It might not have won Notre Dame many style points, but a win is a win and right now the Irish sit at 2-0 for the first time in 3 seasons. This week’s edition of Shamrock Stickers takes a look at who was responsible for getting the Irish off to such a start for the first time in the Brian Kelly Era.
Louis Nix was a monster in Notre Dame’s 20-17 win over in-state rival Purdue. Nix ate up space in the middle all day and was a nightmare for the Boilermakers offensive line. Nix registered four tackles and 1.5 sacks, as well as two key pass deflections. If Nix continues to play this way he will become a staple amongst the players of the week for the Irish.
Simply put Tyler Eifert is without a shadow of a doubt the best tight-end in college football. Eifert recorded four catches for 98 yards versus Purdue and was the victim of numerous holding and interference penalties by the Purdue secondary. Eifert is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses in the passing game with his size, speed and great hands, but that’s not all, as he is doing the little things such as blocking in the run game, which he did brilliantly against the Boilermakers.
Everett Golson and Tommy Rees
Everett Golson made his first career home start and got the job done with a win. Golson went 21-31 passing for 289 yards and a touchdown, the redshirt freshman quarterback also rushed for a touchdown and kept countless plays alive with his feet. However, Golson had a costly fumble that allowed Purdue to tie the game at 17 a piece with just over two minutes remaining. On the following drive Brian Kelly elected to play the much maligned Tommy Rees in place of Golson who was limited by pain in his throwing hand that caused him difficulty to grip the ball. Rees led the Irish down the field on a beautiful two minute drill culminated by Kyle Brindza’s game winning field goal. Rees perfectly symbolized the Irish’s “Next man in” motto while leading the Irish to a victory.
Another much maligned player that stepped up for the Irish was punter Ben Turk. In a close game field position is crucial, and the Irish have lost games in the recent past as a result of troubles with the kicking game. Turk kept the Irish even or ahead of the Boilermakers in the field position battle and never put the Irish defense behind the eight-ball with a poor punt. Turk averaged 43.6 yards per punt and pinned Purdue inside the 20 yard line on one occasion.
With each passing game Stephon Tuitt is making the loss of Aaron Lynch hurt less and less. Tuitt is only a sophomore and already appears to be too much to handle for most offensive lineman as he registered another four tackles, two sacks, and two quarterback hurries to add to his season totals. It remains to be seen if Tuitt can keep his spectacular play up against higher quality competition, but he shows no signs of slowing down.
It is GREAT to hear and read from TRUE IRISH FANS. I too, thought the team played well. No team is a given on our schedule and Purdue had everything to gain and nothing to looses by defeating ND. I am pleased with your selection and felt these 5 and more did their best.
Agreed on all points!
We shall see how Golson responds.
Had BK retained his fire and attitude when he came from Cincy and had ND stayed with the hurry up, it would have resulted in a much more optimistic attitude from a fans perspective.
Rees took a nosedive when BK went with a strictly politically correct decision last year and started Crist over Tommy. No coincidence if you ask me. Based on everything in Tommys first year, plus a win over USC aint no way Crist starts over him. Gee and now BK is managing QB’s primarily? Thanks but no thanks. Two QB confidences are in the tank if you ask me.
What the Irish do against Michigan State will pretty much cement what we can expect for the remainder of the year from the Irish. I definitely think State is way over rated but it will be the first true test for the Irish. Of course based on this year thus far, we know Navy totally sucks this year so the Irish being ranked 19th – 20th in the polls is also not reality.
Hope for the best regardless – GO IRISH!
I was at the game and overall not impressed with where the season may go from here after watching. The boos were for Golson not being in the game. Be it against Ree’s or BK, take your pick. The boos continued when Rees over threw and then on another incompletion. No one had any idea Golson was hurt at that point. I vocally dumped on BK when I saw Rees come in as Golson played a hell of a game, had 300 yards in the air and DESERVED a shot at his first real drive to win a game. Now I read and see Golson could have played so I am justified in dumping on BK as he is 2-2 for dumping on a QB’s confidence in two straight seasons. How this plays out with Golson is anyones guess – I felt bad for him cause that was an opportunity a young QB dreams of. I bet it wasnt his decision to not go in. Too bad.
Not a fan at all with the typical Ozzie music they played but was a huge fan of the Irish themed music they played which got the players way up and the fans up! It was awesome and intimidating for sure! The downside is we only heard it twice the entire afternoon. This type of music should be featured and expanded on and cranked which would serve to really put an identity on the game experience at ND, PLUS it plays natually with a team named the Fighting Irish! It was extremely motivating for players and fans alike if you havent heard it before.
Purdue is better than most give credit – numbers 93 and 91 on their D line were beasts in the middle and ND was right not to run up the middle but some mis-direction and a little option would have broken the ground game out for the Irish but that wasnt the game plan apparently. So much for BK saying he doesnt coach or play call scared.
Tough sledding ahead for the Irish and I’m afraid the secondary -while they played better- have still not been tested. That comes this Saturday. Hoping for at least 6-6 this year. GO IRISH!
I agree, if Golson’s hand was hurt that bad BK would have listed him questionable instead of the starter for MSU.
Further, BK was all to eager in my opinion, to incert and to sing TR praises this early in the season given the circumstances.
If the rolls were reversed, who would have stayed in the game? Hmmmmm?
Chris one more point,
After last year with 17 turnovers from the QB position. Undeniably, there is mega-positive chemistry between BK and TR.
That simply does not exist with EG. TR would have been the starter this year except for his mishap.
Unfortunately, more than likely TR will be the starter soon with BK’s proven quick pull technique if it’s not TR.
I hope I am completely wrong.
EG is 2-0 and has looked very good for only two game experience. I suspect practice this week will be less lethargic due to zero jet lag. Not to mention, having to prepare for a balanced offensive attack two weeks in a row should now yield marked improvement in all facets of the game.
Coming off a triple option week plus jet lag then transforming into our normal schedule is a killer on execution skills. All I can say is thank God we got Navy out of the way early. Navy is definately disruptive with their triple option approach before, during and after the game!
So this week, I think we will see sharper execution skills against MSU. Plus not really convinced looking at MSU’s schedule they merit a #11 or better ranking to date.
Here come the Irish!
You are right on, JC
The boos were clearly aimed at Kelly, not Rees. Nobody in the stadium knew that Golson was hurt.
Even though it doesn’t manifest in the broadcast, I believe (and received a number of texts from those present) that the boos were actually in defense of another college kid – and the lack of committment from a trigger-happy coach.
Still tarnished from what happened last year with another young man, who also had a supposidely survived the protracted soap-opera-like study leading up to the coach’s ‘support’, the fans are now less enthralled at the roulette coaching style at the expense of a young kid.
I am still unsure of the validity of the rationale after trying to lip-read Golston on the sidelines after the initial substitution, that basically seemed to say, ‘I don’t know’. He was yanked after two bad decisions in not throwing the ball-away (instead of taking a sack), then subsequently chosing to extend a play before fumbling.
Good coaches know how to win. Great college-coaches know to coach, then win.
I found the booing ironic. Coming from a school built on forgiveness and the virtues of Christianity. The best they could do was boo a 21 year old kid. Classless and shameful.
Kelly gets a sticker for pulling the trigger on Rees. Golson could have finished. Not a popular move, the booing was noticable. Still can’t believe the fans booed him, classless. They are just college kids.
Nix and Tuitt were both man children out there yesterday. The future of the ND DL is bright with those two anchoring it. Once Day gets some more experience and strength that line is going to be nasty.
Nice write up. The D-line was key again. Along with Tuitt and Nix, Sheldon Day stepped in for KLM and made regular appearances in the backfield. We also had some young players step up in the secondary. Nice win!