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Pregame Six Pack: Primetime at Pitt

Nov 8, 2013, 1:23 PM EDT

Notre Dame v Air Force Getty Images

During a season filled with high-wire acts and last-second escapes, Notre Dame’s 29-26 victory over Pitt might have been the capper, with the Irish miraculously winning the game in triple overtime after trailing 20-6 in the fourth quarter.

They did so even with Everett Golson throwing a killer interception in the Pitt end zone, trailing by eight with under four minutes to go. They won even after Cierre Wood fumbled going into the end zone in double-overtime, surviving when a 33-yard field goal sailed wide right (with an assist from a high snap).

Saturday night’s game might not have the same dramatic set-up, but Notre Dame will face a similarly desperate team that wants badly to beat the Irish after losing three straight close games to Notre Dame. While Paul Chryst’s team has been inconsistent on both sides of the football, for 60 minutes on Saturday night, they’ll have the chance to turn their season around in front of a national audience.

“They don’t seem to like Notre Dame very much, and they want to beat Notre Dame,” Brian Kelly said earlier this week. “I think it’s one of those games where you know you’re going to go in and it’s going to be a fight.”

Let’s jump into the pregame six pack. As usual, here are six tidbits, fun facts, leftovers or miscellaneous musings before Notre Dame and Pittsburgh do battle on Saturday night in primetime.

***

Matched up against the interior of Notre Dame’s offensive line, defensive tackle Aaron Donald will be Public Enemy No. 1 in the trenches for the Irish. 

He may lack the size of an elite defensive tackle, but Pitt’s Aaron Donald has been a terror this season, leading the country with 19.5 TFLs, averaging roughly 2.5 a game. Matched up on the interior of the Irish offensive line, freshman Steve Elmer and first-year starter Nick Martin have their toughest challenge of the season, especially with Chris Watt far from full strength with a PCL tear.

While Watt isn’t 100 percent, Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated reported on the Irish Illustrated Insider podcast that Watt told him he was 100 percent going to play, and it’s likely because of the importance of keeping Donald out of the backfield.

Aaron Donald has been a one‑man wrecking crew,” Kelly said this week. “We know about him from last year.  Big, physical defensive line, and he will be somebody that we will have to game plan and find a way to slow down.  He’s in the backfield, very active.  I think for him, you know, you have a powerful guy, but he’s also extremely quick at the point of attack.”

Last year, Donald racked up seven tackles in Pitt’s near upset. Interestingly enough, after the overtime victory, Kelly talked a little bit about spreading the defense out to try and neutralize Donald. A week after playing a base with mostly two-tight ends, we’ll see how the Irish try and attack the Pitt defense.

***

With Ben Councell out for the season with an ACL tear, it’s Jaylon Smith or bust at outside linebacker. 

Heading into the season, most wondered how talented freshman Jaylon Smith would find his way onto the field. Now we’re wondering how he’s ever going to find his way off of it. Brian Kelly confirmed the bad news most assumed this week when he disclosed Ben Councell tore his ACL. That removes the returning two-deep depth chart at the Dog outside linebacker position with Danny Spond retired after his battle with migraine headaches.

We already know Smith is no ordinary freshman. But what’s really helped him grow throughout this season isn’t just his superior athleticism, but rather his ability to mental grasp one of the hardest positions on the Irish defense.

“I would say that each and every week he builds on his knowledge base,” Kelly explained. “That doesn’t necessarily happen in all the players that I’ve coached in my years.  Sometimes it takes a year to kinda digest everything and then come back that next year and you really see kind of a rise in your play.

“But with this young man, things happen to him, and they stick. He learns from mistakes that are made, and applies them the next week. He’s an extraordinary player in the sense that an accelerated learning curve for somebody that experiences it for the first time and very rarely does it come back to hit him again.”

That’s high praise from a head coach that doesn’t spend much time fawning over his players. And it also gives you an idea of the pressure that’ll be put on Smith during these last three games, with no true back-up at the position any more.

***

With the Irish beginning their ACC scheduling pact next season, expect plenty more of Pitt… and the expansion of a below-the-radar rivalry. 

Pitt tight end J.P. Holtz expanded on Brian Kelly’s quote about the Panthers not liking Notre Dame this week, with the young tight end carrying over some collateral anger from last year’s overtime defeat.

“Personally, I don’t like Notre Dame at all,” Holtz said said. “It’s just going to make me go harder. I just think they’re really cocky and their coaches are really cocky. I just don’t like that. They’re just different people there.” 

Holtz might have been the only player to voice the opinion, but it’s safe to say the feeling is likely shared. It’s also likely a product of some really close games over the past five seasons, with two decided in triple-overtime.

There’s been just 20 points separating these two teams over the past five years, with Notre Dame winning the last three games by a total of 11 points.

***

It’s been a long time, but Notre Dame might just finally have their starting defensive line together. 

With little depth left along the front of the Irish defensive line, Mike Elston might finally have his starting three ready to go after not being able to have the group together at full strength for just about any game this season.

Stephon Tuitt came out of the gates slowly, an offseason hernia surgery the culprit. Defensive end Sheldon Day has battled a high ankle sprain for the better part of the season. And Louis Nix sat out the past two weeks against Air Force and Navy, a balky knee and other ailments keeping him off the field.

Kelly updated Nix’s status, feeling confident that Big Lou will be ready for action and the final three regular season games of the season.

“He had a full week of practice, moved around well, Kelly said. “He was in the training room all week. Thursdays are our 48-hour meetings with the staff, which is where we get our pretty definitive idea of if our guys are gonna be full strength and everybody feels like he’s gonna be good to go.”

A week after Day hobbled off after aggravating his ankle injury with a cut block, the Irish hope he’ll be able to answer the bell as well, needing as many good reps out of the starting three as they can get before sliding down the depth chart.

Looking for a stat that best puts the health struggles the Irish have had up front into context? During the last six games, Tuitt, Nix and Day have played together just 13 snaps. They’ve given up just 21 yards and had two sacks.

(Hat-tip to Irish Illustrated for that one.)

***

Expect the Irish to challenge Pitt with the deep ball early and often. 

After spending much of his career throwing accurately and underneath, Tommy Rees and the Irish offense have taken shots down the field from the season opener. And after a rough patch in the middle of the season, Rees has rebounded and played very sound football from the Arizona State game on.

After completing 11 passes of 32 yards or more last season with a rocket-armed Everett Golson at the helm, Rees has already completed an astounding 14 passes of more than 32 yards. Rees’ success hasn’t just come with the deep ball, he’s also been more efficient taking chunks of 20-yards or more.

In his 34 starts entering the season, Rees had completed 59 throws that went for 20+ yards. In nine games this year he’s completed 37. In those 34 starts, he had only completed 20 passes of over 30 yards. This season he’s completed 15.

Even with two interceptions last week against Navy, Rees has put up an impressive 22-8 touchdown/interception ratio. Numbers that have been a good surprise in a season that’s had so many tough breaks.

***

We’ll see if Brian Kelly thinks Tarean Folston’s big game against Navy was more running back or opponent. 

While some looked at Tarean Folston’s 140-yards against Navy as his “Star is born” moment, the reality of the situation is that Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson also ran for over seven yards per carry.

There’s no doubting that Folston added a spark to the Irish ground game and a dimension that we haven’t yet seen, but on second inspection there deserves to be a bit of skepticism that comes with putting up stats against a service academy defense.

All that being said, we’ll see how impressed Brian Kelly was by Folston’s performance by the touches he gives the freshman Saturday night in front of a national audience. We’ve seen big games from fellow freshmen Corey Robinson and Will Fuller already this season, but they’ve gone back to non-factors just as quickly. That shouldn’t be the case with Folston, though we’ll see how heavy an allocation he takes in a running back rotation that looks to be down to Folston, Atkinson and McDaniel.

Probably the most surprising thing about Folston’s emergence last week were the crunch time carries. Then again, McDaniel, Atkinson and Carlisle have all coughed up footballs at inopportune times.

The Panthers only have one defensive lineman on their two-deep that weighs more than 300 pounds. They don’t have a single linebacker that weighs over 230. So the power advantage up front leans Irish. Let’s see how comfortable Kelly is putting the game on Folston’s shoulders.

  1. irishwilliamsport - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I think we will be able to run the ball and set up some play action passes. Or maybe we can line up 9 monster offensive lineman like stanford did last night and just dare them to stop us.

    • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Hello hello hello, mike check mike check 123 123.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        To the tik tok n u don’t stoopooooop!

      • don74 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        LOL. Welcome back…..hope the meds keep working.

    • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      Ok it works. I feel like Brad Pitt. This is what he must’ve felt like when he navigated the minefield in Vietnam holding her hand tightly and closely when they went to adopt Pax.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        First n forelast, I’d like to thank god for allowing me to post on here. I got on my knees(deep breath, deep breath, u can doooo it) n he came through for me, so…

        Thank you God;-)

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        Guys, NBC sent me here to check out the thumbs down function. Hey NBC, it looks like it’s working just fine!

    • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Hey babe!!! ***waves herrooo***

      P.s. Xoxo

  2. irishaggie - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I don’t think Tennessee, Ole Miss, or Vanderbilt like Bama very much. I’m also pretty sure they think Saban and the players are cocky, but they take care of business. If you’re a good team you go and get the job done even when teams want to rip your head off. Just go out and take care of business boys.

  3. almoose - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    You know if Pitt is trouble Stanford is going to embarrass ND. The Defense is just not the same as last year. Stanford can run and stop the Gap! I may be wrong but figure its Stanford 42 ND 12. Kelly gets the guys prepared but his antics of considering another Pro Team cost the school five or six key players last year! Love the school but when it gets close the Coach lets us down. Rockne would turn over in his grave. Oh well I’ll wait and see. When Pitt is a challenge it’s a real problem. Just need to find a real QB that can run and has some size. Aaron Rogers type. Good luck to all and know you will not like the post but that is the freedom of expression! Rees has done a good job and is accurate with the pass. Tom grew up!

    • nudeman - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      almoose
      Your post is all over the map. Also, why all the exclamation points? !!

      1. Agree. Things do not look favorable for ND/Stanford. There’s just no way to conclude that will be anything other than a reenactment of Little Bighorn. They looked overwhelming last night.

      2. I was and still am as disgusted as anyone re: Kelly’s NFL dance, but it did not cost them 5 or 6 players. That is pure exaggeration. It cost ONE player – Alex Anzalone. And the conventional wisdom is that as flaky as his recruitment was, he was looking for an excuse to decommit and would have found a reason even if BK didn’t do that obnoxious Philly intvw.

      3. Aside from the Philly intvw, when has “the coach let us down”? Wtf.

      4. We just need to find an Aaron Rodgers type? Those don’t exactly grow on trees, dude. Like saying “if the Cubs could just find another Ruth/Gehrig combination …” Jesus.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        put down the hemlock, at least for now.

        part of the reason stanford ran the ball at will on oregon is that stanford had a solids gameplan and didn’t stray from it. the other reason is that oregon’s rush defense isn’t very good.

        Nicholls St. 37 87 2.35
        Virginia 39 124 3.18
        Tennessee 38 178 4.68
        California 51 149 2.92
        Colorado 36 94 2.61
        Washington 42 194 4.62
        Washington St. 12 2 0.17
        UCLA 52 219 4.21 1
        Stanford 66 274 4.15 2

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        Nude Aaron Rogers do grow on trees. He went to comm. college. You just gotta know what da hell ur doing.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        So does Tom Brady’s n Montana’s n Steve youngs n Brett Flavas. Actually most hall of fame n Super Bowl qbs do grow on trees.

        You just gotta know what da hell ur doing.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        sorry, that wasn’t supposed to happen.

        anyway, oregon has given up yards on the ground all season and is ranked 43rd in rush defense. i also have to think that part of oregon’s defensive mindset is comforted by the fact that if they can just hold their opponents under 35 points, they’ll still win by 2 touchdowns because the offense scores so many points.

        of course, nd’s rush defense needs to have a different sort of urgency about stopping the run, but since stanford isn’t worried about ND putting up 40 points, it won’t be looking run the ball 65 times like last night to shorten the game so the entire game’s going to be different.

        that’s about as positive as i can be at this point. i’m still not sure i believe myself.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        Who’s that grocery store guy Super Bowl qb, that’s like me catholic w tight morals n republican. Dam u ecstasy I can’t remember nothing.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Nude give nooseknucklehead a break. He might be former drug addict recent coke head who might be looking for some e solace on here.

        Moose, I accept you just the way you are. Let’s get better together and fly away. Welcome, xoxo

      • nudeman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        4horse
        ND’s rush defense is ranked 64. Last time I checked, 43 is better than 64.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        sure nd is 64th, but nd didn’t play stanford last night, they play them 3 weeks.

        also look at oregon’s schedule, there’s nobody on it. nichols state? virginia? tennessee? ucla even? plus, the pac 12 isn’t a run-first conference like the big ten/service academies are, so giving up big rushing yards in the pac-12 is all the more unimpressive.

      • bearcatirishfan - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Does anyone else feel like the Pac 12 is the new big 10. We keep hearing about how good and deep their conference is until low and behold one of them plays a good team nonconference or in conference and they loose. I mean UCLA was back oh wait the second half of the season started never mind. Arizona’s offense is flying high oh wait they had to play USC that actually has a defense.

      • ndirish10 - Nov 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        4horse,

        NDs rush defense:

        9 Games, 357 attempts, 1484 yds, 4.16 ave/c, 9 tds, 39.67 att/g, 164.89 yards/g

        Doesn’t look good for our beloved Irish if Stanford plays with the same intensity it did v Oregon the 3 quarters and most of 4th. But let’s take it one game at a time. GO IRISH! Beat pitt! ONWARD TO VICTORY!!!

      • tucsonfan - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        I don’t find anything obnoxious about Kelly talking to the Eagles, except the timing wasn’t ideal He has every right to manage his career, just as we do, and just as the players do–they leave ND after we’ve invested 3 years in them, expecting/hoping for a 4th, but they have every right to move up if they have the skills. Same applies to coaches.

      • nudeman - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        Ndirish
        In order for UCLA to be “back” wouldn’t they have to have been somewhere in the first place?
        I’m almost 60 and have no recollection of the Bruins being a factor in football. Ever.

      • ndirish10 - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        nude, you mean bearcatirish fan. I made no mention of UCLA.

      • ndirish10 - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        nude, I found the answer.

        UCLA – 1954 Coaches’ National Champions

    • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Mooseknickles, I can’t say that I disagree w you, at all.

    • don74 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      I think ND is playing Pitt this week. Stanford is 3 weeks away. Who knows what each team will look like.

      • ndirish10 - Nov 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        don,

        Very true, but Stanford has looked consistent for 8 out of 9 games. Our Irish have not.

    • danirish - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Kelly’s “antic’s” didn’t do anything. One recruit said it did but he was never really Irish anyway. Five or six? Whatever!

      ND had a running qb but he made bad life choices, we will see him soon.

      Rees has done admirable – hope his best game is against Stanford.

  4. fitz79 - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    One of these days Notre Dame will play a mistake free, “perfect” game, like Navy did last week. Why not this week? If we don’t turn the ball over or find some other way to shoot ourselves in the foot I think ND will pretty easily handle a suddenly over hyped Pitt squad. Irish 34-17.

    • NotreDan - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      Save the perfect game for Stanford please, God knows we’ll need it.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I like Stanford I like what they did to those getto fab punks last night. I like Jonathan Martin. I don’t like dolphins. I love the irish. No not the people just the football team n school.
        Just for doing what they did last night, I’ll take a loss here if it helps them. Catholics vs Convicts Baby and you lose if ur a convict!

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        C’mon Dan, let’s give a Bush Push here to Stanford. They do so many things the right way, at least it seems like it. They are like our little brother. We had ours last year let’s let them have one this year. This is bigger than u n me babe, the society needs it!!!

  5. ndgoldandblue - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    “Expect the Irish to challenge Pitt with the deep ball early and often.” Fine, as long as it works. I just don’t want to see another Michigan State-type passing approach: chuck it deep along the sidelines (or out of bounds) and hope for a pass interference call. If crossing routes and underneath throws are there, take it. They were there in the MSU game; Tommy just didn’t look for them (or maybe he looked, but didn’t want to go with those options).

    • NotreDan - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      I don’t think many teams hope for PI, I think they hope to complete the pass.

      And, as far as MSU goes, you have to admit, they played dirty and really aggressive on pass defense.

      • ndgoldandblue - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        No, I know. Obviously, they were looking for the completion, but looking back on some of those throws, I don’t how Tommy thought he could have completed them. You have to admit, if the refs had let the d-backs and wide-outs play physical, the Irish probably wouldn’t have won that game. Both touchdowns were scored on possessions that had very “iffy” PI calls.

        Hey, I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that the refs can play a big role in determining who wins the game. I watched that whole game last week, and from my couch, I could see several uncalled penalties on Navy. No way they played a perfect, penalty-free game. That fullback had a head start on a bunch of his dives, but nothing was called.

    • NotreDan - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      If I am getting to know Chuck Martin’s style at all, I would expect to see some deep throws early. This makes sense with some question marks along the OL, no? Get Pitt back on their heels a bit. The problem comes if TR is 1) hurried or 2) inaccurate.

      • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Perhaps after the game, deep…..I can’t, I can’t I can’t I can’t let the good lord down. Ugh my neck.

        So does everybody like Martin now that he beat up Air Force?

  6. longliveautrydenson - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    J.P. Holtz doesn’t like us because we’re cocky, huh? Probably has nothing to do with the fact he visited Notre Dame in high school and didn’t get an offer.

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/notredame/football/recruiting/player-JP-Holtz-120682

    Sounds like someone caught a bad case of Boston Collegitis.

    Boston Collegitis: Symptoms include denying you were ever a Notre Dame fan, grumbling about how arrogant Irish fans are, and claiming you never wanted to go to school there in the first place.

    • dickasman - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      Unless he’s named Lou we don’t want him. Kid just reeks like a troubled pot head w that hoody on. He will probably go to a state where pot smoking is kinda legal

    • papadec - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      I expect bostonjan to weigh in on this one. Many of his BC alum neighbors give him a hard time about being a ND alum.

  7. newmexicoirish - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Keith, I’m not sure I want to see us throw it early and often against Pitt. The strength of their defense is two pretty talented cornerbacks and Tommy has that nasty tendency to force a throw from time to time. I think I would much rather see the run set up the pass.

    I watched the entire Stanford Oregon game. Stanford didn’t just beat the ducks – they beat them up! We’re going to have to do the same thing to them when the time comes.

    Go Irish – whip Pitt!

  8. richisirish - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Keith,

    Will you please rewrite #5 to read “Expect the Irish to run north/south early and often to set up the deep ball”?

    Much obliged,

    An anonymous ND fan

  9. nudeman - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    6 things I want to see:
    1) 40 rushing attempts
    2) Amir, time for a breakout. Don’t think you’ve had a totally fair shot. And stop running him up the middle
    3) Niklas & Koyack: Minimum of 10 catches total
    4) Some frosh WR action: Fuller, Onwaulu or the Little Admiral
    5) Tuitt upward trajectory continues. Time for a true monster game
    6) Max: At least 10-12 snaps at safety.
    6a) A successful screen pass
    6b) Alex Flanagan (yes, I know it’s not an NBC game. Still …)
    6c) Herbie say something complimentary about the Irish
    6d) 450+ yards of offense

    6 things I don’t want to see:
    1) Long passes on 3rd & 1, a la MSU game
    2) Pitt RBs isolated on Carlo & Fox
    3) Purple face
    4) NO THROWS INTO DOUBLE COVERAGE AND INTs ON 1ST DOWN
    5) Any more injuries
    6) A short pass in the flat to a RB 10 feet awaythrown 85 MPH
    6a) Passes by Tommy that lead a WR perfectly 5 yards OB
    6b) GAIII getting caught by shoelaces
    6c) Farley whiffing on another tackle

    • viktory2013 - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:02 AM

      Well that pretty much sums it up. Farley, Jackson, Fox and Calabrese are liabilities on defense; if they’re one on one in the open field, you know they’ll miss the tackle. Rees has been fine last few weeks because the offensive line has given him unlimited time in the pocket and the db’s have been slow and dwarfish, so it’s basically been pitch and catch. In fact, Rees has only faced one really decent defense all season in MSU. Pitt isn’t much but can’t see a double digit win…we’re just not playing at a top twenty level.

      • nudeman - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        He played well/not great against ASU. Threw a pick 6 that almost lost the game
        Played great against AF, one of the worst ranked D in CFB
        Played well against Navy, also a lousy, undersized D that had zero pass rush

        The next 3 games will tell us if this “new improved Tommy” is real or illusory.
        Count me as unconvinced of his greatness

      • scottatnd - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        Personally, I think Fox is very much improved this year. The other 3 you mentioned are mediocre at best.

    • mtflsmitty - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      Don’t #6 Oh, now you’re complaining his arm is too strong? LOL

  10. nudeman - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Pitt team rankings
    Some interesting data here

    http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary

  11. steincj36 - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    I hate to admit but I agree with everything nude says. Except the Alex Flannigan thing. She’s annoying.

    • dillonbigred - Nov 9, 2013 at 2:43 AM

      You lost all credibility with your take on Alex.

    • bernhtp - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      Alex is a babe. Should have her give the commencement address and give her an honorary degree instead of some blathering politico.

      • nudeman - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        Love Alex. She’s like the non annoying version of Erin Andrews
        Have a friend who produced that ProBiotics commercial Andrews made
        She was a huge, over-the-top, diva-esque pain in the ass to the crew

        Although I will say those nude hotel room photos weren’t bad
        Wish they were still out there

      • ndgoldandblue - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        Thaaaat’s a stretch, bern. I think Alex is a very competent reporter, but I wouldn’t consider her a babe. Erin Andrews is more physically attractive, but she’s got next-to-zero talent from a journalistic sense, which might make her less attractive as a whole. Frankly, if I had my choice, I’d rather date Alex over Erin because I’ve dated my share of beautiful idiots, and after about a month, things got old.

      • nudeman - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        Ndgoldandblue
        Your use of the verb “date” is very polite, my man
        Wouldn’t have been the one I used

        Andrews comes off as an entitled type; impressed with herself
        Flanny has none of that and is just as good looking
        Has that Catholic school girl look and feel.
        I’ll take Alex.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        one saturday last season erin andrews, eddie george and someone else were doing a pre-game show where they all stand up and walk around the studio. erin andrews was wearing red leather pants that looked like they were painted on her body. come on man, red leather pants! now that’s talent, or something.

        alex flanagn, now she’s no slouch either but the most impressive thing about her is how she keeps her composure when jacka$$ coaches blow off her questions and give her glib responses.

    • richisirish - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      I’d like to see a return of her curls from a few seasons ago…*sigh*

  12. getsome99 - Nov 9, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Defense should be back to full strength by Stanford. We’ve seen all the pieces here and there. We just need to bring it all together and with a week off and BYU as a tuneup on senior day, I think the stars are aligning for a showdown in Palo Alto.

    • nudeman - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Good point knutesghost

  13. rocket1988 - Nov 9, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    @steincj36
    You can’t say that about Alex! She was Fiesta Bowl Queen. She’s a national treasure.

  14. yaketyyacc - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    as I watched the Stanford=Oregon game, one thing emerged: Notre Dame matches Stanford. WE just have to realize how able we are and play up to this ability, starting with Pitt.

  15. steincj36 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    I’m not watching the game for her, that’s for sure. Seriously, the questions she asks sometimes are just a waste of the little time she has. “Coach, what did you think of the first half?” We all know what he thought, his purple face spewed more obscenities than a Tarantino flick! Ask him something of relevance! Football relevance!
    She’s on the sideline as eye candy, but when sports are on, I’m a diabetic.
    Either Mayock writes he questions for her, or we should see if Darius Walker is available.

  16. steincj36 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Tommy will be just fine if we establish the run. No run game, expect him to press. He presses, there will be picks.

  17. fnc111 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    So this power advantage ND has means one thing. Tommy freaking Rees chucking the ball all over the field 40 times. If we are lucky after two TR int’s, ND prevails 27-24 in OT.

    • richisirish - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      I hate to say it but I’ll give you 50/50 on that prediction

  18. getsome99 - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    SEC non conference opponents this week: Just one, Appalachian St vs Georgia.

    • danirish - Nov 9, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      It is UGA’s Homecoming

  19. bostonjan - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I think you hit this one squarely on the head. The BC fans are insufferable – especially those in the 20 to mid 40s age bracket (mirroring the attitude of their players – note the past incidents of BC players trashing the ND locker room, tearing up pieces of the turf to take home for souveniors, etc.).

    I used to cheer for BC unless they were playing the Irish, and I still have utmost respect for the Jesuit educators. But living in the Boston area among their fans is penance in itself. For the most part, their distain for ND is unreal; and I can’t bring myself to cheer for the Eagles. Seems their fans mellow by time they turn 50 – perhaps with the exception of Flutie.

    I for one look forward to playing BC more often now that the Irish join the ACC – and hope to see us drop Navy (as I beat my past posts to death).

    • papadec - Nov 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      boston – I knew you had the inside line on the BC fans. However, with the future ACC lineup for ND, I think they will be playing BC less often.

  20. kapnd73 - Nov 9, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Come on, folks – fnc111 has the Irish WINNING!!

  21. getsome99 - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    In a face sitting contest between Alex Flanigan and Erin Andrews, it would be so close that it would take a best of seven to settle it. Alex in 7.

  22. danirish - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I cannot wait until that untalented “quarterback” graduates

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