Rich Rodriguez Talks Notre Dame

Rich Rodriguez talked a little bit about the challenges Notre Dame will pose to his team this weekend at his Monday press conference. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday to talk about their upcoming matchup against Notre Dame.  Here are a few notes.

  • Rodriguez said he thought Notre Dame got a pretty good look at the Michigan offense and what it’s capable of with their first half performance, but that they went into a ball control offense in the second half and didn’t execute as well.
  • Rich Rod was pleased with the play of his freshmen quarterbacks – Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson – as well as freshman defensive end Craig Roh who started his first collegiate game.
  • He said he plans on using all three quarterbacks against Notre Dame this weekend just as he did last week against Western Michigan. Tate Forcier will start again unless he has a really bad week of practice.
  • Junior Hemmingway tweaked his ankle a little bit last week and will be limited the first couple days of practice this week. Mark Moundros was “dinged” against Western Michigan but should be cleared for the game this weekend. He will be held out of contact this week though. Brandon Minor was held out of practice Monday, but Rodriguez hopes he’ll play this weekend.
  • Rodriguez said that Carlos Brown will start at running back.
  • Michigan will look at what defensive coordinator Greg Robinson was able to do against Notre Dame last year when he was the head coach at Syracuse. As we all know, Robinson’s defense held the Notre Dame offense in check most of the game in Syracuse’s upset of Notre Dame.
  • Rodriguez said that Michigan might have both Denard Robinson and Forcier on the field at the same time as they did for a play against Western Michigan. My guess is that play was run specifically so Notre Dame would have to spend time to prepare for it.
  • Rodriguez was very complimentary of Notre Dame’s defense. When asked if he planned to run at Notre Dame since Nevada was able to “gash” the Irish defense, Rodriguez simply said that the bottom line was Notre Dame shut out a good offense and that it was a great performance.
  • Rodriguez said that Clausen is playing “as well as you could possibly play”. He referred to Golden Tate and Michael Floyd as two of the best receivers in the country and said Kyle Rudolph was a NFL talent.
  • Rodriguez was pleased with the way his defensive backs tackled against Western Michigan, but made mention of the one deep ball they gave up. He said later that they didn’t quite have the depth in the secondary that they’d like at this point though.
  • On the 21 carries his quarterbacks combined for last week, Rodriguez said that was probably more than they’d like them to carry the ball, but they did that to ease both of the true freshmen into the game.
  • Rodriguez said he thought the Notre Dame offensive line was improved and noted that even last year Notre Dame blocked them pretty well.
  • Michigan ran most of their defense against Western Michigan according to Rodriguez. He said they weren’t holding anything back and were just trying to beat Western. Something tells me that they might not have shown Notre Dame everything.
  • On the six turnovers Michigan committed at Notre Dame Stadium last year, Rodriguez said that was about the most frustrating part of their season.
    Rodriguez said that Forcier could run about 70% of the offense at this point. If that’s accurate, that’s pretty impressive for a true freshman even if he did report in the spring.

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    1. what is he supposed to say??? “screw nd and weis, we are going to rape them here in the big crack house.”

      what exactly worries all of you?? inexperience all over the field!!! thier heads are ready to explode because they beat w. michigan!! its pretty much the same team from a year ago minus mcdufus! i for one cant wait for michigans beatdown delivered by gray and te’o as i will be watching the game with my 2 michigan buddies.

      i thought our fans were delusional from time to time, but reading the comments on some of the michigan sites, i must apologize because in case you didnt hear, michigan is going to the bcs championship because they hung 31 on w. michigan.

      please people, be objective. realize the talent, depth, and experience we have before becoming worried.

  1. Yo Michigan…as they sing in Godspell, (I’m pretty sure!) “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” WE OWN YOU. We are your Lord. Get myourselves ready for a cold can of whoop-ass to be delivered on you.

  2. Sounds like RichRod knows this is an up hill battle for Michigan, but not out of reach. Any intangibles come into play and the game could swing easily.
    One thing I like is the impression that Greg Robinson’s defense stymied Notre Dame last year. Face it, the Irish laid an egg and sat down on it themselves. Very little of that defeat was due to Syracuse. Don’t expect ND’s offense to have difficulty with the “Syracuse” defense. But do expect that Michigan’s talent will put pressure on ND.
    ND’s defense will have it’s hands full defending the run. It will come down to quick read and reaction. They better swarm like bees.
    Tate Forcier looks good. He’s a product of the Todd Marinovich factory. Todd’s father apparently helped develop this kid. Sounds like a similar implosion pending. Hoepfully for Tate’s sake, he’ll see theres more to life than living Daddy’s unfulfilled warped dream. Hopefully he won’t end up like Todd and do heroin along Santa Monica beach.
    But for now, this game will as always depend on turnovers and poise. If the Irish can put 200 yards up on the ground, and hold the ball, then Clausen won’t get overloaded and should pick them apart.
    This is where this coaching staff will prove whether they have IT or not!

    GO IRISH!!

    1. Was that Todd that I saw washed up on the beach in Santa Monica?

      The locals kept calling him the Montauk Monster. I have to admit, he looks awful ragged these days.

      As far as playing Michigan is concerned they will have a definite home field advantage.
      I heard that they let the grass grow long in an attempt to try to slow us down. And after watching Rich Rod cry me a river two weeks ago when his own players accused him of cheating, I’m betting that it will be knee deep by kick-off. I mean, that was some serious water flow.

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