Enemy Report – Week 2

UHND's Enemy Report is a weekly column recapping how Notre Dame's opponents fared each week.

For the most part, Notre Dame’s opponents had a pretty good week on the second weekend of the college football season.  Here’s a recap of how Notre Dame’s opponents fared and a look at who they will fave this coming weekend.

Nevada (0-1) – IDLE

Nevada had the week off after last week’s shut out loss in South Bend.  They will travel to Colorado State (2-0) this weekend.  The undefeated Rams were nearly upset by Weber State this past weekend, but pulled off a 24-23 win.  Nevada last played Colorado State in 2006 – winning 28-10 at home.  Look for the Wolf Pack to rebound this weekend.

#25 Michigan (2-0) – L, 29-27 vs. Central Michigan

I have to admit it, Michigan is much better than I thought they would be this year.  Their defense is still very shaky, but Tate Forcier played like a seasoned vet against Notre Dame and wasn’t fazed by the situation at all Saturday.  He’s going to be a real pain to stop the next three seasons as he looks to be a perfect fit for Rich Rodriguez’s spread attack.  Michigan should make short order of Eastern Michigan and could very well could roll into their showdown with #5 Penn State undefeated on October 24 if they continue to play as they have the past two weeks.

Michigan State (1-1) – W, 38-34 vs. Notre Dame

Don’t’ be so sure that the Spartans just got caught looking ahead this weekend.  Central Michigan won the MAC in 2007 and is a pretty good team with a pretty good quarterback.  Michigan State could have very well been down a lot of points early in the game Saturday if CMU’s Dan LeFevour was on target.  The Michigan State defense looked very susceptible to the pass with CMU lighting up the Michigan State secondary for 352 yards.  Michigan State also had trouble running the football last week with just 101 yards on 30 carries.  Mike Dantonio has put very fundamentally sound teams on the field, but Saturday’s ending was very typical of the John L Smith era.   After stopping a CMU two point conversion, MSU failed to recover an onside kick.  Then MSU jumped offsides on a CMU field goal attempt that sailed wide ride.  CMU kicked again five yards closer and pulled off the upset.  If Michigan State can’t run the football next week, Notre Dame will have a very good chance at ending the Spartans South Bend winning streak.

Purdue (1-1) – L, 38-36 @ Oregon

The Boilermakers went into Oregon this weekend and gave the Ducks all they could handle.  Purdue came up just short, however, and lost 38-36 after a late two point conversion attempt was caught out of bounds.  Purdue was pretty strong on the ground again this week with 170 yards on 44 attempts.  It seems clear that new head coach Danny Hope is going to try and establish a running game in West Lafayette this year.  Purdue should be able to get by Northern Illinois and head into South Bend 2-1 in two weeks.

Washington (1-1) – W, 42-23 vs. Idaho

Steve Sarkisian got his first career win as a head coach Saturday with a 42-23 win over Idaho.  Jake Locker carried the Huskies 253 passing yards and three touchdowns with a fourth touchdown on the ground.   Washington is looking more and more formidable this year and if Jake Locker’s running ability, their trip to South Bend should be considered anything but a gimme at this point. Washington will get a tough test this weekend when USC travels to Seattle.  Sarkisian will be facing his former boss so it will be interesting to see what he can do to rattle the freshman Matt Barkley with his knowledge of the USC offense.

#3 USC (2-0) – W, 18-15 @ #8 Ohio State

It looked like USC was going to get its first loss of the season in Columbus on Saturday, but the Trojans were able to make a late comeback and escape the Horseshoe with a three point win.  USC’s defense held the Ohio State offense in check most of the night and their running game carried them to victory in the end.  Ohio State showed everyone else the blueprint to stop USC this year – stop the running game and force them to move the ball through the air.  USC’s defense doesn’t look like its skipped a beat despite replacing most of its starters.  Ohio state ran the ball 30 times for just 88 yards.

Boston College (2-0) – W, 34-7 vs. Kent State

After a couple warmup games against powerhouses Northeastern and Kent State, Boston College should get a challenge this week with a visit to Clemson.  Boston College never trailed in their 34-7 win over Kent State this weekend and have won their first two games by a combined score of 87-7.  The Eagles managed just 349 yards of offense though in their latest victory and still appear to be unsettled on their quarterback situation.  Clemson gave Georgia Tech a scare last week after falling behind early.  I think Boston College will head by to Chestnut Hill with a 1 in the L column.

Washington State (0-2) – L, 38-20 vs. Hawaii

Washington State does look a little better this year.  Unfortunately for them, a little bit better is still really bad.  Hawaii racked up 489 yards through the air.  Washington State did manage to put up 403 yards of offense.  That was about 223 yards fewer than they allowed though.  The Cougars also turned the ball over 7 times.  They face a 2-0 SMU team that hasn’t really been tested this year much with Stephen F. Austin and UAB as their opponents so far this year.

Navy (1-1) – W, 32-14 @ Louisiana Tech

Navy bounced back from their heartbreaking loss to Ohio State with a 32-14 win over Louisiana Tech on the road this weekend.  Navy racked up 290 yards on the ground with another 103 through the air.  Ricky Dobbs was 5 of 8 passing for all 103 of Navy’s passing yards.  Dobbs looks to be the first legit passing threat at QB for Navy in while.  Navy will pose a lot of problems for most of the teams they face this year including this weekend when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on Pitt.

Pitt (2-0) –W, 54-27 @ Buffalo

The final score in Pitt’s 54-27 victory over Buffalo was not entirely indicative of how close a game actually was.  This was a two possession game with five minutes to go before Pitt added two late touchdowns.  Freshman Dion Lewis ran for 190 yards on 24 carries including an 85 yard touchdown at the end of the game.  Pitt allowed Buffalo’s sophomore quarterback Zach Maynard to pass for 400 yards and four touchdowns and were actually outgained 500 to 381.  Buffalo turned the ball over four times though and Pitt capitalized.  The  Panthers should be able to get past Navy this weekend, but the Middies will give them a good game .  Side note, Turner Gil is going to be a great college head coach.

Connecticut (1-1) – L, 12-10 vs. #19 North Carolina

After a rather unimpressive week one victory, UConn nearly upset #19 North Carolina at home this weekend, but lost the game on a safety in the final two minutes when they were flagged for holding in the end zone.  UConn’s defense bottled up the Carolina offense all game with the Tar Heels generating just 268 yards of offense.  Carolina’s final rushing statistics were 35 yards on 39 attempts.  That included 26 yards of lost yardage from their quarterback T.J. Yates, but that’s still impressive for the UConn defense.

Stanford (1-1) – L, 24-17 @ Wake Forest

Wake Forest scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat Stanford this weekend.  Wake outscored Stanford 21-0 in the second half and pull off the 24-17 victory.  Stanford’s Andrew Luck passed for 276 yards and had two touchdowns, but the Cardinal couldn’t find the endzone in the second.  Former Notre Dame walkon kicker Nate Whitaker kicked the longest field in the past 20 years for Stanford with a 54 yard kick to close out the first half.   Stanford should get back on track this weekend with San Jose State at home.

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  1. I hope I’m wrong. Let me repeat…. I hope I’m wrong. But I think Charlie Weis would make an excellent NFL head coach. After watching the Michigan game, however, my impression is that while he can motivate the kids, ( yes they are still kids ), he does not inspire. Lou inspired wirh creative visuals. Lou put the idea in the minds of the players that they were playing for the whole Notre Dame family, not just to look forward to a pro career. An example of team leaders Lou counted on but Weis would have overlooked are Tony Rice, and Kevin McDougal, two QBs who took the IRISH to the pinnacle. Ironically MSU has two guys like that in Cousins and Nichols.
    So my impression is Weis is more suited for the NFL and not college football.

  2. I am a realist – and an Irish fan. Charlie is NOT going to be the guy to return this team to the competitve level we need to be at. If this is Charlies 3rd year perhaps – this has been 5 yrs of not winning games you need to win. We HAD the win – poor coaching and poor time management caught up and sealed the deal in Ann Arbor. What, you didnt watch those last 3 minutes? Wish we kind of had a time out huh? Dont give me your “dont be sarcastic” crap. I know what I saw and have seen for the past 5 yrs.

  3. Can somebody educate this Irish Fan ( since the age of 4)
    WHY Notre Dame MUST have a Big 10 officiating crew when Spartan Town comes to visit???
    Have I been in the dark?
    I love the Irish and bleed blue and gold and green—but I DO NOT remember
    other teams from other conferences CONSISTENTLY bringing the refs from their conferencee each and every time!
    I remember a “mixed crew” or an SEC crew when ND was not EVEN playing an SEC team. Same goes for ACC or other conferences and what not.
    Somebody, please educate me on this.
    ( and please–save the sarcasm –Michigan fans were full of it last week and I am done with that for the time being—would like to hear from a good and kind Irish fan )
    GO IRISH BEAT SPARTY TO A BLOODY PULP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. the visiting team supplies the refs. that is why sparty is bringing the big 10 refs, usc will be bringing the pac 10 refs, etc. we use big east refs when we go on the road due to our affiliation with them.

      the series contract with michigan states that for games in ann arbor, big 10 refs will be used and for games in south bend big east refs will be used. as far as i know this is the only series in college football that does it this way.

      as far as my two cents go, saturday was another example of big 10 refs showing the ncaa that changes need to be made due to their performance. they are the reason why we have instant replay. what we need are ncaa refs. no conference affiliated refs. they need crews very much like the nfl uses.

  4. Unfortunately it seems like the same ole same ole – ND can’t put away the teams they need to beat. Better talent but same result of not winning the games you need to win. Michigan State will likely be ticked from losing last week and stick it to the Irish ya know cuz the Irish STILL arent prepared for the speed of the game. Disappointing VERY disappointing yet again this year. The W in the win column is what matters – poor refs or not.

  5. Michigan State has made a living catching Notre Dame in a let down after a big game with the Wolverines. Seems this year they were looking ahead. I hope the Irish are boiling mad after getting the “Charlie Brown” treatment from the Big Ten Officials in Ann Arbor. So Sparty comes to town along with another BigTen Officiating Crew. Oh joy! Screw us once, shame on us, screw us twice, shame on you!
    Forget about The Wolverines, we got business to take care of. Get pissed off, Practice hard, play well, give them nothing!
    It’s a new day, and a new oppertunity!

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