Notre Dame was without the services of Daniel Cage, CJ Prosise, and Nic Weisher on Saturday and then lost James Onwualu during their 28-7 victory over Wake Forest. On Sunday, Brian Kelly had a fairly encouraging update on the prognosis for all of them with the possible exception of Onwualu who will miss at least one game.
Onwaulu will be out for Notre Dame’s showdown with Boston College in Fenway Park this coming weekend. The junior linebacker suffered a second grade sprain of his MCL on Saturday and will be out at least this week. Kelly didn’t give an update on the starting linebacker past this coming weekend though other than saying the he would not need surgery.
The news was much better for the trio of Cage, Prosise, and Weishar – all of whom sat out Saturday’s win over Wake with concussions. All three players are probable for this weekend against the Eagles.
Amir Carlisle banged up his ankle during the win as well, but Kelly categorized it as a minor ankle injury and it didn’t sound like anything too serious.
Getting Cage back would be a huge boost for the Irish defense after they moved Isaac Rochell inside to nose tackle in Cage’s absence. While Rochell filled in admirably, Notre Dame missed Cage’s presence in the interior of the defense line and allowed Wake Forest some easy runs right through the heart of the defense yesterday.
With Prosise, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him still have a limited role this weekend. Josh Adams has back to back 140+ yard performances with Prosise missing almost all of the past two games and given the number of hits Prosise has taken this year, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ease him back into action this weekend before the season ending showdown with Stanford.
Meanwhile, the news was not as good for freshman Eqaunimeous St Brown who will be out for six weeks after undergoing surgery. A six week timeframe would mean that he could be available around the time of the bowl game/playoffs depending on where the Irish end up playing this post season.
If you go up by 21 rather easily, why make changes to the offense and provide future opponents, who will try similar defenses, with the ways you are going to attack them. You saw some of what we would do in the last TD plays.
Still #4, the bias rages on……..
Here’s an interesting break down of the current top 10 playoff contenders and how many players each team has ” lost for the season” due to injury, eligibility, academics, or suspensions.
1. Clemson – 3
2. Alabama – 3
3. OSU – 6
4. Notre Dame – 10
5. Iowa – 1
6. Oklahoma St. – 1
7. Oklahoma – 3
8. Florida – 3
9. Michigan St. – 7
10.Baylor – 3
Boston College – 4
Stanford – 1
When BK says next man up he means it.
I am getting so sick of these Iowa and OK State fans and their constant complaining about ND being at #4. How many other teams in the country could lose their starting QB, RB, TE, DT plus others and still be 9-1. They deserve their spot if we can run the table.
Please tell me you’ve sent these ideas over to the coaching staff.
This will solve everything!
@ Michael the Archangel. Just prior to seeing your post, I had just read that BC took a week off prior to this weeks game. Prior to last week’s game I learned that Wake did the same thing. I had decided to pop on here to make a point about that, but read your post and was amazed to learn about Clemson doing the same thing. Kudos to you for making it known. My thought was, it should be a talking point among the CFP committee when they evaluate SOS. It a strong argument for ND’s achievements that lesser teams treat the ND clash as their ‘bowl’ game and better teams know to schedule extra time to be better prepared for our offense. We are important in each of our opponent’s schedules. The experts value SOS in arriving at rankings. How about 2 other metrics…(FF) Fear Factor, or (BA) Bowl Alternative.
If opponents take extra time to design defenses to (a) stop our run game and (b) double up on Will Fuller…then shouldn’t the immediate middle be open to quick passes? ND, for years noted as TE University, hasn’t really utilized our TE’s in the passing game this entire season. This could be the time Kelly has been waiting for. Two thoughts on this, (1) do i want to tip my hand to that tactic prior to springing it on Stanford, and (2) will it be necessary to do just to beat BC?
I need not be an apologist for BK or his O’s productivity this season, so I won’t.
But one advantage we’ve seen among three of our ACC opponents is them scheduling extra prep time leading up to the ND game. As with Wake, Clemson not only took the week before ND off, they took 15 days off- similar to prep time for a bowl game- before they played ND. For those who don’t think that matters, it sure seemed to for ND vs. LSU last December. This week, BC, with extra prep time as well, will be able to insert schemes and formations ND will have not seen or had the opportunity to prepare for. And if BC starts its walk-on QB for only his second start, another unknown is added into the mix. Most second halves this season the ND D’ has been able to adjust and hold their opponents to less. ND’s O’, other than vs. Temple and Wake, has had such success and productivity that they would be hesitant to change up what they do. NDs OL physically dominating the LOS in the 4th quarter best occurs after pounding their DLs leading up to it. More variety might be seen this week to counteract what BC has had extra time to prepare. Maybe more Alize Jones, maybe more screens, perhaps more passes to RBs, recognizing never to ignore where Fuller and Hunter are as well. If there is one area of consistent strength BC has shown, its the run D’, ranked #!. How patient ought ND be with establishing the run? Stay tuned.
Pete, you nailed it. The OL was supposed to dominate. This is the 3rd week it hasn’t. Makes it tough for excellent runners (Prosise, Adams) to do their thing. On the 98 yd TD run, Adams said…”the OL did a great job ON THAT PLAY”. Speaks volumes. Is it HH or BK? Whoever! This week we get another look at a quality defense. Have we learned anything? BC gave up only two TD’s against Fla State. We need to get 4 to impress. BK, every week you implore each player to “do their JOB, and we’ll win”. How ’bout taking your own advise.
The Mash Unit continues to grow. Each week it seems another one or two go down. On a better note, the replacements have done a great job taking up the slack. Adams has been a life saver. It’s frightening to think how good they could have been had there been no injuries. Of course 9-1 would be a hard number to top! Let’s hope we come out of the BC game unscathed. A nice 42-3 win would be great. of course against BC that doesn’t happen often enough! Go Irish!
Kelly said that a lot of the problems with the offense against Wake was the fact that having an extra week to prepare they threw many different defensive looks at them. Well, my question is shouldn’t he and his assistants be able to make adjustments after a series or 2. I saw no screens, downfield throws or misdirection runs to get them off balance. Also, noticed no fire from the offensive line. Lets hope they get their act together this week. Defense backs had good coverage just don’t turn around and look for the ball.