Notre Dame’s Three Keys to Victory

As Notre Dame gears up to host the #6 USC Trojans, the Irish will have an opportunity to finally quiet all the doubters and critics that surround this proud team. If Notre Dame can pull off the upset this Saturday, it would be a momentum boost for Charlie Weis, nudging him off the hot-seat, and a momentum boost for the team. The Irish haven’t beat the Trojans since 2001, Pete Carroll’s first year as head coach. Notre Dame needs all three of the following factors to perform brilliantly, if they expect to hoist the Jeweled Shillelagh Saturday night.

Jimmy Clausen

The Heisman hopeful has yet to beat a ranked team during his tenure at Notre Dame, and will have to play like a Heisman contender to give the Irish a shot at winning. Notre Dame cannot have a legitimate shot at winning without a huge game for Jimmy Clausen, who will have to put up huge stats against a top defense. Clausen, who has been red-hot all season long, has only thrown under 300 yards once, and must throw for at least that for Notre Dame to win. He will need to play the field position game, and not turn over the ball to USC.

Notre Dames run defense

This unit of the team will need to have their best game of the season if they want to shut down USC’s stable of running backs. Lead by junior Joe McKnight, USC is loaded at this position, and has put up monstrous numbers this season, including three backs with at least 150 yds gained, and two backs with at least 5 touchdowns. USC is deep, and can turn to four different backs to produce a running game, as well as rely on the talents of full back Stanley Havili. If the front seven of Notre Dame can limit the run, and force freshman Matt Barkley to throw, Notre Dame will expose his vulnerabilities.  This game is Barkley’s only his third road start – he has a combined 52.75% completion percentage, no touchdowns and two interceptions. If this front seven can play well enough so that the leading tackler Kyle McCarthy can remain in the secondary and not come up to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, Notre Dame will put the weight of the game on a freshman quarterback and intimidate him enough to exploit its huge advantage.

Notre Dames Offensive line

Lead by captain Eric Olsen, this unit has been much improved from past seasons. But with the return of USC’s Armond Armstead, and other dynamic playmakers on their defensive front, this unit will need to play big, in order to open up the run game, and give Clausen time to throw the ball. USC’s defensive front, like its running backs, has a plethora of options to turn to, to make a game-changing play. With Everson Griffen, Nick Perry and Christian Tupou, Notre Dame’s front five will have their hands full all game. Not only will the offensive line need to play well, but tight end Kyle Rudolph, and running backs Armando Allen, Jonas Gray and Robert Hughes will need to pick up their assignments to give Clausen that extra second to get rid of the ball. Keeping Clausen and his toe off the ground and upright will be important for Notre Dame to pull off the upset.

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  1. Additionally I’d like to let everyone know that I am the brother of the person who wrote this article. I am 4th generation ND but ended up going to SC for college (I guess I had a ‘reverse’ Manti Teo moment on my visit to SC). I was a diehard ND fan for 18 years of my life (went to 10 games between age 5-18) and 15+ of my relatives went to ND (great grandfather, grandfather, mom, aunts/uncles/cousins).

    Looking forward to the ND game more than any other as always

    (Oh and I originally came here just to stir the pot since my brother wrote the article)

  2. The* not they

    No “what how”
    Between auto correct and word suggestions smart phones can get screwed up. Ha

    1. I am concerned about depth as well, especially at the DT and RB position. SC will need luck on the injury front again this year.
      However, with 19 starters returning from a team that manhandled oregon on the road for 3 quarters, there is a lot to get excited about. Additionally, having the best qb in the nation throw to the best receiver duo in the nation should hopefully provide enough points to make up for potential weakness on the d-line (or the d in general).
      If the offense cooks like it did at the end of last season (and it should with 9 starters back, barring serious injuries), teams are going to have to score into the 50s to beat SC

  3. oops, thought i was on the bama board. nevermind then cuz you guys have no shot at the natty hahaha

    1. Fight on,

      I see that you have bought into espn’s hype machine. Look, in no way is this a bashing session just the truth. I actually think usc has done well for themselves given their situation.

      BUT..I look at usc and see almost a carbon copy of the 06 irish team. Good qb, good recievers, decent back, and an ok defense. No game changers on defensive line with no depth to speak of. One decent runningback with barely more than walkons behind him. Secondary is a little better than 06 irish but again quality depth is an issue. Linebackers are above average at best.

      What I am saying here is this. You better hope barkely goes for 500+ yds/game and 5-6 tds/game or you aren’t going to beat anybody thats top 10 material.

      Again not bashing at all but you need to understand the sec hasn’t won the last 6 titles because of their dynamic offenses. Its been on the backs of their defense and the depth at one of the most important positions on the field, the defensive line. I appreciate what how sc has made they best of their situation but a title is not coming to usc this year. Good luck on your season and we will see you in november. GO IRISH

    1. Guess agian.

      You have been carring this around since 2009???

      Maybe it’s time you move out of your mom’s basement.

  4. This was a #6 vs #25 game where USC was favored by 10pts and ND had a chance to still win it on the last play. How can you blame the coach – brilliant fake FG. I’ll agree he’s not a great college head coach but he’s an great recruiter and Offensive Coordinator. ND fans can kiss this high powered offense and any chances next year by getting rid of Weis.
    By the way – ND’ 2nd string TE got kicked out of school for streaking on campus …imagine recruiting with those handicaps.

  5. Jack,

    1) The moral victory comment was directed at Joey. Read his comment above.

    2) I was partially joking about UM. But stranger things have happened. And they were helped by today’s scores. The Canes are better than we are. Look who’ve they beat already and their record.

    3) Randy Shanon has more signature wins this year than does CW in his entire ND career. Am I envious? Damn right! And you should be too!

    4) Chris Zorich went on to graduate from ND Law. Not too bad for a kid ND wouldn’t give a chance to today! The others I mentioned also all did well academically at ND as far as I know.

    5) Pete Caroll wins by the rules of the game as they now stand. I agree with you that ND should be taking more of a chance on some close calls. That was my point to begin with.

    6) I don’t care how hard CW works or how smart you think he is. He’s not winning big games. That’s what he gets paid to do. Not just stay all night looking at film in his office, but win games. Stop making excuses for him! Today was another signature loss for Weis. Period!

    7) You haven’t answered my question: What if ND loses to BC and another game? What then? Do you still make excuses for the “Fat Man”?

  6. You have got to be kidding me if you think Miami who got crushed by VT will be playing for a national championship. I will take that comment as your level of expertise in college football. Read something other than the glory days of ND with Holtz. I don’t think this is a moral victory, I think it is a loss and the defense looked bad, but I have faith they will get better, I guess you don’t. When you find the Messiah to coach this tteam, point him to South Bend to resurrect the program to win a NC every year. Please!

    1. Jack,

      The same Miami team that beat ranked teams in FSU, GT, and OK? OK, FSU was over-rated. But OK has played well with a bunch of starters out. And GT beat VT today. But perhaps you are the one who doesn’t follow college ball that closely!

      I won’t suggest a savior for ND football quite yet, Jack. Not that you’d listen anyway, given how far up CW’s fat @ss your head is. All I’m saying is that in this business the head coach pays with his job if he doesn’t win. CW isn’t winning when it counts. Simple. Faust, Davie, Willingham failed and were fired. If CW continues to choke, he’ll be gone too and you’ll have to find another boyfriend.

      And as a true ND fan I do relish our glory days and look forward to there return–with or without CW.

  7. First, I don’t care about a moral victory, that is not the base of my arguement. Second Steelfan you got to be kidding me Miami playing for a National Championship. They need to leep frog a bunch of people and they are not that good. Third, Rice, Zorich and Waters would not be getting into ND today. I am from Harrisburg and Ricky Water went to Bishop McDevitt high school where they had special classes so he could pass. He is a Lashon McCoy. I agree we should be giving chances to players liks Rice and Zorich, but they wouldn’t get into the ND today. Finally I don’t have Rose colored glasses, SC out atheleted us in every position other than QB. For ND to be in that game was a miracle. Pete Carroll can not win in a league where the playing field is leveled. Get a clue half of the players that got into ND from 1988 to 1992 wouldn’t be getting in today. Zorich used to call ND the country club. In college football it is about the Jimmy’s and Joes and not the X’s and O’s. Weis is a better coach than Carroll and works twice as hard. Why do you think Urban Meyer didn’t want to come and coach here. You need to wake up and realize the administration needs to stop hand cuffing the coaches and allow some players that would be close getting in. You also need to realize why would anyone want to coach at ND after you watch the hours Weis puts in. He is basically an NFL coach at the college level. Do you think any other coach puts the hours in. No!

  8. BTW: To add insult to injury, Miami might be playing for a national title this year. Randy Shannon has already done more at UM in 3 years than Charlie Weis. He’s also recruiting better than Weis.

  9. Joey and Jack:

    Can we just drop the moral victory talk?! There’s nothing moral or noble about losing to SC under any circumstance. They have thugs. Agreed. The NCAA allows it. So, I guess we should move into the Ivy League. USC has always had thugs and we used to beat them. What changed? Perhaps this. Lou Holtz beat USC’s thugs by recruiting “marginal” student athletes who were every bit as athletic as SC’s. BTW: Those “marginal” students like Tony Rice and Chris Zorich all graduated and were great players for us! I guess the current ND administration and football supporters are going to have to get used to ND recruiting Noble Prize winners and never winning another national title. As for the ND defense, whatever you say, Jack. I don’t care for excuses. It SUCKS! Tenuta is overrated and Corwin Brown is a motivator and recruiter but doesn’t know the Xs and Os of the defensive game.

    I hope you guys sleep well tonight, feeling happy about your moral victory and all the genuises ND has on its roster. As for me, I’ll toss and turn all night because ND lost to SC. That’s the bottom line! I guess I can find YouTube highlights of “thugs” like Rice, Zorich, Bettis, and Waters beating USC.

    Enjoy life through your rose-colored glasses, boys!

  10. Steelfan,

    We are not going to be able to get some of the atheletes that USC and Florida get b/c they will not be able to get into the school. The defense thinks to much that is why they are slow. They need to react to what is going on around them. I will equate the defense to the offense of last year. The offense last year was thinking to much instead of reacting. Instead of knowing what is coming they were thinking to much about assignments. Harrison Smith, Manti, Flemming, and several other players are thinking instead of reacting. He who hesitates looses. I coached baseball long enough to know if you are at bat thinking you will be striking out, same thing in football. This offense doesn’t think they just react. The defense is still thinking and not reacting. The players are there they just need to get the system. Just like the offense grew after the USC game last year the defense will. The light bulb will go off.

  11. By Moral Victory I mean the high morals of ND players compared to the USC thugs as well as the fact the ND program back from the dark days of 2007.

    I’m not counting on the Defense to get much better next season Walls & Harrison S. continue to get worse every game. And the playmakers McCarthy gone & Teo possibly gone next season.

  12. Jack,

    You have a lot of faith in the D. Like you said, our D backs SHOULD be a strength. But they’re not. So I don’t put any stock when you say our D should be better next year. Let’s just say I’ve gotten to the point with ND football that I won’t believe anything until I see it. Talk is cheap, and that’s all Weis does is talk a big game!

    I’m not saying fire Weis if he loses 2 games. I’m saying I don’t take it for granted ND will win out. What if we lose two more times this season?

    As for recruits, I’ll wait to see what we actually get. Then I want to see us do with our blue chippers what Florida and SC do. WIN!

  13. Steelfan,

    1. Weis’s first two recruiting classes were light on defense. He did not get a sound d-lineman until Ethan Johnson’s class.
    2. The good players on the front 7 are young and will play better.
    3. I will admit the d-backs are horrible this season and they should be the strength of the defense.

    Our offense is the best in the country. USC’s defense is rated in the top ten, add Micheal Floyd to the group and they score more points. I want you to take away the top player of any team in the country and see how good they are. As far as our defense being horrible it can only get better. I love all the people on this board that want to fire Weis. Since Lou have we have not had 60 recruits at a game or 5 top ten players in the country. NO! This team showed heart more than I have seen since Lou left. You can punch them in the face and they get up. I will take that anytime. They came up short and it happens. Embarrassed would have been if they quit when down 34-14 but they didn’t. Listen to yourselves if he looses more than two this year fire him. I think Lou had a couple of season where he lost more than two and we didn’t fire him. If you want top players to come to this school you can’t just fire the coach every five years, that just shows desperation. If you guys have a coach in mind say it, but I can tell you it is different coaching here than any other school in the country. I don’t want the situation Colorado has right now.

  14. A moral victory is a loss – But ND was not embarrased but still lost. No way you can win big with a defense that gives up 500 yards – well above the USC average. The D really sucks. Some more questionable play calling. Good teams pick up the 3rd & 2s and crucial 4th and ones – again not done by the Irish. Now they have to keep their head on for next week and show they can beat a good team. Anything more than two losses the reat of the will make it a losiing season and maybe “goodbye Charlie”

    Gotta beat teams with winning records and show some D

  15. steelfanrob…

    did u forget they still have D Crist as qb hey will be either a jr or sr, and a lot of people have said he has a stronger arm then jimmy. And he is more moblie, if floyd stays and shaq evans lined up on the other side they will have a great chance of winning… not to ceirre woods and theo riddick as running backs….


  16. Moral victories are for losers! Period!!! I didn’t grow up rooting for an ND team that settled for moral victories. It won national titles. The problem is many of you have just settled for being competitive. Just like Cubs fans who are always sayng “next year.” Don’t kid yourself. We’re out of the top 25. And we have nothing to win and a lot to lose given the perception of our upcoming opponents. And, yes, we’re not close to BCS. Carroll got the better of Weis yet again!

  17. All I wanted to see was Floyd trot out on the field for the last two plays.

    This is a moral victory – This is the same team that got steamrolled by USC the last two seasons. Sure it counts as an Loss but doubt ND drops in the polls…ND is just not a BCS quality team. Plus great game to have so many top recruits at South Bend.

  18. Give the boyz credit for hanging in there…however or D is BAD! And I refering more specifically to the DB’s…what was Harrison thinking letting the TE from USC get behind him ….not only once….geeez!!!

  19. The one thing you are fogetting is that we will also have a veteran defense next year. The gap between atheletes is closing and if ND can get a good recruiting class this year they may be able to even the playing field. If this team had a top 20 defense they would be ranked in the top ten. The defense is maturing and when we finally keep a scheme for more than two years the team will be better. If Charlie goes 10-2 this year he will have two 10-2 season more than Willingham and Davie. Give this team time. They have fight. No moral victory for a loss. They need to win out beat teams and win a bowl game. Floyd will be back and this offense will be top ten. SC didn’t give up a td pass all year and Jimmy had two on them. We can run with the best teams in the land and will be back.

    1. Jack,

      1) I’m not putting any stock in this D now or next year. 2) Let’s see what kind of recruitng class we get, esp. on D. Right now it’s not even a top 15 class.
      3) Do you really believe this team will win out? I hope so, but I doubt it.
      4) I hope you’re right about next season. But what if next year we’re 9-3 or 8-4? How many more years are we going to wait for big wins that actually count.

  20. Please, no one talk about a “moral victory” today. ND lost for the 8th straight time to USC. Period! And given that next year’s game is in LA and the year after that we’re breaking in a new starter, and Barkley will be a veteran, the streak may go on for a while. That’s the truth. No false optimism anymore. Just realism for me regarding ND football from now on.

    1. I disagree here. What better place to end the streak than LA. If Jimmy comes back, we should be loaded for bear next season.

  21. I hate Pat Hayden’s “closet anti-ND” commentary! He just loves when we lose, esp. to SC. Why is he still calling our games. The ND admin needs to deman NBC change the booth.

    1. I agree. The only thing worse than Patty Hayden calling our home games is Patty Hayden calling our home games v/s USC.

  22. Half time: Observations.

    Clausen looks uncomfortable. Needs more time consistently.
    O-Line – better figure 4 guys from Troy out because 4 guys on USC’s d-line are dictating this game.
    ND’s defense – getting into rhythm, but looking beatable in the air. Just a step or so. They have the run
    figured out. Better tackling is needed.
    Teo – still green, but playing very well.
    Weis – come on Charlie, this is an emotional game.

    Keys to win: stay patient but stay tough. O-line give the offense more time in the pass and hit the second
    man on the run. Really, this game boils down to two things and both are needed. First the O-line needs to
    step up. Finally, play for 30 minutes with no consideration for the next second after the game. It’s your time
    ND. It’s Rock’s House. It’s Mary’s House. Play for that Lady on Top of the Dome.

    Go Irish!!

  23. I’ll keep this short and simple. For the first time in a decade the talent gap and experience between these 2 schools is finally minimal. USC players will learn this is the game- not UCLA- they need to be worried about from now on. This is gonna be one pissed off bunch of Irish players- promise you that. With Floyd the Irish end this by the half. Without him, it will take more of a grind, but let it be said, on this glorious Saturday in South Bend on October 17, 2009, the momentum of this rivalry will turn once again gold…

    “I ain’t happy, I’m feeling glad
    I got sunshine, in a bag
    I’m useless, but not for long
    The future is coming on
    It’s coming on
    It’s coming on
    It’s coming on”


  24. Fight on- hit that pipe one more time and maybe you will be numb enough to not even realize that ND is going to beat that Trojan butt. I have studied the numbers (and they are wrong), and the mighty sperm inhibiting (Trojans) will fall because this is a gut check game. ND will win this game in typical 2009 Irish fashion with a win at the end by less than 4. Your defense has peaked, as good as it may be, and that is the best you will get. The Irish defense is improving game by game and they will be up to the task. Offense is not even open for discussion, Irish win that battle because your defense is not as good as you think. This game would be a blow out except for the Pac-10 officiating which will keep it close. ND 28 – USC 24.

    Go Irish!!!

  25. You ND lovers seem to forget in the last two games against the Trojans you have more punts than first downs. This is a different year and you are getting better, but it would be a HUGE upset if you could actually score more points than SC. USC thrives on non conference foes. Barkley does not play like a freshman and will be fine. Claussen will have pressure all day long. USC 34 ND 20.

  26. I hope ND beats USC just to shut up Mark May. He has proven once again that he is a bias idiot. He said ND put together a “watered down” schedule for Charlie this year. First of all, how could they know how good a team is going to be years in advance. Also, ND has the 28th toughest schedule right now. To put that into perspective, Florida is at #49, Alabama is #24, Texas is #100, V Tech is at #2, and Boise State is at #59.

    There are a number of reasons I’d like to see ND beat USC, but I think I’ll get the most satisfaction seeing Mark May eat his words.

  27. I have thought all week long what a win will mean for this program. It will mean a lot. This team has a heart and a spirit just like the team in 1988. This game reminds me of Miami in 1988 and I am hoping the outcome is just like 1988.

  28. Just WIN boys….PLEASE. You can have your 3 keys, 4 keys hell even 5 keys to victory. The only key I see for this team tomorrow is to play with absolutely everything you have in the tank. Draw deep from getting your ass handed to you for the past 7 years and say enough is enough. Go out and make their plane ride home horrible. Our Lady of Victory, Pray for us.
    Go Irish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. I’ve been reading and listening to all the hype going into this game and there are some that say ND has a chance and there are those that say ND doesn’t have a prayer. In college football, anything is possible. There are so many things that can effect this game, good & bad.

    However, there is one thing that ND has this year that they didn’t have in other years. It is simply a belief that they can win. I did not sense that when Ty was the coach. You could sense it in 2005, but they still came up short. After the loss to Ohio State in the bowl and to Michigan early in 2006, there did not seem to be the belief from Brady and the boys when they played at USC. In 2007, we knew they didn’t have a chance and in 2008, after losing all those games at the end of the year, there was doubt as well.

    But 2009 is different, this team has overcome adversity and won. They have come back to take the lead in the 4th quarter in 4 consecutive games. Say what you want about the competition, but these kinds of wins changes teams. I believe the close games will make ND better prepared for USC than blowouts would have. Because the games were close, ND knows that they have to work hard to beat USC and without the close games, they might not have rallied around Jimmy like they have. This team knows how to win close games now, something they could not do last year.

    I feel this game is going to be closer than most think and I think that this team believes they can truly win if it comes down to the wire. I don’t sense the awe that most have for USC, just respect. This team is mature and has talent and I think we will see it all come together this weekend in South Bend.

    Go ND, Beat USC!!!

  30. I believe that this team, even without Floyd, is the most dynamic in the country. How could you not believe this when a team can put up 400 yards and give up 400 yards at the same time. ND wins by 4 if Darrin Walls (#2) doesn’t screw up more than twice. As for hype, it’s deserved given both teams could just as easily have only 1 win underneath them. Someone tell me how USC is still broadcasted as one of the best teams in the country with a freshman QB and crap record. PAC 10 is as weak as the Big 10 this year and that doesn’t go a long way with every team losing once.

  31. The biggest keys to this game IMO are going to be what Kyle Rudolph does, and who is going to show up as the #2 WR. Is Shaq Evans going to be cut loose? Will Kamara live up to the hype? I do like the fact that Paris’ hair looks like Samardjza’s and that may give him some Samson like powers. If we try to throw every ball to Golden Tate, and Allen doesn’t get to the edge, we are toast. Put Hughes in the backfield, put Allen in the slot, and Tate on the outside. That will give Clausen 3 threats in the passing game and Hughes to bust through the D-Line.

    Also….I hope we used the bye week to cover tackling and not giving every WR a 12 yard cushion.

    We need this win! GO IRISH!!

  32. Little something I sent around the office today to rile up the Haters:

    Many of you know that I am not a religious person, but something of such great purpose and importance happens this weekend that I could not but proselytize.

    In 1842 God looked upon the earth and took pity upon mankind. Into the darkness he bestowed the University of Notre Dame. In 1887 He gave that holy institution football as a means to smite the evil doers in the world. 11 national Championships. 7 Heisman winners and 95 consensus all-Americans later, Notre Dame has won glory and acclaim for its crusade against the heretics.

    Yet, as all things require balance, Satan could not allow God’s team to prosper unchallenged. Thus, USC was established and openly challenged Notre dame to an annual rivalry beginning in 1926. Though Notre Dame leads the all time series by 10 wins, times have been dark of late. Through the last seven years of tribulation brave Irish have fallen to the likes of Reggie Be-elze-aBush, Carson A. Palmanation, Matt Lyingert, John Devil Booty and Mark Dirty Sanchez. For seven long years the University of Satan’s Children have victimized God’s chosen team. But, the years of tribulation may well be over.

    JC (Jimmy Clausen) and his Golden army suit up tomorrow to once again do battle with darkness on holy ground. For the fate of the world, for good against evil, for all mankind . . .I humbly ask that you give them your thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow at 2:30 central time, stop what you are doing. Take a moment of silence or hum the Notre Dame Victory March. But whatever you do, remember. . .Armageddon is happening at that moment. Not in Jerusalem. Not in the Middle East. But in South Bend. And once again, the hopes of the righteous will be for David to slay Goliath.

    1. i really feel that field position will be key all day. we are going to need some short fields here and there.

      also, why are our d linemen not putting their hands up when the qb passes? i guess i got used to pat kuentz deflecting so many passes.

      1. Indeed – if kickoffs are not put in the endzone, we are giving away a big portion of the game. The O line thus far deserves a lot of credit. they have been a big improvement over last year. They need their best game of the season. I felt bad for that SC receiver Stafon – but at this point get over it – he’s gonna be fine its a non issue. The Irish defense really just needs to go smash some teeth!

  33. I think you have a point with all 3 of your keys, but I would have shaped them a little bit differently.

    1. Offensive Line Execution – I put them at the top because we need them to function in multiple ways (all which they’re capable of). They need to be able to open up holes for the run game. They also need to be able to execute RB screens. They need to do both of these without getting penalized (THIS IS KEY). If we can run and use screens we’ll make it hard for USC to pressure JC. If JC isn’t facing a stiff pass rush he WILL pick them apart. Theres no two ways about it, you give him time and the receivers WILL get open and he WILL find them.

    2. Defensive Front Execution – The front 7 have shown the ability to get penetration and create ‘pressure’. Where they’ve gotten destroyed is in maintaining their gaps and depending on each other. This is where I think the attitude of the D changed with the Washington GL stands. I think they learned that they can depend on each other. If we have guys thinking that they must make THE play, we’ll be in trouble. If we have guys knowing their responsibility and executing I think you’ll see the dynamic defense we’ve been hoping for.

    3. Special Teams need to be special – ND doesn’t necessarily need a return for a TD, but we need to not give one up. Field position will probably play a big role in this game, put Barkley in a deep whole and he’ll probably try something he normally wouldn’t. And hey, another blocked FG/EP by EJ wouldn’t hurt either.

    That’s my take on it.

    I know, I didn’t put Jimmy on my list. But I look at the keys as a list of things that ND needs to have and not necessarily something we already have. If he has time JC’s a given. He’s not going to crack under pressure.


    On a lighter note, I was reading the Brian Bennett chat log the other day to see what he has to say on things like the Big East and the Irish, and I saw the most absurd comment ever.

    josh (florida): “id like to see nd win, but i doubt they will. clausen is over rated and chokes under pressure”

    I thought it was hilarious and thought I’d share it with you.

    1. brian bennetts response was pretty funny and to the point as well. kind of like charlies response to a question about if the o line has improved. “have you been watching the games this year?”

  34. fine, force barkley to throw…with rojo back and damien williams coming on, barkley will easily pick apart nd’s porous pass defense

    1. why are you even on this website…shouldn’t you be out buying kleenex tissue’s when the trojans lose on saturday..

      1. notre dame is 110th in pass defense…my argument is very legitimate and there’s no reason for you to be hostile

        now, if you have a reasonable argument to present as to why i’m wrong, let’s hear it

      2. Ok how bout this…what great pass defense has Barkley been up against? Doesnt seem to have great #s against mediocre comopetition, so I’m gonna say we’ll be fine.

        Point 2, can you prove you’re not a jack ass? Cause you kinda are. Like, really. Huge.

        And I’m guessing you’re here because must charge a fee, right? What’s wrong, havent’s sold enough oranges or washed enough windshields to post on your own fan site?

      3. I’ll take that one on.

        1.) Southern Cal appears to have a better offensive line than our defensive line. But, its receivers are crappy and that is why it’s 57th in the nation in passing, averaging 222 yards per game (By comparison, ND averages around 322 yards pergame).

        2.) Southern Cal has beaten Ohio State, but has also knocked out an apparently weak Cal team and an inferior San Jose State squad. ND hasn’t had the toughest schedule, but playing at Michigan and hosting two other Big Ten rivals was no less difficult.

        3.) In the end, I think both teams are fairly evenly matched. I mean, there is a reason Washington beat Southern Cal (and OSU and Washington State were in games against SC). Likewise, there is a reason that ND did not more readily dispose of Purdue.

        So, it will be nice to see ND rip apart Southern Cal in front of the South Bend fans.

      4. i still dont understand why i’m a jackass…

        notre dame hasn’t even faced a good passing offense, yet they’re secondary is still 110th

        washington state was never in the game…it was 20-0 after the first quarter

        sc’s pass offense does not have to be prolific with the running game they have, but the passing attack will open up this week since barkley had two more weeks to get a hold of the playbook and rojo is back

        sc beating #7 ohio state at the shoe and blowing out cal at memorial stadium are both wins that are 10 times more impressive than any nd win this season

        clausen will get sacked (a lot), barkley will air it out and sc will win by 2 tds

      5. i post on the sc fan site

        its just that i like coming here to watch all the delusional, psychotic nd fans get riled up when i say that barkley will play well

      6. We’re not delusional (big word, by the way, for a Southern Cal fan). We’re moving the football on offense and we haven’t done that in a few years.

        Plus, it’s Southern Cal. I mean, this team is dying for an embarrassment. Who better to deliver, than the Irish?

        Truthfully, this game will turn on the Irish offensive front. If Notre Dame is able to move the ball effectively — and I think Clausen and his receivers will be able to do so — we win this one.

        But, Southern Cal has shown a pretty strong defensive front and so getting the time — and moving them around — will be tough. But, it has to be done to allow Jimmy, Armondo and Golden to do their jobs.

        In the end, Clausen and the offensive line will get the job done, if only because they know this is the last time Clausen will face Southern Cal inside Notre Dame Stadium. Yes, it will be a long hard slog, but the Irish will prevail, in one of the larger upsets of the season.

      7. Fight on,
        How about allegations? How about the likes of a murderer in OJ? How about the heroin addict, Marinovich? How about Reggie Bush and the setup his agent gave his folks, while he “attended” USC? How about Leinert’s dance class?
        Let’s compare academics and ethics. Is this game just about football? No, it’s about a school that raises the expectations in life, versus Pete Carroll’s, Bill Clinton like approach to life in which not getting caught means it’s OK.

        Go Irish!!! Play like real student athlete’s today!!! And tomorrow!

      8. dont look too quickly, sc is near the same caliber academic institution as nd (admitted students’ SAT scores are roughly equal at about 2100)

        then again, that has nothing to do with football…why is sc dying to be embarrassed? even if sc somehow loses, they will not be embarassed…in 8 years, the most pete has ever lost by is 9 points in his first season

        so, may the best team win…it will be sc, but you can all hope otherwise

    2. think its gonna be the other way around…jimmy’S gonna show why he came to notre dame in the first place…to shine in those hallowed grounds of notre dame feel the ghost of rockne…to add one more heisman to the list….now its our time…wake up the echoes…wake the echoes…WAKE UP THE ECCHHHOOOOEEEEESSSSSS….GO NOTRE DAME FIGHT..FIGHT TILL THAT LAST SECOND AND BELIEVE..CUZ WE WILL BE THE BETTER TEAM ON THE FIELD SATURDAY..AND WE WILL WIN…WE ARE ND!!!!!

  35. If I can just add one more key to victory. Crowd noise will be a big psychological factor in ND winning. But I think that shouldn’t be a problem this Saturday. I’m also hoping that referring wont be a issue as it has in the past.

    1. Paul,

      Crowd noise at ND usually stinks compared to schools like PSU, LSU, OSU, TEXAS, ZONA etc. Honestly its a bunch of old people who honestly dont wanna stand up and even make a noise. Its like they are going to see a broadway show. I remember a woman covered her ears one time and ask everyone to quiet down. Are you kidding me?

      I agree crowd noise needs to be up and they better not say Sh*t to me about screaming, standing and acting like a fan instead of an old cranky alumni who needs to give up his tickets and just sit at home and watch the game.

      Be loud be proud!

      1. I could not agree more with this assessment. This has been talked about ALOT in the past too. Not trying to disrespect anyone, but there are far too many senior citizens at ND games. They do indeed need to stay home if they can’t handle the noise. The lack thereof has been a huge problem in the past, but I don’t think it will be a problem on Saturday.

        The campus is already out of control….

    2. I fully agree. It needs to be LOUD and, frankly, ND has not intimidated too many teams with a loud crowd. Southern Cal has a few freshmen. Yes, they won’t be intimidated, but I want them to learn — on Saturday — what real crowd noise is like. I want them to be confused on the offensive line — missing snap counts — and outside. I want the backs fumbling and I want the center struggling because of crowd noise.

      BE LOUD. REALLY LOUD. Stand up and make that place shake!!!! Go Irish!

  36. I must say, as scary as it sounds, forcing Barkley to throw the ball is a major key to success in this game for the Irish.

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