Notre Dame at UNC – 2nd Quarter Thoughts

  • First big decision of the game for Weis.  4th and 2 or a 42 yard field goal for Brandon Walker. I would have went for it.  Weis calls for the field goal and Walker comes through with his second field goal of the year.  That is why I blog about college football and Charlie Weis coaches it.
  • Just missed a golden opportunity to force a three and out when Houston bounced off a would be tackler at the line of scrimmage and converted for the first down.  Three and out there would have given the offense the ball in great field position with the momentum.
  • UNC is starting to run the ball very effectively and Lambert is giving Nicks an enormous cushion which is making it way too easy on Sexton.  Irish pass rush isn’t getting anywhere near Sexton either.
  • UNC is moving the ball downfield methodically on the Irish.  They haven’t done much of this so far this year so this is a bit discouraging at this point.   Sexton is looking almost exclusively at Nicks and with the cushion he is getting, they have been playing pitch and catch this drive.  Lambert needs to play him much closer and have a safety providing deep support.
  • WOW WO WE WO.  Golden Tate just made the catch of the year for the Irish on what should have been an interception.  Clausen over threw Tate but Tate recovered and stole the ball away from the defensive back.  HAVE to capitalize here.
  • Irish facing a third and goal here.  With our red zone woes and UNC’s strong zone coverage, putting the ball in the end zone could be a problem for us inside the red zone here and in the second half.  I’m looking for Michael Floyd to find a soft spot in the zone or for Tate on something quick in between defenders.
  • Great play call by Weis and/or Haywood to go to Floyd on 3rd and goal.  That touchdown was huge since it puts us up 11 with less than a minute to go in first half with the ball coming our way to start the second half.
  • This soft defense we are running here is going to end up blowing up in our face.  UNC is just throwing it to Nicks and we keep letting him get the ball downfield and get out of bounds.
  • Phew.  Sexton missed a wide open receiver inside the 10, but giving up a field goal with less than a minute to go in the first half against this offense is pretty bad.  With Tate out, UNC should not be able to move the bal nearly as effectively as they are.  Look for Brown and Tenuta to make some adjustments at half time knowing that Tate is out for the rest of the game.
  • Ugh.  All we have to do is make a fair catch to get to half time and now UNC has the ball with a chance for one play into the end zone.  A touchdown here by UNC would be disastrous.
  • That is a giant sigh of relief you just heard from Notre Dame fans as UNC’s field goal attempt from 52 yards comes up short.

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