Mailbag: Debuts, Schedules and great expectations

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Let’s get to some mailbag questions as the Irish travel to Charlottesville for Saturday afternoon’s football game. Thanks everybody for your questions, sorry I couldn’t get to all of them.

 

@Irishfan219: do you think Texas was a true test for Notre Dames offense?

@01dhish: Bad Texas or good ND team? Does the zero turnovers caused speak more to ND quality? Controlling w/o benefitting from mistakes?

I had to include a few of these “Bad Texas or Good ND” questions, because they were pretty common after Saturday night. To me, I don’t really get it. Texas certainly is a more worthy opponent than some directional school, or one of the FCS teams that got a workout after getting a paycheck.

I like the point that 01 was trying to make (I think) about the zero turnovers and still winning by five touchdowns. That’s pretty telling, as there weren’t any cheap scores in this one to make the game look lopsided. It was every bit as lopsided as you imagined it to be, with the Irish earning all of their scores.

Here’s the thing? These questions: They expire tomorrow. So while some are already worrying about Texas’ struggles this season and how they’ll devalue Notre Dame’s win, throw up a lopsided number against Virginia and you’ll have all your problems solved.

 

@NDIrishCo: Why does ND needs to play 13 games to get into the playoffs when there are so many playing FCS teams?

Glad you asked this. So is Brian Kelly. He went on the offensive when talking to Rich Eisen the other day, calling out Gary Pinkel of Missouri and the other handful of coaches who took their shots on conference Media Day demanding Notre Dame join a conference.

Here’s how Kelly countered it:

“We don’t play any 1-AA teams, and when they decide not to play any 1-AA teams then we’ll be on equal footing,” Kelly told Eisen. “We’re going to play teams that give us a quality schedule…when we measure up our schedules you’ll find ours stack up well. If you look at the schedule we play versus the schedule they play and the number of snaps we’ll put on our football team it’ll be many more than their teams will have to expend.”

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that just because college football blowhards talk about things doesn’t make it true.

 

danirish: Who has more rushing yards? Zaire, CJ or Josh? Also, does Josh Adams start by the end of the year – is he the real deal?

Here’s my guess on season totals:

C.J. Prosise, 1,078 yards, 5.6 ypc
Malik Zaire, 726 yards, 4.7 ypc (dragged down by sack yardage)
Josh Adams, 690 yards, 5.7 ypc
Dexter Williams, 220 yards, 4.8 ypc

I think this is Prosise’s job if he can stay healthy. And I also think Zaire steps forward and becomes a bigger player in the ground game.

 

zman83: Do you think this year we can see the Irish play to there level instead of the opponents? I remember from previous seasons the Irish play great one week and then scare us the next week.

dudeacow: Is this the year that ND FINALLY blows out the teams they should? Or are we in for a nail biter in Saturday?

No, it’s not enough to beat Texas by FIVE TOUCHDOWNS. You need it every week?!?

But I included these questions because I actually think this weekend will tell us a little bit about this team. If they head on the road and immediately take it to Virginia, that’s a great sign. If they can bury them and put this game away comfortably by halftime, even better. And that’ll be a credit to Malik Zaire.

I think we’ll get all the close football we want come next weekend. Until then, I’m all for an easy weekend in the Commonwealth and a safe flight home—and I think it’s coming.