Mike's Blog on Notre Dame Football
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In their season opener this past Saturday, the Fighting Irish worked hard to assemble all the possible nightmare scenarios that could happen in a season where losing is not an option.  And they delivered - all of them in the same game!  From a fumble at the 1 yard line on opening drive, to an interception in the offensive end zone, couple with a few miscues by one of the best kickers in the nation to orchestrate a shocking loss to a hard working team from South Florida. 

The Bulls didn't have to work very hard but they did.  The broken rhythm of the Irish finally resulted in a score of 16-0 at the half.  During that period, Dayne Crist, who ended the last 2 seasons prematurely due to injuries, connected only 7 times with his receivers and only once to star receiver Michael Floyd. 

This week, Brian Kelly gives the ball to Tommy Rees, the true freshmen who went 4 for 4 to finish the season last year.  Rees, in the second half last week, connected 11 times for 128 yards with Michael Floyd and brought is team within 3 of the Bulls with little time on the clock. 

That combination, along with the defence that didn't fail in any way against the Bulls will provide a real test for the Wolverines that had a pedestrian resistance last week from Western Michigan. 

If Denard Robinson expects to get out of the pocket and run this year against a more mobile and mature defence, he might not finish the game.  The danger with such a dual threat is that he often finds himself in open field and last week, the Notre Dame defence cut at least to USF Bulls in half.  McDaniels, their quarterback should call Denard Robinson and instruct him to stay in the pocket.  If that is the case, the Wolverines and its 115,000 fans Saturday night could prove to much for an Irish team trying to save their BCS hopes. 

Jeff Sagarin has the Wolverines favoured by 3(technical tie), Stewart Mandel from SI give the game to the Irish by 3 and I am more aggressive and biased than they are.

 

Because I don't believe that on the National stage, at night, at home - Denard Robinson could play and stay under center, the Irish and its defence will put on a show and run away with this one.  Detractors welcomed - i await your comments!

September 10, 2011  08:00 AM ET

I'm Catholic so I'm suppose to like Notre Dame. But I don't have any confidence in them anymore, not even with their new coach. They better watch out at the Big House in An Arbor this weekend, Most of the people who play against Michigan end up dragging their tales when they leave. The Irish will be one of them. By the way, I refer to them as the Irish, as they seem to have lost that 'Fighting' part of thier name!!

September 10, 2011  08:51 AM ET

I don't like that you don't use Fighting to describe them anymore. But i understand why you say that. I am also catholic. I read a lot about the history of Notre Dame du Lac. The Fighting was there and stayed for a long while. The early 2000 til now certainly didn't do anything for the name. I am also a blind fan - you must see this by now. Let's make a deal- You watch the game. ND wins, you reconsider your position. I think Brian will get the best of the players over time. Go ....Irish!

September 10, 2011  09:05 AM ET

ND beat themselves last week, but hats off to USF for showing up & NOT making those mistakes!

ND could have won that game by 21 if they would have done the "little things" right.

Now on to Michigan.... Almost always a close game.... I think ND has worked out all the kinks &are ready to show CFB world how good they can be.


ND 35 - UofM - 21

September 10, 2011  09:17 AM ET

I hope ND take care of meeeechegan this evening in The Big-out-House.

September 10, 2011  09:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I hope ND take care of meeeechegan this evening in The Big-out-House.

**takeS not take, my bad

 
September 10, 2011  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

ND beat themselves last week, but hats off to USF for showing up & NOT making those mistakes! ND could have won that game by 21 if they would have done the "little things" right.Now on to Michigan.... Almost always a close game.... I think ND has worked out all the kinks &are ready to show CFB world how good they can be.ND 35 - UofM - 21

Sexton - I agree - it is one thing to make mistakes - it hurts more when the other team capitalize on those mistakes. If Rees can avoid turnovers, i have no doubt that your 14 point spread could materialize.

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