Here’s some random thoughts coming off the bye week.
- Looking back at the UNC game for a minute… Was the first half of that game the best coached half of football under Weis since the 2005 USC game or was it just me? The game plan coming into the game and the play calling in the first half was perfect. We came out firing and spreading the field out and when UNC adjusted, we had a counter. Wish we would have continued to run the ball more in the second half though.
- Cierre Wood is going to be an absolute perfect fit for this offense. As I watched the UNC game a second time and saw the four wide receiver sets with a lone back in Armando Allen behind Jimmy Clausen I couldn’t help but think about how nice a fit Wood is for this offense. Wood has him run speed and can catch the ball very well out of the backfield.
- Michigan is bad. Really bad. I don’t think that they will continue to be this bad under Rodriquez if he can get the athletes he needs in Ann Arbor. Michigan simply doesn’t have the personnel for either the offense or the defense Rodriquez has installed and he hasn’t adapted his systems. In the long term that will turn out to be a good thing, but in the short term they are staring at a 3 win season.
- We really need to close strong recruiting on the defensive side of the ball. Getting Manti Te’o or Jelani Jenkins would be ideal. Getting a Chris Bonds would be pretty darn nice as well. One thing that stuck out to be watching the UNC game was that we’re still smaller and slower on defense than elite teams. There’s plenty of reinforcements in the freshmen and sophomore classes, but it’s going to take another couple very good defensive classes to get this defense to the elite level.
- Jimmy Clause is scary accurate. If he can cut down on the interceptions in the second half of the season his stats at the end of the year are going to be better than any Notre Dame quarterback’s whose name is not Brady Quinn.
- James Aldridge has looked much, much better than he did last year. He’s running harder and with more authority than we’ve seen out of him. He is reminding me a lot of the Green Bay Packers version of Ryan Grant right now. He attacks a hole, but doesn’t have the laterally mobility to something out of nothing. It’s a shame that Aldridge hasn’t been able to regain his full agility after his knee injury his senior year of high school, but as we’ve seen with Grant in Green Bay, that type of runner can be very successful with a good offense line.
- Hats off to john Latina. I don’t care who we’ve played, the offensive line was a nightmare last year and has been vastly improved this year. Pass blocking has been night and day this year compared to last year. If the line’s run blocking continues to improve, the only defense we’ll face capable of slowing this offense down will be USC.
- Players I’d like to see more of on offense in the second half of the season (excluding starters) – Trevor Robinson, James Aldridge, Matt Romine, Jonas Gray, Evan Sharpley.
- Players I’d like to see more of on defense in the second half of the season (excluding starters) – Mo Richardson, Ethan Johnson, Kerry Neal, Darius Fleming, Steve Filer, Emeka Nwankwo, and Robert Blanton.
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