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IBG: USC edition

Oct 16, 2013, 1:06 PM EDT


Is it me, or are we all a little bit subdued about this weekend’s football game? Whether or not Lane Kiffin is still on the sidelines, there’s no bigger game this year (or at least from now until Stanford) for the Irish. The Trojans come to town for their biannual October trip to the Midwest, leaving the cozy confines of Los Angeles for a long weekend in Chicago and South Bend.

Wearing the Cardinal and Gold may not be as easy as it used to be, so the amount of Southern Cal fans trolling the Windy City might be down a bit, but there’s no doubting that Ed Orgeron’s squad will be up for their visit, embracing the role of spoiler as they have a chance to knock the Irish out of BCS relevancy by mid-October.

Joining me this week for the IBG is Mike Coffey of NDNation. If you’d like to visit the rest of the folks, check out the following blogs:

Her Loyal Sons
ND Nation
Strong and True

Play along in the comments, but here are Mike’s answers to my three questions.

1) Once again, Notre Dame will play USC under the lights. Overall, how do you assess the night game addition these past few years? Do you think it’s been a value-add from a football perspective? How about from the fan’s perspective?

I’m sure from a football perspective, everyone likes it.  NBC likes the prime-time exposure, the players like playing under the lights, the staff likes a charged atmosphere for recruiting purposes.

From a fan’s perspective, it’s going to depend on the fan.  For those of us who grew up on Saturday afternoons in Notre Dame Stadium, it may be a detraction.  Those of us driving in from Chicago have a pretty late night with few (if any) options for a post-game meal.  I can understand if other fans like it, though.

2) Brian Kelly always talks about using the off week to develop some of the younger players that need some work. Give me one offensive and defensive player that you hope takes a step forward down the home stretch?

On defense, the quicker we can get Max Redfield into play, the better off we’ll be.  We need more quickness at safety, and I believe he can provide it.

On offense, I’d have to say Ben Koyack.  While I’d like to see the TE’s in general get more involved, if Koyack is playing better, the offense will be better.

3) I suppose we’ve got to talk rivalry, right? How do you view Southern Cal, the importance of the annual game, and its place in college football?

I’ve always said Notre Dame football has one friend (Navy), one enemy (Michigan), and one rival (Southern Cal).  Even though I attended ND in the midst of the Decade of Dominance, I was raised in an ND house and taught Southern Cal was The Rivalry for us, so the fact we won a lot of games in a row didn’t change that for me.  The losses to SC since 2000 have burned under the skin … I hate losing to those people.  It’s not the same as losing to Michigan (which I also hate) – losing to SC sticks around in the psyche longer, especially the way we lost to them recently.  If ND is going to protect any games on its schedule, it should be SC and Navy and that’s it.

Regarding its place in college football, it’s lost the luster a little bit with ND being down.  However, I believe a matchup between ranked ND and SC teams will always be a draw.  It doesn’t have the casual-fan-interest that a Michigan/Ohio State or Alabama/Auburn has, but college football fans who know the game know the rivalry and what it has meant.

  1. domer77blowsgoats - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    who is this guy? these response are horrible

    1. Why put Redfield in now and burn his redshirt in week 7?
    2. Who outside of the southeast watches Alabama/Auburn? Really a better known rivalry? I don’t recall that pep rally being aired live on ESPN ala ND/USC 2005…

    • nudeman - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      LOFL. They are horrible responses.
      I believe Redfield has played every game so far this year on ST, hasn’t he?
      Believe there’s some rule about not playing after game 6 if you want to preserve a RS, but given how much he’s played on ST, his is probably already gone. So might as well play him at safety. They are badly lacking speed among the DBs.

      Ala/Auburn is totally a regional thing. For that matter, so is UM/OSU.
      ND/USC is a true national rivalry.

      • kansasirish - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        Yes he has played in every game on ST. Might as well throw him in there….definitely can’t get any slower.

  2. kansasirish - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    This dude is concerned with a post game meal? How old is he 80? Load up on the early bird special on the way to the game Morti Seinfeld!

    • heartofgoldandblue - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Was thinking the same thing…not quite as far as Morti but I wouldn’t mind having that problem. “You mean I have to drive all the way to South Bend, attend the game free (I’m assuming), watch the Fighting Irish play their biggest and arguably most hated rival, and on the way home I can’t eat immediately?! Life sucks!”

    • shamrocknroll - Oct 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      That’s NDNation for you. Just be glad there were no questions about turf, music, or jumbotrons.

  3. getsome99 - Oct 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Not exactly sure Redfield is actually faster than the current Safeties that are starting. Maybe by a couple tenths a of second, but his lack of experience likely gives the other (2) the edge in terms of game speed.

    According to Redfield himself, his playing time really depends on him learning to play the position at this level. When he’s ready, he’ll play. I’m sure he’ll get his shot to contribute more this weekend and his playing time should increase even more against the upcoming opponents with less imposing passing offenses.

    It’s natural for us to want to see our “shiny new toys” in action but if they’re not ready to play at a high level then it’s better to break them in slow.

  4. getsome99 - Oct 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Auburn/Alabama only matters in Alabama.

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