As the saying goes, better late than never. It’s been a bit of a hectic week so this week’s IBG is a bit late and a few columns unfortunately had to be sacrificed to the gods of real life coming in the way, but with the Irish set to take on Stanford in just a few hours, here is the weekly IBG.
First off, my question for the group was: After Torii Hunter’s debut and the the return this week of Amir Carlisle, how do you foresee the Notre Dame wide receiving rotation working out this weekend and beyond?
For everyone’s responses, click on the links below accompanying their questions.
Ryan Ritter, Her Loyal Sons: While Stanford’s rushing offense has been struggling this season (ranked 70th nationally), their defense certainly hasn’t (ranked 1st). How do you feel about the Golson-led offense against the Cardinal defensive unit?
I think there are going to be some ups and downs on offense given Stanford’s defensive strength. I can see the offense having a hard time sustaining a lot of drives and needing to rely on the big chunk plays Brian Kelly talked about this week. That said, I think Golson has the ability to make those big chunk plays based on everything he’s shown us so far this season. I expect to see at least one big downfield throw to Will Fuller deliver at the very least a lot of yards, if not a touchdown as we’ve seen him do against both Rice and Syracuse.
In the 2012 matchup, Golson played surprisingly well for that point in his career against the Stanford defense other than those costly turnovers. I think we’ll see some big plays on the ground from Golson as well today and if he cuts out the turnovers, the offense will have the Irish in a position to win the game.
Josh Vowles, Subway Domer: The national narrative hasn’t changed much. Notre Dame hasn’t played anyone with a pulse, and big bad Stanford is coming to town as the odds on favorite. The only thing that can change this perception is a win over the Cardinal- or would it? Would an Irish victory over Stanford in the eyes of pollsters and the CFB Playoff committee give more credence to the season thus far? Why does any of this even matter if it doesn’t really matter?
First off, I agree to an extent with the national narrative. Notre Dame’s opponent have done nothing really to impress so far this year so to this point we really don’t know what we have with our Irish. Have they been taking care of business as a good team should or have they benefited from a weak early slate? We’ll find out today.
In 2012 Stanford came to town with exactly the same type of resume including a loss and that win in 2012 is when people started to put more stock into the Irish. Following that game everyone’s attention immediately turned to Oklahoma just like attention would immediately turn to Florida State should the Irish pull out the victory today.
All that said, what Notre Dame does today in terms of impressing the committee doesn’t matter all that much because there are many more tests along the way for Notre Dame and Stanford could run the table potentially in the Pac 12 and make a potential Notre Dame victory look all that much stronger by the time the committee is really looking at things.
Aaron Horvath, ND Blog: What does it mean to you that Notre Dame was able to overcome 5 turnovers and still thoroughly and soundly defeat an ACC opponent?
I think any time you can overcome 5 turnovers and still win by 16 points against any opponent it’s obviously a good thing. We saw Notre Dame be unable to overcome turnovers against South Florida in 2011 at home and come up on the short end of the stick. That said, it was alarming to see the Irish turn the ball over that much after being so careful with it through the first three games of the season.
Mike Coffey, ND Nation: There seems to be two schools of thought on David Shaw. The first believes he’s surviving on Jim Harbaugh’s leftovers and Stanford will soon revert to form once they’re gone. The second thinks he’s an apple sitting not far from the trunk of the tree and Stanford can continue their strong play under his tutelage. To which school do you belong, and why?
I think we are past the point of saying that Shaw is riding on Harbaugh’s leftovers. The man has gone 37-8 in 3+ years and has been to a BCS bowl game every season since taking over for Harbaugh. Compare that to say when Larry Coker took over at Miami when Butch David gave him the keys to a Ferrari and Coker immediately crashed that thing into the guard rail. Shaw has done so without having the luxury of an Andrew Luck for the last two seasons as well so it’s not as though Shaw has benefited from the amazing quarterback play he got in his rookie season. The one area where I think Shaw hasn’t been able to fully sustain what Harbaugh built though is at the QB position since he hasn’t been able to find or develop a real heir apparent to Luck