hire, the big-picture reaction wasn’t one of universal support.
Oct 23, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT
There is no football game this weekend. For a Notre Dame football team that just played three-straight tight games, that’s a good thing. (For Irish fans, it’s a victory as well. Go buy a pumpkin and get outside in the fall weather.) As promised, let’s look back at the first eight weeks of the season. Notre Dame sits at 6-1, with a place in the College Football Playoff still very much in play.
Oct 23, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT
For the second time in a week, Notre Dame’s recruiting class landed a playmaking linebacker. During a press conference streamed live on ESPN.com, Florida’s Tevon Coney pledged his commitment to the Irish, picking Notre Dame over finalists Miami and Florida.
Oct 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Drop your questions below. Or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
With Notre Dame’s scheduling agreement in place with the ACC, Jack Swarbrick and the Irish athletic department can find some certainty in their future slates. That certainty was announced Tuesday, with dates for five ACC games in place through 2019 and matchups set through 2025.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT
After eight weeks, the forecast for the first College Football Playoff is coming into focus. After falling to Florida State last weekend, the Irish lost pole position. But as a one-loss team now likely competing for one of the final spots in the four-team event, Notre Dame remains one of the top dark horse candidates.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the ACC has reversed course, deciding that the pass interference penalty was on C.J. Prosise after all. And that they’ve acknowledged that the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty they missed for P.J. Williams removing his helmet should’ve set up Notre Dame with a 1st-and-goal at the 9-yard line.
We’re moving on. (I promise.)
Oct 20, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Usually, Brian Kelly gives his team 24 hours to celebrate a win or get over a loss. That rule was likely tested — and you couldn’t blame him if it was slightly relaxed — after Saturday night’s 31-27 loss.
“We need to give our kids a break. They’ve been going since June,” Kelly said on Sunday. “Our first bye week we kept them here to stay on top of their academics. We’re going to give them a little time off. But we’ll come back recharged, ready to go.”
Oct 19, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
Upon second inspection, Brian Kelly hasn’t gained any clarity on the offensive pass interference call that took a game-winning touchdown off the board. While the head coach has moved on, with the Irish getting some much-needed time off during fall break, Kelly’s opinion on the play — now that he’s realized the penalty was on Will Fuller, not C.J. Prosise — is even more muddled.
Oct 19, 2014, 2:37 AM EDT
With 13 seconds left, Corey Robinson caught the 4th-down pass from Everett Golson and walked into the end zone, all but uncovered. And for a moment, it looked like Notre Dame pulled off a win for the ages.
Oct 18, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
It’s finally here. Not just the biggest game of the year, but the ultimate test for this Notre Dame football team. Entering Doak Campbell Stadium against the defending national champs and Heisman Trophy winner, we’ll see if the Irish have what it takes to upset the Seminoles.
Oct 18, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT
With the big showdown just a few hours away, let’s get to the mailbag questions.