by Mike Coffey
Mike Royko never said, “Some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know,” but damned if I’m going to stop pretending he did.
This was one of those games probably best viewed through the prism of an entire season. Either we’re going to look back on it as shaking off the rust after a trying couple of months, or it’ll be a harbinger of things to come. Trouble is, we’re not going to know for a couple weeks.
Going into this game, I said to myself, “I’m not all that worried about the defense. It’s the offense that needs to show me something today.” Damned if I didn’t come out of the game thinking the exact opposite.
Tommy Rees remains Tommy Rees, although I was encouraged by the range on a couple passes in the first half. He’s seeing the open man, even if he’s not always getting him the ball. That’s a good start.
Jaylon Smith is a freshman?
Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston could end up being Notre Dame’s version of Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside. If you don’t know who the original Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside were, never read anything I write ever again. Your existence saps my precious bodily fluids (and I bet you don’t get that reference either).
I didn’t see a lot of stunting or other nifty-ness on the part of the defense, so I’m choosing to believe Diaco didn’t want to give Michigan anything to look at.
Yes, Jaylon Smith is a freshman.
If you’re going to have a design on your helmet, make it something people can discern. When your design looks like the paint got scraped off because of too many hits, it’s a bad design.
Temple seemed to have a lot of success putting our outside linebackers in no-man’s-land within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, unsure of where to go or what to do. That was Te’o’s domain last year, and someone’s going to have to take ownership of it this season if ND is going to see the success we all want.
Vannie described our WR and RB talent as “an embarrassment of riches”, and he’s certainly right on. So many guys hitting the hole (even if the hole didn’t seem to be there), and so many guys getting open.
If we were only sending three or four guys, the lack of pressure on the QB for most of the game would be understandable. We weren’t, so it concerns me. If we’re going to blitz, those blitzes need to get home, and the coverage men have to shift more quickly.
Another thing Temple had a lot of success doing is getting our defensive players to betray the pressure points prior to the snap. We need to do a lot better job camouflaging what we plan on doing.
Irish Chocolate had a tough game fighting through double-teams. Sheldon Day needs to make Michigan pay if they try to do that.
The defense eventually overpowered the Owl offense by the second half. Those guys obviously were fatigued trying to keep the Irish in check. Methinks the Wolverines are better conditioned.
Overall, a workman-like, if not inspiring, performance. Next week, though…..