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  • Wonder, Think & Know: Uncle Ben Edition

    by Mike Coffey

    I realize Mike Royko never said “Some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know”. I’m pretty sure he said “Michigan Sucks” a couple times, though.

    No doubt a QB can make a difference. That game would have been 13-10 early in the fourth quarter last year and I would have had Maalox on an IV drip.

    I thought the offense was more balanced yesterday. I liked the commitment to running the ball, although I find myself hoping Brian Kelly’s comment about “wanting to get the game over before more inclement weather came in” was just for chuckles.

    The thing about playing a team like Rice instead of a 1-AA punching bag to kick off the season is, while you still can’t know everything about your team, at least you know they went up against FBS (or whatever they’re calling it today) competition and can take more of it away than you could otherwise. I’m not a big believer in the “they didn’t want to show [next opponent] anything” philosophy. Rather, I believe they played a solid game against an opponent that wasn’t going to be completely over-matched. I don’t have a problem with the season-opening “buy games”, but still think it’s important they maintain some kind of reasonable-quality floor.

    Hands, CJ. Hands. But I always like it when a player obviously learns from a mistake and does it right the next time. That’s good coaching.

    Owl freshman Graysen Schantz is going to get a new orifice torn into him at the film review. Golson did everything but show him the football before he ran in for the TD on that busted play in the third quarter.

    I’m on record as an agnostic in the Grass/Turf Holy War. I think it looked pretty decent yesterday (although I also think looks aren’t in the top 10 of most important things related to it). I do, however, have an issue with the monogram. I’d prefer not to have anything there at all, but if you’re going to have a monogram, it should look better than the one they have, which looks small and tacked-on.

    Nothing like an in-control game to get the season off to a good start. Now it’s time for the real games to begin.

    Numbers like Everett Golson put up yesterday can get you mentioned for the Heisman Trophy. But you need wins like the one he can get next week to get into the serious projections.

    Michigan sucks.


    18 Responses to “Wonder, Think & Know: Uncle Ben Edition”

    1. NDBonecrusher says:

      Agreed Mike. I must confess that the “H” word did cross my mind yesterday. 3 running TD’s, 2 thru the air, nearly 600 yards of offense. That’s an OK day at the office I would say.

      Let’s welcome the lads from Ann Arbor into the playoff era the same way we said goodbye to Penn State. Although you may need that Maalox drip if it’s 17-16 and goes down to the last play.

      But I don’t think it will be that close. I have no prediction except that ND wins. Because Michigan sucks.

    2. I can stomach the carpet, although I agree it wasn’t particularly well done. On the other hand, the piped in music was just obnoxious and abusive, and either the sound system is garbage or they don’t know how to use it. My ears are ringing today like I went to a rock concert last night.

    3. Golson looked great. Showed some leadership too, deflecting any self promotion to the offense line and his teammates. Individually take the blame for anything bad that happens, but pass the praise for anything good.

    4. Bocceman2 says:

      I like the way the defense responded after giving up the first touchdown. I also like the emotion Van Gorder displayed both at times of mistakes and good plays. Much better than the stoic Diaco sitting in the press box. The bend but don’t break drove me crazy. Only concerns are size and speed of LB’s except for Smith.
      I was pleased by the running back by committee except we missed some key blocks on the corners which would have allowed for even more yards. Hopefully they will be corrected in time for Michigan. Would like the pace of the offense to pick up. We have the personnel so no excuse.
      Over all felt the team played inspired in spite of losing key members of the team. This showed maturity and discipline and leadership by the captains. Keep it up Irish!

    5. Thought turf looked great including 50 yd line.

      • I agree, Mike. On wide screen and HD, it looked just right. Can you imagine how many hoops and hurdles the field design went thru before the final product?! Love it or hate it, that field is what we’ll see for the next millenium, or so.

    6. domerboyirish says:

      Sorry boys. I respect a lot of the comments but can we get past the grass thing? All I want to do it WIN! (And win the right way and with class) If the fake turf field is better fitted to our personnel, and it allows us to play on the same surface we practice on, and they can practice IN the stadium, and that in anyway can help us win football games then I am all for it. I’m not watching the games for the grass or what logo is at midfield, or what is in the end zone. I just want wins. If playing fast helps Brian Kelly’s scheme and allows us to score more points than the other team then bring on the field turf!

      • domerboyirish says:

        Other points to add:

        I’m all for tradition. It’s a huge part of what I love about Notre Dame BUT there is a difference between ‘tradition’ and ‘living in the past’. Here in the present we need / want to win football games. That means that some ‘traditions’ that might not be helping the football team, need to be addressed and potential changed, especially if in any way they could affect the outcome of the football game.

        I don’t like the fact that we no longer paint the helmets, or that the Irish Guard rules were changed, or that they blast crappy music instead of the band and call it ‘atmosphere.’ Those things are traditions that do not relate to the game on the field. Those traditions SHOULD HAVE been maintained. The grass? Come on! We finally have a team built for speed and we should do what it takes to make that work. Our receivers blew past the Rice defenders yesterday for some huge pass plays. That doesn’t happen on long grass meant to ‘slow the other team down.’ JUST WIN!

        • Mike Coffey says:

          Doesn’t the turf make the opponents faster as well?

          • domerboyirish says:

            Of course it does BUT I believe that this team is built for this kind of track and will do better because of it. We looked fast yesterday. We played fast yesterday. We had great timing and I relate some small part of that to the surface. We looked fluid. We looked comfortable. That is what BK brings to the table (of course the love / hate of BK is another topic). I think this field works within his overall philosophy. It compliments it.

            So I think overall it works to our advantage even if it is a minor factor. The players like it and if they can play the game instead of worrying about footing I like it. I think it affects our team in a positive way and that is important. It’s a game of inches and if gets us a few extra inches and a victory I can live with fake grass.

            I know that I’m rambling but I view this as a net positive and not a net negative for our team on the field. That’s why I’m not worked up over the change from traditional grass. That’s why I get more worked up over the overall game day traditions that I mentioned above that get F’d up that don’t affect the outcome of the game.

            • Couldn’t agree more. It’s time to bring the ND tradition into the 21st century. Some of the other stuff, I don’t like but can live with (piped in music, etc.)

    7. Mark napierkowski says:

      Coffey is right. The turf makes the opponent faster also. It’s a wash. I always resented the intellectually vacuous argument that ND let the grass grow long against USC in 2005 in order to slow down Reggie Bush and his teammates. That long grass made us slower, too, which didn’t help. I was nominally against the turf to begin with, but if we can play good football, it doesn’t matter to me what we’re playing on.

    8. After Saturday, I have very little concern about offense. However, D. – no past rush against a less than mediocre Rice. I’m hoping Ishaq can return and the rest of the line steps up. Also, Russell will be a big step up w/ Collingsworth – if both are back. O, however, didn’t miss a beat w/o Davaris.

    9. Worse than turf is following the lead of playing cupcakes and essentially joining ACC. Rather have 10 games against quality opponents. Oh well, bills have to be paid. Michigan will be a nice test to see where program is really at.

    10. If we use the same balanced offensive attack that we did against Rice, and I see no reason to assume otherwise with how effective our running game was, I see us giving an overly praised Michigan Defense fits all night. My biggest concern, however, is covering big ol’ #1 from AA, Devin Fuchess. Talk about a matchup nightmare. That being said, it’s a lot more difficult to game plan for an entire balanced offensive attack than it is one over sized receiver. I see Notre Dame grinding out a close game in the fourth quarter to win by 10. 31-21 Irish. GO IRISH, Muck Fichigan.

    11. You’re 1NDGal comment isn’t funny. Grow up.