Aug 18, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Notre Dame plays Rice in less than two weeks. While that might take a backseat to the interest following the academic investigation that’s underway, the Irish are preparing for a football game, and 15 practices into camp, things are starting to come together.
With Media Day Tuesday, I’ll have a better opportunity to poke and prod and see things for myself. But here’s another breakdown of the Irish’s practice, taking a look at Saturday’s open practice inside Notre Dame Stadium.
0:16 — Notre Dame Stadium is shaping up… And look close enough and you see another slick Under Armour shirt for UND.com’s Jack Nolan. (Not to mention the Irish coastal grasses, or whatever we’re calling the thick rough I lost my golf balls in.)
0:21 — Look closely and you see Doug Randolph (44) and Durham Smythe (80) riding the stationary bikes.
0:35 — Welcome back, Mike Denbrock.
0:39 — That is some artistic trolling… Look at that beautiful synthetic shag.
0:41 — He may have lost his starting job, but I don’t want to see Romeo Okwara (45) coming off the edge at my blind side.
0:44 — That’s DeShone Kizer (14) and Malik Zaire (8) working some agility drills.
0:47 — Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder coaches up freshman Nyles Morgan (5), who looks to have dinged up his thumb this camp.
0:52 — Nice coverage by Cole Luke (36), but Chris Brown (2) gets inside and makes a well-contested catch.
0:56 — Maybe Matthias Farley (41) is the defense’s version of Tommy Rees. Just when you think he’s buried, he finds a way back to life. Here Farley gets beat to the corner by C.J. Prosise (20).
1:01 — Not sure if that was underthrown, but you know Cody Riggs (2) has pretty good jets when he’s running stride for stride with Will Fuller (7). The pass falls incomplete and Fuller looks a little bit gimpy.
1:05 — I’m all for tight coverage, Devin Butler (12). But that’s 10 yards the easy way for Corey Holmes (15).
1:11 — Not sure if Jalen Brown (21) gets away with that one, either…
1:15 — Nice move by Corey Robinson (88) to break that route off. He hits the breaks and Nick Watkins (19) flies by him.
1:20 — That’s walk-on freshman Keenan Centlivre (87), a 6-foot-6 wide receiver boxing out senior walk-on Connor Cavalaris (47). That’s some intriguing size.
1:22 — Ben Koyack (18) when one way, Drue Tranquill (23) went another. Koyack just ate Tranquill up, as the young safety tried to squat on the route.
1:28 — Maybe I’m going to start buying what BK is selling on Chris Brown. That’s a pretty impressive catch in the corner of the end zone that the refs gave him. (Now would the replay officials?)
1:35 — That doesn’t seem fair. It looked like Robinson was wearing those velcro gloves when he reached out and snatched that throw over Cole Luke. (Nice ball by Malik Zaire.)
1:42 — Everett Golson throws a rocket to Brown, who juggled the ball before catching in underneath the Irish coverage.
1:46 — James Onwualu (17) would’ve had the sack, but Golson drills a deep corner to Will Fuller, and then another rep shows him hitting Brown again, this time in front of Cody Riggs.
1:55 — This time it’s Zaire’s turn to hit Brown.
2:04 — Gotta think that’s broken coverage. C.J. Prosise was wide open behind the defense, keeping his feet and jogging in for a touchdown.
2:11 — Zaire shows some nice zip, hitting Holmes on the sideline in front of Brown.
2:14 — If you’re looking to start some Jaylon Smith All-American reels, here’s the first of two pretty good plays. A nice breakup on Koyack.
2:18 — Fancy feet by Tarean Folston (25), who runs through a shadow defense.
2:22 — Unfortunately, Jaylon runs through Folston who was trying to pass block him, with Smith literally de-cleating Folston the blocker on his way to the quarterback.
For the love of football, I hope we get a chance to see Smith blitz a bit this season.
2:27 — Speaking of steamrollers, Sheldon Day (91) just put one on Mike McGlinchey (68), who was filling in at left tackle. Day got the sack with Anthony Rabasa (56) coming off the other edge.
2:40 — Decent pass rush by “starter” Andrew Trumbetti (98), working against McGlinchey. Golson steps up to buy time, scrambles until his pass is knocked down by Onwualu.
2:48 — Those freshmen mistakes that Kelly talked about with Zaire? This is one of them. Rolling right, throwing across his body into the end zone, Zaire is picked off by Elijah Shumate, a killer turnover that would’ve got some steam to come out of BK’s ears.
2:58 — That’s some red zone success for the 1st team offense, with Golson connecting with Koyack.