Behind Enemy Lines: Michigan ’13

Behind Enemy Lines - Michigan 13
General view of Michigan Stadium during the game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Central Michigan Chippewas. Mandatory Credit: Sage Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Behind Enemy Lines returns this week with an exchange of questions with Seth from the original Michigan Football blog – MGOBlog.  Seth provided us with some thorough, and often colorful and candid, responses to our questions about this weekend’s showdown Under the Lights.

UPDATE: Also be sure to check out the questions we answered for MGO Blog over on their site.

Note: the views and opinions expressed in this post are of our guest blog partners at MGOBlog and not those of the editors of UHND.com

What is the main difference between Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner that Notre Dame fans should be aware of and will Gardner be as generous with the football to the Notre Dame defense as Robinson was a year ago?

Well for one Gardner ties his shoelaces. For two Gardner isn’t the most explosive collegiate athlete since Michael Vick. The difference is that between Vick and Vince Young. Whereas Denard was generously listed at 6’0″, Devin is the same height as Tom Brady, Elvis Grbac, Todd Collins, Scott Dreisbach, and Drew Henson—all Carr-era artillery pieces with NFL careers that span from “better than Joe Montana” to “more overrated than Brady Quinn.” Gardner is not those guys (even Henson isn’t a good example); Vince Young as a junior is just about perfect. Gardner is a ridiculous athlete who will keep plays alive in the backfield long enough to get through several bars of Benny Hill, and possesses the same loping speed that Young used to make linebackers look silly. The other difference with Gardner is when things break down he looks to run: in five games as a starter last year he doubled the times Denard scrambled over nine starts.

Denard’s diarrhea of interceptions in Sound Bend was weird even for him, the difference, when we charted them, simply chalked up to “Manti Te’o is awfully good at linebacking.” Devin will throw some picks, but not that many, and once you get him near the red zone he’s a touchdown machine. Where he falls behind is long drives: he’s still not even a year removed from his moonlight at receiver and Michigan’s still in the testing phases of its hurry-up offense. If you can get a guy in Gardner’s feet his mechanics get out of whack and he’ll turf one or sky it behind his receiver for an arm-punt. Given the bad matchup of our young interior OL vs ND’s front three I’m putting the over-under on those balls at four, with two leading to INTs.

Defensively, ESPN’s College Football Preview said the way to beat the Wolverines is to spread the field and make them cover athletes in space.  Is this true and if so, what are your thoughts after seeing the debut of Amir Carlisle, Troy Niklas scoring from 66 yards out, and wide receivers TJ Jones and DaVaris Daniels both turning in career days last weekend?

Are you sure you’re not reading last year’s preview? Michigan graduated two scrappy, slowish defensive backs and replaced both with far more athletic players, one a big upgrade (JT Floyd was a cornerback every opponent schemed against; to replace him we get back star-tracked Blake Countess), the other a downgrade between pretty big and massive.

The important guy we replace is Ed Reed-except-not-athletic Jordan Kovacs, the former walk-on who made up for the slowitude by knowing what quarterbacks were going to do before they themselves did. His replacement…um…well the guy they wanted to seize the job was sophomore Jarrod Wilson (you’ll remember him from giving up that key pass interference in the end zone last year). Wilson didn’t seize the job, and they moved tiny mite nickel corner Courtney Avery there late in fall practice; Avery missed this week with a nagging back issue but is expected to return. Kovacsian free safety Thomas Gordon will be back this week after a game in Hoke’s doghouse; his move down to the short safety says what you need to know about the overall speed upgrade back there.

So no, I wouldn’t go four-verts on these guys unless Wilson is in there and the run game is churning out 6 YPC. As for the those career days…how do I put this kindly…YOU WERE PLAYING TEMPLE!!! Temple leaves open 25-yard seams to unathletic tight ends because they are awful at coverage, and they turn them into 66-yard buffalo stampedes because they are also awful at Geometry. It’s not like Jones and Daniels were setting up the corners with an out then bursting to get open by 15 yards; they just ran by them. They might be able to find some separation against boundary corner Raymon Taylor; more likely they’ll have to fight for balls or rely on Rees to hit NFL windows.

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No, the way to beat this defense in passing is they can’t generate enough organic pass rush if you force them to leave the run defenders in. Mattison does some whacky things to get that rush and if you catch him off guard you’ll find a one-on-one matchup against a 5’10 guy somewhere.

Notre Dame’s inside linebackers looked lost in coverage in game one Post-Te’o. Who does Michigan have that can attack the middle of the field that Notre Dame fans should be worried about and how will the Wolverines try to exploit this vulnerability?

Really? Interesting. In this year’s preview book I noted Calabrese was an important dude to watch because replacing the midfield coverage of Te’o while regularly sending five guys would answer whether ND’s defense was Te’o or repeatable. The answer here is you get to pick between a 6’6″/250 dude with Mikey Mouse’s hands, or a Mickey Mouse-sized dude who’s ridiculously productive on 3rd downs. The pro prospect tight end is Devin Funchess, whom we are constantly comparing to Eifert because we don’t have many 6’6″ coverage nightmares in our history to point to. The widdle guy is 5’9″ Drew Dileo. Stop the next Spartan who passes by and ask about Dileo. Or don’t if you’re not particularly malicious and/or don’t think you can get vomit stain out of the carpet.

That said, it’s not so much about the weapons here as where you put them. I don’t know what Temple was doing to you but Michigan probably lacks the ability to exploit the middle because ND doesn’t have to worry about covering deep so much. Our best outside receiver is Gallon, a 5’8″ guy with a cloaking device—oh right you remember—well Gallon has a long pro career ahead of him against corners without a hope of keeping up with his cuts, and he’ll out-jump most guys three inches taller than him, but he’s still, you know, 5’8″. The other outside receiver is out for the season and his replacements failed to get any separation against Central Michigan, who isn’t Temple but might as well be. Simple Cov2 zones should suffice; you’ve got three new starters on the offensive line so twisting and stunting the DL could net Tuitt some easy pressure without help.

Tommy Rees looked like an improved passer for Notre Dame last week, but still showed that he isn’t going to win any foot races.  How much pressure is Michigan going to send his way this weekend ?

That’s not what I remember. I remember Rees scoring ND’s only touchdown on a called run last year. Anyway our defense is basically the same as yours if (actually: when) the CAT puts his hand down. Michigan’s pressure last year mostly came from the SAM linebacker, analogous to the DOG in your defense. That guy may return in October but for now his replacements are okay-just-guys. The CAT equivalent is where we’d like to get some organic pressure and there’s hype from that position; we’ve yet to see production against a legit offensive line (do you have one of those now? Ah, miss Charlie so much.)

On 1st and 2nd down expect to get time to throw, less if you’re tipping pass and we can get away with playing the nominal starter, penetrating 3-tech Jibreel Black; he’s only 280 lbs so if you can establish a run game against him he’ll have to sit. If you can’t get a run game going, well, you know Greg Mattison well enough to not give his diabolical mind a chance to stretch itself against tipped passes. Okie FTW!

We all know how Brady Hoke feels about Notre Dame pulling out of the series (at least for now) due to their new found ACC schedule requirements, but how do Michigan fans feel about it?

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Well, it hasn’t hurt local rubber chicken sales, let me tell ya.

About 50% of Michigan fans live in such proximity to our drunken Greek brothers to the north that we’ll put Michigan State as a clear second rivalry after THE rivalry. The rest are those who make metro-Chicago and New York virtual maize and blue territory. They plus the SW Michigan contingent cohabitate with enough Domers to claim the Irish as their second-most important rival.

The dudes who remember a time before this series are old and otherwise preoccupied with saving such anachronisms as the huddle. When my generation was growing up “Rocket Ismail” was one of the first swear words we learned. We revere “The Catch” and still shake with anger at “Phantom Touchdown.” We remember Carlyle Holiday and use him when talking about the history of modern college QBs. We cherish “Brady Quinn for Heisman” and “Clausen for Heisman” even more because it was what ended the most miserable two weeks of our lives. And oh let’s not even start on how the kids feel about that 4-point epic victory, or that other 4-point epic victory, or that other 4-point epic victory.

I’m obviously speaking just for myself and the little corner of the Michigan fanbase that thinks like me here, but I love playing Notre Dame. I think your fight song is the next-best to our own, I think your stadium experience is the purest one left among the giants of college football, and that South Bend is within that-day driving distance, and that our fans cohabitate in Chicago and New York and southwestern Michigan, and that the smart X% of your fanbase and the smart Y% of our fanbase respect each other immensely. I have zero respect for your administration, whom I find to be spectacularly arrogant, extraordinarily petty, and cowards of the first degree.

So how do we feel about it? We feel that long-jilted Notre Dame made a mistake in turning down the REAL THING in the late ’90s. We find all those young hussies you’ve convinced to hang on your arm and speak only when asked—Big East, ACC, whatever—are but increasing levels of self-denial. We feel that in our recent time together, all those spectacular last-play affairs, things got a bit too real. We feel you’ll live an exciting and lavish lifestyle that ends with you all alone and wondering why that second-best win total seems so empty.

So yeah, enjoy those bar fights MSU gets you into, and your stuck up girlfriend in Palo Alto, and that awkward relationship with your old neighbor you use to pretend you’re still a rust belt midwesterner. I’m sure they’ll understand you.

Brady Hoke’s first season exceeded all expectations.  Then his second saw Michigan lose 5 games.  What are Michigan fans’ feels towards Hoke as he enters the critical third year on the sidelines?

Remember how a year ago you guys looked at your schedule and said “wow, okay, five losses against that seem okay.” We lost to three teams who went undefeated until one beat another in the national championship. We lost to Ohio State because everybody did (and we nearly had them). We lost Nebraska because Denard got hurt and that was the offense. We lost a bowl game on a last-second play. On the other hand we needed a last-minute drive to beat MSU and a last-minute miracle to beat Northwestern.

Calling this year “critical” for Hoke when Rich Rod’s “WIN THIS WEEK OR DIE!” 2010 is still fresh is ridiculous. He and his staff are recruiting on a level we haven’t seen since high schoolers’ names first appeared on websites. In a year they turned Rodriguez’s shambles of a defense and while we knew that was a lot of duct tape, the thing has held together despite heuristics (75% of the 2010 recruiting class is gone) that should point to doom. If they inherited a once-in-a-generation player they never would have recruited on offense and that fusion was a bit awkward, okay, that was the deal we made on Day 1. It’s hard to see many ways the transition “back” could have gone better.

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Hoke has united the fanbase by talking like an old guy but doing all the things we new guys couldn’t get Lloyd to (like correctly going for it on 4thdown). Also he improved the defense from worst 20 to top 20 in a year, loaded the roster with 4- and 5-stars who lead their respective leagues in ladies escorted across streets, and even fixed the kicker. He comes with bona fide coaching star Greg Mattison, whom you may remember as “the only thing anyone liked about Bob Davie’s teams.” Our only complaint is they will wait to see the NFL do something (e.g. go up-tempo, run a zone read correctly, spread punt) before they’ll try it. That is a small thing, smaller now that the NFL has the other Kelly. The depth chart is mostly underclassmen recruited since January 2011, so the fan consensus is this is still a year away before things get FOR REAL; in 2014 just about everyone returns except the two awesome offensive tackles (unless Gardner goes to the NFL). Hoke is not only guaranteed a fourth year, he’s probably going to kick it off by signing the top two recruits in the country.

After seeing Brian Kelly lead the Irish to a 12-1 mark and title game berth in 2012, what are your thoughts of him as a head coach after witnessing the last three failed head coaches at Notre Dame stumble and bumble their way around the sidelines for more than a decade?

Well remember he spent most of his career over at Grand Valley State–when the story goes he was following Bo Schembechler around and trying to recruit whatever kid Bo spoke to–and then some time at CMU, so we know him well. In fact we did a lot of looking at Kelly when that debacle of a 2008 coaching search was going on. You have to imagine after two decades at Grand Valley and Central every coach in the state knew him and had a strong opinion of him. The consensus is the guy can coach but he’s too abrasive to have worked out here. That sounds meaner than I mean it. He is a jerk–by now you know this–but unlike previous hires he arrived with a strong track record he is living up to and a good staff who are performing as they should. It still amazes us that you hired Willingham and Weis, and the O’Leary thing is still too funny–sometimes I wonder if all that was really just the NCAA enacting some sort of double super-secret probation for undisclosed violations under Holtz. Seems appropriate.

The underdog has won 7 of the last 9 meetings between Notre Dame and Michigan.  Why do you think that is and how do you feel about that considering Michigan has opened as a slight favorite?

We’re talking about two programs that writers are constantly overrating early in the year based on little more than how many angels sing when our helmets appear (Michigan currently leads 814 to 780). A short history of victorious underdogs: 2004 Carr got too conservative when forced to start true freshman; 2005 epic ref screw-job; 2006 most overrated team ever; 2007 Cripple Fight!; 2009 thanks for the extra drive, Charlie!; 2010 Crist got hurt; 2011 lol Gary Gray.

So what do I make of the dog having an edge in this series? I take it to mean that prognosticators don’t know what to do with Michigans and Notre Dames, especially that early in the season and under guys like Willingham, Weis, and Rodriguez. I think the newspaper guys build up whoever had a better season the year before, and the gamblers throw up their hands and just set the line at whatever will get people interested in betting it.

Obligatory score prediction?

We didn’t mention the obvious: if Gardner gets hurt all bets are off and Notre Dame fans post a Shane Morris for Heisman video to even the series. Otherwise I think both teams’ defenses will look better than they are, and Michigan wins it on a preposterous comeback 33-29.

Reminder: The views and opinions expressed in this post are of our guest blog partners at MGOBlog and not those of the editors of UHND.com

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133 Comments

  1. Kudos C-Dog,

    Agreed on Rees, If BK starts allowing critical turnovers like he did in both 8-5 seasons it will be a mad house around here. Why is it whenever we sign a new contract we see a team no where near the expectations? Amen on the “I don’t think Michigan is good as advertised.” A simple prevent defense is not going to stop OSU.

    Furthermore, I don’t need a lecture from “Seth” the day after with a gloating-self-serving-classless-gentleman-act like we drew 1st blood and did not treat them right. I can just imagine the Michigan faithful protocol if the tables were turned. It would be more than ugly, especially if we had the audacity to show up the next day on their site after a loss and deliver a fan sermon report card.

    Hey “Seth” don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. For your information, most of us here do not have the insatiable desire to visit your site like you do us. Sharing a visiting author post is one thing. But let’s get over yourself…should we set a litmus test for your crowd on your site and return the comment: “Remember loyalty for its own sake makes you Ohio State.” Sorry, your fan base history is not impeccable. Please remind us on your 1st loss of the season, so we can all show up on your site and deliver your sermonette wisdom in kind. I’m sure it will be blues skies all the way.

    Kumbaya Capeche?

  2. I was a bit dissapointed that Rees when back to turning the ball over at critical times. That’s sort of an X-factor with him. You almost want another QB out there so Rees doesn’t feel as much pressure. Mechanically, he needs to work on a shuffle or side step, plant and throw. He panicked on the first interception and kept running when he had a ton of room to stop plant and throw. Also, Michigan had 4 guys in the area.

    Defensively, the Linebackers seems to have regressed back to 2011 form in terms of pass coverage. And the CBs and Safeties sure didn’t hit hard.

    Very upset with the bogus pass interference call. But…. that’s the way it goes. ACC Refs, hmmm….

    In general, this team did not look sharp. So 3 weeks before Oklahoma. Two teams you should beat in Purdue and Michigan St. You don’t look past them, but you do put in place an improvement plan that prepares you for 3 tough teams in Oklahoma, ASU, and USC. Then you make sure you are ready for Stanford. OH, yeah and now let’s make sure we can handle BYU.

    This can still be a magical season. An early loss means less. Unfortunately I don’t think Michigan is as good as advertised. And frankly I think the Big 10 is again weak this year. So ND needs to set the bar higher.

  3. I just want to thank all the ND fans who made it to Ann Arbor this weekend. I only came across two not-nice folk among a good hundred I interacted with, and they were two young ladies who had too much to drink and I’m pretty certain have never visited a blog looking to understand how to pick apart a Cover 2. As always, the Notre Dame fanbase acquitted itself as one of the classiest groups to travel, and the Notre Dame football team acquitted itself as a great program and worthy foe.

    Game-wise I was very impressed with the Irish offensive line. Michigan’s pass rushers are taught to get low and explode upward; time and again I saw ND’s tackles absorbing those blows and pushing them up high to lock the defender in a kind of 7th grader’s slow dance (elbows locked, participants rocking back and forth, zero chance of sexiness). That takes some great coaching and athleticism to accomplish on a regular basis–I was worried Michigan’s ends were getting out of their coaching but as I’ve had time to review that was just offensive line playing like chalk. Give Tommy Rees time to throw and he’s going to find his openings. I didn’t even think our coverage played that bad; again Rees played really well. Also michigan didn’t seem to have an answer for ND’s counter gap–that was happening of course because they needed to overreact to the passing game but it was still impressively executed.

    On the two late PI’s, the first I couldn’t see so well because it was directly across the field from me and I was sitting so low all the other players were in my way. At the time I guessed it was similar to the interception Alabama had on us last year in Dallas, where a really strong corner just bodily tossed Michigan’s receiver to the ground before the ball arrived–I have only had an opportunity to look at our defense in depth so far so I’ll wait to make a call on that. On the second though, from my seats we got a really good view that the backjudge had too but the TV cameras didn’t: the DB had a hold of the receiver’s jersey and was tugging it down. That’s a call I see a lot of officials miss but it’s easier to call in the end zone because the ref is so close.

    I think in our back and forth we made a major mistake in forgetting to mention that Kelly knows how to pass and Rees is an intelligent player who sees a lot more pre-snap than most QBs (maybe more than any other Michigan will face this year).

    For those who thought my responses too snarky, I submit that I figured you wouldn’t want me to use any other voice than the one I blog with–pull no punches, save no jabs, so long as I can back up what I’m saying. I admit I was pretty disappointed with the quality of the return swings–I love to banter with other blogs (and have done well in the trenches with Penn State fans while making a book for them this year) but I was hoping for some smart quips, not Red Cedar Message Board except with less self awareness. Remember, loyalty for its own sake makes you Ohio State. Notre Dame has WAY too much to proud of on its own to ever need somebody to come to need blind loyalty defense.

    Great game once again, and I’ll be rooting for ND the rest of the way!

    1. Seth,

      Thanks, bro, for the class you show. It’s an example to us all. ND and Michigan will see each other again sooner rather than later. It’s inevitable!

    2. Seth,

      Sorry about the two young Irish girls who hurt your feelings.

      Don’t know how that could have happened.

      I guess too much alcohol can make anyone a bit too snarky.

  4. if you read a post alabama critique, its easy, the key to defense is adjustment, and saban did that all night long, nd just stays in the same defense, its clear these coaches/defensive guy at michigan and saban are just smarter, more flexible than our guys and dont have a chip on their shoulder, and some one said why can kelly find a clausen or a quinn or a montana, they threw gunner away, remember it was coley obrien that won the national championship in 1966, not hanratty, we have no great number 2,3 or 4, compare our performance with oregon, awesome offense and defense shut down two teams totally. you can kiss the bcs goodby, stanford must be salivating

    1. JC,

      We (Kelly included) spoke all off season of improving our O-Line, building up a power running game, adding depth and talent at running back, and trying to be more “Alabama like”.

      Then against Michigan, on 3rd and 2 we throw a little hitch to the wide reciever??? (twice)

      The first time we got away with it. The second time Michigan had it smothered.

      We get stuffed on 4th and 1?

      Just when I think that we might be moving up in class, I see this stuff.

      I really wanted to see us run with success on 3rd and 2 or 4th and 1, because after all, that’s what Alabama would do.

      Saban uses the down and distance to send a message.
      First to his own team that they have the power and toughness to get it done, and then a second message to the other team that they can’t stop it!

      It’s things like that, that win games.

      Is it really that dificult for us to design a short yardage offence that might include an additional lineman, extra tightend or two, a bonified fullback or lead blocker, good line push with leverage, and a tough runner who will always get you two?

      I wish this coaching staff would send us fans a message… one that says we are at least looking for a way to smack someone in the mouth.

      Forget about all this other stuff. Until we do that, we aren’t going to win a national Championship.

      Hell, if you want to beat Stanford this year you better start playing that way today because you can bet that they will.

      Maybe Kelly chewing out his O-Line during the Michigan game was the first needed step in that direction.

      We can only hope.

      1. Amen Shaz,

        I am working extremely hard to stay positive. We all saw things in this Michigan game that crushed BK’s statement: “We did not want to disclose all to Michigan in the Temple game.” Hahaha, yeah right! Unfortunately, that proved to be a mere CYA comment. Good Grief!!!

        GooooooIrish! Is basketball season here yet? JK

  5. Rees was matching wits with one of the best defensive co-ordinators in college football.

    He was able to counter everything thrown at him. He did more than just hold his own.

    He was sacked only once for a minus -9 yards.

    He threw for over 300 yards for the second straight week.(This time on the road in front of 115k hostile fans)

    He went 29-51, and would have been even better if GAIII could catch a simple swing pass.

    If Kelly is going a pass on 3rd and 2 it should be a bomb, otherwise you arn’t doing Rees and this offense any favors.

    If Kelly is going to call a pass on 3rd and 2 because he feels he can’t run for it, he is sending the wrong message to his team, and he is wasting precious practice time not to mention valuable available talent.

  6. Amen Jack,

    Excellent points, you know, I keep thinking how much better Tommy looked running in practice. I just think TR is one of those guys who would rather throw an interception than run. Unfortunately, I think TR hates running and I don’t think that is going to change. With that said, having that mindset or limitation whatever it is, Tommy will need to play near error free football every game. Whereas we know the benefits of a highly mobile QB like Michigan’s or Zaire. Odds are, based on TR’s past performance he may dump the season way before Zaire even get’s on the field. Again I’ll cheer for TR, albeit, after two games, I just don’t see a break out year for him. As always, I definitely could be wrong.

  7. Oh I don’t disagree that both sides of the ball contributed to the loss. IM never going to be a fan of TR but he most likely will continue to start so I will try to rah rah for him.

    Go Irish

    1. Storespook Kudos,

      I will root for TR, But Jack we need more than tweeking on offense. Michigan was playing zone all night long. We play a good man to man defense well, you can fill in blank that one.

      1. Jack,

        You could have played QB when Michigan was playing 6 in the box on run plays and 7 in the box on blitz; coupled with zone in the outfield. I know you could have dinked and dunked all night long. Especially, if I supplied you with the beer for pain management at your age….junior…hahaha!

        Basic bend but don’t break prevent defense. Of couse we need that beer to work out details…for Purdue!

        GooooooooIrish!

      2. JC,

        Tommy needs to run when it is there. Instead of trying to thread the needle at the end of the half he could have gotten six yards. I also think Kelly needs to find a back that can carry the laod. Cam McDaniel runs well and will get you the five yards needed. He can also catch out of the backfield. Finally, to many stupid penalties with motion, false starts and other hic cups that put them into 3rd and long which is not TR’s strength.

        The defense needs a leader to at least make calls.

        and they beat Purdue and MSU. I want to see if they learn from their mistakes in the first two games.

  8. Why would anyone want to put any of that debacle on the QB? That was a defensive mess, you have two “now theoretical” top ten picks on your DL, Bennett Jackson was supposed to be the bees knees. Our offense saved us from the score being like CMU. Does anyone think if our Defense was sent to Birmingham they would play that way?

    1. There are many games the offense carries the defense and vise versa. My real concern is if TR gets hurt then what? Don’t kid yourself the better defenses will dial in and shut down TR.
      Bama would be licking their chops!

  9. Jack,

    You just validated my point, let TR come in to save the day like last year when needed. I saw three dropped passes by GA3, several missed passes, a holding call ignored, several penalties, 2 interceptions….a team loss on both sides of the ball. So who wins the game football?

    1. JC,

      The offense needs some twee king and a to get a back to carry the load. The defense needs much more work. The players on defense have been reading their press clippings to much. No discipline at all. I don’t think all the offense ills are related to TR and to pit Zaire in now would be giving up on the season.

  10. Last year Golson on was brutal at times. TR is threw one bad interception last night. Put a freshman in there and seea game like Golson had against Michigan last year. Thirty points should have been enough to win. The defense needs to be better and this team will fine. TR isn’t the problem its the defense that is undisciplined and needs to remember it responsibilities. We will see if they grow as the year goes , but the offense isn’t the reason why they lost it was a horrible defensive effort, confusion and wrong calls on the field. The defense steps it up and and this team wins last night. I’m more worried about getting a solid running game to save our horrible defense.

  11. The fair hair wonder boy won’t be pulled, MK will see at best limited action when he is cleared and only if TR plays even worse or is injured. There is no improved and new TR. what we saw last night as been what we have seen before, maybe with some minor aspects a wee bit better. The D is disappointing up to this point. Pitching the ball 53 times will not win games. Lets get those backs running and rotating. It can’t be any worse than the fair hair wonder boy throwing 53 times and being hampered by his inability to be mobile. Yes as I said earlier I find myself getting annoyed at Golson’s off the field decisions and how this has affected the team. I am guessing he won’t be back anyway but this team would have been different had he been at the helm of the offense. Right now this team is average to good at best. Things need to change or it may be a disappointing season. Defensing TR has been figured out and unless we focus more on the running game to help out the fair hair wonder boy, I see INT’s and other TO’s continuing. Time to focus on next week.

    Go Irish

    1. OK Storespook,

      You just ruined my fun, yes the “fair hair wonder boy
      will stay in due to the well known BK/TR lovefest.

      Nor was GA3 off to a good start. I’ll take my jacks and go home now. Hahaha!

      1. Seriously though,

        I do not want to be wishing every game TR will be better when this may be as good as it gets.

        We don’t even know what Zaire is or isn’t capable of in game conditions. I’m not panicking, however, I’ll bet he’s highly mobile and can run north and south to make a big difference in short order.
        I was OK with TR until he started throwing interceptions again against good teams. Zaire will need to be brought along quickly.

        Is it more likely or not likely Zaire’s talent will have a positive impact given the opportunity? I believe it is more likely.

      2. Do you really think Zaire couldve run the offense as a true freshman in front of 115,000 screaming fans. I dont think so. This is year four for Kelly and his staff and we still have one of Weiss’ players running the offense and the truth is he is the best option we have right now. Kelly has not been able to bring in a top tier DT QB to run his offense which is baffling to me. No depth at the QB position. I dont even think EG is a top tier DT QB at this point in his career. Not in my top 10. That PI called on Bennett Jackson was garbage and that somewhat sealed the deal.

      3. Maybe maybe not, there’s no way to know now until our next game. Only time will tell. However, to invest 100% in TR this year will be a mistake that will haunt us next year. Not surprised on the bad call at good old Michigan! Classic Call!

  12. I have no problem with Tommy in the first two games.The secondary is brutal so far this year! GA3 should not be in the backfield! If GA3 could catch,or the DBs could cover and tackle then the game may have turned out different. Shumate is completely lost out there. Let Redfield play!! What the fock was the defense with Ishaq standing up behind the NT?

  13. Very valid points JC. Spot on! My biggest fear if we struggle this year is the slowing of our recruiting train. It’s got good momentum right now but more loses may derail it. It’s to early to panic. Fix the defense they are studs. Offense has plenty of weapons, just need a dual threat QB that can make something happen when out of options. I understand Zaire has mono, but when back healthy rotate him Rees. Can’t get any worse than four quarters of Rees!

  14. Yes start Zaire,

    Zaire was my 1st choice as I stated before the season began. Will BK live up to his “if you are throwing interceptions you won’t be playing.” What really concerns me, do we really have a guarantee Golson will return? How can we afford not to develop Zaire this year? If for some strange reason Golson does not return and we don’t develop Zaire this year then what??

    1. Then we start the inconsistency cycle at QB all over again, oh boy. I agree JC, if MZ was not ill, I would have focused on getting him ready so at least there wouldn’t have been a huge adjustment overall offensively. It’s the one area since BK arrived that has been more inconsistent than I thought it would by this point in his tenure.

      Go Irish

  15. No leaders on defense or offense. Somebody needs to step up ASAP. I don’t why people thought we could make an undefeated run with Rees. That is just delusional. Rees is not the only problem with this team. I’m hoping for 8 wins this season and that may be a stretch. That said why not put Zaire in the mix now and start developing him??? He didn’t cheat and let his team down. Frankly I hope Golson transfers. Had we had his dynamic added to this teams talent this year I think things would be alot different.

    Funny other programs have athletes who get in trouble with assault, robbery, rape, possession of weapons, accepting money and yet they still play after silly suspensions? Cheating, good for you ND you show Em! It is time to start the Zaire era. C’mon Kelly give him some reps………………

    1. You can’t start Ziare he has mono and hasn’t been cleared. Also, he’s not close to being ready. An eight wins a stretch. Let’s look at their schedule:

      Purdue: sucks
      MSU: horrible offense
      Oklahoma: scored 10 points against WVU
      ASU: may be a loss
      USC: non mobile QB and have looked horrible
      BYU: tough game
      Pitt: should be a win
      Navy: should win
      air Force: win
      Standford: loss

      I have them at 9-3 or 8-4. This isn’t a bad team just not a great team. The leadership needs to come from the coach, just like Saban.

      1. Jack,

        Of course Zaire is not ready, but why not have him ready for next year. BK has the proven propencity to bring young QB’s along (ie,Golson).
        TR will still be here for back-up when needed, a roll he is more suited for.

      2. Further,

        We just comfirmed one more time against a good team, TR’s ability to throw interceptions. Do we really need to verify that point leading to another 8-5 season?

      3. 8-4 is unacceptable for this team. It will kill our momentum and recruiting. It will bring back the spectre of the TW and CW eras where one good season raised hopes only to have the dashed by mediocrity. This is a test for BK. He has a talented team that seems unprepared and underachieving. It’s up to him to step up and impose some discipline and call out his seniors and other leaders.

        BTW: Some here were making excuses for our D last weekend. What I saw last weekend at home against a bad team with a young QB came full circle against a good team on the road with a more experienced QB. There’s just something wrong with D.

      4. SFR, I fully agree with your assessment. The defense was absolutely Torched last night after not looking that great the week before against bottom feeder Temple. That is the worst ive seen our DBs play in a long time. They were taken to school by a pretty good Michigan team. I have to give Michigan QB Gardner credit as he was close to flawless last night. Even when he was harrassed by our blitzing he was able to make the perfect throw, including the throw to Tuitt lol. I see a few people are pinning this loss on Rees’ interceptions but I disagree. The poor decision to throw across his body in the first half certainly hurt but the one at the end of the game was meaningless. Maybe a miracle couldve happened but highly unlikely. Rees gives us our best chance at winning and thats just the hand weve been dealt thanks to Golsons FUp. The three defensive studs from last year KLM, Manti, and the safety who I cant remember his name have not been replaced and it shows.

  16. I think GAIII can RUN just fine, but as of right now he’s not a receiving back. Theo Riddick, he ain’t. I was pretty upset last night, but as someone else pointed out, I found myself more pissed off at Golson than Rees. Rees played to his potential. He makes 60% of his throws, screws up 30% because of a lack of ability, and delivers a disaster 10% of the time.

    Give credit to Gardner- he is the real deal and will give most team fits. Bennett Jackson was awful.

    Positives: Brindza seems to be our kicker!

  17. As much as I hate to admit, Michigan deserved to win last night – although the late interference call on Bennett was terrible and if the interception had stood, things would have been very interesting at the end – Notre Dame was moving the ball very well and would have had every opportunity to win it.

    Two observations based on Temple and Michigan. First, though Rees may be a little better passer than Golson, they really miss Golson’s playmaking ability / dual-threat option. They are more limited on offense without question. Secondly, the defense looks slow – not much pressure on the quarterback and the linebacking corps doesn’t look good. They really miss Teo’ and Spond. Hopefully, they don’t play anyone with quarterbacks as mobile as the first two they have played because both of them gave them trouble – Gardner particularly. I still think a 9-10 win season is possible, but their D has to step up and play better.

    JDH, I agree, I’m not sure that Atkinson is the answer at RB. I think we will see more of Carlisle, McDaniel, and Bryant as the season progresses.

      1. you are all saying things I have said from the beginning – 3-5 losses this year – The D has been terrible – right no leaders out there the LBs getting killed – TR stats look good at first – good yardage – but a QB rating of only about 40 – missed some key passes with his guy open or made bad decision – INTs at the worst time – sound familiar – can’t really throw down field and no mobility that was the difference – their guy could move our guy can’t – and #4 may have cut into his playing time – has to be able to catch the ball. The best guy coming out the backfield for that may #33 – not as fast as the guys before him right now – but if he can at least catch the ball then were are ahead with him in there – A lot of work to do – I still see 3-5 losses unless some big turnarounds – the D has to show up

      2. I think the issue with mobile QB’s is a lack of setting the edge and allowing QB’s to brake containment. They need to look at the tape from Michigan lay year to understand how to contain. They also can’t give QB’s 6 secs to pass. The corners are still adapting to playing man to man coverage. Finally this offense has trouble punching it in the end zone, typical TR. This offense needs to double TE and work on a power running game with Bryant inside the 20. The other problem with the offense is TR mising wide open receivers. First drive he had TJ wide open for a first down and air mailed it. These in inconsistencies are drive killers and need to be cleaned up. ND is limited with TR but he is better than two years ago. That interception at the end of the half killed ND

  18. The fair hair wonder boy performed, well, performed like he always has performed. I find myself getting pissed at Golson who should be running this offense and the D is a big disappointment, very little leadership on the field for that side of the ball. Oh well, the cards are dealt and we play the hand we have. Can’t stand losing to these chuck heads. Could be a much longer season than initially thought.

  19. This team is too smart for its own good! Decline holding penalty. Don’t sanp ball with Michigan offside on 4th down. I just don’t get it. Really just don’t know what TR was thinking.

  20. God, this D is horrible! What an overrated group!!! This looks like the D that played against Bama.

    If our D looks like this all season we won’t win more than 8 games.

  21. Can someone explain to me why Jones wasn’t ruled out of bounds at the end of the half? Cost us a lot of time and chance to perhaps at least get a FG before halftime. Refs strike in Ann Arbor once again!

  22. Hey, fxm and JC,

    Rough start. Let’s hope second half this team wakes up.

    Stiil don’t like how we waste TOs and look like a Chinese fire drill at times on O.

    Where’s the vaunted D?

  23. ND’s offense if like Michigan’s with Golson. The sad thing is there is no leadership on defense. No containment by outside linebackers people running around with no idea where to line up. No leadership at all on the defense and they are playing undisciplined. Sad to say but someone needs to take over and become a leader and quick. They really miss Map, Teo and Motta. If you have a C on your chest step up!

  24. Yup on all the above. Thanks for cheating Golson. Rees is average at best back up QB. Hendrix just sucks. Is it actually official Zaire is redshirted for the year?

  25. heres to hoping its one of those games where herby says “a tale of two halves” with the irish pulling out an improbable win

  26. our “vaunted” D-line has done exactly SQUAT for the 1st game and a half.

    reading their own press-clippngs perhaps.

    Diaco is looking more like Tenutta so far

  27. ND’s defense is horrible. Can someone cover Gallon. Shumate is out of position, Jackson and Russell are getting schooled and the linebabackers are slow and bite on play action. This is going to be a shoot out and if the defense doesn’t wake up ND’s in trouble

  28. there was once a coach who said the following:

    (paraphrase)

    Look, there are 22 world class athletes on the field. They are still before the snap. Comes the snap and they all 22 move in various directions, and they know every trick in the book. We have 8 coaches and we can barely keep up with what even our 11 do on a play and we know what we called and what the assignments were. so how can we expect perfection from the reps when they have fewer people, don’t know either offensive or defensive playcall, and have to monitor all 22 players.

    1. Life is a Modus Vivendi:

      (modified)

      You come to a fork in the road. One road leads to Hell, the other to Heaven. On both sides of the road there is a person. One is a pathological liar (everything he says is false), the other a pathological truth teller (everything he says is true). If you get to ask a simple question to one of them, what would you ask to choose which road you will continue your journey on?

      ND 31 – Mich 9

  29. Also, epic screw job from the refs in 2005? I wasn’t even aware there was an issue for Michigan fans with that game. Both our TD’s were clean & legit. No fumbles or possibly dropped balls. Can’t even imagine what the source is of that complaint.

    Just goes to show how irrational people are about this game. (and refs in general.)

    1. Amen Jay,

      I’m with you and Shaz on Texas! It can’t happen soon enough. Texas’ credentials flush a ‘rubber wolverine’ down the toilet twice.

      ND 31 – Mich 9 (field goals only for UM)

  30. Seeing these answers from an otherwise respectable source, followed by the responses from my fellow ND fans makes me finally happy that the series is coming to a long-overdue break. There’s nothing but animosity, contempt & hostility between our fan bases. We’re all a part of the college football religion. We just follow different sects. This game serves little other than bringing out the ugliest and worst in us, and I’m glad to see it go.

  31. ri·val·ry (rvl-r)
    n. pl. ri·val·ries
    1. The act of competing or emulating.
    2. The state or condition of being a rival.

    Stay classy!

    1. By definition #1 Ron, every team on every schedule could be considered a “rival”. Thank you for obfuscating rather than elucidating. And for proving my original point which was to say that it is, indeed, a matter of perspective or opinion.

      1. I’d love to respond but I will have to google half the words in your sentence above to understand.

    1. It’s being debated because it’s very much a matter of perspective and opinion. As the new article / post makes clear on this site: We have only played eachother 40 times. That’s not many compared with other rivalries that can go back 75, 100 years etc. Important game with crap-tons of tradition? Sure. But “rivalry” is up to interpretation I suppose…

  32. Michigan fan here. What gets me is that both our fanbases call each other arrogant and douchebaggy. Can’t we just agree that we both are and get on with more important things?

    Just want to opine on the UM/ND matchup. Grew up in California and I’m a 2011 grad to provide context of what I’ve seen in early September ever since I’ve been watching college football. Two awesome programs with a ton of history that exist with a few hours drive. We’ve been thorns in each others’ sides year in and year out. It’s early in the season and there is always so much buzz. How does that not constitute a rivalry? Have a good one, Go Blue!

    1. “douchebaggy”???

      Unfortunetly, I just can’t agree with that.

      Since you grew up in California, I would think it more proper to refer to you as more of a “Strawberry douche” type fan.

      I mean, context is context right?

      In the end, it’s just a little vinegar and water under the bridge!

      Cheers!

    2. “douchebaggy”?

      You must have learned that ultrasophisticated terminology from those wonderful conformity and control professors. Isn’t Ann Arbor close to Detroit mentality?

      ND 31 – Mich 9

    3. team greg 8, I agree with you.

      There should be enough emotional maturity to be able to agree to disagree and to be able to agree to disagree agreeably.

      Before this fine madness rekindled in ’78, I got a chance to see of the editions of the Bo-Woody 10 year war in Ann Arbor in ’73, ’75 and ’77 and respect your traditions and arguably the most colorful announcer in the grand and glorious history of college football-the nonpareil Bob Ufer.

      Live, before the internet,I’ve found Maize and blue fans intense but affable,
      adversaries but reasonable ones.

      And I will, actually be rooting for the Wolverines to do something that neither Yost, nor Crisler, nor Benny, nor Bo EVER did, beat Ohio State twice in a singleseason.

      I’ve seen the best of both fan bases, and unfortunately, the worst of ours.

      1. Duranko,

        “I’ve seen the best of both fan bases, and unfortnately, the worst of ours”

        OK, I get your left-handed comment. Kudos to you too, especially an author like you who is only loyal to thyself. Please, by all means, take your sippy cup and sit in the Michigan Alum section where you belong.

        ND 31 – Mich 9

      2. Could you define / be more specific, about “the worst of ours” statement?

        Just so I know whether to agree, disagree, or to agree to disagree agreeably.

      3. Forgive my ignorance here, but shouldn’t Mr. Duranko be afforded a tad more respect (bear with me)? Disagree with him if you will, but remember who he is (or at least who I THINK he is). Again, I’m making a logical ASSUMPTION here, so please bear with me. I’m assuming that Mr. Duranko is THE Pete Duranko who played for Ara and is a legend, playing in the 1966 Game of the Century against Michigan State. Or perhaps a relative? I don’t know, but either way it seems respectful disagreement wouuld be on target. JC and Shazam, don’t misread my comments. I’m not suggesting that he, or anyone else, is above reproach or questioning. It’s just food for thought, again assuming I’m correct in his identity.

      4. Shaz, let me first ask a few threshold questions:

        (1) Should Notre Dame Men and Women bring their own values and beliefs to any discussion or merely gravitate to the lowest common denominator?

        (2) What implications are there for Notre Dame men and women from the symbolism of that person on the dome?

        (3) What is more significant:
        the deeds of men on the field, or the pinpricks of people who post things on the internet?

        (4) (a) is it more moral to act or to react?
        (b) is it more Notre Damey, in its essential meaning, to define others by the best in them or the worst in them?

      5. Duranko,

        By all means, let’s address your “lowest common denominator,” that ‘symbolizes’ your personal “dome” implications that do not represent the University of Notre Dame; coupled with the significance of your “pinprick” “Notre Damey” signature attitude.

        Clearly, your ubiquitous raging diatribe attacking Teo, well-documented on this site, demonstrates the false-stone-hearted-person you truly are. At least, Teo was man enough to apologize to all.

        “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven.”

        Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., Circular Letters 36, 1849

        Amen

      6. Big-D

        Lets review…

        The name of our team is the “Fighting Irish”

        Not the falsified Irish, or the flip-flopping Irish, or the fake Irish, or the really feely good Irish.

        Since your name ends in a “O” I seriously doubt you are 100% Irish.

        Middle European or Italian perhaps?

        Me, I’m 100% Irish.

        That means it’s in my blood, my chemistry, my up bringing to fight for everything I believe is right.

        To be sure, you are going to take your lumps from time to time but I was taught this by the good Fathers and sister of the Archdiocese.

        Maybe it’s that exact persona, that permeated a University, founded by a French preist, that lead to them adolpting the nick name “The Fighting Irish” ?

        And perhaps those founding fathers of this great university, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

        Lastly… it’s a friggin college football game and associate blog.

        Try to have some fun with it.

        I don’t see the need to make everything some big moral judgement or insist on draging everybody down into the depths of some imaginary self inflicted state of dispare.

        Now, I have an idea of who you are, and now you know a bit of who I am.

        We can either get along, or we can get it on, the choice is yours.

        ** “Never answer the question that is asked of you… answer the question you “wished” was asked of you”

        -Robert S. McNamara-

      7. JDH,

        Click on duranko’s post: Notre Dame’s 1966 National Championship.

        Read his response to Michael the ArchAngel about being related to Pete Duranko for yourself.

        “Michael, no, no relation to Duranko”

        ND 31 – Mich 9

      8. JDH,

        First, I never underestimate your intellegence. I have come to have too much respect for you.

        Second, the identity question has been answered (by the man himself) as “no relation” on more than one occasion.

        Third, as you have pointed out (and rightfully so) that a lot that is said hear is based on personal opinion and each is entitled to their own.

        A bad, or “the worst of” ND fans, can mean different things to different people.

        For example:

        Personnally, I don’t necessary care for a ND fan that lets fans from other teams bully their way onto this site with no other intent than to disrespect, insult, incite, and agitate.

        I don’t go to their site and do that. Nor do you, or JC, or most any others here.

        If someone thinks thats acceptable for them to do, then so be it. Just don’t expect me to agree with it.

        A poor fan, in my opinion, is one who doesn’t stand up for his school, his team , his players, or their coaches, and
        will belly crawl in front of these agitators in the name of political correctness.

        I say to hell with that.(And I bet I’m not alone)

        So you stand up for your team and get chastised for it? Really?

        Some might consider that disrespectfull.

        If a fan from another team posts on this site and is respectfull, then I’m respectfull back. Simple.

        They want to jab, then they should be able to take a jab. Simple.

        Lastly, as one who has an appreciation for good sarcasm, I think JC’s level and quality of his sarcasm has improved greatly.

        That sippy cup comment almost had coffee coming out my nose this morning!

        Afforded respect???

        You reap what you sow.

      9. JC and Shazam,
        Understood and thank you very much for the information/correction! I had not seen that information (or perhaps forgot about it) in prior posts about Duranko being of no relation.

        Cheers lads. GO IRISH! BEAT THAT 2nd Place of the Big 10 school! I mean Big 11, er Big 12, or Big….ah whatever.

      10. An Irish Toast…

        “May your pockets be heavy
        and your hearts be light

        And may good luck bestow us
        come this Saturday night!”

        Cheers!

      11. “So you stand up for your team and get chastised for it?Really?”

        Some people come here just to see what is going on in the land of mediocre football only to see their team ripped to shreds and have their integrity impugned.

        What is wrong with them standing up for their team? What’s right is right.

  33. “Michigan isn’t a rivalry game”… you guys are weird. You’re like politicians. Up is down, grass is blue, the sky is green, harumph harumph, rabble rabble rabble… Whatever. It’s a hell of a game almost every single year, it’s 2 of the biggest fanbases in all of football and a signature win for the victor every single time…You’re right. Just some team you play. Smell ya later, domers. Enjoy the ACC. Oh, and Purdue. (lulz) GO BLUE!!!

    1. “…you guys are weird. Smell ya later, domers.”

      Typical Michigan dysfunctionalism. You don’t need a rivalry you need a doctor. Focus on your OSU rivalry, you are without question verbally related on their level.

      ND 31 – Mich 9

      1. I can’t think of a more ND reply. Only a thoroughbred Domer could manage to squeeze out such a purified strain of condescension – here in relation to writing style – while managing to reveal that there’s nothing but pure pretension behind the posturing. Gramatically, I think you’re missing a comma in the second sentence, you’ve got a misplaced one in the third, and there’s a hyphen missing in no. 3 to boot. That’s all pedantry, I suppose. The kicker is that “verbally related on their level” doesn’t make any damn sense at all. Nothing like a jab about verbal expression (I think?) that’s put forth in terms that don’t make sense. Keep polishing that sense of superiority game, lawya. And never change, Domers.

      2. Hahaha! Sorry, my secretary types my important letters.
        Well, your conceptualization to fruition is definitely suffering from a case of servere case of acatalepsia.

        Please check my spelling too!

        ND 31 – Mich 9

      3. Perhaps you should go back and read this article before you make mention of pretentiousness. Your blogger was invited to share his thoughts and this is the tripe he decides to put forth. The arrogance of UM fans never ceases to amaze. They’re about as unoriginal as those helmets.

    2. Sorry, but we found something new and improved!

      Don’t forget… “WE” decided to replace “YOU” with Texas!

      No doubt most of America will be tuned in for that one, after all, what’s the other option that day… Michigan vs UNLV… Michigan vs bottom feeder Colorado… or how about the mighty Wolverines vs Ball St? (Har, har)

      I hate to break it to ya, but it’s your own schedule that stinks!

      Good thing Michigan still plays Purdue, or they would look really, pathetic!

      1. Okay now I take umbrage: we most decidedly do NOT play Purdue anymore. They’re on the complete opposite side of the conference and holding a protected game with Indiana that cuts down their available nondivisional games to 2. So we see Purdue maybe every 2 years out of 7, maybe less since those are weighted to match rivals. Gorram bloated conferences.

      2. Sorry, my bad… I get confused with the whole Legends vs Leons thing.

        What I meant to say was Minnesota, er… I mean Illinois, a… well, I could mean Maryland, or perhaps it was John Hopkins? wait, that’s only in lacross.
        (And men’s basketball)

        I got it!

        RUTGERS!

        Ok, so your schedule is weak, (again) it’s nothing to be ashamed of… if you are a Wolverine fan.

        Don’t worry..

        Even with the up coming playoff format, that $200m donation you just got should provide more than enough coin to buy a cozy spot in the playoffs reguardless of the lack of strength of schedule!

        See how everything seems to work out!

        You know, Michigan would have made one hell of a Independent!

        What a shame.

    3. @mgobleu:

      Here is your problem: In the entire history of the UM vs. ND series, almost every cancellation of said series came from YOUR END / Michigan. Michigan cancelled on ND, not the other way around. Also, Michigan cancelled the 2018 and 2019 games with ND. Look it up.

      I am not happy at all about ND’s decision to temporarily suspend the UM vs. ND series, but history shows us it has happened before.

      A little perspective may help you. Or not.

  34. This is the worst written article I have read, or tried to read in years. If I were to send a message to the writer, I would tell him or her to back off the drugs in general, and definitely when typing an article. Go Irish!!

  35. You all should read the responses your guy gave at our blog and understand what it means to provide actual analysis. It makes sense that ND provides platitudes while we provide analysis.

  36. re: consistent early test. true. one that you generally lose. partisanship aside, it should be good game. love college football and mich v. n.d. is (soon to be, was) a very good rivalry.

      1. Since 1978, when Michigan were no longer scared to play again, the Irish hold a 16-14 advantage. I don’t expect UM fans to understand basic mathematics so I’ll give you a pass.

      2. Usually?!?? In whose lifetime…that’s right….Michigan did go 6-0 vs ND in pre 1902 games in some game resembling football.

    1. Michigan’s defense has been in the top 20 for the last two years under Mattison. Notre Dame couldn’t score at will last year witth six turnovers. They couldn’t score at will against Temple (50 percent in tge red zone?). Yeah, 31 points seems realistic.

      1. Hmmmm, how many interceptions did CMU-High-School collect against UM? (3) Our defense will also score this week. Seems like we have the Hokie Chicken Motivation factor on our side.

        ND 31 – Mich 9 – too bad, three field goals only!

  37. After we make ‘Chicken Soup’ out of their “Rubber Chicken” Michigan Faithful, we will send them Rubber Wolverines and a Crying Towels! I see Troy dragging half of the Michigan defense into the end zone scoring at will. ND 31 – Mich 9

    GooooooooIrish!

  38. michigan fans like this guy are the reason why I’m glad we will be done with the michigan rivalry for a while. they’re all pretentious dbags.

    The jealousy toward ND in this preview is so blatantly obvious it’s laughable. Better than Joe Montana? Kelly followed bo everywhere? lol gary gray 2011? continual little jabs at ND while pumping up everything michigan reeks of jealousy.

    The sad thing is this is the typical fan not the exception. Enjoy your winning percentage and big ten runner up ribbons, ND is off to bigger and better things and we don’t need to give michigan an early season marquee matchup that clearly offers more to michigan than us. If you were one of the smart Y% of michgan fans you’d understand that. By the way, that smart Y% must be an extremely small percentage of your fans, because I’ve maybe met 2 in my entire life.

    I’ll take my “abrasive” “jerk” of a coach, and a series with Texas, you go ahead and enjoy your old guy talking coach and oregon state in 2015.

    Go Irish! Beat michigan!

  39. Was gonna use the typical Meatchicken douchebag tag but someone already beat me too it. It’s not like they ran over ND the last few years. Good luck getting bent over by the Buckeyes again this year. We have Touchdown Jesus they think they walk on water. Rees throws for 400 yards and ND wins in a romp.

  40. Typical Michigan douchenozzle blog-grog.

    Sloth Spews his crap and then conveniently ends with “If Gradner gets hurt all bets are off”

    Like any Michigan fan has ever paid off a bet!

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