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Notre Dame’s Three Keys to Victory

Saturday’s game against the Washington Huskies provides the Fighting Irish with a unique opportunity to finally get a quality win against a previously ranked opponent, one who miraculously upset the mighty Trojans.  Washington (2-2, 4th in Pac-10) is coming off a close loss to Stanford, and will be looking to pull off the upset on the road against the Irish. For the Irish to beat the Huskies, I believe they will need to do three things well.

  • First, Notre Dame’s defensive line will need to play big. Lead by Ethan Johnson, this unit will need to put consistent pressure on Washington’s dual threat quarterback, Jake Locker. Forcing Locker to make rushed throws to young receivers will be key because in the past three games, the Irish have been passed all over by inferior quarterbacks.  Also, pressuring Locker will be crucial, as he is one of the premier running quarterbacks in the nation. Young linemen such as Kapron Lewis-Moore and Ian Williams will need to step up in the spotlight and rush Locker. Putting pressure on the quarterback has been a problem this season and has allowed opposing quarterbacks too much time in the pocket down the stretch
  • The second key to a victory this Saturday is penalties. This season, Notre Dame has had costly penalties in key points of the game that has taken all the wind out of productive drives. Last week against Purdue, Golden Tate caught a touchdown because of a magnificent throw, all to be called back by a penalty, forcing the Irish to settle for a field goal. The most highlighted penalties have been by experienced players such as Sam Young, Harrison Smith and Duval Kamara. Notre Dame will need to play smart, and cannot afford to beat themselves against a quality team like the Huskies.
  • The last key to the game is the young special teams. Coach Weis announced this week that Ben Turk will be taking over for the inconsistent Eric Maust at punter.  Turk will need to pin the Huskies deep into their own territory in order for Tenuta to bring the blitz against Locker. A name that was highly publicized last year was Rudy-like figure, Mike Anello, and although he has played well so far, I am waiting for his break out game this season.  There is no reason it can’t happen Saturday.  The return game has been solid for the Irish so far, but freshman Theo Riddick will need solid returns to give Clausen and the offense a strong opportunity to succeed. On punt returns, Tate has been effective, but the Irish will need good blocking for him to have a chance to take one back.

55 comments

  1. “Washington coming off its close loss to Stanfor”

    ????????????????????????????????????????

    Huh? They were completely barried by Stanford for almost the entire game.

    If close loss is 34-14, what’s a 24-21 game score?

    Let’s get Bill O’Reilly on here for some spin control.

    GO IRISH

  2. They know how to put on a show!

    -The Leprechaun
    http://www.myfightingirish.net

    • Little Green dude, I love your movies. My favorite is Leprechaun in the hood. Your web-site rocks too.
      There’s just one thing. I looked and Looked
      but couldn’t find where you keep your Limericks.
      I had a good one for our next game that I thought you might like. It goes something like this:
      Little coach Pete come smell our feet
      we’re playin this game on grass
      When Jimmy calls hike, and Tate scores with a spike
      You loose, so now you can kiss our ass

    • Didn’t like that one?
      OK here’s another for USC.

      Their teanm is named after rubbers
      They’re all a bunch of bar hoppin clubbers
      From within these sacred walls, and also our hallowed halls
      they’ll be facing 3rd and long, you’ll hear our fight song, and know that you’ve been kicked in the balls

  3. For all you ND “fans” that think we should beat every team by 4 TD’s. Remember how it felt to loose to Michigan on basiclly the last play?
    I find it quite enjoyable when ND cuts the heart out of their opponent at the end of the game. Just when Mich ST, or Purdue, or Washington, starts smiling and jumping around thinking they have the game won, up jumps the Irish to steal victory. Actually, if you think of it,it’s kind of cruel and inhumane. I guess I’m just one sick and twisted individual who gets his kicks at some poor saps dismay. I like winning ugily. If you think the ND haters’ were bad before, just keep this up for the rest of the year!
    Did you see Rupolph make that twisting jump catch in O.T.? Did you see the look on the faces on the Washington side line? Their coaches , and players? Priceless!
    Ha,ha, huh,huh,huh,huh, ha, ho, ho, ha, ha.
    That just made my week.
    Am I a bad sport? Michigan fans seemed to enjoy our fate. As far as I’m concerned USC, BC, Pitt, are next in line for some payback. I hope we beat each one on the last play of the game. Maybe triple OT. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  4. Clausen over 400 yards in one game!!]
    WOW!
    That THAT is Unreal!!!!
    ( Really glad that this team has a bye this week.
    Clausen’s health, the come from behind victories-and one loss in 4 straight weeks is enough to make any team take a breath -be ready-get through mid term exams and breathe and do the best we can. THAT could be better than anyone expects-especially USC)

  5. OK – A WIN IS A WIN. WE KNOW THE OFFENSE CAN COME BACK NO PROBLEM THERE. STILL TOO MANY 3RD AND 1s NOT CONVERTED. THAT HAS TO BE DONE TO KEEP DRIVES GOING AND SEAL WINS. SOMEONE HAS TO TELL THE DEFENSE THEY ARE PLAYING “TACKLE” FOOTBALL NOT TOUCH AND OPPOSING RECIEVERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE KEPT FROM CATCHING THE BALL. AS MUCH AS MARK MAY IRRITATES ME HE DOES MAKE A POINT – SO SHUT HIM UP. DOMINATE A GAME FOR 60 MINUTES BURY TEAMS AND SOUNDLY BE RANKED TEAMS. WHEN THE IRSH GET BACK TO DOING THAT THEN WE CAN THINK ABOUT BCS AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE BOTH TATE AND FLOYD IN THERE THOUGH WOULDN’T IT. LET’S JUST NOT GET EMBARRASSED BY USC AND GIVE MAY MORE AMMUNITION

  6. Golden Tate: 9 catches, 244 yds

    unreal

  7. I too hate Mark May -but he hates nearly everything but himself with his cocky conceit.
    The defense grew up today!
    Goal line stands.
    The penalties against ND were interesting and some just full of it.
    I can’t believe some of the calls.
    On ABC they were touting the remarkable performance of Washington’s OB and NOTHING about ND. Didn’t Clausen throw for some 400 yards?
    Didn’t ND Defense have goal line stands which won the game?
    Didn’t ND not quit and BEAT Washington ( again)?
    The defense needs to stop the pass more -and not allow HUGE plays on 3rd down.
    Charlie is not going for it every time –and that is not a bad thing.
    Points are points–and today it added up.
    THANK THE GOOD LORD JESUS that ND has a FIELD GOAL KICKER!!
    How about that? Did he visit Hentrich of the 90’s recently?
    Still-I wish we could just BURY A TEAM -and put them AWAY!!!
    I REALLY don’t care if it is unsportsmanlike to run up the score.
    It will be healthier for all of us here and the ND fan base around the world-including those on Mt. Everest.
    I am STILL as of 1:02 a.m. trying to calm down—it is time for a LONG walk. Four weeks in a row! A win is a win–but OT has not been in ND’s favor veyr much to my knowledge. ( What IS the record for ND in OT? All I could think of was an Air Force repeat in the 90’s -20-17–I still have nightmares from that! I know -let it go. )
    ND has the talent on offense but they not only play the opponet but the refs as well. Special, isn’t it?
    Washington is on target to be THE most improved program in the NCAA–as I said last June that they would be.
    ND needs a break –and so do the operators from the 911 calls for potential cardiac arrests.
    ( I am Serious here–not sarcastic—but I don’t think Weiss looks very well these days. I am concerned–as I would be for anyone.)

  8. I hate Mark May and I am done.

    • I agree with you. Mark May is the biggest cry baby on ESPN. He says that ND hasn’t beaten anyone with a winning record, which is true, but isn’t this the same Washington team that beat his beloved Trojans? He actually said the only reason ND won was because of a blown call by the refs. I thought he was a a professional, not a middle school kid.

      This team has comeback late in the 4th quarter to take the lead for games in a row. Isn’t it time to give this team a little credit. Also, he said there is no way ND beats USC in 2 weeks. I would like to hear what his lame excuses will be if we do beat them.

      • Mark May really wants a Sunday job and is doing his best to kiss butt to the California faithful.
        He HATES everything about ND -past, present and future.
        What the s.o.b. failed to mention was the bogus calls on ND these past weeks.
        I don’t think the refs GAVE the opponet the games–but they sure helped at key times.
        Every time ND intercepts or tackles, I hold my breath for “holding” -only to see it done a few plays later by the opponet –which may or may nor be called.
        ND is definitely the cardiac
        team. Mark May will NOT give credit to anyone but himself and what is “cool” for the day. Lou, on the other hand sees the game for what it is from the coach’s point of view and he knows the entire science of the game.
        USC has feet of clay–and so does Mark May. He just does not know it yet.
        As for teams with “records” the season is still early-Michigan State is just a few plays from being 4-1 or undefeated. Did they NOT beat Michigan in the same kind of game we are seeing week after week at ND? May would lose credit in his feeble mind if he considered that.
        Again, Lou is a Man -mark is a boy-the school yard type with a chip on his shoulder.
        He can’t give credit due to ND when it is due.
        AND we have problems –but we DO deserve credit for the never say die attitude and to find a way to WIN!
        As for Markie, arrogance and
        Pride cometh before a fall.

  9. THREE GOAL LINE STANDS Three! Are you kidding me

    • Against the team that beat the MIGHTY TROJANS NO LESS!!!
      THREE Goal Line stands—
      in the analysis of the entire game,that WON the game
      along with the INCREDIBLE two point conversion where the Huskies took a ride to the endzone with us to see ND get 2 points!! Oh yeah!!
      THREE goal line stands!
      Whew!
      ( Good thing I am not into pro-football–I could not take
      this ALL weekend long.) LOL

  10. Hopefully this imressed Barr, Gaston, and Pullard…sure would like to get all these three Commited.

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