- Clausen looked sharp again. His passing percentage was just 50%, but when you factor in the drops, it would have been much higher so that doesn’t bother me at all. What I really loved seeing is 6 TD’s to 0 INTs the past two weeks. I realize the defenses he’s faced are weak, but seeing a freshman quarterback not making freshman mistakes is very encouraging. His touchdown pass to Grimes was a thing of beauty. He fired the ball perfectly in between two defenders with more velocity than we’ve
- Robert Hughes turned in one of the best performances from an Irish running back since Julius Jones tore up a couple defenses in 2003. He ran with a purpose and didn’t go down on first contact. According to NBC’s stats, Hughes had 66 of his 110 yards after initial contact. Weis and Haywood need to find a way to get Hughes and Allen on the field at the same time.
- Drops. Drops. And more drops. In the movie The Program, the coach made the running back with fumble problems carry a ball around campus and had the rest of the team attempt to knock it out. Weis should devise a similar game where anyone on the can throw a ball at a receiver at any time. If they drop it, they run in practice.
- Seriously though, a couple wide receivers whose names I won’t mention need to stay after practice and become good friends with the JUGGS machine.
- Dan Wenger played well in his first start and Chris Stewart is starting to establish himself as one of the best run blockers on the team. He still needs work on his pass blocking this off-season to quote John Madden, Stewart is just one of those “big uglies who brings a load when he hits you.”
- How on earth did both guards jump off-side on 4tt and short when Weis said twice “we’re gonna go on three?”
- It was great to see John Carlson catch a touchdown in his last game in Notre Dame stadium.
- Weis is starting to open up the play book more for Clausen and as a result, his average yards per completion was a little over 12 which is a vast improvement from the beginning of the season.
- Robby Parris is having a tough stretch to end the season. He reminds me a lot of Mo Stovall circa 2003-04 right now. He’s having dropping problems and just isn’t using his size to his advantage much like Mo did before Weis arrived. Let’s hope that he can develop just as Mo did.
- On the flip side, Duval Kamara’s touchdown was a textbook example of how to use your size to shield off a defender in the end zone.
- Would have liked to see the offense put some more points up on the scoreboard, but overall it was good to see the offense grind out 220 yards on the ground and weather could have played a role in Notre Dame running the ball more in the second half.
- Wide receivers did a much better job of blocking in the run game than they have most of the season.
- Seeing Zibby get in at quarterback was really fun to watch.
- Despite their 1-9 record coming into this game, the Duke offense has been able to put on the board this year. They scored 36 on Wake Forest, 43 on Navy, and 24 on Georgia Tech so holding them to one garbage time touchdown might be a bigger accomplishment than most will give them credit for.
- Trevor laws only had 6 tackles.
- Joe Brockington played a pretty good game and turned in the type of effort that’s been missing at times this year on defense.
- David Bruton is going to be a very high draft pick after another year as a starter in 2008.
- Ian Williams held his own in the absence of Pat Kuntz. A full winter in the weight room should have him ready to make a bigger impact in 2008.
- Brian Smith has had a couple bone head penalties this year, but he plays with a lot of intensity. Corwin Brown needs to work on harnassing that with him, but I’ll take a defense that plays with his intensity any day – without the penalties of course.
- I also noticed Brian Smith working a spin move at times on Saturday which is something I don’t recall him doing very often this year.
- I wouldn’t mind if all of spring practice was devoted solely to special teams at this point. The only aspect of special teams that was solid Saturday was the punting of Eric Maust who made a great play on the bad snap. If Maust doesn’t get that punt off, Duke would have had excellent field position and who knows that the rest of that first half would have played out.
- It’ll be interesting to see who is the punt returner next year. George West was given a chance on Saturday, but didn’t get to make a return. I would think Armando Allen, West, Munir Prince, and Golden Tate at least compete for the position this spring.
- Weis’s decision to go for it on 4th down at the end of the Navy game is backed up with each missed field goal.
- A solid win and the definition of “a win is a win.”
- 11 penalties for 103 yards is unacceptable, but the 15 that came on John Carlson’s “unsportsmanlike conduct” was an absolutely horrendous call and how the Duke receiver who basically tackled Darrin Walls in the end zone didn’t get called for offensive pass interference I don’t know.
- We’re finding some playmakers over these last couple of games and if the receivers hold onto the ball better, the score of the game might have been a lot different.
- Weis putting in Zibby at quarterback at the end of the game was a great move by the big man and shows he really cares about his players. Seeing things like that make it easy to see why Weis recruits as well as he does.