It wasn’t pretty but the Irish managed to get to 3-1 on the season with a 17-13 victory over Michigan State. Both teams played sloppy but the Irish were able to take advantage of costly penalties by Michigan State and missed opportunities by the Spartans in order to get the win. Notre Dame’s defense stepped up but the offense continued to struggle, particularly in the ground game. The Irish will need to clean up their mistakes this week as the undefeated Oklahoma Sooners come to town next weekend. The following players were the catalysts in leading the Irish to their tenth straight home win:
In a low scoring defensive battle field position is key, Kyle Brindza made sure Notre Dame had the advantage in that stage of the game when it mattered most. Brindza hit back to back punts of over 50 yards in the closing stages of the fourth quarter to force the Spartans to have to drive the majority of the field against the Irish defense. Brindza also connected on a 41 yard field goal and was strong on kickoffs as the Spartans were limited in the damage they could do in the return game.
Freshman wide receiver Corey Robinson picked a good time to play his best game of the season so far. The Irish were struggling to move the ball but Robinson made multiple first down catches on third down to keep drives alive and looked to be a matchup nightmare for every Spartan corner due to his size. Robinson also drew some crucial pass interference penalties as he was too much to handle in man to man coverage. The Texas native totalled three receptions for 54 yards in the Irish victory.
Louis Nix III
Irish nose guard Louis Nix embraced the battle in the trenches that would decide the game and was instrumental in Notre Dame’s defense winning it. Nix had six tackles and a pass breakup while he ate up double teams and took away the middle of the line of scrimmage from the Spartans. The Irish All-American talent was very disruptive to the Spartans offense and his presence allowed Stephon Tuitt to play his best game of the season.
Coming off a couple lackluster performances Irish corner KeiVarae Russell stepped up against the Spartans. Russell was solid in man to man coverage, an area where he had been victimized recently. He also tackled well, which had been a concern for the Irish secondary in previous weeks. Russell had four tackles and a team leading three pass breakups in the victory.
Every game this year will come down to the fourth quarter except 2 ASU and Standford. I predict a 9-3 or 8-4 season with a crap bowl. Again, in college football and elite QB is needed to win tight games with a disciplined defense. Both of which ND doesn’t have at the moment. Some pieces are there but not the full package.
If we are going to have another ‘2011 Ground Hog Year’ then why not play Zaire! Look how many freshman are playing now. Hey, if we are going to scrub this season with mediocre play, why not attempt to be prepared for next year? Rest assured, two more years of mediocre seasons will be madly radioactive for recruiting!
By the way, you’re buying the beer for this Saturday, Storespook said so! All my predictions are off the table for this season! Throwing 4th & 1 did it for me.
First sentence should obviously read “See what I mean about you settling for less?” So much for proof-reading! My bad!
See what I about about you settling for less? You put TR on your top-10 performance list not because he threw for plus-300 yards and 3 TD. No. You put him on your list because he didn’t throw any picks. BTW: TR threw more than one ball that could’ve been picked off. But I’m not going to hold that against him because they weren’t. Unlike many here, I’m not going to play the could have, should have, would have game. Bottom line is that TR completed well under 50% of his throws for less than 150 yards. Yet that mediocrity makes your top 10 list. Frankly, I rest my case.
Folston didn’t do a thing with the ball. How is he on the list? Imagine if he had broke a run for 25 yards, he might be # 1.
4. Rees (no turnovers)
5. Mcdaniels (fractured hand, stitches and all)
8. Notre Dame Defense
9. Brian Kelly, A+
Rees? He was horrible in this game. Oh boy
Brian Kelly, A+? 100% grade? That means he didn’t do a simple thing wrong. He called a perfect game in all 3 phases with his coaches. There’s absolutely nothing BK can do to improve. After all, you can’t do better than 100% or A+. I’d love for you to be mu boss! Of course, in reality, you’re probably a lot tougher on the people you know and/or work with. That simply means you’re a hypocrite. In real life you’re as critical as the rest of us, but on here you give away praises and claim we shouldn’t criticize anyone.