The start of the 2005 season and the Charlie Weis Era is almost here. We are now counting down in hours, not months, not days, but hours till kick off. I’m 4 hours away from leaving for College Game Day and as you can tell in the picture above, I’m a little excited.
Right now I am only looking at about 3 hours of sleep before I head out tomorrow morning in my Notre Dame jersey and green hair to hopefully get up front for the taping of College Game Day, but I doubt I’ll even get that much. The thought of Notre Dame football has me wide awake and ready for some football.
What will tomorrow bring? I’m not sure, but I am sure that whatever happens, it will be good to have Notre Dame football back again and being excited for it. Will the new Notre Dame offense repeat the 38 point performance they had against Pitt last year? And more importantly, will the new Notre Dame defense improve on the 41 points they gave up to Pitt a year ago?
These are answers we are just hours away from finding out. Most of the so called experts are picking Pitt to win tomorrow… let them. Let Lee Corso put on some stupid Panther head gear tomorrow at Heinz Field. Let Kirk Hirbstreit remind us that yes he was in fact a college quarterback at one time and then drool over what he thinks Tyler Palko will do to the Notre Dame secondary.
No matter what happens, there’s an excitement I’m feeling towards Notre Dame football again, an excitement that I haven’t had in previous seasons. Many Notre Dame fans are feeling the same thing. Charlie Weis may not be the messiah that some people are making him out to be, but the bottom line is that he has shown enough to get people excited again.
Oh yeah, as for the game… I think Notre Dame will come out and establish the running game. They know Pitt can throw the ball and put up some points, but with the experience of the offensive line, Notre Dame should be able to move the ball on the ground. Notre Dame will try to control the pace of the game and keep the Pitt offense off the field. Then once they have established the game and get the Pitt defense to crowd the line, they will open it up a bit and let Brady Quinn move the ball in the air.
On defense, the Irish will HAVE to get pressure on Palko. I don’t care if they have blitz every down, but if they let Palko hang in the pocket and pick apart the secondary, it will be a long day. Pitt will try to run the ball like Dave Wannstedt and Matt Cavanaugh like to do and I think that will hurt their chances tomorrow. The Notre Dame defense should be able to contain the Pitt running game, and Wannstedt will run the ball more than he should.
I think Notre Dame takes a close one tomorrow. I would love to see a big Notre Dame win, but I’m going to stay somewhat conservative with my prediction. I’ll take Notre Dame 31, Pitt 24. Weis kicks off his career with an impressive road win against a ranked opponent.