Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See in Arlington?

Notre Dame Shamrock Series
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish sing the Alma Mater after Notre Dame defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 37-34 at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

In an unconventional game with unconventional twists and turns, the Irish eked out a nerve-wracking 34-30 victory over Arizona State’s Sun Devils, in Notre Dame’s third consecutive outing against a ranked opponent. The Irish moved to a nervous 4-2 record, and looked longingly toward a much needed Saturday without a game.

Leading up to the Shamrock Series game in Jerry Jones Stadium, there were five pressing questions hovering over the Irish:

(1) Could they avoid getting jumped at the game’s start as they had against Michigan, Purdue and Oklahoma?

(2) Could the Irish avoid destructive turnovers?

(3) How would Sheldon Day perform in his return?

(4) Would Taylor Kelly’s runs destroy the Irish defense?

(5) Would ASU’s helter-skelter tempo exhaust the Irish?

There was a sixth question that was NOT asked

(6) Does ASU have any idea that you can NOT throw the ball near Mathias Farley and Danny Fox in the fourth quarter!!!!!!?

Let’s answer the first 5

(1) Falling behind at the start?

The opening Irish drive lasted 8 minutes and 8 leisurely seconds ending in the ONLY Brindza miss. No Irish points, but no devilish points either. While ASu did hit its second field goal to go ahead 6-0 at the 6 minutes to go mark of the second stanza, it was not the crushing deficit of the earlier games.

(2) Avoid crushing turnovers?

Well, yeah for 45 minutes and 14 seconds, until the Irish, in the fourth quarter, with the ball and a 24-13 lead watched Rees throw a pick 6 to close the gap to 24-20. That one play moved the Irish from the brink of clinching the game to the brink of, well, you know….

(3) Sheldon did not play, so he should be ready by USC. Shembo, however, played like a Prince.

(4) Kelly did rush for 51 yards gained, but nothing huge, as he had against USC. The sacks lowered his official total to 5 yards, the irish defense grades VERY high here.

(5) Death by tempo? No, the Irish countered it and shifted Graham and Kelly away from it.

After the 6-0 deficit the Irish moved inexorably to a 24-13 lead before Rees’ morale-gutting pick 6 to Osahon Irabor. But the Irish drove to a comforting field goal for a 27-20 lead, before, as EVERYONE EXPECTED, ballhawks(?) Farley and Fox wrapped it up.

Now riddle me this: Is it permissible to say ND played a GREAT defensive game when it gave up 30 points?

If not, don’t read the next sentence if you are easily enraged. But the Irish frustrated the ASU offense for 3 quarters, and held the best offense we have played and will until thanksgiving weekend to 13 points in the first 52 minutes of the game.

NEWCOMER OF THE MATCH:

Jaylon Smith – got punked a few times by a slick ASU offense, but cut loose for the first times this season, forcing a fumble, disrupting the edge and getting two big TFL’s. It’s not yet 60 days since his first official practice. They keep saying he does not make the same mistake twice.

He is going to be all that we expected and more, and could be a real playmaker by the Stanford game.

CAPTAIN ACTING LIKE CAPTAIN AWARD

Danny Fox- a nice moment for your first pick 6. Whew!!

IT WAS NOT MY FIRST TIME AWARD

Despite what Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas would have you believe C.J. Prosise had had receptions before Saturday.

OFF WEEK TASK LIST

(1) Get Redfield, Shumate and Hardy ready for bigger roles at safety. Farley and Collinsworh will play a lot, but a dose of athleticism will not hurt. We will need more athleticism at safety against Stanford and the bowl opponent.

(2) Coach coverages better. It is unfair to Austin Collinsworth to have him isolated on ASU’s best receiver-Strong.

(3) Fine tune Jarron Jones and Isaac Rochell so they can reduce the “volume” of plays of Tuitt and Day. Plus they (gulp) may be starters next year.

(4) Work on the timing of Rees with the (four) running backs coming out of the backfield on pass patterns. With Daniels too.

(5) Develop a core of patterns and places where Rees can throw safely and successfully between the hashes.

(6) It may have been fatigue, or blitz adjustments, but our veteran OL had too many false starts. And Nick Martin needs to dial back on fast twitch muscle fiber.

(7) Uh, depth at ILB?

RATING NOTRE DAME AND ITS OPPONENTS

This week, we’ll include the Irish to make it 13., Please note, this ATTEMPT is at analysis of football teams, not rankings or final records., kind of like a handball ladder, where, while conceding that matchups matter, each team would be expected to lose to the team (and all teams) above it (assuming an infinite number of games on neutral fields) and defeat the team (and all teams) below it.

(1) Stanford – along with Oregon and Florida State, one of the top three non-SEC teams in the BCS. Never spectacular on either side of the ball, they grind slow but grind exceeding small. This Beast, Stanford, plays the Beauty, Oregon, in Palo Alto, November 7th. Four guys generate a pass rush, and they don’t need an 8th in the box to stop the run.

(2) Michigan – survived the Post-Notre Dame letdown and are now both unbeaten and rested as they head into the Big Ten Schedule after securing the Little Brown Jug. They might have the best set of coordinators in college football, Borges and Mattison. That means that this team will be coached up this Fall to be ready when the Buckeyes come a-callin’ on November 30th.

For NOW, we rate them ahead of Oklahoma for two reasons (rationalizations?)

(a) We’d pick Michigan over OU (trench superiority for Michigan) over OU on a neutral field

(b) Michigan BEAT Notre Dame. On 9/28 Notre Dame beat itself and Oklahoma, competently and gleefully, harvested the win.

(3) Oklahoma – Gutsy flip of the script from the Landry Jones era. Now, they run first, use the mobile quarterback(s), then tilt toward short passes over long ones. Responding to coach Mike Stoops in his second year as Defensive Coordinator, they are quick on defense, but one shudders at the thought of them playing Alabama.

(4) Notre Dame – great skill players on offense with a tough offensive line. Offensive productivity is subject to the limiting constraint of its quarterback, Tommy Rees. Sound rush defense, but front seven did not generate sacks until the Shamrock game in Arlington. Vulnerable to yards after short passes due to limited athleticism at ILB and S.

(5) Arizona State – in a conference filled with highly productive offenses, the Sun Devils, with Taylor Kelly wielding the pitchfork, take a back seat to no one. The defense could not shut down the Mishawaka Cavemen, so their games will be frenetic. The Pac XII South may be the most amusing divisional race in the BCS.

(6) Michigan State – like a rock WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). Crossbreed Sparty’s defense with ASU’s offense and you’d have something to talk about.

(7) USC – four years from now, some rocket scientist from the LA Times will write a story detailing the NFL draft and careers of the players on the 2013 Trojan team, and Goat Boy Kiffin will be burned in effigy-AGAIN. Take their two defensive tackles, Williams and Uko, and then the two receivers, Agohlor and Lee, and trade the rest of your draft for them. And there’s much, much more. But they’ve come back from Ted Tollner and Paul Hackett before.  So enjoy this moment: they are as tragic and repulsive as the Kardashians, but with more talent. But whoever Haden hires, the new coach is going to have a lot of fun!

(8) Pitt – an interesting team. Few teams can get comfortable winning shootouts (58-55 over Duke in Durham) and white-knuckle defensive battles (14-3 over Virginia, with 387 yards Total Offense for BOTH TEAMS combined). Surprisingly, after Walt Harris, Dave Wannstedt, Mike Haywood for a minute, then Todd Graham, it is Paul Chryst who may be the right fit for the currently 3-1 Panthers. Will the Panthers be able to leverage ACC membership into successful recruiting in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas?

(9) BYU – middle of the pack in the Beehive State. They are well-coached and successful in beating weak teams (yeah, Mack Brown, raise your hand) and lose to good ones.

(10/10A) Air Force and Navy-while last week’s game went to Navy, these teams are more alike than any two of our other opponents. Air Force’s Mountain West schedule is a little tougher than Navy’s odd collection. Both run, and very well, option-first offenses, are disciplined (Duh! it’s the military) and never quit, but both are small and easy to muscle in both trenches.

(12) Purdue – If the Purdue admin is patient with Hazell, he can help them climb upward. The Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Mike Phipps, Gary Danielson, Drew Brees days are in the archives, but the Boilers can compete in the Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers, Maryland tier of the Big Ten.

(13) Temple – still winless, despite being outscored by an aggreate of only 12 points in the three losses following their cameo in South Bend. Games against Army, Connecticut and Memphis appear their best chances for victory.

WHAT WILL WE SEE AGAINST SOUTHERN CAL?

(1) Enjoy this lads: more (rational) people will walk into the stadium comfortable that the Irish will beat Southern Cal in South Bend than will ever happen in South Bend in the foreseeable future. It’s 2013. The greatest players seldom get to their fourth year, so this Haden hire will recruit California and national studs who will be 18 months from the combine when they next visit Notre Dame Stadium.

(2) Great raw talent in the young secondary, but too many frosh. Just watch your back by 2015.

(3) Ed Orgeron, the Ragin’ Cajun on the sideline. If you thought he was over the top in “Blind Side” he wasn’t. He was just being himself. But he will not be the next head coach.

(4) If there is one area where Trojan productivity and performance do not match talent, it is the offensive line. A shame, really.

(5) Enjoy the warmups. See the fleet wide receivers, see the “bevy” of tight ends. See the thick, quick, nasty defensive linemen.

They say life’s biggest tragedy is unrealized potential, and while we’ve all enjoyed nightmares against the Cardinal and Gold, it’s sad these kids were never coached up.

4-2 heading into the off week.

Go Irish!

 

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49 Comments

  1. Question is why is Mathias Farley intercepting a pass on a 4th and 13 from their 20? If he knocks it down , Irish have great opportunity to score. Irish get a block in back, Offense goes 3 and out and punt. True, Kelley’s pass and Fox’s heads up play resulted in a TD but you can’t rely on that.

  2. no matter what the offensive line does, this will negate it. “ND runs a pistol offense with a single back without any threat of our QB running the ball, thus negating a key advantage of the pistol offense. Instead, TR turns to hand off so 11 defenders can converge on the RB,…”

    they need some top level coaching on offense, who is the offensive coordinator for oregon?

    1. The new offensive coordinator for the Ducks is Scott Frost.

      If he was to come to ND and transform the Irish running game with Tommy Rees at QB he would be Harry Houdini.

    2. Not sure why Frost would leave Oregon anytime soon. Ive been to there football stadium and practice facility and I was blown away. Confused as to why the 4 and 5 star recruits arent lining up to go there.

      1. They get their fair share. Outside of kids in Ca, that is an incredibly long way to go.

      2. say what?

        When you have Byron Marshall, the Black Mamba and Arik Armstead, those three give you a nice line up.

        They haven’t bubbled up to the surface yet, but you may wish to tab the names Tyrone and Tyree Robinson.

  3. I want to see Ken-More(Kendall Moore) put the Trojans in the spin cycle! He hits very hard. You will see that if he gets in. I can’t wait!

    Let’s beat the hell out of SC!

    Cheers,
    Woodrow

  4. A couple of points. First, the score was 37-34 not 34-30. The only reason that is important is that by playing soft and allowing ASU to score the TD with 11 seconds, you had the chance that an onside kick and some desperation throw inside the 30 would allow ASU to force overtime.

    Secondly, I do think the defense played better. I wish the coaches would turn the secondary loose a bit. Some great hits, but most of the time they played soft to keep everything in front. That’s fine if you limit the yards, but not fine if you allow a drive to continue.

    The offense looked decent. As everyone noticed, the blocking was much better than any other meaningful game so far.

    If Notre Dame played Michigan like they played ASU, then the Irish win that game.

    Which brings me to my only bone of contention with the ranks above. You have to keep Michigan above Notre Dame, but I do think Oklahoma beat ND while I think ND beat itself against Michigan. Michigan and the Big Ten are a highly overrated conference this year.

    1. well, first, I NEVER consider a conference when rating a team. Beside that, it is now the Big Two and the Little Ten and next year it will be the Big Two and the Little Twelve.

      I guess we saw the two games differently. I thought we handed the game to Oklahoma, with the combination of the three interceptions, the third one the unkindest and most untimely cut of all.

      Further, Jackson’s pirouette in the end zone and the victimization of Grace Farley and Collinsworth on Shepard’s TD (that should have been a 7 yard gain) were serious Notre DAme mistakes.

      The last 40 yeards of Gallon’s TD pass were due to an Irish error with the Three Stooges head knocking, but otherwise I though Michigan made more winning plays.

      I would still surmise that Michigan would beat Oklahoma on a neutral field, so perhaps we are left with disagreeing agreeably.

  5. It’s been a while sense posting here but often stop in for the articles and catch some commentary from all of you about the direction of the team, coaching, and over all team play.

    I often visit Bleacher Report for my Irish “entertainment” reading. The TMZ of football reporting however ill read anything with college football, CFB Recruiting of a title that has my Irish in the head line.

    That said I found a article waiting for me tonight that I found very interesting. The author broke down the ASU Game into the number of formations & run/pass plays out of said formations. It was VERY VERY revealing of Kelly’s offensive game plan and the play calling.

    Thought some of you may enjoy it as well.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1803576-notre-dame-football-formation-analysis-from-the-arizona-state-win Found via http://ble.ac/teamstream

  6. I got a question, why didn’t Farley bat the ball down instead of intercepting it? It was fourth down and the Irish would have had the ball on the 30.

    1. Instincts. Ball in the air, go catch it. I agree that running around backwards after that was not that smart but tough not to catch the ball in that instance.

      1. Another problem with returning a pick on 4th down is the risk of fumbling and giving the ball right back to the opponent. Just ask the Chargers about that one!

    2. No, Jack, they would’ve had the ball inside the 20. No, Ron, the instincts of a well-coached and disciplined player would’ve told him knock the ball down. Even if ND goes 3 and out they’re in FG range. Instead ND had to punt. Imagine a shank or a blocked punt. That would magnify the stupidity of Farley’s decision. What bailed him out was that the ASU punt returner had an even bigger brain fart than Farley and let the ball roll to the 1. Good coaching makes Farley’s error a teachable moment. Let’s see if this ever happens again under BK.

      1. I was at the game and didn’t say anything, but was thinking he was near the sidelines and should have just hit it out of bounds. ND would have had the ball in field goal range at least.

      2. Jack,

        If he just goes straight upfield he gets to at least the 25. Of course, that still runs the risk of getting stripped from behind and giving the ball back to ASU with a 1st down. Instead, just bat the ball down and get it inside the 20. That’s even better field position and no risk of a fumble on the return.

        What happened on the Farley pick was typical of a mediocre team. What should be a positive blows up in their face. Rather than have the ball inside the 20, ND gets it close to midfield. Of course, 3 and out and now you give the ball right back to ASU with time left for a FG to send the game into OT. Thankfully their punt returner must have been watching ND’s punt return game the last 4 years and followed that example. Thank God!

  7. Was a solid solid win against a good ASU team the Oline was outstanding in blocking you know what you get on the left side with Watt and Martin 2 of the best NDs had on that side in a long while but Lombard and Stanley really stepped up on the right side beating a ranked team who everyone other then Lou Holtz said was gonna blow ND out one thing Kelly has done since arriving has changed the culture and instilled a toughness that’s been long overdue team doesn’t quit and plays really hard tough seeing 2 solid players going down in Grace who is really coming on and Smith the best blocking WR ND has other then that FR #17 WR great win boys well earned W heading into a much needed buy hope the people going to the USC game are loud and crazy in 2 weeks as a Canadian who watches every game and would love to be at that game against that hated team be loud and crazy supposed to be home field advantage there’s no buffalo bills curse with this team so let it loose no more of this uneasy anxious atmosphere that’s talked about at ND stadium hope the cameras are shaking lets go people beat SC and embrace the hate!!!

  8. Big-D,

    You’re scarining me dude!

    Your first point under “What we will see against Southern Cal”
    That… More ND fans, will walk into ND Stadium comfortable that the Irish will beat Southern Cal sounds more hopeful than true.

    I’m not sure “comfortable” is a word that will ever be associated with this years ND squad.

    So much of college football is emotion. And it’s ND and USC!

    USC has 3 wins and 2 losses so far this year. And while their wins weren’t pretty, they were wins. (sound familiar?)

    It also appeared they had quit on Kiffin vs ASU, but we can’t say the same about Ed Orgeron.(At least not yet)

    We do catch a bit of a break with USC playing Arizona this Thrusday night, so we at least get a peak at the new and improved Kiffin-less Trojans before they come to South Bend.

    If ND can jump on the Trojans early, then ND shoud have their way, start slow, as ND seems to prefer, let them hang around, and we are asking for trouble.

    Let’s also not forget that Marques Lee should be back for this game, and our secondary continues to struggle.
    Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon is still fresh in my mind, and we all know that Lee is a full step better than him!

    What say we hold the “feeling sad about their players not being coached up” until the game is over and we have secured a win?

    1. I was trying to make a comparative point, Shaz, you know ordinal rather than cardinal.

      And I tried to hedge further with “rational.” I’ve seen some clucking on other Notre Dame sites that USC will be in a hole for 5 years.

      Poppycock.

      They’ll be bristing when they walk in here in 2015, and “rational” fans will have that dryness in their throats.

      I think they had quit on Kiffin as far back as Georgia Tech, and their efforts or non-efforts against Hawaii Wazoo, Utah State and ASU showed that they’d already quit.

      You don’t turn that back in two weeks.

      Let’s leave it at this:

      My contention is that USC can not BEAT Notre Dame.

      But Notre Dame remains capable of LOSING to Southern Cal.

      Orgeron’s Ole Miss teams never quit on him either. They were just bumfuzzled and poorly coached.

      1. Big-D,

        I appreciate and understand your comparative point. I really do.

        And few know their ND football history better than you, and one only need look back to the 2011 ND-USC game in South Bend to see what can happen in this rivalry.

        I’ve watched a lot of teams, play a lot of college football this year.
        And I can only say that it is truely amazing what can happen in two weeks.

        As far as USC cannot beat the Irish, or ND remains capable of losing to SoCal, lets just hope Kelly and crew learned something from the last time these two teams met in ND stadium.

  9. The lines on both sides of the ball were great. We won! Go Irish! Noone
    in the country picked us. Great win

    1. What??? you said none? In any event, uhnd author’s Tyler and Zack almost got the score perfect within the margin of error +/-2.

      As I said on a previous post, probably great guys to tag along with going to Vegas!

      GoooooooooIrish!

  10. Tommy Rees third down pass which sailed out-of-bounds:

    “It appeared to me that his receiver ran the incorrect pass route.”

    Did anyone else notice this?

    1. As a famous person said: “What difference does it make! We are still beat ing ourselves!

      There were plenty of pass disconnects in this game. Several uncatchable passes and incorrect receiver routes.
      Plus a pick 6!

    2. If by bad pass route you mean he wasn’t holding a ticket to the game and sitting in the 3rd row then yes.

  11. Temple is the “tragic” team listed above but for all the saddest reasons. A. A class list of NFL caliber head coaches gone.

    B. The nations most promising QB Connor Reilly losing every game.

    C. A group of high quality linemen (both sides of the football)

    D. A football team who only needs skill position players to become a football power.

    E. It is hard to find a university with a higher academic standard than the Temple Owls.

    1. “E. It is hard to find a university with a higher academic standard than the Temple Owls”

      Apparently not. Their football team’s GSR in 2012 stood at 66%, a very average score among FBS schools. That stat doesn’t make Temple a bad school, but “high standards” may be a tad strong.

      1. JDH,

        Facts are often an inconvenient truth to THB. He’s still trying to convince us that Temple is a powerhouse and that we should be proud and thankful for our victory over them. Anything to make ND seem less mediocre.

    2. I must have missed this while scanning the posts the first time around.

      Points A – E are some of the funniest things I’ve ever read. This can’t possibly be serious.

      You don’t by any chance work for the government do you?

  12. Wasn’t the final actually 37-34, not 34-30? Also, the defense only gave up 27 since 7 of the 34 came on the pick 6 from Rees. I think it has also been pointed out on other sites, I would have to go back and verify, that Farley’s interception came on 4th down so batting it down would have resulted in better field position for ND. Also, wouldn’t NDA have been able to run out the clock if Fox took a knee after the interception?

  13. I thought I read somewhere that the O line has yet to be flagged for a holding penalty. Could this possibly be true?

    1. The offensive line has not been flagged for holding yet in the 1st 6 games. (I didn’t think so either, so I went through the play-by-play – plenty of delay of gain and motion penalties, but no holding.)

  14. michael, you are correct. This team will not “arrive” until the offense bails out the defense once or twice. If you put Kelly’s post game comments under the microscope after the Michigan game, he really is on this. He would not give the offense a pass and had little criticism of the defense.

    I had hoped that Arizona State would be that game, at last.

    As far as your initial line goes, remember what they said about Eleanor Roosevelt “She afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted.”

    Keep going Michael. After all, you’re an archangel, so act accordingly.
    And, you know, you have so far!!

  15. I’ve been characterized as one who hopes when all despair, and despairs, when all are filled with hope.
    So coming off a hopeful inspired performance, especially by our ‘D’, forgive my doubts below:

    Our ‘D’ was awesome, repeatedly making huge game-changing plays at critical times,
    as did our receivers, especially TJ. Both GA III and Cam, especially, gained some key tough yards.
    The OL, despite a few flinches, was, as both JC and duranko noted, spectacular.
    But ND’s players had to overcome a lot to win, including:
    1) another predictable weekly game plan of throw it long and, of course, run into the pile
    when they cut into our lead until it’s third and long; then, throw it long!
    2) Is it just me, or do GA III and Amir need to read blocks better ? Although, to be fair,
    in the 4th quarter especially, ASU crowded the box on first and second down,
    with ASU safeties and LBs blitzing on first and second downs most of the game,
    resulting in little running room for our RBs.

    Which brings me to my biggest concern.

    “Let the defense win it for us” has apparently become the BK modus operandi,
    and can be very dangerous, especially going against such a very productive, explosive ASU offense.
    The defense weekly has to overcome the coaches’ ongoing refusal to use the dime ‘D’,
    especially in the last ASU drive.

    75 yards in 57 seconds ! Re: passing ‘D’ sets :
    * Why was Calabrese on the field when ASU scored their last TD ? We knew they would pass!
    * Why not use Ishaq as a 4th rushing DL, or as a blitzing LB, instead of dropping him 30 yards
    down the field like they did a play earlier?
    * How many more times do we have to watch teams complete 8 to 12 yard passes in the flat or over the middle against our ILB’s on 3rd and 7, or second and 10?

    We finally have several fast quality DBs (Lo Wood, Max Redfield, in addition to the six or seven we already rotate), but we don’t use 6 DBs in passing situations. WHY NOT ? Inexperience ?
    Better to chance their inexperience than live with the ongoing experience, going on six weeks now,
    of the opposition dinking and dumping short passes and controlling the ball up and down the field.

    ND is better than so many others give them credit for. While opponents like Oklahoma, Michigan, and ASU
    (even successful pro teams / see: Seattle, SF, et.al.) run and pass with their QB, and blitz often,
    signs of 21st century football, ND runs a pistol offense with a single back without any threat of our QB running the ball, thus negating a key advantage of the pistol offense. Instead, TR turns to hand off so 11 defenders
    can converge on the RB, then we did more of the same when we burned 4 downs and about 12 seconds off the clock late in the game.
    And, finally, whenever BK brings in AH, everyone in the western world knows he won’t pass.
    So defenses get to converge 11 against the run when #12 comes in.
    Play-action pass ?
    Buehler? Buehler ? Anyone ? Buehler?

    I’m happy for the team, but they are forced to overcome our offensive, and I do mean offensive, predictability.
    I know all about TR’s limitations and the BK mantra of “just execute”. But how ‘bout an element of surprise every now and then, like each of our opponents have employed against us every week ?
    It’s not cheating to add a wrinkle or three in your game plan!

    A win’s a win, and this was critical and well-earned
    – but the recurring fear and trepidation of playing not to lose by the coaching staff
    ( I had my fill of it with Lovey and the Bears for a decade) will likely catch up to us.

    And I’m not talking about just Stanford, either. The rest of the other opponents, especially $C,
    have little left to play for- a win against ND on national TV is about all the rest have left.

    “Play like a champion” can mean expect the offense to score, even with a lead,
    and not just eat the clock, so as to “let the defense win it!”

    1. OK ArchAngel,

      I have a trick question for you! We graduate Rees after a BCS Bowl appearance. So the QB derby begins in the spring as usual. How in the world do we keep 3 highly rated dual threat QB’s content with 1 starting and 2 setting on the bench? Now remember we are talking 4-5 star guys. Not BK’s usual 3 star work in progress.

      1. I like the part of TR taking us to a BCS appearance. What we’ll have is EG, hopefully, with Malik and AH, if he comes back for a 5th year, with a new Frosh coming in. I see EG starting, with specific packages for Malik. But unless AH is used more in the second half of this season, we’ll have EG and Malik, with a Frosh red-shirted and waiting. Northwestern uses two QBs quite successfully; maybe BK needs to talk with their coach Fitzgerald and learn how to do it!

      2. Michael,

        I will say if we play near error free football the rest of the way(big if), we just might make it into a BCS bowl. Definitely a life savior for recruiting!

        I would also love to beat USC by 30, however, I think 62 was a kodak moment for ASU not to be repeated.

        GoooooooIrish!

  16. JC,

    Like I’ve said duranko is a solid football guy. He knows of what he speaks. What gets me is when he demonizes those who disagree with him, almost always on some tangential or non-football matter. But he really does have a very good grasp of ND football. I hope this will be the start of some kind of reconciliation between us and him. There I go again offering an olive branch, JC!

    1. Rob,

      I do my best contemplative football work in this unique odd house by a tree in the middle of a corn field. I love peeking out the knot holes see the deer walking by. The problem is I’m 425 miles away from it, and only visit the odd house twice a year.

      GooooooIrish!

      1. Hey JC,
        It’s good to have places to be introspective, especially about ND pigskin. Hell I have a cornfield right in my backyard, literally, since I live in the corn state of Iowa. I hope the bye week will be used in a productive way.

        Lets go Irish

      2. Storespook,

        Iowa Kool!

        1987 was a good year for me, an Iowa client of mine took me to an Iowa vs Indiana game in Iowa City. Further, I have indeed hunted pheasants in the great corn fields of Iowa! However, no odd house were I was hunting at the time, darn! Hahaha!

        1987 was also a busy travel year! I had to give my ND vs Michigan State tickets to a local client due to an out of town convention. I also had to settle for watching Tim Brown on the tube returning back to back punts for tds. Poor me! I was crying all the way home. Well, fortunately it was a night game otherwise I would have missed the whole game!

        GooooooooIrish! Stomp USC!

  17. As much as this is killing me to say this duranko. You were spot on with the offensive line prediction improving in game six. Stellar QB protection! So congrats, and I hope you are correct the offensive line will once again improve game 10 (No OL self-induced errors I hope). Louis Nix would have had time to lob passes into the end zone!

    GooooooooIrish!

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